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Author Topic: Undercover Altars?  (Read 2521 times)

Gigi Kiersten

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Undercover Altars?
« on: November 09, 2015, 12:44:54 pm »
So I'm a domestic witch, but I'm the only pagan in the house and I want to put up an altar.  However, I don't want to have my parents on my back about it. So I want something low key. The altar is going to be dedicated to the house's spirit, because said spirit now that I'm in contacts wants it and won't stop bugging me about it, but I don't want to freak the parentals out. I kind of want it in the central (the heart) of the house.  Any suggestions?

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 04:28:03 pm »
Quote from: Jenny Cee;182093
Any suggestions?

 
Just throwing out some ideas for things to build from:

- a potpourri bowl
- some appropriate knick-knacks - I actually have a domovoi icon, but previously I considered getting a snake figure for domestic spirits (for complicated reasons)
- a small potted plant (these are nice because you can pour water offerings into them quite productively)
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Juniperberry

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 04:44:33 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;182103

- a small potted plant (these are nice because you can pour water offerings into them quite productively)


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Gigi Kiersten

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 09:05:26 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;182103
Just throwing out some ideas for things to build from:

- a potpourri bowl
- some appropriate knick-knacks - I actually have a domovoi icon, but previously I considered getting a snake figure for domestic spirits (for complicated reasons)
- a small potted plant (these are nice because you can pour water offerings into them quite productively)


Thanks you so much! I was thinking about making my own potpourri anyway.

Freesia

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 04:52:34 pm »
Quote from: Gigi Kiersten;182093
So I'm a domestic witch, but I'm the only pagan in the house and I want to put up an altar.  However, I don't want to have my parents on my back about it. So I want something low key. The altar is going to be dedicated to the house's spirit, because said spirit now that I'm in contacts wants it and won't stop bugging me about it, but I don't want to freak the parentals out. I kind of want it in the central (the heart) of the house.  Any suggestions?

 
I use fossils and seasonal found objects (acorns, feathers, ect.). I am planing on cleaning out a kitchen cupboard for a hidden altar that still looks like stuff being stored. If you keep to the figurines that you like, then your altar will be your "stuff that no one needs to mess with." My 7 year old still messes with my shrine setups on occasion.
 
When I lived with my folks I had a windowsill altar that I thought was low key enough to stay under the radar, but my dad had internet access and figured out what I was doing.

One thing you must keep in mind is that in some way we will always need to keep parts of ourselves and practices hidden. It's not a bad thing if you are a private person, but not if you are the kind of person who likes to say what you think/feel. Most of the people I knew were into magic, Paganism, and Wicca when they were kids are now Christian or Jewish adults. I still have to hide my practice from my parents. Now I have to hide it from the people I work with, my kids' friends, my husband's family, neighbors...The list keeps growing. I understand why so many people consider alternate religions to be a phase since the social pressure make us feel guilty for having to hide.

habbalah

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 08:59:56 pm »
Quote from: Gigi Kiersten;182093
So I'm a domestic witch, but I'm the only pagan in the house and I want to put up an altar.  However, I don't want to have my parents on my back about it. So I want something low key. The altar is going to be dedicated to the house's spirit, because said spirit now that I'm in contacts wants it and won't stop bugging me about it, but I don't want to freak the parentals out. I kind of want it in the central (the heart) of the house.  Any suggestions?

 
Could you maybe have it in a drawer or on a shelf in your room, where they wouldn't be likely to look? If absolutely nothing else, the tiny Altoids Tin altars are very stealth.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

Gigi Kiersten

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 04:54:14 pm »
Quote from: Freesia;183068
I use fossils and seasonal found objects (acorns, feathers, ect.). I am planing on cleaning out a kitchen cupboard for a hidden altar that still looks like stuff being stored. If you keep to the figurines that you like, then your altar will be your "stuff that no one needs to mess with." My 7 year old still messes with my shrine setups on occasion.
 
When I lived with my folks I had a windowsill altar that I thought was low key enough to stay under the radar, but my dad had internet access and figured out what I was doing.

One thing you must keep in mind is that in some way we will always need to keep parts of ourselves and practices hidden. It's not a bad thing if you are a private person, but not if you are the kind of person who likes to say what you think/feel. Most of the people I knew were into magic, Paganism, and Wicca when they were kids are now Christian or Jewish adults. I still have to hide my practice from my parents. Now I have to hide it from the people I work with, my kids' friends, my husband's family, neighbors...The list keeps growing. I understand why so many people consider alternate religions to be a phase since the social pressure make us feel guilty for having to hide.

 
I don't hide the fact that I'm pagan from my parents and my family for a long while. I've been out of the broom to my parents since I was a teenager. However, I didn't want to rub my pagan-ness in their faces.  I actually got the altar up in the living room, it gets some baffled looks from my stepfather but most people in the house just let it go. I'm so glad have gotten over that "you're a witch, you must be going to hell" ages ago.

