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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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.
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| Shells... ||Feb 4th. at 7:42:45 pm UTC|
|Michelle (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 43 - Email - Web|
I have seashells that I collected from various places in my travels...
some are from the Gulf Coast, some from the Atlantic coast on
Folly Beach Island, SC, and the Outer Banks, NC....I have them there, as
they remind me of the beauty of the places they came from, and I use them
for water and salt on my altar....
My favorite natural gift, is a huge beautiful amethyst crystal that was
given to me as a gift, and wrapped carefully in sterling silver wire by
a wonderful witch from Florida....that crystal is simply my favorite...
I always let my tools 'talk' to me....somehow that just works best for me!
My altar is a simple wooden table, with a cloth, that I change from season
to season....with my Godess/God candles, shells, cauldron, offering bowls, and
censer. It can vary from day to day depending on what I'm doing. My altar
tools have their own special 'witch box' that they are kept in when not
| A Simple Altar Works Best For Me ||Feb 4th. at 7:02:30 pm UTC|
|amethyst sunrise (upstate ny) ||Age: 38 - Email |
Well...i consider the whole earth my altar. But when i am feeling more formal i love to put fresh flowers and my quartz crystals, and that is on top of a star burst quilt i have sewn just for this.
| My Home Is My Alter... ||Feb 4th. at 4:43:22 pm UTC|
|melanie favire (stationed at Miesau Army Depo, Germany) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Basically my whole house is my alter. I have geo's and candles. I have a tiny morter and pedistal. I have sea shells and green plants and any wonderful item that catches my eye and "speaks" to my soul. Never be afraid to express your self, have fun and go wild!
| Natrual Objects ||Feb 4th. at 2:17:05 pm UTC|
|Aquilea (England) ||Age: 13 - Email |
Yes I have sticks and stones on my altar mainly representing earth. I came by these when I was walking and I felt drawn to them or they looked particularly interesting.
I have things on my altar representing things but normally I feel drawn to objects and what they would be used for e.g a glass ice cream dish from a charity shop servs as my chalice.
My favourite piece of nature on my altar are my crystals because I think that they are very useful and pretty. I use them in divination and feel calm when I look at them.
I have all things representing the elements on my altar, a god and goddess candle, my athame and my wand and anything else I need during ritual.
| Natural Items ||Feb 4th. at 1:55:56 pm UTC|
|Kelly (MD, USA) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I have sea shells and sand dollars, rocks, and I a had the clever idea of filling a clear jar with snow and adding the appropriate food coloring dye. I used that instead of candles on Imbolc. The only thing is that the snow melts so it only last for about one ritual lol. I saved the melted snow though... just in case, we might not get anymore snow for a long time!
| Do You Have Sticks Or Stones Or Shells On Your Altar? ||Feb 4th. at 1:43:17 pm UTC|
|Tia (Jersey) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I have stones on my alters. They give me an interesting sign of well being i don't know why but every time i hold them in my hand they give me a feeling of life.
| Just Starting An Altar ||Feb 4th. at 12:29:02 pm UTC|
|Tracey (British Columbia) ||Age: 37 - Email |
As I am brand new to kitchen/hedge/garden witchery, I am bit by bit putting together an altar and its on my windowsill behind my kitchen sink (where I unfortunately spend alot of time) I am, however, finding my time doing dishes passes much faster as I look at my treasures and daydream:
I have on it a pinecone, tealight, a little blue lace agate stone, a sand dollar, a newly sprouted pole bean plant my son just brought home from kindergarden (I don't think this will be able to stay long as it is growing at an alarmingly fast rate and will soon need to be repotted into a larger container until spring when I can put it outside) a tiny pottery bowl with sea salt in it, a tiny little apple (about 1" in diameter) that was in with a big box of apples I bought, and lastly, an absolutely beautiful greeting card I bought to keep as a picture......it's called "Moon Goddess" by Josephine Wall and I just love it.
| Natural Objects ||Feb 4th. at 6:55:14 am UTC|
|Phoenix (California) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I've got two seashells, one spiral shaped one to represent the God and a cowry to represent the Goddess. I've also got a black bamboo wand and a small piece of driftwood on my altar. They come from near by, and set a peaceful atmosphere to the table.
| Wicca On A Budget ||Feb 4th. at 4:26:00 am UTC|
|Seraiya of the Storms (Ypsilanti) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Well luckily my dorm room is a single so I don't really need to worry about what my roommate will think because I don't have one! I took down my altar over holiday break though because the maintenance people come in over break and do repairs. I know it's been like a month but classes are hard lol (who knew) But on my altar (which I have basically set back up) is a cloth made out of the last 3 feet of cloth found a Joann's, a large earthenware bowl of salt water, a plant my hair dresser gave me in this lovely greeny black planter, a flat stone (which I plan on painting a pentacle on ) that holds my tiny mini cauldron I got from my cousin and my crystal ball. All of this sits on a easily collapsible table that I can move quickly if need be.
| Crow's Feather's ||Feb 4th. at 3:51:22 am UTC|
|Morrighan (Outer Space) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I have two crows' feathers from Ireland. I found them, trust me. I would not go and pluck a crow in Ireland.
| A Sea Altar ||Feb 4th. at 3:30:16 am UTC|
|Minerva Waters (Downers Grove, IL USA) ||Age: 27 - Email - Web|
Natural stuff on my altar? Gee, do you think ...?
