Antara’s AltarWorks journey part 1. - The Witches Table
Antara's Altar
Altars are common in so many faiths around the world in both halls of worship and homes. They can be both temporary and permanent but in all cases there are multiple layers of meaning, enlightenment and empowerment within the form.  At its most basic level it is a surface which provides a focus point for religious worship (and magickal acts) on which can be placed a number of objects with religious significance, such as offerings and ritual tools.  It is a sacred place consecrated and dedicated; but the many uses of the Alar are wildly and gloriously divergent according to faith, culture and personal practice. Some faiths are proscriptive about what should (and should not) be on the altar – others like Eclectic Paganism are totally freeform. 

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!

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