This is my altar for Samhain this year. My altar has come quite a way since I first started this blog! Before I go into further detail, let's take a look at last year's Samhain altar:
This portion of my altar represents my mother's side of the family. I'm sure it's recognizable from my Memory and Ancestor Altar. I pulled most of that altar onto my front room altar for Samhain. By doing this, I can leave space for members of the Circle of Open Traditions to add their items to the altar.
This is my father's side of the family. I used an oak branch on this portion of the altar because my maiden name means oak tree. It seems only fitting!
This is my aunt and uncle. Because I never actually got to meet my grandparents on my dad's side, I referred to them as Grandma and Grandpa. While Grandpa Kurt passed away when I was four, my Grandma Dorothy only passed away a few years ago.
I've gathered a small collection of skulls over the past year. They're best used for this sabbat's altar as a reminder of our mortality.
This wreath definitely served it's purpose as I continued to transfer items from my Memory and Ancestor Altar to it. In the center is the furthest back photograph I have. He's my Great times four Grandfather on my mother's side.
Here is a picture of my childhood dog, Gizmo. He passed away in late October 2011, so he was who I honored last year.
This friend of mine holds a special place in my heart. He passed away many years ago by taking his own life. I miss him dearly every day. The necklace next to it is something he made for me - notice the pentacle?
Of course, Samhain is the time where the veil is thin, which gives us the perfect time for divination. On this altar, I have my tarot, pendulum and...
My runes, which line the base of the shelf.
Every year, I honor a particular relative, friend or pet who has passed. It's typically someone who passed within the last year. This year, that's my beautiful tortie cat Nyx who passed away in November 2012.
The most important piece I could place on the altar to represent her would be the paw print plaque the made right after she was euthanized.
In addition to the paw print plaque, I added the last can of tuna we bought for her in attempt to get her to eat.
I have other mementos of her passing, but I'm leaving them off the altar to leave space for other items from COT members.
To see my post about her passing and her Memory Altar, click here.