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Altars: Questions and Answers

justv

Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by justv » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:35 am

I've seen some really great pictures of altars and I notice that some are very large and there are multiple altars through out a persons home. Im planning to set up a small altar in my room because its the only private area of my home. Is that ok, or does the set up and area of your altar have an effect on the spells? I hope Im wording this right :?

V

Turnsteel

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Turnsteel » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:58 am

Well when it comes to altars you'll here a lot of different things, some people will tell you to never have one in the room you sleep in, others will say it has to be facing a certain direction. The point is that everyone has different ideas about how it should be. Mine is my bedroom and I've never had any problems because of it. Put yours where you feel its right and that will be the right place for it.

Hope that helps.

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:37 am

Thank you, I was worried because I really don't have any other options. Are there any altar supplies that are considered staples? Things that you stay stocked up on?

EcleckticMama

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by EcleckticMama » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:47 am

For me it's candles and incense.

I have a main altar in my living room.

There is an altar supporting my marriage in a shadowbox over my bed.

My husband has an altar on the window sill next to his desk.

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:50 am

It is very common in hoodoo to have an altar in the bedroom, often on the top of the bureau drawer or nightstand. I have never heard any conjure practitioner speak a negative word against this practice. There are other religio-magical systems in which this is forbidden, but they are traditions from other cultures, and thus not relevant to African American hoodoo per se.

Here is my own bedroom altar set up on an old treadle sewing machine:

Image

Another common place for an altar in hoodoo is in the living room, where photos of ancestors and distant family may be displayed, candles burned, and vases of flowers placed decoratively and with magical intent. As with the subject of altars in the bedroom, you may hear people from other religio-magical cultures say that it is "wrong" to put pictures of the dead and the living on the same altar, but that belief is not found in conjure, and should best be understood as the opinion of people who come out of and are practicing a different path or tradition.

I mention these things because sometimes newcomers to rootwork who follow a non-Christian religion in which such restrictions apply try to bring their own religion's rules into hoodoo, along with a measure of frowning disapproval for how we work. The truth is, such intrusions are irrelevant at best and impolite at worst, and when it comes to conjure altars, there are many methods and styles of work, and very few hoodoo practitioners will pay attention to outsiders' lists of "thou shalt nots."
catherine yronwode

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:20 am

justv wrote:I've seen some really great pictures of altars and I notice that some are very large and there are multiple altars through out a persons home. Im planning to set up a small altar in my room because its the only private area of my home. Is that ok or does the set up and area of your altar have an effect on the spells? I hope Im wording this right :?

V
Hi V,

When I first started formally studying hoodoo I lived in a very small space and used my bedroom for all of my altars. The top of my dresser was divided--1/2 was love and 1/2 was money, and a small table functioned as a general working altar where I dressed candles, wrote petitions, and did success work and work for other people. My ancestors and their offerings were on the working altar as well. Both my husband and I slept in that room and we were never disturbed by the altars and he actually found them to be comforting. Furthermore, my root work did not seem to be affected by the placement of these altars. I think that using your room for your altars is fine.

take care,
Bri
Miss Bri-Reader-Rootworker-Founding member of AIRR

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 am

Thank you for the responses :D I like the idea of dividing the dresser in two areas. If I'm going to do a compelling spell, should I place that on an alter all its own?

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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Miss Bri » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:03 am

I like to have a separate working space for compelling/reversal/revenge work personally. When I do those things they are typically harsher forms of magic so I like to keep them in their own spot. However, if you were doing a love compelling I would put that on my love altar or a spell to compel someone to pay you would go on the money altar, etc...

Bri
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EcleckticMama

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by EcleckticMama » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:06 am

justv wrote:If I'm going to do a compelling spell, should I place that on an alter all its own?
You don't have to. You may want the assistance of whatever deity or deities and/or ancestors you work with and maintain images of on your altar to assist you with the work. In that case, having the spell on that altar may be what you want. If the person and situation you wish to compel perhaps requires a different sort of deity, or is a situation that just doesn't feel right for your general altar, you may choose to set up one just for that working.