MeadowRae

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 05:39:31 pm »
Quote from: Freesia;183068

One thing you must keep in mind is that in some way we will always need to keep parts of ourselves and practices hidden. It's not a bad thing if you are a private person, but not if you are the kind of person who likes to say what you think/feel. Most of the people I knew were into magic, Paganism, and Wicca when they were kids are now Christian or Jewish adults. I still have to hide my practice from my parents. Now I have to hide it from the people I work with, my kids' friends, my husband's family, neighbors...The list keeps growing. I understand why so many people consider alternate religions to be a phase since the social pressure make us feel guilty for having to hide.

I was just the opposite. I tried to be a good Christian for my childhood and teen years, lost faith, and now I am Pagan/seeking/a witch (I'm undecided as of yet, basically.) I agree, tho; I think many see it as a phase because it is not an easy path, nor easily understandable from the outside.

To the OP, I am glad you are out of the broom closet, and it is very kind of you to be considerate of your family. Even as an adult that lives on her own, I probably won't ever be out to my family, more for consideration of their feelings than mine. I have to be cautious of jewelery I wear around my mom. She is a very perceptive woman.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 05:41:27 pm by MeadowRae »
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Night Owl

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2015, 01:40:13 am »
Quote from: habbalah;183079
Could you maybe have it in a drawer or on a shelf in your room, where they wouldn't be likely to look? If absolutely nothing else, the tiny Altoids Tin altars are very stealth.

 
What I tend to do for altars is to unpack and repack all of the materials as I need them. I tend to leave my Bast mini statue out (though right now it is now), but... my altars aren't exactly complicated, because most of my practice takes place away from one. I have a scarf which goes in my closet, a few cups which go in the kitchen, some candles which come from the garage, and... not much else. I had more stuff, but when I went back and tried to work out why I had it and what I used it for, I realized it didn't really have a purpose to me.

I've totally considered Altoids tin altars before, and made an altar which fit into a Lush sample box before, but the fact is, you're still leaving all of these potentially-suspicious materials in the same place for long period of time that potentially nosy people could find. Not that this is really a problem for you because you're out of the broom closet, but for others in the thread, it might be something to consider. It also doesn't really fit what you want.

My suggestion would be to consider the altar's purpose and what you think would be appropriate to put on it. Something else to consider is that there's a semantic difference between shrines and altars (explained quite nicely here), and looking for shrine ideas might be useful. :)

Freesia

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2015, 03:04:36 am »
Quote from: ViolaRae;183109
I was just the opposite. I tried to be a good Christian for my childhood and teen years, lost faith, and now I am Pagan/seeking/a witch (I'm undecided as of yet, basically.) I agree, tho; I think many see it as a phase because it is not an easy path, nor easily understandable from the outside.

To the OP, I am glad you are out of the broom closet, and it is very kind of you to be considerate of your family. Even as an adult that lives on her own, I probably won't ever be out to my family, more for consideration of their feelings than mine. I have to be cautious of jewelery I wear around my mom. She is a very perceptive woman.

 
My mom is the only one I don't feel I need to hide from. I have told an older enlightened family friend that I believe in pantheism. That's the most I will admit to in public. I've told my oldest son that I believe in multiple gods. He says that some of his friends have started reading about Paganism. I told him to talk to me if he has any questions and to please not tell them about what goes on in our house.

Lionrhod

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2015, 09:05:18 pm »
Quote from: Gigi Kiersten;182093
So I'm a domestic witch, but I'm the only pagan in the house and I want to put up an altar.  However, I don't want to have my parents on my back about it. So I want something low key. The altar is going to be dedicated to the house's spirit, because said spirit now that I'm in contacts wants it and won't stop bugging me about it, but I don't want to freak the parentals out. I kind of want it in the central (the heart) of the house.  Any suggestions?

 
One of my favorite "altars" was a candle set right next to my kitchen stove, the "hearth" of that particular home. I'd light it any time I was cooking to remind myself of the sacred act that is sustaining one's family, and infuse some love and magick into my cooking.

Altars aren't about decoration, after all, just about intent.

In my DMG novel the main character has an altar that lives in a cupboard. Close it and nobody knows, open it and she can play with her crystals, etc.
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Gigi Kiersten

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 08:45:53 pm »
Quote from: Lionrhod;183221
One of my favorite "altars" was a candle set right next to my kitchen stove, the "hearth" of that particular home. I'd light it any time I was cooking to remind myself of the sacred act that is sustaining one's family, and infuse some love and magick into my cooking.

Altars aren't about decoration, after all, just about intent.

In my DMG novel the main character has an altar that lives in a cupboard. Close it and nobody knows, open it and she can play with her crystals, etc.


Thank you for telling me that.  I really needed to hear/read this right now.

Lionrhod

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Re: Undercover Altars?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 06:14:42 pm »
Quote from: Gigi Kiersten;183362
Thank you for telling me that.  I really needed to hear/read this right now.


Happy to.

Your Undercover Altar can be as low key as you want.

It can be a painting of a god/dess like form with a candle in front. It can be a simple basil (or whatever) plant sitting on your kitchen counter. It can be anything that has meaning to you, and which you and Deity together recognize as sacred to you.

No rules. Seriously, no rules.

It's all about what you connect with and what feels sacred to you.

A pile of rocks in your garden? A wishing well? A single crystal on a bookshelf? So long as it helps you connect with Deity, it's all good. There is no right or wrong way, and anyone who suggests otherwise is just wacky.
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