“My formal shrine is a wooden cabinet that hangs on the wall. I prefer to keep my icons hidden, as would have been done in the temples of ancient Egypt in what is typically called a Kar shrine (Naos in Greek). Set pushed me to get an entirely wooden case last year (as opposed to particle board with veneer) and I ended up getting this case- which is made of reclaimed Teak wood.”
“The inside of the case features my two main gods – Set and Asar. Originally, this case was only going to hold one deity (Set), as was the norm in Egypt, but things changed, and the case came to hold two gods. The set-up is kept simple, as I prefer simplicity in my space.”
“On top of the case rests my ‘cheat sheet’- a laminated copy of the daily ritual featured in Eternal Egypt.”
“Every day, I will switch out the water in the main cup in the back. I have a couple of different cups that I will place in here- depending on what ‘strikes’ me. The offerings are from a company called Re-Ment. Re-ment specializes in making miniature toys, and due to my diet restrictions, I feel that this is a nice alternative for offerings. Votive offerings (including fake food) were used in antiquity, and I feel that they are just as viable today. I try to ensure that any fake foods that I offer look realistic and high quality.”
“Each day, I will remove the ‘old’ Re-ment, and place in a new batch. I try to make sure that there are always a couple pieces of bread, as this was the most common offering in Egypt. The range of offering items is wide, and can vary from rice, to soup, to spaghetti, to corn dogs, to salad (and anything in between). I try to ensure that I don’t give Asar any fish, as there is some debate about whether he will tolerate such food. There are little glasses of beer that sit at the bottom of each Icon, and those never leave the shrine- as beer was a staple.
At the end of each rite, I close the doors for another day. The Re-ment will stay in the case overnight, in case the gods ‘get hungry’ while I’m away.”
Votive Beef Leg:
Votive offering, New Kingdom, second half of Dynasty 18, ca. 1400–1295 B.C.
Egyptian, Wood with remains of black pigment, L. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2006 (2006.16) www.metmuseum.org
All these shrines are missing their doors.