Whenever possible, Wiccans should have their own altar, which will be the point of connection with the Divine. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or expensive.
The altar is where spells are cast, candles are lit during meditation, prayers and more. Watch this video to learn what is a Wiccan altar.
Watch also: Altar Blessing RitualTranscription of the video
The altar is a personal space where you create a connection to the divine. It is a place that is designated for worship. The altar is a focal point for magickal energies as it is a physical representation of the link to the spiritual world. As a spiritual practice place, an altar contains items that are personally meaningful.
There are many different types of altars and knowing which one is best for you can feel daunting in the beginning. Altars can be as elaborate or as simple as you desire. There is no specific reason, other than personal choice, to have an elaborate or expensive altar. Remember that the altar you create is a part of your own personal sacred space, so it should hold objects of personal connection.
A Wiccan altar can be created almost anywhere! Altars can be made outside or inside, on a kitchen countertop or on the side of a bedroom nightstand, in a closet or throughout an entire room. The best part is that where the altar is created can be changed at any time. Altars are versatile, and many Wiccans change their altar to match the season, the lunar phase, or specific holiday.
The extent of the altar is up to the individual practitioner or coven. Some contain a host of magickal tools while others are minimalist. Let’s explore what is in a basic altar set up.
An altar cloth is often placed upon a surface to physically denote the space. The cloth can be made from any type of fabric and be of any pattern or color. In the middle, a pentacle is placed. Around the pentacle, a candle is placed for each of the four elements according to the color: earth – green, air – yellow, water – blue, and fire – red.
There is also a tangible representation of the element placed next to each elemental candle.
Ideas for earth include rocks, branches, leaves, dried herbs or flowers, a plant, or even a photo of a favorite place on earth.
Ideas for air include incense, feathers, bird, anything that flies, clouds, or the sky.
Ideas for fire include a second candle, a sun, ashes, or an image of fire and heat.
Ideas for water include a small dish for water, a mirror, representations of ocean creatures, seashells, a fountain, or even seaweed.
A white candle can be placed in the center near the pentacle to represent the spirit. Often, images of deities, either just the goddess or both the god and goddess, will be placed on the altar as well. The images of various deities connect the spell work or rituals intention to characteristics found in different god and goddesses but are by no means necessary. In some traditions, a small bowl of salt and a small bowl of water are placed on the altar for consecrating the circle.
Other sacred items can be placed on the altar as well. These may include items related to the specific holiday or season. Personal items from loved ones or photos can be added as well. The altar is a sacred space that can be created using a variety of objects. It is important to cleanse the objects on your altar through a consecration ritual before bringing them into your personal and sacred space. Consecrating your tools ensures that any possible negative energy is removed before you begin to use them.
Ultimately, the place and items chosen for your altar are used to help the transition into sacred space and honor the god and goddess. Just remember that your altar is an extension of your own spiritual path and it does not have to mimic other people’s altars. Put things that inspire you, call to you, and bring you immense joy. As your path deepens and your knowledge of Wicca grows, your altar will reflect those changes. Allow it to grow and change with you. You are unique, so your altar should be as well!
Printable Page for your Book of Shadows
The Wiccan Altar
Print this page with a pagan altar layout and Elemental correspondences that will help you in arranging your items before a ritual or spellwork.