“That which is placed upon the altar, is altered.”
– Marianne Williamson
Surrounding this, is the idea of setting your intentions upon an altar in such a way that honors the entity in which you place your faith, whether that is a deity, god, the universe, or yourself. Altars are a common expression of devotion in many religions and spiritualities, an area designated to your spiritual practice. They are often set up as a table or shelf upon which various tools and symbols of intention are laid out, such as candles, crystals, and pictures or statues of honored deities.
Altars are used as a way to meditate, connect, and communicate with the divine as well as to seek wisdom from your higher self. It is a way to invite spiritual energy into your space and fortify your intentions. Creating a crystal altar harnesses the energy of your crystals in such a special way that is not only beautiful to look at, but also serves a magical purpose which, as you fill it with adoration and devotion, helps to manifest your desires. Stick around as we talk about setting up an altar for your crystals.
Get excited! But before you run off and start grabbing random stuff, let’s talk about some important things you need to remember about setting up an altar for your crystals.
- Set up your altar on a new moon – this moon phase is perfect for setting intentions, releasing old habits, and inviting new opportunities into your life. Setting up your altar on a new moon invites change and transformation in the best way possible.
- Your altar should be a sacred space – choose a flat surface that is lifted off the ground like a shelf, desk, or table, but make sure that this area will not be used for anything else, not even to throw your keys on – hold your altar as sacred as it holds your intentions for you.
- Choose an intention for your altar – when you’re setting up your altar and arranging crystals and special items, it’s important to become aware of what you’re trying to achieve. You can always change this intention afterwards by switching out crystals, but it shouldn’t be too chaotic so that your intention can remain clear and assertive.
- Keep your altar clean – it’s easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget certain details, but it’s even more important to clean and cleanse your altar regularly to keep the energy flowing and healthy. A dusty or cluttered altar suggests that you have forgotten your intention and faith. Sticking to a routine of cleaning your altar will not only show respect to the space, but also respect to your home. The best time to clean your altar is on a new moon or full moon to relinquish negativity and to invite new energy into your craft.
- Use your intuition – this is mostly important because of how sacred an altar should be. When choosing crystals and other items for your altar, try opening the third eye and using your intuition to arrange them. There’s never a wrong way to do this, but listen to your inner self – it knows best.
In any situation, your altar should feel good to you, so make it personal. Think about what you’d like to achieve or of the energy you’d like to invite. Here are a few examples of intentions that can be set around and within your altar as well as the crystals best suited to that intention.
For Love and Harmony
This is a great intention as it invites loving and peaceful energies into your sacred space. If you’re choosing one crystal cluster for your altar, rose quartz would be an exceptional choice as it brings emotional balance, love, and comfort – not to mention it’s literally the stone of universal love. If you’d like to combine crystal energies, rose quartz works well with clear quartz for your intents and purposes as it is the master healer, aligning the chakras, clearing mental clutter, and balancing energy.
In respects to the bagua map in Feng Shui, this type of altar would work best in the Southwest or rear right area of the home, the area responsible for relationships and harmony.
For Prosperity and Health
This is an intention desired by many and is quite achievable with the help of an altar. It would be best to combine crystals for these purposes as the intentions are separate, but can be combined. For wealth, pyrite is an exceptional choice as it is literally nicknamed “fool’s gold” and brings focus, determination, and prosperity. For health, citrine is an interesting choice as it transcends both the intention of wealth and the intention of health. You may also choose from black tourmaline, bloodstone, moonstone, and rose quartz.
In reference to the bagua map in Feng Shui, a prosperity altar should be set up in the Southeast or rear left area of the home, which is responsible for wealth and prosperity.
For Intuition and Spiritual Growth
What is the purpose of an altar if not to expand the spiritual state and ascend into higher consciousness? When working with crystals to achieve this, it’s advisable to find those which open the upper chakras such as the third eye and crown, the energy centers responsible for intuition and your connection with the divine, respectively. Amethyst opens the third eye and promotes spiritual growth in every aspect of itself. This crystal on its own can do pretty much anything from instilling inner peace to enhancing your psychic vision, but when paired with selenite or clear quartz will cleanse the energy in your space as well as the energy of your altar and crystal collection. For other amethyst crystal pairings, check out our article on what are the chakra crystals.
You can set up an altar for spiritual growth and intuition in virtually any part of the home, but the best place for it would be Southwest or the front left area which is responsible for knowledge and self-cultivation.
Setting up an altar for crystals is a beautiful way to honor your spirituality and the divine being within, not to mention it’s the perfect “tool” for manifesting. Once you’ve chosen your intention and crystals to match, find some items that suit your purpose – the more sentimental value they have, the better – you may also incorporate pictures or statues of a deity you want to honor and ask for assistance in your purposes. Place a candle in the middle of your arrangement with a mirror behind it to reflect and amplify the power of the flame (be sure your mirror is always clean), light it up, and get to manifesting – and always remember to cleanse!