Since I've made a few moves in my day, I've put a list of 10 (ok...11, but 10 sounds better) way to make a successful pagan move. I call this list:
Ten Ways to Successfully Make a Pagan Move
catchy title, huh?
1. If you have an herb garden, I suggest putting everything in pots and moving them. Be very careful when you’re doing this, however. While the aloe plant that I purchased in my new state is growing just fine, the one I moved here died almost instantly. Do some reading about growing zones and find out how much of a shock some of your herbs might get. If you’re going to end up killing a treasured herb, flower, succulent, etc., you’re better off giving it to a friend or family member.
2. It was really important to me to make sure my altar tools were wrapped up snugly in their own box. Make sure it’s clearly marked, so that whoever is moving it will be extra careful. This way you can easily find your altar items when you get where you’re going.
3. Make a list of your essential ‘witchy’ places. I found that out of the 4-6 places that I typically went for pagan supplies, only one was the local witchy shop. I also went to garden stores, craft stores, unique food suppliers, etc. Make a list of the kinds of places you like to go to; this will be important later on.
When you get there:
4. Get your altar set up within the first day or two that you move in. I actually made sure this was up before I ever saged or did any sort of cleansing ritual. I said prayers of thanks to the Lord and Lady for my safe travel and asked for a smooth transition to this new place. Also, if I wanted to do any sort of ritual or working, my altar was all nice and ready for me.
5. Find a nice place for those herbs you brought. Whether indoors or outdoors, make sure they get plenty of sun and are taken care of. Having your own familiar garden will make you feel much more at home. Double plus bonus: you will have your favorite magical/medicinal herbs right there without having to repurchase anything!
6. Take out that list that you made and start ticking off places. Don’t necessarily go in numerical order. Find what you can as close to your house as you can. I have two home improvement stores just ¼ mile down the road from my house. Both have good garden centers, and what I can’t find at one store I can typically find at the other. Also, in an adjacent shopping center, I found little unique food stores and a gift shop. Not a craft store, but it would do in a pinch. After traveling around a while, I found a good Michael’s. Witch Vox provided me a preliminary listing of pagan shops in the area, and I spent many a weekend traveling to each one. Though, I was here 6 months before I found my perfect go-to witchy store. Be patient.
7. Buy a new plant(s). You may have had to leave a plant behind due to an incompatible growing climate. Or, you may have successfully brought all of your beloved green buddies along for the move. I still suggest purchasing at least one new herb, perhaps something that is local to your new area. If you’re moving to the desert, a new cactus might be pertinent. You could get an evergreen bonsai if you’re moving to a wooded area. This will help bond you to the energies and plant life of your new location.
8. Buy the fattest bundle of sage that you can find and sage absolutely every square inch of your new home. I bought a sage and lavender bundle. The lavender gave the place a peaceful quality. Sometimes just plain white sage can leave a home feeling...blank. The lavender adds an element of easy peace to the place. It's nice.
After you’ve been there a while: (like 6 months or more)
9. Find a big ass pagan event and attend it. I went 30 minutes into the city and attended the Chicago Pagan Pride day. It completely sucked, but I at least was around other pagans. Triple plus bonus: I became acquainted with a number of witchy shops I would have never known about otherwise.
10. Make sure you’re doing ritual. At your old place, you found your ritual routine and probably more or less stuck to it. You felt the ebb and flow of the energy in the land around you and the sky above you. Something in your blood just knew when the moon was waxing or waning, new or full. You’re not there anymore, and now you have all new energies to work with. It will be easy when you first move to do ritual. You’ll be excited; you’ll be in a new place. But, the problem comes 6 months down the road when you may still not be settled in just yet and you forgot the full moon was last Thursday. It’s ok. Forgive yourself. And do the rituals when you can. It’s even ok by me - and just by me - to do the full moon ritual that you forgot 3 days late. Just get back in the habit.
11. Find a place that makes you feel super witchy. I don’t want this to be at the local witchy shop or a local outdoor circle. I want this to be someplace that isn’t intentionally witchy, but it makes you feel magical. For me, this place is the Chicago Botanical Garden. Over 300 acres of gorgeous gardens, including herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and every kind of decorative garden in the world. There’s an herb garden, innumerable flower gardens, ponds, a Japanese zen garden, and the list goes on and on. Every time I’m able to go I feel so connected to the earth. Quadruple plus bonus: I found out what grows well locally. This makes it easier to pick herbs and other plants to grow around my house. Maybe for you this is a local pond or a dilapidated barn down the road. But find a place and go there from time to time to recharge your batteries. When you have your own secret special spot you can truly feel at home.
Hope your move goes well! Let me know your moving techniques by leaving a comment, tweeting @IncitingARiot, or emailing IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com. Oh, and could you spare a quick vote at Podcast Alley?
Love and Lyte,