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View Full Version : Long overdue... Altar Layouts?



BenSt
July 14th, 2007, 03:13 AM
OK so Ive been on hiatus from this forum for a little while, had to recoup and get out into other parts of the site.

OK so Im wodnering, what do your eastern alters look like? What styles do you use, what do you keep on them and what gods do you serve?

Lets have a little fun and hopefully can be a good resource for people :).

Ok my turn. See the various pics below.

My alter has evolved over time and has become distinctly eastern. It currently consists of a red satin colour cloth representing royal colours.

I have murtis of Shiva, Kali, Nataraja, Ganesha, Lord Buddha, Pu'sa Hotei, Kuan Yin and another small Buddha.

With images of Kali, Ardhanarishvara, Krishna and Radha, and Durga.

I have a brass bell with several small puja bowls for either Gee butter or il for candles. A brass trishula and AUM symbol.

I keep a dried rose on my alter all the time, and the rose has significance because it was given to me by my mentor on my Prom night. He was the one who first introduced me to anything not Wicca and it is a symbol of friendship to me :).

Finally, underneath I keep all of my stones in containers, and on top I always keep either two rings, my Mala, pentacle and Tarot deck... and a lock of my puppies hair thats back home in the country :D.

My alter has definitely evolved since a few years ago, starting 5 years ago and continuing on:

Pic 1. as it appeared in late 2003/early 2004.
Pic 2. How is appeared summer 2004.
pic 3. How it appeared in summer 2006
pic 4. How is appeared in october 2006
pic 5. The most recent incarnation.

Agaliha
July 14th, 2007, 03:38 AM
My altar changes a lot. Sometimes I just feel the need to change it and I do, sometimes three time a month, though usually less. I tend to have themes (ocean, autumn, flowers, etc). Though I've only had a few that are what I'd call Eastern-ish.

This was my first altar actually.
http://www.mysticwicks.com/photoalbum/albums/userpics/27187/altar1.jpg

This was before I got my Saraswati statue at Target, so I just had a print out of her. The elephants represented Ganesha. The stuff above was a sort of collage with symbols linked to them (Swan for Saraswati, etc) and my art.

If you go here: http://www.indiamart.com/friendsmetalproducts/#products
I think this is where Target got them from.
The brass elephant on the top-- I have that! It was totally discount and only $22 (It was way more normally). The Saraswati one was discount too.
They're heavy and sold brass. Pretty cool.
This is what the Saraswati one looks like: http://www.shilpkalamart.com/dollsofindiaimages/handicrafts/saraswati_veena_PU08.jpg

I've had a few others, but I can't find the pics of them. I had one with Saraswati up and some of my elephant stuff. I have TONS of elephant statues, figurines and stuff...not because of Ganesha, but because I love love love elephants. I have to upload my pics of when I had them all on the altar area, pretty cool.

Like your altar, mine changes and evolves...just not always within the Hindu influenced mainframe. Back then when that pic was taken, I considered Saraswati and Ganesha my patrons. As you know, I have issues in the deity area right now. Right now I tend not to have anything distinctly deity like on my altar so I don't have any statues (they're storing below my altar, which was really a small sort of desk thing with two shelves). I do have symbols and nature things on there, though. Until I can work out my issues I feel this way is best.

I really like your altars. I love your Nataraja too! I so want one, but they're so expensive! And for such little statues too :2G: I still have yet to find a Hindu store near where I live...I know there has to be one somewhere :2G:

Thanks for sharing, Galadraal. I hope others do as well :)

Cerulean_damselfly
July 17th, 2007, 01:02 AM
I'm saving for these to put on a shelf...


It's actually a generic happy coupledom alter that I'm going to rotate every few months as time goes on... I am thinking of setting a more cheery one where the No play of Takasobu, the twin pine deities, are celebrated. The fun things about "Jo and Uba" is one can be reminded of American Gothic, but these are very friendly in storytelling and character, not sourpusses! And because there are good and friendly 'coupled' deities that even combine Ganesh and Kwannon, I can rotate the alter arrangement every month. So far, am thinking in terms of small silver charms (that cost less than five dollars) in two halves a giant clamsheel, then work from there.


My family memorial alter is undergoing gentle memory tributes this month, so am not doing public pictures for a while...instead, energy toward celebratory alters is what I'm thinking about as time goes on.

I saw a picture of a simpler style shrine for Shinto tributes and I think it's more in keeping with my family notions...

I clean and refresh the area twice a month...but basically I like the simpler variations of using what I have...here's a simple set up that has the basics...

http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/0001jan/html/000003.html

I'll post a 'celebratory' alter later...this is a bit of a private memorial month for me...so it would be fun to share when I put family things away...

Thanks for the thread.

