Land Spirits, Ancestors and Gods, Oh My!

Land Spirits, Ancestors and Gods, Oh My! July 1, 2010

Whenever anyone asks me about connecting with Deities, I tell them that the first thing they should do is get their spiritual house in order. A lot of people feel pulled into Deity work right away, when the first thing they should be focusing on is developing a strong relationship with their ancestors and with the spirits of the land on which they live. This is important because, if something goes amiss with your first forays into working with the Gods and Goddesses, having a strong ancestral house will provide at least a modicum of protection. Also, developing strong relationships with both your ancestral dead and with your local land spirits is excellent training for working with Deities down the line.

Lately, many ancestor workers and spirit workers have been noticing that the land spirits and the dead are getting quite upset at the state of affairs…not enough people are honoring the land and the land is not respected. At the same time, we are neglecting our dead and forgetting the importance of honoring our ancestors. We have allowed our society to get dangerously out of balance. Honoring the land spirits is something we can do to begin bringing ourselves back into balance with the natural world. As a species we have much to atone for and starting to treat the earth as powerful and sentient is a good start. When we also remember our place in relation to our ancestors, then we are more likely to remember our own mortality and get over our astounding hubris. We are likely to remember that we inherited the world from our parents and have to leave it habitable for future generations.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • We should never neglect those spiritual beings who are in fact closest and most accessible to us.

  • I feel like this post would be more useful to its intended audience (people new to Pagan practice) with a list of specific basic practices for honoring land spirits and ancestors. Perhaps an addendum?

  • Interesting. I’ve always recommended that students begin by taking up the devotion of a deity in which they are interested, even before beginning work with the Dead and the Spirits. I see your point about learning discipline, though I think it can be as well learned in deity devotion as otherwise. There are usually deities in any pantheon that are quite peaceful and friendly, and ready to receive and teach students. Brigid or Demeter *can* kick butt, but they are generally compassionate and welcoming.

    In any case, your post is great advice about the importance of working with the non-deity spirits.