Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This is a typical shinto shrine.  Did any of you ever have a little shrine growing up? Like a shelf or a dresser you put important, sacred things on? I put stones on a shelf, I remember.  And candles. I think I put my books on my shrine too. Most people(s) do this kind of altaring, elevating, designating certain things or areas as sacred.  (I mean, sure, all things are sacred because all things are equally Spirit, but bringing a little bit of that symbolic reality into the neighborhood for those who don't see it can be good, can be god, I imagine.  Better have a little mystery than none at all, I always say.  
Hanging shide "lighting rods for spirit" mark off (and attract/create) the sacred spaces. They are wrapped around trees and stones and sumo wrestlers.  In ancient times the Japanese believed that doing this would make the object more attractive for a god to occupy. The spirit would enter the space, take the being's form, and be readily availble for whatever ceremony.

Shide become slots into spirit, invitation into infinity, doors into godhead, and mirrors into meaningfulness. They catch the light. 


Mark Harman said...

You had a pretty impressive shrine of rubber ducks, too!

David said...

Delightful post David.
Images of my childhood/teenage bedroom came rushing back to me.
My stacked bookshelf, where I'd place important things like loose coins, my favorite CDs, small twigs and pieces of wood, and a small collection of sweets to be eaten at a later date.

Thank you

Terri said...

delicate handmade objects of fancy;
a pink flowered music box with a tiny ballerina inside;
a plastic piggy bank in the form of a big-toothed, grinning beaver, wearing a forest green top hat;
bits of nature, collected and revered;
and worn books, that I read and read and read again.

you are light, dreamboy.

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