Black People : Altars

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by hiphopolx, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ok I was in a thread expressing interest in the subject of setting up your altar.
    I hardly know anything about this, so I'd like to humbly ask the ppl here who are in the know, to share their knowledge
    (thanks 4 the push 'Knowledge Seed')


    Since I don't know about this subject I'll start off with a few questions.



    Why Have an Altar ?

    Where to do you place the Altar

    What other objects do you use with it ? and What do they represent ?

    What can one expect to come out of this.

    Will it be something they/we can experience? Or are the results faith related?

    Another brother here has been helping me out with some of these questions I had but I'll ask them here for others who are also interested in the subject.

    Peace
     
  2. soulosophy

    soulosophy Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Hiphop0lx, a much needed post for those of us who have little inner-standing of the significance of having altars. This is also new for me and I have been trying to get my head around the language of deities and altars etc. I don’t profess to know it all but I can share with you my experiences of such.

    Having come from a somewhat mystical Sufi background and have now entered more into the ancient metaphysical Afrikan systems for achieving genuine transformation on all levels (spiritually, emotionally, creatively and financially), it was not easy to comprehend certain languages used on this path. But through my continual research I am finding that these so-called religions, spiritual paths, Gnosticism etc are all saying the same thing but in different languages and on different levels. Once I grasped that concept then it became much easier to know exactly how to interpret the language of Gnosticism.

    Having researched quantum physics and studied the human/divine bio-electromagnetic field (some call the energy centres, the chakras or the aura etc), from many angles or from many different ways of life i.e. Kemetic, Hinduism, Sufism, Buddhism, Ifa, Dogon, Taoism, Judaism etc, it became easy for me to see how each system of enlightenment practices the same thing just in different ways. Each system has their own culture and ways of reaching enlightenment/gnosis and therefore who is to say that one is correct or incorrect. Just as we each have a path to walk towards enlightenment, we each have the right to choose which path we want to walk.

    The chakras/energy field are the gods. They are the deities, the orishas. They are the all-encompassing power that contains all that was, that is and that will be. Within our energy field, which is ourselves, each centre resonates to certain colours, energies, stones/crystals which we use to awaken, activate and/or strengthen certain parts of our divine selves using these certain colours, crystals, objects etc. Within each level or chakra lies the power, the secrets, the past, the future for us to access, but if they are blocked then its harder to gain access to the information we already have stored within us. So we use these objects to help unblock our divine energy centres as we create our altars etc. Altars and deities serve merely as focusing tools or as some say, the middleman. But I believe in all honesty that we do not really need them. It is an individual and personal thing s to what kind of system if any we choose or none at all or even ALL of them on set days etc.

    The most powerful of our Being is our free will…our will. Just as in magick, all we have to do is inflict or inflect our will, as the will is really the only tool that is needed. Magick in reality is simply moulding or shaping our reality through our own will. When we look at chaos theory, the tiny flap or small force of a butterfly’s wing can cause another force to build up into a hurricane across the other side of the planet. How is this? We can say this is kind of magick but simply it is because everything and anything is interrelated and interconnected on a molecular level. Therefore, if we can inflect and project our Will upon molecules it will extend, increase and expand our Will to everything, thus causing whatever events we want to transpire.

    So why, I hear you ask, hasn’t things transpired for me or for us thus far. Good question. Perhaps because within us deep down there is a spot of doubt. The smallest doubt will affect and sabotage any outcome of what we are trying to achieve. Our desire and needs has to be pure and has to act upon the purest of intentions. But please, this is just my thoughts and my inner-standing from what I have studied for my own person.
    To me, magick is simply inner-standing how energy and atoms work and manipulating it. Such as the Kabbalah which is simply exercising our free will. There are many possible futures, we are the captains of our ship and masters of our destiny.

    So to answer your questions my Brother:…

    Why Have an Altar ?
    An altar serves to focus our energies onto our beliefs and intentions.

    Where to do you place the Altar?
    Anywhere that you have made sacred or have cleared away negative energies by whatever methods you choose such as incense, water, salt or smudging. Also, directions such as east or west, north or south depending on what ritual you are doing can perhaps serve as an energy charger.

    What other objects do you use with it? and What do they represent ?
    By researching and innerstanding the chakras will tell you what objects, colours, crystals etc is best suitable for each chakra/energy centre. Remember that each chakra is what cetain cultures refer to as deities or laow or gods etc.

