My head and heart are swirling as they always do right before a Full Moon. I never fail to wonder what is wrong with me when I feel like this. The energy gets so thick and intense that it throws me off my logic game completely and I have to rediscover – again and again – that this is what the Full Moon feels like in this body. It’s confusing and humbling and surely exactly what I need to show me what my focus is for this lunar cycle.

This time, I am thinking about temples. Not surprising, given this Full Moon is in Virgo, sign of the Vestal Virgin, the temple keepers, those glorious souls who dedicated themselves to serving the Priestess and her temple. I think in the modern world it can be easy to confuse temples and altars. Both act as locations for dedication, magic, intentions, spellwork, prayer. I see the terms used interchangably sometimes and I understand why. Divorced from organized religion, the temple is a somewhat elusive beast. Where is the temple located for the solitary practitioner? If nature is the temple for the witch, what part of nature? Anywhere? Is it a certain spot on the map? How do you know when you get there? We speak of temples so often in Tarot, particularly in relation to the High Priestess. But how to we find our temple? And when we do, how do we dedicate it?

First, let’s talk about the difference between a temple and an altar. Altars are generally purpose-specific. You can have altar set to worship a particular godddess, to draw in a particular energy, or to manifest a particular situation. One person may have multiple altars if they have a lot going on! But I think that a temple is singular. We may borrow a temple from time to time (thank you, gorgeous churches of Europe!) but there is just one that is truly our own. Our temple is our spiritual home. It is the place where we can best hear the loving call of the Divine. We commit to keeping our temple pure, clear of any energetic sludge that prevents us from truly connecting with Spirit.

In the modern world, this is complex. For those of us not attached to an organized religion, we are generally on our own. The cliche of the body as a temple is a lovely idea, but can present a significant barrier to anyone not currently living in complete dedication to a health regimen in alignment with the concept. Plus, isn’t it nice to have an actual place to go to? If we live alone, we have a better chance of making our home our temple, but what about the rest of us with family and roomates to contend with?

Here is what I think it takes to create and dedicate a personal temple.

  1. Find a physical place that is easily accessible to you where you feel calm and safe. This is key! You must feel secure in your temple. Ideally, this place will either be so remote that you don’t have to worry about the intrusion of others or a place that you personally have a good measure of control over – a certain tree in a forest or park near you, a room in your home or even a corner of your bedroom. And of course, if you are on that pure-of-mind-body-and-spirit trip, your body is a great location for your temple! Just remember – it has to be an identifiable place that you return to again and again.
  2. Clear the area of anything that is not serving a spiritual purpose. If in nature, clean up any litter or debris. At home, delineate a physical space and clear it out. Your body? Detox like crazy. Once clear, you can reset it with items that support your spiritual work.
  3. Use that temple! It’s not a temple until it is used for purposes of spiritual activation and evolution. Get in there or out there often. Your temple will charge up the more often you use it, supporting you more and more on your spiritual journey.
  4. Cleanse the temple regularly. A good smudge with sage or palo santo does the trick or any clearing spray made for that purpose. We can release some crazy stuff when we pray/meditate/chant/etc. Do the work to keep the energy of your temple high and clear.

It’s that simple. You can do this. You are a being of light with an innate connection to the Divine. And once you’ve got your temple on lock, you can move into deciding what kind of altar you might want to set up in that temple!

Happy Full Moon, my loves! And happy templewarming 🙂


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Melinda Lee Holm