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Willow's blog: "Living Alter"

created on 10/19/2006  |  http://fubar.com/living-alter/b15549
Living Alter It is my belief that the physical alter and objects on it are not necessary in the practice of my path (Wittan). In the creation of wo/man all elements were gifted, we carry them in our physical make up. Fire is the impulses of our brain and nervous system, wind is the breath of life issuing form our lungs, in our blood is water, and salt, and the many minerals of earth can be found in our bodies. When you stand erect with feet apart, arms held straight out from your sides and head held high, you’re the perfect pentagram. As for the use of am athame we carry this always, what better than the index finger? In ages past it was believed the index finger was the direct line to the heart one reason for the wedding band to be placed on this finger. The alter and objects upon it made it’s appearance as we know it with the re-birth of Wicca (New Age) thanks to Gerald Gardner in the early 1950s when the laws against Witchcraft were repealed in England. As we all know during the burning times up until the repeal of the Witchcraft law Pagans had to be very secretive in the practice of their belief. So much of the knowledge was lost; here Gardner “borrowed” from the Christians as they borrowed from the Pagans in the past. If you look at the Christian alter set up (an baptismal font), and that of the Pagan alter you can see the similarities. On the Christian alter the center object is the cross which represents Christ/God, on either side of the cross are candles the light of the holy spirit, there is a server for the holy ecumenist, body of Christ, a cup or challis for the wine, blood of Christ, the baptismal font though is separate from the alter is a tool all the same for the symbolic rebirth of spirit, and the Bible, book by which all is set in order, there are other tools such as prayer books and hymnals. The decoration of the alter changes with each pivot point of the Christian year. Oh and we must not forget the Star of David. On the pagan alter you find objects that represent the God and Goddess, candle (or candles), incense burner (censer), tow dishes, one for salt and one for water, libation dish, and goblet(s), athame, sword or wand, and a Book of Shadows, (occasionally the pentagram, star of Salmon). The decoration of the Pagan alters changes with the Sabots. The use of alter and objects there on, I find unnecessary. I draw from the spirit of nature as it moves and revolves around me, my inner being and guides direct me in a pure natural flow as I acknowledge the God and Goddess , in worship, thankfulness and service. As I see it I (we) are Living Alters. MAB
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