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Author Topic: Altar Problems: Open Floorplan and Small Children  (Read 6938 times)
Mandi
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« Reply #15: April 14, 2008, 10:08:48 am »

I've aways been taught by my parents that their bedroom was 100% off limits when they were not in there to invite me in.  For that same reason I always keep my bedroom door closed with a child-proof handle on the knob.  I keep my shrine in there as well as a box that holds all my ritual tools.  I have a table that I use as a bedside table that I clear off and use when I do rituals and/or spell work.  I see nothing wrong with reserving a room in your house solely for adults and allowing the kids to have the run of the rest of the house. 

Easier said than done.

As a parent, you have limited hours in the day in which to get everything you have to do, done.

As a kid, you have unlimited hours to come up with ways to entertain yourself.

As a parent your brainpower is spread out across about a thousand tasks that need doing.

As a kid, your brainpower can be focused on one task endlessly and without interruption.

The "child proof knobs" only last as long as the kiddo would ACCIDENTALLY get into your room - lacking intent.

A child with intent, will make short work of child proof knob covers.  Once my kids were old enough to realize that impact, or angular twisting pops the two halves apart, and that any flat thin object works as a key to our "room locks" all bets were off. 

I don't see it as being completely about 'danger' thing so much as being about protecting what is sacred to you.  There is no danger really when your statuettes are being raced across the carpet next to the matchbox cars, but when the statuette was dedicated to say, peace, clarity or the sacred feminine...  you tend to feel a bit violated.  With kids, half the battle seems to be maintaining your sacred space, personal and religious identity next to your identity as a parent.  Integrating the two isn't always desirable.  Sometimes even as a mom you find yourself baring teeth saying *THIS IS MINE.  NOT YOURS*

I have perfected bellowing 'Begone Child' convincingly.

Ideally you could babysit that door 24/7 or squelch the curiosity that leads a kid to want to know why mom's room is so secret.  My room is "off limits" but that lasts all of until I'm distracted or unavailable (cooking... computer... step outside for thirty seconds... doorbell rings...) then there is a bum rush on the bedroom door. 

That free will thing crops up time and time again.

For safety reasons I refuse to put a keyed lock on my bedroom door.  I find that to be unreasonable, and should one of the kids get IN and lock the door, and I don't have the key immediately on hand, it's a race with the clock should something go wrong.

My parents did the same thing when I was a kid, but because their room was dark, I was for the most part scared of it.  Except for my moms bathroom.  I would race through the room get to the bathroom and merrily sit dispensing aerosol cans until someone caught me.

We've had to come up with some really tricky hiding places for the guns, the porn and the drugs. ;-)
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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« Reply #16: April 14, 2008, 02:27:07 pm »

I also have a little professional shrine, which has another figurine, and also a librarian action figure (who came with a book cart and a little plastic computer). Sounds silly, but quite effective whenever I walk by them.

I *love* this idea!

I'm starting a new job on Thursday, and I think a professional shrine is a fantastic way to kick that off.  And I have the perfect space for it.  Now all I have to do is figure out what objects to use.

Jenett, if you don't mind sharing, do you have anything besides the librarian action figure (which sounds hilarious, by the way!  Grin )?  How did you come up with this idea?
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juniperrr
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« Reply #17: April 14, 2008, 05:10:46 pm »

But....it seems that it's "o.k." to have the devotional/work in progress stuff up and then just bring out the other supplies and work off the portable altar as needed.

I have five altars in the space we live, four to the cardinal points and a main one. I generally use them daily, a bit of incense, a little quick energy push to the 'Current Event' section of the main. I am another who only sets up a ritual altar when doing a ritual. It keeps that setup more exclusive, which helps create the 'different from daily life' atmosphere I need when doing a working or celebration.

My kids are grown, but I had altars when they were young, I still have cats so everything is pretty tough and hard to break when knocked over (as it is bound to be). Just a habit, I guess. When the kids were young they were encouraged to add bits and pieces of found objects they liked or little things that represented wishes. The biggest change is I now keep my dagger on the main altar, because I love it and like to see it there, which I did not do when they were young, of course. They never did mess around much with the altars but I made sure when my three sons were young to have 53 odd acres to banish them too, so indoor play wasn't too ruckus. During the rainy season we made weekly trips to museums (Natural History, Art, Science) and such, not to be high brow, but to have large indoor areas they could run around in and run off some energy. As I worked at ranches they usually had access to big old hay filled barns as well. Funny, they take my grandkids to museums now, too, the ones up in rainy Washington   Wink

We did not have adult-only places in the house, but as I would never have intruded into their personal spaces as they got older (like the incredible messy bedrooms they had) it did not seem to occur to them to want to go in our boring room, certainly wasn't a challenge to them and was unnecessary for them to keep my attention focused on them. Communal areas were to be kept tidy but their rooms were their own, I believe that helped as well.
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« Reply #18: April 15, 2008, 02:41:59 pm »


If you haven't read "Circle Round" by Starhawk and some other Reclaiming ladies, I highly recommend it.