Bri's specifics were what I meant about "not feeling right".

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:22 pm

I appreciate all the advice :) I'm going to go ahead and keep it seperate. After I complete the work and dispose of whatevers left do I need to cleanse the altar/table I use before I begin new work?

V

Literarylioness

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Literarylioness » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:23 pm

Yes, always clean off your altar between uses. I use Florida Water to clean my altars.

Mary

Literarylioness

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Literarylioness » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:30 pm

I actually have about five altars. I keep my double-decker Vodou altar in my walk-in closet, my Ancestor Altar and loved ones in my laundry room, and my Hoodoo altar in my bedroom.

I just made "portable" altars for my small studio apartment on campus. I keep this portable altars in large trunks and keep a bamboo screen around them. I do believe in keeping my altars separate. All my spirits like to have their own space and privacy. The trunks are nice, because they are self-contained and I can do work on them.

Must haves for my altars are water, candles, and pictures. For my Ancestors, I have a rosary beads and bottles from their native lands, for my departed friends, whatever they loved in life. I do keep late my mentor/rootworker on my Hoodoo altar with all my literary heroes and my collection of graveyard dirt.

Mary

Literarylioness

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Literarylioness » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:31 pm

I do all my damnation and reversing in the bathtub dry. It is less mess and nothing gets on me. All my damnation and reversing work is done in the bathroom.

Mary

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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Miss Bri » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:31 pm

justv wrote:I appreciate all the advice :) I'm going to go ahead and keep it seperate. After I complete the work and dispose of whatevers left do I need to cleanse the altar/table I use before I begin new work?

V
I find that it depends on what you are doing work-wise. If you are doing some pretty harsh compelling magic then I would cleanse my altar in between uses. As Mary mentioned, many people like Florida water. I personally am a bigger fan of VanVan or Chinese Wash followed by Hyssop oil if I have been doing compelling/reversing/revenge work.

take care,
Bri
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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:13 pm

It is a good idea to cleanse and clear the space between workings that are very different from one another.

Some people make dedicated altars for certain types of work -- money, love, protection and blessings, coersions and curses. If you do that, you can keep each altar set the way it is on a permanent basis and only perform cleanings to keep the altar nice and bright. You might end up with four or more altars this way.

Another way to set up altars -- and limit them to two -- is to divide your spells into two basic types, those of increase and help and those of decrease and removal. If you do that, you can work all spells of increase at an altar that faces East ("As the Sun rises, bring to me xxxxx") and all spells of decrease at an altar that faces West ("As the Sun sets, remove xxxxx from me"). The two altars can be on two sides of the same room.

If you only have room for one altar, the best way to use it is to have it be wider than long and to run along the South wall of your room. That way, you can work the East end of it (the left side as you face South) for increase, and the West side (the right side as you face South) for decrease. The middle -- due South, or High Noon position of the Sun -- is then used for all spells of sustaining, of Protection, and of Blessing.

Here, courtesy of Deacon Millett of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is a photo of one section of a long altar (about 4 feet long, under a wide picture window) that is sectioned off for works of various types. The viewpoint of the shot is to center on a Peaceful Home spell for clients, but if you look at the right and left sides of the image, you will see that there are other spells ongoing on the same granite-topped altar surface, because the altar-space has been divided up for various uses, as described above. The spell to the left (set on aluminum foil) is probably for reversing; the one at right seems to be a money-drawing spell, as evidenced by the candle label.

Image

These are some of the ways i know to work at setting up altars. I hope you find them of interest.
catherine yronwode

justv

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by justv » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:03 pm

Im rearranging to make room for a least 2 altars. If I put a shelf up can that be used as an altar as well? Does the height matter? I mean if my love/money altar is lower than my working altar does it affect one another?

