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Ritual and Magick: Altar's Traveling Beyond
Article ID: 14204
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,151
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 10th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,760
The twilight had fallen in colors of deep reds and purples shooting crossed the sky as the first star begin to shine in the eastern sky. The Autumn air was filled with the sweet aroma of smoke drifting across the fields. The calling of the night creatures was only slightly muffled by the sounds of the crunching leaves under my feet as we walked along. The full moon of the falling leaves, was just starting to rise and soon I could see the big oak in my Great Grandmothers’ meadow that seem to be awaiting the Sisters and the magick of the night.
Underneath the big oak tree was a circle of stones made ready for a fire that would burn until the dawning of the morning light. Just beneath the large bow of the tree sat three large stones made into sort of a table. The Sisters would place their baskets and food on the stone with lanterns and sweet honey wine. Sometime they would place special herbs or tools they might need in the night on the stones.
I knew that anything placed on this table of stones was not to be touched by me. It was sacred and only to be used by the Sisters. It would be years later in my life that I would fully understand the power of this simple stone table.
Some of us are very privileged in the ability that we have a permanent altar area in our homes or yards that we have dedicated to our magickal and spiritual traditions. But this is not and cannot always be the case. In my much, much younger years I, like many of my age, would hide not only who I was but also hid in the shadows for protection from those who did not understand my beliefs.
At that time I had a small working altar that I could easily keep hidden from others, but had quick and easy access to for ritual or magickal working. In time, as I came out of the closet and no longer cared what others might think of who I was, I was able to delicate a room in my home and an area in my yard as an altar area.
Still I found there were times I needed to have access to my tools and other items and going home to get them might not be timely or possible. So I kept my small altar and soon it became my traveling altar, working perfectly for those times I traveled, I needed to work at another’s home or was not sure where I might be. I also like to have things close to me because you just never know when you might need something.
Since that time, I have required my students to make and have ready a traveling altar. Over the years we have found it to be not only handy but also essential to our crafting.
So do you have a traveling altar? One that you can pick up and take with you when needed, for trips away from home, or if you are asked to go to someone’s home to work?
First you will need the altar. It should be something inconspicuous to other people. It can be any kind box but it needs to be sturdy and easy to carry and with a handle is best. I have a wooden one that was an old toolbox. It is best if it has a flat surface on the top so that this can be used as your altar and your ritual items will fit on its top. But they can be anything: an old small suitcase, hatbox, toolbox, chest, card box, sewing box and so forth.
Your traveling altar should be big enough for all your tools plus any items you might pick up along the way, yet small enough to travel easily and take with you as needed.
A traveling altar contains the same kind of items you have on your home altar. But a traveling altar travels, so these objects that are placed in this case are for specific intent, which have conscious symbolism for the user. We create our altars thoughtfully to enhance our rituals, our magick and the work within our blessings to the Gods.
Most altars, including a traveling altar, have particular tools within them for work. The magickal tools represent the elements of your work and magick, the spirit and the authority and representation of the Gods.
Candles: Are a must, but candles can be bulky and melt so great care needs to be taken in which ones you choose and how many you need have with you. The elements to include the spirit and the Gods are a must from many. But you also need a variety of candles for work according to color. For example: Red - Love, Black - removing negativity energy, White- purification and so on. (The all-purpose candle.) Chime candles work great but I know those who use birthday sized candles in their traveling altar and that works great, too. Small and easy to store. I personally use bee’s wax.
A Wand: Represents Fire, and can help increase the energy within ritual and magick for many. But having an arm’s length wand in your traveling altar is difficult to pack. This is a good time to make your own wand. It is to be only palm’s length and according to what you desire. You can carve on it, use crystals, feathers or just wood.
Incense: Represents Air, a small censer and charcoal. This can be any kind of a shell you have found, a tiny cauldron, or censer dish. Just make sure it is fireproof and holds the charcoal you are going to be using in it. Some people prefer using an Athame for Air; this is up to you, one or both. Incense is also used in ritual according to what you prefer or/and what empowers you.
The Chalice: Is used for Water. This can be any tiny cup. Now remember you are working in a box area, a traveling altar and you don’t need anything too big or breakable. The best idea is a small metal cup (since we don‘t use plastic) . I have seen some carve their own out of wood and one lady used a toy cup from her daughter’s dollhouse; they work great.
A Pentacle: Represents Earth, as well as keeping us in touch with our spiritual selves. This can be purchased easily at any metaphysical shop. You can also make your own from wood, twigs, or stone to give it personal empowerment.
There are some additional items and tools, depending on the Witch, that you may like to include in your traveling altar.
Herbs: I believe the basic 9 Witches’ herbs are always a good idea because you never know when you are going to need them for your work.
Other Items: Altar cloth, stones, crystals, charms, feathers, seashells, and so on. I also suggest you keep a small note book with information for your personal work in your traveling altar… a small traveling Book of Shadows and Secrets.
Some believe there is a shared construction to follow in setting up an altar, but in truth your altar can be as personally creative as you are. There is not necessarily a correct way to set up any altar. It is totally up to the individual and their spiritual traditions and teachings.
When working with and from your traveling altar there are a few important points to remember:
First: Wherever you are working is an altar area and you will need to clean and protect the area you are working in as you would any altar area because it is a reflection of your own spirituality.
Second: Don’t use your traveling altar or any of your magickal items (including yourself) for the shock factor. This means, showing it to others to prove you are a Witch. That will make it and every tool in it nothing but props for a show. This is a sacred tool; use it with respect.
Third: Respect, it doesn’t matter if your traveling altar is a box or elaborate chest; it is an altar and should be treated accordingly and with respect.
Be blessed in all thy good works of spirit and magick.
Copyright © 09302010
Copyright: Lady Abigail
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