So many soldiers died here….
Not for the faint of heart…
Hello! Do you have any questions or prompts that you would advise beginners to ask themselves or to do to get to know their local land/spirits/resources and how to work with them?
Begin with making a list of all the local flora and fauna you can pull from the top of your head. These will likely be the things that grow around you most.
Research the folklore of those specific things. Write at least a page on the historical folklore behind each plant and animal. Focus on one at a time. Make sure to double check all sources and correct any misinformation.
Once you’ve exhausted that list, research the flora and fauna within your greater area, meaning the plants and animals that exist there but you may not have been keenly aware of. Research their folklore and do the same as above.
Once you’ve done all of that, it’s time to build upon folklore with working knowledge. Use the flora and fauna. Get a sense of them. Then, write pages upon pages of that information. In time, you’ll learn to condense them.
Find local folklore. This doesn’t have to be connected to flora or fauna. These can include everything from superstitions to ghost stories to rhymes or riddles. Record them all.
What is the dominant religion of your area? (Don’t say Christian) Catholic? Protestant? What denomination? What is the history of that religion in this area? Are there others?
Any major historical events in this area? A coal town that once boomed? A colonial village? A battle fought and won? Or lost?
Who were the settlers? Where did they come from? What customs did they bring with them?
Once you know all of this, it just comes down to making it practical, which is to interact with the spirits in the context of the knowledge you’ve found. If there was a battle fought around the corner from the inn, then you know that’s a place where spirits of the dead will be easy to find or contact. If you know their customs, where they come from and what they believe, it’ll be easier to communicate.
The spirits of those lands will also often come to live with their people, too. If you live in a town once populated by a large amount of Scottish immigrants, you’d best believe that faeries followed them over (In fact, some would actually poke the bottom of eggshells with pins to make sure that the faeries couldn’t follow them over the sea with them).
Don’t stop research with that short list of questions, either. The more you know about your area, the more you can immerse yourself in its spirit environment.
Ghosts are believed to be spirits which haven’t found
their true place in the cosmos. They are known to be trapped in between two
worlds either because of some unfinished business or because they suffered
something so brutal that the soul broke and could not move to the beyond. These
spirits, which are trapped in this world, then haunt the places where they see
weakness in hopes of revenge. Negative energy lures them closer, and the
following things are believed to hold an extremely strong attraction for a
spirit which has lost its way.
We’ve all heard the stories of séances gone wrong,
whereby gateways to the spirit world are opened with terrifying results. So
what are we to believe? Are séances a good thing or a bad thing? Or does the
truth lie somewhere in between? Barbara Parks, author of In the
Presence of Spirits and Embracing the Spirits, explains.