Return to the Spirit in Sandplay

Authored by: Eunice Stagg

The Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138101692
eBook ISBN: 9781315656748
Adobe ISBN: 9781317325970


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A nine-year-old girl who had suffered many traumas and abuses in her young life begins to work with quiet concentration in the sand tray. She forms a “castle” in the center of the tray, and surrounds the castle with a string of pearls, followed by a circle of candles. On the top of the castle she places a large golden crown, inside of which she places a “diamond,” a crystal-like stone. Two golden stars flank the crown, and on it rests a crystal pyramid. From the base of the castle she places four lines of brightly colored stones, jewels, each spreading outward in a different direction, like the four points of a compass. She asks if we might light the candles and dim the lights within the room, so we do so. As we sit in quiet contemplation, light radiates from the center of the tray, illuminating the diamond and the crystals, and we are both struck by the awe inspiring quality of the moment. Time seems to no longer exist, and we are momentarily captured by a sense of wonderment, a sense of something powerful, beautiful, and life changing, something whole.

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