Well you are just starting out, so I'd start practicing meditation and energy manipulation. Also the internet is at your disposal, regardless of other people sending you links, you can find some helpful sites on your own as well!
If working in secrecy is your situation, then put all your supplies in one hidden location, and use them when you can, easily at your disposal. I wouldn't put the alter outside unless it is someplace you are very comfortable in. Alters are generally in your 'special' places like where you sleep, or your personalized living quarters.