Communing with Spirits: The Care and Maintenance of Spirits
When you begin to open up your psychic abilities and journey into the realm of spirit, you bet you will be encountering many gods and spirits who want to make their presence known in your life. As witches, we build altars to our gods both to show devotion and to allow for us to have a designated spot to have a one on one encounter with a spirit. This is not to say you need to erect a shrine and spend money on statuary and candles, but if the spirits linger enough and make it known they have something to offer then making space on an altar for them is a good idea.
Once you figure out who exactly you are dealing with the first thing you need to do is go shopping for a statue with the spirit. I firmly believe that building an altar to a god should be a co-creative experience. After all, you are looking to find the best representation of the spirit that it wishes to show you. You can look up images and symbols for various gods and keep it in mind, but at the end of the day remember the statue is their home not yours, so give them a say in the matter. After you find a statue both of you, mainly the god likes, its time to bring it home and prime it for work.
I first like to clean the statue off both physically and spiritually to get rid of any funky energy and also to clean it up and make it inviting for the spirit; no one wants to be in a dirty house after all. You don’t need to go crazy with the physical cleaning; a simple wipe down with a cloth is usually enough. Next you can select a spiritual water like florida water or even rose water to cleanse the statue energetically. These two waters also work double duty and can be used to bless the statue as well. Now that the statue is cleaned up it needs to make its way to the altar. During this process, it is important to pay attention to feelings and any messages you get from the spirit and take them into account.
When it comes to “waking up” the statue and bringing the god or spirit into it, there are a number of ways to do so. You can do a simple blessing in which you anoint the statue with some special oil then light a candle for the spirit on the altar. Some people will also breathe onto the statue as to give the breath of life and birth the spirit using your life force. You may also wish to speak the name of the god or spirit if you know it three times to the statue. Three is the number of spirit and using a gods name invokes the spirit and makes it come forward.
Now after a while you may find the god or spirit begins to start asking for things. This can range from little trinkets to bottles of alcohol or even other spirit friends. It’s nice to give your gods gifts and drink from time to time so they feel happy and grateful. As with any other kind of gift you give a friend, there should be some reason behind it. I don’t like to give my spirits gifts regularly for no reason very often. They appreciate the thought of course, but no need to spoil them unless of course they are actively doing something for you. Some people also chose to give their gods and spirits food for offerings. Here are some tips for giving your gods food. One, have a separate bowl or dish for them on your altar that you can leave your offerings. Two, it doesn’t need to always be a full meal, you can give them a small portion of a larger meal or share with them from your plate. Think of it more as dinner with friends as opposed to something else. You may also consider asking the god or spirit to give you some type of message on the type of food or alcohol offering they may want. Doing some research either on line, in books, or asking someone who has or is currently working with the same god to offer you some insight based on their experience. Remember that gifts and offerings belong to the god or spirit once you leave it for them. Also, it is perfectly right to remove old food or empty glasses from the altar. Most spirits tend to just energetically “feed” off the physical food. I usually check my food offerings after about a week and see what they look like, Of course if they start to rot or insects crash the party then remove them immediately. Make offerings to your gods when you do a ritual and share the cakes and ale. If you host a party, leave some food on the altar for them too. Some gods and spirits may also request other items for offering. If it’s a god or spirit of art, they may ask for things within that realm. I’ve personally had spirits who requested music to be played as offering. Always remember the most important thing here is to commune with the spirits and build your relationship through interaction. There is no wrong way and for some it moves a little slower than others and that’s totally fine. If you treat your spirits like friends and family then the relationship will happen a lot better and more organically. Don’t worry too much if you are or aren’t doing something right or if you can’t hear them or experience them the same way as other people. Your relationship is singularly between you and the gods and what works between you two is what needs to happen.
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