I recently moved. I absolutely love my new home. It’s a better fit for my family. The house is a little more spacious than my last place. There are more windows, so subsequently more light. Apart from actual daylight streaming in through the windows and skylights, there’s a feeling of lightness. By that, I mean there is an openness, an airiness, and a sense that I can stretch out and breathe here. It’s taken some time to feel comfortable, to feel I belong.The house feels welcoming and that’s not by accident. I treated the moving process as a sacred rite of passage and, in doing so, began a month-long ritual of saying goodbye and hello.
If you’ve moved, you’ll remember the weird in-between stage when your old home is slowly being packed up. Items you thought you’d lost years ago suddenly reappear. All the belongings we imagined we couldn’t live without are suddenly viewed with new eyes and the question, “Do I really need to take that with me?” starts cropping up on a daily, maybe even hourly basis.
As the cleaning and wrapping and packing commenced, and the boxes started popping up everywhere like mushrooms after rainfall, I started to feel sad. In fact, the feeling was stronger than just sadness. I was grieving. Something was ending in a profound and permanent way. My stuff, my memories, my very life was being packed into boxes, taped shut, and thrown in the back of a truck.
I was experiencing a death, of sorts.
I’d lived in my house for fifteen years. Soon after moving in I got married. A new puppy joined our family. My children grew up in that home. The walls and carpets and closets were infused with years and years of laughter and arguments and challenges and brilliant moments and so much magick. I tried counting how many rituals we’d done in the house, how many spells began there, how many coven gatherings. So many. So very many.
All those magicks, every one of those moments, were evaporating. It was as if the walls understood I was leaving, and once it became public knowledge to the house itself, it just sort of let go of me. I remember feeling like the house suddenly got smaller and colder, a collection of doors and windows and hallways that no longer needed me to be part of them. The realization hit me hard. The magick I’d been working for years with that home was done with.
So I said “goodbye” to the house. I said “goodbye” and “thank you” and told the house how very wonderful it had been to live with it, in it. As I walked through the house and memories came up, I reveled in them. I laughed and cried and told my partner and my kids all the stories I could remember about them and the house. It was glorious. It was cathartic. It was like a beautiful, poignant eulogy for a beloved family member.
Of course there’s the other end of the equation, too. I had to unpack those same boxes in this new, strange place. My stuff was here, but it looked weirdly out of place. Familiar but not quite in the right spot, if you know what I mean.
Because I knew I was in the midst of a major upheaval, and recognised this move was a rite all unto itself, the next steps were easy. I said “hello” to my new house. Before I moved a single box in, Phoenix and I would sneak over to the house and spend time with it. Phoenix talked with the land spirits and introduced herself and us to the house spirits. I filled the house in on who we were and how we’d like to interact with the house. I mentioned we did magick and would like the house to help with it. We discussed how we would bring different noises and foods and chairs and pictures of people the house didn’t know, and that we’d treat the house with respect.
I’ll tell you something you might not expect. The house wasn’t too pleased. I can’t quite define it, but there was a pervading sense the house was keeping itself at a distance. Have you ever met someone for the first time and you’re just not quite sure what to make of them? It was like that. The house just wasn’t sure of our intentions. So we did a ritual and included the house.
Phoenix and I created sacred space. We called on our gods and guides and allies and introduced them to our new house and to the walls and carpets and gorgeous, plant-filled nooks in the back garden. I made a meal (kitchen witches gonna kitchin’ witch) and we set a plate for the house. We toasted and laughed and you know what? Those standoffish walls came down. Just like that, the house opened up and welcomed us home.
That first ritual is over. The magick of moving is done. The rite of passage of leaving and arriving is complete. The magick of getting to know this new house has just begun, and I’m excited to see what adventures we have in our future.
Our thanks to Gwion for his guest post! For more from Gwion Raven, read his article “Two Quick Rituals for Your New Home.”