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Author Topic: Online shrines?  (Read 2690 times)

Sulischild

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Online shrines?
« on: September 23, 2012, 01:03:20 am »
What's the general feeling towards online shrines?  (as per sample: http://nshrine.com/shrine/sulis)

I'm in the very early stages of building a website to house my paganism-related stuff - guided meditations I've written, spirituality-themed art, that sort of thing.  I'm wondering about linking to ones that are relevant to deities I work with, or ideally building my own so I've got control over quality and fluffiness.  Part of me thinks that'd be a sweet little way to show respect, but another part of me is thinking 'ewww, tacky, tacky!  What ARE you thinking?!?!'  I'm really undecided.

I'm worried it reduces deities to sparkly .gifs and trivialises the whole concept.  But, realistically, I spend more time online than outdoors (don't knock it, it's been freezing here since May) so having little digital worship space makes a kind of sense.

ETA: They'd be in addition to whatever real-world work and tribute I'm doing, not a replacement.  I also don't know that a deity would consider an online candle or prayer to count as much as a real one or at all..

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 01:07:55 am by Sulischild »

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 01:21:16 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789
What's the general feeling towards online shrines?  (as per sample: http://nshrine.com/shrine/sulis)

I'm in the very early stages of building a website to house my paganism-related stuff - guided meditations I've written, spirituality-themed art, that sort of thing.  I'm wondering about linking to ones that are relevant to deities I work with, or ideally building my own so I've got control over quality and fluffiness.  Part of me thinks that'd be a sweet little way to show respect, but another part of me is thinking 'ewww, tacky, tacky!  What ARE you thinking?!?!'  I'm really undecided.

I'm worried it reduces deities to sparkly .gifs and trivialises the whole concept.  But, realistically, I spend more time online than outdoors (don't knock it, it's been freezing here since May) so having little digital worship space makes a kind of sense.

ETA: They'd be in addition to whatever real-world work and tribute I'm doing, not a replacement.  I also don't know that a deity would consider an online candle or prayer to count as much as a real one or at all..

Thoughts?

 
It can work- back to a couple of summers ago, when it was not possible for me to have a shrine while statying with my family, because it had be continually dismounted and/or got disrupted by others.

The online shrines gave me a viable alternative to pray and light incense up in front of a fixed space, even if virtual, and I definitely felt more connected than I did in front of the poor physical version I had to settle for before.

It's not entirely satisfying on the long run, but it can be useful too.
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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 05:17:22 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789
What's the general


I have/had several shrines hosted there.

They are a good alternative for a loose group of people who want to 'light' candles on occasion, like the one I made for a friend's board. It is used to light candles for animals.

I have one for Mercury, which makes sense, as I see him as the god of modern communication. Computer and internet are just his thing imo.

The virtual shrines are also an alternative for practice, if you can't do something in meatspace. As a workaround, or as an addition. As the only method of shrine/worship I wouldn't recommend them.

In short: they have their use.
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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 11:15:57 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789


Thoughts?

 
I like them when they're made with respect toward the deity. In other words, the site doesn't reduce him or her "to sparkly .gifs". You can have a nice online shrine without making it sparkly and ridiculous.

It's especially great when the webmaster provides some scholarly information about the deity in question along with a bit of UPG.
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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 11:53:37 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789
What's the general feeling towards online shrines?  (as per sample: http://nshrine.com/shrine/sulis)

 
I agree with everything that's been said.

When I lived with my parents I used nshrine a lot, since I couldn't do much worship in a real altar. Now, I use it mainly to light candles for some of the deities I don't specifically worship but I like, or have some sort of relationship with my main deities. For me, it's a way of acknowledging them and show respect to them even if they're not mine and I'm not theirs.

Sulischild

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 08:02:58 pm »
Quote from: IceAngie;74821
I agree with everything that's been said.

Thanks so much, guys - I'm really pleased to hear the opinions that've come up in this thread.  (And I apologise profusely if I've offended anyone by calling their online shrine tacky!)

I am planning, eventually, to have a decent write up on my site with scholarly knowledge, archaeological study and some UPG.  It'd be nice to incorporate a shrine into that, and I feel a lot more comfortable doing that since reading the responses here.  (Now I just need lots of nonexistent spare time to actually make this a thing!)

