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Altars: Questions and Answers

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Devi Spring
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Devi Spring » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:14 pm

Different workers take different things into consideration. I don't have the space to make directional alignment a factor in my altar building, so I just work in the space that I have. Don't get too worked up about it.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by MysticRootworker » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:05 pm

Great! so for the time being I am going to just use the place I have been. I have a curious kitten who seems to love both fire and water, so I like to burn my candles where I can watch them..
Thanks Devi

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:02 pm

Directionality like hoodoo is a set of principles, not hard fast rule. Generally things are drawn facing East, banished/waned in the West. That being said, there is nothing wrong with having your altar face only one direction. The idea of direction is to have your intent clear and focused. Don't let your work and intention get mixed up and you are fine.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by MysticRootworker » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:27 pm

When I get my room finished I believe I will take into account the direction and all for placement of my altars/work space. I am fortunate enough to have a room that I already designated for this. I live alone and have plenty of space. Too much really sometimes.
Thank you again..

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by thegoldman » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:25 pm

My altar is in my bedroom, where I frequently have vigil candles burning for various saints and for positive work.

Are there any issues with having sex in the same room as your spiritual work?

I'm not so concerned about the general drawing work as I am about the saint work. It can be a bit unsettling sometimes when seeing pictures of Moses and St. Jude, etc., and I'm wondering if I'm being disrespectful by not extinguishing the candles until we're finishing having sex or if I should just quit worrying about it!?? :?: :)

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Devi Spring » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:30 pm

There are many people who will not keep their altars in their bedroom for just that reason. Of course, if you live in a batchelor you may not have many options - in which case covering the altar or otherwise blocking it from view with a room divider or some such is called for.

I never feel comfortable with altars in sight of the bed...unless I was doing love/sex work.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Literarylioness » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:11 pm

My altars are all kept away. I do not feel comfortable with them in the same room as my intimate relations.

Mary

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by jwmcclin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:28 pm

Locations of spell work is a personal thing. Some work better or feel as comfortable with lets say candle spells in the bedroom; while others will not have their work as close. Its a personal choice.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:42 pm

A lot of people have or keep their altar in their bedroom. However, for ancestor altars you do not want to keep it in your bedroom or perform any sex in front of that altar. I have not heard this about saint's altars, but I would assume that it must be the same case. Of course you'd think the saints would know to turn away during such an intimate moment ;-).
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:10 am

My husband and i keep four altars in our bedroom and have no trouble having sex in their midst.

We do not do cursing work on these bedroom altars, however. Here is my bedroom altar to Jesus and Siva.

Image

We also have two altars in the shop for business and love. In the church we have two mixed-deity altars plus four candle altars for love, money, blessings, and curses.

We are altar-happy.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by CopperFox » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:16 am

I'm with the altar-happy Ms. cat; if my husband and I restricted our matrimonial sports to the rooms where there were no altars that would leave the bathrooms and closets. I have this peculiar notion that the spirits in our home don't perceive sex in the way we living do. This is just my own feeling, but I think they are more attuned to the joyful, loving energetic aspects than the physicality and lust. Anyhow, I don't feel uncomfortable in the least with sharing any of my activites from my spirits -- familiar or familial -- as one can't really get away from them anyway.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by MysticRootworker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:23 am

LOL Copperfox-
I feel like that too. I mean I have wondered who was watching at times. This is a great thread as I am in the process of deciding about my altars and placement and such. I only have one actual "altar" at the moment and another space that is kinda like workspace/altar. I too think that I will be altar happy, because for me just looking at the photos of altars has a calm, peaceful, happy effect on me. So glad to know that I can go with my heart on the placement of these.
Thank You Miss Cat for sharing yours.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Mama Micki » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:42 am

I live in a somewhat small house with my husband, two daughters, a dog, a cat and over 600 books. My bedroom is about the only place where I can have an altar without the cat jumping on it and knocking something over or my girls touching or taking something. If I had a bigger house, I'd dedicate a room to my magical work, but for now I just make do.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Devi Spring » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:20 am

Our bedroom has a little alcove, from which you can only see the foot of the bed from the right hand side, with you not being able to see the bed at all as you shift left. I had several shelves put up in that alcove since I'm a bibliophile and always needing more space for my books. Being pretty altar-happy, as Miss Cat puts it, the top shelf in that alcove has become an altar space. But you wouldn't get a full show while we're being intimate - you'd get the PG-13 version looking at our feet! So it's technically in our bedroom, but kinda not - as it's in that alcove space and out of view of the bed. That was a nice compromise for me that I felt comfortable with.

However, when I was single and lived alone in a small bachelor apartment, I didn't have any choice but for my altar (at the time I only had 1 and it only had one deity on it) to be within sight of my bed. I put my main deity statue into a nice little wooden box, which kind of acted like blinders - so he could only "see" straight in front of him, and that blocked out the bed. I had personally felt uncomfortable until I made that adjustment.

There are some spirits I wouldn't mind being intimate in front of - and Shiva, as represented on Miss Cat's bedroom altar, would definitely be one of them. That reminds me that I need to find a new home for my Shiva altar, which got packed away when we were renovating.

For me now, it's so much the intimacy that I was uncomfortable with, as I'm married and I can't see any spirit having issues with conjugal relations (even though I personally don't have issues with any consensual relations, but some spirits may feel differently). The energy of the altars was too stimulating for me - I could get settled into sleep with all that lovely energy pulsing on the altars. Once it was out of sight of the bed I felt better and more relaxed.

I did have a small bathroom altar for about 3 hours once. The first time I peed in there I felt sooooo inappropriate! LOL - so it had to find a new home! But then I've heard of people who have lovely watery altars in their bathrooms and just adore it.

I think it comes down to personal choice and comfort level.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Miss Bri » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:29 am

thegoldman wrote:My altar is in my bedroom, where I frequently have vigil candles burning for various saints and for positive work.

Are there any issues with having sex in the same room as your spiritual work? I'm not so concerned about the general drawing work as I am the saint work. It can be a bit unsettling sometimes when seeing pictures of Moses and St. Jude, etc., and I'm wondering if I'm being disrespectful by not extinguishing the candles until we're finishing having sex or if I should just quit worrying about it!?? :?: :)
My love/sex/fertility altar is ALWAYS in the bedroom cause that's where the magic happens :-) I have lived in situations where that has been the only altar in the bedroom, along with my personal prayer altar and I have lived in situations where ALL of my altars have been in the bedroom with the exception of banishing/cursing work. I have noticed that for some who are psychically sensitive having altars with ancestors or active spirit helpers can make rest and sleep a little difficult--dream visitations may go up and there is just a "psychic thrum" that they pick up on. My preference is to have only my love/sex/fertility and personal prayer altars where I sleep. Other altars are found throughout the house.

good luck,
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:09 am

This may be why I was always taught that any altar is fine in your room but your ancestral altar-the idea that it may disturb the sleep of those more sensitive to such things.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by CopperFox » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:01 pm

My actual ancestor altar is in the front parlor of my home, on the back of my Mom's piano. It is by far the most elaborate and lovely altar in the house...and probably sees the least amount of conjugal relations. Not so much because of the function of the altar but it is not an especially private area; anyone in my front yard or on my porch can see into the room and it is where I receive guests and in the near future, rootwork clients. I can see where keeping such an altar in the bedroom could result in a little too much energy for a good night's sleep; it is very full of energy and activity. On occasion when I have an important issue to read on, I'll catch a quick "nap" in that room...it's not really fair to call it true sleep. I guess it is more a between sleep/trance state that is very conducive for me to receive information from my spirits.

My marriage and combined altars for prosperity and Saint Expedite are presently located on the bar that divides my kitchen and living room; that particular altar sees a lot of action...from mundane household activities, to ritual work almost daily and a fair amount of loving...all with no sense of unease for myself or my husband. We do, however, come from a culture where it is the norm to display family photographs throughout the home, and I think that is a variety of altar in and of itself. So folks from our area are used to getting it on in front of a portrait of granny and Auntie Rose. The best thing about the location of that altar is that it is positioned right in front of the sink; dishwashing takes on a whole new feel when you also use that time to pray. It sounds funny, I know, but I can really get into my prayers when I'm scrubbing up the dinner dishes!

Like Devi, I had a brief attempt at an altar in the bathroom. I was thinking it could be a regenerative/healing type altar-space but I dismantled it in only a few days because in my small bathroom it was just too difficult to maintain. Instead, I set up little temporary sacred spaces when I want to do some work of that type in my bathroom.

We have one small altar set up in the craft room of our house, for "Dob" our handyman in residence. When our home was being built, about 36 years ago, one of the workmen was killed in an accident -- he's never left. Last fall he began to kick up some real mischief and Ms. cat wisely advised us to give him his own space. You can read more about that experience and her advice, if you like, under a thread by me titled, "Ghostie House Guest Pestering Baby."

I really enjoy having altars throughout my home; it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to have such tangible reminders of my faith and work present. I am in the process of re-doing the parlor with my ancestor's altar to use for rootworking and reading -- I am planning on adding several more altars to the space to accommodate the needs of my clients. I am especially excited about the candle altar I've planned, I can just see it in my mind lit up with prayers for many. I also found a beautiful peacock statue to incorporate into a protection altar I am building. My altar spaces are constantly changing, vital places that reflect who I am and what I am doing at any given time.

I have enjoyed following this thread and sharing my own experiences. I hope others continue to share their own ways of incorporating altars and ritual space into their homes.

Michelle
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by thegoldman » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:54 pm

All of you have been so helpful. Many thanks!
My situation is based on necessity - my bedroom is my sole source of privacy, so almost all my candles are burned there. Candles of a negative nature are burned in the bathroom, but I have to use small candles for single burns since other people have access to my bathroom.

I'll leave my altar set-up as is since I don't have any alternatives (unless I wanted to pay someone to burn candles for me). Reading the feedback from others who have altars in their bedrooms gives me some peace of mind.
Again, thanks!

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:51 pm

Here's another of altar in our house, nagasiva's devil, witch, and demon altar on the enclosed back porch -- and no, this is not in the bedroom, but by the back door:

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:28 pm

I've always found it interesting how "ecclectic" hoodoo altars can be. I mean they have such wonderful decorations from all sorts of places. I mean they'll have things like candles, masks, toys, figurines. They look mysterious, light-hearted, magical, and vintage all at once. If I may ask, why a witch altar?

I'm really enjoying seeing your altars miss cat! They are marvelous.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Flamethrower » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:40 am

For me, Cat's altars appear to be eclectic works of art. Her altars are beautiful. Love, Luv, LOVE THE UNDERWOOD DEVIL CAN.

I have one altar for everything, but I'm keenly aware of fire hazards so I try to keep items on my altar and surrounding areas to a minimum. I don't live alone, so my altar is a large silver tray on my bedroom dresser with candles, pics, maybe a Saint card or two. On my tray there is a thin sheet of glass acting as a protective barrier between my candles and pictures and papers. I try to burn only plain glass candles with saint cards underneath so no worries about Saint Martha watching me. If I have to leave town when my candles are still burning, I simply lift the tray and set it in the bathtub.

TRUE STORY: I won't do TMI, but I once lived with a man who practiced Santeria and had a beautiful altar honoring Ochun (aka Venus aka La Virgen de Caridad del Cobre) on the fireplace mantel in the living room. Sometimes we set treats for her, but had a vigil candle burning 24/7. We knew we were supposed to cover her statue with a yellow cloth when we had our adult playtime in the same room, but one day we just acted ignorant and thought maybe she couldn't see us if we were behind the couch. No joke, we heard this loud noise and saw that her candle glass had cracked!!! :o :shock:

Thegoldman, your altar is probably perfect for your current situation. If you're concerned about upsetting the saints, then simply turn the pic of St. Jude the other way; I do the same thing with mom's photo on my bedstand. :)

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ShadoWalker » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:44 pm

I have my altars in my bedroom also since I have not other place to place them. As a practioner of the magickal ways my views on sexual relations have also changed in the past. I use to be freaked out if I would have intimate relations in front of altars or pictures..lol. Then I started to think that these are spirits and in all reality the spirits in a way are with me wherever I go soooo just because my altar isn't there it doesn't really mean the spirtis aren't there. Then my view points on sex changed going from just this physical need to an exchange of energy. I never go out and just grab someone I don't know to have that type of relationship with. If I do have intimiate relationshps with someone then it is someone I am connected to and the relationship is intimiate therefore when happening in the room with my altars it's a sacred act. A union. A joining of two spirits to bring forth energy and that energy that is raised I will send into jewlery, or my altar, or even send it out in a quick working.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ANGEL007 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:06 pm

when someone comes and moves your alter blows out your candles and disrespects your belief ! how would you handle this ?

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Devi Spring » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:11 am

This has been discussed before at length, so if you search around the forum you will find plenty of ideas.

