Altars are a big part of my practice. They are visual representations of on-going spells, or integrated parts of my decor that depict my dedication to my craft. Either way, no matter what they delineate, they collect dust and dog-hair the same as any other surface in my house.
I normally clean my Altars when I’m dusting that particular room, it’s a way for me to turn my routine cleaning into a magickal practice. I’m a creature of habit, so the elements of my altars rarely ever change- even though they get moved once a week to be cleaned. Other than the candles, which get used and must be disposed of, my altars look the same as the day they went up.
Now, the question you might be asking yourself is: “Why do you need more than one Altar?” A valid inquiry but I can’t tell you. It’s not a secret, or some esoteric knowledge I wish to remain mysterious- I really don’t know why I like more than one. I know that I like having designated altars for different things and I have an undying love of candles- perhaps somewhere in the recesses of my mind they merged and now I have a crap ton of altars.
But, the problem doesn’t lie in creating them, or even maintaining them – it’s a loving practice that I adore- the “problem” lies in their unchanging nature. The same stones, the same configuration, and the same spells, stay on my altars at all times. If they were a fruit, they’d be bruised on the bottom and molding on the top from sitting so long in the same way.
I recently revised my living room altar after Christmas, removing a few things that I felt were superfluous and took up too much space, and adding a new arrangement of stones that called to me; both renewed the spirit of my sacred space. Not only do I like my altar much better now, it’s energy isn’t stagnate like I’d felt it was becoming.
So it got me to thinking, how could I spruce up the rest of my spaces without breaking my budget? Because, let’s be real, if I had unlimited income, I’d have a amethyst bathtub and a giant pillar of Quartz Crystals in my living room!
11 Simple Ideas to Make Your Altar Awesome
This seems like an obvious one, but many of us just stick a candle up on our altar and call it a day. However, Anointing candles in oils, herbs, and resins can really spark up the magick and intent behind the spell of the altar itself. Even better, if you can make your own candles- they will be infused with your magick from start to finish!
I am obsessed with crystals. Whenever those pinterest memes for “What Type of Witch are You According to Your Sun Sign” go around, it’s always eerily accurate for me. Apparently, Gemini’s love to collect rocks, and I’m no exception. Gems can add power, create intent, and amplify meaning and magick in an altar setting. They don’t have to be sparkly, tumbled, or perfect either- any crystal that calls to you is perfect!
Again, this may seem like an obvious one, but even I overlook the benefits of having different incense going at the same time. I have a particular one I love using for all things called India Temple, but I could easily burn Benzoin and Copal on my prosperity altar at the same time!
4- Plants and Flowers
I plan to make an entire post about this, but plants and flowers are a wonderful addition to magick. Not only are the indoor connections to Mother Earth, but they literally clean the air and replace it with oxygen! Just don’t be like me- make sure to research how to take care of them before bringing them into your home. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have killed a cactus in my youth, and my husband hasn’t ever let me forget it. My current favorite plant, for any altar, is the Jericho Flower– otherwise known as the Ressurection Plant. These plants bloom when they’re watered, and are so skilled at surviving that they can be kept in a drawer for years and revived with a bit of H2O!
Do you love that pot holder that Grandma Ellie gave to you when you were 7? Who says it can’t be put onto your altar?! On every single one of my altars is a little trinket that reminds me of something or someone I want to honor. I also have a lot of Turtles everywhere, as that is my spirit animal (and is often gifted to me by other people). If you like something, it doesn’t have to scream Witch to have a space on your altar!
Even as a Witch without a deity system, I still find that a well-thought-out statue to be highly symbolic. A Venus Statue on a bathroom altar can represent beauty and inner femininity, while a Buddha Statue on a bedroom altar could represent tranquility and peace. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty to look at and don’t necessarily have to mean anything to anyone else but you.
Art is just as much a part of my soul as my magick is, and a lot of the times, is used to amplify my magick. A painting done by you in the spirit of the moment, or even a lithograph done by someone else that speaks to you- art on your altar is just as personal to your magick as your spell work. It can evoke such raw and powerful feelings in a person that it makes for the perfect altar addition!
In the era of owning a camera on our phones, we’re used to taking pictures but not so much at looking at them. I know I’m bad about this, and have a severe lack of photographs throughout my house. However, I plan to change that with an entire altar dedicated to our ancestors! Photographs of our dearly departed loved ones is a great way to honor their spirits, however, placing photographs of living relatives, favorite places, or even fantasy destinations, can be a very inspired way to add magick to your altar!
How can you add memories to an altar? Easily! When you’re in the moment of happiness, and you have that feeling that you never want it to end- look around you and honor the moment. A broken seashell, or a bit of sand, to remind you of that cruise taken responsibly; or an acorn and a dried Orange leaf to remind you of that special hike you took with your loved ones. Maybe even a dandelion weed that your son picked because he said it was as pretty as you. They’re all tiny moments wrapped into tangible things that can transcend ordinary altars into something entirely personal and loved. Just make sure not to steal, or dishonor the space you’re in, and give gratitude where it is due.
This is probably the simplest, but most often overlooked altar addition. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and perhaps even Metal and Spirit, can be represented on your altar grounding and amplifying your magick. A cup of water gathered during a rainfall, or a jar of dirt dug during a full moon, perhaps even more symbolic like a picture of a butterfly to represent the air- each can bring nature indoors for you, allowing you to connect to the Universe in a more fundamental way!
Making stuff for your altar is a simple and budget friendly way to add not only your own creativity, but your own magick to each one. You’re only limited by your imagination, and your willingness to let go of perfection, when making your own items. You can even involve your family and loved ones- adding even more magick to your altars. My son made me a candle holder for my chimes when he was about 3 years old, and when it fell off the shelf and broke last year- it was like a piece of my heart did as well. Even a well-wrapped piece of stone can add significant meaning to your sacred space!
Now that I have plenty of ideas, sprucing up my altars won’t be a “problem” any more. I have a few crafts planned for the near future, and come spring, I’ll be adding some plants to them!
Do you have an altar? How often do your refresh its contents? Does the energy change when you move pieces around, or do you feel it messes up the flow? Comment below with your thoughts and ideas! I’d love some more altar inspiration!
Until tomorrow, my friends…