According to Chinese tradition, we not only have Qi, or life energy, running through our bodies, but also have it all around us. We may drink whole flower tea to enhance the Qi inside of our bodies, but other traditional practices like Feng Shui can help enhance and restore the flow of Qi around us. If you haven’t heard of Feng Shui, it’s a Chinese system of divination that helps create harmony between humans and their surroundings. One way to achieve that is by creating a home altar.
Cultures from around the world have home altars and while they are sometimes tied to some sort of religion, altars can also focus on certain intentions or just to honor things or people you love. In the Feng Shui tradition it is common to have altars in homes and businesses and since Feng Shui isn’t attached to any religion, the benefits of a home altar can be enjoyed by anyone.
What can I use my home altar for?
A home altar can be used for whatever you would like, but most people use their home altar as a place for meditation. This is why setting an intention for your altar is a good idea. Having the altar while you meditate can help you stay focused and in tune with your desires as you meditate.
Your home altar can also be a reminder of the things that you consider sacred in your life. For you that may mean your family, your passions, or hobbies. For others it may be their spirituality and could include things like icons and incense.
How to make a Feng Shui home altar
1. Choosing the right place
Most people know that zodiac signs are based off of the time and place a certain person is born. Well, a similar tactic is used in Feng Shui. Every home technically has a birthday too and has a personalized energy chart known as a Flying Star Chart. This chart helps decide where certain things in your home should go. There are calculators where you can find your Flying Star Chart, but it can be hard to figure it out without a professional Feng Shui designer.
Luckily, you don’t need a Flying Star Chart to choose the location of your altar. The placement of your altar is completely dependent on you, but if you want to follow Feng Shui principles, here are a few rules that can help ensure the proper placement of your home altar:
- A quiet space is definitely ideal, but anything that is tucked away from any commotion is good too. You might consider finding a corner space or even a small closet.
- If possible, have your altar facing a door or a window. This will increase the amount of Qi flowing towards your altar. Just make sure not to place them facing a kitchen or bathroom door.
- If you can’t do anything about the first two, you definitely want to follow this one. A Feng Shui home altar should always be placed against a solid wall. Your altar needs all the strength it can get and if it’s against a window it won’t be able to do so.
- Don’t place it under a beam or a staircase. Beams create an oppressive and heavy sort of energy, which you definitely don't want hanging over your altar. You also don’t want to be walking all over it if it’s under the staircase.
2. Choosing the right foundation
Every home altar needs a strong foundation. Traditionally, feng shui altars are made out of wood, but any solid foundation will do. A shelf, table, mantle, or desk are usually great choices. Some Feng Shui practitioners say that the altar should always be above your shoulders, but if you are using your altar for meditation, then it makes more sense to have it closer to the ground, so hip-height and knee-height altars work too.
3. Choosing your intention
Like we mentioned before, anything that is sacred to you can be placed on your Feng Shui altar. But before you choose what you would like to include, you should choose your intention with the home altar. We suggest meditating or journaling on your desires for 5 minutes before you settle on your intention. If you’re not sure, you might focus the altar around gratitude, love, career, or religious intentions.Feng Shui Altar for Luck
Bamboo is considered very lucky in Feng Shui so adding a little pot of bamboo to your altar can bring good luck.
The laughing Buddha represents good luck, abundance, and happiness, which makes it a great statue to add.
Red is a lucky color so any red objects will help improve your luck.
Feng Shui Altar for Career Advancement
- Place your altar in or near your workspace in order to always have it there as a reminder for what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Healthy plants create strong Qi which can inspire success. Consider including a few plants or a Chinese money plant, which is supposed to bring financial gain.
- Dragon imagery can also be great for anyone looking to level up in their career because it is a symbol for power and success.
Feng Shui Altar for Love
- Pink represents love in Feng Shui so any pink objects will help boost the love factor.
- A little bit of red can also be beneficial since it represents romance and passion. Just don’t overdo it because too much red can mean anger.
- Include pairs whenever possible. By having two crystals or two similar candles instead of one, you’re reinforcing the idea of being in a couple.
- Include candles or incense with more sensual scents like amber and vanilla.
4. Choosing what to put on your altar
Whether you’re creating your altar to honor your loved ones, honor yourself and your dreams, or your religious beliefs, your altar should be a physical representation of that. If it’s just a space to meditate and bring you joy, add things that calm you and bring you joy.
If you’re not exactly sure what you want to include, here is a list of commonly included items:
- Religious icons or statues
- Photos of loved ones
- Handwritten notes
- Pictures or words that inspire you
- Well-loved trinkets
- Essential oil diffuser
Some Feng Shui practitioners suggest incorporating each of the five elements (fire, water, wood, earth, and metal) into your altar. While this isn’t totally necessary, including one or two can help bring things together more easily.
5. Taking care of your Feng Shui home altar
You did it! You created an incredible altar dedicated to something that means a lot to you. But you’re not done yet. It is actually considered good feng shui to update and move your altar items around often. By switching things up you’re always keeping the Qi flowing and renewed. If you offer any food or flowers to whatever you’re honoring with your altar, make sure you replace those often as well.
Also, try to maintain a healthy habit with your altar. The more attention you give to it, the stronger its Qi will become. Maybe you want to make it your morning ritual to sit down in front of your altar while enjoying a cup of herbal tea. Or maybe you just want to include your new home altar into any wellness ritual you have like meditation or journaling.
Finally, you should always keep your altar clean and organized. A disorganized altar will have a disrupted Qi and it won’t honor your intentions. You can also clear any negative thoughts or feelings surrounding your altar with sage.
Overall, having a home altar can be another way to remind yourself of things you love or intentions you have for the future. If any of these rules are throwing you off, just trust your gut. You know what is best for you and your intentions. As long as you are in touch with your true desires, you’ll be fine to design your home altar anyway you like.