    What can one expect to come out of this?
    One can expect gnosis/enlightenement because what you are really doing is working on your chakras/energy centres to clear negative energies. Once these centres are clear and your intention is pure then you these centres are opening up for you to receive messages from our ancestors etc, certain information etc that already reside within you. Remember you are the universe. We already possess within us all that we seek.

    Will it be something they/we can experience? Or are the results faith related?
    I don’t understand this question. But I will say that every experience we/you have is related to how you feel about life, about yourself and about others. We/you are like magnets that attract & repel. Like everything else in the universe, We exist as atoms. We are the laws. We contain the laws within us and are also subject like everything else in the universe to these laws. So what makes us think that we are any different from the atoms in the active and kinetic universe? The only difference is that we have the power to choose. We are what we think and/or believe.

    Let me conclude by saying that back in the day our ancestors termed magick 'alchemy' which is where the europeans got the word 'chemist'. But 'chem' comes from 'Khem/'Kem' meaning Black as you know. I've also been researching into vodoun and Ifa etc and have set up my altar to perform some of the practices. Guess I am a kinesthetic type learner as I understand & retain information much better through more practical means and hands-on. (When you get time check out the Nigerian Mathematician Gabriel Oyibo who devised a the GAGUT (God Almighty Grand Unified Theorom if you haven’t already)).

    I am learning much and I'm beginning to see that life is very simple and not a mystery at all. After delving into some chaos magcik I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as wrong or right, no good or bad, no evil or righteousness, no punishment or reward. All that exist in our universe (both inner & outer) is the forces of positive and negative that make up all the laws of the universe. Anytime we do or say anything, we have to look at where are we functioning from? Everything we do is from a place of love (positive) or fear (negative) and from these two forces or energies stems every other e-motion (energy-motion).

    The way I see it, there's no point in asking God for forgiveness for something we've done because the laws of the universe will always kick into place regardless. We do not receive punishment or rewards but we get what we deserve on an individual or mass consciousness level as we are each subject to the laws of cause and effect. Our ancient ancestors had the knowledge and the power which only a few of us are seeking it and even fewer possess it. Now this leads me to the question of karma and justice. But I need to meditate on it a little and research more on some of the other laws operating in our universe. As far as I know there exist only seven laws in the universe:

    1. Mentalism: The Universe is mental. All is mind.

    2. Correspondence: As above, so below.

    3. Vibration: Everything is in motion. Nothing is still.

    4. Polarity: Everything has its pairs of opposites.

    5. Rhythm: The pendulum swing manifests in everything. The measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left.

    6. Cause and Effect: There are many planes of causation but nothing escapes this law.

    7. Gender: Gender manifests on all planes.

    Best thing is to do your own research and utilise the knowledge and see what works best for you. Let me know your thoughts…
    Peace, love and dark-light.
    1UL
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peace,

    Question #1:Why Have an Altar ?
    Ans. An altar serves a magnet and focal point.

    Question #2: Where to do you place the Altar?
    Ans. An altar can go anywhere. I few a few of "altars". One is top of built-in media niche, another is on a table in the upstairs hall, another one is in the garage, one in the closet and one of my favorites, just on the floor outlined with pembas in a corner.

    Question #3: What other objects do you use with it ?
    Ans. I have the standard candles, incense burners, glasses for water, but I also have skulls (plastic and medical supply), animal skins, alcohol, crystals, roots and herbs, palos, perfume waters, food, pictures and other ritual items like turtle shells, even a raccoon's penis bone.

    Question #3B: and What do they represent ?
    Ans. A myriad of things - some symbolic, some literal.

    Question #4: What can one expect to come out of this?
    Ans: Whatever the intended purpose of the altar is for.

    Question #5: Will it be something they/we can experience?
    Ans: Depends on the purpose of the altar.

    Question #5B: Or are the results faith related?
    Ans: Could be, it depends on what your intentions are.

    Blackbird
     
  4. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :em2400:
    Sista that was incredible.

    and why did this exact thought pop up in my mind this morning????

    '' everything and anything is interrelated and interconnected on a molecular level. Therefore, if we can inflect and project our Will upon molecules it will extend, increase and expand our Will to everything, thus causing whatever events we want to transpire.''

    I kid you not it just came to me.

    (did you do that?)

    Anyways thanks for that piece. I may copy and print it out and have it framed.

    Peace 2x
     
  5. amazon1979

    amazon1979 Banned MEMBER

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    I seek confirmation. When cleaning the altar cloth, some people insist that it must be washed in one's urine, whereas others state that washing it in the normal fashion is enough.

