The Care And Feeding
Of Your Wicca Altar
Your Wicca altar is the external expression of your living soul. And like your soul, it needs some Tender Loving Care.
A Wicca altar is almost a living entity. It may not be sentient. (Although I wouldn't try to prove that.)
And tending an altar can be a rewarding meditative practice.
Your altar is capable of . . .
- Generating energy,
- Boosting you to your goals, and
- Positively influencing your life.
Because these practices are on a spiritual level, these methods work equally with any altar, whatever religion it is expressing.
What does a Wicca altar need?
How can tending your altar improve your life?
These questions and more are answered below. Let's start with the basics . . .
What Kind Of Care Does Your Altar Need?
A Wicca altar, just like a garden, needs at least occasional tending. Nurturing the plants, taking care of your tools, and seeing to the health of the soil will create a productive garden.
With an altar, tending means feeding it energies, caring for the altar tools, keeping things clean - essentially freshening up your "soul garden" on a regular basis.
The High Cost of a Neglected Altar!
Of course you don't need
to do this. . . but what happens to a garden that you neglect? It not only fails to produce positive benefits, it begins to produce negative ones - weeds!
It’s the same with an altar. Cared for, your Wicca altar is a beneficial force of divine energy.
A healthy altar funnels positive energy into your life, creating health, success, love, and happiness. Neglected, it becomes a drain on those very energies.
And the more time you spend with your garden, even if you're just sitting in it, the healthier it will be. Just like your altar - when you bring your energy to it, even if just sitting there thinking, or tidying, or whatever, it will flourish.
So . . .
What Does Tending A Wiccan Altar Mean?
Three basic things:
1) Caring for Your Wicca Altar Tools
- Finding and choosing the right Wicca altar tools
- Buying altar tools with a proper attitude
- Purifying your new altar tools
- Dedicating and consecrating altar tools
- Appropriately storing altar tools
- Respectfully disposing of old altar tools.
These steps are covered in other articles. Please see . . .
Wiccan Altar Basics to find out the whats and whys of Wiccan altars.
Basic Altar Tools for info on what ritual tools go on a Wicca altar, and where.
Getting Started With Wiccan Tools for tips on finding, making, choosing, and buying Wicca altar tools.
Purifying & Preparing Your Ritual Tools for tips on what to do with your Wicca altar tools before and after use.
2) Freshening Your Wicca Altar Regularly
- Keeping your altar current
- Replacing candles
- Changing altar cloths
- Reducing clutter, etc.
3) Tending Your Altar as a Spiritual Practice
- Making offerings to the Divine
- Caring for your altar Deities
- Respecting your own and others' altars (See Wiccan Etiquette)
- Doing all of these tasks with care and mindfulness.
In this article, we will explore the second phase - Freshening Your Altar.
What Freshens An Altar?
Freshening a Wicca altar is mostly basic housekeeping - keeping it clean, tidy, and uncluttered. Mostly.
Why Is Housekeeping Important?
A dusty or dirty altar creates sluggish energy. Things become hard to achieve in your life. You may feel lethargic, overwhelmed, or stuck.
A jumbled altar, or one with old spells and symbols on it, makes it hard to move ahead in new projects and to think clearly.
A cluttered altar makes it difficult to assess priorities and do anything well.
These are examples of ways your altar can affect you. Or, to be honest . . . how they affect me. These situations might have different results in your life, depending on what things you find challenging.
The thing is, they will have results, and not beneficial ones.
Of course, all these conditions in your altar usually reflect those situations in your life, too. This creates a sort of feedback loop, where your life gets muddled and your altar gets muddled, and then your life gets more muddled, and so on.
An Out-Dated Altar?
There is one extra point to "housekeeping" your Wicca altar which may not be immediately obvious . . .
What really keeps an altar fresh is keeping the altar decorations current.
Just as you don't keep Hallowe'en decorations up all year 'round, so your altar decorations need to stay in tune with the seasons. A bright green altar cloth at Samhain will be as out of sync as New Years decorations in June.
But having your Wicca altar decorations reflect the Wiccan calendar is only part of it.
Reflections of Your Soul
Your altar decorations also need to mirror your internal seasons. Altar decorations can reflect your moods, and they can help you shift them.
For instance, if you are feeling a lot of anger, your altar decorations can reflect that in two ways . . .
- Expressing that energy, as with a red altar cloth, black candles, Kali dancing with Her necklace of skulls, etc.
This can help you access any buried levels of the anger, so that you can understand it, take action, and clear it out.
OR . . .
- Mediating that energy, with a pale pink or white altar cloth, turquoise candles, and Tara, Kwan Yin, Mary, or Brigid bringing Her compassion to your sacred space.
This can help shift a stuck energy into a higher vibration.
The first method is only recommended if you have excellent emotional skills and a good support network. It can bring up very intense emotions that can be difficult to deal with.
The second method is safer and much more gentle.
With Bright Blessings,
Next Article on Wicca Altars
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