I think I have a lot of hangups about my own practice because back when I was a young fluffy bunny, my only contact with other people of a paganish persuasion were some folks who were very... hardline... about how things should be done.  The sort whose offerings were things killed by their own hand or honey hand-gathered from their own bees, for instance, and who would consider stuff from the supermarket a slight.  I can't see them thinking very highly of online worship!

But I just don't live the sort of lifestyle where I could ever work 'their' way, and have always felt somewhat inadequate as a result.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 08:04:38 pm by Sulischild »

Shine

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 08:19:42 pm »
Quote from: Sulischild;74887
Thanks so much, guys - I'm really pleased to hear the opinions that've come up in this thread.  (And I apologise profusely if I've offended anyone by calling their online shrine tacky!)

I am planning, eventually, to have a decent write up on my site with scholarly knowledge, archaeological study and some UPG.  It'd be nice to incorporate a shrine into that, and I feel a lot more comfortable doing that since reading the responses here.  (Now I just need lots of nonexistent spare time to actually make this a thing!)

I think I have a lot of hangups about my own practice because back when I was a young fluffy bunny, my only contact with other people of a paganish persuasion were some folks who were very... hardline... about how things should be done.  The sort whose offerings were things killed by their own hand or honey hand-gathered from their own bees, for instance, and who would consider stuff from the supermarket a slight.  I can't see them thinking very highly of online worship!

But I just don't live the sort of lifestyle where I could ever work 'their' way, and have always felt somewhat inadequate as a result.

 
Wow, sorry about your experiences. I think as long as you're respectful and don't make your online shrine the only way you worship, it's not a bad thing. Whenever you get your shrine online, please let us know. It sounds like the site is going to be very interesting.
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Sobekemiti

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 12:06:59 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789
What's the general feeling towards online shrines?  (as per sample: http://nshrine.com/shrine/sulis)

I'm in the very early stages of building a website to house my paganism-related stuff - guided meditations I've written, spirituality-themed art, that sort of thing.  I'm wondering about linking to ones that are relevant to deities I work with, or ideally building my own so I've got control over quality and fluffiness.  Part of me thinks that'd be a sweet little way to show respect, but another part of me is thinking 'ewww, tacky, tacky!  What ARE you thinking?!?!'  I'm really undecided.

 
Thought I'd chime in, as someone who's kept a virtual shrine for Sobek on my site, Per Sebek, as long as it's been around, a good eight years or so. It's been through several platform and host changes, from Angelfire pages I coded myself, to a free hosting site, to Wordpress.org to Posterous and then back to Wordpress.com, which is its current form. Because it was always meant to be a devotional site mainly about Sobek, as well as my own religious practices, it made sense to have a small devotional space for Sobek, for any visitors to leave their thoughts and prayers, if they felt so moved.

This is the current version of the shrine. I've got links to nshrine deity shrines so people can light candles. Previous versions were linked up with a guestbook, and I had many people leave prayers there for Sobek. I never went for the whole autoplay background music, nor anything like the Flash-based fanceh Yinepu/Anubis one with doors and offerings you could place on His shrine, though. It was just simple graphics and heartfelt words.

I also like the nshrine pages, because they're useful for having (temporary) shrines for Gods I don't have the space to keep physical shrines. And, likewise, for anyone else who might only have a casual relationship with a God, and who still wants somewhere to leave their prayers, without having to keep a physical shrine for Them. Being a polytheist can mean A LOT of shrines for Gods, so having virtual shrines can be useful in trying to handle that when you don't have a lot of space. Also useful for travelling, when you can't take physical shrines with you, but still want to use them for devotions.

I mean, sure, it's not the same as a physical shrine, and I'd never pretend it was, it does its job nonetheless, as part of a devotional website dedicated to one of my primary Gods. I can't see why you can't do the same sort of thing for your site, once it's up and running.
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2Rosehips

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2012, 08:35:41 pm »
Quote from: cymrudraco;74906
Thought I'd chime in, as someone who's kept a virtual shrine for Sobek on my site, Per Sebek, as long as it's been around, a good eight years or so. It's been through several platform and host changes, from Angelfire pages I coded myself, to a free hosting site, to Wordpress.org to Posterous and then back to Wordpress.com, which is its current form. Because it was always meant to be a devotional site mainly about Sobek, as well as my own religious practices, it made sense to have a small devotional space for Sobek, for any visitors to leave their thoughts and prayers, if they felt so moved.

