Minimalist, Small-space & Travel Altar Ideas – 03

Not everyone has space for a large altar setup, and if you have to share the space with others, if you’re visiting (or have visitors), or if you’re on the move, having an elaborate setup isn’t always possible. In this series I’m going to be sharing little ideas and photos to inspire you for your own devotional space. Use them as general inspiration, adapting them to suit your needs, the items you own, and your Deities.

They’re highly portable, and you can put them in a pouch for when you’re on the move. If you have guests they shouldn’t freak them out too much, or you can quickly put them away for the duration of their visit. If you’re away from home they’re easy to pop into a draw while you’re not using the room.

This week I’m talking about symbolism. Items of a symbolic nature draw on the myths and associations of a Deity to add a more personalised setup. Animals, different forms a Deity takes, items they use or are known for, elements connected to Them, and items representing Their nature can all be drawn on. Below I give some personal examples so you can gain some inspiration for your own sacred space.

For Loki I made a mini Snaptun Stone. Not only is this one of the few depictions we have of Him, but it represents His connection to fire, and reminds us of the story of how His lips were sewn shut by Brokk the Dwarf. The Fool’s Gold is a play on his modern nickname of Trickster, and the mythological parallels between Loki and other Trickster figures. In the words of J.R.R.Tolkien, Loki teaches us that, “Not all that glitters is gold.” Finally, the fox is another modern association with Loki, but due to their reputation for being wily, sly, sneaky but intelligent opportunists I really feel they are a good fit for Himself. This fox pendant is one I bought on Etsy from TheNatureJourneyist.

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For Sigyn we have the eponymous bowl. It is made of Moss Agate, and I have written before about the connection I feel Sigyn has to this stone. I also have some little paper and wire Roses. Roses speak of love and the heart chakra; both attributes associated with Sigyn in Her role as a Goddess of devotion and compassion. The Rose Quartz heart I have for similar reasons. I also have a dove because there is something about the ‘pure’ and ‘good’ symbolism of doves that I associate with this Beloved Goddess. There’s also a strong energy of Hope around Sigyn, and I believe the dove represents that too. There’s a purity and goodness in Her nature, and I personally have also found her not only to love birds, but to also have strong connections to them.

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The final example I have is for Hella, Jormungand and Fenrir. All are pretty obvious if you know about Their symbolism and mythology, but at the same time they are effective. The drinks coaster has Medieval inspired wolf decoration, the beaded lariat is very snakelike, and the skull represents Hella’s Underworld and death connections perfectly.

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

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Minimalist, Small-space & Travel Altar Ideas – 02

Not everyone has space for a large altar setup, and if you have to share the space with others, if you’re visiting (or have visitors), or if you’re on the move, having an elaborate setup isn’t always possible. In this series I’m going to be sharing little ideas and photos to inspire you for your own devotional space. Use them as general inspiration, adapting them to suit your needs, the items you own, and your Deities.

They’re highly portable, and you can put them in a pouch for when you’re on the move. If you have guests they shouldn’t freak them out too much, or you can quickly put them away for the duration of their visit. If you’re away from home they’re easy to pop into a draw while you’re not using the room.

This week I’m talking about jewellery. Pendants and brooches are multi-purpose, and can be used as decorative items as well as worn. Pick pieces rich in the symbolism associated with a particular Deity or pantheon. This ties in the personal aspect, and means that even if you don’t have much space for your altar, or it needs to be discreet, then you can still have a powerful energy present.

There are plenty of options with jewellery as to how you can use them. You can wear them and few will guess they’re a devotional piece. You can hang them from a hook, a pole, a picture rail or on a Deity statue. You can turn them into a little display. You can turn them into a keyring. They’re easy to pop onto a nightstand at a hotel or guest bedroom, and in the morning you’ll be wearing them again.

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With brooches you can be a bit more creative. As well as wearing them you can attach them to things you can’t with other pieces of jewellery. Want to encourage dreams of said Deity? Attach the brooch to your pillow. Want to be sneaky or playful? Add a brooch dedicated to Khepera (or another insect or ‘climbing’ Deity) to your curtains. You can also pin them to bags, scarves, cloaks, coats or wall hangings. Because of the pin on the back you may be able to add them as a detachable element on the end of prayer beads.

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(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Minimalist, Small-space & Travel Altar Ideas – 01

This is part of a new series I’ll be sharing on alternate Tuesdays for the next couple of months. Not everyone has space for a large altar setup, and if you have to share the space with others, if you’re visiting (or have visitors), or if you’re on the move, having an elaborate setup isn’t always possible. In this series I’m going to be sharing little ideas and photos to inspire you for your own devotional space. Use them as general inspiration, adapting them to suit your needs, the items you own, and your Deities.

They’re highly portable, and you can put them in a pouch for when you’re on the move. If you have guests they shouldn’t freak them out too much, or you can quickly put them away for the duration of their visit. If you’re away from home they’re easy to pop into a draw while you’re not using the room.

First off I’m starting with one that’s super-simple and multi-functional – prayer beads. You can buy lots of lovely sets of prayer beads now, or you can make your own. Not only do they act as devotional tools, but they can be made into different shapes and act as a simple but effective mini altar setup. They also look nice, catch the light, and you can even wrap them around your wrist like a bracelet if you want to.

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(The prayer beads pictured are all made by me and are my personal sets. I have an Etsy shop and will be making up more prayer beads in the coming months.)

(c) Michelle G, Northern Tamarisk, 2018

Available now from my Etsy store: Nine-Flame Prayer Beads + P&P update

These beautiful Nine-Flame Prayer Beads are available now from my Etsy store!

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The Nine-Flame strand is based on a Brighid’s Flame set I made for a friend. They  are perfect for connecting with Deities associated with fire and smithcraft, the blazing sun, or of the burning heat of the desert. Could also be used to connect with volcanic Deities, primal forces, or to act as a representative of the element of Fire.
Fire can burn away the old to make way for the new, so these prayer beads could be used in releasing ceremonies, as well as for renewal. After the dust has settled from the ashes of the old the new is born.
For writers and creators they could also be used to channel the flame of inspiration

Made of nine glass flame twist beads, 4mm glass beads and glass seed beads. Length: approximately 48cm. Weight: Approximately 45g
There is one strand currently available but I will be making a few more. How many depends on how long the flame twist beads last as I may be using some in other designs.

P&P Update: Etsy has a lovely little postage setting for the European Union. Since the cost of postage to the EU is the same throughout I have added this option. If you live in any of the EU countries you can now purchase from Northern Tamarisk without having to send a request for your country to be added to my postage list. It also makes it a lot quicker and easier for me, because otherwise I’d have to list each country separately.
As always, postage to the UK and USA remains.

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Link: The Egyptian Bead Project

Finally a project that combines two of my loves: Egypt and beading.

the Egyptian Bead Project is a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program for all scholars interested in beads and beadwork. It aims to use archaeological artifact studies to increase our understanding of the role of beads and beadwork, and also trade and technologies related to beads in ancient Egypt.

You can read more on the website:
http://www.egyptianbeadproject.com