Creating Your Personal Altar
- Setting Up Your Personal Altar
- An altar helps to set your focus
for rituals, ceremonies and magik workings. This space should
be alive and teaming with energy. In other words, don't use it
just for decoration or to display decorative items. Items that
are used in each ritual and items that provide you focus and
inspiration should be maintained on your altar.
- This is your work space and it should be large enough for
you to conduct your spiritual work upon. So you don't want to
overwhelm your space with unnecessary statues, knickknacks and
- And lastly, the altar should be geared toward your personal
beliefs. This is a spiritual altar and you'll want to honor your
beliefs and the Divine energies that are present in you space.
If your beliefs are aligned with Celtic practices, give your
altar a Celtic feeling. If you work with specific Gods or Goddesses,
a statue of the appropriate pantheon you align with is a good
thing to maintain in your space.
- Sacred Cloth
- An altar cloth is also called for. You can use more than
one cloth in varying colors and patterns, depending on the work
at hand. But consider the use of the cloth before you cover the
altar. If you are going to be mixing herbs, or creating spiritual
objects such as handmade candles, smudge sticks or spiritual
tools, then you want the cloth to be inexpensive and practical.
If however, you are conducting a ritual to celebrate a holiday,
then you might use a more formal cloth, any thing from crushed
velvet to black satin or Victorian lace.
- The cloth should reflect your personality, your beliefs and
one that you feel comfortable with using. A male Witch for instance,
may not want to use Victorian lace when casting spells for compassion,
healing or love. Rather he might use something that strikes an
essence of romance in his heart such as red silk. Whatever you
chose to use, the cloth should be large enough to cover the entire
altar and fit the work at hand.
- What Should Be On Your Altar
- There are items that should be included on your altar:
- A Ceremonial Candle. This is a general purpose candle used
to begin and set the focus of your energy and protection.
- A Ritual Candle(s). These are candles that you may want to
use within your ritual workings.
- A set of bowls to hold any ingredients that might be used
in your workings. Personally, I have a set of 4 ceramic colored
bowls. Each one represents one of the 4 elements. Such as blue
for water, white for air and so on.
- A mixing bowl or cauldron to combine your working ingredients
- A ritual plate or serving plate. I use a flat brass candle
holder as a serving dish for offerings. Sometimes these are cakes
or cookies that I will share with others who are present. Sometimes
it holds a small seedling that I will plant in honor of the GreatSpirits.
A serving plate has a wide range of uses and often comes in handy.
- A ritual cup or goblet. Wither you share wine or grape juice
as part of your workings, a decorative cup adds to the essence
of your altar.
- A place for your Grimoire or Book of
Shadows. Wither you're referring to your book for reference,
or to record your experiences, there should be a place for your
book. Personally I rarely have room on the altar itself for my
Grimoire. But I did find a very sturdy and decorative adjustable
podium to hold my book for rituals and workings.
- What Can Be On Your Altar
- There are many items that you may want to add to your altar
based on the workings you're doing. If it's a ceremony for a
Sabbat or a ritual for magik work, additional items might be
needed to connect or cast your energies. This is just a small
list of a few examples:
- Magikal Tools
- Inspirational Statues. If you feel connected to salamanders,
then a small ceramic salamander can decorate your space.
- If you like incense with your workings, you'll need to add
an incense holder. But you might also add a decorative feather
- Crystals are also helpful
- Types of Altars
- An altar can be a permanent table you use in a special room
designated for spiritual work. It can be a table you put up and
take down after use. You can also find portable altars in various
forms and shapes. From briefcase type carrying cases where you
can store your altar items, so simple tables you set up and collapse
to put away out of sight. There are many sites online that offer
altar tables, but don't rule out some enterprising shopping at
your local stores.
- Preparing Your Space
- Before you begin any ritual or ceremony, you should Clear
and Cleanse the area where the work is to be done. This is
especially true when you're first consecrating your sacred space.
You should re-cleanse this area each time you begin a ritual
or use of this space, but these later efforts will all be affected
by how you first set the intent and use of energy in this space
for the first time.
You might also like to review the Blessing
A New Altar ritual in the Grimoire
section for an idea of how you can set the intent of your new
- Closing Your Space
- Once your work is complete, you must close the energy around
your altar. If you created a circle, around your space, closing
the circle should incorporate the altar as well. This will ensure
the energy used for your workings has properly been shut down.
Leaving an open gate is not only disrespectful to the forces
that assisted you, but also dangerous for you and your home.
Closing your space is as simple as 1-2-3.
- Thank the guides, teachers, God/Goddess that you called or
who came into the circle to offer assistance during your work.
- Imagine the energy around the circle lowering around you,
toning down and fading so to speak.
- Finally, clear the space with a blessing and ask the energies
to close the gate to the spiritual realm.
Source: 1, c3,