Every human craves a connection to the something larger than themselves. The sacred can take many forms, but it is a basic human need to feel that connection. Creating an altar in your home is a wonderful way to have a space dedicated to that sacred connection. It can be large or small, I have had tiny ones on little bedside tables in small apartments that were just as powerful and comforting as the larger ones I’ve had in recent years. It is about the energy and beauty created there, not the size.
For this ritual you will need: a table, dresser, or raised altar somewhere in your home that can be dedicated for this purpose, at least 10 items that speak to you – some can be treasured items or gifts from family, but several of them should be not human related – they can be a feather, a rock or crystal, an herb, an image of a wild animal (wolf, bear, fox, moose, hawk are common animal totems that speak to people), a small bowl or cup of water, flowers….whatever 10 objects feel beautiful and peaceful and inspiring to you. And you will need a candle. Incense is also helpful.
Begin by choosing a spot that can be dedicated as your altar. You will want to leave your alter intact if possible and not have to take it down every night or move it around. So, kitchen table isn’t a great idea, but top of a bedroom dresser could be, or a small table somewhere quiet. Or if you have room and want to, you can purchase small alters online. It helps to define the area so you can arrange sage or another herb in a circle, or place a large napkin, handkerchief or piece of fabric that you find beautiful. Defining the area helps keep clutter from encroaching on the altar. I always bless my altar which involves closing my eyes, taking a few cleansing breaths and asking pure, good, healing energy to come to the altar.
Next, arrange the items you have collected. I like to have at least one crystal in my altar, rose quartz which heals the heart and brings love, or selenite which assists with our connection to the divine and to higher wisdom. (I will post more on crystals later) I have a small statue of Kwan Yin who is the Chinese goddess of compassion. You can use a statue or image of any saint or being that inspires or comforts you. I have sage or sometimes herbs from my medicinal garden. A small image or sculpture of an animal whose spirit you feel drawn to – for me it is the bear and I have a small carved bear. I also have an image from a magazine of an elk, cut out and glued to a piece of cardboard. Altars don’t need to contain expensive items, just ones you find beautiful. A candle is important and ideally choose one without synthetic scents. Many of these item can be purchased at my online store at www.stone-feather-fire.com, which I created so people could find in one place many of the things that have been important for me in my spiritual life the past twenty years. How you arrange your items is entirely up to you. Hold each item in your hand and ask it where it would like to be on the altar. This may sound crazy and you may not get an answer, but the more you do this the easier it will be to “hear” where the item wants to go. A beautifully balanced altar has a very different and palpable difference to one where things are just tossed down anywhere. You can touch the altar and light the candle to “activate it” when you want to sit in meditation or say a prayer or go to it to calm yourself or find inspiration. I touch my altar again lightly and thank it when I am done which “deactivates” it until my return.
What we focus on in our lives expands. If we focus on the negative, we find negative everywhere. If we take time and energy to focus on creating something beautiful and meaningful, like an altar, we begin to find beauty and meaning more and more in our lives. Sit at your altar daily, or more than once a day, when you have a few moments to get centered and clear the mind. This is a great way to get in touch with your inner wisdom, or intuition. Altars provide a sacred space to help us slip more quickly into the sacred in the midst of our busy lives and it provides a shelter in the storm of life where we can return to calm, center and refuel. #altar #spirituality #candles #sage #healing #inspiration #ritual #stonefeatherfire #meditation #crystals #energyhealing