MODERN DAY MARTHA

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    Altar

    I have always had an altar in my home, even as a little girl.  Something about marking off a space as sacred appealed to a basic need in me.  I was reading at this website tonight, and was struck by this quote from the FAQ page:

    Many people are surprised when they realize that they may already have one or more altar-like spaces at home or work, in the garden or elsewhere. Think, for instance, of the fireplace mantle where one places family photos or awards or seasonal items such as fall harvest, holiday boughs and candles or spring flowers. Or consider the small cluster of family pictures and small mementos on the desks in many workplaces.  Some authors have suggested that these could be called unconscious, incipient or unintentional altars.

    What are your altars, intentional or unconscious?  How do they help make your home a temple?

    4 Responses to “Home Altar”

    1. Julie says:

      That is very very interesting, Brandy. I’ve always thought of “altars” as the place where people put food or candles or someone’s ashes, etc.. and I certainly don’t have any of those. But put this way, I probably have lots of altars. I tend to make any permanent nonfunctional surface an “altar.” And now that I have room, I have a curio in my front room that contains all my “pretty things,” like willow tree figurines, my great grandmother’s tiny china, and dozens of mementos from people, places, and trips. An altar to memories? To relationships? I have also put up two rather large magnet boards just for current family photos.

      I would think that I would have an altar of more spiritual things, since that is one of the biggest part of my life, but that is so personal to me that I have trouble even talking much about it. But come to think of it, my front room walls have nothing but family and Christ pictures on the walls and I feel deeply about my temple pictures. So perhaps my front room is my spiritual altar? (I also have this (http://www.downstrike.com/JesusLaughing/JesusHoldingBabyClose.jpg) picture in that room which has always, in my mind, represented my baby that I lost.)

      This new house has, I kid you not, has a literal altar pedestal thing built into the wall that you see as soon as you walk in the door. It is astonishing to us. I’m still not sure what to do with it. About 1/3 of me wants to put a statue of Christ there, but the rest of me is seriously thinking about Yoda or a pumpkin. :) (I think there is a very large irreverent part of me. Sigh.)

    2. Maryanne says:

      Fascinating, Brandy. I have lots of “stuff” grouped in various places around the house, but I don’t think there’s really a space that specifically does what that website suggests: “Home altars clarify & enrich our values, relationships, dreams and images of the divine.” and “Home altars provide focal points for creativity, prayer, meditation & renewal.”

      I think that’s something that’s missing in my home, I need to think about this some more. Thanks!

    3. Jessica says:

      I, like Maryanne, feel like this is something missing in my home. I have kind of a negative attitude toward my home. For the past 7 or so years, every house I live in has been sort of an intentional “camping out” experience. I have kind of intentionally not put up many mementos of our life because I have been renting and therefore it is not “my home”. It’s not a very good attitude to have in terms of home making and that is one of my main reasons for loving this site; it helps me overcome this negative attitude toward my home.

    4. Brandy says:

      Great comments, everyone. I love the idea of your curio cabinet, Julie, as an altar to memories and relationships, and think a pumpkin in your recessed shelf would be neat :)

      The “camping out” idea is fascinating to me, Jessica, because it is the opposite of what I try to do. Whenever I move, and that is frequently, the first thing I do is hang the picture of the guardian angel that I’ve had since I was a child. Then, no matter if it’s a dorm room or my current apartment, I’m “home”.