Altar Building | Shifting Anticipation and Anxiety

Are you running on empty?
Feeling a rising creative energy that is moving in too many directions?
How can a bit of conscious tending help you to make more space?
Are there some subtle, or not so subtle, areas of your life this season that are leaving you spun out, depleted and overwhelmed?

If there is a heightened energy or expectation that is running on overdrive?

Build an altar.

Altar space can be part of this transitional time as we move into a new season and soothe the coming holiday energy.

Is anticipation or anxiety of this season, already active. You can choose how to meet it and what to do with it. As you move toward beloved, or challenging, traditions of gratitude, celebration and honoring, unwanted stress can surface. Choose ahead to make space for what you need MOST!

Create a sacred space for your self, build an altar!

What do you do with your reactions, old stories surfacing, disappointments and grief?
This year, will you meet or ignore your deepest needs? Building an alter allows you to create space for new experience.

Altar building is about slowing down…





Seasonal change and transitioning can activate anticipation and anxiety.

Holidays can be hard, too.

I remember a Thanksgiving when I was asked to share my gratitude and I was mute. I could barely choke something out just to be polite, when what I really wanted to do was to yell, rage and run out of the home. My brother had died in an avalanche three weeks earlier, he was 36 years old. I did not have the ability to meet my needs, to channel my mute grief in any direction….I was numb. I had no words and I had no art at that time either…my heart was locked down hard. Years later when I began my practice of art making and journeying deep, I connected with this loss and restored (opened) my heart through an alter.

Winter AltarMy New Altar

Creative Challenge:

  • Find a sacred space and clear it, smudge or wand it with some sage or clear it with a small bowl of fresh water and salt.
  • Create on a tray or directly on a table.
  • Gather objects in your space.
  • Go into nature and find some things to bring into your space.
  • Junk drawers and disowned corners can hold wonderful ephemera and objects!
  • Create on a tray or table; build your altar one piece at a time and feel the relationships you are building between

I recently made an altar for this coming season, I gathered objects in my home to bring into a new space…I was surprised with a few of the objects that gathered to the branch. Two wasps nest are perched like birds in the branch and I wondered at their energetic presence.

From several sources I found these reflections which I find relevant to my life:

In some African traditions, the wasp is a symbol of evolution, and having control (choice) over our life circumstances. There is a Native American Indian tribal myth that offers the wasp as the creator of the earth, and a symbol of order, organization as well as productivity. Ancient European lore recognizes the wasp as a pollinator. The wasp is symbolic of fertility and communal, native tribes that follow earth-based traditions honored the wasp for its role in nurturing the plant life.

As you move into this next six weeks create a CONSCIOUS gathering space, a honoring or altar space. A small one, just for your own nesting and nurturing. This is necessary and an active evolutionary decision. Make a choice for yourself that invites ease.

The outcomes of consciously creating your own space for nurturing and contemplative practice can be extraordinarily helpful and continue to be active for years. Whether a one time ‘stepping in’ or a practice that you engage regularly, each moment of connecting will guide you in ways that strengthen your life. Take time to fill your energy back up, redefine your edges and boundaries, connect deeply and create a fresh outlook!



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