In my previous post I wrote about the dark side of the feminine nature and our relationship with that. It is really healthy to honour all the aspects of ourselves, especially if we want to be real in the world and be the best that we can be.
Today, I am getting really personal with you. I am sharing my own, personal altar that I have created for the online course that I am doing at the moment.
You may be wanting to connect more deeply with yourself and a sacred space, or altar is a very good way of doing that. People create altars for many reasons. They can be for meditation, as a way to focus on something, some people create altars for their deceased relatives, other people create altars to honour particular deities or aspects of themselves. What is beautiful about altars, is that every single one is unique and the more it reflects the person who created it, the more special it is.
There are no rules, but there are a few elements you may wish to incorporate. I love to know the rules, so that I know which ones I want to follow and which ones I want to break!
I will share what my teacher shared with me when I created my first altar a few years ago. You can take what resonates with you and leave the rest.
- First you may like to have a covering for the base of your altar. Many people use a red cloth. This is the colour of the root chakra and the altar is often a place for grounding. For this particular altar, I used a cloth that has got pretty, feminine colours. I was drawn to that more than a red cloth. Another good reason to have a cloth is to protect your table. You may have water, candles, or incense there, so you may like to protect your surface. Many people love the table they use and do not use a cloth.
- It is helpful to consider the elements of earth, air, fire and water in your altar. Space is another element that you may like to incorporate.
- For earth, I have got a stone that I decorated with the affirmation “Love yourself first”. It is the intention that I have put out for the course and it was very helpful to actually create the words on the stone. I also have (in a glass bottle) some earth from my mother’s place of birth in Poland and a rose quartz candle which holds a tea light candle.
- For fire, I have the tea light candle. Many people use ghee, or oil lamps (I have one in the altar in my bedroom) and also soy candles. Fire represents life and I was taught never to blow the candle out. Either let it burn down by itself, snuff it, or wave your hand over it to blow out. It is your personal choice if you choose to blow your candle out, the intention you have at your altar is more important than any particular rules you follow.
- I have an incense holder that I have to light incense, which represents air. You can also have a bell, a singing bowl, or chimes. I love incense and I love Agarbatti Nag Champa, but it is not necessary for an altar. Many people don’t like the smell of incense. If you decide to burn incense, please make sure that you have a window open, for the incense to circulate.
- I have a vase of flowers for water. Many people give gifts such as flowers or fruits to their particular deities at their altar. My flowers are there to honour the feminine in me and also as a thing of beauty.
- I have a statue of the Mother Mary as a focal point. It is helpful to have a focal point. I have always connected with her loving energy and I enjoy having her as my focal point in the course at the moment.
- I have a picture of my mom, as she is doing this course with me, even though she has passed away. I was taught that it is not advisable to put pictures of people who are still alive, on your altar. Once again, it is up to you, whether that resonates with you or not.
- It is also nice to have inspiring words or pictures. I have drawn the seasons and I also have a cross stitch that Annie made for me, which I had up and have now extended to be part of this space.
- People like to have sacred texts at their altar and it is also nice to have a special cushion to sit on, if you are planning to journal or meditate at your altar.
- Some more rules I learned which you might find interesting. Never put your sacred text on the ground, always onto a pillow or a table. Do not let anyone else touch your altar, especially children. My children play with my altar all the time and they have both been inspired to create their own, which I think is much more important than the perceived “purity” of the energy staying in the space. Having said that, I have taught them that this is mommy’s special place, so they are to keep it special. They have learned that and apply the same level of care to their own altars.
I find the shift in myself quite profound when I sit down at my sacred space. It is a wonderful way to focus and I have many incredible insights there. Sometimes, we don’t even need to sit there to gain the benefits of creating it. It is just a reminder of whatever is within us that we wish to express.
I often find that a lot of my sacred work is done through movement – yoga, cooking, cleaning and hanging washing. Women need to move their bodies, so don’t feel that you need to sit in order to gain access to the highest within yourself.
I hope that you have found this useful. I would love to know if you have a sacred space and what “rules” if any that you apply to yours.
Blessings to you.