Planet Friendly Living - The Everlasting Altar
As witches or Pagans, we connect with any number of different cycles. The cycle of the seasons. The cycles of the moon. The simple daily cycle of dawn and dusk. You may even have cycles that fall within your specific path, such as the recurring Deipnon and Noumenia celebrations of Hekate.
My focus at the moment is practicing Paganism with kindness for our planet, and I hope to instil that focus in many more of you via Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living, due out March, 2022. But it may seem that having an altar or sacred space that has to move and change with the cycles can be challenging in terms of reducing consumption. Finding new and relevant items to place upon your altar each cycle doesn’t have to cost the earth though, and there are many items that can reappear again and again, for an everlasting altar that still works for you and your faith.
Be a Crafty Witch
Make your own altar decorations with bits and bobs you have hanging around the house. Your everlasting altar can be something truly from the heart with an upcycled altar cloth made from clothes that no longer fit anyone, or an incense burner you’ve sculpted yourself from clay. Putting a little of your own skills into your sacred space makes it all the more special.
Reuse Where Appropriate
I have a stunning, enormous pinecone that gets reused for seasonal displays and I’ve not yet had any complaints from my tutelary deities. Other items that you can reuse again and again include artwork, stones or crystals, ornaments, dried flowers and herbs, and many more. If required, you can clean your items or ritually cleanse them with smoke or oils.
When Buying New, Buy Ethically
There will, of course, be times when you have to have a new item for your altar or sacred space. This could even mean a new lamp for your meditation space, or replacement candles, incense, or other consumables. Look into the items you’re buying. Are they made in sustainable way? Does the brand have a good reputation? Websites like Ethical Consumer are a good place to start to get to grips with how eco-friendly and ethical your suppliers are.
Dispose of Your Altar Decorations Responsibly
Most organic items can be composted, which is a quick win in terms of environmental positivity. Other items can be recycled, upcycled, and as we’ve discussed, reused. If you feel like some pretty stones have come to the end of their usefulness on your altar, why not incorporate them into a spot in the garden? There are so many possibilities that avoid used sacred or previously sacred items ending up in landfill.
Come and share your own ideas for environmentally sound paganism over at the Practically Pagan Facebook group.
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