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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Miss Bri » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:35 pm

Hi there,

Again, this may be one of those issues where everyone has a slightly different attitude and some folks may incorporate the use of other magical systems in figuring out directionality and placement of altars. But I don't think that having one altar higher than another is a problem, save for the practical issues--like candles on the lower altar being close enough to the higher altar that their flames could reach it and set it on fire! cat's recommendation of setting up 2 altars--one towards the West for getting rid of things and one towards the East for brining things in is really nice and I have worked that way very happily. So, don't put your love altar in the West if you can avoid it and other than that and making sure that you aren't losing sight of any practical necessities I think you'll be fine :)

take care,
Bri
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Lukianos

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Lukianos » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:55 pm

In my own spaces, just about any horizontal surface (and a few vertical ones) is fair game for the building of shrines/altars. That said, for *working* altars (set up for personal spell work, as opposed to devotional spaces for the ancestors, saints, or spirits), I like using coffee tables or low bookcases--candles and other supplies stored on the shelves, and actively working candles set up on top of the bookcase. I don't like burning candles on shelves where there is another shelf above them, due to the potential fire hazard. And I do like Miss cat's description for a single-altar set-up in the South.

Sharona22

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Sharona22 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:04 pm

Please give me some info on a basic yet correct altar setup, and what are the reasons for these items

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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Miss Bri » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:36 pm

Sharona22 wrote:Please give me some info on a basic yet correct altar setup, and what are the reasons for these items
I am not quite sure what you are asking here. Are you asking about the actual items you would put on the altar? If so, usually that depends on what spell work you are doing. Conjure is not like Wicca where tradition requires certain objects to be placed in corresponding directions. Most have certain things that are permamantly on their altars and everything else will vary depending on what kind of work is being done. So if you are doing lots of candle work then you will have lots of candles on your altar, etc. Is this what you are asking?

take care,
Bri
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Lukianos

Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by Lukianos » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:15 pm

Sharona22 wrote:Please give me some info on a basic yet correct altar setup, and what are the reasons for these items
I'm not sure there is a one-size-fits-all "correct" altar set-up that I could describe for you. Unlike a neo-pagan altar, or an espiritismo boveda, or a Catholic shrine, all of which have fairly consistent forms, implements, and imagery, hoodoo 'altars' take many forms, and these forms are secondary to their primary functions: the preparation of the material components of spellwork, and the deployment of same (eg: burning candles and incense, housing lodestones and roots, etc).
My own altar set-up for rootwork is often in two (physically separated) areas: 1) a workbench-type of area with tools and supplies where I write petitions, dress candles, assemble mojos, etc. -- a calm but very functional space, and then 2) a more aesthetically pleasing and/or fire-safe area where I pray over and burn the candles / incense / etc. The first is fairly constant; the latter may vary with the job at hand.
And that said, my hoodoo altar is always a functional, working space--there are tools, raw materials, reference books, ongoing candles and jobs, etc. in, on, and surrounding the altar surface. And while it is (hopefully) on some level an aesthetically pleasing space, that is not its primary purpose.
In contrast, the purpose of my purely devotional non-hoodoo altars is to inspire a specific state of mind and/or provide a specific focus of attention, and as such, I design those with more attention and weight to immediate aesthetics and appropriate materials and imagery, and less concern for utilitarian function.

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Re: Altar Set Up and Affect on Spellwork

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:51 am

Sharona22 wrote:Please give me some info on a basic yet correct altar setup, and what are the reasons for these items
Bri and ELKnapp already answered you very well, but i would like to chime in here with more of the same, Sahrona:

In hoodoo, we do not have a standard "set-up." Our altars are working spaces, where we perform our jobs of spellcrafting. We often have candles going, often have statuary or pictures in place, a pot for incense, tools for carving and fixing candles, etc. A Bible is quite often placed on the altar, open to a passage relevant to the work at hand. We may use an altar cloth of a colour or design appropriate to the work we are performing. We may have saucers for herbs and roots and minerals. Some folks keep their favourite conjure oils on the altar, others store them out of sight. In fact, storage beneath or to the side of the altar is often important for us and will be used to hold extra candle stands, snuffers, and candles; blank paper and pens for writing petitions; extra oils, incense, and powders; extra herbs, roots, and minerals; and even extra altar cloths for use in various types of work.

