Creating Sacred Space in Garden – Planting Prayers was the title of the class I taught at Kanuga near Asheville, North Carolina, in late August. It was part of the Faith, Art and Creative Expressions – Liturgical Arts Conference held yearly in the 1400 acres woods in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sometimes described as a “thin” place, this Episcopal Retreat Center is a space where deep connection and community promotes and nurtures the weaving of faith, art and creativity.

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-finay-outside-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogOur classroom surrounded by trees
Art work hanging to dry

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-classroom-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogInside our classroom
More art work hanging to dry

Our time was spent inside our sweet cabin creating images and words – art journaling – in the form of prayers, poems and thoughts.  We also spent time outside, first to find a place on the wooded grounds of Kanuga where we could connect with, commune with and feel gratitude for creation and Creator.  These holy places were visited throughout the week.  We added prayers we created  and “planted” them in the ground, in the wind, in fire or water.  Here are the outside sacred spaces that allowed a deepening of faith and creativity.

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-massie-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogLinda is a friend and mandala maker from St. Louis. She traveled from Missouri to North Carolina to be part of this class. Her sacred space was in a secluded opening where this bush and the large rock behind it  felt like a place to plant her prayers.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-massie-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogSome of  Linda’s prayers were in the beautiful bird envelope. A red glass heart is part of the prayer.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-massie-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogOn Linda’s drive to North Carolina, there were yellow butterflies guiding her way.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogMy sacred space was an old tree stump covered in moss with some of the remaining wood reaching to the sky. It was surrounded by a circle of smaller trees holding it in an embrace.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThe velvet moss and the spires of remaining wood felt like a cathedral of nature’s beauty.

 

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogI  added  some ceramic pieces I made along with a couple of heart rocks from home. I added  pine cones, rocks and acorns found nearby to add to this outdoor sacred space.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-lark-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogLark’s sacred space was near a large rock with a poem she loved. The heart symbol speaks deeply to her. This stone was found nearby on the ground and put in this space.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-lark-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogHere is the poem by George Appleton, an Anglican Bishop.

 

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-lark-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogLark created a prayer flag painted with different colored soils from around the U. S. One of symbols is the heart.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-jennifer-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogJennifer chose a quiet spot set in the embrace of shrubs. She hung prayers there and at the bottom placed her prayer box which held more of her creations.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-jennifer-spot-3-blog-creatvity-for-the-soul-blogHere is Jennifer’s prayer box, which she painted.

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-jennifer-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThese are prayers that Jennifer created with smaller words from a writing exercise and the larger words of love, peace and joy. These were hung on the bushes in her sacred space.

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-connie-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogConnie’s sacred space was this bench and the beautiful and serene pond.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-cannie-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThe water grasses are a stage for dragonfly dances and reflecting water.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-connie-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogA small creek feeds into the pond singing a soft sound as its water runs over the stones.

 

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-kelly-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKelly’s sacred space was near the pond, a large tree with two main trunks reaching to the sky. A prayer flag painted with different colored soils shows symbols and words of love and meaning. The red ball was found in the woods on a walk.

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-kelly-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogWhere the two tree arms meet there was a place for prayers and love filled stones, origami crane and a dragon fly wing ( a special family symbol) that appeared on the site.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-kelly-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogKelly created the painting on the stones.

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-ann-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogAnn found a spot near the creek filled with the trees she loves. She “planted” her prayers with a prayer flag painted with different colored soils.  There is a poem by Nathaniel Hawthorne and a rock she painted. Look closely to the right of the poem and there is a small deer figurine she brought from home.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-ann-spot-4-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThe tiny deer.

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-ann-spot-3-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogAnn later added a cross that belonged to her mother.

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-betty-spot-1-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogBetty chose a tree stump near our classroom. The moss, different grains of wood and new life growing in the stump called to her. She found some sticks to create a cross and added  paper prayers and stones.

 

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-betty-spot-2-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogA cross from found pieces of wood.

 

 

 

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-betty-spot-4-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogPainted love, peace and hope stones along with other found stones.

 

The week was an amazing time at an amazing place. My thanks to all the class who shared the beauty of their souls and  creativity.  Especially  thanks to my dear friend Kelly Larson who came along to help teach and share her talents.  We are soul sisters in our love of creativity and spirituality.

kanuga-creating-sacred-space-linda-kelly-labyrinth-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-copyKelly Larson and me on the Kanuga labyrinth.

More photos and shared creativity from the Faith, Art & Creative Expression – Liturgical Arts conference will shared in upcoming blogs.

ENJOY & CREATE.

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3 Responses to Creating Sacred Space In the Garden – Planting Prayers

  1. kelly says:

    love love love! many thanks to you dear Linda:)

  2. Connie Demas says:

    Linda, you are amazing, your talent as a photographer is amazing. What a wonderful, serene time we had. Yes, you and Kelly are truly connected thru your love of the arts. I made some great friendships; and, we cannot forget Dick our entertainment. May God bless us everyone.

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