alter

Most witches have a spell table or altar which is used only for ritual and magickal work. Some may have an indoor altar and an outdoor altar. Do not worry if you cannot keep your altar set up all the time. Indoors, a small table, end table or nightstand will serve the purpose. Outdoors, a tree stump or the ground will serve nicely. Generally, the altar faces North, altho some prefer the East. Some may choose to make an Altar Cloth and decorate it with symbols and some will prefer a simple plain colored cloth.

Depending on the tradition or path you follow, generally the left side of the Altar is for the Goddess and the right side is for the God. In the top left is the Goddess candle and Goddess icon; in the top right is the God candle and God icon. Examples of a Goddess icon are: green, silver or white candle; a seashell; a statue. Examples of a God icon are: red, yellow or gold candle; pinecones; acorns; a statue.

To the North is placed the symbol of Earth (stones, salt, sand); to the East is placed the symbol of Air (feathers, fresh flowers, incense); to the South is placed the symbol of Fire (votive candle or piece of lava rock); and to the West is placed the symbol of Water (water, shells).

For the Strega, this is the placement of tools: the Wand is placed in the East; the Athame, Sword or Blade in the South; the Chalice or Goblet to the West; and the Boline to the North.

In the Correllian Tradition, the placement of tools is: the Athame is placed in the East; the Wand in the South; the Chalice or Goblet to the West; and the Pentacle to the North.

If you would like to use a Cauldron, this may be placed on the Pentacle (be sure the Pentacle item is heat-proof), or it can be placed on the left side of the Altar.

Clockwise movement in the around the altar or circle is called Deosil, or Southward, and is used to raise or charge energy. Counter-clockwise movement was called Tuathail, or Northward -though many traditions have popularized the colloquial term 'Widdershins'. Counter-clockwise movement in the circle is used to cleanse or release energy.

The Altar and its arrangement is a personal choice: these are but some guidelines. As I mentioned, all traditions are different.
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