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.
A zoomed in photograph showing an apparent apparition, taken from the grounds of the very haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky.
The winner of this years Most Spooky Hospital award goes to
Clark Airbase Hospital. Not only is this location eerie because it is
abandoned, but it is also incredibly haunted. This hospital was featured in
National Geographic’s series “I Wouldn’t Go In There,” and was reported by
Ghost Hunters International to be one of the most haunted places in the world.
Clark Air Base was previously a United States military
facility from 1903 to 1991. During WWII and the Vietnam War it was used as a
hospital for injured and dying military personnel. Now it is thought that many
of these personnel never left. Those who have visited the facility have
reported seeing the apparitions of soldiers walking throughout the halls. Strange
orbs will often float by and doors will open and slam shut by themselves.
Visitors have also heard screams and voices emanating throughout the abandoned
facility. Some of the ghosts are also known to be violent as visitors have
sometimes been pelted with items by an unseen force.
Fort George was built between 1796 and 1802. Upon the forts
completion it became the headquarters for the British Army and the local
Militia. Then, during the war of 1812 the fort became vital to the Battle of
Fort George. This battle started on May 25th in 1813 and lasted for
two devastating days. Afterwards Americans held onto the nearby town of Niagara
and Fort George for nearly seven months. Eventually, upon fearing a British
attack, the US forces were ordered to burn the town of Niagara to the ground. Over
130 homes were lost to the flames, leaving 400 townspeople without shelter just
before the beginning of a terrible winter. Many townspeople and soldiers died
from these conditions. Eventually, the British managed to reclaim Fort George
and the town of Niagara for the rest of the war.
However, due to the battle that took place here and the
subsequent torching of the town it is hardly surprising that this fort is now
incredibly haunted. Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figures of
soldiers still on duty patrolling the grounds. Another common sight is that of
two men dressed in red uniforms in the officer’s quarters. Soldiers have also
been seeing lying in bunks in the barracks dressed all in white. The “Woman in
the Mirror” is another common spirit seen on the premises. This woman, also in
the officers quarters, appears to visitors in a mirror. She has long curly hair
and is dressed in 19th century clothing. Finally, the most loved
ghost of the fort is Irving. Irving can be seen roaming the upper level
barracks. Although this area is off limits to visitors, staff will often hear
footsteps on this top floor. When staff goes to check it out they will often
spot Irving for just a second before he disappears from sight.
Spirits and witches go together like sunlight
and solar panels. The ability to work with them effectively can make or break
the magick, but developing a relationship with the other side doesn’t always
come easy for everyone. Witches can work with the potent energies found in crystals,
gemstones, and minerals to help them cross the hedge and build a better
practice. This list of the seven stones (okay, there are actually
thirteen) are those that you should be working with if you are looking to
boost your psychic abilities, make contact with spirits of all kinds,
and travel the planes of existence.
A beautiful and highly prized stone known for aiding in manifestation, astral
travel, dream work, and protection. The Inuit people believed that Labradorite
was formed when the Northern Lights got trapped in ice. Labradorite is called,
“The Temple of Stars” by some energy workers and is an excellent
stone to work with to help understand and maintain purpose. Stimulating
the Crown and Third-Eye Chakras, this crystal ally is also known
for stimulating mental acuity as well as reducing stress and anxiety. To draw
these beneficial properties from the stones, work with it in meditation,
carry with you, or wear in jewelry form. Works best when touching the skin.
Labradorite is a particularly excellent stone to work
with when you are reaching out to spirit guides, ascended masters, and the
higher casts of angels. In addition to being one of the most stunning stones to
look at available on the market today, it really wants you to gaze deeply into
it, making it a fantastic stone for scrying. Communing with ancestral
spirits is also made much easier with the aid of this stone and it can be
placed on the ancestral altar to help translate messages form the dead.
