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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,333,744  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 103

Lurker/Post Ratio: 318 to 1

Question of the Week: 97 - 2/2/2003

What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar?

Do you have sticks or stones or shells on your altar? How did you come by them? What do you use them for?

Do you go by the traditional correspondences in using your ritual tools (colors, gemstone properties, elements, etc) or do you let the object ‘tell’ you what it is to be used for?

What is your favorite magical/magickal gift or tool from nature? Why?

How do you set up your personal altar(s)?

 Reponses:   There are 103 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Unusual Items On The Alter Feb 7th. at 3:44:36 pm EST

Grinwithin (South Amboy, NJ) Age: 37 - Email

I have several altrs and most of them are quite serious. I have one alter dedicated to my ancestors and on that alter I have a light up Micky Toy in his Sorcerers Prrentice outfit that has brooms zipping around making lights on the walls when you push the button.

The perfect wand for a ritual to help one remember the humor in life.

Also, a very serious High Ceremonial Egyptian Alter complete with Bast, Nephthys, Isis, Horus, Anubis, and many other statues. On the center is a witch figure that represents me and how these dieties walk with me and guide the way.

In front of the witch figure, is a simple toy purchased through the Cartoon Network. Zorak. He said once in his cartoon "I'm Egyptian". The context in which this was said left me in fits of laughter and I still giggle thinking about it.

Zorak sits on that alter to remind me the joy life has to offer. No matter how bad a day I am having, this silly little mantis cartoon character seems to make me laugh and forget my woes.

Now the rest of the coven is spending time trying to acquire him as well.....

Old And New Feb 8th. at 12:25:22 pm EST

Amber Morgaine (New Jersey) Age: 26 - Email

Most of the things on my alter are natural. But they are not always the same things. I keep a collection of small stones in a bowl on my alter. The contents are always changing, either because I give some of the stones to others when it is time for those stones to move on from me. Or because others have given me stones as a gift. It all gets added to that bowl. The enrgy coming in and out of my alter space because of it, is always rechanged and popsitive. Because of the gift of love those stones have both been and will be in the furure.

Whatever Goes There... Feb 8th. at 4:26:01 pm EST

Chad Alexander Worden (Linden, MI) Age: 21 - Email - Web

My altar consists of whatever "wants" to be there, and more often than not, it is a natural object. Who can really say that a McDonald's 32oz cold beverage cup spoke to them? No, most modern items are out of place on an altar. Even if a manufacturer says they were built to go right next to the clay pentacle that you picked up at your local occult shop.

I have: pine sticks and cones; a variety of herbs cut and dried, most of the time by me; different resins and powders, such as sulfur and kosher salt; my marble mortar and pestal; my three brass mortar and pestal sets, the largest one full of semi-precious stones and what you could just call "rocks"; my ceramic mortar and pestal; my athame; my sword; my ceremonial outfit; my tarot deck; a dozen or so glass decanters and jars; black, white, red, green, purple, and blue candles; and an antler from a white tail that was gifted to me by nature herself, when I went on a nature walk.

All of my altar was assembled by gifts. I think the only things I bought, other than herbs, candles and resins, was my ceremonial outfit. The rest I was either given from fellow pagans, or nature herself.

To describe the uses of each item would be lengthy. Though I do adhere to a correspondence chart on occasions, I've found too many conflicting opinions of what should go where or this is good for that. I prefer the insight obtained from concentrating on my task a few days to a month ahead of time and gradually selecting the materials I need. Often, crucial elements manifest themselves right when I need them. Had I rushed myself into a working or followed a correspondence chart, I would have been lacking the proper tools.

One thing I would never be without, even if I didn't use it often, is my heart rock. I found it at a christian church camp while swimming. On the outside, it looks like a fairly ugly rock, but it had been broken when I brushed against it. On the half that I was able to pull from the water was a purple heart shape, perfectly formed in the center of the rock.

Usually I try to set it up in a large closet or a room of its own. I tend to make concentric hemispheres, with the open end pointed south. My glass lines most of the outer hemisphere. My metals usually drift towards the east. Any candles get set in the south if lit. My herbs get set in the east if they are whole, the west if I am working on them or burning them. I sit either in the center or in the south, so that I can easily leave the altar if I need too.


Does The Cat Count? Feb 8th. at 5:13:57 pm EST

Jody (Oklahoma) Age: 50 - Email

My altar seems to attract various things, a conch shell I acquired somewhere I can't remember anymore, a geode with a dragon charm lodged in it (thanks to an "incident" with one of the cats)
crystals and stones, a wooden wand from the tree in the yard, a reminder of last winter's ice storm, that seemed to need to come home with me, various other stones and gems, the occasional acorn or pecan that found it's way into a pocket during a walk, and normally at least on of the resident cats.

On My Altar Feb 8th. at 6:34:46 pm EST

Rhiannon (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) Age: 18 - Email

Currently, I have a sizable green rock on my altar that I found in a beautiful river in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Sometimes, throughout the year, I'll have flowers on my altar. Usually I just have four candles representing the four directions, a container of salt, a small chalice, a bell, some insences, a simple cloth, and some gemstones that I particularily like. My altar changes as the year goes by. I usually put differnet items on it every Sabbat.

