Like many I've been working from home the last few months and the question early on was where could I set my work space? The only place left was the room I use for ritual purposes. Yes, I know that sounds privileged and all, but there is a long history to how our habitation in this house as changed over the years. That room tends to be mine. Its the room you will often see as the background to any YouTube or video recordings I've done. Its a place I can go to write or be with my deities. It is also the only room with an open fireplace – that is another story.
Anyway, this room now contains my desk (a metal folding camping table in fact before anyone thinks it's some huge ancient wooden thing!). Wires are everywhere for the laptop and bumph I need for work.
It is decidedly unspiritual. This is the problem. Now, many pagans perhaps won't find this a problem for the out doors is where many go. Not so for me. I'm Kemetic, the majority of my ritual work tends to require a dark enclosed room where the odd candle (or fire) and shed loads of incense can be lit. Neither are helpful outside.
Due to my presence on a daily basis in this special room, the sacredness of it has now been utterly stripped. Even attempts to cleanse and not look at this mundane day time life hasn't helped (which is quite easy in the dark until I trip over a wire or thump against the desk). The 'otherness' that I have for this space has gone from my head. I know quite well that my deities who live in this space don't care – life has to continue no matter what the circumstances. For me though, I need that head space both for magical, spiritual and mental reasons.
Luckily it hasn't been of any critical concern as most of my forty or so festivals occur in later in the year, however, a crucial seven day festival that follows the summer solstice has really come home to me. To start with I wasn't concerned. The day of the summer solstice is the only festival ritual I perform outside in day light. Not so the rest of the rituals at this time. I need to do them three times a day for the next several days in the dark with my deities.... But I couldn't. For the first time in decades I couldn't do it. I couldn't find that specialness both because of the room and it's contamination and perhaps too the unacknowledged stress.
That really hurt. The gods I work with I know understand. We've been here a few times in different ways over the years, but what I really needed was some connection, some mark of time that in this isolation has been seriously lacking.
I felt a little better. Be it the release, spray, wind or time out side. I don't know. Perhaps I'm not alone in having such an experience, and in these strange times I cling to the hope that I will regain this 'otherness' in the space I love.
Kevin Groves is a cyber-pagan and solitary practitioner from Kent, who from a young age began to, and still works, almost exclusively with the Egyptian goddess Selket within a Kemetic and Chaos Magic framework as magician, healer and mentor. A contributor to Children Of Artemis events and many local pagan projects and groups, his first book 'A Path Laid Bare' is available from The Wolfenhowle Press, with his ‘House Of Kiya’ series of booklets on various magical subjects and a new series on Kemetic practice available 2021. Also founder of kemetictemple.uk a home for UK kemetic folk and houseofkiya.co.uk