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The_Blessed_Mule
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:41 pm
Whether you're just wanting to share a picture of your altar or if you need help figuring out what your altar needs and how to best set it up... if it involves altars, then this is where you need to be!  
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:03 pm
I'm searching for the perfect altar. I have a few issues with that, though.

Well, my first problem is that my family is extremely Christian, up to the point where if they found out I was a Witch, they'd send me off to bible school and tell me I was going to hell.

Anyways, so it needs to be something that's easy to hide and not very conspicuous. And, it'd be nice to be small and portable, because I'm going back to college soon.

And lastly, what exactly is necessary for a good altar?  

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:21 pm
Rune WolfHaven Wrote:
I'm searching for the perfect altar. I have a few issues with that, though.

Well, my first problem is that my family is extremely Christian, up to the point where if they found out I was a Witch, they'd send me off to bible school and tell me I was going to hell.

Anyways, so it needs to be something that's easy to hide and not very conspicuous. And, it'd be nice to be small and portable, because I'm going back to college soon.

And lastly, what exactly is necessary for a good altar?

If you have a trunk or cabinet, your altar can be in there.  
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:03 pm
A statue of the virgin mary makes a good subsitution for a goddess statue, plus your christian family won't ask too much about it.  

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:06 pm
What goes on your altar, is going to depend on what exactly your path/religion is.

If you are Neo-Pagan, then you are going to want to have something that represents the God and the Goddess, and then representations of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The traditional associations being Wand for Air (also Incense or Chimes), Athame for Fire (or candles), Chalice for Water (or a bowl/shell with water in it) and Pentacle for Earth (or crystals, or salt). Of course if you are eclectic you can choose to use more or less whatever you feel represents the Elements. You can also choose to add various other things depending on the seasons, or if there are specific things you are working on, or just feel like adding.

If you are following a specific reconstruction religion, your altar would probably be very different, and may in fact resemble more of a shrine than an altar. You would want to do some research into those specific paths, as to what would be necessary for those altars.

Truthfully if you are still at home and know that your parents would freak out, I'd really suggest waiting to set up an altar until you have a place of your own.

Nano_Rem Wrote:
A statue of the virgin mary makes a good subsitution for a goddess statue, plus your christian family won't ask too much about it.


While I am sure that there are plenty of people who do this, I find it very disrespectful. Not to mention that taking a symbol that has a very specific meaning, and using it to mean something else entirely doesn't always work very well. Religious and Magical Symbols that have been used for many years to mean one particular thing - have a kind of energy of their own, and trying to change that energy pattern is nearly impossible.

Plus if for some reason her parents found out that she was using a statue of the Virgin Mary to represent the Goddess, I'm guessing that they would consider it blasphemy, and it would be that much worse for her. If she really wants an altar, her best bet would be to use random items that just look decorative, until she gets her own place.  
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:34 pm
Wow, thanks so much! Such great ideas!

Unfortunately, we are Lutheran, and my parents don't like the idea of Virgin Mary statues anyway, because that makes it seem like worshipping someone other than the Christian God. Which is a big no-no.

I have been looking for statues...I think of the God as a stag deer, and the Goddess as a wolf...But it's so hard to find a small, inexpensive statue of a stag...

Ah...Such distress...

I do have a wooden box that I made a long time ago...It's really small, but maybe it'll work? I mean, it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it...

Thank you so much for your help! When I gather everything, I'll try to post a picture.  

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:16 pm
Just because nobody has pictures yet, this is an altar I used a while back. It's too bad I don't have pictures of all my past altars, because they've changed drastically over time. First one I had was barely anything; just a bunch of random junk stuck on top of a cloth set over one of the crates I was using for shelves in my dorm room. When I was at home I'd use the top of a particular bookcase. When I took some internships and was staying with host families, I improvised with whatever they had around. The one below is from one of those improvisations. I loved living in this room; the forest-picture on the one wall was fantastic and even though I like the altar I use today better, this one was just so much more photogenic.



Given the content of the image, this is probably from Summer Solstice. Love the prairie wildflowers in the vase! This doesn't quite show the whole altar; there's a bit more off to the left, but ah well. It looks pretty.  
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:09 pm
i live in the basement of our house with my parents, and the basement has 2 rooms, and in order for my dad or mom to go upstairs, they need to go into my room

my altar faces south but thats only because thats where my dresser is
im not sure if it matters that much were it is faceing, aslong as you belive in it ect.
well anyway i have gemstones around a small metal vase that i put flowers in as an offering, i have a few larger gems around that. i have a small "harry potter" crystal ball, a crystal bell, a purple candel, 2 "rock" candels a small ashtray thinggy were i put cone insense, i have a small rock that looks like it has a pawprint on it, a small paintpot like stone [[like an indian paintpot]], a sword letteropener that i use as an athame, i have salt hiding behind a pictureframe and i have a seashell that my bf gave me.
i also have a small salsa bowl [[not in pic]] that i picked up at the dollarstore it looks like a caldron [=

i made my altar look like random stuff on my dresser and no one has even noticed

EDIT: i just took a quick picture of it [= :

 

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too2sweet

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:52 pm
My altar rarely changes too much (it's against the north wall of the room)...

 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:16 am
FlyingPinkElefantSaysMeow Wrote:
...a sword letteropener that i use as an athame...

