Using Folk Magic as an Anchor to Your Home
Home is very important to me.
After living several years in a home on a busy thoroughfare in the Bay Area of California, we returned to our beloved Washington state to a house my husband found for us and I had never seen or, more importantly, FELT this house. She sits is in the perfect positioning between the wisdom of the north and the promise of the east.
The energy of a home is really important.
I’m not the kind of person that simply googles “how to make a magical home” and I know better to blindly burn a bundle of white sage around the house without being truly clear about my intentions and desires with my home. **This is an important distinction I want you to know. What is sacred in your practice is what feels good, matters, and works for you. Don’t let the world of Instagram, Tik-Tok or the google-machine shift you off your center. Magic, at its core, is personal and as such, must come from within!
Here’s what I did to infuse magic and sacredness into our new home:
Getting to Know the Space & Introducing Ourselves
First thing I did was walk the outside space and mentally note the location of the 4 directions and positioning of our home. Knowing where the sun rises and sets in relation to where we live is a deeply grounded ancestral practice.
Our first night in the house was a whirlwind, as we arrived at nearly 4am after a 17 hour drive with dogs and birds and kids and trucks. We were exhausted so we flopped mattresses and blankets onto the floors and immediately passed out. When I awoke a few hours later, I was struck by the distinct feeling of our home assessing us. Almost as if it were holding its breath, waiting to see what we were all about. I dug around in the truck and found my coffee pot and started back into my new home. This time, I paused at the door before entering and mentally introduced myself, apologizing for just barging in a few hours earlier. I took my coffee and proceeded to walk into every room and said hello, letting it know we lived here now and would be making it our home. I walked outside in our backyard (mostly dirt and weeds) and said hello and let the land spirits know our promise to steward this land and infuse life and joy back into it.
I took time to notice the animals, birds, and critters frequenting our area. My husband and I began watch the tree in our backyard, which seems to be a meeting point for the local blackbirds and squirrels. We greeted every spider who seemed to enjoy our downstairs laundry room and continue to do so, because this work of introducing ourselves takes years. Transitions are rarely hasty (and the hasty ones rarely go well).
Ways to clean (or clear) a space are through smoke (this is where you see a lot of folks using sage ) or you can also choose to use a broom over a vacuum because the sweeping motion is a very ancient practice of moving energy both out and in. As you’re sweeping, get clear on what you want out of your space (stagnant energy, seasonal sadness, that fight you picked over dirty dishes the other night) and what you want to sweep in (joy, prosperity, more laughter, security). I leave a broom right by my door as a reminder that I possess all the magic in me to sweep in and sweep out what is needed and not in my own home.
I also highly recommend making a magical floor wash to mop your floors with. It brings the magic into the mundane of housework and infuses intention back into this ancient practice of cleansing a home. I create my own floor wash called UPLIFT! and it can be found on my website, if you're interested.
You can also use noise to clear the energy of a space, using bells, drums, a shaker, or simply by clapping your hands. Walk around and tune into the parts of your space that need a good shake up with sound and movement.
There are many ways to infuse protective qualities into your home. A lot of this has to do with what feels resonant to you. I highly recommend looking up folk methods of home protection of your ancestors. For instance, in Celtic tradition the goddess Brigid was known for protecting the home and hearth so to this day, folks will place a woven Brigid’s cross at the entrance to their home invoking the protection and love of this most beloved goddess.
There are also many plants that have protective qualities. My favorite is Rosemary. She’s strong, she’s spiked, and she smells divine! Folk herbals share that one can place rosemary underneath your pillow to drive away nightmares or hang on your doorposts to keep thieves from entering the house.
Salt is another protective ally. Many of our ancestors around the world scattered salt at the entrances of their homes and sacred temples to ward off evil spirits and protect the sanctity of the space.
I took all of the ingredients (amongst others) and created a Witches Bottle and buried it close to my front door. I will discuss how to create your own in my next Blog Post.
If you’re interested in learning more about the magical properties of plants (from a European ancestral perspective) I recommend keeping Cunningham’s Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews around the house. It helps with everything from protecting anointing oils to creating your own incense.