For experienced magicians

Hello. For those who are more experienced , I’d like to know what your opinions are on ritual tools, but the altar in particular. I’m doing some research but from all I’ve encountered they seem to be elaborate and I’d need some proper space…

From your experience, what are the most simplistic,and “discreet” altars I can make?


Do I even need an altar at all? Is it possible to use another surface in my house for that purpose, although its use would not solely rely on magick?

By the way, the reason for these questions is that I have little to no freedom at all when it comes to magick where I live (that’s why it took me years to finally take the first step…), so any recommendations as on how to cope with that would be very appreciated!

My most discreet altar was a crate box, with carboard on the top and a pretty cloth covering it all. You can use a shelf, a mini foot stool, even a chair

I would suggest using one, it helps ground the magical energies much more easily

Its also good to have that one spot used for magical purposes only

Maybe even have a fancy box that you can keep under your bed? and just put the cloth on it

What method are you using?

I believe the altar is the very center of the magicians core working space, and that the same space should be used each time magick is performed (if possible) as the residual energy from your workings will collect into your altar, making each working even more potent with the energy remaining from the last working. If using any space available, this residual energy can start collecting everywhere which is fine if you live alone but if you live with others they may begin to feel that energy all over the house and if they have not been trained to also work with dark energy, it can make non-magicians irritable, negative, or even scared out of their mind.

Here’s a good idea, I did this when I was a young adult just out of high school but still living with my mom trying to start my adult life. I bought a large wood chest that opened like a treasure chest, flat on top, looked like a regular storage chest at the foot of my bed. You can find chests that have a pull out tray that sits just inside the chest towards the top but allows for space underneath. Put your magickal tools in the bottom of the chest below the pull out tray and fill the tray with items that look normal, like a blanket or trinkets. If you can’t find a chest with a tray you can buy a flat wood panel that will fit inside and cover your tools with the panel, then lay the normal items on top or even place a few board game boxes on top to cover the tools.

A normal onlooker, if nosey, will only notice the junk inside of the chest on top and will usually not look further, thinking it’s a chest of random junk. You can also cast a protection spell on your chest so if anyone does peek inside, the urge to peer further will leave their mind and they will walk away. When you are alone, pull your tools out of the chest and close the lid. You can place an altar cloth on top of the lid and use the lid as the altar itself. Once done, just put everything back inside and close the lid. All your tools and magickal energy will be contained within the chest so any normal items you place inside to hide your tools, make sure it’s items you don’t use often, that won’t need to be removed as those items will also become tainted with that energy which will be released if you remove the items and later place them around the house, or you could also create a bubble of protection around the normal items to shield them from absorbing the energy, so they can still be removed and used in your home if needed.

As Eric mentions in WOD, I found that the more simple my altar is the more effective my magick is. My first altar, several years back, was loaded with symbols, fancy altar cloths, daggers with decorative handles, and posters hanging above which can cause confliting results if you are working with one demon and your altar has symbols of 5 different demons posted all over.

The only real tools you need:
-Ritual dagger with 6" blade, plain straight blade sharp on both edges
-Chalice, not too decorative if possible, either black or silver
-A charcoal incense burner
-Charcoal pellets made specially for use indoors with incense burners only and granular or resin based incense
-Altar cloth, plain black is best or solid colors to represent the color of the entity you are working with
-Black mirror for scrying and a black cloth to wrap it in when not in use

All the other tools are just fancy non-required extras.

Thank you guys, that was really helpful.

At the time I’m not really using anything apart from my will power and visualization. The only practical application I did was from the Works of darkness book, but I had to adapt a lot of it to fit my current situation.

I understand that’s not the most advisable…but I’ll tell you something…even without the tools, this stuff seems to be working just fine, as weird as it may seem.

I did a love spell and had a result with less than 24 hours, I’ve summoned Maltar with his sigil just yesterday to finally initate in Black Magick and the powers of darkness(the altar being the floor itself and the athame being my middle and index fingers) and my questions are being answered and doubt is disappearing…

So it wasn’t THAT half assed after all haha, but I still do want to work with the proper tools and imagery…I have a feeling I’ll achieve much greater results.

There are no proper tools unless you are working a specific tradition.

For one, other tools are not just fancy non required extras. They can be quite essential depending on your method. Whether that be what you make up or taught by spirits.
For my witchcraft, taught to be directly by spirits, I use the traditional four elemental tools, a cauldron, mortar and pestle, and altar. For my saint work, I have little in permanent tools outside an altar and fetish, the rest being disposable/one time tools.

I see…well , as I said, I’m working from that book only, I don’t know if it is a specific system…

The tools I mentioned above, are mainly all that is needed if you are working with Eric’s system, which you are. You are on WOD right now correct? But as also mentioned by another, there are other paths and systems which do require other tools. If you were working with modernized Voodoo or Hoodoo, or Santeria, they use lots of herbs so a mortar & pestle would be needed.

I don’t know about Vodoun because I have not studied into that yet nor have I watched Eric’s video on it, that’s why I only mentioned modern Voodoo and Hoodoo. I feel that’s something I should wait to study when I am much further advanced.

WoD is pretty straight forward on the tools needed in order to successfully work through the operations contained within it.

When I worked through that particular system I used a small chest that I bought from hobby lobby for my altar. A chest would be perfect for your situation. You could keep all of your tools within it and leave the house and practice in a more discreet location. I used mine for this purpose and I really enjoyed working through the meditations and rituals within this book out in the middle of the woods.

If you’re going to work through this system the ritual tools are:

A black handled athame
A chalice (doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you can prolly buy a cheap glass one at walmart.)
incense (I used sandalwood)
black and violet candles
Sigil of Baphomet ( can be drawn or printed off of your computer, I used an altar tile)
Scrying mirror for evocation (you can buy a cheap picture frame and spray paint one side flat black. Once this is done put the glass back in the frame with the painted side covered up.)

Other than that just follow what’s stated in the book. Depending on the ritual, you might be required to draw other things such as a double armed cross or use a different colored candle but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. All of these items can be substituted if you use a little bit of creativity but I wouldn’t do the whole entire system without any tools.

I have found antique desks work very well as altars. It is in the arrangement of the decor that the onlooker makes assumptions of.

Most who view my “Lab” desk and ask about it assume I have a fascination with anatomy, astronomy and historical medical advancements circa 1700’s. The old microscope seems to sell the illusion best. Glass test tubes contain resins and incense intentionally mislabeled. A tile with a Sigil therein can be hidden under a second tile. Your tomes on Magick covered with a paper sleeves found on scientific type books at second hand stores. Even bones and a human skull does not look out of place thereon. Useful notes of astronomy for upcoming dates, written by hand - act as a closer on the deception for the curious.

When you are preparing to enter your ritual work, simply remove what is unneeded and begin.

Also, A unique offspring off this farce is the random “gift” by friends and family of unique items they come across to add to your collection. Some of these items prove useful and interesting as well.

That’s an awesome idea, thank you!!

Your own body would be the most discrete altar you could find., but that impractical depending on how you plan to conduct your operations and if you want to set something as permanent, unless you can internalize the meaning and the properties of each object employed.


The idea behind having an altar you use exclusively for magic is the same idea behind only using your bedroom for sleeping. If you only use it to sleep, sleep will come easier when you use it, because there are no wrong turns or distractions associated with it.

Hey everyone, I once again thank you for your comments, I finally gathered all the tools I’ll need, just a silver chalice is missing couldn’t find any, using a crystal one will do I guess?

I can also sense the influence of the grand demon Martal.