One example of a simple, basic altar.
This is one way of setting up a simple altar for spellwork and rituals being done in a sacred circle. Some Witches leave their altars set up at all times and some do not. It is a personal choice whether you do or not. You can set your altar on a table, the floor anywhere you can walk completely around it to make your sacred circle. As you get more comfortable on your path it will reflect in how you do your altar and what you put on it.
We will start at the top or North/element of Earth – here you need a bowl of dirt or regular table salt or stones or a piece of wood or a green candle.
Next going clockwise (dorsil) is East/element of Air – here you need incense or feathers (real ones not store bought ones) or a yellow candle.
Moving to the bottom is South/element of Fire – here you need either a red or orange candle or a lighter or some matches. The above illustration shows a charcoal burner, but you don’t need that yet and it might be you never use one.
Next is West/element of Water – here you need a bowl of water or some sea shells or a statue of some kind of sea or ocean life or a blue candle.
For spirit, they have a God and Goddess candle. You can also use a statue or something that to you show the element of Spirit and you can put just one thing in either between Water and Earth or Between Earth and Air.
At this point, you might not have a wand or Atheme (ceremonial knife) yet which is fine. So do even concern yourself with that part of this above illustration. If you do have one then place them as shown on the altar.
You should have one taper candle that you have inscribed your name on, this is your personal candle. You need to cleanse it before inscribing it of all energy but your own (there is a post up on here about how to do that) If you have an Atheme use that to do the inscription. If not a favorite sharp kitchen knife will work. It sets on the altar one side of Fire or the other. It should be on the side your power hand is on. Your power hand is the one you write with. You will use it to light the incenses and/or other candles on the altar from.
Have your Book of Shadows and something to write with; with you always when doing spellwork and/or a ritual so you can either read the spell or ritual from it or want to write down something that happened in your circle. This sets on the opposite side of Fire from your personal candle.
Copyright 2015 Carla Schultz-Ruehl