When I was younger, I had to hide my practice from my family. As a teen, the items of my craft were hidden among my environment. I would hide things like bones, incense, and protective jewelry around my room, some in plain sight, and some hidden away carefully and diligently. I once dug a hole by the oak tree I practiced near and hit my things there, wrapped in a little sachet, and would dig it out each time I needed it.
During this time of my life, staying hidden taught me many things - the power of secrecy, the power of memory, and the power that could be taken from you when you were caught. It also taught me the power of myself, and that I had potential, not through my craft things, but through myself. These things were just convenient amenities, best used for focus and as anchors of power.
Then, I got older - I obtained more freedom, I had moved away from home and finally I had a sacred space outside of my mind. It took me a while to get used to it, after so many years of hiding. A couple of people knew about my practice, but I rarely talked about it for fear of getting too comfortable. It was hard to break this habit of being purely and utterly closed off. Mirroring this, my craft things stayed hidden, albeit a little less so. Instead of digging a hole to hide my things, they stayed behind books or in my underwear drawer. From this I learned the power of making your safe place a safe place - it is important to get established in your dwellings, mark your territory, and feel secure. Being alone in a place that is designated to be your own means little if you have not claimed it.
Years went by, and I became more lax - not stupidly so, but I began pushing my walls out. I opened up to those I could trust, and began to form a small, but stable and trustworthy circle of others who practice, or at least others who respected my beliefs and let me be without antagonizing me. My craft things reflected this too - they soon got their own box, on my dresser no less - the box became part of the atmosphere of the room, a decoration to unknowing eyes, rather than the items which dwelt in the shadows. My collection grew, boldly so, and soon the box became stuffed. These items never left my room, unless being used for a working, but I was more relaxed about leaving candles or amulets out on the dresser, or leaving a bottle of herbs next to the box when they no longer fit.
Fast-forward to now, years later. I sit at my desk, typing this post, and just around my desk I see a bundle of rosemary hanging on my wall for mental sharpness while I study. I breathe in the smell of Tibetan incense ropes, dipped in saffron oil, burning as I type, and there is a braid of rock beads draping my lamp which helps to keep me from frustration while I study. If I were to look around my room, I would see countless charms, herbs, rocks, feathers, all serving a purpose. Some are guards, some help me every day, some are works in progress, some are placed beautifully until I need them again. I have lived alone for eight years, and my home is now MY home, wherever that home may be. I have set my boundaries around the perimeter of my entire dwellings, and only those who respect me may enter unless it is a very special circumstance. Complementary to this, my craft things have pushed themselves into every room of my house - every window, door, and wall has a touch of magic on it, and my main craft item storage is a large cabinet that is in need of expansion yet again. I have an entire cabinet of medicines and poisons, in carefully labelled large containers that are restocked often. I have a special container for seed storage, kept next to ideas for magical garden designs and recipes. The rest of the cabinet holds all of my rocks, my many journals and scrap notes, my inks, My jewelry, amulets, and talismans ave their own special box, next to my ritual area. I have handmade altar cloths for the big celebrations and workings, folded neatly in their own place. Bones bleach in the sun in bedroom window. If you look close enough, you can see the egg shell marks lining my house walls as a protective measure. The things that have been given to me - during special occasions or gifts from the spirits - have a more special place still, not hidden in the dark parts of my life but held in reverence and kept secure in their own special place.
As I have grown, so has my practice, and so have my things. This growth has taught me something incredible - the power of organization. It feels good to not live like a witch-mole, but to live freely in my own home, where my spirituality touches every part of my environment. If this is to be my life, then live it I shall, and living in a home drenched with magical things requires these things having their own place, respectively. With the need for organization comes many things, I find. Having designated areas for things lets particular energies saturate those places. With this energy, I can get more familiar with the energy of individual items: if I misplace an item, sometimes I can find it with my eyes closed because I can feel it is not where it's supposed to be. I can feel energy blocks, or if certain craft items are not meshing well with others; if I listen, they tell me where they would do better.
By needing to be more organized, I have grown to listen to my outside world better, and I find my craft life runs just a little bit smoother than it would if my things were strung about or buried as they used to be. Also, I wear this need for organization as a point of pride. I no longer have to hide in my own home, and haven't had to for nearly a decade. Outside and around others, I live in secret, but this is much easier knowing I can home to a person who loves me, in a home that is mine physically and spiritually, to a place where I can shed my skin as soon as I enter the house and know that I am in a place where it is safe to have my bones hanging about in a place that smells like sweet smoke, that is lined with the protective layer of a long night of putting up spiritual walls, that I can continue to freely live and grow as I wish.
I look forward to having to find more places for things as I grow. I look forward to the lessons I have yet to learn, and the places I have yet to grow into.
Has organization helped you along the way, or opened the path to...well...your Path?
Edited by Ravenshaw, 01 April 2015 - 09:05 PM.