Sabbat Altars Series

So now that I’ve moved and things are calming back down, I have a dedicated space for an altar. I’ve been wanting to keep a seasonal altar (after numerous failed attempts to keep up with it), and I’ve found the perfect shelf on which to build it. I’ll keep my permanent shrines to Hecate and Persephone there, and will just change the seasonal offerings and decor around them. I’ll also hang some pictures of some ancestors around and have a place for active spellwork. I’m so excited!

Altar shelf
Altar shelf

Let’s take a look at some of the steps I’ll be taking.

  1. Finding a good place for my altar. I’ll be using a corner of my office. It’s not ideal, because my office is also the entry way to the rest of the house, but I’ll make a sheet that I can throw over it when overly curious or judgmental company comes. There’s a window right next to the space that I can open to let in the sounds of frogs at night, and the flowing stream in our back yard.
  2. Finding my altar furniture. I’ll be using a 4-tiered corner shelf that I’ve been moving from place to place for almost 20 years, but never had a really good use for it. I may decide to refinish it at some later date. (It’s not in bad shape, I just want it to match the darker woods of my office.)
  3. Cleaning/cleansing/purifying the altar. I’ll be using a smudge spray that I made for personal smudging, but that will also work really well for this. I’ll also burn my Greek smudge mix, and fan the smoke all around the altar.
  4. Finding/purchasing/cutting/finishing fabric for altar cloths. I’m starting with my Lughnassadh altar, and I’ve found some really good goldy rosy batik fabrics. I traced the shape of the quarter round shelves onto a piece of cardboard and cut the shape out. I’ll be using that as a pattern to cut out cloths in the right sizes. And instead of sewing the edges, I plan to finish them with some burnished copper fabric paint I found. I figured this would be a better method for me than sewing something wonky that I would never be happy with. Sewing just isn’t my strong suit.
Altar cloths
Altar cloths

Things I’ll always have on my altar:
Shrines to Hecate and Persephone
An owl of some sort
My working candle
An offering bowl
An incense burner, seasonal incense, and a smudge blend for cleansing
Whatever stones or crystals I’m working with
Seasonal flowers and greenery from my yard and neighborhood
Representations of the 5 elements
Twinkle lights (why not?)
A seasonal witch’s ladder/garland made from yarns, ribbons, beads, charms, silk flowers, etc. I will probably thread in rolled parchments with prayers for the season or something similar.
I want to make a representation of the wheel of the year to hang above from the ceiling, and possibly a pentacle as well.

So those are the basics. I’ll have different altar cloths and witch’s ladders for each sabbat, and I’ll change the colors/scents of the candles as well. I’ll have seasonal symbols (like eggs for Ostara, for example), and I’ll add things from nature as I find them.

I’ll also be posting a blog about what I chose to decorate my altar with and pictures. There may also be short YouTube videos.

Is there anything I’ve missed? I don’t tend to keep the traditional Wiccan altar, so I won’t be keeping an athame or chalice, for example, unless they’re seasonally appropriate. But I’m always open for inspiration! Let me know in the comments below.

Blessed be! 🙂