Going to college is an exciting and stressful time. Your dorm room - even if shared with a stranger you now call room mate - should be your spiritual sanctuary. But it can be hard to be Wiccan in the middle of the chaos of college, especially if you want to keep it in the broom closet or at least low key.
When you first arrive at your dorm, you may be blasted by unwanted energy, especially if you are sensitive to it. This dorm room will be your home for 4 years, so just like clearing or smudging a new home or apartment, you should take some time to clear out unwanted negative energy from the previous tenants. This is especially difficult in dorm rooms though where there are often rules against having open flames like on candles or incense.
Don't worry - you can still effectively cleanse your dorm room in spite of these restrictions.
How to Cleanse Your Dorm Room
While candle flames and incense or sage smoke cannot usually be used, clearing negative energy can be done. All you need is salt (preferable sea salt but even packets of table salt from the cafeteria can be used in a pinch!), water (the purer the better so pick up a bottle of spring water on your way to the dorm), and a small bowl.
If you can get into the room early - before your room mate (if they do not share your path or with them if you are fortunate enough and they do), and boxes fill it, cleanse it first. Otherwise, whenever you can manage it will work.
Begin by opening the windows and all interior doors like closets (you can keep the entry door closed for privacy). Sit quietly in the center of the room and do whatever blessings you have learned to consecrate the salt and water (a ritual circle isn't necessary at this point), or just hold each in turn in your hands visualizing a brilliant white or golden light emanating thru them saying something simple like "Salt of Earth/Pure Clear Water, I thank you for your service and pure energy". Put the salt into your bowl then slowly add in the water while stirring it with your finger or a wooden stick. Finish stirring by creating an invoking pentagram (clockwise from bottom left point to top and around) and saying something like "Water and Salt blessed by the Pentacle, Clear and Purify this, my sacred space. Blessed Be."
Then stand and, starting to the left of the entry door, walk counter clockwise around the edges of the room sprinkling the salted water and saying something like "I banish all negative energy from this space. All hatred and fear flee before this pure water." Continue around the room until you come to the right side of the entry door (don't forget to go inside the closets!). At each corner, also sprinkle some water into the corners of the ceiling. As you work, imagine stagnant or negative energy as a dark fog that rushes away from the pure water escaping out the open windows.
At the door, sprinkle water along the threshold, then dip 2 fingers into the water and draw an invoking pentagram (right) on the back of the door saying something like "I seal this room against all negativity, fear and hatred. Let only peace and love cross the threshold. So Mote it Be". Cross to the open window imagining any last traces of dark fog fleeing out them as you close them, drawing invoking pentacles on each saying something like "I seal this room against all negativity, fear and hatred. So Mote it Be"
Return to the center of the room putting down the bowl, close your eyes and reach deep inside of you. Find the core of the Divine within yourself and let it fill you with peace, love, and pure white or golden light. See it expanding in your mind and let it overflow your body to fill the room - each nook, corner and cranny with its pure energy. Feel the peace and joy within you and revel in the feeling connecting you and this space with the Gods. Stay there as long as you want, then slowly withdrawal your aura back to your body, but see the lines of the rooms continuing to glow with it - know your room is now blessed and sacred to you. Ground and center.
If doing this with a partner or your room mate, you can join hands at the end, visualizing both of your energies flowing thru the room. If you don't want to physically do this ritual or cannot if you have a room mate that doesn't approve, you can do the entire ritual in your head or make it seem like a simple physical cleaning by adding salt and pure water to a bucket of cleaning solution and subtly moving counter-clockwise during your cleaning whispering the words.
Making your Dorm Room Magickally Your Own
Now that the room is cleansed and blessed, it's time to enjoy decorating it. If your room mate does not share your beliefs or is not at least tolerant of them, decorating can be harder, but not impossible. You might have to just get a bit more creative in the symbolism you choose. If your tradition includes elemental associations or cardinal directions, be sure to bring a good compass with you and locate each direction before making your decisions. Remember Feng Shui is pretty mainstream so few will give it much of a thought.
Let's start with the bed. Choose sheets in seasonal colors - green for spring, yellow for summer, orange for fall, white for winter. It's a very subtle way to stay connected and in tune with the natural cycles. Add a pretty bedspread in either a subtle pattern like the Tree of Life or florals, or if you are comfortable with showing it, a pentacle or Goddess print. You can also use tapestries or curtains as wall hangings to brighten up otherwise bland white dorm walls (pin a long tapestry to a curtain rod to easily hang it on a wall without sag). If you have a table in the room, you can do the same color coordination with a pretty table cloth or runner on your desk.
Want to have a subtle altar out at all times? Get a plant in a wide dish garden. The plant and soil itself serves as the Element of Earth and the wide planter gives you a space to add items to represent the other elements - fairy gardens are in right now and most won't raise any eyebrows at the idea of having live plants in your room. Add a small bowl of water, a mirror or a blue stone for water, a feather perhaps you find on a walk thru the campus for air, a red stone or LED flameless candle for Fire, and a Gold and Silver (or Black and White) stone for the God an Goddess. If you are near a hobby or gaming store, you might also find miniature figures that speak to you of the God and Goddess - I had a set I used for many years. A tabletop water fountain can also be a great base for a subtle altar or used along with your planter as the element of Water. I had both on the desk in my office and no one but me knew its meaning. This simple altar can be a great focal point for you to meditate and release the stress of college life.
A decorative box can hold simple ritual tools or get something you can slide under your bed for items you might want to use during rituals and Sabbats. A pretty picnic-style basket in your closet makes a great storage container for spell and ritual supplies and you can just take the entire thing with you to a quiet spot you find nearby - perhaps in a park or quiet part of the campus. If you have a car, you might keep a similar set in your glove compartment or trunk. Keep dorm friendly with flameless LED candles and an electric oil simmer pot instead of incense or a candle heated style. A Himalayan pink salt lamp or selenite lamp is a great addition to combat negative energy, the radiation from electronics, and can represent both Fire and Earth elements. Baskets or bowls with your favorite magickal crystals add some sparkle and their subtle energies to your space. A crystal or wind chime hung in the window brings in more natural light and positive energy. Beautiful art can reflect nature and give you a great focal point for meditation. Yoga or meditation mats can be used to brighten up the floors.
The only limit to making your dorm room you own slice of sacred space is your imagination!