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For whatever reason all my life i have placed the most important witch related books inbetween the mattress i sleep on.
I have been doing this since i got my first handwritten book from a relative when i was a very small girl to some that were given to me as gifts and are published. Most of the published ones are on shelves but even my own handwritten one is underneath there with some of my family ones. I never thought it was wrong/bad/negative it was just my instinct as a child.
However a fellow witch came over a few days ago to appreciate our alters and saw me grab some of my books and heirlooms given to me by my elders from inbetween my mattress to show her and was very shocked and expressed her opinion quite strongly on how shes been told by various people this is a very bad thing to do because i am sleeping on top of them and not only is it perhaps rude but very unsafe etc

have any of you heard about this, anything at all, good or bad?
Id just really like some opinions in general

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
meddevi
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:13 am (UTC)
Have YOU had any bad experiences? If not, then nope, nothing wrong.

IMHO, sounds quite silly for it to be "rude" or "unsafe" - that sets off my BS-o-meter.
snarecrazi
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
yeah the "rude" bit bothered me as well its not like i just threw it under there its placed precisely on the side i sleep in
mageoflamancha
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
I wouldn't say "rude" but "unsafe" sure. Unsafe to the long term nature of a decent book binding, even worse to a modern glued binding. However, if you like them there, and aren't worried about the eventual addition moisture and pressure damage, go for it.
westly_roanoke
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, mine got kind of bent out of shape when I had it under my mattress, but nothing bad happened to me. In fact, I had fewer nightmares.
snarecrazi
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:53 am (UTC)
well so far none of them have gotten warped, i was given a wooden one for my 24th bday earlier this year and i know if i even tried to put that in the mattress it would get ruined not to mention be very uncomfortable.
but yes i agree with the fewer nightmares thing
twyern
Dec. 30th, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Drat just lost a nearly complete comment!

Rude? To whom? Books don't get upset and Deities have big shoulders. If you're concerned, ASK your Gods. I'm sure I could concoct a tale that in ye olde tymes all good witches kept their book and tools under their mattress to protect them from rodents and whatnot. It would be BS, however, and I don't prefer to smear any more of that around than necessary. IMO proximity to your items of faith will endear you to your Deities, not otherwise.

Safety? "Princess and the pea" or "boogah,boogah" safety? Large lumpy objects might disturb your rest; but it's difficult to envision you keeping a steamer trunk filled with paraphenalia under your mattress and perching on top to snooze. "Boogah, boogah" safety, I think you have addressed already. "fewer nightmares" It's not likely that you have the moral equivalent of the Necronomicon slid in there, either.

My opinion? Your fellow witch is awesomely superstitious.
jullia_starz
Dec. 30th, 2013 05:12 pm (UTC)
Never heard that. You can keep your books anywhere you want to, it you are more comfortable sleeping on them, then go for it. As far as I know (and I have been practicing close to 40 years now), there is no "law" about where you store your books or your BOS other than to keep them safe from curiosity seekers.
candycutthroat
Dec. 30th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
Well, physically it's probably not good for the books to be under your mattress, especially anything old or handwritten. If you are an active sleeper you could risk damaging the pages or binding.

As far as it being rude, I think that that would be personal opinion. I tuck my diary under my pillow when I sleep, because it comforts me to have it near.

Do what feels best for you so long as it doesn't destroy the books.
nannalandia
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
Superstitious or not - you can decide for yourself - in Scandinavian tradition you are not to keep or bring anything related to healing or magic into a room where somebody - cats and goldfish included - are sleeping. Sleepers are extremely vulnerable to the powers that such things hold, since they are halfway - but normally not consciously - in that state (or realm, if you like) where "magic happens". So, it is definitely regarded as unsafe. I suppose risking the wellbeing of other beings also could be called rude? The object could also be at risk, since we (and maybe also the sleeper herself) have no way to know what the sleeper is up to in that state.
twyern
Dec. 30th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
I'm familiar with a few Scandinavian traditions - not exhaustively, but a few; and I am unfamiliar with this injunction. I can understand the "liminality as vulnerable" argument. However, the notion that one can only do healing or magic on a person who is conscious is a crawsticker for me. How do you heal if you must interrupt the process every time they sleep?

