It's kind of a contradiction, because for many things in my life, I am a concrete/empirical guy, with simple binary arguments and answers to things. But... on the other hand... Well I can be somewhat supersitious, and paganistic on a very simple spiritual level.
One thing that always blows my mind big time is when I am traveling around or doing some rather mundane activities or travels and I come upon some object or tchotchke that just appears to me out of the blue in a very alien surrounding. Like the time when I was exploring Philadelphia with a friend of mine and I found a pink little toy plastic army man. Sometimes, also when you are dead broke or down in the dumps and you find some funny on the street, whether it is a penny, nickel, quarter or even a hundred dollar bill.
Also, things that were handed down to me from very family members or best friends. No matter how long those relationships take a wrong turn or die I can never bring myself to "Let go" of the "Power" that I believe these items contain. Like the letters that my good friends from Europe wrote to me over the years, I feel that it would be the ultimate betrayal or sin to do so... or my sister and my "Baby" announcement cards that my parents sent out to everyone when you are born, I have the orginials. I have a silver spoon from my Great grand mother and a certain picture that was taken of my Mom's mom. My Air Force decorations and medals. One time I even found a little power ranger figure that is about the size of the original GI Joe.
One of the things that I do in my personal life over the decades has been to piece together various types of these objects and place them together to bring me some sort of good "Mojo" or "Power". Doing this keeps me grounded, I know I know maybe it's non-sensical and maybe it doesn't to anything a all and it's one big delusion for me. But... it helps... and it's feel good to so.... It provides me with a certain of degree of grounded-ness if you will.
Maybe you feel me on this and maybe you don't. One thing that is especially grounding and powerful for me in the contruction of my personal shrines is the use of items that were handed down to me from my familial ancestors and friends that have passed away to the other side or our lifes divergred for some profound reasons. Like when my Chocolate Lab "Meadow" died, I had all of her toys, especially her green Kong chew toy. Now this toy is made for a Big dawg ok? But we just adopted a tiny male Maltese puppy and he literally worships this toy.
Every once in a while, you don't necessarily let go of the objects in your shrine, but you identify a person or "being" so to speak that you give one of the items from your shrine to. Spreading the Stoke.
Just touching these objects bring immense power and grounding to me. Even more so, the placement and arrangement of the items and the location of the shrine itself.
There were times when it seemed like this was all I had, and reflecting on the objects and thinking deeply about what placed them in my life was truly something that brought some peace and clarity to my distress. Every object or thing... living or inanimate, natural or man made, has a life of it's own and a storage. Call me crazy or a dolt that's fine. It's how I feel and you can never front on that.
Maybe that makes me a delusional fool, but I don't think so. I know this is not truly some "magic" in and of itself, but lurking in between the secular and the spiritual maybe something is there. At least for me, and although sometimes it is good for me to let go of my shrines, there is always a season, a moment in which to rebuild, or to pay it forward.
So, in the end, in my perception of it, I seem to confuse the definition of a shrine with what a sanctuary is. But maybe both of these things and what they signify overlap one another.
When I'm down, when I've lost Return to the origins of my positive power To the things I value most, I've paid for them spiritually at a cost To grow the positive mental attitude, and feel it shower
Lonliest time of day make the Formation, and Design No one should ever have to say That they give up the position and resign
Themselves down a path of failure and darkness
To seek refuge From the deluge of evil that sometimes engulf this world and toil away protected to ensure the flag of englighenment is unfurled
To seek out the safety In the power that I built With help from the Universe And to wash away all the spiritual blood that's been spilt
I keep them close to my heart Because there are infinite moments where I make my new start
No more time, because I exist only in the here and nows And to all of you I send a million of instances of my humility stricken bows