6 Steps to Creating Your Dream Magical Workroom

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,


There is nothing quite like being able to come into a room of your very own, shut the door, and with one long breath, take in the essence of everything meaningful to you.  To say that such a space has a positive impact on your magic is an understatement!

Unfortunately, too many rooms are sadly wasted when their owners set out to make them magical.  Proud witches will show you photos of spaces full of cheap, pretty knickknacks and handfuls of vaguely occult cultural references from around the world.  That doesn't reflect them.  Hell, that doesn't reflect anyone; it's only scratching the surface of what they think they should be doing. 

So that you don't become another practitioner who knows only how to technically meet the base requirements for a workroom, we're going to go over some simple tips to make something special, personal, and functional that will set your magic on fire the moment you open the door.  You ready?

Step 1: What's Your Function?

Here's where we just ask ourselves a ton of questions, some of which are:

  • Is this shared space?  If so, how often will both owners be using it?  If it's shared by function (such as in a bedroom), at what times of day will the room be engaged in each? 
  • Do you need room enough for rituals? 
  • Will you host guests or clients here? 
  • Do you have coven items that need to be stored? 
  • Are you making and/or selling items out of this space? 

Each of these questions opens up new needs for space.  Think carefully on the kinds of work you do and what is really required for each of them.  Will you need a table for divination, a permanent altarspace, room for candle burning and petitions, and somewhere to meditate?  Carefully plot out your floor plan to house all of this comfortably and manageably.

And that's not all.  What kind of furniture do you need?  No, I don't think spindly end tables and display cases are real furniture here.  This is not the time to just plop in any little bric-a-brac that doesn't fit in the rest of your house.  Make this space really work for you.  Pick one or two solid, functional pieces that you'll need all the time.  Because of my writer/librarian/antiquarian vibe, mine has always been my roll-top desk.  Everything else revolved around it and it set the tone for the whole room.  Now that that desk has found more featured space in our new home's library, the focal point of my workroom is its wall of built in glass-front cabinets (the perfect way to showcase my occult book collection!).  This means that the tone has changed even though I have most of the same stuff otherwise.

Step 2: Plan Your Storage

No matter what you plan to do in your room, you will need to store a bunch of things you're not using at the moment.  While open baskets and plastic tote boxes might look good in a magazine, it doesn't take long for them to look dusty and drab in real life.  This is especially true of a room that you won't be showing visitors.  How often do you dust your closet?  How tidy is your basement?  Because these spaces aren't shared with visitors and we don't spend much living time in them, they can quickly look as insignificant as we treat them.  You don't want this to be the future of your magical workroom, so plan accordingly to make it easy to clean, organize, and keep looking smart.

Consider carefully the space directly around the main pieces of furniture you'll be using.  How far can you reach--above, below, and on both sides--from the seat of your desk?  How about your meditation space?  Or the table you use for consulting with clients? What will you need when you're sitting here?  Combine this information to get an idea of the kind of storage you can arrange close at hand. 

Think sturdy, simple, stylish storage: drawers, labeled boxes, files, folders, shelving, pin boards, blackboards, bookcases.  You can stick to muted colors and finishes that go with everything (black, earth tones, wood, etc.) or you can work within a theme of colors that go with the walls and flooring.  It isn't necessary to become an interior decorator for the sake of this one room, but you do want to evoke a specific feeling as well as utility.

Step 3: Keep It Clean.  No, Really!

This pairs with the last step.  You don't have to scrub until it shines, but your space should be easy to work in, move around in, and feel light when you step in that door.  Remember that the goal of creating this room is so that you can get inspired and then get to work.  Don't let this be just another source of stress; it's your vacation from stress.

One of my favorite things to do is tidy up my workroom.  Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but it's surprisingly rewarding for a fairly simple task.  Every three months or so take some time out to assess how the place looks.  Put away what you've been using, straighten the books and arrange the components on your shelves, dust and wipe down surfaces, polish a bit of wood, sweep the floors and clean the windows.  I guarantee you'll feel the difference immediately!

Step 4: Make It Yours

What kind of caster are you?  This might be an easy question to answer if you only look at the surface.  "I use a lot of herbs and herbal formulas" would be my answer.  But now you must go deeper.  What's the vibe you put out?  How do you appear to others (or how do you want to appear)?  What are you most known for?  What impression do you give about your innermost self?  My own might be that I'm a combination of librarian, counselor, research scientist, and artist.  I'm a rule-follower with the exception of moral rules, which I find highly subjective.  My space works with my love of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, and lots and lots of knowledge.  These are really great thoughts to play with as you explore the potential in your space.

Step 5: Fill It with Magic

What really sparks your magical flame?  Think about all the possible sources of inspiration: the colors that excite you, designs and patterns that have that certain something, dreamlike images and objects, people you admire, cultures and time periods that find their way into your work.  Try to cultivate a physical representation of the way strong magic feels to you, an atmosphere of occult luminescence.
And speaking of light, this would be a good time to figure out what kind of lighting your space will need.  Not only is the right lighting important for preventing eyestrain when reading (something we practitioners spend a lot of time doing!), it's also got quite a power to set the mood.  Think of it as the setting for a jewel--complementary and accentuating.  Whether your magic prefers a soft, ambient glow, a single fireside-style radiance that forms dynamic shadows, or the cool bright glint of a schoolroom, you can find lamps that hang, recess, dim, pivot, and sparkle just right for your space.    

Step 6: Make Room for the Future

So now that your space reflects where you are, you'll want to keep a little opening for where you will be.  Doing so in this physical way can inspire you to do the same in a mental, emotional way.  Life should never be so full that there's no place left for wonder, dreaming, possibility, or adventure. 

The most obvious way to do this is by having more bookshelves than you currently have books to fill, as well as sparsely decorating other spaces like tables and shelving.  Maintain corkboards and "inspiration boards" with ideas for new forms of magic to try, objects to make, places to visit, and the like.  Create space for writing in your BoS and working on long term projects.  Make this a place to allow your mind to wander about what kind of witch you will be someday. 

So now it's time to get out pencil and paper and start working up your own plans.  Remember to go with what gives off the right feeling.  Follow that up with the right function and you will have a space that can easily be the envy of who you were yesterday and the foundation of who you'll be tomorrow.

Images from:
Photos of my own workroom

Witch Tip--Shortcut: Quickie Spell Candles (With Photos!)

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

I seem to be the only witch who isn't amazed by the idea of using birthday candles for spells.  There are tons of reasons why it's dumb, but here's just a few:

  1. First, it's unlikely that you have only two minutes in which to cast a spell and this is what you chose.  You must realize that there is a big wide world of magic at your disposal and many varieties of spellcasting are quicker than candle spells.  Next time, think about spoken charms, formulas, knots, sigils, or even the use of thoughtforms and golems.  You can do better!
  2. Birthday candles don't come in many colors, and what you can find are either pastel, covered in glitter, or decorated with other colors in grooves or stripes.  You need a gray candle?  A brown one?  Good luck.
  3. You can't use them for some of the most interesting and powerful methods of candle spells, namely inscribing and loading.  I guess you can dress and dust them, but you'll spend twice as long doing so as it takes for the candle to burn.
  4. Unless you're sticking that thing in a cake, get ready to have a hard time making it stand upright the whole time.
  5. If you've tried to get around any of these problems just so you can keep saying that they're a workable substitute, you're trying too hard. 

So, now that I've got that off my chest, here's a better way.  If you simply must have candles for your spell, plan ahead and make tea light spell candles.

They are small, portable, fast burning, inscribable, stand securely on their own, and you can easily make them any color you want.  Here's how:

  • Pop out the candle from its tin

  • Remove the wick and set aside

  • Fill a frying pan with 1/2 inch of water and heat on medium-low on the stove top
  • Put the empty tins in the pan.  They should float on the water at this point.

  • Dye your candles to match your intention: Sprinkle shavings from crayons in each tin (or, if you're a pro like me, just add liquid candle dye)

  • Add a few drops of condition oils and/or powders or finely ground herbs to match your intention
  • Drop into each tin the chunk of white wax
  • Allow the warm water to slowly melt the wax (without boiling! It's too messy and can flip over your tins)

  • Once all the wax is melted, and the color is to your liking, remove from the heat and let cool
  • Before the candles solidify, put the wicks back in the center of each one.

  • Sprinkle each candle with powders or ground herbs.  Make sure that the surface is cooled and solid or everything you add will just sink to the bottom.  I like to include some glitter, too!

  • Now you're ready to cast a quickie spell any time, anywhere in style and with results as strong as a full-sized candle!

You might like to check out the following sites for more about candleburning:

White Magic Alchemy
Original Botanica

Images from:
my photos

Quick Link--Free Book: Dictionary of Occult Symbols

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels:

Free Dictionary of Occult Symbols PDF

A classic of its kind, The Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic, and Alchemical Sigils is a must-have for your magical library.

In this orderly (and you know how I love that!) collection of symbols can be found not only a great deal of rarely discussed information and origins but also all known variations, several magical alphabets, and an extensive bibliography for further reading.  You will want a printed copy of this, post haste!*

*Note, however, that in a scanning quirk, page 291 appears upside down.  If you make your own, switch it before binding.

About Me

My photo

My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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