Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Article ID: 16048
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 29th. 2018
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I remember when I first started on my path to Witchcraft and Paganism, I was enthralled by everything around me: the wind swirling through the leaves, the way rain falls off a leaf, the scent of the rain-soaked earth, or the intense heat of a campfire under the stars. In a way, this feeling of ethereal wonder still enchants my life, and I have made my room into a Paganís paradise.
Six years later, I have a working altar on my dresser for my spell work, an altar to Cernunnos and Brigid facing south, my ancestor altar to honour all those gone before me facing northwards, and a shelf for my fairies to dwell on near the window. Books about Witchcraft, history, psychic development and cookbooks fill my bookshelf snugly. Paintings of nature, and Irish drums adorn my walls, and candles can be found on almost every flat surface imaginable. With all of these sights around me, it can be difficult to persuade myself to go enjoy the outdoors spiritually on a daily basis.
Thatís where I learned that the simpler times of my small beginnings were missed. I want to genuinely feel the wind running through the forest again, like sylphs dancing through the branches. The possibility of leaving my family home to live on my own also tells me that my practicing space will be severely small, not to mention I will be sharing my space with someone. Therefore, I have been thinking about practicing my faith in small and meaningful ways, like I used to, given the limited resources I had at the time.
I write this essay because I believe it can help others who are in the same boat as I am right now, and Iíve picked up little creative projects to further that goal. These can be found on Pinterest or on Google, and I have used these project ideas to make my Pagan practice more flexible. It is important to mention that you do not need artistic talent to make your items magical. What matters is that you made them, and your energy is imbued in them forever. There are absolutely no rules to follow when painting your altar box, or organizing your items. It is purely you. It is also an excellent way to start your simple collection of Wiccan items.
These altars are also very cost effective, as youíll see. You donít need expensive tools to practice. For example, a Brigidís cross made of pipe cleaners can be just as powerful as one made of sterling silver. Both of these items have metal in them, hence, Brigidís presence. All that matters is the intention you put into the item when you craft it. It is always practical to have a portable altar, especially when you live in a small space, have roommates that donít want to see your religion in their apartment, or simply want a kit with you when youíre at work or out of town.
Firstly, the altar is the centrepiece of your practice, as many witches would agree. Although I feel that I would be able to have a full altar on my dresser, the fact still remains I want to share my space, and respect the space of those around me. That is why a small wooden table and a portable altar can really go a long way! When you arenít practicing, the portable altar is tucked away, and it looks like a beautiful box sitting on a small table. I bought a deep wooden box at the dollar store for four dollars, took out my acrylics, and painted the box to my needs. I stuck some adhesive black velveteen on the inside, and it is filled with small items that make the altar.
There is a small glass chalice, a pocket mirror, three small glass bottles for rosemary, salt, and matches, a small book, my pendulum, my altar cloth, a small wand made from a dollar store dowel, a Chinese teacup for a mortar, a small quill feather, two tea candles, a small spoon, and a metal bowl. Thatís a lot of material in a small thirteen by seventeen centimetres, and all the essentials are there, with room to spare. All of these things, except for the small quill feather and pendulum were found at the dollar store. You can go smaller as well, by using a mint tin box. All you need to decorate it is a hot glue gun, some scrapbook images you resonate with, washi tape to finish the edges and acetate sheets cut to the shape of the box to protect your artwork. Altoids tins can fit three birthday candles with holders, a small pentacle, a small incense dish, a tray of salt, a water spritzer bottle, a seashell and a couple gemstones.
I found the tin altar worked wonders if I needed to bless something on the fly or perform a ritual while out of town. You can even take your altar box or tin outside with you on your hikes, and perform a ritual in the woods this way. There you go, Witchcraft on the go!
There are also subtle ways to perform magic in a small living space, and they seem more mundane than one might expect. Tasks such as cooking a meal or cleaning the apartment can be very magical if you use your own handmade broom to bless the area, your blessed cooking spoon and cookware, using special herbs in your recipes, or even having a small clay statue of your favourite god or goddess accompanied by a tea light candle as you bake or cook. Creative expression is highly individualistic, and it does not need to look like a Renaissance painting to be appreciated. You can have air-dry clay statues adorning your shelves, paintings that bring you peace, or an art journal you can tuck away and look at the images when youíre feeling under the weather.
All of this to say, that when I move out of my own living space to share a smaller living space with someone, I will still have my witchy supplies with me, but tucked away so that others wonít be overwhelmed. I enjoy thinking up new creative ways to practice my faith, and that is through the arts and crafts. Making my own altar box and altar tin have been incredibly enjoyable and amazing experiences, and I recommend it to anyone that wants the same magic from home on the go, including outside. I am excited to make my own broom, and Iím sure that will persuade me to clean my space more often.
Life itself is full of magical wonder, as Iíve discovered for myself starting out Paganism six years ago. My hope for my witchcraft now is that I can integrate it into my day to day life as best as I can, and bring my magic to others through my home cooked food, clean living space and enchanting decor and art.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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