Here, courtesy of Miss Bri of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is an altar with the Bible front and center, a balance-beam scale (for justice), a crucifix candle, some other candles, Hindu deity statuary, and other items of interest:

Image
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Sharona22

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Sharona22 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:56 pm

If you are say using one room for altar and changing as per use as long as you cleanse area in between thenthat is ok right??? and there like you said are no constant haves like wicca so can you almost leave it empty until you are doing something or would this be too void

Lukianos

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Lukianos » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:00 pm

Sharona22 wrote:If you are say using one room for altar and changing as per use as long as you cleanse area in between thenthat is ok right??? and there like you said are no constant haves like wicca so can you almost leave it empty until you are doing something or would this be too void
You can, indeed, have a perfectly functional hoodoo altar space that is an altar space only during the time you are actively using it. Living room coffee tables, kitchen tables and sinks, bathtubs, etc. are commonly used as non-exclusive, non-permanent hoodoo altar spaces.

chayanna

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by chayanna » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:03 am

I've just joined this forum and I never realized that there should be altars for each subject ie. a love altar seperate from a money alter...I just have one altar for everything I work on
Is thats a bad idea?

Turnsteel

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Turnsteel » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:52 am

chayanna wrote:I've just joined this forum and I never realized that there should be altars for each subject ie. a love altar seperate from a money alter...I just have one altar for everything I work on
Is thats a bad idea?
Whatever works you know? Some people have an alter for one kinda work and a seperat alter for another kinda of work. Thats fine but not everyone follows the rout. I for one have one alter I use for all my work. Just keep in minds that you should probably clean it between different workings. If you just did enemy work you should definitely clean the alter, both physically and spirituality, before doing say, love work, you know?

Hope that helps.

chayanna

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by chayanna » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:55 pm

Yes... that helps ...I never thought of cleaning my altar after each work...I will begin to do so from now on
Thank you for your help :)

tisha

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by tisha » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:13 pm

personally i have little altars everywhere.
our home is tiny and we have 5 children so large or elaborate altars are like tin foil to a magpie.
i tuck way a candle, incense a packet of herbs, crystals, pictures, statuary etc in appropriate groupings anywhere i can.
usually in an area of less than a foot.
they face all different directions but seem to work well.
they are mostly to keep my children healthy & happy and our home safe.
namaste.

ArchAngel

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by ArchAngel » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:10 am

i have a question about altars in general. What is the difference between hoodoo altar and e.g. a wiccan altar?

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:40 am

HI Arkangel,

This question is actually kind of answered by a few folks earlier on in this exact thread.

Wiccan altars do vary according to the tradition of Wicca being practiced, and not all neo-pagan altars are Wicca altars (because not all neo-pagans are Wiccan).

Hoodoo however is practiced primarily within a Judeo-Christian framework. Our altars are really more working spaces that will vary depending on what we are doing at any given time. Often there will be a place in the home where ancestors are remembered. If the practitioner works with saints then there may be statues, flowers, and petition papers. The altar set up is fundamentally different in the sense that the conjure worker does not have a set of magical tools (like a Wiccan chalice, athame, wand, etc). Our tools will vary depending on what the work is that we are doing, so you might have glass vigil lights, some favorite condition oils, incense, candles, candle holders, incense burners, mojo bags, herbs, petition papers, etc. Some conjure workers will have an image of Jesus at their altar, others won't have any images at all.

take care,
Bri
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ArchAngel

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by ArchAngel » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:03 pm

i noticed later that it was several pages in this thread - i feel stupid now. sorry >.<

