I’ve moved loads of times, so I have a procedure for how to magickally settle into a new home (more on that later). However, this time I’ve had the opportunity to interact with my house and land from the bare site onwards. This provides a number of opportunities to weave spells of protection and happiness into my home from the very beginning.
It’s not for the easily squicked, but there are lots of fluids that work wonderfully for a site-claiming, territory-marking ritual. Our animal selves recognize the value of using our own fluids to infuse an area with our essence. One can offer the water of the body via spit or urine. (When I peed on the four corners of my property my dogs were thrilled to play along.) Some believe that shedding blood will attract “negative” spirits; others believe that it is the most serious fluid with which to indicate territory/ownership. Consider having sex on the site, provided you can do so safely. (You can have sex (again) in the unfinished house to good magickal effect as well.) Or mark the boundaries with water infused with herbs and energy. The choice of fluids is up to you.
Many folklore practices call for burying significant or magical objects in the foundation or somewhere on the property. The witch’s jar, full of nails, broken glass, mirror shards, rust, etc, is a popular protection spell. However, I prefer a spell of attraction rather than repulsion, so I’d rather bury some nice herbs and trinkets. The Internet has many recipes for these kinds of protective spells; you can even buy them ready-made. Common practices also include burying charged crystals or stones around the borders or in the corners of the house. One could also plant herbs and other plants with the desired qualities, the choice of which will depend on your climate.
Once you’ve chosen symbols that represent your intentions for the property (peace, protection, prosperity, etc) you can mark them on the land in various ways. Scratch them in the dirt and water them in. Mark them on the ground with non-toxic paint, chalk, cornmeal, birdseed, corn, or other food appropriate for the wildlife of your area. Outline the symbols with rocks or pebbles and leave them under the house’s foundation. Plant groundcover or grass in the desired shape. Mark the edges of your property with chains of popcorn and cranberries. Sprinkle the shapes with the appropriate powdered herbs mixed with compost.
Once construction has begun, take the opportunity to mark all over your house with chalk (or just salt water, if you’re worried about construction workers being freaked out by pentacles and the like chalked all over the place): inside the walls, on the insulation, underneath the floorboards, in the ceilings, etc. Paint protective herbal washes over every seam and caulk line, every window and door opening, every plumbing or electrical intake. Annoint the wall studs with the appropriate oils (my favorites come from Natural Magick‘s online shop). Bless everything.
Take time to meditate on the land. Listen to it before and during the construction. Make offerings to everything you can think of: the land, the land spirits, the genus loci, the local animals, the ancestors that might be buried on your site, the Good Neighbors, etc. Use divinatory tools to have a dialogue with the appropriate entities.
If you intend to invite a guardian spirit (or create one yourself) it’s great to do so before construction starts, especially since you can then bury or construct/install the necessary altars/statues. It’s also a great time to build shrines for land spirits and other allies, provided they won’t get damaged in the construction. Cast a circle every time you visit, in order to accustom the site to the circle casting energies you’ll use during your tenure there. For the same reason, construct wards and re-energize them on every visit. Build the wards into the physical structure of the house.
Kira’s House Cleansing Routine
Many witch books and a third of all pagan sites will have opinions and suggestions about how to do this; here’s mine: clean the place top to bottom using magical cleaning supplies (floorwashes and herbal sprays FTW!). Smudge the house using sage or an incense you like. Make up a bowl of salt water and trace symbols of protection on every opening of the house — doors, mirrors, sinks and toilets, windows, A/C vents — and the wall of every room. If you’ve got marks of protection inside the walls from during construction the wards snap easily into place. Having sex would not go awry for this stage, either (don’t look at me like that; this is a magickally sound practice; it releases lots of positive, personal energy into the space) but if your moving house goes like mine usually does I can see how it might be unlikely.
Set up your most important altars and shrines, if only minimally, and make some offerings. Next, cook something. I prefer something baked, like bread, but one of your family’s “comfort food” dishes would work fine. Or do something else that feels familial and comforting. Have a toast. One of my favorites comes from T. Thorn Coyle: “Love! Health! Prosperity! Knowledge! and Great Sex!” May your house and mine be full of blessings.