As an eclectic that does not work within established religions/paths, my altar is a constantly changing space. It is a functional work space for magick, offerings, healing, and astral work. Each item has a specific purpose that works in tandem to the intangible side of the work. Most of my items are used more in a symbolic way than as tools. In the first two images, I was performing long distance healing work for a friend. The Lantern is used as both a focal point for energy, and as a symbol of “guiding light”. If I cannot work directly on the person or spirit in question, I direct my energy and magick at the lantern, to then be redirected to the person (a metaphorical radio tower for energy, if you will). Also, a lot of my work requires astral travel. Sometimes that means travelling without a map, so to speak. So the lantern is representative of having a light in the darkness to follow. In this case, the other person also needed guidance from point A to point B, so it worked as a communal light for us. My other candles are used to draw up fresh and new energy, while “burning” and destroying unwanted energy. (For instance, if I were to say, heal myself of heart break, I may “rip” my painful energies out to feed to the fire, and take new energy from the fire to replace the pain). The more things that need to be replaced or destroyed, the more candles I will burn. If necessary, I will carve inscriptions into the candles to aid in whatever purpose I am after.
Around the lantern and candles, I have arranged coins from different countries. I use this to represent tokens of passage–as well as crossing boundaries between unseen worlds. I mostly use coins in death rites, but I have recently been using them as offerings and symbols for other work as well. The rose bell (where my namesake comes from) is another important tool in just about everything I do. I may use it to disperse energy, to call in energy or spirits, to cleanse, etc. It’s a fluid tool. Much like the lantern, I use it as a focal point. The dried flowers in the vase are representative of working through the phases of life and death (as I believe the soul goes through constant phases of death and rebirth, much akin to the cycle of flowering, dead-heading, and blossoming).
The remaining photos are of the altar (currently) when it is not in use for specific work. When not in use, it is an honorary space that holds and protects things that are important to me, as well as represents and honors spirits related to the items.
In the wooden chest, I keep spell scrolls, items related to my kin, binding threads, mementos, talisman, etc. It is a curio for the tangible aspects of my work. The chest gets anointed with oil monthly to charge it with purpose. I surround the box with other items related to the spirits I work with (such as flowers for a spirit that works heavily with garden magick, or feathers for spirits that manifest as birds, clocks and watches for spirits that work with time). Therefore, every piece on the altar is unique and related to a personal relation or experience.
You can learn more at her blog: The Rose Bell – Astral Musings and Arguments for Hermitage.