A lot of people have recently asked me about setting up an Altar so I thought I would answer some of your questions here. Many religions and spiritual practices use Altars, not just Witches. An Altar is a dedicated space where you display and gather crystals and rocks, images, herbs and plants, special foods, Tarot cards, spell jars, etc all for a specific intention. You can literally use anything on your Altar that follows your intention or theme. You can set up Altars for Gods/Goddesses, the seasons, phases of the moon, passed on loved ones or ancestors, and anything else you're focusing on in your life.
If all of these suggestions have you feeling a bit overwhelmed, here is what I recommend. Start by working with the Phases of the Moon in a New Moon Ritual and a Full Moon Ritual. For the New Moon you want to focus on bringing new things in or manifesting. For the Full Moon, focus on letting go and releasing. A simple practice is using Honey Jars. I learned this from Witch, Psychic, and Teacher, Angela Lovell. To make a Honey Jar, I use a glass jar with a screw on lid. On a small piece of paper, write whatever you are manifesting for the New Moon or releasing for the Full Moon. Roll or fold it up and put it in your jar. Then add honey to 'sweeten the deal.' I also started added other sugary elements like colored sprinkles, agave, and maple syrup. Here are a few other tips from Angela:
"So much magick comes from the Earth, and that's why it's imperative to honor and respect her. I use maple syrup in my 'honey jars' after learning more about the unethical and dangerous harvest of bee products. Honey has many adverse health effects too, yet maple syrup in the only food our bodies don't even have to convert into energy-it's an instant source of power with over 54 different antioxidants. I also save and clean most of my leftover food jars to reuse for spells instead of buying new ones. After I assemble and seal my jar, I like to put it in a pot of warm water to gently activate its magick."
Energy follows intention. Setting up an Altar is a way to harness energy and give a visual representation of your intention. You can start of small by selecting a color theme, choosing a plant or herb to work with, or going to your favorite Witch shop to see what crystals call your name. Some folks like to work intuitively and some like to research extensively. There is no right or wrong way. Start with a few objects on your Altar and see what comes to you. Clear off a small space on your dresser or night stand, just find a clean surface or corner or a room that you can work in. Follow your intuition, it's gotten you here!
I started making Altar Cloths for my own Altar. I quickly realized the importance of using an Altar Cloth in creating an overall aesthetic. Each Cloth I create has a suggested energetic use that comes to me as I create it. I often use natural dye baths that help dictate those uses. I continue to explore materials and ways to incorporate and share my own magick.
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