This question is another that I see often in shamanism forums.
Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. ~Rumi
So often we talk about totems, helping spirits, deities, Guides–which are all well and good. There are other influential souls with whom we can enter into deep relationship, and they’re right under our noses, every day. I call them our Home spirits, though I suspect they can be identified many ways.
These are the Nature spirits, land elders, and the consciousness of your actual home–the dwelling in which you live–who are guardians with whom you are in relationship all the time. They may be your favorite hellebores in the side garden, the cactus in a planter by the front door, the lawn, itself. They may be souls of indigenous land keepers, elementals that have never been in form, the spiritual manifestation of your town or bioregion. The soul of your home, each room, every beam, can engage you.
Being aware of spaces and how we use them, move through them, contribute to them, are affected by them, affect them–all of these are important. Despite that we use them for spiritual practice, most of us don’t bring them into our personal spiritual practice. We’re more conscientious of the rituals we do in spaces, the fetishes bring into them, the altars we build in them, yet how often do we actually engage the spirits of our home space? How often do we inquire about the needs of the land’s elders? How do they embrace (or not) other cultural flavors/allies of our spiritual path?
Acknowledge them, first of all. Create an opening to interact with them. Get a feel for what beings are ever-present in your home space. Invite them into your etheric space and communicate with them. Are they ones you already engage with, or are they new? How are they connected to the land, the home? How do they want to connect with you? Ask what they need from you. State what you need from them.
This ongoing dialogue is key to being fully present in an animistic life, certainly in fulfilling the role of shaman. Historically, shamans served the tribe, a particular territory. Their relationship with the Nature spirits of that terrain enabled their success at caring for their tribe, at growing into their skills, and in working with other shamans, other terrains.
We don’t all have the same access to nature. Some live in city flats, others on farms, carefully manicured suburbia–none of which really matters when we consider the uniqueness of the relationships we form with and around our personal space. For that matter, some of us aren’t that enthused about direct interface with Nature. Sit with that contradiction, truly. Honestly open up to what your role in working with local spirits is, and what they need from you. You don’t have to suddenly become a gardener, wilderness enthusiast, or master of sacred space. But you do have to become the master of your sacred space, or at least its willing host to be part of its mastery of being, of relating. These spirits are the eyes and ears of the places in your life that you can’t attend. They are the true guardians of your home, your personal domain. You are the manifestation of theirs.
When I first started working with the Home spirits of our current residence, I was greeted by many. They told me that in order for the balance between the physical and spiritual world to sustain and evolve, every place must have a human conduit. There must be a sentient bridge through which an exchange of life force happens, a consolidated awareness is forged, and all involved benefit.
We can’t deeply root into our own gifts and fulfill our needs until we connect with the spirits most immediately around us. They’re viable. They are important to our personal path, and our relationship with them is vital to the collective path of the planet. They are the roots we so often try to find in ourselves, forgetting they were already there.
Working with Home spirits isn’t just about where you are. It’s about where you’re going, where they have been, and where the planet needs to be.
Hi Kelley. Help me understand an experience I had. Between 1:30 and 2:00am, I heard noises coming from the living room. I went to check it out, and when I rounded the corner, light streamed through the window, which is odd because it’s always really dark in the backyard, even when the moon is full. The light wasn’t solid, and seemed to be in motion. There was a misty cloud, about one foot off the ground and about 5 to 8 feet high. It was colorful–pink, green, yellow–all blended together. Those colors streamed through the window. Within the mist were 6 to 8 balls of bright white/yellow light that moved together in a kind of circular, swirling motion. While I recall exactly the motion, I can’t put it into words. It was strange and beautiful, all wrapped into one. I was fascinated and not at all scared. I probably stood there for 4 or 5 minutes. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and at the same time I couldn’t wrap my brain around what I thought it was. Finally, I walked away. When I went to see if it was still there, the backyard was dark. Later, I was angry with myself for not going outside and taking a closer look. It didn’t even occur to me to take pictures or videotape it. Hopefully there is a next time, so I can go out and see what it feels like. I’m sick of wondering about this. Do you have any thoughts about what I saw? A. Maria
Thanks for your note, A. Maria. I don’t have to ask your guides what you saw that night, because I know from your description and from the way its energy feels in your note what it was. You saw faeries, and I know because I’ve seen them, too. One experience was in an area known to host faeries, and another time occurred randomly, when I was a child. The mist you describe, the orbs, the colors and the elusive movement were familiar. As an adult, what I saw was very similar to the orbs and movement you describe, and I wrote about it in my Samhain series last year. A friend submitted his account of that same sighting on a website that chronicles faerie experiences. The siting when I was a child, I didn’t think of as faeries until I read your description of the circling, swirling light. All these years, I’ve wondered what I saw when I heard a noise and peered out the window of my grandparents’ home in South Carolina. I was about 7-8 years old, and saw what I could only describe as a carousel of light with lighted objects moving within the overall structure. Everyone else was asleep, and I remember sitting and watching it for what seemed like quite a long time. Eventually I went back to bed and it was gone in the morning. I don’t recall ever telling anyone about it. In my adult experience, I was as dumbfounded as you, not because I was a disbeliever but because no context I had suited what I saw. Even having fantasied about seeing such a thing and how I’d react, I just wasn’t prepared for how astounding and inexplicable it was. Apparently, we’re not alone.
