Creating Your Personal Altar
- Setting Up Your Personal
- 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 unused
- 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
- A Ceremonial Candle. This is a general
purpose candle used to begin and set the focus of your energy and
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- If you're using objects to represent your
God/Goddess, they have a place too. Masculine energy should be placed
on the right side of the altar and Feminine should go on the left. If
you're using a single object to represent the Divine, place it in the
middle, near the top of your altar.
- A place for your Grimoire or Book of Shadows. Whither 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
- 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 for smudging.
- Crystals are
also helpful energy conductors.
- 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
- 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 altar
- 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
- 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,
c13, s1, s2, s4, s5, s6, s7, s11, s14, m1, m4, m5, m7, m10, m16, m18, m23, m36