My Altars and Spiritual Path – Migrated 03/26/2014

My altar is where I pray, give thanks, meditate, and celebrate solitary holidays. Having my own sacred space is quite important to me as it helps balance the sometimes hectic nature of life in the city with a daily reminder of faith. My altar is a unique space in my life where all mundane thoughts are set aside. Think of it a spiritual focus point, a gathering of seemingly ‘ordinary’ objects that as a collection, gather more meaning the more I use them.

My first altar came together quite slowly as many pieces were hand made. I like to build my own tools and representations. I find that I don’t have the same intimate connection to items bought in a shop. I don’t find, say, store-bought images of a goddess to be inferior in any way, but I do feel that a hand painted version will hold more meaning to me.

I was never fully happy with this idea, but it fit at the time.
I miss that altar in many ways. How open and light it was for example. But it was fairly cookie-cutter in some ways. The pentacle in the center for instance managed to stay the focus point on my altar for many months even though I have never felt a strong connection to it. I placed it there because at the time, I was almost exclusively practicing wiccan/goddess spirituality, and that was what I felt I ‘had’ to have as a center piece. That said, I was very happy with my ‘by the book’ altar. It only changed because I moved, and an old fashioned tv cabinet became it’s new home. For a while, it remained unchanged, but I wasn’t happy with space the cabinet made. It was so tall and there was nothing filling the space.
Enter altar 2.5. The round tree section was perfect for the heavy feel of winter. I spent some time working with rune meditations and wood featured in a lot of my projects at the time. But with the spring came change. I did away with the starkness and back came the altar cloth. It also became less structured and a little bit more intuitive.

My most recent spring altar.
The change and growth of my altar is in many ways, a reflection of the changes made along my path. As I let go of my own preconceived ideas of what my spirituality should look like to others (who couldn’t see the altar anyways), it became easier for me to progress. Removing the pentacle from my altar let me reevaluate which path I was actually on. Was I wanting to stay within what I defined as Wiccan, or should I branch out? How could I include my important Jewish lineage? Did I need to choose at all? Ask yourself a truly honest question and you will find that it is answered, though not always how you think.
My world is filled with spirit, I see life and nature as being sacred and infused with spirit. The elements are essential parts of this world, For me, there is both female and male deity, not one catch-all. For the past few months, when asked, I simply say, “I’m pagan.” it fits, so I leave it at that. I don’t need to pick a sub-category. I am happy that my place of worship and self refection is no longer laid out by my ideas of what it ‘should be’, but rather how my spirit says it should. I am happy that my path feels free again, and I am happy to be able to say that. For the moment, this is true to me, to how I view my own spirituality. At the end of the day, that is the whole point.

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