Tannis is a pagan who uses elements of multiple traditions to inform her practice.
Altars in Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism
New to the worlds of Wicca, witchcraft, and paganism? The whirlwind of ideas and inspiration surrounding the craft can be almost overwhelming at first, but a well-appointed altar can help keep you grounded as you explore your practice. Best of all, most of the necessary components of a Wiccan or pagan altar can be acquired or made from scratch at very little cost.
Wiccan or pagan altars are raised surfaces (tables, shelves, desks, stumps, etc.) that serve as loci of ceremony, invocation, spell-casting, worship, chanting, prayer, and other practices. In addition to the chosen surface and optional cloth covering, the traditional elements of a Wiccan altar, in alphabetical order, are the following:
Traditional Wiccan Altar Tools
While these altar adornments are some of the most commonly used items in the Wiccan and pagan traditions, they are by no means required. Every altar is unique, and should reflect the personality, interests, aesthetic, and goals of its creator. Your altar is for you, and should be assembled, customized, modified, and changed according to your needs. It is a place that should make you feel relaxed and invigorated all at once.
In addition to the traditional components, many other materials are commonly used in the assemblage of altars. These are unique to each individual and can be changed based on the current season, upcoming sabbats, or any deities with which one is currently working. Some of the more commonly used optional altar adornments include:
Optional Pagan Altar Components
- Minerals, Crystals, and Rocks
- Live Plants
- Dried Herbs, Flowers, and Plants
- Animal Remains
- Drawings and Crafts
- Anything Else You Want to Include
Create Your Own Altar on the Cheap
Now that you are familiar with the types of items used in the creation of an altar, you can begin to assemble your own! With a little creativity and innovation, you can create a highly personal, supremely functional altar at little to no cost.
Step 1: Choose What Will Serve as the Surface of Your Altar
The first task one must undertake in the creation of an altar is the selection of an appropriate base, or surface. In most cases, this is some variety of table, but in theory, it can be anything flat enough to harbor the tools of your trade. Size is is important here, as the surface you choose to assemble your altar upon must be spacious enough to accommodate each of the items you wish to include. The following make great free or low-cost altar choices:
Depending on your living situation, you may have access to a variety of tables in your home. If not, garage sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist’s “free” section are all great places to acquire a table that can serve as your altar. The older, more weathered tables you might find from these sources tend to have more character and charm than newly purchased tables, and are definitely cheaper. Note: When selecting a table, make sure the height is appropriate for the manner in which you prefer to practice (e.g. sitting, kneeling, or standing).
Milk crates, mail bins, dresser drawers, and other sturdy but frequently discarded items can be effectively used as altars when inverted. If the base of a single milk crate doesn’t provide enough surface area for your tools and practice, try placing four of them in in a square and covering them with a cloth to create a larger surface. A piece of card stock cut to size and placed atop the inverted milk crates under your chosen cloth will help you achieve a flatter surface.
Connection to nature has always been a strong tenant of Wicca and paganism. Using a stump with a flat top lends your altar a more natural look, free of the hard lines typically associated with manufactured furniture. Best of all, stumps are cheap or free if you know where to get them. If you have access to a chainsaw, you can create your own stump from a felled tree trunk or discarded log. Always be careful and take recommended precautions when using tools (magical or otherwise)!
Read More From Exemplore
Step 2: Decide Where You Will Set Up Your Altar
The location and directional orientation of an altar is a matter of both choice and convenience, and varies greatly between practitioners. The following factors can be considered when deciding where to set up your altar:
Indoor or Outdoor?
Outdoor altars are very popular with individuals who frequently commune with nature and natural elements as part of their practice. If you choose to place your altar outdoors, you will likely need to transport and assemble/disassemble it each time you practice, as items left outside for extended periods are subject to damage, loss, theft, and any number of other eventualities. If you’d like to keep your altar set up on a more permanent basis, an indoor location would be the best choice. Some choose to keep a permanent altar at home and compile a small, portable altar kit for outdoor practice.
Many individuals choose to orient their altar in a particular cardinal direction. A lot of rituals involve the practitioner facing north, so this has become a popular altar orientation. Others choose to have their altars face east or west, to embrace and honor the rising or setting of the sun. You can also choose your altar’s orientation based on which of the four traditional elements you resonate most closely with. North is associated with earth, east with air, south with fire, and west with water.
