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Monday, 12 January 2009

Little Altars Everywhere

First of all, I must say thankyou so much to (sooo not) Fat, Frumpy and Fifty for the Soulful Blogger award - you are a treasure and this time I am doing 'short and sweet', no Kate Winslet gushing, although I love her dearly - Thank you, FFF, bless you!

Thank's Pictures, Images and Photos

Oops, I pressed 'publish' there, I am still not very au fait with the technical stuff here - Is there a Noddy Guide or manual somewhere? Photobucket


Anyhoo, back to the Edit function... Random thoughts came to me while lying in bed last night following THE ORDEAL... while I was recovering and eventually getting a grip on myself... And the hook for me was three words, Little Altars Everywhere. Here, I am quoting the title of a novel by Rebecca Wells, also author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which concerns the beauty and wonder of family relationships, communication and links over time...

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For more information on Rebecca's writing please see http://ya-ya.com/about/index

In essence though what I am getting at, and I will get to a point at some point today - hopefully - is that where and how we 'worship', or spend time, or choose not to, is a matter for our own consciences.

For some that takes a secular form Photobucket Photobucket while for others it does not... Photobucket

Some folk believe in the strength of angels, Photobucket even earth angels, like these ones Photobucket while others, mainly pagans, still have a belief in the Green Man, Photobucket whose face even creeps into ancient churches! Photobucket Still others choose alternative ways or icons to worship! Extravagant Worship Dance Company Pictures, Images and Photos


Some mark a person's life by a roadside shrine as with this one on Corfu, where I first came to understand the powerful pull of 'relative' emotion, (okay, I was pregnant with Grizzler and didn't know it yet, or else I would never have climbed on that motorbike with Gibberjonathan, to escape to the hills, honestly! Photobucket (The heady smell of Bougainvillae can still make me feel as if I shall scweam and scweam until I am sick!) bougainvilla Pictures, Images and Photos

It appears to me that when we have the means to pay tribute to others, to thank them for what they do, to remember someone and to show how much you love, loved or admire them, then we need to take those opportunities - However they come - To celebrate the lives we have...

As in these birthday tributes to Elvis Floral memorials Pictures, Images and Photos

and in these other tributes or memory stores PhotobucketPhotobucket

Whenever I am fortunate enough to be travelling in Europe, I always find time to slip into a church or other space somewhere, to spend some time thinking about loved ones and to light a candle. Photobucket Photobucket

I was not born into these faiths, nor do I now consider myself a religious person, and yet the pull of some form of spiritual altar is a powerful one, and my agnostic family tolerates my foibles, in oh so many ways!

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I am drawn to the idea of home altars, which cut across many religions, faiths and belief systems, and if I may take the liberty of quoting: "Altars nourish the longings of your heart. Even if you have only a few minutes, you can go to them to pray, or to meditate and to reaffirm your intentions. Altars turn your rooms into sacred spaces and remind you to keep your heart open and your spiritual lines of communication well tuned."

Robin and Michael Mastro Altars of Power and Grace, Balanced Books 2003, p. 39

"...an altar represents a place where you pay homage and respect to what feels holy and divine to you. An altar is simply a reflection of what you hold sacred. Whatever you revere and love, put it in front of you, and that love begets more love. Put altars all around your living and working space. Whether large or small, grand or simple, it does not matter. Simply create spaces that encourage thoughts of divinity and love. That simple act ensures that your space, your home and your life become more divine. Every house a temple, every heart an altar, every human being a divine prophet.”

"Altars can be simple, rustic, portable, ornate, bejewelled, large, small, public or private. There are no rules. The only thing to remember is an altar is simply a reflection of what you love and hold sacred. Frequently, an altar is created from a table, bench, shelf or box. An altar often holds pictures of spiritual leaders and teachers, candles, flowers, incense, statues, fabrics, prayer beads or rosaries, crystals, gemstones, feathers, bowls of water, bells and chimes. Anything you hold precious and honor as divine is an appropriate item to put on your altar. Simply gather a few beloved or inspiring items and place them together so their combined energy makes you feel happy. If this space inspires a thought of joy or love, it has done its job and an altar has begun. May it bring more joy and love to your daily life".

http://www.altarshop.com/home-altars?rs=creatingAnAltar

I did say I would get to my point, didn't I? Well, you know I can ramble, honestly, sometimes it's like "Gullible's Travels" around here...

Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how many blogs I read, and my list grows ever longer as you can see from the sidebar to the right; (So many fabulous blogs, so little time!)

There are some weird, wacky, wonderful and enchanting people out there with so much to say and give... I am drawn to the conclusion, that our blogs are effectually our 'home altars'.

