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Author Topic: Lack of space for shrines  (Read 1143 times)

EclecticWheel

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Lack of space for shrines
« on: January 25, 2018, 08:11:29 pm »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.

The temporary altar is fine, but I miss the permanent shrines.  Without them I'm having difficulty connecting on a daily basis with some of the Divine Companions I am closer, too.  I'm also having trouble remembering the ancestors.

I have a space I am thinking of turning into one all-purpose shrine.  Who it is for will change depending who I am addressing, so if I'm working with different entities at different times I will begin by addressing them, and at that moment, that is who the shrine is for for that time period.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?
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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 12:45:46 am »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.

The temporary altar is fine, but I miss the permanent shrines.  Without them I'm having difficulty connecting on a daily basis with some of the Divine Companions I am closer, too.  I'm also having trouble remembering the ancestors.

I have a space I am thinking of turning into one all-purpose shrine.  Who it is for will change depending who I am addressing, so if I'm working with different entities at different times I will begin by addressing them, and at that moment, that is who the shrine is for for that time period.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I haven't had this problem yet, but I may eventually have to change how I have my shrines are placed, so we'll see. However, what I would do is make travel altars/shrines to the different ancestors and the deities I honor. In that way, they're self-contained and can be tucked away as needed and placed without much setup. Ancestors can be easily displayed by using photos or mementos, but  I'd suggest small boxes for the Divine Companions you honor.

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 12:46:41 am »
Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I've found I have a variant on this problem--I need a working space near my computer.

I'm attempting to address it by getting a new desk (there are some pretty inexpensive models out there, but we'll see how that works out) and keeping one shelf on it primarily dedicated to an altar; we'll see how that works out.

You might also be able to get something to attach to your bed as a nightstand with multiple shelves, one of which you can dedicate as an altar/shrine. This would potentially have the bonus of being something that your landlord would consider too private to get close to. That doesn't solve the problem of the cat, but you might be able to find (or craft) a nightstand with a small door on the shrine-space.
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Sorcha

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 09:26:56 am »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.

The temporary altar is fine, but I miss the permanent shrines.  Without them I'm having difficulty connecting on a daily basis with some of the Divine Companions I am closer, too.  I'm also having trouble remembering the ancestors.

I have a space I am thinking of turning into one all-purpose shrine.  Who it is for will change depending who I am addressing, so if I'm working with different entities at different times I will begin by addressing them, and at that moment, that is who the shrine is for for that time period.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?
I use the top of a bookshelf I made from wooden crates. I leave the items that could be mistaken for decor out all the time and rotate through the various ritual objects I'm working with at the time depending on what I'm doing at the moment.

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Kylara

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 09:42:04 am »
I've found I have a variant on this problem--I need a working space near my computer.

I'm attempting to address it by getting a new desk (there are some pretty inexpensive models out there, but we'll see how that works out) and keeping one shelf on it primarily dedicated to an altar; we'll see how that works out.

You might also be able to get something to attach to your bed as a nightstand with multiple shelves, one of which you can dedicate as an altar/shrine. This would potentially have the bonus of being something that your landlord would consider too private to get close to. That doesn't solve the problem of the cat, but you might be able to find (or craft) a nightstand with a small door on the shrine-space.

I have a computer shrine!  It is a small shelf that goes over my computer monitor, so I keep it set up as a shrine, where I can always see it and be inspired!

While I do have cats, I find that they don't mess with a lot of things, although I do adapt for them.  They haven't messed with my altars, either the one on my computer or the ones in the bedroom.  I do not leave food/drink offerings out where they can get to them.  I'm actually planning on getting some of those fancy lids for canning jars that are intended to be used for making air fresheners, so I can put out offerings but cats can't get to them.

One of the things I have used, to help keep cats out of my things, is wall shelves.  We have a couple of small sets of hanging shelves that I use for either decorative or spiritual items.  Depending on your cats, you may have to make sure that they are very high though.  I had some small glass figures on a shelf that was about three feet over my bedside table, and my cats eventually got obsessed with them and would stretch up, pull the figures off, and try to eat/play with them. 

My cats do walk around a lot of my spaces, I know they walk over my bedside table (which has some shrine stuff on it), the bedroom dresser (more shrine stuff), and my computer desk (though I haven't ever seen evidence they walk on the top shelf where my actual shrine is...nor have they ever stolen anything that sits on the main part of my desk where I find footprints)

My main bedroom altar is a smallish, glass-fronted bookshelf.  I actually taped some pictures over the glass many years ago, so you can't see in.  The pictures are fantasy art, that speaks to me and my practice, but I did it when we lived in a much smaller town where I was worried that our landlord might come poking about our house, and I had all my obviously witchy books inside (where they couldn't be seen). 

I find that a lot of shrine/altar things can be explained to people who don't know what you practice by just saying they are pretty statues, or interesting things you have found.  I have two things total on all of my altars that couldn't just be something pretty or interesting that I found and wanted to display.  The two obvious things are small plaques, one which says, "Get your Witchy on" the other has a picture of a witch and says, "Come in for a spell."  But take those away, and I just look like I collect odd things and stones and stuff.

