An altar serves as a reminder to what is sacred to you. An anchor of sorts. I When I was in my early 30’s, I was flatting with two others – and at the time, my bedroom was my sanctuary. Within my bedroom, I placed a round bedside table in a corner, draped a pink tablecloth over it and then put items that were special to me back then;
- an essential oil burner
- a candle
- photos of my grandparents
- an angel figurine
- a book of uplifting quotes
On the walls of those corners, I placed inspiring posters of words of wisdom and an angel print. Whenever I walked into my bedroom, I would gravitate to this corner. It felt meaningful to me. My flatmates probably just thought it was a table with stuff.
This corner of my bedroom would help ground me and made me happy at the same time. At the time, I wasn’t sure why this had such an effect on me. What I know now is that I had created an altar. I just didn’t know that’s what it was. If you look around your home, you might find that you have one particular place in your home that is also an altar – items that take you back to a specific time or place with people. Items that bring you joy.
That corner of my room was a place where I would, restore my energy and to connect to my inner wisdom and soul – it was a place to come home to within myself. I just hadn’t realised it back then.
What is an altar?
Altars have been used over centuries and not only in the traditional sense of churches, temples and sacred sites by various religions – they also appeared in homes and;
- served as a focal point
- a reminder of the sacred
- where people could connect to spirit
- focus on their spiritual growth, whether you were religious or not.
You can create an altar to;
- Represent the current season e.g. Autumn
- Remember loved ones
- Honour the new moon/full moon
- Celebrate your birthday or another life milestone
- Connect to spirit
- Meditate & restore energy
Four steps to creating an altar
Creating an altar was something I intuitively did. It can be as straightforward or as elaborate as you want it to be. Like anything – take from this post what works for you and put your spin on it.
As you walk through your home – is there a space or room in your home that nourishes you or comforts you. Is there a space that you find yourself drawn too? What could you use as the base of your altar – a table, shelf and or cabinet? If you feel funny about calling it an altar – call it your special place, or a collection of memories or uplifting items or a vignette. If you are embarrassed about what others may think – create your altar in your bedroom or choose a space where there is less foot traffic. Or use a box to store your special items and it can double as an altar.
Whatever you are using – does it need to be wiped down or dusted? If you would like you could drape your altar in fabric – to protect your surface top. You could use a fabric that has had a special meaning to you or gorgeous material that you like. Or don’t – this is your altar and there is no right or wrong with what you do and how it looks and feels.
Listen to your inner wisdom, and ask what it would like on your altar. What feeds your soul? What do these items mean to you? Do these items honour what is sacred to you? Whether its to meditate, pray or simply sit and restore your energy. You will know what is right for you and when to change it up. You could add items that represent the elements of earth, water, fire and air. Remember, there is no right or wrong – be guided by your inner wisdom and your own beliefs.
Suggested items you could include;
- Photos of loved ones
- Fresh flowers
- Pot plant
- Books that have meaning to you
- Oracle Cards
- Special items with significant meaning
- An element found on a walk that has meaning to you
- Pictures or prints of inspiring words
When you have set up your altar you may want to say a few words out loud to yourself. What you say is entirely up to you. After I create my space, I like to to use an essential room spray for the area or diffuse oils. You may decide to smudge your altar, or skip this step altogether. Do what feels right for you.
Do you have an altar or special shelf or table with items that are special to you? I would love to if you shared a picture of your altar?