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Making an Alter

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:59 pm
by Troublesome
I went to Candle shops around to ask them about alter kits, and they basicly said that it they will cause harm to you even the five star. Anyone that can tell me your experiance with using altl the things in thier alter, or who was told what I was told? :shock: :shock: :shock:

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:14 pm
by Yellow_day
That sounds inaccurate to me, who told you this?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:28 pm
by jcrowfoot
Harm? An altar causes harm? Maybe the owners are some kind of iconoclast sect, and consider any kind of altar to be an evil pagan influence that will cause you to worship idols and whatnot... (?)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:42 am
by DesktopHippie
Sounds like someone was a bit iffy about the stuff you were looking for. Some people have funny ideas about Paganism. It comes from spending too much time in stuffy rooms reading odd books and websites, and not enough outside in the nice, fresh air.

I'm sort of a haphazard Pagan, using whatever comes my way, so I don't have most of the traditional tools. The items on my alter are:

- an oil burner. Cast iron with a little beaten copper bowl. Very pretty :)

- a chocolate fondue pot. Basically a white ceramic bowl on a metal stand, with a space for a tea light. That's my cauldron. Right now it's filled with some scented pale pink silk roses I got as a gift.

- a brass letter opener, with a claddagh symbol on the handle. That's the closest thing I have to an athame. It's nice and blunt, so even though I'm painfully uncoordinated I don't hurt myself with it.

- a St. Bridged's cross, made of rushes, replaced every year.

- a couple of tea lights.

- a bunch of books and

- some Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures. Um... did I mention my altar is also my desk?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:58 am
by Eretik
Mine is my dinner table. It is used at Christmas etc. but otherwise sits in the back of the room with my altar items on it. I have a set up,with my brass cobra candlesticks my 3 light candle bridge, a pewter bud vase/candle holder,incense stick holders ,brass bowl,dried herbs in a glass jar,oil burner and other items suitably arranged on a cloth. Don't listen to these negative people,I think you asked Christians there,ooh err, - altars are highly personal.Wicca altars tend to be a little more formal, I think,re: the directions and elemental items.You will be using it,so it's up to you - what you need and want will suffice.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:06 pm
by Blazewind
I know may sound pathitic to some of you, lol, but I don't actually have an alter. It isn't as thoigh I don't want one. I would dearly love to be able to get one, but I room and board at the moment. The only place I could set one set one up is in my too small, over stuffed bedroom. There is simply no place to keep it in there, unless I have something that folded up, which I am on the hunt for. Let me tell you, it is very hard to find a folding table that would be low enough to the floor to sit at the hight I want it. As it is now, when I am doing any work; spell rituals, ect. I simply set out my supplies on the floor in the middle of my circle. I am going to be moving if the plan goes over right, early next year. In this new place, I will have so much more space, and I intend to set up an alter that will stay set up all the time.

my one

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:31 pm
by shedtroll
My one is fairly simple.

It has a Tealight (for fire), A glass of water, a piece of paper (for air) and a piece of slate (for earth) and a small bowl in the middle. I also have a green man plaque on the wall.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:46 pm
by Troublesome
I asked people that run candle shops. Some say that mostly alters that have the nives, and the cardrouns (I don't know if I spelled it right) and the other stuf are more for black magic. Do I need one to do every ritual though? If I get one I like one small enough to hide it, because I live around people that think it's against God.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:37 am
by DesktopHippie
Short answer: No.

Long answer: Some altars have knives and cauldrons, but not all. Altars with cauldrons usually belong to larger covens that are part of some of the more formal orders, like Gardnerian and Alexandrian.

You don't need anything to worship The God and The Goddess except yourself. Everything else is a tool to get you in the right frame of mind, nothing more. My advice is to start with a couple of candles on a table or tray and maybe a small bowl of flowers. Don't focus on the trappings or equipment you think you need, just celebrate the fact that you're starting out on a new journey. As time passes, you'll find yourself spotting items in shops or out in nature that you know would be perfect for your altar. The Goddess provides.

Re: Making an Alter

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:02 am
by SpiritTalker
"I went to Candle shops around to ask them about alter kits, and they basicly said that they will cause harm to you even the five star. Anyone that can tell me your experiance with using all the things in thier alter, or who was told what I was told? ... mostly alters that have the knives, and the cauldrons and the other stuff are more for black magic."

Logically it's up to the individual how they use their tools &"talents. Witches are unique, the same as everyone else.

There's no rule that altar gear must conform to ceremonial ritual style or come from new-age-shops. Many witches make their own tools & repurpose household dishes or use natural finds. When designing altars it's good to remember that Magic works with Nature so we really can't neglect that recognition because however simply or ornately an altar's decorated we are still addressing Nature. Even grounding & centering when drawing energy from earth & sky through the breath are acts of communing with Nature's Elements in sky, sea & land with fire being of the gods.

. Tools: represent elements of Nature - wand, blade, cup or cauldron & pentacle represent air, fire, water, earth.
. Broom closet subs: feathers, battery candle, sea-shell & stone represent air, fire, water, & earth.
. Start-up gear: heat-safe incense/fire bowl, candle holders, libation cup/dish rep. air, fire, water, earth.
. Supplies: incense or aerosol - candle & oil - libation - salt & herbs represent air-fire-water-earth.
. The 5-point star is a symbol of (you guessed it) air, fire, water, earth & aether at the top.

When I'm outdoors I use my cauldron for fire & my athame to cast circle. Indoors, around my cats, I prefer my home made wand to guide energy & made a pentacle from a plain wooden disc for chargings. The multi-purpose cauldron safely holds long burning spell candles, water for scrying & bakes bread. I use a cup of coffee or shot glass of wine when libations are called for.

The pentagram - five pointed, upright star within a circle - displays phi, the Golden Ratio (0.618). The Golden Ratio is also found in the shape of sea shells, distribution of seeds & petals in a flower, placement of leaves and branches of trees. The Golden Ratio is observed in the orbiting dance of planets of the inner solar system as well. That's the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and our Moon, and Mars. Every 8 years the path of Venus' orbit, as seen from Earth, traces a five petaled flower design in the sky, formed by our nearest and furthest approaches to each other. So, in Nature's organic designs and in the planetary distribution and motions, life exhibits the ratios depicted by the star-within-a-circle. Therefore, it is a known symbol of Nature & of life itself. :D