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

Now available from my Etsy store: Day & Night Scarab Prayer Beads + P&P changes

Follow the journey of the sun God Ra through the sky. The lighter scarabs represent Khepera rolling the sun through the sky during the daytime, and the darker ones represent Ra’s journey through the Duat at night. There are 12 scarab beads in total, representing the 12 hours of the day, and of the night. At either end there is a lobster clasp so the strand can be joined to form a continuous circle, just as day and night form a continuous cycle.
It’s a lovely piece with a nice weight to it, perfect for keeping you grounded while saying prayers or devotions. It will also add an element of interest to any altar or shrine setup.

There are two strands available. The turquoise scarabs are slightly lighter on one set.
Day & Night Scarab Prayer Beads – Ra’s journey through the sky
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I have now made my items available for sale outside the UK. I currently have a selection of countries in the postage section but if you don’t see yours there please let me know and I will work out the postage and add it to the listing.

Northern Tamarisk is now on Etsy!

After several months of procrastinating due to health issues and fear I’ve finally decided to dip a toe into the Etsy waters. My re-named Etsy shop now has three items to start off Samhain, and I will be adding different pieces over the coming months. My focus for now will be devotional jewellery and prayer-bead strands, but I would also like to expand into altar/shrine kits with Deity statues (mostly Egyptian) who are looking for a new home.

I am currently only offering shipping to the UK, but when I’ve had a little more time to get my bearings I hope to offer my products for sales outside the UK as well.

Click on the links to be taken to the product pages.

NorthernTamarisk on Etsy

Dark God Devotional Strand

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Underworld Deity Pocket Strand

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Lava Skull Bracelet – currently available in 17cm, 18cm and 20cm

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