Last night, I wrote about creating an altar with small, attractive objects you can easily hide. Here’s my seasonal altar. I set it up on my dresser
Until the first of December, I had a small fabric pumpkin and a good-sized yellow natural leaf in the corner where the green candle tree is. My mother has had that candle for close to 40 years. She kept it nice by putting it back in its plastic bag when putting away the Christmas decorations. That and the pine cone are all that this altar really needs for Yule. Right in front of the tree, behind the fairy, you can see a mini hand-carved wooden deer. On the left side of the Goddess candle holder, a small wooden goddess figure lies on the dresser. There are two mini grapevine pentacles hidden from view–I was trying to give you an altar-level view. I dusted, but I got a nice shot of candle wax that dripped from a taper candle I use to light jar candles that burned down too low to reach with a match. I bought the green goddess tealight figurine on Ebay from this seller.
In the left corner beside the green Goddess, you’ll see a Wade Whimsies green mermaid and orange conch shell. There’s also a real, small seashell. This altar, in addition to being seasonal, is about using tiny things, natural and man-made, to represent the elements. Some of the fairies on the wicker mat (I bought them and the mushrooms here) help create an altar dedicated not just to nature, but to the Fae as well. Remember that this is an altar composed primarily of tiny objects if you don’t have much space and/or you have to be able to quickly hide your altar. That’s why you’ll find no athame here. The mini broom substitutes for it. The besom represents air. The standing fairy represents air. The sitting fairies surrounded by petrified fungi and lichen represent earth. The mermaid and conch shell miniatures represent water. I think that the wicker mat is a nicer altar cover for this very earthy altar than a cloth. I did have to tape some of the figures down with thick double-sided tape. I recommend also taping the bases of figurines like the green tealight Goddess. You can still have an altar cloth. Just tape figurines of this type to the surface of the altar.
I took another couple of shots so that you can see hidden objects. Why am I writing so much and so enthusiastically about Wicca and altars instead of vampires and excerpts from my books? Because after writing six or more hours a night on my novels and six hours a day freelancing to make money now, I needed something to clear my mind and soothe my soul. Going back into Wicca has been difficult, confusing, and finally joyous. I want to share that with anyone with similar interests. I also want to share the advice that I needed when I was young to young Wiccans, pagans, and witches.
I really love the mushrooms with spirals, and the pink prayer beads (30 in all) with the turquoise flower. The mushrooms came from the same Etsy shop as the fairies. Sadly, the lady who made the prayer beads to order has disappeared from Etsy.
This is essentially a fairy altar, and due to expense, space, and preference, I used miniature childlike fairies, but fairies, The Fair Folk, The Sith, The Sidhe, are more like Arwen and her kin in Lord of the Rings than these tiny creatures, but there are tiny, and medium Fae. And all of them have unique personalities, and most are not friendly towards us. Why would they be? We drove them into hiding and reduced them to storybook characters and nursery rhymes. Here’s Kate and Anna McGarrigle singing about Appalachian folk tales. I believe that the Fae came to the New World with us.
Frail my heart apart and sing me a little Shady Grove
A darker, older fairy tale, found in many cultures, with variations:
Oh the Dreadful Wind and the Rain sung by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings.
So you must realize that it’s crucial for you to study the Fae, understand that they came with us to America, that they are still with us, that they are always where they have been: in the woodlands, the edges of the woods, ponds, lakes, under bridges, certain trees like willows, always with us but sometimes stronger in the dusk, dawn, dark moons. One of the items on my altar is a hag stone. Hag stones are supposed to enable you to see Fae. Leave offerings for them: wine, bread, milk, honey.
I’m really enjoying writing this blog series. I’m working right now on a story about witches and Fae. I’m still preparing my Empire State Vamps series for querying. But the Fae, their lore running in my Scots-Irish blood, they’ve given me a dark vacation . . . the very best kind.