I stumbled on this post on creating rock altars and I thought it was a good idea. Not only can you create an outdoor altar easily, but it’s low cost or free to do so. The fact that a rock altar is mentioned in the Eddas, it gives us precedence. Although I would highly dissuade you from having them steeped in the blood of your enemies — pesky laws, you know– you can easily make a rock cairn to the gods outside. I’ll look at those plus other thoughts for putting together an outdoor altar. (Yes, I know the god posts here are of Perun–get over it.)
Where to Put Your Outdoor Altar
Some of you don’t have the luxury of having acres of land. I get that. If you’re wishing to set up an outdoor altar, I’d highly recommend looking over the space you do have. If you live in an apartment, chances are, it’s going to have to be on your porch or in a place you can legitimately place your altar without trespassing or violating the laws. (Remember, I’m a follower of Tyr, so you’re going to get that from me.) If you are lucky enough to own a home with greenery to it, I suggest looking around and seeing if any place might be fitting for an outdoor altar. Maybe under a tree? Maybe in a corner where your neighbors can’t spy on you?
Anyway, wherever you choose, make sure it feels right. If necessary, ask the local wights to help you find the right place. You can get good feelings and bad feelings from places, so let that guide you toward your altar spot.
Perform a Salt Ritual on Your New Outdoor Altar Space
Once you have the spot in mind, clear the area and perform a salt purification ritual on it. The idea behind a salt purification ritual is to get rid of negative influences and wights who would try to cause harm to you and yours. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent. It kills bacteria by absorbing the water out of it. While a lot of the ritual is symbolic, you may feel better doing this ritual, even if you’re a skeptic like I am. I’ve found doing the ritual is incredibly soothing and makes me feel better. The space feels more positive. I suspect it is something in my mind, but hey, sometimes you’ve just got to take what you’re given.
Plan Your Altar
At this point, you need to have an idea how to plan your outside altar. Are you going to make a rock cairn, decorated with images and runes where you can pour your offerings on? Are you buying or creating god posts, that is, images of the gods in a wooden post you stick in the ground? Or are you planning an actual wooden, stone, or metal altar that you can put images of our gods on? All of these things are good.
My Plans for a Rock Altar
Seeing the piece about a rock altar got me thinking. I’ve been looking for smooth stone that has been worn by the elements even though I live in the mountains. The stones would come from a long dried up stream bed or maybe a glacier. I’ve been slowly collecting my stones for the cairn so I can add runes and paint them. My plan is to keep them on the porch, even though I have acres. The reason is simple: I want to be able to see it and access it even when the snows come. It requires less upkeep and lets me see the stones, reminding me of the gods and wights.