In this Issue: How to Create a Portable Altar, Visiting Salem, MA and Fairies.
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
The Halloween season was busier than usual for me this year, with increased travel all over the East and Midwest for lecturing. I am glad to be home! I had a real and rare treat this season — Halloween night in Salem, MA. What better place to be for the Night of the Dead? More than 70,000 people turned out to celebrate, many in eye-catching costumes. I joined in a Witches Ritual for the Dead on Salem Common, led by Christian Day and Lori Bruno – a very powerful experience. Christian and I are working on a book on necromancy, and the ritual fit right in with our collaboration.
Upcoming in this month, another rare treat – a 5-day trip to New Orleans with a few of my spookiest friends. We will stay in the French Quarter, spend time with the Voodoo Queen Bloody Mary, and summon up some spirits. Vampires, ghosts, witches, spirits, magic and more promise to make this a spectacular trip and some great research as well.
The Lost Tapes
The Animal Planet’s popular show, The Lost Tapes, has returned this fall with Season 3, and this month I am featured in two episodes:
The Beast of Bray Road — November 2 10:00 PM EST
Reptilians — November 9 10:00 PM EST
Filming for Richard Syrett show
For several years I have had the pleasure of working with Richard Syrett as a regular guest on his radio show, based in Toronto. He is expanding to television, and I am pleased to film this month in New York City as one of his first TV guests. Our topics: vampires and werewolves. You can find out about Richard’s The Conspiracy Show at www.richardsyrett.com and http://zoomerradio.ca/
The Conspiracy Show has a fan page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13684140146
New book: Fairies!
My latest book, Fairies, has been released by Checkmark Books, an imprint of my encyclopedia publisher, Facts On File. It features an introduction to fairies and some tips for communicating with them – and great illustrations in full color!
I am officially on my winter break through February. During this period I don’t travel as much for lecturing, but devote more time to developing new projects, catching up on writing and email, participating in filming, and making a few appearances on radio shows. I have a paranormal event, at Ramblewood in Darlington, MD the weekend of Nov. 5-7; the details are posted on my calendar page at www.visionaryliving.com. This newsletter continues every month with announcements and articles of interest. I have some exciting projects in the works!
Thanks to everyone who has written to me with their accounts of shadow people, Djinn, the Ouija board and more. I am still collecting!
The following article may be reposted, provided the byline, website and copyright information are included. Thank you for your courtesy.
Creating a Portable Altar
By Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Copyright Visionary Living, Inc.
An altar anchors sacred space. Traditionally, an altar is an elevated place where religious ceremonies are conducted, and where offerings are made. In a home, an altar serves as a focal point for one=s private worship and communion. It is decorated with religious and personal objects whose symbolic meanings help our connection to the Divine.
Altars can be erected anywhere, such as on small tables in bedrooms, spare rooms and living rooms. More and more people are creating their own personal altars for their sacred space at home. They are as unique to each person.
Not everyone, however, has room for a permanent altar, even a small one. The perfect solution is the portable altar, which can easily be set up for prayer and meditation and then put away. Portable altars are ideal for travel as well.
I travel a great deal, and I like to take my own portable altar with me. It is stored in a jewelry roll, easily packed and ready to unroll anywhere, anytime. I had a lot of fun putting my altar together, and I would like to share a few tips for making your own portable altar.
A jewelry roll is the perfect storage bag. It has zippered compartments that protect fragile objects, and can be rolled into a compact size. Choose a medium or large bag. Mine is black velvet, but you may enjoy a flowered pattern.
The altar itself is established with a small kerchief or cloth napkin, kept folded in one of the compartments in the roll. Embroidered cotton or linen, or a silk pocket scarf all serve nicely. Mine is a silk pocket square that I bought in Japan. It bears an old silkscreen painting of the river of life framed by plum blossom trees. I place my altar objects on the cloth.
My altar reflects both West and East spiritual traditions. I have representation of the four elements. For me, these symbolize both the four directions of Earth and the four archangels of the heavenly quarters: Michael, who rules justice; Gabriel, who rules beginnings; Raphael, who rules healing; and Uriel, who rules Truth.
For fire, I use a tea light candle. These are small and compact. However, it is not safe to burn them without a containerBthe little metal wrap around them will not necessarily hold the melted wax. Most bed and bath shops sell small glass holders just big enough for a tea light. I found some pretty ones in frosted glass of different colors. I have one for the tea light candle and one to hold water for a representation of that element. For air, I have a small bird feather, and for earth, a small crystal. I place the objects representing the four elements at the corners of the altar cloth. I arrange the rest of my objects in the center of the cloth.
At an import shop, I found a tiny brass incense burner just big enough to hold a cone of incense. I carry two or three cones in the roll along with the burner and a packet of matches. Cones are much more durable in travel than sticks of incense, which break easily.
I also carry a small vial of frankincense essential oil. This is useful for anointing rituals and ceremonies. You may wish to include other oils as well. Essential oils are very strong and must be diluted in water before being applied to skin. You can do so by placing a drop or two in your water tea light holder. Or, carry a third holder just for the diluted essential oil, which is what I do.
Other possibilities for a portable altar are religious symbols and jewelry, meditation beads, pressed and dried flowers, stones, bones, shells, and any mementoes that have a special spiritual significance to you. Be creative and enjoy!
A word of caution: pay attention to any burning restrictions when staying at hotels. If there is no suitable place outdoors, use visualizations as a substitute. Your thoughts are powerful.