Altars and Altar Setup

Altars

Your altar does not have to be elaborate. It can be a small table, a mantelpiece, windowsill, a shelf in a bookcase, or what ever else is handy in the house. It can be round, to represent the Goddess, square, symbolic of the elements, rectangular or oval. It may be a small area of ground in a field or wood.

You may decorate it with crystals, talismans, herbs, flowers, or my favorite, feathers. Anything that has special meaning to you. It is a reflection of the person who puts it together.

It is considered best to place the altar facing north. This direction symbolizes the power flow from darkness to light. It is associated with the Earth. Some face the south with their altars to honor the sun as it rises.

The altar is usually stands in the center of the circle.

We do not believe the Goddess or God actually "inhabit" the altar. It is a place of power. We are not "idol worshipers". These are manifestations of the creative forces found in nature everywhere.

It may be set up permanently or dismantled after use.

Altar Setup

The Goddess is associated with the left side of the altar. The Goddess may be represent by a white, silver, or green candle. A sculpture or some sort of figure may be used. Tools that are associated with the Goddess are the Cup, Pentacle, Bell, crystals and Cauldron. If the Cauldron is large, it is usually placed on the floor to the left.

The God is associated with the right side. A sculpture or a figure of some sort may be used to represent the God. A red, yellow or gold candle is appropriate. Tools associated with the God are, the Censer, Wand, Athame, and Bolline.

The Censer and Cauldron are sometimes set in the middle for offerings to both Goddess and God.

The Pentacle is sometimes set in front of the censer. It marks the Directions and/or Elements.

Many Wiccans mark North, South, East and West with candles on the altar, space permitting.

Unless you have a very large altar, you will need a stand for the Book of Shadows, or place it on the floor where you will not step on it.

As you can see, it is up to you to find what is pleasing.

Altar cloths are sometimes used. The color changes for the holidays or ritual.

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An example of an altar setup. Clockwise from the top center:
  1. Statue of Deity
  2. Illuminator Candle
  3. Incense
  4. Wand
  5. Fire Candle
  6. Cakes
  7. Sword
  8. Anointing Oils
  9. Water Bowl
  10. Salt Cup
  11. Book of Shadows
  12. Illuminator Candle
  13. Chalice

A broom rests on the altar’s Eastern quarter.

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