March 6th, 2017 – So You Want to Build and Altar – Part 3
When you would honor the Divine with a gift of thanks or prayer, you can bring them to the Altar as an offering. Often flowers are kept on the altar as an offering. Anything that is beautiful or special to you, or symbolic of the purpose for the offering, can be offered.
The Mead or Wine, even the cakes you might make for a ritual can be given as the offering. Any offering you give should be harm free, in other words, it cannot cause harm to have given it, or to return it to the earth. Offerings are one of the most overlooked practices yet one of increasing spiritual power and importance.
The Pentacle, a 5-point star within a circle, usually is placed in the center of the altar. The pentacle is one of the most important altar tools, offering protection and power in magical work. However, other symbolic tiles can be used by those who do not practice Wicca which is the faith that uses the pentacle the most. I have a tile with runes on it.
A small bowl of water with salt dissolved in it is used for cleansing. Alternatively, the altar chalice may be used to hold the salt water. Water and salt are both purifying agents, not only in the physical realm but the energetic as well. Salt water also represents the energies of earth and water united in the ocean womb which gave birth to all life on the planet. So while this may seem an insignificant addition to your altar tools, it holds great power. If you are lucky enough to be near the coast, you can always gather ocean water for this purpose. I often spritz the salt water around the sacred area as I call the quarters.
Scent or Feather
Some representation of air, commonly something scented like incense, essential oils, or smudges, or else a flying bird’s feather goes in the East, to represent Air. Sacred scents are used to cleanse an area energetically, call in certain powers, or help witches shift consciousness. Feathers can also be used to cleanse energy fields, and to fan incense or smudge smoke.
Come back next week for part 4 of 5.