Altars, a Magickal Portal

Dear Reader: Welcome back! Another installment of your magickal newsletter has finally arrived. I am excited to be be back ready for another year of magickal blogging. Spring is here, Earth is awakening from the long Winter slumber, and that energy that permeates through the soil and plants seems to transfer to us humans as well. We feel the urge to purge home and selves of negative and stale energy collected throughout the Winter season.

I have several topics already lined up for the weeks to come, I think the following topic is a good one to kick-start this year’s blog. Let us begin!

The subject for this week’s post is Altars. Their uses and how to enhance, or set up one for spiritual work.

Altars have been in use since the early civilizations.  Although it has been suggested that they go as far back as the Paleolithic Age, there is no actual sustained evidence as to this. But! It is from Paleolithic Age that, the connection to our ancestors to help in daily life, which was survival and hunting for them, had its beginning. From there further along our human history, other cultures began to make the connection between ancestor worship and setting up “special” places (altars) to connect directly to their essence.

Fast forward to the modern times, and the idea of altars in the home has been infused into our “subconscious collective” to the point that without conscious thought, we create little islands of special knickknacks, pictures etc. around ourselves.

For example, a wall in your home, which is dedicated to family pictures, is an outward need to honor those who are part of our blood “tribe.” It is a way of expressing the love we have for them, whether they are alive or not. Far away or nearby.  This, we may do unconsciously. Without a thought that what we are doing, is honoring our roots, our family.

Knowing that there is intent behind the action, brings a different layer to those special places in the home we choose to set up as an altar. There is no set or fast rule as to how many altars we should have. After all, spiritual needs vary, we are not only confined to let’s say an altar for love matters. We can have a different one in several corners of our home. Or just have a general one. Which we change according to the magickal work. We can even set up altars according to the compass points and follow the Feng Shui school of thought.

We can also have seasonal altars. Changing the theme to suit the current seasonal months. The creative has no limits really. It is up to us, to figure out, what is it we want to accomplish by setting up an altar. So, taking this into account, what are the themes and items utilized for setting up an altar?

A general list of items:

  • Statues or pictures of a deity or representation of Goddess/God, etc. In the case of let’s say, a representation of the Goddess, small knickknacks of butterflies,  fresh flowers, or a picture that to you represents Her energy for example.
  • Candles. Candle holders.
  • Incense holder, for when you burn your incense. Or incense sticks all ready for next time you activate the altar’s energies.
  • Water in a pretty cup, which is only used for the purpose of a blessing extension of your altar.
  • Crystal/Tumbled stones either in groups on small plates or one per each corner of the altar.
  • What I call a “request” vehicle. This can be a plate, a bowl, even a pretty planter which its used for petition papers or small items that might be found on walks. Like small feathers, sticks, leaves, stones etc.
  • You can choose to have a bare surface or place an altar cloth. Altar cloths can be made if you are crafty, washed with blessing herbs (by hand is better the first time if you are using herbs). Then after drying, you could iron it, spray with a blessing blend before its placed on the altar. Or you can just buy something that calls your whimsy and still go through the same blessings process.
  • Also, items that hold a special significance for you. This varies from person to person. Go with what feels right in your heart.
  • Flowers. Fresh flowers are best. You do not have to have flowers each day of the week, but whenever you can, or when working your magick! It is not necessary to break the bank to accomplish this part. Flowers from your garden, no matter how small. Even herbs that flower, like for example Lavender or Basil, Rosemary etc. Or from the supermarket. You can find low prices for a small bunch of pretty flowers.

As I mentioned before, you can make it seasonal and add items that represent the season, like seashells for the summer season or leaves to represent Autumn.  Or for example, it can be like the picture to your right, a one-time altar. A temporary Altar set-up which you will use for a special petition.

 

The following are a couple of examples of the altar setups:

The one below was provided by a lovely friend of mine. This is how her altar looks most of the time. She changes according to the season. In the example below, she wanted a representation of Spring, thus the ladybug teapot and the flower petals around her petition candle. As you see, through the items around the centerpiece, she reflects and engages her belief in the magick created in her special place.

Personal altar

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Solstice Garden Altar

 

This is a temporary garden altar I put up a couple of years back. It was used for a Summer solstice ritual.  As a conduit of the magickal work for that specific day. It created a connection between the beginning work and the way I chose to close it. After several hours it was dismantled and brought it inside the home.

 

If you are into gardening and love all things nature, then an altar in a corner of your garden, can be constructed or set up an as a special place to connect more directly to mother Earth. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.

After all, altars, are a personal expression and extension of your spiritual life, practice, and creativity. Each unique and special. There are plenty more ideas which you can incorporate into it.

The above are only suggestions and basic tools for the setup.

The most important thing is that it is created with a deep understanding of your spiritual needs. Knowing that what you are creating is a connection to Goddess, Universe, etc. A place where you spark your whimsy, rest your worries, heal, and let your soul soar from a place rooted in love and belief.

I hope, that with this post I am leaving something, a little nugget of re-discovery.  Something that engages your imagination. Which in turn will spark your personal passion and transform your quest of all magickal.

