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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 37 - 4/16/2001
What's On Your Altar?
What is on your altar, disir stone, hearth or horg? What tools do you have and which ones-be honest!- do you actually USE? Does your altar/stone/hearth/horg change with the seasons or is it a permanent set-up? Is your altar/stone/hearth/ horg a meeting place or honoring place for the Old Ones/Ancestors/Gods/Goddesses or is it a place to work magick-or both? What does the altar, stone, hearth/horg mean or represent to YOU?
| Reponses: There are 45 responses posted to this question.
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| My Altar Is Rather Simple Really. I Keep All Of My Spell... ||Apr 23rd. at 4:36:51 am EDT|
|MystiqueMoonlight (Sydney, New South Wales AU) ||Age: 33 |
My Altar is rather simple really. I keep all of my spell items (such as loads of candles, incense, jars, books, felt etc) stored elsewhere in the room.
On my altar to the left for the Godess is an altar candle, a silver candle, bell, cauldron, a small broom, blue glass chalice. On the right for the God is an altar candle, gold candle, pine cone. athame, (I'm currently crafting my wand), bowl of salt
My pentacle is decoupage on a tile and is in the centre along with my Grimoire, tarot cards, bottle of spiritual water and a beautiful little black metal candle holder with three black cats each playing the fiddle which is filled with rice for my incense (my other half gave this to me). He also bought me a great set of beautiful crystals, but I haven't added them yet as I am waiting a new moon to clear them. The entire altar is covered with a green sheet to represent the earth which is very special to me.
My altar is a working altar so I add what I need when doing rituals/spells. I spend a lot of time sitting at it writing in my Grimoire.
| My Bedroom Has Become My Altar. I Still Live At Home And... ||Apr 23rd. at 3:44:29 am EDT|
|Zoe (San Luis Obispo, California US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
My bedroom has become my altar. I still live at home and I am still in the broom closet, so it makes it easier if everything looks as if it is "decoration." I have various paintings, a celestial tapestry, stickers and the sort on the walls. By the door is a bamboo staff that I found, but I have never used it. On my dresser are my incense and holders, some shells, candle snuffer and an abalone shell with all kinds of nature treasures in it from bits of fur, part of a butterfly wing, egg shell, and rocks all of which I have found or were given to me. Above my dresser is a shelf I put up that holds those special items like pictures of family and friends and small figurines of cats and unicorns, etc. My closet is full of candles and herbs. On another wall I have another shelf that is more like my altar than anything else. It is permanent although I redecorate it frequently. On it are my main tools: a small cauldron, a meditation candle, a geo slice that I use as my pentacle, three candles representing the triple ascepts of the God and Goddess, a small Celtic drum, my tarot cards, an oil lamp dedicated to Brighid, two rocks representing the God and Goddess (one is a holed stone, and the other is the same except that the hole has a piece missing so it is my horned stone), a spiral fossil representing the One Source, a chalice, small mortar and pestle, and a mug that holds my wand, athame, drum stick, flute, and feather smudger. I also have a broom stuck to my wall, but I don't use it often. I use everything once and awhile, but the tools I use the most are my athame, chalice, candles, incense/herbs, and tarot cards. To me an altar is just a working place. When I do rituals, I just grab whatever I feel like using and set it up on whatever is convenient.
| I Am Fairly New To Witchcraft I Have Been Studying For About... ||Apr 22nd. at 6:22:03 pm EDT|
|Erica Mason (Detroit, Michigan US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
I am fairly new to witchcraft I have been studying for about 4 years.
Ijust have gotton my alter, before this I just simply used the floor.
