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Author Topic: Do you keep your altar out in the open?  (Read 4787 times)

WritchCodex

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 11:03:27 am »
Quote from: rubyred;203990
Thanks all for the interesting replies! I never thought about people messing with it and putting stuff down on the altar. That could definitely happen. My landlord is my mother in law and she hardly ever comes over, if she did though she wouldn't care about seeing an altar. Some other family members though, maybe.

Maybe I'll do like others suggested and keep my altar things in a somewhat hidden place, then take them out when I plan on using them. I suppose an altar table without my tools on it is just a table.


The replies have been somewhat interesting to me too, because I'm expecting some family to visit here in the near future, and I've also been wondering if I should hide my altar away. Currently it's in my room in plain view if you walk in, and I haven't had to worry about it so far because my agnostic husband doesn't mess around with it. He'll ask questions, but they're all respectful and curious rather than probing, and he doesn't touch any of the objects on it.

But my family members coming to visit might just do the opposite, so I'm definitely thinking about hiding my altar items when they come round. For me, it comes down to confrontations that I would like to avoid.

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 11:49:26 am »
Quote from: rubyred;203990


 
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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2017, 05:01:50 pm »
Quote from: rubyred;203925


I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

 
Mine is in a corner of my dining room, the only place I have for it, and I'm not wildly keen on the location. It's a non-vegetarian home, and when we have company for dinner, non-veg food is in close proximity to the shrine.

One solution is to get oriental-type screens. I have one, but there's not enough room to close off the shrine and not walk into the screen. :rolleye:: While it doesn't create a Fort Knox effect, it's a nod to separating the areas and giving the deities some privacy. That's the general Hindu view. Ideally there would be a small room just for religious purposes, or even an unused closet that you can close the door or put a curtain over the opening. But you have to go with what you have.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
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hraefngar

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2017, 10:12:56 pm »
Quote from: rubyred;203925
So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

 
Mine is in my bedroom.  Not many people make it into my bedroom [insert bad joke here].

Religion is a private thing for me, aside from known compatriots of my religious network.  I don't need anyone knowing about it or asking dumb questions, or fondling my altar idols with their grubby hands.

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2017, 12:59:36 am »
Quote from: rubyred;203925

I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

 
Mine are all currently in my bedroom, because that's the space I have. But I don't hide them, either. My door is open most of the time, and, well. All my shrines and altars take up at least two walls and half a book case, so. It is not subtle in my room, either.

The only time I get to do anything semi-publicly is when I decorate the front room for our midwinter feast, though even then I tone down the overtly pagan stuff because I'm not catering to a bunch of pagans. So I respect that, because I'm not in the habit of shoving my gods in people's faces.

Though if I ever get a place of my own, the plan will be to have little shrines everywhere, as well as a shrine room proper where the bulk of the ritual work will happen. I would never have my main working shrines and altars out where just anyone can touch them. But the other more incidental shrines, and other gods I want to have in my house, I'm more willing to have them out in the open.

I suppose the only good thing about being so god-oriented is that having statues of gods everywhere doesn't peg as weird the same way a witchy altar might. So it's easier to hide in plain sight. I'm also very picky about who I make friends with, and to be honest, no one has ever bothered my altars, except perhaps for the occasional cat.
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Oíche

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2017, 05:08:32 pm »
Quote from: rubyred;203925
So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

My altar currently sits up in the attic (that is only accessible via my bedroom, so only my fiancé and I could really access it generally), mostly because I have built up a considerable amount of books and general pagan stuff and I prefer to keep it upstairs out of the main house area as we share with a friend and the house is quite small.
In the future, we plan to have shrines to our respective gods scattered through the house (for example, we will have small shrines to Brigid and Hestia in our kitchen) in addition to a main 'witchy' room for our stuff.

Until moving to my current home, I always kept my altar in my bedroom. I was happy with this set-up as it meant I could do my work in peace! :)
However it did attract a fair amount of attention from some old housemates (who had a tendency to gawk at it :whis: ) so now I kinda prefer to have it more secluded!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 05:09:42 pm by Oíche »
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shadowsiren

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2017, 08:43:06 pm »
Quote from: rubyred;203925


Also, my altar is a small desk that I sit at so it's not just a little shelf or anything. It's a full on workspace filled with all my candles and incense and tarot decks and runes and crystals , an obviously spiritually dedicated space.

