Do you have an altar, and if so, what are some important altar tools?
Why yes, I do! Here is what my altar looks like right now:
The most basic tool or accessory for my altar is the altar cloth. I use a sarong that I got from Hawaii because I think it’s nice and I like turtles. Not everything is spiritually significant! But I use it specifically to honor/protect the altar as a sacred space. Since it’s on top of my dresser (small apartment, limited space), I try to make it look nice. I think having an altar cloth really makes it say THIS IS AN ALTAR. Also, it reminds me to not put other stuff there like plates or socks or whatever, because damnit this is sacred space!
These two candles I actually got from my mother (she’s pretty supportive of my spiritual endeavors). She encouraged me to, you know, actually light them, but they’re so nice I have yet to do so. I dunno, I don’t want to ruin their beauty, and also I have a hard time letting go of things. She gave me the owl for wisdom, but I’m not sure why she gave me the fairy/angel. Perhaps for protection? Either way, they both have their own space on the altar.
My Shadowscapes tarot cards also have a special spot on my altar. I will be talking more about my tarot card deck in a later post, but I just have to say that I love this deck. the cards are so detailed and beautiful. I think the artist who painted each piece for the deck is from Oakland, too, so I feel like I kind of supported local artistry by buying the deck. You can find out more info here if you wanna check out her stuff more up close.
And of course I have my too-small candles and my too-large candlestick holder. I guess I’ve only really used votives and tealights, and I didn’t realize the different sizes tapers come in. I’ll be buying some regular sized tapers for this candlestick holder though, because it’s so damn pretty I don’t want it to just sit on the altar unused. Candles, of course, are probably my most used tool for ritual work. I use them Shabbat, for vigils, meditation, prayer work, and other ritual. The chime candles are the best, though, because they only last for a short period of time, so I’m not babysitting the flame well after I’m done with my ritual (some rituals require the candle to be entirely spent). Not pictured are my other talismans and altar objects– I’ve got a crystal and a piece of petrified wood (both gifts from my mother), and two hearts, a metal angel and incense.
What do I want to add? definitely some kind of Divinity statuary. I’ve been looking on etsy for some goddes figurines or something to add a little more spirit to my altar. Of course I’ll have to spend half my paycheck in order to afford anything but there is some great stuff on there. I also want to incorporate the four elements, and so far I have fire and air. I need to add something for water and earth. And I want my altar to have more height to it, to make it more dynamic. We’ll see what happens in the future. Right now it’s a bit scruffy and lackluster, but it’s all mine and I love it. Right now it’s the perfect ritual space.