I have often said that I think I could be quite content to live in a hobbit hole. When thinking about the topic of this blog post, I decided to go back to Tolkien’s book and reread his description of the Baggins’ abode:
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
“It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats–the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill–The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it–and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the lefthand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.”
Hobbits are such nesters, and I consider myself to be a kindred spirit in that respect. I think I am a little more adventurous that most hobbits, but my home has always been my spiritual refuge just as the hobbit hole is to a hobbit.
Right now I am reading a book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock called The Way of the Hedge Witch: Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home. This is one of those books that I occasionally find that has something on every page that resonates with my own beliefs. I love it when that happens. I am finding that so many things I have done instinctually are in alignment with the ways of the author’s definition of a hedge witch. I have always set up little altars in different rooms and recognized the sacredness of the heart of the home. What has struck me as enlightening about this book is that Arin brings up the fact that we don’t really need to make our homes sacred because they already are sacred. What we need to do is recognize them as being sacred spaces where we can go to recharge our spiritual batteries. And, indeed, the home has a kind of energy that we can draw upon to help us in all of our undertakings. There is a lot more to this book than just recognizing the sacredness of the hearth. I hope you will read the book, especially if you are a nester like me.
What I am in the process of doing right now is setting up an organized plan for my daily devotions. I have so many good intentions, but my days get overcrowded with things that come up to distract me from doing what I feel to be most important. I have a healing altar, a kitchen altar, an ancestor altar, a garden altar, a meditation altar….so many altars! But do I use them consistently? I would love to adhere to a pattern of using my altars even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. I think the secret may lie in establishing more of a flow to my home life. I need to stay in the moment and regard all of my so called chores as magickal actions that continue to recognize and reinforce the sacredness of the hearth.
My ancestor altar is located in my bedroom. I have set up a table where I sit and do divination such as tarot and scrying. Often I will sit and talk to those in spirit while I do this. In the kitchen I light a candle on my kitchen altar before cleaning or cooking (both magickal acts). I am getting better at going to my healing altar and lighting a candle before sending Reiki to those in need, and I even spend a few minutes most days sending healing energy to the planet. Sabbats and full moons I love to spend outdoors in my garden. I feel like the whole yard just glows at times. The garden is an extension of the sacred space that is my home. My most recent altar I set up around my bathtub. The tub may seem like an unlikely place for an altar, but with candles lit all around and essential oils in the water it is a perfect spot for meditating and unwinding. I collect mermaids so they decorate my tub area and acknowledge the ocean goddess.
Little by little I am making progress on cleaning up the small piles of clutter here and there. How does it happen? I clean up one pile just to have another one grow someplace else! I truly believe in the precepts of Feng Shuy and struggle to clean up sources of negative energy (clutter!). I guess my house is just trying to keep me on my toes! It wants me to continue to monitor its energy on a regular basis. Just yesterday our water heater broke. This morning the filthy garage floor got a good washing with my sweeping away the water. We will also need to clear away some of the “stuff” in the garage for a new pipe to be installed. Just another way for the house to say, “hey, pay attention here!”.
Do you dislike your home? Maybe you just need to recognize its sacredness. The hearth and home has always been a special place to connect with the divine. I think the cliché, “your home is where your heart is”, could be reversed in this instance to, “your heart is where your home is.” Go to the different areas of your home and listen to the energy there. What does it say to you? “Fix me?, clean me?, use me?, recognize me?” By listening to your home you will discover secrets you perhaps never knew existed. May you be blessed to discover the sacredness of your hearth and home!