Lara

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Lara » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:09 am

catherineyronwode wrote: If you only have room for one altar, the best way to use it is to have it be wider than long and to run along the South wall of your room. That way, you can work the East end of it (the left side as you face South) for increase, and the West side (the right side as you face South) for decrease. The middle -- due South, or High Noon position of the Sun -- is then used for all spells of sustaining, of Protection, and of Blessing.
This is how my altar is set up. It is 14 feet long on the south wall of my living room, and goes from uncrossing, road opener, and blessing on the left to controlling, court case and cursing on the right, divided by section, with love and money drawing in the middle.

In actual order for those curious:
Uncrossing, road opener, psychic vision, blessing, healing, Sabbath space and ancestor altar, then love, then money with luck and success, to compel/contol/command, court case and finally crossing.
justv wrote: Does the height matter?
Matter magically, no I don’t believe so. However I found having my altar shelf at shoulder height really helped my working experience, as I needed to go UP to it, changing my perspective. It also made the altar look very pretty as the presentation was at eye level.

Reynolds

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Reynolds » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:10 am

I live in a tiny studio apartment so I don't have the luxury of strategically laying out my altars ( I have an ancestor one, Saint expedite, a general work one, and soon enough I'll be trying to set up one for Saint Cyprian and Saint Martin). So I just make do.

This may be heresy, but I may be 'inheriting' a clock table (it's a mini table with a clock for the flat part) and I'm thinking of moving Saint Expedite onto it, which might be appropriate.

LMFan

Do You Have an Altar?

Unread post by LMFan » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:50 pm

Does everyone have a " real altar"?

I don't really have one set up, but I do burn the candles mostly on my home office, cause it's the most private.

Does it really help to have an altar?

What kind of things do you have on it?

Turnsteel

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Turnsteel » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:07 pm

Reynolds wrote: This may be heresy, but I may be 'inheriting' a clock table (it's a miny table with a clock for the flat part) and I'm thinking of moving Saint Expedite onto it, which might be appropriate.

LoL, I think it will be a cold day in Gehenna before someone on this board cry heresy ;) .

On a more serious note I think a clock table/alter for Saint Expedite is quite nice, and goes well with his domain of fast action and breaking of procrastination.

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:31 pm

justv wrote:Does the height matter?
As far as i know, in traditional conjure, altar height only seriously matters with respect to money altars.

Many, many African American practitioners, root doctors, and teachers have told me that you should not put your money altar low to the ground because that will always keep your money flow in low supply, and the amount of your money in low numbers. In fact, having the money altar up high, like on the top of your bedroom bureau or chest of drawers, is often specifically prescribed for those who are seeking more money.

I believe that this is a direct extension of the general and widely-held African American folk belief that a woman should never set her purse on the floor when out visiting because if she does, she will become "low in money."

Here, courtesy of Ms. Robin of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is a "lucky money" altar for gambling luck set on top of a tall chest of drawers; it features Hotei the Lucky Buddha and a wealth of casino items being blessed amidst offerings of money.

Image
catherine yronwode

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:40 am

catherineyronwode wrote:I believe that this is a direct extension of the general and widely-held African American folk belief that a woman should never set her purse on the floor when out visiting because if she does, she will become "low in money."
miss cat, what you said about the height of the Money Altar really hit home. I have a Hispanic backround and have always been told and even scolded about putting my purse on the floor. My Grandma and Aunts always say "Pick up that purse! Do you want to be poor?!" I know thats a little much but it's a very strong belief. When we go to resturants we either hang it on the back of our chair or theres an extra chair full of purses :lol: My Money/Love Altar is in my bedroom a top the tallest chest of draws.

The first Altar I set up and still add to is my Ancestor Altar, its in my dining area and faces out a big window. Its high up because its on top of a hutch. I have to reach up to it and in a way it makes me feel like I'm truely honoring them. As I reach up to give them offerings of Whisky and water, to light candles, and ask for they're guidence and protection I'm really reaching out. I love how it faces a window and each morning I go and open it for them so that the sunlight flows into the room, its awesome. I have to thank Mary she gave me a lot of advice about the Ancestor Altar.