Two ideas: You either get better at being discreet (e.g. altars in closets, or cabinets that can be locked and closed away from prying eyes), or can have a rootworker work on your behalf if you are unable to work at your home.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:07 pm

People who disrespect your altar work are not good people to have in your home or in your life.

In my experience, there are several reasons people do this, and i will take them from the worst-case scenario down to the most innocent. As you read these descriptions, you can probably figure ou where the person who disrespected your altar falls on the scale:

1) They are psychopathic / sociopathic threats who mess with everything of anybody's; they will rob, steal, rape, even kill with no sense of boundaries.

What to do?

Get them out of your life immediately. Do not explain, do not argue, do not attempt to influence them. Just get away.

2) They are generally okay with folks in society as a whole but they want to control, rule, or dominate you specifically; they have targeted you as a victim of mental or physical abuse, parental control, marital control, domestic battering, etc.; you will know of other ways in which they are seeking to dominate you, e.g. through the tyranny of food, through sexual control, through financial rulership, etc.

What to do?

Get them out of your life as soon as possible; this may require waiting until you come of age or can get a divorce or find a new home. Do not explain, do not argue, do not attempt to influence them. Just get away.

3) They are okay with society and okay with you, but due to indoctrination by media or an organization, they believe that either some or all forms of spiritual work are either "wrong" or "bad" or "not real" or "dangerous" and so they are only seeking to control, rule, or dominate you in this one sphere of your existence; they do not mess with your other possessions or try to dominate you in other ways.

What to do?

Speak directly to them and tell them to stop touching the sacred things on your altar. If they argue with you, stop the argument immediately and plan to get them out of your life as soon as possible; this may require waiting until you come of age or can get a divorce or find a new home. After your first polite request, do not engage in further conflict on the subject; do not explain, do not argue, do not attempt to influence them. Just get away.

4) They are okay with society and okay with you and they suffer no indoctrination by media or an organization with respect to your spiritual beliefs, but they are either mentally ill or they are intoxicated (with alcohol or drugs) in a way that renders them incognizant of boundaries and rules; they may have OCD, ADHD, alcohol or addiction issues, or other social-developmental problems that blind them to the fact that it is not okay to rummage through other people's clothing, jewelry, cutlery, books, electronic equipment, or mess with their pets or children; their focus is not on your altar per se; in the past they might also have handled or mishandled your cell-phone, your dog, or your collection of tea-cups.

What to do?

Speak directly to them and tell them to stop touching the sacred things on your altar. Listen to their temporized excuses (which might include terms like "oh, sorry, i just couldn't help myself" and when they are done talking, acknowledge what they said, then follow with a short, concise statement that you have rules about your altar which include no one touching it but you, and that you expect them to abide by these rules. If they agree to abide by the rules, then wait until they have gone away, cleanse the altar and re-make it. Observe them the next time they visit; if they follow your rules, all is well; if they do not, consider moving them up into category 3 or consider that their mental illness or intoxication is such that they are not reliable to be around, and remove them from you life accordingly.

5) They are okay with society and okay with you and they suffer no indoctrination by media or an organization with respect to your spiritual beliefs, and they are neither mentally ill nor intoxicated to the point that they fail to respect the property of others, but they suffer from a specific form of mentally ill hypervigilant compulsivity which leads them to believe that candles are "dangerous" and they will put candles out wherever they see them; they do this not only at your altar, but if you observe them over time. you will see them do this in restaurants as well as in the homes of friends and relatives.

What to do?

Speak directly to them and tell them to stop touching the sacred things on your altar. Listen to their temporized excuses (which might include terms like "oh, sorry, i just couldn't help myself" and when they are done talking, acknowledge what they said, then follow with a short, concise statement that you have rules about your altar which include no one touching it but you, and that you expect them to abide by these rules. If they say they cannot abide by the rules, because "candles freak them out" or some such excuse, ask them whether they can either control their impulses while in your home or if all meetings with them should be confined to rooms in which there are no burning candles. Let them explore their options. If they agree to abide by the rules, then wait until they have gone away, cleanse the altar and re-make it. Observe them the next time they visit; if they follow your rules, all is well; if they do not, consider that their mental illness is such that they are not reliable to be around, and limit their ability to enter rooms with you in which candles are lit.

6) They are uneducated, ignorant children.

What to do?

