Building Altars For Personal Transformation

Building Altars For Personal Transformation

Building an altar with an intention for transformation is powerful. The altar keeps your focus on your intentions.


“What you appreciate … appreciates,” is a common wisdom teaching about how the power of focus and attention and appreciation. We make altars all of the time. Some we create on purpose, some out of routine habit. The photos of your family on your hearth is an altar as such as the extensive altars inside of a place of worship.

“An altar can simply reflect your spiritual truth back to you and/ or it can be a working altar which holds your intention and prayers,” explained Marta Maria Marraccini, quantum spiritual teacher.

There are many paths to transforming patterns you want to change: public declarations to those who will hold us accountable, support groups, or placing goals on our calendar. However, we are then left with the work of making the internal shift: to change the habits, belief systems and stories we tell ourselves.

Building an altar with the intention for transformation is a powerful way to keep your focus on your intentions. An altar for transformation might address losing weight, healing a breakup or divorce, calling in more financial prosperity, a new relationship, a new project, or even the archetypal energy you want to invite into your life.

How to Build an Altar for Transformation

Step 1: Declare your intention

Write down your prayer, question or issue you are addressing on a piece of paper.

Step 2: Choose an altar cloth

Choose a color that evokes the color of the energy you are working with. If you are working on transforming an issue you may want to use a bright color such as red, if you are working on sovereignty you may pick green. There are plenty of ways to choose the color of your altar cloth, either by researching the symbolism of color or by trusting your own intuition.

Step 3: Choose meaningful symbols

Everything you place on your altar should have significance. Take the time to listen to what is most desired. Take note of what objects you notice repeatedly. You may want to trust in that it holds something for you to learn from and place it on your altar.

Perhaps you are calling for more clarity on a certain topic, so you may want to make a simple and clear altar that holds only one flower. If you are working on self love, you may want to work with a mirror on your altar. If you are putting attention on healing a rough relationship, you may want something that symbolizes the issues and parts of you that want to heal. Trust your instincts about what to place on your altar, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense.

Step 4: Bring your altar to life

Bring a living life force to your altar. Place fire through the form of a candle, a flower, or a bowl of water. A living element that needs tending and attention is a great way to help keep your focus and attention on your working altar, and brings a life force other than your own to it. Some traditions place specific objects onto the altar to feed the spirits or ancestors.

Step 5: Work with your altar

Create a practice that works for your schedule where you can sit with your altar for no less than five minutes each day. You may want to meditate in front of your altar every morning, or before you go to sleep at night. The point is to work with it by placing your attention, intention, and prayers into the issue you are working to transform. One of my favorite expressions is that when you go to the same place every day, your guides know where to find you. Listen to what arises when you sit in front of your altar, as things change and shift, redesigning your altar to fit your needs.

Read about building an altar at home for peace and joy.

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