I wrote about this a while back, talking about how to set up sacred space in a more discrete way, if you want to check it out you can find it here
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savveir

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 03:58:50 am »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.

The temporary altar is fine, but I miss the permanent shrines.  Without them I'm having difficulty connecting on a daily basis with some of the Divine Companions I am closer, too.  I'm also having trouble remembering the ancestors.

I have a space I am thinking of turning into one all-purpose shrine.  Who it is for will change depending who I am addressing, so if I'm working with different entities at different times I will begin by addressing them, and at that moment, that is who the shrine is for for that time period.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I have one shrine space, I make the most of it by usings deity jars. So I have a selection of small jars that are filled with things that I associate with the relevant god. I've also put candles on the top of them, and they could easily have a tealight (real or LED) on them too.
I just find that the jars are easy to make, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to move around  or pack away as needed (for some guests and landlord etc.)
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Jack

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 03:17:16 pm »


Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I'm not exactly hurting for space, but I love having wall altars. Wreaths, individual shelves, art, I've got a beaded net mounted on some hooks...

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Redfaery

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 03:23:36 pm »


I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I live with my parents, and I've had to set up Saraswati Devi's shrine in my bedroom, jammed into a corner. This is strictly speaking not considered "proper" in Buddhism or the other traditions I draw from. However, I'd rather have it in a bad place than in no place at all.

When I was starting out, I had my own apartment, but I kept the shrine as inconspicuous as possible. Often it would simply be a table displaying various trinkets that reminded me of my Lady.

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arete

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 04:07:35 pm »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.

The temporary altar is fine, but I miss the permanent shrines.  Without them I'm having difficulty connecting on a daily basis with some of the Divine Companions I am closer, too.  I'm also having trouble remembering the ancestors.

I have a space I am thinking of turning into one all-purpose shrine.  Who it is for will change depending who I am addressing, so if I'm working with different entities at different times I will begin by addressing them, and at that moment, that is who the shrine is for for that time period.

Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?
I don't have much space either. On a daily basis I keep a very small altar at a corner of my desk. Whenever I want to perform rituals, I make a more proper altar, temporarily.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 01:20:12 pm »
I no longer live in a place where I have space for shrines.  When I do rites my book shelf becomes a temporary altar: I can't set it up permanently due to a landlord and cat.


Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

Windowsills have become shrines in my cottage.  I've also put up a shelf which houses a very special shrine/altar

keen

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2018, 04:30:47 pm »
Anyone ever deal with this problem?  What did you do?

I've never had no space for anything, but where real estate is at a premium for whatever reason, symbol is your best friend. They are a tremendously handy form of information storing technology - thousands of interrelated concepts, myths, and mysteries can be neatly compacted into a single image or object. The trick is learning to recall at will the vast repositories of religious information that it holds, and in finding the right one for your purposes.

Personally, I never thought I'd be able to distill the essence of my storm god down to something that wasn't an icon or statue, which is difficult because none are available on the mass market and I've since had to make my own, but I found a Hemingray telephone pole insulator at an antique store once (like one of these) and it immediately struck me as a potent modern symbol for my god. It's color suggests the "center" (one of the five directions as per my cosmology, the place where we are), the transparency of which suggests water. It's shape resembles both a mountain as well as a thunderhead, the relationship between which is a focus of one of his mysteries that I have been meditating on for a few years, and it was once used in the transport of electrical current, corresponding neatly to his association with thunder and lightning. It's also a hollow shape - another mystery for contemplation.

In many ways, it's almost better than the icon I painstakingly painted by hand, for those times when I need to see his face and effects. It also fits in the palm of my hand, is very sturdy and transportable, and paired with an offering dish or stick of incense, is a completely adequate shrine unto itself.

So I would give some more thought to the symbols that are important to your gods, which ones elicit the strongest reaction from you, and which ones were historically powerful. Pick one or two or combine several in a way that's physically resilient, aesthetically pleasing, and difficult for your cat to. Try something like a small shadowbox, or a corner wall shelf. You can also make something like a nicho, which is a popular religious folk art from Latin America, or a portable shrine box made out of an Altoids box (a quick google search will provide all kinds of inspiration for these).

Just because you can't have a temple, doesn't mean you can't do anything. There 's a whole world of compact shrine-making out there.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 04:33:05 pm by keen »
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Ashmire

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Re: Lack of space for shrines
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 09:20:29 pm »
I haven't had this problem yet, but I may eventually have to change how I have my shrines are placed, so we'll see. However, what I would do is make travel altars/shrines to the different ancestors and the deities I honor. In that way, they're self-contained and can be tucked away as needed and placed without much setup. Ancestors can be easily displayed by using photos or mementos, but  I'd suggest small boxes for the Divine Companions you honor.

Thank you for this idea!   My need for it is a little different---I'm having to pack away most of my witchy stuff due to family inviting themselves under already tense circumstances, and been wondering how I'm going to deal with this without my shrine space to comfort me.  The tiny travel altars I've seen but never had a need for, that can hide in bed with me, are a perfect solution!

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