Magical Ways – The Altar

PaganGreen Paganism and Witchcraft

This is also called the spell table or work table, but I like the sound of “altar,”
which is far less awkward, even though it gives a religious association to magic
which may not always be deserved. However, “altar” will be used throughout
this book.
A great deal of magic does not need the presence of an altar, but certain
rites do. When performed at home, the altar is the place where spells are cast.
It can also be used as a work table where herbs are enchanted, sachets composed,
and where, in general, all magical work is done.
An altar may be any flat surface on which you can place candles, an incense
burner, herbs, and any other materials needed for a spell. It can be the top of
a coffee table or dresser, or a section of the floor. Wherever you can find a
place is sufficient.
Some people who wish to acknowledge their religious beliefs place symbols
of their faith on the altar. Statues and holy books are common, but any objects
with which you feel comfortable may be placed on the altar, such as lucky
charms, fossils, rocks, shells, and so on. Such natural objects may actually
empower your magic further.
Magical Ways 9
I cannot stress too strongly the advisability of performing magic outdoors
when possible. Indoor spells work, of course, and most of us have to substitute
a living room or bedroom for a forest clearing or lonely beach. Magic
must be practical.
Outdoor altars aren’t always necessary; when they are necessary, they usually
consist of a cleared section of ground, a flat rock, or a tree stump, but
ingenuity can aid the Magician here. The altar is simply a place to perform
magic, and is limited only by your imagination.