In the last week, I moved out of the 4 person share house I had been in for the past 4 years, into a new place with my sister, Tess. This is the first time I haven’t shared with other housemates since I moved out of home 10 years ago and has meant that Tess and I have spent the past 5 days creating beautiful spaces in each of the rooms. It was a huge process and not what I would have anticipated for this year, but having now settled, I didn’t realise how much this meant to me until I did it.
My previous house was lovely but having the opportunity to really consider how we wanted each room to feel, to choose places for special objects or mementos and to really create an inspiring and beautiful space that people would feel welcomed into has been incredibly grounding.
What’s more, we are now so close to nature walks, are able to see beautiful hills from our kitchen window and can hear the birds as the sun rises. Having grown up in this part of Adelaide, I find being able to see the hills creates such a sense of peace within me and I am so grateful that in a year of disruption and challenge for many, I have been fortunate to create this haven.
That said, even if you don’t have access to a whole house or nature nearby, there are still many things you can do to create a space around you that supports you to feel and bring in whatever energies you desire. For some, that may be a very calming and nurturing space. For others inspiration and energisation will be the focus.
As a pretty messy teenager who didn’t care much for tidying, I realise my focus has changed and I now relish in a spare 15 minutes to tidy and attend to my home spaces. For me, tidying my space and creating beautiful surroundings in my physical world seems to have the same effect on my mental and emotional world. By gently tending to my home, I am also giving my mind and body time and space to clear and sort.
In the writing below, Raven shares some tips and advice on how to create beautiful sacred spaces in your home, where you can do a regular daily practice. If you would like to read more about developing a daily practice you can read our previous blog HERE.
The principles she shares can be used for your entire home too, in order to create nourishing and uplifting surroundings. If you don’t have access to a room that can be designated for daily practice, then a space in your bedroom or living room is great, or even a cushion that you place wherever there is space on each particular day. Likewise, if you live with housemates like I did, it can be great to explain to them what your daily practice is, so that they know they don’t need to be concerned when you express and release emotion etc.
If you do practice in a shared space, I would recommend doing some kind of clearing before and/or after – be it with sage smoke, diffusing some essential oils, or just taking a moment to invoke a clear and loving space.
With Love x Erin and Raven
Designated Practice Space
Feel into a place in your home that is sacred and private where you can commit to your own practice. I recommend devoting an entire room to your sacred practice space if you have it to spare, where nothing else is happening in that room but sacred practice. Otherwise a space in your bedroom is fine.
It’s a good idea to pick an area in your home that has a lot of natural light for your sacred space. Natural light coming through windows naturally makes you feel a stronger sense of well-being. It has been scientifically proven that natural light helps the body stay aligned with circadian rhythms, which help regulate energy levels, when you need to be awake during the day and asleep at night. Plants and flowers will also help to boost your energy and oxygen levels. If you want colours and plants that are symbolic, consider purple flowers to represent spirituality. Pink symbolizes opening up the heart. Or, you can use green, which represents growth and nature’s balance.
You want to create an environment that is appealing and motivating, to really inspire your practice. It is best if this space has a door or can be sectioned off to make it your very own and private.
One way you can figure out what you want to add to your sacred space is to think about connecting with your senses. Here are some ideas:
- Sight: personalize the space and mystify it with anything that is beautiful – wall hangings, colours that you like, artwork, fabric, healing crystals, relics, plants, Yantra and Deity images, a picture of your Guru if you have one and anything else that connects you to nature and beauty. Make sure you have a beautiful candle and when the client enters you can implement the symbolic act of lighting the candle. It will help symbolize the fact that you are transitioning into a new state of mind.
- Smell: use incense, light a great candle, and have some essential oils ready to diffuse with some soothing or invigorating scents. Oils help us relax, rejuvenate, feel more at peace and feel more connected to Spirit. Two of the best scents to support meditation are sandalwood and frankincense. Coming from the bark and resin of a tree they help you to feel grounded and rooted to the earth. If you are looking for more energising or cleansing scents, Wild Orange, Lemongrass or any of the citrus oils are great, and if you are looking for heart centred support, the florals such as Rose and Jasmine are beautiful.
*If you are interested in working more with essential oils, you can reach out to Erin HERE and she will be able to advise you on the best oils for your needs. Erin weaves and dances with oils in her daily practice as well as for all of the Eliyah events and offerings.
- Sound: make sure you have a good speaker in your space to play relaxing music as as you begin your practice. Music before, during and after practice will help support you to enter deeper states of relaxation, activation and integration. On Chantelle Raven’s Spotify playlists you will find a playlist for activation and integration as well as many other supportive playlists. I also love to have a rattle, drum, chimes and singing bowls in my sacred space. Add any instruments that resonate with you.
- Touch: comfortable and pleasant feeling blankets, sheets and pillows are essential. You may also want a yoga mat or sheepskin to sit on and it is good to cover yourself with the same blanket or shawl. Not only will this feel protective and set the tone for your practice but it will also accumulate meditative energy.
Keep your designated space free of clutter and clean so that your mind can relax when you are there. Have somewhere that you can store the blankets, candles, incense, sage, oils and any other objects in a basket or cupboard for convenience.
Once your sacred space is designated, it makes it easier to show up and do your practice.
Create an Altar that is Dedicated to Your Practice
It can also be nice to create a personal altar where you do your daily practice. The size is up to you and depends on how many items you would like on your altar. It can be as small as a bedside table, or as large as a big set of low drawers that you use to store what you need.
Find a cloth or covering that is beautiful and feels sacred to you. This will help set the space. Next, place a small statue and image of the Deity or Yantra you have chosen to worship at the centre of the altar and anything else you may like – a crystal, flowers, any items that represents your Tantric practice and the intentions you are holding.
Place a candle on the altar, an incense holder and/or oil diffuser. Use your intuition as to where everything belongs. You can take a few minutes to shut your eyes, take deep breaths. Then softly and slowly walk “feel out” what wants to go where. You can even hold each item to your heart first.
You can place other items on the altar to represent the different elements (fire, earth air, water). For example, a small container of water, feathers, sand, incense etc. The items you place on the altar should bring love, beauty and honor to the Deity or Yantra you have chosen.
Smudge your altar with clary sage or a sage stick, lemon grass, tobacco or whatever combination of herbs and oils you are called to use and keep it as clean energetically as you do by dusting it physically.
Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions