Creating a Magickal Room
"I love its very uglinesses and inconveniences....just as one likes better the wrinkled face of an old friend than the smooth face of a stranger."-L.M. Montgomery
I have a dream house for Wicca in my mind. A cosy little grey cottage by the ocean, with the blue sea and white sands in front and a pine wood behind. It would be very deserted, very private, so I could practice Wicca in peace. I would cast spells and perform rituals in a room used only for that purpose - perhaps painted black and silver, with bunches of dried herbs hanging from the roof and a large altar set up against the east wall, below a large window. Instead, I practice my magick in a large periwinkle-blue room with big open windows, a wonderfully comfy bed and all the things I love (i.e. books, pictures of my friends) surrounding me. There are a few Wiccan-y touches, like my awesome picture of a wildcat with eyes floating above it and the chest at the foot of my bed (my best friend Heather painted a gorgeous dragon on it). It's not the perfect room for magick-working, as I have to go into the bathroom to see the moon and I have to hide all my supplies from nosy parents, but I love it like this and it radiates peace and contentment for me. It is the temple I have created and it reflects my life. It may not be beautiful, but I am completely at home in it. Here are some tips on creating your own magickal room:
To give your room a Wiccan feel, think medieval period. Think straw mats, hammocks, candles. Think tapestries, incense, bundles of dried flowers. Think linen, velvet and natural wood.
Colour and light are very important aspects of the perfect Wiccan bedroom. Colour affects you pyschologically. Paint your room soothing green or blue to relax, deep red or gold to rekindle your energy, pastal pink or yellow to cheer you up, silver or black for a mystical feel. But don't ever paint your room a colour you can't stand. This will do nothing but mess up your energies and cause lack of sleep. If painting your room seems to big a job to handle on your own, try Heather's idea and have a paint party. Invite your friends, tell them to wear old clothes and drape plastic over your furniture. Remind your parents that paint is fairly inexpensive, covers dirt and gives your room a brand-new look. Also, be sure to move your valuables out, unless you want them broken or paint dripped over them. And be sure to only invite friends with a sound sense of humour - people who won't find it hilarious to splash electric pink all over your pale lavender walls. When you're done painting, get an artistic friend to help you arrange glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling. Heather patterned hers after the galaxy, but you don't have to go that far.
As for light, in a perfect world, everyone would have candles. Remember that scene from "William Shakesphere's Romeo and Juliet"? When Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes (or rather Romeo & Juliet) are lying in Juliet's tomb with all those candles of different shapes and sizes flickering around them? I would die for that! But unfortunately, it's just not practical for young pagans. I'm hardly allowed to light a single candle without parental supervision! Burn a little incense and paranoid parents keep peeking inquisitively in, making sure I'm not smoking pot or anything. It would really ruin the mood if I were chanting by candlelight and knowing that my dad was peering over my shoulder! So I opt for small lamps with rosy shades to give my room a soft, warm glow. Also lots of natural light! Keep your windows open as long as possible and rarely lower your blinds! My windows stay open June throught October and my curtains are never closed. There's nothing like lying in the moonlight, watching the fireflies to provoke a meditative feeling perfect for working magick. Also, open windows circulate fresh air and offer spectacular views of sunsets and sunrises, stars, snowfalls, thunderstorms and the full moon.
The bed is the heart of the room. Here you sprawl, reading, writing, talking on the phone. Here you sleep, cry and daydream. I'd love a swinging hammock suspended from my ceiling or an old-fashioned antique with canopies and silk curtains, but I'm satisfied with my own bed. If the time has come to buy a new bed, consider buying a high one made from natural, unpainted wood, maybe with a canopy or a feather mattress. Waterbeds are good too, as they provoke prophetic dreaming. But if your parents say uh-uh, make do. Get 100% cotton sheets at least, if you can't afford something rich and expensive like satin or velvet. A nice duvet too - I have one, and take my word, nothing's warmer, more airy or easier to make than a duvet! A flat packet of potpourri or sweet-smelling herb like lavender in the pillow slip will make your whole bed smell like a summer garden. String tiny, white Christmas lights over the headboard for a relaxing effect.
For furniture, anything antique! But as furnishing your entire room in it can be expensive, as long as it's natural (i.e. wood, wicker, metal, wrought iron), it goes. It should be comfortable: cushions on the seats, chairs that support your back, tables the right height for you. A chest at the foot of your bed for keepsakes looks lovely.
And if you can find a glass-doored cupboard for your books and collectibles, that's the perfect touch! As they didn't have modern devices like Nintendos, TVs, CD players and VCRs in the 13th and 14 century, when Wicca was at it's height, keep yours in your room, but have a cupboard you can hide them in when you want to forget about the 20th century and return the the period of magick.
To make you feel like you're outside even in the dead of winter, keep plants. Doesn't have to be a sprawling garden, maybe a windowbox of geraniums, a plastic container of pansies, a hanging basket of marigolds. Or if your thumb is more black than green, you can at least keep vases of flowers around. In the spring, I snip off several blossoms from our lilac tree, stick them in pop bottles and put them all over my room - on my desk, on my altar, on my dresser, night-table, etc.
The bottom line is, the Wiccan Rede of bedrooms. "An' it make you happy and comfortable, do as thou wilt."