Image

An Alter...

How do you spiritually nourish yourself? One way, for me, is at my alter. For 25 years I have had alters of one kind or another. My alters have evolved over the years with me.

Initially, I was inspired by Catholic 'poustinias,' or prayer huts, and placed a small bamboo table in a tiny storage closet that I painted white with a gold ceiling and put mystical Jungian mandalas and some mystical Christian images on the walls and I used to go into my prayer room and pray or meditate or sometimes just cry. That was when I lived in Grad Residence. Later I lived in a condo and then a house. My alters shifted to objects as conduits of healing energies and my predilection to the Divine Feminine. Various crystals and incense holders and statuettes and semi-precious stones found their way onto my makeshift alters. When I had a cottage I used make alters by heaping sand into three foot high mounds and flattening the tops and putting shells and stones and feathers and sometimes incense in the sand. After a wind storm blew down some trees, I salvaged a double tree stump that my husband hauled home and on which I placed crystals and representations of the four elements, incense in sand, a shell with water, a candle, and fresh flowers as often as I could afford them. I taught yoga in my home then and my students often brought flowers for the alter too. After my marriage ended I rented out the top floor of my house, which was my room, shared my daughter's room, and had my desk in the kitchen, so I didn't have an official alter for years. My alter then was a quartz crystal ball from Brazil, figurines, Quan Yin holding a baby, Venus of Willendorf, Green Tara, special stones, mystical rainbow obsidian, rose quartz, blue lapis lazuli veined with copper, a large smooth flat stone glued with numerous cottage pebbles, a moonstone white and glistening with colour, glass crystal prisms in the window to catch the dancing sunlight, small quartz crystals scattered in amongst the books, and candles on deep blue glass and wrought iron spirals on my desk.

After I sold my house, moved to the West Coast and rented a three bedroom house, I was able to create an alter in a corner of my room. This alter is quite Tibetan Buddhist and Goddess. An oil painting of the Sri Yantra that I did as a meditation hangs on the wall, the bindu, or centre point, positioned exactly at eye level. The two small figures are Ch'en Rezig and White Tara, masculine and feminine Buddhas, imported from Nepal, their faces painted with real gold apparently- they are exquisitely beautiful. Everything is collected on a hand-carved wooden table from north Africa. At the side is a thick pole from my cottage, found on the beach and so smoothed by the motion of the water of the lake, wrapped in sheepskin and hung with a headdress of feathers. I have Native drums and rattles near, as well as Tibetan bells. My alter space is small, wedged between the wall and a circa 1920s mirrored oak cupboard, and I have to sit with my right knee bent, the left one on the floor- somehow exactly in the pose of Green Tara. Unfortunately I don't do my daily meditation at my alter because sitting like Green Tara for extended periods of time is not very comfortable. Each object on my alter contains years of precious memories and I love to caress them with a silk cloth as I dust them, keeping them clean and shiny.

What do I do at my alter? Why, I commune, of course. Sometimes I do rituals that I make up, or follow procedures from books, incantations and dream magick, entering into the vast and creative flow of universal energy. Mostly, though, at my alter I allow the meditation, the prayer, that life is to flow through me. As I sit, doing a Kundalini meditation, inviting the light of clarity in, images of the world move through my mind, often the suffering of those who I have read of in the news, the suffering of those I love, my own, and I cry, grieving. I ask many questions, always the endless questions, and receive answers intuitively, in feeling. And I am guided here, at my alter, when I need to understand something in my life or make decisions. At my alter I can be myself and can enter into my own deepness to find the wisdom that would be the best path to follow, even if tomorrow it changes. At my alter, I feel close to what is divine, close to everyone on the planet and to our earth itself, spiritually close to all I know and love. I ask for unconditional love and acceptance, and to be able to give these gifts to others. I am comforted, healed, made whole enough to continue on.

