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Spirituality
  1. Awakening to the Divine
    1. Recognizing the God and Goddess and Bringing them into Your Life
  2. Creating your own temple
    1. The Altar
      1. Altar Dedication
Durer's Wisemen w/happy sun and moonThese days people many people seem more concerned with whether they have a snazzy looking car or a closetful of designer clothes or whether they are going to "clinch the deal" than with their relationship with the Divine. Perhaps that is why there are so many people who seem as though they "have it all" but who remain dissatisfied, feeling there is something missing from their lives.

All that is needed to worship the God and Goddess are a mind, heart and soul that are ready to receive them. For anyone who doubts that there is a Divine Force that is present on Earth, I suggest you take a look around you. The first glimmer of dawn in the morning, as it must have been at the dawn of Creation, the warmth of the sun, the blue sky, the swirling clouds that you can dream into shapes, the sunset, breathtakingly beautiful, each one different from the next, as though some divine painter is testing his palate. The stars, the moon, the things that grow from the earth, the creatures who inhabit her. The spark of Divinity is here, in the world and in each of us. And when you realize it, it changes your whole life.

Although the God and Goddess are always present, it is generally considered that the God is associated with the Sun and therefore rules the daylight hours. The rosy fingers of dawn ar the symbol of His awakening. The Goddess is primarily associated with the Moon and Her essence becomes symbolically manifest at the setting of the Moon.

Salute to the SunThese days, especially in the city, so few people take the time to look at the sky. When you awake in the morning, if the weather is fine, go outside or if it's too cold for that, open a window and look to the sky and as your body awakens, awake your spirit as well to the presence of the Divine. Weather permitting, feel the Sun's rays on your skin, feel it's powerful energy filling your being. Raise your hands to the sun, fingers outstretched and feel the Sun's raw energy and power flowing through your fingertips into the whole of your being. This is a technique known as "The Salute to the Sun" and it has been practiced by diverse cultures for millenia.

At nighttime, take a little time to look up at the sky, gaze at the moon, feeling the light of the Goddess changing you, feel your body and soul absorbing Her luminous magick. You can also raise your hands to the Moon and visualize absorbing energy and wisdom through your fingertips. Being alive is, I think, like being a winner in a big cosmic lottery. Each day, count your blessings. Maybe you could even write them down. There are times when we all feel great sadness and frustration and forget the good things in our lives. It is important to remember them, to strive to be truly present each and every moment because life, despite the bad things that can happen, is a gift to be savoured and appreciated.

As belief in the Divine becomes part of your life, your home will transform itself into a temple. While it may be that there is only a small area of your room, apartment or home that is dedicated to worship and magickal work, the energy of the Divine will permeate every corner of your home.

Without realizing it, you may even have started assembling a collection of objects that mean the God and Goddess to you. You may notice that you have already started an altar without even knowing it. You've got an image of images of a God or Goddess, flowers, maybe some stones and/or gems, maybe even a written meditation(s) that you have put together.

Some people choose to view the God and Goddess as many-named and therefore nameless and others feel a tug of attraction toward a particular god or goddess. Whichever path feels right to you is the one you should follow.

The Great GoddessThis is an altar for worship, different from the altar on which spells are worked, although it is best if you work your spells in the same room that your worshipping altar is located so that the blessing of the God and Goddess will add power and strength to your spell.

A basic altar can be created from the top shelf or shelves of a bookcase. Or you can be more elaborate and buy an altar especially designed for worship, but this is not neccessary. An altar should contain an image of the God and/or Goddess, an incense burner and a candle. One note of caution here. Never leave a candle burning unsupervised. You might want to add an altar cloth if you find one that strikes your fancy. Of if you have a garden or if there is a flower market handy, you may want to place fresh flowers or herbs on the altar. This can be done daily or as a special offering.

When the time seems right, you can dedicate your altar formally.

Light the altar candle or candles, light the incense, and stand before the altar and take three slow deep breaths. Then incant:
This is my altar to you, Goddess. May you be present in this place. Great Goddess, may you always be present in this place and in me. Great Goddess come to me, smile upon your shrine and let your goodness, your greatness, your power be always present here. Great Goddess, smile upon your priestess. Come to your shrine. Great Goddess, abide with me.

You should feel the energy that the Goddess's presence has created. It is a feeling of warmth, of strength, power and Divine Love. It is knowing that even in your darkest moments, you are not alone.


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Text © 2000 Sheila O'Sullivan/The Electric Witch
Layout & Graphics © 2000 Kevin Andrew Murphy/Alphyn Press.
Permission granted to reproduce these texts and graphics
for inclusion in personal Books of Shadows
or for use in personal rituals only.
All other rights reserved.
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