“These four walls provide a safe perch from which I can contemplate all sorts of possibilities, knowing that on my inner compass true north will always point me home.”
A kiva, in several North American tribes, is a sacred underground structure where many rituals traditionally begin or take place. Here, the spiritual fibers of tradition and myth are “fit together” for children and adults alike, then expressed through various observances. In an urban environment this process moves out from an underground structure into the sacred space of home, whether that “home” is a room or a whole house.
Creating a Magical Pagan Home: “Home is Where the Hearth Is”
For people both past and present, whatever constitutes “home” also somehow reflects and incorporates the spiritual values of its inhabitants. Some went so far as to represent the cosmos in a home’s construction. This way, when gathered into the center of the dwelling, the family was truly living at the center of their universe. Other groups created round homes and insisted that the people within always move sunwise to keep the house filled with blessings. Then too there’s Feng Shui, the system of placement that endeavors to encourage good “Chi” (vibes) in your home.
These kinds of respectful expressions toward the home appear in traditions too numerous to mention. But each of our situations is different. How can we transform our living spaces into something that reflects our spirituality without having old Aunt Martha faint from shock? Let’s start with decorations.
Witches’ Magic Home Decorations
Home decorations give you the chance to symbolically surround yourself with Spirit in subtle ways. If these touches are dedicated and energized, then the effect becomes more literal. Better still, since many decorations are a semi-permanent fixture in the home, they continue to radiate this energy, blessing everyone and everything in your living space.
In choosing, blessing, and placing decorative items for their symbolic value, follow some basic guidelines:
Think about what you want to represent and why, and then go looking for a suitable decorative item (or make it). While most of us don’t have a lot of time for crafts these days, handmade items store more of your personal energy and reflect your creative vision. So, if time allows, some kind of personal touch is advised, even if it’s only putting a little polish or paint on a purchased item.
Swap it out: Remember that in choosing decorations, you don’t have to forego utility. If, for example, you’re hoping to banish negativity in your life and bring in more spiritual light, a well-chosen lamp or candle fixture might be a perfectly clever option with the right associations. Or, if you want to surround yourself with nature but have a proverbial black thumb, use nature prints in curtains, tablecloths, rugs, place mats, and wallpaper instead.
Pay attention to Spirit’s voice and/or your own intuition. Both will rarely lead you to something that’s out of your budget’s range, or inappropriate to your living space. While our society often subscribes to the “fancier is better” school of thought, the wise Witch or Pagan knows better. Trappings mean little if there isn’t substance behind them.
Prepare for surprises: The Universe has a way of bringing things into our lives in quite unexpected ways. A person we know fell in love with an African drum. In passing conversation she jokingly commented that the only way she could ever have it is if the Universe dropped it in her lap – it was too expensive. That very day a person from the event came by with the same drum. She thought it was just a coincidence that he’d bought it. Nope. He literally planted it in her lap and walked away.
Cleanse the item: Don’t skimp on this step. You don’t want the object’s vibrational value tainted by residual energies it picked up before it came into your hands. Just keep visualizing white light pouring into the object and perhaps smudge it with sage until you feel it’s totally, psychically clear.
Integrate the item’s function with a specific power phrase that will activate the energy and symbolism you’ve placed inside. To illustrate, say you buy a garlic braid for your kitchen as a symbol of health. Give the garlic braid an activating phrase like “be well” by whispering the phrase into the braid three times (once each for body, mind, and spirit). These words carry healing power and saturate the garlic with your intention through vital breath and verbalization. Later, each time you think of it, say “be well” when you pass the garlic or remove a piece for magical cooking.
Elemental Symbolism in the Witch’s Home
Wiccans and Witches see the Earth as having four quarters, each aligned with an element. The idea behind elemental embellishing is to find a way to represent these elements (earth, air, fire, or water) in the home by placing a symbolic token as closely as possible to a corresponding directional quarter. This way, the powers that make up nature and represent universal patterns will encircle you with protective, nurturing energy all the time. Additionally, these tokens create an informal sacred space that can be augmented when you invoke the Watchtowers for ritual.
To accomplish the elemental scheme, you must first determine which direction you associate with each element. For example, someone with a fireplace in the north part of his or her home might use that as the “fire” quarter. Someone with a lake due north, might associate it with “water.” Yet another person following Wiccan correspondences might associate the northern region with “earth.” All approaches have merit. You just need to decide what makes the most sense, considering your space, personal vision, and path.
Next, find the northern part of your home. To figure this out, check a regional map, a survey, or use a comp ass. Make a mental note of this region of your living space so you know where to place objects later.
