Everyday Witchcraft: Simple Steps for Magical Living

Fun, simple, and easy ways to integrate your spiritual beliefs as a Pagan with your everyday life.

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New Year, New Altar

It's always a good idea to start the new year out right. I like to have my house reasonably clean, but this year I took that a step further and dismantled, cleaned, and rearranged all three of my altars.

Needless to say, not everyone has three altars (or even one--if you don't have one, this might be a nice time to create one as a spiritual center to your home). But if you have even one, it is a good idea to periodically clear and cleanse it--nobody likes a dusty altar--and check in to see if it is still what you need in its current incarnation.

My main altar, in the dining room/office, gets cleaned pretty often for the most part, since I use it the most. I did, however, find that the top section was dusty and that some of the items that had been living up there no longer seemed right for the space.

In the end, I took almost everything off, changed the picture over the altar and everything sitting on top, and moved some things from my bedroom altar (which used to be my primary one, and now is mostly decorative) to this one. In fact, I also cleared off my "creativity" altar in the living room, switched things around there, and had three clean, shiny-energy, recharged altars to start the new year off right.

 The creativity altar, with items that connect to my current writing project.

The bedroom altar. The wood candle holder above, the star-shaped glass candle holders, and the candles themselves are all handmade by local artisans. The clay god and goddess figures were made by my former high priestess.

It feels really good to clear away the dust and cobwebs of the old year, and start out fresh.

Do you have an altar? If so, what kind of things to you have on it? And have you cleaned it lately?

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Deborah Blake is the author of Everyday Witch Book of Rituals (Llewellyn 2012), Witchcraft on a Shoestring (Llewellyn, 2010) as well as The Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) and several other books. She lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.


  • Hope M.
    Hope M. Sunday, 12 January 2014

    How timely! I am currently in the middle of a rather ambitious altar redesign project. my altar is in a small temple space that is a converted storage closet. I've decided to do away with having all my tools on the altar in the traditional North/Pentacle, Air/Wand, South/Athame, West/Cup pattern and instead make each wall of the storage space a living directional altar. In this way I actually sit in the middle of the altar, directly in Center/Spirit. I've been having fun cutting out beautiful images to decorate the walls, hang shelves to hold that quarters tool ,and finding beautiful things to hang to evoke each element. Once I am done the altar will retain my deity representation (a beautiful glassy stone that has a vague human form) and whatever current project/ritual I am working on.

    I'd also like to create an altar to Hera in my bedroom, and I need to get on that...both to remind me to tend to my marriage and also to remind me to tend to the needs of my home (i.e. don't make such a mess, the Goddess is watching!).

  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake Thursday, 16 January 2014

    This sounds like a great idea!

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