An altar means something different to every witch, especially depending on the type of Craft the witch chooses to practice. My altar is a place for daily devotionals, meditation, divination, creative visualizations, etc.
When I design my altar, I like to follow my intuition. I’ll take a look at my witchy bookshelf and pick items that best relate to the season, my mood or the magick I’m working on. As an eclectic witch, I follow no specific altar rules. Along with the traditional altar items like an athame & the pentacle, I also keep non-traditional items such as my Grimm’s Fairy Tales book to symbolize my whimsical creativity and a teacup filled with moss and acorns to represent the Divine Feminine.
In my Magickal Morning Routine post I talked about the six witchy habits I perform to kick start my day. One of those habits is Grounding & Centering, which are techniques that most witches are very familiar with. Unfortunately, I’m a witch who needs a little help with my meditations. I find it hard to simply turn the meditative switch on and off, so I need the help of mental & physical indicators to really shift my mind into a more magickal state.
This begins with my Gateway.
Sitting on top of my altar is a gold mirror which I use as a portal to my Astral Realm, where my spirit can run wild with no bounds. Within this realm I can ground myself barefoot in the forest and center my energies which I imagine as fluttering butterflies that rest on my head and shoulders as I find my spiritual center.
To open this gateway, I simply knock.
After blessing the entrance with the smoke of white sage and drawing the pentacle in the air before it, I visualize the mirror transforming into a large heavy wooden door.
One… two… three knocks to open the portal and I step into my astral playground.
As the saying goes, “The mirror has two faces.”
And once on the other side, I find myself sitting over a still pond peering into the gateway from which I had just journeyed through. I can see my bedroom in the physical realm- my cats cuddling on my bed, my altar candles still flickering like a beacon in the dark water to help me find my way back home.
Suddenly something flies past my head- a tiny giggling light which beckons me to follow. My feet make squishing noises on the dewy moss as I chase after the winged orb, being careful not to step on the tiny mushrooms which sprinkle the ground. Finally I come to a small clearing in the woods and find the most magnificent tree I’ve ever laid eyes on. As I step closer towards it, I can feel the ground stirring beneath me- swelling up, then slowly leveling down.
I take a seat before her, and pressing my back onto her trunk- I close my eyes and follow her breath.
In and out. In and out. Slowly the moss begins to grow- over my legs, around my finger tips and up my temples.
We are becoming one. She is within me and I am within her.
My Astral Realm has many magickal locations with varying spiritual purposes- but the Forest is my absolute favorite.
Of course, I also enjoy the beauty of nature in our physical realm and when I can take a moment to connect with her, it’s unbelievably fulfilling. But there’s also something special about having an astral realm.
It’s safe. It’s intimate. It’s mine.
In another post, I’ll explain more about my Astral Realm and how to map out your own.
Blessed Be, wanderers.
The Snow Orchid Witch