My altar has always been a work in progress. One day, I have a simple altar candle and my deck of Tarot cards; just enough to do my daily practice. The next, the full trappings of a ritual to sacrifice my fears to the cauldron of the Goddess. Once that was cleared away, I would leave offerings for my beloved dead. However, now that I’m working towards a consistent spiritual practice, my altar has remained pretty constant.
Here’s what’s currently on my altar, from left to right.
a. A statue of Ganesh. Ganesh has been one of my patrons for some time. He’s the Remover of Obstacles, a road-opener, and a way-shower. I chant and pray to him whenever I feel lost and usually make my daily Kala rite as an offering to him.
b. In front of Ganesh is a small cube of clay. It’s made of the kind of clay that doesn’t harden. I use it as a meditative tool. I roll it into a ball while I think of a situation or problem, then carefully shape it back into a cube. To me, it’s a symbol of making order out of chaos.
c. Next to Ganesh is a small bottle that I put burned matches and used incense sticks in. Now that I think about it, I really should dump that.
d. In front of Ganesh are several skulls: a Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skull (I have a bigger one I bust out during the Samhain season), a small skull of amethyst, and another of tiger’s eye. These represent my beloved dead. I use them when I do ancestor work. Other times, they act as a simple reminder that they are always present.
e. In front of the skulls and cube is my crystal ball. I don’t use her for scrying as much as I should, but I’m slowly working that back into my practice.
f. Just next to the crystal ball is a big piece of selenite. I use this as a grounding stone and push any excess energy into it after magic or ritual. There’s also a big pouch of random crystals that I use for magick and meditation.
g. The small green square is a stick incense holder. Currently, I’m using a lot of rose incense in my work.
h. The glass is a rocks glass from a brewery in Nashville. It started out as a souvenir, but quickly became the glass I use for my daily Kala rite.
i. The large orangeish candle is there for an ongoing spell that I’ve been working.
j. In the back-middle part of my altar, the place of honor is a Virgin Mary statue that I use as my representation of the Star Goddess. The bottom half of the statue is black and the top half if white. I think it’s a beautiful representation of light rising from the darkness. The black candle in front of Her is my Star Goddess candle that I light before starting any working.
k. The Star Goddess is flanked by a blue and red candle, representing the Divine Twins. I light them when I’m working with that energy and when I am working with the Peacock Angel, Melek, Ta’us.
l. In front of the black candle is an obligatory pentacle with a small Star Goddess statue on it.
m. The wand was an amazing find. It’s made of tiger’s iron, and I found it in a metaphysical shop in Watertown, New York. The owner said I was the only one who looked twice at it, so she made me an incredible deal.
n. The athame is the bargain basement kind you can get for $10 at any occult store. Nothing special, but I love it. Same goes for the brass candle snuffer.
o. The chalice looks like an amazing silver chalice…but looks can be deceiving. It’s made of stainless steel and I got it from a hunting store. I drop things a lot and the silver ones were too fragile for this.
p. The small Virgin Mary statue is called “Mary Undoer of Knots.” You pray to her to help find solutions to your troubles. She kind of echoes the idea of the Kala rite to me. (Are you picking up on the cornerstone of my daily practice?)
q. Next to Mary is a small Venus of Willendorf. She’s one of the oldest forms of the Goddess and she makes me smile.
r. Behind the two tiny Goddess is my statue of Lilith. She’s been a matron of mine for a while. I pray to her as the Goddess of Liberation and other general badassery.
s. Finally, a have two of my grandmother’s teacups. One holds salt, the other water.
So, that’s my altar in its current state. It might change a little over time, but I think I’ve found a setup that will work for me long-term. I’ll make a mental note to take another picture this time next year, just to compare.