This is my altar set up before a ritual it is not perfect yet, the black and white candle are missing, the cauldron with the charcoals and incense resins, the symmetry is not truly pleasing for everyone to see yet. But if you look closely, you can see some of my favorite things and these things are beautiful to me.
My wand. It is a crystal quartz wand about the length of my arm and a gift from one of my best witch friends. Joanna bought it for me because she felt it was shameful for the priestess of a church to use just a magnolia wand she had put together herself. So she did research, and bought me a quartz crystal wand. Every time I use it I feel it resonate and amplify my natural energy. Every time I pick it up I feel the love from all the circles I have cast for protection for the Temple and my family, and all of the circles we have done every other week for several years come to mind: the one utilizing mirror magick, the circle for Hecate, the HUGE one that I got to use it for at PPD, the Artemis ritual at Daughters, the Isis ritual at Daughters, the love spells we did that was controversial, the Mama Bast ritual, and the healing rituals, prosperity rituals, abundance rituals, luck rituals, and the list goes on and on. But most of all I love the fact that Hecate fills that crystal quartz every new moon or full moon with the most intense light I have ever seen, and that it vibrates at a chord that helps me when I sing to her "Hecate seal this circle tight, and fill it with your holy light..." and how when at the end of every ritual I am done, and draw up the circle and I say "thank you Hecate" I hear her say "thank you" back and feel the light dim like turning off a switch. Thank you Joanna best friend of my soul for giving what I needed though I had no idea I needed it.
Next, you see my cheesy incense burner that looks like an Oak tree? Well my husband when he came into our marriage brought that with him. It was on his personal altar in his home, and every time I touch it or use it I am reminded that I have been given one of the most precious gifts of all...my husband Brian a High priest whom I can never say enough good things about. I wanted a Pagan husband, and I got him. I love incense, of course most of my blends are Frankincense and Myrrh because the Egyptians like these...but I try to combine the incense in my burner with the properties that help "raise" the vibrations around me to resonate with a spell. Thus I use rose for love, or peppermint for protection, or lavender when we need to feel calm, nag champra I associate with holiness, and I have been told most of my life I smell like incense so I cannot help but enjoy the lighting of those holy sticks after all these years. In fact, discovering new types and scents are one of my favorite things to do and my collection of them really mind boggling at times. Want to give a Highpriestess a great gift? How about hand rolled resin incense sticks? Thank you Daniel!
Behind them you see the two pitchers I use constantly to pour out ale to the people that visit and attend our Temple here. One, was a gift from step daughter who is also a wonderful witchy girl! The other blue Greek one was given to me by two friends, my former Highpriest Amos and my best bud Allison. When I look at both pitchers they remind me of HOW FULL my life is, and how my cup will never go empty because I am loved not only by the Gods but by people who I am fortunate enough to adore.
To the right of the Gods and a little behind them on that gold platter, is a cobalt blue retro drink set. I utilize these to pour small individual drinks out to each God and Goddess on my altar, this time it was five. By the way I think statues to your God or Goddess or a sort of tool because we all know they do help you focus and gives the deity a physical form to dwell in. Here are mine in the picture going left to right ( Thoth, Ra-Ptah, Osiris, Sekhmet, and Isis). The retro cocktail set I bought from the Temple garage sale a few months back. Everyone knew I was going to do it. A good friend of mine Lori brought them in as a donation, they were beautiful, retro and blue. They were so me!! I thought they were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen so I HAD to buy them! When I use these items I am reminded that in my life I am able to purchase things with the abundance the Goddess Isis has given me. That it is safe for me to be abundant because everything she gives me she knows I will share with others and use for the betterment of the world around me. That is what I feel my path is all about, and so when I pour out from my prettiest drink set fruit juice or homeade beer to my Gods and I press this on their lips I find that my heart dances because I can share with them my best. I know they enjoy my giddy heart, and I know that I have everything I have because they are there with me.
Lastly, my favorite tool in this picture is the altar everything is laying on. This altar is built out of cement blocks put together by hand by my friends and family. It is not gold and shiny, it is not elaborately scrolled but it is filled with love, and power, and light, and alot of great circles have been conducted here. Trudy and Terry and Anne and Tom have done some big magick here, even the Grandmother witch of us all Pat! My son's wiccaning was done at this altar, the Temple initiations have been done at this altar. I have worked with many friends at this altar and my husband at this altar. My pic here on facebook is at this altar with my son on it Cayden. But the real secret to this altar? It is not as simple as it seems. In every corner in the making of it there are crystals to amplify the energy of the group and the center; and in its guts deep in the middle there are letters to Gods and Goddesses of the Temple and prayers and tokens to dedicate that altar to the Gods and Goddesses we love so much. When I step up to that altar I feel nothing but the love I have for my Gods and my fellow pagans, I feel the love they have for their Gods and for me...and I know there could be no better spot for me to stand than right there. That is a sacred spot, that is sacred ground and there are very few of those that I know...but I have one in my back yard!
Now that I finished this post, I realize that the subject of tools led me to realize that in all the arguments I have heard for or against...I have never heard one talk about the love behind them. The time involved in them and that is really why I love my tools. To hold them, to use them, is to remind me of one thing...LOVE and for me that is the greatest magick in the world.
Thank you for the gift of your time!