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Pocket Shrine?

Post  SpiritofApollo on Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:39 pm

A Kemetic Author talked about this on her video about beginning undercover. I think that having a pocket shrine is really a neat idea. Specially if your living at home with your parents, in a dorm, don't have room for a shrine, or altar, or having a spouse that isn't open-minded. I'm thinking about doing one for Athena, since I'm really connected to her. So if anyone wants to see my pocket shrine, then let me know. Also, what do you guys think about a pocket shrine.
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Linda on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:41 pm

That's a great idea. I'd really like to see a pic of it, all those little things to help us in our day-to-day living is always interesting to share.

I'm using something similar, since I travel a lot. It's 12 plastic tokens, sized like coins with the pictures of the gods, mounted together on a key ring. I use them for my little ceremonies in hotel rooms and the likes when I'm not at home and have no access to my regular altar. Or simply to hold on to when I'm tense or nervous out there. And if you wonder about plastic, it's simply because it's the most convenient material which you can take trough the airport security.
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Erodius on Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:02 pm

I have a bit of a hard time taking any 'reinvented' thing seriously, religions or anything else, especially without living lineage, coupled with a paucity of materials. So to speak, no amount of 'backbreeding' will ever resurrect the aurochs if its genome is lost. You can breed mimics that resemble the aurochs in varying degrees, but its genes, its temperament, its essence is gone.

But anyway, it seems to me that anything small enough to fit into one's pocket is little more than a charm or a mnemonic — like carrying a locket or a photograph of someone, similar to what I see Linda has described. But I wouldn't call it a 'shrine'. Fitting all the items necessary for even very basic worship (water, a light, a focal image) into one's pocket seems like it would result in full and bulging pockets. It doesn't seem very practical a thing to expect to be able to actually carry on one's person.

Unless you mean it in a more figurative sense of just something more portable and easy to put away if necessary. In that case, it is quite simple. You can reduce the implements for worship to the absolute essentials of a flame (electric candles are poor substitutes, but might be mandated by some living arrangements, as with most dorms) and consecrated water. An image is really not essential, especially if you must make it very portable. All you need is something on which to focus your attention — a mark on the wall perhaps, or even the light itself.

It results in a pretty unimpressive setup, and one that does not inspire much in the way of reverence. But in certain circumstances, if necessary, you could cut things back that much. Likewise, maintaining focus and reverence without stimulation for it might itself serve as an exercise in mental fortitude.

And if you wonder about plastic, it's simply because it's the most convenient material which you can take trough the airport security.
Wood? Wink

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  hhodios on Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:19 am

Personally I like to also note the presence of the Gods in everyday life situations. So, if you read a nonfiction book and listen to some music on the plane, then Athena and Apollon are present. If you have a drink and conversation with strangers in the airport bar or at your destination, then Dionysos is there. (You're a stranger, too, wherever you go.) If you'd like to commune with Pan, He's as close as the park or garden adjacent to your hotel, or the view from the airplane window.

That being said, a pocket shrine can also be a focal point as others have said, though I haven't done anything like that myself. (Maybe because I haven't travelled in a while ;-) ).
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Erodius on Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:31 am

hhodios wrote:Personally I like to also note the presence of the Gods in everyday life situations. So, if you read a nonfiction book and listen to some music on the plane, then Athena and Apollon are present. If you have a drink and conversation with strangers in the airport bar or at your destination, then Dionysos is there. (You're a stranger, too, wherever you go.) If you'd like to commune with Pan, He's as close as the park or garden adjacent to your hotel, or the view from the airplane window.

That being said, a pocket shrine can also be a focal point as others have said, though I haven't done anything like that myself. (Maybe because I haven't travelled in a while ;-) ).
Well, sort of.

I think you meant more that the aforementioned things are associated with the aforementioned deities, and thus turn your thoughts to thinking of them accordingly. But these are symbols, not deities.

