Indoor caching is one of the best ways of connecting with our Pagan ancestors and making sure that any items connected with appreciation of the Divine and magick stay relatively safe. To paraphrase an old martial arts saying “No item-no theft”, if no-one can find your working tools and materials they can’t steal them. There are ways of creating and using spare space with a few simple tools that we have looked at before but if you can obtain more complex tools then you can construct and access harder to find hiding places.
I learned a lot of the construction and hiding techniques from my early years travelling the world with my parents. My Dad was first in the Royal Navy during the ‘Cold War’, and then joined the security branch of the British Diplomatic Corps in jobs which involved both finding and making secure places to store items for later retrieval. Over the years I picked up quite a few techniques that came in handy when I went to a private boarding school in the UK to further my education. Since I had spent the previous three years in Mexico improving my magickal skills and attuning to various aspects of the Divine I had no intention of giving this up. However, the boarding house staff were made nervous by my small collection of Spanish and English spell and other occult books so I had to devise ways of keeping them safe. I also wanted to have other items such as herbs, talisman, and amulet making supplies on hand, as well as other spell casting ingredients.
When I first arrived I lived in a room with four other people and was allocated a top bunk next to the door, and by “next to” I mean if the door opened fully it would hit the end of the bunk bed. I should explain at this point that the door opened ‘Traditional English Victorian Style’. This means that it was hinged on the doorframe so that when it opened it blocked most of the room from view, as opposed to opening flush against the wall and opening up the room to the gaze of whoever stood on the threshold. In this case it also meant that the top of the door was level with the top of my bedframe, something that I realised I could use to my advantage when the house underwent some refurbishment during the first week-long holiday I was there. Since the time was too short for me to go to China, where my parents were based, from the UK I was allowed to stay in the boarding house under loose supervision.
This was the time that minor repairs were carried out and the workmen left their carpentry tools where they were working in each area of the house at the end of the day. They were perfectly safe from theft, but no-one banned me from ‘borrowing’ them – especially as I never told them. Naturally I looked after the tools I used and put them back in the same positions I found them. The first items I used were a thin bladed hacksaw, a broad bladed wood chisel, and a set of spade drill bits with a hand cranked drill. Using the saw I cut through the thin layer of moulding along the top of the door, with about eight inches between the two cuts. Then using the wood chisel I gently levered off the moulding between the two cuts, the broad blade spreading the force which meant the wood did not splinter along the join when force was applied and the sharp tip cut easily through the old glue.
The most challenging act was drilling holes vertically through the top of the door using the spade bits, the slightest misjudgement would have ruined the door and lead to a lot of trouble. This is one of the reasons why I used a hand drill rather than an electrical one that was also available, another was simple stealth. I could only use it when there was covering noise or when everyone was out and even then I had to be careful not to leave any evidence of what I had been doing.
First I practiced by drilling two small countersunk holes so that I could use four small button magnets, two in the door and two glued to the moulding I had removed to hold the replaced moulding back firmly on the top of the door. Then I obtained handwriting samples from the staff who looked after the house and us (or in this case me) and, using a pendulum spell at 4am in the morning, formed a psychic link between me and them. Using this I suggested to them that they could go out for the evening and not worry about leaving me on my own. It took three evenings for this to work, supported by my leaving the local paper open at the “Entertainments” section with subliminal markings by films, shows, and dining experiences that started early and finished late. On the morning of the fourth day the Housemaster told me that he and his wife would be going out for the evening and this was a chance for me to prove how responsible I was being left to my own devices in the house while they were out.
Having assured them that the most exciting thing I would be doing while they were gone would be watching TV they left that evening for an early dinner and a film. The brake lights of their car had barely cleared the end of the drive before I had wedged the door open, put newspaper under both sides to catch the wood waste, and started drilling, very, very, carefully. Inside an hour I had a neat line of intersecting holes along the top of the door.
I then used the chisel to remove the bits of wood left by the intersecting holes, turning them from a series of crescent moon shapes to a single box six inches long and approximately 4 inches deep. I thought that it must be time for the staff to return, but to my surprise, only about an hour and a half had passed. After cleaning up I still had plenty of time to put the hand drill back and borrow a few other tools to make some other hiding places throughout the house, details of which I will put in the Pagan Forum.
Suffice it to say that by the time the staff came back I had made- and opened up - several secure hiding places where I could store all my Pagan supplies safely. In all the time I was at boarding school none of the hiding places with contents were ever found. Hopefully this series of articles has been helpful in aiding you in making and discovering your own ways of storing your magickal and Pagan items out of sight, and reach, of people who might cause problems where you live or work.