Have you ever cast a solitary magic spell? A real, witchy spell. Do you recall the moment you took power into your own hands, lit flickering candles, and sent smoky tendrils of incense spiraling into the spirit world? Perhaps you called the corners, created sacred space, and invoked your intention to manifest in the universe.
It was memorable, wasn’t it? Like a teenager fumbling through early make out sessions, there was likely an awkward reference back to the grimoire or magical handbook, a bumbling pause to find right words or the correct sequence or proper invocation. But the body takes over when you stop thinking and start doing.
Your magical results were likely surprising and unexpected, as the best things in life should be. True desire leads us to unanticipated wonder. Unforeseen pleasures are akin to synchronicity, the universe’s way of wrapping its arm around us, learning in and whispering into our ear, “Oh yes. You are on the right path.” The confirmation of a spell coming true shoots ripples of goose bumps across our skin like a lover’s stolen kiss. These unexpected pleasures confirm our intimate solitary witchcraft. They let us know that we chose well.
Sacred space occupies the space between a spell's mechanical aspects (those ritualistic actions) and a spell’s manifested results. I often misspell the word “sacred” on my computer when writing. Spell-check usually corrects it to the word “scary.” Interesting, because sacred space can be scary. It can be unnerving because it is powerful. Invoking power, transforming and manipulating the space around you (especially if we aren’t used to it) can be a complex mixture of fascinating and frightening. We innately fear what we do not understand. Yet exploring unfamiliar terrain yields discovery, especially in magical or spiritual realms.
Sacred space is the pliable and expansive place where creative possibility exists. Sacred space, like a crossroads, becomes a threshold where multiple possibilities converge. The place where forest meets field. Where cultivated vegetable gardens meets wild thorn bushes. Where lips conceal unspoken words. Where inside meets outside. Where the known and unknown collide. It is the membrane, the very skin of our psychic reality. The sphere of birth and/or departure. A Halloween-like space where ghosts pass easily between worlds. The space in which we create something or where we leave it behind. We meet guides, goddesses, muses, angel, and totems. It is a space for prayer offerings and gratitudes. It is to envision ourselves gaining our heart’s desire. It is where we pass into the interior of a tarot card to interface directly with the Arcana.
To use tarot as a gateway, clear the mind. Enter the card visually then use a soft gaze to explore the interior. Guided meditations are helpful. Tarot cards may be used at a gateway but you can do the same with an herb, plant, rock, tree. You can even communicate with food. Have you ever asked with your morning eggs what they would like to be before you crack them into a sizzling pan? If not, try it.
Our creative imagination is cocooned inside sacred space. When we find ourselves deep in guided meditation how do we know what is really happening? When we are flip cards to speak to a loved one who has crossed, how do we know it is really them communicating? Is it real? Did you imagine it? Make it up? Seek the experience first, then reflect on how it incorporates with the "real world." Time and experience will teach you to trust your sensory facilities. You will know in time when it is more real than imagined.
Sacred space is the place where those questions fall away and instinct becomes paramount. Intuition becomes our torchlight and our trusted guide. If there is a line between our personal imagination and reality, it must be fluid one. Perhaps, it moves like the ebbing sands the ocean threshold? We stretch ourselves naked, always the hungry shore, as the salty ocean repeatedly pounds upon us with thundering waves of the possible yet never quenching our thirst. Or is the line gauzy and thin like the earth’s delicate atmospheric membrane where we become the fecund earth and the sustaining oxygen bubble becomes the boundary between us and the possibility of an ever-expanding universe?
Is the sacred space made manifest by casting a spell always at our fingertips, unbeknownst to us? Is it not the sacred space that opens between lovers, bodies entwined, skin caressing skin, souls lit with passion fire? Isn’t this exactly the space that occurs for the painter and between himself and his subject? Between a writer and her journal? Doesn’t a walk in the woods reveal sacred space at every turn? The discovery of a waterfall, an explosion of roses, a craggy old fruit orchard reverberates with the magic of gateways, story and possibility?
When we transform space, are actually transforming the space itself, are we transforming ourselves, or is it a little of both?
Magic spells provides us opportunity to experiment with the nature of the universe itself. Science tells us that inside our atomic matter there is more “space” than actual “stuff.” We are part of nature, not separate from it. Our bodies made of ancient stardust and dinosaur sand.
All the space found inside of our cells and atoms of our bodies that scientists speak of? My instinct tells me it is sacred. We don’t just create sacred space. We are made of sacred space. We are imbued with it. And creative pursuits and a magical practice help bring it out of us. So when we invoke magic, we really invoke ourselves. We can weave sacred space beyond mere spell casting and into every aspect of our daily life. We have the power and ability to unleash who we have always been and/or intend to be. Sensitive. Brilliant. Inventive. Authentic. Unique. Powerful. Magical.
Cast your cards wisely. I believe in you 🙂
This was adapted by an article I first published in the Llewellyn Journal.