Spirits and the danger of spirit work, FAQ
the topic of spirit work comes up, the two messages I receive more
than any other are, “how dangerous is this?” and, “I want to do
spirit work, but I’m scared to.”
I can offer nothing but my own experiences. I am going to make this FAQ style to address a lot of the questions I have received over time.
My first and best advice is, if you are afraid of spirits, don’t do spirit work.
Certain spirits can sense fear, and some spirits want you to be afraid so they can feed off of you. When we are afraid, it is difficult to think straight. Some spirits will take advantage of this in order to confuse us and make us susceptible to attack or manipulation.
When you approach spirit work from a place of fear, you present yourself as prey.
If you feel called to do spirit work, yet you are afraid of it, try a lot of introspective journaling and meditation. Ask yourself these questions:
do spirits live?
am I afraid of spirits?
do I think will happen if I communicate with spirits?
do I want to contact spirits?
did my fear come from?
I believe all spirits are more powerful than I am? Why or why not?
I called or destined to work with spirits?
At some point, you were a soul waiting to be reborn in to human form. When you looked upon the world you saw evil and danger, yet you chose to take the risk. Why? Because the rewards of living this life far outweigh the negatives. Because you were called to be human again. Because you knew it was your destiny.
Spirit work is much the same. We can view the world of spirits and recognize there is danger there, and we can also accept this danger and step in to their world anyway. Just because there is danger does not mean it will destroy you if you encounter it, no more than a fender bender will destroy your life in the human world. Just because there is evil does not mean you are guaranteed to encounter it.
Q: Why should I try spirit work?
A: I find people are often eager to try spirit work, perhaps for a number of reasons. I think maybe the main reason is that they want proof or validation that magic and spirits are real. Maybe the second reason is that they want to get something out of it. Well, I have excellent news: both of these things are yours for the taking.
If you want to work with spirits, you have to face both sides of the coin. You must recognize that danger exists in the spirit world, just as it exists in our human world. You must recognize that if you go to the wrong places and interact with the wrong people, you could get hurt. You must take responsibility for your own actions and carefully think about what you do before you do it. But in exchange, you can get a lot. You can get help with magic, or even spirits who will perform magic for you. You can even be taught important magical techniques that you will not find online. You can receive visions of what it is like to live in other worlds, fly as a bird in the sky, or live as a sea urchin deep in the ocean. You can experience what the life of a flame is like, or how it feels to be a cloud. You can find spirits who will spy on others for you and return to you with information. You can contact spirits of wealth and beauty to work out contracts with them. You can evolve yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You can do much.
I am not here to convince anyone that they should try spirit work. In fact I am of the mind that many people should not. But I am not about to encourage abstinence-only education.
Q: What is my chance of getting hurt?
A: If you lack common sense and are obsessed with the “getting stuff” side of the coin, I’d say your chances are pretty high. If you crave validation and spirit contact and will do anything to get it, your chances are high. If you have zero experience with magic and could not banish a fly, your chances are high.
If you are very mindful of dangers, if you are willing to send spirits away, if you have experience banishing and cleansing, your chances are reduced. If you put safety as your top priority, above validation, above getting stuff, above proving how badass you are, your chances of being hurt go way down.
Q: How should I prepare for spirit work?
A: You must be confident and comfortable with your ability to handle whatever you are about to experience. It could be the spirit of a moth, and you still must be confident that A) you can handle interacting with it, and B) you can send it away when it is time.
Interacting with it means, if it takes on a scary form, will you be afraid? Or will you recognize that the form a creature takes cannot harm you? A moth is still a moth no matter if it looks like a moth or a scary demon. If it takes a beautiful and kind form, are you going to believe everything it says?
Sending it away, 98% of the time, means simply asking. “I am ready for you to leave now. Please go as you came, freely. Thank you for your time.” 2% of the time, it means banishing. I have interacted with a LOT of spirits and I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to perform a real banishing.
In pragmatic terms, you will simply want to feel confident about what you are about to do. Be calm and patient. Have with you a notebook or laptop to record everything that happens (it is totally fine to use technology during rituals; I regularly bring my laptop in to my circle). If you feel it is necessary, wear a protective amulet. Have with you various offerings and your tools of banishment. Go to a safe space where you feel confident. If you feel nervous about working in your home, go outside. If you prefer the safety of your home, go inside.
Clearly write your calls and exactly what you say and do. Keep meticulous records.
Q: What are offerings? Why do I use them? What do I do after I am done with them?
A: Offerings = gifts. They are a sign of appreciation. When you invite someone important to your house, you probably want to make them feel comfortable. “What can I get you? Do you want a snack or maybe a glass of water?” When we invite spirits in to our space, we do the same thing. Instead of leaving the question open ended, simply offer them what you have. “Thank you for coming. May I offer you some incense or this glass of water?”
Offerings that spirits tend to like are the same kinds of things that humans tend to like. Tobacco, any alcohol, any food (unprocessed is best), beverages like tea or coffee with real sugar, fresh water, or incense will work great.
If you know what kind of spirit you are going to contact (which, you definitely should) then gather offerings specific to what they like. A dog spirit would like meat or bones; a cat spirit may enjoy catnip. Bird spirits may enjoy seed or fish. If you don’t know what to offer, simply follow the generic list above.
When I give offerings, I wait until the time is right. For certain friends I will give offerings immediately. For others I will wait until the end of the interaction. I can see when spirits are enjoying offerings, so I wait until I see that they are done. If you cannot see when spirits are enjoying offerings, wait five to ten minutes before disposal. Before disposal, say, “thank you for appreciating my gift to you. It is time for you to go, thank you for coming.” Then simply throw the offerings away.
Pour beverages on to the ground if you can, otherwise pour them down the drain. Bury foods if you can, otherwise toss them in the trash. Throw away ashes from incense.
Q: What are tools of banishment? How do I use them?
A: These tools are anything you can use to banish spirits. I use salt (for protection) and flying devil oil (as a weapon). I may post some stuff on banishment later, but right now actual banishment rituals are outside the scope of this FAQ.
Other banishment tools could include any type of banishment powder or oil, a wand, protective or aggressive stones, and a variety of plants such as mullein, rosemary, bay leaf, or basil which can be burned or scattered.
If possible, you would want to burn a purifying and protective plant before and during your spirit work. This will keep malicious spirits at bay and make your working space more comfortable to benevolent spirits. If this is not possible, make a hot tea out of these plants and sprinkle the tea around your space, then let the tea sit and fill the room with steam.
Make a protective grid out of stones and sit in the middle of the grid. Bless a candle and let it’s radiating light keep away malicious spirits. Sprinkle a circle of salt around you (it really does work).
If a spirit is refusing to leave, ask the plant or stone spirits to help you send away this intruder. Mentally force the spirit away while you are in your protected space. Say stuff like, “by the power of rosemary I send you away.” If you are mean like me, corner the spirit and attack it until it is willing to leave of it’s own accord.
Q: What is proper spirit work etiquette?
A: Be polite. Avoid being aggressive. Ask yourself what the spirit is getting out of its interaction with you. Make your time with spirits a two-way street; ensure they get something out of it as well. Often, this will be offerings. When it is time for a spirit to leave, there is no need to shout at it or threaten it. “Thank you for coming. Please leave my home.” If a spirit does not leave, offer it a fair warning. “I am prepared to defend my home and send you away by force.” Most spirits do not respond when I threaten them. They respond when I pick up a weapon. At this point they will often try to flee. I recommend letting them go instead of being sadistic and torturing them. If a spirit seems prepared to fight, well, it’s time to fight.
Offer your gifts once to each spirit, either as they arrive or before you ask them to leave. Give them five to ten minutes to enjoy the offerings. It makes more sense to me to wait until the spirit leaves to share the offerings, otherwise they may feed then leave before you have a chance to talk! Always be humble and thankful.
Remember to never ask the spirit for it’s name, and never share your name. Rather, say, “what may I call you?” and say, “you may call me [magical name]. It is alright if a spirit does not want to give you anything to call it by.
Never force a spirit to stay in your life if it is angry, causes you fear, or wishes to move on. Once I received a series of messages from a young spirit worker who found a spirit’s home and brought it to her house. The spirit was clearly enraged and sent her visions to return him to his resting place, yet she refused – because this was the first spirit she encountered, and she wanted that “real” experience. Do not be like this person. Leave spirits alone if they want to be left alone.
Q: How do I know a spirit is gone if I do banish it?
A: The spirit will no longer appear in your mind’s eye. You will not feel as if there is a presence in your home. You should feel alone and unwatched.
Q: How do I craft protections for spirit work?
A: Simply research any magical protections. Any solid spell will do.
Q: How do I fight a spirit if I need to?
A: I’m not going to post this one publicly. If you already have a spirit that won’t leave without a fight, send me a private message.
Q: What are some red flags?
A: Again, this is all from my experience. Here are all the common spirit “scams” that I am familiar with.
The spirit will begin asking for things over and above what you are prepared to give. Any polite spirit will stick with what you have to offer and appreciate the gesture. Be very, very wary if a spirit starts requesting other things in exchange for its time. Wait until you have more experience before you agree to share things beyond simple offerings.
If a spirit tries to trick you in to sharing personal information, especially your real name, send it away immediately. Spirits can use this information to manipulate you. I would not even tell a spirit the name of my dog before getting to know it very, very well.
The spirit presents itself as being ancient or powerful. Such beings have better things to do then mess with ouija boards or entertain young spirit-workers.
The spirit presents itself as having been with you your entire life, possibly over the course of many lifetimes. It is your special, powerful soul mate and all you have to do to receive your true powers is accept this spirit in to your mind and body. Don’t believe it for one second – send this spirit very, very far away.
The spirit beings to tell you that you are the chosen one, that you are very special and powerful, and that it is ready to serve you. You are being manipulated.
The spirit, for any reason, tries to be granted access to your mind and body. It may offer you great gifts if you agree to it, or assure you that the only way you will find what you seek is to let yourself be open to a powerful creature such as him. This spirit is ready to possess you! All it needs is permission to enter your mind and it will take over. As someone who has battled personal possession before, I do not recommend letting it get to this stage. Send the spirit far, far away.
Q: I got involved in spirit work and things went really, really wrong. What do I do?
A: Send me a message.