Tips for Creating a Healing Altar for Grief RecoveryApr 05, 2023
A grief recovery healing altar is a sacred space that holds special objects that bring healing to your body, mind and soul.
So it’s a shrine, right?
Umm, no. A shrine typically holds relics or mementos associated with a person or divinity, something erected in their honor. A healing altar is your space, created in your honor, with the intention of helping you heal.
How do I create a healing altar?
These six tips can serve as the foundation for creating a healing altar for grief recovery:
- Pick a location
- Clear the area
- Select your special objects
- Say a prayer or blessing
- Arrange your special objects
- Give it love
Pick a location.
Use a mix of intuition and common sense to select an area that is:
- Out of the way of the regular hurly-burly chaos of life
- Higher than other items in the room (if possible)
- Safe from curious cats, rambunctious dogs and children who like to put things in their mouths
- Somewhere you’ll see it on a regular basis
Bonus Tip: Get creative! One of my grief recovery coaching clients who needed to keep her altar far from her cats planned out a mobile-like altar that hung from the ceiling. Another cat owner hung a wire veggie basket to use as her altar foundation.
Clear the area.
Clear your chosen area of all physical clutter and dust as well as all energetic debris. Feel free to create a whole space clearing ritual, like the one introduced in my Space Clearing Workshop. Or you can smudge the area with sage; awaken stale energy with singing bowls, chimes or other instruments; and/or bless the space with a mist of rose water or essential oils.
Select your special objects.
Once again, let your intuition be your guide. Objects can include:
- Photos of your loved one
- Photos or statues of your favorite angels, animals or other entities
- Feathers, claws, animal spirit objects or images
- Natural objects, such as driftwood, stones, shells, or other items found in nature
- Fresh flowers you replace regularly
- Any meaningful objects you associate with healing
One larger object generally serves as the centerpiece. Take care selecting this extra-special object that will serve as the hub of it all.
Say a prayer or blessing.
Saying a prayer or blessing before you arrange the objects on your altar helps solidify your intention and invites Spirit and spiritual beings to come help you heal. Pick a prayer, blessing or poem that resonates with your soul or create your own.
Bonus Tip: Bless the four sides of the altar, calling on spirits from the east, west, north and south to bring goodness and healing your way.
Arrange your special objects.
Intuition again comes into play when it comes to arranging your objects on your altar. There’s no right or wrong here, just what feels right to you. Start by putting the centerpiece in place, then arrange all other items from there.
Give it love.
The more love you regularly give your altar, the more love and healing it can give back to you. Dust, cleanse and clear the energy around your altar on a weekly basis. Replace wilted flowers. Add, remove, rearrange items as desired.
Treat it like a growing, living thing that needs care and attention. As your healing progresses, so can the items on your altar. You can also use the altar as a space to "charge" items with healing energy, such as oracle or tarot cards, candles, essential oil mist and jewelry.
Remember: The state of your altar is a reflection of the state of your soul. And no one wants to get all dusty and neglected inside. Enjoy!
Healing altars are just one of the tools in my grief recovery mastermind: How to Get Through Hell on Earth Without Drinking a Keg or Kicking a Garden Gnome. Learn more about the mastermind.
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