AN ALTAR IS an IMPORTANT PORTAL to the infinite.
HAVING ONE and USING it is a MATTER OF PRIORITY!
I had a problem with a child, one which gave me grief. I told my new age, spiritual wise friend Judith who said 'pray about it. Make an altar and pray." Make an altar? I surveyed the house. Not much space, no empty spots, except over near the cat boxes. I E-mailed her a poem "wherein the lady falters making altars" as subject line. " God responds to rote repetition? Heaven to pleas 'free me from harms?' Six million Jews prayed to Jesus' Father and all six million went straight to His arms" Then I told her how I was having a hard time finding a decent space in my house as well as FAITH.
She wrote back, "I have a small altar on my kitchen stove area; one next to my bed, one on my bathroom counter; you see...an altar can be wall mount photo..doesn't have to be a table or shelf. If you wanted to give it a priority, you would see every possibility within your property for many altars. When we make room for heaven, Heaven makes room for us!"
So I tried that. I put two altars up on the edges of my bedroom. As one has to walk around the bed turned sideways, it is a limited space. I could maybe sit on the bed if I wanted to pray there. I put a Mexican nativity scene on the bureau, a platter with rocks & flowers.
On top of a bookshelf on the other side of the bed, a bird's nest with ceramic mother bird and 4 eggs, one for each of my children. Charms of all kinds go in the basket, a golden coin, a wee jug of plenty. A few kittie cats.
I never found time to light a candle and sit there and pray. I work from dawn to dusk, gardening, writing new age articles, astrologizing, shopping for cat food and I always take time for my two favorite re-runs, (ALL THE BEST GOT CANCELED OF COURSE...Except LAW and Order with Vince D'onofrio. That one found Eternity but BECKER, JOAN OF ARCADIA, SURFACE, that Time traveler series they cancelled with the Germanic man as hero, JOURNEYMAN, LIFE ON MARS, DEAD LIKE ME, wonderful shows. That's a busy day.
I noticed there was a potential phase II to ALTAR TECH 101. I found more and more I had the feeling my many dead pals were with me. And were having fun as in living my life, I was having fun. Spirits were congregating when there was no altar. I could tell as when I sat still, I'd think some special thought and a light would flash in the air in the room.
So I thought, maybe a lively life is fun for some spirits. Maybe not the big guys Jesus and Moses who confer wishes, or Mother Mary but some very friendly, loving ex pals of mine seemed to be hanging around. SO I thought, why can't we make the piece on the altar and keep joy, fun and ecstasy around us no matter what little chores we are doing.
If we are doing them with bliss, passion, joy at home/ or out on the street, that MOMENT can be an altar. I KNOW that all my passed on pals are with me. Relatives, parents, grandparents and chums like Gerry, Eddie, Alicia, Jules, Harry and we have a party all the time.
At that time, the show JOAN OF ARCADIA hit a high note. Joan has been sent to do onerous community service as punishment for egging a car, which she didn't even egg. She's painting the community center and God shows up every few hours telling her she was doing a good job with all the dysfunctional people. She doesn't see it, and God tells her that she's not supposed to see it; that's not the bench mark of anything. Then, at the show's end, there's this COPPOLA or Altman type moving shot with great music on track, a shot which pans across each of the different, dysfuntional lives as if they were all in one building and we were peering in thru windows at each grouping and Lo, all their problems have been solved!
I was totally amazed at how well the show was done. As well as the SHEEN show I used to watch, White House. Never missed one of them for four years until they lost Sorkin their writer to a pot bust.
But JOAN of ARCADIA had given me Gooseflesh which is truly the test of great art. And --as if in synchronicity to my hormonal surge of an appreciative 'WOW, ' -- suddenly there's a flash of a light up in the air between me and the TV, in the semi dark room. Two hands clapping.
So the AIR became the altar. If that spirit giving me a high five is not an altar what is? I guess I should place another third altar on top of the TV! Or maybe in bed with me and the remote!
I'm not saying that I stay in joy for the benefit of my ghostly chums but I do find that they're always there at pleasant moments. Well, that was how my friends were. In joy, I get a lot of flashes from someone, maybe Moses or my Grand Aunt Margot whom I never met, the crazy one who pawned the family silver to get chocolate. Or Gandhi whose picture is in my room. Or who knows, Jesus may be among them. Once the Master Jules brought him to the garden. Late day, busy on knees, planting with trowel when suddenly I have a flash back where I am in the JESUS book my mother gave me at age eight, the scene where he heals someone up on a roof, it's all around me like an acid flash back. I look up. Utter silence in the valley, A roaring pink sunset trailing off into flame gold at the horizon,the kind that happens once a decade, and above it a purple sky and even the birds have stopped their noise and then I notice a presence of some kind. I am accompanied and as the Master Jules had just died a week or two before, and he always wanted to meet Jesus...well I assumed the Master Jules had brought him around.
I know I can count on saints or ghosts known or unknown, because I keep a pretty entertaining territory around me full time. I have a low laugh threshold maybe but my life keeps me laughing. Anyone can visit me any time. And I think spirits do, if they're entertained. You know how you turn off a channel when it's grizzly? I channel surf away from any one fighting or pouting. So do disincarnate entitities. Even the ones who love and adore us. ESPECIALLY them, they can't stand to see us pouting, So don't.
Keeping our various and sundry woes out of play should be hard but it isn't and I'm not doing shielding or SUPPRESSING pain or NOT seeking NOT to feel the pain .... I'm just keeping the "CHAMPAGNE MOMENT NOW" party going every second and the rough edges of the world fade out of sight and mind when I do. So 'the now in all its glory' can be one of your many altars. That's what I wanted to say.
And here's the payoff. Next time you have a volcanic rumble within, sorrow, grief, anger, fear, whatever, you get to go to your altar and say 'dear God, take this away from me. Or 'give me the strength to do this work here.' It is amazing that BINGO! The bad mood goes, you can do your work as if by magic.
Well, God and saints and spirits and all that IS MAGIC. Now, the question is, do you have faith? Just give it a try: THE KIND OF PRAYER THAT WORKS and the KIND THAT is IFFY. See if you can accomplish a miracle.
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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, mother of 4 and career Astrologer. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS, HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at firstname.lastname@example.org ). Get a FREE natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!
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