What is a sanctuary space?
A sanctuary space can come in many different forms and under many different names.
Zen Zone, Meditation Room, Sacred space, altar, soul space and my personal favourite – Woo Corner.
Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what you call your space. The most important thing is that it is yours. That it is filled with beautiful energy, meaningful objects and that it is somewhere that you alone can go to at any point as a place of sanctuary. A place filled with magic that belongs only to you.
Your space can be whatever you want to be.
A sanctuary space is an ever-changing, constantly evolving area. It can be as small as a matchbox to keep with you all of the time, or it can fill an entire room. Your space is a place where you can centre yourself, meditate, create magic or simply prepare yourself for the day with a morning ritual.
The energy around us can either support and lift us or drain us. Creating a sanctuary space gives us a permanent area for us to be where we always feel comfortable, calm, supported and loved. Sacred spaces are also vital containers of positive intention and action.
The power of intention is incredible
Practising ritual or meditating in front of or within a space filled with intentional objects and energy can be a great way to manifest those intentions into reality.
Creating a sanctuary space to express gratitude for the blessings in your life, to focus your intentions and goals toward where you’d like to be and what you’d like to achieve is a great practice to keep focused, grounded, steady and on track.
If you would like to establish a regular spiritual practice or simply a place to create your own routines, rituals and daily habits, the best way to start is to create a sacred space for yourself which you can return to as often as you like.
The importance of having a sanctuary space
How often do you set aside time to rest, recharge and reflect?
How different might your health, energy levels and mindset be if you did create time to do these things?
Personally, dedicating time at each New Moon and Full Moon, is essential to my health, energy and mindset as it ensures that once a fortnight I check in and tune in with how I am feeling, and where I am heading.
Having rituals/ceremonies/practices can lead to you feeling more aligned and more likely to embody your fullest and Wildest self. Your rituals and your space are about you and what you need most. Having a space that you can feel at peace in and can fully relax in is essential to living your most wild and full life.
Benefits of creating a sanctuary space include:
Having a physical expression of your personal goals or desires
Having a symbolic collection place for tools to enhance your spiritual practice
Gaining a ‘spiritual center’ in your life that you can return back to every day
Having a source of positive energy that fills your home or room
The spaces around us are imbued with powerful energy.
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and noticed the energy to be heavy, stressful or suffocating?
You also might have walked into a room and felt it lift you with hope, positivity, calm or even creativity and enthusiasm.
Intuitively we all sense the energy around us all of the time. Everything is energy so everything vibrates at a certain frequency; including emotions, objects, sounds, intentions, plants etc.
Some vibrations are heavy and dense, these are associated with negative emotions like anxiety and hatred. Other vibrations are light and fast, these are associated with positive emotions like love and gratitude.
We may or may not be consciously aware of it but the energy around us impacts us on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level all the time. Creating a sanctuary space which is filled with positive energy, which you can sit with at any time is hugely beneficial to us on many levels.
My personal use of a sanctuary crept up on me.
The more I seemed to be collecting tools and objects which meant something to me, held a certain energy I liked, the more I meditated and journalled and spent time learning Tarot. Which meant I felt a need to focus my efforts toward a specific place where I could also keep all of my intentional tools. I started calling my space my ‘woo corner’ and that is the name which has stuck with me.
I find the most important reason to create a sanctuary space is to have a focal point for your intentions. It provides a very real reminder of what is important to you and what you are working toward. The objects you fill your space with represent and contain the energy of your goals and act as inspiration to keep pushing forward with what is often difficult growth and self development work.
Sanctuary spaces can be used for meditation, ritual, reflection, gratitude, or any other form of inner work.
It can be small or large, fancy or minimalist, traditional or creative. The look and feel of your space will depend on you and your own beliefs, practices and preferences. Most importantly, your sanctuary space should look and feel authentic to your unique needs.
The actual art of creating your sanctuary space is an important part of the practice. By intentionally choosing the layout, colours, objects and sensory aspects of your space, it becomes the unique sanctuary. A place where you can experience your own personal rituals in the way that works best for you. Ceremony, meditation and rituals will ‘feed’ the items in your space with powerful energy. In turn the energy of your space will ‘feed’ you each time you return to it.
