Growing up, my orientation about Altars was mixed, a bit historical, theological and imaginal. Large altars were the focal point in churches. Mythic Gods and Goddesses danced in merriment in Sacred Groves, which for me became imaginal altars of the natural world. As a child I recall making shadow boxes with figurines , toys and sometimes clay figures.
In time, I began to create vignettes of objects, visual 3D stories of stones, crystals, seashells, candles etc., in my home. Little did I know that I was creating altars. Here below, a public image of a stone altars.
When I came to New Mexico, new visual worlds revealed themselves in this very artistic community. Day of the Dead Altars contests at Halloween. Artistic Altar contest, Black Madonna Altars…it was as tho the childhood Shadowboxes had magically reinvented themselves !
Now I create collage altars, symbolic points of remembrance of intentional prayer and memories. Often creative themes emerge that I would like to explore for awhile, either a color and design theme or totemic themes…such as this altar here, one side is a mystical journey across an imaginal landscape, the other a more person symbolic reference to Northern New Mexico.
Sometimes altars are devotional. As a JourneyCircles™ Faciliator I began to explore creating in the round, specific themes on round cards, that I then mix and match to hold a space of contemplation for a time.
This year I am working on a pop-up Altar that can fit in a Cosmic Smashbook. This is a work in progress, which will be revealed on Saturday Oct 31st. in Honoring our Ancestors ~ Under the Light of the Full Moon workshop with Ellison James and Myself. Beginning 6:00 pm MST