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The Sisterhood Portal

Creating a personal altar

What is a personal altar? Do I need one?

Read on magicians and find your answers!!

An altar is defined as a surface used as the focus for a ritual, offering or sacrifice in the religious (or spiritual) sense. Every church or temple has an altar. Every witch has an altar. Most yoga studios have altars.

So what exactly IS it?

Well this depends. Your personal altar should make sense to you. It should include things that remind you of the spiritual views that you hold. It is a check in with your beliefs and what you hold sacred every time you see it or sit with it.

I personally say my daily prayers/incantations/intentions at my altar. I find comfort in arriving there each morning to set my day. I even have a nice big rock on the floor beneath my altar where I often place a foot. I have a spot where I put prayer requests for myself + my friends/family/community as well. I include a vision board + a photo of baby me ~ so I always remember that little girl inside.  Personalize it!

Some common things you might find on an altar are: photos of diety or persons, gemstones or sacred rock, natural objects such as pinecone, leaves, sticks; sacred personal objects or ancestral belongings, diety statue, tarot or other divination tools, sacred books or journals and elemental representation. For example my altar holds the elements via a cup (the cup I drank from on my wedding day) and a few shells for water, feathers and smoke (incense or burning herbs) and a blade for air, candle for fire and rocks + an old railroad spike for earth.  I always make a center point of something bright and strong when making an altar. I also use black and white crystals, stones and candles to represent the Goddess and God or more simply the polarity of life.

If you are still feeling confused, stop for a moment and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and begin to imagine yourself sitting quietly at an altar. Begin to notice what is on it. Take your time and consider the items that would comfort you in times of prayer or reflection. I also keep an old, small pillow that my grandmother made for me when I was a baby. I sit with it in meditation at my altar. I invite you to be creative! If you’re wondering if you are doing it right…the answer is YES!!!

Do what feels right to you!

When I travel, I always bring a small travel altar to place near where I will sleep. It is my touchstone first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep. Those are the times that I visualize, create, reflect and rest. Having my personal, sacred items there reminds me of the power of intention AND the sacredness in everyday life. It reminds me that I choose to ritualize and honor myself and my life, my process. I choose to show up for myself day after day, trusting that by honoring life as sacred I am carrying on goodness in the world. I am pushing the beautiful life force and love vibrations out into my community. I am remaining curious and open to any failures or disappointments as moments to learn more about myself and grow into a better version of myself.

My travel altar usually has 5-6 pieces: 4 stones representing elements, a center stone or two + sometimes a candle. I like to hold Lemurian quartz crystals in each hand when I meditate, especially when away from home. They hold the message of oneness, of divine love. I like that reminder when I am away from my familiar surroundings. You will find what makes you feel at home.

I also have small altars throughout my house. I have a large, main altar as well as a small, more personal altar in my closet (my meditation chamber) and a work/higher good/goal altar in my workspace.

These are ideas and thoughts. Please do ponder and add your own special flavor!

Be well and have a beautiful day out there!!! If you can~ lift someone up today 🙂

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