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Build Your Own Altar

First, find a space for an altar/tribute that feels right and accessible to you. It could be a shelf, bedside table, window ledge, nook, or any other space. You can set the base with a cloth, fabric, or scarf or continue without one.  

Next, gather items that bring you a sense of calm, connectedness, and safety. This can be anything including pictures, flowers, plants, books, poems, affirmation cards, drawings, crystals, sand, candles, written prayers/spells/rituals, statues, and journals. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you choose should feel authentic and intentional to you. It can take time to build an altar space. You will likely add or replace items as you become more connected to yourself and your healing journey. Remember to tend to it by cleaning, dusting, loving, and speaking life into it. May your altar reflect your dreams, wonder, healing, and evolve alongside you.

Even when the world is cruel and unrelenting, remember, as Toni Morrison says, “You are your best thing.”

Recommended Reading

The Altar Within by Juliet Diaz
Where Silence Ends: A Memoir by Mexican-American Mother-Daughter duo Angela Ruiz & Mary Ruiz
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Edited by Lexie Bean
Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Ordinary Girls by Jacquira Diaz
Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown
Miss America by Day: Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love by Marilyn Van Derbur (recommended by Maria Ortiz)
Beyond Survival by  Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha
Prisons Make Us Safe and 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration by Victoria Law
Captive Genders by Eric Stanley
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
The Politics of Healing by Staci Haines
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
Playing the Whore by Melissa Gira Grant
We Do This til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Arrested Justice by Beth E Richie
Buttons’ Journey by LaResse Harvey
Color of Violence by The INCITE Women of Color
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
Love With Accountability by Aishah Shahidah Simmons
If They Come For Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar
Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen
Chronicle the Body by M. Mick Powell

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