My Altar Picture

Because many people have asked, here (finally) are some pictures of and the explanations behind my altar.
If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to ask!~

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• #1 - Smudge stuff, bone beads, Sheenka's choker necklace, bone basket, death box, larger bones, feathers & skin.
* Smudge stuff - mostly cedar and sage in a hollowed out coconut shell
* Bone beads - beads carved from bone and painted and/or carved with specific symbols
* Sheenka's choker necklace - made up of several bone and silver beads
* Bone basket - the woven turtle fetish basket beside the coconut smudge bowl. It contains a growin collection of small bones hidden under a layer of dried flowers, mostly yellow and pink roses.
* Death box - the box underneath the smudge bowl and bone basket is the "death box" which contains small memorial items from ancestors and relatives that have passed on. The orange spotted cloth is wrapped around herloom tarot cards that have been passed down through the family. Turtles (which are Sheenka's totem) are used mainly in this section - the bone basket, a small incense burner and a woven turtle (inside the bone basket) - are situated here.
* Larger bones, feathers & skin - Two deer bones criss-crossed over preserved snake skin and decorated with wild turkey and crane feathers.

• #2 - Offering bowl, Freyah's wand, Lucifel's roses, the Moon Candle
* Offering bowl - the large tin (silver colored) bowl that is filled with dried flowers, collected findings (such as shells, stones, etc.) and other items set as offerings on the altar over the years. These offerings have been moved from home to home along with the other items and added to over time.
* Freyah's wand - a carved, aged piece of sapling wood taken from our previous home's yard when we had to cut back some brush. Sheenka made this as a gift to Freyah, and it's been set on the altar because we usually don't use wands, so this has become something more just for show.
* Lucifel's roses - these are small wild roses that had been gathered, dried and set on a separate part of our old altar as a tribute to Lucifel (personal stuff that takes a bit to explain so ask if you'd like to know more.)
* The Moon Candle - the tall blue candle in the silver base is burned only on specific holidays and full moons as a special tribute.

•#3 - Berlyn's box, Gabriel's area of the altar, Water.
* Berlyn's box - is the seashell box that takes up most of this side of the altar. Inside the box are some natural treasures that include pieces of coral and shells gathered from Myrtle Beach.
* Gabriel's area - includes many of Gabriel's personal artifacts, such as the owl totem, seashells, the Berlyn box, driftwood, and many of the other water-related items here. Gabriel represents the Water element for us.
* Water - the small blue candle, bowl, seashells, driftwood and crystal ball (the stand it's on is silver and portrays the Egyptian goddess, Isis, with outspread wings and blue-green gems for eyes.)

• #4 - Earth, Bladen's area, Cheboygan memorial.
* Earth (Bladen's element) is honored in this area and represented by several artifacts, including the stones, driftwood (trying him to his "mother," Gabriel) a piece of natural copper, the purple flower candle, a small brass deer fetish, a splintered part of a cow's bone and several small incense burner tiles.
* Cheboygn memorial - dedicated to the place where I grew up and felt most connected to the world. The large limestone rock (upon which the deer fetish and natural copper are set) is part of the cornerstone of the original pre- Civil War era house where I lived as a child. The dark circular thing at the very edge is one of the original knobs from the a door inside of the house (it had to be replaced after it got stuck because of the rust, so I kept it.) The cow bone and driftwood are also from Cheboygan.

• #5 - Offering candles, stone dish, feathers.
* Offering candles - the small white candles are simple offering candles that are used whenever the altar is "alive/woken up" for any purpose.
* Stone dish - this dish was a gift, imported from Japan and made by hand somewhere over there. It has been used for over a decade only as a dish in which stones are kept. These stones range from semi-precious stones that have been bought or acquired over the years to stones taken from the Great Lakes and other significant areas, to small pieces of concrete and brick chipped off of significant buildings (such as the old barn up in Cheboygan and the old bathhouse/hospital in Mount Clemens) which have personal memory and meaning associated with them.
* Feathers - these feathers are the downy feathers collected from a fallen crane that was found and laid to rest in February of this past year at one of our Pack's main grounds.

