So week seven is happening, at least I’m working on week seven in between continuing to read the IE text and gather notes for the book report.
Week seven takes a first look at the home shrine(s) and what we currently have as our working shrine, the meaning behind the items chosen to use on it and the changes and plans we have for it in future. It also came with a few readings on the topic.
So the first article was ‘Placement of the Home Shrine.’ by Rev. Michael Dangler
Michael talks about how altars are ultimately a very personal item and so should be done in a way that makes you comfortable, although if you are doing the DP you probably need to be honest about your faith and have a permanent altar rather than hide it away.
It should if it can be somewhere central although that is not always practical, a bedroom or elsewhere is fine, although having an entire room locked away from the world might send the wrong message, no matter how well intentioned.
Facing direction is part of the personal choice factor, if you are used to north face north, decorations and items are likewise personal choice.
The second article was ‘Creating the Desire for Worship’ by Rev Michael Dangler
The author talks about creating the desire to do daily devotions and meditations, to help create a healthy habit and provides a few suggestions on his thoughts about how to achieve this.
The final article was ‘Taking it All Home’ by Kami Landy
This is an interesting article that would work a lot better if you lived alone or in an all pagan household. Ultimately most of this felt inapplicable for me in my situation. The only thing I might consider is the idea of a bonsai as the world tree for the shrine once I have the doors on it to protect it from the cats. This is not to say that there weren’t some great ideas, there were, ones that I would utilize if the person that shared my house wasn’t an atheist that has an alarming tendency to mess up people’s home shrines.
There were two suggested readings from books that haven’t arrived yet so I’ve had to skip those for now and continue on with week seven without them.
This brings us to the ‘Homework’ for the week. My home shrines, what they look like, what I want to change etc.
So this is my current indoor/main shrine as it currently stands.
So I have the painting of a tree that currently works as my tree for ritual, although I would love to move to something better later I am making do with this painting I did. My thoughts for the new tree are kind of scattered at the present, I considered the idea of the stick, like many a beginner before me but it felt wrong for me. I currently am considering a bonsai oak tree but have seen some excellent carved rods that might also work.
The bronze looking bucket on the right is my well for this altar. It may not be ideal, I really don’t know but it does the trick until like the tree I find something better, I’m hoping that I will be somewhere one day and the new well will jump out at me so to speak.
The three candle holders at the front and the green lump are for the fire, the green lump is a incense holder. I’d love to have a more appropriately themed incense stick holder but this is the only one that made it to the new house.
The green plate and bowl in the back left are for offerings that are later taken out the back and put at the outdoor altar. It isn’t visible from this angle but they are carved with Norse/Celtic inspired designs.
The blue and white striped vessel in front of that is the vessel for drinks and such during ritual. I’d love to get another drinking horn to replace this viking period replica cup, which is replacing the drinking horn that was stolen from our last house.
Besides that is my Northern Shadows tarot deck for drawing omens with a squirrel sitting on top to represent Ratatosk who I’ve had on my altar since I found the Norse pantheon were ones that I felt a connection with. I found him a few months after and he came home to try and foster a better relationship with him since he is supposed to run up and down Yggdrasil carrying messages.
On the shelf at the back is an image of Odin and Frigga who are the deities I’m working on my relationships with at the moment along with a wood carving I did of Odin.
The other bits and pieces on the shelf are things that I have collected for the spirits at this house that felt ‘right’ and bought home for them.
The final feature worth mentioning is the cloth covering the altar, which is one of four to represent each of the seasons.
The large shelf above the altar is where I currently store my books and other tarot cards, along with various other bits and pieces.
An addition I am planning for the alter is to make a pair of cat-proof doors with some kind of opaque screen. It will allow the altar to remain undisturbed by them while letting the altar be visible and not fully closed away, it doesn’t seem right locking my altar, which is my main source of communication with the ancestors, gods and spirits away fully but it has become necessary to be able to keep the cats out since one of our cats is a thief and steals and hides things.
The second altar I have is an outdoor space that is a work in progress and is not able to be used all the time due to household routine.
The beginnings of a stone cairn you can see in this photo is made of rocks that have been dug up as we have been landscaping the garden. This one started completely by accident, I put the first few rocks under this tree planning to move them somewhere else later and it felt right they were there, so I added more as I found them in the garden.
I plan to add a firebox and an altar to this setup eventually, as well as keep adding the rocks as they are dug up.
I was given a plaque with an image of Bacchus on it that will find a home here eventually too, despite the fact he isn’t a Norse god I feel that he came to me for a reason.
The final thing I plan to do for this altar is to plant some more screening plants to give it some privacy so that I can do more outdoors work undisturbed as well as clear out the weeds and maybe add a few plants that appeal to the nature spirits.
I’m sure as I progress down the DP I will change and grow my altars and the ideas for them but this is how it stands at present.