What are altars?
When you think of the word ‘altar’ you might think of a church. But in fact, it can be many things.
Some people create a special place in their home for reflection time and peaceful meditation. That’s an altar.
Altars can be elaborate, with objects, scarves and tablecloths, or simple with only a candle and a crystal.
Altars are intended for you to have a place to ponder, pray and meditate.
But they can also be a way to offer a space for a loved one or client if you are in the healing profession, or a place for prayer and meditation.
Most healing modalities talk about a version of what I am sharing. If you haven’t taken healing courses or heard of altars but feel you want to pray for people or hold a loving space for them, this information will be helpful for you as well.
How to make and use an Altar:
Your altar is a place for prayer and spiritual connection, so you should include items that mean something to you and what you would like to cultivate more of within yourself.
Your altar may include a cushion and a prayer shawl to sit on and wrap yourself in while you meditate.
You may have your favourite angel cards, prayer beads a cross or a statue that represents your intentions or beliefs, and helps keep your focus.
Sacred scripture may be what feels right for you to add to your altar. Consider adding certain aromas and sounds as well for a fuller experience. You can light a scented candle or ring a prayer bell. You may choose to have a flower to represents life, or beauty whether it’s real or drawn. You may even want to listen to a sound healing meditation while at your altar.
If you wanted to send out energy to the earth with a general loving intention, try using a picture of the earth, or writing your intention on a piece of paper. Think about the intention of peace, unconditional love and abundance. If you write down things for your altar on paper, because it’s from a tree, you can also ask the alive tree energy it came from to join you and it can help to root your intentions when writing on it.
When a group comes together with a common focus across the world it can be a powerful thing. We are all connected and supported through it. Having an altar for your group can help focus your positive intentions.
Altars can help to focus:
You can have different altars for yourself that represent areas in your life you would like clarity in. For example you can have an altar space all about abundance, finances and money. Anything you place there will have that focus. Just remember to be open and willing for clarity to show up in ways you might not have expected when you do this.
When you make an altar, you are connecting with your inner wise self, angels and guides, Source, or God.
The answer may come to you in a way you hadn’t expected, for instance your lack of funds may have more to do with the realization that deep down, you feel undeserving of more income or abundance. The altar prayers or focus may have helped you realize this and you can ask for the blocks you experience to be released now that you are aware of them. This may be how you will receive the help for more abundance and money flowing in your life.
When I taught Reiki (focused Love), I shared how to make a crystal Reiki grid for the earth or also to help people or their animals.
Anyone who has taken Reiki Master level probably knows a version of this, they can be slightly different, but the intent is similar.
When you walk by you send a little Reiki to re-activate the grid. I use that to grid my healing room and home as well.
The nice thing about this technique is you don’t have to think about it constantly; it’s just always working in the background, generating your intentions.
Let’s talk a little more about what intentions are and a little about getting permission:
Make sure you are clear with your intentions and you don’t do something for someone without first being asked, or getting their permission.
It’s never about placing an intention of what we want for another person. It’s always holding a loving space for what’s best for them, their spiritual connection and their lives. And again, it’s only done if we have permission to do this. If we don’t, I’ve been taught that it can’t be truly energetically activated anyway as it’s a spiritual law to not interfere with others practice and will. There needs to be inner agreement from them of some sort for it to truly work. It’s also in your own best interest energetically to not send out anything that isn’t of love or general good will as it reverses itself if that’s the case, to the sender.
I have been asked what to do if someone is in a coma or doesn’t understand because they are affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.
You can go inside yourself and connect with them intuitively. Ask if they wish to receive help from you in any way. If you get a “no” then respect that. If you get “yes” then do what feels ok with that yes, checking in every once in a while.
Sometimes the answer can change, it started out as a “yes” for a short while then turned into a “no”. So I knew they had received enough energy for their journey in whatever way it was intended.
Some people ask for God or Creator to be between them and the person, as God knows more of what a person needs than you do. So if you are unsure, that is always a solution.
Many who have practiced different faiths over the generations have done it this way. You can also ask for the highest good for a person and if they want it they will receive it.
When my friend Diane Sidebottom and I run group sound healing meditation gatherings for women (which this year during Covid -19 are virtual gatherings on line through Zoom), we are creating a space for the beautiful love light to be, like a prayer.
We talk a lot about intention because it is very important when it comes to the healing and spiritual world.
How we interact with someone, our intentions to help support or activate their inner healer are crucial.
Our intention is to send out unconditional love to the earth and all her inhabitants. Our intention is also to create a safe gathering circle for everyone who wishes to join us, and is all about a focus with the intent behind it of unconditional love.
Altars are a way to focus intention like this. When we walk by one in our home during the course of our day, we think of the person or group of people it was made for.
It renews the purpose of holding space or opportunity for them to feel supported and loved unconditionally.
Where might you place an Altar?
I have altars in almost every room of the house.
The windowsill in the kitchen is the smallest but it supports the purpose it’s intended for.
If someone asks me to work on them with healing intent, I have things that I work with and I make a little space where it won’t be disturbed by anyone.
And speaking of not being disturbed, a special note here for people with cats or children; I know they can’t resist playing among the altar, so if you don’t want it disturbed, make one on a shelf or cupboard that has a glass door where you still see it every so often or an area they can’t get to.
The candle for it can burn elsewhere if needed in a safe place away from children or cats!
I actually have little altars within my crystal singing bowls; names of people who want help are written on a little piece of paper, a little crystal might be added, a symbol or two, or a little prayer.
I add whatever I am intuitively drawn to do, and I include the vibration of sound plus intent to help them in whatever way they choose as I play the bowls.
You can set your intention with a crystal. They hold and ground the intention frequency. Rocks or any form of mineral work well for this, so they are a good thing to have for altars. A stone from the beach or park you see on a walk would work. They don’t have to be fancy big crystals.
A pocket can be an altar as well.
If you find you keep one pocket for a stone each day, think about what the stone represents for you that day when you slide it into you pocket. It can be infused with happy memories or whatever you need support for that day to help ground you. It’s your portable altar!
When you include the sacred elements in an altar that you create, it can be a powerful support as well.
The rocks or crystals represent the Sacred Earth.
Sacred Fire through the candle you light or incense can represent both Sacred Fire and Sacred Air. It can be assigned the light of the earth or Creator or sun or moon energy if that resonates with you.
You can use a feather to represent Sacred Air for instance and also for help from angels. Have a little dish or glass vile with Sacred Water, and visualize clear flowing water on the earth. Sacred space can be represented through a deliberate space between items or something else that reminds you of sacred space.
Altars are only one example of connecting with your spiritual self and it is not intended to replace religion, your faith or other spiritual practices. Instead they offer a place to practice them while you meditate and focus your intention in a mindful way. They hold the intentions you placed in them while you go about your day.
l’aura Carroll is an Intuitive/Energy Sound Healer, Shamanic practitioner and Hypnotherapist and practices and shares ways to incorporate meditation, sound healing and intention in a focused purposeful way to live a more harmonious life.
For more information about Altars or about the Women’s Gatherings or Crystal Music Sound Healing Meditations we offer, you can contact l’aura at: https://crystalmusicsoundhealingmeditation.ca