Creating an Altar

We are in episode 14 of 20 in our first full season, Spirituality 101. Creating an altar is a personal, introspective, and aligning practice. For every single person out there in the world, an altar is going to be used differently. But it is an energetic space that each of us can help use to center the Earthly us and the Woo-Woo us.

I start off the episode by sharing a personal, spiritual memory from my youth. It’s very raw and sentimental for me, so I hope you enjoy it!

BRITTANY MARIE, YOUR HOST

The point to focus on, no matter your background, is that an altar is there for you as a reminder of what is important to you and what it is that you are bringing forward into your life… Come to your altar with purpose, with grace, with gratitude, and with your intention. Start your practice and move through. An altar is meant to be used – mentally or physically or somewhere in between. But the desire to be used will always live there.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS WE EXPLORE

  1. What is an altar?
  2. What kind of altar should you have?
  3. How do you choose what to put on your altar?
  4. How do you use your altar to perform rituals?

 

PREVIOUS EPISODES TO LISTEN TO

  1. MASTERCLASS: Life’s To-Do List
  2. MASTERCLASS: Revamp Your Wardrobe
  3. The Power of Gratitude
  4. The Mindfulness Theory, with Brenda Umana
  5. The Mindfulness Practices
  6. The Trifecta
  7. Connecting to Your Intuition, with Esther Loopstra
  8. The Law of Attraction, with Summer Monae
  9. Get Your Chakra On
  10. Getting Crystal Clear, with Erin Hollen
  11. The Human Design Liberation, with Jennifer Gage
  12. The Tarot Tea, with Sanyu Estelle

 

The Difference Between Alter & Altar

Alter: making structural, formative changes, or you’re making adjustments to a garment so it’ll fit the wearer better.

Altar: a dedicated, sacred, energetic space of intention, gratitude, and blessings filled with tools to help you bring that intention to life. This is a space that you can, your spirit guides, and your ancestors can turn to communicate and bring awareness to your present being.

 

Altars, Summarized

Depending on what religion, philosophies, beliefs, ethos, culture, and intentions are set will make a difference in how altars are approached and utilized all around the globe. For this conversation, we’re anchoring things on how your altar will fit and accompany your everyday life. When we make practices, of any kind – spiritual or not, so highly revered and dauntingly elite or divine, it makes it harder to introduce into our life, even when its purpose is to make our lives more fulfilled and, in some ways, easier. So that’s why it was important to me to approach this through an everyday, or whatever-fits-your-lifestyle, perspective because I believe that’s what will make utilizing altars more accessible and inviting.

If an altar is an energetic space that holds and vibrational draws in your intention, your focus in building and choosing what altar you’ll create needs to be based on that intention. Your intention doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it does need to be authentic. The size of the altar, the tools you place in the altar, the area you keep your altar in will be determined, again, by your intention and your needs. The point isn’t to make it acceptable for someone else’s opinions, beliefs, or practices. This is your altar. It needs to be catered to you so that you’ll actually use it.

The note to only regard is on choosing what tools, practices, or pieces you put in your altar. And here it is: only put things in your altar that you will actually use. Rarely use is fine. But never use is not – unless it is a picture or something that holds an energetic pull for your intention. Which then, means, that is actually is something that you’re using. For instance, if you put in a tarot deck in your altar, but have never pulled tarot before and have no interest in doing so, than you’ve placed a piece of comparison culture in your altar. Your reasoning for including the deck was based on wishful thinking and not your authentic alignment. This is, of couse, a hypothetical. So take it with a grain of salt. But I think you see my point.

Create your altar for you and you alone. Make it your kind of beautiful with practices you can’t wait to turn to. That’s where the magic will lie.

 

The 5 Best Types of Everyday Altars, IMO

1. A spiritual practice altar – I know, this one is pretty obvious. But there are lots of different routes you can take with this. This is where you can keep your tarot cards, your crystals, oils, herbs, journals, books, pictures, sage, candles, affirmations, your natal chart, and so on and so on. Whatever spiritual practices you carry, you can put them all in one place and energetically lift them all by putting them in a unified, sacred area.

2. Your yoga mat as an altar – when you roll out your mat, your awareness, your presence might have some attention to some details in the room, but primarily it’ll be on the mat and the action you take upon it. Perhaps you set out a candle, a journal, or a screen near your mat, and those can be a part of your yogic altar, as well. This would be an altar that you can pack up and take with you. The intention is engrained in the tool and the purpose will arise to your senses no matter where you unroll it.

3. Your self-care, beauty supplies as an altar – I think for most people, this is going to be in your bathroom, but you can totally make space in your bathroom, or vanity, for intentions and hygienic tools. When you wash your face, put on treatment, or lotion, you do that with an intention of taking care of yourself. When you put on make-up, you have a desire to present yourself in a certain way. Making an altar in a corner of this area can bring a greater awareness to that desire and help you move through it with greater ease, love, and self-compassion.

4. Your workspace as an altar – your desk is so an altar, all you have to do is let it be. If you keep your desk messy, getting lost in where what is, that’s a sign that you perhaps aren’t willing to bring awareness to your true desires. That you want to stay lost so you don’t have to face a fear you might have. That’s a possibility. Point being, your workspace holds your capability to dive into your passions, your needs, and your tools. If you use a computer, make it the focal point. And surround it with books, utensils, papers, and stands, diffusers, and whatever else helps you tackle the mission that lies in front of you. Bring that mission forward and let your workspace back you up.

5. Your closet as an altar – as many of you know, I work as a wardrobe manifestation coach, so this one is definitely my favorite. If you assign an affirmation and an intention to getting dressed in the morning, if you bring a mindful purpose to your closet – it can so be an altar for you. You also know I’m a big fan of stepping into who it is that you are becoming – taken from my girl Summer Monae. And you can literally do that every time you put on clothes for the day. And if you let it hold those affirmations, you can carry them with you throughout the day and be connected to the love you are so worthy of feeling endlessly.

POINTS TO PUT IN YOUR BACK POCKET

  • An altar is a sacred space filled with tools for you to bring your desires and divine blessings into your life.
  • The most important thing to have in your altar is intention. It’s not about how elaborate, beautiful, or IG ready it is – but the power of the intention you set for it.
  • On choosing what tools, practices, or pieces you put in your altar, only place things that you will actually use. Rarely use is fine. But never use is not.
  • Create your altar for you and you alone. Make it your kind of beautiful with practices you can’t wait to turn to. That’s where the magic will lie.

REFERENCES & NEXT STEPS

  • The workshop, Seize the Day: Enrich Your Life With Soulful Ritual, is available on the Blithe Mitral Patreons for tiers Pathfinder, Enchanter, and Sorcerer. You can also purchase it separately on the workshops page.
  • Listen to any Magical Realness episodes you have skipped! Even the masterclasses. It’ll make deciding what altar is best for you much, much clearer.