Jan 6, 2012

Altar your attitude

Today is the first of the Pagan Blog Project posts.. starting with the letter A.  I thought about a few topics but my line of thought kept coming back to altars. Even before there were established religions, people from all continents have, for thousands of years been constructing shrines, cairns and altars in caves, forests, fields and in their homes.. turning mundane and ordinary places into those that were both mystical and sacred. This is true in my own home..
When I first started walking a Pagan path, it was one of joy in each new discovery.. hearing the wind rustling the leaves in the trees, spoke to me like the voice of the Goddess, walking along the beach each crashing wave was like her heart beat.. while digging in the garden feeling the cool earth between my fingers I knew I was holding something special, there were age old secrets in that dark rich loam. The wind through my hair left me feeling more alive than I had remembered, like I had breathed in creation itself.. Feeling the sun on my skin left me energised, eyes closed I could feel the fire..standing imagining my spiritual roots going deep into the earth left me feeling centered and with a sense of being home.. and be it in the shower or even running water over my hands I could feel any negative emotion just washed away.. it was such a cleansing feeling.
I was and still am very drawn to the elements, and at the very start, I was led to create a "space" where they could be honored.. this was my first altar - dedicated to Earth, Air, Fire and Water.. my main altar is still set up to this, it changes as the wheel turns with a few things added that are important to me, things that I may find.. recently I found a wee birds egg shell unfortunately not so Sacred Temple Kitty stole it.. but I digress..
My sacred space and working altar in the family room..a place where a table is dedicated to the elements, incense is burnt here, candles are lit here, hands are clapped to music here, drumming happens here. This is my space; this is the area of the home from where energy flows to every corner. It is a place of grounding.

 I work with two Goddess's and have spaces in my home that are dedicated to them..  they have in essence turned into altars. One is for Hekate who is a triple Goddess representing Maiden, Mother and Crone. She is the Goddess of night, the crossroads, life and death, beginnings and endings...

Not all altars or sacred spaces have to be big.. this small tile beside my stove, holds a red candle, an amethyst and a small bunch of lavender to honour Hestia.. virgin Goddess of my hearth and home.
As the pagan wheel turns, we celebrate different sabbats, one of my favorites is Samhain - it is a time when we honour our ancestors and the ancients that have gone before..
While each altar we have looks different and is used for a different reason, there is one thing each does that is the same.. It can and will alter your attitude. A glance toward it, can change a negative thought to a positive one.. to gently touch it can leave your spirits uplifted.
There have been times when I have struggled with my faith, my spirituality. Times where l have lost sight of my own truth.. but one thing that helps bring me back to basics, is a place/space that I have created with a purpose.. it puts me in touch with deity, with my earth mother, with the essence of all things.. and importantly, with myself...


Julie (Calenth Brynaama Dragonsprite) said...

I loved reading your post and seeing your various altars - I too like to keep multiple altars. I was struck by your kitchen altar in particular as I've been looking for a way to place something in my own very small kitchen and yours sparked some ideas for me :)

Craft Goddess PJ said...

Wendy, I enjoyed your article very much and I look forward to getting to know you better during the coming year.

Michele Griffin said...

Loved this post! YOu have such lovely altars. They look so calm and peaceful!

The Faery Enchantress said...

Love your blog x

Dragonfly said...

Love your tour around your altars for the PBP. I really like the idea of your little kitchen tile altar and think I will see if I can do something similar.

J x

Dorothy L. Abrams said...

Lots of wisdom to mine here. I love the pictures as well as the words. Blessings.

Shamanic Winds said...

It's been sooo long since I've made an Altar for both mundane and magickal experiences -- and your picture with the Rocking Chair was what reached out to me once again in looking forward in building more altars around our house again! The closest one I do have is one I burn incense/smudge stick of Sage on for Cleansing the Hearth and Home and where on dreary days, I light a orange candle to help in 'bringing back the Sun/Light' in my life.

My fiance doesn't know it, but when he helped in creating a space to put photos of his grandparents and uncle (all of whom have passed away) and a statue, our Wolf lamp, and his Eagle statue that lights up -- when I was studying the herb Goldenrod, I put the first picked one of the season in a vase in the middle, and each time I pass by it when I need aide in his Ancestors in the help of making ourselves 'Whole' (that is one of the descriptions of Goldenrod, and I connect very fondly as well with this past concept of it making one whole!), I say a prayer or ask a simple blessing of his family to be with us during our trying times.

Blessings, and cannot wait to read more of your offerings here!!!

)O( Indigenous Shamanic Winds (Shami)

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