By Alison Bowen Chicago Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) From crystals to using touch, Erica Feldmann, founder of the "HausWitch Home + Healing shop" in Salem, Mass., shares tips to transform your home into a peaceful sanctuary.
Once we've move into a new space, it often feels as if what is needed is a spark of magic.
Can't one just wave a Harry Potter-type wand and place all photos on the wall in perfect harmony, or finally find that perfect couch?
Erica Feldmann, a Chicago native who runs the HausWitch Home + Healing shop in Salem, Mass., can't craft you a wand, but she does use the inspiration of magic in her new book "HausMagick: Transform Your Home With Witchcraft," which came out Feb. 12.
The book weaves together her knowledge of interior design with a personal study of "earth magic," astrology and tarot.
More specifically, after dabbling in Wicca as a teenager, she pursued a degree in gender and cultural studies with research concentrated on witches. Combining her design and witch interests began when a friend who had recently moved asked her to cast a spell to find her a new house.
For those who might be less comfortable with witchcraft, she cautions her tips do not mean you need to start using crystal balls. "It means taking simple steps toward improving your quality of life and starting to see how you can shift the energy around you in your favor," she writes.
From crystals to using touch, here are tips to transform your home through what Feldmann considers a magical instruction manual for interior alchemy.
1. Get to know your aura and the auras of others. Boundaries are important to home design. Feldmann describes an aura as "your personal electromagnetic field, and it extends two to three feet around the outside of your body." She gives steps to visualize an aura, imagine a glowing light around your body, to get a feel for where and what yours is. Of course, many people live with other people, whose space also needs to be respected and reflected. Think through each person's energy. For example, with two opposite tastes in the house, consider how to balance or combine. Can you frame something from your travels, a map, a postcard, that brings positivity to the space?
2. Consider a crystal by your bed. If you don't know much about why crystals are sometimes in the corner of your yoga studio, Feldmann provides a good primer. She explains that they come in different sizes and forms, and are believed to have a role in healing. Beginners can bring crystals into their home by simply placing one in a conspicuous space. But think about what it's supposed to do. For example, she suggests an amethyst on a bedside table, which could help with sleep as it should make you feel safe and supported. Or perhaps a pyrite on your desk, for willpower and manifestation. An advanced step? Creating a crystal potion.
3. Think about what the room wants. Rooms have their own energy. A few years ago, she realized she never used a room meant to be an office. Finally, she Skyped her clairvoyant, who agreed to read the energy of the room. The room, he told her, did not want to be light, like the rest of the house, and did not want to be a productive space. It wanted to be dark, creative, meditative. She changed it from cheery yellow to a room with a black chalkboard and arts-and-crafts table. The lesson here, Feldmann says, is if a room still feels energetically off even after a bunch of aesthetic fixes, think beyond the material world. Are you using the space for activities more stressful than serene? Is there a way to stop doing things in a certain space, like checking work email?
4. Use the sense of touch. In describing how to create a cozy retreat, she suggests considering what you think of as comforting. For Feldmann, what comes to mind are sweaters and flannel blankets. You can include textures like these, but also bring other, different layers of texture in your home, to help it feel lived in and comforting. Consider something like a glass piece or mirror _ something smooth that can bring in calm, alongside natural textures, like hardwood floors or wood furniture. And fireplaces and candles can bring literal warmth.
5. Clear out unwelcome intruders. Should you feel an "unwelcome intruder," whether it be Casper-like or negative energy surrounding your space, one option is to give whatever this is somewhere else to go. Choose something personal from the space and place it outside the home, Feldmann instructs. Think an old coffee mug or plant pot. She suggests saying something like, "This space is mine, and I am the boss here. I acknowledge and respect the time you have spent here, but that time is now over, and I must ask you to leave. Please use the living room window and find the space I have created for you outside my home. Go in peace."