Minimalist, Small-space & Travel Altar Ideas – 02

Not everyone has space for a large altar setup, and if you have to share the space with others, if you’re visiting (or have visitors), or if you’re on the move, having an elaborate setup isn’t always possible. In this series I’m going to be sharing little ideas and photos to inspire you for your own devotional space. Use them as general inspiration, adapting them to suit your needs, the items you own, and your Deities.

They’re highly portable, and you can put them in a pouch for when you’re on the move. If you have guests they shouldn’t freak them out too much, or you can quickly put them away for the duration of their visit. If you’re away from home they’re easy to pop into a draw while you’re not using the room.

This week I’m talking about jewellery. Pendants and brooches are multi-purpose, and can be used as decorative items as well as worn. Pick pieces rich in the symbolism associated with a particular Deity or pantheon. This ties in the personal aspect, and means that even if you don’t have much space for your altar, or it needs to be discreet, then you can still have a powerful energy present.

There are plenty of options with jewellery as to how you can use them. You can wear them and few will guess they’re a devotional piece. You can hang them from a hook, a pole, a picture rail or on a Deity statue. You can turn them into a little display. You can turn them into a keyring. They’re easy to pop onto a nightstand at a hotel or guest bedroom, and in the morning you’ll be wearing them again.

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With brooches you can be a bit more creative. As well as wearing them you can attach them to things you can’t with other pieces of jewellery. Want to encourage dreams of said Deity? Attach the brooch to your pillow. Want to be sneaky or playful? Add a brooch dedicated to Khepera (or another insect or ‘climbing’ Deity) to your curtains. You can also pin them to bags, scarves, cloaks, coats or wall hangings. Because of the pin on the back you may be able to add them as a detachable element on the end of prayer beads.

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(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

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Sigyn & Moss Agate

When sorting through my hoard of spiritual information I came across some notes I’d taken from a magazine article a number of years ago about the uses of crystals in the home. Imagine my surprise when I came across the following:
Kitchen: Prevent accidents – Moss Agate is highly protective and stabilises the fiery energy associated with cookers
 … also associated with maternal love.
What better stone to connect with Sigyn? She stabilises Loki’s fiery energy and devotes herself to his care when he is imprisoned and bound, and she is a mother of two sons. Now this is where things get either strange or synchronous, depending on your personal beliefs: back in April I was trawling ebay and came across a small Moss Agate bowl, which I thought would be perfect as a devotional gift for Sigyn. I didn’t even think about the stone it was made of, just the bowl itself, which is one of the central symbols of her story.

Sigyn Moss Agate
Why I didn’t think to look up the properties of Moss Agate escapes me, as usually I research these kinds of things straight away. To rectify this I have now done a bit of research and thought I would share my findings.

Moss Agate is a stabilising stone, and helps to bring peace to those who experience mood swings or those with a lot of emotional drama in their lives. ‘No matter how difficult those circumstances may be, Moss Agate gives insight into the reason behind them.’¹ If you think about how much Sigyn went through not only with Loki, but losing one of her sons to become Loki’s fetters and the other to a curse, these properties seem very appropriate.
Moss Agate is also beneficial for people convalescing after an illness, or in recovery from addiction.² Its energy is said to be supportive, and what else is Sigyn but supportive? She married Loki, obviously knowing his character, and she stayed with him throughout his ordeal in the cave.

‘It is a stone of new beginnings and release from blockages or spiritual fetters’¹ – One of Sigyn’s heiti is ‘incantation fetter’, and she stays with Loki through all the time he is bound, until his escape from his fetters at Ragnarok. Following on from this, Moss Agate is also said to encourage you to try one more time, ‘inspiring with new ideas after a period of stagnation.’ Sigyn never seems to give up, even after the binding of her husband and the loss of her children. It’s a stone of endurance and persistence, but also of optimism.

Moss Agate is also associated with plants and agriculture, a possible connection for those who believe Sigyn may have Vanir ancestry, or a link to nature. It was used in Persia to help crops grow, ‘as a good example of sympathetic magick,’³ due to the plant-like appearance of the inclusions in the stone. It also helps to open up awareness to the devas and Nature Spirits.

¹ Crystal Bible vol 1, page 48
² The Book of Stones, page 11
³ Crystals: Healing and Folklore, page 159

Sources:
Crystal Bible vol 1 – Judy Hall
The Book of Stones – Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian
Crystals: Healing and Folklore – David Rankine
Notes from an article called ‘Crystal Palace’ in ‘Spirit & Destiny’ magazine – unfortunately I didn’t write down the article’s author, or the issue number.