Well, I use an old phone table from like the twenties or thirties. It
has a storage part too. Well i went to a local pagan shop, and bought
a lpurple cloth with gold pentagrams and crescent moons. I have an athame,
wand, pentacle, lots of candles, and i use all of them. I add different
stones, hetbs, and candles with the seasons and sabbats.I currently have
a statue of an angel, cat, and dalmatian on my alter. I also have have a scrying mirror and an ankh made of rose quartz on my alter.
| Our Family Altar Is An Antique Cabinet We Found In The Barn... ||Apr 21st. at 9:28:28 pm EDT|
|A.C. Fisher Aldag (Bangor, Michigan US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
Our family altar is an antique cabinet we found in the barn, shrouded by cobwebs and restored. Most of our altar tools are battered by long use, sticky from children's fingers, or tarnished and worn. Some items are glued back together from being dropped on the floor by "just learning" little hands. We are trying to get new stuff, as we have just established a new group, and hoped to start afresh; however, it's hard to retire anything that has served us like an old friend. The altar also has the kids' latest school pictures, whatever spell or ritual we are currently working on, artwork pertaining to the latest holiday, greeting cards that involve lots of construction paper, glue, and crayons, and some "fancy" things that nobody is allowed to touch -- it's just for lookin' at! The cloth covering the top is a very old embroidered table runner. The tools are carefully arranged to cover the moth holes. We used to have plants on the altar but the cats thought it was a salad bar. It is truly a family altar!
| My Altar Is Not Permanent For Certain Reasons. However, The "table" That... ||Apr 20th. at 8:00:42 pm EDT|
|Sage (Quito, Ecuador) ||Age: 18 |
My altar is not permanent for certain reasons. However, the "table" that I have it on does remain magickal looking even when it is not in use. I have a sea green scarf that I put on it, representing water.
My altar does change with the seasons, having different altar cloths for each occasion. For esbats, I have a silver one with moons embroidered on it. Currently, I am working on other altar cloths. My offering bowl is one that I made myself, and has horses and dolphins on it. As you can tell, water is a main "ingredient" to my altar.
As for tools, I have an incense burner, an oil burner, various crystals (depending on the season), a river stone with a pentacle painted on it, and one white and one black candle for my God and Goddess. Other tools, such as the circle rocks, athame, wand and cup are safely stashed away from sight. My altar essentially looks like a neat table with bits on it, especially when it's in use. I use it for esbats, sabbats and magick rites alike. I don't have much choice.
For me, the altar represents a place where I can relax. Though it is not in a clearing or near the sea, it is calm and away from the daily traffic that goes through my house.
| My Alter Is Well Hidden In Plain Site. It Sits On One... ||Apr 20th. at 7:35:01 pm EDT|
|Rose WinterFlame (Baton Rouge, Louisiana US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
My alter is well hidden in plain site. It sits on one of my book shelves, and on either side of the shelf are 2 candles, one in a silver holder and one in a gold. My goddess statue is toward the back, and I have an interesting collection of stones, chrystals, and feathers that looks like my 3-year-old brought them in. Gee, could it be that he did? I put a flower in the front, and change it out when it starts to wilt. And even though its in plain sight, only if you are spacifically looking for it will you find it.
| My Alter Is A Desk In My Room. On The Wall I... ||Apr 20th. at 2:07:21 am EDT|
|Nick (twin cities metro, Minnesota US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
My alter is a desk in my room. On the wall I have a black light poster of the Sun and Moon joined instead of a statues or candles to represent the God and Goddes. below that I have a cerramic dragon cause it looks cool. Though I don't have all my tools and I haven't used the ones that I do have yet I still keep them on my alter. the tools that I do have are my athame, my pentacle (melted wax in a putter dish), my challis(a wine glass I got at my Sr. prom), and a couple of incence burners. The rest changes from time to time. I like to keep little trinkets on it like an indian arrow head that I got when I was in Callifornia, little meatle pentagrams and crosses that broke off of neckalaces, or any rocks or feathers that may catch my attention. Soon I'm hoping to have a wand to take it's place with everything else.
Because I'm new to wicca, I don't really know much about magick and I won't do anything unless I feal I know enough about it not to do any damage, My alter is realy only used when I'm medditating.
