The items you place on your altar will vary depending on the ritual you perform. However, some basic necessities are often found on many different kinds of altars.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on your altar, but you should make sure it is meaningful and special to you. Shop at Crystal Shops for affordable altar items.
Candles are a staple of altars, whether you use them to light a spell or simply bring the energy of your ritual into your space. Pillar candles are one of the most popular choices. They are cylindrical and come in many different sizes and heights. These candles also work well as decorative accents in lanterns and other pieces of home decor.
When candles burn, they create a fourth zone called the veil, which extends outward from the center of the flame. This area contains the most intense heat and is often blue in color. The warmth of the candle attracts cooler air and oxygen, which rises around the flame to replace it. This cool air surrounds the hotter, blue part of the flame and creates the illusion of a shadow.
Most Wiccan and Nature spirituality practitioners use candles on their altars for ceremonial purposes. The colors of the candles can represent the four elements, like black & white for goddess and god or brown and green for earth and air, or they can be used for specific intentions like red for love, orange for health or green for prosperity. Some candles are made from essential oils that can also benefit health.
The scents of candles can help people relax, lower stress and encourage feelings of wellbeing. This is because the fragrances can help to calm the nervous system, and many people find the sight of a candle beautiful. Studies have shown that beauty in general promotes mental and physical health, and so creating an environment that is pleasing to the eye can help us to feel good about ourselves.
Other things that can be placed on an altar include photos of deceased loved ones and salt, which is used to purify souls as they pass over. Some people will also add personal items such as crystals, which have specific energies associated with them, a deck of angel or intention cards and even their own favorite beverage.
The altar of incense was one of three pieces of furniture the LORD prescribed for His tabernacle, along with the table of showbread and the golden lampstand (Num. 6-7). While the other two vessels illustrated God’s provision for His people, the altar of incense reflected their work and prayers to Him.
Incense is one of the most common gateways into the spiritual side of humanity, and every culture and religion in the world has used it to some extent. It’s a great way to quiet the mind and allow yourself time to focus and meditate. You can also use it to help clear and cleanse negative energies within your home or work space. Many of our incense sticks and smudging feathers have an aromatherapy element that can aid in this practice.
When you’re using incense at your altar, it’s best to do so in a quiet area free of distractions. Minimize the number of people in the room and turn off or put on silent mode any electronic devices you might have. This will help you to fully concentrate on your time and intention for the purpose of your prayer, meditation or smudging ritual.
Some incense scents have the ability to help with mental clarity and boosting concentration and memory. These include Aloeswood, Cedar and Citrus scents.
Resin incense, which is a natural substance extracted from the tree, is another type of incense that can be burned at your altar. You can purchase this in a stick or coil form. It’s important to note that resin incense can be a fire hazard and should only be used in a well ventilated area. If you prefer, you can also purchase our new Altar of the Flower of Life Handcrafted Copper Incense Dish. It has a beautiful sculpted design and comes with a brass burner.
A crystal altar can be teeny-tiny or take up the entire room. It all depends on what you want your crystals to do for you! Crystals are often used on altars for healing, protection, love, luck and spiritual growth. People generally choose their crystals based on metaphysical properties, chakras or Feng Shui. Rose Quartz is a popular choice for love, while Tiger’s Eye promotes good fortune. You can also choose to create a crystal grid on your altar. This involves arranging crystals in a specific sacred geometric shape, like a circle, spiral, infinity symbol, square, triangle or hexagon.
Adding crystals to your altar will help you manifest your intention. You can meditate in front of your altar, set morning intentions over it or just gaze at your altar for a quick energy boost before you start the day. Many people use their crystal altars for sound healing, too. Chanting or singing in front of your altar can raise the vibrational frequency and attract more energy to your intention. Many people also use their crystal altars to perform new moon rituals, as the new moon represents transformation and rebirth.
You can also incorporate photos of loved ones, both alive and passed, into your crystal altar. The energy of these photos will resonate with the healing energy of your altar. You can also add flowers, leaves or fruit to your altars for their scent and nutritional value. Dried herbs and spices can also amplify the energies of your altar.
It’s important to cleanse your crystal altar regularly, as this flushes out negative energy and brings in fresh vibrations. Some people do this using water, like in the shower or by smudging the area with smoke from a burning sage stick. Others do it with light or by bathing the crystals in sunlight or moonlight.
An altar cloth makes an altar even more appealing. Altar linens are used in many different traditions from Paganism and Wicca to Judaism and Christianity. An altar cloth serves as both a decoration to invoke reverence and inspiration, and a cover to protect sacred objects and surfaces. If you’re looking to create a more intimate space, consider creating an altar cloth that reflects your personality and beliefs.
The first thing you need to do is decide on a design for your cloth. You can find altar cloth patterns online or you can create your own. If you choose to make your own, be aware that the lines will probably not be super straight. This is okay though, because creativity is born from imperfection!
Next, prepare the linen to be starched. This is a time consuming and messy process. Make sure that you set aside an hour or so to do this. It is best to do this during the new or full moon, or a holiday when you are in a good mood and have positive energy.
Once the linen is prepared to be starched, place it in a five-gallon bucket with Sta-Flo liquid starch and water. Be sure to mix the solution thoroughly. Next, dip the linen into the solution and stir it around until it is completely saturated with starch.
After soaking the linen, place it in a strainer to remove any excess starch solution. This is important because too much will cause the linen to be too wet to iron properly. It is also essential to press out any moisture that may have accumulated during the wash cycle. You can do this by using a clothes iron on a steam setting or simply hang the cloth in a well ventilated area to allow the excess moisture to evaporate.
A symbol represents a particular aspect of the element that it is representing. This is why it is important to consider the symbolism behind an altar item before choosing it. This way the item holds deeper meaning for you and your rituals. Some common symbols include a pentagram, candles in different colors (like black & white for divinity and fertility or brown & green for Earth) or even rocks or shells that speak to you.
You might also want to add other items that are specific to the season or your current focus. The possibilities are truly endless and can change with your needs at any time. It’s also important to tend to and clean your altar regularly, like you would your house or workplace, this keeps it clear and energized.
For example, if you are working with the energies of Dia de los Muertos then you might put skulls or sugar canes on your altar along with photos of deceased family and friends. You might also put flowers, fruit and food on the altar as offerings to the spirits. You may also choose to include personal items from the spirit like clothing garments or hair that you have of your deceased loved ones.
Other items that can be used on an altar are crystals, natural incense or oils, flowers, feathers and images of land animals (which represent Air energy). Water can be represented by a cup or chalice or even sea shells. Water is associated with emotions, intuition and healing and is a Yin energy. You could also use salt on your altar to cleanse the space. A cloth is often used on an altar to protect it and to keep dust off of the items. This can be a simple piece of lace or a large brocade.