Speak directly to them and tell them to stop touching the sacred things on your altar. be kind but firm. Use the same tone of voice you would use on a toddler who is trying to rev up a chainsaw. "No, honey, that's a tool, not a toy. That's not yours. Put it down and let's find you some toys to play with." Lead them out of the room, if possible. Also, if possible, give them something magical that is appropriate for a child: "Here, honey, this is a special scared stone from India, and you can keep it. It's for you. You can make a wish on it at night when you go to bed."

There you have it -- cat yronwode's Six Stages of Altar Messers and What To Do About Them

P.S. I just uploaded this in more permanent form to the Free Spells Archive page of Practical Tips at

http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/practicaltips.html

Here, courtesy of Lou Florez of The Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers (AIRR), is an entire half a room dedicated to altar space -- it would take some really weird person to walk into that room and mess with this!

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Ruth2 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:22 pm

Hi,

It has recently been heavy on my mind to begin to work with my ancestors. I am very unfamiliar with them and am trying to get a hold of some photos and biographies of my grandparents and great grandparents. I would like to set up a little altar as a way to honor them and invite them to participate in my life more. Does anyone have any suggestions on doing this or products that help with an ancestor altar?

Thanks,
Ruth.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by jwmcclin » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:33 pm

You can set up an altar (the size of your choosing) to include pictures of your ancestors, a white candle and water (I learned from readings) or Florida Water. You can search the forum for additional suggestions. BTW LM sells several oils and waters appropriate for your needs.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Ruth2 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:58 pm

Thank you, but I'm not sure which oils and waters you are referring to. The only oil I saw that seemed like it might be appropriate was a Spirit Guide Oil. Is that the one you mean?

For the Florida Water, are you suggesting a glass of Florida Water on the altar?

Thanks for your response,

Ruth.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Turnsteel » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:53 pm

Ruth wrote:Thank you, but I'm not sure which oils and waters you are referring to. The only oil I saw that seemed like it might be appropriate was a Spirit Guide Oil.
Indian Spirit Guide oil, if you have Native American Ansecstors

Spirit Guide Oil

Blessing Oil

7-11 Holy oil

And that's just off the top of my head, lol. I've used all of those for anointing candles on my ancestor altar.
Ruth wrote:For the Florida Water, are you suggesting a glass of Florida Water on the altar?
Some, by no means all, like to lightly scent the glass of water they put on the altar with a few drops of Florida Water, Kananga Water is also used for this. But no, not a glass of just cologne. I personally just use clean fresh water.

Honestly, your ancestors will tell you what they want. I leave bottles of whiskey, the small ones, unopened, cups of coffee and tea in the morning(sometimes,when they ask) and glasses of whiskey.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by NotDorianGray » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:00 am

I am lucky enough to have been left a selection of cut-crystal bowls by my grandmother, and I use therse on my ancestor altar. I, personally, don't like to keep photos on there, but I have things that have been passed down to me. If you have items left to you, you can dress them with a few drops of one of the oils that HailDiscordia suggested.

I also include items on my altar that reflect my heritage as well as my actual ancestors, as I do not come from a tradition of ancestor worship. I have items brought back from Britain, as that is where my family is from: Ireland, Scotland and England. I have an Egyptian statue symbolising my first introduction to the Western magical tradition. I have a piece of Pounamu (New Zealand Greenstone or Jade) which is my connection to my Iwi (tribe), Ngai Tahu.

An ancestor altar is ultimately going to be personal to you, and reflect those elements of your history that you choose to honour. I would definitely start by purchasing a blessing or holy oil to dress candles on your altar, and perhaps look at the amulet page and see if there is somethign particularly indicative of your heritage that you might want to include as well. Definitely get a nice candle holder and a nice dish to palce offerings into.

Start simple. The more work you do and the more you use this altar, the better an idea you will get as to what your ancestors need and what you feel you ought to include.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Ruth2 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:19 pm

Thank you everyone! These are very helpful suggestions and give me some great ideas on how to start.

Ruth.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Lynda » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:56 pm

I do something a bit out of the ordinary, and I've always wondered about it but haven't asked until now.

