So... I've got a confession!
I've, unknowingly, created an altar at work...
Even though I believe that you shouldn't bombard your work environment with spiritual/religious artifacts, I do believe in creating a work space that resembles and affirms who you are. On my desk you will find a speckled rock, 2 crystals, and a handful of paperclips. And recently I added a bowl of pennies to that. These items represent aspects of myself, as well as spiritual concepts that resonate deeply with me.
The speckled rock
I am, like many Black folk, a mixture of ethnicities. Even though I identify as a Black woman, I acknowledge that I am more than the color of my skin. I am confronted with my "otherness" every single day, as my last name is German and I have kinky curly hair... I accept myself for who I am, and have no intention of denying any part of me. And that's what the speckled rock means to me. It's a daily reminder of the complex person that I am. It reminds me of the perfect imperfection of life.
I found the rock on my trip to Aruba last summer. Since I found it at the beach, it is also a tribute to the orisha Yemaya. She embodies attributes that I love about myself such as my femininity, creativity and nurturing personality. And would you believe that I was born on her feast day, September 7th?!
The crystal I have on my desk is an iron pyrite. It protects you from negative energy, and it stimulates creativity. So every time I see the crystal, I say a little prayer or affirmation. This little ritual reminds me that no matter what people say or do, I can still show up as myself. My goal in life is to live from a place of love, peace, joy and happiness. So I shouldn't rob myself of happiness because of someone else's behavior. I am responsible for my actions, I am responsible for my own happiness. And if I am able to be a blessing to people in the meantime, I'm all down for it!
The second crystal I have on my desk is a prasiolite. This crystal strengthens your relationship with the Divine mind. Like I've said before, my intention is to BE Love. Whenever I see this crystal I remind myself of the important to show up from a place of Love. It's definitely not easy to do this all the time, so having this crystal reminds me to keep exercising the Love muscle.
The paperclips on my desk are a dedication to Ogun, the orisha of Iron. I gravitated towards him as the representation of the Divine Masculine within me, as I believe in having a balance between the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. Ogun's machete reminds me to boldly, and confidently remove obstacles from my path, and to apply wisdom in using a tool that can be used to help as well as destroy. His "presence" also also reminds me to honor the men in my life.
The latest addition to my altar is a little bowl that is home to 9 pennies. And this addition made me realize that I had created a little altar... The bowl with 9 pennies is a tribute to the orisha Oya. Oya is the orisha of the market place, death and rebirth. Her strength and passion are fierce and she embodies, to me, the concept of being fully in touch with yourself.
These themes are all very current in my life right now. As I'm stepping into a new aspect of myself, and a new life in a new country, I feel that this little bowl affirms my experiences and goals.
gods, godesses and orishas
Based on this, it might seem like I'm into orisha veneration. But I would like to remove the attention from that to something that I believe is important for people to understand. The gods, goddesses, orishas and other deities are all forms of energy. And depending on your state of mind and/or spiritual state, you will be drawn to a particular energy frequency.
Each deity has it's own frequency that is bound by the times we live in and the culture the deity is part of. Which is why there are many myths surrounding a particular deity. But it also explains as to why people are drawn to particular stories or beings.
And this is how I view the orishas. Each orisha houses principles that resonate with me. And I affirm these principles in my life, by putting energy into this frequency. For, as the Law of Attraction says: "Anything you give attention to, will grow".
love, health and abundance
When you create your altar you might not dedicate any items to an orisha. You might dedicate your altar to yourself or solely to principles such as love, abundance and health. And that's okay too. Your goal is to invite these principles into your life by using items that resonate with you. The more something resonates with you, the stronger the vibration will be. Which means that you will be able to be charged (motivated and inspired) much quicker than if you would have items that don't. Creating an environment in which you are able to thrive, can be a beautiful and creative process. I would love to hear what your take is on altars and what your altar looks like.
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May your day be filled with love, peace, joy and happiness!