Whatever the purpose for creating intentional space – whether it be to make a home, create the right atmosphere for a party, a setting for collective transformation, a temple or circle in which to do sacred work, or the intentional creation of “community” in the sense of offering people somewhere they can feel they “belong” – there are a number of elements that will go into building the architecture or structure for each. Some of the structural elements will be fundamental to creating any powerful environment, while others will be uniquely focused on individual intentions for that particular use
I’m currently engaged in a project on the Power of Place with three remarkable women – Sheryl Erickson, Karen Speerstra, and Ria Baaek. The project began as an inquiry into geographical places on the earth where people have felt a specific spiritual power associated with the landscape. There were some beautiful results from this inquiry (including a video by FireHawk Hulin on one such place in the Santa Cruz mountains), but the scope of the project soon grew to extend beyond geography and into a search for the raw components of "power in place"; the elements from which all "sacred space" is built.
We started by reading Christopher Alexander’s The Luminous Ground, where he talks about the “life” in everything and how to invite the elements of life to come forward when working with space. Now we're exploring how Alexander's work links to what Peter Block is talking about in his recent book, Community: The Structure of Belonging
I’m bringing in the World Café principle of creating "hospitable” space, Pele Rouge's work in creating beauty for the Thought Leader Gatherings, Ashley Cooper's work with Easily Amazed, the work of David Sibbet and Michelle Paradis in Second Life, and the things I’ve learned in my own work with design, particularly online design, over the last twelve years.
So far we've been envisioning the project as two parts of a whole. The first part is a Primer on the key "Principles" or elements of creating sacred space as translated through a feminine lens to include "Practices" to ground these principles.
The second part is an experiment with the creation of "sacred place" online. We're documenting our process in a collective blog, which will be published along with an open invitation to participate in the inhabiting and co-evolution of whatever it is we come up with.
I hope some of you will want to play.