I personally feel no home is complete with out a little altar, a special corner of the house, a place of beauty, of calm, and of spirit. For some this may be filled with religious items from their faith, for others a collection of spiritual items that inspire them to live closer to earth. Whatever it is, a space like this will add so much to your home and your life. I hope to encourage you, dear readers, to create one! Allow me to share with you my own sacred space.
I have always had a little altar in every home of mine. Sometimes it is just a handful of seashells and some rocks, at other times it is an entire fireplace mantel filled with images, statues, candles, and incense. My sacred space is now currently a ROOM! Isn't that amazing? I am very blessed to have my own office and I love it dearly. While I have decorated the entire room to be a sanctuary for me away from my role of wife and mother, I have a special alter space in there as well.
I recently re-designed my altar for the first time in about 5 years. Even after moving into this new house I simply recreated the same alter space and it felt wrong. Stuck. Stagnant. NOT SPIRITUAL. It felt robotic and predictable, there was no flow or spirit to it. So I took everything down, cleaned the shelves, burnt some white buffalo sage and looked inwards for what I felt my heart needed to be remind of: Love, nature, mother, beauty.
I added a picture of me from when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I don't remember very much of my early childhood but I do remember always feeling very connected to spirituality, to the earth, and loving First Nations culture. My family was not religious in any way, yet I started collecting images of the Virgin Mary from a young age and read everything I could on native earth based religions. I think I looked to Mary as a mother figure, because mine was so absent. I saw in her the divine mother, mother earth, and connected her to the books I would read on the healing powers of nature and animals. The lovely Buddha statue was from a trip to Bali, my husband sneakily bought him for me while we were wandering in a public market. The other wooden statue was a gift from a dear friend and reminds me that I love yoga....so why the hell don't I do it more!?! LOL. The rocks are balanced to remind me to be calm, steady, focused, and zen so that I can connect and recharge.
I am a cancer and very much ruled by water, although ironically I am a horrible swimmer but I love the ocean and I love being in water, I have collected sea shells from all of my travels and have added some here to bring water to my space. The vertebrae bone was found in George, Washington while camping with my friends at a Dave Matthews concert (whoa that is like overload hippy isn't it?). We were exploring the canyon and found two of these bones, my best friend and I each took one home with us. For me it is a reminder that life is beautiful even in death, we all go back to the same source. The collage you see was a bit of a milestone moment for me. In college I used to make very ANGRY art, I would do collages on woman's rights and environmental/political issues that made me feel helpless and raged. The day I created this one was a turning point for me, I realized I could still care but still see the beauty in the world. Still love and laugh, that laughter would get me farther then anger.
The little apple you see there is my nod to Eve, the original rebellious wild woman! The crystals and rocks I have collected over the years and the spirit stone was another gift from my dear husband, to remind me that I am strong.
You will also see my abalone shell for smudging with sage, this is a very purifying and holy act. It cleanses the mind, body and soul and is very grounding. There is also my growing collection of herbs, essential oils, and healing supplies.
This small little space has had a huge impact on me. I have placed it so that it is the first thing I see when I walk into my office, a daily reminder of the path I am on and why. When I feel the need for peace I light the bees wax candle and have a silent moment appreciating beauty. For someone who has spent most of her life being angry and fighting demons from her past, simply BEING is very healing.