There are times when I want to pray, but I cannot find the words.
There are times when I want to meditate, but my head is too loud.
So I create altars. This is what I do.
For me, altars are an expression of so much, it is my art, my prayer, my connection with the deep mystery of life.
Altars can symbolize so much...
An altar can be something that honors a teacher or a departed loved one.
It can be a place to leave your wishes, your prayers, or the surrenders of your heart. Altars can serve as a still point in your home, a place which reminds you of your spiritual practice. An altar can express your personal story or can be a visual metaphor for your dreams.
I began making altars in grade-school.
I would make them in secret places, as they felt like such an intimate part of my soul. They were mostly made of sticks, leaves, and stones but I also made them my Dad's cigar boxes. I wasn't sure why I made them, it was just something that came naturally to me. The act itself gave me a sense of comfort and connectedness.
As I got older I became fascinated with altars, mandalas, grottos, iconology, rituals, shrines, and spiritual ceremonies of all faiths. I wanted to learn, I wanted to witness, I wanted to discover the things that my soul was craving. This is why you will often see many different traditions and beliefs represented in the altars I create.
It just so happened that I had a good friend who from early childhood was also building altars. When we discovered we had this twin history, a special bond was formed. This is why when I had dreamt about guiding a class on this very subject, Madelyn came to mind immediately. Little did I know she was dreaming up the very same thing!
Madelyn is a thousand beautiful things. Upon meeting her you will swear you just met a magical faerie.) She has a deep and profound eye for beauty, she is able to weave grace and goodness into the shadows, she has a willingness to dig deep for answers and has a strong heart-based intuition. She brings delight wherever she goes! Whenever Maddie and I are around each other, I end up with sore cheeks from smiling so much.
This October, Madelyn and I will be guiding a class called Practical Magic at the Serendipity Retreat in the Outer Banks. We will be creating personal altars and mandalas on the beach. We will also be making gorgeous cynotypes with treasures from the sea. (talk about magic!)
It is an incredible gift to be working alongside Maddie who sees the sacredness in creating this kind of beauty. I am so grateful.
Perhaps you have always been fascinated my atlars, or maybe they are an integrated part of your life. If you would like to join us or are interested in being a part of our gathering, you can check out all the deets here.
Perhaps this is just the kind of gift you have been longing to give yourself :)
We would love to see you there!