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Altar position vs real life location

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Altar position vs real life location

Postby Sunaris » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:58 am

Hello everyone :) I am at a point now where I wish to begin setting up an altar. The space I keep my candles has now grown to also keep my runes, smudge sticks and crystals, so it's a logical step to turn the space into something more meaningful.

However, I'd like some clarification on set up. From what I understand (mostly from looking at pictures) you set up your altar with the points of north, east, south and west, with you standing at the south, facing north. Does this set up require to be actually facing the correct direction? To me I feel like it should. In which case, my proposed altar location would mean, if I turned it clockwise so it is facing actual north, I would be standing at its east point, looking west. Does it matter? Can I just set it up normally as the pictures show? Am I overthinking things?

I hope my questions make sense :)

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby firebirdflys » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:09 am

In the house I have stuff representing the elements and various other items on my altar in really any arrangement that looks pleasing.
When I'm outside I actually place the altar itself in the location that corrasponds with the holiday we may be celebrating. Then sometimes I will place the tools in their elemental positions. I would prefer to put the altar in the center but in my yard center is an apple tree, and it is a very special apple tree representing the world tree, Avalon, the Ether.
I used to be all crazy about where to place things, but since I have come to the realization that the elements are all around us and really don't reside in any one particilar quarter, I have become less attached to where they have to go on the altar.
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby Sunaris » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:05 pm

Thank you for your reply! I was hoping it would be a case of just going with it, as with everything else. Glad to know I was over thinking it :) I guess I was just afraid of starting off 'wrong', but you're right, the elements are all around us all the time. I'll stop worrying and focus on the stuff that matters!

Thanks again :)
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby firebirdflys » Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:17 pm

Very welcome!
Maybe you'll post a pic when you get it set up?
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:10 pm

The associations I've used for positioning myself facing north is to align with the earth's magnetic flow or Polaris, the north star around which the heavens revolve (in the Northern Hemisphere). If I face east it's to align with the sunrise & movement of the life-giving sun, or west to align with the sunset and underworld realms. But I know full well these are symbolic. My storage space is fixed in place but my work surface is portable & i can move it around or just move myself. Whatever we do within a ritual structure can be used to contribute to the intention behind the ritual, so in this sense then the symbolism of the direction I face matters. However, for daily devotions my house has a built-in NW corner shelf I use. If I greet the sunrise I'm going to go outdoors anyways.
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby Sunaris » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:10 am

Thank you SpiritTalker, your reply is very helpful :) In fact, both replies have reassured me to just continue doing my own thing and to keep doing what feels right, for me. I'm not sure why I got so caught up on this particular thing, but I'm glad I aksed. Thanks again :)

And to Firebirdflys, my altar is a long way from being assembled yet. I'm taking my time thinking about what it is I want and acquiring items. I'm not going all in with everything like Athames and cauldrons. Just special candles, crystals to represent the elements etc, an offering bowl when I find the right one. Perhaps I'll even make one. But I'll be sure to post some pictures to the Altar Pictures forum when it's done though!
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby firebirdflys » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:24 pm

While your building,
Could you please swing by the intro section and let us know a little bit about yourself? Thanks so much :D
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Re: Altar position vs real life location

Postby random417 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:19 pm

Yup, it's all in what works for you. I can find justification for any position of the altar you can think of in a dusty book somewhere if it makes you feel better, but really, it's all in what works for you.
So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
Do that, and no other shall say nay.
For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
~AL 1:42-44
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