We had three inches of rain overnight earlier this week. I know because I have a new rain gauge and the weather was warm enough for me to linger at the gate of the kitchen garden. A couple of days later I went by the temple to pick up a box of food from the food pantry, a box that was being delivered along with baby clothes to a young couple in the neighboring county. When I opened the door, the carpet was squishy as I stepped in.
Our chapel and offices are in an old hospital building and we've been flooded before. Something about the old French drains and the site of the building at the downhill end of a parking lot. The landlords were called and they sent in a crew with vacuums and heaters and dehumidifiers. We moved everything into the tiny chapel and left both the heat and the AC on.
Keeping altars is probably one of the most consistent things we do as Pagans in our personal practice; though "altars" (and if you insist on using this word, please spell it with an "A"; "alters" is a process of forcing change) would not technically be the correct word. What we keep are actually "shrines," places where we make images of the Divine and our spiritual practice, worship and make offering.
I keep an awful lot of altars myself. My household altar is now located in the centerpiece of my living room, which is a beautiful mirrored china cabinet gifted to me by my mother-in-law. It contains my ritual tools, statues of the Deities appropriate to the time of year, antlers to honour the Horned God, pine cones to honour the Earth Goddess. The image you see at the top of the page is the central top shelf of my household altar, which currently is adorned with the pentacle of my tradition (which I'm pretty proud of; it's solid copper and was handmade by one of our founders, Mistress Leia,) an image of Osiris (to symbolize the God who was dead and is now reborn,) and the Star Goddess (which was a white clay figurine I purchased and then painted.) In the center you'll find my personal pentacle (handmade by me,) a terra cotta incense burner with a turtle (placed there for feng shui value and also for a Terry Pratchett reference,) my Moon Crown (purchased several years ago from Lobelia's Lair in Nanaimo) and behind these, underneath the tradition's pentacle, my wand (also handmade with a lot of personal symbolism I don't care to publicly share at this time.)
Readying for Samhain is a long and delightful process around here. Last week, I tidied the Ancestor Altar at Mother Grove Goddess Temple and poured some wine into the silver chalice on the third shelf. This morning--in spite of the distinct possibility that we have some temple mice--I added some bread to the little feast.
It's the alarm clock that we usually use to wake them up. That isn't necessary now--as I've written here before, the Veil is so thin these days as to be non-existent. It is a loving, albeit symbolic, gesture.