The alter is going to be one of a witch’s most important tools during rituals. Any type of alter you prefer will do for this purpose. Your alter should be made of some natural material such as wood, or metal but if you would like to lay your supplies on the ground, just cover your alter area with an alter cloth. For my own purposes, I have a very bad back so I have to have an alter table that is waist high if I’m standing or I must kneel on a pillow during my rituals with an alter table that is comparable height for this position.
Your alter should be a size that holds all of the tools necessary for your rituals. For my own purposes, 3ft X 4ft seems to be a good size. That will hold all of my equipment and leave a little room to move things around as needed.
If choosing a color for your alter or alter cloth, remember that you will be using this same alter in many different types of rituals. It is best to choose a neutral color such as black or white so that you can generate the proper energies with your choice of candles and herbs during each ritual or spell. An alter cloth that can be soiled and easily cleaned should also be used to protect the surface in case of a spill.
Your alter is the representation of Earth and is your means of connecting your energy and magic directly to the Mother Earth, Herself. It should sit directly in the center of your circle and face toward the East. The direction of the sun rise is the direction of new beginnings. And when not in use, your alter should be cleaned up and put away, unless it is an outdoor alter or decorative shrine to a particular Goddess or God.
There are several alter tools that are used in ritual or spell depending on what your end goal may be. I am going to list them in several different posts with a short description of each. Some of these tools are a necessary item for every witch to have, some of them are nice to have but are not a requirement and some are what I refer to as luxury items that I feel are not something you really need to acquire unless you ask for them as gifts…You know, “What do you get for the witch that has everything.” Check back in a few days for the first of those posts about tools and a post of alter set-up as well.