simple shui | do you have a home altar?

do you have a home altar? when i was new to feng shui and other practices that felt mystic to me, an altar felt a little out of my design wheelhouse. however, once i really understood the purpose of one, it became another template for incorporating chi into our home.

so, let’s start with the basics:

WHAT IS AN ALTAR? altars are portals that grant us access to the otherworldly. think of it as a connection between Earth and the cosmos where you can reflect, meditate, and pray with supportive energy/medicine around you.


one, altars charge us with energy (this is why we often build them between new and full moons), and this energy aligns the wisdom outside of us with the wisdom within us.

two, altars clear and balance out a home’s energy.

three, an altar invites us to still our mind – allowing our intuition to be heard – and strengthens our relationship to Spirit (whatever that source is for you).


WHAT WOULD I USE AN ALTAR FOR? the short answer: whatever feels necessary, needed, or right to you. i’ve used altars for setting intentions; creating magic; forgiving; invigorating my creativity; and manifesting abundance. at their best, altars are created as a way of calling in or releasing energy.



  1. find a table, shelf, or space that is out of the way, and spread out a cloth so the space is contained. think outside the box, too: you can use the corner of a room; a tray that moves from room to room; or even a stool.


  1. give the space a quick smudge – this can be sage, Palo Santo, incense, or anything else you like using for clearing energy. smudge yourself, too. and if smoke isn’t your thing, use a rattle (a bottle of ibuprofen works in a pinch!)


  1. ground yourself – i like to feel my roots going into the earth and pulling up that core earth energy. (side note: this is a fabulous daily ritual on its own!)


  1. depending on your intentions, incorporate objects + talismans + any representation of what is in your heart/gut/mind. your altar will have a center point – something that represents a higher power to you. this can be a spiritual teacher, a picture of nature, or an object that makes you feel SO sunbursty good every time you see it.


  1. start on the left and build to the right. likewise, when you dismantle your altar, you will move from right to left. because you are working with unseen energies, invite them to merge their energy into your process, too!


  1. be specific with your intention. one phrase i use: “i am attracting everything that is for my highest good. new opportunities; new energy; new mindset; and new connections.”


  1. when you’re done, thank the objects + talismans + representations of your intentions.


ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT TO USE ON MY ALTAR? an altar is personal so it needs to resonate with you most of all. however, if you’ve never created one, here are a few ways to get those creative muses moving:

  • a bowl of water is great when we need to release something.
  • incense inspires + sparks new life.
  • salt purifies energy.
  • candles require fire, and fire is about transmutation – which draws spirit to it.
  • coins, anything green, and gourds are often used in abundance altars.
  • quartz crystals amplify and radiate what we create.
  • rose, lavender, and geranium are considered gentle medicine.
  • anything that represents, speaks to, and anchors your intentions and clarity.