starting over

Jul 26, 2007
I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I'm not really a religion-in-a-time-of-crisis person. I think it's partly because I resent the idea that any religion works as a self-help program. Surely there's something more to it than that. Then again, a relationship with the gods is, like any relationship, made up of give and take. Then again, I'm horrible at human relationships, why should I be any better at divine ones?

I took apart my altar today, and it didn't even feel like disassembling something. It needed to be cleaned anyway -- dusted, tidied up, wicks trimmed and wax chipped away, things like that. I'd let the water bowl dry up and it was coated inside with the crap that the city just can't get out of our well. I took the altar cloth outside to shake it out, wondering what it meant that this didn't seem to mean anything to me, and when I came inside I liked the look of the empty space so much I left it that way.

To tell the truth, I can't be positive I ever properly consecrated half the stuff on my altar. It migrated there, for one reason or another, some for good reasons and some for bad, but right now it looks like a pile of stuff. Five minutes after I left the altar table empty, it felt like a hole in the world, but I knew I couldn't fill it up by piling that stuff back on it. Five minutes after that I was all wrapped up in the Plan, thinking, I'll clean what I have, and decide if I still want it or need it, and then I'll reconsecrate it and build a better altar, and it will be Great, and I knew I had cut off whatever emotional reaction I had been having to it, but hell, you can't feel that much all the time or you'd go insane. Right?

I have epiphanies like this at least twice a year, and they never seem to stick, so I hardly think this is going to be earth-shatteringly revolutionary or anything. But I guess you never know.


Luna said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog. I really like it.
I go through the same kind of cleaning sprees with my altars, too.

Anonymous said...

I don't see religion as a self-help program as religion has many different functions, but I do think help in varying capacities are among those functions.

People are dynamic and life is always changing so our altars need not be static. Reading your entry, it seems like the arrangement you took down did it's job and now you are ready for something else. Your altar is your personal expression; there's no right or wrong way to arrange it.