Most religious practices include some sort of altar or sacred space that is dedicated to offerings or ceremonies. You can find altars at shrines, temples, churches, or really any place of worship. A quick internet search and you can see that there are altars associated with Paganism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. At its core, an altar or sacred space serves as a focal point for spiritual intentions, affirmations, prayers, and energy. It also serves as a sacred place to be quiet, re-calibrate your mind, and re-ground your energy. Many of the historical religious texts and images around altars are centered around sacrifice. In today’s world, we are finding our way back to spiritual paths outside of a church.
Sacred Space or an Altar is more about a place for ritual/ceremony and a sacred place to meet God or as I like to say, “Divine Source.” It doesn’t matter your religious affiliations; the common theme of every Altar is that it manifests from a desire to connect with the Divine.
If you can relate to that then you need a Sacred Space to help you facilitate your spiritual journey! (This will be the part where someone says, “You don’t have to have a physical space set to connect with the Divine. You are correct, it’s an inside job. The human experience is a complex experience and is different for everyone.
So, while you don’t “have” to have a Sacred Space or Alter, it can be very helpful in your desire to connect with the Divine.)
Benefits of a Sacred Altar or Sacred Space
A dedicated space that encourages you to dive into a deep spiritual practice
It brings ritual and ceremony into your daily life
Shows you that the Divine is within you not within another entity
Grounds you into the present moment
Opens you to the world of symbology
I used to love going to old churches to find prayer benches or beautiful altars. Once I even found a little hut on the side of the road that was filled with religious pictures and it had just enough room to kneel. Praying to the Divine has been something I have done since grade school. I wasn’t raised to be religious at all, in fact, my mother did her best to flee the church. I was the kid on the playground teaching my friends how to pray and so for as long as I could remember I sought out physical places that would bring about that special connection I felt when I was praying. Eventually, I found that looking for a special church or a place to pray wasn’t feasible for my daily practice. That kept my spirituality outside of me instead of through me. I finally came to the realization that I needed to create my own Sacred Space instead of seeking it elsewhere.
Your Sacred Space can be in an open field, in your parked car, or in a private place in your home. The key is to create a space that’s sacred to you and makes you excited about your spiritual practice. If you are space challenged, you can carry it with you in a bag or you have a small place set aside in your home. It needs to be what works for you.
How do you know if it works for you? If you sit in the space and it brings you joy, peace, and feeling of connection then that is the indicator that it is what works for you! If you are uncomfortable, if it feels tedious or obligatory then it’s time to shake your space up.
Sometimes people even make different Altars for specific purposes. I have one for my rituals, one for outside, one for meditation, and one for work. That may be excessive for some, but for me, it helps me in bringing more intention and sacredness to my daily life.
Other Types of Altars
If you are ready to set up your own sacred space for the first time or if you are looking for some inspiration to make your space more intentional, Intuitive Resources offers Altar Kits with pamphlets that help explain the different elements to start setting up your Sacred Space with intention.
Remember, don’t feel boxed in if something doesn’t resonate or you want to tweak it. The biggest intention for setting up your Sacred Space is to have the space make you feel welcomed, inspired, and connected to the Divine.