As part of my attempts to re-establish some kind of meaningful spiritual belief/practice, I have actually been taking care of my altar! Which looks like this (albeit less blurry in real life):
And an equally slightly blurry close-up:
Yes, that is a picture of Aragorn and Arwen from LotR up there. What can I say, the characters epitomise the Goddess/God in their effectively medieval incarnation. Fair, just, strong, capable partners; exactly what the Gods ought to be. The tarot cards are from the Druidcraft Tarot, and the little flourite Kwan Yin and bowl (containing a piece of rose quartz) are my current source of meditative contemplation.
Also, I put fairy lights up around the altar. Must take pictures soon.
Sorry it’s a bit blurry, I shake a lot and my camera is old and doesn’t auto-stabilise!
Kwan Yin statue, two lotus candle-holders (one gold, one silver – solar and lunar) with sandalwood tealights, a lotus candle, a jade Kwan Yin statue & piece of kunzite, rose quartz pig and rabbit, offering bowl (with fruit, nuts, seeds and incense), and my rosewood mala beads.
I ought to preface this with: this is not an original design!! I do not have the patience or imagination to come up with something like this. I just observed the traditional Buddhist representations of Sita Tara (White Tara), found some I particularly liked, and based the drawing on those (occasionally glossing-over the hard to draw parts, heh).
The observant among you will notice that there are some hideous flowers at the bottom of the ink-only version, which have miraculously been transformed into Sanskrit in the pencilled version. This is where I failed, drew ugly-arsed flowers, and gave in and admitted I’d have to take white-out to my lovely work. *sigh* Damn you, nature!
Some more notes (because I’m anal-retentive that way): obviously, I’m a NeoPagan, not a Buddhist, and I very much dislike people who just appropriate other cultures without any regards to research or culture. That being said, I spent most of my teenage years doing extensive research into Buddhism and Hinduism: I am certainly not a Buddhist, but there are many aspects of Mahayana/Zen practice (but not necessarily beliefs) that appeal to me.
I personally agree with the Mahayana belief that the boddhisatvas are not Gods, therefore I see no reason why I can’t admire their characteristics and what they represent, without insulting either them or the theological framework in which I work. However, as much as possible, I try and do so within the context of the culture; hence my fondness for Zen-style meditation, and creating mandalas which I then destroy. I think I’ll keep this picture though, I’m rather proud of it (and that, folks, is why I’m not a Buddhist).
Questions? Comments? Haven’t had a good religious discussion in quite some time, feel free to fill the void!