The purpose of a monthly altar is to connect you to the energies of the season and help you make your spiritual life more tangible. Having an altar is a way to remind yourself of who and where you are. Having something visible, in front of you, make it easier to stop and reflect.
We like to set up a monthly altar in a place where we can see it daily. You can decorate yours with pictures, tarot cards, gemstones, offerings, ritual items, or whatever you want. It also tends to include items for the coming Sabbat. Many people prefer to keep a few different altars, one that is private, and one that is seasonal and more visible. You can do it however you wish, but the key is to make it visible, and living. You do not need to have specific Wiccan or Pagan items out for others to see if that makes you uncomfortable. If you have to hide your overtly spiritual items, you can keep those on a private altar and instead have this "in the open" altar focus on nature and the season. This seasonal altar will be our focus. Each month, we will suggest things from nature or easily found near you that you can use to represent the season and the month within it.
In order to honor our tools, and make the transitions between the seasons easier on ourselves we prefer to "stage" the items for the next month's altar on a special table in advance. This lets us see what we want to weed out from the previous year's altar and inspires us to put together new ideas. It also means that setting up the next month's altar is a pleasant experience instead of a last-minute chore of digging boxes out of the basement barely on time.
We like to look at months as early-season, min-season, and late-season. This gives a natural transition from one season to the next and also breaks down the season nicely into energies that feel different, yet appropriate. Altar decoration can blend from one month to the other, but each month really does have a different feel to it and will suggest its own items.
Remember, an altar should be a simple reflection of both the energies of the season at hand and what you wish to connect with at that time. It shouldn’t require lots of expensive materials or so much time to set up that you feel like you constantly need to outdo yourself or make something Pinterest-worthy. You altar is for YOU. At the same time, it is a creative way to engage with your spirituality and live in a more intentional way.In that regard, a few days before the beginning of each month we will offer you suggestions for energies to work with, or new altar ideas. Occasionally we will run an “altar challenge” for fun, in which we will ask you to incorporate a specific type of item and post your pictures, It’s fun to share!