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Photo Credit: Claire Mallon Photography

What is a Birth Altar?

A birth altar (or if the word altar doesn’t resonate or feel right for you – I would call it a vignette (in terms of interior design) which is a tiny, curated style statement, made up of a group of objects that are displayed on a shelf, a table, or elsewhere in the home.

It is a space solely for you to revel in pregnancy and birth with positive and warm thoughts and feelings that you can add to as the pregnancy unravels or if you are not yet pregnant a space to draw your dream energy and your hopes and desires.

Why do I need one?

It is not that you need one, of course not I have just found it to be a wonderful tool to direct positive energy not only into your home but your daily attendance of self. The idea that it offers a gentle reminder to stop, to breathe, to look and see and this will then continue into your pregnancy and beyond. Once baby is born it is also lovely to switch up the space and add then some more objects associated with motherhood or perhaps the season you are in. I love to create mine and each season will look different.

What does it do?

The activity of creating something with your own hands is particularly powerful at this point in motherhood. Our hands are connected to the divine feminine and very much connected to the heart space. So we are pouring our love into our creations and this sends a beautiful message out into the universe. Plus, I find it forces you to slow down, to take a moment for you – a little mindfulness woven into your day or week to be present in your pregnancy even if just for a moment. It helps you get in the zone and can be a wonderful way to connect with your birth partner or other members of your family.

The action of sourcing and resourcing all your objects is all part of the process and the fun. Perhaps something calls to you from a charity shop window, or you spot an image in a magazine maybe you found a wonderful quote on Instagram but whatever it is it allows you to bring focus and calm to this wonderful part of growing new life.

How do I create my own?

You only need a little space so don’t freak out and buy a whole new shelf – a little space on your window sill is all you need, or a corner of a mantle piece, a coffee table, or even on your chest of drawers – I like to think you just need it enough for a candle and a crystal.

My altar changes throughout the seasons or whenever I feel the call to mix it p a bit – perhaps I find something on a walk or a want to switch up the candles in my holder or maybe I’m drawn to a colour. I try to tune in and as it is more for my clients than me it is nice to keep it seasonal as opposed to personal.

Photo credit: Claire Mallon Photography

What to source?

My main focus on the altar is to always have something connecting you to the four seasons. It brings the awareness back to the cyclical nature of being a woman but also the connection with have to Mother Earth.

Here is some inspiration:

Earth - I like to source a crystal that calls to me but you can use something from a walk, a pebble, twig or even a clay object or flower (something linking with the ground)

Air – I always have a feather nearby to symbolise air but

Fire – candle,

Water – moon water is lovely to use, a little water in a dish or maybe you are close to a spring/well

Here are some other ideas:

  • Something to represent motherhood – this is such a beautiful way to begin to se yourself as a mother. It may be an image, a small sculpture or just something you associate with this period of womanhood.

  • A token to represent your relationship and family is lovely or even your community to remember you are not alone and there are a lot of other people around you who are here.

  • Find something that links to your ancestry or your mother line. I had a strong connection with my paternal grandmother, and I wore her jewellery to keep her close. But it could be a photo, a handkerchief anything that brings a sense of lineage.

  • It is also lovely to add something inspiring to your altar/vignette that you have perhaps made. Following our retreats I hang the flower crowns we make as an offering but you could paint/draw/sew anything that you feel connects with your hands and that you have warm feelings towards. You could always find a pebble on the beach and add some colour to it so don’t be put off if you are not feeling especially creative.

I hope you enjoy curating your birth altar/vignette and I would so love you to share yours with me! Please tag @glowyoga_studio on Instagram and I will keep a look out for your gorgeous creations.

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