A moon altar is a sacred space you create to honor the lunar cycle and practice moon magic.
Creating a working moon altar provides a living space to work spells, express gratitude, and stay connected to the celestial cycles.
Learn how to set one up, maintain it and get the most from your magical experience.
Choose a quiet space in your home to set up your moon altar.
It need not be large. A dedicated shelf on a bookshelf, a stool from the thrift store, or the top of your bedroom dresser all work well.
If you’re lucky enough to have an Eastern-facing window with a view of the sky, it’s nice to have a view of the moonrise from your altar. But it’s not necessary.
And if you’re really lucky and have a space outdoors, consider setting up your moon altar outside on a tree stump or a slab of stone as a focus point for a moon garden.
How to curate items for your moon altar.
Whether you prefer minimalist altars or love to build large, complex sacred spaces, choose items for your lunar altar with care and intention.
Take a look at these ideas for inspiration.
The moon is associated powerfully with the element of water—particularly, ocean water and the connection of the tides to the lunar cycle.
Of course, anyone may incorporate these items onto their moon altar. But if you practice sea witchery, this type of symbolism probably resonates with you especially.
Seashells. Among the many uses of seashells in witchcraft, they perhaps most obviously symbolize the ocean. Show reverence to the spirits of the sea by placing seashells on your lunar altar.
Sea salt. Sea salt represents the sacred place where the ocean meets the land. This transitional, ever-moving division between sea and earth is governed by the tides and the pull of the moon on wild waters.
Ocean water. Choose a beautiful bottle from an antique shop or your personal collection (corked bottles with smoky blue glass are especially beautiful) and fill it with ocean water from your last beachside vacation.
Sea glass. If you possess a knack for finding seaglass on the beach, bring some home for your moon altar. Glass magnifies and distorts the light of the moon, and can even be used for scrying.
Want a creative way to stay aware and connected to the current moon phase? Consider burning a designated candle for each transition of the lunar cycle.
For example, choose a color for each phase of the moon (for example, black for the dark moon, deep blue for the waning moon, lighter blue for the waxing moon, and white for the full moon).
Or, get a set of 4 white candles and simply carve a symbol of each moon phase into them.
If you’re super crafty, you can even make your own witchy candles and either roll them in herbs associated with each moon phase or mold them in the shape of each moon phase.
However you decide to represent the phases, on the first night of the moon’s key transitions (from full moon to waning moon, or dark moon to waxing moon, for example), burn the candle for that moon phase and meditate on your intentions for that phase.
If you are dedicated to a moon goddess (such as Hekate or the Triple Goddess), definitely consider honoring her with some statuary or another classic symbol.
You can even make your own with polymer clay (don’t worry if you’re not skilled with clay—even really rough statues can look rustic and beautiful).
Thousands of herbs and flowers vibe with the energy of the moon. (Particularly night-blooming flowers). Here are just a few ideas.
–Moonflower (especially when it is grown near outdoor moon altars)
Choose dried herbs, foraged flowers, or in-season plants to stay connected to the earth.
Like herbs, many gemstones connect practitioners to the moon and lunar work.
The following is a very small sample of these.
Moonstone. Moonstone is a classic lunar gemstone. It is beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to work with. Place it on your moon altar to charge during the full moon for use in spell work throughout the month.
Lapis lazuli. The tiny gold flecks in lapis lazuli resemble the night sky. Use this stone particularly during the dark and new moon phases for deep introspective work, meditation, and divination.
Silver. Of course, silver is a precious metal, not a gemstone. But in witchcraft, silver represents the light of the moon and the mystical power of the lunar cycle.
Opal. Charge jewelry set with opal on your moon altar and wear it throughout the month to carry with you that power and charge your life with sacred energy.
Keep the energy fresh on your moon altar by giving it regular attention.
Here are some ideas to charge your altar with your magical intentions.
Sprinkle it with ocean water. Every few days, or when the moon phase transitions, dip your fingertips in ocean water and gently flick some on your altar to refresh the energy.
Burn mugwort. In your cauldron or fire-safe bowl, burn some dried mugwort on charcoal.
Keep a moon phase box. Try using a moon phase box to track the lunar cycle.
Meditate. Turn your personal energy with the moon cycle by sitting at your altar at least once a week to meditate on the current moon phase and focus on intentionally incorporating its rhythm into your life.