Ultimately we carry our alter with us. Many of my friends find comfort at the alter of their church or synagogue or mosque or temple during quiet times. Though it is wonderful to have a sacred space of your own. I hope everyone has a private alter, a reserved corner for special mementos, a garden you've nurtured, a special place in the woods to go and commune, or a tiny triangle in a city park with a tree through which to view the sky, even a bath of soft warm scented water with rose petals can serve as an alter space where you honour yourself and the radiance of life.
Comments

Sep 2019 (5)
Aug 2019 (1)
Jul 2019 (6)
May 2019 (2)
Apr 2019 (1)
Feb 2019 (1)
Jan 2019 (1)
Nov 2018 (2)
Sep 2018 (1)
Aug 2018 (3)
Jul 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
Apr 2018 (12)
Mar 2018 (5)
Feb 2018 (3)
Jan 2018 (4)
Dec 2017 (3)
Nov 2017 (1)
Oct 2017 (10)
Sep 2017 (1)
Aug 2017 (3)
Jul 2017 (1)
Jun 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
Apr 2017 (2)
Mar 2017 (3)
Feb 2017 (1)
Jan 2017 (5)
Dec 2016 (8)
Nov 2016 (3)
Oct 2016 (3)
Sep 2016 (1)
Aug 2016 (8)
Jul 2016 (6)
Jun 2016 (3)
May 2016 (7)
Apr 2016 (10)
Mar 2016 (5)
Feb 2016 (5)
Jan 2016 (4)
Oct 2014 (13)
Sep 2014 (6)
Aug 2014 (11)
Jul 2014 (9)
Jun 2014 (9)
May 2014 (9)
Apr 2014 (17)
Mar 2014 (5)
Feb 2014 (8)
Jan 2014 (13)
Dec 2013 (11)
Nov 2013 (7)
Oct 2013 (13)
Sep 2013 (6)
Aug 2013 (8)
Jul 2013 (5)
Jan 2013 (12)
Dec 2012 (11)
Nov 2012 (16)
Oct 2012 (11)
Sep 2012 (20)
Aug 2012 (19)
Jul 2012 (17)
Jun 2012 (12)
May 2012 (14)
Apr 2012 (18)
Oct 2011 (17)
Sep 2011 (19)
Aug 2011 (23)
Jul 2011 (48)
Jun 2011 (18)
May 2011 (17)
Apr 2011 (8)
Jan 2011 (19)
Dec 2010 (20)
Nov 2010 (7)
Oct 2010 (10)
Sep 2010 (3)
Aug 2010 (6)
Jul 2010 (6)
Jun 2010 (15)
May 2010 (10)
Apr 2010 (12)
Mar 2010 (9)
Feb 2010 (12)
Jan 2010 (20)
Dec 2009 (1)
May 2009 (19)
Apr 2009 (17)
Mar 2009 (13)
Feb 2009 (22)
Jan 2009 (26)
Dec 2008 (19)
Nov 2008 (26)
Oct 2008 (8)
Jan 2008 (7)
Dec 2007 (13)
Nov 2007 (19)
Oct 2007 (19)
Sep 2007 (16)
Aug 2007 (11)
Jul 2007 (8)
Jun 2007 (5)
May 2007 (6)
Apr 2007 (8)
Mar 2007 (7)
Feb 2007 (10)
Jan 2007 (15)
Dec 2006 (6)
Aug 2006 (21)
Jul 2006 (21)
Jun 2006 (25)
May 2006 (18)
Apr 2006 (18)
Mar 2006 (23)
Feb 2006 (21)
Jan 2006 (3)
Jul 2005 (7)
Jun 2005 (16)
May 2005 (7)
Apr 2005 (16)
Mar 2005 (18)
Feb 2005 (7)
Jan 2005 (1)
Sep 2004 (1)
Jun 2004 (12)
May 2004 (1)
Oct 2003 (1)
RSS Feed 

Warning: array_multisort(): Array sizes are inconsistent in /home/brendacl/public_html/Blog/index.php on line 783

An Alter...

