25 Jan How to create a potent New Year personal altar.
Setting New Year intentions is one thing. Feeling them in your body is even better. Having them symbolically represented in physical reality via your Personal Altar is truely taking it to the next level.
A personal altar is a beautiful and soulful way to stay connected to the workings of your inner world; it helps you to stay focused and connected to your spiritual and emotional unfolding. It’s a sacred constellation of energy that you create with meaningful objects that reflects back to you your own inner guidance, your most exquisite potential and your own unique beauty.
I like to think of a personal altar as a meeting point (in this reality) between you and your soul that draws on both your creativity AND your intuition.
Using a personal altar to – literally – bring your New Year intentions to life can reveal deeper layers of insight and meaning around your year ahead as well as provide a tangible focal point to remind you of what you’re committing to.
But for now, let me share a few tips on how to create a personal altar for your New Year that is both potent and meaningful.
Tips for creating a potent New Year personal altar.
Create sacred space
As with any spiritual practice it is important to spend time making the transition from ordinary reality to a space that is sacred. It sends the signal out to the universe that you’re entering the realm of the sacred and it gives you a chance to prepare your inner world to reveal its guidance. Creating sacred space can be as simple or elaborate as you like depending on what works for you. For example, taking a few deep breaths, meditating for a few minutes, connecting with your body, anointing yourself with essential oils or lighting a candle/sage/incense. On the more detailed end of the scale, you could smudge yourself and your space with sage, call in your guides or say a prayer. Start wherever you are and use the resources available and above all else, do it with reverence towards yourself and your soul.
Tune into your guiding image and word for 2017
A guiding image is a visual metaphor from your soul that symbolically indicates the journey of your year ahead. This is one of the most powerful practices you can do to keep you aligned to your goals throughout the year. If you don’t have a guiding image for 2017, I highly recommend doing the meditation and art process included in Day 2 of 2017 New Year Dreaming. If you have a word for the year, spend some time focusing your attention on it and what it means for you. Tune into how it makes your body feel.
Connect to your New Year intentions
If you’re already crystal clear about your intentions for the year ahead, revisit them now. As you read each intention, close your eyes and visualise them coming into form. Tune into the sensations in your body – this is your energy coming into alignment.
If you haven’t articulated your intentions just yet, spend time to do that now. Personally I like to start with automatic writing, then when I get my initial thoughts down, I go back and pull out the bits with the most resonance (ie. strong response in the body) and re-write them until I feel like they capture the essence of what I want.
Whatever stage you’re at, connecting with your New Year intentions before creating your altar is a must. It’s a bit like drawing an oracle card from a deck. To get the best guidance, you spend time tuning into your question before you pull a card. The same goes with your New Year personal altar – your energy and focus on your intentions will enhance the potency of your altar and the guidance it holds for you as you move into 2017.
Mindfully choose objects that resonate
Now that your energy and soul is in alignment with your intentions for 2017, you can begin to slowly gather objects and items that will become part of your altar. Mindfully select the items that speak to you and stand out as being resonant with your intentions. They key with this part is to not think to hard, treat it like a moving meditation and trust yourself to intuitively select the right items. You might choose some fabric to lay across your altar. Some crystals that you feel drawn to, an object that is significant to you. A deity that holds the qualities you feel called to embody. Take your time to slowly and mindfully bring these items to your altar.
Consult different oracle card decks
Once your items are selected, draw one card from up to 4 different oracle card decks. Using different card sets will provide you with insight from a number of different perspectives, for example, a goddess deck, the traditional tarot, crystal deck, etc. As you draw the cards, you will find that there will be a symbolic thread weaving its way through each of the cards in a way that sheds new light on your intentions and year ahead.
You may like to ask specific questions before drawing each card, like:
– ‘Please reveal to me the qualities I need to cultivate in 2017’
– ‘What Crystal or Goddess will help me to realise my intentions this year’
– ‘What do I need to know about the year ahead’
– ‘Where do I need to place my focus in order to manifest my intentions’
Intuitively compose your New Year altar
Using the cards you have selected along with the objects you have chosen, start to intuitively arrange all of the pieces into place. You might like to choose a central focus for your altar and build from there. It might feel appropriate to arrange your items on different sides of your altar to represent your inner masculine and feminine, you might prefer to split your altar into 4 quarters to represent different aspects of your Self, your life or particular goals for the New Year.
Creating a personal altar is a bit like a moving meditation or creating a piece of soul art, so allow yourself to become absorbed in the process and follow your instincts.
Sit back and admire the beauty of your altar
When you’ve arrived at the final composition of your altar take a moment to sit back and admire what you have created. Take in all of the different elements and their positions, how they relate to one another and how they tell a story.
As you drink in what you have created, there will be a moment where you acknowledge the beauty of your altar and how it is ultimately, a reflection of you.
It is, essentially, a piece of your soul that exists in right in front of you that speaks your highest potential for the year ahead. Allow yourself time to take it all in.
Connect with it daily
This when your personal altar will really start to work its magic. Anytime you spend with it will realign you to your intentions for the New Year.
Here are some of the ways you can work with it on a daily basis
- Sit in front of it, light a candle and tune into your intentions for a few minutes each day.
- Use a soft gaze and deep breaths, allow yourself to feel it’s significance in your body.
- Do your meditation and/or yoga practice in front of it.
- Journal what it represents to you – you could write about each item or card or the overall arrangement.
- Have it somewhere you can glance at it everyday, multiple times a day.
- Add any items or objects to your altar that present themselves to you as being relevant. I find this happens a lot in nature, either a feather or leaf or stone will show itself and I’ll feel drawn to add it to my altar.
Your altar is not static – you can add items to as they appear as being relevant. Which leads me to my next point…
When you focus your intent and build a potent altar to hold the soulful potential of your New Year, you’ll find that life will begin to mirror back to you in the form of synchronicities. This is one of the ways our soul communicates to us that we are on the right track. Pay attention to what arises in your environment and daily life and recognise these events when they occur. What are they pointing to? Which of your New Year intention/s is being highlighted? What is the action it is suggesting? What feeling does it evoke in your body?
Dismantle your altar when it looses resonance
At some point your New Year personal altar will loose resonance. Perhaps it has led you to focus on a specific issue or growing edge on the path to realising your intentions. Perhaps something needs to be healed or tended to before you can move forward. This is completely normal and welcome.
When this happens, I recommend that you completely dismantle your New Year altar and build a new one.
Working with personal altars as a spiritual practice is not a set and forget type of experience. It’s meant to evolve with you as you continue unfolding into deeper layers of yourSelf. Your next personal altar will help you to focus and stay connected to what’s emerging for you next. In my eBook ‘Altars to Self’ (coming soon) I provide you with the guidance, tools and practices to work with personal altars as an ongoing spiritual practice.
If you are keen to create your own personal altar for the New Year, then get yourSelf a copy of my FREE eBook and audio package : 2017 New Year Dreaming. You’ll find much more detail on building a New Year altar in Day 3 of the 5 day series.
And stay tuned for more content and info on personal altars in my eBook Altars to Self – coming soon.
*Cards featured in photo: ‘Reverence’ from Art of Attention Yoga Healing Cards by Elena Brower and Erica Jager, ‘Labradorite’ from Liquid Crystal Oracle, ‘Embrace’ from Connected and Free by Inner Hue, Base ‘Support’ Chakra card from Awaken Kinesiology‘s DIY Kinesiology Kit and ‘Luminous’ from Om Cards by Gutsy Girl Art.