Altar?! Feb 8th. at 8:58:28 pm EST

loopeygirl (Seattle, WA) Age: 27 - Email

My altar is my back lawn! How's that for natural objects?! ; )

) 0 (

Sacred Things Feb 8th. at 8:58:32 pm EST

Mortimas (Alabama) Age: 33 - Email

I have a large stone I found in a nearby creek, it was in a rock formation that looked like a Dragons jaw, It required a great deal to recover, and it has the shape like a sharks tooth, but a foot and a half tall.

My tools tell me how they should be used, it makes their spirts happy

I have a wand that is spiral curved and comes to a point, my favorite, it has incredible strengh, but light as a feather. I found it in the creek as well, I find the best tools for my craft are found rather than bought, just open up and let them call to you.

The alter depends on what I'm doing, set up for a casting is much diffrent than a, enchantment of an object, for example. It always seems to be a little diffrent.

My Altar Feb 9th. at 12:36:34 am EST

Holly Hawkins (Philly) Age: 15 - Email

On my Altar there Various types of gems stones of different
color. I use them for different rituals depending on what
IM doing.

I like to keep the old tradition of things.

My favorite stone that I use is the stone called Bellaena.
It's a purple stone that I found in a special place where
I meet other Pagans and wiccans.

Everything Gets On My Altar! Feb 9th. at 7:31:00 am EST

Foxheart (New Hampshire) Age: 23 - Email

I actually have two altars in my space. One is dedicated to Isis and Osiris and the other is dedicated to Kuan Yin. Lately I have been using the Kuan Yin altar more than the Isis/Osiris one because of the need for compassion in my life. However recently my Kuan Yin altar has been rudely jammed with mundane junk! Shame on me! And I have once again cleared off my Isis/Osiris altar though I have not started using it again yet.

What USUALLY goes on my two altars when I am regularly using both is up to the universe and what feels right. On the Kuan Yin altar more natural stuff seems to find its way there such as herbs, crystals, small bowls of water and salt. I have two candles there also for illumination and a nice statue of the Goddess Kuan Yin that I found in a thrift store for 75 cents.

On the Isis/Osiris altar there are more decorative and human-made things such as my moon crown, my athame, incence sticks and holder, two statues of Themselves, etc.

I do try to follow tradition as far as using common color correspondences but my altars are always very personal and never follow a set up from a book.

I'd have to say that my favorite gifts from nature are my two wands. One of them I found at the beach. It was polished smooth by the surf and looked kind of like a snake. The other is really unique and very special to me because it comes from a tough vine that was wrapped around a lilac bush in my yard. The vine had wrapped itself around the bush in a perfect spiral and when my father cut the vine away from the bush the perfect spiral remained. This wand is very powerful and quite sacred to me.

Goddess and God bless to you all.


These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things..... Feb 9th. at 9:09:10 am EST

Mariposa (Kansas) Age: 39 - Email

My altar is atop of an antique dresser, very ornate and beautiful with a bevelled glass mirror. My favorite objects (natural) are a crescent moon shaped rock that we'd found in a river at a Peace Conspiracy fest. We only found two; one for my best girlfriend, one for myself:) And my other favorite natural item would be a piece of driftwood I'd found along the shore of Lake Huron while visiting my sweet mama in oscoda, michigan last summer. All the items on the altar are very personal in nature. To ME they are traditional, with the elements etc. and also filled in with many personal items, such as the couple top from our wedding cake. we've been together for 22 years...its many things have been lost, broken, etc. but this small piece of china has outlasted so many things---just like our marriage! Totem stones with the topper, etc.

What Is On My Altar? Feb 9th. at 12:27:52 pm EST

Erika Bingham (Dover, NH) Age: 28 - Email

Natural objects upon my altar consist of:
a shell and beach rock, some jade stones (polished but regardless are still natural objects) , and a gull feather.
I also have a handmade candleholder made of FIMO clay that holds 2 candles (for the Lord and Lady) .

My Altar... Feb 9th. at 5:57:06 pm EST

Sirafirinn (Ottawa, Ontario) Age: 15 - Email

I don't have a set altar, it changes every time I do a formal ritual (which is only on Sabbats) .
I usually have my wand, which is a stick a tree gave me. (It dropped straight into my bag as I was on a meditation hike) , plants (some I've "rescued" from my school, they were going to be trashed) and feathers from my birds if they aren't around. My birds often enjoy hanging around when I'm doing a ritual and their unique energy is definitely nice.
My favourite gift directly from nature herself is my wand. It's perfect for me. It fits perfectly in my hand and just has a wavelength that fits me.
Other than that, I'd have to say my birds. My birds (a ***atiel, two budgies and a quaker) are a huge part of my life. I love them very much and honnestly would not be alive without them.

My personal altar is not one I use for rituals, it's just a collection of things that mean a lot to me. I keep candles there, feathers from my birds, my plants, I often have poems I've recently written there, I keep my most precious jewlery (like my pentacle) there and it's in a palce where I see it firest thing when I wake up and last thing before bed. It receives light from the sunset and moonlight right before sunrise. It's a special place for me. Even though my family is not supportive at all of my beliefs, my altar looks mundane enough that they don't care.

Mother and Father havegiven me a lot and I'm glad that they continue to provide me things for my personal and sabbat altars. :)

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