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Altar Set-Up for Beginners and Wiccans on a Budget

Updated on April 15, 2016
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty has been following a pagan spiritual path for seventeen years. Because of this she encourages others to follow their own paths.

My Wiccan Altar Set Up - "Before" Pics

My Initial Wiccan Altar Set Up & Storage
My Initial Wiccan Altar Set Up & Storage | Source
Smeagols got awesome!
Smeagols got awesome! | Source
My Wiccan Books & Books of Shadows
My Wiccan Books & Books of Shadows | Source
My Basket & Floral Box
My Basket & Floral Box | Source

Starting a Fresh Wiccan Altar Set Up

Eye of newt. Bone of chicken. And a Dead man's toe. To be successful in witchcraft, that's all you'll need to know...just kidding! If you're looking to find black magic tips, you've come to the wrong place! This hub was written so that I can share my "coming back home" to Wicca process with other Beginner Wiccans and Wiccans on a budget. The Wiccan Altar Set Up advice that I give here is specifically for beginners and those who don't have a lot of money or space in order to practice Wicca exactly the way they imagined...but take heart! Where there's a will (and a Wiccan), there's a way! (By the way, no lizard parts, poultry skeletons, or pieces of corpse are required! If you weren't aware of that, scroll down to the links and read "How to Become a Wiccan", because you are apparently confused on the subject.)

After recently coming back home to Wicca and re-dedicating myself, I'm in the process of collecting a new set of Wiccan tools and starting a fresh Wiccan altar set up. Unfortunately the house that we're living in is limited on space, so I don't even really have a corner where I could set up a new table for my Wiccan altar set up; however, I do have a beautiful, dark wood nightstand with an open bottom compartment that I figured I could utilize for my new Wiccan altar set up and Wiccan tool storage.

The first thing I did was stock the bottom shelf with my Wiccan and Pagan books and Books of Shadows that I've had from years ago. I also had a pretty floral box and a wooden picnic style basket to use for storage purposes (I have a three-and-a-half-year-old who will play with things carelessly if I don't hide them). A couple other items I already had were a collection of gemstones and minerals, a little fairy moon figurine, a set of Celtic ogham wisdom sticks, an incense burner (a.k.a. censer), a beautiful green Celtic Knot altar cloth, and a few other items. These are all Wiccan items that I have collected or were given to me over the years. You may be able to find items such as these in your home right now, without having to go out and buy or find these Wiccan tools recommended for a complete Wiccan Altar Set Up.

Items You Can Find In Nature by Element

Flower Petals
Burnt Wood

Wiccan Altar Set Up - Wiccan Tools

Wiccan Tools I Already Had
Wiccan Tools I Already Had | Source
Velvet Bag of Stones
Velvet Bag of Stones | Source
Mortar & Pestles - $2!
Mortar & Pestles - $2! | Source
Abalone Shell, Sage, Pendulum
Abalone Shell, Sage, Pendulum | Source
Goddess Figurine
Goddess Figurine
Elephant Ear - Free!
Elephant Ear - Free! | Source
Feather and Triple Goddess Leaves - Free!
Feather and Triple Goddess Leaves - Free!

Wiccan Altar Set Up - Finding Tools and Wiccan Supplies Without Spending a fortune

There is a certain list of "tools" that Wiccans use in their magical rites and rituals specifically for their Wiccan altar set up, some of which I already had and some of which I had to go out recently and find or purchase on my own accord. The Wiccan altar set up tools that I wanted to find (that I didn't already have) included a wand, a cauldron, a censer, a mortar and pestle, a symbol of the goddess, a symbol of the god, an athame, and a chalice (or cup).

I decided to go to the local thrift store near my office and guess what I found? A three-legged, black cauldron of sorts. It is made out of glass, porcelain to be exact, which means that it is not a totally heat-proof dish; however, if I fill it with some salt then I should be able to burn candles or incense within it during Esbats or Sabbats. The paint on the bottom of the three legs seemed to be worn off, so I added a fresh coat of black paint to them (I had the paint in my closet already) and let it dry for about 8 hours and VOILA! The cauldron looked fabulous and more than usable for my Wiccan rituals on my Wiccan altar set up. And I only spent $1.25 on it!

