As Wiccan and Pagan practitioners who practice our religion/faith and who hail from all walks of life, we understand the importance of utilizing sacred altars. Regardless of whatever pantheon or tradition we follow, we know that altars serve many different purposes in our daily lives.
We can set them up either indoor or outdoor for various magickal rituals and/or workings such as honoring and celebrating our seasonal Pagan sabbat holidays, esbat rituals, daily sacraments, or meditations, just to name a few. As a practicing Solitary Wiccan Priestess, I have also used altars to perform sacred rites such as handfastings and interfaith wedding ceremonies for many years.
Altars can be as simple or as elaborate as you deem necessary to your specific need or preference; however, I personally believe that depending upon your particular purpose or magical working that the "fancy" is not necessarily of all that importance. Much of the time, it merely serves as a wonderful atmosphere in which to aid us in creating the proper mindset and helps with visualization as well. After all, it is what is in our hearts and our intent which is of the utmost importance. It is for these reasons that perhaps these are also the most essential and powerful tools we have.
It is my belief that altars are extremely important both in our practice and our daily lives. They help us to get closer to the Divine.
Thanks to Lady Caer Morganna at The Wiccan Life, a really neat website. Used with permission.