nicola: rainwater on windowpanes, piano music under evening light, watercolour skies in violet and lilac and blue, lavender flowers, wind-chimes hanging from the door frame, a soft kind of nostalgia in the air.
Gryffindor - thunderstorms, dancing in a rain storm, really close flashes of lightning, midnight conversations where you share secrets you never thought you’d share because you know they’ll never tell anyone, confrontation, the uncontrolled feeling of anger where you see red and your blood is hot in your veins, whispering during movies, loud bursts of laughter, voices gradually growing louder and louder in arguments, being a sore loser, adrenaline rushes, taking risks, goofing around, dancing like no one is watching, loud music and loud singing/yelling along, playfully insulting friends, over the top poses for photographs, being unable to keep a poker face, the sparks that fly off of fires, unbuttoned plaid shirts, talking back, everlasting incredibly fierce loyalty and love for their friends, the satisfaction that overrides all exhaustion after exercise, scraped knees, constantly covered in plasters, climbing trees, loud celebrations, giant hugs
Slytherin - tiny hidden tattoos, the cold but refreshing feeling of freezing wind hitting your face, resting bitch face, ripped jeans, being brutally honest with their friends when it’s needed without guilt, hoodies, the determination to prove themselves different to people’s ideas of them, an old teddy bear or knitted gift from their grandma they hide away but treasure, wary of too much affection, having only one or two really close friends and liking it that way, not wanting to share the things that bring them the most happiness because their favourite things belong to them, being able to find loopholes in everything and using it to their advantage, smug smiles when they know they’re right, the satisfaction of knowing someone is wrong and knowing they’re about to prove it, confidence, only ever respecting people if they prove they deserve it no matter how old the person may be, doing things just because people say they can’t, fierce protectors, swimming way underwater and pretending to be a mermaid, constantly cold hands
Ravenclaw - always getting the perfect present because they remember the smallest thing about you, messy smudges of paint on desks and skin, biting lips and tugging hair in concentration, the mixture of exhaustion and relief when they finally perfect their work, the sound of pencil against paper, saying they’re fine when they’re not because other things need to be focused on, always being ready to listen, giving great advice, elegance, the light shining through stained glass windows in churches, travelling to historic places, unfinished notebooks, unable to resist starting that new project even when they said they would take a break, knowing random bits of information that other people may find useless, classical music, listening to film soundtracks to concentrate, crumbling castles half hidden in fog, forgetting simple things but knowing everything about complicated stuff, realising the answer half way through a question and yelling it out, watching people pass by and trying to deduce their life
Hufflepuff - dungarees, flowers tucked into pockets, fairy lights, the feeling of warmth when you’re inside all cuddled up and there’s bad weather outside, blanket forts, decorating the walls with pictures of good memories, birthday cards filled with stick men and scribbles of inside jokes, oversized sweaters, decorating bags with badges, nicknames, not wanting to leave bed, wearing a blanket as a cape, laziness, swing sets and slides, the lovely feeling when a stranger is nice to you, the rush of happiness when you meet someone and just know they’re going to be a good friend, stickers all over their belongings, wind chimes, cottages in the country side, disney fairy tale movies, scented candles, singing christmas songs all year around and planning decorations in September, cheeks hurting from smiling so much, dressing up for halloween every year even if they’re just staying at home, lying on their friends laps, surprise presents even when there’s no occasion, collecting acorns, candy shops
concept: it is a quiet summer morning. warm sunlight and cool, crisp air stream through my open window. my room is heavy with the smell of flowers, vines, grass, and growth. the only sounds are of bees outside, a gentle wind chime, and my own steady, deep breathing.
ARIES Abandoned gas stations, beholders of tumbleweeds and roadside tales, filled with dead fuel yet frozen in time, eyes on the passengers with their hands and hair out the window, haunted by old desert songs and engines revving behind it.
TAURUS: Abandoned bars, stools turned over, a ripped flyer shouting BABES BABES BABES hanging off the bulletin board, a lost motorcycle tire, glass shattered, and the spirit of hell still living somewhere inside.
GEMINI Ghost towns, at the base of old mountains, houses with shutters like eyes and doors like mouths, swallowing stories whole, convenience stores still stocked with stale bread, cabins and headstones still peeking out from behind fairy wood brambles, nature stretching into steel, ready to come alive with a shift of the wind.
