i keep a small altar set up in the corner of my desk. it usually includes a candle, some stones, my prized deer skull, and other items of import like tokens and tarot cards. for me, keeping an altar is the practice of creating a sacred space for myself where i can meditate, journal, pray, and contemplate.
everything i keep on my altar has meaning, which i try to keep in tune to the wheel of the year. the wheel is how pagans conceptulaize the coming and goings of the seasons, cycles of death and rebirth, and all the journeys of life.
right now, midsummer is passed which means the days are getting shorter and the harvests are upon us. above is the altar i set up for summer. it is clean and simple compared to my spring altar. in spring i spent a lot of time starting new projects, experiencing growth, and and putting into action decisions that have long term effects. now summer is a busy time to keep all the projects running smoothly. i do a lot of weeding in the summer months in my garden, and i liked that idea. so for my altar, i “weeded” out all the noise and excess of my spring altar (below) so i can focus on the actualization of what i’m cultivating.
this year one of my inner journeys has been to practice listening with my heart and my guy, not my rational mind. i have two stones, one that represents my heart (emotional self) and one that represents my gut (intuitive self). i often meditate or pray with one stone in each hand, palms open in my lap.
i found my deer skull while i was walking fields at work one day. it was under an old, mangled oak tree. obviously it quite small and must have been a young deer. i imagine the animal curling up under the tree to pass. i always keep this in a special place because it reminds me of the fragility of life, and to practice gratitude. i think of the skull as a gift from the universe, a token of the preciousness of life.
it’s fun to keep an altar and have a physical manifestation of your inner journey. before i started keeping an altar on my desk this year, i used to keep small tokens in my yoga space, next to bedside, and on my desk. now i have one place for everything!