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 life....by 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?