We are coming up to the Festival of Imbolc, and I have been sending out suggestions about preparing for the Festival as part of my worldwide Druid Forest School. And so the issue of ‘how do you create sacred space?’ arose in my mind.
I myself feel happiest with genuine and authentic attunement to the place where workings are to be held. I feel this is a beautiful and healing way to prepare to celebrate a festival of do a vision journey etc.
What are the energies of the rocks?
What are the energies in the trees?
What are the energies in individual trees?
What are the alignments to the Sun to sacred energy places in the neighbourhood?
What are the energies from sea or river?
What are the energy flows in that particular place?
Have beings implanted special spiritual energies there to assist our evolution and spiritual growth? (and indeed, have dark or hostile energies been left in the land)?
And, having done the attunement to place, then I would feel happy to do the great healing and empowering workings and unforgettable vision paths of the particular Festival or other event.
I personally feel I have left behind use of the cast circle to create sacred space for ritual. This is because I do feel it is dualistic, and it is imposed on the sacred land itself. I feel it carries dualisitc energies of ‘good inside’ the circle and ‘bad outside the circle’, and so this carries all the risks of scapegoating, of dualistic conscious, of ‘banishment mentality’ and even power-stealing. The practice of the casting of the circle actually came down to the neopagan working in the modern west through kabala – and kabala drew on the sacred spatial practice of the ancient Jews at the time of Exodus.
The point is that the ancient Jews were wandering in the wilderness. They were disconnected from the land. And so, the sacredness was wherever they parked the Ark of the Covenant on any particular day in their banishment wandering of Exodus; it had nothing to do with the inherent sacred energies of the place.
Indeed, the Exodus Jews left a legacy of graded sense of sacredness. The holiest was inside the Holy of Holies, where the ark of the Covenant was lodged for the day. This was so holy an area that only the High Priest could enter. And indeed, in the case of the Temple in Jerusalem, the High Priest alone could enter the Holy of Holies, and he only on one day per year.
But I feel instead, it is important not to impose a sense of sacred space onto the land: it is more beautiful, healing and empowering to open yourself to the sacredness of the land where the ritual is taking place.
My background in writing this, is that I completed a five year field study based at Bristol University: a social anthropology or ‘ethnography’ of spiritual forms new to the modern west. The method of Ethnography was created by Bronislaw Malinowski during the First World War, and its method involves living in in the communities or institutions one studies, and – most importantly – giving the people studied their own voice.
So, relevant to the issue of sacred spatial practice, whilst completing this five-year ethnography, I studied in Glastonbury a Wiccan Coven, a Druid grove within the Fellowship of Isis, as well as a shamanic group, several Buddhist centers of different types and a Hindu Ashram, plus a Utopian Community: a Bender Site (tread lightly on the Earth). And it was here that I did this study of sacred spatial practice. And now that I live and work in Ireland, I am glad to share the understanding I came to through my Druid Forest School worldwide courses.
So, do have a look at the courses of the Druid Forest School and enroll: There are wonderful worldwide course for the festivals, for the Goddesses and Gods of the ancient Irish, spiritual energy practices, you name it.
These are very caring courses. When you have completed a piece of work, you email me how you got on. I then reply to you and we hold discussion.
Maggie and I also run a Healing Centre in the West of Ireland with linked airbnb, so you can come to this sacred land in person as well. See:
The Festivals Course is divided into two modules: the first is The Fire Festivals and the second is Solstices and Equinoxes.
To Enrol, go to: http://www.druidforestschool.com/cour…