The Place Where Magic Happens!
DragonOak's Hand-Crafted Wiccan Altar:
About The Wood:
Only all natural woods are used in the creation of DragonOak altars. The use of all natural woods adds great spiritual meaning to each altar. The altar featured in this review is created from solid cedar – a beautiful wood with great spiritual meaning. The English word “cedar” comes from the Hebrew "qatar" which means, “to smudge”. Smudging is a time-honored practice of ritual cleansing through the use of herbal smoke and prayer. The Hebrew meaning indicates that cedar wood may have been used in ancient purification and cleansing rituals. The idea of cedar wood as sacred can be found throughout history. Ancient Sumeria revered the cedar tree over 7,000 years ago, calling it the World Tree, the abode of Ea, their chief deity. The Christian Bible also has numerous references to the cedar tree, including its use in the Ark of the Covenant. Cedar wood is symbolic of healing, purification and spiritual protection. It is thought that spiritual properties of cedar help to promote peaceful thoughts and aid in interpreting messages from the inner self. Due to the use of all natural materials each altar created by DragonOak is a unique work of art.
About The Designs:
Stunning Artistic Details!The beautiful designs on this altar were created by hand using a technique called Pyrography. Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as wood burning. As someone who enjoys wood burning as a hobby, I have to say that I honestly don't know how DragonOak created such prefect lines. The detail of the pyrography is very impressive. It is dark and neat with well defined lines. Simply Beautiful! The designs burned into this altar are sacred Wiccan symbols and statements of faith. Let's take a look at the meaning behind each of these beautiful designs.
Maiden, Mother & Crone:
The Triple Moon:
Breathtaking!Towards the front of the altar is a large Triple Moon symbol. This symbol represents the three aspects of the Goddess that of the Maid, Mother and Crone. In Wicca the moon is viewed as a sacred symbol of the Divine Feminine. Each phase of the moon has its own meaning and symbolism. The waxing moon is symbolic of the Maid and is a good time for setting goals or beginning new projects. The full moon is symbolic of the Mother and is the prefect time for healing, giving thanks and creating change in your life. The waning moon is symbolic of the Crone (or Grandmother) and is traditionally time for banishing negativity. Each aspect is sacred and helpful in your daily life.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water:
Simply Elegant!In front of the altar is written "Blessed Be - Earth Air Fire Water - Blessed Be". Blessed Be is a traditional Wiccan greeting and blessing. It is also used many times in the Christian Bible making Blessed Be a good blessing for people of all faiths. The four elements of earth, air, fire and water are called upon in Wiccan rituals. Each element is symbolic of an aspect that we all seek to find in ourselves: Earth – Strength/Fortitude, Air – Intelligence/Wisdom, Fire – Passion/Courage, Water – Emotion/Creativity.
A Fabulous Interfaith Symbol!A pentagram is burned around each candle holder. Due to the misunderstandings most people have in regard to this symbol I have decided to share a sermon I wrote about it below.
"The pentagram (or pentacle as it is known when not written or drawn) is one of the most persistent symbols in human history. It is one of oldest symbols dating back to the time of Uruk of 3500 BC in Ur of the Chaldees in Ancient Mesopotamia. The pentagram is found in many ancient cultures including India, China, Greece, Egypt, Babylon and the Mayans of Central America. Each culture has its own symbolism attached to the five points of the pentagram.
Wicca Symbolism: The Elements
- In Wicca, the five points represent the five elements and their metaphysical aspects. The element of earth represents physical endurance and stability and is the symbol of the lower left point. The lower right point is symbolic of fire, which represents courage. The element of water represents intuition and emotion and is the meaning of the upper right point. The upper left point symbolizes air and represents intelligence. The fifth point is symbolic of the element of spirit, and represents the divine. The meaning is basically similar to the old saying "mind over matter," which means the ability of one's spirit to control the lower aspects of our being.
- As the primary symbol used by Wiccans and other Neo-Pagans, the pentagram also represents aspects of their faith. To some, the pentagram represents the spiritual aspects of life and seeking secret knowledge. To others the five points symbolize the four directions of north, south, east and west with the fifth point representing sanctity of spirit. When within a circle, the star symbolizes wholeness, unity and divine knowledge.
