Now that the altar is truly a family altar, I redesigned it to reflect our current relationship with the Norse gods. Zach had some items that he wanted to put on it and I had some things set aside that found their way to the new altar as well. The dragon oil burner is Zach's and really sets the theme for the altar, I think.
I found the brass goblet years ago in a thrift store. The bowl is another thrift store find. The letter opener has become a ceremonial knife of sorts and the reindeer bell is from a few Christmases ago. I'm knitting a Tree of Life afghan in a dusky blue to go under the altar cloth. I'll probably come up with another altar cloth by the time it's done. I like bandanas because they're washable and cheap and I can change them out easily. But you never know...I might find something that really fits the theme of the altar better. Zach has some dragon fabric but it's too "busy" for the altar.
I ordered some books on Norse Paganism that didn't seem very reconstructionist. The first is Our Troth: Living the Troth. If it's recon, it's not rabidly so. If I like it I might order the second volume later. The other book I ordered is True Hearth...again not overtly recon. Or at least according to the reviews it didn't seem so. The recons pretty much ruined the Greeks for me because there always seemed the burden that put pressure on me to "do it right." I'm steering clear of the Norse recons so I don't have that same problem. So far I've found some lovely Norse blogs that don't adhere to the reconstructionist paradigm. I also ordered Zach a Valknut pendant because he feels a very strong connection to Odin. For myself I ordered Thor's Hammer because I feel it is a more general representation of Norse Paganism. And as the Raven is associated with Odin, my Raven pentacle is also another piece of jewelry I can wear to reflect my beliefs.
I'm tempering my enthusiasm because I have been excited about a new path before. There was a need for the Greeks in my life although there was always something that was not a great fit about it although I tried very hard to ignore that. One thing that bothered me was the similarity to Christianity in many ways. Not that the Greeks stole from them, mind you. But still, formal worship isn't my thing anymore. And while the Norse may not be a good fit either, the more I read about them, the more I am finding a level of comfort that I haven't found before...not even with Druidry. I also like that they are a part of my ancestry, along with Zach's (although his is more embedded in his DNA than mine, him having German/Scandinavian/Polish ancestors and adding mine, which is Anglo-Saxon/Celt/Apache.) It's nice to have an ancestral connection with your spiritual path. Not essential, but a bonus.
My new books won't be here for a couple of weeks so we're winging it for now. I consecrated the altars to the Norse gods without naming names aside from Odin and Fregga, but incorporating both the Aesir and Vanir. The two candles representing them both. Initially I only felt a fuzzy, tentative connection and haven't really bonded with Frigga yet, although I really, really like her. But last night during ritual and prayer I felt a supremely powerful connection with Odin at the family altar. Time will tell but the honeymoon period with the Norse gods seems to be going very well so far.
Now I think I'm ready for another nap. I must be under the weather or something because I'm sleeping a lot lately. Gods know I really need it though.