Spirit Work Safety Tips for Those Just Starting Out
I have three, I’ll list them first, then break them down after.
1. Take it slow and build with lots of protection and cleansing.
2. Spirit Guides and Ancestors.
3. Divinations, Divinations, Divinations.
Okay, now the break down!
1. Take it slow and build with lots of protection and cleansings.
When I first started in the occult and witchcraft about four years ago, it was a complete shit fest. Now it’s somewhat less of a shit fest PRAISE!
Like many folks in North America, I started with Wicca because that was what first started things for me. It involved The Craft and lots of incense, and prior four years of reading tarot cards since I was 11.
Needless to say Wicca lasted for about a year of brutalness, and then I simply progressed to Pagan, cuz I didn’t know what to call myself and was tired of constantly not doing spells even though I knew deep down I could, because “Rule of Three motha fucker” says the Wicca for Dummies book.
Through out this entire time, the only thing I felt like I had mastered was spiritually cleansing and protection. Because I was in a shitty household with bad attitudes and extremely abusive and intrusive parents.
Tell me you need a cleansing ceremony and I could name 5 off the top of my head. Protection too, and a little blessing to bring in the good.
This was also when I began really trusting my intuition and just doing things my way. Which looking back? Really is the biggest thing when it comes to working with spirits. You gotta remember that you aren’t working with a book, or a church leader or an “elder”, you are working with the spirits, so work with the spirits.
All those other fun things can def. have the potential to provide guidance but they aren’t the spirits or a replacement for the spirits.
Sure there are established traditions surrounding different spirits, but the thing is, there are many roads to spirits. Chances are they have been around for so long, there isn’t just one way of punching in that number.
So take your time, explore, and look around. If nothing seems to feel right or fit, carve your own path I say.
But before you go on an adventure to reach out to others, work on yourself first.
Set up a space for yourself where you can do spiritual stuff and meditate. A nice little corner in your room would do. Get a table, a nice clean table cloth (white is always a good colour for many different reasons).
Set up a routine of spiritually cleansing, protecting and blessing your self and space, beginning at this little corner.
Whatever way you have found to be best, smoke cleansing, salt lines, powders, waters, oils.
And also set up a time to pray. Consistently, at least once a week for all of the above.
Who are you praying to? I’ll get to that in the following point.
2. Spirit Guides and Ancestors
After you get your groove going with the cleansing and protection and blessing, now it is time to focus on prayer.
The cleansing, protection, and blessings of self and space are done to begin setting up a natural flow around you of cleaning out the spiritual trash that collects around all of us, especially those who do spiritual work. Reinforcing your boundaries consistently because things weaken over time from outside garbage and also you reaching out to the spirit worlds, you gonna cross some lines.
And blessings of course are to bring in the goodness so things don’t just stay empty, and also get the attention of your good spirits.
So who are these good spirits really? In my experience, we all have spirits walking with us, this idea can be seen in many spiritual traditions in the world ranging from Vodou to European Traditional Witchcraft. These spirits are our ancestors, guardian angels, warriors, and spiritual guides, Familiars etc. Many of them were human at one point, and the others were often assigned by higher powers to watch over us or self elected to do so for a variety of reasons.
For me, everyone has on principal spirit guide who may or may not be a blood ancestor. Your Ancestors, Your Guardian Angels, and a warrior walking with you who again, may or may not be a blood ancestor. Some people also have healers, occult practitioners, musicians, scholars, many many different kinds depending on the person, their innate spiritual gifts and faculties, and what paths they are pursuing or have much potential in.
These spirits are our front line of contact in the spirit worlds. They are residing or at least greatly linked to the spirit worlds, and know their way around there better because they spend so much time there, and they are with us because they naturally want to and have chosen to be. Thus they are like bridges between us and the other worlds, where both ends are naturally already open, with added protection as they watch out for us.
So talk to them, get to know them.
A common practice in many spiritualist traditions, ranging from Kardecian Spiritism and Caribbean Espiritismo, to New Orleans Voudou and Spiritualism, to Haitian Vodou, to North American Spiritualism is to leave out a glass of water and a white candle for the spirits on your table (a clean table you have washed down beforehand somewhere high preferably at eye level, and preferably not in the bedroom if possible though it depends on your living situation and good spirits and you, with a clean washed white table cloth). The water should be cold, fresh from the running tap. Turn it all the way so it is as cold as possible, and then bless it if you feel the need by putting white light into it. The candle should be white if possible, new and reserved only for the spirits and spiritual work with them. Cleanse it, and then dress it however you feel. I usually carve a cross on the front to represent the crossroads and dress it in Holy Oil.
