Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Altar

Although I have had altars within my home in the past, I currently don’t have one. I was just too busy to have one and deal with the upkeep of one. The upkeep, you might ask? I don’t think you should erect an altar to be static, something that never changes.

I admit that I do not consider myself Pagan. (See my first post in May.) So why have I had altars in the past? I find it necessary to have a corner to dedicate to the creation of ideas. Paganism is not the only religion that includes the use of altars; it’s just more common to find them in one’s home because of the lack of a public center of worship. But I don’t think altars are only about a place to worship or contemplate your chosen religion.

To me an altar is place of reflection, a place that you have to work out your most inner thoughts, a place to connect with the divine, and a extension of ones self. A part of myself goes into the creation and maintenance of an altar and therefore to be an effective place of study, it’s needs to be ever changing.

Within my study of paganism, my awareness of my lack of place to concentrate on the above has brought me around to an interest in creating another altar. Coincidently, or maybe not, I have found the inspiration to start my altar again. Being a “poor college student” (ugh! 1 ½ years undergrad and 6-7 years grad school left to go!), I don’t have the money to burn on new “things” to add to my altar.

A few days ago, while my family was visiting me, my mom found a small end table in the garbage at my apartment. She convinced me that I could fix it, clean it up and put it to use. Well, after sitting in the middle of my living room for a few days, I have now found a use for it. It suddenly hit me that I could use it as my place of reflection. I have a feeling that this was not the intended use my mom was thinking about!

As I am not one to throw a few things on a table and call it an altar, it will be evolving over the next weeks and months. Currently, it has been fixed up (no more loose screws) and cleaned and now has a white cloth draped over it. Again, as I don’t have much money to “create” one, I will be using objects that I find that fit my current mood and train of thought for the moment.

A recommended book on the subject of altars:

Altars: Bringing Sacred Shrines into Your Everyday Life by Denise Linn


pandoraz_boxx said...

When I first started studying the Craft, I thought I had to have all the right "stuff" for my altar. But as time has progressed, my altar has become more and more simple. I've also started using more natural objects (stones, pinecones, moss, fruit, etc.)on my altar. The candle is the only "must" for my altar, because it gives my space life.

Sojourner said...

I agree that candles are a must on an alter as well.

Lady Mouse Witch said...

I myself am a pagan follower. Have been for 3 years. You talk a lot about reflextion... I would personally put some crystals and gems... quarts are VERY good... Crystals are great for the fact that you can hold one and think about anything and if you wish to not think about it again you can always push your thoughts onto the crystal and they will hold them... I myself have done this many time just to get rid of negative thoughts... Pandoraz_Boxx is right Candles are a big must... I would personally suggest putting white or silver(fake of corse) in your space. white is great for peace... I would suggest, if your not a white person, to look up Magical Color Meanings and read around.