An Altar is an Elevated place where ceremonies are conducted and where offerings are made to a deity or deities. The altar has ancient associations with the Goddess and Mother Earth, who rule the wheel of birth-death-rebirth.   In Witchcraft and Paganism, the altar is placed within a magic circle. It usually faces either east or north, depending on the tradition and practices of the coven. There are no set rules in the Craft for the construction of the altar. If the ceremonies take place out of doors, rocks or tree stumps may be used. Indoors, the altar may be a table, a wooden box or a board placed on boxes or bricks. Whatever the form or materials, the altar should not contain conductive metals such as iron or steel, since they could interfere with the energy of the ritual tools made of iron or steel. Since many covens meet in homes or apartments where space is at a premium, the altar may not be permanent but erected only during ceremonies.   The objects of ritual and worship placed on the altar vary, depending upon the practices of the coven and the rituals to be performed. They may include an athame, a white-handled knife, a sword, a wand, candles, a cup or goblet of wine, anointing oils, dishes for Salt and water, a necklace without beginning or end, a censer, bells, scourges, dishes for offering food and drink to the deities and images of the deities, such as figurines, wax statues or drawings. If a broom and cauldron are needed in rituals, they are placed on either side of the altar.    

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