Perceiving Anew: Orthopraxis: The Altair Teallach

20170906 PERCEIVING ANEW ORTHOPRAXISYesterday we looked at the idea of recovering Celtic and Druidic influences, of stories, knowledge and wisdom, and how right thinking can ‘put us in the way’ of the path of the ancient-future memory-stream of the ancestors, and open us up to those old stories, and ancient knowledge and wisdom. (See here).

Orthodoxy. To catch a tiger, you have to think like a tiger.

Today, we’re looking at one way at how we can move into ancestor-linked memory-stream and connect to all that is holy, that which some call the Source of All, That Which Is Larger Than Ourselves, or the Great Provider etc.

‘In a remote part of the galaxy there lived, what many would describe as an unremarkable bipedal species, that seemed to have an aggressive nature. And yet, at times they could work marvellous deeds. They were complex. The Source of All had created then with mind, body and spirit, but they usually ignored two of these, and many of them operated only at a physical level. But, not all.

Some of them had glimpses that there was more. That is, that in some inexplicable way they were all connected to each other, and even connected to the Universe itself, and by some kind of luminous web  They had access to unbridled power. And yet, even many of those who were of it were unware of what to do.

From a distance, the Watchers looked on.


Orthopraxis, essentially is the approrpriate and necessary action of doing something, in a certain way, to achieve a certain end. If orthodoxy is the ‘thought’ behind the ‘doing’ to ensure intentionality etc; then orthopraxis is the ‘doing’ that stems from the ‘thought’, and is the other send of the see-saw.

Lights, camera. action!

If we want to do something that puts us in the path of the ancient-future memory-stream, then it must start with a thought, result in an action, and use a midway stage – the imagination.

So, imagination is an important stage, but is sadly one that is frowned upon in our society. And, yet it is a valuable ‘tool’.

As we think about it, I’ll encourage you to use your imagination as to what should be included, and then consider what actions might be taken in using it. Orthodoxy, imagination, and orthopraxis in harmony. And, three is such a significant number.

In thinking about one practical way in tapping into the spiritual store that is available to us, I’d like to suggest the altair teallach, a hearth altar.

One ‘tool: The altair teallach, a hearth altar

A hearth altar in your home, is only one tool – amongst many that we’ll look at over the upcoming weeks and months – but if the thought doesn’t appeal to you, please read on as you might find something that you can adapt and use elsewhere.

The altair teallach, a hearth altar, originally would have been the space immediaetly around an open fire in a wall or corner of the room, of yesteryear. Maybe you still have an open fire, a hearth, but if you don’t, don’t worry. Interpretting the term liberally it can be , say a table that is a focal point in your house, and/or it could even be some essential items that can be wrapped in material and transported wherever you go, and so can be a simple affair.

As they gazed at the blue-green planet from afar, several Watchers moved closer, intrigued by some unusual activity. The Watchers could sense unusual power. Looking at several people at once, they noticed a common thread. Intentionality. Altruism. Peace. Love. And more. One person they witnessed fell to his knees in prayer, another stood and invoked the Caim and interceded for others, another lit a candle on their altair teallach, and yet another called upon the elements.

The Watchers stood in silence, in awe at what was happening, noticing that as such people acted so doors of liminality opened up, ‘thin places’ appeared, and places of encounter developed, and in each case great power known to the ancients poured in. But, in ways invisible to those men and women. The Watchers marvelled.

But, what you put on or in your altair teallach depends on what you want to use it for. The current altair teallach in my study, which will be changed in about a month’s time,  is currently set up to include elements to mark the passage of time, to remind me of good memories and to be grateful.

The altair teallach is a portal, a liminal place, an access point to the Great Store House Of Energy.

The header photo is one such altair teallach. To give you an idea, I’ve used:

  • candles/candlelight to bathe the room in a more natural light and not stark modem lighting, so it’s easier to enter a meditative state, and
  • photographs of a few family members who have ‘passed on’, to honour their memory,  and
  • ancient sacred text that is so dear and deeply spiritual, and uplifting to me, and
  • a pectoral cross and chain that I use in ceremonies as a reminder of when I was ordained, and
  • a copper model ‘boot’, that came from my grandmother’s old-fashioned, open-fire hearth, to remind me of all my ancestors, and
  • four palmstones to represent the four material elements and cardinal points, and
  • white flower(s) to denote purity and spirituality, and
  • an angel model (given to my mum, but taken back now she has passed on, to remind me that we are surrounded by visible and invisible, protective, beings who intercede on our behalf.

But, you might want a more complex or simpler altair teallach for, say: for

  • energy,
  • for forgiveness,
  • healing for yourself or another
  • blessing a person, or state or nation
  • to de-stress
  • to go deeper spiritually into your spiritscape
  • to encounter The Source
  • to gain knowledge and wisdom from the ancestors
  • to give thanks on the birth day (or ‘ascension’ day) of a departed family member or friend
  • to unwind at the end of a difficult day
  • to seek guidance to remember a happy memory
  • or for a word for the day.

The list is endless.

You altair teallach, then, may include candles, flowers, photgraph of relevant relatives or places you’re praying about, sea-shells, something you’ve made, a gift from a friend etc. What you use it for and what you put on it will depend of the use you have for it, and your background and beliefs. It’s adaptable, and so do enjoy it.

The Watchers moved closer to each person in wonderment at such a rare and wonderful sight. Men and women tapping into the power of the universe, in faith. And then all at once the Watchers drew back, just a little distance.

And from above, visible to the Watchers but invisible to the men and women who were the recipients of it, a light of pure power poured into them. Their thoughts, actions, intentionality and faith, had opened the very Store House of the Universe. The Watchers half-smiled knowingly, but remained silent. They Watched.

Streams of powerful light flowed from above into those men and women, and then like a dam bursting open, a multitude of lights sprang from those men and women to many others: to people in need, healing power sent to family friends, love sent to others, blessings to places on the Earth in need, and so on.

And then as each person ended their prayer or ritual the light diminished, but the effect didn’t. The Watchers remained, intrigued as to what these men and women from this remarkable species might do next.

Ofcourse, sceptics will say nothing happened. Others might say such thinking, and imaginative usage and actions were wasted. But to those invisible helpers, these Watchers who can see this Light and the connecting luminous web, and those of that remarkable bipedal species who could sense such things, they knew that that energy-sending was vital and had had a positive effect.

But, there’s more.

You may have thought deeply about it, and have done a very good work at creating an altair teallach, but what are the deep benefits, how do you access the power source it taps into, and how do you prepare yourself to encounter such Power? To do things by mere rote, to quote from a book of liturgy and not go deeper misses the point. To do that leads to a lack of power. But if we go deep, sow bountifully, then how much more effective will be the result. There is more, and that will be tomorrow’s theme.

‘…whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully’. 2 Corinthians 9.6b, The Book


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