For Broom Closet Witches

by Claire du Nord

So, you are drawn to the Craft of the Wise, but even though in theory you have the right to study and practice Witchcraft, in practice your Practice presents certain challenges and you are therefore not completely free to do so, for whatever reason. If this is the case for you, you may just be a Broom Closet Witch, like me. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition and a Broom Closet Witch for as long as I can remember.  Merry Meet, and welcome to “For Broom Closet Witches,” a column for us, the Broom Closet Witches!

As Broom Closet Witches, our challenges mean that we find ourselves having to be extra “crafty” in our Craft and having to think and rethink just how far open (or shut) our Broom Closet doors should be with respect to everyone we know, everyone who knows us, and just about everything we do as Witches – for the good of all, harming none, of course.

The need to be discreet in all manner of witchy things is different for each of us, for sure. Naturally, when it comes to practicing Witchcraft with any number of challenges, everyone’s situation is different. While I certainly don’t have all the answers or all the good ideas, I hope that some of my suggestions help make your “Broom Closet Witchery” practice a little bit more doable and a lot less challenging.


An Altar in a Broom Closet

This first article focuses on how to fit an altar in a Broom Closet (the altar itself and the “bare minimum” of objects possibly found there). Suggestions for more specific altar tools will be reserved for the next article.

For Broom Closet Witchery, as far as I have found, the “Magick Words” for success in setting up an Altar are:

  • Mundane
  • Ordinary
  • Commonplace
  • Subtle
  • Discreet
  • Inconspicuous
  • (And, of course, Miniature!)

For Witches, an Altar is, at its simplest, a flat surface with a central candle:

In terms of flat surfaces, some ideas for the physical structure of Broom Closet Altars that may just fit are as follows:

  1. For those Broom Closet Witches who have quite a bit of privacy but just don’t share their practice with long-distance relatives and/or acquaintances, any type of table will do.
  2. For those who must integrate their Altar into the general décor of the house, a “Lazy Susan” – a round, spinnable addition to a dining room table that holds salt and pepper shakers (representatives of the Goddess and the God, respectively), and a candle positioned between the salt and pepper shakers, (and maybe ketchup for Fire, mustard for Air, etc.), becomes a simple Altar!
  3. For those of us who want something that can be quickly removed to another room at a moment’s notice, a “Tea Tray” set on any flat surface can be “whisked away” and returned when “the coast is clear”:
  4. For situations in which the items on the Altar must completely “disappear”, a “Junk Drawer” which contains a variety of items, some or all of which are your “Altar Tools”, may work.  These items can be set up when needed and put back in the drawer when a ritual is finished.
  5. For drastic situations, time in the bathroom may be all the time you have to yourself for your practice and enough privacy to do rituals.  A few scented candles (for “freshening up the ambiance” of the bathroom) will hopefully not draw too much attention.  A later article will deal with the subject of how to perform rituals when you only have a few minutes to yourself in the “privy”.  (Sacred Space in a Bathroom?)

Here are some ideas for representing basic Altar concepts:

Sewing thread bobbins and a birthday candle.

Sewing thread bobbins and a birthday candle.

Birthday candles in tiny cork-stopper bottles.

Birthday candles in tiny cork-stopper bottles.

Colored pencils.

Colored pencils.

Colored water (food coloring) in tiny cork-stopper bottles with quartz crystals.

Organza bags with Salt (Earth/North/Green), Birthday candles (Fire/East/Red), Spices (Air/South/Yellow), Seashells (Water/West/Blue), and a White organza bag in the center with a Smokey Quartz Crystal for the Goddess and a Clear Quartz Crystal for the God.

Individual tiny plastic baggies with representatives of each of the directions/elements, with a Smokey Quartz Crystal for the Goddess, a Clear Quartz Crystal for the God, and a central candle for the Great Spirit, all on a dessert plate.

Individual tiny plastic baggies with representatives of each of the directions/elements, with a Smokey Quartz Crystal for the Goddess, a Clear Quartz Crystal for the God, and a central candle for the Great Spirit, all on a dessert plate.

To keep all the miniature items safe and secure, a drawstring bag may be just the thing:

A full drawstring bag sitting on a plate.

Please note: The basic concepts pertaining to Altars in Witchcraft discussed in this article are those that I learned in the Temple of Witchcraft Mystery School classes (Witchcraft 1-5) and I therefore claim no credit for them.

I hope this article has been helpful, and until the next one, Bright Blessings, and Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again!

— Claire du Nord

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