Warning! UPG post ahead!
I’m not really talking about heavy hook-shaped objects that keep boats from drifting, but it makes a good analogy. You can picture the boat on top of the water, practically in a different world than that of the long chain that descends through ever darkening waters and ends finally at the heavy object resting on solid, watery, ground. Heck, the boat itself might not even be visible if you go down far enough, or maybe it would be a barely visible, blurry, undefined shape bobbing around far above. As we know, without the anchor, the boat will start to drift at the mercy of the winds and the currents, having no direct connection to the seafloor at all.
I believe this is what we are trying to accomplish with our statues and offerings. They provide for and strengthen the anchor points between us and the spirits and deities. Sometimes your will and intent is enough to act as an anchor, but physical representations and repeated actions help to keep both sides from drifting. They strengthen the connection between here and there.
One example of this is the statue I got just a few days ago for Sobek. Sobek was divined as one of my beloved gods in the Rite of Parent Divination. He’s also the one that I know the least about. The other four Names are fairly well known. I had vague ideas of what Sobek was about, both from descriptions and from UPGuesses, but it wasn’t much to go on.
Anyway, despite being one of my Beloveds, Sobek’s anchor wasn’t as strong for me as the others. It was easy to call the others to mind and have an idle ‘chat’ with them about various things. For Sobek, the only time that worked was when I imagined his energy body overlapping my own, or it was until the statue showed up. I’ve been getting nudges about letting him get some sun, or tossing the meat offering I gave him to our dog, who he likes. He’s sitting on the shelf next to the monitor right now as he waits for the other statues to arrive and for my shrine to be rededicated. It’s good that we have this extra time to get to know each other. The statue isn’t Sobek himself, it’s just an anchor that makes communication between us a little easier.
An anchor can be an object, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a verse, or a song, or a concept, or a location, sometimes even a person. Repetition and memory will strengthen it. Apathy and forgetfulness will weaken it. Sometimes how strong or weak they are seems like a random thing, like the weather. Maybe a tide somewhere has shifted. It’s not always something you did.
Anchors can sometimes be used by things you don’t like. If someone is having nightmares that they believe are supernatural in origin, one of the things on my checklist to tell them is to physically change, clean, and/or redecorate the area that seems to be related to the problem. The idea is to disrupt any anchors that might be present. It may take a bit of trial and error to identify the culprit. Even if you aren’t a big believer in meddlesome spirits, the idea works for psychological triggers as well. A scent, a sound, a certain arrangement of objects can trigger a memory. Whenever I start to mistakenly hear my cellphone ring in my sleep, I change the ringtone. That stops it.