Magic & Elemental Decorations or Architectural Representatives
Potted plant, crystals, a globe, fresh flowers, wooden furniture or framing, mineral matter
Wind chimes, an open window, gathered feathers, fans, aromatics, images of winged creatures
Candles, a fireplace, pilot light, hot spices, kindling, two-edged items
Seashells, a pet’s water dish, the bathtub/shower, hose, fish bowl, kelp, driftwood
And, For In-Between Areas:
Hanging plant, strings of drying herbs
Sand candle, sand or soil brazier, cactus
Mud mask, fish tank with rocks
A lava lamp, floating candles
A free-standing humidifier
House & Home Magic: Room by Room
For those of you with a house, take a moment to walk through your space one room at a time. What kind of energy do you want in your kitchen? Your den? That awareness provides a foundation for making subtle changes that support your Path and vision.
Bedroom: Put glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling in an expanding pattern for growing consciousness. Add glitter to the ceiling paint to resemble the night sky. Wrap yourself in symbolically colored or patterned blankets so you can sleep surrounded by the vibrations you most need. (Note: Blankets like this are often available at museum and nature shops or native stores.) Put up posters that help you relax (or those suited to a goal) for pre-bed meditations. Hang a dream catcher over your bed when seeking spiritual dreams.
Bathroom: Paint affirmations around the mirror in calligraphy, and put a collection of spiritual books in a basket on the top of the toilet for undisturbed reading. Hang a decorative bundle of carefully chosen aromatic herbs in the shower. These release specific energies into your aura while you bathe. Leave flower-shaped aloe or heather-scented soap at the sink side to inspire inner beauty. Put out color-coded towels and washcloths depending on the vibrations needed each day. Have a spot where you can honor the Water Element near the tub.
Dining Room: Include a centerpiece that has space for a candle. Change the candle’s color or scent to mirror your needs/goals. Light it as part of mealtime prayers. Pick out plates, cups, or other eating paraphernalia that have patterns accenting your goals. For example, use china with a fruit pattern to inspire “fruitfulness.”
Entryway: Leave a wish bowl here filled with change. Anyone who contributes to the fund, makes a wish. People who need spare change may take of it, thereby spreading blessings. Hang bells (or chimes) outside the door or just over the doorway to chase away negativity. Affix small gargoyles to the staircase so they face different directions (alternatively, place them over doorways similarly). This protects your home from mal-intent. Of course, don’t forget an old-fashioned horseshoe hanging open end down to rain down good luck and providence.
Family Room: Work some coriander into a heart-shaped wreath for this room to keep harmony in your family. Highlight the room with sky blue touches to accent tranquility and “clear sailing.” Place freestanding citrine crystals in all four corners of the room for creative communication. Several families I know keep ancestral altars here or an ever-burning candle to represent the family’s spiritual unity. Hang chimes in a window to honor the Air Element.
Kitchen: Put a photograph of every member of your household near the hearth (stove or microwave) to keep relationships warm. Hang up scented potholders with aromas and designs that symbolize your magical intentions. Choose trivets similarly. Place spiritual magnets (like the word sets) on the refrigerator to literally attract the energy they represent. The ever-popular kitchen witch magnet is charming and so common that it doesn’t garner a second thought.
Living Room: Keep a green agate crystal ball (or other greenish brown stone) here to represent the Mother. Hang symbolic sun catchers in the windows or off lamps to flood the room with harmonic light. Put small magical mirrors on the wall to reflect away unwanted energy. During the summer put up sheer curtains in different symbolic colors so the light that flows through accents your goals. If you have a fireplace this is an ideal spot for honoring the Fire Element in some manner.
Meditation Area: Use glow-in-the-dark string and pattern it like a web to represent life’s network. Illuminate with candlelight. This is also an interesting component for making an illuminated dream catcher. Get an electric water fountain to honor the water element and use it as an effective stress reducer/meditative tool. In the fountain put tumbled stones with energies that mirror your needs (like amethyst for peace). Include a larger rock or living plant in your space for grounding and the Earth Element.
Recreation Room: Use pseudo-grass to mimic the lawn, adding potted plants and trees around the room to improve the visual effect. Paint murals on the wall depicting the moon, sun, power animals, or other important personal symbols. Paint pool balls with runes or other magical sigils so that as you hit the balls, you release the energy they represent. “Pocketing” the ball aids with manifestation.
It’s quite likely that some of these ideas aren’t suited to your living space. Even so, we hope that they inspire some creative notions of your own. As you can see, there are ways to modify even common games (like the pool table) so that they work in a spiritual construct. Just open yourself to the possibilities, and see what wonderful, whimsical ideas come up!