Nature can give us many things to help remind us of our connection – stones, feathers, sticks, intricate patterns and images – but if anything is taken, remember to leave something in return as an offering, an exchange of energy to signify your appreciation of the gift that has been given to you. Shamanism is about relating to the natural world and our place in it. Take time to stop, relax and meditate on the incredible complexity of the creation around you. Close your eyes and see how much sharper your other senses become. Extend that receptivity to feel the land, and blend with it. Feel what is around you: the vitality of the earth, the immensity of the world and the universe beyond. You are a part of it, be aware and accept the experience for what it is: humbling and precious.
There are many examples of sacred sites around the world that have special significante to particular societies: Stonehenge for the druids; Mount Olympus for the Greeks; the San Francisco Mountains for the native American Zuri tribe; the black hills of south Dakota for the plains tribes; and Uluru ( formerly known as Ayers Rock ) for the Australian tribes. These sites are usually powerful places associated with the ancestors, gods or spirits of a given culture. They are important to the collective psyche of the society. Sacred space approaches the concept on a more personal level.
Is there a place that you find especially conducive to meditation or relaxation? Perhaps a tree in a park or your garden, a certain rock outcrop or a wood where you often walk. Anywhere that you feel comfortable can be a sacred space, and that includes a place within yourself; sometimes it’s not possible to travel physically to a special place to unwind just when you need to, so why not carry it with you?
The inner sacred space is a place that you create as a sanctuary, a retreat from the physical world, where you can relax and recoup your energy, so ir can resemble anything that makes you feel comfortable: a desert island, a hut on a mountain, a cave, anything. Maybe it’s a place that you already know; somewhere you have visited in a dream or in this world. The more you visualize, the more real it will seem, so try to feel textures, see details, hear sounds and smell scents.
Your sacred space is a safe place and, because it is always there, you can visit it at any time. It can evolve as much as you want it to, because you created it and the control over it lies only with you. The only limitations are ones that you, as the maker, impose. So, be aware of what comes into being, for that can offer important insights into your subconcious. This private place is a good jumping-off point for beginning jounrneys.
The natural world is a great place to find peace, tranquillity and inspiration, and to practise visualizing details to put inti your own sacred space. Get out as much as possible yo experience the benefits that a natural environment can bring. When out walking, be aware of your surroundings, admite the beauty of a tree or a bird in flight and always be grateful. Life is a precious gift to be appreciated now.