I posted these as comments on a YouTuber’s paranormal post, two different posts about the same incident. I am reposting my comments as a way to start writing something more on this site. I do have an interest in the paranormal but, I’m more skeptical than a believer. I know we don’t know everything, there are so many things science has yet to understand or discover, but… a lot can be explained by simple things too. I don’t rush in to believe either way, I like to observe and make a decision based on facts, more than emotions or crowd mentality. If that makes sense.
Anyway, here is a start to my site about the unexplained, paranormal and supernatural, mostly based in Ontario because that is where I am.
Paranormal things run in my family. My Grandmother was told there were lines of people wanting to talk to her (by a woman who worked as a medium). But, after seeing her recently deceased sister, my Grandmother did not want to experience more of it. She was frightened. The medium told her to just say out loud that she did not want to hear from those people/ spirits/ ghosts. That seemed to work. The only time she had another ghost/ paranormal event was just after her husband died. When I began having some paranormal experiences and that feeling of not being alone, I didn’t like it. So I did the same and that stopped it for me as well. I think it is more than I want to be involved with. I am still interested in the paranormal, beyond ghosts and spirits especially. I’ve never decided if I really believe in ghosts, as people think of them. But, I believe there was something which felt very scary to me as a teenager and young woman. I’m glad I decided not to be more involved in it. I am an atheist witch, in my beliefs. I strongly believe people will find what they look for, whether they like what they find, or not.
I once had a very creepy feeling about my nephew when he was a toddler. I had put him to bed, was lying next to him after telling bedtime stories and having a bit of talking about the moon, stars, just simple relaxing conversation for a little guy. Just waiting for him to fall asleep and then I would go downstairs to do the dishes, etc. Somehow I had a sudden, strong feeling that he was the devil or evil. This is so far from anything I usually feel or have ever felt in my life. I don’t even believe in devils, hell, etc. I’m an atheist Witch and I only believe in people and the planet itself. I was hugely creeped out and it lasted at least 15 minutes until I made myself get up and leave. I never had that come back, the nephew is a grown man now (22 or 23). I still remember how awful and terrible and scary the feeling was. But, I love the boy, looked after him for his early years when my sister went back to school. I can only think the feelings came from me somehow. But, I do understand your feelings about that doll, how strong and strange they can be. I’d be curious about how it is going in Australia too, but not really wanting to know.
The idea of the Wiccan shrine/ altar is to give yourself a real, physical connection to your spirituality and beliefs. Something you can reach out and touch, see, hear, taste and even smell. A Wiccan altar should appeal to your senses, be something you enjoy and give you a feeling of being connected to the Earth, nature, any deities you choose, and life itself.
A Wiccan shrine is commonly known as an altar. The origin of the word shrine was ‘a case for holy papers’. The Wiccan altar we create isn’t usually a case containing papers. It’s more likely a Wiccan, Witch or Pagan would keep any papers and notes in their Book of Shadows. Probably a good idea to keep your papers away from your altar in case of mess from the elements: fire, water, air and earth. None of those are especially good for paper, even air will turn it yellow over time.
One important thing to consider when you create an altar is that you are going public with it. Unless you live a hermit-like existence, someone is going to see your altar at some point in time. If you are secretive (and there are all kinds of reasons for keeping your beliefs a secret) you will want to keep your altar inconspicuous. This isn’t hard to do, with a little imagination and ingenuity. No, you don’t have to hide it in a drawer or closet. Just use common every day things which are typically in most homes but place them together. You will be the only one who knows this is your Wiccan altar.
A Base for your Altar
Your altar can be a collection of things but find a way to group them or collect them together. There are traditional ways like drawing a circle around them, using a pentacle, etc. But, there’s no reason you can’t get creative.
Place everything on a tray – like a vintage wooden tray or something made of an old metal like tin. Watch for something in thrift shops and antique stores.
Embroider (or draw using permanent marker) a pentacle on a handkerchief and use it under everything, as a liner. The bonus about using something made of fabric is how easy it is to wash it and reuse it.
If you can, build a terrarium which can include so many elements and generate oxygen too. Put the terrarium in a safe place with the altar cloth under it. No doubt you can think up other great ideas which can create an altar, incorporating some or all of the elements, the centrepiece and a base.
The Centrepiece for your Altar
Yes, there should be a centrepiece. This is something personal to you which connects you to the altar on a real level. Place it in the centre of the other objects. When you do add the objects for each element to your altar find the right directions to place them in north, west, south and east.
If you include deities in your Wiccan beliefs you might choose something which gives you a connection to your deity as the centre of your altar.
Add the Elements to your Altar
These are just possibilities for your altar. Each person should find a way to bring each element to your altar in a way that has real, personal meaning to themselves. The idea of the altar is to give yourself a real, physical connection to your spirituality and beliefs. You just can’t do that if you copy ideas from someone else just because you read it in a book. Take these ideas and use them in your own individual way. (If an idea really suits you – do it!)
