Box Altars… These Little Boxes are NOT Made of Ticky-Tacky!

Box Altars… These Little Boxes are NOT Made of Ticky-Tacky!


Today I shall be getting my MunDanish on with a little bit of cleaning/packing/organizing/moving prep.

CAN I GET HIP-HOP-HOOHA-HOORAY sans the “HOO” and easy on the “HA”?

I love the way my British friends call it “moving house”. It’s far better than just saying “moving”. Moving insinuates motion but does not hint at a destination. “Moving house” ties up the package with a nice little bow. I’d shake that box, and I’d shake it good!

So, yes. We did get THE HOUSE. Lucky O’Shallahan (our fat-happy-jolly-buddhaesque little house spirit) has been pleased with his offerings of contraband clove cigarettes. I have plenty of cloves left in my deep-freezer stash, so it was totally worth it. We don’t have an exact date for the close of escrow, but shit is going pretty well. Lookin’ good! I’m trying to get my closet cleaned out, but I’m also trying to ignore the fact that I’d rather be making altars.

Moving plans has led to a burst of creativity for me, in a very good way. As I embrace my need to feed into the cycle of creating altars, tearing them down, and re-creating them, I’m also thinking rather practically at the same time. Good Chaos & Good Order, balancing nicely FOR THE WIN! I’m trying not to ignore the work that I know I need to do, in regards to moving. Yet I’m also trying to give proper attention to the work I know I want to do, in regards to my practice. I’ve made some proto-types of box altars that I believe might be a good solution for my predicament. I need to move things easily, yet keep them intact. I need to be able to hide them and put them back together easily if I have company. I want them to be self-contained in a way that will prevent them from getting out of hand.

So… I’m trying this with Box Altars. How about I show you, rather than just telling you? Think of all the shitty dioramas you had to make in grade school, but picture them beautiful, functional, practical, where making them is a ritual all it’s own! I’m having fun with this project, although I’ve gotten derailed from the real MunDanish work I need to be doing.

These pictures are kind of shitty, but they’ll give you an idea of what can be done… (My iPhone camera sucks when it’s hazy/overcast out and I’m taking pics indoors. Fuck it, says I!)

This is a Ganesha/Lakshmi altar I put together using an old gift-box from a mall gift certificate. The trick is to find nice, but decorative-looking or colorful boxes that are sturdy enough to be re-used. Stationary stores, IKEA, and Borders all have a lot of sturdy gift boxes and organizing boxes that work beautifully for a box altar. The most important part is making it to where the lid can fit snugly underneath to give you more of a canvas to work with. If you’re in the US, Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx have a good selection. Target and WalMart do as well, surprisingly on the latter. I just used stuff I already had around like a pretty-foil Ganesha post-card, some small statuary, flowers, some pretty vintage jewelry

This is a larger Box Altar I’m working on for Sarasvati. I just got a cheap-o file organizing box from Wally World, and went to town with some pretty red-foil gift-wrap on clearance for a buck at Borders. You don’t need to spend a lot to do something cool. It’s the perfect medium to use paper bits, or odd craft-store clearance bin finds. I have yet to make a Discordian one, but… BWAHAHAHAHAH!  Yes, that is the box from the Tarot of the Four Elements. That deck is very much a Winter/Spring deck for me, and it seems to work well with Sarasvati. I’ve got some symbolic elements that are meaningful and relevant to my practice and work with Her, as well as flowers, a crazy wire “flower of life” thing I made, pretty ceramic dishes from the funky Chinese gift shop down town, healing and empowering stones and talismans, and of course a big-ass block of selenite. Selenite is sort of my go-to stone for any kind of energy work.

And yes… That is a Ganesha Zippo lighter. Sarasvati is the first god who truly and irrevocably pierced the veil of consciousness for me, and ganjajuana is the medium. Spring is when she chooses to do so. The Ganesha lighter is sort of a nod to that. Also… I have Ganesha in all of my altars except for anything with Persephone. It’s just not an altar party without my one-tusked homie!

 

Basically, these are made to be collapsed very quickly and easily. I put them away in under a minute. Completely self-contained. These could sit in a stack of other storage or organizer boxes in my “office”. I doubt anyone would go through my “bills” and “taxes” and “receipts” unless the IRS did door-to-door audits. Again, these can be hidden super easily in plain sight!

I am at peace with being inconspicuous. I practice and think about some pretty weird and way-out-there shit. There is nothing special or different about me except the fact that I’m just naturally wired for this kind of artsy, chaotic, ecstatic, entheogen-driven, experience-based practice. That’s a big pill to swallow for most people. They’re not ready for it, or they can’t conceive of some of this shit yet. I’ve seen stuff I can’t rectify in my rational mind. I’m not crazy either. Except for a little bit of hormonally-charged irrational bitchiness, I’m pretty sane and level-headed.

I’ll gladly keep my eccentricities for an audience who can handle them a little bit better.

This audience just might be you!

I’m going to keep playing with these. Neither one of these are going to last. I’ll re-do them soon. I plan to have one working altar in a cabinet or hutch, and some of these little dudes in boxes.

I’m feeling good about it, and… also… I really need to get some shit done! Namaste, bitchez, gods, and all the other closed-minded fuckwads out there! I’m outta here! (For now!)

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4 thoughts on “Box Altars… These Little Boxes are NOT Made of Ticky-Tacky!

  1. SO fabulous! You have got your mojo (the non-fat, furry kind) working. You have a unique flair for “throwing” these little sacred spaces together (same with your non-box altars) and gathering the necessary parts to make them *just so*. I feel like you should maybe explore the judicious use of Mod Podge. Just… trust me on this *wicked cackles*

    1. Thank you kindly, Madame! It’s kind of fun to pimp my altar pieces of flare. I had a serious Mod Podge addiction back in high school… Artsy + Mod Podge + Listening to a lot of Grateful Dead= I’m not sure I can go back!

      It was… not my best moment, artistically. Too many dancing flowers, happy smiley suns, and god-awful psychedelic-shelled tortoises. Ugh.

      1. Oh dear. Sounds… terrifically, tragically rainbowy. I’m so glad I was more into artsy horreur a la Beardsley and cryptic verses in Latin 🙂

  2. Pingback: Teacher 123 Blog

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