What then of the crosses, hammers and vulknots that festoon the walls of bedrooms, heathen and otherwise? For that matter, what of the myriad altars that people have in their bedrooms? I really think this should be addressed by ASKING your Deities. After all, despite our expertise in OUR traditions, we are just a random bunch of voices on the Internet. Go right to the top - and then LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY!

My Gyden's say go for it - but why should you listen to me? No reason at all.
nannalandia
Dec. 30th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
...one can only do healing or magic on a person who is conscious...
That is a completely different matter, the person isn't asleep, but you still bring only that which is required for the work you have to do.

While it is true that hammers and valknots are found within åsatru and neo-heathenry also in Scandinavia, people in general don't tend to use crosses and hammers as decoration in their bedrooms, if at all. Valknots have actually been in disuse for a century apart from as a bunshape and as a an indicator of cultural locations and heritage sites. All three "symbols" are or have been used apotropaically in folk tradition, and were often carved on everyday, non-magical tools and vessels to protect them and their contents. When they are used in magic or healing, they are used as gestures. Altars aren't part of Scandinavian tradition (unless you count the sideboard often found beneath the "ancestor walls" or the particular shelves people used to keep their bible and psalm book in), but I have one, since I am heathen as well as a traditional practitioner.

If you would like to learn a bit about indigenous Scandinavian tradition, I have written 52 blog-entries this last year about various aspects of it, as a participant in the 2013 edition of the Pagan Blog Project. Now that the year is passed, they will remain open for another few weeks before they go "friends only", and you are welcome to come and read without the need to "friend" me (unless you want to).

Edited at 2013-12-30 09:30 pm (UTC)
twyern
Jan. 3rd, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
...one can only do healing or magic on a person who is conscious...
That is a completely different matter, the person isn't asleep, but you still bring only that which is required for the work you have to do.
So by this reading, unconsciousness is not a liminal state? I would disagree, but it IS your tradition. It still requires you remove your gear every time they take a nap.

While it is true that hammers and valknots are found within åsatru and neo-heathenry also in Scandinavia, people in general don't tend to use crosses and hammers as decoration in their bedrooms, if at all.

Most people DON'T use them for "decoration" nor did I state they did. People use them for their intended purpose, protection and/or spiritual focus.

It's good that you bring up altars, or rather the lack of them in some "indigenous Scandinavian traditions". The original poster is a witch and the vast majority of witches DO have altars, shrines, stangsteads, or what have you; frequently in their bedroom.

Giving advice from one tradition to another is the at the heart of this topic. What is great advice within one tradition may be utterly worthless outside it. For example, a close friend is deeply involved in Voudon and HooDoo. She frequently makes what "I" can only see as bribes to the spirits. Fancy cigars, expensive liquor, strange tasks. It would be madness for me to try within my tradition.

But it works within hers.

I repeat to the OP, ask your Gods. If they don't talk to you, use your divinatory system, be it cards, runes, tea leaves, shells, stones, etc. They WILL let you know. And they'll have more experience with your tradition than any authoritative-sounding source you can find online.
nannalandia
Jan. 3rd, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
So by this reading, unconsciousness is not a liminal state? I would disagree, but it IS your tradition. It still requires you remove your gear every time they take a nap.
You are making too many assumptions (which I realise I am guilty of myself from what you are saying further down). First of all, I don't treat unconscious people - we have medical doctors for those kinds of things - nor do I treat people who are asleep (for several reasons - lack of consent being one). Secondly, a treatment takes max a couple of hours, and the client is an active part - there are no naps involved. Furthermore, I have never come to an appointment, and found my client asleep, and I can't see what the problem would be should it happen, either, since I am there to treat her, not to stash my gear in her bedroom. In any case, if she is asleep, I have no reason to enter. And finally, anything I leave for her to use after I have left is extemt from the rule, since it is part of the treatment - apparently this isn't as self evident and logical as I assumed it was.

