The focal point for the Odinist home is the Family Altar. It provides an order among the chaos of everyday life. The Altar allows the whole family to honor the Gods and Goddesses, house and land wights, and our ancestors. Although very personal in its construction, some suggestions will be offered and pictures of Family Altars from all over Odin’s Holy Nation!
Raising the Altar
The important thing to remember when constructing your Altar is the spirit in which it is raised. This is a sacred space, so ensure the family knows its purpose and honors its sacredness. Even the youngest child will understand the respect afforded to the space. Once the Family understands that this is a spot for everyone to honor their Elder Kin, ancestors and wights, choose an open place that everyone can gather around. It can be a special room or simply an uncluttered corner. It would be prudent to ask everyone where they would like the Altar and where they will most likely visit it. As for construction, it can be the top of a dresser or cabinet or a specially made Altar. The key is a separate, designated area for honoring our Faith.
Once a place is chosen, the family can start adorning it with items of their Faith, Folk, and Family. Some necessities would include candles, a drinking horn or special cup, and a hammer. In our home we keep our ritual items on the Altar, but depending on what you have available, it can be as elaborate or simple as you choose. The importance lies in the intent and action of creating the sacred space. As you can see from the illustrations the Altars vary widely in items, but a common theme is there are things personal and unique to each family and individual. The children often adorn it with fall leaves, special rocks, and things they have made. One thing we make standard is fresh flowers. We feel that flowers represent a vibrant living example of Mother Jorth to which we are connected. As you can see from our picture there are many goodies on the Altar for our Family to share. It is important that we treat our Altar as a place for sharing in our Folkways with our Ancestors, Gods/esses, and wights. They are our Family and Friends, and this displays one the greatest teachings in our Faith, a gift for a gift.
It is crucial that the Altar becomes your place of Honor daily. This can be done in as many ways as there are Odinists, but it is vital that your Family does it together and daily. Our Family greets Sunna every morning, and we light our Jullechter.
Hail to the Sun!
Hail the dawn.
May your vitality feed me and cheer me and nourish my mind, body, and Soul.
Hail to you life giver.
Hail the Gods, Hail Light, Hail the people of the Light.
May your energy be with me as I go about my Life.
Hail! Hail! Hail!
We also do rune galdoring at our Altar. This is a powerful way to start the day out right!
Others may only come to the Altar and still the mind for a few moments before going about their day. Regardless of the detail, it should be your first stop before going on with the day. Don’t forget to leave something for the House Wights, if you take care of them, they will take care of you! Our children have noticed that the energy around the house is much more positive and they aren’t “losing” so many things.
The Family Altar is an important component of the Odinist Home. It energizes the home and strengthens Family ties among our immediate family and our spiritual Family. Take the time to set aside a special place where the family can honor their Faith, Folk and Family.
Check out the many Family Altars that adorn Odin’s Holy Nation! May the positive energy generated at each Altar in unison change the face of Midgard!
Faith, Folk, and Family