Back in 2014, I felt it was time to expand my spiritual landscape. I had been working with tarot cards for many years and I wanted to further develop my intuitive abilities. The term "spirit guide" had filtered into my awareness through the metaphysical community and I became curious about my own helpers on the other side. So, I enrolled in a class from The Aspen Program for Psychic Development called "Got Guides?" taught by Marcia Stanfield.
One afternoon in class, we were led through a meditation and then asked to consult with our guides on how best to honor them. Because I am comfortable receiving messages through cards, I reached for an available oracle deck and asked the question. Upon turning over the reply, the words "Make an Altar" appeared face up (accompanied by a forgettable ethereal image). As I wrote down the response in my notebook, I had to laugh because work had already begun on this altar.
In 2008, I was enrolled in a sculpture class at Metro State University. I was inspired by "bathtub madonnas," which are shrines created for the Madonna out of old clawfoot tubs. I went to the thrift store and bought a small TV for five dollars. I hollowed it out, guilded it, and fitted it with a small Jesus night light on the inside. The Jesus was adorned with a Miller High Life bottle cap crown and was given to me by my artist friend Mario, who was also experimenting with reclaimed art themes.
Then one day, the old Mitsubishi TV in my living room stopped working. After the satisfying experience of making my first TV shrine, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to create a more beautiful version that better symbolized my spirituality.
The symbolism for my TV shrine is of the sacred feminine. The interior is beautifully bedazzled and sparkling with rhinestones and glitter paper. On the left is the crecent moon, symbol of the Goddess with her reflective and transformative nature. On the right is the mandorla or almond shape, symbol of creativity and of the Great Mother. Guilded oyster shells adorn the walls and sybolize Venus Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. The shrine would be nothing without the illuminating red light in the center. Red is the color of incarnation, blood, and passion; and light is symbolic of the Divine. This altar is dedicated to the Beings of Light and Love. As the TV is Japanese, the bejeweled kanji characters mean "Forever" and "Light."
When I began the journey of creating a work of art for my spirit guides, I didn't think it would take me almost a decade to arrive at this "finished" point. I have realized that I will probably never be done with an altar dedicated to light beings, who are charged with guiding me on an evolving spiritual journey. As I have grown and changed, so has my TV shrine. Nevertheless, it feels good to make art that is for the other side. If you have not yet tried it, I encourage the endevour!