For those of you who are non-wiccan pagans, what's on your altar? More to the point I'm curious what an altar that doesn't include the God and Goddess dichotomy includes. If you have them and are comfortable sharing, pictures would be great!
My last post was asking about pagan-themed writing prompts. I still haven't found any, but I did find some links to some guided meditations, which can be good prompts for journaling. If you're interested I put them behind the cut. I claim no responsibility for the quality of these meditations since I haven't used any of them yet and simply found them by googling.
http://pythorium.com/?q=node/420 (Not guided meditation, but a "daily devotional" type thing)
Don't have a picture, but my altar isn't too Wiccan-esque. It does have the flavors (since I started out Wiccan about 10 years ago... sheesh!), but it's rather plain compared to most. :)
Probably the most Wiccan thing on my altar is a statue of a woman, my Spirit, that I got at the dollar store when I was about 15. She's been there all along, though she has no name nor association. She's just pretty.
Well, I don't have an alter per se. I do have a couple home shrines though.
One is outdoors, and it's just a tree, brass well, tiki torch and portable fire pit. I eventually plan on getting a fountain and benches there, just have to get around to it. In good weather, that's where I do my workings.
In bad weather, I use one on my dresser. Again, similar setup, I bring in the brass well, a few candles, an incense burner or two (depends on if I used one elsewhere) and a tree represented by a rose I got many many years ago.
Both are very simple, and I don't feel a need for statuary, especially since there aren't any for the major deity I follow. When I'm doing workings, I just bring in whatever sacrifices I'm making, (sacrifice litterally means to set apart for a sacred purpose, not the connotation that most people have), and a bowl or two to put them in if indoors.
Oh, probably should mention, I'm an ADF Druid (www.adf.org) with a Norse focus, so that should explain the symbolism of fire/well/tree.
Interesting that you ask such a question. My main alter has no god/goddess upon it main because due to what I am doing it may change on what items, dieties or spirits that I wish to come to my ritual/working. It is a simple round table, low to the ground, and holds a couple of candles my wand and boline and a shell for sage. Whatever the working is will dictate what I need to put on it. My main outdoor alter is a slate slab in the center of a circle. Currenlty there is a fire pit in the south, a bird bath to the west, an anvil to the north and windchimes to the east. This summer a circle of flowers with foot stones laid for access will be added. I think that everyone has to "build" what is right for them; for me it is simple and there in lies the beauty.
I have a quadrant altar - I have things representative of the 4 elements - because I am trying to work with elementals more. Plus I have dragons for the 4 quadrants as well, as I work with Dragon energies as well. I also have a candle that represents the male and female and spirit.
My alter is also elemental in form. I have many small trinkets that I can add or remove if I want to work with one element or entity. I use a multi-colored covers-eyes-only mask to show spirit, because it is neither male nor female.
Point of note: I do have pictures of a male and female I can add for focus when call on the energy of a particular Named personage (altho the figure in the pics have masks on too). I simply prefer the fluidity of a force rather than a person.
I'm Wiccan, but my strain of Wicca leans towards polytheism. So, while the ritual altar contains the typical Wiccan symbolism, my semi-permanent worship surfaces are shrines to the various gods I'm working with. Shrines usually include a deity icon or symbol, various associated objects, and offerings to or gifts from the deities. I use these shrines for my daily prayers and mediations.
IMO, form should follow function for altars. A ritual altar has the symbolism and tools needed for the ritual, whereas a devotional altar (or shrine) contains objects that attune you with the gods. So what sort of altar are you asking about, or would there even be a difference in your tradition.
To be honest I don't have a tradition, I'm one of those eccletics. I don't think I've ever heard someone make a distinction between a ritual and devotional altar- very interesting. That definitely makes sense. Thanks for making me think!
What's on my altar changes depending on what I'm doing, but when it's not in use I keep it pretty simple. I have a statue of Hecate because she's the Goddess aspect that I have felt the strongest pull toward. On either side of the statue are two large crystal candlesticks. I also have my wand, which I made out of a branch that fell off of my favorite tree in our yard. There's a small soapstone altar tile that's a combination of a pentacle and the triple moon. Underneath it all is an altar cloth that I hemmed by hand, though that changes depending on the season. On the second shelf I keep my tambourine and sometimes some books. The altar is actually made out of an old TV stand/cabinet that we had around after getting our entertainment center.
This picture is of one of our cats in front of the altar when we honoured Bast at Imbolc this year. Instead of Hecate, there's an artist's rendition of Bast that I printed off the internet. On the second shelf is my "Workbook of Shadows" (different from my Book of Shadows). The picture isn't fantastic because my husband took it with his cell phone.
Normally the altar stays in the master bedroom. However it's moveable, so when we need a lot of space, or want it to face a certain direction we move it out to the living room, which is where it is in the picture.
I've only been a practicing pagan for a little over a year, so I'm still evolving quite a bit. My husband has also only recently become a practicing pagan so who knows where we'll be in a year! :)
I am an ADF Druid with a Greek Hearth Culture. My Home Shrine -- the main altar/shrine -- contains our traditional Fire, Well, and Tree. I also have an incense brazier, and a beaten-copper offering bowl. The Shrine also includes a statue of Apollo, one of Hecate, and one of Hermes. These are my three Patrons.
Other shrines are quite varied, as they are tailored to specific purposes.
Although I AM Wiccan, I also have shrines up in my room for my patron deities that are not the same as a Wiccan altar. My shrine to Hekate includes a statue of her (a gift from my fabulous boyfriend), a candleholder with a black candle in it, and a censer with an incense I created especially for her. I would like to rework that shrine at some point, adding a few more of her symbols.
I also have a shrine for Cernunnos, with a statue of him (also a gift from the boy, who is clearly awesome), a deer antler (naturally shed), a green candle in a stag-shaped candleholder, and a piece of fur. I also keep the necklace I have with his image on there.
I know other people who have a seasonal shrine (or altar, of you prefer). They often include seasonal flowers, fruits, or simply dead leaves or twigs, depending on the season, as well as other things that remind them of the season.
You could also have a shrine or altar for your ancestors. Things that remind you of your loved ones who've passed on would be good there, and maybe a dish for offerings.
Oh, let's see, now...we have a feather to honor Air, a clay rose for Fire, a rain stick for Water, and a geode for Earth. There are pocket watches that do double-duty for Time and Ancestors (as they once belonged to our fathers), an acorn for Descendants, and a foot-tall tree sculpture for Mystery/What Is. We also have a couple candles, because we like setting things on fire, and a small dish for holding any talismans or other magical ephemera what need holding.
Under all of that we always have seasonal decorations, like paper snowflakes in Winter and silk leaves for Autumn.
I don't know if anyone is watching this thread anymore, but after unsuccessfully searching for a pagen-themed writing prompt site that was regularly updated, I decided to start me own. The community is called pagan_prompt and it will be updated every week. I will do a proper post in this community as soon as the moderator's queue empties out.
I have a calcite chakra set (mostly calcite stones in the chakra colors), and statues of Buddha, Quan Yin, and Ma'at (although I thought Ma'at was Isis when I purchased the statue). I also have an icon of Jesus, because my roots are in Christianity and the icon wanted to be on the altar. I also have some personal statuettes that are sacred to me. It's on my dresser on the right side, although sometimes my clutter tries to overtake it. Hope that helps.
I consider myself Pagan..not a Witch nor a Wiccan. Just a Pagan interested in Goddess Spirituality.
With that said I tend toward a more Nature theme with my altars though recently I've been leaning toward a more involved look when it comes to the Sabbats. My altars in the past haven't had alot to do with either God or Goddess. Just symbols of nature...leaves, acorns, Faerys, a bell, a cauldron, crystals, etc.
Though a couple of years ago my mother gifted me with a beautiful Isis statue which I've been displaying in my altars to represent the Goddess, as it's the only Goddess representation I have at the moment.
A few months ago I put a goddess plaque and a Greenman plaque on the walls to either side of my altar space. I like balance in my altars if I can achieve it.
Eventually I'd like to do more with my altar...perhaps even make it a functioning altar.