Creating A Personal Altar

Feb 25, 2022


People have been gathering around altars for thousands of years.

It is an ancient tradition that can take on many shapes and forms. An altar is a focal point within a space or outdoor area that gives us a place to anchor too. Energetically an altar is a vortex of concentrated high vibrations that can connect us to all things of our world and beyond. Sitting at an altar gives us a place to arrive. Altars are a source of comfort and stability when we are meditating, pulling oracle cards, journaling or reflecting.

When we work with an altar, it can assist us in deepening our connection to Self, especially when we set an intention to do so. They can also bring us closer to nature and the sacred geometry that connects all beings. Creating an altar for a full moon ceremony enhances the potency of our intentions. We can use the it as an energetic cooking pot to lift ours energy upwards as outwards. There are no hard-set rules, use your altar in any way we wish.

You do not need any special skills or training to create an altar in your home or garden. There is no ‘wrong’ way to make an altar. It is your personal creation, and it doesn’t have to ‘look’ a certain way. Allow your creative energy to flow and bring together all the things that spark joy in your life—for example, crystals, feathers, flowers, shells, candles, photographs and ornaments. Your altar can be laid out on a low table, a tray (convenient to move around), a window ledge or anywhere you have space.

Personally, I like to create circular altars to represent the infinity of our energy and the cycles of nature. I use a wooden tray to form a beautiful solid surface and acknowledge the directions and elements. Each element is within our energy fields. Working with them can enhance our vital life force and assist us to feel more vibrant at certain times. In the Southern Hemisphere, these are East/Air, North/Fire, West/Water, South/Earth and Centre/Spirit. A compass app is handy to get the directions correct. In the centre for Spirit, I play a beautiful crystal pyramid, cluster or tower. For the Air quarter, some feathers my turkeys have shed. A candle represents fire. In the West a vessel of water (you can get fancy and use Full Moon charged water). For Earth, I have some fallen tree branches from my property and grounding crystals such as Tiger Eye or hematite. You can also use herbs or flowers. I then place clear quartz points and tumble stones around the circle to support the intention I am working with.

To create a simple nature altar, you can gather sticks, rocks and flowers from your garden. If you pick flowers or prune from your trees, remember to ask the plants permission first. Would you like it if someone chopped a lock of your hair off without asking? Plants are living beings, and we must respect their energy. Stand in front of the tree or flowers, introduce yourself and ask if they would like to be part of your altar today. Close your eyes and tune into your feelings. If you feel happy and joyous, take that as a yes. Carefully prune or pick the plant only taking what you need, when you are finished with your altar, return all plants to the earth with gratitude. 

You may wish to make an altar out of any crystals you have and place a candle to represent the divine light in the centre. Create an altar out of fresh fruits, herbs, rice, water or pot plants you have handy. Altars don’t need to cost any money, and the more resourceful you help light your creative fire. 

Once you have your altar set up, sit in front of it on cushions or a yoga mat and set your intentions. What would you like your altar to represent and assist you within the present moment? You may wish to write your intentions down and place them on your altar. Then meditate, journal or practice yoga in the energy your altar is transmitting for you.

I leave my altar for up to a week before freshening it up with a new intention. If the natural elements are starting to wilt, I return them to the earth and gather some more. It is entirely up to you how long you leave your altar for and how often you sit with it.

Enjoy and have fun in the process.