After my popular recent post about plant spirits, I decided that I should write a post about my favorite type of spirits to work with, animal spirits connected to their remains. I’m a vulture and a spirit worker and so I collect various animal bones and use them in my practice. All of the pieces in my collection come from what I deem ethical sources, and none of them have been killed solely for the purpose of being in my collection. I have a relationship (friendship) with each spirit and treat everyone with respect as I consider them family. If you have any questions, ask away!
As always, when dealing with remains and with the spirits attached to them, you must remain respectful. Don’t break/crush bones unless there is no spirit attached, and always ask permission before using the bones in crafts, as part of rituals, as offerings, or anything else like it.
Figuring out if there is a spirit attached to a bone takes more than a second and is really important when working with bones., There is a varying scale of spirit attached to different bones. There are only a few bones that will have a significant amount of spirit attached, the skull being the main one. The spinal chord will have a larger amount of spirit attached than phalanges and metacarpals will have.
Contacting the spirit could take a while. If the bones are that of a predator, they will generally be more defensive and more aggressive when they do make contact. Always be respectful with their remains, and leave offerings to them as well. These offerings can be the last little bit of tea that you don’t want to drink, it can be spending time with them, letting them sit by a charged crystal or a lot of other things. Communication comes with time, as does any kind of relationship.
I have quite a few altars, one being to my spirit family. On this altar, I leave offerings for my spirits, provide them with a constant supply moon water, store the bones and other things. I have a bottle of bone powder from bone shards I have collected over the years, a necromancy powder I have and other such powders as well. This altar is one way that I maintain a sense of respect for the spirits as well as their remains. They aren’t necessary, but I find it a good affirmation for them.
As with any other spirit, your main goal is to create a relationship with them. Learn their name, and if you want, find a nickname that they like as well. Leave them personal little offerings. I have a hound that we’ll call J, and every time I work with him he absolutely adores my singing voice, so every once in a while I’ll ask him what song I should sing and he basically goes nuts. Cuddle with them! A lot of spirits love contact, and inviting them into your cuddle puddle (in the form of a pillow or a stuffed animal) is a great way to give them some of the attention that they need.
After a while of friendship, you can start asking for their help in many different areas. For example with J being a hound, one thing that he’s good at is protection, wandering around my property keeping out most negative energies and spirits with mal intent. There is an unlimited amount of favors spirits can do for you, but keep in mind that there is always a price. Be it in the form of offerings beforehand, payment after, or some compromise between the two. There is rarely a time where a spirit will do something for you without expecting something in return.
Before use in rituals/spells:
Always ask the spirit if they would mine, and spell out the specific purpose. An example of that would be using a bone as a small offering towards a specific deity. If the spirit gives you permission, then proceed with respect and caution. If the spirit doesn’t give you permission, don’t go back on your word. Keep your promises and they will generally be nice to you. Don’t use the bones for more than you said you would unless you ask for specific permission again.
a charged crystal
singing to them
taking them on a walk
dusting off the altar
setting them in the rain
Be respectful, be courteous and always ask permission before you do almost anything. And if you have any questions, you can ask me! (Also my vulture culture blog is @herebethebones )
So this is a super great question, thanks anon! I feel like AOS Bones is basically my spirit animal (not to mention Karl Urban is brilliant and also Very Pleasant To Look At), but without TOS Bones we wouldn’t have AOS Bones. So I would say AOS Bones with a special spot in my heart/debt of gratitude to TOS Bones. :)