Posted in Witchy Tips

Spirit Roles

Some spirits may choose or agree to perform a specific job or role in your astral territory or as your companion. Some spirits prefer not to have a specific role, and that’s okay too. Below are my personal categories of spirit roles.

Spirit Roles:

  •  Familiar: helps with magic and witchcraft, spends a lot of time in both physical and astral.
  • Healer: helps with healing their companion as well as other spirits.
  • Teacher: helps mentor their companion as well as other spirits.
  • Gatekeeper: patrols the boundaries of their companions astral territory, helps with protection magic, recharges wards and monitors the borders to make sure no entities or energies with malicious intent get by.
  • Guardian: watches over their companion and guides them down a certain path
  • Muse: helps out with creative endeavors, inspires and motivates their companion.
  • Mate: forms a romantic bond with their companion, is especially close with them, protects and comforts them.

Please note that many spirits may already have chosen a role for themselves, and it is vital that spirits consent to the role they play in your life. It is especially important in regards to being a Mate that the decision must be consensual and occur naturally (just like forming a romantic relationship in the physical plane with another human).

Posted in book reviews

Breathe: A Ghost Story by Cliff McNish

Teen Picks: Breathe by Cliff McNish

You know those book fairs that your school hosted back when you were a kid? That’s where my little sister and I stumbled upon a book called Breathe. We were suckers for ghost stories like books by Mary Downing Hahn, and this seemed like it was right up our alley. We stole it away into our bedrooms and read it under the blankets late, late into the night using flashlights. I still have the original copy we shared. I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite ghost stories. Not only is it easy to read, it is fantastically vivid and well written.

It follows the story of Jack and his mother, Sarah, a mother and son who move into a haunted farmhouse where the souls of four children are being held hostage by what is known as the Ghost Mother, a spirit that feeds off of other souls to prevent being taken away by the Nightmare Passage. The Nightmare Passage is an Inferno-esque plain of ice where a constant wind beats and batters its residents. It is where the souls of those who refuse to go (or are kept from going) to the Other Side eventually are taken.

The book is full of metaphors for abusive behavior, rape and sacrifice. The Ghost Mother tortures these poor children’s souls, feeds off of them, and even forces one of them to try to behave like a daughter. It is disgusting. Disturbing. And it’s not hard at all to hate her. The children, who are put through so much pain and suffering, do eventually find redemption and get a happy ending, thank goodness. As does Jack and Sarah. For most of the book the Ghost Mother possesses Sarah and actively abuses Jack, emotionally and physically. It’s gut wrenching to read as Jack desperately tries to save his own mother.

All in all, it is an incredible story about loyalty, fighting for the one’s we love, about the acceptance of death, and how death is not the end. I reread this book every once and a while, because boy-howdy is it a doozy. Talk about heavy. And reading it as a twelve year old? You can bet that my sister and I had some nightmares after the first time. Sheesh. But we still love it, and in fact, it still comes up in conversations sometimes. The deep and complex issues of abuse and consent, as well as life after death, the different afterlife planes, the inspiration from Dante’s nine circles of Hell inspiring the landscape for the Nightmare Passage. It is a really fascinating read. I highly recommend it. I give it a 4/5, just because it does have some pretty sensitive topics it covers.

Posted in Witchy Tips

Channeling: The Basics of Spirit Work

For as long as humans have walked the earth, so have their deceased brethren. Much like the living, there are nice spirits and asshole spirits. Spirits can be good friends, give advice and even help a witch with their magic. Spirit work and Hedgecraft, the magical practice that focuses on astral work, are very tightly intertwined. My post on Hedgecraft is here.

Communication//

  • Communicating with a spirit can be an essential part of Spirit Work, especially if a spirit has made its presence known.
  • Common methods for Spirit Communication include the Pendulum, Spirit Board, Runes, Tarot, and Astral Travel. Spirit Boards are probably the most preferred method among Spirit Workers.
  • Some general rules when talking to a spirit include: Be polite. If it is bothering you, ask it what it wants, or politely ask it to leave you alone. When you are finished, say goodbye and make sure the spirit also says goodbye. If they do not, respectfully insist that it is time for you to go and they need to say goodbye. Some spirit workers insist that the spirit MUST say goodbye, or bad things will happen.
  • Remember, if you happen upon a spirit from a closed culture, leave it be. Here is a great post that goes into detail.

Magic//

  • Once you have befriended a spirit, whether human or animal, you can call on them in the future to help with your magic. The most common thing witch’s request of spirits is to help with pendulum, tarot and rune readings.
  • If you really connect with a spirit, they will even help you with curses. Using graveyard dirt from this specific spirit’s grave is supposed to be one of the most powerful tools in witchcraft, as the spirit will not only add its energy to the curse, it will also protect you from any backlash.

 Protection//

  • Not all spirits are friendly. It is important to be educated on the risks. Learn the difference between an animal spirit, a human spirit and a demon. Animal spirits often will speak through pictures and images, humans spirit through words and emotions, and demons will often communicate through physical phenomenon and negative energy. For more on Demons, click here.
  • Before and after each session, cleanse yourself and your space. 
  • During a session, it might be a good idea to put up a ward or ward a piece of jewelry or clothing as an extra safeguard.
  • Keep Citrine crystals in or around your work space. They are self cleansing, and require no maintenance. They also cleanse you, the space around them, and provide a strong protection for their users.