You can also add to the table journals, prayer books, a crucifix to represent the grace of God and the power of the intersecting worlds. The Bible. Whatever you feel guided to. You can also put a white plate and another glass or a few plates and glasses to leave out offerings for the spirits, like drinks, food, etc. Let the space grow as you do, organically.
The only thing I wouldn’t do is put pictures of living people on here. This place is for the spirits. Though the worlds touch, they shouldn’t completely cross over into one another, which is what you are doing when you place a picture of a living person amongst things for the spirits.
I also wouldn’t do any active spells on this table, let this solely be a resting and communion space for you and your spirits. You can always do spells on the floor before the table, or on a table next to this one.
The water should be changed once a week at least (don’t drink it, and don’t eat food or drinks once you give them to the spirits or reuse the plates for serving people who are still alive, at least without thoroughly washing it clean with some salt water too if you can). Water represents the space between the worlds. It’s a bridge that helps spirits cross through and/or reach fuller contact more easily, and the coolness as well as cleanliness of the water provides refreshment and strength for you and your spirits.
The Candle provides light for your spirits, and warmth, guiding them close and casting away shadows and deceitful beings. Light it whenever you are praying to them.
I personally try to pray and communicate with my spirits every night. I tell them how my day is, give them some cigarette smoke or cigar smoke and other offerings, and smoke some cigarettes and relax with them. If I need help with anything, I might drop them a word if I feel they have heard already, and if they need anything from me, I will note it down. I sometimes pray the rosary in front of here, either for myself or in praise and blessings for my spirits. I also meditate, do guided visualizations etc.
The water in the center cup, the one that is used as a portal, as long as it’s clean (so it doesn’t look or smell funky, which you should have immediately changed to fresh water anyways cuz this can mean the spirits took off bad spells and negativity for you) can be used in spiritual cleansings. Wet your hands with it and push downwards only around your body from your head to your feet, finishing by pushing from soles to toes, and pay attention to the back of your neck and your forehead. You can add a bit of the water to spiritual baths, use it to bless objects and other people. It’s spiritually charged with some of the essence and blessings of your spirits, it is good.
Here is how to pray to your good spirits. When it’s not a fresh cup of water and is within the week where don’t have to change it and it’s clean, simply sprinkle three drops of the water in front of the shrine for your spirits as a simple offering. When you do change the water, do the same thing.
HOW TO BEGIN WORKING WITH YOUR GOOD SPIRITS (I do this at least once a week on Sundays or Wednesdays preferably).
After setting up a spiritual altar for your good spirits.
Begin with cleansing your self and space. Such as with the cleansing bath in a basin method I describe below, with incense smoke, with a bit of water from the centre cup etc.
Now pray a chant or prayer for protection such as:
“I call upon my inner light and strength and the aid of the good spirits who walk all around me to strengthen and fortify me and my surroundings in body, mind, and soul, keeping out all that is of harm to me, and allowing only the good and that which I desire into my life and space”.
Imagine yourself surrounded by a blazing cobalt blue fire, that cools to the touch and smells of safety and strength, keeping out all that is of harm, and allowing only that which is good and that which you desire into your life.
Now make sure you have your clean glass of water and clean white candle with you. Light the Candle, holding it in one hand, and hold the other hand over your glass of water.
Say: “I give light and illumination to my good spirits, that they may be guided to me and strengthen me, through my grace and theirs”.
Draw a cross with the candle in the air, and then lightly toss it and then catch it (CAREFUL, DON’T CATCH THINGS ON FIRE).
Now hold up the water and put down the candle before you on a clean surface.
Say: “I give water and refreshments to my good spirits, that you may be nourished, and that you in turn may nourish me”.
Draw the cross in the air with the water too, and then lightly toss it through and catch it again safely.
Now here, I usually like to say one Our Father, three Hail Maries, and one Glory Be because those were the prayers I was raised with and that bring me comfort. You do whatever works for you. The point here is to create the feeling of comfort and prayer within you, and by speaking it outloud, without and around you as well. This helps create an even stronger bridge for your spirits to reach you.
Now I say a heart felt prayer calling for my Good, Holy, Elevated spirits attention and presence, some people also knock three times on the altar right at the start before doing anything else to further emphasis calling them. Some also ring a bell.
Then simply begin to talk with your spirits, introduce yourself (though most of them already know you :P), say hi, tell them about your day, ask them how they are, use your intuition or other divination devices to see if there is a response, and just speak to them as if they were good acquaintances and good friends. Pray some more too throughout as spirit guides and prompts you. And/or sit in meditative silence, continue communing, perform spiritual cleansings on yourself and space etc.