The second item I found at my local thrift store was something that I've always wanted in my Wiccan tool collection and Wiccan Alter Set Up - a mortar and pestle! I had no idea that I would've found a black three-legged cauldron and a mortar & pestle at the thrift store, but there they were...sitting there, ready for me to snag them and take them home to use for my Wiccan rituals and Wiccan altar set up. Though the mortar and pestle is small, with small pestles, it should work just fine for my beginner Wiccan alter set up and tools...not to mention that it was only $2.00! So, along with my cauldron and mortar & pestle set, I left the thrift store with spending less than $4 total. Keep in mind, thrift stores are also wonderful places to find bottles and jars for herbs and incense, fairy figurines, buddhist figurines, baskets, containers, etc. that could all be connected to your spirituality and be a beautiful part of your beginner Wiccan Alter Set Up or Wiccan Alter Set Up on a budget.

After heading to the thrift store, I decided that it wouldn't do any harm to swing by a local new age/Wiccan/magic shop. It's located in the same area as my office building and I had been wanting a chance to visit for many months, so this gave me a reason to visit. I walked in and was immediately comforted by the relaxing atmosphere, complete with "God and Goddess" music, a wafting aroma of incense and herbs, and three ladies with wonderful auras greeting me as I roamed about. I did end up spending a little more than planned, about $45 to be exact; however, I found some wonderful Wiccan Alter Set Up tools and supplies.

I grabbed a small bundle of white sage ($7) for cleansing, which I plan on using to cleanse my sacred space in my bedroom and also the rest of the house. A small abalone shell ($4.50) for smudging, which I will use in future smudging rites, etc. Two stones - a butterscotch jasper (I couldn't get over the beauty of the carmelized color, $1) and a serpentine sphere (I'd never even heard of this stone and I was drawn to it immediately, $6). A green pendulum (which I tested in the car and it was swinging in a very happy clockwise motion within the first five seconds of using it, $8) and last but not least - a small Goddess (I think it might be Gaia) chime-candle figurine for $23. The Goddess figurine was truly calling out to me. I had walked by it, admired its beauty and energy for a moment, and walked out of that section of the store...and then I had to go back and get it. I simply couldn't leave it there. The lady who checked me out said, "Oh, I'm so glad she's finally going to a good home. She has a wonderful energy, doesn't she?" And of course, I agreed. What beautiful items to find for my personal Wiccan altar set up.

Over the next few days, I didn't spend any more money on my Wiccan altar set up and Wiccan tools, but I spent a lot of time outside going for walks with my daughter. I opened myself up to nature and what she had to say to me and in me being so opened to the message, she talked! In peaceful quiet ways, and then in the form of a roaring wind, but she talked and I listened. On one particular walk, a feather presented itself to me, as well as a triple-leafed twig (or what I took to represent the triple-goddess). We also found a beautiful elephant ear plant growing all around a ravine, which I picked a leaf off of but quietly thanked the plant for giving of itself to me. Perfect items for my Wiccan altar set up and they were totally free. All I had to do was honor the goddess and open myself up to nature. You can do the same thing. Go for more walks or sit out in your yard and just listen to what the wind has to tell you, or maybe what a tree or bee is singing to you, and you will be given gifts for your Wiccan altar set up, too.

Wiccan Altar Set Up - "After" Pics


Wrapping Up - New Wiccan Altar Set Up & Tools

For my first ritual, I performed a very short prayer to the God and the Goddess. Unfortunately my daughter woke up earlier than expected so I had to make it short; however, it was short and to the point and I got to use my new Wiccan altar set up and Wiccan tools. It turned out to be a very simple Wiccan altar set up, as many of the tools that I collected really had no use for this particular Wiccan ritual.

As you can see, I laid out my Celtic green altar cloth first. Then I placed a mirror and two pieces of coral in the West, representative of the element water. The triple-goddess leaves and stones were positioned in the North to represent Earth, the fairy figurine and feather in the East to represent Air, and a candle to the South to represent Fire, of course. In the middle, I placed my new Goddess figurine, as well as a gold pin to represent the God. Unfortunately, I don't have anything to represent the God just yet, though I've been waiting to come across an acorn or some sort of golden candle or deer candle to represent the God. It'll come to me in time. I chose the gold pin, as it is made of gold which is representative of the Sun, which in turn is the God's domain.

A simple prayer was said, and I can tell you that I feel great. My Wiccan altar set up wasn't hard to do, and the Wiccan tools weren't hard to find or cost me hundreds of dollars. Though I would still like to have a few things such as a God statue or representation, a chalice, and an athame, they are not fully necessary to talk to the God and Goddess, and Wiccans know this. The Wiccan altar set up itself isn't necessary to communicate with the God and Goddess, but it is a wonderful sacred space in which to do so.

