This Sunday on Readings By Barbara, I talked about creating sacred outdoor space and I wanted to share some of what I covered here in list form for those who don't have the time to listen to the audio. But let me give you just a little background first...
I got the idea about doing a special topic on sacred outdoor space from my son after he heard me talk about a message I received from the fairy realms during meditation.
Not everyone believes in fairies, of course, largely because fairies have been so trivialized (and commercialized!) in the media. In my experience however, they are beings from another dimension very much concerned with the planet and those of us who share that focus.
Part of the message I received in meditation was to create sacred outdoor space in my own backyard - something I haven't really done in my present location.
Don't get me wrong, I do do a lot of outside work. We've erected fences and a metal and canvass gazebo and raised beds on our modest small town lot. We have even planted apple trees and blueberry bushes and laid out a medicine wheel herb garden. But a true sacred space is lacking.
Maybe it's the traffic that whizzes back and forth on our very busy street or the many things I have to do both inside and out - but I don't spend much time in my own outdoor space. The space that I've been given. And this, I have been reminded, is oversight I can fix.
So in the spirit of doing I made a list of things that most of us can do to create sacred outdoor space. Some of them are things I'm already doing. Others are things I'm going to plan for. Most can be done on a small city lot, on a balcony or even in a window box or public park.
- Provide Food and Water for Our Wild Friends. Something like providing water might not seem like a big thing - until you're thirsty! Over the last few days, with temps in NE PA in the mid 90s or higher, we've seen a record number of birds and bees at our little birdbath, including 2 Cardinals and a group of 4 Sparrows (at one time). We share our medicine wheel herb garden with a family of bunnies and I like thinking that the little ones were raised on lemon balm and parsley. Unlike some human beings, the fairies care passionately about the animal kingdom and appreciate any steps we might take to make their lives a little easier. And a bird feeder or a bowl of water can fit into any outdoor space.
- Create a Meditation Space and / or Go Outside and Ground. A few weeks ago I went to an estate sale and the property I saw made a big impression on me. Walking out to check out the patio furniture, I saw that someone had turned a the space between the garage and the back fence of a small yard into something special. There was a small flagstone path flanked by greenery and flowers. At the end were more flagstones and a vine covered arbor and a spot, a neighbor told me, where a fountain had once stood. It occurred to me that almost anyone could do this. All it takes is a few plants or even seeds and the commitment to create a sacred space for meditation, reflection or clearing. And if all that hard work is too much, just take off your shoes and stand barefoot upon the Earth. Doing this will help you ground and clear toxicity or blockages.
- Create a Sanctuary for Plants, Small Creature and the Fairies Folk. Plant a few heirloom or endangered plants, a bee or butterfly plant or any of the many flowers, plants and trees attractive to the fairies. These include (but aren't limited to) sunflower, honeysuckle, yarrow, lilac, daisies, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, purple cone flower, heliotrope. pansies, hawthorn, peonies, holly, apple, fern, or thyme.
- Make a Space for Sacred Gatherings. Set aside a space can be used as a ritual space (our small Wiccan circle met in my yard on the Solstice and used the chimnea for our ritual fire), a group meditation space, a labyrinth (made from a simple stone pathway) or a gathering space for family. Last year my partner and I found a discarded metal and canvas gazebo on the street and set it up this summer. It's the perfect place for family to gather and while I haven't gotten everyone together for an outdoor game night yet I know that when I do, the laughter and comrade of that kind get-together is truly sacred space. This can work on a balcony or porch or if you don't have your own space, find a spot in state or community park that calls to you.
- Grow and Gather Healing Herbs. This was the point of my medicine wheel garden before I deeded it to the bunnies and I am still working on creating my own magical and medicinal garden but it something I know I will do eventually. Try common remedies like lemon balm for anxiety or parsley for fluid retention or get a book on herbal and learn by doing. Herbs are very easy to grow and can even be kept in a window box or indoors in any sunny location. For reference consider Your Backyard Herb Garden or Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs to start. Green medicine is fairy medicine and if you ask for their guidance you will get it!
- Make a Direct (Not Book) Connection with the Elements. This is an activity open to anyone who can get outside and is really just an exercise in awareness. Go outside and enjoy the element - in your own yard, on a walk or in any public space. Take a journal if you'd like and write about the warmth of summer fire or the clarity of the winter wind. You may even want to carry a sketch book and draw your own version of Earth, Fire, Air or Water Fairies!
- Practice Sustainability. This something that many of us can do in big ways or small. Ideas include having a garden or patio plants or hanging tomatoes or strawberries, planting a garden or making a rain barrel to water outside plants but there are many many more things being done. This a wonderful way to honor the Earth, save money, secure your future and reducing the heavy heavy load our species has placed upon the planet - something very near and dear to the heart of every fairy. For more ideas check out one of my favorite books on this topic: The Backyard Homestead.
- Make a Place to Observe the Stars and Moon. Any window or balcony will do! Attune to the cycles of the heavens by becoming aware of and observing astronomical events - like Moon phases, eclipses and the special appearances of planets and stars. I use Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook and Astrological Calendar to keep track!
- Put Ritual Objects, Crystals or Divination Tools Out for Clearing. Depending on the object you can leave it out overnight in a protected space to absorb the energy of the Moon or Sun or even lay it directly on the Earth to clear. If you're lucky one of the Fae may bless your article with their special fairy magic!
To listen to the audio version of this list (about 5 minutes into the show) check out Free Reading Sunday or Readings By Barbara at the bottom of this post.
To learn about one my experiences with the Fairy Folk please read Crystals as a Gateway to the Fairy Realm.