I never travel anywhere without bringing my mobile alter.
My travel alter consists of a medal from Lourdes my mother gave me , my crystals ; Rose Quartz crystal, Black Tourmaline, Turquoise and whatever I pick up on the way out . I also have a small medicine bag full of special objects.
I always have to bring Nag Champa, my friends and family have became devotees of this sexy incense, and now ask if I am bringing this. Alters always sets the scene in any cold hotel room, I even prefer to unpack my objects rather than my clothes. I also bring a journal or a small note book, when I feel the need to vent my spleen or write deep and meaningful insights. I also seem to have an epiphany when I am away, which is quickly lost during a hard nights raving.
Anyway smug unspiritual /ironic friend asks me tartly 'it is a bit much to carry all this stuff with you all the time, what if you lose all that stuff? Well... my answer is that Alters are a representation of the creator, the universe and my dame fine self LOL. (This was lost on her even the last bit!).
As long as I have access to objects which represent either the elements such as a stone, shell, feather water element etc (the list is endless) or objects which I just like to look at,... I am able to create an alter...and feel at home from my own home...
In the past I have recommended that clients create alters which represent them, rather than how the alter should look like; for example my friend has small objects by the kitchen sink, this is an alter representing her fun /inner child side and the only time she has to come to this place, and feel good during the washing up (unfortunately) but this times till makes her feel very calm being amongst her small objects.
I suppose my love of alters date back to Madame Pompidou (Ma) she always had an alter of saints within the home, (funny not one of them resembled us). Anyway Ma still kneels down to pray to these saints on her alter, at the beginning and the end of the day, Heaven help us if we disturbed her during her prayer time! (talk about good boundaries and fear).
My mother is not alone though ,After reading the book Beautiful Necessity the art and meaning of women's alters - by Kay Turner I saw so many versions of my mothers alter from South American to Senegal. So I suppose I am carrying on my with my mothers tradition.
The only difference is that my alter has images s of people that look like and represent me *smiles*
p.s Some alter sites...