Step 3: Adorn Your Altar With Some Classic Wiccan Altar Tools
An athame is a ceremonial knife or blade used in a variety of Wiccan and pagan rituals. Most athames feature a black handle, and some are inscribed with images, runes, or other symbols. Ceremonial blades are used for channeling energy or intention, drawing circles, casting spells, banishing negativity, and a host of other magical tasks. When assembling your altar, any blade or tool you have access to can serve as an athame. There is no need to purchase a new implement unless you so choose.
A pocket knife passed down from a relative would make a great athame, especially if there is meaning or significance attached to it. A dull kitchen knife with a wooden handle can be embellished with spare fabric and old beads to create a custom athame. If there is a certain type of tool you use frequently in your life, work, or art, use it as a personalized athame! If you are a writer, choose a pen or pencil. If you are the handy type, a retired wrench can be used. If you are an artist, choose an old paintbrush. Whatever implement you choose to include on your altar as your athame, feel free to personalize, decorate, or otherwise embellish it your liking.
Brooms, also known as besoms, are usually made from a bundle of small twigs secured to stouter branch that serves as the broom’s handle. In Wicca and other traditions, brooms are frequently used to cleanse or purify areas in which a ritual is to be conducted. These can include rooms, circles, or altars themselves.
While small, altar-appropriate, miniature brooms can be purchased from various makers on Etsy and in specialty stores, they can also be easily constructed on one’s own using found materials. For new practitioners, the act of gathering twigs and assembling a personal broom can be an excellent introduction to the craft, not to mention a great excuse for a walk in the woods. Simply gather a handful or two of twigs from the forrest floor and a single, thicker, longer branch to attach them to. Use thread, twine, or natural material to securely bind the smaller twigs around the bottom of the larger branch. You can research the magical associations of various tree types to inform your selection as you gather materials. Once again, feel free to personalize your creation with any decorations or embellishments that make it your own.
Candles are one of the most common items seen across all variety of altars. They are frequently used in spells, rituals, invocations, cleansings, and other rites, and can cast a lovely, flickering glow over your alter during moments of rest or reflection.
Start by checking your attic, basement, closet, junk drawer, or other household nooks and crannies known to harbor disused junk or forgotten detritus. You may posses more candles than you realize! If you do not have any candles in your possession, thrift stores will once again prove to be a valuable resource. Most thrift stores have the odd candle or two in stock, and most Goodwill stores have an entire shelf or section devoted to them.
Use your intuition when picking out candles—choose shapes, sizes, and colors that appeal to you. If your budget is particularly prohibitive, small candles known as tea lights can be purchased in bulk at big-box retailers like Ikea or your local hardware or catering store. Remember to always use caution when lighting, burning, and extinguishing candles.
Cauldrons, originally designed as cooking vessels for use over open fires, are employed both symbolically and practically in Wiccan and pagan practices. They are functional components of many popular rites and spells, and are often used to combine the component ingredients involved in certain rituals. Many practitioners also use them to burn incense, herbs, or dry flowers during moments of meditation.
When it comes to altars, space is limited. Unless you plan to prepare home-cooked meals over an open fire atop your altar (not recommended), you should try to acquire something a little smaller in scale. Miniature cast-iron cauldrons can be purchased online or at specialty shops, but any appropriately-sized vessel will do. Do you have an old tin camping mug imbued with the energy of the forest from your countless childhood excursions? What about a piece of ceramic ware you fabricated and kiln-fired in an art class? Don’t worry if nothing is coming to mind, just scour thrift stores and flea markets until a small, beautiful, forgotten vessel calls to you from the corner of a dusty shelf.
The term chalice chalice often conjures images of beautifully crafted, ornately decorated, oversized goblet fit for royalty. As it pertains to your altar, a chalice is simply a ceremonial drinking vessel that can, like the rest of the items on this list, be imbued with intention and used symbolically in a variety of spiritual tasks.
As a vessel, a chalice can be filled with herbs, ashes, flowers, and other materials at your discretion, either for use in a specific spell or ritual, or simply for your aesthetic delight. In this way, the chalice is very similar to the cauldron in both function and appearance. To save space and money, many practitioners select one vessel to use symbolically as both a cauldron and a chalice on their altar.
