Laura Handler Montana Cabin shrine

One of the images Laura Handler sent us of her Montana Log Cabin was her “shrine”, with these notes:

A Mexican Day of the Dead smoking shrine found in Oaxaca Mexico – note the cigarettes on top.

I have not smoked for eleven years – it’s working!

We know quite a few people who have created personal shrines over the years: arrangements of privately meaningful and sacred objects, quotes, images that remind, give power, hold an intention or a wish… this one of a friend; it changes every once-in-a-while: the placement of elements shift, new pieces are added in. Anything can be a shrine: the configuration and meaning in the eyes – and heart – of the maker.

personal shrines
photo: sally schneider

Personal shrines can also be made anywhere, like this shoeshine man’s shrine that “the Mexican” posted on his Flickr photostream:

Shoe Shine Man's Shrine

When we did a search on the internet we discovered an interesting permutation on the theme of shrines: portable shrines made in Altoid mint tins, which are pocket-size and have a convenient hinged lid.

…google “altoid tin shrines” and you’ll find a trove…

Our favorite is an Altoid tin filled with magnetic words from magnetic poetry kits
(you can choose from all sorts of word kits: like lovehaiku, encouragement etc); it allows you to tailor your shrine’s message to suit the moment. You can also print favorite words or phrases on injet magnetic sheets and cut them out to include in your portable tin shrine. (Here’s a simple how-to.) You can carry an Altoid tin shrine-let in your pocket.


What’s in your shrine?

Related posts: house tour: laura handler’s montana log cabin
meg hitchcock ‘hacks’ sacred texts to make new ones
keeping a dream book
slowing down and counting blessings
bob dylan’s blessing (+ our thanksgiving wish for you)
counting blessings as antidote
batali’s beautiful ‘fuck you’: a tale of 9/11x

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One thought on “creating personal shrines (and portable ones, too)

  1. Lovely: I had an idea for an Altoid Tin shrine several years ago. Seeing this, I broke it out again for my personal co-celebration of Ramadan alongside my Moslem friends. Trying to learn the Benedictine cycle of Read, Meditate, Pray, Contemplate.

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