I’ve found myself increasingly having to consider the ‘what ifs’ of my children having friends over to stay. Although we have had parties and play dates at home the parents of said children are either family or friends that know that I appreciate that we are a ‘non-Christian’ household. Now, as the children are getting older and developing strong friendship bonds with children outside of our circle I have had to review the kinds of things that are out on display, especially as I expand my statue, skull and book collections.
The core of my position is that it’s my house and I’ll have out when I jolly well want, but actually there does need to be a bit of giving ground on my part.
General House Rules
The rules for guests would be the same as for the children; Do not touch without permission. The added caveat would be ‘the children cannot give permission’. When considering items out on display I am somewhat relaxed. I’d be a fool to believe that the kids, who get up way earlier than I do, don’t rummage trough crystal bowls or manhandle objects on the sideboard. Generally, anything on display is the equivalent of an ornament so as long as there are no breakages I turn a blind eye.
Boxed items are another story. If something is in a box and I see tampering then there is big trouble. Boxes are where I keep my tools, herbs and ritual items which I do not want touching. Most of these are in my bedroom so there are no excuses but there a couple are on display in the living room (mainly divination equipment so it is close to hand).
The other biggest rule, particularly with overnight guests, is that my bedroom is off limits. Not only because that is where I keep the really illicit stuff but also because I have no desire to be working up at 6AM on a Sunday morning.
Divination and Magical Tools
Any object which is sacred or, for energetic reasons, shouldn’t be handled by anyone but me. As such they are stored in boxes and out of site. As noted above boxes are off limits regardless of where they are in the house. Occasionally I have ‘retired’ objects from active use and they have been incorporated into shrines around the house. In these cases, the items are to be treated as any other ornament though the girls know I would strongly prefer them to leave well alone.
Skulls and Other (MM)
Death isn’t a subject I feel needs to be hidden from children. Whether it is the death of a beloved pet or relative they need to share the experience with their family, at a level appropriate to their age group. The presence of skulls and other remains, and (mm) in general is something that I don’t believe should be shirked from and my policy is that those skulls which are on display remain on display. There have been a few goggle-eyed looks but never more than that.
I am starting to include some trance work involving animal skulls in my personal practice. These skulls will be dedicated items with their own rituals and spirits attached. As such they will be an off-limits item to all except myself, as is the case with any form of divinatory tool and will be stored appropriately.
Icons and Statues
I don’t have a lot of ‘sexy’ icons but some of my Pan statues are more than a little… phallic. My OH isn’t exactly comfortable with these images as it is so they are confined to the back of a bedroom cupboard and are only on display during ritual work.
This is not my preference.
Whilst I am happy to keep such things confined to the bedroom, particularly when it comes to considering the feelings of visiting family members and guests, but I dislike like hiding them from the Girls but I am content to respect my husband’s wishes… for now.
In a more general sense, I have things out on display as shrines and altars which are not moved or redressed for visitors.
Herbs and Consumables
Young children explore their universe through their mouths. If it fits it ships as the saying goes. I’m not entirely convinced that this gets better as they get older it’s just the ‘I wonder…’ thought process has greater imagination and possible trouble behind it.
Whether the item may be considered ‘not great’ or ‘extremely NOT’ for human consumption I take no risks. All herbs and loose incense are in a box within a box which is located in my room. The few that aren’t are kitchen herbs.
Teaching Some Lesson
Most of our rules are based either in so-called ‘common sense’ or good spiritual practice. Magical, sacred or divinatory items should only be handled by the practitioner and/or designated individuals unless invited. Equally sacred or spiritually significant objects really shouldn’t be on general display. One of the reasons I have and enforce, these rules with the girls is that they are something they may need should they take their practice forward and in recent months it has become very relevant for ED.
The ED has been collecting bits and pieces of ‘ritual’ items for years. Some are things she has inherited from me, others she has made herself and she’s even asked me to buy items from charity shops from time to time. She keeps her items in her bedroom on a special shelf but she had found that play dates would rummage through and pick things up and ask permission second. She found it a little frustrating so when she started to collect the Hatatchet Partworks Mind Body Spirit magazine she asked for a box of her own to keep all the crystals and cards out of sight. Gradually more of her items moved in and now she has a well-developed beginners altar box (sans oils and herbs).
Not only is she better organised she can keep things separate and special. Admittedly, it’s hard for her to access because she refuses to keep her cupboard tidy buy at least the intent is there. Now her things are out of sight out of mind and now she is the one who decides if and what can come out.