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Worshiping Yourself

06 Mar

It sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? “Worshiping yourself.” I can hear people thinking already, “what kind of actual well adjusted person worships themselves? Only narcissists and greedy jerks think of themselves as gods needing worship!”

But I am here to challenge that notion.

As you surf through the Pagan-sphere you’ll see a lot of shadow work going on, and if you stop to read some of that shadow work, you’ll see that a lot of it stems from a lack of self love and self worth. We as a society (especially women and minority groups, imo) are taught that we are not worthy of our own love. We are taught that we need to put literally every. single. person. on the planet. before ourselves. And in turn, we neglect our own needs, our own wants and desires, and that can lead to some self-destructive tendencies. When I wrote about unconditional love a few years ago, I mentioned that unconditional love also included loving yourself, and that includes making yourself a priority in your own life. In order to help facilitate loving ourselves more, I decided to explore the idea of creating a shrine for yourself.

Or as the title of this post states: creating a shrine where you can worship yourself.

How do we create a shrine to ourselves?

It may seem really confusing at first- figuring out how one makes a shrine to yourself. However, I can say at least this: there are no rules on what a proper shrine to yourself would include! Unlike trying to please a deity or religious obligations and rules in typical shrine creation, you are completely in control of what goes on your own shrine. You get to make the rules, and only put things on your shrine that help you to move closer to self acceptance and love. I know that this is really generic sounding, so to help you get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas for you!

To start off, here is a list of things that you could start with:

  • Pictures of yourself
  • Pictures of things that you love, or things that make you happy
  • Mantras and affirming statements (for ideas on these, see here, here and here)
  • Workbooks and tools to help with your goals
  • Journals
  • Jewelry or other finery that you like to wear. Things that make you feel good and look good.
  • Nice smelling things such as perfume, candles or incense

As stated above, you could include anything on your shrine. Nothing is off limits. It can be large, or small. Something you wear on your person, an image you keep in your wallet, or be a huge shelf in your living room. It’s all about what helps you to be happy. For example, I tend to include stuff that reminds me of my astral family because they make me happy. I also like to include images of my gods because they have played a key role in a lot of my shadow work over the years.

Use whatever makes your shrine yours.

I’ve got my shrine set up, but what do I do with it?

With all of the small spaces that I have set up for myself, I spend most of my time in those spaces being happy and calm. I use my own personal shrines to reflect upon myself and where I am going. I think about where my life is heading, and if I need to adjust anything to reflect where I want to be. I also use these spaces to talk with entities, the same way you might with a deity at their shrine. However, the conversations in my own personal shrine space are either regarding my own personal self work, or are lighter in nature. I don’t go to my personal spaces to talk about other business.

I also treat my personal shrine space as a safe place. I go there to unwind or reduce stress. I have a lot of small spaces in my house where I will stop for just a few seconds as a means to remind myself to breath and calm down. If your space is large enough, you could meditate in front of your shrine, or listen to music that helps you to relax.

Essentially, it is a space that is designed to help you grown and become a better person through whatever methods help with that.

And to help bring it all together, here are some examples for you to look at!

This is my main “me” shrine. It sits by my bedside and is changed regularly as my needs and wants change. This particular version of the shrine has a focus on heart-based magix and has been set up to help my heart heal after what I had experienced during this years Mysteries.

This shrine features a lot of items that I relate to my astral family, including multiple necklaces that my menz have claimed as well as the brass candle holder that my partner has claimed. I keep keys on the shrine to help me remember that I have keys to moving forward. I keep spoons on this shrine to remind myself that I need to keep my spoons and manage my spoons better. I also keep a small icon of Set and Osiris on this shrine because they are trying to help me become more balanced.

Balancing is a primary focus of this shrine, hence the fairly even distribution of items and the symmetry that is present here.

This is a very small shrine that sits in my closet. This is one of those shrines that I see daily while I get ready in the morning, and I use it as a small reminder to make time for myself and to remember that I am worth pampering. I keep very bright, expensive (ish) looking items in the glass case. I use items that remind me to dress well and focus on keeping up with my appearances (because it helps my mental health). The pin for sewing reminds me of the changes I’m making through my clothing. The pocket watch reminds me that my time is valuable. And all of the items in this case remind me of my astral family and the positive things that my family Over There has brought into my life.

