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Working in sacred and safe space – shamanic way

Absolutely everything that exists is sacred. Although we have been convinced for centuries that only certain people and certain places are sacred, the ancient people knew that everything that exists is sacred. All days of the week are sacred. Everything that exists is sacred. The ground we walk on. Every living thing. Every person. Every plant. Every minute we spend in this life, in this paradise, is sacred. Everything that exists is infused with the same Spirit, the same creative force that moves all life and as such is Sacred.

Western lifestyles, culture, beliefs and religions are based on the assumption that we have been kicked out of paradise and that all resources are available only for us to use, (and mostly) abuse for our own personal benefit. We have been led to believe that sacred can be determined by "authorities" who are "chosen" to be in the presence of higher powers. Living in such a separation from the sacred, from the natural, from the Spirit and the Soul has made it easy for us to destroy life on this beautiful planet and beyond, to degrade everything that is feminine, wild, untamed, dark, mystical, natural. Today, we are slowly realizing that by destroying the environment in which we live, we have also destroyed ourselves. We separated ourselves from the Sacred and became insecure people with deep emptiness nothing can replace, emptiness that was created when we only seemingly separated ourselves from the Spirit. Also, worshiping certain holy places or people seem not to help us discover what is truly Sacred. In order for this to happen, we need to turn inward and discover the sacred within ourselves in order to know how to walk the Earth with softness, with respect for everything that exists exactly as it is. Without having to change anything. More and more people are rediscovering Sacred in themselves and around them. They are returning to the source and awakening that primordial force within themselves that has been hibernating for so long. They are slowly realizing that the sacred is not only for the chosen ones.

We are increasingly being called to environments and ceremonies that nurture that primordial sacredness in which profound transformation is possible, in which the invisible becomes visible and the unimaginable becomes commonplace. We are increasingly called to ceremonies that help us connect to our own center of wisdom, power and holiness. Then the external becomes irrelevant. We stop being consumers and become creators. Every Munay-Ki ceremony is sacred because it awakens the Sacred within us. It begins with the opening of the Sacred and Safe Space when we connect with the fundamental life forces and organizing principles of the Cosmos to work beyond space and time on a deep level where words are superfluous. And every ceremony ends with the releasing Sacred Space when we are free to return to everyday life.

Opening Sacred space in ceremony

A shamanic ceremony begins with opening Sacred Space. We open sacred space by connecting with the four cardinal directions, with the Earth and the Heavens. Each direction is associated with a spiritual animal, whose name varies from tradition to tradition. By invoking them, we enter into a favorable relationship with the four fundamental powers of creation. By connecting with the Earth, we connect with everything that is below us, and by connecting with the Heavens, we connect with everything that is above us. These six directions and the shaman in the center represent the seven organizational principles of the Universe. In the South, we connect with the level of the physical body and the force of gravity. The South is associated with the archetype of the Serpent, which represents the principle of connection. In the West we connect with the level of mind and knowledge and the electromagnetic force which is the universal constant, light. The West is associated with the Jaguar archetype which represents the principle of renewal. In the North, we connect with the soul level, with the strong nuclear force – the glue that holds atoms and molecules together. The North is associated with the Hummingbird archetype which represents an epic journey, evolution and growth. In the East we connect with the Spirit level, with the weak nuclear force, with the fuel in the stars. The East is associated with the Eagle archetype, which represents overcoming oneself. The heavens represent the creative, male force of creation, and the Earth the receptive, female force. When we invoke them all, we come into alignment with the forces and powers that move all life. Once we invoke all the forces, we enter a space of ceremony where we leave aside all the everyday, busy lives, schedules, relationships, human dramas and problems. In such a sacred space of the ceremony, we cannot be distracted by daily matters. We enter a quiet inner world where healing is possible on an unimaginable level. Being in such a space is extremely easy, when all emotions and what is inside us comes to the surface with ease. In the Sacred Space, everyone is protected by the forces of nature and can easily open to a transformative experience, travel through time, experience their inner processes, express their states, digest their emotions, tell their stories, cry and laugh with equal intensity. In this way, we can create a sacred and safe space anywhere on Earth, even in the hustle and bustle of a city, in an unsafe environment in nature or in a war-torn area. Whatever is happening around us, we can walk the Earth without fear, confident in our every step. Through the practice of living in the Sacred Space, we become safe people. Then we can stop looking for safe places and enter into relationships with people who give us a sense of (often false) security.

The sacred space is invoked and opened with the deepest respect. Holding a space is like holding the pitch of a single note. The song must be true and crystal clear for its quality to be flawless. In the presence of an experienced shaman, it is possible to feel the quality of the space.The energy is clean, there is magnetism in the space. Holding such a space requires all our love and intention. With practice, holding space becomes possible without too much effort because space maintains itself.

Closing Sacred space

Once the ceremonial part is over, it is necessary to close Sacred Space. The shaman releases all four directions, the energies of Heaven and Earth with deep respect. In this way, these archetypal energies are released to be reintegrated into nature.

*Inspired by own Munay-Ki practice and ancient shamanic wisdom and practices described in the book Shaman, Healer, Sage (Alberto Villoldo, 2000)



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