Monday, January 9, 2012

(Family) Altar

Our altar is placed in the kitchen; for everyone to see. It's a match of pagan altar and nature's table (from the Waldorf pedagogy). It always reflects what's going outdoor as the Wheel turns. Below is our altar as of now, between Yule and Imbolc.

I never do a by-the-book altar...I don't even own an athamé. Water is represented with seashell and Earth with sand, nuts and even a heart-shaped potato instead of salt. I do have a wax pentacle... I was cleaning one lantern from all the melt wax and a nice thick circle of wax formed, I took the occasion. I include figurines that represent the season, as well as children books for my daughter. She was very thrilled when I introduced the evergreen shaped candle in the beginning of December, telling her we'll light it when there will be snow!

I like how it's not in-you-face but more of a subtle way to decorate for the season. I let my children play with the figurines I put, and actually try the change the scene often to keep them thrilled and interested. As Imbolc comes I will take out the snowdrop fairy I made last year and put their wooden lambs toy on our altar. My daughter is 3 year old now so I'm slowly starting to explain her some things. So for Imbolc I want to explain her how Mother Earth is slowly growing all the flowers and greens in her tummy, so that when snow is gone (usually after Ostara) they will come out of the Earth. I want that to reflect in our altar, and keep it simple for a 3 year old to understand.

This altar is to create for my family something that I quite lacked of as a kid: A sense of Magic, Respect for the Earth, and Celebration of Life.

Kitchen windowsill altar

My simple windowsill altar consist of herbs that do me the favour of not dying after 2 weeks, an oil dispensers with my favourite oil of the moment, lanterns, an offering bowl in which I put pinches of salt and herbs as I prepare the meals, and my tiny red cauldron filled with crystals, stones and matches. (the toothbrush is for washing know...). It doesn't really look like an altar at all, but I know it, so that's what's counting. My offering bowl invites me to stop and be thankful and grateful for what I have. The simple lanterns are so welcomed when it's already dark at 4pm, the time I usually cook. They are simple gestures that makes a routine magical and the sight of all my little witchy thing just makes me happy.

What does the letter A inspires you?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful altars! We have yet to create a family altar, only because I have no idea where to set one up yet (think I need to do a bit of rearranging). I never thought to use the window sill for a kitchen altar. That's a really great idea!