Monday, August 30, 2010

Altars: A change in plans

Inspired by Miss Sugars pics and descriptions of her Altars, and since I myself and going through a major Altar upheaval, I am going to make a similar post. In fact, I am just going to go ahead and put a call out to my fellow bloggers to post some Altar pics and make this a meme.

Now a couple months ago I was writing to say how I went from having a dedicated temple space with several altars throughout the room, to wanting to condense the altars into one mega altar so that I could give a wall of the room over to storage of twin-related things.

Before the twins I had a dedicated financial altar space:

Dedicated Buddhist Altar:

A pretty large Client Altar:

A standard CM style altar, in this case set up for Angelic Magic:

Even a little Hindu Altar on the end of a bookshelf:

So anyway, I had a lot of frickin altars, and decided that I should condense them down and make room. posted a pic of the work in progress a couple months back. Here it is again:

 I was gonnna paint the walls blue, get rid of some things etc, no big deal:

Before I could do much of that though the kids had their first birthday and sitting there amidst the carnage of toys, and clothes, and stuff I had an epiphany. One that shocked everyone.

Instead of a temple room filled with Altars, or an office/storage room with one giant mega-altar in the closet, I wanted the room to look like this:

Yep. I am in the process of moving back to having most magic stuff locked away unless needed, and just a few small altars and magic knick knacks throughout the house. Strangely, it is wonderful to have everything so integrated into the rest of the house. I never thought I would say this, but dedicated temple spaces can be over-rated. Don't get me wrong, as soon as we position ourselves to find a bigger house, I will have one again, but if your work really revolves around doing the work, and not around just collecting stuff,. than it is not necessary at all. 

I am still in the process of getting things set up, but do have a few nooks set up:

I have moved the water bowl offering to the bedroom underneath my Longchen Nyingthig Thanka, in a place I am not ready to have a photo of up yet, but downstairs in the living room the new Buddhist Altar is set into a bookshelf and is as minimal as I can make it: 

The new desk is also in the Living room where I will not only write, but do my Kilaya practice and Mary work.

I haven't gotten the new wealth altar completely set up yet, but I did move my Chan-Chu, so that we have a small one near the front door to welcome in new money, and my consecrated one on a shelf where it will draw that flow of wealth from the front door, over the bookshelf and onto my desktop.

Is it ideal? Surprisingly yes. My wife spends a lot of time in the bedroom, so moving downstairs has given me more privacy even though I am in the living room. My morning offerings are almost always outside, so that hasnt changed. I am building a small workshop in the back of the garage where the Oils, Herbs, and other items can be stored and worked with easier and with less hassel than in my temple room. 

For large rituals I can temporarily take over the living room and put it back when I am done, just like I did for most of my life. 

I will post pics of the new wealth nook, the morning offering shelf, the workshop, and the new outside space as soon as they get respectable looking. 


Miss Sugar said...

I dig it! We thought we would have a dedicated altar room, but it wasn't really working out. The hearth of the house feels like the dining room, so that's where ours is.

Once we took down the wealth altar and made it part of our working altar (the bits that work ;), it's been working much better.

p.s. I started reading The Game and I enjoy him *much* more than TF. Yay!

Alex Kennedy said...


Your kids are beautiful! That is all :)

Miss Sugar said...

I was thinking what Alex said about your kids so loud, I guess I thought you heard it because I forgot to write it! They're so big!

Jason Miller, said...

I am very interested in your take as a feminist on "The Game".

It is yet another book (as well as a few other PUA type materials) that I recommend with some heavy caveats.

If you dig the authors style though, you should check out Emergency, where he delves into survivalist culture.

Gordon said...

Linchpin! It Arrived!

Jason Miller, said...

Linchpin arrived the day after you mentioned it. I have that Amazon membership thing. Books have been known to show up in less than 24 hours.

It is wonderful, though I do have a counter point to part of it when i finish the book: there is a lot to be said for being a "State Worker".

C-Style said...

The babies are beautiful. Love 'em when they're that size! I had a small altar in my bedroom before I moved to the new place. Now I am doing portable (as needed). Now that I am going to start Enochian practice, though, hope to be able to dedicate a special space for it.

Miss Sugar said...

I mean . . .it is a delicate topic. But honestly? It's not like women can't buy the book and read it and figure out what's up.

I really liked that he's essentially attempting to teach creepy guys how to not be creepy.

I'm reading the short version, not sure if there's a difference in feminist "flavor" between the two. Yeah, everyone's going to get all huffy about the "pick up artist (supposed) sekrit club", but he tells boys what I tell boys - dress nice, don't smell, take cues, and if it doesn't work out it's not a personal assault on your manliness, she's just not that into you, move on. I find his tone v. non judgemental and encouraging.

