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Alter Setup
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From Agape to Praxis: The Fourfold Nature of Love
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Healing Routine: How to setup a Healing Ritual
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Everyday is Sacred
Crossing Lines
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Disease and The Creative Process in Magick
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Asatru, an Ancient Religion Reborn
Aspects of Religion: A Wiccan Viewpoint
Comming Out
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A cup of Hemlock
Astronomy in Ancient Civilisations
Being Jewish And Wiccan { One Women's View }

By Crimsonwolf

The Altar

 

 

When the time comes which is often when you want to do a spell or a ritual, you will desire a place or area to work your magic and rituals and to put your tools, your inspirational items, anything you use to help you. Sometimes you may also like to have a more permanent sacred place in your house or dwelling somewhere that is dedicated solely to your chosen deities or magical workings, daily devotionals or what have you. I will explain as best i can on how one might erect and maintain an alter that will be fully functional thought out the year gliding through the Sabbath peacefully and with ease all that is needed is a little time,  creativity oh and magic!!

 

 

  Altars can be simple or very complicated its really up to you as to how it will done. Altars can be an out of the way type of thing some thing that can be easily taken apart and put away after each use, or they can be setup and disguised as and ordinary shelf or area to place sacred non obvious objects for the more inquisitive touchy feely folks in your life. You know the ones I am talking about.  Or they can be quite elaborate and complicated for those who are very open and love to have their altars out and setup. So as you can see anything from a corner to a squat table, stool, shelf or shrine any thing will do as long as it is cleansed, consecrated and dedicated each time or when you feel is necessary. Some do not have alters either because they do not desire them or for other reasons , as they simply rely on nature or keep their alters beautifully erected  in their  hearts as our deities do not care what our decorations or area or bells and whistles look like as the desire love not looks.

    

 

    The purpose of building an altar

 

Honoring your pantheon or deities other beliefs in the powers that be.

Celebrating, unions, anniversaries, milestones, beginnings or completion's.

Paying respect to special people dead or living.

Celebrating or connecting to the aspects or roles in your life .

Healing mind, body or spirit.

Creating a space to encourage specific moods such as romance, peace, tranquility, creativity etc.

When the decision has been made on what your intent some like to have something physical to represent their intent or will, such as images, or something material from nature or otherwise. It should be equally important to meditate on the purpose of the altar and maybe a ritual or ceremony to make the intent clear to the Sacred ones. Your alter altar is representative of your desire and will so the clearer the intent the shorter the path towards the result may be.

 

 

The elements and your altar

One to thing to keep in consideration is the direction of your altar, although it can face any direction you like and be associated with any element, It is traditional to have your altar facing north. Some do  like to make a connection with a particular directional element, others may not care as it is really up to you. Those following an eclectic path should feel free to create an altar that represents their own spirituality. If you are a member of a specific tradition, you may find that a certain altar layout is expected. If you choose to have items to represent the 4 elements, they are usually placed at their corresponding direction:

~Fire ~   associated with the south and the noonday sun. Represents passion and will, purification, transformation, sexuality. The sun. The heat of the body. The sense of sight. Lions, dragons, and phoenix. The wand is the tool of fire.

