How to Be a Better Spirit Keeper
There's more writing involved in being a Spirit Keeper than some people think. Whether you've already started, or you're just about to begin your journey, there's some simple tips when you are ready to bring a new spirit into your home which will help you decide which spirits you ought to welcome.
First, and foremost, it's imperative, no matter if you have one spirit, or one thousand, you must have protection in place. It should be a combination of spells, and/or spirits, for various protective purposes, to make sure you are not leaving yourself open to the pranks, and ill-deeds, of unbound spirits who like to bring trouble, and sometimes terror, into the lives of others. While, granted, unbounds can terrorize a household whether someone is into the paranormal, or not, certainly those who believe, and actively live within the paranormal, have the advantage, because they have the measures that need to be taken to safeguard themselves, and their home.
The first thing you need to look into, as a Keeper, is protection. You need to have several types of protection; Shield, Barrier, Armor, Banish, etc. Combinations of spells, and/or spirits, that will keep out dangerous unbounds, malicious magick, curses, natural, negative energies, etc, and keep your place a safe space in which to work with spirits. If you question if you have the right protection, make a list of everything you have, and make sure you've covered all your bases. You should be reviewing your protection measures several times throughout the year.
The relationship between a Keeper, and spirit, is a relationship that takes on forms other friendships cannot. Primarily because a spirit gets to know you better than even your closest, human friend. Spirits learn about you from all aspects, and they share the most intimate times of your life. Spirit friends are unique not only because of their form, but because of their ability to provide you insight, and advice, that you cannot achieve in any other way. They see this world, not only through the present, but through the past. They knew the world, sometimes, thousands of years before you were born. And, for spirits from other Realms, and dimensions, their outlook, opinions, and suggestions are literally other-worldly. You cannot achieve that kind of insight anywhere else.
For hundreds of years before now, Spirit Keeping wasn't really keeping. It was more Spirit Conjuring, for purpose, and for tasking. You conjured a spirit to have it perform a task for you, to participate in something, to carry a message, and all of this was done by Shamans, Sages, Conjurers, and other practitioners. It wasn't something open, or available, to anyone interested. The relationship between conjurer, and spirit, during those times, was professional, and direct.
That is not the relationship that Spirit Keepers take on these days. Spirit Keeping means a mutual relationship between a Keeper, and spirits (of any Realm). In fact, you keep the spirits as much as they keep you. You give them respect, purpose, and fill their desire to be part of life, and they provide you guidance, assistance, and support that is unmatched.
When you enter into a relationship with a spirit, you will find respect is the key to everything functioning as it should. When you show them respect through courteous behavior, giving back to them, listening to them, and treating them with honesty, they will give back to you in countless ways.
New Spirit Companions
For starters, you should know what your short-term, and long-term, goals are for your life. Write them down, and be honest with yourself, because spirits want to help their Keeper, as well as be a good friend to them. Your spirit friends want to help you to have the life you desire, and they do everything in their power to help you.
You need to write down descriptive words that define yourself. If you don't feel comfortable analyzing yourself, ask your family, or friends, to give you 10 descriptive words that sum up your personality. It's important because you want to be sure any spirit you bring into your home will be a good fit for your life. You want spirit friends that are, not only like you, but unlike you, in the right areas. Sometimes having someone to fill in the gaps can be instrumental to success. For instance, if you're a bit of a wallflower, and you want a friend to help you build confidence, you'll want a spirit friend that has the characteristics to help you be more confident. A spirit friend who is outgoing, social, and confident. If you don't have a good mind for problem-solving, you'll want a spirit friend who is clever, smart, strategizes well, etc.
The key to choosing good spirit companions is being honest with yourself; in your past, present, and future selves. When you choose the right spirit companions even what seemed impossible before reveals itself possible in new ways. The right companions make all the difference to success in your time as a Spirit Keeper.
The Calling of Spirits
Spirits can call you for many reasons, but the most common are; because they like you, and simply want to be your friend, or, because they have something to offer your life in the immediacy, or the future. Typically, for most Keepers, it a combination of both. For some, they find their spirit is a life-long companion, and once in awhile, you'll find a spirit has chosen you to help you, then move on to someone you know, or a loved one, to help them as well. Spirits can see a timeline of events beyond what we're capable of seeing. They can put people, and situations, into context the living is incapable of because they've lived, and died. They know the past, the present, and what is coming in the future. They can read into people, and situations, with the little nuances, and important details that are missed by the living.
