The witch’s altar is sometimes seen as something sinister. The place where incantations are created complete with bubbling brews, a couple spiders, and possibly a rodent.
It’s time to refocus a bit.
First off, what is an altar?
In any church, it is usually a cloth covered table, with candles upon it. In some churches holy relics are placed upon it, or offering plates. The wine and communion wafers might be kept upon it was well.
For the Pagan, the altar also hold items which are considered to be holy. This can be a permanent fixture, or only assembled for specific rituals.
I say that an altar is all this, and more. Is there a place in your house which is set aside for those things which are special to you? A tiny shelf perhaps, a table, the top of a cabinet? Do you have pictures of family carefully displayed on a fireplace mantle? Each of these, in their own way, could be considered to be an altar.
In our house, we have several altars which are set up all the time. My main altar consists of representations from the elements, Green Man and Goddess figures, some large crystal points and a couple crystal spheres, several candles, and the ashes of our dog who died a few years ago. One day, we will determine what we are supposed to do with his ashes, but for now he is content on the altar.
A second altar contains a statue of Ganesh, a statue of Shiva, and another of Kali. No, we’re not Hindu, but these three have found their way into our lives over the years and they don’t belong in a cabinet tucked away. I have often times found myself drawn to the Hindu beliefs and Kali was at one time my patron Goddess. They sit on a tall cabinet with candles on either side of them.
As you can see, no bubbling brews, no rodents, and no spiders.