I use one too! It has wax all over it now but I prefer to use that instead of using a steak knife because it doesn't seem as symbolic.

I don't have a specific spot for an altar but the closest thing is my dresser. All my "witchy" stuff goes into this gorgeous trunk I got last year. My dressing table is collecting more and more symbolic things though, as I have my incense holders there, statues of dragons, candles, my runes, and more. I think I'll properly set it up and take a photo for you guys.  

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:21 am
loveblackbutterflies Wrote:
FlyingPinkElefantSaysMeow Wrote:
...a sword letteropener that i use as an athame...

I use one too! It has wax all over it now but I prefer to use that instead of using a steak knife because it doesn't seem as symbolic.

I don't have a specific spot for an altar but the closest thing is my dresser. All my "witchy" stuff goes into this gorgeous trunk I got last year. My dressing table is collecting more and more symbolic things though, as I have my incense holders there, statues of dragons, candles, my runes, and more. I think I'll properly set it up and take a photo for you guys.

thats cool [=
yeah who knew that a letter opener whould be so good for an athame  
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:18 pm
I have a carved cat for the Goddess Bast that I bought before I knew there were religions other than Christianity. I bought it out of the country. My Anpu statue came from a major theme park. It's a pen but I never really use the ink. Serving bowls are large clam shells I found on the beach, again, when I was little.
A cheap chalice that's green and decorative from the dollar store.
Various gemstones, raw and polished, from stores and the internet.
Then I have an earth based Altar that's smaller and has the stones I use for my Travel/Hidden Altar tutorial-esque thingy:

For a hidden Altar, I'd go to Michaels (it will become your haven). Buy those decorative Vase fillers. You know, the small colored glass stones that they fill vases or dishes with? Buy the ones with the dome top and flat bottom. Buy the multicolored pack. It comes in a plastic netting so check to make sure there's one of Red, Blue, Green, and white. Some have different shades, I used a lighter blue instead of the dark one.
I'd also buy Fabric Paint if you want to paint symbols on the stones. I bought a clear/glitter purple one.
Google the elemental symbols. Draw them on the corresponding stone, let dry, and you're done!
These are great for a minialtar or a hidden one since they look like pretty decorative stones. I bought a mini Goddess figure that goes in the center of mine with my pentacle ring nearby. I love it.
Any comments? Questions?  

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:04 am

( my alter is on top of a hope chest with a green cloth under it with a wooden small bench in front of it that I sit on)


I have lots of things on my alter.
Four Candles One: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow.
Next to them representatives of their element.
Fire: Candle (in the south)
Water: Water (in the west)
Earth: Salt (in the north)
Air: Incense (in the east)
I have two stone statues of my familar animal (rabbit) on either side next to wooden candle holders with white candles on the edges that I use for light.
I have two statues both from the doller store one of a Angel for the Goddess (in the picture) and one of a antlered buck for the God (on the other side).
I have a bottle Juniper oil (my fav) for dressing candles and a bottle Ink for writing spells.
Herbs in old glass honey bottles.
Along with a bottle of cone incense.

I have a small caldron for burning charcoal and resin incense (out of picture).
A candle snuffer and athame with the symbol of the triple Goddess on it. (also out of picture)
A five pointed star charm in the middle and a couple tokens of things that were blessed in a pagan circle ritual for me (a stone and small bag of herbs)
For the picture I placed my tarot deck (on the left) and rune set (on the right) on my alter to show them to.

Sometimes I also but things I find in nature on the alter as a offering to the God and Goddess (flowers, pine cones, shells).  
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:51 pm
Musical_Vampire_Socks Wrote:

( my alter is on top of a hope chest with a green cloth under it with a wooden small bench in front of it that I sit on)


I have lots of things on my alter.
Four Candles One: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow.
Next to them representatives of their element.
Fire: Candle (in the south)
Water: Water (in the west)
Earth: Salt (in the north)
Air: Incense (in the east)
I have two stone statues of my familar animal (rabbit) on either side next to wooden candle holders with white candles on the edges that I use for light.
I have two statues both from the doller store one of a Angel for the Goddess (in the picture) and one of a antlered buck for the God (on the other side).
I have a bottle Juniper oil (my fav) for dressing candles and a bottle Ink for writing spells.
Herbs in old glass honey bottles.
Along with a bottle of cone incense.

I have a small caldron for burning charcoal and resin incense (out of picture).
A candle snuffer and athame with the symbol of the triple Goddess on it. (also out of picture)
A five pointed star charm in the middle and a couple tokens of things that were blessed in a pagan circle ritual for me (a stone and small bag of herbs)
For the picture I placed my tarot deck (on the left) and rune set (on the right) on my alter to show them to.

Sometimes I also but things I find in nature on the alter as a offering to the God and Goddess (flowers, pine cones, shells).

your altar faces the same way as mine, and i put things that i find in nature on my altar too, over the summer i put flowers, in the fall i put brown/yellow/orange leaves, and in the winter i put snow in a bowl even if it melts  

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:19 pm
FlyingPinkElefantSaysMeow Wrote:

your altar faces the same way as mine, and i put things that i find in nature on my altar too, over the summer i put flowers, in the fall i put brown/yellow/orange leaves, and in the winter i put snow in a bowl even if it melts

I never thought of putting snow on my alter but that is a awesome idea. Reminds me I should put flowers on my alter later since its summer.  
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