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My philosophy is that the home is the temple for the religion of life.  From cooking with love and cleaning the anger out, we try to do whatever facilitates a life well-lived and well-loved (because you can’t have one without the other).

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

Thich Nhat Hanh

The “trick” in magic of the home, isn’t the ingredients, or the correspondences as much as it is mindfulness and intent. If you can’t pour your intent into the moment, you are just sprinkling flowers on the carpet and washing some laundry.  Magic in the home is about finding the sacred in everyday tasks, working with the energies of nature to make the home a sacred place and honoring the Divine in ourselves and each other and our interactions as a family…which is best accomplished with action than it is with stuff.

But…there is something to be said for stuff having the ability, by virtue of its connections in our mind, to set tone.  I love the smell of bleach.  Love it.  The smell of bleach for me, is the smell of clean, clear, blue water and an clean, clear mind…of skimming below the surface of the water and looking up that the blurry sky and the sunlight dancing in the water…of feeling a grace and sense of freedom I never felt on land.  Some people hate the smell of chlorine (bleach) so much, it makes ’em gag (tell them not to come to my house if I’ve been in an extended bad mood) , but when I want to clean something for the mental effects of cleaning, I used bleach (not a lot, since its not terribly environmentally friendly), because I grew up with my best times spent in the pool and there is nothing for me that clears my mind like that mental association between the two.

Because our surroundings influence how we engage in a space, I would suggest that the best way to do this is with some planning and forethought.  Don’t go out an blow a ton of money on whatever suits your whimsy in some whirlwind shopping spree–both you and your pocket book will probably regret most of it later.  Spend some time meditating on the feeling and the look you want to create.  Think about how you want your bathroom to feel and THEN figure out what it needs to look like and have in it to accomplish that. Personally, whether I’m sitting on the porcelain throne (although I really don’t care so much between the hours of 2-5 am) or showering my woes away, luxuriating in the tub like a queen or brushing my pearly whites, I want my bathroom to be a retreat–I want it to be a bastion of solitude.  Of course, I have children, which makes that a somewhat unrealistic goal until I have my own bathroom.  Instead of some big, fancy bathroom decor I keep a box with candles, incense, and one of those little table top fountains right next to the box of squirters, tub crayons and submarines , so that I can light the candles and turn the lights off and pretend I’m in my own little world for just 5 minutes, 15 if I can manage it.

Find the “look” that fosters the feeling you want with decorating magazines and websites.  Almost everyone knows *someone* that gets magazines, go through them and scan the picture of the bedroom that makes you think quiet romance or serendipitous serenity or bookmark the site with the backsplash that just screams Hestia to you. Keep it in a journal/scrapbook to plan the look and mood for your home.  …Because even if you can’t do that really expensive magazine thing, there is probably a tutorial somewhere on the internet on how to DIY.

Comb through a correspondences guide like Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondences (look up something like love or protection, it will give you a couple of pages worth of correspondences, everything from herbs to stones to colors to deities) and cross-reference it with books (or websites) on herbs (I’m a fan of Paul Beyerl’s A Compendium of Herbal Magick, though its not perfect), crystals, colors, etc for the precise use and meaning to fine tune the energy you are trying to evoke.  As you go along, pick small things up here and there that fit the energy and fit the mental map you’ve written down and bring them in to your home.

Because we rent, we can’t do anything that can’t be covered with a coat (or three) of paint.   Painting entire rooms is out, but we have managed to get around that with small murals and judicious use of curtains–even on walls or in doorways as a tapestry of sorts.  We also take a Sharpie (because sharpie can be removed with alcohol from most surfaces before moving) and write in hard to see places (under a window sill, on the top edge of the door, the underside of a cabinet shelf) some sort of blessing for the room or area (its always funny when someone finds one of them). The general one we use is “let love and laughter bless those that live here, let peace and passion dwell in their hearts” but the kitchen one is “May the hearth of the home bring us sustenance for the body and soul”. There was even some joking debate over a toilet “may it come out easy”, and of developing some sort of bindrune or sigil for household protection (when I have my own home, I want to change up the verse from Gringots Bank in Harry Potter and have it inscribed in my round hobbit door–is that too stereotypical?).

The easy way though, to make your surroundings more in-tune is to do this is to incorporate any type of correspondence that you *grok* that promotes whatever feeling/thought/etc you desire into whatever activity that you are willing to consciously take part in, or item that you are willing to manufacture to stand as a reminder for whatever you want to promote in a particular space. In other words, to put the stuff you like that makes you think of what you want to feel in a certain room.

For example:
In the kiddos room I wanted to create a haven in which to sleep well and sleep soundly in their room, and to relax and be calm there and feel secure and like her room is her sanctuary.

Correspondences that promote these things:
Pink–Affection, friendship, happiness, relaxation
Purple–Meditation, mental healing, personal growth, psychic abilities, spirituality, tranquility
Blue–Friendship, harmony, inspiration, sincerity, spirituality, understanding, wisdom
Green–Healing, balance, growth, prosperity,
Lavender–dreams, love, meditation, protection, sleep
Chamomile–love, meditation, peace
Sage–purification, repel negativity, wisdom
Amethyst–dreams, imagination, meditation, relieves stress
Lapis Lazuli–love, peace of mind, psychic protection

Some things we do in this space:

  • Sheets get dried with a wee bit of lavender oil on a washcloth put in the drier
  • Lavender, chamomile and clary sage get ground up with some baking soda and sprinkled on the carpet for a carpet cleaner
  • A dream catcher of sorts that we made from willow with threading that changes from pink to purple, and amethyst beads hangs above the beds
  • They have a little altar, and with a little bell that to ring while we sing the clean-up song
  • Feng shui bells hang in the corners, which are often rang and played with by both munchkins
  • A fishing net (and convenient stuffed animal holder) is incorporated into the window area to “catch” any bad monsters that might be coming to bring bad dreams.
  • Night sky in the forest mural with a big big glow-in-the-dark moon to watch over them.
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