My altar is a sea altar. With the exception of the altar cloth (a scale-patterned blue cloth) , almost everything on the altar is found or made. The altar itself is our old kitchen table (one of those round drop-leaf ones) . The altar faces north, with one leaf dropped against the wall.
I use shells for containers for things like salt, the in-use water, my prayer beads, my pendulum, sand, incense, etc. They're perfect containers for a sea witch. I use a sand dollar as my pentacle, and a large shell for a censer (with some sand in the bottom to catch the ash and support the charcoal) . I also have some shells (particularly a fist-size cowry) as Goddess symbols.
I have a blue and green glass goblet (one of my very few 'bought' objects) , and a stained glass wand with a star on one end and a moon on the other (made by me a few years back) . For a knife i use a rather sharp brass letter opener with an anchor handle (found at a garage sale last summer) .
My prayer beads (aqua glass with a pewter dolphin terminator) were made by me, as was the quartz point pendulum. Both stay in a particular shell on the altar when not in use.
Stepping back from the altar and looking around the rest of the shrine (about 1/4 of my office area) ...
The 'wall' to the west is a bookcase holding my magick books and extra supplies (sand, sea salt, shells, candles, assorted tarot and divinatory devices, etc) . I had had a collection of different types of water, but recently had to dump it in the back yard. Some of the samples were getting a little …. stagnant.
The wall behind the altar is an actual wall in the room. There's some sea-themed posters up, and a boat-shaped shelving thing (minus the shelves) that holds my main Goddess image (which is draped with my collection of shell leis) . There's also some netting across the wall. I am working on some artwork made from painted and silver-leafed wooden disks to show the phases of the moon. When it’s done, it will go on this wall.
The east wall is also an actual wall in the room. There's some symbolic Goddess artwork i created, along with a pentacle dream catcher (also made by me) , and a spirit doll from an acquaintance. Below that is some shelving with more extra stuff (my scrying ball, knick-knacks, part of my fishing float collection, my homemade magick mirror) .
Behind the altar is the back of two bookcases, which have been draped with water-patterned fabric. I'm devising some hooks to hang up my ritual garb when it's not being worn, but those aren't up yet. Next to the bookcases is the entrance to the shrine. The entrance has a fishing net curtain suspended across, and there's a plaster pillar holding an offering basin, a shell of blessed water, and a vase of silk flowers and sea grass.
I don’t really have a favourite thing in my shrine. Everything is carefully chosen and has a particular purpose. I am always finding new things to add, and removing items that have served their purpose.
| Inspiration Tempered By Practicality ||Feb 3rd. at 10:32:45 pm UTC|
|Dark Moon Panther (Rolling Hills of New Joisey) ||Age: 40 - Email |
My altar has been many things in the past, including a box in the closet (during the years when little hands couldn't be trusted) . Currently, my altar is located, of all places, in the master bathroom in my house, awaiting the movement of a giant pile of dissertation-related material from the north wall of my bedroom. The altar itself is a low wooden table my husband built for me, covered with a black-and-silver cloth I bought as yard goods at Wal-mart, on account of its being pretty. I follow some traditional correspondences, especially the directions/elements ones, and the preference for having the altar in the North part of my house (thus the temporary bathroom location) , but let the object guide me as much as possible. Just about everything on my altar is either a natural object, or was hand-crafted, though not necessarily by me.
I have many natural objects on my altar, which have come to me in various ways. I have bird feathers (all found) , my cauldron and a small reproduction of Georgia O'Keefe's "Red Calla Lily", various water-worn stones and shells (all either found or gifted to me) , a wooden bowl containing acorns and rocks I found in various places around the US. I also keep a hand-made bronze pentacle, a Zuni fetish of my totem, and a tiny moss agate bowl on my altar. Other things come and go with the seasons, my whims, the need for clearing or recharging, etc. Except for the fetish and the bowl, my favorite magical/ritual items remain in the closet box, in order to keep the now slightly bigger, but still very curious, hands off of them.
My favorite item is not on the altar, out of concern that someone small will hurt themselves on it. That would be my athame (which my father made for me, and which is therefore, VERY SHARP) in its hand-crafted blue glass box.
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