This is the current version of the shrine. I've got links to nshrine deity shrines so people can light candles. Previous versions were linked up with a guestbook, and I had many people leave prayers there for Sobek. I never went for the whole autoplay background music, nor anything like the Flash-based fanceh Yinepu/Anubis one with doors and offerings you could place on His shrine, though. It was just simple graphics and heartfelt words.

I also like the nshrine pages, because they're useful for having (temporary) shrines for Gods I don't have the space to keep physical shrines. And, likewise, for anyone else who might only have a casual relationship with a God, and who still wants somewhere to leave their prayers, without having to keep a physical shrine for Them. Being a polytheist can mean A LOT of shrines for Gods, so having virtual shrines can be useful in trying to handle that when you don't have a lot of space. Also useful for travelling, when you can't take physical shrines with you, but still want to use them for devotions.

I mean, sure, it's not the same as a physical shrine, and I'd never pretend it was, it does its job nonetheless, as part of a devotional website dedicated to one of my primary Gods. I can't see why you can't do the same sort of thing for your site, once it's up and running.


i think it depends on user, if it feels right then experiment with different ways until you find one or several that you are comfortable with and you feel your god/s will also honor..it's a very personal choice and a learning experience..all good!
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River Moonwolf

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2012, 05:04:03 pm »
Quote from: IceAngie;74821
I agree with everything that's been said.

 
This pretty much covers my view, as well.  There have been times, when I didn't exactly live in an environment where I could put up a shrine.  An eshrine did just as well.  i will say, however, that an eshrine is no comparison..or permanent substitute...for the real thing.
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FollowerofOdin

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 11:59:17 pm »
Quote from: Sulischild;74789
What's the general feeling towards online shrines?  (as per sample: http://nshrine.com/shrine/sulis)

I'm in the very early stages of building a website to house my paganism-related stuff - guided meditations I've written, spirituality-themed art, that sort of thing.  I'm wondering about linking to ones that are relevant to deities I work with, or ideally building my own so I've got control over quality and fluffiness.  Part of me thinks that'd be a sweet little way to show respect, but another part of me is thinking 'ewww, tacky, tacky!  What ARE you thinking?!?!'  I'm really undecided.

I'm worried it reduces deities to sparkly .gifs and trivialises the whole concept.  But, realistically, I spend more time online than outdoors (don't knock it, it's been freezing here since May) so having little digital worship space makes a kind of sense.

ETA: They'd be in addition to whatever real-world work and tribute I'm doing, not a replacement.  I also don't know that a deity would consider an online candle or prayer to count as much as a real one or at all..

Thoughts?

 
I've never thought about online shrines before. Thanks for giving me an idea. I think that online shrines can be a good thing, especially if you live with a family that doesn't accept paganism. I also think that visual shrines can be good as well.

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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 05:47:36 pm »
Quote from: FollowerofOdin;89992
I've never thought about online shrines before. Thanks for giving me an idea. I think that online shrines can be a good thing, especially if you live with a family that doesn't accept paganism. I also think that visual shrines can be good as well.

 
There also seem to be two types of online shrines - the basic nshrine style, and shrines like those on http://www.northernpaganism.org/, which contain praise and reflection as well as candle-lighting. The latter take more effort, and I think that the effort itself can be a devotional act. I think to be meaningful it has to be maintained, just like a physical shrine, if that makes sense.
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Re: Online shrines?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 10:33:01 pm »
Quote from: Jack;92677
There also seem to be two types of online shrines - the basic nshrine style, and shrines like those on http://www.northernpaganism.org/, which contain praise and reflection as well as candle-lighting. The latter take more effort, and I think that the effort itself can be a devotional act. I think to be meaningful it has to be maintained, just like a physical shrine, if that makes sense.


Yes - it's quite sad to see a shrine someone's gone to the trouble to set up, but has then been abandoned.  

I sometimes do the rounds of nshrine lighting candles in shrines that are empty (deity shrines, not the personal or joke ones), usually with a little note saying 'Hi, we're strangers, but this is just a little token of respect'.

The shrine for my own site's on hold for the moment, until I work out how to do it in a way that doesn't suck.  Plus sometime in the next year I'm thinking of getting my own domain name rather than just using the free blogger url, so when I do that I might do some spannering around with it.  I'm not particularly happy with my site overall, but am not quite sure what to do to improve it with the money and skills at my disposal (very little of either), so I'm just going to leave it until inspiration strikes.

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