How do you spiritually nourish yourself? One way, for me, is at my alter. For 25 years I have had alters of one kind or another. My alters have evolved over the years with me.

Initially, I was inspired by Catholic 'poustinias,' or prayer huts, and placed a small bamboo table in a tiny storage closet that I painted white with a gold ceiling and put mystical Jungian mandalas and some mystical Christian images on the walls and I used to go into my prayer room and pray or meditate or sometimes just cry. That was when I lived in Grad Residence. Later I lived in a condo and then a house. My alters shifted to objects as conduits of healing energies and my predilection to the Divine Feminine. Various crystals and incense holders and statuettes and semi-precious stones found their way onto my makeshift alters. When I had a cottage I used make alters by heaping sand into three foot high mounds and flattening the tops and putting shells and stones and feathers and sometimes incense in the sand. After a wind storm blew down some trees, I salvaged a double tree stump that my husband hauled home and on which I placed crystals and representations of the four elements, incense in sand, a shell with water, a candle, and fresh flowers as often as I could afford them. I taught yoga in my home then and my students often brought flowers for the alter too. After my marriage ended I rented out the top floor of my house, which was my room, shared my daughter's room, and had my desk in the kitchen, so I didn't have an official alter for years. My alter then was a quartz crystal ball from Brazil, figurines, Quan Yin holding a baby, Venus of Willendorf, Green Tara, special stones, mystical rainbow obsidian, rose quartz, blue lapis lazuli veined with copper, a large smooth flat stone glued with numerous cottage pebbles, a moonstone white and glistening with colour, glass crystal prisms in the window to catch the dancing sunlight, small quartz crystals scattered in amongst the books, and candles on deep blue glass and wrought iron spirals on my desk.

After I sold my house, moved to the West Coast and rented a three bedroom house, I was able to create an alter in a corner of my room. This alter is quite Tibetan Buddhist and Goddess. An oil painting of the Sri Yantra that I did as a meditation hangs on the wall, the bindu, or centre point, positioned exactly at eye level. The two small figures are Ch'en Rezig and White Tara, masculine and feminine Buddhas, imported from Nepal, their faces painted with real gold apparently- they are exquisitely beautiful. Everything is collected on a hand-carved wooden table from north Africa. At the side is a thick pole from my cottage, found on the beach and so smoothed by the motion of the water of the lake, wrapped in sheepskin and hung with a headdress of feathers. I have Native drums and rattles near, as well as Tibetan bells. My alter space is small, wedged between the wall and a circa 1920s mirrored oak cupboard, and I have to sit with my right knee bent, the left one on the floor- somehow exactly in the pose of Green Tara. Unfortunately I don't do my daily meditation at my alter because sitting like Green Tara for extended periods of time is not very comfortable. Each object on my alter contains years of precious memories and I love to caress them with a silk cloth as I dust them, keeping them clean and shiny.

What do I do at my alter? Why, I commune, of course. Sometimes I do rituals that I make up, or follow procedures from books, incantations and dream magick, entering into the vast and creative flow of universal energy. Mostly, though, at my alter I allow the meditation, the prayer, that life is to flow through me. As I sit, doing a Kundalini meditation, inviting the light of clarity in, images of the world move through my mind, often the suffering of those who I have read of in the news, the suffering of those I love, my own, and I cry, grieving. I ask many questions, always the endless questions, and receive answers intuitively, in feeling. And I am guided here, at my alter, when I need to understand something in my life or make decisions. At my alter I can be myself and can enter into my own deepness to find the wisdom that would be the best path to follow, even if tomorrow it changes. At my alter, I feel close to what is divine, close to everyone on the planet and to our earth itself, spiritually close to all I know and love. I ask for unconditional love and acceptance, and to be able to give these gifts to others. I am comforted, healed, made whole enough to continue on.