My alter is a place where I can sit and relax and get away from everyday stress, where the onley things preasant are me, my lazzy boy recliner(Who says you can't worship in comfort?), the God and Goddess, and whatever my subconsious decides should come in with. The more I learn, The more my alter will evolve, but right now it does what I need it to do.
| Gondar From 3 Rivers; I Have 3 And I'm Working On A... ||Apr 20th. at 12:37:22 am EDT|
|ed francis (St.Louis, Missouri US) ||Age: 50 - Email |
Gondar from 3 rivers; I have 3 and I'm working on a 4th altar. The first is my Personal altar, which represents my very best; my essential identity I have long worshipped Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, Helmeted Warrior of Truth. She is on my altar. My Astrological Symbol, Gemini, is represented and a Affirmation of Love. I have a deep burgundy cast of a swarthy Gunga Din, my strong faithful companion, prince of the east. Pictures of my beloveds? Naturally. Lots of small things including a red laquered (round) heart box, with a clear glass top.
I have an ancestor altar across the room, which honors All Who Have Come Before Us. On a white cloth, representatives from the Black Apache and Black Crone. Baby Buddhas, a boy and a girl, to encourage reincarnation for those who wish to come back; and memorials, testimonials, to those who have died.
In the hall way, leading to my rooms, I have erected an Orisha/Santaria type of guardian altar which honors Esu/Eleggua, Ogun, Lord Chango, and others. Above this altar is a large 3 dimensional textile Vagina, Clitoris, and Vulva, in Gigantic Proportions!
Working on a new altar to honor a recent initiation and life change. Ganesha and Pele (& other Hawiian Diety) will be prominent!
| I Used To Have A Specific Space Set Aside In My Bedroom... ||Apr 20th. at 12:18:38 am EDT|
|Megara (Jxn, Michigan US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I used to have a specific space set aside in my bedroom for my altar. Two candles, a handful of eyecatching rocks, my Goddess image & chalice adorned it with whatever else I thought pretty. When I worked, I set it up on the floor. Currently, I don't have a set altar. Instead, I make my entire bedroom my altar. It's my own sacred space, & I scatter photos & personal pieces that would have otherwise been concentrated & crammed onto my altar. I can't really explain, but it makes sense to me. Basically because my old altar, though it represented a part of my life set aside for the Goddess, was for cluttering up with bills and clean clothes. By intergrating my "spiritual" things into my entire space, I've worked the Goddess into all aspects of my life, and not just a once a week, see you next Tuesday. If that makes any sense ...
| Hello From Almost As Far South As You Can Get Without Living... ||Apr 19th. at 6:49:09 pm EDT|
|Annwyn (Christchurch, New Zealand) ||Age: 30 - Email |
Hello from almost as far South as you can get without living in Antarctica!
Well, as a broom-closetted pagan still living at home with her Mum (I'm also a full-time student, so it's keeping costs down...Goddess Bless all Mothers!)
my altar is something of a "quick, set it up and celebrate" situation. I'm also something of a (wait for it, a label!) Eclectic/Pre-Gardnerian/Celtic/Egyptian/Kitchen Solitary, so all things are possible!
I tend to use the dining room table (I know, there's a bunch of you all going 'shock, horror'!) with a cloth coloured appropriately for the celebration. The table is a large oval shape, so forgive me if things seem placed a little oddly! The table is placed in the North corner of an Easterly facing room, and the early autumn sunlight is streaming onto it as I write this...(drifts off into happy places)
Anyhoot, along the back of the table (the back is the long side that faces East) I place my Goddess and God candles; Goddess on my right (when facing the front) and God on the left.
Between those candles, goes my celebration candle, and the cakes/food offerings. That's the back row done.
Then, on the left, the incense burner, a chalice of water, a dish of rocksalt - or one of my pet rocks.
On the right, a chalice of juice/wine, my wand, athame, candlesnuffer and lighter/matches.
**Just a point here, there is usually a fire extinguisher/bucket of water under the table in case Loki decides to pay a visit and something becomes a burning offering...which he has done, with sometimes frightening effect. "Zoiks! Quick, the bucket!" LOL**
In the centre of the table (directly in front of the celebration candle and the foodie) goes my Spirit/Me candle, and the terracotta pentacle.
