You know your favorite pair of jeans? The ones you always reach for that are maybe just a smidge too big, nice and loose and comfy, well-worn around the cuffs and stretched out to fit you perfectly?
My altar is starting to become like those jeans. What started as a spare little table with candles, a well, and a tree has become a real spiritual home to me, one that soothes me and shows its use and is a reflection of my spiritual life. The $10 table now has some burn spots from escaped incense. The candles are burned in. A few crystals from my collection have migrated to my altar, not so much because I’m ‘charging’ them or using them for spellwork, but because they add beauty and focus to my personal grove.
I wanted to look for representations, but they seem to come to me of their own volition. There’s a little bloodstone I dedicated to Athena that came to me, as described in an earlier post. A little white stone horse I dedicated to Rhiannon I found in my jewelry box, a gift from an old boyfriend I remade as a spiritual vessel. The wand I made, decorated with green agate beads and golden bells is for Manannan mac Lir. The ancestors are present in the silver Celtic knot my great-grandfather made.
Other things collect there, too. The worry beads I bought in Athens rest there, something to handle while I meditate. My flower crown from Beltane hangs from a shelf. A scrap of maypole fabric serves as an LED-candle mat. The tiny Druid prints my mother bought me sit on a shelf, as well, adding more beauty and depth. A basket beneath the table holds my incense and offerings.
The altar, I think, is an outward manifestation of my inner spiritual life. Have you heard Christians talk about faith as pure and simple as a child’s? No questions, just honest and innocent belief.
That’s a lovely thought, but I don’t think our faith is so streamlined. We’re eclectic, even if not intentionally. We don’t have one source for our faith, nor do we have one method of expression. Our faith is worn in, chosen and developed over years of practice. We find our personal patrons, or they come to us, and we make them a home in our personal practice. This is where the action over faith debate comes to an end: faith is all well and good, but it’s action that defines it. It’s action that wears in our personal religion, makes it a real part of our lives.
How have you worn in your spirituality?