Ritual and Sacred Space

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If the spirit realm is linked to our imagination and exists as the scope of quantum possibilities, what role ought the physical world to play in establishing access into it?

Ritual and creating space in the physical world has always played an important role in shamanic practice. When a shaman creates sacred space and employs ritual, he or she is honing the link between the physical world, which the shaman wishes to influence or otherwise delve into, and the spirit world of possibility (expressed through the imagination as the visionary practice of journeying).  The shaman is a walker between worlds, tightrope tip-toeing through liminal spaces. Thus it important to have focus, intent, and a plan all in place – and certainly it is always advised not to journey without a question at hand, however alluring the idea of blindly wandering the Dreamtime might be. Ritual and sacred space serve to assure the focus, intent, and plan of the journey.

Further, by creating sacred space one is quite literally opening a portal from one world to the next by opening the imagination to sacredness itself, which is a spiritual concept. The act of creating sacred space defines the physical world as having spiritual ties. It is about staking a claim that the space and time in which a shaman works is spiritually opened and fully bridged to the spirit realm.

The rituals employed by a shaman are boundless, unlimited by the physics of the ordinary world. This means that while rituals may be specific, they do not function within the confines of rational logic. Rituals are physical actions that serve spiritual functions. They may be tasks assigned to a shaman from spirit, or otherwise directed by spiritual intuition. Either way, their purpose is much the same as that of creating sacred space. The shaman performs spiritual action in the physical world, tying both realms together and forming the portal through which the shaman journeys.

This explanation of ritual and sacred space makes it clear why these practices are critical, even if they are merely brief and simple activities. It may be that persons who most yearn for spiritual experiences fail to perform them precisely because such people long to break ties with the physical world rather than reinforce them. Yet, rituals serve to make the road for the seeker to travel into the spirit world, rather than to close and lock the door to it.

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