The Wiccan Altar

An Example of a Wiccan Altar

An Example of a Wiccan Altar

When I first started to learn from my mentor, it took me forever to remember where everything went on my altar. I would feel self-conscious about making mistakes. My mentor smiled and simply moved the item I had misplaced to where it should reside on the altar. So don’t beat yourself up if you need to use this picture for a while.

There are about just as many ways to set up an altar as there are people. Each person or group may have a certain way of doing an altar setup. Here’s an example of a Wiccan altar. Let’s start with the right side of the Altar.

  • As you can see at the top right is the “Cakes/Bread” You can use bread, cupcakes, cookies or a power bar for that matter. It should contain carbohydrates to nourish the body to replenish the energy you used during ritual.
  • Below that you can see the “Censer & Incense“. This incense burner has cone incense inside it. However, you can burn any kind of incense in this burner. Remember that incense, when burned, represents air on your altar.
  • You can see the “Taper (a long wick),” which is used to help light the candles. You light everything from the working candle. You can use the Taper to transfer the flame to another candle to light it.
  • To the right is the “Lighter” which is used to light the working candle.
  • Below that is the “Bell/Chime” that you use for ringing, when appropriate.
  • Continuing around in a clockwise direction is the “Pentacle”. You use the pentacle to help you focus your attention on your goal.
  • To the left of the pentacle is the “Athame” used to cast circle and to direct power.
  • Above the athame is the “Water in Bowl.” Water is one of the four elements and is used with the salt to make your holy water.
  • Continuing around we have the “Salt in Dish“. Representing Earth, Salt is put into the water.
  • Above the salt is the “Wine Filled Cup”. The cup as you remember is a female symbol and holds the wine/juice to be blessed.
  • Above this are the “Offering Dishes.”
  • Next you see in the middle the “Goddess Candle” and the “God Candle,” which are used to represent the deities.
  • Between the God and Goddess candles, find the “Working Candle,” which you use to light everything else during ritual. The Working Candle represents fire on your altar.
  • And flowers are always a nice touch for nature and the goddess.

We will discuss more on how to use an altar later. Have a great week!

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

The Tools of Wicca: Candles

Merry Meet. Let’s talk about candles.



From tea lights to tapers, Wiccans use candles for many purposes including: calling the four quarters, using them for spells, and lighting the sacred space.

I use tea lights for the quarter candles. What are the quarters? They’re the four compass directions in a circle. Each quarter has specific attributes and entities that dwell in a particular direction.

Each of the quarters (compass directions) has its own candle to honor the beings when we call them to our circle.

Taper Candle

Taper Candle

Consider using taper candles for the God and Goddess candles, which honor the God and Goddess.

On my altar, I use a votive candle for the working candle, which has two functions: a representation for the element fire and a source for lighting all other candles, incense or other objects that need to be burned.

Use your working candle for only one purpose. You’ll notice that all candles tend to only serve one function. Wiccans use quarter candles for the quarters. They choose one candle for the God and then use that particular candle for all subsequent rituals. The same is true for choosing a candle for the Goddess.

Wiccans use candles in spells, too. When doing candle magick, the type of candle and the color of the candle are important. We will discuss candle magick in another post.

Candles provide lighting, too. You can use any type of candle you want for this purpose.

A note on using scented candles. Use scented candles to incorporate aromatherapy into your magick, if you like. Different scents bring up powerful emotions, which is great when focusing on a particular task. Avoid using them for any other purpose.

I wouldn’t mix scents by burning multiple scented candles at the same time. They will mix, giving you unpredictable results. If you are mixing oil to scent a candle try to keep it simple at first until you become familiar with the different results you get with each scent. Then you can slowly mix scents to see what results you get. Be sure to take notes.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw