How to Meet Local Spirits
(Revamp of my answer to this ask [x])
Local spirits are the spirits that are constantly around us, in the forests, on the beaches, in schools, in homes, etc. They can be ghosts, mythological creatures, entities never mentioned in lore before and more. Their personalities and friendliness towards humans can vary quite a bit, especially depending on where you live. Think of them as your spirit neighbors. Some might remain as such for the entire time that you know them, others might become your companions or maybe even your rivals! The important thing is that you respectfully interact with them and be aware of their boundaries.
There’s two main ways that I’ve found to make contact with local spirits: call them to you or go outside and meet them in the places they live. Calling them to you is actually kind of a similar concept to conjuring except that you are only calling to the spirits that live in your area and that there’s no guarantee that they’ll show up. Going out is like a scientist going on a field study for an organism that they’re interested in: might find them, might not, and if it’s spirits we’re talking about then might find but they don’t want to be interacted with.
That’s the biggest thing to remember when working with local spirits, that not all spirits are interested in interacting with humans. In fact, many spirits couldn’t care less about humans or even actively have ways to prevent humans from meeting them. You should respect spirits that don’t want to be worked with. If you really want to work with a particular group then you could try negotiating with them or slowly building up a relationship with them in order to see if they will eventually be willing. Just don’t force any spirit to interact or speak with you, that will end badly for you every time.
Spirit work isn’t always the safest thing and there’s many ways that you can be harmed. The most important thing to have is a protective circle. It will protect you from many things and can actually be very versatile. Obviously this is hard to make when going out and meeting spirits so we’ll separate the safety procedures for each technique.
Going Out to Meet the Spirits
When going out not only is it harder to bring and set up materials, you’re also in public a lot of the time which limits what you can do. That is why personal warding is important. Personal warding can take the form of energy shields, protective amulets, etc. These are things that should be prepared before going out with the intent of meeting spirits so that they are ready in case you do get attacked.
Calling the Spirits
Calling the spirits comes with the risk of inviting unknown entities into your home. That is why it is important to have wards and a protective circle. The circle will protect you if they try to attack you during the meeting while the wards will prevent them from getting back in after being banished. Generic wards are basic spirit work stuff so I’m not going to go into them here.
A circle, however, can be made in many different ways. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it has protective elements that you feel are helpful to you, not what some list on the internet says. You could take from traditional circles and use them as a template for creating your own or you can completely make a new style of circle. The possibilities are endless! Some things you might want to include are protective stones, the names of deities you work with, protective words or sigils, candles, etc. Any physical item you use should have a designated spot for it. Your orientation of the elements of the circle is also important, or well it can be if you ascribe that importance! Perhaps you use the four elements to protect you in your circle and you associate them with a particular direction for example.
When you decide on what the circle should look like, practice making and using it! You can draw it out on an old sheet so that you don’t have to keep remaking it, you can set out physical items in the shape of a circle or you can create it with energy if you’re good at that. However you make it, it’s important to get used to being in it and the energy that goes into “activating” it. Activating it usually involves calling upon whatever makes up the circle to protect you. Sticking with the element example, you’d activate is by calling for Fire, Water, Earth, and Air to protect you. Once you are done with the circle, you must close it. This usually means allowing whatever you called upon to depart but in the reverse order from before. Try it out, play around with it, find or create whatever procedure that is comfortable to you.
When speaking with spirits, do not let them in no matter how much they try to persuade you. Also, do not leave the circle until you are sure that they are gone. That’s why you should keep any banishing tools and the like on hand so you don’t have to run and fetch them. If you don’t follow both of those rules then what’s the point of making the circle?
[There’s many different ways to use a circle, this is just a generic explanation of it].
Calling the Spirits to You
This process includes creating a call of energy and sending it out into the “energy network” of your local area. Spirits in the area can hear this call and choose whether or not to answer it and show up.
Tools needed: An offering for the spirit that you are calling, any banishing tools, any physical items that make up your circle, a wand if you need/use one, and any communication tools if you need them.
Making the Call: Cast your circle, set your offering outside of it and get into a clear state of mind where you can access your energy. Say the call, either out loud or in your head, doesn’t matter. It can be anything but basically along the lines of “I call to any [spirit name] that would be interested in speaking with me for [an interview]. In return, I have an offering of [the offering]”. You can call them for any reason but like I’ve mentioned before, they’re not obligated to come. As you say the call, form the energy of your words into a ball of energy in front of you. This is where you can use your wand to help channel the energy easier. Visualization also helps here. Once it is formed and stable, send it out in all directions into the environment. I usually just shoot a quick burst of energy at it to give it the momentum to move fast but you can flick your wrist/wand or do whatever it is you normally do to send energy out.
Even after you finish saying the call, you can feed more energy into the energy ball if you want the call to be “louder” and travel farther. This can be dangerous though because since the call is made from your energy, it is connected to you and that’s how the spirits who answer your call can find you. When the call reaches the limits of its strength it disappears and all links to you are gone. However, the stronger you make it, the longer it is out in the environment and the more likely unexpected spirits can trace you. So basically, don’t make the call too powerful.
Meeting the Spirit: If the call isn’t made too strong (aka the amount of energy that the sample call above makes) then at most, it should take 10 minutes for the call’s energy to die out (usually not actually that long but it’s good to be safe). After you finish speaking with the spirit, thank them for coming and allow them to leave. Make sure that they are actually gone before closing your circle. If a spirit doesn’t appear within that time you can either resend the call or close your circle and try again later.
Notes: Creating the call doesn’t guarantee that a spirit will show up. It also doesn’t mean that the spirit who shows up is the spirit that you called to. I mean in the four years that I’ve been using this technique, I’ve never had the “wrong” spirit show up but I find it very hard to believe that it’s not possible. Both of these are reasons why it’s important to have the basic techniques for being able to sense a spirit’s presence and determine their identity.
Going Out and Meeting Spirits
This process is much more straightforward. You essentially go out to places in your area like beaches, parks, schools, etc., see if you can sense any spirits, and then see if any are interested in talking with you.
Tools needed: Any protective amulets or items that you have and an offering for any spirits you may come across
I don’t have much explanation for this because it ain’t much more complex than that. If you don’t know who you’re going to meet, generic offerings to bring include water, alcohol, bread, rice, tobacco, etc. If you know of an offering that the spirits where you’re headed would prefer then bring that. No matter what you bring do not leave anything that will pollute the environment. Any food offerings you bring should be in a container and then properly disposed of, not thrown on the ground for example.
Set out the offering and ask if anyone wants it. You can also respectfully approach anyone you see and ask if they would want it. If they decline your offer, then don’t press them. Just give them a “okay, sorry for bothering you” and leave. Be respectful when interacting with them, you are on their territory after all.
Also be smart about who you approach. If someone’s energy makes you feel uncomfortable or they’re a species or have an affiliation with a group that is known to be hostile, then be aware that you may need to defend yourself if you choose to approach them and things go sour. Of course not all bad-feeling spirits are actually bad, not all good-feeling spirits are actually good, and first impressions can be misleading. Just trust your intuition and be prepared for the worst in case it happens.
What to Do if You Are in Danger
It’ll happen. Not all spirits are friendly and many might look at you as prey or something to mess with. The most important thing to do is stay calm. When a spirit attacks, it can be very scary so I know that keeping a clear head isn’t always the easiest of things in that situation. That is why you should develop a clear plan for dealing with attacks beforehand and have all the tools that you need already prepared. If it’ll help, write down a basic procedure for banishing and keep it in your pocket or somewhere else that spirits won’t be able to easily see. That way even if you’re freaking out, you’ll have a lifeline telling you what to do.
Calling the Spirits
If a spirit attacks, tries to force their way into your circle, or suddenly acts hostile, banish immediately. It’s best not to take any chances. Once they are banished, cleanse the area and reinforce your wards. Sometimes spirits may do something that might make you uncomfortable but you don’t feel as though it’s bad enough to warrant forcing them out. You can simply ask them to leave or let them know that the behavior will not be tolerated. If they ignore your request, banish them. It’s possible that a spirit isn’t aware that they might be making you uncomfortable and so talking it out first before immediately jumping to banishing (if they’re not actively attacking you) could be beneficial for both of you. Just remember to be firm in your boundaries and don’t let the spirit persuade you into letting them go.
Reasons not to banish a spirit:
If they look “scary”. Their appearance doesn’t always reflect their personality. For some, that’s just the way that they were born.
If they’re a “demon”. Demon is a very useless, broad term that describes a myriad of entities all of which have different personalities and moralities. “Demon” is not the equivalent of “evil”.
Going out and Meeting the Spirits
The difference here is that you can’t really banish spirits when you visit them at their homes. That’d be like going over to a friend’s house and trying to kick them out. If a spirit attacks you while you’re away from your protected space, the best you can do is get out of there. If you came prepared with proper protection then it should be able to buy you enough time to escape. Depending on the situation, the attacking spirit may or may not be interested in chasing you. So, sometimes “escaping” can be simply removing yourself from the area immediately as the spirit is just acting aggressive so that you’ll back off. But other times, you may need to do a little more than that. If you suspect that you got followed home, perform a banishing of your property and cleanse yourself and the area. Then reinforce your wards.
The one thing that I have to say is that you need to be cognizant of why that spirit is attacking you. More specifically, you need to be aware of when your actions provoke a spirit to attack. Did you infringe upon their territory? Did you bother them after they told you that they didn’t want to interact? You are out in their realm, just as a spirit that you invite into your house should respect you, you should respect spirits when you meet them at their homes.
Which Process Should You Use?
It depends on what “level” of spirit work you’re at and what you want to accomplish. Calling a spirit to you is definitely requires an intermediate skill level in energy and spirit work whereas going out and meeting them only requires that you be able to sense and communicate with spirits. However, when you call a spirit to you, they’re more likely to be willing to talk since that’s what they came for according to your call. You’re also more protected since you’re able to have your circle and tools right at hand. Spirits that you simply meet outside aren’t always going to want to speak and it’s a bit harder to protect against them. So which process should you use? Both.
Not all spirits are interested in answering a call but they may be willing to talk with you come across them when outside. Sometimes, you need a long conversation with a spirit which is where calling them will be more useful. Calling them might even seem more convenient but I think that it’s important that you learn about the spirits around you by going out and meeting them before calling them to you. It not only helps you get a better idea of the community but it also lets spirits get a better idea of who you are.