CANCER: Abandoned motels, empty pools filled with deflated flamingos, the sign out front screaming VACANCY forever, each room a different anthology of guest book tales, smashed television monitors and a love note ( or goodbye note ) caught up in the rust of the honeymoon suite.
LEO: Abandoned theaters, stages dented with the ghosts of performances past, torn scripts scattered across floorboards in a mess of Playbills and shattered eyeglasses, broken lights and tattered dress hems, mannequins poised at an eternal act one.
VIRGO Abandoned train stations, cars sprayed in a kaleidoscope of graffiti, drifters still starting fires in some of the shells, grass growing over old gears, ghost conductors with no destination, rails intersecting at odd angles like flowers and bones.
LIBRA Abandoned campgrounds, rattlesnakes and desert blues, dead hot and forgotten, a shelled-out RV and the dry lake where the kids used to play, swallowing up broken toys and flat tents, showers crawling with critters, vintage t-shirts printed with campground bears promising that it’s still “the happiest place on earth.”
SCORPIO Abandoned amusement parks, soggy coaster cars paused mid-ascension, cheap thrills and screams still stagnant in the air, ferris wheels trembling in the wind, clown faces distorted and torn down the middle, a mascot head smiling out from the overgrowth.
SAGITTARIUS Abandoned renaissance fairs, an acre out of time, fake pirate ships swinging, fairy wings trying to fly, dead flower crowns tangled with bright ribbons and peasant blouses shed by the lake, empty squares and old stage buildings, Arthur’s sword caught at the entry, still waiting to be pulled.
CAPRICORN Abandoned toy stores, broken pinball machines, ghost clowns, and popped balloons, playing cards stuck to the floor, a crooked house of childhood horrors, teddy bears bleeding stuffing, and a funhouse mirror distorting the distorted.
AQUARIUS: Abandoned piers, driftwood split down the middle, coastline the last alive thing, neon lights still calling Gatsby home from the horizon, but promising only the ghosts of mermaids washed ashore, tires and bottles filled with sand, dead trees spouting from old rocks, branches a wind chime of ripped dresses, forks, and seashells on strings.
PISCES: Abandoned waterparks, slides overlooking entire old cities, perfect for climbing, hoses and pools now scrawled over and used as skateboard ramps, kids climbing over the old towers and ladders in their bathing suits when it rains, pure want as their tickets in, yelling, “We’re still here, we’re still here, we’re still here!”
I share a very small room with my sister, and obviously don’t have much room for an altar. I use most of my space for my Hellenic shrines and altar. I keep my witchy stuff on my shared bedside table. Here is what I use, and how I store/display it. This is element based, but you can use it however you like.
Small Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp - This is a tool I use all the time. It detoxifies my room, and cleanses the space. I feel so much more at ease with it on, like it’s washing everything away!
Crystals - You might want to move these or switch them out depending on what spell you’re doing, as all energy contributes to the working, but while you’re in your room, or even while you’re away, you can leave these here to represent Earth.
Salt - Little packets of salt work, or you can place a bowl with some salt in it on your altar. I use my rock salt lamp.
Dirt - A literal baby jar of dirt works, or you can put a plant on your altar if it’s by a window. I have a succulent!
Earth Imagery - A mini globe would be pretty cool! Or even a little eraser or what not. Having an actual picture of the Earth would be amazing, especially if the clouds were visible, and maybe if it had the sun in the background. Then it could be all encompassing of the elements.
Herbs, Flowers, Plants, etc - As with the crystals, you may want to change these out or put them away during spells, or switch them out. However, they would look really cool as you went with the seasons!
Fossils - I think fossils are awesome Earth representations. They have been in the ground for a very long time! I used to have some really cool fossils I used to represent Earth on my altar.
Tree Slice - Have you ever seen those little wooden slices that come from a tree stump? The ones that definitely had huge roots? Those would be perfect to represent Earth!
Birthday Candles/Tea Lights - You can colour code! These are great for short workings, or even to call the elements. To make these stand up, place them in a bit of clay and let it harden.
Matches - Double whammy here- light your candles and have a representation!
Ash - I used to have volcanic ash, which was perfect. It got spilled, but for the while that I had it, it was awesome. Collect ash from incense, a fire, etc, and use it (just wait for it to cool!!!)
Charcoal - I always thought charcoal looked kinda witchy. I think a dish of it would make a good rep.
Charred Wood - If you have a bonfire, or just so happen to light a piece of wood on fire, you could let it cool and use it for your altar.
Lamp - If you have a secret altar, a little lamp could be an inconspicuous representation for fire, as it does produce light and heat.
Lantern - You can buy super cute mini lanterns at the Dollar Store. I love them, but haven’t gotten one yet. I think they would be fun to use for Fire.
Glass of Water - You can use whatever type of water you’d like; moon water, rose water, purified water, gem elixir; take your pick! Just make sure it doesn’t get moldy and stay moldy. Change it out each day/week.
Sea Shells - You can get these in super small sizes! Or, you can get them big and bulky.
Sea Glass - These little stone-like fragments are so pretty! They look just like crystals, and can be found on the beach or in the store!
Sea Salt - Sea Salt could work to represent Water, especially if you pour it into a seashell or add in sea glass to it. It could be like a little potpourri of water related objects!
Rain Cloud - You can create clouds out of things like stuffing for toys, cotton balls, and sometimes led lights. It could be a fun project, or you can buy one of them off of etsy.
Mermaid Image - I have a mermaid book mark made of metal, and it sits with my other water-related objects. I feel like it adds that feel of majesty to my water representation.
Drift Wood - This is so pretty! The pieces are smooth, have a fun shape, and definitely capture the essence of water!
Sand - If you go to a beach, collect some sand, and place it somewhere on your altar! Be sure to put it in a bowl, though, because it is hard to clean up.
Sea Weed - You can hang this somewhere, or put it directly on your altar. Either way, it looks great.
Coral - If you find some coral, you can place it on your altar. It looks so neat!
Starfishes/Sand Dollars/etc. - These are a little harder to find on the beach, but if you do, place them on your altar.
Wind Chimes - These add a little decoration to your altar, as well as give you an air representaiton. You can even listen for the tinkling of bells to see if any fae are around!
Bells - If you ring a bell, it disperses stagnant energy, and helps to cleanse a space. Having one on your altar is a great way to keep it fresh!
Feathers - This is a pretty obvious one, an oldie but a goodie. If you have some feathers, you can use them, but make sure there are no laws against collecting them in your area. Alternatively, you can use fake ones from a craft store.
Empty Glass or Bottle - Air is all around us. Use that to your advantage!
Dandelion Puff - This is what I immediately think of when I picture the wind. You can collect some puffs and put them in a glass.
Bird’s Nest (fake) - You can buy or make a fake bird’s nest. They look pretty real, and have this awesome rustic naturey vibe to them!
Leaves - They were once high in the sky! Collect them during the fal season or after a storm.
Incense - Another well-known one. You can burn this and use the smoke.
Tornado Making Jar - You know those little jars that you can shake up, and they make a tornado? Those would be a fun water-air duo!
Small Jewelry Box - This can store crystals, herbs, essential oils, etc. I use to use mine to cleanse my crystals becuase it played music!
Multi Colour Light-Up Candle - I found mine at Five Below! It lights up in tons of different colours, but is pretty large. However, it takes up a lot less room than a bunch of different coloured candles.
Your Wand - Having your wand on your altar makes it a sacred, special tool. It will be charged by the witchy items you have there, and will feel natural inn the environment.
A Mini Besom or Real Besom (Broom) - I use a paintbrush as a mini besom, as I can’t have real one. However, it would be nice if I did, and I’d keep it near my altar!
Your Grimoire/Spellbook/BOS/etc - If you aren’t hiding it, you could keep it on your altar!
A Fire-Safe Dish or Cauldron - If you water scry, burn things, or just like to include your cauldron in your spells, you can keep it on your altar.
Incense Tray - Incense can’t be burned without somewhere to place it. Keep your incense holder handy!
Altar Cloth - This ties everything together! It can be switched out for sabbats/festivals/seasons/spells.
Chalice - I’m not Wiccan, but I use the chalice in my workings every once in a while, usually for water-related magic. You can get these beautiful metal ones at antique stores, or regular old wine glasses at the dollar store!
Mortar and Pestle - For practical use and an awesome vibe! You can keep this near your herbs.
Coloured/Enchanted Salts - They display beautifully,and are really good to have on hand.
Spirit Vessels - These can go in their own little corner if you like. They could also be the center of your altar, especially if you work mainly with spirits.
Tarot/Other Cartomancy Cards - Find a nook for your cards to be kept safe and clean. They will be charged by the other objects all around it, which makes it an awesome idea to have on your altar.
Scrying Mirror - Make this the main attraction, or perhaps just a piece of the puzzle. If you have an ornate mirror, it could be a very drawing part of your altar!
Crystal Ball - Like the scrying mirror, it could be a background piece or the focal point.
Runes - If you cast runes, you can keep your bag or box of them on or near your altar.
Other Divination Tools - You cans store these, or just la them throughout your altar. Whatever you choose, having your tools close by will be awesome!
Twig Shapes - You can make sigils out of twigs and hot glue! Add a ribbon or piece of twin in the shape of a loop, and you can hang them above your altar as decoration and as a little energy booster!
Circle (Embroidery Hoop) - I know most people use salt to cast circles, but I actually use an embroidery hoop. I cast one around myself, and one around the items I am working with (ex: what’s in the hoop).
Knife - If you use a ritual or practical knife in your workings, it’s good to have on hand. I can’t have one, but I like my wand better anyway, personally.
Fae Garden - You’ll have to have plenty of sunlight near your altar for this one, but it will definitely be fun to have some Fae living on your altar!
Spell Supplies - Random bits and bobs, like egshells and ribbons, can be kept on your altar as well.
It was silence
It was a dead sea on a summers day
It was still trees and yellow grass
It was music but barely audible
It was well rested nights
And it was peaceful days
No drama, no death, no worries
Yet all in black and white
It was humming
It was gentle waves dancing in the sea
It was a light breeze blowing the leaves and wind chimes playing in a perfect melody
It was sweet music that made you want to dance
It was sleepless nights making love and smiling into pillows
And it was magical days
No drama, no death, no worries
Yet with a whole new spectrum of colour
It is chaos
It is violent seas that toss and turn sparing no man or woman
It is hurricanes and storms that blow down the once standing trees and leave no trace of singing wind chimes
It is loud, ear piercing screams that would be music to the devil
It is sleepless nights spent crying, screaming and remembering
And it is chaotic days that have no end
Too much drama, too many worries but not enough of the sweet release of death
So, re that convo that keeps occurring about whether Queer is a slur and should not be used.
When I came out, everything was Gay and Lesbian.
We all called ourselves Gay and Lesbian because that was what had been yelled at us as youths. The symbol was the pink triangle.
The pink triangle was used by hate groups and oppressors to identify us.
We took it back. We took gay back.
During my time at Macalester college the student group name changed from Gay and Lesbian Alliance to LGBT Union.
We listened, we learned, we included more people more explicitly. The symbols were the pink triangle and the AIDS ribbon.
Two badges of death. And you would take them from our cold, dead, hands, motherfucker. Right?
After I graduated, the rainbow flag became predominant. Made by AIDS activists, by the way. Still coming out of death.
And Queer became the thing. It was more inclusive, and the T was moving from transsexual to transgender, and what about married Bi folks… (I mean, when I came out I knew people who called themselves trannies, because that was still a thing then.)
So, anyway, Queer. Queer was the word, like Gay, that got shouted from passing cars.
But when accused of being a hated, vile, thing, you can take two paths. You can deny being the thing,
and agree with your accuser that being this thing is AWFUL. The WORST. Of course you are not that thing.
You can INCREASE BEING THE MOTHERFUCKING THING.
Am I a dyke? Really? WATCH me cut my hair and buy a leather jacket and wear silk ties, you sonuvabitch.
Call me queer? Really? YOU CAN NOT HANDLE THE QUEER.
Some time after that, other acronyms and terms started being used. QUILTBAG, for instance. Ace/Aro, these are now in use. Lots of terms.
But nearly all the things we call ourselves have been used as weapons against us.
Nearly all the symbols we use for our resistance have origins in our deaths.
Not just oppression.
So when you say you want the term dyke, I will try to remember that. If you call yourself a flaming faggot, I will nod and move on.
If I call myself queer and you flinch, I will try to respect that, but you don’t get to tell me to stop. Everybody who came out before you has taken the rocks and bottles and made them into shields and wind chimes.
If I am unashamed of being queer, you do not get to give that word BACK to the fuckwits who made it a slur.
Resistance, jubilation, and freedom go one way. We grow more expansive, more inclusive, louder, larger, brighter.
We don’t have to all like each individual sequin, strobe light, or pixy stick at this party. But you sure as shit don’t lock ANYBODY out.