Creating a Personal Altar

How to create a magical working space or altar.

Building an altar can be a deeply personal and mystical experience. It is a way to connect with your ancestors, your deities, or simply the energy of the universe. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Here are some tips on how to build an altar that is perfect for you.

– First, decide what purpose your altar will serve. This will help you determine what kind of items to include on it. This can be changed weekly, seasonally or even daily. You can have many altars in your space

-We have an ancestor altar where we feed our ancestors and altars we change seasonally, often we set our table like an altar, especially on shabbes

– Choose a location or several for the altars that are special to you. Somewhere your kids, dogs, cats, etc will leave it alone. It could be in your home, in your garden, or anywhere that feels sacred to you. I have even had the on the dashboard of the car when traveling

-You can carry a traveling altar kit with you and set a small one up where ever you go

– Once you have selected a location, clean it off with some mugwort water (simply pour boiled water over dried or fresh mugwort and let steep 10 minutes), then cleanse it with smoke, I love to use sage, mugwort or lavender smoke. Find a beautiful cloth to lay over the surface if you desire.

– Now you can begin to decorate your altar with items that are meaningful to you. This could include anything you wish. I tend to always have a small cauldron, a wood box, something my children made, something of my ancestors, dried herbs, poppets I am working with, a black stone, a chalice, an athame, and a candle and the rest of the items rotate. But the possibilities are infinite. Items that belonged to loved ones, toys you had as a child, stones, feathers, living plants, dried herbs, brick dust, graveyard dirt, flowers, candles, pictures, or anything else that calls to you

– When your altar is complete, take some time to meditate on its meaning and purpose. Allow yourself to connect with the energies it represents.

-I enjoy going to it each day and lighting a candle, making an offering, admiring the beauty, burning some herbs or speaking about what I would like to cast into my day

-I often place the tarot card I pulled for the day onto the altar

-Use your altar to cast spells and weave magic into your web

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. And that’s it! Now you have your very own altar that you can use for whatever purpose you desire.

Take care of your altar: Altars are meant to be living spaces that evolve. Check-in with your altar regularly to see what needs to be added or removed. Add new items as they come into your life, and let go of anything that no longer feels relevant. Freshen up your altar as part of your practice. There are many ways to do this. Some ideas are to clean your altar on a new moon and place new items on it, wash the altar cloth, and spray it with mugwort, rosemary or lavender spray. Bath the stones in salt water and place them under the full moon. For the waning moon look at what you may want to remove from your altar space

However you decide to create your altar, the most important thing is to enjoy it and make it yours.

And if you want to send us photos of your altars we would LOVE to see them.