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How do I set up an alter/shrine?

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How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby LookingForAnswers » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:57 pm

I am looking into starting to worship Pan. I come from a Christian family, and the worship of multiple gods is still fairly new to me, so I apologize if I ask any questions that seem weird or stupid. I just want to make sure I'm well educated before I start practicing any spells or making any offerings. I have no idea what I should use to set up an alter to make offerings to the gods. Would a desk or dresser work? Is an alter/shrine even a necessity? Another question: If I'm making an offering of food that will eventually spoil (like milk or eggs), how long do I leave it on my alter? Just until it goes bad?

I have a lot of other questions, but this seemed like a good place to start. Thank you in advance for all of your helpful advice! Have a good day! :flyingwitch:
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby Tornadofire-Sylva » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:26 pm

Hi! I promise I'm not stalking you, I'm going through the new posts on here. An altar isn't necessary (alter means to change, altar is what you're talking about, there used to be a post on here about it lol), but I find that it gives you a place to ground yourself and become closer with your practice. It can be inside a box, on top of a dresser, desk, table, anywhere you like! My first altar was in a shoebox, with a small bowl, some rocks, birthday candles, my fallen stick wand, and a cup. My altar cloth was a pretty patterned scarf. I used to live with a pretty christian family too, so I can understand if you'd need to be inconspicuous about it.
For offerings, you'll want to dispose of them within a few hours. Make sure that when you set them out, your deity knows they're for him. You can eat your offerings, or dispose of them in the wild as long as they're biodegradable! It depends on how your relationship with him is, and maybe even Hellenic tradition. You don't have to match it exactly, but you do need to take everything you read with a grain of salt.
Although, an offering doesn't always have to be food. Pan is a god who enjoys music, as far as I know (Please correct me if I'm wrong!). If you'd like, you could write or sing a song for him, hum a tune, or play an instrument. Make him something out of responsibly gathered materials, like maybe a wreath of plants associated with him. Just be sure to honor what you gather, and like I said, do it responsibly! There's a lot of ways to make an offering.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby LookingForAnswers » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:31 pm

Tornadofire-Sylva wrote:Hi! I promise I'm not stalking you, I'm going through the new posts on here. An altar isn't necessary (alter means to change, altar is what you're talking about, there used to be a post on here about it lol), but I find that it gives you a place to ground yourself and become closer with your practice. It can be inside a box, on top of a dresser, desk, table, anywhere you like! My first altar was in a shoebox, with a small bowl, some rocks, birthday candles, my fallen stick wand, and a cup. My altar cloth was a pretty patterned scarf. I used to live with a pretty christian family too, so I can understand if you'd need to be inconspicuous about it.
For offerings, you'll want to dispose of them within a few hours. Make sure that when you set them out, your deity knows they're for him. You can eat your offerings, or dispose of them in the wild as long as they're biodegradable! It depends on how your relationship with him is, and maybe even Hellenic tradition. You don't have to match it exactly, but you do need to take everything you read with a grain of salt.
Although, an offering doesn't always have to be food. Pan is a god who enjoys music, as far as I know (Please correct me if I'm wrong!). If you'd like, you could write or sing a song for him, hum a tune, or play an instrument. Make him something out of responsibly gathered materials, like maybe a wreath of plants associated with him. Just be sure to honor what you gather, and like I said, do it responsibly! There's a lot of ways to make an offering.


I have talked to my mom about it, and she seemed ok with it! I'll save up my birthday money to get a small coffee table/endtable to use as an altar (thanks for correcting me on my spelling, by the way). We already have an old endtable that i might ask my mom to bring over for me to use.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby Tornadofire-Sylva » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:41 pm

That's so lovely that your mom is willing to support you! Mine got so upset when she found out... I wish you the best of luck !
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby LookingForAnswers » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:49 pm

Tornadofire-Sylva wrote:That's so lovely that your mom is willing to support you! Mine got so upset when she found out... I wish you the best of luck !


