There are the long term, semi permanent altars, such as the one set up for Columbia, Goddess of Freedom and Matron of the capitol city of this nation. Hers is front and center in my living room, impossible to walk past without seeing, and perhaps thinking "now would be a good time to light some incense to her." She is not a "personal" goddess for me, but certainly through this political season I will propitiate her and implore her to look after her people and her nation. Her space is as spare and clear as the family altar is colorful and filled with "stuff."
I have my circle. Which is a holy place, but not permanently set up for any one specific ritual.
And then, there is the Anat tile. I posted this picture once before, and I will admit, I was completely surprised by the reaction to it. I think she is beautiful, not gruesome, as one commentor said. I am not a Canaanite reconstructionist, I do not worship Her, but She bears an important message to me, and when I need to be reminded of that message, the tile comes out and is set on my desk, where I cannot help but see Her.
(image and tile by the very talented Thalia Took )
The message? IT DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE YOUR BLOOD.
As a wife and a mother, and a healer, this is a lesson I've had to learn over and over again. My personality inclines me to giving my "all" to those I love, to those I work to heal, to help. But, you can't give your "all" if you expect to have anything left. If you have ever taken a CPR certification class, or a Red Cross first aid class, you know that the first rule is protecting yourself; the most important person is the healer, not the injured. The rule is the same if you are talking emotional or spiritual or psychic support-if you damage yourself, how can you help anyone else? A hard lesson. One that I learned the hard way. And relearned again. And again.
The tile comes out far less often these days. Sometimes, all I need to do is think of it, and her. I am learning. And, when I need Her, She is there for me.