Altars, their uses, decoration, etc


Hi all,

I recently got round to setting up my first 'proper' altar. I managed to find a 1910 dresser with loads of drawers in it and a two-level top surface that seemed perfect for an altar for £50.

Then I found the altar cloth, a nice white one with a black pentagram and Celtic knotwork around the edge.

I am planning on putting fresh cut flowers in a vase on it every couple of days, and I have also purchased eight Sabbat prints, one for each festival, from Wendy Andrew, a Pagan artist, so I can put them up at the festivals. I have a mind to ordering prints that illustrate the phases of the moon aswell: Dark, Waxing, Full, and Waning, so I can keep track.

Finally, I fell in love with this statue:

My housemate thinks she's ugly, but I just cried with joy when I saw her because she is just what I was looking for: not too 'real' woman-like, not too abstract, and in her Mother aspect. So I ordered her and eagerly await he arrival.

Now, want I am interested in is what everybody else's altars look like, and what you use them for? What do you keep on them? Do you use them just for devotional things, or for practicing magic? What tools do you keep on them?




Kiama, I love that statue! Her encircling embrace of the globe(s) says it all.


oh wow, she's GORGEOUS! Your roomie doesn't know good taste...LOL. (just kidding).

Actually, about my altar...smiles shyly...I would LOVE to have one, one that is set up all the time, a place I can pray, do my magical work, spell work, etc. But I can't. The reason why is b/c I have three little kids running about (4, 2, and 1) that would take it apart, break things, etc. Sooooo...when I do want to do a ritual, I use my childrens' plastic table, put a nice cloth over it, set it up with candles, a chalice, a cup of water, some salt, etc. So i have a lot of the tools to put on the altar, but it has to be taken apart every time, and then it's scattered through out the house in various wand up on top of the entertainment center, my cauldron on top of my bookcase in my room, my incense on top of the entertainment center, etc.

Eventually some day, I will be able to build that special place for my magical workings, but until then (sighs) I have to keep it the way it is.

Your altar sounds gorgeous, if you don't mind, would you be willing to take a picture of it (once you get it all set up with the Goddess statue) and scan it in here for all of us to see? i would love to see how this dresser looks as an altar, sounds beautiful!



When I read my cards, I sit in my bedroom on a bean bag. I have a low table with the TV on it and just a corner with my incense, a crystal angel and a tea light. I have always lit the candle and incense when I read or look at cards etc.

But then yesterday I got it into my head to make another one where I could put more things (I was never happy that the TV was next to my precious stuff but it was a matter of space).

I now have another altar which is in fact the top of a Wooden sewing box which is permanently in my bedroom. I have covered it with some iridescent purple and gold see through material - its very beautiful. I then have a samll white cotton table cover.

That's where I keep some crystals, pendulum, candles, some peridot I brought back from Lanzarote and just anything that creates a peaceful atmosphere. Like you Kiama, I plan on puting fresh flowers on there but probably only in the summer (from my garden).

I don't do spells or anything, I just wanted to create a personal, peaceful space.



Moonbow* said:
I don't do spells or anything, I just wanted to create a personal, peaceful space.


That's pretty much the same as me. I don't very often do spells, because I don't need to (not saying I have everything perfect in my life, but I just prefer to work mundanely and then if that doesn't work, I'll turn to magic... But nearly all the time it works 'mundanely'.)

I am not at this moment entirely sure as to the real purpose of my altar. All I know is that I had it in mind to create one, I had an urge to do it. I guess mostly I want it to be a space I can use that honours the sacred, the magical within both myself, others, and the world around me.



i have several altars but two main ones. one indoors that holds many of my tools etc. and one outdoors where i prefer to do most of my spellwork, under the moon.

i use the fireplace mantel for my main altar. it's fairly long, which is a good thing considering all the stuff on it :D everything on it is natural (with the exception of a little metal (bells), and pottery).

i have a large totem of my spirit guide. many items are things of a spiritual nature that i picked up in my travels. tibetan, african, indian, native american, mexican etc. figures, icons, amulets etc.

other things are for spellwork and journeys. drums, rattles, feathers, butterfly and dragonfly wings, stones and crystals, smudgesticks, incense holder, bowls of herbs, gourds, candles, shells and more. hanging from it are more herbs and ears of corn.

outside, my working altar is made around a very special tree. here i place prayer sticks, and leave herbal and gemstone offerings. other things are brought out as needed.


