sandA sand painting can be a powerful tool for change, healing, or to illustrate your personal spiritual journey. It is preferably created outdoors on the ground, but despite its name, sand is not a strict requirement.

Before beginning your “painting,” collect random items that call to you. Trust your inner self; you will be drawn to elements that are symbolic of the issues you are addressing. Typically these include natural items such as stones, twigs, and flowers, but you may also include a personal object that has special meaning to you. When collecting items found in nature – especially any part of a living plant – ask permission and then thank the spirit of the plant.

When you are ready, open sacred space and then begin placing some of your collected items in a circle. The circle mirrors the medicine wheel of healing as well as the circle of life. Place the items inside your circle in a pattern that feels right to you. Don’t think about it; just allow your unconscious mind to direct the work of choosing, arranging, and rearranging the items. If Mother Nature so chooses, allow her to participate in your creation through wind or rain.

Creating a sand painting is a dynamic process reflecting the transformation you are working to achieve. It is also a meditation, a pathway to your inner wisdom. Your sand painting is a map of your inner energy. When it feels like it’s done, study your creation, paying close attention to the emotions and insights that come to you. You may feel the need to remove or rearrange some of the items – in essence remapping your energy. Go ahead; this represents transformation and healing, and you will likely feel better afterwards.

Once you are done, dismantle the sand painting and thank each element for the gift and enlightenment it gave you. Some choose to do this at the end of the ritual, others might leave it for a day or two, and then go back to continue the remapping. Either way, it’s important to close sacred space and leave no trace behind.