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Author Topic: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side  (Read 7224 times)

Fier

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 03:17:09 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?

 
This is a question I ask myself over and over again. Currently my altar is about waist height, though it has been higher in the past. I can stand in front of it or sit in front of it on a chair. I often think I'd like to sit in front of my altar on the floor, but I don't like the way it looks at such a low height.

If I do sit, I usually end up sitting on the couch anyway. I can see my altar, but I am not directly in front of it.

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2015, 08:36:02 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;171332

I like to sit in seiza on a meditation cushion when I worship. I've got a lovely red silk one that's nice and squishy.

 
Do you ever have trouble with your feet falling asleep? I do most of my rituals kneeling or in half-lotus, and there's nothing more distracting for me than a numb foot!

I'll add myself to the list of the Cult of IKEA. I have a cheap coffee-table for my main shrine, and it has space for books underneath. I've often thought that a breadbox would make a nice small shrine - there are sometimes wooden ones with flat tops at the thrift store for quite cheap.

Redfaery

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2015, 08:38:01 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;171554
Do you ever have trouble with your feet falling asleep? I do most of my rituals kneeling or in half-lotus, and there's nothing more distracting for me than a numb foot!

YES. I have to remember to shift my legs frequently. That way it's not too bad.
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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2015, 10:47:07 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933


So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?


I recently moved to a studio apartment that I share with my boyfriend, a dog and a cat, so space is kind of at a premium! We are also a bit short on cash, so getting expensive furniture isn't really an option at this time. So I've had to adapt my altar and altar practices accordingly...

I ended up transforming an ottoman into an altar table by covering it with an altar cloth and placing my items on there. It's low, being an ottoman, but I find that sitting and being eye level with my statue of Brigantia has made the altar working I do feel much more personal and intimate. It's something I may keep in mind when I do end up getting a dedicated table.

There's no real storage area, and the cat uses the space under the ottoman to eat in privacy away from the dog. I like the energy the cat lends to the space, so I'm totally OK with it...I just don't let him under there when I'm doing my working! Thankfully, he normally does not try to leap onto the altar! (He's always been good about that)

It would be nice to have a larger dedicated altar space in the future, and where I could do more working/crafting comfortably, but I've managed to make this space work, and it's helped me to maintain my connection to the gods, ancestors and other spirits I work with, which at the end of the day is what is important in my book.

Marjie

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2015, 12:30:34 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?


The top floor of my town house is about 80% rooftop deck and 20% little room, which I call my upstairs room, and that's where I keep my altar.  The altar is on top of a cute blue cabinet at about waist, in which I keep my tarot collection, some books, candles, incense, and all my magical tools.  Although I usually stand in front of my altar, I have been known to kneel on occasion (it's carpeted) - the cabinet comes up to my neck when on my knees, so just the right height to still see well.  I don't do much spell work; usually I just do little devotions in front of the altar, and I also decorate it and work in front of it during my solitary rituals - at which time I usually spend most of my time moving and dancing, so I'm not too worried about being comfortable for long periods of time in front of it.  When I meditate or read tarot, I usually sit on the floor near it (everywhere in the upstairs room is near it), but don't really interact with it.  I guess that is a little strange... and yet I don't think I would want my altar lower down.  First of all, I'd be afraid of kicking it!  It's a small room and I flail sometimes :p

Being so close to a deck during ritual is often tempting for the outdoorness, but I just don't have the guts :o especially since there are several identical decks in a line right next to it...

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2015, 05:32:50 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

Any other thoughts are also welcome!

If only I had the space for a proper shrine setup for my 신, but alas, I don't yet.

As of right now, for them I have n-shrines because that's where I have their images, easy e-candles without affecting my bird in the same room, and my computer is usually where I eat anyway so offerings are easy in that space also!

But when I do have a physical place for them, I would bow multiple times and sit, either cross-legged or legs underneath me. I would probably prefer it to be face-high when I sit.