    Can anyone confirm if this is the case, and if possible, give the reason why?

    Many thanks in advance

    Peace
    Amazon1979
     
  6. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you
    For responding as well.
    Me asking if the results were faith related was meant by me communicating to either a deity or one of my ancestors. Would I receive communication back? Or Am I to believe that my communication was heard based on what someone who has experience in this practiced.
    I believe i know the answer but I would like to hear this via someone with experience and for others who also want to know about this subject.

    Peace
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I got ya. It still depends on what the altar is used for - invocation or evocation. Invocation can be confirmed by dreams and internal messages. Evocation can be the actual manifesting of an entity in the candle flame, smoke or through a magick mirror.

    Blackbird, the UnPhilosophical One, a Gritty Occultist
     
  8. hiphopolx

    hiphopolx Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    invocation or evocation.????
     
  9. soulosophy

    soulosophy Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    “…why did this exact thought pop up in my mind this morning????...did you do that..?” Lol, not me Bro. This is the Law of Synchronicity. It states that there are no coincidences because wherever our focus is we will see more of it connected through circumstances and/or symbolisms. It is the constant dialogue/communication between the universal consciousness and the one who is perceiving.

    Where do thoughts come from anyway? Do they just randomly appear from nowhere? Or do they have an origin regardless if stemmed from positive or negative energy? When we look at everything being interconnected and interrelated, then this One Universal Mind that permeates and pervades all of creation in the visible and invisible worlds contains the whole of what was, what is and what will be. We are constantly in dialogue and communicating with the universe on every level consciously and subconsciously, and I suppose one could say that we are like receivers picking up information and messages being communicated, and sometimes our thoughts, “seemingly” unrelated to what we are doing at a specific moment, may be nothing more than our consciousness attuned to a particular wavelength in the Universal Mind. But whatever information we pick up is dependent on what frequencies we attune ourselves to, i.e., the higher or lower spectrums of the universal consciousness and the universe will communicate to us a thought that we are receptive to. What others call “coincidences” will begin to occur. These are merely related conditions or circumstances manifesting in a person’s life coded by higher intelligences to the human mind. It is said that ‘all forms of divination are based on the Law of Synchronicity’.

    Last night, whilst meditating on this One Universal Mind, I wondered about the seven major universal laws corresponding to our seven major energy centres/chakras because it is through the chakras that consciousness expresses Its many facets or cosmic laws. Why have many cultures designated names, angels, deities, Laos, orishas, altars, etc to each energy centre? Obviously they have the knowledge of the type of forces, archetypes, attributes and powers etc each energy centre possesses. Even from these seven major energy centres and forces/cosmic laws there are branches and/or sub-branches (like the one I mentioned above - Law of Synchronicity) that possess specific laws/attributes etc. Otherwise why does Islam speak of the 99 names/attributes of God and use these names in rituals and as mantras etc? (Actually there are over 100 names/attributes of Allah. Also, when we look at the Periodic Table of Elements, there are about the same number of elements as the names/attributes of God mentioned in Islam…just a “thought”).

    1) Parallelism - All phenomena exist in parallel with each other & have correspondences between them. "As Above, So Below." Everything is connected to everything else, in one fashion or another. This is known as Oneness.

    2) Polarity - Everything has its opposite, & opposites manifest with a spectrum of polarities between them.

    3) Motion - Movement is inherent in the fact of Creation. The interaction of the Cosmic Laws is a dynamic motion which generates the patterns of Life.

    4) Oscillation - All phenomena oscillate according to the qualities of their motions. Oscillation along a basically straight trajectory is known as vibration. Oscillation along a basically circular trajectory is called a cycle.

    5) Attraction - Positive attracts negative. Motion along the spectrum between opposite polarities proceeds from the negative towards the positive.

    6) Gravity - Things which are in harmony, gravitate together. It is a phenomena of attunement, & with things that are in harmony, what affects one, will affect the other in the same way.

    7) Karma - It is known as Karma: the law of cause & effect. Every cause has its effect, & every action brings its reaction. What you do, will come back to you. This implies that the nature of the Universe is cyclical, & that every beginning results in an ending which forms the basis for a new beginning.

    (I just included a little on each law above but you can learn more here: http://www.jamesclairlewis.com/pages/metaphysics/metaphysics.html)

    I can see how in order to truly “Know Thyself”, one has to learn and know the major seven laws of the universe in order to master one’s self and comprehend all of life. Then and only then will we have true mastery and power of life. It can take a lifetime I know but have to start somewhere right; however, how many of us are truly working towards this? We only have to look at our world today and we can see that it is very very few.

