The Hearth is the first Altar of the House

Dear Friends,

So The Fabulous Jonathan and I have moved into a place of our own.  We have set up the kitchen and pantry and the bathroom and are getting the bedroom more livable.  The main area of the apartment is largely still boxes, boxes, and more boxes… but we are looking at thrift stores and discount barns for furniture and furnishings to turn our house into a home.   We have been geeking out over having a kitchen of our own, and have made offerings unto the Holy Powers and unto the Holy Powers of The Hearthside.

I have been doing some of my daily prayers and spiritual practices in our slightly-larger-than-a-galley-kitchen and lighting the Bridget candle left over from the Imbolc I hosted daily, and otherwise reveling in having a hearth.  The tall Mason jars with Crown of Success Oil and some blessed Salt sit in the tiled window sill, along with a smaller jar for egg-shells for grinding into powder later, and a small jar of forien coins and the properity powder.  I’ve also taken to lighting the Money Drawing and Success candles daily as time permits. 

I strained the Crown of Success removing the many months steeped Bay leaves and Vetiver and Frankincense Resin and a few other goodies, and fished out the pyrite and replaced it in the now dark oil.  I added some powdered Sandalwood incense and will be adding more Frankincense and Vetiver and Bay as time and budget allows. 

There’s still room on the Window sill for a couple more carefully sellected jars, perhaps some 4 Theives Vinegar and some Rosemary oil?

TFJ and I have been thinking a lot about how to set up our apartment and make it a home.  We took my old book-case and with the addition of some rectangular rubbermaid containers and interesting jars and baskets and plastic milk-crates have turned it into a fabulous apartment pantry.  Tonight we have returned from our first road trip out to Titusville on the Space Coast (Central Floridian for the Atlantic Coast) picking up a dining table and some chairs.

All this home-building activity, and our plans to find a good table/cabinet/something to turn into a formal altar.  I look forward to that, and do think it is important, yet I also am finding myself thinking about the nature of the Kitchen/Hearth and how it really is the cheif altar of a home.

The altar, in ancient times and in many cultures, was where Sacrifices were made to the Gods.  Animals would be brought to it, quickly and mercifully (as is possible) slaughtered and butchered with the Worshipers being fed and the Gods being fed their appropriate portions.  Worship as a shared meal and as a relationship of hospitality between mortal and God.   Religion as a hospitable relationship… religion as a coming together with ones family and friends and neighbors and with the Holy Powers in all their many forms … Gods and Spirits and Ancestors. 

I think that religion, any religion, is at its best when it is about engaging in the relationships of beloved community within its own covens and groves and kindreds and congregations and fellowships; and when the focus is as much on the right relationships between members, between members and the larger community, and between members and the many Holy Powers.

So I in service to that, each day I am speaking my prayers and saying my thinks to the Holy Powers of the Hearth.  Engaging in the work and spiritual practice I feel called to and contemplating ways in which I might better honor myself, my loved ones, and The Holy Powers.

In lighting the Brighid candle (She has many names and spellings, for those not familiar with Her) today I realized that I need to find the right ceramic incense-warmer’s… one of the one with the little oven like space for a tea light and then a dish for incense… to be a way of ritually recognizing Hestia.   I have also been thinking about what I would put into a Ktesios Jar to honor Zeus Ktesios, Zeus in His aspect as Lord of The Household and the Good Provider.

Once we have things set up and the place is cleaned and boxes are either unpacked or stored properly, when we have some furniture and a house-hold altar we will be doing some formal house-blessings before having a house-warming party or two.  I am looking forward to making my home a place were my family and friends and The Holy Powers are all welcome in equal measure.

Peace,

Pax

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