Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creating an Altar

Altars are as unique as a person is. They reflect our spirituality, personality and mental state. It can become our sacred space where we leave the mundane behind to create something magical. But it also is an important place of worship for our Gods as well as our Ancestors.

So how to create one? Like I stated before, altars are very individual but here are several common features of modern Pagan ones:

- Figurines or Art- representations your patron deities, ancestors, etc.
- Spell Book or Spiritual Journal- other names depending on your path are: Book of Shadows, Grimoires, etc.
-  Elemental Representations: like Candles (for fire), Feathers (for air), Shells (for water), Soil (for earth).
- Wand- this can be made of anything, mine for instance is made of a long white antler tip with a quartz on the end. The point is that the wand is used to focus and channel your energy.
-Crystals- these are used in spell work by enhancing it; giving your energy a boost or grounding yourself.
-Divination tools-  such as: Tarot cards, scrying bowls, crystal ball, scrying mirror, ogham staves, runes, rods,  pendulums, etc.
-A Small Cauldron- great for spell work of all types where you need to burn things. Also it can be used as a scrying bowl.
-Chalice or Drinking Horn-  used symbolically or ritualistically, used to toast to the Gods etc.
-Incense or smudge stick- Used to cleanse/ purify your sacred space. Incense can also be used as a divination tool or aid.
-Offerings-  this can include anything you deem to be fit to give your deities. I happen to use different herbs as my offerings, but you can use food products, handmade gifts etc.
-Altar Cloth- a great item to liven up your altar, which also can have practical uses.

Now where in the world are you going to find this stuff- especially when your'e on a budget? A lot of the items on your altar you'll find are handmade by yourself- like your spell books/ journals, wands, offerings, and some divination tools. But what about Cauldrons? Chalices? Altar Cloths, etc? Well, a lot of the things I mentioned can be found out Garage sales. I have found sooo much stuff while out and about that work as great ritual items! Also check thrift stores and consignment shops,  a local shop of mine that sells mostly consignment clothing has some home items and I found a great mortar and pestle there! Check GoodWill as well,  I have found dozens upon dozens of cauldrons there. The one I currently use is actually from there! As for an altar cloth, you can use scarves or tapestries!
Next, CHECK YOUR PARENTS KITCHEN. You would not believe the stuff that you'll find there, like old glass goblets that can be used as a ritual item. Also you can find great small offering plates! All of which were tucked away in the back of a cabinet. Just don't forget to ask if you can have them!

But, hey, what if your thinking: "I want an altar, but I'm still in the broom closet!!! What should I do????GAHHH!"
Well here is what you can do, as much as it is a hassle to do, you can get a large old wooden travel trunk to hold all your altar supplies. Then, when you need to do a ritual or just meditate you can set it all up on the top of the trunk like a table. When you are finished, just place the items back inside and slide the trunk under your bed. Another option is that you can set up a small altar in the corner of your closet. This way it is out of sight, but you can still have it permanently set up.

So I hoped I helped some, and if there is something that I missed that you would like me to address, leave me a comment below!

Bright Blessings,

P.S. The picture above is a photo of  my own Altar! :D