Building A Home Altar For Healing Support

DebraMorril has a post about using home altars for healing support. Here's the opening:

A home altar can be a source of support to us in our healing process. If we arrive at a crossroad on our path or feel heavy energy around an issue in our life, we might build a temporary home altar to provide extra support and spiritual guidance.

Altars can do many things, but at their simplest purpose, they are a place of focused energy. They can support us in our healing, they can be a place to meditate and gain clarity, they can honor the spirit guides we work with regularly.

Altars can also be used as a source of energy. For instance, if we have an important or difficult meeting scheduled at work, we could build a temporary altar to support us. Just before our meeting, we might take a moment and meditate to connect with our altar. During the meeting, if we felt our energy flagging, we could consciously source from it to help us stay in our center.

The post goes on to outline how to incorporate the four elements, how to choose a space, how to determine what objects should be in the altar, and a few other key points.

While there's lots of great ideas on how to build out your altar, an article at Keen reminds us that there are no rules when building your altars:

The best thing about a home altar is that there are no rules. It can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. It can be one important object on a bookshelf – as long as that object remains in the same place, it is an established presence in your world and substitutes for the real thing it represents. Consistency is the most critical element in your altar. Once you have established its fundamental appearance, adding and subtracting things on it should be done with the utmost seriousness. Your altar is a reflection of your core self-image and aspirations. Hairstyles or boyfriends may come and go, but an altar that maintains its appearance is a valuable touchstone of your deeper self that is fundamentally unchangeable beyond an evolution toward enlightenment.

Many home altars are consciously constructed out of durable building materials, but simply covering a small cabinet with a decorative cloth can serve just as well if you choose a good location for it. Home altar placement is a big consideration. Will you be entertaining guests who would not understand or respect what you have created? Is there something on your altar that is a symbol to you that might be misunderstood? The priority of your altar's appearance is not to communicate your beliefs to the rest of the world; it is to have a structured grouping of your values visible to you on a consistent basis.

eHow has some practical tips on how to construct the altar. Here's the first 2 steps:

Cut a sheet of plywood into three equal-sized panels; these will form the backdrop of your shrine. Paint or stain the plywood so that it matches a small table of your choice. Let dry completely according to the instructions on the paint.

Screw four butterfly hinges onto the plywood panels to allow them to open outward; you're aiming for a finished shape like a child's science fair backdrop. Two hinges on each side of the center panel will add stability to the piece. Set the finished backdrop on the back of your shrine.

Image from Ellen Weiss on Flickr