Your Home as Your Temple
Author: Kestryl Angell
When you are seeking to make your life a magickal one in every sense of the word and every place you can, the first place to look at in your external environment to be influenced is your home. Therefore, let’s look at how the rooms of the home equate to the “rooms” of our internal landscape and parts of our own life’s expression to others and to our selves.
This practice will help us to recognize not only where we feel most comfortable, but also where we need the most work as well in tuning into our own personal expressions and needs.
Interestingly, you will find that sacred symbolism within your home/temple exists…wherever you put it!
Your yard is the first impression that people see of how you live. It doesn’t have to be “fancy” or professionally landscaped to make a good impression of someone who cares about the home they have worked so hard to gain.
A neatly manicured lawn and trimmed hedges simply shows you care enough to give the neighbors something pleasant to glance across as they drive through the neighborhood.
It is often, as well, a good first step toward making good neighbors you can rely on in emergencies, and can also therefore be a “good will ambassador” of sorts that lets people know you community minded. It is Earth to the Home.
Your foyer and living room, usually the first rooms to be entered in the home, are your own personal “first impression” to the world. This is where you can show yourself to either be a well-organized, homey sort of person or whatever sort of person you are. It is the “face” you show most of the world, usually, though on a more intimate front than say your office space would be.
If your home only has a living room then it is also often the place where you relax and enjoy your family and friends. If you have a home that also has a den, then the living room is often a more formal view on the world, where the den is kept for family and friends time. It is Air to the Home, and often an Earthy grounding influence as well. Coming home should always be a “breathe of fresh air.”
The kitchen is the hearth and heart of the home. It is where you feed yourself and those you love and where you place the basic foundation blocks of how you nourish yourself and those you love most.
A well-organized and tidy kitchen shows a caring heart and one that extends easily past its own needs. Someone whose kitchen is nearly always untidy and unkempt can usually be seen to have rather slovenly in other areas of life that pertain to the heart-such as selfishness, a disregard for solid boundaries or laziness.
Along this same line of thinking, those that keep a barren kitchen and only tend to bring in fast food or refuse to cook for themselves are those that expect their physical and emotional needs for nourishment of all kinds to come from other sources than their own work and instead, wait for it to be satisfied by those around them. It is the Fire of the Home, in the nurturing sense.
Your bathroom is where you clean up the messes in life. It is where we improve on what nature gave us by taking care of our hair, nails, body’s various needs and forms of cleansing and where we soak away the world’s worries and stress. As well, it can be a part of our healing process as well in times when things like flu keep us close to the “porcelain god.” It is the Watery Chalice and Cauldron of the Home.
Your bedroom is both a place of peaceful rest, of relationship’s harmony and intimacy to be shared and a place to heal body, mind and heart. The bedroom is the retreat of the home and should be treated with the most protective instinct, for it is where we reveal our most intimate selves. It is as sacred in its way as our temple space itself, if you are lucky enough to have a home that bears its own temple space and often, when in smaller living quarters, people choose to keep their altars active in their bedroom as a first instinct, for this is where they feel most comfortable being naked in every sense of the word.
Often, therefore, you will see the bedroom as a mix of the heart and spirit of the home. It is where our dreams begin and, for many, where the planning stages of the best things in life begin.
The closets in your home are those little nooks and crannies within yourself that you “stash” things. When company is coming, when family is too close to something intimate in your life, when you feel you don’t have appropriate time to “clean properly, ” the closets are where we toss all those things we plan to “get around to later.”
Therefore, if you’re one of those people that packrats everything into their closets and only cleans them out about once a year-if that-then likely you are one that has trouble letting go of things in life. It can also indicate someone that feels they have things to hide, or someone that feels they won’t be fully accepted if those closets fall onto the head of someone that happens across them.
Likewise, those with stuffed closets and disorganized hidey-holes tend to be ones that leave issues and tasks unfinished or only roughly so. They may start projects well but have trouble finishing them and can even perhaps be this way in relationship to others.
In any part of the home temple, the places where things tend to collect, remain disorganized and cluttered, these are often reflections to us of places on our internal landscape that need work. As well, if you are one that finds you feel disorganized all the time on an inside plane, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, you will often manifest moments where keeping your home in a state of clean tidiness will help you retain your sanity.
Taken to the extreme, however, a person that is a complete anal retentive when it comes to cleanliness around the home and can’t stand even the slightest signs that their home is occupied by actual human beings…these folk tend to have serious issues with self control and control their environments in order to feel more stable on a personal level.
The home should most definitely be cared for as well or better than you would treat any other sacred tool on your altar. It should be cleansed and blessed when you first rent or buy it and should be cleaned regularly, with the cycles of the moon and with intent on all levels pointed toward imbuing it as a safe haven in which to love, live, grow, heal and manifest your life.
That is not to say that it should be kept like a museum or architectural wonder, but simply that it should be cared for with the same Love and Pride you feel at being a child of the Gods.
