Thinking Inside the Box: Making a shrine to slutty queerness

Guest post shared by Iskra.

I’m one of those people who loves putting things in boxes – literally, not metaphorically!

I love little things, and arranging and rearranging them to get the effect I want. It makes sense, then, that putting things in boxes is a big part of my magical practice. When I want something to happen, I put my intentions for it into a little shrine and let the magic of the world flow through it into me.

One of my favorite shrines is the one I like to call my “shrine to slutty queerness.” “Queer” and “slut” are two of the identities I claim for myself, with joy! The shrine is a cigar box full of things meant to pull that energy into my life and help me find people to engage in slutty queerness with.

I started with a cigar box I got on Etsy, and then I found cards (from the decks I use exclusively for shrine-building) that felt like they belonged there.

Union (Concordia) and Ecstasy (Ecstasis)

First into the box, because they’re the tallest, were two from The Gospel of Aradia. These felt important to me because I want to make connections with people – however deep or long-lasting, or not, they need to be – and I want to reach those beautiful peaks of sensation and emotion as often as I can.

Alliance (2 of Cups), Binary Star (the Lovers), and Symbiosis (3 of Cups)

Next came three from my favorite deck, the Science Tarot. The Binary Star card tells me about life-giving light and the benefits of welcoming people into my orbit. The Alliance card shows a heart-shaped lichen and it’s about balanced, effective relationships; relaxing into being known; and understanding and trustworthiness. The Symbiosis card shows growing orchids, and it’s about allowing new influences to make the team shine; expressing gratitude for connections that sustain your soul; and experiences together that enrich life. To me, these beautiful parts of nature represent being able to get different needs fulfilled by different relationships, whether sexual, romantic, platonic, or some combination of those – even when I’m single, I’m part of an awesome web of people who make me who I am.

10 of Cups

The last is from the classic Rider-Waite deck. This card is about bliss, abundance, and blessings, and I always think of it as the big queer dance party card: happy people, a rainbow in the sky, and plenty to drink! All of this is exactly what I want in my life, so in goes the card.

I added a little organza bag of herbs that work for love, togetherness, and all those good things – I’ve conveniently forgotten which ones except for the rosebud. I figure that, just like some of the people I’ve known briefly, even if I don’t know their names, they can help add some extra juice to my life!

The way I work, every shrine needs a focus, like a prism to gather all the light from the different sources into a single beam. Because of my particular proclivities, I picked a little figurine of a bound woman for my focus, to represent me. (She doesn’t look much like me, but it’s the principle of the thing.)

I arranged everything the way I liked it, then breathed my intentions over it.

In my magical tradition, giving the energy from your breath is a way to put power into your magical workings. I set the shrine up on my dresser, where I see it every day. It’s like the happy face of the Ecstasy card is telling me, “Yes. You can have this.”

I’d love to hear people’s thoughts!
Do you put your dreams in boxes too?
What would you add to this one, if you were me?
Party in the comments!

About the author

Iskra Ryder is a witch, a writer, and a student, among other things. She’s been reading tarot for the past twelve years, and has recently started using tarot in other forms of magic. She’s almost always on Twitter – @IskraRyder for the writerly stuff, @ubenetsenu for the witchy stuff. A quintessential Pisces, she’s already forgotten what else she was going to say here.

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  1. Donnalee says:

    Looks great, and if it feels great to you, that’s what matters! My only observation is that to me, sometimes ‘bound’ means ‘limited and stuck by factors beyond my control’ (a personal perspective), so I might find it like a limiting 8 of swords, as opposed to the self-limiting/defining-space-and-role-for-safety 8 of swords. Whatever works for you is great, and I truly believe that your intention can make it great for you, especially since you want contact with fun others. Best wishes for it all!

    • Iskra says:

      thanks, Donnalee! I actually meant it totally literally, as in bondage, but you definitely gave me some metaphorical food for thought ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Donnalee says:

        If you are on the east coast of the US or ever get there, I LOVE the events this person puts on: . He is the nicest guy, and the folks at the last couple of events I went to are SO diverse in every aspect, from any kind of gender/race/age/size/attitude/orientation/kink-positive/etc. that I loved it and really recommend it to folks looking for sane wild parties. YMMV, but I have spent time with the security and medics there, and been very pleased.

  2. Beth says:

    I love this! Especially this:

    “To me, these beautiful parts of nature represent being able to get different needs fulfilled by different relationships, whether sexual, romantic, platonic, or some combination of those โ€“ even when Iโ€™m single, Iโ€™m part of an awesome web of people who make me who I am.”

    …and that this is partly symbolised by lichen!!

    Creating a shrine to the beliefs/needs/philosophies we hold dear is such a lovely way to celebrate who we are. And as we change, so can the objects in our shrines, or the containers, or the whole thing.

    I’m so inspired by this. Thanks for sharing Iskra!

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