So my friend has just discovered some kind of alter in his house. It was in his brothers room, who shares the room with his girlfriend. At a quick glance it's easy to miss it. It looks like some kind of display of random glass bottles and trinkets. But upon further inspection, you can tell there is something weird about it. Now, I know close to nothing about this kind of stuff, which is why I found this website. What makes me think she's doing some kind of black magic/curse/voodoo is what she has on it. There is some kind of playdough figure that has pins all over it and a little plastic skull between it's legs. She has other skull figurines as well. There are a couple leaves with crystals on them and a little bowl of salt. There was also an empty bowl that looks like she might back been mixing the salt with something else in it. It's just a little alarming that somebody in my friend's home is doing something like this. It might be nothing, but it might be something bad. I we hoping to be able to post a few pictures of it on here, but I didn't see a way to do that. So I figured I'd describe it as best as I could. Any feedback on this is appreciated.
This sounds more like a regular altar to me, not a creepy evil altar.
Altars can be used for lots of things, most commonly as religious locations or places that act as sacred spaces in order to meditate and undertake magickal practice.
On another note, it is likely that these items are for something completely unlike what you are thinking, dolls aren't a sign of evil, more likely it is a poppet doll that has been used in magickal workings, crystals, herbs and salt are also used by a lot of practitioners for all sorts of things.
Undertaking magickal practice or having an altar isn't a negative thing, of course they could be undertaking negative workings, but they could also be undertaking positive ones, I don't see much need to concern, after all it is a lifestyle choice, as in, it is their choice to have the alter and to be doing what they are doing.
But if your friend is curious or really concerned why not ask them about it, try to learn a little bit more without coming across accusingly that they are doing something wrong, because likely, they aren't and they may be open to sharing information.
Thank you for replying so quickly. I know that not all of the practice is bad. I do want to stress that I am not one of those judgemental people that assume everyone that practices witchcraft/Wicca or similar things are all evil. According to my mom, my grandmother and her family members were white witches and ran an alchemist shop (I never met my grandmother, though I would have loved to). My concern was mainly for the playdough figure with the pins stuck in it and he skull between it's legs. To me, that has bad vibes to it. It doesn't seem like a reason for doing that would be innocent. But that is also the reason why I found this forum, for a reasonable explanation. I don't like jumping to conclusions. The reason for the concern was that my friend's brother's girlfriend does not get along with his mother. Earlier today, his mom yelled at her because she skips school almost everyday (she's 17) and Alyssa walked out of the house after being yelled at. About an hour after she left, his mom went in there to move the lamp away from the bedsheet (they sleep in the basement so they use those as their walls) and then found it. I was there when she found it and I don't believe she was trying to go through the room or anything. It was in plain site on the dresser. The lamp was right next to it. This is also the reason that we couldn't ask her about it, as she was still out of the house at the time. I left about an hour ago and she was still gone, but I did to them to ask Alyssa and her son about it. Her son was at work at the time. But I don't think she would admit it if it really was something sinister. I mean, why would she? That is another reason I found this forum. Does the doll concern anybody? If not, I will leave you guys alone lol.
Look, I know a lot of people generally look down upon this kind of practice. But I want you all to realize this is not what I'm trying to do.I clarify a bit in the response I made to the other poster. You can call it assumptions, but you can also call it curiosity. If I was an accusatory person, I wouldn't have searched this website, made an account, and typed out my whole post just to get feedback from people that know what they're talking about if I was just going to yell at her about it anyway. I thought I came across like that in my original post, but I guess not. I'm not trying to be a troll, get a rise out of you, or diss your lifestyle. I am empathetic to your lifestyle/situation, so please try to do the same to me. I have also done internet research, but I also wanted to hear the opinions of people who know about the subject. Also, the only reason I was personally in the room was because I wanted to see this "alter" for myself after his mom told me about what she found. I would never invade someone's privacy by going through their things unprovoked and all I did was look at the supposed alter. I did not pry further. It seems to me like I'm being accused of being accusatory. Kind of ironic actually.
