I share a very small room with my sister, and obviously don’t have much room for an altar. I use most of my space for my Hellenic shrines and altar. I keep my witchy stuff on my shared bedside table. Here is what I use, and how I store/display it. This is element based, but you can use it however you like.
Small Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp - This is a tool I use all the time. It detoxifies my room, and cleanses the space. I feel so much more at ease with it on, like it’s washing everything away!
Crystals - You might want to move these or switch them out depending on what spell you’re doing, as all energy contributes to the working, but while you’re in your room, or even while you’re away, you can leave these here to represent Earth.
Salt - Little packets of salt work, or you can place a bowl with some salt in it on your altar. I use my rock salt lamp.
Dirt - A literal baby jar of dirt works, or you can put a plant on your altar if it’s by a window. I have a succulent!
Earth Imagery - A mini globe would be pretty cool! Or even a little eraser or what not. Having an actual picture of the Earth would be amazing, especially if the clouds were visible, and maybe if it had the sun in the background. Then it could be all encompassing of the elements.
Herbs, Flowers, Plants, etc - As with the crystals, you may want to change these out or put them away during spells, or switch them out. However, they would look really cool as you went with the seasons!
Fossils - I think fossils are awesome Earth representations. They have been in the ground for a very long time! I used to have some really cool fossils I used to represent Earth on my altar.
Tree Slice - Have you ever seen those little wooden slices that come from a tree stump? The ones that definitely had huge roots? Those would be perfect to represent Earth!
Birthday Candles/Tea Lights - You can colour code! These are great for short workings, or even to call the elements. To make these stand up, place them in a bit of clay and let it harden.
Matches - Double whammy here- light your candles and have a representation!
Ash - I used to have volcanic ash, which was perfect. It got spilled, but for the while that I had it, it was awesome. Collect ash from incense, a fire, etc, and use it (just wait for it to cool!!!)
Charcoal - I always thought charcoal looked kinda witchy. I think a dish of it would make a good rep.
Charred Wood - If you have a bonfire, or just so happen to light a piece of wood on fire, you could let it cool and use it for your altar.
Lamp - If you have a secret altar, a little lamp could be an inconspicuous representation for fire, as it does produce light and heat.
Lantern - You can buy super cute mini lanterns at the Dollar Store. I love them, but haven’t gotten one yet. I think they would be fun to use for Fire.
Glass of Water - You can use whatever type of water you’d like; moon water, rose water, purified water, gem elixir; take your pick! Just make sure it doesn’t get moldy and stay moldy. Change it out each day/week.
Sea Shells - You can get these in super small sizes! Or, you can get them big and bulky.
Sea Glass - These little stone-like fragments are so pretty! They look just like crystals, and can be found on the beach or in the store!
Sea Salt - Sea Salt could work to represent Water, especially if you pour it into a seashell or add in sea glass to it. It could be like a little potpourri of water related objects!
Rain Cloud - You can create clouds out of things like stuffing for toys, cotton balls, and sometimes led lights. It could be a fun project, or you can buy one of them off of etsy.
Mermaid Image - I have a mermaid book mark made of metal, and it sits with my other water-related objects. I feel like it adds that feel of majesty to my water representation.
Drift Wood - This is so pretty! The pieces are smooth, have a fun shape, and definitely capture the essence of water!
Sand - If you go to a beach, collect some sand, and place it somewhere on your altar! Be sure to put it in a bowl, though, because it is hard to clean up.
Sea Weed - You can hang this somewhere, or put it directly on your altar. Either way, it looks great.
Coral - If you find some coral, you can place it on your altar. It looks so neat!
Starfishes/Sand Dollars/etc. - These are a little harder to find on the beach, but if you do, place them on your altar.
Wind Chimes - These add a little decoration to your altar, as well as give you an air representaiton. You can even listen for the tinkling of bells to see if any fae are around!
Bells - If you ring a bell, it disperses stagnant energy, and helps to cleanse a space. Having one on your altar is a great way to keep it fresh!