Most people DON'T use them for "decoration" nor did I state they did. People use them for their intended purpose, protection and/or spiritual focus.
Clearly I made quite the wrong assumption here, and I'm sorry about that - it must have been the word "festoon" that did it. It doesn't speak of reverence to me.
twyern
Jan. 5th, 2014 03:29 pm (UTC)
"you are not to keep or bring anything related to healing or magic(emphasis is mine) into a room where somebody - cats and goldfish included - are sleeping"

A blanket statement like the above will lead to the logical conclusion that the below statement is in violation of the rule. I, for one, am pleased that there ARE exemptions. If I were to push the issue, I might suggest that having one's personal spiritual gear in the room would also be an exemption. YMMV.

"And finally, anything I leave for her to use after I have left is exempt from the rule, since it is part of the treatment - apparently this isn't as self evident and logical as I assumed it was."

Re: festoon. "I have a large vocabulary and I'm not afraid to use it" There ARE better words that more clearly delineate the point I was making. My bad. I'd claim it was a bad day, but...I'm no more immune to error than anyone else. (Besides, if you'd SEEN some of the bedrooms I've seen...Oy!)




asteampunkwitch
Dec. 30th, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
Interesting, and understandable. Personally, I've always had all my magick stuff in my bedroom. As a kid I had no where else *to* put it, and as an adult...well it's still the best place for me. (No one else shares the room, so that's not a consideration for me.)

I'd have actually thought having stuff for a healing working *in* the bedroom of the target was a sensible thing, since it could do it's thing while they were at closer range.

I'd never considered the possible need to do any shielding during a sleep cycle, but I'll be pondering that now.

nannalandia
Dec. 30th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
I'd have actually thought having stuff for a healing working *in* the bedroom of the target was a sensible thing...

Another commenter said practically the same - maybe I shouldn't be so quick to assume it says itself that the rule does not apply while you are working on somebody! :)
evieeros
Dec. 31st, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
Huh. I did not know that. When I get a new rune-set I tend to sleep on it for several weeks/months (including traveling with it) as a sort of instinctual bonding thing. I'm a lucid dreamer and have the occasional foretelling dream as well (with or without runes beneath my head) so that might be where the instinct came from. I can see why it would be regarded as unsafe though.

All my tools are stored in the top three small drawers (one level divided in 3) of my large wooden dresser. When I'm working I place everything on the dresser top before the mirror so it seems right that they should live in a similar but different space. I think if I stored them in a different room they would seem too far away.
nannalandia
Dec. 31st, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
*nods* I hear a lot of people develop a deep connection to the runes, almost as to living entities, by meditating on them and keeping their sets nearby at all times. They're not part of indigenous tradition, though (as carved sets, that is), and I have never learned to use them that way.

The client is to provide much of what is used, so I don't really have all that many tools or equipment. The work is mostly done at the clients' house or outdoors rather than at my home, so I got most of my stash in an old handbag behind the door. A bit like a doctor's bag, now that I think about it!
atomicbluekitty
Jan. 16th, 2014 03:17 pm (UTC)
When I get a new Tarot or Oracle Deck, I sleep with it under my pillow usually for a week, if not longer. All of my supplies are in my room, that way I feel closer to them, and them to me.

I personally believe that your supplies should be close at hand, so that they can become familiar and can work more fluidly together. They share their energy with me, and vise versa. I have noticed a difference by keeping my things close by versus having them in a different room, everyone is happier.
couri
Dec. 30th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
It's only unsafe to my knowledge (and I'm a shamanic-type person, not a witch, so ....) for the sake of the bindings. I don't see how it's rude. In fact, if these books are important to you, that's a compliment to the authors.

Maybe these books are so well-loved that they've picked up your energy and it's better to have them near?

northernwalker
Dec. 30th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
My only concern would be breaking the spines of the books.
twistdfateangel
Mar. 12th, 2014 03:34 am (UTC)
Way late to the discussion, I know, but…

I look at it this way: not all that long ago, there were no banks or at least, very few that could be trusted. The common folk, those who weren't rich and/or in possession of a stout safe or other secure case, tended to keep money and other valuables (jewelry, etc.) under the mattress or sewn into it and the bedclothes. As I see it, books contain knowledge, which is valuable. So basically, you're guarding precious things the same way our ancestors might. Was it considered rude or unsafe to sleep on their life savings? On the contrary, it was considered sensible. Hell, I used to sleep with books IN my bed next to me, before I began sharing one with my husband. I feel weird when I can't reach something to read and I can't sleep.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )