How to create portable altars if you are on the go, or have limited space and privacy for creating an altar that is a discrete power portal.
This is an ideal bit of sacred space that you can display on a windowsill, fireplace mantel, dressing table, kitchen nook or other open surface without carrying a lot of extra stuff or causing too much interrogation from others about what you are up to.
I trust that you will be inspired to create your own power portals as a result of this guide I created for you!
What it contains are some crafty strategies and *wicked good* tips that I have shared with our Cosmic Lightweaver Collective who move around a lot or live with non-magical folk (a.k.a. “muggles” or the “uninitiated”) so that you can:
• Express your spirituality in a way that is meaningful for you with more ease.
• Merge your altar seamlessly with the surrounding décor for magick in plain sight while guarding it from naysayers, skeptics and outright contempt.
Why Altars Are Good For You
1) Building an altar gives form to your intention.
Placing items on your altar function similarly to placing pieces on a chess board. You map your mental objective out as a visible model.
Meditating before your altar brings you into your core Power Centre and stills the mind so you become fully present in the moment and therefore more receptive to insight and inspired action.
2) An altar acts as a portal, it draws in energy, consistently beaming your intention into the warp and weft of Infinite Is.
By dedicating a small space to set up an altar you are symbolically indicating your willingness to consciously open a pathway to receiving what you are asking for and also figuratively creating movement in your circumstances by inviting change in.
Physically clearing the altar space before creating one, channels fresh new energy into your space and charges your intent behind it. It also signifies your preparedness to clear away any old beliefs and past programming which may be hindering your progress. In order to see change you must be willing to change on some level.
3) The assembly of an altar is a symbol of your commitment to bring what you seek in to your life. It also sets in motion any issues that require addressing, clearing or healing to facilitate your progress and expansion.
When you indicate to the universe that you are ready and willing to incur change, it sends you what you need (not what you think you need) to clear up any old patterns and conditioned behaviour preventing you from allowing what you want into your experience.
Example: You create an altar for success in a new endeavour. Several hours later you get into an altercation with a person from your past. When you step back and reflect you see how this relates to your fear of success since you always felt you could never measure up to their expectations of you. Instead of backing down, this time you consciously choose to adjust your habitual response and stop responding the way you did before.
4) Maintaining an altar helps you cultivate a relationship with Spirit/Deeper Self and is a gentle reminder to pause, breathe and connect at least once each day.
Whether you are setting the tone for your day to come or reclaiming your energy from the day gone by. Your senses extend beyond body, mind and emotion and you connect with what is behind them.
This is when you communicate from who you really are and not from what you think you are. You don’t need things to be. You are. When you connect with your source self, that innermost magical aspect, who you really are and what you came here to do. You hold that energy of pure creative flow.
Stillness is a sacred dimension, in which you experience Oneness with the forces at play that are beyond your control and just outside of your immediate awareness. As this clicks into place, you shift your perception, receive a flash insight, regain balance and realign with purpose.
5) Morph into a new Now
You are NOT willing anything, just opening and allowing your energy to align with that of your intention. Your willpower only comes into play in regard to using it consistently to draw your focus back to what you want to create in your life so that you consistently turn away from thoughts and behaviour that don’t serve you (i.e. vibrationally match) what it is you are creating.
By connecting fully in the present moment and remaining grounded where you stand you are better able to project potent forward-moving energy from who you are today into a new Now, attune to your core being and open your heart and mind to possibilities beyond the capacity of human conception that exist within Unified Mind.
Often we seek material things to bring meaning and purpose to our lives instead of getting clear on:
• Who do I want to be?
• How do I want to feel?
• What kind of impact would I like to make on others?
• What does that look like for me?
These motives hold the energy of depth and substance, something beyond the physical that feeds the life force of your intentions.
The Compact Altar
When you are residing in a small space, need to keep your magickal practice clandestine or want something small to travel with you easily the compact altar is your friend.
This altar is miniature for convenience. Take it in and out your cupboard or sock drawer or take it with you on a business trip or vacation. It is lightweight and easy to set up and take down within a few minutes either indoors or outdoors.
Pictured below are the following representations
Air: a feather
Fire: tealight candle
Water: a shell which is shaped to hold a little water
Earth: a pebble
The wooden box used here for storage is small in size at only 9 cm x 5 cm x 2.5 cm
(Inches: 3.5 in x 2 in x 1 in)
No open flame allowed? Try this alternative…
The Nature Walk Altar
Pictured above are the following representations:
Air: a fragrant herb (dried lavender blossoms)
Fire: a piece of obsidian (volcanic glass)
Earth: a piece of wood
Water: a tiny container filled with water (repurposed perfume bottle)
Store in a soft velvet pouch.
Dedicate your altar each time you set it up by placing your hands palms facing downwards over it or positioning yourself in front of it and beaming light from your brow chakra over it.
Incant something along the lines of, “Powers of Air, Powers of Fire, Powers of Water, Powers of Earth, here I invite you to enter this space, to receive your wisdom and appreciate your blessings.”
The Secret Altar
This is an ideal little bit of sacred space that you can display on a windowsill, fireplace mantle, dressing table, kitchen nook or other open surface without causing too much interrogation from others about what you are up to.
Pictured above are the following representations:
• Five flat stones from the beach (or river etc) for Earth
• A teensy white feather for Air
• A tiny seashell for Water
• A tealight candle (you could also use an aromatherapy votive candle) for Fire
Incorporate your altar into your daily activities:
• Light the wick with an intention for the day
• Say a prayer or affirmation over it
• Meditate or contemplate a concern in front of it
• Pause at it in the morning or evening to align with the elements
• Commune with your Spirit Helpers before it
• Place a petition paper beneath it
• Put a framed photo of a loved one you want to send healing to beside it
• Make an offering near it, like a strategically placed glass of wine, plate of cookies etc.
Tip: do not burn a floral scented candle when cooking, stick with fruity or spicy scents that complement what you are serving. When in doubt, use plain beeswax.
Remember fire safety. I have this little altar on a marble top table. You can also build your altars on a loose ceramic, glass or stone tile. Keep away from curtains, small children and pets to prevent any mishaps and never leave a lit candle unattended.
The Discreet Non-Magickal Looking Office Altar
• At the office with little to no privacy? Need to send healing to a sick friend or boost that performance evaluation?
• Perhaps your child is writing an important test and you want to send some magickal support…
• With a few standard office supplies and a dash of magickal flair you can set up a pulsing altar right on your desk.
Pictured above I have used the following representations:
Air: Yellow sticky note pad
Earth: Stapler (any colour, it’s the metal that counts here)
Fire: Red pen
Water: Blue highlighter
Mug of coffee (substitute tea or a glass of water as per your preference) this conceals your petition paper and also acts as a paperweight.
If you are using the altar to generate a charge of intention for yourself, like a boost of confidence or calm before a presentation, let it sit on the paper for an hour and then drink the beverage.
If you are sending magick out to another, intend that as you drink and your body consumes the beverage, so too will the person receive the magick you are sending them within their energy field.
The Jewellery Box Altar
A jewellery box is a literal treasure trove of possibilities for an inconspicuous altar as a reminder to connect with the elements or for spellwork where you place a petition paper beneath the cloth on your dressing table or chest of drawers.
Strategically setting up an altar like this in front of a wall mirror (or on top of or beside a handheld one) will also serve to amplify your intentions into other dimensions.
Pictured above I have made use of the following representations:
Air: “Isis Wings” necklace, leaf brooch, feather earrings
Fire: Anything gold, chain, bracelet etc.
Water: Pearl and Paua shell bracelets, shell earrings
Earth: Wooden bangle, wood and seed bead necklace
The Outdoor Altar
You may have an outdoor space you want to dedicate for communion with the deeper sacred, expressing gratitude, contemplating life or to represent the turning seasons.
Construct a temporary altar or one that you leave in place permanently depending on how much space and privacy you have at your disposal.
Use These 9 Ideas to Spur Your Creativity
• A plank or large piece of slate stone on bricks or rocks
• The remainder of a tree stump
• A large boulder with a fairly level surface
• Place a tall Tiki torch at each direction and work in the centre of them on a carpet
• Paint a symbol for each element on a rock to mark the four corners, using gravel or wood chips in the centre for a “floor”
• Use a stone that is naturally concave to hold water for scrying by moonlight
• Plant four shrubs either in the ground or in pots and place them at each direction to surround you
• Build a circle of different sized stones around a soft grassy patch, painting seven of them in the colours of the rainbow
• Position four large statues like lions or angels to hold the space for you
10 Best Tips for Highly Effective Altars
1) You can set up a special altar for something specific and tend to it when the moon is waxing i.e. from new to full moon such as;
• Bringing love into your life (pink altar in the West associated with Water)
• A study/exam success altar (yellow altar in the East associated with Air)
2) You can set up a special altar for something specific and tend to it when the moon is waning i.e. after full moon until dark moon (before new moon) such as;
• Banishing altar (black in the South/North – depending on which side of the equator you’re on – associated with Earth)
• An obstacle removing altar (red in the North/South – depending on which side of the equator you’re on – associated with Fire)
3) The more connections and associations you create the more empowered your altar will be as the elemental and planetary influences will be stronger.
For example, set up a communication altar on a Wednesday, during waxing moon (to increase communication) or waning moon (to decrease gossip) in the hour of Mercury with turquoise and silver and fennel and mint.
Of course, perfect timing like the example above is not always possible and should not solely dictate when or whether you create your altar ~ weave spells of light at will!
4) Construct an altar at the various energy points throughout the year (solstices, equinoxes, cross-quarter days, full moon etc.) using items that correspond with what they mean to you and your observance of them.
5) Do not burn a floral scented candle when cooking, stick with fruity or spicy scents that complement what you are serving. When in doubt, use plain beeswax!
6) Remember fire safety. I burn candle altars on a marble top table or inside a metal tray. You can also set your altars on a ceramic or stone tile. Keep away from curtains, small children and pets to prevent any mishaps and never leave a lit candle unattended.
7) When creating an altar to focus on manifesting a specific goal in mind be sure to set one clear, simple magickal instruction for its purpose. Such as, “the judge hears only truth in this matter.”
8) Pausing to tend your altar, bring your attention to the desired outcome you have in mind, like getting a new apartment. Step into the feeling state that you anticipate you will feel if that intention were already manifest. If you are unsure, gratitude is always a powerful starting point.
9) Incorporate more of your senses by using visual triggers, stimulating textures, colour, fragrances and sound (perhaps humming, chanting, or playing a particular piece of music).
Name your altar if it has a specific purpose with keywords that bring a smile to your lips such as “my Love”, “cash flow”, “my new car”, “ocean retreat” then relish how good those thoughts feel.
10) Dedicate and fuel your altar with life force.
Below is a suggested decree that you can state in your mind (or aloud if you prefer).
“I choose to consciously connect to the Universal tides that will carry forth my wishes, may my requests be granted in miraculous and perfect ways.”
Depending on how you prefer to work with energy, you could follow this up with any of the following:
• Pause to imagine and savour the energy sparkles buzzing in your cells and permeating your DNA.
• Build an orb of diamond light from the chakras in the centres of the palms of your hands.
• Project a combined beam of light from your brow and heart chakras that sends life force into your altar.
• Sense the pulse of your altar extending outward into the ether, expanding to the furthest recesses of the galaxy. Play with energy from a mindset that it is easy and natural, just like the stories depict the waving of a wand, keep it light and fun!