2. Smoky Quartz
Smoky Quartz is a variety of Quartz closely related to Citrine and that ranges
from a pale grey to deep grey or black. Smoky Quartz is not actually black but
rather different shades of brown. It is highly sought after by metaphysicians
due to its soft and subtle ability to remove blockages of the mind and heart,
and is particularly good at helping one achieve deep levels of meditation and
Smoky Quartz is one of the best stones to work with when
you are reaching out to tree spirits, faerie spirits, and ghosts that are stuck
on our plane. Specifically this stone is useful when attempting to find a
spirit that wants to talk to you, and therefore should be brought when
investigating paranormal activity or seeking Genius Loci. Smoky quartz is also
an excellent stone to have on the skin when channeling faerie and should be
placed over the third eye when seeking to discern messages from the faerie
Moldavite is a crystal ally that comes from a meteorite that landed in Moldova,
Russia over 14.8 million years ago and is known for being one of the most
unique crystals on the planet. Moldavite is prized for its incredible ability
to speed up the process of spiritual evolution, increasing the rate of energy
circulation within the subtle body, and connecting those who work with it to
high-vibrational spiritual allies. Moldavite has a wide range of uses and is
known for interacting with each practitioner differently. A powerful ally that
works well with all other crystals and for activating all chakras, Moldavite it
known for adding speed and resiliency to the spiritual and psychic processes.
Moldavite is a very unique stone that has a very special
set of properties that make it extra witchy. When on the skin it amplifies the
will power of the magician and cuts through the psychic white noise
that exists between the wearer and the spirit world. It is known specifically
for its incredibly high vibrational properties that not only help us to raise
our frequency but also more easily communicate with angels and channel their
“divine will.” This makes this stone particularly beneficial for
those who perform exorcisms and banishments.
One of the most popular stones used by metaphysicians today, Selenite is a
member of the Gypsum family and though fragile, packs quite the energetic
punch! Used most often to assist in cleansings, energy clearing, psychic
development, and astral travel, Selenite has a long history of sharing its
vibration with spiritual seekers of all kinds. Particularly, Selenite is a
useful tool during past life recall or regression, warding off negative spiritual
entities, and/or facilitating spiritual connections of all kinds. To draw these
beneficial properties from the Selenite, work with it in meditation, carry it
with you, or surround yourself with small pieces of it.
Selenite is helpful to us as we work with the spirit
world because it removes psychic blockages and helps to correct the flow of
energy between ourselves and the spirits with which we are working. Lower
frequency entities are not likely to stick around when you break out a Selenite
wand and it can be placed around the home to ward off these beings as well as
malicious magic. What is perhaps the most surprising benefits of working with
Selenite is its ability to help us maintain auric density and can
assist in auric repair when worn.
A sacred stone to the ancient Egyptians, Lapis-Lazuli has been a beloved ally
for thousands of years and often contains traces of Pyrite. Known for its
ability to help us make sense of deeper spiritual and philosophical concepts,
find our place in the world, protecting us from psychic attack, and for
elevating the psychic senses, Lapis is one of the most popular stones for
practitioners to work with on the planet. It works well at activating all
chakras, particularly the Heart, Throat and Third Eye, making it excellent at
assisting the endocrine, muscular, and skeletal systems.
Lapis-Lazuli is the stone to work with when seeking
control over unruly spirit activity in a home or environment. Its ability to
dominate the immediate surrounding area will increase your psychic power and
impede the movement of other competing frequencies. This stone also makes a
sturdy vessel for spirits of the friendly variety and can be fashioned into
statues for this purpose.
Jasper comes in many varieties, each possessing a unique set of abilities. All
Jaspers carry with them the energetic properties of wholeness, completion, and
deep connection. Known for their ability to help us embrace solitude and the
search for inner knowing, Jaspers are also particularly good at helping us make
sense of the often-confusing road of life. They also aide in all forms of
astral or psychic flight and are known to boost the natural abilities found in
each of us. Balancing the yin-yang energies of the body, this stone
is also a powerful ally for healers and artists. Jasper stimulates all chakras.
