Zen Corner: Create an Altar

 
 Through High School I was very dedicated to learning Wicca and felt that it was my path. As the years passed I left it behind but still maintained an altar. This space kept me focused and reminded me of the goals I wanted to accomplish. Now more than ever I need this space, to center myself and guide me to where I am going next. With my Durama still missing one eye (you paint the second one after your goal or wish has been granted/fulfilled) I am very eager to get the ball rolling.

   The key items on my Altar are my Guwan Yin statue , Durama, and Inari (fox) figure. The first I got last year, it called to me as it had the Heart Sutra on the front and lotus flowers around the base. Also I have a bit of a personal connection with Guwan Yin that is hard to explain.  Durama, as I mentioned still only has one eye painted (this is the red “ball” like figure behind the Angel). When you receive one you decide on a goal or wish and paint one eye. The other one is only painted once it is fulfilled. Lastly, Inari is the small fox figure. I have a connection to foxes that has lasted since High School. Inari, to me, is the god of tea. This is because the figure is usually prayed to for harvest and fertility, but for me that is tea.

 Create your own Altar

  Altars have many shapes and forms but common items include incense and candles. While there is no one way to create an Altar or shrine, here is a few suggestions of overall “themes”.

Love shrine

Create a space that is dedicated to finding your soul mate (or go the Hey Arnold route and dedicate it to someone). The items you could include may be: letters you wrote, candles, pictures, figures, books, gifts for them etc

A loved one who passed 

 When my grandpa passed a few years ago adding a picture of him helped me grieve but having a space just dedicated to them alone is also another route. You could include things they liked , jewelry that was theirs, pictures, any item that reminds you of them and perhaps some candles. 

Travel

Whether you have caught the travel bug or itching to go on an adventure, creating a space to remind yourself of your goals is perfect. Add pictures of the places you want to go, figures of landmarks, souvenirs, postcards, maps etc.

Your own religious practice 

     Everyone has their own beliefs so I wanted to put this idea out there. Create a space that reflects that. I was brought up Christian but I do not truly follow any one set of practices. This is why my shrine has a mix of differnt symbols. Although if I were a practicing Christian I would perhaps have a bible, statue of marry and pictures of my family. Or If I were Jewish I would again create a little collection of items that reminded me of my faith. 

  No matter what your faith and beliefs you can create a space for your practice. They are part of you , so keep them with you.

I would love to see your altar/shrine, share links to pictures in the comments below.