I wanted an altar made of stone for doing various types of work on, because although I hadn’t yet been given my copy, I knew the suggestion in “Works Of Darkness” was for metamorphic stone, and the practicalities of our life meant I wanted a slab of stone that could be carried, placed at different heights, and also stored out of sight if necessary.
So, sadly, not like this:
We did some research and hit upon slate, as a metamorphic rock that was affordable (I really wanted black marble, but that was too pricey and also would need to be custom made, and with various projects coming due I wanted it right away) and after a quick internet search I found a vendor selling individual solid slate flooring tiles, ¾ inch thick and therefore a lot more robust than the fragile shatter-prone slices that you get on the roof of old buildings.
I choose a type of slate called “Sheera Slate” that has a natural reddish tinge, from inclusions (I was told) of iron-based sediment – I don’t know if that’s the full story, but it looked perfect and I like the correspondences for Iron, and it was affordable and possible to bring one home the very next day.
Below is a photo of the same kind of stone we choose: it’s 2ft long by 1ft wide, ¾ inch thick, and weighs in at a substantial but portable 13lbs.
It’s wonderful – I set an intent the night before going out to buy it, that any “altar spirits” out there who were ready and willing to work with me along my path please find the right piece of stone, and make themselves known to me when I arrived, and this was the third in a stack of similar tiles and almost leaped out at me, brimful of the rightness of it all.
So, that’s a possibly affordable and accessible idea for anyone else maybe – tiling comes in a range of natural solid stone, and some very nice ceramics and composites, it’s always nicely polished (the reverse side has grooves to permit the tiler to fix it into place) and they fit easily into the bottom of a wardrobe if you’re having ordinary people round for tea.
The popularity of wet-rooms means even standard DIY stores carry quite a wide range of natural stone tiling slabs, I remember a few years ago being limted to ceramics, often with pastel hues and floral motifs, but things have progressed since those days.
This cost under £10, well within our budget for such a major item, and while I still have my long-term ambitions fixed on something marble, and maybe a little more permanent, for now it’s absolutely perfect!