As of August 2010 I changed this altar, now sits a Buddha statue in lotus pose. So here is last years altar set up, and the symbolism behind it.
This is was my most recent altar set up, relating to the Egyptian pantheon, but I honoured all the Gods and Goddesses here. I have representations of the elements, and I use the left side for the Goddess and the right for the God. It seems very Wiccan, but this order in left and right, male and female is centuries old. I’m still looking up other ancient altar set ups and I’m influenced by each one.
This altar has statues, large and small of some of the principal deities of the Ennead and outer Lords and Ladies. I have a statue of Aset (Isis), which I bought from a local witchy store. The statue of Asar (Osiris) came to me through a friend in Brighton. At Asar’s feet is a scarab beetle, I look at it to represent Khephera, the sacred dung beetle that rolled the sun in the sky and brought life to man and the deities. As some know, Khephera is also associated with the Almighty Re (Ra), as the bringer of life, in the morning dialogues on the ancient papyri.
On the centre right of the picture is my most prized possession, my Anpu (Anubis) statue. I bought him in Brighton from one of my favourite spiritual shops in the North Lanes. The lady who served me told me how she went all the way to Egypt to get him, as she has friends there and the museum is open all the time. She brings items back and they are sold in the store. When I was leaving the store she gently wrapped him up, said how she honours him, and blessed him as she put him in a bag saying ‘God Bless Anubis, do her well.’ I smiled thinking she was really kind, then she turned to me as we were saying our goodbyes and said ‘treasure him, he’ll treasure you.’
At the time I was still going through the Book of the Dead, Circle of Isis and Egyptian Paganism. I had learnt about his life, and I realised how he connected with me. I’ll go on about him some other time. The four little black statues from left to right are, Nebet-het (Nephytes), Sekhmet, Anpu and Ma’at. The four golden canopy jars from left to right are Imsety (Im-set-ii) for water, Duamutef (Do-ah-moo-tef) for fire, Qebsnuf (Kebs-noof) for air and Hapi (Happy) for earth. I call on them to open the quarters. They have their little coloured candles for when I do a morning devotion or morning sun rise ritual as I can’t set out a great big circle when the baby doesn’t sleep. In the middle there are two candles and a rock… why? Egypt was divided into two lands, Upper and Lower. Upper was white, where the most popular Gods like Asar, Aset and Tehuti (Thoth) were worshipped but down in Lower Egypt, Gods like Horus the younger, Set etc were honoured in what was known as the ‘Red Lands’ or ‘Set’s Lands’ – it was just desert, severely hot desert where noting could really survive all that well. So I have the little white and red candle to honour Egypt, and Set.
When the world was created according to Egyptian lore, Re descended from the Heavens and stood on the Benben stone in Lower Egypt. I don’t think it’s there now, as time may have eroded it away. My rock in the glass bowl represents creation and more importantly Re again. I have a lot of symbols that represent Re as I have a great love for him.
Apart from that, my altar had the normal items a Wiccan altar needed; like the athame, wand, censer, two candles for deity etc. I loved being able to tie history into my craft, and I gotta say, it’s worth it to delve deeper than the books instruct. You’ll unearth some amazing details!
So, here’s the picture and enjoy =]