Visiting an Altar

August 18, 2008

A personal altar can be a meaningful way of connecting with the sacred.  Here’s a picture of an altar in the healing cabin at Easton Mountain.

Altar in the Healing Cabin

Altar in the Healing Cabin

Last week I posted a description of building an altar near the south edge of Easton Mountain Retreat.  The following are the suggestions that I wroe for guests who wished to visit the altar..  They may be adapted and applied to other altars.

Suggestions for Visiting the South Altar

  1. Wear something that connects you with the sacred, or enter the sacred circle in front of the altar naked (use bug repellant),
  2. Bring an offering – perhaps some wild flowers or some water to pour on the rocks.
  3. While in the circle, pray, meditate, dance, or do a few yoga postures.
  4. Bring a candle and light it while you’re there, but then snuff it out and take it with you.  Don’t leave lighted candles burning in the woods.
  5. As you leave the circle, turn your body around once clockwise, thus honoring all the directions.

The Altars at Zuni

Last summer, I visited Zuni Mountain Sanctuary, in the arid land of North Western New Mexico.

View from My Test at Zuni

View from My Tent at Zuni

This Faerie sactuary has four altars, one for each of the directions.  As a way of tending these altars, I visted each of them in turn.  After removing my clothing and praying, I took one object from each altar, replacing it with something of my own.  Then, I placed these objects on the altar of a sweat lodge, which was held on the last day I was there.  Following the lodge, I again visited each altar, stripped naked, prayed, and replaced the item I had consecrated on the sweat lodge altar – reclaiming the object I had left there.

Now one told me, this is the way you tend an altar.  What I did came from my Higher Self.  When you’re connected with your Higher self, rituals like this aree second nature..

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