In Egyptian religious practices, the Gods were said to reside in the statue, the opening of the mouth ceremony was performed on the statues, so that the statue may be animated by the Ka of the God that would reside within, the statue is thus “awakened”,
“If a statue had the opening of the Mouth ritual performed on it, then it would actually become the person or deity that it represented, its senses awakened so that it could see, hear and speak” (Egyptian Paganism:p 30)
The statues were dressed in cloth, anointed and offerings of incense, food, wine, flowers, bread, meat, beer, herbs, linen, natron, milk, grain, vegetables , fowl and water would be made to the god. Statues act as fetishes and houses for the gods and spirits, and therefore need to be maintained, fed and offered to on a regular basis
I offer incense, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, chocolate, sweets, candles, and flowers as well as many other things that are filled with powerful energies. Once an offering is made, it is transformed by the god it was offered to, and a reversion of the offering is made:
“Following the rite, the food that has been offered should be consumed, distributed to those it will nourish, or returned to nature as soon as possible. Floral offerings may remain throughout the day, but should be taken elsewhere at nightfall” (The Sacred magic of Ancient Egypt: p 162).
In addition to the above-mentioned offerings I also dedicate jewellery to deities, for instance, the two necklaces I wear most of the time are dedicated to Anubis and Hekate, and when I wear them, I’m “wearing the Deity at my heart” in the same way that Thoth “wears” Ma’at on his heart.
The gods come to us in the forms we can best understand them, but I don’t feel that my statuary limits them, as I see my gods everywhere, not just in the faces of the statues, I see them within Nature. I see Anubis as every dog, as I see Hekate. Some pagans omit the use of statuary and use candles instead to represent the light of the gods, some use objects and totemic representations as well.
Altars act as spaces where all manner of ceremony may be conducted including spellwork, ritual, and meditation. My ancestral altar acts as a space of commemoration, and necromancy. Altars are not necessary for the practice of magic, and when one is on the move or in a small, limited space, it may be difficult to keep and maintain an altar. If one is able to keep an altar it should be maintained, cleansed and treated as a sacred object, as it acts as a battery of all the magic that has been practiced on it.
Further reading and links of interest:
All blog content is Copyright © 2012 of Nightshade thepurplebroom.wordpress.com