Shamans create ceremonial altars for specific changes in life, to honor ancestors, the elements of Nature or even tragic events. These Altars can be used to create a collective community space. Often, before we can shift our lives, we must come to closure with old patterns, beliefs, pain, or life situations. A ceremonial altar creates the space for the end of cycles and allows us to call in beauty and wholeness.

Remembrance and Honoring

Like a fire ceremony, an earth painting or despacho, creating a ceremonial altar provides space for remembering and noticing, honoring, and truly releasing old stories and deeply held beliefs; to become available to destiny instead of continuing to repeat history. We look at the areas in our lives where love is called for – relationships, work, family patterns – and create our altars from there.

Rising Fire ceremonial altars

Setting Intention

Shamanic ceremonial altars can be very simple, created using items from nature such as stones, flowers, pine cones, shells, fallen berries, beautiful bare branches or fresh snow. We can add items that are sacred to participants such as photos, poetry or artful creations. They can be made out in nature, or in the home, office or other indoor space. The key element for creating a shamanic altar is to set an intention and keep the altar full of life. It is so beautiful to find many ways to bring honoring and gratitude to our lives in ways that are authentic.  There are no rules or set templates to making an altar – the basic underlying theme is the intention and the prayers you bring to the process. It is this intention, availability and openness to creation that builds the altar inside and outside of us.


Rising Fire uses ceremonial altars in many of our events and classes, and occasionally teach specialized ceremonial altar classes.