My family is very important to me, as is the presence of Spirit in my family. My daughter and I are newly married and have been with Nikolai for close to 4 years now. He is my strength, my joy and my salvation for many reasons. He is the only real father my daughter has ever known. The decision to marry him was not taken lightly, however, it was the easiest decision of my life (next to the birth of my daughter). Daisy and I were a family alone for a very long time and we very much lived like gypsies. My husband was a gypsy himself for a long while, but together we’ve seemed to develop some fairly secure roots, with beautiful visions of land and love in our near future.
When I made the decision to marry, I made the decision to keep my faith in my home. That is, not to separate my spirituality from my family. Therefore, I will not join a circle/coven/church without my family there beside me.
Our faiths, while not exact in their beliefs, are still very similar. We both honor the simplicity of our lives and our connections with Spirit. While I sometimes miss a greater community (oddly I miss what I’ve never actually known), I am also thankful not to have the rules or boundaries (or dramas) often set by belonging to such a group.
Daisy and I in her younger years always had a very simple and sweet pagan practice, honoring the cycles with craft and ritual. As she got older and I got less consistent, our practice would vary. And now when she is in such a turbulent time of her growth, our family practice is not what I would like it to be. My husband comes from a wonderful family with a very strong Christian faith. His own faith is open to interpretation, but our values and our quest for Spirit are exactly the same.
Niko and I have an altar in our bedroom and Daisy has her own as well. This way we may all have our own unique connection to Spirit. Recently however, I created a family altar in the living room. I have been hesitant to do this. For one, we have a very small space and already too much stuff (through we are by no means hoarders). And two, I am very aware of his family (and some of my own as well) when they enter our house. Though it is my home, I have no desire to offend anyone, nor distance my husband from those he loves and respects.
The altar is simple in its construction. A small table against the wall between 2 windows. Not at all in the way. In the center sits a beautiful blue bowl filled with water and a floating candle. The bowl belonged to Niko’s grandmother recently passed (as did the table itself). The water and candle quite obviously represent fire and water (but to others merely is a pretty way to hold a candle.) There are 3 quartz points that point toward the bowl in a sacred triangle to represent the divine feminine. A chocolate mint plant, recently re-potted sits on the upper left, to represent earth (and air), but also to symbolize the growth and well being of our family. As we care for and nurture that plant, so do we care for and nurture our family. On the upper right is a framed image of the Navajo prayer (a shortened version) “Walk in Beauty”. Also to represented air (fire and earth as well), there is our friendly dragon. I fell in love with him at our last Renaissance festival. He is the cutest damn thing, hand made of earthen materials and all fired up in a kiln or what not. That’s how I imagine it anyway. He just happens to be an incense burner. Light a cone in his belly and he blows the smoke out of his nose. We’re dragon people around here. Especially my husband. They are always with him and he always sends them with me to protect me (my angels). He’s written (and is still writing) an entire saga about them. The Tales of Kanigaard. We live there half the time.
Getting back to the subject at hand.
Resting against the plant is an affirmation card that says, “I create the day I make for myself”, and a small box with a butterfly (for transformation) sits toward the front with tiny bits of parchment inside for writing down our wishes/worries to which we either burn or place in our own Goddess boxes (me and Daze) or dragons (Niko).
To the unseeing eye, this table is merely a pretty decoration of nicnacs and such.
But for my family I would like it to be a piece of the sacred. A moment of clarity. A call toward devotion or prayer.
A way for us to celebrate together our sense of Spirit and Divinity. Both within and without.