Altars in the home

topic posted Sat, September 30, 2006 - 9:24 AM by  Unsubscribed
In the spirit of starting a better topic, I would like to get a sense of the no-doubt wide variety of home altars out there.

First, I'll share. I live in a small apartment and do not have a lot of space. So I keep only one altar area with all the consecrated items modge-podged into one small space: ancestor items are right next to Esu, right next to one hand of Orunmila, right next to Ibiji, right next to Ogun items, right next to Ori house, and so on, all in one corner of my living room. Also, altar items made for me by the Mexican Santera are right next to those made by the Ifa Baba (the two aren't as incompatable as some say).

It would be better to have separate space for each, but I haven't figured out how yet.

How do others people arrange and keep their altars? I have also heard about Orisa communities that only keep community altars and don't keep altars in there homes. I'd love to hear more.

By the way, the coolest thing about this "tribe" is that it's perhaps the most diverse group I've ever seen.

(Actually, any conversation at all not about "dragonslaying" and nose hairs would be great, eh?)
posted by:
  • Unsu...

    Re: Altars in the home

    Sat, September 30, 2006 - 5:24 PM
    I have the same problem, too many folks in a small place. I have a two room studio with a vestibule. Right now, I have my boveda in the same room as my Ocha. I'd prefer they were in different rooms, but I just don't have another room. So it is what it is.

    But sorry to but in, but you should really find a way to seperate the anscestor stuff from the ocha...
    • Re: Altars in the home

      Sat, September 30, 2006 - 7:21 PM
      In candomble most of our people dont have this problems since we keep our pots in the community terreiro and nobody should see our pots anyway...
    • Re: Altars in the home

      Sat, September 30, 2006 - 8:55 PM

      ONe thing that will help in small areas that the fluidos have room is to draw a semi circle around the boveda table with casacrilla and draw 9 flechas one going in and one going out in sequence one in and one out , one in and one out ...till you have nine flechas this helps close the area around the Iwins and eguns so that the spiritual energies do not clash ...


      And ASE Jason the spiritual engeries are different from the Iwins, eguns and Ochas they should be different areas
  • Re: Altars in the home

    Sun, October 1, 2006 - 6:03 AM
    In Trinidad a palais is what we call a main shrine. This is where the dancing and ceremonies take place. Many priests tend to have either one or a number of separate buildings (small) off the shrine itself, or a separate piece of land all together to house their Orishas and Egun shrines. I have seen elaborate Egun shrines... usually little houses built with the altar inside. I have rarely been inside a priest's Orisha shrine (where the pots would be kept). That is not really 'done'. I have been to a shrine, where shrine items were buried, and icons of each Orisa were placed on top, but as to what was buried how and when, I don't know.

    Some people do keep their Orishas in their homes, but almost always this is until they can do better or because better cannot be done. Most people I know tend to keep their sacred spaces outside of the house. However, Trinidad is not like America or another large city. Finding areas to create those spaces is not as hard there as it would be in a concrete jungle.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Altars in the home

      Sun, October 1, 2006 - 6:33 AM
      this is a great conversation re: space...since more and more we are lacking it at least in the states (in a few friends and i joked that people would soon rent storage space just to put their orisa...but now that this topic has come up, it doesn't seem like a bad idea? nowadays you can get a climate controlled storage, and have access when you need it. perhaps that could be an alternative for someone short on space, who doesn't have a communal alternative to "housing" their orisa (or orisa related items/altar)
    • Re: Altars in the home

      Mon, October 2, 2006 - 3:27 PM
      Ase Ndelamiko,

      In Trinidad it seems very similar to Brazil.

      Now, our people are poor, poverty such as it is only seen in very few places in the US (but there are!). Still everyone finds a place to put their Orisa, in the soil, where they are supoose to be (OURS).

      Well, America is the land of abundance. Better than storage Idowu (which can be a temporary solution), why not a Garden shed in someone's (trusty) backyard? I've done it while in the US and roomating in a small place.

