Jack of Many Trades

An Altar for Māra

Originally posted: 2012-07-09

[caption id="attachment_2197" align="alignright" width="283"] Ganesha, Mara, Laima[/caption]

Mara can be a demanding goddess. She doesn't ask for more than you have to give, but she does expect the best of what you have.

When I was working on her altar the other day, I got the impression something was missing. I looked around the apartment, wondering what it could be.

The one thing I've consistently struggled with on Mara's altar is her offering dish. She collects things - coins, tokens, beads, and so on - and as she is a goddess of abundance I have always had the impression that the correct way to place these is so that the dish looks full, almost to overflowing. Most of the time it ended up in straightforward overflowing, though, and I would let it go.

However, Mara's altar is also doubling as our wealth altar. I've always associated her with the wealth of a comfortable, stable household. Nowadays she shares the space with Laima/Laxshmi and Ganesha (its a ridiculous bit of eclecticism but it makes sense to me) and so that association makes more sense to me. But at the same time, letting my wealth altar be... kind of a mess seems like a bad idea.

I picked up a couple of pieces of crystal and candleholders and the like a few weeks ago to experiment with building tiered change/offering dishes and promptly forgot them on my desk when I was done. She wanted one. Fair enough, it's almost certainly the nicest offering dish I have, and I'd been using it for nothing more than jewelry pieces.

So I redid her altar (again) with the new offering dish and the gold peacock I found at Goodwill and got her a fresh candle as well. I'm not sure it'll help, but I doubt it'll hurt, anyway.