As I continue to set up and add to my Altars I more and more go with what makes me feel good. I love this forum because a major point of advice is to try different things and to go with what works best for you. I'm doing that and slowly but surely things are coming together beautifully. Thank you all for the great support, advice, and guidence :D

V

Literarylioness

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Literarylioness » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:22 pm

I always cleanse my altars between projects! You can use whiskey, Hoyte's Cologne, or Florida Water. I sometimes use holy water too.

Mary

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:26 am

catherineyronwode wrote: I believe that this is a direct extension of the general and widely-held African American folk belief that a woman should never set her purse on the floor when out visiting because if she does, she will become "low in money."
I did not know this, but the tradition is alive in my family too! In church, at a restaurant or when visiting we were always told to put our purses on a chair or a piece of furniture and not let them be on the floor. So interesting!

Bri
Miss Bri-Reader-Rootworker-Founding member of AIRR

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:41 pm

catherineyronwode wrote:Another common place for an altar in hoodoo is in the living room, where photos of ancestors and distant family may be displayed, candles burned, and vases of flowers placed decoratively and with magical intent. As with the subject of altars in the bedroom, you may hear people from other religio-magical cultures say that it is "wrong" to put pictures of the dead and the living on the same altar, but that belief is not found in conjure, and should best be understood as the opinion of people who come out of and are practicing a different path or tradition.
Well I'm surely never going to forget to keep my purse off the floor! :lol:

I have had such great advice about setting up my Altars, thank you so much everyone! I did have a question about the Ancestor Altar. I know some say its not good to have picture of the deceased and living together but I recall miss cat did say she didn't feel that there was an issue with that in conjure. On my Ancestor Altar if the original picture has a living person in it I just put it up like that. I feel strange thinking of cutting a person out of a photograph. Does anyone have any ideas of why they shouldn't be put up together? I doesn't have any ill affects on the living people in the photos, right? I hope I'm not out of line asking this I just like to know how others feel and why. Thank you! :)

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:29 pm

Hi Justv,
You know, I don't know where the taboo against putting pictures of living relatives next to dead relatives comes from. I think it is probably some eerie dead and friendly dead customs that have met one another and are trying to mix (or not mix) as the case may be. I know that my grandparents and their child (my mother) always mixed photographs of live family members with photos of dead family members--they originally hail from east Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. I have seen similar altar arrangements in Mexican households both in Texas and New Mexico. I have not had any bad experiences from the mixture and I feel a distinct guardian presence from the ones that have passed on, directed to the ones that are still living, but that is just my experience.

take care,
Bri
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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:33 pm

The belief that one should not put a photo of a living person on an altar with the dead is not found in hoodoo, therefore it is from other cultural traditions and off-topic for this forum.

Please understand, we cannot teach ALL systems of magic here. This forum is for conjure.

Here, courtesy of Leah Rivera of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is a photo of one of her working altar spaces, set up on book cases and on the wall:

Image
catherine yronwode

justv

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by justv » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:47 am

catherineyronwode wrote:The belief that one should not pt a photo of a living person on an altar with the dead is not found in hoodoo, therefore it is from other cultural traditions and off-topic for this forum.
Bri wrote:I have not had any bad experiences from the mixture and I feel a distinct guardian presence from the ones that have passed on, directed to the ones that are still living, but that is just my experience.


