Talk:Altar cloth

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An altar cloth is not a concept unique to Wiccans or neopagans. The article should be renamed, expanded to include all common uses, or deleted. Fuzzypeg 01:38, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I did my best to update it, but I do admit a lack of working knowledge about Judaism and Islam, so this article is still very one-sided. I did expand it quite a bit and tried to correct some of the biased text. Farasha 01:56, 26 March 2006 (CST)

This article seems to be more in need of cleanup (AKA expansion), than copyediting. The grammar itself isn't that bad.Fisheromen 01:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I added a POV tag because the article still seems to lean heavily toward neo-pagan religions. (The colors, for example, are presented primarily in the context of Wicca.) Isn't there a Wikipedia rule that majority positions (religions like Christianity and Islam) should come before minority positions (like Wicca and possibly Judaism)?Grushenkaman 13:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The majority of the article seems devoted to colour symbolism (particularly from a magical perspective). Colour sympolism is not primarily (or even mainly) the domain of the altar-cloth. There are coloured candles, robes, cords, other tools, flowers, meditations, in fact, anything the heart could conceive of or the brain devise. So I suggest all the discussion of colour go somewhere else. I don't know where... Fuzzypeg 09:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I've just added in some references and some new material, specifically, Buddism, Judaism, other Christian denominations. Please feel free to change things you don't like. Baudoin 01:31, 19 July 2006 (UTC) 18 July 2006

Merge with Altar linens?[edit]

Any reason this page and Altar Linens shouldn't be merged? The Editrix 15:03, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I see no reason whatsoever. I would suggest that "Altar cloth" is the more common term, just from reading through the Altar Linens article where the term "cloth" is used several times. When doing the merge I would preferably do away with most of the "colour symbolism" section, which I find to be virtually without value. See my previous comments on this page for more info about this. Fuzzypeg 04:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any reason not to merge unless Altar Linens is a sacred term within the context of the Catholic church. Otherwise both usages can be taken care of here, and the non-capitalized term should be favored. -- nae'blis (talk) 16:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The articles have now been merged. It had been almost a month, with no objections at either article. We do need sources, however, badly. -- nae'blis (talk) 21:04, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


I've just removed the section on colour symbolism, which happened to be the last remaining section relating to Wicca or neopaganism. While colour symbolism is employed by many, there is no common tradition that mandates this. Basically, people have whatever colour, pattern, and material they feel looks nice or sets the right mood. Or else they just choose some nice piece of cloth that will look OK and prevent getting wax stains on the mahogany. Choices in terms of colour, material and form are made for any ritual tool or furnishing, just as they are in any other religion. I would suspect in fact that Wicca prescribes much less along these lines than most of the more organised religions.
What has probably happened here is that some (non-representative) author has published their own prescription of colours for altar-cloths, which has been repeated here. Many books purporting to be about Wicca present the author's own innovations more than any widespread or traditional Wiccan practice.
Now I'm not convinced that the altar-cloth is such an important item in Wicca or neopaganism that these religions need their own section. There are no widespread traditions surrounding it - it is not mentioned in any traditional writings. It is decorative and functional, and anything beyond that will come down to the ideosynchrasies of different working covens. Other tools have particular symbolic importance; the altar-cloth does not. Fuzzypeg 05:34, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I think we should have some mention of neopagan altar cloths, even if it's just to state that there's no standardized system, except for some rough color correspondances. A sourced statement would be best, perhaps from Cunningham's book for Solitaries? I think I gave mine away... -- nae'blis (talk) 19:34, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Statements about pre-Christian usage of cloths on altars would be nice as well, for context. I'll see if I can find anything on Roman/Egyptian systems...
Ok, looking at the article now, Wicca seems to be an afterthought-- I was shocked to read on the talk page that it began as a neopagan article! Even the Buddhists get a short section, why is EVERYTHING gone from wicca? Kuronue 19:33, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I know that this is a 6 year old thread, but the current Wicca section doesn't contribute anything to the article and is unsourced. I believe it should be deleted. Andrew (talk) 08:05, 30 December 2012 (UTC)


  • This image can be uploaded as it is under a free license; good example of a different decoration style
  • This image is also under a free license; example of offerings on a brightly-coloured cloth.

I noticed the article was sadly lacking in this respect... I'll leave the placement of images up to the people who are working on this page (as you will know more which are needed and where to place them than I) but I took the liberty of looking up some possibly helpful ones for you.

As these are generally images of the altars and not specifically the cloths upon them, they may need cropping to make them more useful for the article; just let me know which ones you'd like cropped and I'll take care of it for you. I can also upload the flickr images to Commons and post them here when done if they are at all useful. Cheers, — Editor at Large(speak) 01:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)