As a sort of follow-up to yesterday’s lararium post, I thought I’d take a picture of my own lararium so you all could see it. As you can see, it’s nothing special – I’m no artist, but I put a lot of time into it, and it’s sort of an ongoing project.
My personal lararium.
There are a few statues in the foreground. The first, on the left, is Mercurius: I study languages and travel a good distance every day to school and work, so in those regards He is sort of a patron. To His left is a little owl statue, representing Minerva: another patron, in that She presides over learning and skills. Behind the owl is a neat replica of an ancient Greek vase – I picked it up recently at the Festival of Nations, though I’m not entirely sure who is depicted on it. To the left of the vase is a figurine of Iuno, patron of women.
I have a couple of little bowls set out, one for liquid offerings and the other for food. I don’t usually offer trinkets, but when I do I set them on the white cloth of the lararium.
Finally, to the far left is an oil burner. Now, it’s really unfortunate that I’m allergic to incense, which was the traditional offering, but I wanted to be able to give some sort of good-smelling offering. I heard about oil burners, and I thought “Great! I can multi-task with this!” I light a candle (which represents Vesta, goddess of hearth and home) at the start of every offering, prayer, or vow, and it heats up the basin on top with the oil. Et voila – instant sweet-smelling, non-allergy inducing scent! The oil seems to go over well as an offering, too, which is great.
Now for the art at the back of the lararium.
I based the design off of the lararium of the thermopolium, of which I posted a picture in the main lararium post. It’s probably my favorite lararium fresco.
Starting off at the left is, again, Mercurius. He is holding the caduceus and a bag filled with money, symbolic of His office. Next to Him is the Lar familiaris – I drew only one, which isn’t exactly traditional for the classical era but something that has personal meaning. He is holding a cornucopia and a patera, the offering dish. In the center, sacrificing at a tripod, is my iuno, which is basically the female equivalent of the genius. Next to her is Vesta. At the far end is Ianus, two-faced god of beginnings, endings, gateways, doors, and bridges. Phew. He holds a staff in His right hand, and a key in His left – traditional symbols.
At the bottom, kind of obscured, are two snakes, symbolizing fertility and creativity, and an altar.
Annnd…that’s pretty much it! There are a couple parts that didn’t fit into the shot, such as photos of ancestors, but this pretty much is the gist of it. If you have questions about any aspect, feel free to ask away.
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