If you love pagan festivities as much as I do, you should know how to celebrate and honor all pagan festivities with your altar. With this article, I am going to share why it is so important to prepare an altar and how to do it!
Why should I prepare my altar for pagan festivities?
Ancient practices teach us that what is inside us will also manifest outside. With gratitude, we attract abundance, with joy we attract joyful events, and with dedication, we reach our goals.
However, it is not so easy to guide our feelings and our thoughts.
We are often slaves to a mind that does everything by itself and very often we are not even aware of our unconscious feelings, which have even more power than the conscious ones. Our unconscious directs our life. How do you go about channeling everything in the desired direction?
Daily practices such as meditation are fundamental, but in addition to this, the periodic celebrations of the important moments of the year are an extremely useful tool for keeping one’s life on the right track.
Pagan celebrations allow us to come into close contact with the energy field and to powerfully influence it in our favor.
If we act in harmony with the surrounding environment, we will certainly be successful. If we act against Nature, it will be difficult to manage our intentions, due to the fact that we all have the decision-making power and we are many.
Only if so many of us act in the same direction can something really valuable and impactful be achieved. The celebrations of the wheel of the year are just a meeting point where once the whole of society, now at least a large band of people, acts together in harmony with nature.
Within this great energy field created by all celebrants from all over the world, our personal desires also have space, if they are aligned with common thought and not in contrast. However, the priority should always be that of the common good.
When should you prepare one?
You can do it right before the festivity you would like to honor and celebrate so everything will be ready to go for you when the actual day comes! Why should everything be set up before the day?
Because on those specific days the energy is so much stronger and, if you are going to use that energy for your spells, for rituals, or for your personal spiritual growth, it’s very important to have all the tools you need to honor the designed festivity ready on the altar!
Pagan festivities, dates, and how each altar can help you.
Halloween, All Saints and all the dead,
The new moon of November or on November 1st.
Feast of the ancestors and the dead, return of nature in the womb of mother earth.
An altar is great for honoring your dead.
21st or 24th of December
The peak of darkness and therefore a celebration of the rebirth of light and the new year.
An altar is great for introspection and spiritual work.
Full moon in February, the second full moon of the year, or February 1st or February 14th.
The festival of the return of light, the first sign of the arrival of spring.
An altar is good for setting intentions.
A spring festival and the rebirth of plants and animals.
An altar is good for embracing rebirth.
Full moon in May, corresponding to the moon in February.
Feast of fertility, of the union between man and woman.
An altar is good for planting seeds, making wishes, and planning new projects.
June 21st or 24th.
Feast of summer, sun, heat, light.
An altar is good for openness, extroversion, nature connection.
Full moon in August.
Feast of fire, of the sun in its maximum splendor, and of the ripening of the fruits of gardens and fields, and the harvest of wheat.
An altar is good for harvesting and then reaping the rewards of what was planted.
Feast of the harvest, feast of abundance, thanksgiving.
An altar is good for giving thanks and appreciating abundance.
How to prepare your altar for pagan festivities?
An altar is a personal corner where you can store symbolic objects that hold special energy. It will become a sacred corner that is able to channel your energies in order to concentrate them, embrace them and use them for your witchy purposes.
Build an altar under a tree, in a corner of your house or bedroom, in a nook, or in a secret place that only you know. When it comes to composing your altar, you must listen to your intuition and your heart. There will certainly be objects from your past and present that will call to be placed on your altar, and you should listen to these calls. We hear them for a reason.
In the center, the most important object should be placed. A sculpture, a figure, an image, a lamp. Something figurative or symbolic that represents your guide or where your heart goes most.
The other objects could be written words and sigils, natural elements such as feathers, woods, shells and flowers, photographs, jewelry, geometric shapes, natural crystals, and whatever else you see as beautiful and meaningful. It is important that everything on your altar is “charged” with something, say, carrying an emotional and energetic charge that will nourish your sacred space.
Underneath your objects, you may place a piece of fabric in a color you love or a fine material or texture you feel the need for. Softness, or resistance, or roughness and strength. You can also carefully select the lights that will become part of this sacred space. A lamp with a light that makes you feel good. Or candles! Or the simple natural light, in the open air.
Here are the main elements to bring to your altar:
- SAMHAIN: white candles, frankincense, pictures of deceased loved ones
- YULE: red candles, myrrh, pine branches
- IMBOLC: green or white candles, rosemary, blackberries
- LUGHNASADH: yellow candles, lavender and lemongrass, grain
- MABON: orange candles, fallen leaves, sage
These are only suggestions! Of course, you may customize your altar as you wish, especially when it comes to the objects on it. You can bring goddesses images, offerings, homemade recipes and more! Make sure you always let your intuition guiding you so you can truly have a sacred place that is all entirely your own.
How will you use the altar?
It is your choice whether you use this altar on a regular basis or only when you need to gather yourself, seek comfort and nourish your soul. A daily practice, albeit brief, would be advisable: a regularity that goes beyond our mood and events. The altar could become our mast in any calm or storm.
In front of the altar, I recommend lighting an incense first thing every morning and place a small offering on a saucer beside it. Something that you deprive yourself of and that you will not take back for your own use.
This is a normal and daily practice in many households in Asia and Indonesia. To receive, you have to give. Any food that remains after the ritual can be given to birds or used to make compost so that everything returns to the cycle of life.
In addition to this daily practice, you can pray or meditate around your altar whenever you want. It is the place to go to cry or give thanks, to share love, joy, good and bad news and to ask for strength, support, and closeness to whomever we need the most (a loved one who passed away, a spiritual guide, a deity, an angel, a totem animal, an ancient tree, or anyone else that can guide us).
We can also go to our altar to request the success of something we desire during a specific time of the year. This only works if we don’t interfere with the feelings of others, neither for good nor for bad. It works, and it really works, only if we work on something that directly concerns us. And only if it is consistent with our growth as a person.
And do you know why it works? Because you use your altar to collect all the energies of the objects on your altar and those of the guides you will rely on. You will come out of your practices with this heritage in your arms as if it were an abundant bundle from a harvest and all this abundance will enhance your ability to achieve your goals.