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An altar is a sacred place where tools are placed during a Witches’ ritual and magic.
Traditionally, the altar stands in the center of the circle of energy raised by the participant(s) in the ritual.
It may be a table or other object with a flat surface, such as an old chest.
It can be square or round, according to preference.
Witches may decorate the altar with colored scarves or other material corresponding with the season or the particular purpose of the ritual.
Ideally, the altar is made of wood, such as oak, which is considered to hold significant power, or willow, which is considered sacred to the goddess.
However, it can really be made of any material, as any physical object charged with magical energy will contribute to power to the ritual work being enacted.
Witches performing outdoor rituals may use an old tree stump, large stone, or other natural objects for an altar, or may use fire in place of the altar, placing the ritual tools elsewhere in the charged space.
While the altar is usually set up prior to the ritual and taken down afterward, some Witches maintain permanent altars in their homes.
These may double as shrines to the Goddess and God and can be a place to store the Witch’s magical tools.
The tools are deliberately placed in specific patterns on the altar, with intentional regard to the elements and the four directions.
For example, tools and symbols associated with the element of Earth may be placed in the North section of the altar, while those associated with water will be placed to the East.
While many Witches closely follow established patterns for setting up the altar, others will experiment and use patterns that resonate with their personal relationship with their deities and corresponding tools and symbols.