When a spirit calls you, you may feel gravitation towards a specific listing, or you may feel a general calling, which means it's time to ask for a custom conjuration. A spirit's call can be direct, and indisputable, or it may be a subtle nudge, a push to learn more, and in either case, you should read about the race of spirit, and learn all you can to be sure you are entering into a relationship that makes sense for you.
What if a spirit calls and you don't feel comfortable? It may be the call is a signal of future events to come. As if to say, "when something happens, don't forget about me". Perhaps it's not the time, directly, for the spirit, but the spirit knows, in the future, they are going to be the right one to help you with a situation, or a life event. It's their way of telling you the time may not be right now, but it will be in the future, so start thinking about it presently.
It's imperative, with any Dark Arts spirits you have, you set solid, ground rules for their living, and interacting with you. Not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of all Dark Arts spirits you have keep of. You should always set standard rules which apply to any, and all, Dark Arts spirits in the home, and then add to the rules for individual, specific spirits who may need further direction. It's a good idea to make a list of these rules, and keep them somewhere handy. That way, you can refer to them any time you need to. And, when any rule is broken, by any spirit(s), it's important for you to immediately call out the infraction, and commence with any form of correction that you have decided upon. The most common forms are to; verbally give a warning, and make your dissatisfaction known, subdue the spirit (secrets of subduing in the individual, Encyclopedia articles, or through methods of your own), to isolate the spirit's vessel, thereby showing them your displeasure, or take action as you've decided upon when making your House Rules. Spirits are your friends, just as any other, living friends you have. You should treat them exactly as such. If one of your human friends did something you expressly asked them not to do, you should handle the situation with your spirit friend with the same, personal integrity.
Growth Among You
As you bring spirits into your life, you are ever-growing, changing, and learning. Your spirits will be there, right alongside you, throughout the entire journey. As you grown, and learn more about yourself, and the world you live in, the more facets you will see in your spirit friends. Even though they've already lived their lifetime, you are growing up with them, and no matter what age you are, you are always growing. The better you learn about your spirits, the more you grow in the world, and the more you learn about yourself, the more you see your spirit friends place within your life, at all stages.
You should always communicate with your spirits, what it is about yourself that you want to change, develop, strengthen, or remove. They can help you in all facets; be it wanting to strengthen your talents, or gift... wanting to change a direction in your life... stop bad habits, or bad behaviors.
It will feel like your spirits are growing up with you, but really, you're just growing into them, and as you open, and expand your mind, the more you see, and learn, about them. It's important to take their advice when it comes to personal growth. Ash, and I, both have found that reading, learning about history, and delving into the civilizations before us, can really jump-start, and hasten the pace at which you learn about your spirits nuances, and what I call "plan-view secrets". If you know what time period your spirits are from, you should invest time in learning about what the world was like then. The more you can relate to your spirits, the more in tune you are with their abilities, talents, advice, and gifts. It creates a bond between you that will take root, and grow stronger, and stronger, with every passing day.
A good Keeper takes a personal interest in the spirits in their keep, and will always invest as much time & energy in learning about their spirits, as their spirits have learned about their Keeper. It will make it far easier for you to communicate, and interact with your spirits as well.
For some, this is the most difficult aspect of Spirit Keeping. The important thing to realize is, from the moment the spirit comes to you (whether it be through Bridging, and/or a vessel), the spirit is communicating with you. They don't, typically, wait for you to make the first move. They are already trying to get your attention. It won't always be a fireworks show when they try to communicate with you, most of the time it's subtle ways; a flash of light, a telepathic thought, a phantom scent, Shades, visit in a dream, etc. As I said, there's more writing in Spirit Keeping than most realize, because the best way to discover the ways your spirits communicate with you is to keep a little notepad near you in the house, or at the office, where you can write down the "little things" that happen throughout the day. Did you see a little orb? A flash of light? Something out of the corner of your eye? Did you have a random, strange thought? Did you have a random memory you haven't thought of in years? Did you have a weird dream? These are all ways spirits make themselves known to their Keeper. In addition to: moving objects, temperature changes, streaks of light, mist, electrical interferences, phantom voices, phantom sounds, and many more.
The best, and quickest, method of communication between a Keeper, and a spirit, is Telepathy (messages through thought). You will find each of your spirits has their own "voice", and you will learn to distinguish between them. Just like humans, spirits have their own voice, speech patterns, behaviors, and personalities. They communicate through whatever language their Keeper understands, and sometimes will speak in their native tongue. For Keepers who enjoy learning, and discovery, you can learn the language of the spirits in your keep. However, you should speak to them in your native tongue, they will understand. Spend the time learning your spirits voices, because differentiating between them makes it easier for you. Telepathy is the most trusted form of communication because it's a direct communication from your mind, to the individual spirit. Or, in some cases, to a group of spirits. Either way, you initiate the interaction from your own mind, and direct that communication to a spirit without any third party interference. It is the fastest way to communicate, the easiest form to master, and you can use it to communicate with your spirits no matter where you are, and how many people are around you.
