How to Create an Altar | Working with Sacred Space

How to Create an Altar | Working with Sacred Space

An altar is a space you can gather all of your favorite items (Crystals, statues, herbs, smudge materials, spiritual/religious items, divination tools, etc). It is the place you can go to find your center and it is the place you can do important self work (yoga, spells, rituals, meditation, etc).

For me, my altar space feels like home base. When things get crazy (as a mom of two littles, running a business by myself- it DOES get crazy!), I can come to my altar space and reconnect with myself, take a few deep breaths, light some incense, and re center before I jump back into life.

Altars can be any size or style that fits you- but that’s the key element required for any altar…YOU. Your altar space can be an entire room or it can be a drawer. Temporary, long term, portable, or not. It can contain dozens of items, or just a few. If you have kids or pets, maybe your altar (like mine) is in a secret location that no one else has access to.

Many people like to use dresser tops or coffee tables as altar spaces since those tend to be where altar-type materials can often accumulate. Take a quick mental note of where your items tend to gather- this could be a clue as to where you might want to place your altar space.

If you keep crystals, incense, herbs, candles, statues, etc all over the place, that’s okay too. But for many of us, it helps to keep things organized by bringing them all together.

So where to begin? If you are ready to create an altar space, it’s pretty simple and inexpensive (or even free!) to get one started.

Gather things that bring you joy, harmony, peace, and centering such as:

Crystals (big, small, tumbled, rough- there’s no rules!). If you have more than just a few Crystals, consider a dish of some sort to keep them in. I like to keep my Crystals in a wooden bowl filled with sand so that they stay right where I put them. Himalayan Salt lamps are also a great crystalline addition to any alter space!

Altar cloth- can be a tapestry, blanket, or any soft fabric that you can place over the surface of your altar space to soften the area or bring the vibe that you enjoy.

Candles- lighting candles is a great way to set intentions. Bring as many or as few as you like. If you are using an altar cloth, you may want to place your candles on a plate or other flat dish so as to avoid any fire hazards.

Herbs and incense to clear the air and promote different energies. I like to keep lavender for calming and sage for smudging. Palo Santo is another great option. Again, be sure to keep any burning materials away from flammable surfaces. Abalone shells are a good resting place for burning herbs and a bowl of rice is a good spot for incense.

Statues, photos, vision boards, boxes, jewelry, and other visual objects to remind us of who we are and what we aim to do in this life.

Generally speaking, an altar space is a personal area that we don’t have to share with other people. If you do decide to invite someone in, be sure to cleanse it with sage or palo santo when they leave.

Crystal Grids are a great thing to do on your altar space too. Creating a grid can be simple or complex, have a purpose or be intuitively created, permanent or temporary.

Simple grid: Place a larger crystal (such as a cluster) in the center, surround it with four evenly spaced clear quartz crystals (pointing out), and place several other crystals alternating the clear quartz. You can use Sacred Geometry (the blueprints of creation) or not, it is entirely up to you.

Simple cleansing ritual: To cleanse the space around your altar, light a candle to set the intention, burn some sage or palo santo to cleanse the air, and place some crystals in the area. Consider Black Tourmaline and Amethyst to clear and block negative energy, Selenite for harmony and peace, Himalayan Pink Salt for cleansing, Clear Quartz for clarity, or any other stones you feel drawn to.

Whatever kind of altar space you decide to create, just remember to create it for YOU.

If you are ready to create an altar space but aren’t sure you have what you need, browse my shop or shoot me a message- I’m always happy to help! I can be reached on etsy or via