Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How to Make a Small Altar for Veneration of The Ones Who Have Already Gone

First thing you do is find someone to venerate.
This is usually someone who has passed on.
That is they have loosed their earthly coil.
Or to put it crudely they have died.

This could be a parent.
It could be a pet.
It could be someone you knew.
It could be someone you miss.

Maybe a Saint.
Maybe a Prophet.
Maybe a God.
Maybe a Goddess.

But in the end it is your decision.

Now you got to decide where to put it.

Put it somewhere where you will see it often.
Maybe the living room.
Maybe a bedroom.
You could put it anywhere.

Most people like to use a small table.
They cover it with a white cloth.
White stands for purity.
Maybe that is not appropriate.
Use a different color.
I myself would not use a plaid cloth.

Now you have to decorate the altar.
Start with a foto or image of the venerated one.
Place it at the back of the altar.
Facing toward you.
Use a picture where the eyes follow you.
Even if you are no longer in the room.
They are always watching you.

Next you need candles.
Get some nice ones.
Beeswax is good.
Air freshener candles would not be my first choice.
Candles stand for light.
Light was one of the first things that ever existed.
So it is a nice touch to connect the venerated one with the cosmic everexisting primordial light that got rid of the dark that had been oppressing the universe for a long time before the light came to town.

While still talking candles some people like candlabras.
Not me.
Too messy.

Also do not stick a candle in an old bottle.
Unless the venerated one was a pirate.

Flowers in a vase are nice.
Here I would use the plastic ones.
The fresh ones are more work.
You have to change the water or it will smell bad.
Or you have to keep getting new flowers.
Plastic is nice.
It is a symbol for eternity.
You should dust the flowers once a week.

The aforementioned things are just a starting point.

You can personalize it in many ways.
I have seen plates of food.
Sometimes real.
Sometimes plastic.
Toy animals can be a nice addition.
A poem that expresses an appropriate emotion.
Incense helps add an air of mystery.
I saw a beer can once.
Ditto for a vhs tape.

The altar tells a story.
It is a place of quiet reflection.
It is a symbol that we have not forgotten.
The venerated one's memory can be located here.
Depending upon your belief the venerated one can aid you.
Maybe.
Maybe not.

What do you do when you are tired of the altar?
Take a foto of it.
Maybe a short video of you talking about it.
This then becomes a nice keepsake.
Then you can tear the altar down.
Store it in the garage.
Maybe you will be bring it out again.
I don't know.
That is up to you.

But remember the foto of the venerated one.
The eyes will be following you.
Even after you put it in storage.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Dave said...

The red pillow case
I use for an altar cloth
never shows the dust.

7:33 PM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Dave, where did you buy it?

8:41 PM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger MB said...

Si, los ojos de mi madre me siguen siempre.

10:06 AM, November 02, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Siempre! That is the truth!

10:12 AM, November 02, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

I love the plaid cloth bit.

Rocks are good too. or small bits of bones found in the woods. Also feathers.

7:24 PM, November 04, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Beth...thanks for the comment. Plaid might work is the object of veneration was Scotch! Red and white checked cloth could be used for a deceased pizzaria owner. Rocks, feathers and bones.....all good!

8:56 AM, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Mom2the5rs said...

Fred, I am truly enjoying your blog. I laughed out loud three times on this post, but I also felt a tenderness in this piece for the "venerated one". I have never made an alter for anyone or anything. It might be a good thing to do for me, when the time comes....

Jules

12:30 AM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Jules, thank you for the comments. I followed the link to your various blogs. You are a very busy and creative person!

9:07 AM, January 10, 2008  
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2:16 PM, July 30, 2010  

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