A lot of people see faeries, and it seems that while they can be “everywhere,” they frequently aren’t. I think that’s because faeries are Nature spirits, and humanity doesn’t do a great job, on the whole, of looking after Nature. They can’t thrive where land is toxic. I have never found a good resource on faerie energy. There are books on their mythos, most of which don’t feel remotely accurate to what I have felt and seen. Most documenters try to break them down into hierarchies and describe their various roles and strata of dwelling… Such books tend to romanticize and attach channeled meaning as fact, which is fine in its place. I’ve just never found a single resource that really captured that spirit–no pun. My best teacher has been working with the faeries, themselves, sort of holding that body of collected knowledge loosely alongside my own experiences. I can tell you that they are hardworking and primal, they interact with the life force of flowering life to keep it vital, and they carry precious insights into Nature that few humans experience.
With that in mind, that you saw them wasn’t accident, and you can see them again. When I connect with the light energy that you saw, my sense is that it wasn’t just faeries, the wee beings, but also the passage they move through between their native “dimension” (plug in the term that makes the most sense to you), and here. Those particular beings have not always been in the spot where you saw them. In fact, the buzz I get is that they are looking for a new place to “put their portal,” so to speak. I’m not sure what the criteria is for deciding that location, other than a tranquil area fiercely guarded by a human counterpart. Could that be you? That’s your decision to make. The place that I saw the faeries as an adult operates on such an agreement. The caretaker of that land is an elderly lady who agreed to keep the land safe and well-tended, in exchange for visits from the faeries and the ability to communicate with them. It’s a contract she takes very seriously, on literal and spiritual levels. She’s acted in this role for probably 15-20 years.
I highly encourage you to explore your own intentions and ego around such a responsibility, not just to the faeries but to the land they are investigating. Can you, in your deepest heart, offer them peaceful ground to live on? Can you look after that land and keep it pure and thriving? It’s a package deal. I would suggest a few things to consider in your decision process: be clear in yourself for your reasons for wanting to “host” them; practice writing out an intention you would present to them outlining your responsibilities to them and what you need from them (within reason) in return, then present this agreement to them; learn to sense energy in the atmosphere, as they are primarily beings without dense forms; study an animistic approach to communicating with Nature, specifically learning to navigate the Middle World. The last two suggestions are based in that if you were going to host an exchange student, you’d learn some facets of the person’s culture and language. It’s only fitting to have as much insight as possible into the faeries, should you decide to share your space with them. They already know about you and are hoping to have a confidante.
Best of luck, A Maria!
– Henry David Thoreau
Kelley, I’m self-taught with spirituality and insights. I get impressions from people, but don’t know what to do. I’ve wondered for a while why my sister-in-law can’t find the partner she longs for. While we were staying together over Christmas, we wondered if she was cursed to be “invisible”. The family tells anecdotes of how my husband, her older brother, was always considered an “only child,” and that my mother-in-law was asked by the neighbors when she would have a second child, right after having been pregnant and showing them her new daughter’s photo. My in-laws had a hard time having children, and they love their kids very much. I don’t see any psychological reason for this “invisibility”. At Christmas, I looked at my sister-in-law’s energy more closely, and it swirled wildly, like she was flinging it out to anybody who might need it, leaving her vulnerable. I have no idea what is going on, or for how long, but I know that she needs help on a level that psychology would not touch, but I am helpless what to do. Thanks, Nina.
Thank you for your note, Nina. As you indicated, I do find your sister-in-law very difficult to connect with, etherically. Upon gathering a circle of allies to support her, I am led to a tree in a frozen, far north land, some centuries ago. Instantly my focus is on a young man who hangs from the tree. He is Slavic, light-skinned with dark eyes, and wears farmer’s clothes. His feet and hands are missing, and he bleeds from his mouth. I am struck that this frigid scene is just outside of a fairly large village, and that this tree is frequently used for such hangings as a message of clear punishment to those who might create problems in the village. My feeling is that he stole something out of dire need, with torture and hanging his consequence. It is only after I cut him down, release his spirit, bury him, cleanse the area energetically, and the Nature spirits converge that I realize he is not your sister-in-law. She is the tree.
Feeling a strong connection to trees in my spiritual work, my sadness is immense. The tree spirit felt quite invisible in light of being used repeatedly as a weapon without consent. Often when the same traumas are inflicted repeatedly, patterns that were once external become internalized unconsciously. That is what I am seeing, in threads of your sister-in-laws’ erratic life force and that of this tree. Despite its own victimization, the tree communicated deep guilt around being used for harm, though as Nature spirits often do, she released her anxiety and was well healed by your sister-in-law’s High Self. The entire area around the tree became enlivened and warmer, considering it was the middle of winter in a continuously cold climate. I saw the tree’s life force move well above it into Source, and recommit to rooting itself deep into Earth’s energy. I feel this reconnection with Universal life force will be reflected somewhat in your sister-in-law’s life force.
I generally do not look at other manifestations of self as “past” or “future” life. I find that linear expression of time and soul too limiting for how infinite All Things truly are. I must say, the connection I made with this tree imparted a feeling of this tree spirit originating in this plane long ago, and that spirit is still holding space here, somewhere. It still goes on, holding a beautiful, angelic space here. Depending on how your sister-in-law feels, she may find karmic release upon learning the symbols of this story, or she may feel led to do some work with that tree consciousness. I feel that if she did such work, would be very spiritually empowering, and it may even be a totem for her. I definitely felt that a legacy of invisibility and unnamed sadness were released in this spirit travel. I hope your sister-in-law can experience her power more deeply rooted in herself, which will reflect through how her surroundings see her. Be well, Nina.