Correspondence of Fire

Gender: Masculine
Season: Summer
Wiccan Directional Attribute: South
Other Directional Attributes: any, depending on pagan tradition followed.
Day: Sunday
Celtic time of day: noon
Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Planets: Sun, Mars
Colors: Red, gold, yellow, orange.
Chakra: Solar plexus(Center of stomach)
Archangel: Michael
Kerub: Lion
Tools: Staff, trident, stang, athame, wand, sword, feather, incense, spear, javelin, earrings, club, besom, wind instruments, smoking pipe, copper, arrow, scourge/Whip, laridt
Irish Names: Tine
Sanskrit name: Tejas
Qualities: Transformative, expansive
Sense: Sight
Properties: Heat and dryness
Alchemical Symbol: An upright triangle
Tattwa symbol: upright red triangle
Magical associations: Banishing/exorcism, strength, passion/lust, employment, protection, change, sex magic, legal matters, courage, anger, curse breaking, fidelity.
Stones: amber, apache tear, bloodstone, carnelian, citrine, diamond, flint, garnet, obsidian, onyx, rhoddocrosite, ruby, tiger’s eye, topaz, zircon
Metals: brass, gold, steel
Elemental King: Salamander
Other Elementals: Brown men, Drakes, gwyllions, oak man, the Red Cap, Will o’ the wisps.
Tarot Suit: Wands
Tarot Cards: The Emperor, Strength, the Sun.
Runes: Thurisaz, Kenaz, naudhiz, sowilo, ingwaz.
Animals: Reptiles dwelling above ground, like tree lizards; animals symbolizing strength, like bear and lion.
Celtic Sacred Trees: Blackthorn, Holly, Ivy, Oak, Silver Fir.
Herbs and Plants: allspice, basil, bay, ginger, gorse, hyssop, rosemary, thistle, wormwood, tobacco.
Kabalistic Sephirot: Netzach(victory), Geburah(Judgment), Chokeman(wisdom).
Gods: Prometheus(Greek), Lugh(Irish), Agni(Hindi), Astar(Persian), Aughi Turoa(aboriginal), Da-Bog(Slavic), Futsunushi(Japanese), Gibi(Babylonian), Kago-Zuchi(Japanese), Duamutif(Egyptian), Govannon(Celtic), Katcochila(Native North American), Svarozhich(Slavic), Tohil(centeral American), Veueteotl(Aztec), Vulcan(Roman), Wekwek(native north American), Xiuhtectli(Aztec).
Goddesses: Yamaya(West Aftrican), Brigid(Irish), Aine(Irish), Maia(Greek), Vesta(Roman), Yolkaiestsan(native north American), Davata(hindi), Feronia(Italian), Pele(Polynesian), Fuji(Japanese), Holika(Indian), Chuginadak(Inuit), Aetna(Italian), Hestia(Greek), Grian(Irish), Lucina(Italian).

 

 

~Water ~   associated with the west and setting sun. Represents emotion and intuition, love and sorrow. The ocean. The womb and blood. The sense of taste. Anything that swims; fish, dolphins, and whales. The chalice is the tool of water.

Correspondence of Water

Gender: Feminine
Season: Autumn or winter
Wiccan Directional: West
Other Directional: any, depending on pagan tradition followed.
Days: Monday, Friday
Celtic Time of Day: Dusk
Astrological Sign: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Planet: moon
Colors: Silver, Purple, white, blue, indigo
Chakra: Navel(just below the belly button)
Archangel: Gabriel
Kerub: Eagle
Tools: Cup, chalice, cauldron, hollow horn, bowl, pitcher, goblet, ring, wine, cask, barrel, silver items, any cool liquid, tea kettle, shells, paint brushes, sickle.
Irish Name: Uisce
Sanskrit name: Apas
Qualities: Purifying, contraction
Sense: taste
Properties: Cold and dampness
Alchemical symbol: an inverted triangle
Tattwa symbol: Silver crescent with horns pointing upward.
Magical associations: Love and romance, psychic power, astral travel, dream work, meditation/path work, healing, spiritual pursuits, child birth, death/rebirth, spirit contact.
Stones: Amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, chalcedony, coral, lapis lazuli, marble, moonstone, pearl, sapphire, selenite, sodalite.
Metals: copper, silver
Elemental King: Undine
Other Elementals: Alvens, ashrays, Banshees, Nixies, merpeople, galaistigs, kelpies, shoneys, he Leanansidhe, the Lorelei, Ly Ergy, Mal-de-mers, Rusalkis, selkies, shelley coats, snow faeries.
Tarot Suit: Cups
Tarot cards: Death, the moon
Runes: Uruz, gobos, hagalaz, isa, pethro, ehwaz, laguz, dagaz.
Animals: Fish and other aquatic Creatures.
Celtic Sacred trees: alder, hazel, linden, reed, rowan, white poplar, willow, yew.
Herbs and Plants: Belladonna (hallucinogen can be dangerous), blackberry, Jasmine, vanilla, lotus, valerian, yarrow, lilac, mesquite, comfrey, burdock, camphor, myrrh, orris.
Kabalistic Sephirot: Hot (splendor), Chesed(mercy), Binah(Understanding).
Gods: Poseidon(Greek), Neptune(Roman), Lir(welsh), Mamnnanan(Irish), Achelous(Greek), Indra(Hindi), Aegir(Norse), Althaeas(Greek), Apo(Persian), Apsu(Babylonian), Chiaga(Central American), Ea(Chaldaean), Dylan(welsh), Imset(Egyptian), Inachus(Greek), Bn-ym(Phoenician), Tamesis(English), Melqart(Phoenician), Nakki(Finnish), Ngurvillu(South American) Nun(Egyptian), oluksak(Inuit), proteus(Greek), Untunktahe(native north American), yamn(Babylonian).
Goddesses: Sequana(Celtic), Boann(Irish), Ganga(hindi), Nammu(Sumerian), Jurate(Baltic), Sarasveti(hindi), Juras Mate(Lithuanian), Venus(Greek), Cacce-Jienne(Lapp), Ceibhfhionn(Irish)

 

~Earth ~ Associated with the north and midnight. Represents the physical world, stability, practicalitiy, and silence. The mountains. The bones of the body. The sense of touch. Anything solid or earth dwelling; bulls, the stag, worms, and moles. The pentacle (disk, stone) is the tool of earth.

