My practice changes over time. Every turning of the Wheel, I find that my understanding of my own Path has again transformed, and the shining bits of information I’ve added to my hoard are working their way into my magick. I like to joke that I started off as a Grand High Episcopagan – big on elaborate ritual, altar dressing, ritual robes, exquisitely written incantations and invocations, and a very worship- and dedicant-oriented approach to witchcraft.
All of those aspects of my spirituality still have their place (come to a Frederick CUUPS ritual sometime – the elaborate altars are a holdover), but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that much of my own practice is smaller and simpler. The idea of cultivating Relationship to that which is already present, and becoming an ally to, supporter of and cocreator with those forces is taking up more of my practice these days.
I love the way ideas ripple through the Pagan community, and one we’re on the tail end of is the idea of reconsecration – the returning of space to its natural sacred alignment. I do agree that some spaces need it, human homes in particular. One of the many services I regularly perform is Space Clearing – resetting the energy of a physical location. The land our homes stand on – the spaces where we walk, work and play – is already sacred. The land is generally not the problem. The house? Yikes.
It’s easy to forget that these structures where we spend so much of our time have an energetic identity. There is a kind of animism at the core of most pagan practices – we readily identify and engage with the spirit inherent in magickal tools, natural objects (crystals spring immediately to mind), and locations where we regularly do our Work. Perhaps it’s simply that familiarity breeds a blind spot, but most of the witches I know forget that their homes are also a magickal tool – a very powerful one.
We recognize houses where the egregore – the energetic identity of that specific house – is honored. Those homes feel different. We’ve all had the experience of walking into someone’s house for the first time and falling instantly in love with it. Or discovering that we feel better simply by being in a certain person’s home. The human or humans who live in that home contribute to the energy, certainly, but I would argue that a good deal of that particular experience has to do with the cocreative relationship between the human and their home. That home’s resident has bonded with and cares for the spirit of their house, and it shows. House spirits that are honored radiate love and warmth, regardless of what the inside of the house or apartment looks like.
This is the perfect season for hygge witcheries. We’re all stuck inside anyway – spring is still a far-off dream, and the days are dark, cold and short. Moreover, a lot of people are resonating and experimenting with Konmari-style clutter management (as an animism-influenced minimalist, I’m all about it). It is a good time to come into Right Relationship with your home.
Whenever I begin a Space Clearing, the first thing I do is observe. Step back from the objects you own, from the memories hung on the walls, from the cat fur on the sofa, and become aware of the space itself. I like to place my hand on a wall, or sit on the floor and root my palms to help me get in touch. Open your psychic senses to the space.
I always start by introducing myself, and expressing my intentions. During a Space Clearing, that intention is to help clear out old, stagnant or otherwise discordant energy. When I connect with my own home, it’s to check in. Allow the spirit of the house to connect with you, and observe the quality of that spirit.
How does it feel? Is it tired or heavy? Warm or inviting? What emotional notes are coming to you through that connection? If this is your first time connecting with your home, there might be a feeling of hesitation or caution. Western culture tends to encourage a user attitude toward the treatment of ‘things.’ Depending on the age of your home, your house’s spirit might have a mixed view of the beings that have dwelled within its walls. This is a good opportunity to offer emotions and energy that affirm, honor and love the Being that is your home.
As you are connecting to the egregore of your home, begin to notice the way energy moves through the space.
Walk the halls and rooms, maintaining the psychic connection. You’ll notice that there’s better feeling in some spaces than others. Certain rooms will feel lighter. Try to notice how energy flows from one space to another – evaluate the energetic circulatory system of your home. Are there places where the energy gets stuck? Are there rooms that are noticeably heavier or more depressed than others?
Try to identify the heart of your home – the energetic center. Sometimes this is the living room, frequently it’s the kitchen. The hearth is still, after all these years of human exploration, the center of the activities in most homes. Honor that heart as you go forward. Simply lighting a candle, or having an offering of a plant, figurine or other object at that central space is enough. As you go about your business of day-to-day life, remember that sacred center.
From here, begin your relationship with your home. There are many ways to honor the spirit of a house:
- Gifting. Make offerings to your House Spirit. This can be as simple as a small glass of clean, clear water, left in a space that is dedicated to that specific spirit. Flowers, incense and candles are also good choices. When you first begin your Gifting relationship, expect nothing in return. Instead, focus on Gifting as an opportunity to express gratitude for the space in which you live. Many practitioners include a Spirit House of some sort within their home. This is a dedicated space, generally tucked away somewhere, that is solely the provenance of your House Spirit. I like to use the little wooden bird houses from the craft store to create Spirit Houses.
- Naming. Names have power. Communicate with your house about its name. You can meditate or journey to find your home’s name, or work with your house to select a name you both like. Frequently, we find we are better able to relate to a Being as sentient when we have a name to associate with that entity.
- Listening. Check in with your house regularly. As your ability to connect with your home develops, you’ll be better able to address its needs. Like other beings, house spirits have their own ideas and needs about what best suits them. Perhaps it has suggestions for colors and styles that help support the energy flow within the house. Your house might have ideas for freeing up the energy that seems stuck in certain places.
- Protecting. See where your house needs help with shielding, and reinforce those energetic boundaries. As you develop that bond of shared work, the friendship between you and your home will deepen.
- Cleaning. No one wants to hear this one, but it really is A Thing. That which is fed increases. When we actively care for our homes by taking care of them, the good feeling that is growing between a house and its human becomes stronger.
And why do all these things? Because the magick of a home that is awake, active and honored is powerful. I hosted a party at one of my homes over the years where the guest list was pretty large (I had housemates). One couple left after only a little while because both had developed a headache within about 15 minutes of arriving. I later learned those individuals wished some members of my family ill. The shields on my house are far more powerful and effective than I alone could make them.
I have been regularly told that it’s difficult to hang onto feelings of anger inside my home. When people come over upset, that state tends to melt pretty quickly. The ‘feeling’ inside my house is one of safety, warmth, and calm. I wish I could take credit for it, but I know me too well for that – I personally tend to have about 14 “plates” spinning at any point in time, at least two of which are on fire. My house spirit is more responsible for the overriding energy than I am (she’s way calmer than me). I’m responsible for maintaining a good relationship with her, for protecting her, listening to and addressing her needs. This is the strength of a cocreative relationship – by caring for my house spirit, my house spirit in turn nurtures all who shelter under her roof.
We’re fresh out of a lunar eclipse, with all that wonderful energy of transformation and connection hanging in the air. Take advantage of this space, and this season, to cultivate your magickal home. What are your favorite house magicks? Feel free to share them in the comments. And as always, if you need help, feel free to drop me a line.
2 Replies to “Of Home and Hearth – House Witcheries for Hygge Season”
oh, this is wonderful! i think i do a fair bit of this intuitively. i’m not a particularly intuitive witch, but i recognize much of what you discuss here. i’m going to start being more intentional about it.
Let me know how it goes!!