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.
There are a heap load of folk songs that tell us the devil resides at the crossroads but we don’t really need to worry about him…what we are more interested in is the belief that the crossing of two roads is a powerful spot. The crossroads is the centre of the four winds and the four directions. The centre point links the two worlds, that of the living and the dead – it is an ‘in between’ place. In some traditions you would go to the crossroads at midnight to meet Eshu/Elegba and in others it is the place sacred to the sun god Ra and the godsBhairava, Hermes and Mercury and the goddess Hecate. The crossroads is also a place where Hoodoo tricks take place and where spells can be buried to ‘do their thing’.
You may find in your local woods or even parks that there is a place where two dirt tracks cross or even where a bridge goes directly over a straight run of river or stream. That centre spot is an excellent place to work magic. It is also a good place to dispose of magic tricks and workings after you have finished with them including candle stubs.