Tarot cards, pendulum, runes, and other tools that can be used for spirit communication, are great secondary channels. Because a tool can be influenced, and it's considered a third party channel, they are great for secondary communication, and for people who want to learn multiple forms of communication for all needs. When using a third party channel and you receive a strange, or startling message, you need to verify what is said through at least two additional sources. For instance, if you're using Tarot cards, and your spirit communicates something strange to you, you will need to verify that communication through telepathy, and pendulum... or, pendulum, and spirit board.
As easy as communication sounds, some Keepers describe themselves as deaf, and blind. While it can be true that some Keepers can have blockages, more often it's not that the Keeper is deaf, or blind, it's that the Keeper hasn't identified the methods in which their spirits communicate with them. However, as with most things in life, once you get your foot in the door, it makes it far easier to move ahead. If you can identify those subtle communications, you will see a floodgate open, and you'll start realizing how many times spirits send you messages, try to get your attention, and communicate with you.
Practice makes perfect with any form of communication, and once again, Telepathy is the easiest to practice, because all it requires is for you to send a message to a spirit simply through thought. Send messages to your spirits throughout the day, send them when you want to share something, when you're happy about something, when you're upset, any time. It will help you strengthen your own Telepathic channel, and for you to have a clear, and open channel for receiving communication from your spirits.
If you want to work with Tarot, runes, pendulum, then you should choose one, and work with that one tool, exclusively, for at least one month. Learn the balance of the pendulum in your hand, learn the basic Tarot card layouts, or learn the basic runes layouts. Make sure you are familiar with the tool itself before you start using it to communicate with spirits. For your Tarot deck, you should know what each card means by heart, for runes, you should know what each rune means by heart, for pendulum you should have an already established method of using the pendulum. You cannot use tools to communicate with spirits if you aren't already experienced, and well-versed, in the tool itself. Because, it will lead you to have miscommunication, and misinterpretations, which can lead to bigger issues.
The best offering is the one that comes from the heart. If you pick some wildflowers, leave some in a vase for your spirits, if you make something in the kitchen, leave a little in a dish for your spirits. These are the offerings that mean the most to them. You can always make offerings as recommended in the Encyclopedia, but never shy from leaving them something that's personal, and means something to you.
You should make offerings when you feel like it. If a spirit(s) has helped you with something, if you have a bit of good luck, if you have a special occasion, those are good times to leave offerings. You don't have to do it on a set schedule; you should do it when it feels right. Those are the little gifts that mean the most to everyone.
Typically, you shouldn't leave an offering out more than 24 hours, if it's food, or something perishable. We have several areas in our home, and outside our home, that are designated areas for offerings. We have a pot outside that we put stones, herbs, flowers, oils, and whatever outdoor offerings we wish to make. We have little dishes, and vases, inside, that are just part of the normal decor that we fill with flowers, coins, herbs, candies, etc when we want to make an offering. You don't have to have a designated area, but it does make it easier to see the area, and remind you when you want to make an offering.
Any time you are not using your spirit's vessel, it should be somewhere safe. You do not have to have Charging Boxes; you can use sunlight, and moonlight, to charge a vessel. If you have Charging Boxes, those are safe places, if you do not, then you should invest in some container, in which, to keep your spirit vessels. We have several bowls around our home we keep Spirit Stones in. It's attractive, and it's a great way for spirits who like each other, to be together. Otherwise, you can use any container to keep your spirits safe. It's important to take care of your spirit's vessels, because it's one of those signs of respect they really value. Of course, with time, any vessel is going to have a missing stone, or bend, or have a chip, or some other natural, form of wear is going to happen. However, neglect, and intentional damage, is not taken well by spirits. Nor would you take it well if the situation was reversed. Remember to treat them with the same courtesy, and respect, you wish to be treated with.
Before you use a container as a home for your vessels, you should cleanse it. We have a cleansing spell in the Encyclopedia you can use for free, or you can use a tool like the Cleanse Object bag. This removes any residual energy that may be on the container, and makes it a fresh, clean start for your spirits. It creates a welcoming atmosphere that invites the spirit to make it their home, and flourish, and does not force them to combat any already, existing energies, which can be a damper to them.
