Something that has always struck me as particularly odd about the pagan community is the fascination with the spirits of far off places when local spirits are standing right in front of us and staring us in the eye. I have a couple of ideas as to why this is, but when it comes down to it you are a product of the energies and spirits that you were raised around and those spirits are a product of the people and land that they inhabit as well. Chances are you probably have more in common with your local spirits than you think.
Now, before I really get started I do want to say that I in no way support the utilization of spirits/deities from closed cultures. You do not need to go researching Native American practices in order to work with the spirits of your land here in America.
Now obviously I have a very specific lens that I see through and that is because I have been working deeply with my local spirits since childhood. Growing up within Salem Massachusetts during a time in which witchcraft was truly booming allowed me to keep an active practice with the spirits from childhood that many people end up losing over time. This allowed me to create many lasting relationships with my local spirits that I have maintained to this day.
Many witches end up rediscovering that connection as they grow into themselves. I have heard from many a witch that they realized later in life that the spirits and familiars they work with now have been with them since childhood. I’m sure that if you really look back and think hard there were several spirits that you too probably worked with as a child. That connection stays, you simply need to rebuild it.
Allow Yourself to be Open to Communication
If you go into all of your spirit work with the expectation that you will meet and work with specific spirits from specific areas then you will most likely adapt that lens to your experience. Try going into things without any kind of expectations. Go through your day to day life and keep your eyes and ears open. When I moved into New Hampshire many of the spirits that I found were simply through walking/driving through new areas. The hag-like spirit who inhabits the woods near Chester NH who likes to stay close to the farm life that she feels connected to, the still unnamed presence that becomes incredibly aware whenever I drive through it’s territory on my way down to Boston, or the plethora of spirits among the old mills of Manchester and Lowell, they are all around you if only you listen for them.
Look at Your Current Spirit Relationships
You may be surprised to find that some of the spirits that you have been working with for a long time may be more close to home than you think. I regularly hear new witches tear themselves apart over finding the exact deity or spirit from mythology that has been reaching out to them. Once again, put those expectations aside and talk to them. They may have more to say than you think.
Open Yourself to Them
If you are having difficulty with spotting your local spirits in your day to day life then perhaps think about opening the line of communication from your end. Everyone around them is more interested in diving head first into the pantheons of far off places, even a lot of those who claim a traditional path are continuously attempting to work with spirits that are oceans away. You will find a lot of similar spirits much much closer to home.
This should go without saying, but before opening yourself up to spirit communication please make sure that you are protecting yourself accordingly. Shield, work with your familiar to act as a go-between, whatever it is that works for you. I have found that the more accessible to make yourself the more things will start popping up, so prepare yourself accordingly.