#50ThingsList Update – Week 3
This week, I accomplished #17 on my 50 Things list (Set up a regular altar for year-round display/use.) This is one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for longer than I can remember, so it felt really good to check it off the list this week.
I have set up thousands of one-time-use altars over the years, but I’ve never had a regular, permanent household altar. In the past, I was still very much in the closet and worried that someone would see it and figure out what it was, but in more recent years, I just didn’t have a good place for one that I’d see and use every day. When I was putting the 50 Things list together, however, setting up a permanent altar seemed like a perfect project to add to it, so even before the official start of my 50th year, I was already scoping out locations and trying to figure out how to make it work. The solution came, oddly enough, as I started reorganizing my home office last year. As I rearranged furniture, I realized I had many books that needed to be relocated to different parts of the house. Relocating books means reorganizing bookshelves, which led to rearranging the books on the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in the master bedroom. In the process of all that rearranging, I discovered that I could free up an entire shelf just below eye level right across from my side of the bed, which is the perfect space and location for a permanent altar – one that I see every morning when I wake up and every night as I’m drifting off to sleep.
Another benefit of setting up a permanent altar that I hadn’t anticipated is the ability to sort through, retire, replace and generally weed out 30+ years of accumulated stuff. All my ceremonial and ritual items are currently stored in a giant lidded tub, and setting up a permanent altar meant I needed to decide what would be brought out right away and what could be swapped in/out for different celebrations and ceremonies. There are censers to be cleaned, candle stubs to be recycled, bits of dried flowers to be composted, and long-forgotten treasures hiding in the depths of that tub. I’m looking forward to rediscovering some beloved items as the Wheel turns and to replacing items that no longer serve with more useful ones.
And before you ask, yes, I will post a picture of the new altar as soon as I can figure out how to do it. Sadly, I have reached the age where technology confounds me occasionally, but Liam and Grif are both fairly tech-savvy, so I’m sure between the three of us we will figure it out eventually.