I’ve created assorted sacred spaces in my home throughout my life. But a few years ago I really got carried away when I took an online class from a very experienced shaman who guided me to set up an altar according to the Peruvian tradition. It was both complex and extensive. Over a period of weeks, we were guided to select an item to serve a particular purpose in our evolving altar and it was blessed by the shaman in our online class. He had a whole room devoted to his own altar.
I began with the shelf above my desk and extended it to planter stands alongside me, under the window and on to a space behind me that holds a lot of my sound healing instruments. I have meaningful groupings of crystals and statues and artifacts throughout my apartment.
I’ve been working with crystals for 45 years and I probably have around 150 crystals that I’ve collected, primarily when I lived in New York City years ago. Each one of them was chosen because they called to me.
As a writer, I spend a lot of time on my computer, so I liked all this energy gathered around me. But it was getting a bit crowded.
I gave myself permission to release and change
In a recent podcast of The Shaman’s Cave with Sandra Ingerman and Renee Baribeau I finally “gave myself permission” to release the altar form I had been taught and to rearrange and recreate and change my sacred places any way I chose. Interesting, isn’t it, how hesitant we are to step into our own power.
I removed everything from the shelf above my desk. I know what is important to me in my life – my writing and my spiritual expansion – so that became the focus for the shelf I face for a huge portion of my day. Once I made the new arrangement I sat here nearly blown away by the powerful energy that it emitted. Palpable energy.
Begin with a purpose
Let the space talk to you. Clear it and wait to be told its purpose. I cleared a shelf on a bookcase next to me with the purpose of creating a sacred space. In journeying, I got that it was about my past, present, and future. One piece flew to the center. When I listened to my inner wisdom and nudges, I knew what other pieces needed to go there.
And once again when the selections felt complete, the energy that poured off the shelf could be felt throughout the room.
One of my goals is to develop a deeper connection with nature. In the window beside my desk, I have many sun catchers that shower my room with rainbows in unexpected places. On that row of plant stands, I have items that I use each day, in my spiritual practice. I interact with the bells and chimes and rattles and wind whistle and I play my Indian flute while looking out the window at nature. It is a most centering beginning to my day.
Begin simply. Perhaps just choose one object to focus on as you begin your meditation. Find the right place and begin to create an altar.
Listen to what calls to you
Let this process of creating sacred space unfold. I had unplaced leftovers sitting around for days as I worked on creating new sacred spaces. As I let the process unfold I would unexpectedly get an idea of what to move where. A statue of Quan Yin was moved twice. I kept the arrangements simple so their message to me would be clear.
Create a space with a purpose
My sound healing practice continues to expand. I now have a chair that is surrounded by drums and a Tibetan singing bowl and Tibetan cymbals and rain sticks. And each morning I sit in this chair and play my drums and work with sound healing for me, for my day and for the world.
Add whatever calls to make your space more sacred
I have a guardian rock by the door leading into my apartment. I have a large goddess driftwood piece sitting beside the door into the bedroom. I have bookcases filled not with books, but with crystals. I have an essential oil diffuser and Himalayan salt lamps.
Small crystals are in lovely open boxes or shells and I periodically take time to be with each one of them.
The energy will change dramatically!
As I sat before my cleared and cleaned and newly arranged computer shelf, I was nearly knocked off my chair by the energy flowing from it. It was glad to be uncluttered and it was very, very glad to be given the space to pour loving, supportive energy into my life.
The centerpiece is focused on empowering my writing. I face it as I write and it offers me inspiration every time I look up. I now have, at eye level, the symbols of how my life is unfolding at this point in time. It’s a powerful grouping that inspires and motivates me to keep exploring and sharing my vibrational work.
As your daily spiritual practice evolves, rearrange your sacred spaces
When I got my Indian flute, I knew I would play it every day while looking out the window. It now sits conveniently on a plant stand beside my desk. I can easily turn to look out the window and play to greet the day and end the day.
I have a few select crystals in a conch shell on my desk the I work with each day. Let your inner voice guide you to what needs to be placed and where.
Shamans carry their altar with them
One shaman said he carried a stone for each of the directions in a cloth bag and he could set up his altar anyplace. See if you want to create a traveling altar in a pouch.
Create altars for different purposes
Your altar may be a shelf on a bookcase. It could be the top of an end table. Decide the purpose of your altar and select items that will help you focus on that intention. It may be a desire to connect more fully with nature, or a personal self-healing project you are working on, or…
You could have a grouping for healing. You could have a grouping for creativity or one for relationships. You could have one for your pets. Or nature. Look at your life and see what you want to attract and gather around you – items that will help you focus on those intentions each time you notice them or pause to meditate with them.
Ask the objects where they want to be
When you’re ready to choose a stone or item to work with, close your eyes and see what it tells you. I had a crystal use a very loud inner voice to tell me to pick it up – now!!! And it had a very strong opinion about where it was to be placed! Listen to what calls to you.
Look around to see where you spend the most contemplative times. Begin there to create a sacred space.
Add a bit of ceremony
If you are called, create a bit of ceremony in your life around the grouping you create. A power song, a bow where you say “Namaste” (nah-mah-stay) “the light within me honors the light within you.”
The mere focusing on your intentions will open doors and clear your path.
Will you create an altar today?
Deeper Song Affirmation
I choose one object and begin to use it as a focus in my spiritual practice.
Deeper Song Process
- What is the primary focus of your spiritual practice? Serenity? Inner awareness? The enhancement of a talent you’ve been given? Healing the world? Healing yourself? Pick an intention for the sacred space you are about to create.
- Decide where you want to sit to contemplate or meditate or journey on the intention you have chosen.
- Sit in the place you have selected and choose a surface to hold your altar. Then ask who is willing to come work with you. Listen to what calls to you. It could be a rock or a shell, or a leaf, or a pine cone. Bring whatever calls to you into the sacred space you’re creating.
- Repeat until it/you feel complete.
- Work with that sacred space every day.
- Let it evolve as you do.
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