An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown TaylorIn her critically acclaimed Leaving Church (a beautiful, absorbing memoir.Dallas Morning News), Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about leaving full-time ministry to become a professor, a decision that stretched the boundaries of her faith. Now, in her stunning follow-up, An Altar in the World, she shares how she learned to encounter God beyond the walls of any church.
From simple practices such as walking, working, and getting lost to deep meditations on topics like prayer and pronouncing blessings, Taylor reveals concrete ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see. Something as ordinary as hanging clothes on a clothesline becomes an act of devotion if we pay attention to what we are doing and take time to attend to the sights, smells, and sounds around us. Making eye contact with the cashier at the grocery store becomes a moment of true human connection. Allowing yourself to get lost leads to new discoveries. Under Taylors expert guidance, we come to question conventional distinctions between the sacred and the secular, learning that no physical act is too earthbound or too humble to become a path to the divine. As we incorporate these practices into our daily lives, we begin to discover altars everywhere we go, in nearly everything we do.
All About the Altar ~ What, Why, and How
This temple stood at the north-west corner of the Roman baths, but unfortunately no plan is extant. The tympanum had for its central feature a medallion supported by two victories, a frequent device in Roman art. On the medallion was a Gorgon's head, with wings and serpents intertwined with the hair as usual, but curiously with moustache and beard as well possibly the vagary of the sculptor. The rest of the field appears to have been filled in with military trophies, and amongst these was an owl, which, with the Gorgon's head both attributes of Minerva , leaves little doubt that the temple was dedicated to Sul-Minerva. The remains of four temples have been found at Silchester. The entrances were probably on their eastern sides, which were only partly explored. The outer wall probably supported a colonnade, and the pieces of moulded plaster and marble linings, found about both sites, showed that these buildings were of an ornate description.
A smart adventurer can use them in many ways. In most cases the PC should only deal with altars of their current deity's alignment. This means either converting the altar, or converting the PC to that alignment. Being so close to beings of absolute power carries certain risks. Be careful. It is possible to shatter an altar if the PC kicks it or steps on it while wearing a certain pair of boots , which enrages the deity of that alignment decreasing piety with it by At the same time, piety with other deities increases and alignment changes accordingly; if neutral altar is shattered then alignment decreased and other deities gain piety, and if another altar is shattered alignment is changed by
Many of my soulful seekers know what an altar is or they at least have heard of altars before and a number of you have altars that you spend time at on the regular. But for those new to the sacred arts the entire idea of an altar may be a foreign concept. We can answer the first question easily. An altar is a place where one goes to enter into communion, make offerings, and create or participate in ceremony. Click to Tweet. Altars are often described as points of power or points of focus and they are found in every religious and mystical tradition from the stripped down altars of the Baptists to the luscious altars enshrining various deities in the Hindu tradition, altars are an aspect of the sacred arts that we all hold in common.
For other forms of architecture and sculpture popular in Asia Minor, please see the Art of Classical Antiquity c. Detail from East Frieze: Athena seizes a young Giant by the hair. Detail from North Frieze: the giant Agrios being clubbed to death. The Altar of Zeus at Pergamon. The altar is adorned with a foot long marble frieze which depicts the Gigantomachy from Greek mythology. Like the Parthenon in Athens - another icon of classical antiquity - the Zeus Altar was constructed on a terrace of the acropolis overlooking the ancient city of Pergamon, situated on the west coast of Anatolia now Turkey in Asia Minor.
An altar is a structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are found at shrines , temples , churches and other places of worship. Many historical faiths also made use of them, including Roman , Greek and Norse religion. Old English had various spellings alter, altar etc. Finally "altar" may have been influenced by the French autel derived from Latin words altare meaning podium or stage and adolere to adore, in this sense meaning to worship, honour and offer sacrifices to influence forces beyond human understanding.