I know what my intent is for my altar, so how do I set it up?
Again, this is an organic process. Allow your imagination to run wild. Your altar will come together over time.
But basic to personal shrines is location, a cloth covering and candles. Colors and the items that you will use in this space can be planned initially but can be added over time.
The key is to try not to build your shrine in the "correct" way but to let your creative guidance direct you.
Location: How does one decide?
Location is important. First, the location is important because the direction the altar sits and then also faces is key in determining how it will energetically affect you.
The energies of the directions are as follows:
NORTH- The energy of new beginnings
EAST- The energy of awakening and enlightenment
SOUTH- The energy of emotions
WEST- The energy of releasing, represents the energy of the veil of darkness and the illusion of duality that seemingly exists.
When my altar sits on the western wall of my room, I know that I will be doing lots of work with the Goddess of Transformation. She is the aspect of the Great Mother that seeks to have us release.
When my shrine sits on my southern wall, then I know that I will be doing lots of work in my emotional body.
So just be aware of the energetic affect of the location and direction of your altar.
Second, you want to put your sacred shrine in a room that is most appropriate. So if you have an altar that is largely personal and that you do not want exposed to other people's energies, then it should be placed in a room with low traffic.
But not all sacred shrines need be away from the busiest sections of your home. For instance, it is okay for my ancestral altar to be in my family room. That location makes my ancestors of light feel even more a part of my home and connects them to my children.
However, because my Great Mother shrine is where I do my ritual work and meditation, I place it in a room that is conducive to my spiritual work and is away from high traffic areas in my home.
Tools That You Can Use In Deciding Where To Place Your Altar
There are two tools that I use in order to decide which room to place it in and where to place the altar in the chosen room: my intuition and divination.
The size of your home and space available may greatly dictate your choice for placement. In these cases, allow your intuition to help you figure out the best way to set up your altar. You can use a pendulum to confirm your choices and provide clarity if you need to take other things into consideration regarding where you will set up your shrine.
So my first question is usually: "Should the altar go in this room?" If you live in a studio or are in a situation where you don't have rooms to choose from, then you can skip to the second question.
And my second question is: "Should the altar go along this wall or in this place in the chosen room?"
I ask the questions of my pendulum and allow the guidance that I get from it to guide and direct how I set up my personal shrine.
Trust me if the placement of your altar is not energetically in alignment with your highest and greatest good, you will feel it and will feel moved to set it up elsewhere. This is truly okay so don't be pressured to get it "right."
Your altar is placed! So let the fun begin! More will be posted soon on how to work with your sacred shrine. Until then, spend quiet time there in meditation and prayer at the very least.