I don't have a lot of room (since I have my Senut shrine in my walk-in closet and keep the rest of my curio, incense and candles in there) so I don't have space for "things I don't currently use". If I'm not going to use it soon, I shouldn't have it, tbh. I am working on an Altoid tin "travel shrine" for the 신 though.

I do not have space at my shrine/altar to do work. I have to move around different parts of my bedroom/bathroom/closet to do everything. Kind of a pain, because if I want to trance while doing work, it's a little more annoying to constantly keep track of all the things I need to grab etc.
Mivi | Mudang (Korean shaman-priest)

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DemeterDelusion

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2015, 11:41:59 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933


So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

 
I prefer to stand, I suppose. That's not to say that I never sit, but my altar's too tall to do things comfortably while sitting down. Kneeling I could conceivably do work with, but I've actually never tried it.

As far as size goes, I don't really have a choice in the matter. I have two altars of a sort, one on my shelf where I store all my things, and a smaller movable glass shelf where I do more involved spellwork/worship when it's necessary. Both are about waist-high, which works well enough. After all, I can more or less have a bird's eye view of both (at best one can of a shelf, anyway), and reach everything without much risk of knocking something over in the process.

I don't really have a storage space of out-of-use things. I can't really describe it, but it feels like if I were to put things away, they'd become disconnected from the whole and therefore lose their purpose or something. Plus, I'm less likely to lose things in they're all together all the time.

Louisvillian

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2015, 06:55:06 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?

I stand during most rituals, and kneel for some. It depends on the context of what's going on. And I have two altars, of differing heights and structural qualities.

I use my bathroom countertop for most things of a Hellenistic nature, as it is waist-height and wide enough to place things evenly. I clean it thoroughly beforehand, place down my candles and other stuff, and use the sink to pour libations into (since it ultimately empties out into the river). I have a small brass brazier in which I burn incense and other "burnable" offerings.
The other is knee-height, and was used moreso when I was Wiccan. It's a square chest. I plan on using it for chthonic rituals or offerings, as typically such things were done while kneeling with one's hands on the ground.

In addition, I have two shrines where I place offerings. One is the mantelpiece above the fireplace, the other is a two-tiered shelf I placed on the wall. I have a third shelf with 12 small slots, which I'll use as my shrine to the dodekatheon when I get my other small Greek gods statues in the mail. These are separate from my altars, which are workspaces for rituals, though they usually adjacent to each other.

Quote
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?

One of my altars, being a bathroom countertop, has drawers. I earmark one for specifically religious ritual tools and pieces. The other, being a wood chest, rather easily holds most of the ritual accoutrements.

Siren

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2015, 11:08:46 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
I'm in the process of setting up my altars/shrines again after a move, which got me wondering how other people set things up in a practical sense. I can't stand for long periods of time, and kneeling is out, so ideally I'd have everything at a good height for sitting in front of in a chair. Something about that feels a little off, though, and I'm not sure why.

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

Any other thoughts are also welcome!

 
Most of the time, I'd pick standing. My main shrine is an old wooden microwave stand. The main surface is about at waist height. But, since there are a lot of things that stay on there permanently or for months at a time, there's not a ton of extra space there. So sometimes I instead work on a little round end table I have (in which case I kneel if it's short, or sit on the floor if I'll be there a long time) or on the dining room table (in which case I stand).

The microwave stand and the end table both have storage under them, and I also have an ornate glorified cardboard box I use for a lot of my things (you know the ones you can get that have pictures on the outside, brass trim, etc.?). I need the storage because not everything stays out all the time. For example, some of my deities have strong seasonal associations, and I have one image for Summer Them and another for Winter Them. I make a distinction between putting things away in areas designated just for sacred stuff, and putting them away in my general crap--for the most part, never the twain shall meet. I also use these areas to store extra candles and the like.

I miss the altar I had three apartments ago, which began life as an entertainment center. This put the top surface at about chest level for me, and there was so.much.space. up there. Then I put books in the TV spot, DVD player spot, etc., and supplies in the cabinet below. But the entertainment center was cheap particle board and basically disintegrated during my move from that place. And then the current one, the microwave stand, came to me by such weird means that I was pretty sure I was meant to have it, even though I sometimes wish it were more spacious.

