Creating a sacred space in which to work is a core part of shamanic practice. Whether working with a client or alone, having an environment that is energetically safe and protected is essential to allow for deep healing to take place. Safe environments allow clients to release old stories and wounds that have been buried where sometimes the client themselves can’t find them.
Calling in the four directions and creating sacred space is also useful in our homes and work environments, consecrating our space and assisting us in maintaining our center and focusing on the highest and best of what we are doing. The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there are different seasons for different activities: “a time to be born, and a time to die; time to plant and a time to reap..a time to every purpose under heaven..” Noticing “what time it is” is our lives and staying centered helps us move through periods where maybe we’re trying to hard when it is a time to rest and to get active when it’s a time to plant.
Indigenous peoples honored these seasons in their lives with medicine wheels. Each quadrant representing a different season and having a correspondence color and power animal associated with it. There are several dozen medicine wheels depending on tribal tradition and hemisphere of the world. Power animals representing archetypal energies of each direction vary from one cultural tradition to another. In north America it is typical to begin the opening in the East where the sun rises. In south American traditions, we begin in the South with the archetype of Serpent and the shedding of our past.
Journeys to meet each of the archetypes of the Inca medicine wheel: serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle, are in separate posts. Feel free to journey with other animals that call to you if you would like to include different animals in your wheel. This is about exploring and expanding our personal relationship with the spirit which resides in and throughout all creation.
Experiment with this by calling the directions daily in your workspace and notice how the energy of the space improves over time.
For an example of how to open sacred space you can download a copy of Alberto Villoldo’s basic prayer invoking the four directions. As you become familiar with it, you can expand it or substitute another animal like a bear, lion or whale if that speaks to you.