The 'symbolicist' interpretation of the deities, as I'd call it, for lack of a better word, I'd argue is sort of a hidden problem for many people, which is the result of a fairly common, as far as I've seen, way of teaching the Classical gods to schoolkids — making them safe to teach about by 'deactivating' them, and equating them to single concepts with which they are associated. It's safe to teach in a public setting, like a school, and avoids potentially offending students (or their parents), by its being a basically atheistic view of the Classical gods. It's okay to teach and talk about, say, Apollo, if you go about it that 'Apollo' isn't a 'god', but just a literary and poetic term that the Greeks and Romans used as a personification of art and music; that 'Athene' is just a personification of wisdom; and, the ubiquitous one, that 'Bacchus/Dionysus' is just a euphemism for wine and drunken stupor.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Linda on Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:47 pm

Erodius wrote:I]Wood? Wink
That could've been an idea, however they are done by a special printing technology, which unfortunately does not work with wood.
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Linda on Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Erodius wrote:[It's safe to teach in a public setting, like a school, and avoids potentially offending students (or their parents), by its being a basically atheistic view of the Classical gods. It's okay to teach and talk about, say, Apollo, if you go about it that 'Apollo' isn't a 'god', but just a literary and poetic term that the Greeks and Romans used as a personification of art and music; that 'Athene' is just a personification of wisdom; and, the ubiquitous one, that 'Bacchus/Dionysus' is just a euphemism for wine and drunken stupor.
Oh my, that is so wrong IMHO. Why this stupic notion? Not only are they teaching the kids an erroneous history description, they are taking away from them the perseption of the richness and the variety of the ancient world, reducing it to just a rudementary stepping stone to our own materialistic time. IMO the kids, who are presented such a shallow and disparaging description of the society that once was, will doubthlessly get the impression that the ancient culture were 'dark ages' and of lesser worth than our present culture. That people back then were 'barbaric' and simple minded, rather than the creators and inhibitors of a society with a greatness worth remembering, even if it was far from perfect.

If you ask me, it's respectless towards our history to devalue it like that. Why can we not preserve the sense of mystery and awe upon which humanity once looked at the world around themselves? Because some jerks have labelled it 'superstition' to believe in a world with gods and a nature with a soul?

I had rather seen that we had kept some of that belief, and not 'killed' nature with our notion of a dead, machine-like world. A world which is just atoms and DNA, nothing more than chemistry and physics. Because then we might not have killed it literally as well, as we now seem to be doing, with our careless way of treating the environment. With our fossil fuels, garbage heaps, junk food and our hysterical chase of money. And with our superior-complex ridden look at the rest of the life here on earth and against the people who came before us and their cultures. Sometimes I fear that our materialism and our senseless strife to hoard richnesses to fill that hole in our souls will eventually kill us, but that's for another rant...



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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Erodius on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:58 pm

Oh my, that is so wrong IMHO. Why this stupic notion? Not only are they teaching the kids an erroneous history description, they are taking away from them the perseption of the richness and the variety of the ancient world, reducing it to just a rudementary stepping stone to our own materialistic time. IMO the kids, who are presented such a shallow and disparaging description of the society that once was, will doubthlessly get the impression that the ancient culture were 'dark ages' and of lesser worth than our present culture. That people back then were 'barbaric' and simple minded, rather than the creators and inhibitors of a society with a greatness worth remembering, even if it was far from perfect.
Of course it's wrong, but giving the kids the impression that the Classical world was a religiously simpleminded dark age, where the Classical gods were just one-dimensional, literary personifications of material things and concepts, is, I think, their intention. And I see that this is the way the majority of people think about it — even among those learning Classical religion, especially newcomers, with their ideas heavily shaped by common society, I sometimes see shadows of this archetypalist, one-dimensionalism, where people, by no real fault of their own, are conditioned to think of Venus-Ἀφροδίτη as love/sex/lust/pretty-female-sex-symbol, Mars-Ἄρης as war/violence/blooshed/anger/male-lust, and Bacchus-Διώνυσος as wine/craziness/drunkenness/intoxication/licentiousness; all of them as simple archetypal personifications of single qualities. No depth, no honor, no complexity.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Linda on Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:14 am

