The Poor Woman’s Altar

In my last post I talked about diving in. Well since then I made the decision to buy some actual altar supplies. Now, it’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to show you what I’ve gotten so far.

imageI know, it looks a bit sparse right now, but I have a lot more on my list to buy and I’m not done decorating. It’s a work in progress, just like me. 

Now, I know there are people out there who have tables (maybe even whole rooms) dedicated to their altar. But for those of us with space issues (read: small apartment)  the top of a dresser works great! I’m using a shawl I purchased in Hawaii as my altar cloth. Other items that I already had were my tarot cards and the book they came with, an incense holder, and a few trinkets and candles that my mother has given me– the owl and angel candles, a glass heart, and you probably can see it from the picture but a metal angel and a piece of wood from the desert.

Now, I haven’t received everything I’ve bought yet, but I did purchase chime candles which are shown in the picture and a candle holder for them. I had no idea they would be so small! That’s what I get for not reading the description! I purchased both of them on Etsy if you’re interested. The nice thing about  the mini candles is that you can take them anywhere and they don’t take up too much space. If you’re like me and have anxiety about keeping candles lit for too long (I have this problem with Shabbat and Hanukkah candles, which you are supposed to let burn completely), these are great because they’re little and don’t last more than a couple hours– I would say about 90 minutes or so. I also bought a larger candlestick holder for larger, longer tapers which I haven’t received yet but I’m very excited about adding it to my altar. I will be adding more candles of various sizes to my altar when I get the money because I think they are great for ritual. I also bought a candle snuffer because 1) it makes things a bit more ceremonial and 2) it just looks really nice on my altar. It’s obviously not necessary for worship or ritual but I think it’s a nice addition to any spiritual work space.

You’ve probably noticed the plate under the candle in the picture. Perhaps some people feel comfortable getting wax on their altar cloth orimage hard surfaces– I’m not one of those people! If you’re worried about dripping wax, I recommend taking a small plate and wrapping it in foil. I feel that it adds more stability to the candle holder and also makes for easy cleaning! I use this plate for my Shabbat candles, and I also use foil under my Hanukkiyah (my menorah for Hanukkah). You can use a larger plate for multiple candles or use whatever else around the house that is stable enough to hold the candle without it becoming a dangerous balancing act. We get a lot of earthquakes where I live, so having that plate there can catch the candle before my altar cloth does if they room is shaking (no fires for me, please!). That’s probably another good reason to get the shorter candles!

On my list of things to purchase: a ritual cup, and herb cupboard, and a nice box to put my tarot cards in so they don’t get dusty. Also something to represent Spirit. Now tell me, what’s on your altar?


3 thoughts on “The Poor Woman’s Altar

  1. roseladenmagdalene says:

    I call those small chime candles “spell candles.” They only burn for an hour max (if I remember correctly) so they are awesome for spells or prayers because you don’t have to spend all day babysitting them. Plus they are cheap. Easy to stock pile, for whatever spiritual need may arise. Love them.


    • Ndeya says:

      Yeah, the ones I got burn for more than an hour, but not terribly long. I much prefer that! Shabbat candles are supposed to burn for two to three hours. And during the summer months candle lighting times are so late that I’m half asleep before they go out. Sometimes I have my wife blow them out and deal with the guilt.

      Liked by 1 person

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