Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Remembering our dead... ANCESTOR ALTAR 2009

Like any other time of year... the Wheel turns and the season changes bringing its unique and precious gifts...

By the time October draws to its end and depending on when the dark of the moon climaxes... I've unpacked and created a special altar dedicated to those who have passed on to the 'Apple Lands'.

My Ancestor altar items are otherwise stored in a very special cedar chest... something that I 'inherited' from Gabriel... the one who 'taught me' how to reach those who were departed from this world... those souls who meant something to me... or vice versa.

I look forward to restoring the chest one of these years...

This year I decided to create the Ancestor altar in the entry way to the dome... and I was very excited to pull from my fabric repositary...

... this wonderful Michael Miller spiral skull design.

Every year I prune some part of one of my olive trees and this year i had an immense main branch that needed to be cut... so i waited for the right day and here it is with a large array of ripe black Italian olives. I think my Italian ancestors are very pleased with this substantial offering :)

I have been building my collection of Day of the Dead statuettes for some years now. These are awesome ceramic pieces that are created in Peru and have become a major part of my Ancestor Altar.

A market woman holds flowers in the front of her skirt... she wears a hat that is home to a bird and her nest... at her back she wears a backpack full of flowers.

November 18th is my paternal grandmother's birthday... i was able to harvest some red & white roses from the Spiral Garden to honor her memory. I also made her a cup of lemon ginger tea !

A group of six musicians play music to keep the altar festive... my maternal grandfather was an oboe player and musician... I wish i had had the honor of hearing him play.

Animals surround the players: on the right... a mama cat holding her four dead kittens; on the left... a guardian angel cat wearing a top hat; at the front... a cat storyteller musician with his kittens; and a dog all dressed up for the occasion !

Death, Love and Chastity flanking a wedding couple representing my paternal grandparents...

There is also a photo of a self-portrait painted by my art professor & mentor, Garrett Boone.

A circle of village women keep another wedding couple company... photos of my maternal grandparents and also a pictorial representation of my twin sister.

Justice flanks a ceramic bottle of olive oil made in the Calabria region of Italy.

Photos of my feline daughters and sons: Pat, Blinks... Tillie and Tara... Moonstone, Tammy, Jezebelle and Chelsea... All precious to me... and I still miss each one of them !

This year, I was able to find a canine for the altar. I grew up with two Irish setters and today, I have three dogs in my animal pack and family. I hope they will be with me for a long time... even Dingo, who is currently 17 years old !

And finally a photograph of me... all dressed up to honor my Ancestors and sacred dead...

YOU are not forgotten and my deepest thanks... for you have made me a better person. As I celebrate your memories this winter may your love & wisdom find their way into my consciousness. HO !


I want to thank my Etsy friend Laura, from lkfarnsworth, for creating the Ancestor necklace for me and also to Lisa, from Cerublu, for another gorgeous hat. Please click on their store names to visit their wonderful shops !

1 comment:

  1. That's really beautiful Nicole. I imagine your ancestors and beloved pets are very honored to be remembered so thoughtfully, and with such loving care.


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