Incense is used for a variety of purposes in Wiccan and pagan practices, and the fragrant smoke it exudes makes it a pleasure to work with! Incense smoke is used frequently by practitioners to cleanse circles, altars, and other areas of lingering energy in preparation for a task or ritual. It can also be used to make any stale odors emanating from any ill-scented materials you use in your craft (e.g. valerian root, gathered furs or bones, etc.).
Luckily for us budget-conscious pagans, incense is extremely cheap, widely available, and comes in an endless array of scents. While certain brands are more expensive than others, quality incense can be found at any number of common retailers including head shops, convenience stores, natural grocers, and online marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay.
Contrary to popular belief, a pentacle is not necessarily a five-pointed star. Rather, a pentacle is any talisman upon which a magical image or symbol is drawn. Pentacles tend to be flat and disc-shaped, and may be composed of any number of materials. Some pentacles are simply paper or cloth discs, while others may be made from wood or metal. While the five-pointed star or pentagram (inspired by images from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck) is the most commonly used symbol on Wiccan pentacles, any magical symbol may be used. Hexagrams, or six-pointed stars, are also popular.
There are many ways to create your own pentacle at little or no cost. Cut a circular disc out of a spare piece of durable fabric, then draw your chosen symbol on it with fabric paint. Alternatively, you could use a soldering iron to burn a symbol into a wooden drink coaster. Disposable card stock coasters from bars and restaurants can also be painted and repurposed as pentacles. The pentacle is one of the easiest altar tools to make yourself, so get creative!
Wands are used by magical practitioners to cast spells, direct energy, and channel intention. Among the oldest of the classical altar tools, wands were used by occult practitioners long before the advent of Wicca in the late 19th century. Traditionally, wands have been made of wood, but in practice they may be composed of any material strong enough to withstand frequent use.
Like brooms and pentacles, wands can be created by the budget witch using found objects and salvaged materials. To use a fallen branch as a wand, first make sure it is both hard and tenacious. Brittle woods may break when used, and soft woods are more likely to degrade over time. You may select a branch from a particular plant due to its magical associations or simply use your intuition to select one you feel drawn to. Make sure to select a branch that has already dried out, otherwise its strength and hardness may change over time.
A fallen branch of appropriate size and quality may be used as-is if you feel particularly connected to the natural world in its unaltered state. Conversely, you may whittle, carve, and sand your chosen branch such that it appeals to you aesthetically and feels comfortable in your hand. Whether you shape your new wand or leave it in its natural state, feel free to make it your own by wrapping the base with your favorite cloth, carving symbols into its surface, or adorning it with stones or jewelry.
Your wand does not need to be composed of wood. If you are drawn to animals and feel invigorated by nature’s endless cycles of life and death, use a scavenged raccoon tibia as your wand. If you love earth’s metals or obsess over the countless invisible light waves used by modern technology to transmit information across the world, use an extendable antenna from an old radio.
Step 4: Add Some Optional, Personal Elements to Your Altar to Make It Your Own
Once you’ve outfitted your altar with some of the traditional tools discussed above, you may enjoy personalizing your new space by including some additional elements of your choosing. These additions are part of what will make your altar uniquely yours, so be sure to choose items whose aesthetics, significance, and meaning align with the goals of your practice. These items should make spending time at your altar something you look forward to during your day.
1. Minerals, Crystals, and Rocks
Many practitioners choose to display crystals and rocks on their altar. Crystals’ exquisite natural forms and colors highlight the transformational power of nature, while their age and durability remind us of the fleeting nature of our own lives.
Rocks and minerals can be purchased at specialty shops, but you can also gather them on your own as a part of your practice. Start by searching for agates and jaspers on beaches and river beds, then move on to looking for signs of quartz, calcite, and other common minerals on public lands such as those managed by the BLM.
2. Live Plants
Live plants add health and vitality to any space, and altars are no exception. If you have a green thumb, situate a one or two small plants on your altar to breathe life and oxygen into your practice. If your altar is situated such that it receives sufficient light, succulents and air plants are two great options due to their small size and low maintenance requirements. Small plants can be purchased at plant shops, or you can ask a horticulturally-minded friend for some cuttings or propagations.
