ADF Dedicant Path: Home Shrine Revisited (Essay Prep.)
Behold, the evolution of my altar:
As you can see, my altar has undergone a few changes since I first set it up. I’m still trying to keep the arrangement simple, although the over all look is definitely cozier than before.
I changed the candle style twice. The first candles were tea lights that were too short to be easily and safely lit within their wood holders. I replaced them with taller candles and discovered the hard way that different types of candles have different names for a reason. A votive candle != a pillar candle no matter how similar I think they look (#^^#). I briefly lamented my candle situation and thought that I’d have to do away with my beautiful holders. Fortunately, I discovered extended burn tea lights which are twice the size of the standard ones. Easy to light and the wax pool stays where it belongs.
The first offering bowl, pretty as it was, had to go because it became terribly discolored from holding water. I only ever used it for water offerings since that’s what I did my first rituals with. I replaced it with one, then two pretty tea cups – two for larger rituals which require more offerings.
I moved the incense burner off the altar because I ended up rarely offering incense. I tried in the beginning, but got the feeling that the Kindreds didn’t care much for the same incense as I. It now sits off to the side for personal use.
I also added several items. First, the pendulum I use for clarifying my omen interpretations, then a devotional mini Mala for Fréo, one of my patrons. And yes, i’ve decided to start using the term “patron” openly and comfortably. If I might go off on a tangent for a moment here…
Over the course of my time spent with ADF, I was at first eager to find a patron, then hesitant, then open to the idea but not in a hurry. My biggest issue was the general pagan-community’s understanding of a patron. Most of the accounts I read come across as much more of a serious priest(ess) type of relationship that what I was looking for. Outside of deity relationships, a patron is simply a person who supports, endorses, and/or protects another. Before getting too involved in the online pagan community, a patron deity to me was one who could and would offer guidance, wisdom, protection to an individual follower or community. A patron could be a deity that rules over one’s own line of work or one who has specific relevant teachings for an individual, whether temporarily or for a lifetime. But then I mingled with pagans online and realized that everyone else with a patron had made a serious oath-type commitment and was in über solemn service to that deity. I held back calling my patrons what they were for fear of ridicule online. But you know what? I’m so over that. Oh boy am I over that. Yes, there are many things I will keep private about my spiritual experiences because they are necessarily private, but I’m not going to be intimidated out of publicly expressing the non-private just because paganism is turning into a dogmatic-path-in-denial.
When I call on the Deities as part of my general invitation to the Kindreds, I say, “I call out the the Shining ones, my Matrons and my Patrons…” Because thats what they are. They are the small handful of deities out of hundreds, thousands of others who have expressed particular interest in my life and well-being. If that’s not what a patron is, then go ahead, call me a fool. But I do what I want. There are three of my seven patrons who are especially close to me: Fréo, Thunor, and Mona. I expect these three to be life long patrons. The others, Frige, Hretha, Woden, and Hel, may or may not be with me for life, but that doesn’t make them any less my patrons at this time.
Well, anyway, getting back on track now…
Because I have yet to put up shelves for individual deities, I want my current altar to have symbolic representations of my primary patrons. This is why I keep Fréo’s mala there. The altar itself is oak, and some of you may recall, I chose oak especially to represent Thunor. He was the very first deity in my life and my current gatekeeper. Speaking of oak, aaaah!! I’m so excited!! Guess what I got?? I got a baby oak tree for my front yard. I named him Atlas. Look at him, look how pretty he is:
Don’t worry, he has been properly supported since taking this picture. Yes, I know, the irony that “Atlas” should need support 😉
The dark blue ritual cord is for both Mona and the Star Goddess. The latter not a personal deity by any means, but she is the original source of ~all the things~ and if that is not reason enough, I have several more personaly relevant reasons for representing her there.
I keep other devotional items off to the side and place them on the altar only on the days I honor the particular deity associated with them.
Lastly, I added some crystals around the well. No particular reason except that I like how they look there.
I’m pretty happy with my altar the way it is now. I thought I might like to change the arrangement of the fire, well, and tree, but experience so far has led me to decide the current configuration is best.
Completely off-topic random info dump – because there are too many exciting things to share and not enough places to sneak them in above 😉
I got to learn how to make mead yesterday. \(^^)/
One of my Grove’s members is an expert brewer and has won some awards too. He led a mead-making meetup yesterday wherein we learned some basic techniques and started a five gallon batch for future Grove use. We got to sample several of his current selections. And oh my word, let me tell you, his lemon mead was possibly the best tasting anything I’ve ever had.
In other exciting news, I’m going to a goth prom on the 28th. Denver’s first annual goth prom. So so so excited. I have an awesome outfit and I got it in for alterations just in time.
And even more exciting goth-related news. VNV nation will be here in October and I am going. I saw them years ago in Atlanta when they were touring with And One. I love VNV Nation. It will be a 3 hour show 😮
My husband has another interview tomorrow. I’m really hoping he gets hired soon. I’ve done some candle magic for him and just last night, my friend and senior druid of my grove made him a rune charm to carry in his wallet. Please, if you can guys, send some positive energy my husband’s way. This job hunt has carried on much longer than we expected. We came to live in a metro area specifically so searching for an attorney job wouldn’t take too long.
Despite the little bit of sad I have over the job hunt, I have so many things to be happy for that I really can’t complain. Life is pretty good right now. 🙂
Posted on May 22, 2016, in ADF Dedicant Path and tagged ADF, altar, Ár nDraíocht Féin, druidry, Freo, Freya, goth, heathen, mani, Mona, Oak tree, pagan, paganism, Thor, Thunor. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.