I get asked about Altars more than any other question so I have made a graphic of a typical altar set out ready for the tomorrows full Moon.
There are no rules when it comes to your altar, it is your altar and you can make it how you want. An altar is a place you go when you wish to worship your deities, nature and the universe, meditate, do spell work or cast a circle. You can make offerings to the Gods and Goddesses at your altar just give thanks. It must be a place you love to come so make it personal to you. Don’t worry if you don’t have any Wiccan tools yet, the Gods won’t mind, your altar can be just a white candle and a seasonal twig.
An altar can be temporary where you set it up when you need it or it can be a permanent part of your home.
The God and tools associated with the God are on the right side of the altar and the Goddess and tools associated with the Goddess are on the left side. The 4 elements are:
South - Fire
North - Earth
East - Air
West - Water.
The centre should contain a pentacle to represent all the elements combined and the element of spirit.
To honour the season we would usually put seasonal twigs, leaves berries, nuts or fruit around the altar and offer them as gifts to the Gods.
Before using your alter many Wiccans will sweep around it with a broom to sweep away any stale or negative energy, if you don’t have a broom you can do this with a sweeping motion of your hands or go around your altar with an incense stick.
Many Wiccans cast a circle of protection while at their altar especially if it involves deep meditation, contacting other realms or convening with the Gods or the spirit world. To cast a circle you must call on each element asking them to watch over you in a circle motion around the altar using you wand, athame or your finger. Call the elements in order of their density so start with Fire, then air, then water, then earth, do this and imagine a white light surrounding you, when you have done this go from above you to the ground in a circular motion calling the element of spirit so you have a spherical bubble around you, that is your circle cast this will protect you from any unwanted energy or entity. When you have finished you need to close your circle, you do this by doing the same thing but doing it in reverse order. Thank the elements as you close the circle. You can also make a physical circle around your altar using, crystals, stones, rune stones, salt or rocks.
You can call on a certain God or Goddess if you need help or advice, if you were having problems with love you could call on goddess Venus or Aphrodite or the Gods Eros or Cupid. If you needed help with courage or strength you could call on the Gods Ares or Odin or the Goddess Artemis or Diana. Depending on what kind of help or advice you need choose the God you wish to convene with. If they do help you you should always give them an offering of thanks.