I love altars. I always have. I remember, as a child, being fascinated by the altar of our Lutheran church. It wasn’t anything ornate or over the top, but there was just something special about it. It was a sacred space. And though I have never fully fallen in line with the Christian faith, I always felt safe in the sanctuary of that church. I have been in that church twice now since I came out of the broom closet with my family. Once for my sister’s wedding and then for my father’s funeral. And still, even as an adult, I experience a feeling of peace and calm there. It’s the same feeling I get in most sacred spaces, some cemeteries, every church I’ve ever been in, and the sacred space we create during ritual.
Sacred spaces are special and important.
The majority of religions around the world have sacred spaces and many even have altars. In celebration of the release of book 4 in the Pagan Children Learning Series, What is an Altar, I wanted to compile some images of beautiful altars from around the world. And here is the fruit of my Google-heavy labor (not really, I used Pixabay, because truly, I don’t want to deal with Cease & Desist letters).
I hope you find some inspiration in some of these images. (Click the image and use the arrows to see all of the photos)
The outdoor altar is by far my favorite, especially the first one. When I was a little girl, our church had an outdoor altar too. I had never seen it used, but it fascinated me. It was simple and beautiful, much like the one in this picture. I remember seeing it and thinking, “yes, nature is absolutely the best place to worship God.” Of course, my mother didn’t agree and told me that we needed to go to church. Eventually, the entire church was remodeled and the altar was removed.
Apparently, some people from Pixabay spent some time in Germany because there was a multitude of churches from the area in their database. Lucky for me, there are many gorgeous churches in Germany to feature here.
Altars of Thailand
Thailand is apparently a fond destination of Pixabay contributors, or maybe they live there. Either way, I’m glad they shared their gilded altars with the world. How beautiful!
Altars of Austria
There weren’t very many Pagan altars on Pixabay. But I did find two gorgeous images to share. I’d love to see yours in the comments!