Sacred Space | Gringa Bruja
Gringa Bruja
"This is where the magic happens"
Katrina Rasbold's Altar to Our Lady of Guadalupe

The wonderful author Rebecca Wells wrote a(n admittedly awful) book called Little Altars Everywhere that, for most of us, was the second of her books we read, the first being Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisters, which is just as delightful as the movie. Little Altars, albeit just as well crafted, broke our worlds when it off-handedly revealed that one of our favorite anti-heroes from Divine Secrets was a sexual predator. It was a gut punch and was such an incidental inclusion to the story, almost as an afterthought, that sorely I wish I had never seen it. This post has nothing to do with that, fortunately, but is simply the best title for a writing about the altars I have all over my house, both little and big.

As I pause now to mentally tally the number of sacred altars in my house, I can think of ten without even trying and I know that leaves a few out. Yesterday was my day to shake up the energy a bit. Typically, my spring cleaning consists of renting a dumpster and going through my *cough* four sheds out back and ruthlessly divesting myself of a good bit of the junk I hoard. If you go by that particular performance, it has not been spring here in about five or six years. Spring will most definitely arrive this year. I also donate madly to the thrift stores in town, particularly the ones that support the hospice center in Placerville, California. Another part of spring cleaning is the annual cleansing of the altar items. All get baptized and blessed as spring approaches each year.

In the featured image of this post, you see my altar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is one of my spiritual patrons. That altar stays up full time and is rarely changed out except for cleansing.

The Monkey Altar

I jumped the gun a bit because the energy in my home needed to shift early this year. Last year, I packed away the monkey altar, which you see in the featured image of this post. In my adult life, I have collected pigs. Not just any pigs or pigs for pigs’ sake, but interesting pigs with tremendous character. That developed from a comment my husband made, a quote from the movie “Full Metal Jacket” about someone “messin’ with [his] pig.” This evolved into full discussions about the safety, attitude, and condition of one’s “pig” as a metaphor for one’s emotional state. Eventually, the maternal energy and emotional barometer of the pig collection wore thin and I packed most of the pigs away. Then came the monkeys. They were all wise looking little suckers. No goofy looking monkeys in the batch. The monkey altar lasted for several years and in 2016, it was time to pack it away. The monkey energy was very chaotic and scattered, but it injected much needed fun into the energy of my home and my life. It will come back, but for now, it is contained.

The Goddess Altar

The Goddess Altar

Next, I needed to embrace strong Goddess energy, so I constructed the “Goddess Altar.” It consisted of many types of Goddesses: Maidens, Shield Warriors, Goddesses of Death, Mothers, Crones, Divas, Angels, slender, round… A representation for nearly every aspect of womanhood was there. It was time for me to reinvest in my own feminine power and find my footing again after becoming awash in a sea of patriarchy to the point of drowning in it.

Guadalupe made demands

Two days ago, I got the urge to change up the energy again and I knew what I had to do. Several months ago, I purchased a particularly beautiful painting of the Tilma of San Juan Diego that is on display at the Basilica of Guadalupe and it had to go over the living room fireplace.

The Tilma portrait altar

It was made to go there. Unfortunately, the mantle and outcroppings were the home of the Dragon altar. It took a long time for me to heed the call to start working with Dragon energy. Dragons are sort of the magical mafia, so you have to be sure before you get into bed with them and I put it off for quite a while. By the time the Tilma portrait came to me, I had spent several years with the Dragons and quietly packed them away into a large bin marked “Dragons Resting Within – Do Not Disturb.”

(This is all leading somewhere, I promise)

The Fairy Altar

Katrina Rasbold's Fairy Altar

The Fairy Altar

I was never a fan of Fairy energy. Like the monkeys, it always seemed very chaotic and unpredictable. When I moved into the mountains, however, the Fairies quickly let it be known that the land was theirs and I was staying there with their permission. Since I moved into the house, I have had a Fairy altar inside and a Fairy ring outside to appease the little buggers. We have an accord, but they have been a bit rowdy lately with all of the precipitation.

Which brings us to two days ago…

Katrina Rasbold's Dragon Altar

Dragon altar

Out of the blue, I woke up knowing I had to shift the energy of the house. I tried to talk myself off the ledge by insisting it was not yet spring and the patterns needed to finish out the season. The call intensified and after a couple of night of not sleeping, I had Nathan pull the “Resting Dragons” bin out of the motor home where I had stored it. Goddesses were thanked and redistributed to other altars in the house, particularly the Tilma altar and the previous Fairy altar. Fairies were (ssssh, don’t tell them) packed away in a “Fairies Resting – Do Not Disturb” bin, although I did leave out the “Don’t Piss Off the Fairies” plaque and a couple of representatives who now think they are better than the other Fairies. This means there will be a Fairy uprising when I break them out again.

The Dragons were unpacked and put in the place of honor where the Goddess altar was previously. To say they were pissed is an understatement. Fortunately, they were appeased when I showed them their new digs. They loved the mantle of the living room fireplace with Dragons being fire creatures, but they saw the orange and are close to the wood stove, so they settled in nicely. They have a commanding, no bullshit kind of energy that I enjoy and respect. Apparently, I also need it since that is what I was moved to do.

The other primary altars remained in place as they were.

Katrina Rasbold's White Altar

The White Altar

The White Altar shows the phases of a woman’s life and mostly features the work of sculpture Maya Hill.

The HooDoo Altar

The HooDoo Altar

The HooDoo Altar Hard At Work

The HooDoo Altar Hard At Work

The HooDoo Altar centers around a box given to me by one of my mentors, Maya Chalee Grey, and into which I have put all manner of natural magical pieces like animal skulls I have found in the woods or on our property, feathers I get from my walks, special dirts, and such.

And if you are interested in other weird stuff in my house, this is Steve the Mule Deer overseen by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

Steve the Mule Deer

Steve the Mule Deer

Altars center me. They calm me. They keep me focused on what is important. They infuse me with energy. The transition out of my own head (Goddess energy) and away from the peripheral distractions (Fairy energy) let me target proactive power (Dragon energy). What do the visuals in your house represent to you? What energy do they feed you?