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Author Topic: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar.  (Read 3655 times)

Shine

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How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar.
« on: November 20, 2011, 12:42:30 pm »
. . . or if, in my case, that's even appropriate.

I guess maybe this could go in the Kemetic forum, since it's mostly about Kemetic deities, but I'm a beginner and thought maybe others might have the same concerns in their own pantheons, so I posted here. :)

There's something I've been a bit confused/concerned about, and that concern is with worshipping multiple gods or goddesses on the same altar. I don't know if there's a particular way I should approach it or if, in my case, I've kind of painted myself into the proverbial corner. Lol.

A little background: I have a shrine-altar that's mainly dedicated to Bast. I've made it very clear she's the lady of the shrine and, well, she's pretty much taken over the whole thing, anyway! (I have three statues of her in one shrine, for goodness sakes.) I don't get the vibe she'd mind me honoring another goddess--specifically, Taweret--in the shrine, and on one occasion, I've even gotten the feeling that Bast is not the particular goddess present in the shrine when I come to worship.  

Aside from being dedicated mainly to Bast, the shrine has always been a sort of "mother" shrine--ie: a goddess shrine--but that's most been solar/Eye of Re goddesses like Bast, Hethert-Sekhmet, etc.

I feel stupid for bringing up this issue, but now I'm kind of wondering if I should just make a more general Netjer (god/goddess) shrine. I'll probably meditate in front of my shrine later to see if I can get a better feel for what I should do, but I'd love to see what more experienced Cauldron members think. I've only been a practicing pagan for about six months now and so could use a broader perspective.

Thanks. :)
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Darkhawk

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 01:01:22 pm »
Quote from: Shine;31083


 
I would in this case distinguish between shrines and altars.

The way I do things, a shrine is a specific, dedicated space focused on one or more entities.  So my ancestor shrine is for my ancestors (blood and chosen); my house shrine is for Bast and Brighid with support from Taweret and Bes; my Ganesha shrine is for Ganesha and a nice bowl of candy; my Set shrine is for Neb.y and His stuff; etc.

Each of these shrines may have some set rituals that goes with it, or it may not.  In any case, those are those entities' spaces.

An altar space is a working space for ritual.  One may put icons of particular entities on the altar, but I do not; it is a sacred space workplace, not a shrine.  Yes, I do rituals to the gods in general there as well as specific gods, but it's an active place, not a residence.  It is for me to do the ritual work of my religion.
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Shine

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 01:47:17 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;31084
I would in this case distinguish between shrines and altars.

The way I do things, a shrine is a specific, dedicated space focused on one or more entities.  So my ancestor shrine is for my ancestors (blood and chosen); my house shrine is for Bast and Brighid with support from Taweret and Bes; my Ganesha shrine is for Ganesha and a nice bowl of candy; my Set shrine is for Neb.y and His stuff; etc.

Each of these shrines may have some set rituals that goes with it, or it may not.  In any case, those are those entities' spaces.

An altar space is a working space for ritual.  One may put icons of particular entities on the altar, but I do not; it is a sacred space workplace, not a shrine.  Yes, I do rituals to the gods in general there as well as specific gods, but it's an active place, not a residence.  It is for me to do the ritual work of my religion.

 
Interesting! So, basically, a shrine is like a house where you meet up with your "divine family" and an altar is like a garage or workshop where you go to do projects (with or without family)?

What if you don't have room for both a shrine and an altar? For me, I have such a small space, things end up "collapsed" or combined with each other.
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Darkhawk

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2011, 02:56:10 pm »
Quote from: Shine;31092
Interesting! So, basically, a shrine is like a house where you meet up with your "divine family" and an altar is like a garage or workshop where you go to do projects (with or without family)?


Pretty much, yeah.

Quote
What if you don't have room for both a shrine and an altar? For me, I have such a small space, things end up "collapsed" or combined with each other.

 
Back when I didn't have a lot of space, I didn't keep shrines, honestly.  Though a thing that might be useful to you, conceptually: in some religions (such as traditional Wicca), an altar is something that you set up when you have something to do, and then you put it away.  So if you have something that can be set up when you want to do rituals and can then break it down again and put its parts away, that's a functional way of doing altars.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Shine

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 10:23:37 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;31100
 
Back when I didn't have a lot of space, I didn't keep shrines, honestly.  Though a thing that might be useful to you, conceptually: in some religions (such as traditional Wicca), an altar is something that you set up when you have something to do, and then you put it away.  So if you have something that can be set up when you want to do rituals and can then break it down again and put its parts away, that's a functional way of doing altars.


After some meditation (in front of Bast's shrine and on your suggestions), I set up a small space on the shrine that functions as an altar. I really am that short on space. But I have so few ritual implements, it works well. Thanks for all your suggestions!
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Devo

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 11:57:51 am »
Quote from: Shine;31092
Interesting! So, basically, a shrine is like a house where you meet up with your "divine family" and an altar is like a garage or workshop where you go to do projects (with or without family)?

What if you don't have room for both a shrine and an altar? For me, I have such a small space, things end up "collapsed" or combined with each other.

 
I used to combine my shrine and altar. Using the same table space for workspace when needed, and putting the implements away when I wasn't working on anything. I think so long as your gods are okay with it- you have some flexibility.

As for multiple gods in one shrine- it really depends on the god/s in question. I have had some shrines with a few different gods in them (Aset and Asar, for instance or Bast and Anpu) and I have had some shrines where the god in particular wants to be the only one in there (Set commonly asks this of people). So if you're not certain, it's probably best to ask. Keep in mind that things can change, depending on the deity in question and your relationship with them. There was a time when Set wanted to be the only one in the shrine, and he wanted his shrine separate/away from everyone else's shrine. However, now the rules have changed and he is okay with Asar being in his area (but only Asar. No one else from what I can tell). Nothing is ever truly set in stone, and don't be nervous if things change- religion is a growing moving practice, and what suits you and your gods' needs now may not do so in the future.

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SatSekhem

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Re: How to Worship Multiple Gods/Goddesses on the Same Altar. . .
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 02:32:45 pm »
Quote from: Devo;31208
As for multiple gods in one shrine- it really depends on the god/s in question. I have had some shrines with a few different gods in them (Aset and Asar, for instance or Bast and Anpu) and I have had some shrines where the god in particular wants to be the only one in there (Set commonly asks this of people). So if you're not certain, it's probably best to ask. Keep in mind that things can change, depending on the deity in question and your relationship with them. There was a time when Set wanted to be the only one in the shrine, and he wanted his shrine separate/away from everyone else's shrine. However, now the rules have changed and he is okay with Asar being in his area (but only Asar. No one else from what I can tell). Nothing is ever truly set in stone, and don't be nervous if things change- religion is a growing moving practice, and what suits you and your gods' needs now may not do so in the future.

 
This.

In regards to shrines versus altars... I live in a place that's about the size of a postage stamp. I don't have room for both. I have an altar that I can utilize for magic purposes should the need arise (rarely), but I mostly use it as a shrine for my goddesses and the Old Man.
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