I’ve been taking pictures of my altar for many years now, just out of photographic curiosity. So when it came time to work on the description with photos of my altar portion of the Dedicant’s Program, I was already halfway there. (Keep in mind, I worked at a rock and gem shop for a number of years, so rocks and stones are somewhat of an obsession of mine)
You can view all the pictures I’ve taken of my various altars on my regular journal.
I have a total of 5 altars as of July 2007. I have my main altar, which is dedicated to my Patron Athena, and acts as the core of my daily piety. I have an altar that somewhat acts as a secondary altar to other deities I wish to pray to at any given time. Right now it sits with a statue of Gaia, and two representations of my totem, the red-tailed hawk. And I have a cabinet with three shelves and glass doors that acts as my altar of the three realms. The top shelf dedicated to the shining ones, the middle one to the nature spirits, and the bottom one to the ancestors.
This photo depicts my main altar with a statue of Athena. Depending on my purpose, I will often keep the well in the center, and if a specific purpose is in mind, I will often light a candle in the well as well. I have three trine of candles in this photo, the three main taller ones, and then the 6 tea lights, also representing the three realms.
This particular picture is also dressed with summer harvest colors. A sarong of brown and black acts as the altar cloth, I have stones of amber that resemble the deep hues of the fields of wheat, malachite to show the colors of a fertile summer (and also for money ;)), herkimer diamonds which are my birthstone, and quartz for all-purpose. There is also a small wand that a friend made for me when I was 18 out of wood she gathered, and wire-wrapped it with garnet and rose quartz for love, which I use to represent the tree for now.
My plans for my main altar may consist of removing some of the candles at some point to provide more room and simplify. I’d like to separate the well from my candle of purpose at some point, and perhaps find additional statues of Athena. I’d also like to find a suitable tree, perhaps a bonsai, to replace the rather small decorated wooden wand.
In the spring of 2006 I had a similar layout, with a depiction of Gaia as my main focus. The altar cloth was green, obviously to represent spring, with malachite, jade, rose quartz, chrysocolla, and even a crystal egg to resemble the fertility of spring.
My three realms altar, again displays three shelves for the three realms. The top is shown with an authentic crystal ball of divination, some pieces of celestite, smoky quartz, azurite, orange calcite, and statues of Cernunnos and Artemis.
The center shelf has furs from many kills I’ve done, as well as feathers gathered from our various animals. It has pieces of jet, coral, emerald calcite, petrified wood, seashells, and different statues of unicorns, rabbits, and other excess statuaries I had acquired over the years (my hawk statue is too tall for this shelf, or it would be a main feature).
The final shelf is dressed in black velvet with a wooden bowl that acts as a well into the underworld. On each side are resin canopic jars that a friend brought over from Egypt, as well as pieces of smoky quartz and rainbow obsidian. I keep a locket that my grandmother gave me when I was about 12 in the well. It is the only possession of hers that I have.
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