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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 12,956,960  

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 

On My Altar Feb 6th. at 10:01:40 pm EST

Calitha (Redford, Michigan) Age: 40 - Email

Because i share my life and my altar with a Druid, among the stones and shells on my altar are acorns. Kind of a nice balance!

Nature's Decorations Feb 6th. at 9:47:30 pm EST

Alandrielle (NC) Age: 16 - Email

I think just about everything on my alter is natural. I have a wooden bowl I found in my cupboard, filled with special little stones and gems I've collected and been given (earth) . I also have feathers in it (air) . Then I have my cacti (I'm on a roll, it's about 3 years old) and some other flowers, african violets (fire) . The last of me elements are seashells that I've collected over my life (water) . Of course there's as many candles as I can get away with. I think my favorite thing is a pentagram that I made with sticks and strings. There's a seashell and beads on it, and all the strings correspond to their elements. I keep it decorated as the seasons change. Theres flowers on in in the spring and summer, leaves in the fall, and anything I come across in the winter. The best I've come across is twining lavender and thyme together around it. I like being close to nature, I like bringing it inside and filling my room with it.

My Alter Feb 6th. at 8:05:18 pm EST

Anhi Rosalyn Hanae-so (Pennsylvania) Age: 16 - Email

My Alter has sea shells, dried roses, and stones.I have more candles on my alter than anything else though.

Transition Feb 6th. at 5:51:59 pm EST

lilith (lost angeles) Age: 33 - Email

my altar is in transition right now, which is probably a good thing, since my old altar has been outgrown in various ways. my new altar will certainly contain the large smooth sea stone that i have always kept in various altar-ish ways since before i was a witch. there is usually a jar of sea water, and sand on or inside my altar as well. now that i have a new one in the works i am going to put a container of some kind for flowers on it. i keep herbs and cornmeal in my altar as well.

the structure of my altars has never been table-like-- my original altar was made of two orange crates stacked on top of each other-- the bottom crate housed/es my tarot decks. my new altar is a rolling cart with two doors and two shelves inside-- the bottom shelf will be for my tarot decks again. its larger and works better for me at this time.

also the wall behind my altar is going to become part of the piece.

i love altars, and the altars that other people make. i think its interesting that almost everyone has some kind of altar in their home, even if they would never call it that. ive always made altars since i was a child. my favorite, in my youth, was one i made inside a plastic box, and it included stones and feathers and a fish i made out of candle wax.

A Sacred Space Feb 6th. at 4:16:55 pm EST

Dolcimer (Kentucky) Age: 59 - Email

My favorite Altar is Mother Earth and Father Sky, but within my home I have been fortunate to have found many objects, many since I was a child of nine.
The Lady that I honor is a beautiful piece of driftwood that I found on the beach in California, and within the wood was the lady, the right arm raised and the left arm carrying a small basket. I was able as a child to bring her out into the open by working on her a very little bit, and when she appeared she was lovingly rubbed with linseed oil to preserve her beauty. Natural oils are the only application she has had through the years, and now she is a crone of fifty years.
At her feet are many crystal pieces that have been found through the years, along with various beautiful stones of two many types to describe.
My athame lays upon a handmade Pentacle (made of twisted wire) upon a mirror. My blade was carved of bone in Mexico.
With each season the cloth changes, by color. Antique lace circles are beneath the Lord and Lady candles that stand on each side of my Lady. I have had to add a glass circle upon the top of the Altar Cloths, as I have ruined many with the Spirit moved candles that have been used through time.
A found deer antler represents the Lord/Stag and has been used as a candle snuffer.
Beeswax candles that have come into my cupboard, are used for many rituals and spells. Beneath the table that is my altar is a storage cabinet that holds many treasures to be added from time to time as the seasons change.
During the turning of the wheel, many objects are continuing to be gathered from the woods and ocean to bless this Sacred Space.
Oil made by herbs I have gathered from my garden and the wild go into a shell that lays beside another shell containing sea salt.
On the right of my Sacred Altar is an old tiny cauldren, painted long ago with enamel paint of cream and decorated with small flowers. Within its recesses, sand from the beach protect and assist the incense that burn in it's center.
This Yule a gift of five glass stars were added to the light fixture that is in front of my altar, these stars are able to hang..showing their colors of red, yellow, blue and green. In the center hangs a white star.
Through the many seasons I have been blessed with too many objects to list, but all loved and concecrated upon this altar.

My Alter Feb 6th. at 4:06:47 pm EST

Manveri Elda (Atlanta GA) Age: 13 - Email

My alter has a piece of cloth on it, that I hand embroidered. I have a bueatiful set of elven bow and arrows that I place on it. I have pieces of trees I know, shells from around the world along with a few gems. I usally place one of my candles in the middle with the bow around it and the arrows in a pentagram. I then place my four favorite deitie statues in the corners, Hathor, Isis, The Mother Goddess of the Celts, and Rhiannon. The other objects fall into place, depending on the times the objects tell me what they are used for.

