Zoning and Buffering: Keeping Shrines in Close Quarters

architecture-3102738_1920Since 2011, I’ve maintained the shrines for the gods and spirits that I honor in relatively close quarters. Streamlining my devotional spaces improved the flow of my spiritual work considerably and made it easier for me to accomplish various tasks. When I moved about two and a half years ago, I thought about changing my shrine arrangement back to what it had been prior to 2011: multiple sacred spaces diffused throughout my apartment. The prior arrangement had its benefits (without question), but because streamlined space functioned so well for me, I’ve not felt compelled to change it back. Honestly though, a lot has changed since 2011. For one, I work with more gods and spirits now than I did then. Also, the differences among the powers I honor are more pronounced now than a few years back.

Given the deepening differences among the powers I work with, I’m much more mindful of who is neighbors with whom. I work to ensure that everyone has their own zone and is not neighbors with anyone they can’t or won’t tolerate. Similarly, I’m also paying more attention to which powers are willing to buffer energy flows among other powers. Given the limited real estate that I have for shrines and the personal needs that I have for temple keeping, zoning and buffering are my friends. Honoring the lines – real and imagined – between certain Holy Powers has meant a few things for me:

  • Every power has their own section on the surfaces that I use for shrines.
  • Also, the powers are roughly grouped by pantheon and general “areas of influence” in order to reduce the chances of raised hackles across real and imagined lines.
  • In addition, I am mindful of whose shrine is “active” at any given time and I work to ensure that powers with potential beef between them do not have their shrines active at the same time.
  • I also observe a purification regime that helps to keep me clear as I move among the sacred spaces for each power.

The above considerations have helped me to better serve “phenomenal cosmic powers” in an “itty bitty living space” (to quote the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin).

5 thoughts on “Zoning and Buffering: Keeping Shrines in Close Quarters

  1. I am struggling with this. We recently moved and I cannot locate a space in our new home for my altar. I knew this would be tough when we chose the place but I figured I could make it work. So far, my best choice is a literally, a closet. And I may have to take it because I’ve been without my altar now for 3 months and it’s not feeling so good. Any suggestions?

    • I feel you. Being without altar space is really rough. I had that experience for a while before I settled into my current space. I would recommend feeling the closet space out and also doing some divination to see if any of the powers you work with would object to that space. My gut says that as long as the altar closet is sacred space and you feel connected to it too, it should meet your needs and the powers’ needs as well. If the closet has to double as storage and as sacred space, you might consider creating physical, energetic, and mental boundaries between the altar part and the storage part. Could be a fun and creative spiritual project! 🙂

      • Yeah – that’s an idea. Oddly enough, when we looked at the place that was the first place I considered. I easily envisioned having space in there but I thought it might be a bit disrespectful for some reason. It’s also in the family room, so there’s that. But there’s a door and we don’t have to use it for storage, so that’s a plus. I will do the divination and see what happens. Thanks!

  2. Hi WW. I enjoyed this brief tour though the realm of your spiritual organization of space. Your sense of efficiency and concern for each goddess or spirit dwelling there gives insight into your creative heart as much as a painting would. I’d be amused to see a map of your layout; but, am more curious to see shots of some of the altars (where it would not be intrusive.) A great way to approach the conundrum of lots of altars in limited space.

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