FRIENDS OF THE TRAVELING ALTAR CLOTH….
AN ANNUAL NEW YEAR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TRADITION!
Last year at this time I described a tradition that has grown more important than ever to me, and has come to include a wider group of people in my life…both friends and family!
This spiritual practice tradition started a few years ago when a dear friend gifted her niece and myself with an altar cloth for the New Year. Her idea was for us each to use our altar cloths as a physical symbol of our intention to incorporate spiritual/inner practice into our lives throughout the year to come, and then to pass it on.
For some reason, the way the gift was presented reminded me of the movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. The idea of passing our altar cloths on to others each year emerged and we initially called this practice the SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING ALTAR CLOTH. To add to the ritual, she also suggested we choose a word for the year. Last year my word was “enlightenment”.
To be more inclusive of friends and family who might be the next recipients of an altar cloth, I’m going to suggest that we begin to call this wonderful tradition the “FRIENDS” OF THE TRAVELING ALTAR CLOTH.
After the first year of living with my altar cloth, I passed it to a beautiful soul sister friend of mine. She recently reported that after a year of sitting with this altar cloth during daily meditation, she recently passed it on to another friend, and so goes the evolving story of the “FRIENDS” OF THE TRAVELING ALTAR CLOTH.
It was inspiring to sit in ceremony with my Altar Cloth Sisters on the last day of 2015 to share stories about our journey through the year, how we worked with our altar cloth, and how our “word for the year” came to teach us. Then we presented each other with our new altar cloths and I fell in love with mine immediately.
This is the third year of what promises to become a lifelong tradition of sisterhood, friendship, family, and community, all supporting spiritual connection, and I thought you might like to join in!
We are still in the New Year gateway! It’s not too late to gather one or two or more of your friends and family together to start your own “FRIENDS” OF THE TRAVELING ALTAR CLOTH” tradition, or another tradition that draws people in and starts an annual practice of any kind! Let me know if you do! Inspiring one another to make and maintain our relationship with the Divine in every way we can is precious and this is a very sweet and fun way to do it.
ACTIVATE Your HERE AND NOW POWER With A PERSONAL ALTAR
I use my Personal Altar as a Sacred Place to…
Re-commit: My altar is a visual expression of the commitment I have given to GO INSIDE to connect with Spirit, to receive guidance from my Higher Self, and to nurture my creative intentions.
Meditate and Pray: I spend time near my altar and attend to my altar to create a sacred space that supports my desire to turn within. My altar represents my ability to connect with the Divine and offers a physical place to mediate and pray.
Ground: Taking the time to go to my altar and give it attention helps me to connect with self and become more grounded.
Reminder: Every time I walk through the room and see my altar and note where I have placed symbols that are important to me, I am reminded of Spirit, my true self, my values, dreams, and goals.
Blessing or Activation Point: My altar is a place to bring attention to or energize that which I desire to create or increase.
Cleanse and Release: It is a place where I can turn something over to Spirit to bless and release.
Make my prayers visible: I love interacting with my altar and over the years have discovered there are infinite ways to do so! Examples include placing a candle in the center and lighting it to call in my own Light at the beginning of a meditation session. Also, sometimes I make my prayers visible by writing them down and placing the writing on the altar or selecting an object, such as a beautiful flower or stone to symbolize my prayers.
Travel with me: And of course, I can move my altar cloth around the house, bring it outside in my yard, or pack it up and take it with me!
How To Create A Personal Altar:
1. Set an Intention for your altar. It could be a Healing Altar, an Abundance Altar, an Ancestor Altar. It can be dedicated to any intention or representation of the Divine that is inspiring to you. Your home altar is your personal spot where you can go to grow and deepen your relationship with your soul and the Divine.
2. Find a location. Place it in a spot that feels just right. It could be on a special table, dresser top, windowsill, cupboard, hanging on the wall, or on a shelf in your bookcase…
3. Place Your Symbols. Perhaps begin with an altar cloth. Ask your Higher Self “what wants to go on this altar”, and trust whatever you get. Examples: image or symbols of the Divine that are meaningful to you, photos of ancestors, family members, pets, candles, flowers, written intentions, divination tools such as a bowl of angel cards, stones, shells, feathers, a bowl of water, money and other objects that symbolize what you desire to experience, create, contribute, remember, and manifest.
4. Keep your altar clean and current. Dust and arrange it frequently, remove objects that no longer feel are no longer needed or no longer support your intention. Activate it with fresh flowers, a new candle, or a new treasure. Use your intuition to keep your altar clean and current.
As the New Year gets underway, the magical energies that can fuel transition, cleansing, learning, practice, and renewal are here for the taking! Use them well!
Georgette Star MA, D.Min