No matter who you are and no matter what you believe it’s important to make room for the sacred in your space.
It’s not very common to see altars set up within homes these days but I think it’s time to change that. After all, if you can’t express your own personal beliefs in your own space, where can you express them?
So put them on display. Seeing an altar creates a visual reminder of your spiritual practice. Plus having a dedicated space for your own belief-system will make it all the more likely that you will spend some time every day on your meditations or manifestations. (“If you build it, they will come” right?)
Sound daunting? It doesn’t need to be. An altar doesn’t need to be a huge undertaking nor must it even look like an altar to the outside viewer.
It simply needs to hold space for your beliefs.
Think meditation corner. Think focal point for your mantras or meditations. (And of course the classic Buddhist- or Wiccan-type altar is more than welcome here too.)
Your altar should be the most highly-personalized and unique space in your home so take your time with it and make it truly yours.
But since we are all so different, what is important to one person will be superfluous to the next. Meaning: I can’t give you a list of Altar Must-Haves but I do have a few awesome suggestions:
How to Create An Altar
Sacred Space Tip #1:
Find Your Space
To create an altar, simply set aside a space that you can regard as “sacred”. For me this usually works the best in the bedroom but choose the space that feels best for you. Table tops work just as well as a real altar table but think about using a shelf on a bookcase. It’s more than okay to work with what you have and to make your altar fit in with your existing space.
Sacred Space Tip #2:
Bring in some of that hot fire energy! Candle light is hypnotic and magical-feeling all on it’s own. Lighting a candle is an important part of many religious ceremonies. Plus it’s easy enough to add them to your altar, even if you just have a few tea lights. You don’t necessarily need religious deity candles or colored ceremonial tapers but they are always great to work with.
Sacred Space Tip #3:
A small fountain is a beautiful thing to add to your altar but it just might not be practical for everyone. Bowls and cups are also representations of water and feminine energy and they are easy to work with. (Try hunting down a unique one at a flea market or thrift store.) Shells are another excellent choice for water. A bunch of pretty collected shells will always look great or go for a large shell that can do double duty as an incense holder.
Sacred Space Tip #4:
Add an earthy element to your altar with a small plant or cut flowers. I am also a fan of a nice branch! They look great plus they totally free. Greenery not only represents the earth but can help to freshen the air in your home (if you go with a potted plant). Crystals are another option to represent the earth. I’m a huge crystal lover so I always have bunches of them. You can read up on different types to see what’s best but I always think going to a crystal store and picking out one that feels right is the hands-down best way to go.
Sacred Space Tip #5:
Scent is a hugely powerful trigger for us and smoke is an important part of many religions. So burning incense or sage is a great practice to incorporate into your space. I prefer resin incense with charcoal but you can go with simple stick incense if that works better for you. Got allergies? Another way to represent air is by adding a feather or images of birds.
Sacred Space Tip #6:
It might not be what first comes to mind but sound is an important part of any spiritual practice. Think bells, chanting or Tibetan singing bowls. If you have a bell or singing bowl already, put it on display on your altar. But if you don’t, go digital. Try creating a spiritual playlist of meditation music or even binaural beats – whatever best helps you get into the proper state of mind.
Sacred Space Tip #7:
The more personal your altar is, the more powerful it will be. So add some important personal details to make your altar truly unique. I like beautiful framed images (deity images or just a photo of a loved one) or symbols (mandalas, Sri Yantra). But other objects to include could be mementos, found objects or good luck charms. If it feels right, then use it! Just don’t let yourself be constrained by traditional altar ideas.
No matter how you set up your altar, always keep the bigger picture in mind:
What are you trying to achieve? What is the big goal you’re after at this time?
Your altar is the bridge between the spiritual and the physical so use it to really focus in on what is important to you.
And don’t think that once you have set things up, they need to stay that way forever. I love to change things up every once in a while. (Stagnation is never a good thing in either our homes or our spiritual practice!) So try switching things up monthly or with the seasons. Or just reevaluate and move things around as the mood strikes you.
I hope this guide was helpful. I’d love to see what you guys come up with! Post pics of your altars on Instagram with the hashtag #thealignedlife.