Welcome to the second part of my spiritual room update! Before I shared pictures of my spiritual room in the last post, I talked about how you don't need "stuff" to be a pagan and, in short, where I've found said stuff. Today, I'd like to briefly chat about my decision making process when setting up my spiritual room and outside involvement.
While my spiritual room is absolutely and positively mine, others have had a hand in setting up the space. When I first moved in, I had the assistance of the girls from my prior circle, Circle of Open Traditions. From their input, I made several design decisions. There are more than a few times that they were on the chair hanging something instead of me. I wanted the space, despite being mine alone, to also feel communal.
I have since then altered the design of the room, but a few of their suggestions remain because they were just that good.
In addition to my prior circle, my husband has also been a huge help with my spiritual room. As I've talked about in a post from August of last year, my husband is Catholic, which means that we are in an interfaith relationship. However, we make a point to involve ourselves in each other's life. This means that I fully support his religious choice just as he fully supports mine. There is no negative religious talk in our household and, quite frankly, we agree on a lot of spiritual points despite coming from very different backgrounds.
Because of that, my husband is regularly involved with my spiritual room as well as with my circles, including Circle of Northern Fountains. That doesn't mean that he fully participates by chanting or lighting candles, but he does often make food, help me set up the spiritual room and help me design altars. As I'm sure you can guess, he absolutely had a hand in designing my spiritual room. Even though I'm the artist and he works in IT, he has a keen eye for design and colors. And he knows me better than I even know myself, which means he can align what I feel with what I want to see.
His encouraging and caring nature is occasionally what keeps me on top of this blog when I can't find anything to write about. In fact, I'm writing about all of this upon his suggestion tonight! He's always been very supportive of my blog as a means of dispelling common pagan stereotypes. All sabbat posts are a mixture of mine and his photography. If you ever see me in the picture, he's behind the camera.
But tonight, I'm behind the camera and taking pictures of the next corner of my room.
So what did the southern corner of my room look like in the middle of last year?
Well, that's not much to look at, is it? Let's see what it looks like now.
Remember in my last post when I said that I had made some drastic changes to my room? This is definitely what I meant. This corner looks far more representative of fire than the previous one.
In the background of this incredibly blurry picture of myself, you can see the small black shelf I'm using in this corner. This picture was taken shortly after I signed the lease for my first apartment over five years ago. So I've had this shelf laying around for some time. It used to hold all of my DVDs all the way until just half a year ago. When we moved in August, we got large shelves for the front room...
... and the once-DVD shelf was re-purposed as a candle shelf for the spiritual room. You can see that shelf originally in the west-most corner here:
While I liked the look of that corner, I felt like the southern area got neglected a bit. There was really very little in the original fire corner that made it represent the element. So I moved the candle shelf over there. I also place tea light candles on the top shelf of the TV stand.
I never realize just how many candles I have until I look at this shelf. I've been collecting for many years. Some candles I recognize from when I was 15 and 16. It's impressive how long they last.
Now I'm sure some of you have noticed the TV and are wondering why such a device would belong in a spiritual room. Like I mentioned in the post about the east corner of the room, my room serves many functions. Not all functions are pagan, but I consider them all to be spiritual in some nature. The TV sits in the room as a means of playing exercise programs so I can get into better shape. If my path is about happiness, harmony and heath, and a TV gets me there, so be it.
You may have also noticed that I have some gaming systems there. Those help me relax. It takes me away from the real world for a bit. Plus I'm a bit of a nerd for retro NES games. I mean, I've owned my NES since I was incredibly young.
Thing's bigger than I am!
Some pagans may believe that electronics don't belong in a spiritual space. I personally disagree. We live in a modern world where it surrounds us. I don't use paganism as an escape from that, but simply merge it with my modern life in a way that fits me. After all, our paths are personal.
I've also traded the blue and gold cloth above said TV for a red one. It does have a beautiful floral-esque pattern on it, but it's hard to see in the picture. The original cloth was not the color I had wanted, but was a fantastic loan from one of the now-disintegrated Circle of Open Traditions members. I believe it was also her, or her sister's, suggestion. It's a design choice I've certainly kept.
In this picture, note the small black cat tea light candle holder. This hints to the familiar I feel represents fire: Apollo.
... And everyone else's heart as well.
Nicknamed Lil Bits for his size, Apollo's personality is still very kitten-like as he's only a little over six months old. However, we're starting to see hints of his final personality coming to life. He may be a cuddlebug, but when he's hyper, stand clear! He's a passionate player, sometimes taking things a little too far. He zips through the house for hours, climbs everything, sneaks into things he shouldn't and is sometimes derpy like you wouldn't believe.
I was hesitant to call the little firecracker a familiar, but he's shown enough hints now that I can't ignore the truth.
If his loving bond with me and the other familiars isn't enough, he too is a BOS reader...
... and feels cozy under the altar.
Besides, like every fuzzy baby I have, when he enters the spiritual room, he goes right to the corner I feel represents him best all on his own: fire.