The Basic Wiccan Altar

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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: / Novice
Post # 12
When my one covenmate casts instead of candles he uses rocks with symbols on it. Each is the colour for the element [yellow for air red for fire] but the symbols are triangles two with a line through it [each is different in design]

When I started I used candles of the corresponding colour, but after a mishap I won't go into [but wax and a carpeted floor was involved] I decided to look into non-candle castings. Currently I don't use markers and just visualize, but if one is needed, I usually use rocks if indoors or salt if we are outside.

When I finally have room I would like a permanent altar, but currently mine is a coffee table by day. Circle to circle I think the only change is the altar cloth. Depending on the sabbat it could be any colour. Yule is next and I have a red and green cloth with gold trim I use. Imbolc is white, and so on. The Esbats I actually go without a cloth, don't know why really.
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By:
Post # 13
What about the element of air? Is it absolutely necessary to use I I incense for ones altar?
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By:
Post # 14
The reason I ask is because I read somewhere that the element of air can be represented by broom or air related herbs.
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 15

You're absolutely correct. One doesn't have to use incense to represent the Element of Air, it's just one of the more common ones. You can also use a feather, clear crystal, or anything else that says "Air" to you.

Another method of representing the Elements on your altar would be to have a small candle in each of the Elemental colors placed in the appropriate quarters on your altar. I like the small colored tea candle holders with tea lights in them. As I was taught the colors would be:

East - yellow or clear

South - red or orange

West - blue

North - green

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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: / Novice
Post # 16
I actually use a large feather that I found for the representation of air. A corked bottle of rain water for water. A stone or pine cone for earth depending on my preference. For fire I use an emblem of fire, its actually metal that was melted into a flat flame shaped mold then polished. I made it back in highschool. Due to my living situation I can't have candles or incense so I make do with other things. To me, a feather has always represented air more than an incense which is still a symbol of fire in my mind. My brain just can't associate it that way so I use what I know works for me.
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By:
Post # 17
Merry Meet,
If I may, to represent the elements on my altar I try as much as possible to obtain items found outside. For a Wand- a twig, falling from a tree, Earth- a stone, that was dug up when the electric company had to repair a line. Water- a glass of water from rain, distilled, or if you live near a creek, river or ocean. Air- a plastic butterfly from a cake I got for my daughter. I would of prefer a feather but have not found one as of yet. I also use battery powered candles, on my altar, there a lot safer and can be left lite and unattended.

Merry Part. Be Well.
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: / Beginner
Post # 18
I have a book that says that you shouldn't have an altar on anything man-made. Is a cardboard altar okay nonetheless?
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 19

I prefer to have my altar on something made of wood or of stone (and remember cardboard is made from wood pulp). But in a pinch I've used metal or plastic tables if nothing else is available. What you use for an altar depends largely on whether you are in a Tradition that requires certain materials, the situation you find yourself in in terms of available options, and your own personal preferences. Just because a book says "You must use such and such." you are the one who is going to use your common sense in deciding what is right for you.

And speaking of natural versus man-made altar materials - I feel one should also look at altar cloths in this light. I prefer to use cotton or silk altar cloths and I stay away from ones made from polyester, nylon, and other man-made fabrics. But again, this is my preference and not a hard and fast rule.

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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By:
Post # 20
I just wanted to thank you Lark for all the wonderful wisdom that you have shared on this site. I have been going over your threads from years back to current and I have gained so much more clarity. I have been solitary for many years, not by choice, by sheer lack of any other follower in my very isolated location.
I am thankful I finally decided to join SOM after a long period of lurking. I am feeling Spiritually empowered, very optimistic and not so alone after all these many years of solitude. Thank you again Lark & thank you to all the members for the great questions, many I would have asked myself.
*Blessed Be*
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Re: The Basic Wiccan Altar
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 21

Psywitch, remember I said that you "can" use the pentacle on wood or metal to represent Earth. In traditional Wicca, and even in the Tarot the pentacle does represent Earth. But you may use whatever speaks to you of Earth on your altar if you aren't practicing within a specific Tradition that says otherwise.

There are a couple of other symbols used to represent Earth in other Traditions, but not so much in Wicca. Here's a couple that could be used instead of the Pentacle.

https://www.thoughtco.com/elemental-symbols-4122788

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_symbol

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