An altar is a table or space to offer thanks for all that you have in this life. It usually contains the things you believe in, admire or appreciate. Sometimes altars may be to honour a particular deity, sacred tree or place. You may have seen some street or field altars within the cultures of other countries. This works well in communities or countries that are predominantly the same culture or religion. Many of these ancient or more recent altars where set up so people could may homage to their beliefs in the long working day. In these mini shrines/altars people offered thanks for the harvest, health, new births, marriages and hoped for the wisdom to make good decisions, safe journeys and future happiness.

Offerings placed on altars were simple tokens like food, water, flowers, incense and candles. You can set your outside altar up on a table, wall niche, under a tree, near a water feature or whatever works for you. Sometimes altars contain the elements of earth (stone/gem), fire (candle/incense), air (feather/wind chime) or water (bowl of water/water feature). You may like to put various multi-faith statues, tree of life or ancient mother goddess images, just go with what feels good. If this is a new altar dedicate it by saying a few words: I dedicate this altar to peace, love and fulfilment or I dedicate this altar to the primal earth Goddess Gaia or I dedicate this alter to my god/goddess.

For those that already have an outdoor altar, invigorate it with a good clean and rearrange it if desired. Your altar should radiate its beauty and energy outwards, because so much love and purity has been offered.

You could make an offering each morning or another set time of day to make it easier. Have fun.

Sharon D Bush

Writer   Historian   Artisan   Sage