Feathers - This is a pretty obvious one, an oldie but a goodie. If you have some feathers, you can use them, but make sure there are no laws against collecting them in your area. Alternatively, you can use fake ones from a craft store.
Empty Glass or Bottle - Air is all around us. Use that to your advantage!
Dandelion Puff - This is what I immediately think of when I picture the wind. You can collect some puffs and put them in a glass.
Bird’s Nest (fake) - You can buy or make a fake bird’s nest. They look pretty real, and have this awesome rustic naturey vibe to them!
Leaves - They were once high in the sky! Collect them during the fal season or after a storm.
Incense - Another well-known one. You can burn this and use the smoke.
Tornado Making Jar - You know those little jars that you can shake up, and they make a tornado? Those would be a fun water-air duo!
Small Jewelry Box - This can store crystals, herbs, essential oils, etc. I use to use mine to cleanse my crystals becuase it played music!
Multi Colour Light-Up Candle - I found mine at Five Below! It lights up in tons of different colours, but is pretty large. However, it takes up a lot less room than a bunch of different coloured candles.
Your Wand - Having your wand on your altar makes it a sacred, special tool. It will be charged by the witchy items you have there, and will feel natural inn the environment.
A Mini Besom or Real Besom (Broom) - I use a paintbrush as a mini besom, as I can’t have real one. However, it would be nice if I did, and I’d keep it near my altar!
Your Grimoire/Spellbook/BOS/etc - If you aren’t hiding it, you could keep it on your altar!
A Fire-Safe Dish or Cauldron - If you water scry, burn things, or just like to include your cauldron in your spells, you can keep it on your altar.
Incense Tray - Incense can’t be burned without somewhere to place it. Keep your incense holder handy!
Altar Cloth - This ties everything together! It can be switched out for sabbats/festivals/seasons/spells.
Chalice - I’m not Wiccan, but I use the chalice in my workings every once in a while, usually for water-related magic. You can get these beautiful metal ones at antique stores, or regular old wine glasses at the dollar store!
Mortar and Pestle - For practical use and an awesome vibe! You can keep this near your herbs.
Coloured/Enchanted Salts - They display beautifully,and are really good to have on hand.
Spirit Vessels - These can go in their own little corner if you like. They could also be the center of your altar, especially if you work mainly with spirits.
Tarot/Other Cartomancy Cards - Find a nook for your cards to be kept safe and clean. They will be charged by the other objects all around it, which makes it an awesome idea to have on your altar.
Scrying Mirror - Make this the main attraction, or perhaps just a piece of the puzzle. If you have an ornate mirror, it could be a very drawing part of your altar!
Crystal Ball - Like the scrying mirror, it could be a background piece or the focal point.
Runes - If you cast runes, you can keep your bag or box of them on or near your altar.
Other Divination Tools - You cans store these, or just la them throughout your altar. Whatever you choose, having your tools close by will be awesome!
Twig Shapes - You can make sigils out of twigs and hot glue! Add a ribbon or piece of twin in the shape of a loop, and you can hang them above your altar as decoration and as a little energy booster!
Circle (Embroidery Hoop) - I know most people use salt to cast circles, but I actually use an embroidery hoop. I cast one around myself, and one around the items I am working with (ex: what’s in the hoop).
Knife - If you use a ritual or practical knife in your workings, it’s good to have on hand. I can’t have one, but I like my wand better anyway, personally.
Fae Garden - You’ll have to have plenty of sunlight near your altar for this one, but it will definitely be fun to have some Fae living on your altar!
Spell Supplies - Random bits and bobs, like egshells and ribbons, can be kept on your altar as well.
Since regular record-keeping of sea ice started in 1979, combined sea ice levels at the polar ice caps were at their lowest ever on Feb. 13, NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced.
Furthermore, the Arctic’s winter “maximum extent” — the peak
amount of ice in a year — and the inverse “minimum extent” for the
Antarctic, in which it is now summer, together hit a record low in early
Between 1981 and 2010, the global minimum extent average was 7.05 million square miles.
