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Author Topic: Don't have an altar?  (Read 11025 times)
Sperran
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« Topic Start: March 03, 2008, 06:09:51 pm »

Hey folks,

We see a lot of threads here related to what folks have on their altars, and why.  I am curious as to how many of you don't have an altar, and why that might be.  Back when I was semi-Pagan, I had an altar for awhile, but dismantled it after my husband refused to treat it respectfully (e.g. constantly setting his empty soda can next to the athame).  I don't have an altar now (despite having a cool nook built in the wall that would be perfect) because I don't know it would really be appropriate now that I'm studying Judaism.  Even synagogues don't have altars, and the connotations with animal sacrifice and the second temple make me leery of introducing it into my home.

So, who doesn't have an altar, and why?

Sperran
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« Reply #1: March 03, 2008, 06:15:41 pm »

So, who doesn't have an altar, and why?

I don't keep any kind of regular altar in my home.  I "decorate" for Dia de los Muertos (big, splashy altar that goes up one day and comes down the next).  I make offerings that are altar-ish (trays of food with candles and flowers).  I never saw the point of a permanent one because I don't honor deities.  The entities I work with don't seem to require that kind of thing, so I never bothered.

Brina
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« Reply #2: March 03, 2008, 06:19:07 pm »

I don't have an altar because I don't really need one. I'm not Wiccan. I don't really do spells. I dunno. Not saying that I would never put one up, I rather like the idea of an altar, but I don't have reason to right now (not to mention the space!).
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« Reply #3: March 03, 2008, 06:36:57 pm »

So, who doesn't have an altar, and why?

I never have a permanent one, mostly for practicality's and consideration's sake. In my parents' house, having one would be out of the question. And here in my apartment in school, having one in such a tight space (and with a Christian roommate) would just get in the way.


I'll set up temporary ones for rituals and special days, but usually only if I'm at home with my special plant and have more candles than I have here. But they always come right back down, and they are usually very, very spare: candle(s), bowl of water, bowl for offerings, plant (representation of Bile). I don't need more cluttered spaces; my desk does that job quite nicely.  Cheesy
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« Reply #4: March 03, 2008, 07:12:11 pm »

So, who doesn't have an altar, and why?

I don't have an altar.

That's because #1, I haven't the space for it and #2, I don't need, nor do I want, a bazillion questions from my mom and/or her partner about it.

That said, once I get out on my own, I may very well have one. Then again, I may not. I don't know yet. Wink
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« Reply #5: March 04, 2008, 07:21:24 pm »

I make offerings that are altar-ish (trays of food with candles and flowers).

I have sort of wondered about the possibility of setting up something altar-ish, but not an altar.  I'm not sure what I would call it.  I would like to establish a space that reminds me of the Divine and a place to put religious implements as I acquire them.  There are special items for the Sabbath, for Havdalah, and for holidays.  It would be nice to have a place to display those items and make them a focal point at appropriate times. 

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« Reply #6: March 04, 2008, 07:42:22 pm »

I would like to establish a space that reminds me of the Divine and a place to put religious implements as I acquire them.

I don't see any problem with calling it something else.  Me being me, I'd probably name it something silly like "The God Corner" or "The Holy, Holy Nook".  I'm sure you can come up with something more dignified.  Wink

Brina
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« Reply #7: March 04, 2008, 09:39:27 pm »

I have sort of wondered about the possibility of setting up something altar-ish, but not an altar.  I'm not sure what I would call it.  I would like to establish a space that reminds me of the Divine and a place to put religious implements as I acquire them.  There are special items for the Sabbath, for Havdalah, and for holidays.  It would be nice to have a place to display those items and make them a focal point at appropriate times. 

This is basically what I have.  I have a shelf on the wall next to my side of the bed.  It has my oil lamp and candles that I light for Brighid every night, most of my stones, and my special jewelry.  I have 4 small prints that ake e think of Brighid hung on the wall underneath the shelf.

But I've never really thought of it as an altar.  It doesn't really have a name, other than "my shelf".   Undecided
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« Reply #8: March 04, 2008, 09:55:43 pm »

This is basically what I have.  I have a shelf on the wall next to my side of the bed.  It has my oil lamp and candles that I light for Brighid every night, most of my stones, and my special jewelry.  I have 4 small prints that ake e think of Brighid hung on the wall underneath the shelf.

But I've never really thought of it as an altar.  It doesn't really have a name, other than "my shelf".   Undecided

Coming up with a word is difficult.  To me, the word "altar" connotes sacrifices and votive offerings which doesn't really mesh with modern Judaism.  The word "shrine" doesn't seem appropriate either.   I'll have to think about it.

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« Reply #9: March 05, 2008, 05:18:58 pm »

Coming up with a word is difficult.  To me, the word "altar" connotes sacrifices and votive offerings which doesn't really mesh with modern Judaism.  The word "shrine" doesn't seem appropriate either.   I'll have to think about it.

Sperran

Probably won't help, but how about ark / aron ha-kodesh?  It's probably a bit presumptive if you don't have a Torah in the house. 

Peter
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Sperran
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« Reply #10: March 05, 2008, 05:26:26 pm »

Probably won't help, but how about ark / aron ha-kodesh?  It's probably a bit presumptive if you don't have a Torah in the house. 

Peter

Yeah, my student Tanakh isn't quite the same.  Smiley  Maybe I should just e-mail my rabbi to see if she has any suggestions.

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« Reply #11: April 11, 2008, 05:53:56 pm »

So, who doesn't have an altar, and why?
Sperran

I don't have one, because it'd be impractical. There's little space for it in my room, and I don't have money to get the materials for one.
When I move out, I very well may get one, if the apartment or whatever I live in has room for it.
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« Reply #12: April 12, 2008, 04:01:00 am »

I'm a newbie and haven't figured out yet what an altar is about. But I have kind of a special corner in my room where I keep my martial arts weapons, musical instruments, my tarot cards, diaries and my incense bowl. The weapons are just rested to the wall, for the diaries, cards and other stuff I have a shelf. The incense bowl sits on a wooden board in the shape of a fruit I've made as a teen (it was supposed to be a kitchen wooden board for cutting bread, but I never used it). Next to the incense bowl is a tiny sitting place with cushions. I usually call it my meditation corner and that's also what most visitors think it is. Whenever I do offerings I put them on the wooden board next to the incense bowl, that's also a place where flowers end up if I have some occassionally.

I like the Wiccan and other Neopagan altars I've seen on photos. I'm just not sure it's my kind of furniture style, because I really appreciate that my place is sitting on earth and round shaped instead of angular. Though I have yet to find out why Wiccans and other traditions keep it that way, maybe for good reasons.


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Back when I was semi-Pagan, I had an altar for awhile, but dismantled it after my husband refused to treat it respectfully (e.g. constantly setting his empty soda can next to the athame).
I hate this kind of disrespect. Would he like it if you did that with his bible, torah, car, whatever...?
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« Reply #13: April 12, 2008, 08:39:20 am »

I hate this kind of disrespect. Would he like it if you did that with his bible, torah, car, whatever...?

Well, in fairness, he probably wouldn't care as long as what I did wasn't actually damaging to his things.  He's funny that way.

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« Reply #14: April 12, 2008, 12:06:43 pm »

Well, in fairness, he probably wouldn't care as long as what I did wasn't actually damaging to his things.  He's funny that way.

Sperran
Seems like he just didn't understand it was your special personal space and he was de-sacrating (spelling?) it, if he doesn't bother with his car, hmm...does he have a loved hifi or computer?
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