Ok I have a spatial question. I think I’m overthinking where I need to put my Altar. How do you find where you need to put the tools for each direction? Do you put yourself in the direction or the tools? What if the room can’t support where you need to put the tools? So my altar is a movable one ( my teenagers are not quite ready for my choice) so when I use it I’m always confused where to situate my items. Any advice?
You can do it directionally, like North for Earth or the salt or pentacle. East for Athames or swords, South for Wands, and West for Cups or Cauldrons.
Or you can just do it how it looks pretty and where you feel like it’s right. LOL. It’s your altar, so it’s your say so that’s the end of it. Have fun decorating it how you like and what’s best for you.
That’s my two cents worth, for what it’s worth.
Hi @Nadialuna I’m going to go through your questions one by one and hopefully offer some help. I’m going to answer these questions under the assumption that you’re an eclectic Wiccan and not following any specific tradition (because that matters).
Most Neo-Wiccans (Wiccans that follow an eclectic path and are not initiated into a tradition) will place their tools in the common cardinal directions for the elements. For example, the common cardinal direction for Air is East. You can find a lot of this information in different books and even here on Spells8.
You would put the tools in the direction on the altar. So if your incense is representing Air, you would put your incense on the east side of your altar.
The tools just need to be placed in that direction on the altar, not necessarily throughout the entire room (unless that’s what you’re looking for). If your altar isn’t big enough, then it is totally fine to not put everything in the common direction or to even have a representative of each element or tool on your altar.
I’m not a traditional witch, and I’m not even Wiccan, so my opinion and practices with altars will vary greatly with some others here. I don’t assign directions to any of my tools or representations on my altar. It’s just not something I’ve ever done and it isn’t something I feel is necessary for my practice.
If your altar is moveable, it might help to have markings on the top of the altar if possible so you know what goes where when you set up your altar. As long as your altar is always facing the right direction, the rest of the markings would be accurate!
Here’s some good info from Spells8 on setting up an altar
Thank you for that awesome explanation @MeganB! Like I said I’m seriously directionally challenged. I always get left and right, East , West etc mixed up because I don’t really see how anyone can for sure know. It’s all relative to the perspective I guess and who the observer is. I don’t buy it lol . Never have . My husband thinks he sleeps on the right but to me he’s sleeping on the left. He’s looking from the perspective of looking at the bed I see it from the perspective of being in bed anyway… so let me ask you this… if I put my compass on my Altar and north is south of my Altar what do I do. I need a VR tutorial lol.
That’s a confusing question on the surface, but you’re looking at two different types of directions there. When you say south of your altar, what you’re really meaning is the bottom of it, right? Just think of it that way and move your altar accordingly (if you can) or put your necessary tools there.
I think directions, when people are talking about where things are, may be about perspective, but actual cardinal directions are not. Those are on the compass and based on the magnetic poles of the Earth and its gravitational field. Anyway, all this to say I guess do what you’re comfortable with, and as long as you’re not in a tradition that requires it a certain way, that’s okay!
LOL… I am laughing at how obsessive compulsive I am … I have a compass in my ‘craft’ tool box where I keep my altar items. For me anyway my ‘feels right’ is when I get everything on my little round 22" table lined up in the middle of my 6’ round rug. LOL good thing I am a solitary practitioner I would drive people nuts.
I do what Berta does. Very compulsive but its fun too.
I read someplace to have the altar facing North so calling quarters is easier. Your phone probably has a compass app. I’ve always done it that way.