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What makes an altar?

burning candle near metal bowl and carafe in church
Photo by Maria Orlova on

I was sitting at my altar this morning, just for a few minutes, taking a quiet moment to myself before I left for work. It occurred to me that my altar doesn’t look how I wished it would, but that’s ok. There’s a lot of extenuating circumstances around my altar and why it looks the way it does.

I don’t have candles or incense on my altar. There’s a few reasons for this, mainly allergies to fragrances and the fact that I have a cat. My mother, whom we share a house with, has an extra sensitive nose and extreme allergies to a lot of fragrances and botanicals. I don’t have candles because, frankly, I don’t have enough room for more than what I have there.

Instead, I simply focus on the fact that I’ve got my cloth calendar handing on the wall, my Goddess figure, my tarot cards, and a few crystals. The things on my altar are things that mean a lot to me and remind me of who I am and what I believe.

We see a lot of intricate and beautiful altars on social media. You know the ones. They *scream* aesthetic, with their beautiful flowers, many colors, and all the tools. I guess I made this post here to remind you that, no matter how long you’ve been practicing, your altar is personal to you and your deities. It can be as elaborate as you want or as simple as you want. This is your reminder to not chase the aesthetic of an intricate altar and, instead, do what feels right between you and your Gods.

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