Friday, June 27, 2014

Unpacking and using a Travellers' Shrine

I have been asked what is the purpose of my Travellers' Shrines; and how are they used - so I thought I would post on that since I have just completed making a series of the Shrines.

My Travellers' Shrines are small portable metal boxes used to carry personal objects that often form part of a personal sacred space. They can be used in the home to create a sacred space; but they are also meant to be packed and wrapped and taken on journeys to create a sacred still space wherever you are.

©2014 Fiona Dempster  -  Travellers' Shrines packed, wrapped and ready for the road
In this post I just wanted to share a few photos that shows the process of unpacking a Travellers Shrine. The shots in the hand below give a sense of the size of the Shrines

©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the wrapped front
©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the wrapped back
Untying the Shrine.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - View of the front - unwrapped 
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Base showing how the wrapping holds the bits in place
My Travellers' Shrines come with a standard set of inclusions: a small bundle of incense (longer lengths cut to fit the shrine - tied with silk); a small brass incense burner; a small hammered bowl; a fold formed inspirational leaf (with love or peace stamped on it); and a small square mat to lay the pieces on.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Mat unfolded  - ready to unpack the other bits
©2014 Fiona Dempster - Standard bits unpacked
People who purchase my Travellers' Shrines usually add their own bits to the Shrine such as: medals, small cards with inspirational quotes, a crystal, a small stone, a feather, a shell etc. But because the Shrines are small there are limits on size and the amount one puts inn them. We all individualise our own sacred spaces.

©2014 Fiona Dempster - Incense burner in action
Once the traveller's meditation or prayer session is finished the Shrine can be left open to maintain a sacred space; or packed away for the next stage of the journey.

The top of the Travellers Shrines are made from recycled ornate silver-plated copper or EPNS; and are riveted in the corners. The bottoms are made from plain silver-plated copper or EPNS and are folded and lined with felt. Because the Shrines are made from recycled metal and are individually handmade they have a sense of age and history about them. Fiona took the photos - thanks to her.


  1. I love the concept of a personal sacred shrine... filled with little objects that conjure up memories... especially when traveling... where many memories can happen. And your metal boxes are sacred shrines on the outside too.

    1. Hi D - I know that these shrines would appeal to you given your Zen aesthetic and quietness. Thanks for your supportive comment. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.