Humans have been building altars for more 30,000 years. Many of the rituals and ceremonies of ancient altars have been lost, but the call to build altars is still vibrant today. In some areas of the world altars are considered necessary in every home or place of business. In our modern world we often unknowingly build altars on our work desks with favorite objects or pictures to accompany us throughout the day.
Altars are especially useful in times of transitions, celebrating new beginnings and endings or simply shifting roles and relationships. Altars bring healing and transformation.
Setting up an Altar
An indoor altar can be located in any room of the house. The more personal the altar, the more personal space it might require. It is important to clear the horizontal surface where you will place an altar. A cloth may be used to designate the boundaries of the altar. Or, a shelf can serve as a contained space for an altar. A centerpiece, or larger object, that has significant meaning gives an altar its direction.
Choose items to place on the altar that reflect the theme for which the altar is dedicated. I highly recommend that you use natural elements such as flowers, stones, wood, metal, water, earth or fire on your altar. This will make your altar a living creation. Of course, unattended fire is not recommended.
Rituals and Altars
An altar is only as useful as the rituals used when visiting the altar. One needs to interact with one’s altar to make it a healing place. Daily, weekly or monthly rituals such as meditation, opening sacred space, greeting the objects on the altar or simply freshening up the altar will insure its ability to provide comfort in times of transformation.
What kind of altar would assist you in your life right now?