My altar is both a decorative and a working space, usually decorated according to the season. I follow two separate paths, but represent both of them on the same altar due to space considerations; my moon celebrations and magick workings usually follow a Wiccan-like structure, and I celebrate the Wheel of the Year and perform daily devotions in the Ár nDraíocht Féin Druid tradition. ADF Druidry conceptualizes the world in three layers: the Underworld where the ancestors dwell, the physical realm which we and various land and nature spirits inhabit, and the upper realm where the gods and goddesses dwell; because of this I chose to build my altar in three tiers.
I divided the lowest portion into four sections, each representing one of the four elements from Wiccan tradition. To the left is the Water portion, with an abalone shell I found in South Carolina, a silver chalice, a pewter bell, a black scrying mirror and a porcelain cauldron.
To the right is the Air side, with my wand, incense holder, wind chimes, and oil warmer.
The middle houses my representations of Fire: a red candle and my athame; as well as representations of Earth, some geodes and a bowl of pumpkin seeds left over from our jack o’ lantern last year. This middle portion also contains some elements from my Druidry practice as well: the black bowl of water represents the Well, itself a representation of the Underworld and the deep parts of the earth. In front of the Well is my Ancestor shrine, a small marble table with a carved jade skull and two flowers to represent people who have passed that I was particularly close to. During Druid ritual, I light a candle to them as a way of calling them to witness or participate.
The second tier is divided into three sections, where I actually perform most of my rituals. The leftmost is a Moon altar, with the typical Wiccan cauldron, athame, incense and candles, though my pentacle is currently loaned out. This is where I celebrate the full, and sometimes new, Moons.
The right-hand side is also very Wiccan in its setup; this space is meant for spellwork of whatever kind I am in need of. I recently finished a long-running spell, so this space is currently housing Sun representations to balance out the Moon side.
The middle portion is where I perform my Druid rituals. The designs on the back pillars represent land, sea, and sky; this is how ancient Indo-Europeans (the focus of ADF Druidry) conceptualized the world around them. The branch is actually petrified wood and represents the Tree, which is a representation of the physical realm and the world around us. In front of that is my shrine to the local Nature Spirits, currently housing small leaves and twigs from my backyard trees and a lovely stone I found while digging space for my garden. The small pitcher of water is for pouring libations to the gods and goddesses, and I often offer Them incense as well. The chalice is also an important part of my rituals, drinking from it is how I receive blessings from the gods and other spirits.
The very top tier is dedicated to the gods and goddesses I worship in my Druid rituals. The three candles represent Fire, another key part of Druid ritual that represents the higher realm the gods inhabit. The statue is a representation of my patron goddess, and the bell is used to start and mark important points in ritual.