Ultimately we carry our alter with us. Many of my friends find comfort at the alter of their church or synagogue or mosque or temple during quiet times. Though it is wonderful to have a sacred space of your own. I hope everyone has a private alter, a reserved corner for special mementos, a garden you've nurtured, a special place in the woods to go and commune, or a tiny triangle in a city park with a tree through which to view the sky, even a bath of soft warm scented water with rose petals can serve as an alter space where you honour yourself and the radiance of life.
Comments

Sep 2019 (5)
Aug 2019 (1)
Jul 2019 (6)
May 2019 (2)
Apr 2019 (1)
Feb 2019 (1)
Jan 2019 (1)
Nov 2018 (2)
Sep 2018 (1)
Aug 2018 (3)
Jul 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
Apr 2018 (12)
Mar 2018 (5)
Feb 2018 (3)
Jan 2018 (4)
Dec 2017 (3)
Nov 2017 (1)
Oct 2017 (10)
Sep 2017 (1)
Aug 2017 (3)
Jul 2017 (1)
Jun 2017 (3)
May 2017 (5)
Apr 2017 (2)
Mar 2017 (3)
Feb 2017 (1)
Jan 2017 (5)
Dec 2016 (8)
Nov 2016 (3)
Oct 2016 (3)
Sep 2016 (1)
Aug 2016 (8)
Jul 2016 (6)
Jun 2016 (3)
May 2016 (7)
Apr 2016 (10)
Mar 2016 (5)
Feb 2016 (5)
Jan 2016 (4)
Oct 2014 (13)
Sep 2014 (6)
Aug 2014 (11)
Jul 2014 (9)
Jun 2014 (9)
May 2014 (9)
Apr 2014 (17)
Mar 2014 (5)
Feb 2014 (8)
Jan 2014 (13)
Dec 2013 (11)
Nov 2013 (7)
Oct 2013 (13)
Sep 2013 (6)
Aug 2013 (8)
Jul 2013 (5)
Jan 2013 (12)
Dec 2012 (11)
Nov 2012 (16)
Oct 2012 (11)
Sep 2012 (20)
Aug 2012 (19)
Jul 2012 (17)
Jun 2012 (12)
May 2012 (14)
Apr 2012 (18)
Oct 2011 (17)
Sep 2011 (19)
Aug 2011 (23)
Jul 2011 (48)
Jun 2011 (18)
May 2011 (17)
Apr 2011 (8)
Jan 2011 (19)
Dec 2010 (20)
Nov 2010 (7)
Oct 2010 (10)
Sep 2010 (3)
Aug 2010 (6)
Jul 2010 (6)
Jun 2010 (15)
May 2010 (10)
Apr 2010 (12)
Mar 2010 (9)
Feb 2010 (12)
Jan 2010 (20)
Dec 2009 (1)
May 2009 (19)
Apr 2009 (17)
Mar 2009 (13)
Feb 2009 (22)
Jan 2009 (26)
Dec 2008 (19)
Nov 2008 (26)
Oct 2008 (8)
Jan 2008 (7)
Dec 2007 (13)
Nov 2007 (19)
Oct 2007 (19)
Sep 2007 (16)
Aug 2007 (11)
Jul 2007 (8)
Jun 2007 (5)
May 2007 (6)
Apr 2007 (8)
Mar 2007 (7)
Feb 2007 (10)
Jan 2007 (15)
Dec 2006 (6)
Aug 2006 (21)
Jul 2006 (21)
Jun 2006 (25)
May 2006 (18)
Apr 2006 (18)
Mar 2006 (23)
Feb 2006 (21)
Jan 2006 (3)
Jul 2005 (7)
Jun 2005 (16)
May 2005 (7)
Apr 2005 (16)
Mar 2005 (18)
Feb 2005 (7)
Jan 2005 (1)
Sep 2004 (1)
Jun 2004 (12)
May 2004 (1)
Oct 2003 (1)
RSS Feed 

© 2019 Brenda Clews Contact Me

Thank you for visiting, and come back soon.