      At least in candomble, we don't have the need to have them with us. They stay in the terreiro (temple/coumpound) until the time that you do HAVE a place. No problem with that.

      Well, this is in Candomble. iIknow that in lukumi is different.


      Maria d'Osala
      • Unsu...

        Re: Altars in the home

        Fri, October 6, 2006 - 6:52 PM
        In the cities a lot of us don't even know anybody with a yard. Do people ever bury them in urban community gardens? Or do a lot of cities have those?

        I might move to the forest someday, but that's another story.
        • Re: Altars in the home

          Sat, October 7, 2006 - 5:25 AM
          Ase Eric,

          Why bury Orisa Igbas (Pots) in urban community gardens or parks? I don't understand the thought behind it.

          Orisa already lives in nature. So where there are trees, rivers, animals, THEY ARE THERE!!!

          Ny the way, in Brazil, Candomble is a very URBAN religion, since we were always dependant of acess , imported materials, etc for worship.

          You don't have to live in a "forest" LOL, we don't! It would not be easy to have a community there...


          Maria d'Osala
          • Unsu...

            Re: Altars in the home

            Sat, October 7, 2006 - 9:59 AM
            Ase Maria d'Osala,

            Burying Orisa was such a new idea to me, I had never heard of it before. It peaked my interest.

            I love this conversation.

  • Re: Altars in the home

    Sun, October 1, 2006 - 9:06 PM
    Greetings all,
    I personally have a hard time with all the "rules"........that is with not having the "material" with the "spiritual".
    Is it not one and the same in different forms of expression....
    Most importantly, it pertains to you and your faith and belief.
    Of course orisha and spirit protectors are aware of you reality in all aspects, even pertaining to space.
    They (in my opinion) cannot be offended therefore.
    My experience and belief is thus..
    i have incorporated the symbolic containers of my ("my") orishas to blend aesthetically in my home, and in such a way that the visitor will not touch "out of curiousity"....they may comment in passing. This is done in a most respectful and honoring way.
    I also do this with with a small altar with water and items......
    Faith should not be a burden, but a thing of beauty....
    Please allow yourself not too worry about your small space and honoring them, they know for sure, the sincerity in your heart...
    • Unsu...

      Re: Altars in the home

      Mon, October 2, 2006 - 4:03 AM
      I don't think it's so much keeping spiritual and material, as keeping egun and orisha seperate respect and space.

      I have known many people who don't do the whole canastellero thing, but have their orisha all through their home. It's really beautiful. It's like their whole house becomes a temple.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Altars in the home

        Fri, October 6, 2006 - 6:43 PM
        The idea of burying the altars in the ground makes having what I have seem much more precious, that people would love community altars so much to protect their orisa like that. In comparison, it seems like the Orisa in the United States are handed out like water. Perhaps as a way to survive through so much oppression? These folk have had it bad here.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Altars in the home

          Fri, October 6, 2006 - 7:44 PM
          An outside altar sounds beautiful too.
          • Re: Altars in the home

            Sat, October 7, 2006 - 5:27 AM

            And all the Orisas that to Us HAVE to live outside: Eshu, Ogun, Oshossi, live...


            Maria d'Osala
            • Unsu...

              Re: Altars in the home

              Sat, October 7, 2006 - 10:19 AM
              I would like to visit these places someday and learn more (but money's so tight).

              It sounds like Orisa there and Orisa here have kept the same names and significance through the years, even though we might come to them different. ASE!
  • Tee
    offline 0

    Re: Altars in the home

    Wed, October 18, 2006 - 10:11 AM
    I have my boveda set up in my kitchen. I have our warriors at the front door..I have my Ibeyi in the Dining Room. I have Olokun in a corner with a screen around her. Maybe you can find a space in your kitchen. My mother used to have hers in a kichen corner. I have mine on a small coutertop that is really cozy. My Madame likes to roam the I move her alot.

Recent topics in "Orisha Devotees"