(Note: please feel free to use my pictures in this hub for your own use, I only ask that you kindly provide a link to my hub as your source)

© 2011 Author Nicole Canfield


Submit a Comment

  • Mel jukes 5 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing and giving us newbies some great ideas!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 12 days ago from the Ether

    Exy - It's no problem if you can't keep your altar the same or even in the same place for very long. I use a buffet table and a small accent table for altars but put away most of my magical stuff when I'm not using it just to keep it out of the little ones' hands. Spirit (God/Goddess/etc) doesn't care if you don't have a stationary altar or not. Spirit doesn't even care if you have an altar as long as you are constantly seeking connection with your higher self and spirit. Hope this helps.

  • Exy Koroleva 3 weeks ago

    Hi, Nicole! This was very helpful & I loved reading, you have a great insight :) I have a question though: how do you feel about "temporary" altars? I gave barely any room in my small apartment so I cleared out a 12 in by 12 in wooden train case and lined it with fabric. Whenever I use it as an altar I move a bit of the things I have stored in it. I do like it, but it sometimes feels inadequate since it isn't very permanant. How do you feel about that and what would you do? xx

  • julietbell 4 months ago

    Thanks so much for posting this! My favorite part is that you referenced your young children and work in the article as well. As a fellow working mom and wiccan I can definitely relate!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

    Nicole, congrats on HOTD! This was well-detailed with excellent photos to go with this introduction on wiccan magic. I was once interested into it, a decade ago, for a short time and never gotten started. Thanks for sharing.

  • Shawna50 11 months ago

    I am new to Wiccan teachings. This article was very helpful. I have yet to put together my Alter or do a spell/ritual. I'm still learning. Loved your humor too:)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 21 months ago from the Ether

    fallenwhiteangel - Awesome! Glad to hear it. Blessings to you.

  • fallenwhiteangel 21 months ago

    for a woman who has always been intrigued by wiccan and finally able to practice with no judgmental pass this is very very helpful thank you so much.

  • SFIAOgirl021 2 years ago

    ok thnx for that

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 2 years ago from the Ether

    You can message me through facebook - search for The Writings of Kitty the Dreamer.

  • SFIAOgirl021 2 years ago

    I've got some questions about Wicca as I am studying it been doing it for almost 7 months now there are a few things I'm still alil confused on would it be alright if I asked you about them? messaged you on this site or something? Idk how to use this site to send private message cause I don't wanna end up asking something completely stupid. Sorry it's hard to ask for help sometimes something I'm working on though.

  • Samantha Jag Rose profile image

    Samantha Jag Rose 2 years ago

    I loved this. It really helped me and I can't thank you enough. I have ordered the books you have recommended. Voted up!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Earth - You don't need an altar or tools in order to do spells. Just nature and your intent. :)

  • Earth 4 years ago

    I'm a beginner I haven't started casting spells until I get an alter and the tool I need. I found this interesting. I seriously want to become a Wiccan. Thank you!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    Radical Rog - That's so true! Thank you for reminding me of that and I'm happy you liked this hub. :) Blessings, brother!

  • Radical Rog profile image

    Peter Rogers 4 years ago from Plymouth

    I like this, especially the way you select things that 'speak' to you. Just remember, all physical items on your altar have a higher spiritual correspondence and you can take this with you calling the vision of your altar to mind wherever you are and whenever you need.

  • darkchild 4 years ago

    Thank u I'm a beginner and I learned a lot

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    moonray - Thank you, sweetheart!

  • moonray 5 years ago

    Thank you for posting this very cute setup.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Thanks. I enjoyed taking the pictures. Yes, you're absolutely correct. Some of the most powerful tools we could use are because we made them powerful!

  • St.Cyprian 5 years ago

    Great job! I love the pictures.

    I like the idea of getting these items without spending a fortune. Some of the most powerful items you'll have in your collection are those you make yourself - wands, for example. They have so much more energy when you carefully select the components and do the work yourself.


  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Chatkath - Yes, it is that easy. Let me see some pics when you get yours together, please! :)

    sassyk73 - Well, blessings to you then! Thanks for being so open-minded. :)

  • sassyk73 profile image

    Karen A. Harris 5 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

    Very nice read. I have a lot of friends who practice Wicca. Very informative. Thank you for sharing :)

  • Chatkath profile image

    Kathy 5 years ago from California

    Awesome Kitty, I really enjoyed this because almost anyone can try! I have a nightstand almost identical to that one - I think I will give it a go! Up useful and awesome of course!!!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Author Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    JesadaB - Awesome, so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for voting, too. :)

  • JesadaB profile image

    JesadaB 5 years ago from Home!

    Completely enjoyed this one, but then again I usually enjoy them! Thank you for sharing. Voted up and awesome!

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