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Altar vs. Shrine?

Discussion of ritual tools and other items used in the Craft.

Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby daisykewl » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:00 pm

So I am very new to this religon and am interested in erecting a shrine/altar. I found a layout I like in the book "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner." There is a diagram for a shrine and an altar, which are very similar. The difference being the altar has much more things. Is there a difference? Do you, personally, have both? Can I combine them? I barely have room for one. Please and thank you :D
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby AdastraJunction » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:20 pm

You can lay yours out how ever you choose. My altar is a mix of both (I have a photo of it in the Altar photo section). I keep the main elements in any altar I create but it about how you choose to make it and what feels right for your practices. You don't have to follow it to the letter if you do not choose too, there are some people who do and some who do not.
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby daisykewl » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:54 pm

AdastraJunction wrote:You can lay yours out how ever you choose. My altar is a mix of both (I have a photo of it in the Altar photo section). I keep the main elements in any altar I create but it about how you choose to make it and what feels right for your practices. You don't have to follow it to the letter if you do not choose too, there are some people who do and some who do not.


Thanks so much for the advice! I think I'll combine them by sliding an offering plate onto my altar:)
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby AnaisStar » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:50 pm

I believe you can have one for everything. That is how I do it.

But you could have an altar for "work" and then the shrine to honor deity if you want.
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:37 pm

Just for the sake of sharing ideas: I use a wall shelf for a permanent shrine, with a statue, candle and offerings. Its high enough the cats leave it alone. I use a cheap wooden breakfast tray with folding legs for a working altar so that I can move it to where ever I want to work, indoors or out. Normally it's on top of a livingroom bookshelf but I often move to the kitchen counter when I know I'm going to make a mess prepping. Additionally, I keep a bottle of water, travel-coffee-mug (I always want coffee to take along) mortar and pestle, copper bowl, pint-sized cauldron & athame & small sundries in a mini picnic basket (any sack would do as well) so everything's together and movable in one trip. I unfold the tray legs when I'm outside, and voila! Instant set up. If I was pinched for storage space, when it's not in use, the whole altar and basket fit under the bed. Cover with a scarf to keep off the dust bunnies. Even an inexpensive baking tray with edges, so things don't slide off, would work.
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:17 pm

I always think of shrines as public affairs. They can be big ans get closer to temples. People come by and offer things. Similar to how you see in Japan with torii gate shrines.

Whereas an altar is a small personal shrine made for private use by the individual. Idk if these definitions are accurate per se, but it's how I always envisioned them.
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby Shekinah » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:00 pm

For me my altar is a working shrine. I like to keep the energy of all my magickal tools and expendable supplies together in one sacred space where they resonate, entangle and empower the area. I fabricated a wooden chest with engraved pentagram on the lid. It is storage for all my implements and my altar. Over the years it has accumulated a very detectable aura and on occasion I have seen flashes of light from it at night. When I place my hand on the engraved pentagram I feel a cloaking effect around this sacred space that embraces me in a peaceful sense of well being and ,on occasion, I sometimes glimpse the presence of my Goddess Shekinah.
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Re: Altar vs. Shrine?

Postby corvidus » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:46 am

I agree with the above.

Shrines are for reverence, offerings, etc.

Alters are for rituals, works, and etc.
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