Your home as Altar

Let’s find the way to express your sacred self in your home or ‘life space’. 

Life space – my term for the environment or places where you live, work, play – inside or outside.

Creating sacred space and dedicating areas for working altars whether in open view or private settings away from the public eye or other family members can have a powerful impact on the energy in your life space.

Location

One of the first steps is to decide placement. In the open? A private location only accessible or viewable by you? I have both. This is IMO a personal decision. Some practical factors to consider however are:

  • pets that would disrupt or make off with items
  • small hands of the wee ones that see altar items as fun treats
  • direct sunlight by a window that could damage items
  • location that can be respected and visited daily
  • location that has enough space to include the items you want

Intention

Another step is to figure out the intention or focus of each altar. I’ve studied and learned a variety or approaches to altar building and for me personally I have very specific altars that are built for a certain intention and set up for a determined time period and then the intention and altar is released and the items removed, cleansed and put away.

I have altars that some would refer to as ‘just sacred decorative areas’ and others would consider them a sacred altar in their culture or faith. An example of that for me would be one of my ancestor altars that I keep up and maintain year round for my Dad. On certain days I consider Holy or important, I often add to this altar, however I still keep the main portion of the ancestor altar to my father intact year round.

Sacred Space

I also have sacred areas or spaces. These are areas that I have placed items I cherish, hold intention or purpose and contain items that may be removed to go on specific altars now and then. These areas are not ‘working’ areas for me however. I enjoy them. Find them uplifting and beautiful. I am not calling in specific energy or guides or daily intentions with these spaces however. They contribute to my life space overall in a positive way and therefore I believe they impact the energy and vibe of my environment.

Getting Started

I want to encourage you to explore what type of altars you wish to build. Read through the Featured Altarists section to see what draws you in. I also want to tell you to just get started. Some people may disagree with me. So I will give you one tip I think essential, if you are going to build an altar and invite or call in help from your guides or ancestors or angels – whomever – at some point you are going to want to release those you called in. I was taught if you leave something up for a long period or just sort of ‘willy nilly’ no end in sight, the energy leaks away. Its not a happy attended to container.

The more I learned the more I felt I created altars that had powerful purpose. This isn’t to say the altars I found myself creating as a little girl didn’t bring me wonder and support. I truly believe they did. This is why I encourage you to get started. I also know the altars I build today have grown with me and go deeper. I’ve built community altars with others, altars with specific Druidry purpose and practice, altars for health issues for myself or family and friends, for a goal or activity. I have one in my kitchen and one in my bedroom. I maintain a working altar on my desk below my monitor with intention of protection and calm and inspiration.

Action Step

Find an area in your home that you feel at peace and safe in. Place a chair or cushion you can comfortably sit on and quietly reflect there for a few minutes. Is it private enough? Do you want to go here regularly? Easy access? Can you ‘see’ in your minds eye an altar space here? Does a feeling of joy or relaxation wash over you while you think about this?

What do you need to do to get your altar building practice set into motion? How can I help you?

A small altar on a living room shelf to honor the season of Spring. I’ve incorporated crystals, bark, a dragonfly medallion, pinecones, a pewter bell and piece of art I drew with a latin term I love.

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Imagery: Kaia Pieters and Julia Ferguson Andriessen
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