6.1. Ocean Jasper
In addition to the properties shared by all Jaspers, Ocean/Orbicular Jasper is
particularly beneficial for those who work with the needy, handicapped, or
lost. It aides the digestive processes in the body as well as breathing and
naturally stabilizes/supports energy within the body. When working with
spirits, Ocean Jasper helps specifically with the dead who don’t understand
they are dead or who are stuck on our plane. It facilitates the “crossing
over” of the spirit by helping it to understand the circumstances
surrounding its state of being.
6.2. Red Jasper
In addition to the properties shared by all Jaspers, Red
Jasper is particularly beneficial for those who work against oppression of any
kind. It aides those who are in fear of danger find safety and is known for
helping us remember dreams. Red Jasper is particularly helpful when dealing
with demonic spirits or any other spirit you with to employ for low-magic. It
is known for its ability to aid the magician’s strength of will power and for
adding density to the frequency of that magician, placing them on top.
6.3. Picture Jasper
In addition to the properties shared by all Jaspers, Picture Jasper is
particularly beneficial for those who work with past-lives, hypnosis, trance,
and the realms of the mind. It is also known for helping those who have heavy
responsibilities carry the weight when it feels too much. Picture Jasper is
particularly helpful when traveling the spirit worlds as it can be used to both
speed your travel time as well as to help you retain the information shared
with you there. It can also be used to help channel spirit beings from any
plane and should be kept on the spirit altar to help stabilize mediumship
Tourmaline comes in various colors, most notably Blue, Black, Brown (called
Dravite or Root Beer), Green, Pink, and Watermelon. It is a highly protective
stone with a long history of keeping those who have it close safe from physical
and spiritual harm. In general, all types of tourmaline will assist in the
production of life force and the manifestation of higher-ideals and
7.1. Black Tourmaline
Black Tourmaline is
known for being particularly protective against harm or malady and is an
excellent crystal ally for those who are recovering from any form of ailment
that weakens the physical or subtle bodies. Black Tourmaline is also known for
bringing balance to the mental and physical worlds. When working with the
spirit world Black Tourmaline has a long history of protecting magicians from
both demonic forces as well as the dark spells that usually come with them. In
addition to its incredibly protective properties this stone is also known to
stimulate the production of psychic life force and when worn on the skin can be
a fierce ally when discovering the internal psychic world.
7.2. Pink Tourmaline
In addition to properties shared by all tourmalines, Pink Tourmaline is
particularly attuned to the vibrations of love, will power, and truth.
Stimulating the Crown and Root Chakras, this stone is ideal for those who
are seeking ultimate love and strength. When working with the spirit world,
Pink Tourmaline will assist in the introduction to spirit allies from the
Angelic and Faery realms. It should be programmed to do this and then placed in
a magical center around the home.
7.3. Brown Tourmaline
In addition to properties shared by all tourmalines, Brown Tourmaline is
particularly attuned to the vibrations of healing and alignment on all levels.
Stimulating the Root and Heart Chakras, this crystal ally is a perfect
companion for those who are recovering. Specifically, we can work with Brown
Tourmaline to help us meet Genius Loci and other spirits related to the earth
and mountains like Trolls, Gnomes, and Elves.
7.4. Green Tourmaline
In addition to the properties all tourmalines share, Green Tourmaline is known
for being a vigorous healer of the physical heart, helping those with heart
related or blood-pressure related ailments, and for increasing success
regarding things you feel passionate about. Green Tourmaline makes an excellent
addition to crystal grids that seek to bridge the worlds of the dense physical
plane and connect to the Faery realms. It can be worn to attract these spirits
to you as well.
7.5. Watermelon Tourmaline
Watermelon tourmaline is a rare and hard to find tourmaline that has the
vibrational properties of Pink, Brown, and Green Tourmaline. In spirit work,
Watermelon Tourmaline is an incredibly powerful ally, especially when working
with spirits that are hard to find. Wear Watermelon Tourmaline to attract
spirits of all kinds to you and place in a wand to gain the ability to command
them. Place on the altar to assist in any type of spirit communication, or
place in the bottom of a bowl of water for scrying.
There is no way to list every stone that helps us as we
explore the spirit world and our propensity to work with it. For more
information on working with spirits, check out the new book by Devin Hunter, The Witch’s Book of Spirits.