I am in a group on tumblr that does weekly focus questions and this weeks focus was Altars. loved the concept and decided that this is something I not only wanted to participate in, but also, something I could add to my book of shadows for information for myself, as well as information for whoever gets my Book in the future. I hope to do this once a year, giving me an idea of how I change from year to year.
- In the North I have a Deer skull and rib bone, and the skull and a few teeth of my cat and familiar, Faelynn, who I lost nearly a year ago.
- In the East I have a frosted bird candle holder which holds feathers of many sizes.
- In the South, I have two red candles, one apple cinnamon scented candle, one Candle from and elemental set with the words Fire and a small Asian coin/token; as well as one reddish orange inspiration candle, and a small snakeskin.
- In the North I have a large seashell, a smaller seashell, and a very small snail shell. It also holds a teeny tiny wooden bead and a large glass and metal tankard that is missing it’s lid.
Why have you chosen those items? There are quite a few reasons for what I have put up, put simply, because they represent the elements to me. The long answer, nothing goes on my altar without feeling right, no matter the reasons, for instance, before I put the deer rib on the altar, I had a few hip and vertebrae as well as leg bones. I decided on the rib for similar reasons for the skull. To me the skull represents earth (deer), as well as strong thought (Earth = body/strength, Skull = thought), the rib, to me signifies not only earth, but also body love (Earth = body/strength, rib = heart), which is something I have struggled with most of my life. Everything has some form of symbolism for me, as well as it’s regular symbolism.
Do you change your shrine to reflect your workings/the seasons?
Yes, my altar is changed for every season. For my Litha Altar, seasonal items are rose petals, lavender, a Gaia goddess statue, a silver sun, the gemstones, a glass of lemonade mead, Litha incense, and a yellow and orange candle holder/luminary that was made by a friend.
Think about how you would improve your altar and brainstorm some suggestions.
My altar is actually an old apothecary style table which is AWESOME. Unfortunately, the drawer is facing the right, which is where I store a lot of my studio stuff, making the drawer somewhat inconvenient. One of the things I plan to do is either get a larger apothecary table or cabinet to use as an altar, or, (much more likely) turn my altar so that it’s tall, rather than wide. I would also really like to get more altar cloths that correspond to the sabbats.
What challenges have you faced as you develop your altar?
I think the only challenges that have been faced came from one of my first altars which for some reason, people kept using as a table, sitting trash, food, or drinks on it, even after they were asked and even TOLD not to do so.
How has your shrine changed since you first set it up, if at all?
My altar has changed greatly not only since my first altar (which had a small glowing star, a stone, a feather, a dandle, and a small dish of water), but also my first altar in this house, which is when I began adding things that are less typical items and more things which hold some form of symbolism as well.