Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Friday, March 2, 2012

For the Files: Altars of Yore

Typical altar of yore (circa early 1990s).

I was working (finally) on my "Guru Board" (I still dislike that name) assignment for the Spiritual Nomads class. This required digging through old photographs in search of faces from my old clan. I happened upon a handful of altar photos which must have been taken around the time of my "Mushroom Revelation" discussed earlier. What crossed my mind was how much stuff I managed to cram onto my altars. How did I keep them dusted? (Especially with all that incense burning!)

Yule altar of yore.
If I look at the altar above, which was typical of the time, it is laden with all the "needful things," yet it was also akin to, if not the very altar which shattered my idea of altars during that shroomy adventure. A cursory inventory reveals (in no particular order) 3 incense burners, 1 scrying bowl, 1 offering bowl, 1 flute, 1 teeny-tiny tarot deck, 1 athame, 1 cord, 1 offering bowl, 1 offering tray, 1 partial stag horn, 1 bird skull, at least 3 "smudging" feathers, 1 drinking cup (aka"chalice"), 1 lump sea salt brought back from the Dead Sea, 2 candles in candlesticks, 1 candle snuffer & an abundance of rocks, minerals, seashells, pearls, dried plants, flowers & more... really? Well, I confess it was fun, but really? Is this what spirituality is about? 

I have an old friend who I once remember saying aloud as we strolled through the campus center, "Paganism (or perhaps he said "Wicca") is all about the toys." I believe (or at least I want to believe) that he meant that sarcastically, as a cynical commentary of the Pagan consumer culture, but I cannot be sure... my memory often fails me. Either way, it is a comment worthy of careful consideration.

I also found some funky old shots of group altars. Ironically, somehow these co-created altars always manage to have less stuff. I am saving a few of them here, "for the files." 

Bealtaine altar at festival retreat.

 Group altar for a gathering of a Circle of yore.

  Group altar for a gathering of a Circle of yore, including deity statuary.

My favourite is the Bealtine altar because it represents a simple, sincere, thoughtfully assembled collection of sacred items which represent a diverse group of people, all of whom were coming together with the common goal of celebrating the Old Gods in a spirit of unity & respect. Its energy still echoes across the years. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...