Whether you’re a witch looking for a space for spell work, a mystic looking for a spot to store your crystals and tarot, or you just need an area dedicated to mindfulness, an altar might be the answer you’re looking for! Altars are traditionally referred to as a space where people can honor their deities and offerings. However, building an altar doesn’t need to be elaborate or ceremonial! Altars serve as a place to store all your favorite meaningful items for display, spiritual, meditative, or otherwise. 

Why Build An Altar?

With the addition of a constant in your life, taking a few minutes to yourself can nourish your need for self-care. At-home altars can accommodate a range of beliefs and can be a source of comfort, calmness, and self-reflection. You may already have an altar without knowing it, but now is the time to set up an intentional space in your home for meditation and gratitude. Your altar can be part of your desk, beside your bedside, or wherever you see fit!

How To Build An Altar

Choosing a Space

An altar can be as large as a spare room or as small as a bookshelf or windowsill. Make sure your altar faces whatever direction you prefer; for instance, a Pagan altar should face the north or be put on the north side of the room. Your placement doesn’t have to be that specific; find a space that feels ‘right’ to you. It should have a little privacy, and if you live with other people, make sure the altar is in a position where it won’t be disturbed or get in others’ way. If you feel like having a sedentary altar isn’t in the cards right now, look at travel altars.

Your Altar’s Purpose

Like any fresh start, we recommend cleansing your altar so that you can focus positive energy on your space. Use your preferred herbs or materials for cleansing, like Palo Santo, sage, or incense. Allow the smoke to billow gently around your altar and set the intention of cleansing your space. Keep it positive! When cleansing your altar, think about what you’d like your altar’s purpose to be. Your altar can hold whatever purpose you want; a space to perform spells & rituals, honor your deities and ancestors, or track your growth and development in personal goals.

Items For the Altar

You can place whatever you would like on your set altar space. It is recommended that you place an altar cloth down so that your things have no chance of getting damaged. Unless you follow a specific path with guidelines on what to lay out, there is no requirement or limitation to what you can add to your altar. Some common additions include crystals, tarot or oracle cards, essential oils and incense, spiritual statues, and meditation tools.

Maintaining Altar Upkeep

If offerings like flowers, water, or food are something you want to keep on your altar make sure you regularly switch those items out. Perishable offerings should not be left to wilt. Spell work is sometimes messy work, so make sure you regularly wash your altar cloth. The spiritual cleanliness is just as important as the physical cleanliness of your altar! Your crystals can be cleansed and charged in your ideal way. To learn more about crystals and their care check out Healing Crystals and Stones: Everything You Need to Know. If the vibes are off, remove everything from your altar, cleanse it, and try again!

Shop Spencer’s now for a wide variety of holistic & healing items. Keep up to date with The Inspo Spot to learn more about how to continue on your path to enlightenment. Share photos of your altars and your methods with us at spencersblog@spencergifts.com.