- Its important to remember that no tools or symbols belong to any single faith or tradition; what they represent to you is what will be important. For example, if your parents are Catholic and you are not yet ready to tell them you have begun practicing Paganism, get a statue or picture of the Blessed Mother or St. Brigit (who, in pre-Christian times, was a Goddess rather than a Saint) and put it on your dresser. Surround it with your candles. Hang a Celtic cross above it– that is, an equal-arm cross (sometimes surrounded by a circle). The Celtic cross was originally a Pagan symbol but adapted for Christian use. Keep a set of rosary beads made of a crystal, stone or wood charged with magic. Instead of using them for Christian prayers, use them for meditation, chanting, or empowering objects by surrounding them with the beads.
- You must keep in mind that a altar can be sitting in the middle of your living room and, as long as you don’t have a giant pentacle hanging over a statue of the Horned God, most people would be none the wiser. Set up your altar on a shelf, mantle or table by using decorative candle holders, small potted plants, and artistic expressions and no one will guess that your 18th century floral porcelain plate is a pentacle or your elaborately carved medieval dagger hanging on the wall is more then just a part of your sword collection .
- What is important to you about your path? Do you follow multiple paths and if so what about your path are 100% got to have? I practice wicca but also practice aspects of Buddhism and Native American practices. This let me know that I want something that was simplistic but also incorporated my divination and aspects of my god and goddess but with a tie to my Native American and Buddhist aspects as well.
- Who is your Goddess / God / Spirit Animal? What are some of the aspects or symbols that correspond to them be them known or what you feel represents them for you but also that you know wouldn't raise alarm? For example I follow Artemis and Poseidon and my Spirit animal is a Wolf, I also deal with Dragons. For me Blue and Purple are the colors I correspond with my God and Goddess. Other things would be sand dollars, sea shells, water, sand, antlers, nature, stars/crescent moon, deer, wolfs, fur.
- What are some other things that you feel connected to or are prominent in your practices? For me salt, cinnamon and clovers are something I tend to use a lot. I also feel connected to fluorite.
- Another thing you might wont to consider is where your planing to place your altar. Do you need it to be facing a certain direction? Are you worshiping a Sun god or Moon goddess? if so it might be a good ideal to keep it within a area that gets sun or moonlight. Are you working with a small space like a small end table or bathroom sink or are you using a big space like a book shelf or dresser.
Now that you have considered these aspects its time to think outside the box a little and see what works for you and to get you started here are some suggestions and thoughts.
Minus the stone with the goddess if your worried about someone picking up the stone and seeing it this is a very cost effective simple altar ideal that can be placed anywhere and never raise a eyebrow. In a little bowl you place some sand/salt, place a tea light then add some stones/ crystals/ sea glass around the candle. Finally sprinkle some dried flowers or potpourri that matches with your god or goddess be it color smell or a flower/herb connected to them and your done. Make sure to dedicate your candle to your god and goddess and your done.
This is a twist on the standard bookshelf. With it being a a circle shelf and the way its sectioned off I love the many possibilities symbolism wise. Firstly the circle can represent the moon, the goddess, life, the wheel of the year and much much more. The sections can be dedicated to the four elements and the middle to spirit/god and goddess/yourself. Some other ideals besides the set up this person did is putting candle(s) in the middle instead or a pic of yourself there instead of the bottom (I'm assuming that was her element and thats why the pic was there).
This is a simple autumn center piece but i love the concept and could see this a a alter in so many ways so I thought I would include it. Take a plate that you think fits your theme (sea, woods, Mabon, Ostara) you could also use a bowl. Then take and add three candles; the wood candles are a great way to add a nature element especially if your god or goddess are connected to nature like mine, you could also change the candles to fit your god and goddess better such as blue candles if your say a sea witch or water is connected to your God or goddess or any candle really. Next you add a animal element such as an animal you are connected to like wolves or say if your theme is sea dolphins or horses or turtles or feathers for a Native American feel and to incorporate birds. Follow this with adding a wax/fake/real food that fits your god or goddess such as apples, grapes, a grain such as rice or corn. I know this doesn't seem like a altar but trust me thats the point after all. What you have just done is created a center piece for your table that has several symbols that are connected to your god /goddess and that is conveniently place on a table you can use to do your practices later.
This is kinda along the same lines as the center piece.
This is a really simple way to make a elemental based altar that can be made in just one glass or 5 it really does not matter. Taking various sized glasses (high wise) you add crystals or stones to the bottom or tied to the branches/twigs wit h wire. next add the twigs and arrange them so that they wont catch fire and allow the tea light to float. Next fill with water will about an inch below the rim, add the tea light and wahla you have a altar that you can place on a table, bookshelf, shelve, mantel the list is endless. If you do 5 you can arrange them in a line and when your ready to use them move them to the floor or on the table to form the points of a pentagram, If you use two you can dedicate one to the god and one to the goddess if so it might help to use crystals that are connected to your god in one and goddess in the other or just use different candle scents for each or color. If that is not an option keep in mind to dedicate each candle to its designated god or goddess and keep track of which is which.
This is another simple ideal that can go anywhere and is just small dishes that hold one of each the elements and a single candle for the god and goddess.
This is a VERY SIMPLE and CHEAP altar ideal. Using a playing card deck pull out all the aces and the king and queen of hearts. Next your going to place the Queen of hearts in the center of the area your working, to the top of her sideways your to place the King (they will make a T) This is your god and goddess representation. Next you are going to place the aces in their corresponding elemental place around the god and goddess. Spade go to the right.and represent Air. Hearts go to the left because they represent Water. Diamonds go on Top because they rep Earth. And lastly, Clubs go to the bottom and represent Fire. When your done just simple place them back into your deck and your done.
Alright thats all I'm suggesting tonight guys belive it or not this had taken me about 6 hrs to plan out and write and I still think I dont make much since or messed up somewhere along the way. Anyway hope this helps someone.
Blessed Be from Baby Bear