- ALTARS -
Altars are a physical reminder to come back home to yourself. And a gateway to non-ordinary reality.
If you don’t have an altar, this is a prompt to create one. This can be a simple, small area but the intention is for it to be a sacred space.
It’s important to keep your altar clear of clutter. Maintain it free from ordinary objects (for instance grocery receipts or spare rubber bands).
If you already have an altar, you can create a specific space to work with one of the following: ancestors, money or clients (unless you feel called in a different direction, you can pursue them in that order). More details on those below.
I recommend beginning with one (rather than trying to do several at once) so you can LISTEN deeply to the energies that want to connect with you.
Physical places your altar can be:
On a bookshelf or desk, on a window sill or in a room corner, or in your car. Note that altars can be permanently placed or portable so they can travel with you.
At a high level an altar is a place where you can speak your gratitude, where you can lay your burdens, and place your requests. If you are wildly busy just touching an object on the altar can support you.
When you first create the altar I recommend speaking out loud “I create this sacred space.” You can also open the windows to clear the air or use a bell or sound bowl (or clap your hands) to shift the energy.
If you have clearing supplies like incense or other herbs (including ethically sourced palo santo) you can burn this to prepare the space too. I like to speak aloud my intention as I burn, “I clear this space of any energy that doesn’t support my highest good.”
I believe once you tune in to your heart and your deepest knowing the objects that you want for your altar will become clear, and they will naturally show up in your life.
Here are some ideas for objects you could place on an altar:
Candle(s), crystal(s), paper with intentions, a fresh flower or leaf, shells or feathers, photograph(s), oracle card(s), a tiny bell, pyramid or other sacred geometric form, pendulum or prayer beads, affirmations, statues of deities.
You can also have a cloth as the underlay for the altar (e.g., the foundation).
I know that’s a lot! You could generally categorize altar objects into these categories: Found objects. Sacred tools. Talismans.
Note: be conscientious about sourcing your supplies. How does your supplier support the source? If they don’t say it’s probably not happening.
This is important - when items become popular in western culture they can get expensive (to the population where it originates) and exploited.
Don’t feel the need to accumulate objects super fast. This is a lifetime journey.
I recommend you visit your altar every day. You can pray there, meditate, light a candle and speak your intentions, burn incense, offer thanks for support, etc. If this feels overwhelming you can also simply start your day there and have a cup of tea and see what happens. Bring a journal along and see what wisdom pops in.
How to create an Ancestor Altar
Please do not create a specific altar before you create a basic altar (unless your gut is demanding it). I also do not recommend you try to create and cultivate more than one altar at once. The reason why is that altars are a place of concentration of energy - and by building (or trying to build) more than one at once you are diluting the energy. Anyway, onward.
The altar for ancestors does not have to look like an altar to dead people you know in your lineage. It can be an honoring of those spirits that lived well and died well in your lineage that are ready to work with you. They could be 100 years back, a 1,000 years back, or 10,000 years back. Don’t feel the need to force a particular relative to come through!
Your ancestors connect you to your large blood line and history. Christina Pratt (Last Mask Center) recommends putting an ancestor altar in a box or cabinet or other location which can be closed so that you can begin the conversation at the start of the day and close it out at the end of the day (and, most importantly, they are not bothering you in the middle of the night). This resonates with me and I recommend a simple way to “shut” the altar.
How to create a Money Altar
There are many items considered traditionally appropriate for a money altar but I want you to focus on what is meaningful for you.
For example, green candles are very traditional for money altars but red is always more resonant for me than green.
Similarly there are several traditions where paper money (fake money) is put onto altars and that hasn’t not felt right for me. I do place real money on my altar. You can also put a golden bell to clear the energy when money feels stagnant.
There are also what Briana Saussy refers to as “Holy Helpers” specifically for money and you can put their pictures on the altar. That could be Lakshmi, commonly known as a goddess of wealth.
When you receive money and value you can give thanks to the energy of money at your altar.
How to create a Client Altar
I recommend creating one altar at a time. So if you want to call in a particular client or batch of clients, do that in one altar. If you create another program or have a retreat, have a separate altar you build. This will help you keep the energy clear and authentically connect.
I recommend in order to begin you connect energetically with the client. If you’ve never done this before you can start by knowing there is one magical client who is out there waiting for you. And you can ask to be guided to them and to listen in and hear what they need, what they are concerned about, what they need to hear in order to move forward in a good way.
For client altars I like to add flowers. I feel like having a bright and vibrant color helps me to be more powerfully connected to the magical souls that are on their way to me.
I recommend you add your written intentions. For instance if you know you want to bring in three 1:1 clients you can write down why you want to bring them in, how you want to feel when you are working with them, and what ultimately you want for them too.
As you have more practice with client altars you’ll be able to feel into what’s important for your practice. Maybe you want to have a glass of water and infuse it with new moon energy then add it to your altar and supercharge the intention? Maybe you want to add stones or crystals that feel resonant with the work you do. Let your gut be your Guide and as with every altar, make sure to make this space a place where you convey your gratitude and your desires.
Your brain is going to want to make this a checklist and a combination of elements but its not. It’s a ceremony. A ritual. (Yes, I’m using them synonymously and not every one would.)
Lean in to bringing ceremony to life in order to support the desired outcome.