We actually have several altars in our home. My partner has his own in his cottage, we have a shared “home” altar upstairs between our two offices, and there is a money drawing altar inside the studio.
To the left you will see my first altar that was inside the new studio where I performed the majority of my rootwork (now replaced with a larger, updated altar).
The cabinet is something I purchased at the Nashville Flea Market years ago from a family that salvaged barns and old houses that were being torn down and reworked those materials into usable (and I think, artistic) furniture. The window/door covers the first three shelves and the bottom shelf (not in camera view) is open and uncovered.
I’ve never been one to believe an altar MUST be set up a certain way, no matter what path or religion you may follow. An altar is a very personal space and should reflect you as a person as well as what you intend to do within that space. There are so many articles telling you that you must have certain items placed in a specific location, that all the natural Elements have to be represented, or that your candles must face East and West while your….blah, blah, blah. There is no greater magical influence you can have for an altar other than setting it up exactly the way YOU want it to be, in a way that is the most useful to you.
You may notice that my altar has a variety of influences: some Christian items, hoodoo curios, and always lot of herbal elements. The Bible on the second shelf is dated 1963 and is the Bible my parents used in their wedding ceremony.
The inside top shelf are items that I reach for often such as my abalone shell for smudging white sage, my scrying bowl, candle holders, and my chakra stones.
The very bottom shelf, the one that is not behind glass, is where I keep ingredients used in left-handed magic: banishing powders, hotfoot powder, goofer dust, etc. Some may be curious about this particular shelf but there is one thing I like to keep in mind when it comes to magical thought – the can be no light without darkness. Left-handed magic is sometimes necessary to keep harm away and for a strong sense of protection.
The main point of an altar, in my opinion, is to have a place that is all your own — just one little space in the world that no one else is allowed to touch. There you can worship, contemplate, meditate and bring about positive change in your life and the lives of those around you.