I've seen on many websites not to have your altar out in the open or within view from anyone who wouldn't "appreciate" it, whatever that means. I don't know if I agree with that or not, since what does it matter what other people's opinions are on my spiritual practice? So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?


First, I have to say I love the idea of a whole desk as an altar!

Now on to the question itself... my shrine (no working altar currently as I'm still muddling through what I want that to be, what I want on there, what I need etc etc) is currently on the top of my dresser in our bedroom. I like the amount of space that this gives me and the height is just right for standing at and keeping things out of the littles' reach. I asked my non-pagan husband if he minded having it in our bedroom and he doesn't. He's very respectful of it actually and has remarked more than once that he really likes having it there because he likes to look it at while he gets ready in the morning.

However, I also hate it because it is the obvious "landing space" in the master bedroom and inevitably collects toys, books, pieces of laundry, and occasional other odds and ends as it moves in and out of the bedroom throughout the day. So I'm considering moving it to a shelf of the new bookcase (also in the master bedroom) to get it out of the flight path, so to speak, but I'm not sure how that would work with any daily/weekly practices.

I also have a tiny "kitchen shrine" that is not obviously a shrine (at all) sitting on the windowsill of my over the sink window. The only person that bugs that one is the cats, lol.  

I'm a very private person by nature so in an ideal world I'd like to have a more secure, in the open (so I can see it/get to it easily) but still out of the way space for my main altar/shrine and then have more discreet/subtle shrines throughout the living areas. For instance, I love having a kitchen shrine for spur of the moment offerings and one of my main goals for our next house is to have a spot suitable for an ancestor shrine.
 
Quote from: Vixen;203952


Hanging from the stick, from left to right:
A braided cord made from horsehair from my own horse and a piece of string I found in the barn attached to a walnut from the tree in the backyard. I was wanting to use it as a pendulum but it's too rigid, so I put it up on the shrine. Next is a very old key I found hanging on a nail in the barn. I don't know what its for but its part of the history of the house. I keep it at my shrine to honour the house. On the right, and it might be difficult to see, are two necklaces with stones. I hang them from the stick to recharge when I'm not wearing them. One is an amethyst, the other an aragonite. With that is a little antler replica I bought at Christmas. Apparently antlers were hot this year so I stacked up one some as they represent my Lord to me.

The cup on the right is an old tin cup that I inherited from my grandfather. He was a hunter and the cup depicts a deerhunt. I find it very fitting for a shrine dedicated to Cernunos. I use it to keep stones and bits I pick up on walks.

The two Buddha's holding up most of the sticks and stuff were a housewarming gift from a friend of mine. In the crook of the left Buddha's arm is a tiny Buddha statue I've been given for my birthday with the explicit wish of the giftgiver to bring me good fortune and good health. I'm not a Buddhist but I am open minded and Buddha's given as a gift are said to bring good luck.

All the flowers and sticks and things have been found in the woods and fields surrounding my house. I love the area I live in, it's full of wiildlife and it reminds me every day of my Lord and my connection to nature.

Surrounding the shrine are items that are dear to me.
The plate on the wall is a poem my great grandfather wrote. When my mother and her siblings went through my great grandfathers belongings after his passing they found a note with this poem folded up and tucked away underneath a drawer. It's about daring to live and be free. My mom had it printed on an aluminium plate to put up on the wall as a Christmas gift.
On the left are the Valentines day card and my Happy Birthday card I got from my loved one over seas. It's the only solid proof I have of his existence. They're precious to me so they're up on the dressoir.

Sorry for the very extensive post. I got writing and couldn't stop. :o


Don't apologize! Personally, I always love to see/hear about other people's altars/shrines/sacred spaces and yours is absolutely gorgeous.
 
Quote from: WritchCodex;203991
The replies have been somewhat interesting to me too, because I'm expecting some family to visit here in the near future, and I've also been wondering if I should hide my altar away. Currently it's in my room in plain view if you walk in, and I haven't had to worry about it so far because my agnostic husband doesn't mess around with it. He'll ask questions, but they're all respectful and curious rather than probing, and he doesn't touch any of the objects on it.