Correspondence of Earth

Gender: Feminine
Seasons: Autumn or winter
Wiccan directional: North
Other directional: any depending on pagan tradition followed
Days: None
Celtic time of day: Midnight
Astrological signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Planet: Earth
Colors: Brown, green, blue, yellow
Chakra: root (at base of tailbone)
Archangel: Uriel
Kerub: bull
Tools: disk, carved wood (the pentacle), hammer, stones, clay, bowl of earth, salt, double-headed axe, shield, wheel, necklace, club, roots, drum, bronze, bow, animal fur/pelts, sand mallet.
Irish Name: Talamh
Sanskrit name: Prithivi
Qualities: stabilizing, grounding
Sense: smell
Properties: cold and dryness
Alchemical symbol: Inverted triangle bisected by a horizontal line.
Tattwa symbol: yellow square
Magical association: fertility, magick for the home and animals, eco-magick, prosperity/wealth, healing, centering/grounding.
Stones: amazonite, cat’s eye, emerald, geodes, Jade, Jet, Malachite, olivine, peridot, turquoise.
Metals: Lead, mercury
Elemental King: gnome
Other elementals: attorcroppes, brownies, bubachs, clurichauns, Elves, fireesins, gruagachs, huldrafolk, knockers, kolbalds, korreds, leprechauns, menehunas, skogrsas, sylvans, trolls, imps
Tarot Suit: Pentacles or stones
Tarot cards: The Empress
Runes: Fehu, wunjo, hera, berkano, mannaz, othala
Animals: Snakes, burrowing animals, and many spiders.
Celtic Sacred trees: ash, dwarf elm, hawthorn
Kabalistic sephira: From heberw tree of life… Malkuth(Earth)
Gods: Dagon(Phoenician), Ishuara(hindi), aker(Egyptian), Ashi Nadzuchi(Japanese), mullas(Mayan), Consus(Roman), Hapi(Egyptian), Nai-No-Kami(Japanese).
Goddesses: Odidud(west Africa), Eriu(Irish), Tellus Mater(roman), Habondia(celto-Germanic), Aeracura(celtic), Erce(Slavic), Zemyna(Lithuanian), Yak(Malaysian), Waramurumngundji(aboriginal), Taillte(Irish), Mati(Slavic), Gaia(Greek), Hybla(Italian), Beruth(Phoenician), Apia-Fellus(scythian), Coatlicue(Aztec), Ma-Emna(Baltic), Isong(West Africa), Hertha(Teutonic)

 

~Air ~   associated with the east and the rising sun. Represents thought, intellectual processes, intuitive and psychic work. Wind. The breath of the body. The sense of smell. Anything that flies; birds and insects. The athame is the tool of air.

Correspondence of Air

Gender: Masculine
Season: Spring
Wiccan Directional Attribute: East
Other Directional attribute: Any depending on pagan tradition
Day: Wednesday
Celtic Time of Day: Dawn
Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Planet: Neptune
Colors: Yellow, Pale blue
Chakra: Heart Center (Area of breast bone)
Archangel: Rafael
Kerub; human being
Tools: Candles, all blades forged in fire, wand, red or orange stones, Pike, Claymore, Matches, flint, ashes, wheel, torch bracelet, solar disk (equilateral cross in circle), besom, gold, spear, lariat, scourge/whip, ram’s horn, fan, pen/pencil, letter opener, shepherd’s crook.
Irish name: Aer
Sanskrit name: Vayu
Quality: Mobilization, swiftness
Alchemical Symbol: an upright triangle bisected by a horizontal line.
Tattwa symbol: Blue circle
Magical association: Travel, astral travel, intellectual matters, communication, and musical spells, fidelity.
Stones: adventurine, mica, pumice, sphene, meteorites.
Metals: aluminum, tin
Elemental King: Sylph
Other Elementals: Bocans, chi spirits, djinn, dryads, the fachan, foletti, flygiars, gryphon’s, gremlins, leshess, lobs, orculli, phookas, pixies, pillywiggins, spriggans.
Tarot suit: swords or blades.
Tarot cards: The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune.
Runes: Ansyz, raidho, eihwas, tiway.
Animals: Birds and flying insects
Celtic sacred Trees: alder, birch
Herbs and plants: Agrimony, dandelion, hops, lavender, marjoram, mistletoe, holly, parsley.
Kabalistic sepherot: Yesod (Foundation), Tipharet (Beauty)
Gods: Ioskeha(native north American), Aleion(Phoenician), Aquillo(Roman), Boreas(Greek), Auster(Roman), Awhiowhio(aboriginal), Ecalchot(Central American), Ehecatl(Aztec), Enlil(Sumerian), Esaugetuh(native north American), Qebesenuf(Egyptian), Ilma(Finnish), Meuler(Incan), Tatsuta Hiko(Japanese), Ukko(Finnish), Vaya(Hindi)
Goddesses: Oya(West African), Feng Pho-Pho(Chinese), Guabancez(Central American), Mardeq Avalon(Russian), Ninlil(Babylonian), Shina-to-be(Japanese) Yondung Halmoni(Korean), Iphigenia(Greek)