    The more spiritually evolved we are the more our channels or energy centres will be attuned to and open to receive communication from higher realms of reality and the more our questions will be answered, and the more truth will be unveiled to us. We will thus begin to see opportunities rather than just mistakes or accidents. We will begin to see our hurtful emotional experiences as the lessons they truly are. The more underdeveloped we are the less likely a higher communication will flow through us from spiritual dimensions and we’ll be just like the masses existing from a lower base of the self (animal/ego level).

    How many of us know and inner-stand about the cosmic laws that we are each subjected to? Once we know the functionality of our universal laws that reside within us and externally, we can choose to be victims of these laws or we can work in partnership with them. I speak for myself first and foremost as always as my mouth is the closest to my own ear (I’m typing aloud).

    I know that this thread is not about the laws of the universe but when speaking about altars, rituals, etc, it is all a part of the equation, in fact it is the fundamentals to knowing how to utilise and manipulate the energies of cosmic laws.

    Peace..!

    “Small minds discuss people
    Average minds discuss events
    Great minds discuss ideas"
     
  10. soulosophy

    soulosophy Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Every culture has their own custom etc on setting up altars but I would like to share an excerpt related to Altars from an excellent book I received as a gift titled “Opening to Spirit: Contacting the Healing Power of the Chakras & Honouring African Spirituality” (1998) written by a sister from the UK(KK) by the name of Caroline Shola Arewa.

    Preparing an Altar

    You will find an altar helps you focus energy. Giving thanks to an altar is tangible and grounding. Altars are sacred spaces where the physical and spiritual worlds communicate. They are used in religious and spiritual work to magnify energy. A carefully created altar has a powedrful magnetic field around it and can be used to charge and uplift items, people, and yourself. There is usually a sense of peacefulness where an altar is, or has been. I have a space in my home that I use for spiritual practice. People often comment on the room’s peaceful energy. This is partly because of how the room is used, but also because I keep several altars in this healing space. The altars and plants in the room generate peaceful energy.

    How then do we create altars? Start by looking around your home and identifying the places where altars already exist. Do you have natural things standing together that decorate the place, such as stones, shells, crystals, bits of driftwood, plants, flowers or candles? These things serve the function of raising energy in your home. You may be surprised by how many such items you have. The task now is to arrange them consciously. Your altar can be small or large, as you have space for. If you have a spare room, use it. Build an altar in the space and reserve the room for your spiritual practice. Otherwise a corner of a used room is fine. A small table top or shelf will work well. I keep a flat in London and have an altar running up either side of my stairs. An altar is central to your practice and communication with spirit. It therefore needs to feel special to you. Start with a neutral-coloured cloth, like brown, representing earth, or white, symbolizing light.

    Choose something from each of the elements: earth, water, fire and air. I use crystals for earth. For water, a bowl of living water from a well, spring or rain is ideal. I have a sealed container of Ganges River water from India that I use. Candles provide fire. Air I symbolize with incense. If space is limited, a floating candle can be used for the water, fire and air elements. Place an element in each direction – North, South, East, Werst. Some traditions have fire in the East, water in the South, etc. I find a lot of different information on directions and therefore will leave it to you to decide where each element feels right. Consider the local climate: if winds blow from the east, then air would be east. If it is hotter in the south, place fire in the south, and so on. Tune into the elements and directions for guidance. This forms the basis of the altar.

    Now you begin to personalize it. Photographs of spiritual guides, ancestors and deities can be placed around. Be creative and try to avoid synthetic materials. Look to nature’s garden for most of what you need. Choose flowers, sand and earth of different colours. See what stones, wood and shells you can find that are sculpted by Mother Nature. The more energy you put in, the more your altar will come alive.

    When working with individual chakras your altar can be arranged to harness particular energies. This is dealt with in the appropriate chapters. Initially it is good to put together a neutral altar, attune to the energies of it and begin creating a working relationship with spirit. Keep your altar well looked after, honouring your Ancestors and guides in the spirit world. Attend to it each day and you will find it serves you well.


    Caroline Shola Arewa.
    “Opening to Spirit: Contacting the Healing Power of the Chakras & Honouring African Spirituality” (1998) (Pg 79-80)
    ISBN: 0 7225 37263

    Peace..!

    “Small minds discuss people
    Average minds discuss events
    Great minds discuss ideas"
     
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