Shrine001

This shrine features a star jar, which I use star jars for heka purposes and fulfillment of wishes. Each of the stars in the jar have been imbued with desire and purpose for where I want to go in life. I’ve also placed a picture on this shrine that has a pair of owls on it- which reminds me of my physical partner and helps me to remember to focus on my life here as well. I have a large quartz (I think?) sphere on this shrine that I roll around in my hands when I’m thinking and mulling.

shrine002

I wanted to show this idea as a concept for everyone because I want people to see that your shrine doesn’t necessarily need to be big or fancy. This type of shrine setup could easily blend into the rest of your house and no one would be the wiser. In this case, the aim is to make yourself a cup or pot of tea. You sit down with your cup of tea and while you drink it, you work on any shadow work or self-work that you need to get done. You could drink your tea and write down affirmations in the book. You could use the book to jot down things you got done today (see: done lists). You could use the journal for doodling or brainstorming. Again, its about whatever helps you to move forward towards a better you.

Hopefully this post has helped to give you some ideas about ways that you can help better yourself. If you guys create shrines for yourself, I’d love to hear about it!

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13 responses to “Worshiping Yourself

  1. hocuspocus13

    March 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.

     
  2. Cin

    March 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Loving yourself is hard. Its a big step in a lot of work. Great post :)

     
  3. tanishal

    March 6, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Reblogged this on The Lure of Beauty and commented:
    Fabulous concept!

     
  4. EmberVoices

    March 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Makes sense. I’ve always needed an altar for myself, if only to have a place to keep those bits of regalia and tools that don’t belong to any particular deity, or otherwise apply to my whole practice.
    -E-

     
  5. EmberVoices

    March 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Reblogged this on EmberVoices and commented:
    This makes sense for many reasons. Since I’ve ever had altars, I’ve had altars for myself, because I need some place that doesn’t belong to any particular deity or practice where I can keep together all my personal tools and symbols that apply to my over-arching practice.
    I have a door-hanging corkboard that served a similar purpose for me throughout my childhood and adolesence, before I became polytheistic. It was a place to keep things that represented me to myself, and I suspect this habit was very helpful both for surviving my school years, and for having a very solid sense of self when the time came to do intensive trance work and mediumship.
    The thing is, medium work is especially dangerous for people who have a weak sense of self, or a desire to not be themselves. The more a medium hates themselves, the easier it may be to step out of a gods way, certainly, but it’s much, much harder to come BACK, and that’s a huge problem. It’s not the gods’ job to live our lives for us. Some individuals are effectively avatars for a deity who has chosen for Their own reasons to live through them on that level, but that is rare, and not done just to shore up someone’s low self esteem.
    If you are a spirit worker and you do not already have a strong sense of self, or find yourself subject to self-hate, this practice of making a shrine to yourself – even of designing rituals for invoking yourself – may be a very useful place to start working on that.
    –Ember–

     
  6. lifelifedeathdeath

    March 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    I love this post!

     
  7. leighannemorgan

    March 7, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Love this! It makes sense!

     
  8. Rev. Dragon's Eye

    March 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Through The Eyes of a Dragon and commented:
    If we do not love ourselves, first , then HOW can we love others?
    It is this self-denialism, as constantly preached by the “church”, that has been one of the most notorious roots to our declining values, of ourselves and our world.

     
  9. Rev. Dragon's Eye

    March 8, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    About time that someone (who thinks as I do) brought this to light!

    Thank you!

    – Rev. Dragon’s Eye

     
  10. Evoru

    March 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I love this. A good percentage of pagans I’ve met acknowledge that we are the children of gods and contain within us scraps of divinity. What could be more natural than acknowledging and adoring those bits?

     
  11. cicadinae

    March 11, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I’ve done this for about a year but haven’t really thought it through the same way. Having flailed along a few pagan paths at first, I found it better for me to stop and really look at myself. Thus the altars and shrines as they were changed drastically and became places for me. Even small things, like the last picture you show, would pop up in places I usually hang out in my home. For example, by my computer I keep my calendar-journal, the book(s) I am currently reading, and a pen. Every night after I finish working and catching up, I stack everything in a specific way. It gives me a sense of closure for the night and brings me peace in the morning when I come back to it, just the act of stacking and restacking.

    I should really look into shadow work, but I don’t really get it. I’ve seen it defined in a lot of different ways. A couple of people have told me I already do it, and I’m like, “But…. I haven’t done anything…” Maybe sometime this year I’ll get down to actually compiling information on it and seeing what I can do with it.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

     
    • von186

      March 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

      I think a lot of people do shadow work without realizing it. If you’re moving towards understanding yourself and your demons or moving towards making a better you, you’d doing shadow work as far as I’m concerned.

       

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