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Author Topic: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?  (Read 6391 times)

Starglade

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2011, 07:58:34 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;4946


When not in use for magic or religion (which I also use it for, with different toys and statues, candle's, etc.)  I use it to display my shinies.  I love boxes, cauldrons, lava lamps, and dragons.  Sometimes my altar looks like the kitsch shelf of a second hand store, sometimes it is the epitome of serenity.

I don't have everything on it at once - I couldn't stand the clutter.  But I change it frequently and usually with meaning, so I have STUFF in great quantity.  Model train garage, maybe, rather than model train altar itself.

Absent


Actually this is the first I've heard/seen you discuss this. I've probably just not been on those boards where you've said it before. It sounds AMAZING to me. Wow.

I get the "garage" metaphor, completely. ::nodding::
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Castus

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 09:21:08 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;4865
-

My altar as it is is a wicker structure with 4-5 shelves. And I feel the need to fill every damn one of those shelves. Problem is, I'm not too well-off at the moment so all the things I want (like statuary; I'm a big statuary freak) are too expensive. So I'm contenting myself with a nice painted Icon of the Divus Julius (maybe, if the artist accepts the commission) and a book.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 09:21:38 pm by Castus »

Starglade

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2011, 10:09:37 pm »
Quote from: Castus;4991
My altar as it is is a wicker structure with 4-5 shelves. And I feel the need to fill every damn one of those shelves. Problem is, I'm not too well-off at the moment so all the things I want (like statuary; I'm a big statuary freak) are too expensive. So I'm contenting myself with a nice painted Icon of the Divus Julius (maybe, if the artist accepts the commission) and a book.

 

Oh, do I hear the "not too well-off" part. I would LOVE to cover my walls with thangkas. Can't even think about that, it's utterly cost-prohibitive. Printed art cards, however . . . :)
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Ursula

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 03:09:12 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;4946
---

I have to say... your altar/spellworkings sound AWESOME!!  :cool:
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 03:09:46 pm by Ursula »

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 04:32:18 am »
Quote from: Starglade;4865
While poking around at the Buddhist forum I've joined recently, I came across a discussion of ritual items and altar setups. One of the longer-term posters commented that he'd once been told to be cautious, lest he fall prey to the "model train" trap: putting EVERYTHING he could possibly ever, ever need or want on the altar, always feeling like something's missing or not quite perfect, constantly looking for "just one more thing" to complete the setup.

 
Before cats, I would have a lot of stuff on my altar.

After cats, I keep things to a minimum of what can not be broken.  

It makes a difference- and anything bowl or box-like my younger one, Valkyrie, will curl up in, so I have to keep things simple.  She has been known to rearrange it for me.

Auress

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2011, 07:49:36 pm »
Quote from: Juni;4866
I have a rule- I'm not allowed to actively shop for something for a shrine. There are certain things that I want- a lantern, for one- but unless I stumble upon the right one online or in a shop, I'm not allowed to go hunting. Otherwise I will fill my living space with "ooh, I *need* this for so-and-so..."

The only exception will be picture frames for photos of my Beloved Dead, when I have more space. But that's not so much something for a shrine, as something to display something for a shrine.


I'm sort of the exact opposite of this.

I do not like to shop. In fact, I despise it. I hate it so much that I never do it for anything but bare necessities, only buying even clothing for myself once every 5 - 10 years. No joke.

As a result, I find myself altar stunted if I don't purposely set aside time to shop for my shrines and altars. I am also a monsterous tight wad with my money, and as a result I hesitate to impulse buy. Which is probably a blessing. I also refuse to buy anything until I find THE EXACT ONE. Meaning the item has to basically scream my name and throw itself at me to get me to buy it. I'm also a big sticker for uniformity, symmetry, and continuity, so if it's not an item that will "match" the other items I have, I will either scrap the whole design and start over with new color coordinated items, or I will not buy until I find one that matches.

OCD at it's finest, right there.

GreentreeTarot

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2011, 06:47:04 pm »
Quote from: Juni;4906
And as I don't have altars but shrines, whose purpose is only mindfulness, it's okay if I have more than one thing that evokes a particular thought. (In fact I prefer it.) So I have a bunch of 'tools' that all have the same purpose, in a way.

 
My altars are a bit of an altar/shrine mix as well.  I do use them for workings rarely (full moon and sabbats) but mostly they're just a beautiful and serene space that I use to remind myself of my beliefs and ideals.  As such, they tend to become very cluttered, especially as I acquire more and more beautiful things :).  I do try to keep one seasonally appropriate, so there is quite a bit of shuffle over the course of the year there.  My moon altar/shrine doesn't change much at all, though it is substantially less cluttered as I use it as an altar more often then my seasonal one.  It has only one item for each Element, a quartz sphere that gets changed for a blue goldstone during the new moon, and three Tarot cards from a full moon reading that I do each month and keep set out to remind me to pay attention to the message.

hufflee

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 07:00:31 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;4865


So, is anyone else familiar with this scenario? Is there a "bare mininum" amount of items that's acceptable (either to you, or to your deities or practice)? Is less better than more? Or, is more More MORE required?



I have 4 young children, so I don't have a "permanent" alter anymore. I keep everything I need in a bag in my closet and only set it up right before I use it. For the time being, I guess you could say I go for the minimalist approach. :)
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Dragonfly68

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2011, 07:01:42 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;4865



 
My everyday altar, pretty basic.  What I need, not to much more.  BUT when it comes to setting up for a sabbatt!!! WHOOOAAA!!! LOL I LIKE to decorate. :p  It's the Leo in me.  I think it was Jennett who said Leos and shiny. :D:  OH YEAH!! But I restrain myself to just the sabbatt altars. LOL  And I only have them up for no more then a wk before and a day or two afterwards.  

Though, gotta admit, the Fall, Halloween and Yule stuff is up for a while.  I love fall. :)

GreentreeTarot

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2011, 09:36:27 pm »
Quote from: hufflee;12916
I have 4 young children, so I don't have a "permanent" alter anymore. I keep everything I need in a bag in my closet and only set it up right before I use it. For the time being, I guess you could say I go for the minimalist approach. :)


Wow, four young kids!  I've only got two (one of them barely mobile yet) and it's already a challenge to keep them out of my things.  The eldest is three and understands that mommy's room is off-limits without my presence, but every once in awhile I find her in there just staring :)

Stardancer

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2011, 03:52:49 am »
Quote from: GreentreeTarot;12952
Wow, four young kids!  I've only got two (one of them barely mobile yet) and it's already a challenge to keep them out of my things.  The eldest is three and understands that mommy's room is off-limits without my presence, but every once in awhile I find her in there just staring :)

 
I think my youngest turned my main altar into a play stove instead... She keeps putting incense on the pentacle and calling it food; 'here mom! this is for you'. So now I don't use it much. Instead I have a minimalist shrine in the kitchen window (candle and offering bowl, only), and a shrine to Aphrodite in the bedroom. (I don't actually worship or work with Her, but she popped in once or twice with Pan, so I put up a mirror, a seashell, a lovenote from hubby and a bottle of essential oil, and called it a shrine to her and a reminder to me.)
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Cinder

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2017, 11:11:31 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;4865
So, is anyone else familiar with this scenario? Is there a "bare mininum" amount of items that's acceptable (either to you, or to your deities or practice)? Is less better than more? Or, is more More MORE required?

I'm curious. I never felt this way when I was Wiccish. Weird, that.

 
I try hard not to, but I do tend to accrue clutter in my life. I like stuff :)

From a personal standpoint, the bare minimum is LED candles. I don't know why I'm such a stickler for some sort of light source on my altars, but there you are.

From a Kemetic Orthodox standpoint, IIRC the bare minimum is: the actual shrine, candles (or a source of light), incense (or a source of scent), a white cloth (preferably cotton), and a bowl for libations.

My informal Kemetic altar was slowly getting more and more devotional artwork added to it. I cleared it off for the beginner's class, but it was mid-way between simplistic and cluttered.

My Mananannán altar is pretty busy right now simply because I'm an equestrian and gathered a lot of horse-related things over the years. Eventually I want to replace some of the horse imagery with more sea-related things and a potted plant, but that's in the works as I don't have a lot of funds ATM and my KO shrine is my most immediate concern.

Jack

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2017, 12:21:04 am »
Quote from: Starglade;4865
While poking around at the Buddhist forum I've joined recently, I came across a discussion of ritual items and altar setups. One of the longer-term posters commented that he'd once been told to be cautious, lest he fall prey to the "model train" trap: putting EVERYTHING he could possibly ever, ever need or want on the altar, always feeling like something's missing or not quite perfect, constantly looking for "just one more thing" to complete the setup.

With a Tibetan Buddhist altar this is a very dangerous slope, indeed. I find myself doing quite a bit of online window-shopping for various items--and I admit, I don't necessarily NEED anything more than what I have, but I would LIKE to have a set of water offering bowls, and a butter lamp, and another set of prayer flags, and . . .

So, is anyone else familiar with this scenario? Is there a "bare mininum" amount of items that's acceptable (either to you, or to your deities or practice)? Is less better than more? Or, is more More MORE required?

I'm curious. I never felt this way when I was Wiccish. Weird, that.

 
I actually clicked on this topic because I'm working on a dollhouse-based shrine and I was wondering if it was about using miniatures on altars...

I think this is a really fascinating thread, though, because I have occasional fits of minimalism but for the most part I love the busy-crowded-well-loved aesthetic.
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Kylara

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2017, 08:55:30 am »
Quote from: Starglade;4865
So, is anyone else familiar with this scenario? Is there a "bare mininum" amount of items that's acceptable (either to you, or to your deities or practice)? Is less better than more? Or, is more More MORE required?


I have a very eclectic practice, and that is definitely represented on my altar.  Well, at least my desk altar.  My bedroom altar is actually much simpler, and is actually probably more of a shrine.