Nerys53

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2015, 03:11:54 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
I'm in the process of setting up my altars/shrines again after a move, which got me wondering how other people set things up in a practical sense. I can't stand for long periods of time, and kneeling is out, so ideally I'd have everything at a good height for sitting in front of in a chair. Something about that feels a little off, though, and I'm not sure why.

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

Any other thoughts are also welcome!

 
I have 2 altars, 1 downstairs and 1 upstairs and 1 shrine in deep niche hallway window.
Upstairs I used to sit on the floor for years, but not anymore... for health reasons I can not sit on the floor. So I have the shrine where I stand as it is in a corner of staircase. And the 2 altars are on tables so I can sit next to them.
Supplies I keep both upstairs and downstairs. I can not walk stairs often.
Most supplies I make myself and I make small jars so is easy to make all twice.:)

Nyktipolos

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2015, 07:47:51 pm »
Quote from: Jack;171271
I've had good luck with the Expedit shelves - I know they're called something else now, with a K, but I don't recall what. I liked the cubby holes for shrine spaces.

 
Kallax. :) They replaced them with more particleboard on the inside to make them lighter and cheaper. One can still find Expedit stuff on places like Kijiji, though!
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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2015, 06:15:51 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
I'm in the process of setting up my altars/shrines again after a move, which got me wondering how other people set things up in a practical sense. I can't stand for long periods of time, and kneeling is out, so ideally I'd have everything at a good height for sitting in front of in a chair. Something about that feels a little off, though, and I'm not sure why.

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

Any other thoughts are also welcome!

 
I honestly will probably just have a small travel shrine. I am looking into getting a studio apartment, so that doesn't leave a lot in the way of room. Luckily there's a nice park nearby :3

As to your questions:

1. Sit. Standing for me is too informal, and kneeling a little too formal.

2. About eye level? Short enough so I can sit by it and be able to reach for things without straining.

3. Yeah, I have little storage boxes and bottles.

4. Yes.
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Sorcha

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Re: Altar/shrine setup - the practical side
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2017, 01:50:59 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);170933
I'm in the process of setting up my altars/shrines again after a move, which got me wondering how other people set things up in a practical sense. I can't stand for long periods of time, and kneeling is out, so ideally I'd have everything at a good height for sitting in front of in a chair. Something about that feels a little off, though, and I'm not sure why.

So, the practical side of things:
- Do you sit, stand, or kneel? What would be ideal?
- Do you prefer to have your altar/shrines at a certain height?
- Do you have storage for bits and pieces you don't currently use?
- If you do work at your altar (magical, crafting, etc), is your altar big enough to work at easily, or do you have extra space (like a table) which is functionally part of the altar?

Any other thoughts are also welcome!

 
I at this point have two altars and a kitchen table that I use for spell work.

My main altar, where all my stuff is, is on top of a book shelf. It contains candles, various figures of the beings I honor, a crèche, an incense bowl, a bowl of water, and a teeny bowl for various other offerings (right now it contains salt). My tarot decks are on one corner not so much because I use them in ritual work as because they need a place to live. The shelf underneath holds my bags of sage and juniper that I use for incense, and I also have a sugar bowl holding all my spell candles. On my list of things to acquire is a box to hold my stuff so my altar isn't so cluttered.

The other altar I have is a mini prayer altar I use at night:

As you can see, it's extremely simple, just a written prayer to Brigid and another nighttime prayer to the earth, stars, moon, and sun. I also say the Our Father, but I have that memorized. I light the candle, turn off my other lights, say the prayers seated cross-legged on my bed, contemplate for a few minutes, then blow out the candle and go to bed.

My kitchen table, which is painted a robin's egg blue, is what I use for rituals and/or spell work since it has more room to work with. I move the items I need to the table, then put them away when I'm done. I stand to do spells in general.

I also have a shelf that holds my pagan books which is also currently a stash for some special rocks, the candle I used for my dedication, and other miscellany.


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