Tarot Altar

Tarot Altar Update: Not going that well

Hello cardslingers! I haven’t been posting a whole lot because I just keep failing at everything and don’t feel like there is much to share.

My Hot Mess Oracle and Tarot of Real projects are on the back burner for a variety of reasons excuses. I feel like I could get back to reviewing decks but I feel like I need to work with a deck a lot more than I have been. I want to give each deck a fair chance, you know?

And my tarot altar… certainly going much poorer than I anticipated. I’ve tried to enjoy the journey of putting it together but my obsession with obtaining what I see in my mind has sullied it.

BUT I do have something to show!

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most of my decks!

The cube style shelf is something I got from Amazon. It has 9 sections, one in the top middle there dedicated to books, some of which are tarot related. The entire shelf isn’t a tarot-centric thing, so I won’t bother with a full shot of it.

I recently got some old stuff from storage that I hadn’t seen in 5+ years so some of that is involved here.

I had been keeping about 70% of my decks all tucked away in a closet but that was feeling kind of depressing so I lined them all up along the back there. It looks ok, I like it well enough. It’s not great. I don’t know. It’s fine for now.

You may notice the distinct lack of lovely embellished silk cloth. That’s because when I tried decorating it, it just… it didn’t work. I tried embroidering a simple border around it with my metallic thread but it just looked like shit. Like a bad kind of shit. Not the fun, touchy-tactile, hippy-boho mixed media thing that I really wanted. I didn’t even bother with the mirrors, which turned out being a bit too big overall. FML.

So instead I’m using a scarf sort of thing from storage. I’ve had this thing for quite awhile and I have always used it to mark off sacred space. So in a way it’s better than my silk cloth. It’s a little more special because my brain already has a built in association with it. It’s seen some shit, man.

From right to left: my tarot book (just spreads I love, for now), my selenite/fluorite wand, a tiny little hand carved opal skull.

My Darkstar wand, and my amethyst crystal.

The last bit on the right has my laughing Buddha. I don’t remember the circumstances around obtaining him. Maybe mid 2000s? The stone is ulexite,  given to me by a new friend this year.

The little box was given to me by a friend in the early 2000s. It has always housed my runes:

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Runes have failed to capture my heart like tarot, but I’m thinking of giving it another go.

I don’t remember exactly when I got these runes but I’m pretty sure I got them off eBay. Must have been early 2000s as I don’t remember keeping anything else in that box.

The box sits on top of The Book of Runes. It was another gift from the mid 2000’s, I believe.

And I think that’s it! It looks a lot nicer than all the junk I had up there before. It’s kind of peaceful. I can’t do any large readings there but I could certainly toss out a few cards for a quick reading or to keep out to visit throughout the day. I will probably move all the tarot to one of the shelves so I have more room for junk. I’m fairly happy with it for now.

Has anybody else been working on any sorts of altars? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

tarot altar: the book! (and updates)

So I’ve finally moved forward on my altar plans a bit. I got a book for it!

I wanted a book for keeping witchy type and figured I could keep tarot notes as well. I was hesitant about that at first because the whole point of having my tarot blog is to keep track of shit here. But it’s going to be much easier to consult my book and write notes down than to consult my computer. Because I’m always forgetting spreads ‘n shit.

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It’s rather thick, has a ton of pages, and just looks and feels maaaaagical. It has two bookmarks and the pages are gilded. It’s a bit smelly and the paper is kind of rough and crappy but it’ll do.

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I decided to break it in with something easy. I only have a small portion of my art supplies right now but I figure the book is going to get rather messy with art.

In other Altar News:

I now have my thread and needles so I can start embroidering around the edge. I’m probably going to just do a simple split stitch all around, making it kind of wavy and uneven and in multiple colors.

I also ordered 50 tiny little star studs that I’ll be installing around the border. I may attempt to do some constellations but I don’t know yet.

One last thing I have ordered is some little shisha mirrors. I may end up just putting one in each corner but I’m not completely sure yet.

I think I’ve decided against doing the iridescent star sequins. The kind that I like comes with way too many and I’ve been too lazy to ask the shop if they’ll do a smaller order. It might be a little overkill anyway 🙂

So, it’s not sexy, but here’s but it looks like right now:

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so uninspiring

Yes. My altar is a pile of boxes. And my incense burner is some bit of cardboard I found. You make do, a’ight?

There is no rhyme or reason to it so far. The photograph is one of my own and I just put it there to spruce things up a bit. They grey thing is just a shawl I draped there just because.

I’ve got my current working deck, the Zombie Tarot, the incense burner, pendulum, planchette charm that broke off a collar, my selenite wand, my wood wand, and a chunk of ulexite that a friend recently gave to me and I LOVE IT.

So that’s a nice little update on my altar. Has anybody else decided to put one together? I’m always interested in seeing what other people do!

What is your “year card”? +bonus altar stuffs

*edit* I’m participating in my first blog hop on 2/29 but the topic was one I already blogged about so here goes!

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I love numbers! One of my favorite past times growing up was just randomly playing with numbers and letters. I was terrible at actual real math but I pretty much did numerology before I even knew it was a thing. /hipsterwitch

The video below is from Kelly-Ann Maddox, whom I have mixed feelings about (none of them are bad!). Skip to about 4:00 if you want the actual content.

I got 7, which is Chariot. That’s cool, I’m just hoping that means I’m not moving this year.

So I was just going to do a simple thing: share a pic of the Chariot from my newest deck. But no. I can’t do anything simply. ALL DECKS ON BOARD!

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I even dug up my pendulum (yes yes I know, ideomotor effect). I bought it around the same time I got the selenite wand up there. I’ve been trying to think if it has a place with my tarot work or if I should do something else with it. With some minor adjustments it would make a fantastic necklace or prop for one of my larger dolls.

And then I thought… I have the groundwork for a perfect pendulum thingy here. Why not use it as a way to think about a selection of cards? I quite like just sitting, staring, comparing. Maybe the pendulum can be a fun way to facilitate that?

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I may not even do it at all but I wanted to share the idea anyway so hopefully it’ll inspire others. You could use the swing of the pendulum to choose a card to meditate on, or let it choose 2 cards (swing to one card, pick it, swing to to another one, pick that one) to compare or whatever.

Or just let the pendulum sit there and be fucking pretty.

Either way I’m glad I dug it up and I’d love to know what you think of this and if you know about anything similar. I’m 119% sure this is not a unique thing.

Thanks for stopping by!

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tarot altar – the wand

tl;dr you can read the captions

I got 2 goodies in the mail today! But I’m only going to talk about one for now.

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ash wand from thatguy22222 on etsy

OK so here’s what happened. Haha… funny story. So um you know how I was going to focus on getting a box next, to keep all the altar goodies in? Well I got a wand instead.

Yes I could make my own. Bitch, I don’t always want to make The Thing Myself, ok? I know it’s more “meaningful” to you but that isn’t a rule for everyone. 

*ahem*

If there’s anything I love in the magical world more than altars or grimoires, it’s WANDS. Merlin’s wand, Harry Potter’s wand, all the wands everywhere in all the movies and books and in the hands of magic peeps across the lands. I love how they can all look so different and be made out of different materials and have different purposes.

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it’s just like… a marble and some fucking metal. cool.

I love that they’re like an extension from self into… wherever. I also love the connection of wands to air. Yeah I’m a wands=air/swords=fire kind of person. Deal with it. I just love wands, a’ight?

I was poking around Amazon and Etsy for boxes and figured I’d look for wands as well. Just because. What I really had set in my heart was something resembling something you’d see in the wands suit. Something kind of rough, kind of polished. Not a Harry Potter style wand. Maaaaybe a crystal on it. Maybe spots that look like there could have been leaves coming off it.

And then I discovered thatguy22222’s Etsy shop.

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I got the selenite/fluorite wand maybe ~5 years ago. I can’t remember why I bought it. I think I was looking for something pretty and crystally to have. Probably not going to be a major part of my altar.

Y’all. Seriously. Y’all.

I stumbled across a goldmine. Every single one of his wands is just supurb. From what I could tell. The photos aren’t that great and coloring is way off but there was just something about them. Other than the low low prices. With shipping and such, my wand was $12.50.

As soon as I saw the Blackstars wand I grabbed it. Bowie has been haunting every musical neuron in my head, so I had to get it. I don’t know if the wand was made for Bowie reasons but the name (and the wand) was all the prodding I needed.

When I got it out of its box and it was still in the bag and it was in my hand I was like “… woah.” I haven’t had that kind of reaction to something for a long time. Of course I haven’t been paying attention either.

It’s really quite perfect. I was afraid that it wouldn’t “fit” my altar but I think it just might. Even if it doesn’t, I love it, and I know where to get more.

So next up… maybe this time I’ll be getting a box? I don’t think I’ll be stashing the cloth in it though because it sure wrinkles easily. At least now it’ll be easier to find something that’ll accommodate the wand, since I know the size I’ll need.

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Oh, I almost forgot! Here’s what the whole package looks like from afar. Sitting where I’m thinking of putting my computer desk when I get one. I keep moving it around but I always have it in this area; by the window with fresh air, sunlight, and incense. Aww look at the poor Golden Tarot, tossed aside like yesterday’s deck.

 

 

 

 

Tarot Altar – the cloth

I didn’t forget about my plans to put together an altar! I ordered this beautiful dupioni silk this past weekend and it just came in. I felt like a cloth was the perfect place to start since I’ve been wanting one badly anyway.

I am a gothy creature of the night who has dark decor and even have black body wash. But whilst in search of something befitting my moody outer world, I just couldn’t fine the Right Thing. Until I switched gears to the color I consider my “soul color” (sorry for the fluff, I don’t know what else to call it):

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I spent more money on this fucking thing than I wanted to but it’ll be worth it in the end.

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that purple tho

My “soul color” (ugh…) tends to be more green and less blue than this but it’s hard finding the right color, specially when shopping online. As much as I don’t really like blue, this is a particular shade that I absolutely love. And oh look there’s purple! I so do love purple.

I very very much love stars and space and shit like that so I plan on embroidering around the edges with silvery thread and star sequins. I’m probably also going to stick on some star shaped studs. Maybe attach some pretty little beads and mini bells along the way. Maybe even some teenyweeny (shisha?) mirrors? One in each corner?

I couldn’t find an existing altar or tarot cloth that looks anything like I have in mind. But for other objects I’ve seen things similar, like beautiful recycled sari clothing and belly dancing items. Those kinds of things just really grabs some intangible part of me and punches it in the gut.

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the first deck I grabbed ended up being a fantastic model for the cloth

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uunnnnnfff

I’ve been brainstorming over other altar items. I feel like the next important item will be a dedicated table or at the very least a small box. I have a couple night stands in my sights that I like but the working surface wouldn’t be very large. I may just keep to a special box. That’ll be fine.

Just thinking… Tarot altars? part 1

I’ve been thinking seriously on putting together an altar again. It’s been banging around my mind since the middleish of last year, which also happened with my spooky/goth and tarot reawakening.

It also didn’t help that I was living in New Orleans and there is just something about that place that is haunting and magical. It really jumpstarted something in me.

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friend doing a reading with the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, in New Orleans (November 2014)

The last time I had an proper altar was ~2007. It wasn’t particularly special or inspiring because I didn’t have any solid grip on my beliefs. I was learning about all sorts of pagany things that I didn’t completely believe in, but still wanted an altar.

Nowadays I know I’m an atheist but still with an interest in witchy things. I’m even toying at the idea of lableing myself an “atheist witch. It’s not that important to me to refine it so much but it seems so fitting.

I kind of feel like making lists sometimes helps me figure things out, so without further ado:

Why I want a Tarot Altar

  1. Need for “sacred space” (somewhere to set the mood, it’s all about the mood!).
  2. Want somewhere pretty and well lit to take photos of cards for this blog.
  3. Need somewhere comfortable and spacious and dedicated enough to do readings.
  4. Want to bring the spiritual(?) and symbolic aspects of tarot into a physical space to enhance the purpose and meaning of tarot (presentation!)
  5. C’mon. Tarot altar. It just sounds fucking awesome.

I Blame Jack

Last week I read this amazing post by Jack of Wands titled “Tarot, Polytheism, and a Sprinking of Nietzsche“. It resonated with me like whoa. It really got me thinking about why I crave myth (and magic). His(?) post really kicked my interest in a tarot altar into another gear – it’s time I start putting one together!

And what better time to start planning on putting something together than being in a brand new, completely empty apartment?

So what’s an Internet junkie to do when they want to plan out something but start a Pinterest board?

(as it turns out, WordPress won't let me put the widget in here so if you're curious please just click on over to the board itself?)

Please share your thoughts on a tarot altar. Do you have one, have you thoughts about putting one together? How did you go about doing it? Link me to any posts/photos you have! I’m totally interested!