Check out my post on the difference between a shrine and and altar HERE. The views below are of the original author, you can seem my take on altars and shrines at my post.
Shrine Cleaning by fumbletongue:
In this context shrine is not the same as altar. To me a shrine is not a place of working typically though it can be. More often than not it is an offering to anything you decide to offer to. Many have their altars and shrines in the same place but for the sake of this post I will be talking specifically about shrine cleaning.
- Remove everything – Take down all the trinkets, the bones, the dried leaves and seeds. Decide if you want to keep any in their dried out state and save them. All others may be burned, buried, or discarded depending on your preference. Note that burying things that aren’t from the earth can be considered insulting to some and littering by others. It is up to you.
- Wipe every surface down – Whether its salt water, sage, rosemary and thyme, or just water you yourself have blessed makes little difference. Maybe you’ve take those dried out leaves and seeds and are using them. Keep the cloth damp and if you can charge it while you clean. Ingrain yourself into the surface you are cleansing.
- Wipe down objects – The same goes for the objects you are going to place back on the shrine. wipe the dust and dirt from them before placing them back. Be cautious, some stones and bones and other trinkets cannot be wet. If that’s the case consider cleansing by sunlight, smoke, or chanting.
- Decide – What will go and what will stay? This is up to you of course. Take time in your selection but don’t stress or fuss. If you find that your arrangement isn’t to your liking later you can always rearrange everything.
- Refresh – Use new materials as well as old. Find new offerings to place on the shrine. Some people like to use the seasons or holidays. You can also use elemental themes, divination themes, moon phases, and so on.
- Rebuild – Make new pockets, new shelves new setups. Should some things be hidden or concealed? Should you stack or lean books and stones? What if you went out and gathered some fresh flowers and herbs from the woods behind the house or the store down the street to build small wreaths? The possibilities are really endless.
Some Themes to Start
If you’re unsure of how or what to decorate a shrine with here are some ideas:
When you think of who or what the shrine is for what do you imagine they:
Where do they thrive?
What would you like them to feel when they see your shrine?
What brings you joy, what brings you joy about them?
Historically what are common offerings?
In a community what do some offer?
Do they prefer things bold or secret?
Bright colors or muted?
Are they a loud song in a drum circle or a light whisper in starlight?
What items from the current season do you think they’d appreciate?
What items from the current season make you think of them?
Is there any lore about them that suggests symbols you can represent?
Remember a shrine is ultimately between you and what or whoever you are building the shrine for. Some have things they’d never consider placing on it and others have no rules. Some leave shrines for spirits and some for gods. Some leave shrines for fae and some for beings that don’t exist on this plane.
Who and what your shrine is made of and represents is yours. Utilize that to make it something you are proud of.