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!
Do you need an altar to practice witchcraft?
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.