- candles (make sure they won’t tip over -short and squat candles are a good plan)
- matches (unlit) because they bring the possibility of fire without the smell or danger.
- steel tools – they’ve been through a lot of fire
- a little bit of ash from a fire
- cinnamon sticks or hot peppers
- a paper fan, decorate it yourself
- a fancy (clear glass) jar with ‘nothing’ in it
- a bell because sound is carried on the air
- leaves which have been blown from trees
- a balloon, inflated or deflated
- a tiny container of water.
- a fish – a living goldfish or a wooden toy fish
- a snowglobe – any time of year
- a shell picked up from a beach
- an umbrella or rain hat
- a tiny sample of dirt from outside your own home.
- fresh fruit – eat it then add fresh fruit again
- a growing plant – it can even be seasonal, like a poinsettia at Christmas time.
- garden tools, like a small trowel or garden gloves
- a rock or pebble you found somewhere outdoors
Bless Your Altar
Once you have pulled everything together for your altar give it a first time use with a blessing – like a statement of purpose.
Sprinkle salt over everything (go easy on any living things, like plants) then speak aloud your blessing. The blessing can be something you wrote yourself or something you found from an outside source. (Even something you have re-written or paraphrased for your personal use). The blessing is your way of making this altar something different, something important to you, outside of the everyday stuff which may be upon it.
The salt is only there to purify or refresh the altar. It’s traditional and a good idea for the first time you use the altar, but not so essential that you can’t skip it if you have to. Remember, the real purpose of the altar is to connect you to the beliefs you hold. The keyword there being you. Anything you read it a book is just a guideline. Anything you actually choose to do should be for and about you and your feelings, beliefs, ideals.
Now that you Have your Altar…
Now that you have your altar what do you do with it?
Keep it refreshed, tidy and don’t let it get dusty. (Unless you really want to add dust bunnies as an element to your altar).
Use your altar in your rituals, create a ritual for your altar or use your altar as part of your rituals.
If you keep and/ or use Wiccan tools like an athame, wand, chalice, pentacle you wear, and so on you can keep them on or near your Wiccan altar. It’s practical in it’s way – you will know where everything is. Also, it keeps everything in tune, balanced and they can lend and store energy from each other. Your altar is such a personal thing it will imprint something of yourself and your spirituality on the things you keep on or near it.
Bless your altar and use it as a focus for your beliefs, your spirituality and a focal point as you learn more about Wiccan and Paganism. As you learn and grow and develop your beliefs you will change how you feel and think about various aspects of Wicca. Your altar is like a grounded place which you can come back to no matter how far and wide you explore and discover.
Other Ideas and Methods for Creating an Altar
The Book of Shadows (BOS, for short) are the notes Pagans/ Witches/ Wiccans have made along their journey of life and learning.
A Grimoire is a book of magic, spells and techniques.
People don’t always know there is a difference. It’s a pretty slight difference. The Book of Shadows would be less scientific and contain personal thoughts. However, both would have the facts and information about techniques for magic and spells.
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Source: Zombie Apocalypse WordPress Theme – Cryout Creations
I began following accounts of the paranormal as a kid, living in small town Ontario. I have never forgotten some of the unexplained mysteries I read then. One, in particular, about a girl in the school yard who is suddenly scooped up into the air and then thrown down. No one could find a reason or a method for this to happen. But, it did happen.
There are many paranormal explorers and researchers in Ontario. Many focus on the ghosts and haunted places. But, there is so much more out there, ghosts seem small in comparison.
One of my favourite paranormal studies are the creatures, like the lake monsters. It doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me that they could be real animals, seldom seen and not at all understood.
Paranormal also includes UFOs and space aliens.
I’d like to find more paranormal groups which don’t have the heavy focus on ghosts, hauntings and that area. I think it’s something that will never be 100% proved because there are so many brilliant fakes and so many ways to mislead yourself or find a perfectly sensible sounding explanation.
Ontario Paranormal Groups, Investigators and Societies
I was a Canadian alien, according to the immigration paperwork at the time. (I was a Canadian who married a man in the US). So, I had my time to be an alien – but not a space alien.
Real aliens (from space/ another planet) would be entirely different. I wonder how they would look, what they would eat, do they breathe, have hair, how do they communicate and how they would live their lives. I think about UFO’s and I watch the sky, here and there. It doesn’t seem possible we can be the only life out there with all those other planets.
I haven’t seen a UFO yet. At least not that I’m aware of. What a shame it would be to see something and not really notice. People who make a career or hobby out of UFO spotting would be far better at noticing a UFO than I would. I wonder if I saw something and wrote it off as something ordinary and everyday. I admire logic and intelligence but at times it can blind us too. If we are too critical we won’t give anything a chance and will never believe in anything fully.
Which “Practical Magic” Character Are You?
This is only for fun and maybe just a bit of fantasy too.