Because of my living situation, I don't leave my altars set up. I set them up for specific spellwork and then when I'm done I take them down. I also sort of keep it specific to the room/type of work - for example I do any type of love or drawing work in my bedroom, while work on the "darker" side is done elsewhere. And most of my work involves candle burning, either on its own or in addition to other work, and after leaving them burning for awhile (I leave the altars up for several hours usually) I let them finish in the fireplace, even the glass vigil candles. I set the candles on a nice tray, if its a petition to a saint I have a prayer card and perhaps a glass of water on the tray, and I've never seen it as disrespectful as its more of a safety issue. But others may have a totally different idea and I'd love to hear what you may have to say about this issue.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by wowee » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:45 pm

Hello blessings to all. My question is this, I am about to build me a little meditation room and I need to know which way do I put my alter? Is it to be facing the east or the west or the north or the south? And any other suggestions for my room will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by kimberlyanne » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:38 pm

There's some good info on this thread:

does-altar-set-up-have-an-effect-on-spe ... tml#p33062

Hope this helps!
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by MysticRootworker » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:40 pm

Kimberly Annie-
Too funny while I was looking for that thread, you were posting it. I remember reading it and how helpful I found it.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by kimberlyanne » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:43 pm

That is funny! I thought the thread was/is great too. It's loaded with some good info...!!!!
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Ruth2 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:00 am

I mainly go for what just feels right to me.

I have a devotional altar that reflects my Catholic faith in my room. This is on top of a dresser and I do use it to place candles for spellwork such as success work. The first drawer of the dresser holds my oils and supplies.

I have a money altar on top of a very high bookcase in the living room that I have covered with a "money altar cloth" from LM and that's where I do all money spells. I pretty much always have a green candle going there for my own general prosperity. I also have a framed picture of Santa Muerte as she has helped me with money issues before. I keep some cinammon sticks and a glass of water. I actually keep a glass of water on all my altars.

I have a healing altar set up on top of a shorter bookcase in the living room for all healing spells. There I have a statue of St. Philomena, a green scapular, an OL of Guadalupe candle, blessed Palms, healing oil, herbs, some crystals and some seashells.

Reversing work is generally done in the dry bathtub. I will also use the dry bathtub to place any candles I need to keep burning when I am out of the house.

I think you just go ahead and set up your altar/s in a way that feels right to you based on the knowledge you have now. As time goes by you may change things a little to find ways that work better for you. The direction of my altars has never been an issue for me and I don't need to clean them between workings because they are always used for the same kind of work.

Ruth.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Ruth2 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:20 am

Lynda,

I think that's a very practical solution. Kind of similar to my keeping them in the bathtub. :)

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Miss_Liz » Wed May 26, 2010 8:23 pm

ConjureMan wrote:The idea is to not mix the magico-religious systems.
*Quick disclaimer, I'm sick and my brain isn't working at 100% capacity for being coherent so just keep that in mind if I say something that doesn't make sense or is really stupid.

I've never had any real interest in ceremonial magic so I have no reference material, but I don't see too much of an issue with mixing magico-religious systems (again, ceremonial magic is beyond me and I'm aware it had very specific rules and such..that's what I've heard anyway so I'm not arguing your point). I practice neo-Celtic eclectic..ism. Started off as Wicca in Middle School, then I grew up. Anyway, I use an old computer desk as my alter, the top of it I use as a permanently set up devotional alter to my patrons with statues, candles, incense holder and offering bowls/offerings. Then on the back of the main desk, like where the monitor would go, I have my frequently used books (no room for a book shelf atm) such as magickal encyclopedias, pre-published grimoirs, a bible, a few spell books, my oracle cards and reference book, etc. The desk has 3 little side shelves for like cds and stuff I use for my oils, herbs, candles incense, and frequently used tools (like a wand and athame for ritual). On the main part of the desk where the keyboard and stuff would go is my "working alter" where I light spell candles and do the spells themselves. Under the desk is a little bit more storage and the rest is in my closet in plastic craft storage containers. Coincidentally, because of my very cramped living situation I actually sleep right next to it almost a little under it but doesn't bother me. I've always had to have my alter in my bedroom. I guess semi-combining my alter spaces works for me because I only work in folk magick, so it all blends together pretty well to me as I have never had any real success with "Wiccan/neo-pagan spells."

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Wed May 26, 2010 10:14 pm

Ceremonial magick, at least in most cases, requires its own specific space that is completely unlike the spaces used in folk magick traditions.