Even within each room, I have learned that many witches keep small “altars” pointed toward specific purposes set in each room. What do you think “witchy knickknacks” are for?!
For instance, protection filters and grounding influences set in crystals and other items in the front room as you enter the house so that any negativity picked up from our travels throughout life outside our home does not influence the peaceful serenity within it.
Another example is to have healing magicks quietly setup within the little corners of the kitchen and bathrooms of the home to see to it that all things created, entering and leaving the body are as wholesome to our health and overall purpose as they can be.
My own children, once taught that the kitchen is one of the places where a Mother puts Love into her family, they would often ask in that child’s manner, “Mom, did you put the Love in?”
The answer, of course, was “Always, baby. Always! That goes in even before and with every ingredient in the pot!”
This is most definitely the case if, with every pot or pan that comes into your home, you take an extra few moments to cleanse it with intent, charge it even as you would wine and cakes in circle space, and see to it that all things entering the pot and the collective product of the ingredients is filled with loving, healthful intent and energy.
How much extra time does this take to a meal? The answer is…as much or as little as you choose to put into it, but these are the little everyday “religious experiences” that can truly attune and more strongly align a witch within his or her everyday home and family environment. But at the very least, you will find some very basic guidelines I use given below.
Feel free to use or adjust them as you may to your own space, likes and dislikes, needs and wants, because this is not a hard and fast “ritual.” This is a set of guidelines for living magickally and helping to assist your self into a more centered frame of baseline for living in a well and balanced way.
Setting the protective Circle outside the home is as simple as casting circle at the borders of your yard. You simply create the sacred space with a doorway and filters provided for well-meaning assistants and spiritual guides, as well as your human guests, family and friends. This is something that should be taken down, the yard cleansed and smudged and the Circle re-erected at least once a month, preferably during the three days influence on and on either side of the new/dark moon.
At this time, it is also good to make certain at the preparation celebrations for the dark months holidays-Fall Equinox, Samhein and Yuletide celebrations-that any charms made for the protection of the home are taken down, taken apart, their essential herbal pieces burned and/or buried near running water so that all the negatives they’ve absorbed can be taken back into the mother’s womb to be reborn as something positive in the future.
A great family activity is the making of these charms and the picking up, throughout the year, the little magickal pieces of wortcunning that go into these charms. Herbs, flowers, charms, beads, ribbons, colored threads, bits of bright cloth, shells, leaves, bits of ivy…anything that you feel works best for your needs. Kids can begin with the door to their bedrooms as their first work at learning to keep the good in and the bad out.
For children that have nightmares, this can be a very empowering exercise, if they are taught about the herbs and pieces of their charm as they build it and ask the Gods to use its power to protect him or her.
When washing your windows, see to it that a small amount of cider vinegar is in your solution to cleanse away the negative viewpoints, both from you and toward you and your home. Likewise with floors to see to it that anything trodden in upon the feet of those you love-especially unwitting younglings that often forget to wipe their feet at the door and rarely realize what they’ve been walking in until its too late-be it physically or spiritually.
Smudge the home whenever there has been stress in the house, for it only takes a moment to open a window or door for a brief few minutes, ask some air in to cleanse the thoughts and bring peaceful flow to the home again, and assisting whatever may be tempted to get “sticky” in the home toward a more positive end than remaining to stress your world.
I smudge my home at least once per week…more when the week has been rough and the world has been tough to handle. Many Native American women smudge their family’s feet nearly every time they come in from a day of work. Again, the practice can be taken to whatever degree you find most useful and comforting.
Every day, in a home blessed regularly and cleansed with intent regularly, you will find it far easier to wake up grateful for your life and happy with the space it takes place in. If there are things you don’t like or that you wish to change, then apply yourself and the magick and make it happen! But always be grateful for each stage on the path to that dream home or that dream life.
When you bring your pride in ownership into your life more fully, you show the Universe that you care deeply for the fruits of blessing it has already gifted your life with and if you do not take care of it…likewise you show the Universe that you don’t give a really good damn what the Gods present to you.
This kind of uncaring slovenliness can often bring a reaction from the Universe that you don’t want.
For after all, do you keep giving gifts to someone that consistently abuses, neglects, tosses aside and breaks the gifts you spend your hard earned energy to buy or make for them? Of course not, it’s wasteful and rather silly.
Likewise, the Gods do not take kindly to having the gifts They bestow looked upon as “spoils of war” to be used and abused “any damn way we want to!”
Like the hardship of quitting any bad habit, making our lazy human selves get up out of that chair and tidy our home after a long week is sometimes a difficult task. But even the task of cleaning and ordering the home becomes a dancing ritual if you make it so.
Have FUN with it; fill your home with laughter and joy as you clean-put on a comedy DVD! But however you need to do it, light the incense, perhaps a candle or two and get to work!
The rewards are definitely worth it!!!