In this post, we’ll take a look at how to setup your first altar as well as what items you should use. We’ll also look at where to get such magickal items as well as how to find your own.
It’s really not that hard to set up a basic alter. Many people get caught up in what items they “need”, but I’d like to propose to think about functionality instead.
Your altar is basically a place where you’ll do your rituals and magick-spell, so depending on what you are doing, your altar will change.
I will try to give you an idea of what a very basic altar should consist of, but, remember that these are just guidelines and in no way does this represent “the right way” to do it.
The four classical elements:
- A bowl of dirt or sand in the north, to represent earth.
- Incense in the east, to represent air.
- A candle (or charcoal) in the south to represent fire.
- And finally, water in the west to represent, well, water.
Every alter needs candles. Maybe you want to use two candles. One for your goddess and one for your god. But that depends a lot on how you practice. If you ask me, I’d get at least two candles in different colors. Remember to have matches or a lighter near your altar as well.
Most wiccans and Pagans use an Athame in their rituals, so chances are you’ll have to use one as well.
The primary purpose of the wand is to direct energy. Where and how it should lay on your altar depends on what you are doing, but keep it on or near your altar.
Most Wiccans have a pentagram tile in the center of their altar. If you don’t have a tile, you can make one of small branches or even use your Pentcale Necklace.
The Book of Shadows
Your book of shadows is a very powerful item. Over time, you will store a lot of energy in it. You will also use your BOS to write down your rituals and spells, so it’s a good idea to have that near your altar, but not necessarily on your alter.
Most want to start out with a smaller alter. Using a dresser or something like that is perfectly fine in the beginning. Remember, the primary function of the altar is to help you do your rituals. It’s not the size of your alter or the amount of Wiccan supplies you have that determines the results of your rituals.
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