I am just writing up and reviewing my workshop ” Energetic Recycling” which will be held on March 16th/17th 2019. I am looking at the opening and the place of the Altar.
I have worked with Altars for many years and have come to have a deep respect for their place in a workshop or ceremony. I always extend an open invitation for people to contribute objects to the altar as they love to grow and it helps people prepare for our work together before we meet, thus all our stories are woven into the event.
Alters bring a focus and power to the work and can be as simple as a tea light or created for a single event and purpose such as a workshop and even worked with over many years as in my daily alter that I sit with at the beginning and end of my day.
To sit before a alter I find is quite different to not and lets us know that what we are about to engage with asks for a different level of attention and focus to that which we may use in our everyday tasks and will bring power to our sacred work. As with my workshops, I do not repeat the Altar but create a new one for this specific time and group.
What goes on a alter is unique for the purpose we are working with. In my home, I have an altar to my ancestors both of blood, place, and tradition. I have a simple one for the spirit of the house, garden and land that surrounds me and I have one that has grown over the last 10 years or so, which has the elements and other gifts from nature as well as candles, stones, and crystals for specific aspects of my work.
I also have created alters out on the land, working with the spirits of place and with the stories of the land and with the natural objects as well as energetic connections. This has helped me greatly to become to see the earth as one alter and deepen into a sacred relationship with this visible face of spirit as many cultures speak of the natural world.
So maybe this is something you may consider in your practice to create altars, play and have fun with this and see what grows and if it supports you too. It can be a fun creative practice and as shamanism holds the animistic view your alter too will have spirit and can help guide you as to what is needed, or simply as the question “what is needed for my alter” and open for it be shown to you.