I was talking to someone earlier about altars and the need for sacred space. She had said that she was thinking about getting rid of her altar to get rid of the constraint of practicing in a single place. She also said that she thought it would help her connect more with nature and become more in tune with the world around her. I think she has the right idea, but she might be missing the mark a bit. So, I wanted to talk about that here with you!
Absolutely not. No one needs an altar for their witchcraft. Most times, an altar is used because it is an easy way to contain your sacred space to the same place in the house each time. Having a permanent place set aside for your witchcraft can help you keep the mindset when you’re there. However, it isn’t required.
What if you don’t have one?
Not having an altar is perfectly acceptable. For many people, their witchcraft practice moves beyond an altar and into their everyday lives. For me, this is a goal of practicing witchcraft. My spirituality, faith, and magickal practice is ingrained in my normal day-to-day activities. My hearth - or fireplace - is a source of magick. My spells in the kitchen while I’m cooking are witchcraft without an altar. I do have an altar, yes, but it’s for a different purpose.
What is my altar for?
I do perform magick at my altar, but my altar is a place of reverence in my practice. I guess another word for it could be a shrine. However, I don’t use that word because it is also a literal working altar for me. I light candles and incense at my altar as offerings to my Gods. I pray and say blessings and devotionals at my altar. It isn’t just for spellwork.
Overall, I think having an altar is a personal decision. If you think not having one will allow you to expand your practice to more of your house and the outside world, then, by all means, tear down that altar. Don’t limit yourself and your practice just because you think you have to have an altar. You don’t! Do what needs to be done for your practice.
Thanks for this! The New Moon tonight seems like a perfect opportunity for doing just that!
I agree that having a fixed altar can feel constraining at times and even limiting, and Magic can happen outside of it. But I feel that great things sometimes begin in the altar (symbolically), and then manifest to other areas.
So my opinion is: Magic can happen anywhere, but the altar is for Magic alone.
I think anything in your home can be an altar. If you cook a lot, maybe you have a shelf of herbs that is special to you. Or a fireplace that is special to you. Anything can be important to you in your magickal practice
I did jar spells last night on my kitchen table… LOL I also have an Altar in my bedroom…I like to use that when I need quiet meditation time and I don’t want to be disturbed by dogs…I own five dogs FYI HAHA.
But other than that, I use where ever I feel comfortable at that time. I’ve even done some stuff outside in my backyard.
Exactly! I told her that she can practice magick wherever she wants and she doesn’t need to be constrained and restricted to an altar. I personally do magick anywhere. Kitchen witchcraft while cooking, cleansing rituals while showering, etc.
I thought I’d share my space…this is where I go to meditate and just “be”. I write in my BOS and my gratitude journal here.
I don’t always do my spells here though, I actually sit at my kitchen table to do that as there is more “crafty” space there.
But this is my little slice of peace… MY space that no one touches. I suffer from panic disorder and anxiety attacks, so when I feel one coming on, I go here. I ground myself here. This space really brings me a lot of peace. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you all.
It’s taken years for me to get it this way but I just added my last piece today (my last piece for now LOL!)
The purple bureau was the last piece. I have all my extra candles, sage, incense and spell stuff in the drawers.
A friend of mine repurposed it, painted it and added the “crystal” knobs. I love the space!