Growing up in an orthodox Christian home, we had an entire room in our house that was dedicated to our faith. It had pictures of Christ scattered across the walls, a marble statue of the Christus on the piano, as well as books about our faith stacked on side tables. It’s where we would spend our time praying, doing scripture study, and chatting about the nuances of our religion. But as I transitioned from orthodox Christianity to witchcraft, I had to battle feelings of blasphemy when it came to making an altar.
The change came when I finally moved into my own apartment and felt complete ownership over my space. Before, I had been self-conscious of making an altar and felt overwhelmed by all of the examples I had seen on Pinterest and Instagram. But in this new space, I finally set up my first altar. It was straightforward, with just a few crystals, some candles, my tarot cards, and pictures that meant a lot to me. This first stage was monumental—it was healing. Growing up, I had never felt self-conscious of our “prayer room.” It had always felt so beautiful to me, and I felt excited to explain it to people because some of my best memories had happened in that room. So many talks with my siblings, my parents, and friends had occurred in that space. I had discovered and undiscovered beautiful parts of my own spirituality, and I realized that it was now my turn to create a space in my home that channeled that same energy but in a way that reflected my current spiritual path. Witchcraft is healing. It heals deep parts of you that you thought would always be dark and helps you manipulate that energy to your benefit. By creating an altar, you’re dedicating a space specifically for your spiritual growth. It’s a space that you’ll come back to again and again, and that will grow and change as you continue to do the same.
Within the path of cottage witchcraft, your altar is expanded to the entire home. Every room becomes a spiritual haven and a place to practice your craft. By adding specific elements to each room, you can heighten the energy and create a base intention whenever you enter that space. Your craft gets mixed in with your everyday routine instead of only happening when you’ve set aside time to do something specific. Cottage witchcraft is all about mixing Magick into your daily life and surroundings.
Rather than making one main altar, you’ll add witchy elements to each room to create dedicated spaces or rituals throughout the home. To begin, let’s start with the place you spend most of your time—the bedroom! Most of your time here may be spent completely unconscious, but a lot of spiritual work can happen behind the scenes. Dreams are thought to reflect our subconscious mind, and many witches participate in dreamwork to better understand themselves. Others can even go beyond dreaming and astral project into different timelines and realities. If you’re one to drift off into faraway lands or wake up from deeply intense dreams, hanging Rosemary above your bed can help you gain some additional clarity into your unconscious adventures. You can turn this into a nightly routine where you meditate before bed with your Rosemary in hand, focusing on channeling the herb to help you open up your connection to the astral plane or to help you stay calm and safe while you sleep. Once you wake up, have a journal next to your bed to spend some time writing down important events from the dream.
Creating daily routines like this will help you get into a groove and recognize patterns in your practice. For example, getting dressed every day is a pretty mundane activity. Still, if you decorate your body mirror with crystals and sigils for self-love, your dressing space becomes dedicated to self-expression. Something simple and thoughtless becomes intentional, and as you continue with the routine, you’ll begin to notice how different you feel when you take the time to be mindful.
Another space with magickal potential is your bathroom. Start by cleaning and clearing off your counter space. Add some candles, crystals for self-love, and any quotes or sigils you want to embody in your daily routine. By adding some magickal elements as decoration, you’re dedicating the space to your craft and raising your vibration. To take it to the next level, start adding magick to the items in your space. For example, if you have a bar of soap that you use regularly, use a small knife or a toothpick to engrave a pentagram or a sigil of your choice into the bar of soap. Hold the soap in your hands and channel your energy into it. Now every time you use the soap, you’ll remember the intention you put behind it. Another option is actually to enchant your makeup or skincare routine! You can create a self-love charging station out of a large bowl full of salt, rose petals, and essential oils. Place your favorite makeup or skincare items in the bowl to charge and cleanse when you’re not using them.
You can create an exfoliating body scrub for your shower to add some witchy elements to your bathing routine. You’ll need about 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of coconut oil, 10-15 drops of lavender oil, and ¼ cup of dried lavender buds. Mix the ingredients in a glass bowl while channeling feelings of being at peace with your body. Store the mixture in a glass container, and while you shower, imagine yourself scrubbing away any thoughts of self-doubt or negativity. You can also create a bouquet of eucalyptus and chamomile and tie it to your shower head for added purification and cleansing. The steam will draw out the fragrances from the plants, and as you breathe it in, take some time to chant a mantra of your choice to yourself several times.
Now let’s move on to the kitchen! For coffee or tea drinkers, you can add plenty of witchy elements to your morning routine. Start by enchanting one specific mug and use it every day. Pick a mug that’s either sentimental to you or one that you feel gives off good energy. You can draw a pentagram or sigil onto the mug, or you can spend some time going all out, decorating the mug with crystals or messages you want to bring into your life. Now every morning when you go for a cup of joe, you’ll grab your mug and remember the intention behind your routine—the event becomes mindful and meaningful.
If you’re someone who cooks or bakes, try adding charms or decorations to your cooking utensils! If you have a wooden spoon, you can easily engrave symbols onto the item with a knife or wood-burning kit. When you cook, take some time to feel the utensil in your hand and notice the engraving. We often become zombies when we’re cooking and don’t actually pay attention to what we’re doing—we’re too distracted by a YouTube video or scrolling through Instagram. Instead, as you swirl your magickal utensils around in the pot, see what’s happening. Take time to visualize that charm being mixed into the food. Watch while bubbles form and the aroma of your meal fills your nose. Appreciate the process and take a moment to express your gratitude for the food you have to eat.
You can also create a food directory that lists all the items you frequently eat and then explains any magickal properties associated with them. For example, zucchini is known for protection and prosperity, carrots are known for lust and fertility, potatoes are known for healing, and ketchup can help with relationship problems…who knew?! By listing out the magical properties of your favorite foods, you can flip through your list and craft meals based on intention. Suddenly, your breakfast isn’t just getting you ready for a long day—it’s also helping you land that job, resolve disputes, and honor your body more intentionally.
Turning your home into one massive altar isn’t about clearing out all your possessions to draw a giant pentagram in the center of your living room. It’s about adding magick to the space you’ve already cultivated and turned the mundane into mindful moments. Start by going room by room, picturing your day and the regular activities you can infuse with your craft. If you do this, your home will quickly fall into a routine with you, aiding you in your quest for spiritual connection. Little moments make up the big picture. By adding little witchy elements throughout the home, you’ll eventually have an altar that expands the entire space, generating energy that is dared to be reckoned with.