In today’s blog, we are reminded to recognize that the world is God’s temple and that all places and situations are sacred when we are open to seeing the Presence and Action of God in our midst. There is never a place where God is not present and active. And, we have the opportunity, through our intention and our action, to set aside special places where we are constantly reminded of God’s Presence in our lives.
Little Altars Everywhere
I’m a ritual girl. Perhaps it is my Catholic upbringing, my Irish ancestry or simply a function of my temperament. I love ritual. And because I love ritual, I love altars. I love altars so much in fact that there is one in every room of my house. Jesus and Mary Magdalene decorate my altars. Favorite pictures of my children, my family and my favorite sacred places (Lake Lumby and Stonehenge). A vase of feathers and some of my favorite stones decorate my altars as do words, messages and symbols of encouragement and intention. The collage art that I have created are each an altar in their own right. My home is made up of little altars everywhere. Until this past week, my altars were sequestered inside my home. Inspired by a recent graduate course in Shamanism through which my own inherent shamanic gifts are being affirmed, I decided to bring my altar obsession outdoors through the creation of my own version of a Medicine Wheel. Please join me for a little tour.
In the East
In the East is my altar representing the element of air and light, new beginnings and birth. Christ is to whom I give honor in the East as he represents the light. Birdfeeders and birdhouses nourish and protect our animal friends who float on the air. And yellow is the color I chose to represent the spark of the morning dawn.
Applying the principles of Feng Shui into my medicine wheel, I made sure to include space for intentions of abundance and prosperity. The cauldron represents the abundant nature of God and anchors the belief that all my needs will be met in abundance. Tibetan Prayer flags hang in the corner sending my prayers out into the universe and Kuan Yin coins hang from the trees representing my intention to be open to receiving all I need in food, clothing, shelter, safety and support.
In the South
South represents the element of fire along with the transformative power of fire to assimilate what is life-giving, while releasing that which is not life-giving. As such, my firepit resides in the south, a hanging candle and the sun – the ultimate image for fire. In the South, I give honor to my Celtic heritage by remembering the Morrigan – the Celtic triple goddess of transformation and change. She also represents our willingness to enter into the hidden realms – those places of perceived darkness – our fears, our shadow side, etc. the places where we go to be transformed so that what stands in the way of our freedom can be transformed into something useful and beneficial.
Love and Relationship Corner
Returning to Feng Shui, this corner anchors my intention for loving and supportive, interdependent relationship. Two chairs represent partnership. The love totem bedecked in fuschia represents the joy of loving partnership. The angel bedecked in green holds my prayers for abundant love and compassion. And the compass demonstrates the revolving wheel of life and God’s finger pointing me in the direction of love.
In the West
West is related to the element of water – hence the bird bath and the water vessels scattered throughout this garden. Water represents movement and our ability to surrender to the ebb and flow of life, trusting that we are being carried on the waves of God’s love to our highest good. The fleur-de-lis stands for my spiritual teacher and guide, Mary Magdalene. She stands as complement to Christ who stands in the East. Mary shows us where we are going.
In the North
North is related to the element of earth and represents completion, fulfillment, manifestation of dreams and visions and having arrived at our destination. In the North, we have time to rest for the work is done, the harvest has come in and we are feasting. In the North, I give honor to the Celtic god of the underworld – Gwynn Ap Nud who reminds us to rest from our toils so that we may gather strength for the next cycle of birthing. Gwynn Ap Nud, like the Morrigan, also invites to go deep – to be bold enough to enter into the darkness, the unknown, the place of our fears so that we can find the treasure buried there. Gwynn first came to me while on pilgrimage in Glastonbury, England and I can tell you his work is HARD – but well worth the trouble! In honor of Earth, I have chosen an iron ornament and a large boulder of sandstone – appropriately dubbed “the fairy rock” by my amazing children – as Gwynn is also known as King of the Fairies.
Thank you for joining me on this little tour. I hope this has inspired you to ask where you see the Presence and Action of God in your surroundings? How might you set aside a special place as a constant reminder of God’s immanent and imminent Presence?