- In antiquity the Hebrews viewed the pentagram as a symbol of divine truth. The five points were ascribed to the five books of the Pentateuch and to truth found in Hebrew scriptures of the Torah. In the Jewish Kabbalistic tradition, the points represent the archetypal forces of justice, mercy, wisdom, understanding and transcendent splendor.
- In antiquity Christians viewed the pentagram as a lesser-used symbol of their faith. The five points of the pentagram represent the five wounds of Christ. Early Christians also attributed the pentagram as a symbol of the Trinity with the two other points representing the two natures of Christ. It also symbolizes truth, the work of the Creator, the five joys of the Virgin Mary, the Alpha and the Omega and the five virtues of generosity, fellowship, purity, courtesy and mercy. To knights it represented the five knightly virtues of generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety."
With the needs of the solitary practitioner in mind, this altar is designed to be portable so that you can calibrate ritual anywhere! The surface of this altar measures 18" by 9 1/2" by 13" tall making it easy to travel with and easy to store.
DragonOak was born R.S. Elvey, June 22, 1964 in Flagstaff AZ. He was inspired by his grandfather who was fully self sufficient although totally blind. Encouraged by his mother in all craft endeavors and rewarded with praise by his grandmother for diligence and hard work. DragonOak received his BA in secondary education at SMSU in 1991
DragonOak began to apple his artistic abilities in the medium of woodwork and pyrography, the art of wood burning, in 2003 when a local metaphysical shop requested his help in building boxes with mystical themes. Prior to this the woodwork had been a hobby. Today DragonOak creates a variety of wood products in his home wood shop in Southwest Missouri, and sells both wholesale and retail for a worldwide audience. DragonOak desires that his crafting be both artistic and functional. To that end he has created trinket boxes, ouija type spirit boards and other pagan cabinetry.
In 2009, he received entry into the Historisches Museum Der Pfalz Speyer in Germany and is listed in their catalog HEXEN Mythos and Wirklichkeit, 2009 Ed Minerva Hermann Farnung GmbH, Munchen. DragonOak's entire collection can be seen at his website www.dragonoak.com. DragonOak also takes commission work for custom items, as this gives him more creative satisfaction than merely repeating the same designs.
The Benefits of Having a Personal Altar:
The Altar Experience:
There are many ways to use your altar for spiritual growth, fulfillment and for honoring the Divine. Below are a few simply ways you can use an altar to enhance your spiritual life. These ideas are designed for people of all faith, so please feel free to add to this list or change it to fit your beliefs.
Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays:
Candles: A Wonderful Symbol of Prayer and Divine Presence!Having a place to sit and focus during prayer is a very helpful practice. Not only will your altar remind you to pray more often, it can help you focus during prayer. Think of your altar as your spiritual Facebook wall - anything you put on it is an expression of your prayers. For example: It is a common practice in many religions to light a candle to symbolize one's prayer request. This helps your mind to focus on your intent, making it easier for you to concentrate on the Divine. Another common practice is the burning incense to symbolically carry one's prayer to the Divine. Using herbal incense such as white sage can also spirituality purify your sacred space and bring feelings of relaxation. In Wicca it is a common practice to light two candles to symbolically represent the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine (Please note: This is not symbolic of different two deities. It is symbolic of the Creator as having a Feminine and Masculine side - similar to how all physical beings were created as male and female.) This idea can be applied to any religion. For Example: If you are a Christian you could use three candles to symbolize the Christian Trinity or two candles to symbolize the two natures of Christ – that of humanity and Divinity.
Focusing on Gratitude:
Let's face it sticking to our goals can be hard. Personally I find it much easier to complete my goal if I place a representation of the goal on my altar and pray about it. This not only reminds you to work on your goal every time you look at your altar, it reminds you to pray about it as well. For Example: If you are studying hard for a big test you might want to place something that symbolizes learning on your altar. It doesn’t matter what object you choose for this as long as you know what it is meant to represent.
My Personal Opinion: