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Author Topic: Setting up shrines  (Read 777 times)

Offline Justice60

  • Beginner
  • Country: au
Setting up shrines
« on: July 05, 2017, 05:14:22 pm »
I am starting this topic so that I can learn more about setting up a Kemetic shrine properly.
I hope other interested people will benefit from this knowledge too.
Thanks in advance to the more experienced members who may contribute to this thread.
Senebty.
Justice. Xx

Offline Senzyibast

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 05:27:02 pm »
A shrine can be as basic or extravagant as you want! It's always nice to have an image of the Netjer you're dedicating the shrine to, whether it's a drawing or a statue or a picture you printed out. A couple dishes for food and liquid offerings are good to have. Other than that, decorating is up to you and the Netjer.
{ Senzi }
"I worship Bast"
---
Meset Bast
Meryt Sekhmet-Hethert her Wepwawet-Yinepu

Offline TabauAmunet

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: 00
Setting up shrines
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 06:01:03 pm »
Em hotep!

No matter what the space is for, I always make a point to purify it before setting anything up. For me, that usually includes scrubbing the surface clean, then wiping the surfaces down with natron water (I say the prayers from the chapter of ritual washing before the senut to make this water), and I bathe the area and fixtures with incense smoke.

The bare minimum requirements for a shrine is a candle of some sort, some sort of incense/smell good thing, and a container to pour water libations into. If you have an image or statue to include, that's great! Statues and images aren't truly required, although most of us prefer to include images in our shrines.

I hope that's helpful!
Senebty,
~Tabauamunet


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Senebty!
~Tabauamunet
sat Mut-as-Amunet her Nisut Hekatawy Alexandros(AUS)
meryt Sekhmet-Hethert, Seshat-Nit-Nebthet, Bast, Amun-Min, Nefertem, her Bawy
Fedw Diviner for Amunet/Mut

Offline Tahai

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 07:41:56 pm »
Em Hotep, Justice.

I have found, over the years, that a simpler shrine is best for me.  Too much clutter becomes distracting to me, and takes the focus off the Gods and puts it onto the 'things'.

It's easy to become distracted by the need to get things 'just so', when, as Tabau mentioned, all that is really needed is an open heart, a purified space, a light source, some smelly stuff, water, and a bowl.

I advise you to give some serious thought to the way your worship before adding in extra things.  I always found it awkward to 'take things away from the Gods' when I needed to declutter my shrine. 
TahaiBast
Daughter of Bast.  Beloved of Sobek-Ra, Djehuty, and Sekhmet-Hethert.

Self-care Sekhmet and Sobek-Ra Keeper

Feed the Ka Association (FKA)

Offline Saheru

  • Country: au
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 09:45:46 am »
I agree with Tahai on the point of keeping things simple. Often getting too much and things can start to feel.... suffocating.

I think when we first start out on any new thing we want to go the whole ten yards - and then some. As we become more comfortable in what we really relate to, we allow ourselves to simplify things and it becomes more a matter of quality over quantity.

For my Shrine to Wesir, Aset, Heru-sa-Aset and Khnum I have their statues, an incense burner, my lapis chalice - and my lapis stones. Behind the shrine I have a papyrus print of Heru-sa-Aset and Hethert that was given to me by a friend who got it from Kemet.

Occasionally I'll light a candle, or a cone of incense, but aside from that I keep it relatively quaint.

And look, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a lot of things. Different shrine styles work for different people. Wesir, at least as he relates to me, comes across as not needing much.

For me though I've been through my stage of what I refer to as spiritual consumerism... buying every single thing that has an ankh print, or event slightly relates to Kemet (or Paganism in general), and nowadays I often just think of the majority of it as clutter.

At the end of the day if all I had was my statue of Wesir... and a place to put it... that would be enough. My love and connection to him comes from the heart... not from how many collectibles I have. :)
"You and I together are a single creation. Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you..." - Hymn to Wesir from Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Normandi Ellis.

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 10:57:46 am »
Em hotep nefer, Justice! :D

I agree with what the others have already said here: simpler is generally better. When your shrine-space is clear and orderly, having neither too much nor too little, it is ma'at (which, more than "just" being the moral-ethical ideal in Egyptian religion(s), is an aesthetic principle which applies to art, music, and ritual). I personally find it easier to conduct ritual with "only what is needed."

What constitutes "only what is needed"? 1.) A lamp or set of candles/holders; 2.) something to diffuse oil or incense in; 3.) food-safe ceramic, glass, metal receptacles for dry and wet offerings; 4.) a bell, a sistrum, or similar percussion instrument; and 5.) a representation of whichever Netjer(et/u) you worship on the regular. A shrine cloth is recommended per the Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook, but I personally avoid them, because they just attract dust and incense ash and wax and make me upset, ha. But if you want to include one, that'd be your #6 on the list.

You may find that you require reading and writing materials for or before/after worship, but these don't have to live in your shrine-space. I have liturgies I read off for rituals to certain Netjeru, I own a copy of the Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook in hardback, and am now keeping a Senut journal. Some of these (like the Senut journal and Prayerbook) live in my shrine-cabinet on the bottom shelf. Digital copies of things I use regularly are kept on my iPhone for convenience and portability, and physical copies of frequently-referenced-religious-texts I keep in a bookcase separate from my Senut shrine. I usually use my iPhone to read off of for things I haven't completely committed to memory, but sometimes I will bring the physical texts to shrine when the iPhone fails. But I don't let these things sit on the shrine among the sanctified icons, ever.

Anyway.

I have had a history of what Saheru describes above as "going the whole ten yards, and then some." It's understandable and noble, in a way, to want to "get/create all the images" and "worship all the Netjeru." But that's just not physically possible for one individual to do, and it's too much for one individual to bear. It can easily lead to what Barbara N. Porter terms "the anxiety of multiplicity." Your shrine, and your worship, will begin to feel less effective the more cluttered things are and the more anxious about your shrine-space(s) you feel.

Some things I have done, since I have quite a few images even after paring-down and don't worship "all the Netjeru" all the time:

  • Put some of my non-Parent, non-Beloved images into storage when it's not those Netjeru's holy days. If They aren't Netjeru I worship regularly or have special arrangements with, They don't get permanent shrine-space.

  • Established an informal shrine apart from my Senut shrine. Not only does it give me a place to worship when I am not ritually pure-enough for Senut, it helps to distribute what religious objects I have more evenly, making for less-cluttered places of worship.

  • Had the RPD done after being a Remetj for four years with the Temple. Over the years, I got to know more and different Netjeru, and paid many of Them worship, without knowing which were the most essential to me and Who wanted/needed my worship above and before Others. Having the RPD done lifted a significant weight off my shoulders in that regard. That said, I absolutely do not recommend being divined on a whim after being a Remetj for only a short period of time (as in, less than six months to a year), or merely for the sake of "finding out Who your Netjeru are" as if it's some personality test. Only do it if you are truly committed to the Kemetic Orthodox way(s) of doing things and are ready for the responsibility of accepting certain Netjeru as your Parent(s) and Beloved(s). In the event you are ready and committed, though, it can really help simplify and direct your worship where it needs to go, which in turn lends more direct purpose and greater efficacy to your shrine-space(s).

  • Put it in a cabinet. The right kind of cabinet at a sensible price can be hard to come by, though I have had decent success with consignment and antique stores. It's traditional and Modernly recommended, though not ultra-mandatory for people who aren't ordained W'abu, to keep sacred images sequestered away when not being actively worshiped (the Netjeru do love Their privacy!). In addition to that, it imposes a necessary limit on your space and can help prevent distracting "shrine sprawl."

All that being said, it's absolutely not wrong to have nice things. Having things doesn't make you a poor worshiper / devotee. There is no puritanical iconoclasm to be found in this religion. These things -- statues, pictures, jewelry, etc. -- are reminders and conduits between us mortal, fleshy things and the Ineffable, Numinous Divine. But, when we place some necessary limitations on ourselves concerning our accumulation of material -- at least by my own observations -- it's much easier to remember the relationships that have inspired and transcend this material.

Anyway. Whether you have a lot or a little, just keep that old saying in mind: a place for everything, and everything in its place. :P

Sorry for the length, but in any case, I hope this helps!

Senebty!
Sedjfai

*Edited a dozen times for formatting issues, lawl.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 11:04:59 am by Sedjfaiemitui »
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Wesir-Herishef, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu
𓃫𓃞 𓀱𓁡 𓅄 𓃤

Offline Maretemheqat

  • Rev Shauna, Ordained Clergy
  • Country: ca
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 11:02:04 am »
Em Hotep Justice, *henu*

I did mention in another thread that there is a preference to location with shrines; Netjer shrines usually in the East, while Akhu shrines are in the West. Part of the reason for this is Zep Tepi, or the first moment, which happens daily with sunrise....which of course means East. The Akhu are always in the West because that is where they go when they die.

That said, if space is at a premium, its alright to place shrines where you have room for them. Some folks have reported that particular Names do not like being placed in a Western facing or sitting shrine, for obvious reasons. Its important to have a dialogue with the Netjer in question you're wanting to create a space for.

Obviously, there are some no-no places when it comes to setting up shrines, which are more based around common sense. Bathrooms are one of those places, as are kitchens. High traffic areas are also questionable. This is mostly due to the fact that there is no privacy or separation between mundane and spiritual time, but also because of the level of physical dirt in the areas mention. Tabau makes a good point about cleaning an area before setting up a shrine. Using natron water means that you're not only physically cleaning the area to remove the dirt, but you're also spiritually cleaning it as well.

Hope this helps!

Senebty!
~Rev. Mesetibes
Rev. Mesetibes
Sat Heqat, meryt Djehuti her Ptah her Heru-wer
Fedw Diviner
2011 Wep Ronpet Frog Princess/
W'abet Nekhen Sha'a Sha'at Imef

Offline Justice60

  • Beginner
  • Country: au
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 08:51:28 pm »
Em hotep and thank you everyone!

