Monday, March 24, 2008

The Witch's Room

י'ח באדר ב' תשס"ח
Raven 19

New witches often wonder how to make an altar. For ideas, here is a brief description of My Altar.

Since I am staying with relatives, my altar is set up in my bedroom. I have a main altar along the eastern wall and a second smaller sacred area near the end of my bed which sits on top of one of the two dark wood free-standing "spice" cupboards I have to contain my herbs, candles and other supplies (each cupboard is about 3 feet tall by 8-14 inches deep by 16 inches wide). My main altar has been "built" upon six full to the brim bankers boxes of my older religious and spiritual books that I only occasionally need to reference. The stacked boxes of books form the foundation. On top of those is a front-opening one-drawer box in which my handcrafted Book of Shadows rests. The boxes and drawer are completely covered over with a thick black altar cloth made from material I bought at a hobby store. (Thus, my BOS is hidden within my altar and yet easily accessible.) On the top of all that, is a thick sheet glass tabletop. On top of the glass in the center is a smaller (about 7 inches square, 5 inches high) silver pentacle altar "table" upon which sits my covered 5" diameter quartz crystal ball. Behind it is a tall wooden CD rack with drawers in the middle for resins. My meditational CDs are in the rack, and the rest of the rack has been converted into small glass shelves to hold handmade potion bottles, a small cauldron, a small obsidian sphere - stuff like that. To the right and left of the main large crystal ball are black pillar candles. Also on the alter is a black bowl of water, my wooden wand, a small amber sphere, a large clear crystal cluster around which is wrapped my spirit cord when not in use, a stone smoking-bottle style incense burner, and a black sand hourglass. Standing on the floor in front of the altar is the other wooden cupboard, upon which rests a tea box, upon which rests a black cast resin pentacle box with my ritual jewelry in it. There is more that has been built up around the sides of the altar which contribute to the atmosphere. My besom, witch ball, 7-branched menorah, kiddush and chalice cups, mortars and pestles and other ritual items are scattered all about my bedroom. A large wooden treasure chest holds holy-day specific ritual items that I don't use on a daily basis. Electromagnetic windchimes fill the air with gentle music all the time I am in the room. Thick floor length pomegranate-colored brocade panels with a valance made from a black chiffon shoulder wrap cover the window. A small nightstand made of dark "distressed" wood holds more supplies, like my athame, quill, ogham sticks, medicine bag, ritual compass, magic skeleton keys, tarot and hebrew letter cards, and black skrying mirror. On top of the nightstand is my larger cauldron and large corked bottles of loose incense compounds. Nearby, a long thin lamp stands with amber crystal beads and purposeful threads dangling from the earthy shade, casting a gentle glow when in use. A wrapped scroll lays lazily somewhere in the room. The whole atmosphere is permeated with artful witchiness. While it may all sound patchwork, the total effect is perfectly put together. There is no place else on earth as witchy as my bedroom. The room is magic.

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