Altars are an integral part of my practice. I use them as a spiritual connection – somewhere I can pray, meditate and send offerings. I also use them in my craft as a witch – for spells and as a place to focus my energy.
I think altars are important for everyone and not just as a spiritual tool. It’s your space and it’s something that you have complete control over. To tend to it daily also sets up a healthy ritual for your mind; to help focus and calm.
How to Create an Altar
An altar can be literally anything. There really are no rules to how you set it up, what it contains or what you use it for. As long as it’s somewhere you walk past or interact with everyday then it’s classed as an altar. It can be a bookshelf full of your favourite books or a kitchen cupboard full of your favourite teapots and cups or even your garden!
Creating an altar is really about intuition. I use things which I have around the house – I very rarely buy anything new for my altar (but you can totally deck out your space with brand new things if you wish).
The first thing you need to do is figure out why you’re setting up an altar. If it’s to help you reduce fear or pain in labour for example you would need to put objects on the altar that you associate with these things. An image of a powerful looking pregnant woman, an animal who you find inspiring in birth (elephants help their sisters in labour for example) some stones or oil that is said to aid in childbirth, etc etc.
Secondly, you will need to find things that you associate with your intention. The possibilities are literally endless – the most important thing here is to use whatever it is that you associate with the intention or end result. Something that seems powerful and appropriate for you. The more you do this, the easier it will be.
Also, it’s important that you don’t worry about getting it “wrong”, you don’t want that kind of energy coming through! (plus, it’s yours so you can’t get it wrong).
Finally, I like to have some sort of candle, incense or another kind of object that I need to interact with. I like the idea of having something that goes out into the air around me because I feel like it sends off my intentions into the universe (that will come back to me eventually). You can use this idea, or something else that you associate with the idea of sending out your intention or that you touch/use everyday. Your daily cup of tea is a great example. You could set up a little altar next to the jug with your favourite cup, favourite tea, a stone or some other object on top of a doily or cute placemat. Then when the jug boils you could meditate over your intentions, visualise what you want to happen or inhale the steam ritually. Use your imagination and come up with something that really resonates with you.