This week’s blog is completely for fun. It’s trying times out there, what with presidential debates, Brexit nonsense and ‘because-covid.’ So I’ve decided to combine this week’s vlog and blog together and talk about fun things. Because it’s Halloween month, and we blummin deserve it 😉
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a lovely little shopping excursion to Homesense, and a just as lovely late-night-with-a-glass-of-wine online-surf-and-shop. Which has led to some rather lovely wonderfulness. So I’ve filmed a little vlog for you to see all the goodies I treated myself to, and I’ve left links to everything that’s still available below.
I also chat in this week’s vlog about supporting people who make content that you like, and although I joke it about it being a shameless plug, I think it’s so important to hit the like button or leave comments of encouragement for people. As well as this being just a downright strange period in time, content creators, along with actors, musicians (and pretty much everyone in hospitality, entertainment and the creative arts,) are really feeling the impact. Yes it’s financial, but for many, their careers are being threatened for the long term. So for people who have taken the scary plunge and tried to diversify, by sharing their talents on-line or in new and innovative ways, I think it’s so important that we make them feel seen and heard.
So if you see or hear something that makes you feel, share the love and tell them, let’s raise the vibration in every way we can
An alter can be used for different purposes; as a shrine, as a platform for spell working or as the centre piece of ritual ~ the dictionary definition of altar is “an elevated place or structure.”
But an altar doesn’t have to be a raised table or plinth that is used solely for your religious or faith based practice.
An altar is for helping you to connect to the wider universe ~ it helps us come that little step closer to all the things we cannot see or touch.
A walk in the woods, or getting blown to pieces on the beach are all ways we connect to that feeling of divine energy. Nature has become our altar.
If you find your connection on busy city streets, then indeed, those well-trod pavements have become your church…
I want to talk about altar’s because I remember how doubtful I was about setting up my own. I was so filled with worry that I’d do something wrong. That I’d offend.
I’ve been an eclectic pagan for twenty plus years, and for the first ten of those I didn’t have an altar ~ or at least I didn’t think I did. But I’ll come back to that.
There are lots of faith paths under the Pagan Umbrella, but as an eclectic witch, I’ll stick to talking about Witch based practices.
Within the Wiccan community there are some fairly exacting rules about what should be on your altar, which way it should face and what you should use it for.
And at different stages on our path it’s good to have guideline; they make us feel safe, and give us confidence in what we’re doing.
I’ll be delving into the different subdivisions of Wicca at a later date. But if you’d like some guidelines, have a look at the branch of Wicca that appeals most to you and see how you feel about how they set their altars up.
For the most part a wiccan altar will have certain things placed upon it ~
If you use a cloth covering, the colour should have some significance to the sabbat or ritual.
The altar is very much a part of the Coven.
To me, this is a very traditional use of an altar.
When an altar is first set up (or moved, or redressed,) there will be a ritual cleansing. A circle will be drawn, the elements and God and Goddess invited in, and the altar is contained within sacred space.’
The process is very much steeped in traditional ritual.
This can seem quite daunting for a beginning witch. That volume of ritual still feels big to me.
The energy raised when doing this level of ritual work is wonderful, and being in a group raising energy is so powerful.
It’s just a case of learning what’s right for you and your practice.
I’ve known coven’s who keep spell workings on their altars ~ this works especially well if your practice involves the use of spell jars. As they can remain in sacred space on the altar and the jars can be regularly activated. (Given a shake 😉 )
I want to say at this point, that one of the most important things to me about my practice is the element of joy. There are serious witches, the same as there are serious people, and you will find some who take the business of casting a circle and raising energy very seriously. And the mood can feel almost sombre, and the rules must be adhered to.
Other covens are more about going with the flow ~ it’s just about taking your time to get to know people.
If you chosen path is eclectic, then you can gather your practices as the years go by, tweaking your path until you’re left with a beautiful blend of styles and traditions, a patchwork blanket of spirituality, if you will.
So if you’re nervous about getting started, begin with small. In fact, you probably already have, and don’t realise it. That’s what I’d been doing.
