In my work of connecting to the inner sacred landscape of self, the altar is the second conduit between that numinous realm and the shared reality. The first is the practitioner, in all our imperfection and grace.
We keep our records at the altar; we connect to our body, our heart, and our mind here. The altar is the sticking place where we screw our courage; and sometimes the place where our courage gets screwed. Intense and personal magickal work can be scary!
The altar is a bridge that leads to the wild wonder which dwells in each of us. It exists in both realms and holds objects, thoughts, and visions gathered on one side or another; it reminds us that our actions in either place bear fruit in all places. Integrity is paramount.
We consider the altar as an ally in our journeys; it’s a place and a thing, but also a person, with a spirit of its own. My altar is an antique vanity, with a huge round mirror, several drawers and different levels. She has mismatched pulls, and the silver is mottled so there are spots in the reflection. She is old and beautiful, warm and inviting. When we were moving, she ended up in storage for several months. When I got her back and into my studio, it was like a pall had been lifted and my magick was stronger than ever. I love her dearly.
She is her own entity, and at the same time, as a place, she provides a gathering spot for other spirits. These spirits may be bodied (as in a stone, plant, or candle) or unbodied (as in ancestors or other guides). Spells live there, and images of the gods I work with, along with my deep well of compassion. She is the address I give to those powers I want to connect with; they know they can find me at the home of my magick, my charming and adept altar.