How to Create a Personal Altar in Your Home (Even if You Have a Small Space)

1545648_866836023342365_2693814071271888944_n As a faithful student of personal growth and the field of positive psychology, I’m a big fan of any practice that invites more happiness and fulfillment into our lives. Over the years, I’ve developed many habits that have enhanced my outlook on life and helped me achieve some of my big goals.

Now there is one tool that I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my life for a long time…a personal altar! There are a lot of different variations out there, but a personal altar is essentially a sacred space in your home that serves as a “spiritual center” where you can focus on being your highest self. It also consists of specific items meant to invite positive energy into your life. Last week, I took the time to gather all of the items I needed to set mine up and I can already feel the powerful spiritual shift it’s made in my living space.

Here are some basic guidelines you can use to create your own personal altar…even if you have a small space!

Step 1: Find a location for your altar

You will need to pick a special area of your home where you can set up your altar. This can be a corner of a room, a table or a nightstand. There is really no one “perfect” place for your altar, the point is to find just enough space where you can put your key items and be able to sit near them on a daily basis. I live in a small space here in Hawaii with roommates, so the best place for my altar is on the nightstand right next to my bed. Once you choose a location for your altar, you can move on to creating the altar itself.

Step 2: Pick at least one theme for your altar

I recommend picking one or more themes for your personal altar that describes the purpose you have for the space. For example, my altar will serve as a sacred space for meditation, relaxation, inspiration and strength. A good question to ask yourself is: what do I want to bring MORE of into my life? Love? Peace? Joy? Money?

Suggested themes:

  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Inspiration
  • Strength
  • Peace
  • Healing
  • Remembrance
  • Love
  • Protection
  • Abundance
  • Faith
  • Joy

Step 3: Choose 5-10 key items for your altar

According to the theme you chose, pick out a set of items that inspire you and represent your highest self. Again, there are no “right” or “wrong” items for your altar, so just trust your intuition and allow yourself to be led to the ones that resonate with you the most.

Suggested items:

  • Candles
  • Fresh flowers or herbs
  • Inspiration stones (I found mine in the clearance bin at Pier One)
  • Crystals (especially amethyst or quartz)
  • Spiritual or inspirational books
  • Photos of people you love
  • Photos of spiritual figures
  • Printed literature that holds special meaning for you (such as poems, song lyrics, inspirational cards, etc)
  • Elements of nature (such as seashells, coral, stones, feathers, etc)
  • Bells or chimes

These are the key items I chose for my altar, pictured above:

  • Fresh flowers (for inspiration)
  • Lavender-scented candle (for relaxation)
  • Amethyst pyramid (for relaxation, meditation, protection and healing)
  • Book of Awakening (for meditation and spirituality)
  • Inspiration stones with the words “love” and “faith”
  • Inspiration cards from friends
  • My own business card (for strength and dedication to my vision)
  • Photos of my father and grandfather, both deceased (for strength and remembrance)

Step 4: Bless your altar

When you feel that your altar is complete, set aside a few minutes to bless the space and invite good energy into this new area of your home. You can do this by saying a prayer and/or setting a positive intention for what you want to bring MORE of into your life. For instance, I simply lit my candle and said a prayer of gratitude for what is and what will be.

Step 5: Use your altar on a daily basis

It’s important to actually USE your personal altar, not just make it look pretty and admire it as a decoration in your house. The best way to use your altar is to develop a daily ritual where you sit in front of it (or at least near it) each day to pray, meditate and/or set your intention for the day. As my own ritual, I like to light my candle in the mornings soon after I wake up or right before I go to bed, turn on soothing sounds on low volume (ocean waves or Tibetan bells are very calming for me) and sit still in meditation and prayer for at least 5-15 minutes. While I was already seeing positive results with meditation, my personal altar has added even more meaning to my mindfulness practice!

By creating, blessing and using your altar, you send a powerful message to the universe that you are ready to receive all that is being prepared for you.

Leave a comment: Do you have an altar in your home? If so, which items did you choose for it and why?

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Comments & Feedback:

  1. Airrea

    I love this idea! I’m looking forward to using it very soon!! I know it will be essential in my prayer time!!

  2. The first time I ever saw an altar in use was when my boyfriend’s friend came to visit our home. She actually had a small “portable” alter that she used in her home, but also traveled with. I was completely fascinated by it. But, I never gave it much thought outside of her visit to our house.

    But, it definitely brought a feeling of tranquility, peace, and inspiration.

    I keep telling myself that I want to incorporate more meditation into my day, but I still have yet to make it a habit. I like the idea of creating a special place in my house to usher in growth and inspiration!

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