Still haven't told my dad, lol. I'll probably just worship the gods and celebrate holidays, and after I'm used to that, I'll start with spells and rituals. There's a shop that sells tarot cards, incents, and crystals near me, so I'll pick up a few things in there.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby SpiritTalker » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:54 pm

You might research what all the god Pan represents & see what most resonates with you. He might like a niche in an outdoors location. As he is unbridled Nature the scents of fresh-cut (not torn) pine boughs, & pine nuts & pine cones may appeal to him. The gem amber is fossilized pine sap so has possibilities and honey sweetened beverages might be a treat. You can use a cereal bowl to hold offerings or go rustic and hunt up a wooden one at a thrift shop. Biodegradable offerings can be placed right on the ground. Indoors you might use pine scented tea lights on special occasions; Or make your own using pine scented essential oil which is one of the less expensive oils & a couple drops can scent a tea candle as the wax melts. There are pan-pipe recordings you could meditate with. You don't need statues when you can print off photos & a dollar-store or thrift shop frame wouldn't cost too much. if you can draw (or cutout magazine pics for a collage) a hand-made scene with a grove of trees could appeal & serve for a niche back drop & meditation.

There is a section of altar pics on the forum & if you use the search function on the term "altar set up" you'd find some more discussions. Water & Fire are the 2 oldest offerings known. If you can't have a live flame candle then use a battery powered one. They give a nice ambiance without the risk. Scented Potpourri can replace incense. Hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Oops just thought of using a serving tray for a movable shrine or folding table; I have been using a corner wall shelf for 20 years myself. Shrines don't have to be large. Working altars however do take up space so you have room to lay out materials and - well, work. Spell work can get messy. A small pack of baby wipes is highly useful for cleaning your hands.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby LookingForAnswers » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:42 pm

SpiritTalker wrote:You might research what all the god Pan represents & see what most resonates with you. He might like a niche in an outdoors location. As he is unbridled Nature the scents of fresh-cut (not torn) pine boughs, & pine nuts & pine cones may appeal to him. The gem amber is fossilized pine sap so has possibilities and honey sweetened beverages might be a treat. You can use a cereal bowl to hold offerings or go rustic and hunt up a wooden one at a thrift shop. Biodegradable offerings can be placed right on the ground. Indoors you might use pine scented tea lights on special occasions; pine scented essential oil is one of the less expensive oils & a couple drops can scent a candle as the wax melts. There are pan-pipe recordings you could meditate with. You don't need statues when you can print off photos & a dollar-store or thrift shop frame wouldn't cost too much. if you can draw (or cutout magazine pics for a collage) a hand-made scene with a grove of trees could appeal & serve for a niche back drop & meditation.

There is a section of altar pics on the forum & if you use the search function on the term "altar set up" you'd find some more discussions. Water & Fire are the 2 oldest offerings known. If you can't have a live flame candle then use a battery powered one. They give a nice ambiance without the risk. Scented Potpourri can replace incense. Hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment.

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely visit my local goodwill to look for a cheap wooden bowl! Would a pine scented candle work in place of pine scented incents? I could ask my mom for a pine scented candle, as we have tons

Oops just thought of using a serving tray for a movable shrine or folding table; I have been using a corner wall shelf for 20 years myself. Shrines don't have to be large. Working altars however do take up space so you have room to lay out materials and - well, work. Spell work can get messy. A small pack of baby wipes is highly useful for cleaning your hands.


Thanks for the advice! I will definitely visit my local goodwill to look for a cheap wooden bowl and a wooden picture frame! Would a pine scented candle work in place of pine scented incents? I could ask my mom for a pine scented candle, as we have [i]tons of pine scented candles from just about every brand of candle in exsistance.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby SpiritTalker » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:03 pm

Of course. Substitute freely. Be as creative as you like & trust your gut. It's all to the good as an offering of love & trust (old witchy saying - perfect love and perfect trust). Just know what appeals to a god-form of choice so you don't offer something they'd rather see tipped into the waste bin. Try to be compatible to their nature.
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Re: How do I set up an alter/shrine?

Postby SpiritTalker » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:16 pm

how-set-discreet-altar-t37061.html

If my copy-paste worked from this iPad the "how to set up a discreet altar" from the altar photo section is attached.
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