An Altoid Altar Is Born!

This afternoon I sat down and did it. I made my travel altar. Right now it’s sitting on my windowsill under the full moon. I said a few words over it and, while I don’t charge items, I see it as a sort of cleansing =) This is my first altar that is even remotely permanent – the altars I’ve used in the past were hastily patched together with whatever I found in the house and dismantled immediately after I’d used them (fun side effect of living in a very Catholic home).

Making my travel altar was actually a lot easier than I’d imagined, and it was a very calming, meditative, and spiritual experience.

Altoid-Tin Altar Project


  • one empty Altoid tin
  • one Index card
  • cloth
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun or sewing supplies)
  • craft glue or super glue
  • pencils, pens, and markers
  • tea-light and matches or electric candle
  • other items reflecting your path and preferences

Time: at least 30 minutes


  1. Empty tin of Altoids, wash thoroughly, and dry. This would be a good time to cleanse the tin, if you wanted to.
  2. Draw or print out an image of the world tree (I used an Oak) and back with an index card.
  3. Cut a circle out of the index card, about an inch across. Add colored dots for the four elements in the appropriate spot (ie: North for Earth). Put a symbol in the center.
  4. Cut out three smaller circles out of the index card, each a little less than 1/2 inch. On each, add a symbol that to you represents on of the Three Kindred.
  5. Lay out all of the paper pieces as you desire. Note: For the Three Kindred, I arranged them in order of the Three Realms – Upperworld [deities], Middleworld [nature spirits], and Underworld [ancestors].
  6. Cut out a piece of the cloth. Either hem the edges or seal them with hot glue to keep them from fraying. This will be the altar cloth. Note: My altar cloth can either rest underneath the entire tin (see above) or can be folded into the tin (see gallery).
  7. Add your candles and other items. I chose a stone to represent the Realm of Land, a piece of sea-glass for the Sea, and a beaded spiral for the Sky. (I made the Sky representation by putting blue and white beads on a thin copper wire and twisting it into a spiral, like the wind columns.) Note: The candle doesn’t actually fit in my tin, unfortunately. I think most electric lights will have this issue.
  8. Enjoy your travel altar!

Note: Don’t forget to make it your way! Use cardboard or thin wood instead of an index card, carve symbols instead of writing them in marker, include an offering bowl, and change the tools to suite your own personal path =)


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