Before I get on to the more exciting journal of life in our new home I wanted first to write a little something about the last few days at our old one.
Witchcraft aside, moving home is stressful, especially if, like us, you do everything yourself…the packing, hiring and loading the van as well as the unpacking and sorting out the bills and stuff the other end. We worked extremely hard and after couple of days of solid, hard graft and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing up the M20 motorway we eventually did it.
However, it wasn’t just physically exhausting, I also found it rather taxing emotionally. For me a home is more than just a residence, a building, or just a property…for me the home is an extension of the self. When i call somewhere home, I have nested. Having lived there for seven years or so the walls were oozing with memories, both good and bad…it was our first home together, we slept there, partied there, argued there, grew food there, relaxed there…it was our castle, our fortress. I worked magic there extensively too, so needless to say there were various charms hung at windows and upon walls, magic watched and warded the boundaries and the access points, the house spirit was alive and had been well energised by years of offerings and magical work.
In fact the house spirit grew increasingly active as moving day drew closer. With every box that was packed and every day that passed we were regularly experiencing appliances switching themselves on and off, mobile phones were ‘pushed’ from tables, pictures fell from the walls. To this day i cant decide if it was a help or a hindrance but it was clear that there was going to be more to moving out of this house than simply packing up, handing over the keys and shipping out. It (again) dawned on me that very few books, whilst encouraging us to engage with and enliven helpful hearth spirits, very few, if any, really stress the responsibility we then have for these spirits, and just how important it is to ensure they are at peace when we can no longer look after them.
To start with the various charms and talismans had to be removed from their dwellings. These were boxed up, dismantled and burnt in a fire, releasing their magic and power back into the ether. Certain objects such as hag stones etc were returned to the earth and some were retained for use in future charms, iron keys for example. As each one was removed from wall and window the house began to feel more docile, less like ours and the feeling of belonging, of being warm and homely lessened.
Offerings were made to the house spirit almost daily during this time. I had a frank and heartfelt ‘chat’ with our resident guardian about what was going on. I explained we were moving, why we were moving and how grateful I was for all the help and friendship the spirit had given over the years. I was saying goodbye to a dear friend and admittedly this was the first time I felt a sense of sadness, loss even. Everywhere, every place which includes every home has a life, a spirit within it but to form a relationship with that being does not happen overnight. Like all relationships they take time and patience, respect and understanding in order to grow and develop into something fulfilling and mutually beneficial. I was going to miss the spirit of this place, it was familiar (in every sense of the word) plus I knew that I was moving on and had to start all over again…exciting but also a little overwhelming.
Eventually the time came to bury the stone I had used as ‘home’ and anchor for the house spirit. Buried with more libations of honey sweetened milk we parted ways for the last time. I prayed that the spirit would be at peace, would be happy with the new residents of the house and look after them should it wish to.
Our landlord arrived to collect the keys, the house was empty of every last possession. As he chatted with my other half I had a final walk round of the house. I visualised the barrier of protection I had erected and reinforced over the years dissolving and fading, a bit of a sci fi inspired “shields down” moment or, dare i say it, a scene from Harry Potter and The Deatlhy Hallows.
We visited our neighbors, hugged and wished each other well, I invited them to help themselves to anything growing in the garden and thanked them also for their friendship and ever watchful eyes (and for taking in all our parcels when we were at work!)
As we drove away, neither of us turned back…it was done, the door closed on one of life’s many chapters. We had a new home, a new community and new spirits to meet, a place we truly belonged, a home which was truly ours and one we plan to be in for a very long time, if not until the end of our days.
We turned the corner out of the little cul-de-sac for the last time…
Then I remembered…
…I forgot about the witch bottle buried in the garden!!