I actually never got a picture of the last incarnation of my altar. This is what it looked like before I took down my separate Samhain altar-which was taking up too much of the very little space I had available-and incorporated the two.
Now my altar looks like this:
Note the conspicuous absence of my zodiac poster, which has served as my wheel of the year. This morning, while I was moving the two-liter of mead which will serve as my holy water, the zodiac poster pitched off and crashed right in the middle of the lowest table. Somehow, it did this without nocking the quartz and amethyst off the top. The poster did knock off the horned god mask and cross … yet, somehow, neither suffered any real damage. The mask has a slight chip on the bottom; the cross is untouched. Even the geode right in front of the cross was undamaged.
There were a lot of delicate things on the surface where the poster landed were largely untouched: an impossibly delicate perfume bottle that has somehow survived on my altar for the last fifteen years miraculously survived this experience, though the stopper was flung halfway across the table.
Only three things, in fact, were broken: the candle holders for my Earth and Water candles, and the plastic poster frame itself, which looks like someone punched it in the very center.
There are a few different ways for me to read this somewhat surreal experience:
1) I knocked the poster over without realizing I’d even touched it, and through miraculous intervention nothing of real value was lost.
2) Someone on my altar needs more attention. Candidates include (from left to right, top to bottom) the Horned God Mask, the Death Mask, Dionysos, Hephaistos, Kouros, Cyclades, Rhea, and Sue.
3) Someone not yet on my altar needs more attention. Candidates include (in no particular order) Iris, Apollo, and Mercury, to say nothing of the multitudinous gods and spirits who may not have introduced themselves to me by name.
4) The altar itself is feeling unloved, and wants a hardcore cleaning.
5) None of the above. Something that never even crossed my mind.
For the moment, I intend to simultaneously act on possibilities 1 and 4. Until someone informs me otherwise.