Milfoil  Milfoil is offline
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Milfoil 
Your Altar


I wonder if you can help me? Though I follow no specific religion, I strongly feel the need to set up an Altar in my home, somewhere to meditate, somewhere to bring my thanks and focus,

I really have no idea about where to start, what I should include or why. I have been reading a lot of information on the net but much of it relates to specific areas of worship (ie Bhuddist, pagan etc).

Can anyone help me by sharing their knowledge please?

Thankyou.

Millie
Top   #1
September Pixie's Avatar
September Pixie  September Pixie is offline
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September Pixie 

you may find this thread interesting
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...ighlight=altar
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If you don't have a particular belief system, then I would recommend thinking about what images or objects give you a sense of peace, inner strength, purpose, or love. An altar can do a lot for you without having a religious connotation. On the other hand, if you're searching for a belief system because you feel a need to connect with the infinite in a structured way, there are some websites you can explore that offer information on various beliefs.

Two that immediately come to mind are:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/

http://www.belief.net/

My own beliefs combine elements of many different traditions (Christianity, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Sufism, Paganism), combined with my own experience and what makes sense to me. A big part of my personal path is to allow myself to be open to changing my mind, at all times, when something ceases to make sense to me, or when something new that I learn is, over time, helpful, enlightening, or simply makes a lot of sense. I simply think of it as my "path with no name." I'm sure it seems wishy-washy to some people, but it works for me.

Nevada
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I've ordered many statues from this company (for myself and others):

http://www.sacredsource.com/

They have a large range of statues reflecting many different paths.
My altar is on a large bookshelf. The top two shelves consist of pictures of ancestors, including a framed piece of material from a dress that my grandmother wore in the Roaring 20's and a Japanese statue of a grandfather passing a flowering branch to his grandchild.
The next shelf contains several statues from different paths and religions. As an Omnist, they each remind me of a spiritual principle I want to incorporate in my life.
The next shelf is dedicated to the Earth Mother, and has a Gaia statue on it as well as things in nature I've collected -- a dried gourd, stones, shells, feathers, etc.
The bottom shelf is dedicated to my Grandmother Garrison and is my "crone" altar. It has several pictures of her, a rock with a labyrinth carved into it and a statue of the goddess of Willendorf. As a woman walking a fine line between motherhood and cronehood, this shelf has become increasingly more important to me.
Have fun with your altar, Milfoil!

Many Blessings,
Bodhran
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psychic sue  psychic sue is offline
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I don't follow any one reliion or path, but I have a little altar in my bedroom.

I used an old purple throwover for the altar cloth, and I got all my bits and pieces from the pound shop! I've got the usual earth/air/fire/water points. For Fire I use a purple candle, for air I use an oil burner, for water I have a little dish of sea-shells and for earth I have a few pebbles and crystals. My mom knitted me a centre cloth with a pentacle embroidered. I had a glass goblet (from pound shop) and a Buddah insence burner. I also have a small statuette of Bast and a statuette of a Native American (representing my spirit guides). I haven't got an Ceremonial Knife - as I don't do many spells and the ones I do use are mainly intent based. I also keep a little dish of salt on the altar in the earth area.

I also made my own wand - a fallen twig with an amethyst on the end, and decorated with silver wire.

My advice would be, don't have too much clutter on there. Just a few things that have personal meaning to you.

The whole lot probably cost me about 10 (7 Dollars?).

It is a lovely calming space - my cats often sleep on there.


Sue x
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BodhiSeed  BodhiSeed is offline
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BodhiSeed 

Psychic sue makes a good point -- an altar doesn't have to be big or cost a lot of money. My first altar (about twenty years ago when there were a lot more kids in the house) consisted of a bed/tea tray covered with a cloth crocheted by my grandmother, a candle, a tiny statue, and a book of meditations.

Many Blessings,
Bodhran
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We had a talkshow here on the telly where one of the recurring themes of the show was "altars". They would visit people's homes to look at their altars, it was really interesting as it could be anything where people could retreat to find a moment of rest: some people had a complete meditation room, others had a little shrine for a departed one or a collection of favourite objects.

I have a little space like that, although I don't call it my altar: as nature is very important to me, I collected some objects from the outdoors, together with a few small statues of birds and mushrooms, and candles. I can adapt according to taste and season, I also had a few tarot cards there once that have special meaning to me. It is very simple but just a little special spot for myself
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Your altar should be something that is meaningful to you and your beliefs, expressed in a casual way. It does not have to scream "HEY! I'M AN ALTAR!" to anyone who sees it; it can be very subtle. Whatever you choose to put on it is correct; no need to follow anyone else's choices.

I took an old low dresser and painted it in shades of dark blues and blacks and spattered it with silver to look like a night sky. I always had candle holders - three- one each with a sun, moon, and star motif, an incense holder, and an all-purpose altar cloth. Everything else changed with the mood, spell, or whatever was needed at the time.

I also had a HUGE mirror mounted on the wall behind it. Since I did spellwork I used my image to focus upon - quite unnerving the first few times when you work skyclad! Doing this also helped me deal with issues of body image and I learned to focus very well!

Near my altar was also 'port-a-witch', my case with different colored altar cloths, candles, and incenses so I could pull the appropriate articles when I needed them.

I know there is a picture of it somewhere - but I am packed to move. Perhaps others might want to post a picture of their personal altars?
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zorya  zorya is offline
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zorya 

i think some of the most effective meditation altars contain only one item, (often placed on a cloth).

using only one item is good for focus.

use whatever brings you serenity.

perhaps a lovely conch shell (loads of symbolism there) , or a perfect orchid or bonsai plant? do you like to meditate with a candle? perhaps a tabletop fountain?

you mentioned a place to give thanks as well as a meditation focus. maybe a bowl filled with seasonal items, that might be added like tokens for things you are thankful for. you might use things like pinecones, or stones. you might want to float flowers in water, during the summer.
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Milfoil  Milfoil is offline
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Milfoil 

Thankyou all so very much.

Thankyou September Pixie for the link to the other thread - you know, I searched the forum for a thread like that before posting this one but couldn't find it - so that was excellent.

Nevada - that is exactly how I feel, my beliefs don't easily fit into any single faith so I tend to learn and adopt from many areas, embracing those which make sense to me and well, work!

Everyone has made some very valid points and I will take them all on board. I would love to see images of other peoples 'special places', I particularly liked the images which were posted on the other thread, it help you to see that everyone chooses differently and an altar becomes unique to the individual.

My problem (well, its not such a problem really) is that I don't have anywhere in particular that I feel comfortable to meditate other than our lounge! I simply can't have a permanent altar in there since there simply isn't anywhere to establish one. We don't have a mantle piece (hole in the wall fire) and the book shelf is full+++!

The idea I have been working on, which tarotbear hints at with the Port-a-witch (LOL I love that phrase) is to buy or make a small cabinet with two doors and a couple of shelves inside to store my precious things. When I want to meditate or use the altar, I can get this little cabinet out, cover the top with a cloth and the items I feel are most appropriate for the time and use it - well, anywhere! It won't interfere with my family or their use of our home and it will be a small & sacred object in its own right.

So far my special objects for the Altar are my favourite tarot deck, a candle, an incence burner, a shell and a crystal. As you all say, keep it simple - I dare say I'm doing just that.

I promise, when I manage to find my little cabinet, I will post a photo of it to show you all.

Thankyou again so much and please do keep posting your thoughts.
Top   #10
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