Ask A Witch: How Do You Create A Witchy Home?


Put some magick in your apartment

In “Ask a Witch,” Gabriela Herstik answers your questions about channeling ancient wisdom in the modern age. From spellcraft to finding your path, explore what it means to be a millennial witch.

Question: Do you have any tips for creating a witchy home?

Answer: Ah lovers, it’s finally that time of year when our homes get to look more witchy than ever. Say hello to autumn, the season of the witch. We are now in the throes of the season, as Mother Nature continues her descent into the darkness; so why not create a home that invites this energy in?

Every witch's home will look different. While the idea of a witchy home as an aesthetic is popular now (thanks, internet!), the truth is, if you’re a witch with a home, your home will be witchy! But there are a few ways to make your home even more magickal. By creating an altar, using sacred smoke to cleanse your space, decorating with art that inspires you, working with earth magick, and using protective magick to bless your home, you’ll be on your way to creating a sacred space that’s more high vibe than ever. Here's how to do it.

Create an altar: If you don’t already have an altar in your home, then now is the time to make one! An altar is a focal point of your magical work, also serving as the energy center of your sacred space. It can be decorative, to help you connect with a specific purpose or used to work a specific spell or ritual.

To create an altar, you’ll need a surface. This can be anything from a windowsill to a bookshelf to the top of a dresser, which is what I use. Then you’ll need things to add to it; think: crystals, talismans, heirlooms, flowers, cards, a cauldron, candles, or whatever else you want. If you have a working altar, adding something to represent each element (fire, earth, air, and water) is customary.

Use Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr to search for inspiration and then get to work! Before you start, you may wish to wipe down the space with Florida Water or Rose Water for protection and abundance. Place things on your altar, moving them around until it feels right, and then use the smoke of palo santo or sage to cleanse the space once everything is arranged.

Your altar should be ever evolving, and you can add things in depending on the season, or your magical work. You can also dedicate an altar to a specific deity or guide, as well as to your ancestors.

The witch's New Year falls on Halloween, and is the day when the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest. We can honor our ancestors by placing photos, talismans, heirlooms, and things that connect us with them on our altar, or by dedicating an entire altar to them.

You can have as many altars as you want through your home. Maybe one is for protection at the entryway of your house, and one is for abundance above your hearth. Get creative and enjoy the process!

Use sacred smoke to cleanse: You can use sacred smoke to cleanse your space, as well as your altar. If you want to banish negativity, try working with palo santo and sage; if you want to attract positive energy and spirits, work with sweet grass. Open the windows, and start at the front of your home. Light the herbs until they’re smoldering (and not aflame), and then using your hand or a feather, move around your home, making sure the smoke gets in the corners. Ask the universe—or whatever being or deity you believe in—to cleanse your home of anything that doesn’t serve in your highest purpose. You can also ask that any negativity moves towards the light. 

Go through your home, cleansing any electronics, house plants, or altars. Do this in each room, continuing to ask for blessings and protection. You can also imagine a gold or white light emanating from the herbs and cleansing your space even more. When you’re done, thank the universe or whatever you called on.

Utilize crystals and flowers for protection and beauty: Another easy way to make your home more beautiful is by bringing the earth into your space. Buy flowers to decorate, leaving them on your altar or out in view. I love to dry roses and hang them in my room. You can do this when the roses are fully bloomed by tying them with a string or elastic and then using a tack to pin them to the wall. Not only will this capture the energy of the flower, it will also remind you that death is beautiful in its own right—an important message, especially for this time of year.

You can also use crystals as centerpieces for your décor. Try buying a crystal candle holder, or taking raw stones and setting them next to your flowers. Put these on your coffee table or bedside table for some extra beauty. I love amethyst and rose quartz in my home for healing and love, as well as tourmaline and onyx for protection.

