Shrines are an integral part of my Practice regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. They always have been. I thought it was interesting, especially, to see how my Shrines have evolved over the course of just a year- and I wanted to share it with you all.
Shrine #1: The (Old) Death, Ancestors, and Spirits Shrine
Unfortunately these are really the only pictures I have remaining of the Shrine- one from prior to my Death related holidays in January (you can see the full thing in the next set of Shrines), and one featuring the set up during the holidays. When I redid the Shrine Room a few days ago, I did not replace it.
Shrines #2 through #5: The (Old) Archetype Shrines
Originally I was worshiping Archetypes, and so there was a host of Shrines around my Shrine room for them. They all had names, of course, but for the most part I simply referred to them as “The Healer”, “The Warrior”, “The Hearth” (which doubled as a Shrine to my Marriage), and “The Sea” (for lack of better terminology for the last one).
As I moved towards Irish Polytheism I stopped worshiping Archetypes. The Healer and the Warrior were dropped altogether and The Hearth and The Sea were replaced by Manannan Mac Lir and Brighid… Speaking of Brighid…
Shrines #6 and #7: The (Old) Cailleach and (New) Brighid Shrines
I have worked with Cailleach for a few years now. Since moving into our new home she has always occupied the largest available surface in the Shrine room- that is until Brighid came along! For a little bit after my Dedication Ritual they shared the space. This week, however, I chose to completely clear out and rearrange the Shrine room and they got their own separate (and smaller) spaces on the Shrine Cabinet.
This is now the space her (and later, Their) Shrine used to occupy.
Shrine #8: The (New) Pantheon Shrine
It’s now a space for a group Shrine to honor all of the Irish Entities at, regardless of whether or not I have a personal relationship with them like I do Brighid and Cailleach. I got the idea from this post on Tumblr from a Hellenic Reconstructionist. The Prayer Jar, even, was inspired by this post on Tumblr from a Christian user. I absolutely loved both ideas and had to put my own twist on them. Eventually I would also like to incorporate something like this into the Shrine as well.
Shrine #9: The (New) Oath Shrine
This Shrine actually evolved organically when I was putting the room back together after I rearranged it a few days ago; something that wasn’t planned by any means, but just happened on its own. It wasn’t until today that I realized it’s more a Shrine to the Oaths that I’ve taken: My Marriage (the rock my Husband proposed to me on), my Relationships (locks of hair in the bottles), and my Dedication (the candle used in my Dedication Ritual to Brighid and Cailleach). It’s quite fitting, I think.
Shrine 10: The (New) Offering Altar
We recently purchased a filing cabinet for $5 at a garage sale. I moved the mini fridge that was home to the first incarnation of the Oath Shrine and replaced it with the filing cabinet. The filing cabinet is just long enough and wide enough to act as my Offering Altar, so it worked out perfectly. Since I’ll be burning the offerings, though, the Shrine won’t be as decorated as others in order to reduce fire hazards should I need to burn them indoors; it just contains a simple candle and snuffer, plus a vase I picked up at a different Garage Sale for $1 in order to put Flower Offerings in.
Shrine #11: The (Same) Household Protection Shrine
The one Shrine in my house that has literally stayed the same is the Household Protection Shrine. Since day one, it really hasn’t moved; it still occupies the same spot, on the same Shrine Cabinet, still uses roughly the same items. It even still features the same Heka picture made for me by a friend during my exploration of Kemeticism- though a Thai Garland was sent by another friend after we moved in and made its way onto the Shrine eventually.
I just find it so fascinating how my Shrines have evolved over just a year. I have never looked at them collectively like this and caught their evolution before, so I wanted to share it. The changes have been far more noticeable and severe than the changes to the overall room itself- though the room has undergone a few changes over the last year as well!
For a list of IriPol resources, including those I used to inform the opinions mentioned in this article, please view this page here.