3. Dried Herbs, Flowers, and Plants
Dried herbs and plants may be used in a variety of spells, rituals, and offerings, so keeping a selection on hand is always a good idea. Wander through natural areas and keep an eye out for useful herbs like rosemary and mint. These can be placed in your chalice or cauldron and left for few days to dry. Hang gathered flowers upside down to dry, then place them on your altar for decoration and as a nod to the current season.
4. Animal Remains
When outside gathering materials for some of your other altar items, keep an eye out for the remains of fallen animals. Bones, shed antlers, teeth, fur, and other remains may be found anywhere animals live and die, but wooded areas in public lands away from main trails are your best bet. Animal remains make for great altar adornments as they commemorate nature’s diverse array of life while reminding one of the certitude of death. Be aware of your state and country laws when collecting—remains of certain protected species are illegal to collect or possess.
Jewelry may be included among your altar tools at your discretion. Amulets, rings, brooches, and other adornments, particularly when imbued with intention or passed down from family, can make powerful additions to you magical arsenal. Cherished jewels can make your altar feel more personal, and add a degree of elegance to its aesthetic.
6. Crafts and Drawings
Because creation is such an important part of magic, anything you’ve drawn, painted, sculpted, assembled, or otherwise brought into being deserves some prime real estate upon your altar. If you are an artist or create things frequently, you can change your display periodically to your newest piece, or display older pieces to reconnect to forgotten times or feelings. If you don’t have many personal creations at the moment, take this opportunity to make one of the classic altar tools like the wand, broom, or pentacle.
7. Anything Else You Want to Include
When it comes to the assemblage and decoration of your altar, there are no rules, so feel absolutely free to include anything and everything not mentioned in this list, so long as it contributes to your altar in one of the following ways:
- It makes you want to spend time at your altar.
- It makes your altar look and feel the way you want it to.
- It helps you direct your energy or intention.
- It holds significant meaning in your life or practice.
- It reminds you of your goals.
A Final Note on Budget Altar Assembly
Cheaply and freely created altars can be just as stunning and magical as those that cost a fortune to put together, and may also have a smaller environmental impact. I hope this guide will be of help to any new witches, Wiccans, and pagans who want to make their altar a special place regardless of their financial circumstance. If you found this guide helpful, let me know in the comments!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: How can I start to collect items for a Wiccan/Pagan altar so no one else knows?
Answer: Maybe consider choosing small, inconspicuous items. You can keep them in a small suitcase, hatbox, or old typewriter case, then take them out and set them up when you want to use them. When you're done, just pack everything away again and keep the suitcase/box somewhere discreet.
Question: Is there a need to bless each item for the wiccan / pagan altar?
Answer: You do not "need" to bless each item per se. It is never a bad idea, however, to cleanse any altar item prior to using it in a spell or ritual. Some of your altar items can be used to cleanse others. For instance, some individuals burn sage, cedar, or other dried plants in their cauldron or chalice, then hold an altar tool they plan to use over the smoke to cleanse it. My personal favorite plant for cleansing is rosemary. Other practitioners might place a mineral (or any other altar tool that would not get damaged if wet) into a bowl of water and leave it outside under a full or new moon overnight to cleanse it prior to using it in a spell. I hope this helps answer your question!
Question: What would be the best cloth to put at your Wiccan alter?
Answer: Any cloth that you are not allergic to that appeals to you visually and texturally would be a great choice. You can also choose a cloth with personal or family significance.
Question: This was really helpful, but I also need to know if it would be beneficial to create a separate surface to have different candles on with tarot so I can have a clear surface for readings. Or should I place the cards on my altar for a stronger spiritual reading?
Answer: I don't use tarot a lot in my practice so I hadn't thought about this. Since your primary altar is likely fairly crowded with your various altar tools, I can see how it wouldn't make the most ideal surface for card reading. I would recommend periodically using your altar tools to cleanse, consecrate, and charge your tarot deck but doing your readings elsewhere (e.g. your kitchen table, a coffee table, the floor, outdoors, or anywhere else with a flat surface.
Question: I'm drawn by the cycle of life and death. My beloved cat passed last year and while reading my immediate pull was to use HIS bone as a wand or whatever else I could. Would this make the connections stronger? What else could I use him for?
