How to Create an Altar
An altar is a place which serves as a center of worship or ritual. Think of it as your bad bitch o'clock time. It serves as a sacred space to weave the spiritual into everyday life. It is a place to set intentions and ground your soul's deepest wishes. You don't need to buy fancy things to put on your altar. If you don't have the $, please don't feel like your altar won't be good enough. It is all about the energy you put into your altar through your intentions and devotion. So, get outside and collect some flowers, shells, rocks, pine cones, etc, to place on your altar Remember, always ask Mother Natures permission before taking.
Most of us no longer identify with religion and this has left a spiritual void in our lives. Creating an altar, is a small way in which we can reclaim our connection to the creator, the divine, God (whatever resonates with you). Additionally, having an altar provides a sense of comfort and calm, which is vital in our hustle and grind culture. Over time, you will begin to see the positive effects of how spending a few minutes at your altar each day, breathing quietly has on your body, mind, and soul.
In many parts of the world, outside of the West, people have altars in their homes and businesses. They use them as places to meditate, pray, and ask for help from their spirits, guides, and ancestors. The altar is also a place to express gratitude for the guidance and support they receive from their spirit team every single day.
The more regularly you practice the ritual of visiting your altar, the more quickly your mind will learn to switch over and tune in to the frequency of spirit, much like when you visit a temple, mosque, church, or monastery. Creating an altar opens a portal for many people and fills a void you may not even know exists.
What is an altar?
It is a physical space created by gathering objects that bring your intentions to life. It's not so much about what you put on your altar. It's about the devotion that you bring to it. Much like tending to a garden, you are planting the seeds (intentions) that you want to see bloom over the coming days, weeks, even years.
How to Work with Your Altar
My altar is a place I come to nourish my spirit daily. I light a candle, pull an Oracle card from favourite deck and work with a crystal that I am drawn to. I find it extremely supportive to spend some time with my altar each full moon, new moon, or Solstice. Each season, you may want to redecorate your altar, placing items that represent the new season. This will serve to align you with the rhythm of Mother Nature.
I always begin my altar ritual by smudging myself, my altar, my oracle cards, and the space around with smoke medicine such as palo santo, white sage, cedar, or sweetgrass. Alternatively, a smudge spray could be used or you could diffuse some essential oils such as palo santo, sage, or cedar.
The more you work with your altar, the more sacred this ritual will become. It will amplify your home with positive vibes and become a place of refuge when you are going through challenging times.
Choose a space for your altar.
Decide on a place in your home, or outside, where you will place your altar. It can be on a fireplace mantlepiece, a bookshelf, windowsill, in your garden, etc. You will want to pick a quiet spot, with a little privacy. Once you have chosen a spot, check in with your higher self by taking a few deep breaths and see if this space feels right for your altar. Is it peaceful and quiet? Is the energy around your altar bright and welcoming?
When choosing symbols or objects to place on your altar, use your intuition. There is no right or wrong here, so choose what resonates or has meaning to you.
Objects to Place on Your Altar
*Statues or symbols that represent gods, goddesses and/or spirit animals.
*Souvenirs from your travels.
*Gifts from loved ones.
*Your favourite book.
*Plants, flowers, feathers or rocks from around your neighbourhood.
*Crystals, gemstones, runes, oracle cards, etc.
I recommend placing something that represents each of the 5 elements on your altar, as they each invoke a specific energy.
1) Metal Element
Place a crystal or two on your altar if you have them. Crystals have long been used for their unique energetic properties. They can absorb, transform, and emit energy.
2) Wood Element
Add a plant or some fresh or dried flowers to your altar. They absorb negative energy in spaces and cleanse and purify the air. They also add beauty to your sacred space.
Fire holds the energy of transformation. It burns away the old to make way for the new. Place a candle on your altar, or burn some incense when setting your intentions. Staring at the flame of the candle, is also an effective meditation technique.
Water is the giver of all life and no altar would be complete without this element. If you have a water fountain, you could place it near your altar. I have a small dish which I fill with water from the river near my home. It holds a special place on my altar. Alternatively, you can add a couple drops of your favourite essential oil to a candle, a mirror or any wavy glass objects as these all represent the water element.
Adding this element to your altar is essential for grounding your energy and that of your space. It is vital to connect with the energy of Mother Earth, our home. You can add a pottery dish which you fill with some salt to easily represent this element.
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