Upon them we pour out our lives, memories, hearts and souls. ~ And we visit, to pay homage, to spend some time, to lurk, to de-lurk, to think and to laugh, to comment and occasionally to weep...because life's like that. C'est la vie, c'est la guerre!

We post pictures of us, our sons and daughters, our out-laws, our furry (and not so furry-) families, in other words, our favourite things... Sometimes we will draw near and see reflections of ourselves in the firelight, or in the mantleshelf mirror over the fireplace, because fireplaces can be altars for our love of the home, too...

Sometimes someone has got there before us with the hairspray, and you can't see your image reflected back in the hazy glass, and yet you will still think about what the writer has said, and that thought will give you thought...

So you see, little altars everywhere!

18 comments:

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Lovely...little altars everywhere..l know the writer and I agree with you wholeheartedly...you write such all-encompassing posts on a theme, I only wish I were able to compose like this, but mine tend to me lighter, even though I am deep and meaningful by thought, not sure it blossoms over into the writing as yours does, the imagery helps make the point...lovely AGAIN

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

p.s. you can add your awar images on the side bar
on

click dashboard>layout> ad gadget> add picture> then load etc as it tells you...


or whatever you like dont forget to add feeds so that others may follow in that fashion if they so choose..

Diane said...

Oh, I LOVE the idea of this being my little alter!

I'm not a religious person (though I do claim to have a spiritual side), and though I'm not a Christian (or anything else, for that matter), I love old churches and the feeling I have when I'm in them. It's a weird thing about me that I have difficulty explaining to people who are very caught up in practicing their respective religions to the letter (or, to the letter as they see it). I expect I wouldn't have to explain it to you :).

And congratulations on your Soulful Blogger award! You deserve it, my friend!

Diane said...

I meant 'altar'... I really need to alter my spelling sometimes ;)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Bless you both, you are really so kind! I think I am clinging to reading your blogs and writing mine at the moment, as I am 'in an interesting state' (to quote Jane Austen!) at home!

FFF - you do write with a seemingly effortless light touch and I know that readers are drawn in just as effortlessly! Thank you for the technical support, I know who I can call upon in future!

Diane - Diversity and respect for other's beliefs (within reason!) is my mantra in life, and I know that we would be totally at one on that, and I know it isn't always easy with those who might consider themselves devout... I did chew over whether anyone would be offended by me using religious images to refer to our blogs as little altars; Some might view that as blasphemous, I guess, but I think you can find "Goodness" in so many places and people, and that is what to me is most important...

auntiegwen said...

I always light candles in every church I go into. I always cry when I go into church too. I am impressed with the care and attention you take to make your points, mine is all thrown together !

Dumdad said...

What an interesting post. My blog as a home altar! I'm an atheist, or is that agnostic?, but I often feel a certain power when I walk around churches.

But now I've got my own altar I'm thinking of changing my name to Bishop Dumdad. Damn it, think big: Pope Dumdad!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

AG, I am with you on the crying front! I blame it on my age... You have overlooked the fact that I throw my blog together too - It only takes me hours to do it!

Dumdad, you are so welcome here - Your blog was one of the first I read and really enjoyed, along with the fact that you have the joy of living a Paris, (sod the acute accent, sorry). Paris is my spiritual home, so I live vicariously through adventures like yours... I think the role of the next Pope is going to Auntie Gwen's beautiful son - Please see one of his photos on her blog over the weekend - He wears it well! A Bishopric might still be available though!

Working mum said...

I was just reading about your blog at The View from this End and thinking about popping in and all the while you were at mine!

Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Will be back
WM x

The Dotterel said...

You're married, DD, and thus disqualified! Sorry, WonI - let me say how much I agree with the idea of blogging as a form of worship. After all, the Romans all had altars in their homes so in a way we're just updating a noble tradition.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

You're a genius! My blog is my alter - that's perfect! Yes, people travel from all over the world like going to Lourdes to worship at the alter of the goats in panties. (hee hee!)

Braja said...

I have an altar, and I loved this post :)

jinksy said...

On a blog far from home, I clicked on your 'icon' (ie, little logo you use as your blog signature) and discovered this wonderful diatribe on altars. Methinks they lead to alterd states of consciousness, for we become more aware of others than of ourselves when we worship at one of them... So glad to have been nudged in your direction by the powers that be - whatever they are!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Oh, I can no longer leave this at 13 posts - Call me superstitious - the writing's on the wall.

I shall return to bleat on about the hearth at the centre of the home, as with the Romans, and our later lords, masters and gods...

ed said...

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Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I couldn't agree more with Ed.

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Something I wrote earlier...

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