There are two main schools of thought regarding alignment of the altar. Those who follow a predominantly ceremonial path align their altars towards the East and the rising Sun. Others align their altars to the North, for several reasons. Some put forth the theory that "everything comes from the North," while others point out that maps are aligned towards the North, and magnetic lines runs towards the North and therefore the flow of energy around and/or through the ritual area will be more in harmony with nature.
Overtime, you altar will absorb the residual energy from your magickal working, becoming a storehouse of power from which you may draw at will.
When the moon is new, place a red candle in the center of the altar, let is be flanked by a bowl of spring water and one of fresh earth and before this burn incense. Around this neatly arrange symbols of the God and Goddess, your totem, Spirit Guide, Ancestors, etc.... Light the candle and incense as say:
In this right and ready hour,
I call upon the circle's power;
I invoke the Lord and Lady,
to stand at either side of me;
and the four elements I implore,
to come and work with me once more.
I now call forth from space and time,
those who share in my bloodline;
Fairies, totems & spirit guides,
cross ye now the great divide;
come to me who calls you near,
come to me and settle here.
Meld with the energy around you and channel this into your altar by placing your palms down on it and visualizing the energy entering the altar and it glowing in power. Say:
Powers that be, hear my rhyme,
heed the vision in my mind;
I ask that you now coalesce,
your energies here, this altar bless!
When you are done, thank the powers and end the ritual.