What you quote is directed specifically at traditions, not necessarily the altar. If you feel like decorating your altar with elements of all the paths you follow, good for you. However I am of the school of thought that blending traditions *in practice* is not only bad magick, but can leady to shoddy results. For example don't expect to go to the graveyard, cast a circle and petition Hecate to bring a spirit to you then gather that dirt and expect it to work in a hoodoo trick. If you work with a system, follow and honor its tradition without hodgepoging from other system. So my intention in that state was directed at blending traditions not keeping separate altars.

Hope that clarifies. Any further questions can be directed towards me through a PM so as to keep this thread on topic.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Miss_Liz » Wed May 26, 2010 10:54 pm

This thread is about alters and they're set up. That is what I provided with the flip side of your answer as it has been said several times here that everyone does things differently. I said I was unversed in ceremonial magic which I accepted as having stricter guidelines and understand how blending that with folk magic wouldn't work well. I also said I didn't practice neo-pagan magick because it doesn't work for me, but I practice the religion. Any one of any religion can practice hoodoo.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by cognitivedissonance » Thu May 27, 2010 3:01 pm

I'm working on a stealth altar, and I really appreciate all of Bri and cat's advice on practicalities in this thread.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by ConjureMan Ali » Thu May 27, 2010 8:35 pm

Eilis19 wrote:This thread is about alters and they're set up. That is what I provided with the flip side of your answer as it has been said several times here that everyone does things differently. I said I was unversed in ceremonial magic which I accepted as having stricter guidelines and understand how blending that with folk magic wouldn't work well. I also said I didn't practice neo-pagan magick because it doesn't work for me, but I practice the religion. Any one of any religion can practice hoodoo.

Do not mistake my post for correcting your practice. My post is aimed at clarifying the quote of mine and what I meant by that. Neither am I saying you have to be of any one religion to practice Hoodoo. Hope that clarifies.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by DrXTheRebirth » Mon May 31, 2010 11:12 pm

I was taught if you have saints in your room and you plan to be naked, that you cover them up by throwing a sheet over them.
Thank you St. Anthony, Ancestors and Expedite.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by chy clayton s » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:03 pm

Back in December I dedicated an altar to my son - specifically to his sobriety.

I burned a 4" candle every morning and evening, plus various Saints candles, plus various purposed candles. I put my whole self into this work.

(And right about now miss cat and other experienced rootworkers are nodding their heads and knowing what happened.)

I decided in advance that I would work this for 6 months - May 15th was my cut off point.

My son sobered up (from meth), got a decent job, started going to church regularly, and all around became "My Son" again.

I got severely aneamic, seriously stressed my chronic health problem, and became depressed.

May 15th, I burned the last candle and places a cloth over the altar.

May 20th I realized I was depressed and unhealthy and saw an MD for some short-cycle drugs.

May 27th my son lost his job. May 29th he was acting stoned and we told him he needed to pass a drug test to continue living with us - he walked out. June 2nd he was arrested for minor possession. June 7th he was arrested for car prowling and possesion. And June 10th he was incarcerated for parole violation.

Apart of me thinks that I should have continued the altar longer - maybe a year sober would have given him more coping skills. But the reality is that while I can keep him sober by sheer force of MY prayers and faith (and lots of LM oils), if HE doesn't want to stay sober - he won't.

For me, having a pre-determined cut-off point is crucial in rootwork. This is my son and it would be way too easy to justify "one more week - one more moon," as long as he was doing good. And even easier to justify starting over and over again.

But it wouldn't be real for him, and it wouldn't be healthy for me.

Now I just need to start some healing/cleansing work for myself.

chy

--thanks for reading.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Joseph Magnuson » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:16 pm

This was the best post I have read in months... Thank you for sharing that with us.

Good luck to you!
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by Miss Phoenix » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:59 pm

This is both sad and inspirational. I think there is a certain point where you must know when to say when and you did so. Thanks for sharing
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by nknk2 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:54 pm

My Prayers are with you and your son. Have you thought of taking professional help for your son? I am sure you must have, but just adding some thoughts.