One of the nice things about having a sanctuary space at home, is that it is an ever present part of your day. Each time you walk by it, you can receive some of its energy. It can also call to you to drop in for moments of connection throughout your day. It can become a part of your morning routine or evening wind down.
Your sanctuary space can help you to stay connected to your intentions. The small intentions you set for your day, your month ahead, even your big life goals. It can help you to create an environment where you feel safe to process and release your emotions as well as receive more peace, calm, and love.
Sanctuary/woo/rituals should be as much a daily practice as skincare.
What should your space contain?
The most important thing is to have your sanctuary space in a place where it won’t be disturbed. You don’t want someone else’s fingers (or energy) all over your space. If this is tricky, you can keep it high on a shelf, in a cupboard or drawer. If space is an issue you can even make yours in a large glass jar.
But wherever it is, it should be a space that feels like it is truly yours. A space where you can express yourself and your spirituality freely, without judgement or other people disturbing it.
Make sure your space to be a physical place in which you can sit quietly, reflect, be still, speak with spirit, thank your guides, show gratitude, and whatever other practices you have.
The actual foundation of your sanctuary space can be a plate, a tray, a throw, a piece of wood. It can be on the floor, a table or shelf. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you like and as big or as small.
When choosing objects for your sanctuary space, it’s good to keep in mind a few questions:
What will my space be used for. Why am I creating a sanctuary space?
What do I want to reflect or express within my space?
Does my space have a theme or is it spontaneous/changeable?
Ideas of objects to include
Rocks from special places
Dried flowers or petals
Shells from special places
Photos of loved one
Oracle or tarot cards
Dried herbs for burning
Symbolic elements which have a place in your rituals are the most important pieces to include.
For example, I personally like to write out any negative feelings I have of anger, anxiety etc. This helps me to accept and process those feelings. I then burn what I have written to symbolically release it back out to the universe with gratitude for the lessons that experience has brought me. Therefore I always have paper, candles and a fire proof bowl in my woo corner as they are both wonderfully symbolic and practical for my practise of burning away the old and releasing what no longer serves.
Another example of this could be to include a big mirror. Mirrors reflect and therefore are symbolic of expansion, amplification, brightness and light. Having mirrors around your space could amplify the feeling of whatever you do in the space is magnified and protected.
Ideas to inspire you
The Four Elements of Nature
To feel connected to mother earth, it’s nice to include the five elements within your sanctuary space. It’s a beautiful way of harmonising with the nature around and within you, for keeping your practice grounded and earthy. For example plants, especially succulents and cacti can represent water. Wood and crystals can represent earth. Candles or smoke can represent fire or air. Feathers and incense can represent air.
Something for each of the five senses
Feel connected to your physical body via your senses by placing something for each of them within your sanctuary space. Colours and beautiful objects for the eyes, a singing bowl or meditation music for sound, incense or scented candles for smell, cacao drink for taste, fabrics and textures for touch. Perhaps a specific cushion or shawl that you always use when you engage with your space.
If you like to flow with the seasons, the Moon, the months etc you can change the decoration of your space as often as you like. This could be with specific candle colours, plants or crystals. You can display certain cards from your oracle or Tarot decks to signify certain energies. Even small pieces of art that inspire and encourage you to bring positive energy to your space.
Your sanctuary space is your spiritual workplace and your physical space of power.
It is completely yours to create, build, and transform as often as you like. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a space that is significant to you but taking care of it, nurturing it, and spending regular time with it is important.
Keeping your sanctuary space clean from cobwebs, dust, and other residue is important: it shows respect for your practice and after all, it is supposed to be your sacred space. Do this as regularly as you feel necessary.
You are free to change, adjust, add to or take away from it whenever you choose. As your inner work develops, you will probably find that certain items on your altar are no longer relevant, necessary or hold the same meaning to you. This shows growth and transformation, so flow with whatever feels right for you.
As much as it is important to keep your space physically clean, it is equally important to keep your space energetically ‘clean’. It will likely be the place that you go to in order to do release work, to calm down when you feel anxious or agitated. This energy can stick around, so it’s good practise to regularly perform smoke cleanses, crystal cleanses or any other type of energy cleansing which feels good to you.