Pottery is too natural, it comes from sand in the desert :).


sagitarian said:
Pottery is too natural, it comes from sand in the desert :).

hey, i wasn't knocking pottery. i had a minor in ceramics and love to throw pots on a wheel (it's very zen ya know). wrapping your hands around wet clay is very grounding too.

of course pottery is natural dear, but so is plastic if you break it down far enough :laugh: everything started out from natural materials!

for magic, i like to keep as close to the source as possible. but that's just my choice, and not the only way! if i can use a gourd or a shell for a bowl, i will choose it over pottery, and i will choose pottery over plastic.


I was going to post about this subject earlier, but after reading the other responses, I went to take a look at my altar and realized that it was in pretty sad shape.

Like the rest of my apartment, it looked dusty and neglected...and um...cluttered.

I feel better now. :) It just needed a good cleaning.

But then, my altar is always pretty loaded with stuff. One would think I worship the Goddess of Clutter!

The Altar itself is on a bookcase, that when I moved here was just big enough to hold most of my tarot decks, and new age books. Now it is woefully inadaquate.

It is in the living room area, right by the entrance to the apartment, and so occasionally it becomes a place to put the keys, the mail, and the loose change.
In fact there is a bowl in the corner that is there to hold such things temporarily...I call it the neccesities bowl.

It is in the South quarter, because it's the only wall where it would fit. (my spouse has his altar in the North.) I do still miss the old place, where my altar was set up in the East.

My decorations are all mostly brass, from the bowls to the candle holders, to the inscence holders.It looks awesome when everything has been shined up and gleaming.
The altar is dedicated to my own version of the Triple Goddess, but most specifically to Fortuna, the Mother Goddess of fortune, and Lady Luck.
There are also many things on it that pertain to Her Maiden aspect, Venetian carnival masks and Mardi Gras beads. And there are also a few timepieces dedicated to Her Crone aspect, Chronata, Goddess of waiting and Timing.

There are also tools, like my athame and singing bowl, a nest found near the lake, that holds bits of bones, beach glass, feathers, crystals and many things that I find in the woods.
And a bowl for talismans, charms, and symbolic Talisman magic is what the altar is used for most.


sounds lovely Chronota!


I wanted to let you know that this thread has in a way changed changed my spirituality in a positive way. I've for years tried to "get in contact" with a Goddess energy. For a long time I felt a strong connection with Venus, but even she wasn't "perfect" for what I felt internally.

I clicked on the link and saw this Goddess statue and my jaw dropped, my eyes were wide, as I starred at her and starred at her, reading everything I could offered there about her. I've spent hours going over the rest of the site, always returning to her to gaze upon her even more. I couldn't afford her, but I wanted her here, in my home, as a Goddess focal point so badly, the more I thought about it, the more I felt as though I "needed" her, it's like, I need my mother to come home. I finally spoke to my husband about this (as he is very spiritual as well in the ways of wicca) and explained to him that I've been thinking about her for at least a week now, and would really like to "have" her. He went over some questions with me, in wanting to better understand how I identify her, and for what purposes I want her here, making sure it's not just a "knick knack" and that I wanted her for spiritual practices as a focal point for a Goddess. After I had "passed" his test *LOL* he smiled and said, "well, I wasn't going to tell you but...I was planning on buying her anyways for you for valentines. As I said, a woman should never go through a valentines day without remembering it for the rest of her life, and this seems like it would be a very special gift from me to you and it'll mean more to me to see you work with it on a spiritual level". So...smiles really big...hubby went on line last night and purchased this same statue for me for the same reason Kiama, and I just wanted to tell you that this has really changed my spirituality. I have finally found my Goddess, and my husband is getting it for me for a valentines present (even better).

Thank you so much for sharing this here, if it wasn't for you, this couldn't happen in my life! Hugs you tightly!