The “hearth” of Brigid’s Hearth
As you may know I am working with the ADF‘s Dedicant Path and one of the goals is to create a central “hearth” altar dedicated to the three Kindreds (The god/desses, the honored dead, and the local land spirits). Which is awesome by me since Lacy and I have been constructing an altar for almost all of the two years we’ve been together (not to mention that, even in my Catholic Days I had a shrine in my room). Today I would like to give you a tour of our main altar that sits on the mantel. This is not the only altar in the house as the Hindu deities have their own room dedicated to them (they like their privacy).
Here it is! In all it’s glory sitting smack in the middle of our living room! In fact, since we don’t really watch the TV much, it is pretty much the focal point of the room. For the specifics of the altar we’ll work left to right.
Over on the far left is our Holiday Calendar, while in this picture if kinda resembles an amorphous piece of wood, it actually contains a relief carving of the Awen and Bardic sigil with the Wheel of the Year in Welsh around the inner circle. The Green Goddess is our newest addition to the altar, a wedding gift from a great couple friends, she proudly watches over the house and my incense burner. Next to her are our two robed gentlemen, the smaller one in brown is Saint Francis of Assisi, patron of wildlife and famous for talking to animals. The big guy in all white is a corn dolly (Native American Style) who we have named Bran the Druid. Another corn dolly (British style this time) adorns a bronze bust of a wolf, one of Lacy’s spirit animals. We also have a picture from our handfasting on the altar because, well, we’re cute and it has some severely positive energy.
Standing proud in the center of the altar is our “indoor” Cosmic Tree representation. The actual tree part is a bough of mistletoe (the leaves have been removed and stored for other use) and is set into a beer bottle wrapped in hemp cord. A ring hangs from one of the branches, my father gave me the ring on my wedding day and now it is my ritual ring, I put it on whenever I do something intentionally Druid-y. Hanging on the wall, fairly obscured by the tree is a Welsh Love Spoon that I carved for Lacy during our first year together. As you can see Jesus and the Virgin Mary still flank the center of the altar. I still honor Yeshuah bar Yusof (Jesus) as a demi-god of another pantheon and respect his teachings of love and compassion for all people. Next to Mary on top of the box (more on that in a second) is a bar of soap with a depiction of the Birds of Rhiannon, whose song could wake the dead and lull the living to sleep. The black bag rest my runes, carved in oak from our outside Cosmic Tree, these are my tools for divination and for contacting Awen.
The Box is kind of our travel altar (or our “alter altar” if you’ll forgive me for the pun) and is probably the power core of our home, it hold feathers, carvings, Native American artifacts and stones. Three sides have prayers burned into them, one side is in Runes and prays to the Aesir for protection, the front is in Ogham and asks the Shining Ones for guidance and the third is in Cherokee and thanks the Great Spirit. The paper underneath is brand new and lays out the ADF Core Order of Ritual as adopted for a solitary (for more on that see Teo Bishop’s blog post).
And finally we come to the right side of the altar. Again you can see a wolf with a corn dolly (I’m not sure why that’s a meme here) and another torc, I failed to point out the other but it is also right next to a wolf, corn dolly and incense burner. Behind these is my first real wood burning project, the Thor’s hammer with runes circling it. The gold frame holds pictures of a few of our honored dead and the coins (hard to see but they are there) were given to Lacy by her late grandfather, usually a candle sits here but I seem to have misplaced it. The feather is actually a quill, the same quill with which my father signed our marriage license. The skull is from a fox whose body we found behind our old apartment, the fox plays a part in my first trip to the other lands (astral plane) and this one gave her life not long after that. A squirrel tail is propped up against it, given to us by the same two awesome people who gave us the Green Goddess because they know I appreciate animal parts. On the other side of the skull is a pig bone that I found on the same trip where I bought the kachina dog.
So that’s our altar, busy as it is. Sorry if this became utterly repetitive but I thought that some of you might appreciate seeing how our eclectic nature translates in the physical world.
Peace and Blessed Be /|\