Instagram Challenge: HEARTH

by Rev. Brandon Hopkins | Instagram

Magick can be found all over our lives. We are often told that we, ourselves, are the channels – the conduits – of magickal energies. And, too, if that is the case, we can see the extension of that channel in our surroundings. From the clothes we wear to the words we speak, everything we do and are has the potential to carry with it intentional, energetic power.

So, then, must also our homes carry this power. Our homes are extensions of ourselves just as are our wardrobes and words. Within the home are countless opportunities to make magick from the mundane. Often magick is found in the mundane, given that we operate explicitly in that realm. Around the home we can easily set candles to light for any given purpose. We can call the corners for guidance and protection. Salt and sigils adorn many a window sill for maintaining positive spiritual energies and dispelling or repelling negative ones.

The kitchen, for example, is a place of concentrated magickal ability and practice. So much intention and will can go into cooking – to the point that kitchen witchcraft is its own specific form of practice with books, seminars, and focused practitioners claiming the space as their sole or primary craft. Each room in the home invites intense, specialized practice. Witches use domestic, mundane tools to serve and channel powerful spiritual energies.

Thus, we come to the power of the hearth. Prior to having a separate kitchen space, the hearth served the dual purpose of heating both home and food in living quarters. The hearth was (and still is, in many cases) considered the ‘heart of the home.’ The etymology of the term ‘hearth’ stems from a Proto-Germanic root for ‘fire.’ Despite the word ‘heart’ having a separate and unrelated etymology, we can still easily see its correlation to our word for this heating element, as ‘heart’ comprises the first 5 letters.

So it is that hearth magick comprises some of the most soulful, serious, and explicitly protective power found in home-based witchcraft. Hearth magick is defined as an aspect of witchcraft practiced throughout the home – whether that be in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and so on. Hearth magick extends to all areas of the home to pay tribute to the bygone era of small cottages where the hearth served the aforementioned multifaceted role of heater and stove. The obvious protector, the hearth literally keeps the witch alive. Using the hearth as a conduit for powerful (and often fairly simple or straightforward) magicks is a keen way to show respect and reverence for the tool and its capabilities.

To use the ‘heart of the home’ is an obvious way to direct intention and stay focused during spellcasting and ritual work. The power of a flame contained within cannot be overstated. Entrancing, enveloping, and enduring, fire keeps a witch warm. Fire can easily burn herbs, parchment, wicks, and whatever else one might be so inclined to toss in during spellcraft. Rosemary, for example, is an especially potent herb associated with hearth magick. Protective (and accessible), rosemary is useful in creating and maintaining a loving boundary within and around a home.

Burning candles on the hearth (and mantle) creates the image and sensation of a powerful and beautiful centerpiece to the home, doubling as an highly effective altar space. Meditation, prayer, service, and ritual can all have vibrant effects if performed at a well-dressed hearth altar. In lieu of a traditional fireplace or other hearth space, lighting candles can instead be used to boost hearth magick – inviting the primal force of fire into the home. Fire is a purifying force. It can burn away negativity and light otherwise dark spaces – creating a sense of peace and power.

Purification in hearth magick also comes in the form of traditional cleaning practices. Put a few drops of lavender or peppermint in cleaning supplies. Bless and consecrate brooms, mops, rags, etc. Cleanse with herbal smoke as a component of everyday cleaning chores. Make typical cleaning a true ritual practice to enhance magick in the home.

As within, so without. Begin magickal practice in the home, as an extension of the self. Everyday magick practiced at home – in the home – can be some of the most sacred, some of the most powerful. Many beautiful aspects of magick are its ability to be versatile, personal, and simple if we so choose. There is a special kind of power in hearth magick because it directly connects the mundane to the spiritual. Hearth magick does away with pomp and circumstance, and instead asks that we focus our intention as we go about otherwise menial tasks.

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