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Author Topic: Sacred space  (Read 9436 times)
FierFlye
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« Reply #15: November 18, 2008, 09:47:44 pm »

But is it not still sacred afterwards because of the fact that you have worshipped there?

Not necessarily, to me.  If it is a spot that you have specifically set aside for worship then, yes it is.  But if just one day you decided to worship in the dining room, and you never had before, and didn't plan to again, I'd say it was sacred during the worship, but not after.  In this situation I'm going with the definition "of or pertaining to a God or religion".  Kind of like how the street can be a roller hockey rink when kids are outside playing in it, but after they're done, it's just a street.
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« Reply #16: November 18, 2008, 09:50:20 pm »

Not necessarily, to me.  If it is a spot that you have specifically set aside for worship then, yes it is.  But if just one day you decided to worship in the dining room, and you never had before, and didn't plan to again, I'd say it was sacred during the worship, but not after.  In this situation I'm going with the definition "of or pertaining to a God or religion".  Kind of like how the street can be a roller hockey rink when kids are outside playing in it, but after they're done, it's just a street.

I understand. Worshipping at the dinner table might make it sacred at the time, but it's not so much when you're eating your dinner lol.
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« Reply #17: November 18, 2008, 09:53:22 pm »

but it's not so much when you're eating your dinner lol.

Although it could be - I've been to a few rituals where feasting was involved!  Smiley
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« Reply #18: November 18, 2008, 10:27:23 pm »

But is it not still sacred afterwards because of the fact that you have worshipped there? Personally, I find it hard to grasp the idea that space can be sacred one minute, and not the next. This is probably why I rarely cast a circle (and if I do, it is not to create sacred space, but to help contain energy).

For me, the space is still sacred (because, really, it's my home, usually, and I try to keep that.)

But there's a difference between "This is my front room, through which I'm going to wander in a bathrobe as soon as people are out the door, so I can have a bath and go to bed after checking my email" and "This is a temple, prepared for my Gods and for specific kinds of work." Same physical place (with some minor modifications, like where the furniture is) but two quite different uses.

Sort of like my kitchen is always my kitchen - but there are days it's set up for really serious focused cooking of major dishes so I can have guests or a special meal - and days when it isn't, and there are dishes in the sink, and I'm making something very simple without paying a whole lot of specific attention to the glories that the kitchen can hold.
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« Reply #19: November 19, 2008, 12:29:24 am »

Well, firstly, I don't think 'sacred' is a standalone adjective.  If something is sacred, it is sacred with regards to something, like a certain Diety or religion.
<nodnod> I've been following this thread for a while, trying to figure out how best to phrase that.  Wiccan circles (Traditionalist or Eclectic, or for that matter, in many cases, Wicca-influenced but not Wiccan) are space sacred to the purpose - a specific working, or a sabbat or esbat celebration, or whatever.  When the purpose is complete, the circle is taken down.  That doesn't mean that particular space was beforehand, or is afterward, profane or unholy or anything like that; it might well have other sorts of sacredness.

(That, and what folksymama said, gave me an idea for another thread, but I don't think I have time to start it today.)

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« Reply #20: December 01, 2008, 01:50:56 pm »

I've been thinking about the concept of sacred space--whether members of different religions worship in sacred space or not, and what exactly constitutes as sacred space.

I'm sure for many Christians when they walk into Church they feel as though they have entered into sacred space. Likewise, Hindu's no doubt feel that their temple is sacred space. However, on the flip side, Jehovah's Witnesses don't necessarily regard their Kingdom Hall as sacred space; it's more of a meeting place.

Some Pagans (perhaps predominantly Wiccans) create their own sacred space.

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

Due to personal preferences, my sacred space in something I've created inside my head. It does make it kind of hard to do rituals, but I've figured out a way.
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« Reply #21: December 05, 2008, 11:03:37 am »

Due to personal preferences, my sacred space in something I've created inside my head. It does make it kind of hard to do rituals, but I've figured out a way.

I forgot to say due to nosy neighbors too. (Are the reasons I try to do rituals in my head/on the astral plane)
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« Reply #22: December 12, 2008, 01:00:04 pm »

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

I don't create sacred space because I don't think it's necessary for what I do.  I've been involved in rituals with groups where it was used and they did have a different feel, so I think I believe that it's possible to create a sacred space but I don't do it.

I communicate with my ancestors and the gods of my people without magic and without much ceremony.  I don't "call up" or "call on" any gods in a ritualized way so I don't feel like I need a space to call them to. 

I do sometimes go to places (outdoor locations) that have a Special feel to them.  There are places that have a strange, powerful feel to them and those are what I consider to be sacred places.   

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« Reply #23: February 22, 2009, 06:32:14 pm »

I've been thinking about the concept of sacred space--whether members of different religions worship in sacred space or not, and what exactly constitutes as sacred space.

I'm sure for many Christians when they walk into Church they feel as though they have entered into sacred space. Likewise, Hindu's no doubt feel that their temple is sacred space. However, on the flip side, Jehovah's Witnesses don't necessarily regard their Kingdom Hall as sacred space; it's more of a meeting place.

