Basic Altars and an Update on Publication

With August falling off the edge without a solid entry, due to work and endless sword seminars, I thought it would be a good idea to get  around posting something i’ve been meaning to get around to for awhile.

First off however, I would just like to state that I received a reply from the editor of the anthology I submitted an entry to, and he has confirmed that my article has been selected for publication! As such, hopefully once i’ve seen it in its final form and cleared it, I will be able to link and recommend the finished product, as I will be unable to share the article publicly until one year after publication in print. It is really encouraging to get something possibly published, and might mean an easier job in getting any further works into print in the future.

The topic of this post however will be altars, specifically, mine in regards to Hecate and the other witch gods. I often get asked about my altar set up, and usually the answer has been pretty simple: It is basically an amalgamation of everything that I have come across, have made, or otherwise possesses some occult virtue alongside offerings to the Gods.

It must be said before I go any further that this post, in regards to my own altar, is going to be picture light. I will be illustrating my post where possible with existing pictures of Hecatian altars that belong to others that are publicly available on the internet. I myself do not agree with taking pictures of a space that is for personal use in regards to communing with the Gods. As a sacred space, I feel it should be kept private, and viewed only by ideally oneself, other practitioners, and very close family members at the most.

This is my own personal taboo, but interestingly, both Mark and several other practitioners I talk to have mentioned this to me only recently as either a warning that this shouldn’t be done or that they personally also don’t share pictures of their own altars. I respect and understand why others feel differently however, even if I don’t necessarily agree, and they do serve an educational purpose to those who wish to construct their own.

 

hecatealtar

Altar of Hecate by Zingaia 

Without further ado then. Altars can be small or large, simple or complex, or anything inbetween. My own altars for the last few years have served primarily as a stop gap – somewhere I can practice and give offerings, as a practical space, with the hopes of in the future creating a more empowered altar that would serve as the ideal replacement. Due to the fact I had no permanent residence, or would often have little to no privacy for occult work whilst watched over by religious types that disagree with my practices, these have been small, compact, and easy to relatively easily deconstruct. These are the ones that I now will detail.

The altar itself is a small, round circular table upon which is laid a very basic red altar cloth. This is more for practical reasons than anything else, due to the amount of incense I burn and the capacity of things to spill. This is about one metre high from the ground, so a relatively low table.

The most important part of my altar, arguably, are the central fetishes. These are the objects that in the main, help channel Hecate and  the other Witch Gods. The main two are talismanic – that is, in some manner constructed by myself to be suitable for their purpose. There is a statue of a dragon with an inset green geode, that has been consecrated and empowered to act as a central focal point. Alongside this, is my spirit box which I have detailed the construction of elsewhere on this blog. This box acts as an even arguably stronger link that the main statue, and links the altar to the Witch Gods to which it was created as well as the mighty dead, with Hecate being prime and first.

The box itself sets upon a sigil of the three crossed staves, and the the geode of the dragon often contains small pieces of paper with prayers, requests, questions written on them and folded up into the crevice so they can be charged. Once an answer is given, these are burned in the open air with thanks and libation.

Alongside these two talismanic objects are things i have just seemingly ‘acquired’, based on intuitive judgement, If you keep your own altar, and work with the spirits, you’ll understand what I mean by this. Sometimes you are just compelled t acquire a certain object for its use upon the altar, some internal ‘voice’ tells you it is required or desired.

These central fetishes are supported by a ring of 36 brass skeleton keys, all of which have again been consecrated and arranged around the box. These help strengthen the links further to Hecate and her Key Bearing /Master of Locks and Doorway  aspects, and I intend to use them in important workings in the future.

hecatealtar2

Altar of Hecate by an Unknown Practitioner

Alongside these objects, are several others i have just seemingly acquired. Working with an altar dedicated to the spirits seems to attract all sorts of associated objects over time. A non exhaustive list would be the following:

+A salt dried piece of driftwood that acts as a wand, given by the sea in return for my first pentacle, which i lost upon being gifted the branch. It compelled me to take it, and it has acted as my primary tool since acquiring it. It will be further enhanced and worked with in the future, but it gives off an energy which means I feel like I have little to do to it.

+3 stones, 1 quarts, 1 feldspar, and 1 moonstone. These act as further enhancers, and have been placed around the box alongside the keys.

+1 large tree seed of unknown origin. Placed as above.

+1 piece of grave stone, bought from the spirits at and collected from the local graveyard.

+1 glass encased spider corpse, due to my affinity with the creatures on a spiritual level.

+1 dagger, that came into my possession and consecrated, that is used in a multifaceted manner.

+ Several bits of red string left over from the box consecration ritual

On top of these, the practical tools for giving offerings and the offerings itself exist upon the table as follows:

+2  incense burners, one large, one small.

+3 candle holders, sitting atop the three main sigils of the witchgods.

+3 Glass bottles contain a water and pepper mixture corked.

+1 mug containing a suitable libation, usually black coffee or some form of alcohol

+1 glass jar, containing a mix of water, pepper, and numerous essentials oils that are mixed in with it (usually patchouli + others) used to feed tools and the box and as an offering in itself.

+1 ash holder, for containing all the burnt ashes, as they can be used for a multitude of purposes.

Working with this altar is very simple – every week the ingredients are changed on a Monday, and any libations are poured away around the thresholds of the doors in entrance to the house. This fortifies the protective shield around my own home, and feeds the genius loci. Any left over solid offerings that may have been given in addition to the above are taken to the nearby graveyard or a wooded area of seclusion and left there.

I ensure that my altar is kept private, and when necessary, it is quickly dismantled with each object being carefully and respectfully packaged away until the interference subsides and it can be rebuilt.

Things are added to the altar on an intuitive basis, either due to containing there own natural power or added as part of a talismanic construction on my own part.

By adding and growing and interacting with our altars, we work closely with the Gods and Spirits, creating a personal space of connection between us and them. Hopefully this post has illuminated my basic setup. Going forward, I hope to construct a much better, more permanent altar which I will detail the creation of and share if possible in the form of a document.

hecatealtar3

Outside Altar by Unknown Practitioner

Thanks again for reading, and I look forward to the next post. Soon, Samhain!!!

Ave Hecate!

~S~

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