I'm looking into the construction of altars and was wondering if anyone could give any tips/guidelines/good sources to look into for altar construction or good materials to use. Specifically, I'm looking into altars for demon summoning/communication, but any basics will do as it is still good to know. Any help is appreciated!
Altar's reflect us in a metaphysical way because each of the items you place on your altar is sacred to you or your deities and symbolically is something of importance . Such as an Athame, Boline knife, Sword, Pentacle, Black mirror, Crystals, Pictures or Statues of your higher powers, or even your Ancestors . You can also design it to fit your religion/faith, i customize mine a lot because i travel, so i have one in a black box and one in the house. During my travels i find interesting samples, bugs, herbs, and the like so that is why i customize it, i am always trying something weird and interesting. I also have some pictures in my album you can look at to give you a good picture of what i am talking about for altar set ups, and honestly just go with your intuition and it will be awesome! Blessed be.
I mean if you are looking into evocation of demons you are probably more interested in ritual magic, the double cube altar is more of a norm for that tradition and is easy to construct, I believe Donald MichaelKraig had a blog post on it you will find with google.
That is my official answer.
My unofficial answer is that you can use whatever you want. I have two altars, one for workings I do every day, the other for a specific goal which I constantly work on. The one which I use every day is the one I use for evocation etc. It is my old bedside cabinet- I do most of my rituals seated on the floor so the height suits me perfectly. The other altar is a table I bought cheap which resides in the corner of my ritual room.
Sassy Love is correct in his examples of tools. But in general, I prefer a simple approach. The altar during a ritual is a table of working, in a specific working you should only have the tools required- anything more can become distracting and cumbersome. Once you are not doing a specific working and return to daily practice which is normally less specific and more general, a general altar set up is perfect.
Demon summoning is a very general term, specific demons require specific methods, like specific things etc. All of the things you place on the altar should make sense to you, I suggest you do more research into how you are going to summon these beings- then you will know what to put on your altar which is simply a table for you to do your magic at. Don't make it a grandiose concept, it is really as simple as that.