But I don't stop with the bedroom. I also have a sacred space inside the room, like one of those Russian dolls. I build altars and shrines obsessively; I've done this since I was a child -not knowing that that was called a shrine, of course. I've always felt the need to sanctify every space I come in contact with.
I feel most inspired in places of reverence and silence and contemplation and beauty. I've always loved sittting inside churches and libraries precisely for that reason.
I have many hidden shrines all over my room -nobody would ever suspect every single item in every space I own has been carefully studied and selected ;) And then I have the altar.
For me, a sacred space must be alive. What I've observed from other people who share their altars online -don't you love peeking at people's lives?! I do!!!- is that their little constructions seem to be an inert space. They don't sit at it to do anything. People just select a bunch of objects with the "right" colors and symbols, arrange it all to look pretty and then never interact with it. I can't do such a thing. Why? Because I'm too pragmatic and hate collecting stuff. Everything I own, I must have an active relationship with it; everything must be alive and have a purpose. When I don't have a relationship with that thing, its presence weighs on my mind; it's clutter.
Another thing I've observed is that people tend to have a bazillion objects on their altars, to the point where the entire surface of the table is covered in stuff. When I see that, I think "But how do you put a book on that surface? How do you work without space to even prop your elbows?"
My altar is quite small, so I am mindful of the objects I place on it. I need enough space for a big book or a notebook, so I can read and write. I need enough space so my arms can move and not hit candles or statues and break stuff. I'd rather have nothing more than one candle and one pinecone, because it is crucial for me that my sacred space allows for physical activity.
What do I want to do in this place?
Meditation only? Reading? Journaling? Then you know you'll need to sit either on a cushion on the floor or use a chair.
Spell casting only? Maybe in this case you'd prefer a regular table instead of a coffee table, so you can work standing up.
Only YOU can answer this question and come up with the tools you need.
Brainstorm objects (including ones you already have) that would give you a sense of safety (hello sanctuary!). Don't forget to pay attention to the colors you choose. Personally, I rotate the color of my altar tablecloth according to the seasons. Why? Because being attuned to nature is the central piece of my spiritual practice.
I've read many articles where they encourage the use of cool colors (blue, lavender, etc.) because, supposedly, they enhance relaxation and peace. Not for me. I find red extremely relaxing during the cold months because it brings me the warmth that nature lacks at that particular time of the year. So remember that just because someone tells you to stick to the traditional symbolic association for something, you don't have to follow that advice if it doesn't feel right. You are your own authority when it comes to symbolism in your life.
Many articles and books also encourage you to keep your space decor symmetrical. Again, that's not me. My personal style is closer to The Burrow than to Malfoy Manor. I tried doing symmetry but it always made me feel as if the space was too majestic, as if I take life too seriously. I need a space which is clean and decluttered, but somewhat crooked. That resonates with me, so that's what I do. If your thing is symmetry, go ahead! Whatever brings you peace and inspiration, do that.
Moreover, the act of cleaning it up a few times a week helps me connect with the place. So cleaning is far from a chore, it's an exercise in connection!
☀Fresh flowers ☀ Candles ☀ Crystals and rocks ☀ Incense ☀ Things collected from nature during hikes (pinecones, seashells, leaves, fallen nests, feathers...) ☀ Journals and pens ☀ Texts and books you're currently reading on philosophy or spirituality (or anything you fucking like! It's YOUR space) ☀ Little notes to self folded and kept in a bowl or box ☀ Affirmation jar or gratitude jar or gratitude journal ☀ Crafts you've made ☀ Images that inspire you ☀ Jewelry that makes you feel Godlike ☀ Potted plants ☀ A terrarium or a fairy garden ☀ Garlands ☀ Intention jars you've made (I only keep one at this point: the one I made for love before I met my beau) ☀ Figurines or statues that inspire you ☀ The bottle of perfume you wear only in the sanctuary ☀ A CD you play often when you're in this corner doing your thing ☀ Love letters you've received, or love letters you've written but will never send...
Your imagination is the limit, my friends.