When your in someone else's home it's respectful to treat them with respect and not to dig deep in there business. And so what If she is doing "black magick", it is really none of your business and you shouldn't have to worry. Her altar sound normal to me.
it may help to go over some of these symbols you have seen. Knowing what they represent might help you be able to interpret what is going on.
The leaves and crystals are most likely just to radiate energies based on what they are. Different crystals and stones have different properties and benefits. For example amethyst (purple quartz) promotes healing and tranquility. Citrine (yellow quartz) typically promotes abundance and generosity. Onyx, jet, and other 'black' glassy stones promote grounding of excess energies. That sort of thing. I have also heard of some practitioners using stones to represent the four elements/corners (earth air fire water) when making a circle for casting or protection.
Salt is also typically used in protection and cleansing, and can sometimes be mixed with herbs suited to a particular effect, or smudge like cedar, sweetgrass, or sage to enhance the cleansing effect.
Skulls, and crystal skulls in particular, tend to have multiple meanings. For the more ameture/superficial or unstudied, they can be interpreted as meaning death or the afterlife. But for the more studied, they tend to be used to represent human consciousness, dreams, higher knowledge, or in representing a connection to ancestors or past lives.
As for the figurine, that one is difficult to translate because it does depend a lot on the intent of the person using it. Dolls, poppets, and other effigies on their own are used to represent humanity, the self, or a desired individual. The use of pins is a representative of directed energy or will, to be focused in the area/s where they have been placed.
So by looking at the surface of what you have described there could be a couple different things going on with the doll. Mostly it depends on her own knowledge and/or maturity on magical subjects.
If she is amateur or immature, she could by trying to wish harm or pain to a specific person. But it is difficult to tell who it would be as that would be guided by her intent. That is unless there is something made into the doll or put on it that is personal to a specific person. Otherwise it could be to a school bully, other relative, or even an ex friend or ex lover, etc.
By placing it on a skull that may be a desire to intend such harm to a person through dreams, or to the mind. The good news is that if this is the correct scenario, you don't have much to worry about as such immature knowledge also means the spell would be unlikely to work.
If it is a worry though, an easy way to shove the effects aside, if your mom feels it might be intended at her, would be to burn some sage or other smudge and wave it around the perimeter of her bedroom, then place a small dish of salt, or a black stone like onyx, flint, Apache tears, black tourmaline, or obsidian under her bed where she sleeps.
If she is a more developed/more learned practitioner, then the doll could be being used to break karmic ties, cut/sever oppressive action, or otherwise work to free and send away energies that might be causing issues like co-dependence, domination, or oppression and so relieving the situation. And of course once again without having something that blatantly ties the doll to a specific person it is difficult to determine who it would be directed at. but at least this would be a much more positive and non-harmful style of working. Therefore nothing to worry about.
With all due respect, it is my business when there is somebody that may be trying to hurt a person that I love. My best friend's mom is the closest thing I have to a mother now, since mine has recently passed away. Even though I don't live there, I am there all the time. I don't know if you read my other posts clarifying the fact that I did not go through their room and all I did was look at what was found. It was found by my friend's mom, who pays the mortgage on the house and the majority of bills. She has generously allowed his girlfriend to live here because she had issues with her own mom. So yes, that is her personal space, but his mom definitely deserves the right to go into the room to move a lamp away from the sheet. After all, she's the one that has to pay for damages if the house catches on fire. That was all she was doing when she found it. I believe it is her business and my business if there is something negative going on in her home.
To Spirit75: Thank you very much for your response. That is exactly what I needed to know. So the crystal was purple, so that's a good sign. The main thing I was worried about was the pins stuck in the doll, but after reading your comment, it does seem innocent. Even if it isn't, it doesn't seem like she has enough experience to be able to do something really harmful. If anything, she might just be starting out. So maybe I'll bring it up to her and ask and try to learn something. I appreciate you not being judgmental towards my ignorance on this subject.