Also, meditations helps a lot in healing. If you haven't done it yet,then please give it a try.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by MightyAphrodite » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:50 am

Thanks for sharing that. At least you can feel that you gave it your all. Now it's your son's turn to give it his all.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by kimberlyanne » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:20 am

I commend you for sticking to your plan. Yes...heal yourself.
Kimberly Annie

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by luckycharms13 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:04 pm

I have been doing a few spells for a couple months on my dresser for Reconciliation with my ex. I have been sweeping and mopping my room (including underneath the dresser) pretty regularly with Chinese Wash. Today I was sweeping and found a small (about 2" long) dead frog. There was also a dead fly by the dresser, but the frog really freaked me out. I happened to read the entry in cat's Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic book about frogs earlier today, but I have no clue what it means in terms of a sign or omen. I also have no clue how it got into my room without me noticing, or how long it's been here or where it came from. Needless to say, I'm kind of freaked out. Any ideas regarding what it means and what I should do would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by starsinthesky7 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:07 pm

Please look into getting a reading. This may be an omen or a sign, and it may not be. Here, on the board we can give you many ideas as to what it might mean, but it is still not going to give specifically what it means for your situation. I would suggest getting a 10 minute reading on this manner. Off hand I know Miss Bri does 10 minute readings.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by rein08 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:00 pm

I had seen limited spaced altars which did not looked messy.
Maybe you be looking for suitable crafts for the altar.
You need to be aware of the size of the altar.
good luck.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by sunnyone » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:31 pm

I have a question regarding where the spell work is done. I tend to do any work that's positive or changing for the better in my bathroom (i know, LOL) because it seems to be the most fireproof room and I can place candles in the sink or tub when they need to be left alone for some time without worrying about fire dangers although I do still keep an eye on them.

I want to do some additional work (hot foot type) to get rid of some rather pesky neighbors or at least have them stay away from our property. I obviously won't have the candles burning at the same time, but was wondering if it's okay to share the same space? If not then how far apart should they be kept? If I am sharing the space, how do I clean it properly after something "negative"? Thanks in advance.

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by starsinthesky7 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:25 pm

I would make sure that you cleanse the space adequately. Yes you can do both works in the same space, but you need to make sure that you are cleansing. You can simply divide up the space, and cleanse it with chinese wash, and/or use a sage smudge stick. I use to do some of my stuff in the same room but different space, but I was constantly cleansing the air, and myself when I went between works. Yes I would have them burning at the same time.

Here is how to use chinese wash. http://www.luckymojo.com/chinesewash.html
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by katherine2 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:31 pm

Hello everyone.....
I'm new and I want to set up my alter and it seems that I read somewhere that it is your preference on how you want to set it up and what color cloth you can use...
I was reading Charms Spells and Formulas by Ray Malbrough and he says I should use a white cloth for my alter...and that I should place two white candles in the middle back of it.....And also, what do I anoint my candles, tools, etc. with?
Can anyone clear this up for me? It seems like I read one thing somewhere saying one way and then I read something else somewhere saying another....
Looking forward to any replies....Thank you for the time to read my message....

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by starsinthesky7 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:37 pm

Please read this thread to see if it helps does-altar-set-up-have-an-effect-on-spe ... -t124.html

Different books are going to have different opinions on how to set up an altar.

Here are various things you can put on your altar space
http://www.luckymojo.com/mojocattools.html

As for your altar, and what you anoint your candle with, it depends on what your objective is. If its for love this some people have an overall, love lamp going to draw in love and what not. You can have various candles on the altar to keep heat on the situation. Some people put saints, and ancestor things to help the work.There is not right way to do an altar. It can be simple or it can be complex. The idea is to make it personal and make it your own.
Thank u St. Martha for everything you have done on my behalf.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by jwmcclin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:58 pm

That's basically it katherine...(as starsnthesky7 said) different people do different things and personalize to their liking. I have followed spells and as I learn, personalize to my needs/feelings/desires...and have found it worked better for me by adding this or removing that. You will find the same as you learn and practice.
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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by katherine2 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:52 pm

Thank you both so much for your time to answer my question...
Yes I have read the forum you suggested, thank you...but still wasn't sure...
I thought it would be ok to set it up the way I like it....I have put some gold cloths down with candles, some white, some off white, red and brown....and I really like it that way....I was hoping I wouldn't have to change it...I will be getting an incense burner, but haven't decided on what kind....
Oh....P.S. I also have some angel statues on my alter also.....I hope that is ok....
I hope you both have a wonderful evening......

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Re: Altars: Questions and Answers

Unread post by katherine2 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:05 pm

P.S.S.S..... LOL
I forgot to add that he does not give any specific reason to light the candles....He doesn't even say to anoint them .....He just says that they are your alter candles and the one on the left should be lit first....

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