At this time of year, I find I spend a lot of time thinking about my altar and household shrine.
I deconstruct it, take it apart piece by piece, removing that which has served it’s purpose or is no longer needed, so that I can build it up again into a current representation of my practice. It is never static and always changing.
I clean it, then cleanse it, banishing from it all the stale and stagnant energy that has been attracted to it through a year’s worth of rites and rituals. Although I keep my altar clean and tidy, and cleansed, when Imbolg arrives it never feels like it’s enough. Perhaps it is simply because it is in constant use…or perhaps I believe I do not a good enough job of cleaning it. Well, it doesn’t matter. It can never be too clean.
As Imbolg is also a time for preparing for dreams, goals and wishes for the future, I find that focusing on my altar is a great first step in ritually planning what I am working towards. I add pictures and words to remind me to direct my energy to the right places.
Symbols of the season also find there place amongst the other objects: sketches of branches just coming into bud, things associated with the goddess Brigid…
Altar maintenance is a practical expression of my pathway, my magic. It is also a visual reminder of who and what I am.