How to Create a Stronger Feeling of Home Through Altar Creation

6 04 2010

Home, through my life has been more of a concept than an actual place.  It is a space where I feel comfortable being myself, where I can express myself creatively, emotionally, spiritually.  It is familiar and yet allows me to explore new things.  It is a grounding point for my daughter, as she feels safe, secure and relaxed here.  Or, at least that is what I aim for. One thing that we do in our home to make it feel more like our personal sanctuary is altar creation.

credit to saurez986

An altar is simply a space in your home that you have created to honour something important in your life.  It could honour a family member, the Earth, a spiritual tradition, something you are looking to manifest or maybe even the changing of the seasons.  The idea behind an altar is that it is somewhere in your home you can come to again and again, to have a little peace and quiet reflection. In our home right now, we have an altar above our bed that is devoted to peaceful slumber.  We have several items on the window sill that, to us, symbolize peaceful sleep: an owl feather pillow, a dream catcher, like baby booties (not that babies sleep or anything, but it’s symbolic, right?) and a little treasure chest to put in trinkets that little A thinks will help her sleep better. We also have an altar that is devoted to our spiritual tradition.  For you, this could be a statue of Jesus or Buddha, or maybe some treasures from the Earth, it all depends on what you believe and how you choose to express it.  For us, as we believe in a little of everything we have a buddha, some feathers, a crystal, a St. Christopher statue (the patron saint of homes and families), a statue of the Divine Mother and a sign that says “gratitude”.  Little A adds her own things to it.  Right now she has placed her favourite deflated balloon and a dead butterfly she found in the forest.  To her, these things are sacred. By having a little space where the two of us can put our special things, it gives each of us a little space of solace.  Even though she’s only three, little A understands the sacred and silent value of the altar.  We know that this is for special things, and it allows each of us to recognize special things in our daily lives, as we have a place to represent and display them. Building your own altar is easy and fun. Here are some steps to creating an altar that makes your home feel more like your special haven. 1. Decide the intention of your altar: is it an alter for something (your mother, daughter, friend, manifestation etc)? Is it a seasonal altar? Is it an altar to pray at? The intention of your altar will determine the items that you want for it and the appropriate space for it as well. 2. Find an appropriate space in your home where you will notice your altar and where it will be safe from being destroyed. If you’ve decided that you want a altar for your relationship with your husband then an appropriate space might be next to your bed instead of in the livingroom.  Putting it on your bedside table would be more noticeable than in your closet. If you have a small child, having an altar that is a out of reach is necessary.  When little A was about eight months old we had an altar closer to the ground and I remember one day she crawled up to it and proceeded to place one of the stones in her mouth.  yikes!  Now that she’s a little older, we have one closer to the ground, but this might not be possible with all children. 3.  Pick out items that are meaningful to you and exemplify your intention. For example, f your altar is for your mother you could add a copy of an old recipe she used, or a picture of her.  If it is to celebrate the seasons, use appropriate items: small pumpkins and acorns for fall, snowflake cut-outs and a special wool hat for winter.  You get the picture. This is a great way to express your personality and be creative.  Here is a great example of a harvest altar with a strange and personal twist.  Remember that this is your special place and you can put on it what best expresses you. 4.  Keep your altar clear and up to date. You altar is a sacred place.  Keep it free from clutter.  Every so often remove everything so you can dust and update anything.  You can change items as your life changes.  This is a representation of yourself and your intentions, so try to keep it an expression of the constant growth and change you experience in your life.  If you are not experiencing growth or change in your life, maybe changing the altar up a bit could inspire something new in other parts of your life. 4.  Spend time at your altar. You can use your altar as a place of meditation or prayer.  Your altar could also be just a mindfulness reminder, to stop, bear witness, take a few breaths and be present with the beautiful moment.  If you feel inclined, you can make offerings at your altar.  In some traditions, offerings are gifted to the Divine as gratitude for the Life that we have.  This could be a bit of food, a nice leaf that you found outside, sacred herbs such as cedar or sweet grass or incense. Altars can create a special feeling in your home, as well as turning previously cluttered surfaces into something simple and special. In:joy In:Joy!

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5 responses

6 04 2010
Tiina

yes, i do remember carrying that lemurian mother crystal home to you all across canada…. what a voyage.. LOVE YOU GODDESS

7 04 2010
mamameme

thank you so much for being her carrier. 🙂 I LOVE YOU TOO!!!

10 04 2010
be

i can feel(hear) it from here! i also have a lemurian crystal-have a told you the crazy story of how it ‘awakened’ to me? i have yet to meditate with it for very long. my friend ‘watched’ images of the records come up after he exhausted his own thoughts-i tried programming it once or twice before i knew i shouldn’t!!! i-eeeee. migraine!! and then for awhile after even when i just looked at it i would be ‘at the mercy of’ heh…i don’t do that anymore. maybe they should have a playdate…lol

10 04 2010
mamameme

I think they should definitely have a playdate. My crystal was quite clear at the beginning what our boundaries were. 🙂 we’ve been very close but both allow the other to “do their thing” so to speak.

10 04 2010
mamameme

Ps I really want to hear your story!!

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