Their vessel is a hot spot for the spirit; it's their way of immediately coming to you without having to jump through other hoops. It's a permanent marker in this time, and place, for them to come, and go, through. Without it, it's far more troublesome, and random, in their ability to come, and go, when you, or they, desire. That is why it's important for you to treat their vessels with care. If a vessel is getting worn, you should use a Transmute spell or a tool like the Transmute bag, to move them. In this case, you can let the spirit be a part of the vessel selection process.
If you come to the point where you have many vessels, and you wish to be wearing a few vessels as opposed to looking like a jewelry rack, you can make use of a Master Vessel. A singular vessel that contains tens, hundreds, or thousands, of spirits, and/or spells. A Master Vessel contains a special mixture of bindings which makes a singular vessel quick, efficient, protective, and strong, for the spirits, and/or spells.
For those who have multiple races of spirits, and hundreds, or thousands, of spirits, setting up communities within the home is important. It fosters community growth between your spirit friends, and you. A community can be an area that is all the same race, or mixture of races. For example, Fae & Dragons get along well, as do Fae & Elves, Dwarves & Fae, Gryphons & Unicorns, Werewolves & Hellhounds, and even larger communities such as Fae, Elves, Dragons, and Unicorns. These are just a very few examples of the thousands of possible combinations. It depends entirely on the spirits you have in your keep.
To set up a community within your home, you should designate an area for them, it does not have to be big, and you can put a little communal home, with their vessels inside, a dish for offerings, a few, appropriate decorations, and let them know this is their space in your home. If you are an experienced Keeper, and you feel comfortable, you can allow the spirits in your community to welcome unbounds of their races to your home. In doing so, you learn a lot about each race's practices when it comes to welcoming others, and interacting with others. And, you get to know a lot of spirits over time. Some who may come to stay with you permanently. It's a great way for your spirits to be a part of your home, and life, and also have a thriving community area on a small scale to when they were alive.
Before you even task a spirit, you need to write out what the goals are you wish reached. You should write out what the task is, and what result you expect. You should include a timeframe, execution, and end result. For example, if you wanted to get a new job, your list might be: Find right job posting, get interview, make great impression on interviewer, offered the job, and start within three months time. Don't be afraid to be specific. Even though you may not get everything you want, in exactly the way you want, the more specific you are, the less room for misunderstanding, or error, there is.
Tasking spirits is something often overlooked by Spirit Keepers, but it is important, because they want to be active in your life as much as you want to be active with them. When you task a spirit it means you are giving them something you'd like for them to work on for you. You should always be clear about timeframe, expectations, and desires. If you keep both spirits, and spells, you should always task a spirit to utilize the tools, & spells, you already have at your disposal, in addition to anything they derive as well. You should always make ready, and efficient, use of all the tools you have.
You can call on a spirit, individually, or on spirits as a group, and ask them to assist you. It's not a 100%, fool-proof, guarantee you're going to get everything you want, but if you aren't tasking spirits, they aren't helping you to achieve success in life, which is, ultimately, what you, and they, both want for yourself. They are there to keep you company, and help you, so let them help you! In tasking spirits, and taking the necessary steps to write out the goals you have for yourself, not only does it clearly communicate to the spirits what you'd like, but it also opens the door for you to see things you may not have seen otherwise, and can help yourself as well.
The Middle Man
You are a middle man when it comes to the Realms. When you're keeping spirits you are the go-between of the Earthen, Astral, and Spiritual Realms. You are the common denominator between the 3 when you keep spirits from each Realm. You are the source, and because of that, you are exposed to the energies of each Realm through the spirits. It's not something to overlook because having a channel to those Realms is your foot in the door for communication not only with the spirits in your keep, but also to magick, energy, and other spirits, of the Realms. Once you have a spirit from each Realm, it makes it easier for you to communicate, and interact with any new spirits you bring home, any spells, or to utilize bindings that access the energies of those Realms. It's truly an awakening experience, whether you realize it, or not. Very few people on planet Earth are doing what you're doing, and it opens you to possibilities, and opportunities, no one else has. Work with your spirits, and ask them to show you, their Realms, their energies, the connections, and nuances, of their Realms. The more you learn about them, and where they are, the more you develop your paranormal senses.
As a single location for all these spirits, from different Realms, you are privy to utilizing the Realms, and venturing into their vastly untapped resources. The more you work with spirits from the Spiritual Realm, the more you find your spiritual senses sharpen, and hone. The same for the Astral Realm, and even the Earthen Realm. Your exposure to the energies of the spirits respective Realms means you are incrementally developing familiarity with the Realms energies, and therefore, developing in these areas. It makes it easier for you in all aspects of communication, interaction, and growth.