moon two | new moon in virgo
creating an altar
Welcome to Moon 2 | New Moon in Virgo. This lunar cycle I am sharing one of my favorite things in the world, the practice of altar creation.
Altars have been used by cultures all around the world for thousands of years. Simply stated, an altar is a place where you can offer your appreciation for all of the helping spirits in your life. It is a physical and energetic vortex to call in and acknowledge the presence of the sacred.
Since the sacred is with you wherever you are, it isn’t necessary to create an altar in order to connect with Spirit. However, I’ve found altar creation to a beautiful and supportive act of co-creation.
Altars are visual and kinesthetic reminders of what is sacred to me. I like to think of my altars as gathering places; they reflect the act of gathering my energy into the present moment. When I spend time with an altar, whether in creation or in contemplation, it is an invitation for my soul and Spirit to align.
An altar can be in a small space (on a shelf for example), encompass an entire room or it can even be outside. It can be as simple as a candle that you light each day. An altar can be temporary or it can be a place you return to again and again. You can create a new altar each month, for the change of season, every new or full moon, for cultural and/or religious holidays, at the beginning of each week, every new year… the possibilities are truly endless and dictated only by how Spirit is moving through you at any given moment.
An altar can have a theme or particular focus like abundance, love, etc., or it can just represent whatever growth you are experiencing at the moment. You can dedicate your altar to one particular representation of the divine (the goddess, an angel, an animal, a spiritual teacher) or it can be devoted to many aspects of the sacred. You can create an altar alone, with another person, or with a group of people. Whatever works for you is exactly right.
I have altars all over my home. I also have a mini altar in my car. Some of my altars last for months and some last only a few days. The altar in my office/yoga space is my main altar - the one I interact with when doing meditation or focused spiritual practice - but I attend to each altar as I feel called. Little things, like bringing in new treasures from the outside world, rearranging crystals, replacing burned down candle, or simply taking a moment to ground and center myself as I pass them by throughout my day.
How to create an altar
Note: there are many ways to create an altar, some with very formal instructions. I create my altars much more free form, following my intuition and the callings of Spirit, and this isthe practice I am sharing with you here.
Creating an altar is a sacred practice that will feed your soul. I encourage you to pick one place to create a “main” altar that you will be working with over an extended period of time. When you gather at the same place time and time again, you begin to build up the sacred energy in that particular space. If you feel inspired to create more than one altar follow your desire.
It is important to find a space that offers you easy access so that you can spend time and interact regularly with your altar. Approach the activity of creating your altar free of distractions, when you have some time to focus your energy and intention on your creation.
Speaking of intention, it’s nice to begin by clarifying the intention you wish your altar to represent and amplify. You can write your intention on a piece of paper and put it on your altar if you like. Always use affirmative language with your intentions, so that you are filling your body/mind with positivity each time you read, speak or think about your intention. And make sure that your intention is about YOU and your life, not focused on somebody else.
That said, I personally create many altars without a clearly stated intention… letting Spirit move through me and trustingin the process… so again, do what feels right to you.
Next, gather some items that you would like to place on your altar. Some ideas: candles, photographs, stones/crystals, feathers, flowers/plant material, statues or figurines, jewelry, incense, smudge stick, oracle cards, etc. Remember, your altar is an external version of the Sacred Space that you already are, so choose items that are pleasing to your eye and soul.
Altar creation, step-by-step
(feel free to deviate as your soul desires…)
- Ground yourself and clear your energy field in whatever way feels right to you.
- Get clear on your intention as you begin to create your altar.
- It’s nice to begin with a clean surface - wipe down or dust the area you are using for your altar.
- If you are working outside, you might want to sweep or rake the area where you will be working.
- If you are using an altar cloth or scarf, begin by placing it where you would like your altar to be.
- “Cleanse” each object before placing it on your altar. I like to use a sacred plant like white sage or palo santo to smudge the objects and myself.
- If you have one, you can focus on your intention as you place each item on your altar. This infuses the energy of your intention into each item.
- Call on your helping spirits as you place the objects - guides, angels, teachers, etc. They love it when you remember to ask for guidance and give thanks.
- After you have placed all of your objects on your altar, take a moment to ask for clear guidance on cultivating your intention if you have one. Or just spend some time in connection with Spirit manifesting through your creation.
- Relax and have fun - there is no wrong way to do this!
I encourage you to spend some time at your altar each day, even if you only have a few minutes. Contemplating your intention, quieting your mind, making offerings, lighting a candle - all of these activities will nourish your soul and amplify the energy of your sacred space.
Next month - Moon 3 | New Moon in Libra, Creating a Ceremony or Ritual for your Unique Self
Kristina Wingeier is a Lunar Mystic, Soul Counselor, and Intuitive Healer. Her services include: Soul Counsel Depth Coaching, Intuitive Tarot Readings, and The Conscious Empath Sessions: Re-Patterning Energetic Boundaries. Her e-course, The Conscious Empath // Foundation Sessions begins with the New Moon in Aquarius, 2/8/16. Find out more information and/or sign up HERE.