I second the recommendation, it's written by folks who are long time witches and have practical as well as educational experience. Solid time tested answers to questions sans dogma, always encouraging critical thinking.

I was poking around the Maybe Logic site and you (or anyone out there with Witchy leanings and young kids) might want to check out some of the stuff they do there. My understanding is they present excellent online courses if you are lacking a strong Pagan community nearby, with forums to interact with the folks presenting the classes. I did a witchcamp with Starhawk, have chatted with Anne Hill about raising witchlets and been nothing but impressed by the down to earth advice and experience they possess. My kids are grown but naturally I keep up because of my grandkids.
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Grymdycche
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« Reply #19: April 15, 2008, 02:53:28 pm »

Easier said than done.

For safety reasons I refuse to put a keyed lock on my bedroom door.  I find that to be unreasonable, and should one of the kids get IN and lock the door, and I don't have the key immediately on hand, it's a race with the clock should something go wrong.

We've had to come up with some really tricky hiding places for the guns, the porn and the drugs. ;-)

I thought of this post last night while we were sort of half watching that show "Clean House", on the DIY home channel, (don't ask, not my choice of programming) and the hosts gleefully suggested the answer to adult household privacy - put a lock on the bedroom door !  Shocked  Both my wife and I said  "Wrong Answer ! " for exactly the reasons you just stated. 

Besides, make something taboo and you'll only increase the curiosity and desire for it.  It's human nature.

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« Reply #20: April 15, 2008, 04:48:22 pm »

Jenett, if you don't mind sharing, do you have anything besides the librarian action figure (which sounds hilarious, by the way!  Grin )?  How did you come up with this idea?

I'm rather pleased with it myself.

The shrine has technically four objects - it's sunny enough today I should be able to get a good photo of the figurine I made after I get home from work without needing the flash (which is where I've had problems with photos so far)

There's the polymer clay figurine (a representation of Hypatia, who is popularly considered the last librarian at the Great Library at Alexandria, and whose real story is a bit more complicated than that, but who regardless ends up as one of my honored ancestors-via-likeminded-goals.)

She's sitting on the edge of the shelf, with a thing that looks like a book open in her lap. (It is quite arguably - and this is important - deliberately constructed as a folder with several sheets of parchment in it, not a book, because books are not actually appropriate to the time period. Yes, I'm sometimes hyper-perfectionist.)

Next to her are the cart, computer, and figurine from the Nancy Pearl Deluxe Action Figure set (a present from a dear friend on completing my MLIS degree, so particularly appropriate). You can see the stuff here: http://www.mcphee.com/items/11548.html. I do *not* direct specific energy at the mass-produced figurine, because Nancy Pearl is a real living human being, and that's more than a bit impolite and creepy. (I actually got to hear her speak at the end of March. She is very cool and thoughtful and has great ideas.) Hence the figurine I made myself, which is where all the energetic work gets directed. The rest of it is more or less providing context and background and additional stuff tp help set my appropriate mindset when I pause there.

When I moved, I mapped my new living space using feng shui, on the theory of "I'm not sure I believe it, and I'm not sure I don't, either.", and the shrine lives on a bookshelf in the 'career' area as a result. (This also happens to mean it's convenient to my primary personal altar space, and easy to touch/reflect on when I go by.)

Photo of the figurine (and I'll do my prosperity one, too) later today, assuming all goes well.
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« Reply #21: April 15, 2008, 07:34:17 pm »

Photo of the figurine (and I'll do my prosperity one, too) later today, assuming all goes well.

Replying to myself 'cause I have photos now.

Rather than try to post them through here, they're up on my blog, where I can have them a bit larger (they're both 400x300)

http://gleewood.org/threshold/2008/04/15/two-recent-crafty-projects/
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rose
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« Reply #22: April 15, 2008, 08:01:33 pm »

Besides, make something taboo and you'll only increase the curiosity and desire for it.  It's human nature.


In particular, it's the nature of children. And I *want my kids to be curious about what I am up to, most of the time.
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  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

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« Reply #23: April 15, 2008, 09:18:59 pm »

Replying to myself 'cause I have photos now.

I really like the second one, Hypatia.
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« Reply #24: April 15, 2008, 09:24:04 pm »

Replying to myself 'cause I have photos now.

So cool!!!

And inspiring...  Cool
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