Charging your stones: You can charge these crystals by running them through sacred smoke, leaving them in moonlight, sunlight, or in a bowl of salt overnight. Once the stone is charged, take a few minutes to breathe and ground yourself. (You can do this by imagining the base of your spine as a golden cord connecting you to the core of the earth.) Then, hold the stone in your left hand, imagining a white light from your heart expanding until it encompasses the stone. Think of what you want this stone to help you do, like protect, heal, or inspire you. Embed this energy into the stone, asking for its assistance. When you’re done, ground your energy by placing your head on the earth or sucking in like you’re breathing through a straw.

Decorate with art: I cannot speak enough about how amazing it is to have a space decorated with beautiful art. Whether you’re buying prints from Bill Crisafi, Courtney Brooke, Fay Nowitz, or simply searching Witchsy or Hauswitch for the latest and greatest indie art, there’s no way to go wrong. Use Instagram to find artists who inspire you and support them! Again, there’s no wrong way to make a witchy home, and the most important piece of the puzzle is that you’re surrounded by things you love.

Turn your cleaning routine into an offering: Listen, I’ve hated cleaning for a long, long time. But once I started viewing it as energetic maintenance, my relationship with it changed. Now on Sundays, I clean my room and bathroom as part of my ritual to say goodbye to the week. Once I’m done doing the dirty work, I’ll wipe down my desk and nightstand with Florida and Rose Water, and then clean and rearrange my altar as well. Once I’m done with all of this, I’ll sage the heck out of my entire apartment.

Make cleaning fun; I love putting on music and wearing pretty lingerie so I feel like a chic housewife while doing it. Create a ritual out of this by using sacred smoke to cleanse your space after. Offer this fresh space to your magick, to your ancestors, and to the universe. 

A ritual for protection: This is a simple ritual you can do for protection, to say goodbye to the week or season, and to protect your space.

You’ll need: an onyx, labrodite or other stone that’s cleansed and charged for protection; sage or palo santo, a lighter and a fireproof bowl or alabaster shell; and a wand or athame (a ritual knife) if you have one. Here's what to do:

  • Clean your home! Clean, clean, clean for some fresh energy.
  • Ground your energy, breathing into your feet, finding stillness and space.
  • Cleanse your home with sacred smoke, starting at the entrance. Ask for protection as you move through your home, fanning the smoke to reach in all the nooks and crannies.
  • When you’re done saging everything, including all altars, move back to the front of your home. Place the charged crystal at the entryway, under the doormat, or near the door of your house.
  • Using an athame, wand, or your finger, draw the sign of the banishing pentagram at the front door of your home.
  • To do this you start at the left lower point moving up to the top of the pentagram, down to the right, over to the left middle, straight across to the right, and then back down to the bottom left where you started. This pentagram is, in this case, used for banishing negativity.
  • Then say, "By the power of earth, air, fire, and water, I infuse my magick and create this boundary.  With the blessing of spirit and the universe in me, I banish and repel negativity. May only that which works in my highest purpose find it’s way through this entrance. So it is and so it shall be." 
  • Take a second to imagine a white gate of light protecting the entryway of your home. When this feels complete, you can ground your energy by placing your forehead on the floor, imagining all the excess energy returning to the earth.
Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

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Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

He'd previously said he wanted to punch Jackson's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers in the face

Aaron Carter has been one of Michael Jackson's fiercest celebrity advocates in the aftermath of the Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In a new clip from People, however, he seems to walk back his defense.

People reveals that Carter will be joining the upcoming season of reality TV show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition with his mother. It's noted that he will be revealing more thoughts regarding Jackson following the documentary and the sneak peek specifically sees him alluding to a negative experience with the singer.

Carter, who has previously said that Jackson was never inappropriate toward him, says that Jackson "was a really good guy," though he does note that this is only true "as far as I know." "He never did anything that was inappropriate," he continues before stopping himself, as though remembering something. "Except for one time. There was one thing that he did that was a little bit inappropriate."

Carter does not provide any more detail after this statement. He has previously said that he would stay at Jackson's Neverland estate and sleep in the same bed as the much older star when he was 15 years old, though he hasn't seemed to understand then just how creepy that is. He also said earlier this year, in a clip from TMZ, that he would be telling a story of something that happened between them in an upcoming book about his life.