• #6 - Fire, oil burner, incense.
* Fire - this area is set up for the element Fire. Because it's my altar, Fire is both important and also not as represented as the rest of the elements. Why? Because it's used in all areas (the tribute candles) of the altar and can be too over-powering if not carefully controlled. For that reason, Fire simply has a silver (tin) dish with natural Dragon's Blood incense, rose petals and red gems and the oil burner to represent its place. It is also situated alongside my main element, Air.
* Oil burner - this is used whenever the altar is "alive/woken up" for any reason, as the main tribute to the element of Fire.
* Incense - the natural, homemade Dragon's Blood incense that rests inside the small dish set aside from Fire is one of the most prized ones that I own (rivaled only by the traditional Hawaiian Pele offering incense that was given to me by a native islander.)

• #7 - (not pictured) Dream basket, Peacock feathers, flowers, supplies, Music boxes, etc.
* Dream Basket - this is a handmade Native American dream basket made with Birch bark. It was made for me by my step-aunt, who is part of a local tribe in Cheboygan and makes a fair amount of her income on the sid making and selling traditional Native arts to tourists. She made this as a gift for me when I turned 16. It is filled with pennies given as offerings over the years as well as the feathers from the fallen crane we buried.
* Peacock feathers, supplies, music boxes, flowers, etc. - the shelf above the altar is used as a type of storage for other associated things, including several vases filled with peacock feathers (taken after they were shed from peacocks near our home in Arizona), red roses (dried), and black roses (artificial - one made of feathers, another of wood shavings and lastly one made of folded leather), twin red glass chalices, music boxes (a blown glass on of Swan Lake, a vintage porcelain one of two sparrows, a white and gold one with a blown glass angel inside of a snow globe, a carousel horse in a snow globe from grandma, and a christmas-themed one that was a gift from my uncle.)

• #8 - Mortar and pestle, herbs (not pictured.)
* Mortar and pestle - wooden mortar and pestle used to grind herbs for use in everything from spell work to making homemade tea.
* Herbs (not pictured) - are stored in boxes below the altar and include things such as sage, cedar, dandelion leaves, mint, lavender, juniper, lemongrass, hyssop and many, many more.

• #9 - Air, personal trinkets, special stones.
* Air - is my element that I sync with. Because of this, it is represented here, closest to the other things (on top of, inside and surrounding the Death Box) that are closest to me. The large, pale purple candle is my favorite one, and as such was used for my element. This area is set up mostly using a silver dish made to resemble a Maple leaf that's set on top of a raised glass platform.
* Personal trinkets - including the vintage glass perfume bottle and military "wings" pin.
* Special stones - these are some of my favorites, and as such are set here near my element. Specifically, the are two large stones - one of amethyst and one of hematite.

• #10 - Necklaces (from left to right).
* "Aztec" death-face necklace - which isn't accurate, because the Aztecs never mined for Rubies and red wasn't a color used nearly as much as more prominent colors in their culture, such as gold, blue and green. However, it's still a cool piece, and Sheenka liked it enough to include it even despite his pickyness about inaccuracy.
* Paper crane necklace - which was handmade by Triv. This was added because it's impossible to forget him, no matter how quiet he may be sometimes.
* Ankh necklace - this is actually also made of bone, on a hemp cord. It's one of Triv's favorites, and usually included in the altar, so the two (the Ankh and the paper crane) necklaces were added together.
* Iris - this one is (obviously) Iris's necklace. Because he's the one who actually set up the altar this time he added his, too. It would have been a shame to let some of these sit in boxes and collect dust, so he decided to add them as decor. This one is a tiny paper iris flower inside of a teardrop shaped glass vial.
* Rainbow chain mail necklace - this was a gift from a close, long-time friend, and it just seemed too perfect not to use in association with our altar.
* Purple heart crystal - this was in the box along with various other pieces of jewelry. I can't remember where it came from, but the color stood out and t's pretty, so we figured it would be a nice addition.
* Juliette's necklace - the chain is actually made of copper and the flowers are hand-beaded on woven wire. It's something Juliette picked up while we were out, but because of the copper, he'snot allowed to wear it. (Copper seems to amplify the smell of the iron or whatever it is in our blood, so when our blood volume skyrockets due to a rare medical issue, having that much copper resting on our skin has driven others nuts (notably Ojihiro - Juliette's pair bond - as well as others (specifically Bladen) who both have a strong sense of smell.)
* Yzir's bracelet - this was given to Yzir as a gift from his favorite idiot more-than-friend-guy, Zophiel.

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More detailed pictures:

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