It’s been a chaotic past two months. Due to events in June, William (my boyfriend) and I were homeless for a brief two weeks. With the help of my parents, though, we were able to be in a hotel for that time and find an apartment to live in. And a beautiful apartment it is!
The first exciting part of the new apartment was the balcony:
Take my word: it feels very secluded. Which is so, so helpful for my anxiety. I can go outside without having to feel unsafe. There is also giant trees behind it! This serves the purpose of helping with the seclusion since the neighbors across the way can’t see me, but also serves the purpose of being TREES. I miss tress so much…
I have also recently learned that there is a bush on on the ground level that I can drop offerings into from my third-story balcony. Again, this helps me dispose of offerings properly without having to feel unsafe.
But the title of this entry is about my shrines! I originally wanted to keep it in the bedroom, as I have done since I started keeping a shrine and/or altar space, but splitting up my hearth coffee maker from the rest of everything ended up not sitting right with me. My boyfriend is wonderful, by the by, because he encouraged me to keep it in the dining room area. When I told him I decided to, and where I planned to set it up, his response was: “It’ll look beautiful there!” (Note: he’s a secular humanist pantheist, but is very supportive about my spiritual beliefs.)
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo (I was using my phone’s camera which sometimes takes great pictures and sometimes…not.) This is the main space. Not pictured is Luca, our cat, who is sleeping underneath the table in what I have dubbed her “nap corner.” I’m glad she doesn’t seem to mind that her corner is now no longer just hers.
I finally have space and resources to split up the general Dé ocus Andé shrine and the specific deity shrine. I use to have everything on that table, but now the Dé ocus Andé are represented on the brown shelf. Three candles are on the top shelf: the Gods, the Spirits, and the Ancestors. Underneath I have a box I got from a user I met via The Witch Exchange that now houses my Ogham dice. An offering and incense dish for the Dé ocus Andé, and then my Beltane Holy Water situated also on the lower shelf.
On the round table, most of what you can see is dedicated to Lugh (surprise.) The large candle on a candle holder I made Him, a shrine box that has an abbreviated version of His entry into Tara on the back and a lightning bolt inside, a statue of Him on top with His pendulum hanging off it, picture of Him in the shrine box, an offering box dedicated to Him inside as well, my headscarf I sometimes wear in honor of Him in a box that holds other candles for Him… Then I have Brigid’s small section. I need to burn those two red candles I got from the Imbolc Ritual my friend Chalice hosted in Brigid’s honor, as well as set up a new candle holder for her. In front of her offering bowl (which I painted for her), I have a pendulum dedicated in her honor. Next to Brigid is Manánnan mac Lir…which so far consists of a beautiful seashell-in-was candle holder and offering bowl.
In the background, I have the beautiful Rainbow Tree painting my friend made and gave me years ago. In the foreground I have the Juniper branches that my friend Rai (Echtrai) sent me, with an incense holder next to it too.
On top of the purple shelf, I have a book my boyfriend got me (and I really need to figure out what to write in it! I am thinking of writing prayers…) and a circular container that I will eventually adopt for Ogham readings. I think I eventually want to make that part of my shrine for ancestors, but I need to figure out how to go about that since I’m not familiar with my ancestry…
Then we have the other part of my shrine, which is less-traditional but still very important to me:
On the right you see a Keurig Coffee Maker. That was included in this shot on purpose. Since I can’t quite have a traditional hearth since that requires having a constant flame burning (and that isn’t safe in this modern age), I decided that making my coffee maker a modern Hearth works well. Coffee has always been a symbol of family to me since my dad would take me to Starbucks after theatre class, and after he moved he would take me there when he visited so we could catch up without distractions. I see it as part of hospitality, since I can offer people tea and coffee through it. It’s something I can turn on/off in the morning and at night. So it’s very important to me. I also incorporated the renewing it at Beltane by cleaning it thoroughly and giving it a splash of Beltane water.
Also, you can’t see, but I have the “Abundance of Blessings” notecards next to the coffee maker with a blessing I want to focus on. Right now it’s on Households.
The shelf is a mixture of a vanity and family shrine. The purple jar is my Home Jar that contains tokens from everyone I consider to be my family. In the shelf space next to it, I have little animals and other tokens that have various meanings to me. Below that is a vanity shrine: things dedicated to me. It mostly involves my mental health and recovery. Then I also have tokens of William, such as the bear who his grandmother gave him because the bear’s name is “William.” Coincidentally, he grew up to like dressing up like that! Also, I have his menorah next to my fake lavender flowers. His gift he got at his Bar Mitzvah is also on the top of the shrine (though I forget the term for it…Eep.) As kinda a bonus, I have an ocean and shark shrine on the left ledge of the shelf. A necklace I adopted for the sea hangs there, as well as a shark tooth in that sea shell. (It’s a bit hard to separate the “shark” pieces I have, because the shark flask I have is on my vanity shrine since I like to wear it on me when I need a boost, and I also have a shark item. Sharks are really important to me so I included them with the part of my shrine about me. But…They’re also part of the ocean, so I have the shark tooth in the ocean section.)
Oh, between the shelf and the coffee maker are the key chains I’ve been collecting since I was 17. I get one at every new place I visit. I have a lot already, and I can’t wait to get more!
That about sums it up for my shrine space. I’ll probably take more pictures once I get a package with more candles, candle holders, and offering dishes and go into more details. Let me know if you have any questions, though, or if you are curious about anything you see!