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Al·ter
· to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify.
· to change; become different or modified.

Al·tar·piece
·A piece of artwork, such as a painting or carving, that is placed above and behind an altar.

These Alter-pieces are produced as part of a meditative practice. Handmade of ceramic stoneware, they are suitable to hang indoors or out, with a copper loop on the back for mounting. Each wall tile feature a hand cut stencil image representing a symbol, object, animal or character. Tapping into folktales, they are intended to engage the viewer in the creation of a mythical narrative we can use for allegorical self-reflection. Objects can tell stories about who we are, triggering emotional connections to folk traditions based in relationships with the land.

Like a technology of intent, we can use an image or object within our surroundings as a mirror, reflecting and amplifying willed psychological changes. Mindset matters, and however small these changes in mindfulness, the impact of a grounded worldview is real. When we align our chaotic minds with empowering story arcs, they lend enchantment to what otherwise appears to be a wasteland. Expanding our worldview beyond the empirical allows old ways of grasping information to surface, informing ways of seeing and being, and a place of strength and sovereignty emerges from which to address challenges in the present.

To activate this alter-piece, you will want to take care to cleanse, consecrate and charge your object – in a way that is meaningful to you and your purposes. Below are suggestions for how to do this:

Cleansing: To cleanse an object, you are not cleaning it on a physical level, you are ‘cleansing’ it on an energy level. Cleansing disassociates items with their past frequencies. You want to wipe the vibrational slate clean to attune it with your own energy, or that which is conducive to your objectives.

There are many ways to cleanse an object:

  • Burn a cleansing incense like sage, and run the object through the smoke.
  • Bury it in the earth for a while, or in a bowl of salt or dirt.
  • Soak it in salt water or hold it under running water from a natural source.
  • Pass it quickly through a candle flame.

Consecrating: Consecrating an object means to elevate it’s purpose to a spiritual one through some act of blessing. You can consecrate anything—you can consecrate your jewelry, your tools, even the ground under your house, but do remember this: once consecrated, the item is sacred, and should be treated accordingly.

Some ways to consecrate an item include:

  • Say a prayer over it, dedicating the use of the object to it’s intended purpose.
  • Anoint the object with oils that are also cleansed, charged and consecrated.
  • Consecrate it by Air, Earth, Fire and Water in a blessing ritual: run it through incense smoke, sprinkle salt on it, pass it through flame and sprinkle water on it.
  • Elevate the intent of the item to do the good work of our abundant universe, that all hands and acts help each other to provide for the needs of the whole.

Charging: Charging something is empowering it with your energy. You might imbue it with positivity, or charge it so its vibration is aligned with a specific intention. Charging requires raising our own energy level and then directing it into the object. The method you choose depends on your preferences as well as the item you are charging.

There are many ways to charge an object:

  • Dance, chant or meditate to raise power, then imaginatively pour that energy in to the object through movement, song or focused intent.
  • Perform a small ritual to raise energy and intent to invest in the item.
  • Perform a visualization, transferring your energy and intent to the talisman, and releasing it to perform its function in the world.
  • Create something entirely your own, that accomplishes this aim in the best way for you and your belief system!

Alter pieces featuring a hand cut stencil image representing a symbol, object, animal or character that reflects a part of a story. Some have medicinal herbs for healing. All are intended to be used as anchors for triggering a meditative state of mind.