This quarter’s altar is really a three-in-one. I’m limited for altar space around here. While this doesn’t look cluttered, there’s a lot going on. From left to right:
First, there’s my Israeli stoneware cup, or chalice, which I find I don’t really use very much. The blue votive holder is back. It’s really my Holy Mother candle votive. It was made by a friend as a going away present when we moved from the Bay Area. Flanking it are two peacock feathers (hard to see against the black heater top). Peacocks are sacred Feri symbols. Behind the votive is a carved, Black Mother figurine.
In the middle is the wooden star. A red candle with twin dragons carved around it. Three horse chestnuts, also known as conckers, decorate the altar as symbols of autumn They are everywhere here. I put them on a sign of the season and as an offering. The incense holder is here, also for offerings. I have a beautiful blue glass sugar bowl that I’ve turned into a censer that I use for cone incense and for censing my house. But it’s too big to keep out.
Beginning the right hand side, which is the Ancestor portion of my altar, is a beautiful blue ceramic pitcher. In it I place libations of water. Right now it’s got water in it from St Non’s Well in Pembrokeshire, a very potent place. There is the framed picture of my namesake, my late maternal grandmother. There are also pictures of my (living) mother as an infant. It may not be wise to have pictures of the living on an ancestor altar, but I feel it’s appropriate in this case; these pictures want to go together. There is my black glass votive I light for the Ancestors in the evening. Tucked in the back and hard to see is a little picture of Victor and Cora Anderson, the ‘founders’ of Feri. Ancestors are not just those to whom you are blood related. I believe it is important to honor Victor and Cora, not just for their legacy, but also in hopes that they might bless the work I do within the Feri tradition.
As I was dismantling the last altar Ganesh made it abundantly clear to me that he did not want to be put away, or even moved upstairs where the other murtis are being kept. Oh no. So he remains in the dining room, on top of the freezer, which also functions as the storage portion of my desk. He gets greeted every morning and I wave the incense at him when I light it.
This all feels cozy and just right! Onward!