But on Feb. 13, with its record-breaking low levels, there were only 6.26 million square miles of polar sea ice.
As compared to the nearly 30-year average, the world lost enough polar sea ice by Feb. 13 to fit into Mexico, NASA noted. Read more (3/23/17)
In the beginning, there was only ocean. Until the Mother Island emerged: Te Fiti. Her heart held the greatest power ever known. It could create life itself and Te Fiti shared it with the world. But in time, some began to seek Te Fiti’s heart. They believed if they could possess it, the great power of creation would be theirs. And one day, the most daring of them all voyaged across the vast ocean to take it. He was a demi-god of the wind and sea. He was a warrior, a trickster, a shapeshifter who could change form with the power of his magical fishhook. And his name was Maui.
Badlands National Park is not in defiance of the president, they are in support of the American People. They don’t work for him, they work for US. Climate change is a direct threat to our national resources, and the most severe threat facing our parks today. This is not a political issue, this is not Democrats vs. Republicans, this is data-backed endangerment of our open spaces and federal lands. If a building is deemed structurally unsound, you fix it, you don’t claim that scientists are lying to you about serious fatigue in the load-bearing members, or else it comes crashing down around you. Climate change is no different, nobody has ever tried to claim that forest fires are a myth invented by the Chinese.
Using a fleet of research aircraft, our Operation IceBridge images Earth’s polar ice to better understand connections between polar regions and the global climate system. IceBridge studies annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. IceBridge bridges the gap between the ICESat missions.
Seen here is a time-lapse view of a glacier-run from the cockpit of our P-3 Orion aircraft taken during a May 8, 2017 flight over Greenland’s Southeast glaciers.
Video credit: NASA/Gerrit Everson
Take a look back at this season’s Arctic ice survey HERE.
In partnership with San Diego State University, Tumblr is launching Scholars of Change, an op-ed series dedicated to featuring the voices of academic experts on the issues most impacting our communities.
Sea Level Rise and Social Equity
Climate change and accompanying sea level rise could put millions of homes in the U.S. underwater by 2100. Florida and Louisiana will be the states most affected, but even in California, hundreds of thousands of homes may be at risk with property losses estimated in the $100 billion range. The disastrous impacts of sea level rise depend to a large extent on the population’s vulnerabilities which are intensified for certain communities of low-income or color. Not only do these communities lack the political capital to influence decisions on where and who to protect, but social inequalities also increase both the exposure and severity of vulnerable groups to an array of climate hazards such as excessive heat and air pollution. Therefore, the effects of sea level rise will be seen in the poorest neighborhoods. Because sea level rise is occurring slowly and because the poorest communities have the least economic and social mobility, they will be the ones remaining (the last to leave) as their property values fall in the face of both flooding and weakening market demand. Steve Lerner tells the sad story of the burdens of toxic pollution on low income and minority communities in his book “Sacrifice Zones.” He argues that although chemical manufacturing and hazardous waste impacts everyone, vulnerable commutes will experience the largest burden. Unless we as a society (and government) stop putting our collective heads in the sand, and start devoting time and resources to building climate resiliency and promoting social equity in response to this climate change time “bomb”, these new forms of climate change “sacrifice zones” will become all too common.
Want to take Action? Here are some organizations that fight for climate change reform
“There is little doubt that polar bears are very susceptible as global climate change continues to drastically alter the landscape of the northern polar regions,” said Robert Rockwell, a research associate in the Museum’s Department of Ornithology. “But we’re finding that they might be more resilient than is commonly thought.”
Polar bears are listed as a threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act and are classified as “vulnerable” with declining populations on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List. Climate warming is reducing the availability of their ice habitat, especially in the spring when polar bears gain most of their annual fat reserves by consuming seal pups before coming ashore for the summer. The new work, led by Rockwell and Linda Gormezano, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology, examines how polar bears might compensate for energy deficits from decreasing seal-hunting opportunities.