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How to Setup a Wiccan Altar

How you setup your altar depends on several things:  whether it will be a permanent setup or if it will be necessary to put items away when not in use, whether you have space available to dedicate to an altar exclusively, and personal reflections of your personality and spirituality.  But, for the sake of tradition, we'll discuss two classic altar arrangements here.

Ideally, your altar should be constructed of wood and dedicated solely to the use of being an altar.  But, is what it is.  So, if you have nothing else available but your living room coffee table, making it necessary to clear the space for communal use each time, then so be it. If this is the case, then it's important to cleanse the area - both physically and spiritually - prior to its function as an altar.

The Duality Altar

One of the most popular altar arrangements is one that divides the table or other space into two spheres representing duality with the left being dedicated to the Goddess, and the right honoring the God.  Thus:

Goddess (Left)
Goddess Candle (White or Silver)
Goddess Statue
Chalice of Wine
Bowl of Water
Asperger (used to sprinkle water)
Crystals or Stones
Libations Dish (for Cakes and Wine)

God (Right)
God Candle (Gold or Yellow)
God Statue
Censor with Incense
Bowl of Salt
Athame (Magickal Knife)
Boline (knife used to cut things)
Lighter or Matches

Additional incense, herbs, candles or other objects that speak to you (such as rocks, shells, crystals, etc.) may be placed where convenient for you.  You may also wish to include your Book of Shadows, if you have one, in a central location.


The Elemental Altar

Another common arrangement is to setup the altar according to direction and corresponding elements, as depicted below:
North (Earth)
Pentacle, Bowl of Salt, Stones, Plants, Flowers, Green Candle, Offering Cakes.
West (Water)
Bowl of Water, Seashell, Chalice with Wine, Blue Candle, Cauldron   

Goddess and God Candles or Statues
Book of Shadows
East (Air)
Incense, Feather, Bell, Wand, Yellow Candle
South (Fire)
Red Candle, Athame, Boline, Anointing Oil, Candle Snuffer





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