Liminal Spaces: Spiritual, Magickal and Personal Places In-Betwixt
What is liminal space? Kitty wrote an entire article HERE on liminal, and more specifically physical liminal, spaces. But just to give all of you a quick refresher on what liminal space is:
Liminal comes from the Latin root word Limen, meaning threshold. Therefore, liminal spaces are places where a threshold is crossed. Spaces of transition or between spaces if you want to call them. It’s a space where you leave where you are but you aren’t fully in another space yet. In this post, we are specifically focusing on spiritual, magical and personal liminal spaces.
What Are Spiritual Liminal Spaces?
Spiritual liminal spaces, which can also be identified as experiential liminal spaces, are events or states of being in which we leave something behind but haven’t arrived at our destination when we part with them. Examples of spiritual liminal spaces can be:
- relationship changes – marriage, separation, break-ups, divorce
- job changes – promotion, demotion, quitting, getting fired, changing careers
- changing residence – moving house, moving state, moving country
- graduation – traditional school, trade school, alternative school
- creative projects – the entire creative process until a product is produced
- mid-life or identity crises – not having a definitive idea of who you are
- dreaming – existing between the physical and in dream space
- astral travel – existing between the physical and in the ethers
- meditation and journey work – existing between the physical and other realms
- dark nights of the soul – the culmination of a series of seemingly deconstructive events within your current life by the universe for the purposes of moving you to a new path
- recovery from addiction – the space between addiction and sobriety which can last the rest of your life
- life altering trauma – a car accident that leads to the loss of mobility
- childbirth and pregnancy – being a vessel of life and experiencing pain that brings you to the brink of death
These are all events or states of mind where we leave one thing but aren’t necessarily into the next.
What Are Personal Liminal Spaces?
Personal liminal spaces are personal characteristics which we embody that are in-between. Some examples of this would be:
- Gender – hermaphroditic, trans, gender fluid
- Sexuality – pan sexual, bi-sexual
- Ethnicity – mixed ethnicity
- Race – mixed race
- Personality – chameleon who can blend in anywhere
- Religion – Omnist, Gnostic
- Neurologically – high functioning autism, dyslexia, ADHD, etc.
Those who do not identify with the pre-defined categories society often fit in liminal spaces. Pansexuality, gender fluid, bisexual, mixed race, mixed culture, and high functioning autism are all personal liminal spaces we can occupy individually at any given time.
As a personal example, I never fit in with a set group or clique in high school. I was someone that fit in anywhere and nowhere all at the same time. No one hated me and I could hang out with whoever I was around, but that’s as far as it went. I didn’t have a core group of like-minded friends. I was a drifter. This is an example of having a liminal personality.
Why are spiritual and personal liminal spaces more difficult to navigate than physical ones?
Spiritual and personal liminal spaces are more difficult because when we are in transition, when we are between one phase or state and another, often it is accompanied by not knowing. Not knowing, for some people, is the worst torture imaginable. Everyone wants to know if the decisions they are making will lead to positive outcomes rather than disastrous messes. Most of the time, this is unpredictable. You have to take the risk to get the potential reward with little to no guarantee it will pay off. This is where you have to learn to trust yourself, your intuition, and/or your faith. You have to trust your path and the events that are occurring even as everything is falling apart because it’s actually falling together.
Spiritual and personal liminal spaces can be permanent depending on the circumstance. For instance, a bisexual person and a person recovering from addiction are most likely to both always be in those spaces. In these cases, you have to become okay with being a liminal being permanently living in the between space.
You have to become okay with uncertainty, not knowing. You have to become an expert at weighing risk vs. reward. And you have to allow yourself the space to just BE without expectation, without reservation, and without your inner critic renting space in your head. Much harder to do than, say, accessing spirits in a cemetery, am I right?! Even worse is when everyone offers their unsolicited negative advice and opinions on your decision instead of offering unconditional love and support.