Thank you for the replies miss cat and Bri and I apologize for getting off the subject of conjure. I actually feel good about having the pictures of the living with the ones who have passed. Thank you! :D

V

snake

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by snake » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:22 am

This discussion is so helpful!!! Thank you all for contributing. I've decided to spend more time working on my altar set up and collecting the proper tools instead of coming up with more spell work to do. I figure that if I have a better more organized altar I'll have better spell results. I just put all the altar tools I have so far in one box. My main altar is in the upstairs part of the house. That's where I tend to dress candles and prepare mojos and things. I keep the altar tool box there, but I also do a lot of candles and incense downstairs. I keep an extra lighter and incense holder downstairs so I'm not running all over the house to find a lighter.

sahjia

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by sahjia » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:49 pm

it s ok if i use my garage for revarsal work ? and also i like to know it s ok if if doing a baby doll work like doing all the work done at night and take it in moring to the grayvard to bery it ? since it has all powder like goofar dust .d.u.m.e powder and act . one ? how and where is good place to keep the rest all this powder ? just to be in a safe side thanks

Sharona22

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Sharona22 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:19 pm

I am going to do as most of you know the pyschic vision spell kit and a seperate dressed candle what kind of basic altar can I use? I am not going to be doing alot of spells in the future other then ones that are going to be drawing something to you so maybe this will help in telling me what I can use to create an altar that is on the simple side I am going to be putting statue of st.francis of assisi plus a chome card and an offering prayer to st francis. I do not know much about hoodoo altars.

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:27 pm

Hi Sharona,
If you go back over the thread here you will see that there is no one way to set up a hoodoo altar. for work that where you are increasing or drawing towards you, you can set up the altar in the east so that you are augmented by the energy of the sunrise.

take care,
Bri
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Sharona22

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Sharona22 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:45 am

I was actually planning to do this,thanks

nemesis

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by nemesis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:39 am

Hi,

May I confirm that is it alrite to have a temporal altar - meaning i could set it up during the spell work and then have everything cleared away and kept in the closet once its done? I live in an apartment with limited space, but more importantly, I wouldnt want those I live with to stumble on my altar if you know what I mean - spell work is pretty much taboo here.....please kindly advise me....thanks a million! :)

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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Miss Bri » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:23 am

Hi Nemesis,
Please go back over the thread because your question is answered there, but the short answer is "yes" there are people who will have a working altar just for the duration of their spell work and then dismantle it.

take care,
Bri
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Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by theusurper » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:38 pm

i have my altar in the badroom because i feel very confortable there and i do my spells love, money or revenge in the same place, is bad idea? help me

Literarylioness

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Literarylioness » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:48 pm

theusurper wrote:i have my altar in the badroom because i feel very confortable there and i do my spells love, money or revenge in the same place, is bad idea? help me
I think you might want to read through this thread, because this topic was covered pretty well.

Mary

osiro

Consecrating a space for an altar..your rituals?

Unread post by osiro » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:33 pm

Hello,

I'm currently in the process of privatizing..let me explain.

I've associated with and have been a member of a couple notable occult groups...I used to conduct group meetings and hold ceremonies and rituals for one group in particular..through painstaking planning and handy work, I fashioned my basement into quite an impressive temple and meeting place that would rival a lot of free-standing temples. I have long since abandoned all that pageantry and pomp and have long since sold all of my temple's custom made furnishings. my home has taken on a very unassuming, mainstream appearance outside and inside :D ...

I have devoted myself to what I know works. I am now a private, sole-practitioner of Rootwork! I do not have an actual altar set-up. However, I recently have been rather enlightened and encouraged to set an altar up in a particular fashion by a deity or deities that I have summoned (or) who have summoned me. ..a while back, this deity / deities have been working with me on some issues that I have been facing and has thus far helped me. I wish to appease and honor this deity/deities and set up this altar.

Where do I set this altar up? ...situation and answer....

I now have a basement that is completely free of outside occult activity and influence, however, I (NOW) host parties for friends and work aquaintances who partake in mainstream religions and wouldn't understand "a hoodoo altar."

some would probably faint at the sight of one :D

I respect their backgrounds and hold reverence to everyone's beliefs..and..I really don't want to advertise my own "beliefs".. it would only open up a front that I really would rather avoid, making light of things serves no purpose here!

anyways, I have elected to tuck this altar far away from outside eyes in my personal den, I am going to set it up on a small desk..I was actually given signs by the deity/deities that this is the correct and well accepted move!

