An altar should have the following tools upon it:
1. Two candles, perferably one white and one black for balance;
2. a pentacle, either made in wood or some other substance...this is necessary to concecrate tools upon;
3. an athame, sacred knife for cerimonial use;
4. a white handled knife for cutting branches, herbs, etc...;
5. either a cauldron or a small earthen bowl for mixing things;
6. a bowl of water, a bowl of salt;
7. incense holder and incense;

Those are basic tools...some people use bells, for ringing in the ritual and ringing out the ritual. Some have statues of the gods on their altar or other representations of the gods (horn for god, chalice for female, etc.), and some have more candles, colors representing the work they wish to do. You can also have other things on your altar...i have many stones and crystals on mine, seashells, fresh flowers, a picture of a dear friend of mine, feathers, trinkets from my past, poems written to the gods, my Book of Shadows, etc

You can pretty much make your altar be whatever you wish it to be. It is afterall your altar and your working space.

As for Altar Devotion and Sacred Space, there are numerous ways to do this...Scott Cunningham has a lovely dedication ceremony for your altar in Living Wicca, and i believe that Silver RavenWolf has one in To Ride A Silver Broomstick also.

When i was in search for my sacred INDOOR space, i took several things into consideration: First i needed a space that wouldnt be disturbed in case i was doing a spell that needed to be left for several days; next i needed a space that felt right..the energy level had to be just right as did the spiritual connection to the gods; and finally i needed a space that wasnt too bright incase i wanted to preform rituals during the day...a little sunlight, but not flooded by it. As for my sacred OUTSIDE space, i found a lovely clearing near a stream that was virtually uninhabitated...just an occassional fisherman or hunter....but not often enough...PRIVACY is the the key word. Dont forget to cleanse the space...this is done with a broom..sweeping al the negative aspects away from the space, then you further cleanse it using the air(incense)...i did mine like i was concencrating the space.

To do an Altar devotion...well ...when i did mine, i created my own not everyone will do this the same....but here is what i did.

I began by finding a special table, one that called out to me.i then cleaned it thoroughly and as i did so i asked the god/ess to bless the table that it be used for the purpose of honoring them. I did this with every object i obtained for my altar...the black velvet cloth that covers it, the brass candle holders, the earthenware bowls for holding water, salt and the larger one for mixing things; the incense holder, etc.....and then with the tools themselves...the candles, athame, pentacle, etc...i concecrated them with salt, water, fire and smoke and then dedicated them to the god/ess. After all of my tools had been concecrated and dedicated, i did a ritual to devote all my workings for the good of others and for the honor of the god/ess. Most of my rituals are self-written and express how i feel for the god/ess and all that they do for me.

As for a censor, it is a tool that one uses to put incense in ...these are usually hanging censors and use charcol blocks and powder can look at web sites that have items for sale and find censors to get an idea of what they look like..but anything can be used as a censor...just as long as it is fire-safe.

An image of the goddess can be anything form a statue, to seashells, chalices, bowls, certain stones, anything that symbolizes the womb or motherhood can be an image of the goddess.

To CHARGE things....this is usually done under a full moon. Set the items outside under a full moon and they will "charge up". Also, one can say a chant to the god/ess concerning the items to help enduce more power into them. There is also a way to draw down the moon to give objects more power. This ritual can be find in various books.

Well i hope that some of this has helped you. If anyone has something to add to this...please do...all input is welcome.

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