April 23, 2017

DIY Satanic Altar

I'm keeping the bulk of the commentary for the video embedded above, so if you want to hear the long version, then watch the video! What you see below is some of the step by step that I followed to build it.

What you see below are 1.5" PVC tubes that I purchased at the local hardware store. You can cut the tubes to whatever length you like, but for my preference I cut nine tubes at 4" each, and two tubes at 9" each. I like to include recitation of the Nine Satanic Statements in my ritual, I light one of those red candles for each of the statements that I read. 

So after I got the tubes cut, I painted them. Black spray paint for my black candle, white spray paint for my white candle, and cherry red for my nine red candles. If you're curious, it took me three coats of paint to get solid white and red. The PVC tubes are black, and the color carried through quite a bit.

The next step in building this altar was to prepare the PVC tubes for candles. Take a look at this close-up - see that? There's a recessed shelf 1/2" below the top edge of the PVC tube. This is so that I can place a 1/2" tall, 1.5" wide tea light into this place. Since I view ritual and greater magic as theater and dramatic expression of my desires, it's not important to me if I'm using candles that are fully composed of the appropriate color wax.  

This is all set-design and costuming. Granted, there are aesthetic qualities derived from real candles that are made from fully dyed wax, but I consider them to be nothing more than visual aids and stage props. Because candles are expensive, I designed this altar piece to use tea lights which are much cheaper. Kudos to the people who build elaborate ritual spaces and utterly decadent altars, but what can I say? I'm working on a budget here, people.

Now, making these recessed shelves was actually the hardest part of the project. My first attempt was to use expanding foam. I figured that I could fill the tubes up with expanding foam, let it dry, and then carve a shelf to exactly where I wanted it, but the thing I discovered about expanding foam is that even if I fill the PVC tube entirely, it expands outward and leaves a hollow cavity in the center. That just didn't work. So the next thing I figured was to cut up an old yoga mat into strips that measured exactly 3.5" tall and just long enough to roll into 1.5" diameter cigars. I glued these to the inside of the tubes, et voila - a perfectly level insert. The last step to making this shelf was to cut cardboard disks at 1.5" wide and glue them on top of the inserted yoga mat cigar.

After I had completed all those steps, I used a clear-coat lacquer to seal the work I'd done. Not only because this is going to protect the paint from eroding, but also because it just plain looks nice. Ain't it shiny? Once all the PVC tubes had been painted, shelved, and lacquered, I fixed them to my altar base. This is a piece of #2 pine board, and as it happens a scrap left over from home renovations. It got the same treatment as the PVC tubes - multiple coats of paint and a coat of lacquer - the only difference is that it also got sanded smooth and got some feet glued onto the corners so it sits about 1/4" off the table. This is necessary because if it sat flush against the table, it'd be quite difficult to pick up and move. And let me tell you - having two kids running around the house provides great motivation to create an altar that's easily movable at a moment's notice.

The final construction step was to glue the faux candles onto the base. For this, I used Weldbond - it's my preference because it goes on thick, doesn't run, has a very fast initial set, dries clear, and is fucking invincible when it's dry. Not to mention that it's non-toxic, doesn't create any fumes, and is remarkably easy to clean up. This might not be something you ever thought about, but again - with two kids running around the house - it's something that I think about.

This altar piece goes along with my goat idol (which I got for a steal on eBay), a black sheet upon which my artsy wife helped me paint an inverted pentagram, and some other accouterments (such as my Tarot cards, a bell, a chalice, scythe, Satanic Bible, etc.)

Do you do any DIY altar projects? Share in the comments below!