How to Create an Altar
Monday, June 19th, 2017
Perhaps you’ve seen a beautiful altar and started to wonder, how can I go about crafting my own?
Or maybe you’re curious why to make an alter at all, what is it all about?
An altar is a surface on which you place sacred objects that hold power for you. Often when meditating or performing ceremony practitioners will sit or stand in front of their altar as it is considered a place of power.
You may like to create an altar with objects that hold personal meaning for you that create a link between you and your own spiritual practice. Certain objects may offer a symbolic reminder of the life lessons you’re working on at present and act as a source of inspiration for you.
You can create altars for different purposes from calling in opportunities to healing a pattern in your life, however, it’s generally a way to demonstrate your commitment to your personal practice.
There is no ONE way to do this. Creating an altar is both a sacred and a creative practice, and whichever way you choose to do it is perfect.
These are just guidelines, not rules, so feel free to take what you like and leave the rest!
Finding a place in your home that feels safe for you to practice any form of ceremony should then be taken into consideration as you create your altar.
My first altar was in my bedroom, as I was living with other people, this felt like a safe and sacred place for me.
At the time, I didn’t have a surface that was low enough for me to technically sit in front of it, but I made do with a shelf that was up on my wall.
What’s on my alter:
- The Mystic Moon Calendar. I like to keep my Calendar above, or near my altar as a way to remind myself to connect to my cycles and the power of the moon.
- A large Buddha from Nepal made of the bodhi tree. I’ve been trained in 5 element Tibetan tantra and have studied and followed many Buddhist practices over the years. While I don’t consider myself a Buddhist or any other denomination, I do honor their practices and teachings in my life.
- Candles. My first inquiry into spiritual practice was Wicca at the young age of 11. As time has passed I have seen how many of those practices are informed by other esoteric arts. Candles are used in many ceremonial practices, just be careful with them and only light them when they are visible to you!
- Feathers. Over the years, I have both found and been gifted beautiful feathers that hold special meaning for me. From owl to hawk, they remind me to see my circumstances from a bird’s eye perspective.
- Crystals. These beautiful gifts from the earth can both heal and empower. A few of my favorites are aegerine, black tourmaline, obsidian, quartz, and hematite. (All very clearing and protective in nature.)
- Tibetan bell and tingshas. I’ve been trained in sound healing, and these tools have served me very well on my journey.
- Incense. Sage or Palo Santo. The clearing power of incense, along with the beautiful smell, is something I love to use while in ceremony or meditation.
- A skull. The skull is a reminder of life, death, birth cycle. The more I familiarize myself with my death, the more I become alive.
- An intention note. Part of my ceremonial practice often involves writing a note to my ‘higher self’ about what I’m looking to create and let go of in my life. In times of great distress, I have written letters asking for support and guidance and have actually seen and felt results from this practice. Allow this letter to come from the heart, and once you have placed it on your altar let go and trust that you are indeed supported.
So, to get you started here is what I suggest.
- First, take some time to meditate and get grounded. Even taking 10 long deep breaths is a good start.
- Pick the place you are going to create your altar based on the information above.
- Go about your home selecting objects that are special to you and represent positivity in your life. It could be a stone, a card, or something from nature that you’ve collected.
- Place these items on your altar, while you do set some intentions for what energy they will bring into your life. Will they help you let go of a fear? Or perhaps they will send out positive energy to all of humanity, it’s totally your choice.
- Over time keep your eyes open for items that pop out at you. Your altar can change over time as you grow and evolve.
- Practice in front of your altar, whether it’s yoga, meditation, journaling or any form of ceremony or ritual.
- Give thanks and gratitude in front of your altar for the space it’s holding in your life.
Feel free to share images of your new altar in the comments below, I can’t wait to see what you create.