Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn's Altar

“I’ve often thought of the forest as a living cathedral, but this might diminish what it truly is. If I have understood Koyukon teachings, the forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself. Nature is not merely created by God; nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breathe sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, touch the living branch and feel the sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness”  Richard Nelson 1989

I recently read a post written by Aine at Bones and Sky blog on Altars. She began her post with the above quote. 
I loved the quote and had to share! And well, her post got me thinking.....
When I first began exploring the path less followed many moons ago, everything I read said I needed an altar with all my sacred tools in order to follow the path. And the altar needed to look like "XYZ". Somehow not only did the thought of formal rituals but the thought of a formal altar did not sit well with me. It was at that point that I began to realize that I could follow the path less traveled and not have the "necessary" formal items. 
But still, try as I might, I could not seem to put together this altar that I would read about - an altar that had sacred tools or pictures of the ancestors, or images or tributes to specific gods or goddesses. As I aged, I began to look at places in my house through a different eye. I then realized that I had altars. Only these altars were a bit different. They contained items from Nature. Branches from a Sweetgum Tree. Acorns gathered during a full moon. A pretty rock found on an afternoon's hike. A potted herb on a windowsill. Occasionally the altar might include an item that belonged to someone who has begun their Spirit Walk. But the items were all things which resonated with me.

Altars are a personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to put one together. They can be elaborate or simple. Large or small. The only rule one should follow when making an altar is to go with what feels right. 

Mother Nature sets forth an altar. It is in clear view in every park, every wild area, every yard and garden. And it changes with the Seasons. Autumn's altar is a colorful one. A carpet of red and gold interwoven with green. The bounty of the season's crops is laid out in every field and orchard. The large harvest moon lights up the night with its warm glow. Mother Nature is showing her appreciation to those who should only look. So as we welcome Autumn, let us look upon Mother Nature's altar and give thanks for not only the blessings we have, but also the blessings which have been shared with us.


Aine O'Brien said...

What a beautiful post! Happy Autumn, and thank you for the mention.

the dogs' mother said...

Deeeep breathing. Fall is here :-)

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

I read a lovely comment by you, on "Aine's" blog, just now. And I came over, to say so, to you.

Thank you.

And your blogs are beautiful too.


Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

Thank you for commenting that you like my "Here there be whimsey" blog!!

Not that many, in my usual group of Readers, do. And that's fine. But with the separate blog, I can go off on flights of whimsey, to my heart's content. :-)

And it is there, for anyone else, who loves it too.

Thank you.