The Hidden Altar Feb 6th. at 2:15:03 pm EST

Emrys Wledig (Yuma, AZ) Age: 40 - Email

Our Altar is made up of a sacred cloth, one large golden candle anointed with peppermint oil and a brass triple candle holder a black, square, ceramic bowl with polished rocks in the bottom. Everything else comes and goes by the season. The reason for the sacred cloth is so that any mundane surface can be easily and quickly turned into a sacred space for ritual or magickal work. We inherited some beautiful marble end tables when we bought our home in 97 and these usually become the base for the altar, but, a piece of plywood on sawhorses have also served in that capacity. The hearth of our fireplace has also served. The island and table in the kitchen as well. Oh and the Blanket box at the foot of our bed has once or twice played that role. We have firiends that we are very open with, but there are relatives that would be hurt by the knowlege of our religious preference, and since we love themk, we maintain a certain degree of discretion. All the items listed above remain in view of any occupant of our home, but only certain people know what they are. The loved ones would never dream of asking how they are used because each of the items have a mundane as well as a religious and magickal use. And since they are usually seen on shelves and counter tops they are easily located and assembled for their special purposes.

Altars Are Dynamic As You Are Feb 6th. at 1:06:15 pm EST

Green bird (remote Alaska) Age: 37 - Email

My altar changes with the seasons, moon, tides and my mood and need. To the mundane, it just looks like a window side table, but to the initiated it is clear what it is. Today, my altar stands fairly sparse. Four candles stand upon a bare table on an open window. One large scented pine cone candle set upon an open pedistal stand, one large bayberry scented candle in a cobalt blue shielded holder, and two beeswax tapers in clear crystal taper stands. This is for cleansing and peace. A dear friend just passed away from a severe heart attack in a remote location. We are waiting now for better weather to transport his body out to the city and to his parents. I lit the candles in his honor and prayed for the comfort and solace of his family and friends.

Soon, my altar will reflect the coming spring. I will place budding branches of salmonberry and blueberry upon it with a clean woven cloth covering the table. White and pale green candles will illuminate the 5-pointed "snowflake" crystal star that hangs over the altar. And all will be scented with nag champa, sage, and pinyon incense. By summer time, there will be seedlings and potted herbs on my altar, with sacred stones and shells, the candles will mostly dissapear as our sun takes over the season and we no longer have complete darkness to make the candles shine.

My altar must contain natural objects at all times. Many of them are objects that I've collected over the years and are rotated accordingly. Some objects seem to choose me as I am out walking in the wilderness and demand to be displayed. I am always pleasently surprised when a seemingly meaningless object that I had an urge to place out, all of a sudden takes on significance. I try to keep to the traditional meanings of objects, but sometimes they have a "mind of their own" and want to be used differently or not at all and instead I am directed to use a different object. It is amazing how often that urge turns out to be significant.

I always keep in mind that it is not the objects that are used in ritual that give the direction, the power, if you will, but your own personal will and focus that creates the needed energy. All are equally capable of performing ritual and mackical workings with just the use of your mind, heart, soul and body, no props necessary. Blessed Be To All, and To All Safe and Successful Workings.

Magick From Nature Feb 6th. at 12:13:35 pm EST

Heather Holt (Bountiful, Utah) Age: 16 - Email

I collected a sea shell in California about eight years ago that I now use on my altar. I also have a feather to represent air. I use both to represent elements. I also have a stone tha I use to represent earth. I came by the stone and the feather while on a hike. I felt that they should be used for representation of the elements.

My favorite tool is my bowl of salt. It's so amazing that the two different component of salt alone are deadly but together, they are a necessictiy of life.

I set my altar up according to the elements. My rock is north, feather east, seashell west, and candle south. All the othre God tools go right, and all the other Goddess tools go left.

The Opinion Non-mormon Girl From Utah Feb 6th. at 12:12:31 pm EST

Samantha (Farmington) Age: 15 - Email

I mainly use candles and inscents but when i am outside i like to use a staff in my altar. I dont ushually do an altar outside because my neighbors would get really freaked out.

My Altar Feb 6th. at 11:09:45 am EST

Glen_Dweller (Virginia) Age: 33 - Email - Web

I collect sea shells under moonlight, and I keep different ones on my altar at different times. I love the
broken ones where only the inner spiral remains. I love the worn ones and the shells with bitty fossils stuck to them.
I also collect driftwood at times and have a wonderful triangle shaped piece that I am currently using as my wand. I also keep
rose quartz on my altar; it was given to me by my true love, who shares my walk on this path! I keep a small vial of oil or hand-squeezed honeysuckle juice
on my altar and I use it to anoint candles as I do my magik.

My altar is haphazard; I have many candles on it right now, as it is still decorated for Imbolc. I used candles of many colors representing
the wonderful spring to come. Also, my Imbolc candle is still on my altar and I will light it every day for 19 days (Brigid's number) .
I have various statuettes: Diana, Shiva, Kokopelli, Budda. I keep them spread out amongst the candles. I keep my runes on the altar as well.

My Alter... Feb 6th. at 9:31:39 am EST

wendella (kenosha, wi) Age: 38 - Email

Although I do not have an altar set up in my home, I consider mother earth to be my alter. Whenever I go outside to enjoy her splendor, I listen, give thanks, leave a gift, etc. I am growing worried for my altar however. With Bush in office, we may not get to enjoy what we have due to the proposed Forest Management Initiatives. Visit to find out what is going on. It is important for us pagans to stick up for our mother earth. Just listen to her, she is crying for what is being done. I feel the pain inside me everyday.

When the day comes for me to set up that alter at home, I will have many natural objects on it.

Blessed be to all!

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