But I want to get into the nitty gritty of what an altar can really do for you and how I underwent a recent altar renaissance which has profoundly changed my outlook on this form of practice.
I use altars in three primary ways:
a) As a Sacred Space.This aspect is probably familiar enough to most people. I keep the altar clean and tidy, I may put offerings to various Deities in the space as a means of connecting with them but vitally I only place items on the altar which I actively WANT to have in the space. This means that when I stand before the altar and tune in to the sacredness of the space I am turning my thoughts towards the spiritual, and away from the mundane. It is one of the many ways I use to help me tune in to a more sacred mode of being and thinking from time to time.
b) A physical workbench for doing Magick.Because an altar is consecrated and sacred and therefore contains only those things I want in the space it is a perfect blank slate for performing acts of Magick. Nothing will be jarring in the space, physically or energetically and so nothing will interfere with the Magick in a way I do not desire. Equally doing Magick in this space feels (even more than usual) like I am bringing it to the attention of the Gods and the Universe. The Altar is a direct and powerful link with the spiritual realm (I’ll talk a bit more about this in later posts) and therefore when I do Magick on the Altar I am asking the Universe and the Gods to pay attention…be very careful about what you ask the Universe to pay attention to!
c) As a Second Brain.Finally, if I have an idea I want to mull over in my sub-conscious then I can put a representation of that on my altar. I will seethe object as I go about my business and it will be a reminder of the thing I want to connect with. I love this idea of a gentle sort of magickal act forming part of the background hum of my day but nevertheless slowly and quietly changing me. Examples of this might be a quotation or a tarot card; currently I have an old worn key on my altar as a precursor to some work I’ll be doing shortly.
But as I said before I recently changed my Altar set up. Since then how I use the Altar has radically changed and taken on a life of its own. Read all about it in the next post!