Ghosts// 

  • Visible ghosts often come in two main types.
    • Imprints: These appear at the same time every day or night for a few moments and often reenact the same sequence of events. This is not the ghost of a person or creature, but instead is a memory that the physical place has held on to. Certain buildings are very impressionable and will repeat scenes that left strong emotional energy imprinted on them. It is the memory of the event that is haunting the place, not a spirit of an actual individual. Kind of like an old video recording forced to play on a loop over and over again. (Example: In the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas there is a ghostly translucent nurse that walks down a hallway with a cart every night at a specific time. Her route never changes and she never reacts to any outside forces.)
    • Individuals: These are the actual spirits or souls of individual humans who experienced such a strong emotion before their death that they remained tied to our world. Some can physically manifest themselves, while others may only appear as orbs or on camera film, and some are only able to influence the air around them. (Example: Also at the Crescent, there is a spirit of a boy named Michael, who I experienced laying in bed next to me and breathing on the back of my neck. I did not actually see him, but I felt him and I smelled cigarette smoke. I was alone in the room except for my sister, who I could see in the bed across the room, sound asleep.) It is believed that ghosts cannot actually move objects or cause any harm.

 On Animals//

  • Contrary to popular belief, animals do have souls and spirits and some animals even remain as ghosts after they die.
  • Animal spirits can be communicated with, but they will often respond not with words or in a human language, but instead with emotions and images. The easiest way to communicate with an animal spirit is to hold something that either belonged to them or was a part of them, for example: a skull or bone or collar, and talk to them on the Astral Place. Another common way to communicate with deceased animals is with a pendulum. I wouldn’t recommend a Spirit Board, since animals cannot really communicate in human languages.
  • The same process can be applied and used to communicate with the spirits of fossils, therefore extinct animals such as the Mammoth and Dinosaurs. (I’ve actually experimented with this before and hands down, one of the coolest and terrifying things I’ve ever done haha. And I’ve swam with sharks.)

Spirit Companions//

  • These are spirits that you have formed a close bond with and work with regularly. Often the keeper and companion will enter into a ‘contract’ with ‘house rules’ upon the establishment of the partnership.
  • Often Companions will either allow or request to be bound to a physical vessel, which makes interacting and communicating with their Keeper easier for both parties. Though it is entirely possible with a strong enough emotional attachment that the spirit may wish to be bound to the person’s soul instead.
  • Spirit Companions require offerings, the frequency and type of offerings will vary depending on each individual spirit’s likes and taste.
  • Communicating with a Spirit Companion can be done through many different methods, but the most common in my experience speaking with professional Keepers is meditation and through astral travel. I have also heard the use of special pendulums, tarot decks, books and music to be used.
  • While this is not a requirement, many spirit keepers will set up altars for their primary spirit companions, to honor them and give them their own physical space in the keeper’s home, as well as a place where offerings will regularly be presented.
  • Spirit Companions can sometimes be purchased from ‘conjurers’ and shops. It is always wise to approach these with a grain of salt. Never deal with a shop that offers spirits from closed cultures or religions. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Spirit companions may choose to perform a specific role, or be offered a job or task to complete in their companion’s astral space. Some companions don’t have specific roles, and that is okay too. Here is a list of possible roles a spirit may take on.

Thoughtforms//

  • A thoughtform is an entity or spirit created by a spirit worker or witch. A constant flow of energy is needed for the continued survival of the thoughtform, until the entity becomes self sufficient. How quickly this occurs varies depending on the spirit worker’s experience level.
  • A thoughtform is often assigned a specific species, name, pronouns, and a role to perform upon creation. It is very important to not dabble willy nilly in thoughtform creation, as it is possible to accidentally create a hostile or rogue spirit if one is not specific enough. Be very specific! Drawings and use of spirit profiling can be very helpful.
  • Some shops offer custom thoughtform creation. Same as above, exercise caution and trust your vibes.
  • Here is a good thoughtform profile you could use for a starting point.

Crystals for Spirit Workers//

  • Azurite: enhances clairvoyance and psychic communication, helps with guidance and intuition.
  • Amethyst: enhances all psychic abilities, provides protection and a sense of peace.
  • Bloodstone: heightens psychic sense, grounding, centering, healing.
  • Carnelian: helps with the transition of the living to the spirit realm and visa versa, purification, vitality.
  • Citrine: purification, cleansing, protection, emotional balance, abundance,
  • Fluorite: enhances spiritual connections and communications with spirits, balance, healing, amplifier.
  • Iolite: balances the aura, enhances clairvoyance, self awareness, intuition.
  • Labradorite: increases psychic abilities, bridges gap between physical and astral, dreams, strength.
  • Lapis Lazuli: aids in contacting spirits, prevents psychic attacks, enhances intuition and inner power.
  • Malachite: balances energy points, prophetic dreams, repairs emotional wounds, protection.
  • Moonstone: wishes, intuition, inspiration, connection and communication with spirits.
  • Snowflake Obsidian: scrying, divination, balance, centering, emotional support.
  • Sugilite: energy healing, psychic protection, releases negative emotions, stimulates channeling.

Herbs for Spirit Workers//

  • Anise: astral travel, dreams, meditation, divination.
  • Bay Leaves: luck, protection in sleep, enhances clairvoyance, induces visions, banishes negative energies.
  • Mugwort: prophetic dreams, astral travel, enhances all psychic abilities.
  • Wormwood: enhances spiritual communication and clairvoyance, connection with spirits, astral travel.
  • (remember to exercise caution when using herbs. some herbs are not safe to burn or ingest)