Altars are one of the vital parts of witchcraft since it keeps the magick a witch evokes surrounding them at all times in their home environment or safe place. There are so many different kinds of altars for witches and magick that can produce various spells and ritual energy. Every witch can decide what they want to have on their altar at any time, but choosing what will be on there is an important choice since these will be the primary sources of magick for the witch. There are dark magick, light magick, ancestor, power, goddess energy, and so many more types of altars a witch can create. Most altars have the same kinds of tools and magickal items, just usually the colors and themes are set to a specific type of magick. This guide sets up one of the most basic everyday altars, but the creation also applies to the set up of a themed altar, and those items would need to focus on whatever type of magick they are explicitly trying to channel. An altar can be just a small tabletop or a large bookshelf, but no matter how small or large the space, it should be where the witch enjoys casting their magick daily.
Crystals and Stones
The number one item to put on an altar is, of course, crystals since they are the most powerful, specific, and must-have witch item. No matter what altars the witch decides to create, crystals and magickal stones are the powerful items on an altar since they are the epitome of holding energy. Each stone and crystal is specific to a manifesting power. Dark witches might want to put dark energy crystals, and light witches wish to add delicate energy crystals. Most basic altars have a free theme to put all types of crystals and rocks on their altars, especially those that incorporate and encompass the witches personal power. A witch who wants more love in their life should add rose quartz to an altar, and a witch with many problems in their love life should probably make a love altar with multiple items of rose quartz, malachite and pink girasol. The theme for the love altar will help the witch have a significant change to the love life if that is what they need. This altar is useful, but once the witch finds and reconfigures the love in their lives, they may be ready to go back to a standard magickal altar, but they should still incorporate some of their love crystals to keep the love energy sound. Many witches wish to have their wands charging on their altars as well, and there are many wands made out of crystals that can help channel the power stronger than a wooden wand.
The second most common item on a witches altar is easy to use and completely magickal candles. Like the crystal, candles channel specific energies and themes, or they can be many different varieties for all different types of spell work. The candle magick and the different candle meanings can change the magick summoning with the altar. Hence, it is essential to remember and invoke the right candle energy that the altar is trying to encompass. For a prosperity altar, the candles should be in the green family to channel the power of the earth’s abundance and the green of money. A general altar should have candles that encompass the energy the witch is trying to direct or white candles to be channeling multiple energies and the energy of the items surrounding the candles. Candles change the altar’s power and can be switched out from an altar as they can be moved easily and quickly. Candles can be used in other parts of the house while not being used on the altar and will encompass the spells’ energy until wholly burnt and released into the universe.
An optional but fun item to add to the altar is a tapestry or altar cloth, and this can be one hanging over the altar or one underneath the magickal items. Some witches like to have a static tapestry representing their form of magick always on the space, and some change them out as frequently as candles and crystals. If a witch wants to invoke dark energy or light energy, they will leave a tapestry of this magick always on or around the altar to summon that energy. Having a tapestry is an excellent way to keep the consistency of magick that the witch wants to be continuously cast but not limiting the whole altar to one theme. Some tapestries can have magickal symbols or guides that can become an interactive part of the altar. A tapestry can have specific deities or ancestor messages, and that way, the witch can worship those forces through the tapestry.
Many witches will have a book of shadows, divination tools, and trinkets on their altar, which adds a personal touch to a sacred space depending on what items the witches pick to express their magick. A book of shadows is a journal of sorts where a witch keeps her magical journey, including spells they have done and any other magickal logging. Book of Shadows also encompasses a witches journey, including divination readings and card pulls, moon phases, and any favorite spells for the particular witch. A book of shadows can contain all types of exploration and should not be limited to any aesthetic. Divination tools on the altar can be divination cards, a crystal ball, pendulums, and other divination tools. Trinkets are the most ambiguous of all the altar items, as a charm could be anything that holds significance to the witch. It can be an item that was given by an ancestor, a child, or a friend. Trinkets can be a little action figure representing your inner child or anything that holds significance without being aesthetically linked to any type of typical magickal representation but chosen out of personal importance.
A vital tool to have and use on the altar will be a bundle of a cleansing tool like Palo Santo wood or Sage. It is good to keep a cleansing tool on the altar to light quickly, and the altar needs cleansing often, and every time it is used for ritual. The cleansing item can be whatever the witch wants to add to the altar but must be used to keep the space free of bad energy. There is nothing more dangerous for a witches power than negative or stagnant energy reaching their altar. Many witches who may feel a dark cloud around themselves or feel an issue with their magick should cleanse their alter as soon as possible since it is more than likely the culprit. Other bundles can be put on the altar for aesthetic purposes and not used to keep the cleansing energy healthy or for a backup in an emergency. Every sacred space should have multiple cleansing items, and it really is one of the most important parts of any magickal ritual or space.
Spell Work and Papercraft
Another significant part of the altar is spell work that has been cast and any words of guidance from mentors or ancestors. Other paper items can be moon calendars, divination cards that hold significance to the witch, and any paper item that speaks to the witch. The spells previously cast and words of affirmation are great to have on the altar because they create potent energies through the daily ritual. Random paper items witches may have on their altars would be some of their favorite spellbooks or books on magick. Even a favorite book that has nothing to do with a magickal practice can be put onto the altar to encompass the witches soul and happy thoughts. Art is another great addition to an altar and especially if the art has significance to the witch or represents their magick.
Essential oils are vital for some witches that want to use them to prep themselves for magickal incantations and rituals. It is one of the most powerful tools to add to the body to get into a magickal feeling and put magickal herbs right into the bloodstream. A witch who has made protection or a money jar should place it on the altar to charge while working on the manifestation. Lights and other items that may create a mood for the witch can be added to the altar since the electrical energy should not affect the sacred space as long as it is far enough away from the magickal items. No items are forbidden from adding to the altar as long as they have a special meaning to the witch and magick.
Many witches like to have altars that fit a specific theme, focusing their magic on only specific energies and spell work for that set theme. The witch altar can encompass many different spell work types and be changed out consistently for whatever kind of power the caster wants to charge. The always-changing altar keeps the magick fresh and makes sure the witch has a very well-rounded practice. A specific altar can be beneficial if the which is missing that form of energy in their life to dedicating a whole scared space to that casting helps gain a more profound practice of that part of magick.
Any witch may look at the multiple pictures of altars on Pinterest and other sites like Instagram and think they need to have their altar look just like these fancy sacred spaces. The truth is that altars should not be for aesthetic purposes and need to channel the witches individual magickal power. A stunning altar that is Instagram worthy is only beneficial to inspire others to create their altars and mainly be used for that purpose. Many witches do not like sharing their altars and will build aesthetic altars to share without letting someone into their personal power space. Other than that, an altar should be for the self and the magickal needs of the witch. Witches need to guard their altars against sharing too widely in fear of negative casters infiltrating the sacred space and getting too deep of knowledge into the individual witches power. Protect the altar from those who wish to do it harm, and any other energy should only encompass the witches energy fully.
Altars are for casting spells and reminders to the witch regarding their power and keeping the magick in their lives close. Cleansing and organizing an altar helps the witch feel like the magick and energy of themselves are kept clean and refreshed. Altars are a beautiful experience since it is a sacred place for the witch to have that is just their own. It is the little corner of the universe where the witch can observe their magick in tangible form and find solace in their practice without being disrupted by the world and other energies.