This weekend we had some friends over to the house. It was the first time we’d had friends over in a long time. It used to be a regular occurrence, but not lately. Before the friends arrived, I busied myself with housework. I cleaned and tidied and cooked. It wasn’t drudge work. It was kind of fun. I was focused on creating a nice experience for my friends, so the effort had positive connotations. As I was getting things ready for our friends to arrive, it suddenly hit me that this space really had become my bubble.
Usually when I think of the house bubble, I think of it in negative terms. I can go for days without seeing or feeling the spirits outside because I live in my 2 bedroom bubble and get swamped with work on my computer. Even when I look up from my computer or take time for meditation, I’m still indoors. When at last I step outside, there’s always a moment of surprise when I feel how different the world feels on the street in front of the building. “Oh, yeah! This is Glasgow! I’d almost forgotten.”
The first time you walk into a new home, it’s a bit strange. It’s not home yet. It’s just a place. Occasionally a house or apartment will have a warm home-like feel to it, a good energy or welcoming spirits, but it’s still new and a little foreign. After a few days or weeks or months, the place is truly home. The space between the walls you inhabit has taken in a bit of your energy, it has moulded to the shape of your spirit somehow.
The walls of your home, whether a house or an apartment, shield you from more than the physical elements and roaming predators. They insulate you in a space that you create every day you live there. Your dead skin cells are the dust on the shelves. Your body heat and the heat of your activities contribute to the enclosed climate. Your breath fills the air. Your prayers float in corners near the roof, like books on high shelves that have been read and wait to be read again. Your concious and unconscious protections surround the space and help maintain its integrity. Physical locks, magickal wards, spheres of protection, the thoughtform of your image of “Home”. Even if you do no magick (intentionally), the space is still filled with your thoughts and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears.
When you visit a friend’s home, you can feel if you are welcome or not. You can tell, even if it’s another family member or housemate you never see directly, if someone doesn’t want you there. You also get a feel for the dynamics of the people who live in the space. How do they get along? How do they work together? How do they feel about this space, about their lives, and about each other?
I remember some places that were not so welcoming. I remember when I was 7 or 8, the home of a babysitter where I felt instantly ill at ease the moment I walked in the door. I was lucky that my mother didn’t make me stay there long and found another caregiver for that summer.
Sometimes, the bubble you create is not enough to keep the outside away. I remember an apartment where I used to have terrible nightmares of being held against my will. At first the dreams were set in the school where I went to first grade. Then, over time, the arrangement of the buildings changed slightly, though the architecture was still the same. After a year of living there, I learned that the place next door with a fence and a gate and no distinguishable signage was a home for people with severe mental illness and family members wealthy enough to keep them there. After walking beyond the main gate and the first building, the property looked nearly identical to that elementary school, but just as in the dreams, the paint and the arrangement of the buildings was a bit different.
I reacted to that realization the only way I knew how back then. I prayed for the people in that place for healing, but if not that, for peace and comfort and a sense of freedom. The dreams went away.
Things are still very much in flux for me. This place where I am living is not my home. But I do appreciate that this flat has become my bubble for the moment, that it has let me cook on its fires, share good times with friends, breathe in its air and dream in the web of its magick. As bubbles go, this is a comfortable one.
Did you know that our very own Rhyd is raising funds to go to the Polytheist Leadership Conference? If you donate $100 he’ll give you special work of fiction. You could just donate $5 and know that you are helping him on his way. Please show your support for this blog and for Rhyd’s work in whatever way you can. Thank you!