There is little doubt that feeling comfortable in our homes bring us immense benefits, in terms of our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Creating a small ‘altar’ space can enhance these benefits, by providing a place to go when we need healing, connection, and inspiration.
Creating an altar is a personal journey to discern the values and goals that are foremost in our hearts. It is a space where we can express our spirit and seek harmony. For this reason, a home altar can be as simple or as elaborate as we like. The only important thing is that is resonates with you, personally, and fills your home with beauty and peace.
While there are no rules when it comes to building a home altar, there are some shared activities that can support a regular practice of emotional resilience, mental wellbeing, and soul-care.
The home altar is a promise to yourself that you are committed to the journey of inner discovery and healing. Home altars are also reminders, to yourself and the world, that you have the discipline to retain a regular practice. The regularity of the practice is essential to its emotional and spiritual benefits, because it is by tending to the space that we are also tending to our own needs and aspirations.
Some people use a cupboard or desk and dedicate one corner to a few items, which bring them back to an inward sense of peace and tranquility. Photographs of loved ones, scented candles, and precious objects that remind us of good memories are all ideal items to start a home altar.
Sitting beside our sacred space can make us feel ready to meditate, to journal, to dream, or to contemplate our day. It can be a safe place to go when life feels overwhelming or difficult. It’s the place we turn to when we need some guidance, to ground and centre ourselves, while patiently awaiting inspiration.
It should come as no surprise that our environment has a direct impact on our thoughts, and therefore our emotional lives. So when a home altar is part of our living space, it powerfully reminds us that beauty, security, and calm are all qualities that deserve an important role in the life we are creating.
Whether your practice involves yoga, prayer, or even a mindful cup of coffee in the morning, your altar is a space to embody these practices It makes it easy to sit and reconnect with your intentions for the day. Over time, the impact of these daily visits to the home altar, even if only for a few moments at a time, can make all the difference.
I have been creating and tending my home altars for many years. There is a satisfaction that comes from of having a sacred place in our homes to breathe deeply, to let go of the things that no longer serve our life-journey, and to be inspired by new opportunities. In no time at all, your home altar will become a special space of self-care, compassion, and peace!
Pete Farrugia is a Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist. In his profession he explores the intersection of psychosocial wellbeing, spiritual development, and creative expression.