Listen to Our Podcast All About Liminal Spaces:
What Are Magickal Liminal Spaces?
Magickal liminal spaces are a type of spiritual liminal space that is unique to each practitioner. These magickal liminal spaces are personal times of power when the veil between worlds is thinnest for the practitioner. Moreover, the practitioner feels at their most magickally potent during these liminal times as their ability to weave magick in multiple dimensions flows with more ease than other times. How can you decipher your magickal liminal spaces? Well, it’s actually easier than you may think. Sit down with a pen and paper and record when you feel most magically in tune including:
- Times of the day by the hour – 9AM, 5PM, 12 midnight
- Times of the day by category – dawn, midday, dusk, night
- Days of the week – Wednesday, Saturday
- Months of the year – September, July, December
- Seasons of the year – Autumn, Summer, Winter, Spring
- Cardinal directions you work in – South, West, North, East
- Elements you work best with – Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Metal, Wood, etc.
- Moon phases/Esbats – Full, New, Waning, Waxing, Dark
- Astrological seasons – Pisces, Virgo, Leo, Taurus, etc.
- Sabbats/Holy Days/Holidays – Mabon, Yule, Beltane, Midsommer
Recording your affinity in each of these categories will help you zero in on your best times to work magick because during these times, the veil will be thinner for you. I am sure I have left something out but if you think of another category, feel free to add to the list!
Witches, Liminal By Nature?
Witches, by their very nature, are drawn to liminal space whether physical, spiritual, or personal. Most of us have been on the fringes, or downright outcast, from society for one thing or another in our lifetime. Many of us have experiences this just by being authentic and claiming our power through the use of the Witch signification.
The vast majority of a witch’s work exists between worlds. Some examples of liminal practices include things like:
- spirit work – mediumship, possession
- divination – pendulum, cards, tea leaf reading, palmistry, etc.
- casting spells – anything requiring manifestation and intention
- invocation of deity – asking a deity to fill your space with their presence
- ancestor work – asking for help from your ancestors
- energy healing – reiki
These practices are all spiritual liminal spaces sacred to practitioners of magick. There are witches who define themselves as Hedge witches. This means they only practice in liminal spaces or practice in liminal spaces roughly 98% of the time.
However, if you’re involved in witchcraft at all, I can guarantee that you have spent time in liminal space. It is in the between where we can commune with spirit and otherworldly beings, preform energy work such as reiki and other healing methods, revisit past lives to heal personal trauma, and the list goes on. The point is, we do A LOT in the between whether we realize it or not.
Now it’s your turn to think about it. What liminal spaces have you occupied in your lifetime and what liminal spaces do you occupy now?
Meet Allorah Rayne
Allorah Rayne is a practitioner of amnestic and wayfaring witchcraft and has been part of the online spiritual community since 2012. Her introduction to tarot was the age of nine and she pursued more intensive learning at fifteen. Allorah is the founder of The Wayfaring Witch © where she offers soul origin profiles, tarot and oracle card readings, digital downloads, workshops, and mentorships in the ways of the witch. She is also the co-founder of The Otherworldly Oracle Official Podcast, Spread This, Witches! and Witches in the Woods. You can contact Allorah at the following social media sites Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, on The Wayfaring Witch © website via live chat, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
JefferyJuly 20, 2022 at 4:39 pm
This is not the correct definition of a liminal space. A liminal space is a place where reality feels altered. Almost as if there should be something there that isn’t. Like a hospital at night or an abandoned warehouse. It gives an almost eerie feeling.
kitty fieldsAugust 8, 2022 at 8:58 pm
In the pagan community, liminal space = in-betwixt. In-between. And yeah…a hospital and an abandoned warehouse are both places that are in-between. A hospital cares for folks in pain (hence in an altered state) as well as on the brink of death (liminal – in-betwixt). An abandoned building is neither here nor there, as well. So we are saying the same thing. But you’re missing the point.