When people first begin practicing, they are often confused about where to start. My suggestion is to start with creating a space in which for you perform your rituals and meditations. This is your altar. What to put on your altar? Here are the top 7 things I think all altars should have.
- Athame- This is a ceremonial blade used to direct psychic and magical energies, or to help cut ties with negative energy. Some believe that when cutting herbs or inscribing candles then you should use a Boline, but really it doesn’t matter. Having your ceremonial blade is important. (Even if it is just a letter opener or nail file). Here is one I am in love with.
2. Incense- Incense help to bring your prayers and rituals to the God and Goddess and help to focus your mind as well. Different incense are often tied to different rituals and emotions and certain smells can help to bring more power to your rituals. (More on incense to come in a future post).
3. Chalice- This can be as simple as a cup or ornate as you chose. The chalice represents the water element of life, fluidity and the feminine divine. Not only that but they can be used for the offerings to the Fae or the God and Goddess. Again, here is a lovely one.
4. Candles- I practice a ton of candle magic and normally the candles on my altar are colored based on the ritual I am doing, or the time of the year it is. You can get them in large packs of assorted colors. Not only that, but magic is about intent. You can use white candles to represent any of the colored candles in any spell, so long as you have the intention. Here is the candle pack that I normally buy so that I have the colors I want for my ritual work.
5. Wand- Now I didn’t have a wand on my altar for years, but I did notice a difference in my rituals and mindset once I added it. The ones are intended to represent the air element and to invoke the God and Goddess or draw sigils in spell work. You can make them yourself out of several things, or you can purchase them as well. (Here is an example of simple wand https://youtu.be/l8QfXO1bwvk).
6. Bell/Crystals/Feathers…etc- lastly many people keep a bell on their altar to ward away evil as well as a assorted crystals or gems for their magical properties, or that make them feel good. Many also keep figures of the God and Goddess on their altar to direct their prayers.
Your altar is all about what makes you feel comfortable and close to your craft and that will change. I can say over time for me, simplicity has been key.