My bedroom altar is just the top of a short bookshelf, and it was my primary 'always set up' altar since forever.  But, because hubby has a wackadoodle work schedule, about half of the year I really don't have easy access to it.  So it has evolved into more of a shrine.  I try to keep it seasonally appropriate, and it has to have a candle (which I often use for night time prayers) and my drinking horn, but the rest of the things on it can cycle.  I don't like it to get too busy.

My computer altar is another story all together.  It started off as more of a shrine, just a small shelf that goes over my monitor.  But as I started to realize that the bulk of my day is spent here, at my computer, and that I can't always get to the bedroom altar, it become more of my daily working altar.  Amusingly the one thing that doesn't go on it is burning candles.  I now have two decorated jar candles on it, but when I want to light them, they come down (I am super paranoid about having fire too close to my computer).

But, it has definitely become a "what might I possibly need during the day, and what am I working with, and what do I feel needs to be represented" altar....and has a ton of things.  New things that I acquire almost always end up on my desk altar (though I try to go through it a couple of times a year and move some things along).  One of my big hangups though is that I work with several different deities personally, and have been gifted deity representations from friends.  I have real problems taking them down off my altar (because it feels to me like I am slighting the deities involved).

I have a decent collection of stones that are represented on my desk altar.  While I have a bigger storage case for stones, I like to have some very handy, especially ones I might need to touch or work with while here at the computer.  I also have my rune dice and a card from the deck I do my morning daily draw with.  I pick a rune every day, so those are things that get used regularly and need to be handy.

And anything I am currently working with, charging or otherwise using.  Right now, there is a small blessing bundle hanging off a little shelf on my desk altar, as well as a couple painted stones for different purposes.  Once I am done with a working, it can move along, but while it is being worked on, it lives there.

The bad part is my desk altar is starting to spill over.  I have some small Goddess statues that are now living on my actual desk surface (partially because they were cramped on the altar, partially so I can use them as touchstones).  I have all my other divination stuff on the kitchen table by my desk because that is my project for the year (and I have no other handy place to keep them where I can actually get to them throughout the day), plus a few small items that are on my desk proper too.  I have some small wooden cutouts I bought for Ostara that are on the books holding up my monitor.  

I think I just need more space....
 
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;4946
I may have mentioned that my most frequently used spell style is a diorama.  I  make in small what I want in large - this can involve something very like a model train set, actually.  When my man is laid off or wants to change jobs I make a miniature of the scene he wants for work.  This could be a gravel pit, a highway under maintenance, homes under construction or parks maintenance plowing, etc.  I keep gravel, toy loaders and dozers and hoes, flour (for snow) and leggo highway sections.  I have gumby and cowboy dolls to represent whether he wants to work with people or on his own, etc.

It's the same when I want something for myself.  I can set up a full surgical unit, casino, or tourist town out of my drawers and shelves.  Even when not making a diorama my spells often involve maps, greenhouses, rivers and lakes made with rocks and ribbons - I need a lot of room.

 
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Sobekemiti

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Re: "Model Train" altars--how close is yours?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2017, 10:14:08 am »
Quote from: Starglade;4865

So, is anyone else familiar with this scenario? Is there a "bare mininum" amount of items that's acceptable (either to you, or to your deities or practice)? Is less better than more? Or, is more More MORE required?

 
I have to say, I've become more of a minimalist when it comes to shrines as I've got older and more experienced with my path. I don't know why. I was never one of those 'model train' types, who has to put EVERYTHING on there, but I have been known to clutter my shrines and altars with unnecessary stuff from time to time. I even had one once, on a shelf, where I kept all the pagan things I owned that weren't on my main altar. But that's about as messy as my shrines have ever got, I think. I actually don't know how people work on altars that are so covered with stuff, where do you work when there's no space? I don't get it.

I don't know if I have a specific 'bare minimum' though. I tend to think of the bare minimum in terms of what I'd take if I was travelling, and that, to be honest, might only consist of prayer beads, maybe some tiny god statues or printed images, some sort of scent and/or candles, and a glass or bowl for water. And my ritual book. I literally don't need anything else. And even then the candles and scent are optional. I can do my rites with prayer beads and a glass of water if I have to. I've written them that way for this very reason, that they can be adaptable to a situation where I can't have a shrine.

But if we take it less drastically, my Kemetic altar bare minimum comes down to icons/images of Heru and Sobek, incense, water, candles, and anointing oil. That's all I need. Candles and incense are still optional. It's the anointing of the statues that's the important bit. Water offerings are useful for everything.

But really, once I've got a statue of a deity, it's really just a matter of incense, candles, and offering dishes. I really don't need much more than that. I have my knife on my Kemetic shrine, and some staffs nearby, but I mean, that's it? My witchcraft is very bare-minimum. It does give me a lot of useful working space, though, which is good, because I don't have a lot of room.

I will admit, though, that I have a not insignificant collection of statues and altar cloths and herbs, but they are tidied away, and I try to keep it down to just the ones I'm using. Though I am bad at periodically looking at pagan things and thinking, ooh shiny! Not having a lot of spending money does tame my spending spree, that, and international shipping fees oh gods. I'm not perfect, and I have bought things I don't need, or quickly grew out of, but I try to pass things on that I don't need, so they don't go to waste if they're not something I need anymore.
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