An altar is a very personal thing and I firmly believe that unless you follow a strict tradition that sets the layout for you that you should ‘go with the flow’ with your altar and put things on it that your intuition guides you to.

An altar doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be fancy, just a vase of flowers on a window sill is good enough to be a focal point for your altar.

The dictionary definition of an altar is:

‘a table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual, especially for making sacrifices or offerings to a deity.’

Which pretty much sums it up.  I also like to use my altar to pop spell workings on that are ‘processing’ and it also gives me a focal point for meditation or prayers each day.  But what you use your altar for is totally up to you.

A lot of altars will have traditional tools on such as athames, wands and chalices with perhaps statues or representations of deity on as well but for the ‘into the wilds’ witch anything goes and I do find it is far more informal and definitely leans towards nature in a big way.

My main altar always has a vase of flowers, herbs or greenery from the garden along with pebbles and shells I have collected from the beach and depending on the time of year it might have leaves, seeds and berries on as well usually centred around a candle that I use for any spell work.

I also believe altars are fluid and change weekly, monthly sometimes daily depending on what you find or are gifted to put on it.  Don’t stick to any rules…it is your altar…work with it and see what you create.  If it feels right put it on there if it doesn’t then don’t.

Traditionally an altar is in the North or East but again go with what works for you, sometimes you don’t have the space to put it anywhere but in the West – seriously you won’t be struck down by the gods.

If you are limited for space go with a window sill or a shelf, top of a bookcase, inside a cupboard or even a tray that you can keep hidden if needed and bring out when you want to work with it.  If you have an outside space then you can even put an altar there, a large flat stone works well you could even use a window box. 

And if you don’t want an altar…don’t have one!