Cross and Crossroads: Friending Spirits

Cross and Crossroads: Friending Spirits December 30, 2019

It’s nearly every week that I receive a DM asking me how to get to know a particular Saint, Deity, or Spirit. This is nearly as common as folks asking me to interpret signs and messages sent to them from these beings. In nearly every case the best answer I can provide is a simple question, “have you asked them?” Usually the answer is, “no”. The concept seems foreign to a lot of folks. After all why would you ask a spirit directly when you can ask a rando on the internet? (No really, stop with that).

“Have you asked them?” Usually the answer is, “no”. Photo by Wikimedia Images via Pixabay.

For the purposes of this article I’ll be using the word “Spirit” as a catch-all term. To be clear, by spirits I mean Orisha, Saints, Deities, Ancestors etc. Not elemental spirits, or that thing that lives under your bed. Stay away from that thing. Generally it’s best to wait for a Spirit to call you, but no one in modern Witchcraft wants to wait for that. So, how do we reach out to the Spirit world properly?

Making a connection with a Spirit, whether it’s a Norse Goddess or a Catholic saint, is just like making a friend. You can’t make a friend by never interacting with them and asking random strangers to psycho-analyze them. That’s not how it works. You have to put in some time interacting with them to see if the connection is mutual and beneficial.

The first thing you should do is a little research. Who is this Spirit? Where do they come from? Find out if they are safe to approach and what they have to offer. Don’t feel the need to get to know every detail about them because they will reveal their secrets to you themselves over time, but have a good sense of who they are. Just like making a friend it’s nice to know at least something about the person going in.

The first thing you should do is a little research. Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay.

This is particularly important when approaching Deities. Knowing nothing is a slap in the face. You don’t sit down to interview Meryl Streep and go, “I hear you’re an actress, what have you been in?” I don’t know if Meryl Streep smokes, but she may just start to put a cigarette out in your drink. You should also clean and cleanse your space. You’re making a new friend, you don’t want to scare them away by inviting them over to the dumpster fire that is your house. First impressions and all that jazz.

The next step is to simply say, “hello”. Light a candle, a simple tea light is usually more than adequate at this point. Set out a glass of water and light some incense. You may also print out a photo of the spirit from online. At this point there’s no need to run out and buy a fancy statue. Introduce yourself to the Spirit and ask them if they’d like to work with you. Tell them why you would like to work with them, and offer some prayers.

The next step is to simply say, “hello”. Photo by pixel2013 via Pixabay.

Ask that they give a sign if they do wish to work with you, and that they help you get to know them. This part is really important. Too many people go rushing to other workers asking how to get to know a spirit. This is often a mistake. How a Spirit wants you to interact with them may be totally different from how they want someone else to work with them. Ask the Spirit! I’ve had amazing results doing this. Suddenly books show up in my path that talk about them and internet searches become much more fruitful. In some cases, I’ve had them show up in dreams or heard their voice sending me a message. The best answer comes directly from the source. Think of this process of introduction as a friend request. You’re declaring your intent to work with them and they have the option of telling you yes or no.

Now, something important to understand and make peace with ahead of time is that not all Spirits will want to work with you. It’s as simple as that. Just like there are people in the world who don’t want to be your BFF, there are spirits who feel the same way. It’s not that they don’t like you (though that does happen), it’s sometimes just that you aren’t on their list of folks they need to be helping right now and that’s okay. You need to accept that ahead of time and graciously walk away when you need to. What does a “no” look like? It looks like no response. It looks like a weak candle flame that may even go out. It also looks like a smoking black Novena. It can feel like a sense of dread or a sense of obstruction. It can be a “no” answer on your pendulum. If it’s a no, then it’s a no.

What does a “no” look like? Photo by Robin Strozyk via Pixabay.

You can’t force any spirits to work with you and it’s generally a bad idea to try. Even if the Spirit is really really cool and you really really want to work with them (*cough*Santa Muerte*cough*), that doesn’t mean they are for you. This also has nothing to do with your personal power as a witch. People frequently get it twisted and think that if they are powerful then every celestial being should just be dying to work with them. Or they think that just because Jenny from the next coven over collects Spirits like they’re Pokémon that she must be super powerful. That’s not how it works though. I’ve seen many powerful witches who work with no spirits at all. I’ve seen others who work with only one lowly spirit that no one likes and yet is very successful in all work. So don’t make it into a competition. Find who wants to work with you and proceed. If they don’t, walk away and look elsewhere.

Once you’ve gotten to know your chosen Spirit and feel they’ve accepted your spiritual friend request, you may begin working with them more and more. As you go, be sure to ask the spirit to answer the questions you have about them. They will most likely not respond with an ethereal disembodied voice that clearly explains themselves. However, they’ll usually give you a sign or a resource in the next few days that gets the message across. I hope that this clears up some confusion and helps you get off on the right foot with any Spirit that wants to work with you!

About J. Allen Cross
J. Allen Cross is a practicing witch of Mexican, Native American, and European descent whose craft was shaped by his Catholic upbringing and mixed family culture. Living in his home state of Oregon, he works as Psychic Medium/Occult Specialist for a well-known Paranormal Investigation team. When he’s not investigating, he enjoys providing spells and potions to his local community, teaching classes for budding witches, and serving up piping hot tea, for his insta-familia. He has looked forward to sharing his love of Folk Magic, and unorthodox spiritual ideas on this platform for some time and hopes you enjoy all that’s to come. You can read more about the author here.

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