What Makes an “Altar” an Altar?

Setting-Up-House-Presentation.010 Altars, in Feng Shui, represent Faith, and belong with life area number 6, known as Helpful People, Spiritual Life and Travel, regardless of where they are located in the bagua map.

Altars are symbolic of the trust you have that there is a power and an intelligence that are larger than you. An intelligence and a power that hold and support you, which are essential to living a fulfilled life.

Regardless of how much care you put into choosing the items to go in your altar, or how sacred they are to you, your altar will never feel right unless you arrange those items in this way.

So what is the arrangement that is essential for altars?


The arrangement that really adds a sense of the sacred to altars is what in Feng Shui is called the Celestial Animals Formation. This is the formation that rules much of the space arrangement in Feng Shui. For sites in the country, you would look for a hill or mountain at the back (the black turtle), hill ranges on the sides (white tiger and green dragon), and a low valley in the front (red phoenix). The building sits in the middle. This is also known as the “armchair formation.”

This same formation applies to the organization of the items in the altar:

  • Place the tallest item in your altar at the back.
  • Place tall items to the sides, but not as tall as the item at the back. If they are not the same height, place the tallest item on the right (when you are facing the altar)
  • Place the most important item in your altar in the center.
  • Place only low items in front of your centerpiece.

To illustrate these points I have placed here an example of a non-traditional altar:

In the example above:

  • The flowers are in the spot of the black turtle (back)
  • The wooden image is in place of the green dragon (right)
  • The metal cup is in place of the white tiger (left)
  • The image of mother nature is the centerpiece.
  • The beads are in place of the red phoenix (front)

Many Blessings!


P.S. Remember, the advice in this newsletter, website, books, videos, social media, etc. is not meant as, or to replace, medical or psychological treatment of any kind, nor to discourage you from getting such treatments.

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