Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Altar to Fortuna

My super simplified daily altar to Fortuna, Roman Goddess of Fortune.

Oh Fortuna! I've never had an altar that I kept up with on a daily basis. I know... Mea Witchy Culpa. Mea Maxima Witchy Culpa. But, last fall my good friend Velma Nightshade - ever heard of her? - introduced me to the idea of an altar to Fortuna - Roman Goddess and personification of fortune. She'd felt a calling to set up an altar to Fortuna in her home, and when she finally did she won the lottery, quit her job, and ran off with a billionaire underwear model playboy named Rodolfo. Ok... No, she didn't. But, things started going really well for her. Now, I completely understand that much of it might be psychological, getting you in the mindset for seeking better employment, being more active in your finances, etc. However, much of what happened to her seemed pretty touched by deity. (For a fuller recounting of events, see episode 23 of Inciting A Brewhaha.)

Fast forward to my birthday in April, and I was given that beautiful Fortuna idol you see at the top of this article. Since then I've had this little altar going in my home, where I visit it at least twice a day. In that time I've gotten a new job 5 miles from home with a commute 1/3 the time and a pretty nice salary increase. I've somehow been able to save more money than I normally do, and our finances are getting much more in order than they ever really have been.

I'm incredibly - INCREDIBLY - leery of putting out some Prayer of Jabez/The Secret/[Insert Recent Magical Wealth Mumbo Jumbo Title Here] thing into the universe...but I'm really tired of talking about obesity, gun laws, and Chik-Fil-A, so here goes. If you, too, would like to make your very own altar to Fortuna, here are the steps we've decided seem to work best.
  1. Get an idol of Fortuna. I know. Typically when we set up altars to deity, purchasing an idol is either impractical, impossible, or way too damn expensive. However, if you'll head on over to Google Shopping and type in 'Fortuna Statue', you'll find that you can get the exact same idol I have for between $30 and $40. I just checked, and Amazon has it listed for $35. Now, hear me out. I think it's important that it's an idol that's bought and not one you've made, as it almost acts as an initial sacrifice. She's a Goddess, after all. She requires a sacrifice. She seems to like when you sacrifice money to her. So, buy her. Or, have your friend buy her for you as a present, but spend some moolah. 
  2. Stick her where you'll see her. I knew that if I placed Fortuna on my personal altar that I probably wouldn't keep up with it. I'm bad about daily practices. Seriously, my main altar has become a witchy catch-all, and since the weather has been nice I don't even use it during moon worship. So, I put her in my living room on my fireplace mantle. It's the room I'm in the most, and I'll remember to blow out the candle before I leave the house. (Most days.)
  3. Give her stuff. I know. Really precise instructions, huh? Basically, through the research I've done - and my discussions with Velma - an altar to Fortuna needs to be filled with stuff that makes you think money. She's not big on a specific incense or flower or type of tribute - except money...did I mention money?. There are no myths that I've found about Fortuna. So, make it up. I got a lovely jade plant and put it in a pot, because it makes me think money. Every week I buy one of those green novena candles from the grocery store (they're in the Hispanic/Latino foods aisle) and keep it lit while I'm at home. The candles are about $1.50 a pop, so it's not exactly breaking the bank to keep up with it, and they last for 10 days. Also, find a bowl or a plate - or in my case, a spare coaster you can use until you find the perfect little altar bowl - and put some money in it. 
  4. Tend the altar. My daily upkeep consists of lighting the candle when I get up and blowing it out when I leave. Anytime I'm home, the candle is lit. Every now and then I put some money on the altar. That's it. I believe my prayer to Fortuna goes something like this, "Oh Fortuna! Bless this household and all those who dwell here." Yep, complicated. I know. Them's the brakes. Obviously there are times I add things like, "Help me to find a better paying job," or "Please help Partner with such and such", but basically that's it. Keep replacing the candle, and you're good to go. 
That's pretty much it. This is why I've enjoyed my relationship with Fortuna. Around the internet I've heard her called a 'fickle' goddess, someone who enjoys turning the wheel of fortune in order to screw with you. And, I suppose there's the rub. She's Fortune, after all. Capital F. She's Lady Luck. But, that's both sides of the deal. Good Luck and Bad Luck. Good Fortune and Bad. However, I think one of the lessons I've learned from her is that luck, fortune, etc. isn't linear; it's circular. Take advantage of the times you're up, store away your nuts for the winter so to speak, so that you can weather the times you're down. However, having a place for the personification of Fortune, in this Rioter's experience, seems to put the wheel in your favor more often than not. 

I don't find her fickle or complicated. Like I said, there are no myths about her. She's not a literary goddess, but a personification of a force. Fate. Chance. Luck. I like that. Very 'god dough'. I would LOVE to see your altars to Fortuna. If you have one, or you end up making one as a result of this article, send a pic to FireLyte@IncitingARiot.com! I'll post all of them up that I receive.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

4 comments:

  1. That's really awesome! It makes me think about how I can fix up the shrines to my deities to honor Them better than I have been. I'm still adjusting to being a polytheist and to having actual specific deities that I work with.
    Blessings!
    -Scarlet

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  2. Long story why this is a really timely post from you and that I have read it when I have but just wanted to say thanks.
    Hugs and sparkles
    A

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  3. Currently I keep a money box (dime spell), my checkbook, and an envelope of cash/coin offering to the God/Goddess on my alter. But I am working on making a mini abundance/fortuna alter similar to yours in another area of my house. I just need to find a small, itsy-bitsy Fortuna statue.

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  4. That sounds like just what I need to get my business running more smoothly! Thanks!

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