But my family members coming to visit might just do the opposite, so I'm definitely thinking about hiding my altar items when they come round. For me, it comes down to confrontations that I would like to avoid.

 
So much the bolded. So much.

My extended family is aware that I am no longer part of the church I was raised in but our limited conversations since that "coming out" have been carefully hedged. My mom, bless her heart, views the spiritual safety (meaning that you belong to "right" belief system and the "right" religion) of her kids as one of her main duties and has been known in the past to throw out belongings she deems harmful when the person they belong to is not at home. A few years ago she went on a stint where she tried to throw out all of our R rated movies and not long after that she tossed about $50 worth of herbal tea in the trash while DH and I were out on a date. Our home, mind you, not shared with her in any way. She was just babysitting because a few of our kids have some anxiety issues that severely limit the people that can babysit for us. That led to some major discussions about appropriate boundaries and so far she's been much more respectful since then but I could definitely see her thinking that a full altar set up or obvious pagan shrine "crosses the line" and taking it upon herself to protect/save us from it.  

I don't want to hide my religious beliefs because I don't think they need to be hidden but... there are definitely people in my life that aren't ready to see the writing on the wall, as it were.

rubyred

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2017, 03:01:14 pm »
Quote from: shadowsiren;204083
My mom, bless her heart, views the spiritual safety (meaning that you belong to "right" belief system and the "right" religion) of her kids as one of her main duties and has been known in the past to throw out belongings she deems harmful when the person they belong to is not at home.


Whoa. I can't even imagine dealing with that. The only religious person I could think of coming into my house is my husband's grandma, and she's only been to my house literally one time in the 2 1/2 years that we've lived here. Even then, I seriously doubt she would throw anything away.

Well my altar has been in the front room for a total of two days and already I've had to remove a tape measure, an empty water bottle and my husband's car keys. Not a good spot. Maybe I'm doomed to be altar-less for a while until I can figure out something better 😔

NightSpook

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2017, 07:43:53 pm »
Quote from: rubyred;203925
So do you guys keep your altars hidden from view, or do you not care either way?

 
I have always had my altar setup all year round in my bedroom. My hubby has never minded it being there. When I lived in my first ever place after moving out of my parents I had a small altar set up within the living room and guests would comment but more out of interest than anything else.
I say this, it is your space where you live your daily life, do what you will with that space. ;)

WritchCodex

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2017, 09:15:27 pm »
Quote from: shadowsiren;204083
So much the bolded. So much.

My extended family is aware that I am no longer part of the church I was raised in but our limited conversations since that "coming out" have been carefully hedged. My mom, bless her heart, views the spiritual safety (meaning that you belong to "right" belief system and the "right" religion) of her kids as one of her main duties and has been known in the past to throw out belongings she deems harmful when the person they belong to is not at home. A few years ago she went on a stint where she tried to throw out all of our R rated movies and not long after that she tossed about $50 worth of herbal tea in the trash while DH and I were out on a date. Our home, mind you, not shared with her in any way. She was just babysitting because a few of our kids have some anxiety issues that severely limit the people that can babysit for us. That led to some major discussions about appropriate boundaries and so far she's been much more respectful since then but I could definitely see her thinking that a full altar set up or obvious pagan shrine "crosses the line" and taking it upon herself to protect/save us from it.  

I don't want to hide my religious beliefs because I don't think they need to be hidden but... there are definitely people in my life that aren't ready to see the writing on the wall, as it were.


I totally understand this! I love my family tons, and they love me, but sometimes their expressions of concern for my well-being, spiritual or otherwise, can be a bit... invasive. It's hard not to be a bit irked, even if you understand where the actions are coming from.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a coward for just trying to avoid that conversation about boundaries you described myself. Granted, these are relatives that I don't see very often at all, so it's not as though it's really necessary to have the talk because they won't be staying in my apartment while I'm away. Still, a part of me is a little ashamed of the fact that I so instinctively shy away from having a conversation about it.

If I were more of an orator and able to articulate myself a bit better verbally, maybe...

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2017, 02:20:19 am »
Quote from: shadowsiren;204083
Don't apologize! Personally, I always love to see/hear about other people's altars/shrines/sacred spaces and yours is absolutely gorgeous.

 
You (and others participating in this thread) might also be interested in the Altar & Shrine inspiration & pics thread.

