Magicians never invent or create power spots. They only discover them. Once a spot has been recognized by a magician, he will often build an altar, pillar, or pole atop it, or leave a statue of the god who appeared to him there, or mark out a boundary. This boundary can be as simple as…[a] circle in the sand, or as spectacular as Imhotep’s massive, ornate Saqqara wall.
An altar placed on a power spot serves to mark an axis mundi. Along this central point the chaotic energies of the profane world can rush into extraordinary space. And the boundary helps to keep the energies of the sacred and profane worlds discrete—to protect the profane world from being overloaded with sacred energy, and to shield people from unintentional travels into what can be a crazy reality. If sacred space were poured freely into the profane world, it would be contaminated by it, and lose its energy.
As magicians have always known, keeping a place sacred is difficult. For all its power, sacred space is elusive and tentative. It cannot be willed to remain intact, any more than it can be commanded to appear—it is always a hierophany, a sudden, unforeseen appearance of a god. Although the great shamans could move in and out of sacred space at will, even they could not fully control extraordinary reality time. A shaman’s task was not to control but to maintain those places where sacred and profane worlds met. He was to keep the boundaries in good repair, and keep the center fresh and strong. The rest was up to the divine powers.
— Robert L. Moore and Douglas Gillette, The Magician Within, pp. 138-39