Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shrine of the Mists

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" In just two short weeks I will be a full-time school teacher. So much to get done, so little time!

Occasionally I find myself at Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary. One of the things I like about it is the way people have built little shrines here and there in the woods. Most of these shrines are little more than cairns of the local stone, piled up with a few feathers or shiny items attached. However simple these constructions are, they're touching. No one piles up stones without intention. And intention generates energy.

This is a morbid topic, but do you go to the cemetery to place flowers on your parents' graves? I do. Occasionally. Even more infrequently, I place some at my grandparents' grave.

Next time you go to the cemetery, take a look at the older parts of the grounds. No one puts flowers there. The decoration of graves lasts one, maybe two generations, and then it ceases. I stand accused. I know where all of my great-grandparents are buried, but I haven't visited the sites in years.

All shrines are impermanent, if you get right down to it. Someday the Pyramids will erode to dust, and Stonehenge will fall apart. The Great Wall of China isn't a shrine, but it is crumbling even now.

With that in mind, I set to building a little impermanent shrine in my back yard. I've been going outside in the early morning when it's cool and putting the shrine together, using mostly the materials on hand. Thrift is important.

Sure, I would love a shrine made from the stone on my mountain property. I don't have any way of getting that stone from Point A to Point B. So, remember the wise words of Crosby, Stills and Nash? "If you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with."

The materials on hand are bricks, scavenged from a handyman project my next-door neighbor completed a decade and a half ago. Long hence the bricks had stopped serving as the border to my garden, because mugwort doesn't recognize bricks as an impediment. About six inches of ivy and mugwort have extended past the bricks. I had to brush the brush aside to find my long-lost "border."

Almost everyone who has ever created a shrine has worshiped the deity to whom the shrine is constructed before the construction began. That's logical enough. Can't imagine the pharaohs saying, "Let's build a big old structure, and then figure out what to do with it."

Logic has never been a strong suit here at "The Gods Are Bored." I started the shrine, wondering to Whom it should be dedicated.

Didn't have to think for long. My little impermanent shrine, done in red construction brick with a few stones from home and various weird stuff made by The Heir, will be dedicated to the Nameless Deities of the Mists. This shrine will honor all Gods and Goddesses who have been forgotten by time, and the people who praised those Gods and Goddesses. These people would include our ancestors, yours and mine. We probably have a common one back in those Mists.

I once had an anthropology teacher who said that, at the time of the cave paintings at Lascaux, the rocks outside the caves were probably covered with paintings too. The teacher said, "Every rock face was probably a billboard for some deity or celebration." Time just erased the handiwork.

So to you, painters of Lascaux. To you, Mitochondrial Mother. To you, restless wanderers of the globe, carting your deities with you to empty lands. This little place honors you and Those you called Divine.

To put it more bluntly, I've created a monument to the bored gods. I call it Shrine of the Mists.

If you would like to have something of yours placed upon the Shrine of the Mists, or if you would like to be remembered by the Very Extremely Ancient Deities Shrouded in the Mists of Time, contact me through my email or comment thread. Dark Moon is Thursday, and the shrine will be ready for dedication on that night.


Alex Pendragon said...

If you should happen to make contact with one of those ancient deities of the mists, could you ask them who I am REALLY descendant from? I KNOW it can't be THIS nutcase species..........


hmm, i might not make something there for the dedication, but im sure i can find something to include..

Sarita said...

And I thought I did things weird. I at least haven't started making a shrine before figuring out who it's to. Leastways, not yet. :P

Something tells me that bored deities will be happy with this.

Paula said...

This post came at a perfect time for me. On a recent trip I saw a fantastic rock which had been broken giving it three shelves, perfect for votive offerings. I appropriated it and brought it home, but now I have no idea what to do with it. Make a shrine apparently, but like you I have no idea to whom.

kim said...

Anne -- What a lovely idea. I might have to put a shrine in my garden. the Mists of Time....hmmmmmm.

Maebius said...

Through the mysteries of inter-state travel and re-gifting, I have sent the physical manifestation of an unknown Liminal Lord to your Shrine of the Mists. I know nothing of his followers or Patronage, but his likeness adorns my own altar, and having two of them, I sent one your way.....

Tadpoles really do need to be some sort of Mystical Symbol. :)