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Altar

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Altar

Your altar is a personal place where you can put things that are sacred to your tradition.

Image © Patti Wigington 2008
Definition:

The altar is often the focus of religious ceremony, and is usually found at the center of a Wiccan rite. It’s essentially a table used for holding all of the ritual tools, and can also be used as a workspace in spell casting.

An altar is easy to make. If you have a small table that’s not being used for other things, great! Will you be doing a lot of rituals outdoors? Use an old stump or a flat stone. If you’re short on space, such as cramped apartment or dormitory quarters, consider an altar space that can be used for other purposes as well – the top of a dresser, a cedar chest, even a footlocker.

Do you live in an environment in which you’d like to keep your altar private? You may wish to just create a “portable altar” that can be put away when not in use. Find a nice box or bag to keep your tools in, and then get them out when you need them. If you have an altar cloth, it can double as a storage bag – just put all your tools in the middle, bundle them up, and tie it shut like a pouch.

You can have permanent altars that stay up year round, or seasonal ones that you change as the Wheel of the Year turns. It’s not uncommon to meet someone who has more than one altar in their home. A popular theme is the ancestor altar, which includes photos, ashes or heirlooms from deceased family members. Some people enjoy having a nature altar, on which they place interesting items they find while out and about – a rock, a pretty seashell, a chunk of wood that looks appealing. If you have children, it’s not a bad idea to let them have their own altars in their rooms, which they can decorate and re-arrange to suit their own needs. Your altar is as personal as your spiritual path, so use it to hold the things you value.

Basic Altar Setup

Did you take a photo of your altar at the last Sabbat? Send us a picture! Here's how: Submit Your Altar Photo.

Pronunciation: all-ter
Also Known As: shrine, table
Common Misspellings: alter
Examples:
The members of the coven circled around the altar in preparation for ritual.

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