Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Altars are a concrete expression of our spiritual devotion. They mirror the quality of our lives and spiritual work. These sacred places hold energy and fuel our magick. When clean and maintained, the simplest altars can be beautiful and powerful.
Sacred space is an area devoted to personal development and adoration of the Gods. The space should promote feelings of peace and safety. A cozy place, easy to access, where sacred tools and items of significance are kept.
Solving common problems with dedicated space:
1. If living quarters are tight, don’t worry about dedicating an entire room. Just devote a small table in a low traffic area. The bathroom is NEVER a good location.
2. If the kids or other family members are always getting into things here is a solution:
Keep ritual items together in a box with a stick of incense inside. When it’s time for a ritual, wipe down a table or dresser, take a ritual bath and open the box. The incense will “ensnare your senses”. After ritual, immediately wrap up your tools and put them back in the box. Wrapping your tools together will keep them charged.
3. If cash is tight, please don’t waste it at a second hand store looking for an altar table or candles. Its actually cheaper to buy two brand new bricks and a board at Home Depot. It’s important to know, wood and other fibrous materials hold energy like we do and it does not just “clear out” with salt or smudge. A brick and board may be simpler, but it will be cleaner energetically.
Many folks ask about altar size. Honestly, the size of the table does not increase or decrease magical work.
4. Cleanliness directly impacts results. If the space is dusty or dirty, its not used regularly. Unused space is not well lit. If the space does not have light, the God forms are not present.
5. Some witches have multiple altars for money, work, relationship etc. I’ve tried this in years past and in my opinion, it scatters energy and limits the desired effect. If energy movement in the home is in question, Feng Shui and/or Vaastu techniques are more effective. An exception is an outdoor altar. It’s common to have a dedicated space to give offerings and feed forest spirits etc.
6. Frequently, pagans will ask me what they should put on the altar. This is a tough question to answer because there are variables. However, some basics hold true in all cases. Include a representation of earth (altar tile), air (athame), fire (wand), water (chalice) and spirit (light). Specific pantheons and personal development will dictate additions or modifications
7. Try to stay away from “stuffing” the altar full of unnecessary items. Everything on the altar should have a purpose. In this way, the energies work together to achieve a desired result. Remember, your space is an extension of you, but should be built for the Gods.