Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seasonal Decorations...or so it seems.

After reading one blog, then a few other blogs and articles, I decided to add this one in, on the subject of 'alters' and tools or items upon them. I have been reading, practicing an teaching Pagan religious practices since 1993, and have come across many different alters and many unique tools within the practice and among the practitioners, both of religious and ceremonial in Pagan and Arcane lore. (No, I am not talking D&D, LARP or any other 'roll playing game') I am talking the varied traditions and practices of Nature worshiping religions and magical practice in 'true' form.
Shown here is a 'teaching alter' used in my classes on Pagan traditions. It is almost fully covered to show many items and prove a few points, as symmetry, balance of energy, flow of energy and representations of elements and Gods. This is obviously NOT a 'working' alter as it is too cluttered, but the layout carries the information of why we need to have balance in our works.

At home, our living room alter seems to be the place to focus a lot of our time and thoughts, and rightly so. It is a modest table that has acquired the various items of our beliefs and through out the year, subtle changes are made to it, almost unconsciously. We have noticed this, but only after friends have pointed out the changes that they have observed. Our Alter changes as the seasons declare, with items added and removed as the Sabbats come and go. Our home alter isn't one we actively 'work magic'  at, yet it is used by us to reflect the days work, meditate in front of about the goings on in our lives and commune with our Gods.

Currently, this is what is on our living room alter. Being after Lugnasadh and before Mabon, the transition is slowly showing the changes in types of energy and the direction of masculine to feminism in flow. Mind you that in our household, there are Druids, one Egyptian practitioner and an eclectic Pagan with Wiccan (Celtic and Norse) influences. So our living room alter reflects all these aspects, and we all share in it's decor.
  Each of us have certain Deity and or Pantheon that we serve and worship. So there is more than a few statues and imagery that symbolize those  for us. Also there are the collections that are sacred to us in our practice, gargoyles, dragons, fairy kind, and not to exclude our books, both ours we have written and those purchased to glean knowledge from. Actually, above the living room alter is the Fae Alter, dedicated to the wee folk that interact in our day to day living.
There we find peace in the fae, the elements revealed to us and our 'grandmotherly Fae Queen' looking about the room. She also represents one of our 'crones' in our lives and we address her often for insight and advise.
(And yes, we provide dish service to the tea set for them) Here is another simple alter that we find common among Pagan households, it appears more to be a simple shelf of collective items, but the is always more that the eye see's when it comes to Pagans in general. Through out the house, one will find staves in the corner along with a besom upstairs and one downstairs. All of our 'ritual' wear we keep hung up in the closets and separated from our mundane wear. There are items of antiquity and magic all about in our home, blending in with the bookshelves, the the cabinets and counters and along with the furniture, yet, even to our non-Pagan friends and family, it isn't overly Pagan nor sinister in appearance nor 'feel'. You are greeted at our house by more than a dog, or the slinking black cat, you are greeted by the whole house.
There are many things that we 'require' in our magical works, and on our sacred alters while preforming rituals, but many of us have these little home alters that we seldom see listed along side of those circle alters, shrines and magical or sacred spaces. I wanted to share that with you, and encourage you to think about the one(s) you might have set up, and regard them in the same manner of our grander or more public sacred spaces set aside for our Gods.

Well, I must go for now, animals to tend too and fae kind too. May the Gods look upon you with blessings, and may they keep you safe, as we keep their memories alive.

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