Generally, when setting up an altar it depends largely on what you are using it for. If it is a place of worship or invocation, you will need statues in addition to other things. If it is just for spell work you only need the barest of minimum items such as a wand, an athame, chalices, a cauldron and a boline. Generally, your altar will face North, but you may need to change its facing depending on the working you are doing. Below is a basic spell work altar configuration.
My altar is used for invocation and worship so it is quite full of items and trinkets and tools. My altar faces North and has an altar cloth on it, a Baphomet statue, a skull, some candle holders, a chalice, a scrying mirror, a box of precious stones, my pendulum and some sigils. It also has an athame, a boline knife, a cauldron and a wand made of yew. I have candles and my astral candle as well as crystals of various types and sizes.
An altar setup is a personal choice. You can have as many things on your altar as you wish or as few as you wish. At the end of the day it is you using the altar and therefore it has to be both practical and functional in its set-up.
Consecrating your Altar items
To consecrate your altar you will need;
- A bowl of black rock salt.
- A bowl of water.
- Lit White candles.
- Hyssop soap.
- White sage incense.
- A sage stick
Some of the hardier metal items you would rub with rock salt and rinse with water, towel drying as you go. Run them through the incense smoke and over the top of the flame so they are cleansed by the elements. Visualise your items being spiritually cleansed. You also use hyssop soap to cleanse items. I also burn a sage stick in the area so as to cleanse the air around the altar space. Additionally, I will place sigils of Demons around my altar for protection.
What Makes an Altar
All altars start with a nice wooden table. I use a chest because I have so many altar items, I cannot have them out all at once. It is advisable, to protect the wood and to set the mood, that you get an altar cloth. Mine is a giant velvet sigil of Lucifer.
You may or may not need statues depending on the purpose of the altar. If it is a spell work altar it will not be necessary to have statues. If it is an altar of invocation and worship, you will need statues of your deities or a Baphomet at the very least.
A scrying mirror will be required or a pendulum to communicate with spirit. You will need a goblet with libations in it to the deity, a fireproof bowl, a sword or athame and candlestick holders. In addition, you will need a means by which to safely burn incense.
In addition, in a spell work altar you will have black witches salt, a bowl of water and an astral candle. You might also need room for figure candles. On the devotional altar you would have an additional candle as well, a Sabbatic goat candle.