Home Shrine

IV. Home Shrine

I had a table ordered, on its way, but I couldn’t wait for it before setting up my shrine, I was so excited about it.  So I set up a little wooden TV tray I got at Walmart for all of $8 to stand in until the table arrived.  I needed to get my sacred space assembled, needed to feel the Peace I knew would come with it and would continue with my daily devotions. So bear in mind, there would be changes, but was happy with the start.

Starting at the top is my world tree, warmed with a pear/apple candle at its base.  The goddess statue is one I painted long, long ago.  I used to do a lot of bisque painting and might go in search of a more Celtic depiction of Danu to paint, but still, this one speaks to me in that I have a sense of “passage” by Her as She was brought by Her followers across Europe before settling in the western isles.  Now I don’t know if this actually happened, I have read the historical evidence of Stuart Piggins in “The Druids”, and it was also communicated to me by the Matron, that there was an Eastern influence and that my Mother was known Europe as the Druids crossed Europe from the East to the West.  She doesn’t mind my vision of Her at present, and so I’m going with it until I find something else to represent Her that speaks louder to me.

The shelf also holds three small candles, each lit in dedication to the three Kindred.  To the left on the shelf is an oil burner where I offer scented oil to my Gatekeeper.  The dragons of the burner’s base are also in direct honor to my Gatekeeper who has been my strongest ally and friend among the Otherworldly.  He gives to me the name “Fafnyr” or “Fafnir.”  Now I realize that it is highly unlikely He is ‘the’ Fafnir of Norse myth, the one that guarded the Treasure of Light and is spoke of briefly in the story of Siegfried, nor is He likely the one that is called in High Ceremonial magick as ruling the Watchtower of the south, but it is the name my guardian has given to me for the last 30 years (He’s always been there, throughout my life, but it wasn’t until 30 years ago that He gave me a name).  Perhaps He gives me this name because He considers it easier to give a name that makes sense to me, or maybe it’s because dragons have been known to be very guarded in giving their true names.  I do not care what His true name is, if it is Fafnyr or not.  It is the name He gives me, and I have known Him for so very long, and I love this entity very dearly. I am deeply honored that He has accepted the task of guarding the Gate for me.

The glass, lidded bowl on the pedestal is my Sacred Well.  In the small space between the well and the pedestal you may see a bit of yellow.  That is where I store cornmeal to offer to the Mother, Danu.  The glass on the right, turned over, is the one I use to place my offerings into of food and drink, which I later carry out to a place in my yard to offer place in the Earth.  If the Danu chooses to lead Her creatures to partake of it, it is Her’s to give.

The tiny bell is for announcing the beginning of rites.  There is a soapstone incense burner behind the offering cup for offerings of incense.  The three red candles in the middle are, of course, the sacred fire.  Beside a little red incense cone you may see a tiny little dot. That is a solid silver charm.  I offer silver charms for my sacrifice to the well.

To the left of the sacred fire are my two matching amulets, one of copper and one of silver.  One always stays on my shrine while the other I wear around my neck, connecting me to my shrine and my dedication and faith.  The cards on the left are for Omens, this one in particular is the Haindl deck, though I like many tarot readers, I have a collection.

Plans for the future?  Well a bigger table which is on its way, a quest for another Goddess statue and a ceramic shop that sells bisque so I can take up my hobby again of painting Goddess statues.  I am toying with the idea of a better way of representing the Sacred Fire.  I’ve decided against an Altar cloth.  One of my cats is too playful with them and I’m not too neat when pouring libations, something always seems to drip, and I like the feel of fresh, clean butcher-block wood.  I have, however toyed with the idea of once the table I’ve ordered gets here of fitting it with a granite or slate sheet.  It would be more heat resistant to whatever I end up with for the Sacred Fire.

Also the little table I have coming will have a pull out keyboard tray (it’s a small desk that is meant for laptops so isn’t as large as a regular desk) that I will use to store my notebook to record omens on and to keep things such as pens and a lighter wand.

I have been using this little shrine for about a week now, and I have to say, I am in love with the space I’ve created and dedicated to my devotion.

Addendum:

As I came nearer to completing the DP course, I found I had taken more and more away from my shrine.  Originally in my Wicca days, my altar was full of paraphernalia with athames, wands, pentacles, a small cauldron, a grimoire, tarot, runes, crystals.  You name it, I had it as I had been a practitioner for many, many year and had raised my daughters to adulthood on this neo-pagan path.  My family altar was a very large permanent table that sat up all the time.  In my Druidry practice, I started with a much smaller table and started peeling away the Wicca tools and started adding Druid elements, and at first I felt that I needed to replace one thing (Wiccan) for another (Druid) rather than a process of reduction.  But then even the whole regalia of Druidry tools became too much clutter for me.  I am now most content with a minimalist shrine.  I keep my tarot cards for omens, a lighter wand, and a book and pen for recording the omens on pull-out tray that slides under the little table.  Anything else I may need beyond meditation such as offering chalices and such for High Days are stored in a drawer and a large fancy box.

From top to bottom, Tree representation with feathers among the leaves that were gifted to me by birds on my nature walks.  On the shelf from left to right, oil burner for the gate keeper, three clear glass votives for the Kindred, Matron statue.  On the table itself left to right, incense burner, Fire candle and clear glass lidded-bowl of water for Well, shell on the right is full of lavender blossoms and tiny sterling silver pentacles for offerings, and finally to the right in the square acorn lidded ceramic box is Earth upon which likes a tied bunch of sage for purification. I need very little beyond the Hallows and more for me is distracting.

The only other item is a large sea shell that I use sometimes for a larger plate of offerings.  I add to these two chalices during rites requiring more elaborate offerings when I make sacrifices of a beverage variety so that they can be poured later over my libation stone planted in the garden next to the Dogwood tree (which by the way Dogwood is a symbol of love and protection). The libation stone on which offerings are ultimately poured after rites has carved into it the words, “Live well.  Love much.  Laugh Often.”

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~ by Spider Lily on August 29, 2010.

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