(Re)Creating a Shrine

The Vishnu statue I’ve ordered is due to arrive tomorrow. Originally, I planned on re-arranging the shrine space after the Vigil is complete, but that was met with resistance (from me as much as from Others). My days of needing to build up to a change seem to be drawing to a close. I knew this was going to happen, and I therefore did not see the point in waiting.

It’s an interesting experience, so far. Poseidon is very supportive (down right insistent, at times) that I reuse, that I recycle, that I thrift instead of buying brand-new things. A baby food jar filled with sand and re-purposed as an incense holder is preferable to a new, simple holder. A scarf or pillowcase or throw, cleansed and dedicated to Him is preferable than a brand new piece of fabric. Thrifted, gifted, or handmade: that’s the rule for the shrine I keep with Him, and it’s one He’s pretty serious about.

Vishnu-with-Poseidon, on the other hand . . . The understanding is that the shrine is to be a somber place during the Vigil, but afterward, could we maybe bring in some bold colors? Nothing too bright, mind you — we’re not talking floral colors and bright pink or anything . . . but a nice, bold yellow might be nice. Rich, and lush, and vibrant, and not garish. The agreement is, yes. Yes, I will endeavor to find something suitable to use as a shrine cover after the Vigil. The goal is to make the shrine space welcoming. It’s a part of my home — I’ve already referred to it as no longer “my” space, and I was corrected — but it’s to be a more “public” part of my home. So, inviting, but not so stuffed with O/our things that guests are uncomfortable.

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So, here’s how it used to look. Keeping it real — I am an unrepentant stuffer-of-shelves. Some people have nice, tidy bookshelves. I never will.

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Missing Trident, or fist-pumping Poseidon? Hard to know.

And this is now. The scarf has more black in it than is showing up under the flash of my camera. It’s my mourning scarf; it’s one of the two I wear during the Vigil, and it’s the one I wear to funerals. (The trident is being painted; the one that came with this statue has long since shattered; I use one of the white resin ones instead, and finally am getting around to painting it, because I’m actually Doing The Things now.)

I thought about packing away the other shrine items, but realized pretty quickly  that while I was okay with dismantling the shrine, I was not okay with packing away the flotsam and jetsam that made up O/our shrine. So, I purchased some metal shelving for $20 (chosen because they are super light to move around, and some day Beth and I are going to move again, and I’d rather have to move metal shelves rather than wood, thanks!), brought them home, and set them up at the head of my bed.

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It’s not fancy. The only new item I bought for this was the shelving unit. Well, and the cardboard box that was used to give the shelves structure. Yes, cardboard. I ran out of cloth I could use to cover it on the middle shelf there. Eventually I’ll get to the store and get a fat quarter or something, but in the meantime? Use what you have on hand.

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This is a print of Lykeia’s that I bought ages ago, and it is hands down my favorite Aphrodite image ever. It used to live on the wall in our living room, where I’d been meaning to make an Aphrodite shrine proper, and it never happened. I honor Aphrodite as one of the two main Saviors of my relationship with Poseidon, and it’s only fitting that she gets a place of honor on the newly private shrine.

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Yup. Cardboard shelf. Sorry, not sorry. Use what works. Use what you have. Fuck the naysayers.

The middle shelf is primarily to hold the various tchotchke: boxes with personally significant mementos, jars of ocean water and fresh water, my lion figurine for Him, the horse figurine for Him, the coal frog for Him . . . You might notice the Pomeranian figure, front and center. This is for my beloved Angel, and it’s been relocated from the Beloved Dead shrine, to this shrine, as a reminder for me to  include him in my devotions, as well. Because, I don’t think of him as a spirit companion, and I struggle with remembering that we were best friends for years, and that that doesn’t need to stop, just because he’s no longer among the living.

He is positively preening, since I relocated the figurine. Nothing as infuriatingly adorable as a smug spitz-type dog.

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I mean, come on. Can you not see the devilish twinkle in those eyes??

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And, the top. Two candles, a bracelet with His name stamped on it, driftwood, shells, and a scarf that He particularly liked. The figurine here is also one of Lykeia’s, and it’s modeled after the painting hanging above.

Emotionally? Emotionally, I’m a bit all over the place. It was not as hard as I thought it might be, but it’s also not exactly not hard, too. It’s weird, seeing the items spread out and not crammed onto one surface area, and it’s hard, too,  admitting that, no, my shrine space really needs more room than just one narrow surface area.

I’m extremely pleased with its location. I haven’t had a bedside shrine since we moved into our current place, five years ago, and I hadn’t realized I missed it.

It’s not fancy. It wasn’t elaborate. I cleaned the items off, washed them, dried them. It wasn’t solemn–I played one of  my favorite songs for Him, and Beth and I were a bit goofy. It wasn’t overly ritualized, because that’s not how I do. I worry about the installation of the Vishnu-with-Poseidon, because I’m *not* ritualistic, and I feel like there needs to be some sort of dedication — and there will be, but likely without words, because I’m just not that verbal in most ritual acts, and that’s going to have to be okay.

I’m looking forward to His arrival.

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