Although there is no one right way or wrong way to lay out or set up an altar within your circle most people like to have some idea of where to start. Once you feel more accomplished or practiced you can go with what feels right for you. Very often what gets put on an altar depends very much on the size of the altar itself. It will not be detrimental to your magick if you do not have everything you would like on it.
This particular set-up is based on the elements and their associated directions and tools. As can be seen from the diagram to the right, the altar is split into four directions – north, south, east and west.
Ritual tools for use within circle rituals are then placed upon the altar with whatever elemental and directional correspondence is applicable.
This layout takes more room than some so if you are very tight for space, i.e. your altar is very small, then this set-up may not be appropriate for you. The number of items could be slimmed down though if the basic layout itself appeals to you.