Yes, it's sad, because not only are they belittling the gods, but also the people who were faithful to them. And I wonder why, is it because they believe the children not being able to take in and process a complex culture like the ancient one? These days it seems like everything has to be fast-food and short youtube clips because people's attention spans are beleived to be too short to understand a complex reasoning of the kind behind the Olympian gods and their cults. That's a sad decline! Education should not be easily digestable stuff without context! Challenge the kids instead, I'd say. Believe in their abilities to learn and comprehend something more complicated than My Little Pony!
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Apollyon on Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:39 pm

SpiritofApollo wrote:A Kemetic Author talked about this on her video about beginning undercover. I think that having a pocket shrine is really a neat idea. Specially if your living at home with your parents, in a dorm, don't have room for a shrine, or altar, or having a spouse that isn't open-minded. I'm thinking about doing one for Athena, since I'm really connected to her. So if anyone wants to see my pocket shrine, then let me know. Also, what do you guys think about a pocket shrine.
I would love to see it. I actually have one myself. In fact, I have an altar in my home, a small pocket shrine that I keep on me, and I even have a "travel" altar. I use the pocket shrine when I am out and about and would like to use it, and the travel altar is for if I am (as you may have guessed) traveling and am unable to use my home altar.

I thought I was a bit weird, but glad to see I am in good company! Very Happy
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  hhodios on Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:02 pm

Erodius wrote:
hhodios wrote:Personally I like to also note the presence of the Gods in everyday life situations. So, if you read a nonfiction book and listen to some music on the plane, then Athena and Apollon are present. If you have a drink and conversation with strangers in the airport bar or at your destination, then Dionysos is there. (You're a stranger, too, wherever you go.) If you'd like to commune with Pan, He's as close as the park or garden adjacent to your hotel, or the view from the airplane window.

That being said, a pocket shrine can also be a focal point as others have said, though I haven't done anything like that myself. (Maybe because I haven't travelled in a while ;-) ).
Well, sort of.

I think you meant more that the aforementioned things are associated with the aforementioned deities, and thus turn your thoughts to thinking of them accordingly. But these are symbols, not deities.

Well, the Gods are present in my life *somehow*. I don't think it has anything to do with education, I was speaking as someone who has knowledge of the Gods already. Someone in that situation, who's already a believer, can find their presence in everyday things or seek them out through their presence in the world, I would think. A shrine is also just a symbol of the Gods and not the Gods themselves. Why not note their presence in your everyday life if you're not able to, or don't want to, carry a shrine with you?

Obviously I'm no theologian but it seems logical to me. The presence of the Gods has always been in the real world for me. Sometimes it's not overt but in everyday things.
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Re: Pocket Shrine?

Post  Erodius on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:48 am

Well, the Gods are present in my life *somehow*.


Of course  Wink  — just not directly and fully. If the fullness of any deity were in your immediate presence, you'd not be around thereafter to tell the tale.

The concept has always existed, even in common Classical religion, of an association between things and concepts and certain deities. However, in the mysteriosophical systems, this concept is given a name: seira, meaning string, line, chain or thread in Greek. Items of a deity's seira are called symbola (whence we get our word 'symbol'). Symbola are the products of the interaction of a deity's power with the cosmos, both material and abstract. Any given symbolon (singular) is a vessel of an infinitesimally small flash of that deity's influence — like the way a solar-powered calculator holds such a minuscule spark of the Sun's power.

The understanding of the sets of symbola in seirae are a huge feature of liturgical practice in Late-Antique mysteriosophical religion, and a material fixture of sacramental rites, particularly in Iamblichean-influenced lines.

But there is an ontological distinction between a symbolon and the full being of a deity. For instance, frankincense, the number two, the color maroon, and the month of November are parts of the seira of Mars/Ἅρης in the Orphic seira system (there is some minor variation between different systems), however, the number two is not literally the fullness of the god.

It's hairsplitting, but I think it somewhat important hairsplitting.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Ah Ok...

Post  hhodios on Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:35 am

Not hairsplitting, thanks that was a good explanation. Smile
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