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Thread: Home Altars

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Home Altars

    This is probably something I will never do, but for some reason I am drawn to photos of home altars. Anyone have one in their home? The attached photo is just for reference of some of the kind I like to see.altar.jpg
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I had an altar in my room when I was young. It looked somewhat like your picture, but less ornate. I'm sure it had a crucifix and a wooden statue of Mary that wound up and played Ave Maria. Can't remember what else it had.

    I have a bit of a makeshift altar now, with one candle, a rosary, and a picture of the Japanese symbol for "beginner's mind"--because that's how I would like to approach meditation and life in general. I don't have any other icons or statues.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I kind of do, and I tried to take a photo of it to post, but having trouble getting it to send. Basically, I have a picture of my family of origin on the beach when we were all little, and a turtle shell I found at my parents' farm, along with arrowheads found over the years, and a little metal turtle that showed up in the pocket of a down jacket I bought at a garage sale. It seemed turtle energy was showing up a lot. Oh, and two candles. It just kind of evolved.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I have a steadfastly non-believing friend who has been drawn to religious icons lately, and now has a little niche with various figures and a rosary, I think. It's probably a response to the gloomy end-of-the-world miasma many of us find ourselves in.

    I do have a little area with a crow feather, a solid glass carving of a moon, and other ephemera that are meaningful to me. I like the idea of an altar.

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    I have an old mirror tray on the dining room table with glass , shells, feathers in cordial glasses and a glass powder box. The display changes as I find or just rearrange things. I have a rock from each Great Lake, the feathers as I find them and shells that strike my fancy. In the kitchen I have a tiny shelf with a Buddha and a copper ware little pitcher from my great grandmother when she was a child...I have things all over to remind me of those who love me. I guess each is an altar of sorts, but the mirrored tray is where I write and journal.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    The word, "alter" conjures up images of sacrifice ingrained in me from my childhood. Probably the first story of the use of an alter was that of Abraham offering up his son Isaac as a human sacrifice.....on an alter he built on a mountain at the behest of God. As a little tike in Sunday school I can remember sitting on a little wooden stool in the basement off our church. The teacher had one of those flannel boards with characters from the Bible that would stick to them. She stuck Abraham on the board, put an alter in front of him and then stuck Isaac up on the alter on his back preparing to be killed and burnt as an offering to God. Of course, their was a happy ending but my little brain really never understood why Isaac had to be treated so cruelly just so God could make a religious point. I know I thought, if God were so smart...why couldn't he figure out a better way.

    There are more reasons why...but I will just say...I'll take a waterfall at a cool mountain stream for my "alter."

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    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    The word, "alter" conjures up images of sacrifice ingrained in me from my childhood. Probably the first story of the use of an alter was that of Abraham offering up his son Isaac as a human sacrifice.....on an alter he built on a mountain at the behest of God. As a little tike in Sunday school I can remember sitting on a little wooden stool in the basement off our church. The teacher had one of those flannel boards with characters from the Bible that would stick to them. She stuck Abraham on the board, put an alter in front of him and then stuck Isaac up on the alter on his back preparing to be killed and burnt as an offering to God. Of course, their was a happy ending but my little brain really never understood why Isaac had to be treated so cruelly just so God could make a religious point. I know I thought, if God were so smart...why couldn't he figure out a better way.

    There are more reasons why...but I will just say...I'll take a waterfall at a cool mountain stream for my "alter."
    In the religous sense maybe shrine would be a better word, but altar doesn't always have to have a religious significance. There are personal altars where mementos are gathered, and objects that have meaning or connections to people or places. I guess I orignally meant this to be about religious altars but just saying there are others that hold a certain fascination for me as well.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    ......but I will just say...I'll take a waterfall at a cool mountain stream for my "alter."
    Me too, Williamsmith.

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    I have a cross on the wall and on a stand beneath a statue of Buddha, Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita and book by Thich Nhat Hanh. But I have no way to show you the picture since even in advanced options I am only seeing upload from computer not tablet as an option here. A bench faces this and there is also a southwestern rug in front of it to sit on. I call the room my chapel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Thank you all for sparking an idea for me. I've been toying with the idea of an altar in my home for awhile, but couldn't figure out where to put it. I have a bentwood rocker in a corner in my living room, but sadly, the caning in the seat part has exploded. I've tried to decide whether to have it fixed ($$), try to fix it myself (time and exasperation) or just let it go. It's a pretty little rocker that I bought when I was 16 with my first income tax refund (so it's about 40 years old, so some sentimental value).

    To the point, the thought occurred to me to let it go and use that corner for my altar.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

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