Everything You Need To Know About Your Wicca Altar
What really is an altar? What goes on an altar? How do you create and tend an altar? And why would you want an altar in the first place?
Fabulous questions! I'm glad you asked.
Let's start at the beginning — the why — and work our way down to the details — the how.
Why Is An Altar Important?
Any altar is a symbolic manifestation of your innermost self.
It is an expression of your heart's longing and your soul's potential.
It is also a focal point for your devotion . . . A spiritual practice arena for devotion to the Divine.
Temples Within And Without
We each have a Temple in our inner hearts. And any spiritual process is about entering and worshiping there.
But it's not easy to access something so abstract.
So, like your symbols and tools and Gods and Goddesses, you create something that comes through the gate of your senses. Something you can see and smell and touch. Even hear and taste, if possible.
The more senses you engage, and the more you balance your sense perceptions, the more you can access the spiritual levels that you seek.
In this context, altars are not some esoteric mystery, but the most natural expression of what has value to you.
So, in the broadest terms, an altar is any collection of items that are personally meaningful.
Almost everyone has one . . . That collection of photographs on the bedside table. The mementoes that gather on the mantle place. These are altars to your loves and your life.
When you want to make an altar dedicated to your spiritual life, you simply focus a little more. You put only items that uplift your spirit and remind you of your ideals.
That's all any spiritual altar is - Wiccan or otherwise . . .
A symbol to help you remember . . .
Who you really Are,
Where you really come from, and
Where you are choosing to go!
Your Altar Nourishes Your Soul
Once you make your first conscious altar, and discover how beautiful and nourishing it can be, you may find yourself wanting to make altars everywhere.
Go for it! How could you possibly go wrong, bringing the blessings of the Divine wherever you are. Your office, your car, your bedroom, . . . all are perfect places for an altar.
. . . Because every altar becomes a home for what you enshrine there. When you create an altar to the Divine, She lives there.
(So behave accordingly!)
Your Inner Temple
You'll probably want to keep at least one altar private.
Put it in a personal part of your house, or somewhere you can discretely close a door and keep it from sight.
This can be your innermost Temple's altar . . . the Heart of your witchy heart. This is where you can put your most personal and meaningful items.
The Power Of Keeping Silent
This privacy isn't about hiding. It's the Fourth Power of the Witch: holding silence.
When something is very sacred, it's not easy to talk about it. The words don't exist, for one thing. Even more, the respect for Soul and Spirit isn't common in our culture.
So to expose your innermost Temple to idle curiosity, disdain, or ill intent is to open your Heart to violation and disperse the Power gathered by your altar.
Your Private Relationship With The Goddess
You will want to give your Wicca altar the respect it deserves. Especially once you've experienced the Power that your altar can move, in your life.
Only those to whom you could safely entrust your most tender feelings should see this . . . if anyone. Even then, think about it carefully. There is no reason why you should share this altar at all.
Your spiritual life is between you and the Divine. Your Wicca altar is the outward manifestation of this relationship. It can be kept completely confidential.
Sometimes the most sacred things need to be kept silent about.
Your relationship with the Divine is the deepest of relationships. Just as you are unlikely to let people watch while you and your beloved are making love (or so I assume ), keep your most personal altar truly sacred.
All your other altars can be as open as you (and they) like.
A Wicca altar doesn't have to be complicated or costly. You don't really need anything other than what you have on hand, or can easily find for free.
You don't even need a specially designed altar table. Many people set up altars in convenient places, like an end table, a dresser, a mantle, even on top of the tv! For a private altar, a hutch with closing doors, or a bedside table can work well.
And don't forget your outdoor spaces - perfect for Wicca altars!
Hollows or nooks in trees,
On top of stones,
Small caves . . .
Anyplace you aren't likely to step or sit on it, you can set up a little altar.
Tending Your Wicca Altar
Tending an altar is a wonderful spiritual practice that anyone can do.
It's very forgiving, as spiritual practices go. Which makes it perfect for those of us who are not yet particularly disciplined.
The Magick In A Wicca Altar
The benefits of tending your altar are not all in the spiritual realm.
Your daily life will reflect what's happening on your altar. In other words, when you make changes on your altar, you will alter your life.
If you feel stuck at work, for instance, alter things in the spiritual realm. Clean your altar thoroughly. Put on a fresh altar cloth in a bright colour. Decorate it with some new Wiccan stuff. And then watch your life transform.
This magickal benefit creates motivation to keep your altar devotion up.
The Care And Feeding Of Your Altar has more on these topics.
Some people will try to tell you that you absolutely must have this or that on your Wicca altar. If so, smile politely, say thank you, and walk away.
It's your altar. And it's your spiritual Path. There are no rules for what kind of Wiccan stuff you put there, except the Silver Rule - do what works for you.
Be creative. When making a Wicca altar, let your heart speak. Let your inner magickal child express the wonder and delight in the world that you once had.
This is your pure divine self expressing itself.
And that's what spiritual practice is all about.
With Bright Blessings,
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