While I try to approach every task with a mindful sense of it’s sacredness, be it making a meal, gardening, sweeping, or working on a new product for my shop, it is not always easy. Barking dogs, passing cars, bills, upcoming deadlines and appointments, all these things filter in can distract from the task at hand. Not to mention some things are just a pain to find purpose in. Cleaning the toilet anyone? (Maybe if I pretended it is a wishing well… my children certainly did when they were younger, thank you clogged pipe, cloth diaper, and poor toy Shelby GT Mustang! I cursed more than found purpose in that moment.)
I find the whole idea that we need to create a formalized sacred space to have a sacred experience to be a flawed one though. While there is no doubt that creating a certain environment can make times of divine or personal connectiveness more prevalent, there are certainly moments that come out of the blue that are clearly filled with holy purpose. I do have an altar in my home, several in fact, but even though I use them and appreciate the beauty and enjoyment of putting one together, I have other rituals that carry me throughout my day (some days more than others) and bring me back to my most vital sacred space, myself.
To say I drink a lot of tea and herbal infusions is an understatement. My day generally starts with my spouse bringing me a cup of English Breakfast or green tea, and it often ends with me making an herbal infusion for my children before bedtime. Often though, if I am feeling particularly anxious or stressed out midday, I take the time to make a tea tray, with a fresh pot of whatever is calling to me from my tea and herb shelf, and well as a few snacks, be they something more elaborate like freshly made crumpets with clotted cream, or something simple like hummus and crackers, or even a handful of trail mix. I set the snacks out on some little plates, pull out my more delicate cups, set the steeped pot on it’s warmer, and everyone who is home comes together for this moment of peace and unity. This ritual has turned a bad day around for me more times than I can count.
This is certainly not a choice everyone is comfortable making, and it can come weighed with a lot of its own kind of societal and cultural pressures, but that said, I cover my hair almost daily as a conscious and tactile reminder of the pact I have with my goddesses and myself.
My first wrap though came from my father’s wife, who sent me a gorgeous orange pashmina shawl from the UAE. It works perfectly as a winter wrap because it is heavy, but many of my subsequent ones have come from thrift stores or Wrapunzel. I often unwrap my hair for more formal ritual, but not always. And yes, I do occasionally have it unwrapped just because, even then though, I tend to wear a hat. I could talk more on this, there are so many ways to wrap your hair (so many good YouTube tutorials!) and so very many wraps to chose from. There are also occasionally concerns about cultural appropriation when using certain styles of wrapping that come up, but those topics really are whole other posts worth of chatting, but if there is an interest I can do that.
Prayer and Meditation
Prayer can be a bit of a loaded term for some, especially among other pagans. Perhaps because a lot of them come from more destructive religious paths, or simply because it has an overly dogmatic vibe? But prayer for me is simply mindful focus and communion with my divines. Sometimes I am asking for something (though I usually am making offerings when I do that) but often I am just speaking to them and sorting my own thoughts out. These practices are similar in many ways to when I am meditating as well – though that is something I generally, but not always, do in conjunction with yoga, and I have a deeper focus on clearing my mind and breathing while meditating. On that note if you feel you can’t meditate and struggle on focus or visualization (I have aphantasia and cannot visualize at all in fact.) I like the app Insight Timer which has a free library of guided meditations as well as an adjustable timer chime that can help remind you to stay focused.
Something I love to do when I am having a difficult time shifting gears (other than drink tea, because that is still my favourite) is divination. People often consider divination to be about predicting the future like a fortune teller scrying into a crystal ball, but for me it is usually just another form of introspect that can help me sort out my options. The method you pick will be highly personal to you, my spouse and children all use tarot, one of them also likes pendulum work and collection divination. I am preferential towards either runes, I have a set like the bone runes I make more my shop, or collection divination.
Collection divination, or throwing the bones, is basically a jumble of objects that call to you to be kept together (they aren’t all bones, actually you needn’t use any bones at all!) that you toss onto a space, and then interpret the patterns of. There is no set way to do it and no specific meaning to each piece prior to casting usually. It focuses strongly on trusting your first thoughts and instincts. If the structure of tarot or runes bothers you, it is worth looking into. Sometimes my runes call to me because I desire the stronger structure, and sometimes it is my bone bag that calls to my intuition to be used. Collection or rune divination is actually a service I offer via my Patreon in fact.
I do yoga, cardio, and love to bike ride and go on walks… but I don’t do these things every day. Sometimes I skip whole weeks to be honest, but when I skip too much, I feel it, not only in my personal energy levels, but in the length, or lack thereof, of my patience, and my focus. We all know that exercise is important, but it is so damn hard sometimes. If you are reading this because you are looking for something quick to refocus your day, pause here, and move your body as you are able to for a few minutes, or just do some mindful breathing.
And finally if a lot of these things seem like a lot of work and focus for your frame of mind right now, one of the simplest things I do is just to light some incense. While I adore raw frankincense resin in my charcoal burner most of all, just stick incense can be wonderful too. My eldest has his own burner and often lights sticks when he is stressed and just closes his eyes for a few minutes of introspection. Scent is one of the most powerful triggers for emotions and memory so this can be a useful tool in slipping your mind quickly into a new frame of mind. If you are sensitive to smoke, look into something like an oil diffuser. I have a small candle powered one that I use in my studio with essential oils from time to time.
And that is it, six ways you can used to create a small sacred space for yourself throughout the day. There are of course many more ways than this, affirmations, making bread from scratch, creating art, music… and I am sure you can think of even more. If there is something you do to create a sacred moment for yourself, I’d love to hear it. And as always if you have any questions I am happy to answer as best I can.