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  1. #11
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emma Eldritch View Post
    The boiler man has seen some shit. Nothing shocks him anymore.
    I think you are absolutely right! At least he comes back each year.

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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    The big two things are: "Are people going to have negative reactions to your altar (or you for having one)?" And secondly, "Are people going to do things like put empty soda cans on your altar/shrine"
    I live in a studio apartment, so ... yeah, my shrine is out in the open. The rest of my family is pretty religion-indifferent so they've never commented on or disrespected the shrine itself ... but they don't seem to have a clue that the rug in front of the shrine table is also a part of my shrine space.

    I avoid stepping on the rug unless I'm doing something shrine-related, so seeing someone else standing around on it is just ... ack. I haven't said anything to them since they only come over a couple times a year.

    I admit that at one point when I had a job with a Definitely Christian boss, and also lived in housing provided by said boss, I was careful to pack up my shrine when not in use. Boss was already sexist, racist and ageist, so probably wouldn't have reacted well.

  3. #13
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
    I am rearranging my house because of space issues and the only place I am able to put my altar now is in the front area/living room right by the kitchen. I love the idea of having it out where I spend most of my time anyway, but my only issue with this is that guests will see it. Which isn't a huge problem, since I don't try to hide my beliefs or anything, but I'm also not trying to be like "hey everyone! Look at how interesting and pagan I am!"

    Also, my altar is a small desk that I sit at so it's not just a little shelf or anything. It's a full on workspace filled with all my candles and incense and tarot decks and runes and crystals , an obviously spiritually dedicated space.

    I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

    I have a few small altars that are somewhat "stealthy" and simply look like shelves of pretty things. I use invisible-mount knick-knack shelves that are big enough to hold pillar candles and nice bowls, but small enough that my cat won't attempt to jump up on them.

    My tools are spread out between three of these shelves: one is for daily offerings and small rituals, and the other two function as "storage" and showpieces. When I'm ready to do a larger working requiring all the paces, I have a nice wooden folding table that comes out of the closet that serves as a larger, sturdier altar space.

    While many of my close friends know about my religious beliefs, I work for a Catholic organization. I'd like to think they nobody would really care (and there are lots of other non-Catholic employees, and even openly pagan person) but I still try to keep my practice low-key.

    I also live with a Christian woman who is a little, shall I say, sheltered? My next living space will be solo, and I'm planning on having a room dedicated as a sacred space. I do find the "get everything together, put it on the table, then put it back" process a little time consuming and occasionally aggravating.
    Last edited by AsraiDouglas; 20 Mar 2017 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Grammar fix; swapped two words around

  4. #14
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
    I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?
    I keep mine fully set up in my side room. This way I can choose whether to show it to people who may at least respect my beliefs or not. I like having a designated room where I can feel at peace away from my busy looking house. Also I can choose when to let my cat into the room. So far he has not interfered with it - fingers crossed - even though it has some lovely feathers, sea urchins and fox tail reeds which might tempt his interest..
    Last edited by Oskar; 21 Mar 2017 at 04:23 AM. Reason: typos

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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Thanks all for the interesting replies! I never thought about people messing with it and putting stuff down on the altar. That could definitely happen. My landlord is my mother in law and she hardly ever comes over, if she did though she wouldn't care about seeing an altar. Some other family members though, maybe.

    Maybe I'll do like others suggested and keep my altar things in a somewhat hidden place, then take them out when I plan on using them. I suppose an altar table without my tools on it is just a table.

  6. #16
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
    Thanks all for the interesting replies! I never thought about people messing with it and putting stuff down on the altar. That could definitely happen. My landlord is my mother in law and she hardly ever comes over, if she did though she wouldn't care about seeing an altar. Some other family members though, maybe.

    Maybe I'll do like others suggested and keep my altar things in a somewhat hidden place, then take them out when I plan on using them. I suppose an altar table without my tools on it is just a table.
    The replies have been somewhat interesting to me too, because I'm expecting some family to visit here in the near future, and I've also been wondering if I should hide my altar away. Currently it's in my room in plain view if you walk in, and I haven't had to worry about it so far because my agnostic husband doesn't mess around with it. He'll ask questions, but they're all respectful and curious rather than probing, and he doesn't touch any of the objects on it.

    But my family members coming to visit might just do the opposite, so I'm definitely thinking about hiding my altar items when they come round. For me, it comes down to confrontations that I would like to avoid.

  7. #17
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
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  8. #18
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post

    I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?
    Mine is in a corner of my dining room, the only place I have for it, and I'm not wildly keen on the location. It's a non-vegetarian home, and when we have company for dinner, non-veg food is in close proximity to the shrine.

    One solution is to get oriental-type screens. I have one, but there's not enough room to close off the shrine and not walk into the screen. While it doesn't create a Fort Knox effect, it's a nod to separating the areas and giving the deities some privacy. That's the general Hindu view. Ideally there would be a small room just for religious purposes, or even an unused closet that you can close the door or put a curtain over the opening. But you have to go with what you have.
    śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
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  9. #19
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
    So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?
    Mine is in my bedroom. Not many people make it into my bedroom [insert bad joke here].

    Religion is a private thing for me, aside from known compatriots of my religious network. I don't need anyone knowing about it or asking dumb questions, or fondling my altar idols with their grubby hands.

  10. #20
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    Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?

    Quote Originally Posted by rubyred View Post
    I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?
    Mine are all currently in my bedroom, because that's the space I have. But I don't hide them, either. My door is open most of the time, and, well. All my shrines and altars take up at least two walls and half a book case, so. It is not subtle in my room, either.

    The only time I get to do anything semi-publicly is when I decorate the front room for our midwinter feast, though even then I tone down the overtly pagan stuff because I'm not catering to a bunch of pagans. So I respect that, because I'm not in the habit of shoving my gods in people's faces.

    Though if I ever get a place of my own, the plan will be to have little shrines everywhere, as well as a shrine room proper where the bulk of the ritual work will happen. I would never have my main working shrines and altars out where just anyone can touch them. But the other more incidental shrines, and other gods I want to have in my house, I'm more willing to have them out in the open.

    I suppose the only good thing about being so god-oriented is that having statues of gods everywhere doesn't peg as weird the same way a witchy altar might. So it's easier to hide in plain sight. I'm also very picky about who I make friends with, and to be honest, no one has ever bothered my altars, except perhaps for the occasional cat.
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