“G‑d then gave the instructions for constructing the Altar used for sacrifices. This Altar was situated in the Courtyard, outside the Tabernacle itself.
You must make the [Outer] Altar. Exodus 27:1
The Outer Altar was used for offering three types of animals: cattle, sheep, and goats. The animal sacrifices we offer up in our personal, inner sanctuaries are the various facets of the “animal” side of our personalities. Our inner “cattle” are our impulses to be confrontational, to oppose the directives of the Divine side of our personalities. Our inner “sheep” are our impulses to conform, to follow the crowd in pursuit of creature comforts because we are too weak to assert our Divine nature. Our inner “goats” are our impulses to be stubborn, brazenly refusing to budge from our preconceived notions.
We “slaughter” our inner animal by renouncing our animalistic orientation toward life. We “sprinkle its blood” and “place its fat” on the Altar by re-orienting our enthusiasm (warm blood) and sense of delight (fat) toward G‑dliness. We “burn up” our inner animal on the Altar by allowing the Divine side of our personality to consume our animal drives.
The fact that the sacrificial Altar was situated outside the Tabernacle, in the Courtyard, teaches us that refining the animal side of our personalities is prerequisite to entering the realm of holiness and Divine consciousness, represented by the Tabernacle itself.1 Reshimot 108.