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How to set up a discreet altar?

Share photos of your altars or other magical tools and pagan decor.

How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby kana- » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:16 am

Don't know if this is the right group to post to but anyways, I live with my parents who are devout catholics and I have been planning to start my journey in pagan witchcraft for a while now. Many beginner witchcraft guides mention setting up an altar. I have looked into this and as beautiful as they are, my parents (mainly my mother), would not approve. Anyone have any ideas on setting up a correct but discreet altar?
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Re: How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby Corbin » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:08 am

Depends how nosy your mother is and how likely she is to find it / the aggravation it will cause.

An altar, shrine or temple on the Astral perhaps?
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Re: How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby SpiritTalker » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:26 am

A discrete altar Is really easily done with creative substitutions. The goal is to Create No Drama & still function. The altar can't look witchy &' be discrete. A pentacle, chalice, cauldron or dagger are out of the question & wands are dead give-aways since H.Potter. It's quite alright to replace them with household dishes. We make them magical when we consecrate & magnetize them. Real-flame candles need permission so replace them with battery candles or strings of Yule lights. It leaves no trace to breathe on a mirror & draw symbols in the mist, or to dip a finger in the Cup of water & trace a star onto a flat rock as a pentacle. You can't disguise smoke but sacred aromas come in many forms such as a jar of spicy potpourri, herbal dream pillows, aerosols & reed diffusers. The Snoop Sisters know all about the shoe box collection under the bed so give them a harmless rock or seashell collection to find; nothing to see here.

The main things to include on a magical altar are symbols of the 5 elements of aether, air, fire, water, earth and your deity. A collection of stones & shells in bowl or a jar with a few feathers, oak or pine twigs &' wheat stalks with marbles for weight in 5 colors can represent them & sit in plain sight as room decoration. Start looking at random objects as symbols & imagine how to repurpose them just as the modern icons of broom & cauldron were once repurposed from the ordinary kitchens of a former era. Any flat surface with a bit of workspace can be used. Most homes don't have the room for a full-time altar so it's usual to set-up for each use & after to redistribute tools back in plain sight that says "nothing to see here."

A standard Wiccan, magical table set-up is divided into 3 sections (left, center, right) & balances energy by polarity (-/+). Energy flows from (-)passive to (+)active in Nature. The symbols of Earth & Water are passive (-) polarity & are associated with receptive-feminine, lunar energy & go on the left. Fire & Air are active (+), solar, projective-masculine & 'go on the right. This polarity arrangement actually aids spell work; the pentacle fits in the middle for charging your work.

A Few Discrete Altar Symbols:

.Goddess: (-), silver, Moon, lily, lotus, rose, wheat, cornucopia, bear, horse, reindeer, weaving, loom, flame/light
.God: (+), gold, Sun, pine cone, grape vine, oak acorn, wheat, stag, wolf, reindeer, plow, flame/light
.Guardian spirit: their animal symbol, guardian angel, saint image

Air: (+), E, yellow/white, aromas, potpourri, bubbles & pipe, fan, kite, birds, flute/harmonica
Fire: (+), S, red/orange, battery-candle, Yule lights, chili pepper, dragon, guitar/violin
Water: (-), W, blue/aqua, cup/bowl, H2O, sea shells, mirror, fish, rattle, jingle bells
Earth: (-), N, green/brown, 4-Way X, salt, stones, brick, clay pot, potted plant, map, drum
Ether: is unmanifest energy, purple/iridescent white, anointing oil, altar cloth

Useful household items for magical purposes:
. Cup as chalice, saucer-pentacle, bowl-censer, letter opener-athame, bandanna-altar cloth
. Yarn or twine can serve for knot magic; tie spaced knots for prayer & chant counters
. A pendant can be used as a pendulum
. A standard deck of playing cards can be used for divination
. Tea bags make ready-to-use potions; draw sigils on them
. Envelopes decorated with sigils work for spell packets; fold & tie closed
. Restaurant salt & sweetener packets are convenient supplies
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Re: How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby CleverlyDisguised » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:07 am

I used to have an emergency altar kit, everything I needed for a spell casting altar contained in a small pouch I could fit comfortably in my jeans pocket
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Re: How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby TheChimera » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:05 am

I agree with what Spirittalker mentions about using the saints as many of those have corresponding or similar deities in other cultures if that is something you want to connect with. There are also many resources these days on Christian witchcraft and I'm dead sure you'll find info on blending that with Catholicism if you want to use that as a means to practice covertly without using symbols that would give you away. Spent many years in the closet myself and it's not fun having to hide yourself like that from people you love. unfortunately a judgmental nature exists in all of us to an extent. If you're outdoorsy you can collect stones/ shells and feathers etc and use that as an excuse to have something that you secretly associate with your craft, just be careful though, some parents are aware of the symbology, so if you feel like it's too obvious don't use it.
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Re: How to set up a discreet altar?

Postby SpiritTalker » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:59 am

@ lookingforanswers: Re boot for you
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