At a time when many are focused upon preparing their homes and tables for coming visitors of ancestors and beloved friends, what do you do when an unexpected –and unwanted- guests arrives? I offer this tale…
Both the door at the bottom of the stairs and the door at the top blew open, sending a chilling breeze through the house and swirling about the house. Everyone froze and turned toward the door, startled, knowing full well that the door at the bottom of the stairs had been locked from the inside.
“What was that?” my eight-year-old son asked me. The other children turned and looked at me, their faces slack and wide-eyed.
This post is part of a sporadic series on Working with Spirits. Previous installments include "Death Midwifery" and "Making Friends with the Genius Loci." NOTE: All pronouns and nouns in reference to Spirits will be capitalized throughout this article. Yes, it’s not grammatically correct, however, I have just recently moved into a new home and the Spirits therein and I are just getting to know each other: this capitalization is done out of respect for Them as They peer over my shoulder wondering just what it is I am doing. Hopefully it won’t be too distracting.
Many homes and dwellings are naturally filled with Spirits, and the witch, spirit worker, animist, and psychically sensitive person will notice Their presence. These Spirits take up residence in a home or dwelling for as many different reasons as there are different types of spirits. The Dead may linger in a building where they spend considerable time in Their life or that They had strong emotional attachment to (such as the family farm, a house they built, or Their childhood home, for example.) Other Spirits may be attracted to the dwelling due to previous activities that took place there. The regular practice of magick and spirit communication can create tendencies in a location that naturally cause Spirits to frequent that place, as witnessed by anyone who has regularly used the same location for ritual or magickal work. Natural features in the environment may place the building in a location that is naturally conducive to Spirit activity, while the placement of mirrors, doorways, and stairs in a home may naturally create portals from which Spirits enter the dwelling. While some Spirits, such as those we come across in folklore (like the Domowoj, Bean Tighe, or Brownie) naturally dwell within homes and may have found Their way there hitching a ride with immigrant families in times past. These are just a few of the many reasons why a home may be host to a number of Spirits, but it doesn’t address a more important matter: what does one do about these Spirits?
Throwing the Bones