My BOS (which is a large lever-arch folder) tends to find itself relgated to a nearby chair, with the appropriate pages on the front centre of the altar.
Because I celebrate mainly during the day (for broom-closet reasons only) I don't use illuminator candles, but there are often four quarter tealights around the circle.
Well, that's mine for this time. In time, when I finish getting an 'eddycayshun' and re-enter the working world, I will get my own home, and then, oh boy oh boy, a full-time altar will appear! I look forward to that time, and with interest to see how I set it up then...
| On My Altar I Have The Basic Tools Of Working. Candles, Incense... ||Apr 19th. at 4:32:25 pm EDT|
|Selene (St. Augustine Bch, Florida US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
On my altar I have the basic tools of working. Candles, incense, salt, and water. But I also keep several items of importance to me to harmonize myself and lend me power. I have a set of five stones that I keep in a clear plastic box. One stone in each of the four compartments (the elements) and the fifth sits on the top (spirit). Also, since fire is my element, I keep an old candle holder on my alter where I keep a lump of wax from every candle I have completely burned away. Candles hold a great amount of power and these little bits of wax give great energy. I also keep a small box that holds a few odds and ends. So far there are several beads, a rose petal, a bracelet and a ticket stub. The the special thing about this box is that everything in it has something to do with my fiance. Keeping it on my altar lets me see it when I am working my magic and always puts a smile on my face. I also like to keep a small plant on my altar. Any plant that is let to sit on an altar grows very healthy and the one I have now is springing up quicker than the plant I cut it from.
But my favorite and most special thing is a dried rose that my fiance gave me last November. I keep it on my altar as decoration and sometimes use it as a wand in magical workings.
The most important thing to have with an altar though is personality and individualism. It's not what you have on it, it's what those things mean to you.
| Weeeellll.....my Altar Is A Celtic Reconstructionist Altar, So It Is A... ||Apr 19th. at 1:20:33 pm EDT|
|Aedh Rua (Prophetstown, Illinois US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
Weeeellll.....my altar is a Celtic Reconstructionist altar, so it is a little different, though not too much. Let's see. My altar faces East. On the East side is any one of several JDL deity images which I own, flanked by a pair of candles. These are all images of various Celtic deities, both Continental and Irish, for reasons too complex to go into right now.
Just to the west of the deity image, but still in the East of the altar, is a chalice. Chalice??? Some of you are no doubt gasping in horror. In the East??? Yes, that't right, in the East. The East, in ancient Irish symbology, is the direction of "blath", or prosperity, symbolized by the Cauldron of the Dagda, of which the chalice is the symbol.
In the Southern quarter of my altar is a chain of silver bells. This is the Druid's Chain, a symbol of the Otherworld. It is in the South because in the same ancient Irish system, the South is the direction of "seis", or music, and has Otherworld connections.
To the West is a hand-carved wooden spear which was given to me by a man at this last year's Sacred Harvest Festival, in southern Minnesota. It is a very treasured gift, and is the symbol of "fios", or wisdom, in the same Irish system.
Just to the east of the spear, but still to the West of the center of the altar, is an incense burner. This is placed there for regular offerings, and is merely located where convenient.
In the Northern quarter of my altar is my scian, or athame. The North is the direction of "cath", or battle, the real symbol of which is the sword. The scian is a stand in for my sword, which looks better on my wall.
In the center of my altar is a large pillar candle. This is a symbolic "tenlach", or hearth. Near it, and somewhat off center is a
fist-sized stone. This is the symbol of the "lia fail", or Stone of Fal, which is sacred to "flaitheas", or sovereignty, the quality associated with the Center. Eventually, I want to get a symbolic bile, or world pillar/world tree. This will also go on the center of the altar.
Also, my altar has a green cloth. I suppose this symbolizes the Earth beneath us, though it also just looks good, and has a nice feel. This altar, by the way, is located in my bedroom, and is always out. Though I am not very public about my religion, I do feel the need to remind myself of my beliefs and values through symbolism in my own private space.
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