Answer: I am drawn to the cycle of life and death as well! I think celebrating mortality and the oneness of living and dying by incorporating your cat's remains into your practice is a great way to move forward. If you still have your cat's remains, I would recommend getting in touch with a professional bone processor who has a colony of dermestid beetles. These beetles will consume the soft tissue so you can obtain relatively clean bones. Hopefully there is someone with this resource in your area.
Question: I feel power when close to dragons, can I add these to my altar?
Answer: Absolutely! You can add whatever you like.
Question: Do I need to have a god/dess to have an altar?
Answer: Certainly not! Many altars include totems dedicated to specific entities, but this is certainly not a necessity. Build your altar around your own practice, and include items you want to use. If your practice does not involve the invocation of a specific deity/god/goddess/spirit, you can totally still have an altar.
Question: Am I allowed to make an altar if I’m more into solitary witchcraft?
Answer: Of course!
Question: Can you use a pocket knife and bless it?
Answer: I don't see why not! Always be careful with your athame though, especially if it's sharp. If it opens and closes, I would recommend leaving it closed when you're not using it to avoid any accidents due to pets, falls, etc.
Question: I have two homes. Would it be ok to have two altars for both my homes or should I use a portable altar?
Answer: That depends. You could always set up two altar spaces—one in each home—then bring the most necessary of your tools/items back and forth by keeping them in some sort of easily transportable box or bag. Or, if you would prefer to have two complete altars, that would work as well.
Question: I’m very new to the Pagan/Wiccan religion, and I feel very close to one tree—would it be wrong to take a stick from that tree to create a broom or a wand?
Answer: If you can find a stick or branch that has already fallen from the tree I think that would be a great item to use as a wand or broom. I personally wouldn't cut a living branch from a tree, but you may do as you wish.
Question: I am sensitive to fragrant smells—is incense necessary?
Answer: Your wellbeing should definitely come first! It is totally ok to skip the incense.
Question: I know this probably sounds stupid, but will birthday cake candles do if that’s all I have right now for my pagan altar?
Answer: Absolutely! There are no r rules about what you can use for your altar elements. Everyone has different resources and different amounts of access to money, items, etc. I love quirky budget/free altar items. Go for it!
Question: What symbols are acceptable for the Pentacle if I'm not particularly drawn to the Pentacle symbol?
Answer: In my opinion, altars can be as traditional or non-traditional as you choose. If you don't identify with the pentacle, my advice would be to omit it. You can skip it entirely or replace it with a symbol you resonate more closely with.
Question: Do I need to have everything for my altar if I'm just starting out, or can I select few things that I was able to find around my house?
Answer: You certainly don't need to have everything listed in this article to start setting up your altar (or even to complete it). Every altar is a unique and personal reflection of its creator and many change and evolve over time. I think starting with a few things you can find around your house Is a great idea!
Question: I'm into wolves and I'm very artsy. Can I make the cloth into the Wicca symbol? Can I make the Wicca symbol out of sticks and place it above my altar? Can I paint a pentacle on a glass candle plate?
Answer: These all sound like great ideas. If art and creativity are important parts of your life and practice, I think incorporating them into the construction of your altar is a stellar idea!
Question: Does it matter how big an altar is?
Answer: It's totally fine for your altar to be on the smaller side if you don't have much space. Each practitioner must make do with their own circumstances. Necessity breeds innovation!
Question: I was reading how your altar should face a certain direction. The room I'm able to set my altar up in doesn't really allow me to be facing a certain direction (it's a dresser top). Is it necessary for an altar to face a cardinal direction? Would it be fine if my altar was set up against a wall that faces in between north and west?
Answer: Your altar doesn't necessarily have to face a certain cardinal direction; that's just something many practitioners choose to do. Many of us have to make adjustments to our altar plans based on available space and practicality, and that's totally fine!
Question: For a Wiccan or pagan alter, is there a need to bless or invoke to the actual altar before using it?
Answer: I would say that that is a matter of personal preference. I don't think you necessarily need to bless it before each use, especially if you are a busy person who likes to weave brief sessions of magic into your day-to-day life. That said, I think blessing it occasionally is a great idea. Perhaps you could set aside a few minutes to clean, rearrange, and bless your altar periodically (e.g. once a month) or occasionally (whenever the desire strikes you).
© 2019 Tannis Phidipus
Julius. (Jkomezah@gmail.com) on August 12, 2020:
Am a begginer. I love your directives and steps to adorable alter.
