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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Altars: Samhain 2013

As I've posted in the past, periodically I like to create altars...usually for seasonal changes or for a particular Sabbath. This is not only a Spiritual exercise, but also an artistic one for's a creative expression of how I view that particular season or Sabbath or theme...using the materials I have available to me at that time.

Creating an altar can take me anywhere from 30mins to up to two or three hours...depends on how involved I am and what my end-product goal is.  Generally, I have a rough image in my mind as to how I want this altar to look, but as with any project I start, these things can take on a life of their own and turn out rather different from my intended idea.

*For those of you not in the know, here's a general description of the purpose of Samhain, generally pronounced: SAH-win
You can read about it, here: Samhain

This is, currently, my 2nd ever Samhain altar and I'm quite pleased with it.

Aside from the fun little Halloween elements such as the cob-webbing, the pumpkins, the gnarled tree in the background, and even the skulls; I brought in quite a few "Witchy" elements: the cauldrons, bundle of sage, labyrinth, Tarot cards and gazing-glass. I have a sea-shell full of sea salt and bay leaves as well as, incense sticks and quartz crystals.
For honoring the dead, I wanted to pay my respects to my kitty, Gizmo, who sadly passed away Dec. 2012 due to some recurring growths in her nasal passages. I have her ashes and her collar as well as, her favorite grooming brush beside her photo. In the small cauldron in front of her photo is a tea light candle sitting on top of a pile of catnip -which she loved.

The Obligatory 'lit altar' shot:

These next are detail shots from the altar:

My little girl, Gizmo. She passed away Dec. 2012, those are her ashes in the tin to the left of her photo.

I like to have various items on my altar for symbolic purposes. Samhain is a good time for using divinatory tools, such as Tarot cards.  

Isis, the Egyptian Goddess, patroness of Magic and Protector of the Dead. She resides over many of my altars, but especially my Samhain altars. I like to place photos and trinkets of loved ones who have passed on near her, as though she is enfolding them in her protective embrace.

And just briefly, I would like to share a couple photos of the last Samhain altar I did. This was created in Oct. of 2007 when I was living in MA.

And, the obligatory candle-lit shot:
)O( Blessed Samhain.