Altars consists of varying items that differ from person to person. Its personal choice that dictates what belongs on your sacred space, and if you’re like me, the altar is setup only when you’re ready to cast circle.
I used to have a home altar that sat in my living room. I just don’t have the space now, so a box in my office holds all my tools and items I need. I’ve heard of traveling altars, that are often light with only the barest of tools needed. Technically, you don’t need tools, but I find a candle or crystal helps build the mood for magic.
This is what I have on my altar:
Athame- its a small dagger I bought from a thrift shop and consecrated it under the full moon, and wore it for three days straight. This is used to ‘draw’ the circle, and invoke the elements. This blade represent the Male/God aspect of the Divine.
Candles- You can never have too many candles- well, I guess you can. Last summer I found too many candles in the small room of my office almost smothering. I know use a mix of candles but also the flameless candles that appear to flicker like the real thing. Some pagans prefer all natural soy or beeswax to the paraffin, but I could never afford to be too choosy.
I use a candle for the Goddess and the God, and another for the ancestors. I then have four candles at each direction representing each element of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and then I have a small candle as a ‘working’ candle to light incense or other candles.
Salt- Again, I’m not picky what type of salt I use, but some argue you must use Kosher. Personally, I find any salt that doesn’t have chemicals works fine.
Water- For me, I prefer rainwater. I collect it during storms or showers, and label accordingly. This is then used for making blessed water to sprinkle around the area to cleanse.
Cauldron- I bought a tiny cauldron at a Renaissance Faire one year. Its big enough to use to burn things in it, to hold candles, sand, or water, and yet small enough to take wherever I go. This represent the Feminine/Goddess aspect, or the womb of Life.
String- I often use string for binding magic. These sort of spells work great for binding the negative or overwhelming emotions of anger, jealousy, depression, etc. You can also weave string into cord to be used for pendants. I like Hemp or cotton embroidery thread for these purposes.
These are the basics to me, and depending on my purpose, items vary after that.