The meaningful creation of an altar space physically represents, symbolically honors, whatever energy the person crafting the altar is choosing to engage with. The altar could be for honoring a loved one who is suffering or has passed on, for a personal goal such as ethical and sustainable living, or for a milestone like graduating college; the objects, colors, and designs all come together to ground a particular focus.
There is the old saying “Out of sight, out of mind”, and altars can provide just such a focus for the mind by keeping the symbols in sight. Deciding to create an altar and how to go about it can be a meditation and clarification in itself. I know for myself that the journey leading to the creation of the various Autumn and Samhain altar spaces was fraught with meaning and soul searching I never would have imagined to be likely to occur from such a ‘simple’ exercise.
Below are some pictures of the altars I have done or helped create (apologies for some of the poor quality pictures, I blame my phone and bad lighting 😛 ).