Want to take you Spirituality to the next level? I recommend creating and sustaining a physical Altar in your own home. This is a simple and effective way to raise your vibration on an ongoing basis. An Alter is a sacred space where you place your inspirational/devotional objects and consciously practice prayer, ritual, magic, or meditation. The specifics of one’s altar are as individual and personal as the contents of one’s diary. Following are 6 easy guidelines to optimize the potency of your Altar.
1. Clarify your intention. What do you want to create your altar for? To find peace, manifest abundance, attract love, decorate your home, balance your feminine and masculine energies, increase your connection to Spirit… Pick a primary purpose, and allow it to evolve with your practice.
2. Find a physical location. Not everyone has the luxury to designate a whole room, but if you can, fabulous. I’ve seen gorgeous altars in bedrooms, offices, kitchens and back yards and entrances. Next, decide on a direction to face. It’s widely believed in belief systems ranging from Vastu to Wicca, that altars are best facing North or East, however, there is some debate as to whether the altar should face a desired direction or if YOU face that direction when sitting in front of it. I say, unless you’re already following a specific doctrine, use your intuition.
3. Chose a surface. Altars can be anything from a upside-down orange crate, to elaborate woodwork on an ancient ritual table. Counter tops, dressers, and coffee tables also make great altar spaces, as long as they’re not used to dump keys and pocket change on when you come home. By dedicating a specific space only to Spirit, I’ve found that Spirit flows more freely through all other spaces in my daily life. Dressing the surface with the right fabric can help preserve this energy. Be mindful of the color and textureof the scarf, cloth, or lace that you chose. Some Wiccan practices involve changing alter cloths with each changing season.
5. Arrange your sacred objects. Instinctually, you may know which Deity makes the best centerpiece because it has the most resonance for you. I grew up with an altar of Virgin de Guadalupe in my mother’s bedroom, while my father had Buddha in his office. It’s OK to have multiple symbols for multiple purposes, but I recommend you arrange them as symmetrically as possible. In India, I took mantra initiation in front of an altar with 22 realized beings, 10 wisdom goddess, 9 planetary deities and 1 peacock in a pear tree ;-) Tantra practitioners often dawn both God and Goddess on their altars to express of the duality of nature. Mother can be represented with symbols of earth, water, rounded stones, bowls, flowers and/or statues of divine feminine usually placed on the left half of the altar. Whereas Father can be represented on the right side with horns, lingam shapes, feathers, blades, pictures of gurus, and/or something your father gave you. I now have my Shiva Lingam in the middle of my altar because the base is Shakti’s yoni and together these symbols represent the ‘androgynous ideal’ and spiritual Non-duality.
6. Energize your altar. You may initiate your sacred space in any number of ways: calling in the four directions, ringing bells, burning sage, sprinkling salt water, or simply praying for protection. Once initiated, you will continue to add and change the symbols as you please. Each time I approach my altar, I bring an offering: a fresh flower, a penny found on the sidewalk, a card my lover gave me, a check my client wrote, an inspiring quote, light for the candles, oils, crystals, herbs or incense. When each sacred object has been energized, I remove from the altar, with the same mindfulness in which I originally brought them.
Most recently, my offering has been my open heart and empty hands. I practice staying open to whatever arises in this space. You may be surprised to one day find yourself journaling, reading, or channeling here. The powerful symbology on your altar reflects your own dynamic goals and beliefs. The energy raised here is cumulative. With time, simply being in front of your alter will align you. According to spiritual law, whatever energy you put into consciously raising the vibration of your inner world, will be matched with like vibration from the outer world. Let me know what you’re consciously creating, and how I can help you manifest magic this month.
Have fun with the co-creation; enjoy the dance,
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