How to Create a Birthday Altar

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Celebrate your birthday milestone with a celebratory altar!. Image by Steven Puetzer/Digital Vision/Getty Images

For some people birthdays are just another day, but for others, it's often seen as a special time. After all, it's a milestone -- it marks the anniversary of your arrival on earth! Whether you're having a small group of friends over for cake, or going out to a big party at your favorite club, sometimes it's important to take a few moments just for ourselves to mark our birthdays. You can do this by setting up a birthday altar to celebrate the journey your life has led you on thus far.

It's a good idea to start gathering items for your altar in advance, because you never know how long it will take you to dig out some of your memorabilia. Try to set up your birthday altar a day or two before your actual birthday, so you can walk by and admire it. Before you even begin, you may want to cleanse or purify the area, to mark it as sacred space. Another option is to cast a circle around the altar space, although if you do this, keep in mind that you may be coming and going, so this could end up being more disruptive than you really want.

You can keep opt to make your birthday altar simple, or more complex, depending on what works best for you. Place photos on your altar of the different phases of your life. Include baby photos, first day of school, graduation, marriage, or even pictures of you with your own children. Do you have a copy of your birth certificate? Feel free to add that as well.

Add heirlooms that have special meaning for you. In some families, it might be a cherished bracelet that is passed down from one generation to the next. Maybe there's a special tea cup that you were given as a child, or a glass knickknack you bought with your own money on your first trip to Disney World.

If people have sent you birthday cards, add them to your altar setup as well. After all, this is how our friends and loved ones tell us we matter to them, so why not incorporate that into the magic of a birthday altar?

Finally, no birthday celebration is complete without candles, and your altar is no exception. You can approach candles in a couple of different ways. If you like lots of them, consider adding a tealight for each year you've had a birthday. If that seems a bit overwhelming, try just using one candle for each decade, or just a single candle to symbolize the Self.

After you've gotten your altar set up, take time each day to reflect on all the positive things you've experienced in your life. Do you want to simply meditate and be mindful, or do you want to do a special ritual for your birthday? Consider a new beginnings ritual, or even a simple gratitude ceremony to thank the universe for letting you see another year!

Think of the knowledge you've gained, and even the mistakes you've made in the past twelve months - and we all do make mistakes. Realize that although you may be another year older, you're nowhere near done growing as a person. Meditate for a while on the idea that we truly do grow wiser and better as we grow older, and rejoice in knowing that you're continuing along the journey for another year.

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Wigington, Patti. "How to Create a Birthday Altar." ThoughtCo, May. 10, 2016, thoughtco.com/how-to-create-a-birthday-altar-2562875. Wigington, Patti. (2016, May 10). How to Create a Birthday Altar. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-create-a-birthday-altar-2562875 Wigington, Patti. "How to Create a Birthday Altar." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-create-a-birthday-altar-2562875 (accessed December 14, 2017).