Emma on June 20, 2020:
Is this altar also for non wiccans?
Isabella age 12 on May 07, 2020:
Hi so my parents say that it’s against god to believe in Magic and when ever I use a five pointed star my dad says “that’s the sign of the devil” but I’m afraid to tell him that I want to have more than one faith and I can believe in what ever I want what should I do? also I’m making my own spell book can you give me some sources? (For like charms and stuff) also what is the difference between and Wicca
Crystal McKinley on May 07, 2020:
Thank you Tannis. Although I’m not new to the practice I am a solitary witch in the Bible Belt of the United States, Deep South, where there is a church on every street corner. Lucky for me, I have found a few like minded people and a wonderful group who meet on Sundays, in a church, (I get to blow minds with that one) called Unitarian Universalist. Still, having another proud witch support that which I have learned only as a seasoned, self taught witch on my diverse and twisted spiritual path, is comforting. Blessed be.
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on April 29, 2020:
Hi Madi. If you are reading this, PLEASE DO NOT CUT OR TRIM YOUR CAT'S WHISKERS. Cats and other animals rely on their whiskers to move around and orient themselves properly. Whiskers are also extremely sensitive. I am sorry to hear that your parents do not understand or approve of your desire to learn about paganism. I wish I could offer some guidance, but all I can say is that I hope they come around as you educate them about your beliefs. Good luck!
Madi on April 26, 2020:
I'm extremely new to all of this and I have kinda started to make an altar for myself. This article did give me a couple a ideas as well. But it has to be pretty small and I have to hide it, because my parents are very strict and thinks that it's related to satan. And I was wondering it anyone has any tips for me. And I was wondering if I can put my cats whiskers on my alter, because she kinda like the only thing I actually consider my family and she is like an emotional support animal for me.
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on April 02, 2020:
Hi Kai! I wouldn't say a cloth is necessary by any means, but a lot of practitioners do use a cloth of some kind to cover their altars. If you love the surface of your altar, there's no reason to cover it with a cloth, but if you love a particular cloth, there's no reason not to cover your altar with it! Go with your gut.
Kai on March 27, 2020:
great article! i’m beginning to get into wicca and i’ve seen lots of people use an altar cloth, are those necessary?
Pot on March 23, 2020:
I love this artical it helped me think of things to put on it, thanks!
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on March 02, 2020:
Thank you Denise! That's great to hear.
Denise L Goodknight on February 19, 2020:
This article was very helpfull and much appreciated. I look forward to reading more articles from you. Thank you
Julia on February 06, 2020:
Hey, I wanted to ask 'cause I can't do witchcraft. My parents are OK with me burning candles and reading stuff like Harry Potter but I cannot do majic myself. I found a crawlspace in my basement and I want to do stuff in there but I don't know if that would make my parents' opinions on Wicca worse. I know that I shouldn't but I need help. Can you recommend books that I can read that won't draw attention?
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on January 08, 2020:
Hi Hayley! It's totally ok to practice without having all of the items. None of the items are mandatory, and your practice is what you make it! This article covers items that are traditionally included in Wiccan altars in addition to some other items that certain practitioners choose to use. Everyone's practice is unique, and your altar should include whatever you want it to. It's also important to note that not possessing a certain item should never preclude someone from practicing their craft! There's no need to be wealthy or have specific possessions to practice Wicca, witchcraft, or paganism.
Hayley on December 28, 2019:
Im seeing collect items over time. But is it ok to practice without having all the items?
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on December 09, 2019:
Great point, Jennifer! Assembling an altar slowly, one piece at a time is a great way to go about it. My altar changes periodically as well.
Jennifer on December 08, 2019:
one more suggestion - you don’t have to make the entire thing at once. You can clear a space and start adding to it as creativity, time, and funds allow. Mine is still a work in progress, but I’m happy with what’s on it.
Tannis Phidipus (author) from Cottage Grove on July 31, 2019:
Hi Maurice. Many rituals involve the practitioner facing north, so some individuals choose to orient their altars in that direction as well. You can also face your altar in a direction that corresponds with one of the elements: North is associated with water, east with air, south with fire, and west with earth. In the end, it really comes down to personal preference. Thanks for your question!
Maurice Glaude from Mobile on July 28, 2019:
Are there any preferences that an altar should face a certain direction?