The final leaves are swirling past us to the ground and we begin our retreat into the darkest time of the year. Many of us find deep peace and inner connectivity outdoors, embraced in the arms of nature. In preparation for the next few months, when the majority of our time will be spent indoors,  it is a wonderful time to create a sacred space within our homes, one that can bring us to a state of calm and sanctitude. In shorter terms, it’s time to make a home altar!

What Is An Altar?

Altars have been used for thousands of years in religious ceremonies and are typically associated with offerings to the gods, and have commonly been used in sacrifice. A home altar is a place that offers a personal sense of the sacred. Whether you are a practicing Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, or a connector with the universe and Spirit, human beings often require a visual reminder of what we hold high in priorities. An alter acts as a sacred place in our homes that draws us back to our sacred beliefs, priorities, personal serenity and sense of being.

Why Make An Altar?

An altar is a physical representation of your core beliefs and values. It is a place that you can honour yourself, your life, your Spirit and your ideals. It is a beautifully creative way to express the inner composition of your peace, your connection, your inspiration and your love. A home altar will create a sense of peace within your home, and will ground you back to your core values in times of need. It is a wonderful place to ponder on, to find quiet, and to meditate. You will find in time that being in presence of your altar’s space will elevate your mood, vibration and energy.

How To Make An Altar

The Space

Select a prominent space in your home, one that you see regularly. An altar is not meant to be hidden, but a daily way to connect to your inner being. With the proper intention, your altar will serve you every time you look at it, extending energy and love and mindful reminders.

Typically, altar surfaces are flat, such as a bookshelf, tray or small table. Once you have selected a space in your home for your altar, cleanse it with sage to clear any old or stagnant energies. Cleanse your altar’s space as often as you feel necessary.

Sacred Items 

You are the only person who can determine what is sacred to you. What connects you to yourself? What do you value? The sacred items on your altar can be reminders of what you strive to embody, how you want to live your life, and what fuels your personal life purpose. These items can be pictures, books, crystals, Mala beads, a gift from a friend or family member, small reminders and knick knacks, statues or pictures of deities, oracle cards. Anything that brings you a sense of love and peace, or anything that offers positive energy is great for your altar.

Recommendations: Nature and the Senses 

If you feel a call to honour nature on your altar, find items that speak to the 5 elements, such as a candle for fire, air and space, or live plants and flowers for earth and water. It is also excellent to feed your senses with your altar. Examples include a small meditation bowl will honour your ears, a shawl or cushion used while you are in front of your altar will honour your sense of touch, and essential oils or incense will speak to your nose.

Your altar is a space to find yourself, to draw inspiration and to connect with your inner being. The more you feed it with your presence and love, the more it will serve you. It is your space to do what it calls you to; praying, meditating, journaling, singing or simply being. Namaste.