Tending your Altar: Daily Practice Series for 2021
In my pre-NYE cleaning of last week, I found one of my altars had gathered a bit of dust and pet hair. I am ashamed to admit this, but I forgot it was there. It’s an altar I had placed before my life turned upside down, and the donation pile had hidden it. Piles of books were stacked around it like a fortress, and in my coffee-fueled cleaning frenzy, the altar was revealed. My shameful neglect exposed. Okay, now I’m just being melodramatic! But tending your altars is serious business.
Tending to your altar daily is important for both your magic and for your peace of mind.
I have five altars for various purposes at home along with what I consider an assemblage of magical things. I have my main altar where I do most of my magic. My Ancestor altar sits adjacent to my main altar. In the den, I have a prosperity bowl and altar that I made with my son. This was the dusty one. It’s in the den because that is the money corner of my house. I also have a ‘Hey Lover, I’m over here’ altar next to my bed in the love corner of my house.
Outside, I have an altar that I use during moon rituals and when I need to do fire magic. And finally, I have my art/magic assemblage shelf. It’s a huge IKEA shelf that holds my heavier crystals, gemstones, statuary, and items that hold meaning for me. It kind of lets people know right when they walk in that yes, I am in fact a witch. Oh and I can’t forget my apothecary, housed right next to the front door. Most people don’t even notice it.
And I now have a cleaning schedule for each one.
My Altar Tending Schedule
Every day, I clean my main altar and my Ancestor altar. I dust off any pet hair, ash, or dust. I replace the candles. This week I am burning a candle daily for my beloved Uncle that’s in the hospital. So every day I put up a fresh candle on the Ancestor altar so that our family that has passed on can watch over him from the other side of the veil. If I had burned incense or herbs from the night before, I clean up the ash and wash my incense dish. I also straighten up the apothecary since I’m in and out of there daily.
I have set the schedule to tend to all of the altars and the big shelf on Saturday morning. I go through and clean the ridiculous amount of dust and pet hair that exists in my house. I wipe down all of the items and cleanse things that need cleansing. I add spare change to my prosperity bowls. I go outside and clean off any bird droppings and leaves that may be on the altar in the backyard. And I’ll clean up the patio around the altar where my dogs like to sit in the sun.
The Why of Tending
Altars are sacred spaces within your home. They are the nexus where the corporeal meets the spiritual, and as such they need to be kept clean and in balance. They need your daily (or weekly) respect and dedication so that your connection to your Source remains clear. After clearing a quarter inch of dust off my den altar and cleansing and replacing everything that was in the prosperity bowl, I was reminded that it is my sacred duty to keep it clean.
So now I create sacred moments by cleaning my altars daily. Tending my altars puts me in the right frame of mind to make my day extraordinary. It’s a quiet meditative time, because no one is awake yet. I can clean, meditate, and pick my card for the day before the activities of the morning. I can use the information from my daily divination, to pivot my plans if I have to do so. I especially enjoy tending to my Ancestor altar every day, because I feel like I am in constant contact with the friends and family that have passed. To be able to greet my grandmothers, or say hello to girlfriends I lost to cancer, fills my heart with love.
Filling your heart with love first thing every morning can help you girder yourself for the days challenges. It can make every act you do throughout the day a loving gesture instead of a mindless habit.
And yes, it helps me mind my business! If I can start my day with a clean space and a clean heart, it makes every moment after that so much clearer.
How do you tend to your altars?
I challenge you to take 5 minutes a day to straighten up your altar spaces. See if it makes a difference in your day. How has it changed your magic? I would love to hear about how tending your altars changes your day.
Let me know in the comments or in our private group on Facebook.