Let’s Talk Witch – Your Altar, Of Course


Your Altar, Of Course


They say that home is where the heart is–if so, then a Witch’s home is her altar. That is where your most precious tools live: athame, god and goddess candles, incense, crystals … whatever you use to connect with the gods in your most private rituals.

Your altar is where you go when you are most troubled and in need of help. It is where you go in your greatest moments of joy to give thanks.

You stand at your altar to summon what you want and banish what you don’t, to ask for help and to ask for answers.

What better definition of home could you have?

So tend your altar carefully. Find items that you will treasure, and set them lovingly in their places. You don’t need a lot. One candle or six (god and goddess and the four quarters)-it’s your choice. That one perfect leaf, feather, or rock. As long as it means something to you, your altar is where it belongs.

And your altar is where you belong, too. It is the one place where you can truly be you, with nothing hidden or held back. Laugh, cry, howl, or simply be silent… it’s all good.

So go to your altar often, even if only for a minute or two at a time, and check in with yourself, the gods, and the universe. Ground back to the earth and to your truest self. And don’t forget to dust on occasion, either.



Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake


Let’s Talk Witch – Modern Paganism and Ancient Gods


Some modern Pagans have a devotion to a particular Goddess or God; others choose to venerate the Divine through the Gods and Goddesses of one particular pantheon. Often, however, Pagans honour the Gods under a number of different names. This can seem somewhat bewildering but it is perhaps less so if the Gods are thought of as different personalities through which the Divine has chosen to manifest Itself at different times and to different peoples.

Although modern Pagans worship the Gods using their ancient names, this does not mean that we think of our Gods in exactly the same way as ancient Pagans did. If a modern Irish woman chooses to call the Great Goddess Isis, this does not mean that her concept of Isis is exactly the same as that of an Egyptian woman 4,000 years ago. Over time, our ideas about the Gods and the nature of the Divine have changed. We are not seeking to restore our Paganism to exactly the same practices as those of our ancestors, even if this were possible. Much has been lost to us; much of our religious thinking has evolved. We must examine the ancient myths and legends in order to find a new way forward for the future. Paganism can be considered a lost knowledge which has now been rediscovered and must be reinterpreted in ways which meet the needs of people today.

Some aspects of our ancestors’ Pagan practice would not find favour today. Like Judaism and other religions of the pre- Christian period, many types of Paganism practised animal sacrifice. This is not acceptable to modern Pagans and indeed there were many ancient Pagans who practised vegetarianism. Other ancient Pagan ideas would seem bizarre nowadays. Our ancestors thought it perfectly normal to honour a Deity, make requests and then to threaten to take their worship elsewhere if their requests were not carried out. When the Gods are seen as different personalities, it is logical for people to switch allegiance if they feel they can get a ‘better deal’ elsewhere – as indeed people did with Christianity. Modern Pagans would not consider this an appropriate way in which to treat their Gods.

Today, Pagans worship the Divine as Goddess, God and also as the Great Spirit or One who is beyond all these. Some Pagans honour the Gods in their Norse form, others in Celtic form, Egyptian form or according to the ways of Native American ancestors. A distinctive feature of Paganism, however, is the emphasis it places on the Divine in female form – the Goddess.

Paganism: A Beginners Guide to Paganism
Sarah Owen