Alter Setup

An alter serves as the focal point for the ritual, it holds icons which are important to the religion or the purpose of the specific ritual or season, it is a place from the Ajah to work and perform the Sadhana(spiritual practice) of that religion, and is a place to set things down used at some point in the ceremony. With rituals, there are different types and sizes of altars. That’s basically a matter of taste, what’s available, location, etc… They can be made of wood or stone, or any table or table like piece available. The MOST traditional material is natural stone in its natural setting. That’s usually not available, but wood is just as good, but an altar may be made of any material though. Some of us like something which is a height where we can reach it well standing up. Others like things low to the ground so they can reach it sitting. It’s a matter of taste and how you work.

a common alter for the serious practitioner

Choose a location for the altar that provides enough space to satisfy its purpose as a portal to the Divine. If you are building the altar in a public place, you may want to segregate it from the prying eyes of outsiders, noise pollution and any other distracting things. Pick the type of building material needed for the alter. Consider the atmospheric conditions the altar will be exposed to, the weight of items that are likely to be placed on the altar and the number of people likely to use the altar. Construct the altar, decorate the altar, if decoration is appropriate, with paint or an altar cloth. Keep in mind that candles will be used, in fact keeping a candle burning on an alter is a common practice….

a Hindu styled alter

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