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shadowsiren

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2017, 11:53:23 am »
Quote from: rubyred;204120
Whoa. I can't even imagine dealing with that. The only religious person I could think of coming into my house is my husband's grandma, and she's only been to my house literally one time in the 2 1/2 years that we've lived here. Even then, I seriously doubt she would throw anything away.

Well my altar has been in the front room for a total of two days and already I've had to remove a tape measure, an empty water bottle and my husband's car keys. Not a good spot. Maybe I'm doomed to be altar-less for a while until I can figure out something better 😔


The great irony of the whole situation is that while she's always been deeply religious she was much more open minded when I was a kid. She thought it was great that pretty much all my friends were of different denominations/religions and was more than happy to let me go to their churches every now and then. In retrospect I think she thought I would (naturally) be the one converting all my friends and not the one being "converted". It's only been in the past decade or so that she's started trending towards zealotry and honestly, it makes me sad more than anything else.

Is there a different spot in your living room that you could put your altar? I know for me the issue with the altar being on the top of the dresser is less the fact that it's "the top of the dresser" and more the fact that it is set dead between the entrance to the bedroom and the entrance to the master bath - so it is by default the natural place to put stuff as you're passing through. If there's not another place I'd definitely see if there is a corner in a bedroom or closet somewhere. I've only had an altar up for about 9 months but it would definitely take something from my day to not have it...
... even in all of it's "covered in stuff" glory :ashamed:
 
Quote from: WritchCodex;204145
I totally understand this! I love my family tons, and they love me, but sometimes their expressions of concern for my well-being, spiritual or otherwise, can be a bit... invasive. It's hard not to be a bit irked, even if you understand where the actions are coming from.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a coward for just trying to avoid that conversation about boundaries you described myself. Granted, these are relatives that I don't see very often at all, so it's not as though it's really necessary to have the talk because they won't be staying in my apartment while I'm away. Still, a part of me is a little ashamed of the fact that I so instinctively shy away from having a conversation about it.

If I were more of an orator and able to articulate myself a bit better verbally, maybe...


It is hard because I do know she's not doing it to be mean or petty. She's doing it because she loves me and has my best interests at heart. I'm sure in her mind it's classified right along with "holding an intervention for [alcoholic family member]". My parents live about 2 hours away which is just about the perfect distance. We see them often enough that they have a good relationship with the grandkids (and with us) but not so often that they have a lot of time to squirrel deeper into things.

And don't worry - I don't mind confrontation but I still shy away from those conversations. Mainly because I'm not sure how to have them in a peaceable, open fashion. It's hard to have an open conversation with someone who has little to no "open" in their beliefs anymore.  
 
Quote from: SunflowerP;204176
You (and others participating in this thread) might also be interested in the Altar & Shrine inspiration & pics thread.

Sunflower

 
I :lub: that thread.

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2017, 06:22:20 pm »
Quote from: shadowsiren;204257

Is there a different spot in your living room that you could put your altar? I know for me the issue with the altar being on the top of the dresser is less the fact that it's "the top of the dresser" and more the fact that it is set dead between the entrance to the bedroom and the entrance to the master bath - so it is by default the natural place to put stuff as you're passing through. If there's not another place I'd definitely see if there is a corner in a bedroom or closet somewhere. I've only had an altar up for about 9 months but it would definitely take something from my day to not have it...
... even in all of it's "covered in stuff" glory :ashamed:
 .


You might consider putting the altar stuff on its own little platform (box, tray, cake stand or something) to separate it from the not-altar part of the surface?

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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2017, 09:07:57 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;204275
You might consider putting the altar stuff on its own little platform (box, tray, cake stand or something) to separate it from the not-altar part of the surface?
That's exactly what I do with mine. My mini-shrine to Quan Yin is on a square plate I'd found at Goodwill, sitting on my nightstand. The rest of my nightstand is covered in crap, but the only thing on my shrine that shouldn't be is dust.  :ashamed:  

There should be a picture or two floating around in the altar inspiration thread, but I'm on Tapatalk and can't go find it.
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Re: Do you keep your altar out in the open?
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2017, 04:25:59 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;204275
You might consider putting the altar stuff on its own little platform (box, tray, cake stand or something) to separate it from the not-altar part of the surface?

 

Ooooh, I like this idea!!

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