 

Spirit/Center/Akasha

The fifth element it has no gender association and no set place within a ritual circle. Directionally seen as above and below, inside and out, in the center and all about us and within all the other elements. It both transcends them. Although spirit can be associated with magic using cords, cloaks, or any item that ties, binds unifies, or connects other elements.

One of the interpretations of the pentagram, the five-pointed star that has come to symbols much of western paganism, is one of elemental unity.

The relationship between spirit and the other elements on the pentagram presents spirit as the ruler of the apex, under which all the others take their place.

Spirit Correspondences Chart

Directional: Center and/or above
Colors: White and/or Black
Chakra: Crown (at the top of the head)
Tools: Cords, Cloaks, medicine bags, et cetera; anything that symbolizes the binding or unification of the other elements.
Sanskrit names: Akasha
Latin name: Aether
Other names: Quintessence, Nyr
Qualities: Pervasive, omnipresent
Sense: Hearing
Alchemical Symbol: Sometimes the star of David also known as Solomon's Seal; two interlaced triangles, one pointing up and the other pointing down.
Stones: Quartz crystal
Tattwa symbol: Black oval
Tarot Card: The world
Celtic Sacred Tree: Apple
Kabalistic Sephira: Kether (Crown)
Deities: All

 

 

In taking time to think about and constructing  our altars we can put to use objects and symbols in this realm that connect to ourselves and to other realms to serve our purpose in this life. To have  further influence on ourselves and the universe  we can create links between the conscious and the sub-conscious to bring about change. In this way building and working an altar can be a powerful tool that can set changes in motion. Lets point out some of our altar tools and how they can cleansed ,consecrated and charged to ultimately to get the job done.

 

 

~Cleansing ~

Cleansings are performed to clean areas and tools of negative energy. I believe that negativity can enter areas and objects causing incomplete work and overall magical efficiency. When a witch has gathered together their tools or object sit is very common that they cleanse those items so that they may be free of negative forces. When you see a witch’s altar you must not touch anything unless you are given permission. All people carry karma some is good & some bad, witches believe that you can leave bits of that on items just by touching them. Cleansing an altar is very time consuming so that is why you must never touch another persons altar items without their permission. Cleansings are both physical & spiritual in nature. We do actually physically clean an area as well cleanse it through a ritual.

 

Simple Cleansing:

~Earth ~ The earth is wonderful for cleansing your tools. You may simply choose to bury your tools within the earth. This will cleanse them. Mother earth always gives us everything we need to do our magical workings.

~Salt ~ Also great for cleansing. Simply get a bowl add salt and literally bury your tool within the salt. It is cleansed.
Full Moon Cleansing – place your tools under the full moon will not only cleanse the tools but also charge them. What better source to use then the wonderful power within the full moon. Note remove your tools prior to sunrise when practicing this method.

 

~Consecration~

  Pagan tools are nothing if not consecrated properly. Consecration purifies by means of salt, water and incense. The salt, water, and incense stand for the four elements of the Wise - earth, water, and fire, together with air. By consecrating anything, you are in effect using these four basic ingredients to "wash" the article of all unwanted vibrations, prior to recharging it with your own will and concentrated power.   Consecration must take place before a circle is cast, as of course the tools are used in magical rites. 

Basically, any form of words can be used to consecrate something, ranging from a long sounding Latin invocation to a simple jingle. Witches generally prefer the latter. The chants can be freely replaced by your own words (which are best) Before a consecration is to take place, it is best to take a nice herbal or ritual bath and meditate. Indoors or out, one must be comfortable, alone or at least hidden from prying eyes, and in a very positive frame of mind.

 

By Crimsonwolf

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