This post comes out of some work with a client and I thought it would be good to share it.
I’ve been creating altars for around five years now. I didn’t really know they were altars to begin with, I would arrange stones or shells I’d collected, a few flowers or feathers, a jar of seeds, these were objects of reverence for me.
When I began working with the wheel of the year I created seasonal altars linking to the Sabbats and the wheel.
For me an altar is a focal point for spiritual practise and also an aide memoire. I often use mine to place cards I am currently working with, or runes I’m studying.
I generally include representations of the four elements, for instance:
- For earth – a stone, crystal, pot plant
- For water – a small bowl of water, a shell
- For air – a feather, bell, singing bowl
- For fire – a candle or even a dried chilli
I like to have crystals I’m working with or a bowl of crystals for my current theme or area of development, so for instance if I’m working with creativity I would have orange crystals for the sacral chakra or clear quartz to aid vision.
I have some of Molly Remer’s story goddesses and they are lovely as a representation of the divine, you could also use a card deck for images of deity (Meggan Watterson has the Divine Feminine oracle for example if you are working currently mostly with the goddess, or Kyle Gray’s Keepers of the Light has some lovely images of both god/ goddess archetypes.)
My altar evolves as I do. I clean it regularly to keep the energy fresh. I have used altar cloths in the past (usually coloured scarves which I can pick up for a reasonable price at the market or in a thrift store) but as it’s accessible and at cat height this isn’t always a good idea!!
I also like to create a seasonal altar, or adapt my altars according to the seasons. For example for Imbolc this year I used a green cloth, green and yellow crystals, a mandala I’d painted, a Brigid story goddess and had some fresh daffodils and a green candle.
I’ve created altar spaces outside or on small trays to tuck them onto bookshelves, and mini travel altars to take away on holiday with just a few small pieces as a reminder.
An altar is your sacred space, allow it to reflect your journey, provide a focal point, and a reminder of your daily practice…you can add pictures of loved ones, both here and in the after life, or a favourite pop icon (I have Carrie Fisher on mine).