Thursday, March 10, 2011

Personal Altars

The idea of personal altars or shrines has always intriqued  and interested me.  I really think we start making them as children. Recently I came across the book  Altars and Icons...sacred spaces in everyday Jean McMann.  Reading this book made me realize that most of us have an altar (or more than one) of some sort in our homes, maybe without even thinking about it. Maybe not a traditional religious altar, or one like the Mexican Day of The Dead, but one that is meaningful to us in its own way. It could be something as simple as a collection of rocks and shells on a windowsill that reminds us of special times and places.......a group of photos.........tokens hanging from the mirror in your car.............the special things you arrange on your dressing table or nightstand.........the  things you keep in a special box?  Your Christmas tree??

My dresser top is where I always keep this small religious altar that a dear friend carried onto an airplane and brought back to me  from New Orleans. It's special to me and I tend to cluster other things that are meaningful to me around it. Constantly changing, constantly evolving.

This is the latest altar I have made, it has pictures of my grandparents on it, a pressed flower that has meaning to me, rosaries and a native american beaded pouch that one of my sisters  gave me. Inside the silver salt shaker is a piece of copal (resin from tropical trees) wrapped in a eucalyptus leaf. It was given to me by a friend who received it from a shaman in Bali. I think the copal is used  like incense . This altar too will evolve and change. (It usually has a special rock on it gifted to me by my grandson :)

Do you have any altars in your home?



  1. Oh yes, I've always had Altars in our Home, our Spirituality and a personal relationship with the Lord is a very important aspect of our lives. My Dad was Native American and my Mom Gaelic so we've always had the Talismans from their cultures as well, a Tradition I still carry on. I love your Altars... and your Banner, do you make those fascinatingly beautiful Bell Jars? *swooning* So glad you left a comment on my site so that I could discover yours, I'm LOVING it and have now become a supporter... BTW I've been looking for that particular book ever since I saw it profiled in a magazine... no luck in finding it, where did you find yours?

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. I found it at a used book that I know you are looking for it I will watch for it for you! It's a pretty cool book!!