Travel Altar – Planning Stage

Inspired by a TC thread about travel altars and some Google work, added to the fact that I’ll be studying abroad for three months, I have decided to make a travel altar. I bought an Altoid tin at CVS today, found a forked stick on my walk home that is a potential world tree, and searched my house high and low for what I’d like to use in my altar. I also made a rough outline of what I’d like to make:

A = the world tree, either a physical wood or a printed image
B = circle of wood (preferably) or cardboard, with a triskele in the center and representations of the four elements
C = either something to represent deity in general (as I don’t have a chosen pantheon or anything) or I might break this into three smaller circles for the Three Kindred

As for the loose objects: I have some gold cloth I will probably cut down; either sea glass or a sea shell (I can’t choose which), for sea; a dark rock, for earth; and most likely a white rock, for sky (although I’d like something else). I really don’t think my electric candle will fit, so I might make a paper flame instead. I also have to decide if I’d like my box to stay open horizontally or vertically.

Since I’m not currently adhering to a specific Druid group’s ideas, there are elements of ADF altars alongside things I liked from my Wiccan days. That’s the fun part of going this alone – you get to pick and choose and figure out what works best!

6 thoughts on “Travel Altar – Planning Stage

  1. I have a travel altar too! I used a small wooden “chest” from a craft store I had laying around. I keep meaning to revamp it a bit, but at the moment it contains a soy votive, matches, a small, clay pinch bowl for water, and a small drawing of the world tree my husband made for me. I also have some tiny incense sticks and a small, drawstring bag of bird seed for offerings. I like the idea of using an LED light, though. I’ve not been as good about using my travel altar when I’m out because of the smoking policy in hotel rooms and because, once, my sleeping friends smelled the smoke after I blew the candle out. They were kind of worried and I don’t want to cause that…

    I’ve been considering making a drawstring bag to cary my items – like a crane bag, I guess.

    • I love hearing about travel altars 😀 I think they are so cool. I wish I had a nice wooden box to put mine in – next time I make one I’ll have to find a better box.

      I steered away from candles and incense because I can’t have flames or smoke at school, and I’m a little paranoid about fire anyway. I like the birdseed offering idea – one thing I don’t have is any sort of offering plate or bowl, which I’m okay with for now because I don’t have any deities. But if/when I do that will have to remedied.

      Do you want to put the box in the bag? Or transfer the items to the bag?

      • I was thinking of transferring the items to a bag that could double as an altar cloth. I may just put the box in the bag to protect the painting I did on it… So many options. 😛

        I understand about fire-free dorms. A fellow flame keeper I know uses a Himalayan salt lamp to represent fire in her work. I think it’s an excellent alternative! Seems to create a very warm glow – just like fire! Not really applicable to a travel altar, but I thought I’d mention it. 😉

      • Having items double up on tasks is great, especially with traveling. Love it! (Although the painted box sounds awesome. What did you paint on it?)

        Mmmm I like the idea of Himalayan salt lamps. I’ve always loved the light they give off, and they’re a very worthwhile investment. When I’m in a position to have a permanent altar or shrine I’ll look into them. Thanks for the idea!

      • I painted the box green with gold spirals and a triskelion. It’s very amateurish. I’ve never considered myself very good with painting. I think I should have done some wood burning instead… Not that I have much experience with that, but I feel like I’d have more control.

      • I’ve always wanted to try wood burning! But at least your box HAS a decoration on the outside. Mine says “Cinnamon Altoids”. Not very inspiring haha

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