Setting up an altar can be as simple as having a statue with an offering bowl or it can be as intricate as places of worship. Curating an altar is curating your energy, as your spiritual quest deepen, you will find you will reject what once serve you, for something that is closer to your intuitive authentic self.
As your duality merge into oneness, the paradox of life has been made peace with, your altar becomes more unique and increasingly cohesive.
Artistry is common when it comes to altars, creativity involves imagination and this also means tapping into divinity as required. I know loads of artists like myself, that get into "the zone" when creating art, we lose track of time and become otherworldly.
While not all artists are spiritualists, spiritual practices can help them gain clarity about their work, have strong goals and positive direction, adding value beyond aesthetics. For example political feminist art, using their art for the greater good.
Preferably, an altar should have a combination of found objects like feathers and branches, DIY products like my hand sewn voodoo doll, garden grown and harvested herbs to handmade treasure box to bought objects like candles, crystals and incense burner.
Basically, if you wait around to DIY or find things, you will be waiting forever. Not to mention you need skills, tools and time to complete these tasks. When you want to manifest ASAP, a fast way to get there is buy things instead.
We live such hectic lives, it's next to impossible to only have found objects or DIY everything, without setting up an altar, it's easy to falter in your practice.
DIY is an important part of soul evolvement, because nothing is as customised to your energy as it is, therefore why part of the DIY movement involves witchy vibes.
Setting up an altar is the first step when it comes to manifestation, without a foundation to kickstart your quest, you will find yourself unable to stay on track. Being fair weathered is easy in a distractive noisy lower conscious world, you need to ritualise if you want to reap long term benefits.
An altar is also the Qi (energy) center of a house, it governs the wellbeing of everyone in it, so the more offerings and prayers are done on the altar, the more blessings are received by those within a household.
This includes sharing energy with family members, housemates, visitors, friends and colleagues, everyone enjoys a person's spiritual quest directly or indirectly. People benefit from your silence presence when your energy is good, spreading knowledge is an extra task to help them further.
It becomes a sacred place like a temple, just like your mind becomes one consciousness, a place where vibrations are high, recharging anyone with the good fortune to stop by and say hi!
Some basics of an altar are,
An altar cloth - can be used as a backdrop to be hung on the wall or as a table cloth for divination purposes. I like to use it as the center of my magical circle, where I cast spells, pray, meditate and make potions.
A luxurious fabric like suede or silk is usually used, to invite Goddesses and Gods in, we need to house them with the reverence they deserve. Usually in red, gold or purple, the colours of royalty (purple), abundance (gold) and prosperity (red). This includes cradling our tools like cards, bowls, wands, crystals inside these cloths, making sure they're treated well.
We're to treat them as precious, beyond the monetary value. To understand they bring us way beyond what the naked eye can see, use our third eye to intuit beyond the veil of a system that's oppressive and artificial, not use preprogrammed humanness to judge and rank.
It's common that tarot card readers or psychics will bring them out to add oommpphhh to their readings. Regularly used items, all become sacred, both by energy and also by personal sentimentality, the closer you're to them, the more powerful your magic becomes. You're charging them as they're changing your life for the highest good!
The more you use them, the better they become. Like fine wine, they grow more valuable with age.
Crystal Displays & Crystal Chips - Crystal Chips are great for mixing potions, crafting spells, they're small and can fit anywhere. Crystal displays can range from glorious human size ones to smaller ones suitable for smaller spaces, an altar can be a corner table in a room or take up an entire room by itself.
It's tempting to rush out and buy a million of them before you know what to do with them. It can also become frustrating clutter that don't fit into your life, leaving you more anxious instead.
Start with a small set of crystal chips, 1 or 2 larger ones as a staple, I chose Rose Quartz for its one love properties, its crystal resonance is suitable for anyone. I added Clear Quartz for its purification element.
To add, you must subtract (cleanse) first, this is one critical step that most people miss out on, becoming a clash of energies that obstructs flow instead.
Incense, Herbs & Chime Candles - While incense cones, incense sticks and smudge sticks are more convenient, loose herbs are the most versatile. They can be burned to release aromatherapy, they can also be used in spell making, herb pouches, sprinkled into foot soaks or tub baths or sacrificed as offerings.
I used rose incense to smudge my bottles before making Aphrodite Love Potion No. 8 , using the right incense is as critical as knowing when to smudge.
Some people are used to the idea of smudging a space but not smudging their bodies or their bottles before spell making, rendering their spells not as effective as they can be.
Chime Candles are smaller candles meant to burn down to the wick, used on top of jars to be prayed to for a period, to show your dedication to follow through on an intention.
Lighting that candle daily can be a way for you to effortlessly ritualise, meditate for 20 mins a day can be life changing.
Larger candles are meant for festive occasions and special occasions. Let's say you want to give thanks for a wish come true, that's when you light a large one. They can also be used for longer periods of intention setting, let's say you have deep struggles in one area of life, you can use them to quit unhealthy addictions.
A small set of different coloured candles for candle magic will do.
Jars - have one set for dry spells and the other set for wet ones. Potions usually contain salt water, sea water or moon water, they can also be herb infused tea as well.
Dry spells don't require airtight containers, so you can be more fancy with them.
Chime candles can be used to seal bottles as well, so they work well together, although air tight jars like these below are needed for wet spells.
This kit I put together is a great beginner altar set, while I only have 3 limited 47 Piece Witchy Altar Sets to sell, I'm not shipping overseas, it's only available in Singapore. It's a good starter for anyone in the world who wants to start an altar, you can get it from your friendly neighbourhood witchy store.
A box is a good idea, it can work for those living inside the broom closet, living with people who disagree with their spiritual practices or hiding them from visitors who're unawakened. It's also neat, you put everything together, not having to scramble to find this and that.
Love Light Peace