Once you feel you are done, thank them for listening and communicating with you in your own words, ask them they may stay if they wish or leave if they must, and that blessings upon them, and then snuff out the candle, and pour the water either outside or inside in a household plant if it is old water that needs to be changed.
Or if it’s still clean and within the week, keep it on the altar.
Now do another quick spiritual cleanse for your self and space.
My spirits have also instructed me to do two water vessels. One is the cup on their altar, which I don’t really touch or use for cleansings directly, except adding a few drops to a cleansing wash. The other I leave at the base of the table on the floor and only fill when communing with them, such as for my once a week formal communications. This vessel, which is usually a bowl or basin rather than a glass, I use for spiritual cleansings, and essentially make it into a cleansing bath, with herbs, floral waters, perfumes etc. This I use to wash myself before and after a communication session, and also sprinkle a bit on the altar before and after. This basin of water never sticks around, always pour out after a session. Making a fresh batch each time.
It really depends, for larger communications with more spirits, this is what I do, with the basin at the foot of the table on the floor. But for daily communications like a morning hello and evening good night, I just use a bit of the water in the goblet on their altar. It depends on your tradition and how you spirits, intuition, and elders guide you to do it.
Once you build a solid relationship with your spirits, then I would personally say it is safe to reach out to other beings. This way you have a solid spiritual court around you, and you are watched over and worked with.
Which brings us to the third point …
3. Divinations, Divinations, Divinations …
I personally would really recommend getting readings, especially at the start of your work, with experienced mediums and spiritualists.
If you found a specific path of spiritualism that is fitting for you, good for you 🙂 But if you are like me and feel best going at it by yourself, it still helps to get a second opinion and cross check things.
A good medium should be able to help you get a better feel of what spirits walk with you, help deliver any messages, and help with figuring out who your principal guides, warriors, and spirits are, the ones that really are in it for reals.
They can also help mediate between you and your spirits. I personally haven’t not gotten along with my guides before, we may have disagreements and such but we talk and figure where each is coming from, compromise or otherwise work it out.
If you end up not getting along, you don’t have to work with your specific spirits. You don’t have to do anything. There are many paths into the spirits worlds and magic, this is just mine, what I have done, and what has worked for me 🙂
I personally have gotten two readings from good professional readers and mediums in relation to my spiritual paths and spirits. Both have really helped in further pointing me in the right directions and guiding me to build stronger relationships with me spirits, so I highly recommend it.
In addition to seeing other diviners and mediums, also divine yourself.
Divination can be a great tool to communicate with your spirits, and also to ask for their help in seeing into things to come. Just say a short prayer asking for their aid or that you wish to communicate with them, ask your questions, deal the cards, throw the bones, etc. Do this in front of your spiritual table.
Also pay real close attention to your dreams. Your spirits can talk to you through your dreams, when essentially part of you is walking with them in their worlds. Keep a dream journal, and for better sleep, rest, and clearer dreams, get another cool glass of water every night and place this next or above your head on your bed stand. Dump the water out in the morning, either down the drain, or use it to water some of your plants.
Overall consistency, and courage, and taking things one step at a time is the best tips that have worked for me and continue to.
Here are also some really good spiritualism and espirtismo resources and people I have worked with:
1. Experienced, compassionate, and kind Mediums and Elders, either in a specific tradition you work in or want to pursue or non denominational.
2. Your Spirits and divination and your intuition.
3. The Mystic Cup Blog. http://blog.themysticcup.com/. The Spiritism section especially. Though they did have a guest blogger write about spiritualist practices from my own culture that had quiet a dismissive tone. Even if you don’t believe in ceremony or “take it seriously”, you shouldn’t dismissively walk through a procession. No wonder you got jinxed.
4. The book Ancestor Paths, by Oba Ilari Aladokun.
5. The book Sea El Santisimo, by Mario Dos Ventos.
6. The Book Spiritualism and Clairvoyance, by Elizabeth Owens.
7. Sacred Mystics Store of Manbo Dayila. http://www.sacredmystics.com/
8. Carolina Conzalez’s Store and Blog, Camino de Yara http://caminodeyara.indiemade.com/blog
9. Consistent Prayer, Spiritual cleansings, protections, and blessings on your self and living space, intuition, and guidance from your good spirits. And continued self meditations, cultivation, and development of your spiritual powers. Spend some time with yourself everyday in balance with socializing with others. Know yourself and know your power.
As always read things with a grain of salt, and just because I recommend written pieces by others doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Take care and may your own intuition and the Good Spirits guide you well!