People across the world have used Altars for different things through out history. An Altar is a great place to create a “Sacred Center” – a place to represent your faith, beliefs or traditions. It’s personal to you and should be something that makes you feel good. There are many types of altars, many people even create memory altars in their home for loved ones passed on. You’re altar is your sacred space and can be used however you see fit.
Alters can be indoor or outdoor and can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. All you need is a dedicated table space. You do not have to spend a fortune on altar tools or decorations. You can use items already laying around your house, items from the dollar stores or more expensive items… the choices and possibilities are yours. Get creative and do what feels good for you!
Below is how I generally set up an altar. I tend to put Air in the north and Earth in the East most of the time. I have reasoning for this, but not going into that now.
This is an example of a pretty basic, simple altar that includes key items.The Deities are represented and the elements are represented in their proper quadrants. The Chalice or Cauldron – either one will work to represent Water, so both aren’t necessary. A Cauldron will also work for fire. The Wand or Athame are not necessary because we have a candle to represent fire and incense to represent Air. They are pictured because they are good items for directing energy. Combining tools and elements help to minimize your alter. This is great for beginners and for those with limited space. Also a great way to carry smaller, portable altars.
Basic Altar Items:
Altar Cloth – Can be somethings as simple as a table cloth, placemat, or one you make or buy. Items created by you will always have a stonger energy personal to you. This is what your altar will sit upon.
Pentacle – A pentacle refers to any talisman with magical/spiritual properties. You don’t have to use a pentagram. Place the item in the center of your altar. This represents you, self and center.
Deities – Represent the Deity(s) of your choice. I believe in divine balance so my example shows both male and female. You can also represent just one. They can be represented however you choose but a lot of people tend to use statues and candles. Place to the left (female) and right (male) as shown or in the top center.
Represent The Elements and Quadrants.
Earth – Use salt or soil to represent the Earth Element. Place it to the North or East of your Pentacle. Stones and crystals will work as well
Air – Use incense, wand or a feather to represent the Air Element. Place it to the East or North of your Pentacle.
Fire – Use a candle to represent the Fire Element, or the athame. Place to the South
Water – Put some water in the cauldron to represent the Water Element. Place it to the West of your pentacle. A seashell will work too.
That is your basic altar. You can add more things as you see fit. Herbs, crystals, pictures, charms, plants, or anything else that has meaning to you and fits your needs.
If you will be doing energy work or rituals it is important to cleanse your tools and space. Keep your altar tidy and in a place where it won’t be disturbed a lot. Take time to admire and connect with your alter. Once in awhile re-evaluate what you’ve placed on your altar – see if you feel the need to change anything. Keep it current to what makes you happy and fills your needs. Don’t just set it up and forget it – be sure to interact with it. This is your sacred positive space.
Your altar can be as big or small as you need or are able to have. I doesn’t have to be laid out like I’ve explained. Whatever centers you and makes you feel good is what you should always do.
Below is a video of my personal altar at the beginning of 2020. I do change it occasionally.