As mentioned in a recent post, my altar table has been converted to a desk (and just this week, also to a sewing table), and my altar has been relocated to a bookshelf (where it actually used to reside years ago). The only drawback to this arrangement is that it doesn’t allow for burning candles on my altar (incense, though, is fine) because it might scorch the upper shelf—but that’s a minor issue for me, as I can always light them on my desk or elsewhere.
Here is my current setup, featuring the altar cloth I made for myself today using my new sewing machine:
As you can see, the space is divided between Odin and Lucifer, with Asherah taking up the central position. And I’m feeling as though Asherah needs to be central because She is acting as a kind of mediatrix between the two. (Her presence implies the presence too of Her husband, El/Ilu/YHVH, by the way—but the latter is traditionally not represented in artwork, so I’ve left this as an implication for now.)
Increasingly, I’ve been seeing parallels between Odin + Frigg and El/YHVH + Asherah (tribal war god married to domesticity goddess who spins and dwells by the sea, god of wisdom married to goddess of marriage and the family—there are many similarities)–so where does this leave Luce? I’ve always seen Him as a son of YHVH and Asherah; in the older Canaanite tradition that preceded monotheistic Judaism, the children of El/Ilu and Asherah/Athiratu are the 72 angels. There is also the obvious temptation to try to fit Him into a Loki-type role, but Loki has never been central to my spiritual life, and I’m trying to resist my Virgo tendency to want to make all of the puzzle pieces fit together neatly. It’s funny; since going back to doing readings for other people, I’ve been feeling more relaxed about my own spirituality. It’s okay if there are gaps. It doesn’t have to all make sense; this is my spiritual experience, not a college essay.
You might also have noticed that there are Tarot decks in front of the images of Odin and Lucifer. These are decks that technically “belong” to each of these deities (although I am allowed to use them in readings for others, too). Due to its name and dark imagery, I had initially thought the Darkness of Light would be Lucifer’s, but it feels more like Odin to me. On the other hand, Luce has claimed the Star Tarot—a frothy, celestial deck heavy with cosmic imagery. Which might seem bizarre but actually makes sense considering the version of Lucifer I seem to have, who I suspect is post-redemptive and who encourages me to work with angels rather than demons.
Of course, all of the above means Asherah still needs a deck. There are a few I’m considering, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.
Current reading: The Book of Fallen Angels, by Michael Howard (review when I’m finished).