The Altar and How to Use It

I never had an altar before I moved out of my parents’ house. That seems impossible, in retrospect, but I can’t remember ever setting one up. I had some statues – mostly the same ones that line my altar today, actually – but I never thought it was important to set them up in a way that would facilitate personal rituals. For that matter, I never cared much about doing said rituals in the first place. This may explain why, all these years later, I’m terrible about remembering to actually use my altar; whenever I hear somebody I respect mention how she finds daily practice mandatory, I feel sheepish.

Going For the “Occult” Angle in Tucson Shooting

Saturday’s horrific attempted assassination of Arizona U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, along with the deaths of Federal judge John McCarthy Roll and five others, has many grasping for answers.  Why did 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner do this? Despite attempts from across the political spectrum to blame this on one ideology or another, his tortured, conspiratorial thinking seems to escape easy classification. “I doubt people who say this is about politics have a good understanding of mental illness,” said Dr. Bob Dolgoff, medical director of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s mental health division. “It could be conspiracy theories or men from outer space. The important thing here is, why wasn’t he in treatment?”