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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Witch’s Gazette – Magickal Newsletter Pub XXI

Victorian_woman_at_writing_desk-228x221Dear Reader: Hello and welcome to this latest installment of your  magickal newsletter. I hope every one is enjoying the season of Spring. Without further ado, lets delve into the:

CURRENT EVENTS: Spring sings to me every morning through my window. Nature is speaking out loud now, so we can hear its voice, through the singing of the birds, and the rustling sound leaves make when the wind dances through the trees branches. Spring explodes not only with the beauty of nature awaking from slumber, but with it own kind of music.

Music has been since time immemorial, an important part of the human experience. It has the capacity to change a mood, whatever the piece being played and the state of mind of the person listening to it.

Music resonates in our hearts,  and reverberates through the soul. Each melody is felt differently by each individual. What’s important is that it helps us transcend a moment, a situation, a mood.  Spiritually it is a powerful tool that aids in meditation, healing, spell work. In life, it inspires us, it can be a muse, that enters our senses and sparks the imagination. I say dear reader, let there always be music. It brings us closer as people of this earth, and it awakens our senses to the human riddle of who we really are.

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“Music is the language of the Spirit. It opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife” Kahlil Gibran

CRYSTAL BALL: A PEEK AT THE WEEK:

This week, exactly on Wednesday April 8th the Jupiter Retrograde ends at 9:57 a.m. PST.  The five month retrograde is over, and financial matters and plans start to move forward. Jupiter that expansive planet, gives a jolt of confidence, which heralds better times for the economy worldwide. This is the time to continue with whatever projects we have and march forward with assurance that hard work pays up, but its sweeter when Jupiter’s energies are lending a hand.

Crystal Ball-Peek@theWeek
Crystal Ball-Peek@theWeek

On Thursday April 9th at 9:00 p.m. PST. The Sun in Aries will conjunct Mercury/Aries. These two combined gives a push in the right direction to anything connected in the areas of communication, commerce, travel.

Then on Saturday April 11th at 8:28 a.m. PST. Venus enters Gemini. This combo also helps matters to continue moving forward. Gemini is a mutable air sign. It  likes to try new things that are out of the ordinary. With Mercury as the ruler of this sign, there is constant move and with Venus, the planet that likes to please, there is sure to be an influence of “what the heck, I deserve a change” sort of mood. Just remember, whatever decision you make during the four weeks their energies will be in effect, will leave an aftermath in its wake.

peacelove

With life pulling me into a new direction, one that I have postponed traveling for a long time, it creates a desire in me of also pull this newsletter to new territory, new borders. My mind is already twirling ideas as to what these new changes will be for the Witch’s Gazette.

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone that has been a part of this experience. Thank you for taking the time to read through each post. I hope a brought a bit of laughter or smiles into your life, that I made you think with some of the subjects I wrote about in this newsletter. I hope as well, that I am leaving a sense of wonder, a sense of wanting to extend your wings and fly even further, to find your own sense of freedom, and expand your mind.

Until I write again.. blessed you be!♥

M.

Copyright © 2015 by M

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.

Vernal Equinox ~ Ostara~

Spring!
Spring!

March 20th – Vernal Equinox – First day of Spring! Moon enters Aries.

Finally the first day of Spring its here in all its glory – goodbye Winter blues, hello flowers  and beautiful gardens!

Like the flowers and animals around us, we  are once more awakening in a sense from winter’s slumber. Now we are ready to enjoy the brand new energies of this new season.

In ancient times, this day of equal light and darkness  was called Eostar or Ostara. This season of rebirth was the predecessor to the Christian holy day Easter.  According to lore back then eggs were eaten to promote prosperity and fertility. Eggs which are a symbol of life, and creativity, were  used as gifts to be exchanged and were colored yellow and gold, then given out as gifts or used in ritual in honor of the Sun and fecundity deities. The custom of coloring eggs has survived through the centuries. We can use organic coloring instead of store-bought coloring (like beet juice, grape juice, green tea, onion leaves etc.)

Spring brings out the natural urges of going with the flow and give our homes a deep cleaning, letting out the winter energies that have been shut in with us during that season, opening windows, cleansing not only in the physical but also spiritually.

An excellent time as well, to tackle those closets, put away winter items, prepare a box for things to be donated, decluter and organize!  A perfect time to clean out ritual tools, give a good cleaning to our Altars, get rid of old candles, clean out the old wax from candle holders, mop our floors with a good magickal herbal blend to chase away the blues. After all that hard work :=) we can relax and chill in a nice purifying bath of an herb of choice (marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, are a few good herbs to choose from) to help renew tired auras and worn out souls. If you want to take it yet one step further, you can after your cleansing bath, enjoy a nice cup of green tea, sweetened with honey! yum! Green tea is excellent for our body and mind.

I think the biggest challenge now that the season of Spring it’s here,  is to not overwhelm ourselves with a big “to do” list and at the end get frustrated at the rate of accomplishing those things on the list. After all try to keep in mind that all those things that got mysteriously tangled in the closet, the extra paper clips that seemed to have multiplied in your desk, and the cobwebs in dark corners of your home, did not materialize there in one day.  It is best to tackle one task at a time, do it well, feel a sense of accomplishment for having it done. This will leave you more relaxed and able to enjoy the brilliant colors that come out of earth through beautiful flowers, enjoy the weather, look up and see the brilliant sky and maybe get a show of birds flying by getting material for their nests.. or one where birds are fighting  for a certain  mate.. aah! nature!  it does have a sense of humor  :=)

Happy Spring & BB!

*M*