Altar Room, Altar and Tools- A Basic Guide
You will need a quiet place to work. Privacy is of utmost importance.
If you choose an Indoor Space ,you can use any space that feels right to you. If you choose to have an Altar, It is not required, it helps to keep you focused, remember it is an extension of you.
Once your space has been chosen it will need to be cleansed, purified and blessed. This can be done in few different ways.
The following is the way I choose to purify mine.
You will need a bucket of spring water with sea salt added, or a bucket of ocean water.
You will ask the Goddess and God be with you,along with your guides, while you bless and purify your space.
To bless the water, you will charge the water in the Sun for an hour. Now pour the water in a glass jar with a lid. When the moon is full, take the jar outside and leave it in the moonlight for at least an hour.
When the water is ready, it will be used to wash the walls, ceiling and floor. Use a new string or rag mop. If carpeted the water can be spritzed or sprinkled lightly. Allow to dry naturally.
Then Burn some White Sage. Say a Prayer of Protection while the sage is burning.
Now Open any windows in the room and let the negative energies leave the space with the smoke.
Your space is now ready for an Altar.
Your Altar is your personal work space. Depending on the size of the space you have,
your Altar can be any size that will fit and that is comfortable for you.
It can be any shape, any material, glass, wood, metal or a combination.
It can be permanent , or portable. You can use an actual table, a dresser top, a special trunk or box. Go with your gut. Be creative. Antique, Vintage, Modern or hande made.
You can use an Altar cloth if you choose. It is not required. This can be a scarf, a runner or an actual table cloth. Any material, solid or print.
Materials or Tools List-
You will need at least 1 mortar and pestle.
2 would be better. 1 for herbs and 1 for resins, roots and berries.
At least 1 Glass or Wood Mixing Bowl. If you plan to make bath salts and
herbal spell mixtures you will want at least 2 glass or wooden bowls.
Several eyedroppers for assorted oils. Several small spoons. A journal or 3 ring binder for your personal Book Of Shadows.
A variety of Herbs, Oils , Resins, Barks, Berries , Flowers / Dried or Fresh.
You can dry them yourself,if you like. These can be grown, picked in the wild or purchased.
Felt or cloth ,embroidery floss , cord , yarn and suede lace of many colors.
You will need candles-
The size and type are up to you. I prefer tea lights most of the time.
I feel they are a bit safer . I use a variety of vintage glass as holders. I also like 7 day, large pillar and mini pillar candles. It really depends on what I am doing, and for how long. You can use an assortment of colors. Green, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Black, White, Yellow ,Orange, Gray, and Brown. White can be substituted for any color needed and not available.
A Bell and an Athame’. Your athame’ can be a letter opener or any knife you choose.
A traditional athame’ is double edged. I started out with a beautiful letter opener.
I now have a double edged dagger.
A Censer or Cauldron to burn in. This must be fire proof, preferably cast iron. A candle snuffer. I prefer brass.
Sea salt or ocean sand, or earth from outside. Ocean water or Spring water with sea salt added to it.This should be charged and blessed.
Containers for water and salt. A variety of candle holders , I love to use Vintage glass.
Glasses, bowls, small plates, compotes, or you can use regular candle holders.
Preferably metal or glass.
Incense burner, crystals, stones , shells, anything you are attracted to.
You will also want a nice assortment of Music on hand. You Tube comes in handy for this.
The Altar and the area where it is kept can have a theme, or special color scheme if you like.
This is your Sacred Space , so be creative, listen to your guides and your higher self.
Starter Herb List~
Dittany Of Crete
Balm Of Gilead
Starter Oils List-
Suggested Reading, if you can still find some of these~
Diary Of A Witch- Sybil Leek
Anything by Scott Cunningham
The Encyclopedia Of Witches and Witchcraft-Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Entering The Summerland-Edain McCoy
Magical Rites From The Crystal Well- Ed Fitch
Moon Magic – D J Conway
Wicca: A Comprehensive Guide To The Old Religion-Vivian Crowley
Drawing Down The Moon- Margot Adler
The Wicca Handbook-Eileen Holland
Wheel Of The Year-Living The Magical Life- Pauline Campanelli
The Spiral Dance- Starhawk
The Grandmother of Time:
A Woman’s book of Celebrations,Spells and Sacred Objects
for every month of the year-Zsuzanna E Budapest.
There are many , many books. If it speaks to you , buy it. Absorb what speaks to you and discard the rest. Never do anything you feel uncomfortable with.
An important tool is a piece of Ritual Jewelry. Worn for protection, to strengthen energies.
I prefer a Pentagram / Pentacle Ring or Necklace. This should be Blessed. To do this place the piece through the smoke of White Sage. You can also use Frankincense, Myrrh or Copal. You can use a combination. While doing this , concentrate on strength , protection and a strong connection to the Goddess and God, and to your guides.
It should be worn or carried. Especially when doing any Psychic or Ritual work.
Ask to be surrounded with White light. Protective , positive energies.
You can put White Light around people, animals,things, spaces , buildings, rooms, and yourself.
NEVER attempt any Magick, Psychic or Spiritual Work without some form of Protection.
This is of most importance.
Working and Ritual Tools can be crafted, as well as purchased. The item should speak to you , if it is meant to be yours.
Yard Sales, Rummage Sales, Flea Markets and Thrift shops ,and Kitchen Stores are great places to find wonderful things.
Hand made items can be purchased in Specialty shops and on line, or you can craft your own.
Hand made items are very powerful , energies are being infused into them into as they are being made.
Guide To Setting Up a Working Altar~
The Altar can be used for all Spiritual ,Ritual and Magickal work.
On my Altar ~ I prefer to use White Altar Candles. These can be any style or size.
I am using Tea lights at this time, in pretty glasses.
I like to anoint mine with Sandalwood or Herkimer Diamond oil.
The 1 on the left represents the Goddess. The 1 on the right represents the God.
I like an Altar Pentacle/ Pentagram of some sort on or above my table. It will draw Protective and Positive energies.
Tools do not have to cost a lot of money. I make a lot of my Items.
You can make Chalices, Tiles, Wands, Smudge Feathers,Talismans , Charms,
Altar Cloth, to name a few items.
I like my cauldron in the middle of my table.
On the Goddess side (left) ,I place a container of blessed ocean water.
You can use spring water ,with a pinch of sea salt added, instead.
On the God side (right), I place a container of sea salt , or Natural beach sand. You can you earth from your yard or a forest if you wish. These should be Blessed.
I like my Altar candles on each side of my Cauldron or maybe a bit more towards the back.
I like my water and sand in front of candles ,a bit off to the side , near the middle of the Cauldron. I like stones, crystals and shells on my table. I like some placed and some in a containers of some sort.I am using vintage snifters right now.
I have had several Altars throughout my life and they have all been different.
There are a few things that I feel really need to be on your Altar ~
Water, Salt or Sand and your Altar candles.
Altar candles are also up to you. I usually use white,some people use
1 White and 1 Black, some use 1 Silver and 1 Gold. This is a personal choice.
Your space should be smudged or cleansed regularly. You can do this with White Sage
or Frankincense. I use either, sometimes both. I like to burn either one before I do any Ritual or
Psychic work, along with a good stick of incense. I prefer my sticks to be from Delhi, India,when possible. My favorite is Song Of Temple.
I change my Altar according to my feelings. Usually for a Sabbat or on an Esbat.