How creating a home altar can improve your life! + free checklist
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What comes to mind when you hear the word “altar”? Probably the altar in a place of worship. You might also be picturing a home Catholic, Buddhist, Wiccan, Non-denominational altar (etc. etc.), with lots of pretty candles, incense smoke, and statues of gods or goddesses.
They’re a special, dedicated place to pray and meditate, or just to take refuge at the end of a busy day.
Whether you’re spiritual or not, having an altar can be very good for you. Even if you’re not affiliated with any particular spiritual path or religion, you can still have one!
The idea behind a personal altar, is that it provides your very own space where you can take refuge and immerse yourself in the things you love most, all in one little place.
Image Cred: CrystalsGems.com
SO, why would you want one? Here are a few main reasons:
Having a mini-retreat where you can escape and recharge will do wonders for your stress levels. Go on “do not disturb” on your phone, get off of social media, write in a journal, make art, take deep breaths and sit in peace and quiet, listen to music you like, and just kick back.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need a personal altar to do this, but having a spot dedicated to just for you (not your job, school, etc.) makes a big impact on your psyche.
Your personal altar is all about you and what you love, your goals, your inspirations. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. It could be a log from a tree, a flat rock on the floor, a shelf, or the window ledge — as long as it fulfills your needs.
At your personal altar, with all the things you love in front of you, as well as some positive affirmations and other things that make you feel your best, it’s easier to get into your own self-love mentality.
You get to decorate your personal alter however you want. You have total creative freedom with it, because it’s yours. Let your creativity run wild! If simplicity is more your style, then by all means.
Do you want good grades? A raise/promotion? A successful business? Whatever kind of goal you have, having representations of it in front of you on your altar can help you focus on them and manifest them into your life.
Of course, you have to work toward those things, too! BUT the more you see it, the more your brain thinks about it, and the closer you will get to it, AKA: The Law of Attraction.
BTW, you can also make a “vision board” and place it above your altar. A vision board is a board where you place pictures, or other types of 2-dimensional representations of what you want to draw into your life.
You can add things to your altar that represent areas of your life that you want to focus on, such as healing from trauma, bringing peace, creative inspiration, remembering loved ones who have passed, and whatever else you want to achieve.
Image Cred: GrailSidhe
Even though you have lots of freedom to make it however you want, here are a few basic things to keep in mind when creating your personal altar:
♡ It doesn’t have to be a fancy table with a fancy table cloth, but you do need a flat, solid surface that looks nice to you.
♡ You should also have a comfy chair or floor cushion in front of it, so you can sit and meditate, pray, look at your vision board, journal, etc.
♡ You also can’t be stashing junk on it, and don’t let anyone else do that either. Put your unopened junk mail, car keys and loose change on your kitchen counter. Ideally, your personal altar should be in your bedroom where it won’t be disturbed by anyone. You also don’t need your dog or cat destroying it.
♡ Keep it clean! Clutter and dust aren’t pretty and will disturb the peaceful, happy vibes. To keep those peaceful, positive vibes up on the spiritual end, it’s a good idea to cleanse the air around your altar with incense smoke, a pink Himalayan salt lamp, or crystals that dispel negativity, like Selenite, Rose Quartz, Black Tourmaline or any other black or dark stone.
Image Cred: JackalRoads
Here are some suggestions for good things to add to your home altar. All of these things are totally optional — it’s all about you and your needs. I’ve created a checklist that you can download and print out, listing all of the things below (and no, you don’t need to enter your email)! Click here to download the checklist.
♡ A pretty lamp (with a lampshade to soften the light)
♡ A Himalayan salt lamp
♡ Candles (in safe containers, don’t leave them unattended)
♡ Battery operated candles are a valid alternative
♡ A string of LED lights
♡ Inspiring quotes or affirmations
♡ Crystals or stones that dispel negativity and/or ones that align with your goals
♡ Small objects that represent or symbolize your goals
♡ Pictures of loved ones
♡ A vision board
♡ Tarot cards — pull out one that speaks to you and place it on your altar
♡ Your journal
♡ A small bluetooth speaker (or anything else that plays music) to play soothing music or nature sounds (if you can’t open your window and hear soothing nature sounds… we can’t all live in a beautiful forest or countryside!)
♡ Things from nature, like a small potted plant (succulents are great), some fresh flowers, pretty rocks (crystals count), seashells, acorns, etc.
♡ Representations of each of the elements (a stone, a feather, a seashell, a candle or battery powered candle, a small bowl of salt or sand)
♡ Representations of the things you love, include your favorite colors, a favorite book, a piece of jewelry your Grandma gave you, your favorite flower, etc.
♡ A pretty covering like a small table cloth or scarf
Image Cred: ClementineMorrigan
Now that you’ve created your altar/shrine/sacred space, you can enjoy it!
The best times of day to spend time at your personal altar are first thing in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Do it in the morning for a positive start to your day, and at night to unwind and get a more restful sleep.
You don’t have to do it everyday, or at the same time everyday — this isn’t a chore and shouldn’t be treated like something you HAVE to do. However, if you’re a creature of habit, doing it at the same time every day may be beneficial to you.
♡ Visualize yourself living the life of your dreams
♡ Count your blessings, show gratitude
♡ Pray or give thanks/show devotion to a deity/spirit of your choice
♡ Write in your journal (unload your stresses, write a gratitude list etc.)
♡ Relax while listening to music or nature sounds (ocean waves, a soft rainstorm, crickets)
If you create your personal altar, share it with us on Instagram! Tag @neon_moonbeam and use the hashtag #personalaltar. Have fun!
Need that handy checklist? Click here to download it!
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mom / artist / writer / light worker / editor-in-chief of neon moonbeam