How to create a Self-Care Altar at Home

How to create a Self-Care Altar at Home

| Jesse Waetford

An altar is your sacred space. It is an extension of you and your beliefs. You can choose to decorate your altar as much or as little as you want - it may be a permanent altar or a temporary set-up. You can choose how you would like to create your own altar.

Having an altar in your home is a way to connect with your spirituality and to the sacred on the daily. Here you will find some tips on how to create a self-care altar of your own at home.


What is an Altar?

An altar is your sacred space or place and can be used during ritual or ceremony. Altars have been used throughout history as part of religious ceremonies as well as well as in sacred architecture. 

In a religious context, an altar is a raised structure or place that has been used for sacrifice, worship and prayer. For example, altars were built by the ancient Greeks at the entrances of their homes, as well as in marketplaces, public buildings, and in sacred woodlands.

Altars represent many things to different people, but the most common theme is that they are a way for one to connect to their spirituality. 

Creating an altar in your home can also act as a reminder for practicing daily self-care rituals. It acts as a refection of your highest self and reminds you to honour yourself every day.


Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.

- Joseph Campbell



Where to place your Altar

You can create your altar anywhere you like. My favourite places to create an altar are on a designated shelf, tabletop, bedside table, a bathroom shelf or even an area in your office. If you practice daily yoga or meditation and you already have a designated space if your home for this you may like to consider creating your altar within that space.  Remember this is your sacred space, so keep it clean and clutter free.  

Try to keep your altar away from any electrical outlets or items. You want to make sure each chance you get to sit at your altar you can be fully present and undisturbed.  



What do I put on my Altar?

Usually, the items you choose to place on your altar hold a special or sacred relationship with you. Here is a quick list of items that you can choose to include on your altar.

  • Crystals
  • A special heirloom or piece of jewelry
  • Yantras
  • Candles
  • White sage or palo santo
  • A smudge bowl
  • A sacred lighter or box of matches
  • A feather
  • Flowers or flower petals
  • Shells
  • A journal and pen
  • Essentials Oils
  • Oracle Cards
  • Ritual Mists
  • Pulse Point Oils
  • Lucky charms
  • Incense
  • Some kind of offering, such as sweets, cake, nuts
  • A photo of those that are close to you
  • Pictures of any goddesses, gods, angels or deities that you feel a sacred connection with


Honouring the five elements of nature

Many people like to create an altar to honour the five directions and their corresponding elements. Here is a list of suggestions you may like to consider including on your altar to honour the five elements.


East: Air - a feather, the smoke from dried white sage, palo santo or incense
North: Earth - a bowl of salt, sand or earth from a special place, crystals, or flowers
West: Water - a ritual mist or jar of water that has been charged under a full moon or that contains a clear quartz crystal
South: Fire - a candle
Centre: - Spirit/unseen - a white candle, white feathers, or a selenite crystal 


    Crystals to represent the elements


    Air - Tiger's eye, citrine, topaz, lapis lazuli; blue lace agate

    Earth - Black tourmaline, obsidian, jade, New Zealand pounamu, petrified wood

    - Amethyst, moonstone, rose quartz, emerald

    - Carnelian, red jasper, obsidian, amber, pumice, smoky quartz


      How do I use my altar?

      Now that you have created your self-care altar at home, let it be a reminder to check in on the daily with your highest self and take some time out of your day just for you.

      Even if just for 5 minutes in morning, you spend sitting or standing in front of your altar, closing your eyes and setting an intention for your day. You could choose to use white sage, palo santo, or a ritual mist as you make this intention known.  

      Your altar will become your little sacred space where you keep your rituals, prayers, intentions and favourite things. It will be a space that continues to remind you of your worth and your inner goddess.


      Create an altar on-the-go

      Sometimes it can be difficult to keep an altar somewhere when you are constantly on the go. A small wooden box, bag, cardboard box, or tin can provide you with the perfect solution to having an altar that can move with you.

      It is also a handy thing to have made up, for when might like to take it to the beach or a friends house to perform a ritual and create magic outdoors. Make sure to include items that represent the five elements in your altar box. 

      You can choose to decorate your box or bag to make it extra special - its entirely up to you!


      My experience creating a self-care altar for child-birth 

      I loved creating a sacred altar during my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter in 2019. It was a way for me to connect with her while she was still in my womb.

      It also helped me align with the divine feminine and lean into the innate wisdom that we have as women around child birth. This was one of the most profound spaces that I created during this time of my life and helped give me the courage and strength I needed to birth my beautiful girl into this world. 


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