I used to be much witchier than I am today, constructing altars either alone or with friends on new moons and full moons, or over a smoke and good conversation. See below for a sort of “altar timeline,” revealing altars that I’ve made with friends and family. My friend D and I, in particular, have always enjoyed creating gorgeous altars together, journaling, and charging our jewelry under the moonlight. Here are some examples of altar spells that I’ve made in the past:
Over quarantine, I turned away from altar-making, journaling, and introspection, but have decided once again to return to my roots. I’ve made several altars since my spiritual homecoming, and wanted to create a feminine-energy and self-love altar spell for January’s new moon, which also happened to fall on Imbolc, a Celtic tradition celebrating the halfway point between winter solstice and the spring equinox.
A note: I’m a particularly aesthetic creature, and although it’s important to me to create an altar that is both attractive and alluring, I also want to craft something ethical, so I used herbs from Ritual Shoppe and Schmerbals Herbals.
For this particular self-love altar spell, I used the following ingredients:
- A small abalone shell from Ritual Shoppe
- A cedar wand from Ritual Shoppe that I candidly misidentified as ethically-sourced sage (did you know that Cedar is noted in the Hebrew Bible 72 times and that the Navajo, Lakota, and other indigenous peoples use cedar “as an offering to the spirit world, to amplify prayer, to bless and to consecrate, and to aid in vision?”)
- An old brass pentagram that I bought years ago (fear not, I’ve no satanic intentions, and in fact learned that “Christians once commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus” and that Pythagoreans “used the pentagram as a symbol of mutual recognition and wellbeing”)
- A rose quartz sphere that I bought at a street fair in SoHo in 2017 (rose quartz is a super-feminine stone that is associated with beauty and love, Aphrodite and Adonis)
- Raw rose quartz from Worldincensestore
- Quartz and angel aura quartz from forever ago
- Heart-shaped chocolates, the poor woman’s divine cacao
- Aqua Jewels made for fish tanks (purely decorative)
- Myriad glitters and sequins from HoloGlitterPacks, MagicalMixeryStore, and Michael’s, amongst other places (purely decorative)
- Heart-shaped votives (purely decorative)
- A prayer book in Italian and a bible in Polish (just in case)
- Pink rose petals, Rosa canina, from Schmerbals Herbals (yet another amplifier of beauty and self-love)
- Damiana, Turnera diffusa, from Schmerbals Herbals (Damiana is an aphrodisiac and is excellent for self-love and love spells)
- Red and white roses from Trader Joe’s (the Ravenscroft Essential’s blog informed me that part of the reason we are so attracted to and uplifted by roses is because they vibrate at 320 MHz whereas we humans vibrate at 62-68 MHz)
I’ve attached some in-the-process and completed 35mm photos of the Wolf Moon’s self-love altar spell below.