Altars are not hard to make. They can be small, or large, or any size in between. They can have one object, or fifty. I could literally set up an altar, here in my bedroom, in probably less than five minutes. But, what makes an altar, well, an altar? Here are a few things I've found:
- The energy surrounding an altar must be sacred.
- Therefore, the area must be kept clean
- There should be no clutter around the altar
- There must be a way to ensure that the area is respected
- There must be, if possible, a way to cast circle around your altar, that it may come to use to you (Wiccan, specifically)
- There must be some sort of offering to the Gods made, even if occasionally
Some people prefer altars to be related to one specific thing - be it a spell or a goal they're working on, a specific deity, or a specific time of year. Some things to consider:
- Colors - what colors relate to your purpose?
- Balance - have you given all four elements thoughts and places? What about the Gods? What about your Ancestors?
- Living things - keep in mind, before you place food or plants on your altar, they may attract insects...or your dog.
- Water and wine spill - but wine's a lot harder to clean up.
- Objects - are the objects that you're placing on your altar energized the way you want them to be?
- Surface - what surface is your altar on? A floor? Inside a closet? How might that affect the energy you're working with? Is the surface clean? Pure?
Some ideas for altar locations:
- Top shelf of closet
- On top of a dresser or a file cabinet, where small hands and furry paws can't reach
- A small card table, set up in a corner of your room
Granted, if your entire family is pagan, or you're head of the household, you can do whatever you want. Ideally, when I get my own place, I'd like to devote a room just to ritual.
But right now, I'm stuck with the top of a college dresser in a dorm room used by god knows how many people, for gods know how many things...
My next article will relay the finer workings of outdoor altars. These I've actually built 🙂