Also, I like that he gives cues as to when a guy has creeped a girl out and he specifically says, if you creeped a girl out, then it's on you and you need to fix it for next time, don't call her a bitch. In my little three wave feminism snowglobe that's . . .pretty feminist. Also, he's totally right when he quoted Chris Rock as saying that most women hear most "openers" as, "Would you like some dick?" Honestly, if you can get me to not hear "Would you like some dick" when you're talking to me, you deserve a chance at winning me over imo because frankly I have to hear a lot of "would you like some dick" and it would be nice for someone to put in enough effort. I may say no anyway, it's my right (both as an American citizen, a feminist and according to the game) but I appreciate the shot.

I'm not a lobotimized Stepford who's going to do something I wouldn't ordinarily do just because some guy I have no interest in asks me about his "friend's" problem. I think the freaking about the NPL issue is overstated. I'm pretty strong willed with really strong boundaries, I have a hard time seeing myself succumbing to do something I wouldn't usually do. And the women who do . . .well, reality television is full of them.

And again, it's not like a woman can't read the book herself and then be able to be like, um, I know what you're doing. And the answer is no.

I find it helpful honestly, I suck at approaching in general and I feel like I maybe could now? I'm still mulling it over. It's a minus to my networking skills. Once I'm in the convo, I'm fine, but starting it, I suck.

I know some about NPL, how does The Game directly use NPL?

Miss Sugar said...
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Miss Sugar said...
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Miss Sugar said...

Sorry, sorry, technical glitch where the same comment posted three times.

Jason Miller, said...

I actually feel much the same about it that you do, but have met lots of women, and men too for that matter, who feel like it is somehow offensive or manipulative. I agree that it CAN be if you want to drive it there, but it need not be.

One of the characters in the book, Herbal, whose real last name is Tynan, wrote his own short book that I have next on my reading list. It emphasizes "inner game" much more and also honesty once you get to know someone. IE: be upfront that you deliberately underwent a process to help you be a more attractive person.

The approach thing is huge and is the number one stumbling block. I was advising a friend of my wifes recently and gave him the homework of starting conversations with 10 people a week - and asking at least five for further contact. I did the same thing myself at the advice of an older friend when i was in High School and it made all the difference in the world.

nutty professor said...

I really enjoyed your altar pictures, and I really like the "cluttered" energy they give off in their own way. I like the family shots too. With three kids, there is a different kind of cluttered energy in my own space, for sure. Best of luck to you with your rearrangements.

Mystic Spirit said...

Jason, your altars are beautiful.
I used to have at least three large altars before I moved into our very small home about 3 years ago.
When we first bought the house we were going to turn the extra bedroom into a ritual room but now it is our 18 month old daughter Lily's bedroom.
In our bedroom (it's the largest room in the house)I have one large altar for Ganesh, Lakshmi and Durga. They sometimes have to share it with another deity if I'm doing magic with someone other than them. I had to take most of the stuff off the altar recently because Lily makes a bee-line for it whenever the door is open and she likes to play around on it.
Not too long ago I put up a corner shelf next to our bed for Venus. I still want to make a Vesta altar on my fireplace mantel.
I am looking to put up more small simple altars that are off the ground.
That's what happens when you have little ones.

Bright Blessings,

Pallas Renatus said...

Is that a phoenix wand I spy on the (former) CM alter? Purchased or homemade?

Also, I love the strategically-placed Linchpin!

petoskystone said...

gorgeous children! i have a small altar dedicated to my preferred diety, & one space dedicated to Bast in honor of my cats. for more practical workings i have a space which can be used as needed--in the midst of exercise space & canning supplies...but low on feline & toddler predation. do you find a difference in presence now that your altar spaces have been lightened?

Dr. Raven said...

Just beautiful!

Rev. Dr. Martha Quinn said...

This is wonderful! I've always loved beautiful altar spaces and certainly encourage my students and clients to create sacred space within their living spaces if they can. However, I believe we have to be practical and considerate of the needs of the entire household.

I've had both elaborate altars and, as I do now, very small and simple ones. An altar is a wonderful reminder of Who we are-however, when we are truly confident in our spiritual practice what matters isn't so much the physical representation. We carry it within ourselves and we are a blessing no matter what space we inhabit.

Blessings to you!

Lavanah said...

Permit me the smile of recognition at the changes that you simple can't ever imagine wanting to happen being exactly what you end up doing and being happy with...

I'd also like to make a suggestion. If you have an altar dedicated to family ancestors, the twins playroom is the perfect place for it; if you can place it high enough that they cannot reach it (yet).

Ulysses Fox said...

Nice altars! Mine is pretty minimal, but I just decided to set one up a few weeks ago XD I posted about it if you wanna check 'em out!

Mehet said...

Nice altars, the colors are vibrant. I have a few bookshelf altars amidst my books serving as altar focus areas and behind my computer screen and around it too could be viewed as an altar - due to space and due to privacy. I need the energy to flow into my university endeavors. I do need to work on being more specific as to focused use - as I learn about it.