Thank you for being part of this magickal blog!

Until I write again,

*M*

Copyright© 2018-Witch’s Gazette-Magickal Newsletter

First Publication: 2014

A Flower Power House Publication.

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system is now known to be invented, without permission in working with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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Magickal Remains

Dear Reader: Happy Earth Day! Welcome back to another post in this your magickal gazette. I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend as well as (and hopefully) nice weather in your part of the world.

Today’s topic dear reader, is one I have been putting off, but I think it is time I post it. Enjoy!

Magickal Remains. What to do after the magick its done, the candles and assorted magickal tools are spent and all that we have left is the “remains” as witness to our spiritual work.

Candles is the first on the list. Some people believe that burying wax would be the appropriate thing to do. Others feel that the wax that was left over from the candle should be kept in place on their altars or chosen place for burning candles until their spiritual work manifests.

The reality of candles used as a conduit of the personal petition,  it’s that once the candle is burnt, the wish has gone into the realm of Goddess/Universal Spirit, taking with it your faith in the outcome. Once there, the work to be done its theirs. (Here I have to add, that magick without physical efforts fizzles out or does not materialize) The manifestation is in process and the physical vessel has done its job, therefore obsolete.  The hardened wax is collected and placed in a brown paper bag. The ones for sandwiches are perfect. (but if you are out of any brown bags, then any small plastic bag is ok if nothing else is available) I do have to add this too: If the work is one for un-hexing, or strong protection, etc, then add a bit of salt to the bag. For added protection. Once you do that, dispose of it in the collective trash bins (if you live in an apartment complex) or the outside trash bin of your home. That is all.

Other magickal paraphernalia, will be disposed of as well. Easier with natural conduits of magick, as for example water, salt. Water and salt will be disposed of, through your kitchen drain or bathroom. Just run some water from the faucet while you dispose of both.

The incense ashes are disposed of in your trash can. If you have used powdered incense burnt on the instant charcoal tables, then make sure that it is all spent and cold before disposing of it. Same for incense cones and incense sticks. All goes into the trash.

If you have a favorite dish for your candles, and like to re-use for all your magickal work, then a good cleaning is called for. Once is cleaned, spray the dish with a bit of your blessing water/blend etc. This helps to cleanse the vibrational level and makes it ready for the next time you need to use it.

Lovely yellow flowers

If you had flowers on your altar that were specially for your work, let them stay until they dry up. Once that happens dispose of them right away. Do not keep a dry petal of leaf. Just throw them out.

Quartz, stones etc. These depending of the work can be kept or disposed of. Some tumbled stones can be disposed of into the earth (garden or potted plants/flowers) if, that is that the work calls for. Some of the stones can be carried with you, in your purse, your pocket, a charm etc. Until you see the work manifested. Then you either keep them or dispose of them. Otherwise, they are cleansed properly, i.e. Placed on a windowsill to be cleansed with sunlight. Or placed in a dish with some salt, so that the salt absorbs whatever energies it has collected. If you have chosen to place them in water to be cleansed, make sure it is practical to do so. Some quartz, cannot be cleansed this way as they dissolve. Research your type of stone and how to cleanse them properly.

Altar cloth. If you have one in particular that is used often, then hand wash (if small enough) or throw in the washer if too big. Add a bit of blessed water together with your laundry detergent. To not only clean in the physical but as well as in the spiritual. You can also, once is dry, prepare by ironing your altar cloth and spray with lavender blessed water or rose-water etc. This way, you infuse your cloth lovely magickal power.

If you use wands, bells, chimes etc. Cleanse these as well. Pass some incense around them and/or spray them as well with your blessed water after each spiritual work.

Altar, or place/space where you conduct magickal work the most in your home. This is the center of your spiritual work. Where it all happens! This has to be cleansed at the least twice per month or if you constantly conduct magickal work, then weekly is best.

Don’t dwell on the fact that you are disposing of items used for magick once you are done with them. Don’t think your wish won’t manifest just because you did not hold on to it, until the magick manifested. As you already know, or should know if you don’t yet. All things that have no further use and left sitting on a place, corner, surface etc. collect all sorts of energies over time. It is best to clean the space and clear the vibes.

Once the connection is made from the physical world we live in to the Universal flow of magic, then the tool has served its purpose. We give thanks to Earth and elements for having played a part in the ritual. Whether formal or informal. We now this is but the beginning, and the work in the physical is barely started as faith is powered by the action/s we take, with the knowledge that what we ask for will manifest in one way or another.

It is important to keep our altar, physical tools and vibrational level in optimum condition. By keeping magickal items in one place, organized and ready for next time we need them, we can concentrate and focus on what is important: Our magickal work.

Keep in mind that the important thing is not to lose yourself in the details. It is energy for magick after all, you are garnishing for your outcome. Go with the flow!

Until I write again,

*M*

Copyright© 2017-Witch’s Gazette-Magickal Newsletter

First Publication: 2014

A Flower Power House Publication.

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy,recording or any information storage and retrieval system now known to be invented, without permission in working with the publisher. All rights reserved.