We often get questions about how to worship and perform ritual at the home altar, to reach and appease the divine kindreds the best way possible. So here are some guidelines that are well-attested within Indo-European paganism.
– Altars are preferably rectangular, placed in an east-west direction
– Use esthetically appealing utensils for ritual
– Do the ‘mise en place’ before ritual, so you have it all set
– Everything that will be given from our world to the sacred (& also that with which we will purify ourselves) is put on the floor – or at least away from the main sacred space – on the left hand side. This is the most mundane space.
– When you purify yourself before ritual, prayer etc – first wash your left hand, then your right hand, then your left hand again, then your forehead, then your mouth (actions, thoughts, words)
– A good idea is to place all this stuff (gifts, offerings, libations etc) in line horizontally – the mundane way (vertical is divine)
– Bowls, plates etc, on/into which you will give offerings and pour libations, start off on the altar, on its left hand side
– Fire is always placed at the center of the space (or rater – fire is the center of our home)
– Below the fire – the middle space – is what we call the ritual zone. This is a borderland between mundane and divine, and this is where the ritual ‘takes place’ (where you pour etc)
– If you’re going to draw an omen during ritual – initially place your divination tools on the floor or at least away from the altar, on the right hand side
– The procedure is that everything goes from the left to the right: Bowls, plates etc go from the left to the middle – where you perform the ‘ritual’ (oblations, libations etc) – and are then finally placed on the right hand side (sacred), when already offered. Mundane —> divine.
– When you give offerings and pour libations, always do this with your right hand
– Make sure that each object that is offered has passed/circled over the fire (clockwise!). This is how it is transfered to the divine kindreds, via the hearth goddess.