Pagan News and Views Since 1998

Once upon a time I lived in a house with a hexagonal storm room in the wilds of Central Florida. I turned it into something of a home temple, an entire room to dedicate to my craft. Taking advantage of such a prized commodity, I had three places of focus – you could call them altars.

My main altar was a round glass and metal picnic table. I did not use an altar cloth, because I am a klutz, and klutzes, candles, and cloth do not make a good combination. In the center of the altar I had a large cauldron wreathed by ivy. A white candle burned in the cauldron. This represented the Eternal in any form. To the North, I had a feather bundle of chamomile and a yellow stone. The East was marked by a pretty shell-dish filled with sea salt and a green stone. I marked the south with a single red candle and a red stone. Finally, I kept my chalice in the West, along with a blue stone. I had a large piece of citrine and smaller chips of the stone among the ivy, as they represented the Irish deity Oghma and creativity, which is my special affinity.

In the West of the room, I kept a Thanatropic place of meditation. One does not worship Azrael, but one does commune with the energy, and this altar was my place of communion. I had two black candles at either back corner of the rectangular altar. An incense burner for jasmine incense in the form of the Grim Reaper stood on the altar. I had a white candle in a Roman-fashioned tripod, again to represent the eternal. Jasmine oil sat to the left while a jar of dried jasmine flowers was on the right.

The East of my room was home to my Vodoun/Earth Magic altar, which was an interesting combination of traditions. The snake is a sacred Vodoun symbol and is also my power animal. Thus, I had a variety of rubber snakes on this altar. Above the altar hung a flag of a rainbow with a black serpent, which represented the marriage of Damballah and Aida Wedo, the great loas of Vodoun. To the back of the altar sat a tiny cauldron filled with live oak acorns and two black votive candles to either side. Three coffins each with a plastic skeleton (Halloween is a great time to go shopping!) circled the cauldron, and are joined by two skull candles that are never lit. A phial of Earth energy anointing oil was at the front of the altar, my broom rested against the side, and my rattle and my ritual drum sat at the foot of the altar.

So this is how I’ve done it. What about you? I hope this little essay has sparked your imagination with wonderful ideas for your own places of focus.

Just a few ideas...

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