Do you have a refuge? There’s so much stress in the world and our lives right now it’s important to have a place where we can retreat, recharge, and feel safe. You can build a refuge right now by using the tools of magic to protect the energy of your space and fill it with comfort.
Choose your space
First you’ll need to choose the space. Ideally it should be a room where you can shut the door to be alone. If that’s not possible you can pick an area of a room where you spend a lot of time. The area should have a chair or a rug where you can sit. It can be the desk where you have your computer or a chair in your bedroom.
Now figure out where you can put four small objects like sticky notes. If you don’t have a room you may use the legs of your chair. The idea is to create a magical box that surrounds your refuge.
Get some paper
You’ll need four pieces of paper. The paper can be any size or shape, small or large, square or rectangular or round. You can use sticky notes, index cards, or a sheet of printer paper. If you have craft supplies you can use colored construction paper.
You’ll use the paper to create wards. A ward is an object that carries a magical energy. Wards are used to generate a field of energy for protection and harmony in the home. You’ll need to hang the wards on your walls or the legs of your chair, so you’ll need a way to stick them to a surface. Options include tacks, tape, and putting a hole in the object and hanging it with a string. I like to use museum putty which you can order online and have delivered. The way you plan to hang your ward will determine how large it can be.
The paper becomes a ward when it is decorated with colors and symbols. Assemble any sources of color you have in the house. You can use crayons or colored pencils. If you have a color printer you can find pictures online and print them out. With old magazines and catalogs you can cut out splashes of color and tack them on with glue stick, liquid glue or tape.
If you enjoy collage projects you can make each of the wards as a collage. If you have kids who enjoy craft projects they can help you make them.
Start with protection
Each of the four wards has a theme. The first theme is protection. The color is red and the shape is square. For a very simple ward you can draw a red square on a sticky note. If you have sticky notes in colors you can just draw shapes on them.
When you think of protection, what comes to mind? It might be a wall or a protective bubble. If you think of defense you might imagine armor or weapons. You can be surrounded by guardians and friends.
You can draw these images or cut them out and paste them. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, for example you can draw lines around the edges of the paper to represent your guardians. If you aren’t able to represent them physically, just think of them as you draw the square.
Add in calm
The second theme is calm. The color is blue and the shape is a circle. You can draw the circle as an outline or color it in.
Blue is the color of water. You might think about a running stream which washes away what you want to release. You can imagine a clear pond, a mirror reflecting stillness. The sky can also be a source of blue calm. Think of the deep blue of the sky in the mountains or the radiant blue of a clear summer day. Blue is about flow, so you can draw loops or assemble overlapping shapes.
Bring in healing
The third theme is healing. The color is green and the shape is a hexagon, a figure with six sides that looks like a square with two sides pulled out.
What do you need to sustain your life? You might think of food. Eating the right food sustains and restores health. There’s prosperity, having the money and resources take care of yourself and your family. Right now we are all focused on health care and medicine. These are all green and connected with healing. Be generous with yourself and add on to this ward everything you think of that you need. Remember the images don’t have to be complicated, you can think of what you need as you draw the green hexagon.
Finish with joy
The fourth theme is joy. The color is yellow and the shape is an upward-pointing triangle.
What brings you joy? Think of the lyrics of “My Favorite Things”, “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”. What makes you smile? Here are some ideas: flowers, pets, and children. Delicious foods and drinks. Stunning mountain vistas and cozy forest cabins. Work on this until you find ideas that make your heart lighter.
Place the wards
Start by physically cleaning the space. Then attach the wards to the four walls of your room or the legs of your chair, however you are defining your area. If you can’t get them in a square, for example if your space is open on one side, place them as close as possible to where they should be. You can place them in any order and position you like. Many magic workers use a template that assigns red to the south, blue to the west, green to the north and yellow to the east, but use whatever works for you in your space.
When you place the red ward say “This refuge is protected.” With the blue ward say “This space is filled with calm”. With the green ward say “This space is filled with healing.” With the yellow ward say “This space is filled with joy.” Now sit in your chair or on the rug and take a few deep breaths. See or feel lines of energy connecting each of the wards so that they form an energy container around you.
Take the refuge with you
As you sit in your refuge, imagine an egg surrounding your body. The edge of the egg protects you and contains the energies of calm, healing and joy. As you leave your refuge and walk around in the world the energy of the refuge comes with you.
Renew the refuge
Whenever you enter your refuge, take a moment to tap into the protection, calm, healing and joy in the space. Be sure to keep the area physically uncluttered and clean. You may periodically strengthen the energies by touching each of the wards and saying, “Protection, calm, healing, joy”. You may also make new wards when you feel the need to renew them.
Sharing the refuge
If you share your space with others they may enter your refuge. Cats love to sit on energically charged chairs! It’s perfectly fine for people and creatures to accidentally cross into your refuge. You may invite them in to share the peace and happiness you have created.
One of the people or creatures may bring in an energy that you find disturbing. A housemate may complain or someone may shout at you. In that case immediately get a broom and sweep out the space physically and magically and renew the wards. This will clear out the energy in the refuge and help to re-center you.
A space to be
The refuge is a space where we can meditate, but we don’t have to reserve it just for that. The refuge supports our everyday lives. We can sit in the refuge to use the computer, work, talk to friends, prep dinner, eat, make art, play music, watch entertainment, play games.
A refuge helps us to stay grounded and sustains our energies. Everyone needs a place to go to be ourselves, and the magical refuge creates that space.