You do not need to be Christian, Wiccan, or part of a Mayan sacrifice to enjoy an altar. Altars are timeless, mystical focus points that allow us to channel our energy in a purposeful way. I really wanted to shoot some pictures of my altars for his article but was tight for time. I collected these beautiful pictures a while ago and am not sure exactly where they are from. If they are yours please message me and I will credit you.
Why build and altar?
Altars hold your intentions and focus. They allow you to put your attention elsewhere while still holding space for what you desire in life. Perhaps you build a peace altar, a health altar, or a spiritual opening altar. Simply putting your time and attention into a physical space with charged objects allows an etheric space to be held for you. It can become a steady, pure energy source that is funneled to you, which you can refer to at anytime to re-focus and re-align. This can help you greatly in your manifestation process.
Keep in mind that you can have an altar of any size, anywhere. You can have personal altars that are large and contain many different ideas and intentions. Or, you can have a small, focused altar if you are trying to integrate specific qualities into your life. You may also have a professional altar. These are altars that hold your energy and focus as you work. These are most common with healers and intuitives, as the energetic landscape around them is important and it can often help to have a centre point.
A personal altar works greatly in a room or space that you feel is your own, a sanctuary. This is created using basic elements you feel you need to bring balance or inspiration into your life.
Altars work wonders when you use them to hold space for specific frequencies as opposed to actual events that you want to happen. For example, if you want to transition into a career that is more aligned with your heart, you will want to bring heart energy first and foremost into your altar. Once that is in place add a little accoutrement that is more specific. Try holding the rose quartz to your heart while you feel your life purpose (to charge it) and then place it on the altar. If you feel you need clarity, try adding a piece of clear quartz or selenite. Perhaps you would like to have angelic help to release fears about fully expressing yourself; in that case perhaps add a representation of an angel or guide. This may be in the form of a figurine, oracle card, or even a picture of a spiritual teacher that you resonate with. If you feel a strong desire to incorporate a specific detail of what you would like to manifest find an item that represents that. If you feel it is your purpose to write then perhaps including a pen, pencil or book would benefit you. Know that you can add, subtract, or change your altar anytime you choose. Check in with it each morning and night to make sure that each piece represents an aspect of something you would like to integrate.
A professional altar is an altar used by healers or people who use spiritual energy to work with others. What this altar does is hold a specific energy during your session. This means that your focus can journey and dive deep into your work but still be anchored in an intention and powerful base energy. Altars can hold energy and intentions for you to pull from and keep you grounded.
As an intuitive, my professional alter is obviously pretty amazing. It begins on a silver-serving tray. I find them in thrift stores and at yard sales, as I like them to look a bit antique. Silver naturally represents the moon, gold represents the sun, and wood is representative of earth. As you have probably noticed, building an altar is very symbolic; you will feel naturally drawn to certain items or certain ways to place things. Trust your gut.
Now that I have my moon tray I like to bring in representations of my guides. For the most part they are cosmic so I have a piece of meteor (space rock), a blue and white flecked crystal that feels like the Pleiades, an opal, and a few other accoutrements that hold space for my guides. Lastly I have a black soapstone owl (one of my totems), a most prized possession indeed. From there I add candles, stones, feathers, pink Himalayan salt chunks, flowers, plants, and whatever else calls to me. I don’t think about it, it is not a mental process— it is purely an intuitive process.
Constructing your altar.
Traditionally, we place symbolic representations of the elements to incorporate all aspects of self and therefore all working elements of the external world. Having all the elements represents the world around you, which means you are taking into account all avenues and all expressions of creation. The elements become the foundation of your altar.
It is possible to pull in one element strongly and exclude others, but this is most likely used for a short period of time with a specific purpose. Your altar can be a physical vision board where you infuse the items with your desires and then meditate on the altar each day to reinforce and expand these desires and concepts into your life.
Soil or sand in a bag or container
Cup of water
Seashell (item from the sea)
Customizing your details.
Now that you have your elemental foundation you can get creative and add specific items.
Invite your totem animals to communicate and connect with you by adding a figurine or image of them.
Add Oracle cards that represent a specific energy you wish to integrate.
Place statues, drawings, or other representations of specific beings you would like to connect with or draw inspiration from.
Plants represent growth and renewal. Plants can also bring specific energies through that are similar to crystals.
Crystals are physicalized divine frequency and rays. Each crystal has a different meaning and power. They are especially powerful on altars as they can be very specific in their meanings and very direct and pure in their connection to the divine.
Images of nature, places that inspire you or bring you peace can help set the tone of your altar.
Try putting your altar on a silver-serving tray or wood board. This allows you to move it around if you need and helps keep the energy contained.
Clean your altar regularly. Move it in front of the window so the sun, moon, and stars can be absorbed by it. Sage it. Wipe it with a cloth. Energy can stagnate, especially if you have a lot of little bits and bobs on your altar. You want to have an active and purposeful focus point, not a forgotten pile of crystals and dust.
Keep your altar private. It may be visible to others but allow it to be a sacred item that holds your energy. It can be very clarifying and grounding to have one little (or big) place that is just for you.
To nurture or charge your altar, leave a bowl of water in the moonlight during a full moon. Sprinkle this water gently on and around it. This can be done with the sun as well.
What do you place on your altar? Do you have any altar tips? Do tell! Leave a comment!