Some Pagans (perhaps predominantly Wiccans) create their own sacred space.

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

I tend to treat my entire home as "sacred space" and it has a great amount of importance to me. My actual altar is located within and on the mantle of the fireplace. I think it means I've put a bit more thought and planning into my worship when I worship at the altar, but I've been known to pray to the gods in the shower and while doing chores too, so maybe it's more of a formality in my own mind as opposed to something they absolutely require.

I know that coming from a Wiccan background I used to cast circles for sacred space, but by keeping my entire home cleansed and in good order for the gods, I feel as if I'm giving them a "holy place" to permanently reside in as opposed to giving them a place to reside only when I "require" their presence. I don't know if that makes any kind of sense to you, but it sounds logical in my mind. LOL!
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« Reply #24: February 22, 2009, 11:44:25 pm »

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? 

If I'm going to celebrate esbats or something similar generally I do create a "sacred space" by casting a circle. Usually I celebrate these holidays in a certain spot in my house that I've designated as *mine.* This is out of respect to certain traditions that I was taught (not trying to imply that I'm initiated into any specific tradition), and just doing it helps put me in the right mindset for magic. I've certainly cast spells out of necessity without doing so....for example, a protection spell at my mom's house (where my whole family rode out the storm) at the beginning of a hurricane.

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Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

As I don't usually work with culture specific dieties any more, I'm not sure I have an answer to this question. I would have to say it depends on your relationship with your diety and what the two of you have decided. The only diety that I currently recognize is the creating force, whatever you may call it. Since that force created (IMO) the earth, anywhere is good enough. I do pick a spot that feels "clean" however.
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« Reply #25: February 23, 2009, 01:17:53 am »

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

I think that every space is sacred, however some places tend to be more chaotic (can't think of a better word). When I go to worship my gods in a more formalized ritual, I do at least try to be clean and wash myself clean both mentally and physically of things that would drag me down and prevent me from truly communicating with them. The altar/shrine itself and the things on it are sacred as well, and I suppose should I be able to set one up again (hopefully in the near future) it would feel sacred as well.. but I don't think there would be any "boundaries" if that makes any sense.

I guess to put it simply I don't believe in a Wiccan-esque typical sacred space set up? Hmm.
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« Reply #26: February 23, 2009, 12:11:05 pm »

Just a few days ago, I attended a discussion on what it meant for space to be sacred.  There were a lot of ideas thrown brought, up, and it made me struggle with a few different conflicting ideas I had.  One of the religion professors argued that space was made sacred by community activity.  On the one hand, I do feel that community is important, strengthening, etc, but the suggestion that a space belonging to a single person--or rather, held sacred for a single person--was somehow invalid provoked an almost violent emotional reaction somewhere inside.  I still haven't totally worked out my exact stance on this, but it was definitely a thought provoking discussion.  The other religious professor in attendance was of the opinion that what made a space sacred was somehow tied to conflict.  He seemed to feel that no space you would no die for could be considered sacred.  I'm not sure, but that felt a bit extreme to me.  I didn't feel that sanctity should be defined by violence.

To deal more closely with the trend of THIS discussion, however, as a tree-hugging dirt worshipper, I have had a tendency to look at all space as sacred.  However, I still make a circle.  It's not that the rest of the space is less sacred than my little circle, nor is it specificially for the benefit of gods whose existence I am unsure of, but more like defining a smaller space to serve as a representation of all space.  The microcosm. 
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« Reply #27: February 23, 2009, 01:51:44 pm »

One of the religion professors argued that space was made sacred by community activity.  On the one hand, I do feel that community is important, strengthening, etc, but the suggestion that a space belonging to a single person--or rather, held sacred for a single person--was somehow invalid provoked an almost violent emotional reaction somewhere inside.  I still haven't totally worked out my exact stance on this, but it was definitely a thought provoking discussion. 

As a solitary witch I would have to agree with you. I don't have the need for a group when I practice, therefore I don't have a "community" to make a space sacred. I completely understand your 'violent emotional reaction,' as my own reaction is the same.
 
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The other religious professor in attendance was of the opinion that what made a space sacred was somehow tied to conflict.  He seemed to feel that no space you would no die for could be considered sacred.  I'm not sure, but that felt a bit extreme to me.  I didn't feel that sanctity should be defined by violence.

This is just my opinion of course, but I want no conflict in the place where I worship, and certainly not where I practice magic. I've enough conflict within myself I suppose, but I definitely have no intentions on dying just to keep the second bedroom in my house available for me to practice!  Grin
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« Reply #28: February 23, 2009, 07:31:53 pm »

The other religious professor in attendance was of the opinion that what made a space sacred was somehow tied to conflict.  He seemed to feel that no space you would no die for could be considered sacred.  I'm not sure, but that felt a bit extreme to me.  I didn't feel that sanctity should be defined by violence.

Whoa  Shocked

Even though I'm not someone who thinks highly of martyrdom, I still think I'd be a lot more understanding of someone who said that their God/their faith was worth dying for- but not the space in which they worship!!!
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