You have all contributed to the decisions about my shrine. Coming from a Wiccan background, I realize there are sooooo many variations possible for shrines and working altars.....some having formal rules, others being pretty laid-back.
I'm all for the minimalist approach, after years of dusting, washing, adding and subtracting from shrines to the point where the shrine became more important than what it is supposed to represent.
Orientation is quite important in most witchcraft traditions, so I really wanted to check on that.
Thanks guys for all your help!
Senebty,
Justice. Xx

Offline Ankhetbast

  • Shemsu-Ankh
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 04:14:15 pm »
Em hotep!

It is important to note that shrines are not only personal, they are living.  By that, I mean that they change and evolve over time.  Some people will find that they go from simple, to complex, to simple, etc.

My own tend to be on the more full side.  I have a number of Names in my RPD, most of Whom prefer that I have multiple statues of Them.  Mother also likes me to keep a few of her belongings in shrine (a ceramic rose I made, jewelry).  I find that this doesn't distract me at all, but obviously that will vary. 

Don't worry about having a shrine that will be the same forever.  Start with the basics, then go with what your Gods tell you.

Senebty,

Ankhetbast


sat Bast her Hekatawy-Alexandros, meryt Serqet-Aset, Yinepu-Wepwawet, her HetHert-Sekhmet.
~~~~Ankhetbast~~~~

Sat Bast her Hekatawy I (AUS), Meryt Serqet, Yinepu her HetHert

"Be excellent to each other." ~Bill and Ted

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Offline Typhonian

  • Country: 00
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2017, 10:28:31 pm »
I have a complex shrine, which, I heavily enjoy. It helps me focus on the gods when I am entirey engrossed in their images.
However, your shrine can be as complex or simple as you need it to be. You don't need fancy statues or items for them, but at the same time it is your space. Their home in your home, and you can make it how you (and they) wish it to be. It's not the most elegant answer but it's the one I have to give.
Generally the only rule they have given for the shrine is that Sutekh doesn't want me to take pictures of his space, and since his space dominates most of my altar I just don't take pictures of the altar.
Good luck on your shrine!

Offline Hethert_Gerut

  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 01:49:45 am »
Would it be acceptable to have a transportable shrine in a suitcase or something? I am pretty sure that I have seen this type of shrine before, but I can not remember where.

I live in a small apartment with my partner, and we are contemplating getting a cat. No place I can think of has room to space or would otherwise be safe for a shrine. I feel a suitcase or something similar could be doable.
Hethertgerut: "The silent Hethert"
Sat Hethert-Sekhmet
Meryt Nut her Wesir her Nefertem

Offline Gezausenu

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 06:30:12 am »
Would it be acceptable to have a transportable shrine in a suitcase or something? I am pretty sure that I have seen this type of shrine before, but I can not remember where.

I live in a small apartment with my partner, and we are contemplating getting a cat. No place I can think of has room to space or would otherwise be safe for a shrine. I feel a suitcase or something similar could be doable.

Em hotep!

Yep, a shrine which is stored (in a box, a suitcase, etc.) is perfectly okay as far as I know! I think that it's ultimately up to you and your Gods what you store your shrine in. I can't say I've ever heard of a suitcase per se, but if that works for you, go for it!

(A closed cabinet might also work well, or even a box--I'd worry about things having too much room to rattle around in a suitcase--but you know your suitcases better than me! ^_^)

Senebty,
Gezausenu
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 06:31:47 am by Gezausenu »
~Favored of Two~ (Please don't call me Gezau for short; thank you!)
Meset Set her Sekhmet
Meryt Ptah, Djehuty, her Heru-Wer
"Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness." - Kahlil Gibran
they / them / their / themself

Offline Hethert_Gerut

  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 12:59:51 pm »
I have seen a lot of entertainers drill things into those old fashioned, hard shell suitcases - straps to hold in equipment, forms to set their wigs on during extended travel, etc. I will do some deep thinking on this. Thank you!
Hethertgerut: "The silent Hethert"
Sat Hethert-Sekhmet
Meryt Nut her Wesir her Nefertem

Offline Ineqaset

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 06:27:46 pm »
I don't have a lot of space or furniture that I could use when I was first setting up my shrine.  I did have an old printer table with a shelf underneath.  I painted it grey and since it's on casters I'm able to move it around.  My oil diffuser is on a separate table because the top of the table isn't wide enough for 2 bowls, a glass, and candle.  On the shelf I keep matches, a sistrum, the Egyptian Prayerbook and containers of herbs and candles.  No one has objected to my set up.

I definitely recommend you use what you have and purify it.  I don't have any statues.  Craft stores have very cheap wooden boxes, plaques, etc.  I painted a box to use as storage and a smaller one to hold the hekas done on paper throughout the year.  On Wep Ronpet, I clean out the papers to begin anew.

Best of luck -- I loved setting up my shrine! :)
Ineqaset (Aset unites, Aset gathers)
daughter of Aset-Serqet
beloved of Djehuty and Bes

Offline Yinepuemsaes

  • Shemsu
  • Country: 00
Re: Setting up shrines
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 08:00:16 pm »
If you're a child of Yinepu/Wepwawet and don't have much space, let me just show you this absolutely beautiful piece...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008OD5BAO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

"Yinepu is her protection"
Sat Yinepu
Meryt Bast

 


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