Sunday, March 19, 2017

Making Your Own Home Altar for Prayer or Meditation

Dear readers,

Maybe you remember that way back in January I wrote a post about my thrift store finds? The above dresser (is that how you call furniture like this in English?) is another item I found at the thrift store that month.

I'd already had the idea for a while to make a prayer altar somewhere in my room, a quiet place where I could light a candle and listen to my inner voice. So I asked the Universe if it could maybe make a suitable table cross my path. When I saw this one, I felt it must be the one because of its Barbie pink color! Added bonus: it can store items in the drawer, so I keep my yoga mat there.

To be completely honest, I noticed it does feel slightly personal to post pictures of my altar here! However, because I'm really happy that I made the choice to arrange a sacred space for myself, I thought that maybe I could inspire others to do the same.

You see, over the past few months I noticed that whenever I sit down in front of my altar, I immediately feel calmer. It's as if my mind switches into prayer mode and my body notices the different energy in this space. That makes it a lot easier to focus on prayer and stillness without being distracted.

So if it sounds useful to you, in this post you can read some of the steps I took to create my own sacred space. Of course you should feel free to switch things up, ignore the steps or create your own ideas. It was only meant for inspiration. If you're curious, read on for some basic tips.

Step 1: Choose a suitable place

Where to place your home altar all depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to use it to create a more spiritual atmosphere in your home, you could place it somewhere on display in the living room. If instead you intend your altar to be a place for prayer or meditation, it's probably better to place it in a quiet and peaceful little corner somewhere in your room.

Step 2: Decide how you pray or meditate most comfortably

This part is a little bit technical. Your home altar should be a comfortable space for you. So if you like to pray or meditate while sitting on a chair, it would be best to choose a higher table. If you like to sit on a pillow or on your knees, a lower table would be fine. In addition, here's another thing to think about: can the table have drawers, like mine, or would your legs be in the way? If you like to sit on a stool or chair this is more likely to be a problem. For me it's not really a problem, because I usually sit on my pillow with my legs crossed or on my knees.

Yet another practical question: do you want to be able to rest your hands or elbows on the table? If that is important to you, then make sure that the measurements of your furniture support that. Lastly, of course your table also needs to fit in the room you've chosen to place it in. If all of these details make you slightly nervous, you could simply say to the Universe: "Universe, thank you for sending the perfect table on my path." While you go about your day thinking of other important things, the Universe can easily figure things out for you.

Step 3: Decorate it with objects that are meaningful to you

Story time! When I didn't have my table yet, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted my altar to look like, based on images I found on Pinterest. I'd already been looking for some statues of Jesus or Mary in thrift stores, since I feel a connection to them. However, when I found my pink dresser and placed it in my room, I decided to place some other things there in the meantime, or else it would look so empty.

So together with my brother I just looked around my room and found a lot of things scattered on shelfs and in boxes that could stay there. But when we were finished I realized that I actually really liked the result just the way it was, so I left it that way. The point of my story is that it doesn't really matter what you place there, as long as it make you happy.

My altar happens to have a lot of elemental energies going on, with the fairies, dolphins and unicorns. The picture of the fairies and dolphins I've already had since my childhood, but it's been put away in a box in the attic for a long time. Somehow it ended up in my room again a while ago and I still like it a lot! The image reminds me of magic and manifestation, even more so because of the glitter.

I also have some angelic items on my altar. The candle with the angel on it was given to me as a birthday present. The other three around it I found at the thrift store as well (because the angel one is just to pretty to use). I also decided to display my crystal friends there and oracle cards, a prayer journal and some other magical items.

I think one of the reasons why I ended up liking my altar the way it is, is because it feels slightly non-denominational to me. It has angels, but also fairies and a pentagram. Sometimes I also change what I place on my altar. For example, if I wrote a prayer in my prayer box I will leave it on my altar for a while to keep the manifestation energies going. I also got the idea from New Age Hipster to sometimes place oracle cards outside of their box when they pop up in readings very often.

You can place anything you like in your sacred space, since it's meant for you. As long as it makes you happy, it's fine! But if you need some inspiration, here is a little list with some ideas:

♡ Prayer cards of saints or deities that you like
♡ Pieces of paper with positive affirmations or quotes
♡ Symbols of an ancient culture or religion you feel connected to
♡ A souvenir from a place you visited that felt sacred to you
♡ A bouquet of flowers
♡ Dried flowers, or herbs
♡ Seashells
♡ Stones with runes on them
♡ A Himalayan salt lamp
♡ A drawing or painting of angels or saints, or another spiritual subject
♡ A beautiful notebook or prayer box to write your prayers in, maybe with your favorite pen next to it
♡ A pendulum
♡ An item that relates to your Zodiac sign
♡ A photograph of a moment you want to remember
♡ A bowl with some sand in it
♡ Feathers or "pennies from heaven" you've found...
♡ ...or a reminder of any other sign you've received, like angel numbers or rainbows

If you're the kind of person who feels a strong connection to nature, I think it might also be interesting to change your altar according to the seasons. For example, you could display seashells during the summer and chestnuts or acorns during autumn. Then, in winter, you can replace it with pine cones or a snow globe, followed by flowers in spring. Maybe another cute idea: a mini christmas tree in December! Also, many saints and deities have their own day on which they are remembered or venerated. When you feel connected to one of them and their day is approaching, you could dedicate a corner to them.

As you can probably tell by now, the possibilities are endless. Some last advice: don't let anyone tell you how to decorate your altar. The most important thing is that it makes you happy. I think you should feel free to mix up items from different religions or spiritual traditions. But sticking to one religion is of course perfectly okay too!

Even when people mean well, I don't think anyone is allowed to tell you what beliefs fit into your religious category and which ones don't. There's also no problem with adding items that only have spiritual meaning to you, but look ordinary to others. We all have our own path and our own idea of what spirituality means, and that's really special in my opinion.

But wait, there could be an optional step 5 here, if it speaks to you. Some people like to clean the energies of new furniture before they use them, even more so if they're from the thrift store. You could, for example, smudge your altar with white sage or burn some incense in its vicinity. You can also ask an angelic being or ascended master to clean its energies for you. Then it might be nice to say a prayer to invite some sacred energy to your space. Whatever feels good to you!

And I think that's it! I hope you have lots of fun creating your own altar. If you already have one, can you maybe tell me what it looks like? I love seeing how other people arrange their altars, everyone has such a unique taste, don't you think?

Wishing you a week that is both adventurous and peaceful,

~Mayte ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭*

P.S. Click here to see this week's oracle card reading, if you're interested! 

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