I am a messy person. There are no two ways around it. I was that kind of kid who had to clean their room almost every week. And cleaning wasn’t something that would take me just an hour or two to do. Nope. I would spend the entire weekend “cleaning” my room. I would lock myself in my bedroom, going through ALL of my toys (because they were all out on the floor), trying to find a way to get everything back to where it needed to go. And since I was a child, this typically meant “testing” each toy for it’s effective fun-ness by playing with it. Then my parents would check on my progress every few hours just to find that I didn’t make any.
And things haven’t really changed.
Except as an adult, I don’t have someone to keep me in check in my own spaces. Sure, in my home’s communal spaces, my boyfriend or roommate help me keep it tidy. But in my witchy room, that’s a different story. My witchy room–or my office–has been a place for me to unload all of my sh*t, craft and create my products, develop my stories and my music, and just be alone.
And after about 6 months of having an office to call my own, it eventually got out of hand…
Yes. This is what my room looked like about a week ago. You could not walk in it. You couldn’t do anything in it. And I avoided going in there except to just unload even more things. Eventually, I hadn’t gone in there for weeks and all my plants had died.
It was a disaster.
But something changed in me. On Black Friday, I decided to download the audio book Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White (non-spon). This book seriously changed how I looked at cleaning and clutter. I learned that I have a low clutter threshold (the amount of stuff you can own before it gets out of hand) and I also learned many different methods to tackling a cluttered mess.
So what is a sacred space, anyway?
A sacred space is anywhere you can truly relax, feel safe, and have the mental, emotional, and physical space to practice, study, meditate, journal, and connect to yourself and spirit. It is incredibly important for a sacred self-care practice… or any spiritual practice really.
💬 Click to Tweet: You know it’s a sacred space when you feel completely safe, comforted, and calm. It should be the place you want to relax after a long day.
Step One: What Do You Want?
Establishing a sacred space is incredibly important for a spiritual practice, especially one that is dedicated to the divine or yourself. I’m sure you don’t really get a lot of options when choosing the location of the sacred space, but I think it’s important to think about how you want that sacred space to serve you.
Below are some questions you should ask yourself before even beginning to work on your space.
- It is easiest for me to work on self-care and craft when I can: (ex: sit and look into a mirror.)
- I need this amount of space to work on my spirituality:
- These are the kinds of activities I want to be able to do:
- My favorite room to perform spiritual activities is:
Step Two: What Are Your Boundaries?
Not only should you work toward making sure your sacred space is clean and free for you to accomplish everything you established from the above prompts, but it should also have some RULES to keep it that way. You know, like those rule boards that are posted at swimming pools. Yep. You need a rule board.
Similar to how you create your ethics for your practice, this step should give you a guide to how to treat your space. This will also help you to establish a routine to keeping things clean.
Consider these questions when creating your rules: How often will you clean it physically and spiritually? What kinds of items are and are not allowed in the sacred space or on the altar? Are there specific words you cannot say in this space? What about actions? Can you bring food and drinks? Can you wear your shoes?
And the next step is to WRITE THE RULES.
Step Three: What Do You Like?
Once you’ve set some expectations for how your sacred space will serve you and how you plan to keep it clean, it’s time to curate the perfect space. To do this, you need to uncover what it is that you like. It is about treating yourself as if you are divine… because, well, you ARE divine.
All you have to do is answer this simple question: What do you like?
You can answer this question very logically, by laying out or designing your sacred space in a sketchbook. Or creating a Pinterest board full of things that inspire you. Or you can just kind of wing it and fill it with things that are useful to you and make you happy.
WARNING: I suggest adding things with extreme intention. Adding things willy-nilly, just because they looked cool, is how I went over my clutter threshold and got to the “before” photo.
Bonus Step: Extra Cleansing Tips
Besides just regularly cleaning your sacred space with like… soap and water… you can also cleanse it spiritually. Review the next few ways to cleanse a space. These aren’t the only ways, but they are the most common. Practice cleansing your space with the methods that call to you the most, and then make notes on your preferences.
Smoke cleansing— this method of cleansing is done by burning herbs, resins, woods, incense, and other burn-able materials and allowing their smoke to waft into a room. Each herb, resin, wood, etc. has their own cleansing properties. However, some of these herbs have cultural and environmental importance (like white sage). Most common smoke cleansing materials are white sage and palo santo.
Salt cleansing— this method is typically used to cleanse in accordance to the element of earth. To cleanse with salt, you can leave a bowl of salt in a corner of the room, or sprinkle salt across thresholds. Salt absorbs negative energy, thus cleansing the area. However, salt must always be disposed of after its cleansing job is completed.
Water cleansing— this method probably feels the most familiar to you. Cleansing with water is like cleaning anything with water. You get the thing wet, wash off the impurities, and then dry it off. In fact, you probably already did this with the whole soap-and-water cleaning trick. Blessed water, like moon water, rose water, or other holy waters, can be sprayed or flicked onto objects or into spaces to cleanse and consecrate them in a way that’s more spiritual than a mop bucket.
Sound cleansing— this method uses sounds to cleanse a space. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to cleanse a space because humans are equipped with so many different instruments. You can sing a song or chant a mantra loudly in a space. Or you can clap and stomp. Or, if they’re available to you, you can ring a bell, chime some chimes, or play an instrument.
Reflect on your established ethics to ensure that you are not crossing cultural boundaries or sourcing materials in unethical ways (ahem, white sage).
I followed all the steps I laid out above to develop my sacred space. I removed SO MUCH STUFF. Like, 4 trash bags full of trash and 8 boxes donated to Goodwill. I am at my clutter threshold, but not without some of my favorite stuff.
It’s like this space is dedicated to me and my practice.
Creating a sacred space dedicated to the self is an incredibly sacred form of self-care. By setting your space as sacred, you’re telling yourself that you deserve somewhere that is completely committed to you by surrounding yourself with things you love.
Do you have a space that you want to turn into a sacred space? Is your current sacred space full of trash, clutter, and mess? Or is your witchy room #goals? (If so PLEASE share a photo for me to see on Instagram. I’d love some inspo.)
These aren’t the only steps to creating your sacred space though…
I am launching the guided journal for self-discovery, the Spiritual Self-Care Workbook. And inside the workbook are nine lessons like the few steps listed above dedicated to just developing your sacred altar space.
Ready to Ready to begin your spiritual self-care journey? Pre-order the Spiritual Self-Care Workbook now!