(As I write that title, I’m realizing that there’s a story’s worth of imagery and content in there, and I think I have a new project for the current story is tied up. Neat!)
A while ago (I forget where exactly) I was talking with someone (I forget who, exactly) about shrines, specifically my shrine for Poseidon and how it is less a sacred space set aside for His worship, how it is less a space in the house in which He could come and live and be present, and more a tribute to our relationship. (Hrm. I might have been talking about that here. I’ll have to go looking, at some point.) I know there are traditions in which the god or spirit is believed to come into an object, is believed to live in that space. I believe these things can happen, that they do happen, and so I have poked at this concept. “Do You do this? Are any of these objects things that You do this with? Should I have something on here to act as a ‘house’ for You?”
In my experience with Poseidon, He is not very object-oriented. Things are things. He has opinions about the objects on His shrine. Hand-made, or found, recycled, or gifted. Very, very few items that are mass produced *and* bought new. Those things? Focal points for me, shared stories between u/Us, omens, signs, portents. Comfort given. A huge amount of them come from the first few years of our marriage, and I treasure them. I’ve received fewer physical signs of His presence as I’ve gained in confidence and, heh, trust.
The shrine is ours. It’s not just His, it’s o/Our space. We don’t need it to communicate. I don’t need it for a focal point so that I can think on Him, or speak with Him, or be aware of Him in my life. That would be reliant upon objects as a foundation of o/Our relationship, and He has very much been against that from the beginning.
But, I was thinking — do objects such as shrines take up spirits of their own? We believe in housewights, the manifestation of the spirit of the house that can interact with the inhabitants, so is it a far cry to wonder if a shrine could develope spirit of its own? I have maintained a shrine space for Poseidon for almost twenty years. I still have, though I don’t use it, the first cloth I draped over the bookcase I used. (It hangs over. I have cats. I put it away. Although, talking about it has me wanting to break it out again). Can a shrine develope a soul that is not necessarily of Him or of me? What would that be like? Would it be like one’s tools taking on personality? Beth’s drum totally has personality. Our spinning wheels are almost like people to us. We’re animists. So, it’s not a radical idea for us, yet I haven’t done much more than poke at the thought.
And now? Now there’s a story to write.