April 15, 2024

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How to Create a Sacred Space, According to Indigenous Teachings

How to Create a Sacred Space, According to Indigenous Teachings

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It’s no secret the pandemic has upended lives and brought plenty of changes, many for the worse. But some positives emerged, too. Being forced to stay inside their homes reminded countless of the importance and value of calming and restorative, functional living spaces. 

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In the Indigenous world, however, whether Alaska or Aoteroa, that mentality has always been a vital aspect of Native people’s wellness philosophy for good living. Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins’ new self-help guide, “The Seven Circles: Indigenous Teachings for Living Well,” draws from traditions spanning multiple tribes to detail the wellness worldview cultivated by their ancestors. Through seven essential interconnected tiers, or circles — food, movement, sleep, ceremony, sacred space, land and community — they share with readers how to build strength, heal, and honor one’s entire self with Indigenous practices and philosophies. 

Below you will find an excerpt from the Sacred Space section of “The Seven Circles.” With their advice, perhaps you can breathe new life into the meaning of home. Please note, however, that their perspective is in no means the only approach to Indigenous health. And to avoid cultural appropriation, Luger and Collins encourage you to “dig into the ancient and ongoing chains of knowledge that come from your own nationality, heritage, and family history and to incorporate those methods and teachings into your life today… Not only will cultivating an authentic spiritual or ritualistic practice be the best way to avoid cultural appropriation, it will also be the most sustainable and true,” they write. 

From “The Seven Circles” by Chelsey Luger and Thosh Collins and reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2022.

How To Create a Sacred Space