The Traveling Altar

Many people spend a lot of time away from their home — and their tools. Here are some ways to take your altar with you while you are vacationing, moving, or on a business trip. All tools have alternatives. Sometimes some items cannot be taken onto planes or are to cumbersome to carry. There are easy ways to deal with each problem.

Athame: The athame is the symbol of the God and can be substituted in most any ritual with other tools. The forefinger of the power hand, for example, can be used in its place. You can also use a small twig or wand to serve in place of the athame.
Candles: Pack some small candles such as votives, tea-lites (which do not require candle holders), or birthday candles. White candles can be used to substitute any other color in spells. Birthday candles have the added advantage of colors and burn quickly.
Anointing Oil: Carry oil in a small vial or bottle such as an empty vanilla extract bottle. Pack an all-purpose oil, such as rosemary, that can be used for any occasion and drop in a tiny quartz crystal or two to empower it.
Herbs: If you require herbs for your candles, pack a small baggie with some all-purpose herbs such as rosemary, sage, anise, basil or bay or a mix of them all.
Chalice: Other tools can be used in place of a chalice. Shot glasses, small ceramic bowls or tiny wooden cups work fine. A wonderful alternative is the small decorated Asian ceramic hand bowls used for holding herbs or sauces. These are readily available in Asian supermarkets for very cheap and can be purchased with decorations of animals, fish, birds and dragons.
Incense: Incense cones, sticks or powder can effectively be used in the place of cumbersome charcoal and herb incense.
Cauldron: The cauldron can be replaced with a small black bowl or dish. Tiny black ceramic cauldrons are easily found for sale online and in catalogs and are often very cheap.
Pentacle: A small pentacle can be made by painting a wooden disk or a flat stone.
Salt: Keep sacred salt made from sea salt or kosher salt in a small glass bottle, empty medicine bottle, or tic-tac box.
Wine and Water: Wine is best to take on trips instead of juice because it does not spoil. Keep flasks of wine and water in with your other supplies. If you do not have a flask, use an empty bottle of vanilla extract with the label removed. You may want to keep a small quartz crystal in the holy water to keep its charge.
Parchment: Cut parchment into 1x2 inch pieces to use in spells and store them in your kit with a blessed pen.
Stones: Very small stones can be found in rock shops to take with you. Be sure to include only those which you will need most to save room. Here is a list of useful stones you may want to include:

  • Quartz: Power, healing, amplifies energy
  • Snowflake Obsidian: Money, wealth
  • Rose Quartz: Love, soothing
  • Bloodstone: Healing, prophetic dreams
  • Amber: Healing, money, power, all-purpose and the most powerful of stones
  • Amethyst: Spiritual upliftment, nightmares, headache

Altar Cloth: A scarf or colored piece of cloth can serve as an altar or altar cloth and can double as a wrap for some of your more delicate tools.

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