by Thom Fowler
This year, as in several years past, I am designing and building the Altar to the Fey. I enjoy building this altar as an exploration between the world of humans and the world of the fey, the “otherworld” or the “world between worlds.” In Celtic literature, it has been talked about as the underworld, or the interworld, and the netherworld.
I also work specifically with themes that come from the Feri tradition of witchcraft. I like to include the elements and a food offering, and invoke specific deities into the altar. There is always the presence of The Morrigu, Anna, the Great Goddess in her aspect as the Crone and ruler over Death and her companion in that aspect, the Ardu (Ar-thee) – the Lord of the Dead.
The altar is as much about creative process as well as a product of art and craft. It all starts with a vision and through a conversation with the great muses and getting in touch with the fey touched parts of myself, I begin to assemble the pieces. I want to discover the keys that speak directly to my Fetch and help me open up the portal. I weave my personal magic into the altar as an invitation.
Aesthetically, I am trying to keep the visual elements of the altar concise and explore the use of repetition and size ratio to achieve a sense of magnitude. I also like to use lighting in dramatic as well as practical ways. I see the altar as a stage, and a sculpture, and an installation. It is fitting to bring a sense of drama and the free play of creative association to the fey altar to unleash the energies that could otherwise be stifled by dogma or the unquestioning allegience to tradition.