We received notice last night that our land lady and maintenance crew would be coming today to inspect our apartment before doing some much-needed renovations to the kitchen and bathroom. We’ve been expecting this for months but we thought we would have more notice… We recently called to say something else in the kitchen needed to be looked at which might be why we didn’t get earlier notice – because we already requested some assistance. We have the option to put it off but that would mean waiting even longer in the queue for the updates. So…we bit the bullet and cleaned our tails off last night. Then I woke up and cleaned some more! Truthfully, I should have done this prior to Samhain so the ancestors would feel truly welcomed, but classes being what they were…
After making the apartment look presentable, my biggest concern has been not attracting any unwanted attention with regards to my religious beliefs. I am very opened with most people I know, but there are a few who I want to keep at a distance – my land lady being one of them.
So I tidied my altar in such a way that the most obvious items have been hidden. I whispered to my bones that they were going to be safe from prying eyes and hid most of my fetishes and statues. My main altar currently looks like an “Irish pride nook” with my tapestry, harp, drums, and Brighid doll. Being a Druid means a lot of my Pagan paraphernalia looks relatively normal, albeit geeky. The household altar looks like a regular stand with some leftover Halloween decorations on it. We celebrate the seasons there so the cards and pumpkins don’t look out of the ordinary.
The bookshelf by my main altar was the biggest concern to me. It is the most obviously witchy place in the house. I have a crystal ball, a large cauldron, several candles, a jar of graveyard dirt, knives, offering bowls, wands… Not to mention all the Pagan books. Again, my path will naturally beguile the uninitiated. As Druids are studious, much of the bookshelf on eye level is composed of history, mythology, herbal field guides, and travel books on Ireland. Some have titles in Gaelic. Again, I just look like a fantasy geek obsessed with my heritage (which is true). I turned some books around, which could seem suspicious except that they’re so randomly placed and few that it appears I was being lazy. Those are the darker seeming grimoirs and books explicitly about witchcraft. My big encyclopedia of spells fit nicely under the bed. The jars of herbs are, hopefully, less strange now that they’re propping up artisan trading cards, handmade pouches, and other innocent looking things. Anything with a pentacle (not many of those things left laying around) was hidden or turned.
I must seem terribly paranoid… and in some ways I am. The land lady likes us and I don’t want to give her any cause to want us out. I am far too stressed in other areas to deal with that. My love of herbs and incense has me worried she might think we have drugs in the house. Indeed, if a search was done, she would find fly agaric and a book on hallucinogenic mushrooms. While it’s not illegal to own for artistic or scientific reasons, it would raise some alarms, I’m sure!
And now I wait and hope all goes well.