Revamping your Altar
For many of us our altars are places where we do rituals, work on spells, meditate, pray, honour the gods and create a sacred space. Our altars are unique to us and our path. They are a reflection of our spiritual selves and our interpretation of Deity. As we grow, our altars should grow right along with us. Sometimes we don’t change our altars as we change. We get attached to how our altars look and feel. While there is nothing wrong with this, I find updating my altar creates a pathway to my next phase of life and opens my mind to new possibilities. It took me a very long time to find the courage to change my altar. I like familiarity and comfort of some things just staying the same. But we all must keep moving forward while honouring the past.
With spring coming it is an appropriate time to physically and psychically cleanse our altars. You can start by removing all the items from your altar. Wash what you can in hot soapy water. I like to use Castile Soap for this. Then you can wash your altar cloth/s and iron them. I like to wash them by hand with a little laundry detergent and a few drops of essential oils added to the soapy water. Now you can scrub down the altar itself and smudge it with sage or appropriate incense.
Next you can look at all of the items you keep on your altar. Do you have candles that represent deity or elements? Are your candles in good shape? Are they almost burned down? Are they scratched or yellowing or fading? If we are using candles to represent deity it makes sense that these candles should be in good condition. If they aren’t now is a good time to find new candles to replace the old ones. Are you asking what to do with the old candles that you have had an attachment to? Answer: cleanse, charge and prepare the new candles in your usual way. Place them on a table or space where you can safely burn the old ones, be sure it is ritually cleansed. Place the old candles in front of the new, prepared ones and light them. You can say a few words to declare the energy transfer from the old candles to the new ones. Be sure to be specific in your wording. Let them burn down completely. You can work on the rest of your altar in the meantime.
Now look at the other items you include on your altar. Statuary, stones, altar plates, herbs, cups and cauldrons etc. What items do you feel you absolutely could not part with. Cleanse and charge these objects and place them on the altar. You’re don’t need to know where they will go yet. The rest of the items that you did not feel as strongly about are probably items that you need to update to reflect the path you are on. You can store these items for future use or place them somewhere else in the home where the energies would work well.
Now is the time to start looking for new items. Sometimes you will have an empty space on your altar for quite awhile while you wait for the new items to come into your life. Chances are though, you have things that you acquired because they “called out to you”. You may not have known what you would do with the item but now you have an opportunity to add it to your altar. Cleanse and charge each item as you normally would.
Placement is different for everyone. Some set up their altars based on the directions of the elements, others are looking for balance with their items. Set up your altar whichever way makes the most sense for you and your path.
You may end up shuffling things around the first few weeks to get things just right. Also, now that you have opened yourself up to new things, new tools, crystals and other items may come into your life. Keep an open mind and things will fall into place.
The most important things, in my opinion, is to design your altar and choose items that are easy to keep clean. Dust breeds negative and stagnant energy and we do not want this on our altars. Weekly dusting is so important, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Working with our altars regularly keeps us connected and open. The more time you spend with your altar the more energy it retains making it a very powerful and sacred space.