When my Tarot Reader/friend told me she practiced Wicca I thought “cool!” Then she told me that she had an altar in her bedroom and I thought “umm… ok…?” When “regular” folk think about an altar, images of churches and priests come to mind. I never realized that an altar can simply be a sacred space for one to reflect and keep things that are meaningful to them.
Since my friend practices Wicca, her explanations and guidance when asked about creating an altar had a “witchy” flair. So, me being me, I decided to read as many books as I could about Wicca. I really love the nature based principles of Wicca but didn’t feel ready to make a complete commitment to it. Maybe one day I will. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to research it. You may be pleasantly surprised and many common misconceptions may be put to rest.
How does one create a personal altar for their own enjoyment and why? I created an altar simply because I wanted to have a special area of my room just for me to communicate with spirit and give thanks. I followed many Wiccan Altar Table suggestions in creating my altar, but I was always told that it is personal and there is no right or wrong way.
First you have to decide where you want your altar to be and if you are going to purchase an altar table or use whatever you have on hand. I purchased a small table that caught my eye and placed it on top of my small corner electric fireplace. I use the small table and the top surface of the fireplace as my space. My husband knows not to “mess with it” and amazingly my cats don’t even go up there!
On my altar I have a blue candle for spirit, a green one for earth, and I like to have a white one on there to honor my spirit guides who have made a commitment to guide me during this entire lifetime. The least I can do is light a candle for them! I also have a small bag of assorted crystals and stones on my altar along with an abalone shell with a sage smudge stick in it. In my opinion, it is important to light sage occasionally in order to cleanse the area of unwanted energies. You could also purchase an altar besom, which is basically a small broom, to “sweep” your altar of old or negative energy. Some people use an altar bell right before beginning a ritual or prayer to help cleanse the area as well.
I believe it is necessary to have an incense burner too. When it comes to choosing incense, I think it’s appropriate to just choose the ones you like the smell of. Since I am a Tarot reader, I used to keep my Tarot decks on my altar too, but eventually I accumulated so many decks they didn’t fit anymore. I also use my altar to let my deceased family members know when I am thinking about them. For example, my father’s picture, along with a white votive candle are on my altar right now since he passed away on 10/14. I burn the candle for him every night at bed time and it burns out by morning. I will continue to repeat this process while I’m grieving. It makes me feel better and I’m sure he appreciates it.
Before I placed my items on my altar I lit my sage smudge stick and let the smoke waft over the items one at a time asking for them to be cleansed. Once the items and area are cleansed, it becomes your sacred space. Your altar is now a special place just for you!