Wiccan Basics

Creating an Altar

Your Altar is sacred space.  It is the center of your focus. That space between the worlds that you create, and where you do magical works. It is apart from the mundane, every day life of your household.

In the Ideal world we would all have our personal ritual space where your altar would be set up all the time. But the reality is that we just do not have the space in our homes and apartments to do that. So even if you have to set your altar up on the coffee table and break it back down when you are done it is Sacred to you for your use.

It is not even necessary to have an altar to do magick, it is entirely possible with some practice to do all your rituals entirely through visualization with no tools, no circle, and no altar at all.

If you have children you must consider that the items on your altar are attractive and interesting and may tend to catch the kids attention. Most children are not perfectly behaved and wouldn’t think twice about touching your things. So you will need to combine keeping things out of their reach and teaching them that the things on your altar are special and are not to be played with. Don’t leave items that are dangerous to them on the altar no matter how confident you are that they won’t touch them; athames, matches, oils and herbs should be stored where they are not accessible to your kids or your kids friends who don’t know what they are.

Now it’s time to decide what sort of altar you want. This is in part based on what sort of witch you are. How much stage dressing do you like? If the decorations are useful in helping you get into the right frame of mind for magic then by all means, go for the props… If on the other hand, you wish to keep it simple you really don’t need much more than a flat surface to put some candles on once in a while.

Now whether you use a coffee table, tray table or portable altar (like mine) now you must orient it to the correct cardinal point for your tradition. My altar always faces East. You will need to use a compass if you are not already familiar with the directions where you live. Also, depending upon the tradition, the altar may be at the edge of the circle or in the center. In mine it is usually in the center. Take into consideration that if it is to be in the center, you will need enough space to pass on all sides of the altar. You also need to make it workable if you have a group or Coven that will be coming to work with you. You will need enough space to cast circle for many as well as just you.

Now it is time to consider what will be on it. The usual items include the ritual tools you work with, altar candles, a censer, Your Athame or wand, chalice and libation plate. Many Wiccan traditions also have a pair of candles to represent the Goddess and the God especially for Sabbat rituals. There may be images, symbols or statuary of the deities as well. The Goddess has the left side of the altar, the God the right and their candles and symbols are placed on their side.

Also you may have additional candles for your elements if you have no room  or if doing a candle spell, a colored altar cloth to bring in a color correspondence, crystals, flowers-either for decoration or Sabbat, tools for divination., Some Rituals may require special materials be added to the usual altar arrangement, but for most things the basic layout will work.

Below is an example for you.

This is YOUR Sacred working space, and it should reflect YOU ad no one else. It should be the doorway for your magickal workings, meditations and Rituals. It should make you happy and comfortable. Enjoy it, change it, decorate it. Find when suits you and work from there. You can look online for further information, there are many links from Google that you can follow to look at altar set ups and find the best way for you.

Blessing until next Month