Cerulean_Damselfly

aluokaloo
July 17th, 2007, 01:10 AM
I don't have an eastern style altar, but I do have a couple of eastern style things on it, and in my room, like the long man, which is supposed to grant longevity, and help relieve your sorrows, a little chinese heaven's dog statue, a chinese wall hanging, with various kanji and a herd of running horses, and so it's a pokemon, but it's the closest thing to a kitsune I can get too easily. (it's a little vulpix pokemon.) Lately I have been more interested in eastern style faiths, such as tibetan buddhism, taoism, shinto, and bon. There's this peace and this beauty and this feeling about these faiths I can't quite describe or even be able to touch except when I am around others of these faiths, and there's a beautiful little tibetan store that I really love, (but can't afford alot of what I really want) sorry for crashing in. :D I'll just slip quietly out of the back door now.

BenSt
July 23rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
Thankyou all for sharing :)... would you feel comfortable posting a pic Aluokaloo?? :)

I like yours Agaliha! I know what you mean when you say changes and evolves over time. I thinki its very natural for something like that to happen.

Cerulean, is that a Geisha figure you have on yours? I mean I would want to say that it is Izanami...but with the grey hair, is it a Geisha?

Cerulean_damselfly
July 26th, 2007, 01:11 AM
Thankyou all for sharing :)...

Cerulean, is that a Geisha figure you have on yours? I mean I would want to say that it is Izanami...but with the grey hair, is it a Geisha?

Ah, thank you for asking!

The cute older woman and older man are doll figures, and it's sweet to think of the older woman as a courtly soul--but geishas were professional entertainers. The couple are actually embodiments of country folk who became immortals, with mix-and-match kind of outfits and gray hair. They cared about each other so well that their spirits were 'immortalized' into being the twin pines -- each pine tree at a different Shinto shrine. In legendary plays (the god plays of No), the pine trees are supposed to be near each other. The character names are Jo and Uba. In human form, he is known by his rake and she is known by her broom...usually the characters are portrayed as older people.

In reality, the shrines these pine trees are at are very far apart, but poetic myth doesn't always reflect reality! The play is called Takosago. It's just an episode and proverbal example of two people who just were nice to each other even in older age.

My enjoyment of the characters and the symbolism includes a happy fact we do have twin pine trees in front of our small home...and their shade is a blessing to us. I also am blessed with knowing many cheerful older couples...rather than seeing the picture called "American Gothic" where two older people look kind of grumpy, I'd rather pay tribute to cheerful elders....and maybe we'll be fortunate enough to become like them!

Here's a link to another page with pictures of the characters in different media... please scroll down and you will see different examples...

http://www.amie.or.jp/daruma/Meoto-1.html

Hope I explained it clearly...

Cerulean_Damselfly

aluokaloo
July 26th, 2007, 06:45 PM
Thankyou all for sharing :)... would you feel comfortable posting a pic Aluokaloo?? :)

I like yours Agaliha! I know what you mean when you say changes and evolves over time. I thinki its very natural for something like that to happen.

Cerulean, is that a Geisha figure you have on yours? I mean I would want to say that it is Izanami...but with the grey hair, is it a Geisha?

i don't mind posting, if someone is willing to be patient enough to help me through the frustratingly agonizing process of figuring out how to post pics.

BenSt
July 26th, 2007, 08:40 PM
i don't mind posting, if someone is willing to be patient enough to help me through the frustratingly agonizing process of figuring out how to post pics.

Oh its very simple. All you need to do is press the little button that looks like a paper clip and then you can upload a pic of anything really. It'll appear like the way I have mine appearing :).

Either that, or if it's more convenient for you, you can email the pic to my hotmail t_stimpson@hotmail.com and Ill put it up for you if you want.

BenSt
July 26th, 2007, 08:41 PM
Ahhh thats very symbolic :)

I like it.

See I didnt look at the figurtes closely enough...I thought the woman was holding a spear which would have suggested to me the story of Izanagi and Izanami :).

Thats cool, thankyou for sharing


Ah, thank you for asking!

The cute older woman and older man are doll figures, and it's sweet to think of the older woman as a courtly soul--but geishas were professional entertainers. The couple are actually embodiments of country folk who became immortals, with mix-and-match kind of outfits and gray hair. They cared about each other so well that their spirits were 'immortalized' into being the twin pines -- each pine tree at a different Shinto shrine. In legendary plays (the god plays of No), the pine trees are supposed to be near each other. The character names are Jo and Uba. In human form, he is known by his rake and she is known by her broom...usually the characters are portrayed as older people.

In reality, the shrines these pine trees are at are very far apart, but poetic myth doesn't always reflect reality! The play is called Takosago. It's just an episode and proverbal example of two people who just were nice to each other even in older age.

My enjoyment of the characters and the symbolism includes a happy fact we do have twin pine trees in front of our small home...and their shade is a blessing to us. I also am blessed with knowing many cheerful older couples...rather than seeing the picture called "American Gothic" where two older people look kind of grumpy, I'd rather pay tribute to cheerful elders....and maybe we'll be fortunate enough to become like them!

Here's a link to another page with pictures of the characters in different media... please scroll down and you will see different examples...

http://www.amie.or.jp/daruma/Meoto-1.html

Hope I explained it clearly...

Cerulean_Damselfly