MY QUESTION: I was wondering what sort of words and rituals are appropriate and "effective" for consecrating this desk ?

Using some pragmatism my thoughts are: Being adorned with proper attire, Special Candles, Earth Pentagram Ritual followed by a good Florida Water douse and maybe an invoking prayer or chant of some kind to the deity...what do you think?

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Re: Consecrating a space for an altar..your rituals?

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:16 pm

Hello, osiro --

I think you are not practicing hoodoo.

You seem to be developing your own form of syncretic magic with unknown religious overtones.

Hoodoo is Christian folk magic of the African American community. If you want to know how to pray to God, i'd suggest going to youtube and looking up African American preaching videos of the "hooping" type, 'cause that's pretty much where we're at here. Read your Psalms, watch this youtube video, and God bless you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4VHWzouvLQ

There is probably some other place where you can get advice on dealing with your "deity/deities", but this is probably not that place.

Here is a syncretic altar that is set up on the headboard of a bed. It includes elements from Vajrayana Buddhism, Greco-Roman religions, Hinduism, and other, personal objects:

Image

Good luck on your path.
catherine yronwode

Trickster

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by Trickster » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:18 am

My personal advice: I use the tops of two different dressers -- one dresser for the blessings and one for the enemy work. (I don't want the energies to blend or to mix up in my own mind.)

simplylooking

Re: Does Altar Set Up Have an Effect on Spellwork?

Unread post by simplylooking » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:26 am

Hello -

This site is wonderful .. so glad I found it. There is so much great information for someone who is just beginning and want to know the how - why - won't and don't.

What should one put in an altar for success and money?

How do one set up an ancestors altar .. and what should be used in a small setting. I have pictures of all my ancestors on one table with not-real flowers - is there something else I should have and be doing .. is there a particular prayer to use for the ancestors?

Are there ways of cleaning an altar once set up without having to more everything? ;)

Thanks Mrs. Catherine and everyone on this site for such valuable information

fou

Do I Need an Altar?

Unread post by fou » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:13 pm

Do we need to leave the altar during the spell work or can we set up and remove every day??

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Re: Do I Need an Altar?

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:16 pm

simplylooking and fou,

There are many ways that people work with the concept of an "altar." The set-up can be as simple as a candle on your nightstand.

Here, courtesy of Miss Bri of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is a very simple altar featuring a typical hoodoo Money Stay With Me spell performed with a chunk of Pyrite, a green candle, a large Lodestone and Magnetic Sand.

Image

This altar is simple in appearance and takes up very little room, but it is highly effective.

An altar-space like this can easily be taken down and the elements put away when it is not in use.

Here, courtesy of Michele Jackson of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is a very simple altar featuring ancestors and ancestral spirits.

Image

An altar like this can stay in place as a permanent memorial or memory-place. No particular rituals, offerings, or chants need be performed, as hoodoo is not a religion and one need not work according to liturgical patterns of worship.

Cleaning an altar is similar to cleaning any space in the house. You may dust the area, wash cloths, or oil wooden furnishings.

Good luck.
catherine yronwode

butterfly

how to clean altar tools used in spell work

Unread post by butterfly » Fri May 15, 2009 3:07 am

how should the incense brazier & a candle snuffer be cleaned?

thanks,
butterfly

Lukianos

Re: how to clean altar tools used in spell work

Unread post by Lukianos » Fri May 15, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi butterfly,
butterfly wrote:how should the incense brazier & a candle snuffer be cleaned?
This will depend partly on the material the burner or snuffer is made from. Brass may be polished; wood/ceramic/stone may be cleaned with Chinese Wash; and WD-40 will remove soot and stains from a variety of surfaces.

Good Luck!

Crystal-Silence-League-Link
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