Shamanic Journeying - Invoking Sacred Space
Across many cultures, most humans have felt a deep need to create distinct places and times dedicated to "out of the ordinary" experiences of a mystical or spiritual nature. "Sacred space" is a subset of a more generic "ritual space". Sacred space is specific to deep spiritual matters whereas ritual space is broader to include many forms of rituals such as rites of initiation, passage, death, birth, marriage, and seasonal changes.
In Sacred Space the veil between the 3 worlds (lower, middle, upper) thins and we feel closer to Spirit (our super conscious). Sacred Space can be opened simply or more elaborately. But it is our intention, reverence and sincerity that really opens it.
The invocation to opening Sacred Space involves "calling in" the energies of the four cardinal directions, and then the earth and the heaven. For a Shaman, the four directions are related to the four layers of the Luminous Energy Field (LEF) (the Aura), to the four levels of perception, to the four major aspects of being human: body, mind, soul, spirit, and to the journey of our being-ness, what is called the "Medicine Wheel." As such, invoking a relationship with these four directions also creates a relationship with the associated aspects.
The inclusion of drumming or rattling is often useful as a signal that I am entering or leaving a different space. When I open the directions I am leaving ordinary, every-day "space" and creating sacred space and time.
Invoking each direction is concluded with an exclamation of completion, like the word Amen, so be it, ah-Ho, etc.. When a journey is completed, or particular space is left, etc., Sacred Space is closed. "We would not open a 'door' to a 'space' without closing the door when we leave".