How to Make a Candle Altar and Honor the Light Within

January 15, 2011 by  

I enjoy making candle altars as a way to honor the Light from within. These are especially meaningful projects in the winter months when the days are short, the nights are long, and the sunlight is minimal.

For me, there is no right or wrong way to make a candle altar that honors the Light. It is really just about creating a candlescape that is both aesthetic and meaningful to you — something that pleases you visually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Even when I take just a few moments to meditate on their beautiful Light I feel empowered and strong.

The candle altar above is one I made for New Year’s Eve. I used a simple silver tray with silver accessories. I chose red and green candles for the Christmas season but added a white candle for the “light.” I did a Goddess reading that evening to invite specific feminine energies to be with me for the new year and to help me close out the old year. Interestingly, Kali showed up, the Goddess of Endings and Beginnings. Aine also came who helped me take a leap of faith into the newness of the coming year. 

Focusing on the energies of Endings, Beginnings and Faith along with the shining candle light helped me release the old and welcome the new at a critical time of year.

The little altar above is themed for the courage to forgive. I keep it on my bedside table and use it before I fall asleep. I use it when I am hurting, sad, and need to release, forgive and move on. It is made from a simple mirrored tray I found at a thrift shop along with an antique gold metal jewelry box to hold themed metal “stones.”  The rocks are all “power” rocks — turquoise,  jade, citrine, peacock ore, adventurine, chrysocolla, and more.  On the tough days this altar acts as my prayer companion.

This is a candlescape I created for Solstice two years ago. It is lush with winter greenery to remind me that growth can occur even in the dead of winter or the dead of night. The candles mimic the colors of the sun to remind me of the coming Light as the days grow longer. I used cuttings from evergreens in my yard, a simple cake stand, candles, and a few acorns and pinecones. This candlescape gave me so much strength and empowerment! Even just making it was emboldening!

As I lit it each evening, it gave me hope and strength to get through a long, dark, Chicago winter once more.

This year my Solstice candlescape featured all white candles coupled with winter greenery and red berries. I used long taper candles to remind me of the symbolism of the lengthening days to come and the appearance of more Light. Since short dark days are really hard for me to cope with, I make my Solstice candlescapes very special and symbolic. I use the Solstice candlescapes all through the Holidays and into the New Year until the days become longer.

For this candlescape, I used crystal candlestick holders, a mirrored handled tray so I could move the candlescape around to whatever room I needed it in, and simple cuttings from my yard. Easy!

The candle altar above is a what I call a “power candlescape” — I use it whenever I need to feel a resurgence of personal power, courage and fearlessness. When I use this one, I am just sitting and resting with the Light, holding a few rocks, thinking, meditating, praying, planning, setting intentions, and taking time to just be with me. I love the powerful feeling of the rocks in my hand as I look at the candlelight. This is a soothing candlescape that revives the power within me

Like all the others, it is very simple to make. I used a pretty dessert plate, a small votive in a silver holder, and lots of my favorite rocks such as turquoise, adventurine, azurite,  jade and more.

Do you have some favorite rocks? These make great accessories for a candlescape.

When making your own candlescape, try not to get too caught up in creating something “perfect” or something that matches your home decor. Instead I suggest you choose things from your home or when you are out and about shopping or traveling that make you feel good, that elicit powerful, strong, happy emotions, or that make you feel calm, peaceful, or centered.

Any trinket, rock, knickknack, photo, memento, etc. that elicit powerful energy for you can work. I’ve used little statues of animals, small books, magazine cut-outs, greeting cards, photos, postcards, and a host of other items in many of my candlescapes. You can, too!

This is my candle altar for Love, Friendship, Relationships, Peace, and Light. It is one of my favorites — I light it all the time. It’s made of a simple mirrored tray I found at a thrift shop, a sodalite votive holder, and lots of pink quartz rocks and  small bits of rhodochrosite.  The candle glow reflects beautifully onto the pink quartz and literally creates a loving ambiance.

This candlescape is my reminder that “Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.” It is also sometimes the hardest lesson for us to learn. I like to light this one to give me comfort, hope, and revival in this most important emotion that I feel everyday.

You will see that there is a little dragon in the middle of this one made of rhodochrosite. The dragon, for me, is a symbol of power and creativity — so to me that means that Love is a source of power and creativity as well. Little heart-shaped stones and garnet pebbles round out the scene.

I hope these candle altars and candlescapes inspire you to make some of your own and that you will feel the same sense of empowerment from yours as I do from mine.

I would love to see your candlescapes too so please feel free to post yours for us all to see.

Keep shining your Light!


2 Responses to “How to Make a Candle Altar and Honor the Light Within”
  1. jRuth Kelly says:

    Kendra… I love these altars. What a beautiful inspiration. You’re definitely stirring me to move on this and it’s been brewing in my soul for a while. What a great guide you provide here.

    • says:

      Thanks so much, Ruth! I’m glad you like them and I hope you were able to find some time to create one for Solstice this year….if not, they work very well for New Year’s Eve too — which is really all about saying good-bye to the old year and setting intentions for a New Year. So a candlescape or candle altar works for BOTH — sending you many good wishes and tons of love & light for an empowered 2013!!! Hugs!

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