Holding Space

Guidance for the week of March 10 through March 16

About 5,000 years ago, the neolithic dwellers of south-central England began building a series of circles – first wooden, then stone, and over the course of 400 years, what we now call Stonehenge was completed. There are theories ranging from the most earthbound and practical to those that originate far out in the galaxy about the meaning and creation of this structure. At this moment, we have some good working theories but do not know for sure who built this monument and why.

stone-67817_1920Henges, like this one at Avebury built around the same time, were constructed as circles as a way of creating and holding sacred space. You see the circle replicated over and over again in religious and spiritual architecture from the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul to the ritual circle of neopagans. The circle defines what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ and, perhaps most important, the liminal space between.

img_0207While the druids did not build Stonehenge, they passed through that area of the world a thousand years later, we do appreciate that myth and the associated stores. And part of the story is of holding sacred space.

Some space, like the henges or churches or other architectured spaces are permanent with clear boundaries

Other spaces are less permanent. A friend gathers fallen branches and creates boundaries around his property. He tells the local coyote packs, you can hunt outside my circle but not my companions inside the circle. For the most part, they have upheld their end of the bargain and so has he. They both hold the space.

And some spaces, while not explicit in the outer world, are still held in place by boundaries. I set boundaries with strangers, acquaintances, and friends. Each circle is closer to me as the relationship becomes more sacred. I hold the space. I choose.

The guidance this week is first suggesting that we look at our space as sacred. That we think, speak, and act as if our space is sacred. We don’t have to set out crystals or burn sage to claim something as sacred. We need only speak our word and claim the ground we stand on, wherever we may be, as holy and as ours.

Second, the guidance is to consider our boundaries. Like my rancher friends in Montana who regularly walk or ride along the boundaries of their lands to check for flaws in the boundaries, so can we. Check to see who do you let in and who do you keep out? If you set those boundaries years ago and never looked again, they are likely to be outdated and no longer serving you.

Setting, claiming, and holding sacred space allows for creation, for healing, for sacred relationships to emerge between you and whatever you choose to encounter.

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