A few years ago I decided it was long beyond time that I had a working altar ~ silly really, we needn’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. But, I started doing my research. I knew I didn’t want anything traditional, I don’t cast a circle, unless its really BIG MAGIC ~ and even then, I don’t do that in a traditional way.
I started looking around the house trying to work out where I’d put it, and if I could keep the children from taking the shiny things. And then it started (slowly) to dawn on me; I had lots of little altars, all over the house.
Crystals on certain shelves, a feather on a window ledge, acorns in jar ~ even the way I’d arranged my tarot and oracle decks, with a pretty statue of an owl in the middle… These were altars, hidden nooks of sacred space tucked all over my home.
Realising that broke down the panic I’d been feeling – also, made me feel pretty daft. But that’s okay J
So have a look round your space and you’ll probably find you ‘ve already started and just didn’t notice.
There’s also a vlog to accompany this topic ~ and i’ve created a little downloadable PDF with some extra ideas to get you started.
Lesson of the moment; You’re never too old. Personal expression is powerful magic.
Daughter number 1 (I have two, they are twins, she was born first, they have an inside joke about it… I say this because I’ve been dragged over the coals by keyboard warriors before for ‘applying a number to my children,’ – politically correctness gone mad if you ask me – but don’t get me started down that rabbit hole.)
Anyway, Daughter number 1 and I went and got our ears pierced today. Daughter number 2 came with us.
She did not get her ears pierced. She thinks we’re daft.
I’m in my forties, my girlies are 14, and D1 has wanted her ears pierced for a second time for ages. She was scrolling me though her pinterest fashion board showing me what she likes, and what she wants her ‘style’ to be…
I had no concept at 14 that I could chose how my look was going to evolve, and as I sat there listening to her tell me how she was going to start with heeled ankle boots to get her balance right, as she loves how heels look with a pencil skirt… I was at a loss for words at my human. And as she scrolled down her pins to a stud paired with a huggy (didn’t know what that was until she showed me,) I said that at the beginning of the summer holidays she should get it done if she wanted. That way she wouldn’t have the hassle of having to tape them up every five minutes at school.
So the pandemic decided it was time to strike and all those plans went out the window, until this week. We were chatting and she brings it up, and I’m like ‘I’d totally forgotten, I’ll book it,’ at which point she says ‘are you going to get a second set? You really liked it too.’
I laughed it off, saying that I like it for her, and how much it would suit her, and that it was her choice for herself. I then followed up with ‘and you’re young and fab .’
I tell you, now I know how my mum-in-law feels when she tells me she’s too old, and I tell her age means nothing.
And I’m right; age does mean nothing – I just haven’t applied that sentiment to myself. Well, both daughters were more than happy to drive the point home; boiling the kettle, banging down cups on the side and visciouslly stirring the tea (such young ladies 😉 ) before handing me a cup, saying things like, “I cannot believe you of all people just said that,” “Mum, seriously, age is not a restriction on anything,” “we do things to our bodies, and wear the clothes we like, because we want to! Not what society thinks we should do.” (That’s my girls 🧡 and here’s me thinking they never listened.)
So today off we went, and we both got our ears pierced. D2 came too, she wasn’t missing out on seeing us get skewered apparently.
And I can tell you this, I felt powerful. Feminine, divine-energy, wild woman running with wolves, powerful. It’s such a small thing. Something no-one else will notice, or care about, but I will.
At some point over the last Goddess-knows-how-long, I’d sub-consciously made a decision about myself. I’d told myself that certain things, certain choices, weren’t mine anymore. I’d told myself there were now things I couldn’t do, because the media, society, culture, patriarchy – All. The. Damn. Things said women can’t behave in a certain way.
And some silent part of my brain has taken it in. I spend so much time making sure my girls know they can DO anything, BE anyone, but not me? And here’s the thing, we need to cheerlead for each other.
We need to ring that bell, and remind each other, so we never forget who we are; we are wolves. Wolves in earrings.