Friday, May 18, 2012

Pagan Blog Project-A is for Altars part 2

Altars Part 2: Cleansing and Consecrating

Once you decide what you will use as your altar, now it needs to be set up. The first part of setting the altar up, should be to cleanse and consecrate it.

You will need something to represent all five elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit (or the gods). "Pass" each element over the altar to cleanse and consecrate it. For example, you can use water for water, salt for earth, fire (of a candle) for fire and incense or feather for air.

Sprinkle (example the water or salt) or pass the object used for cleansing lightly over your altar while saying something like "By the power of the element of west, I do hereby cleanse and consecrate this altar in the names of my gods (insert names if you want to). May their will and mine be done, with harm to none." By passing each of the elements over or onto the altar, you are cleansing it with the power of that element. You are consecrating the altar by declaring this altar to be used in the names of your gods and in accordance with their ancient ways. To consecrate is to make holy.

Once you have cleansed and consecrated the altar you can begin to decorate it any way you wish. Set up your altar however you want to and in a way that is most comfortable for you. After all, YOU will be using this altar, no one else. (The only exception to this would be if the altar were a family or communal altar for a coven).

Your altar should also be cleansed at least once a year. Imbolc is traditionally a time when a witches tools are re-cleansed, but you can do it as often or whenever you feel the need. Any time you get a new tool for your altar, always cleanse and consecrate it before adding it to the altar.

I have on many occasion had a discussion with someone who could not understand why their tools were not working as they thought they should. After talking it through, we discovered that most of the tools she had were bought second hand or given to them by friends who were no longer in their lives. To correct the problem, the tools were cleansed and consecrated and the problems seemed to end.

If you decide you will have an altar always remember that it is considered a sacred space as well as a tool to be used for your magic and/or for giving honor to your deities. So take care of it, keep it clean both physically and spiritually.

Magical blessings to all,
Annette aka Autumn

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