I don’t have house spirits. Or, rather, I didn’t. My family has owned this house now nearly a dozen years and we’ve spent a great deal of time chasing spirits out of the house but not a lot of time inviting them in, outside of specific purposes or festivals. Primarily, I don’t allow spirits to remain in the house because I don’t trust them and I don’t like the idea of being watched. When I want to be alone or privacy, I want it in its’ entirety.
However, I started to rethink my position on this. You see, the house is set at the top of a hill in what once was a swamp. There’s so much water in the area, the yard has buried drainage pipes to help keep the house from flooring. In the time we’ve owned this home, it’s flooded four times, twice majorly, and once so badly the entire basement had to be gutted and rebuilt (keep in mind I live in an apartment in the basement). Additionally it rains something like 40+ % of the time in Rhode Island, so we get a lot of water (matter of fact, it’s raining as I type this). The house is from the late 1940s and so is the majority of the plumbing for it. And pretty much every room that has water in it had issues. Some of them are due to shoddy repair work and some of it due to age.
Now, my first reaction is to put spells on ALL THE THINGS! but I don’t like to throw out majorly powerful spells on infrastructure primarily because it has long-lasting consequences and this house likely won’t be in our family in fifteen or twenty years. (Which sounds like a long time but I throw down some powerhouse spells). In addition to setting up spells to allow extra cash to come in to pay for those repairs, I did some “repair” work (which worked but didn’t magically replace faulty faucets or snake the main line. It still wasn’t enough to just replace and repair the issues – I wanted to make sure they didn’t happen again. I had started to feel that my brother and I were so busy chasing out the ghosts and spirits that lived here between the last residents and us that we missed an important step – giving the house it’s own two legs to stand on. Our defenses of this house are something akin to Fort Knox, to the point where visitors can feel it and I’ve had friends had to step into the garden to speak to their guides.
I believed that inviting a house spirit into our home, specifically a brownie, may be a solution to our predicament. (Or a being akin to a brownie. I’m not picky.)
So the first thing to do was to discuss this with members of the household. We all live different schedules and do different things. My brother deals primarily in human spirits. My mother’s an atheist and our housemate is, well I don’t know but a skeptic certainly. I tossed it at my brother who shrugged in general and groused about the potential of tripping over said brownie in the dark. My mother gave me that look parents get when they’re questioning the shit you’re into but they don’t know enough about said shit to be concerned or not. And I didn’t ask the housemate because he moves out in the summer and, with the promotion he had gotten during the time I started and enacted my plan, he wasn’t to return for long after the summer was over. Since everything was OK’d, I moved on with my plan.
I had to consider possible homes for said spirit. Typically brownies live in lesser used parts of the house. A quick mental process of elimination caused me to come up with a solution: the boiler room. We’ve a small room in the center of the basement where the water heater, boiler, and other miscellaneous house guts are placed. This room is also something of a catch-all for shit in my home, containing a chest of paint cans, fourteen sheets of drywall, a few boxes of spare wood, and several buckets of home improvement supplies. All of this, I decided, would need to be gone through before I even thought to invite a brownie into this room. Unfortunately, that’s far easier said to done. The sun and moon are not often in alignment for this sort of thing so I might have used a few persuasion spells to get it all moving. I had to cut the drywall up so it could be carried out by my brother and roommate to the garage where we keep this sort of thing, then marshal out the boxes of wood and set aside what things needed to be brought down to the city’s electronic dump. The home improvement supplies were sorted, condensed, labeled and stacked neatly. I also resealed the window in that room and swept it out. Now it was far roomier and easier to maneuver in, which was a bonus for anyone coming in to check the meters.
Then, I decided I needed to find a bowl I would use specifically for the household spirit. This was, by far, the easiest thing to do. One quick stop to the local used goods store and I had a double handled silver edged crystal medium sized glass bowl for less than three dollars.
Next was to do a general sweep of the house and fix any obvious problems. The floors swept and mopped, glass polished, and windows washed. (And, as a bonus, I earned brownie points, pun intended, with my household since I cleaned their parts of the house and not just my own flat).
Once satisfied and ready, I sat down and formally opened my house up to a spirit laying out what I was looking for and some ground rules. Namely, staying away from sleeping people, not to harass the cats, and assisting around the house in cleaning and repairs. In exchange, gifts of honey cakes, cream, and other assorted goodies would be left each night on a specific dish for it. I always have baked goods, honey, and types of milk and cream about so this wouldn’t be an issue. Additionally, I offered said interested spirits the opportunity to spook guests and some residents so long as the tricks are harmless and temporary in nature. I did this specifically because I tend to attract more mischievous spirits and I don’t mind the mischief so long as they are cruel about it. And more importantly, this is a witch’s house. What else could you expect?
So the question you’ll be asking is: Did it work?
Yes. It took a little while but a few days after the last of the plumbing was repaired, my house was suddenly hit by a series of weird knocking, footsteps, sounds, and so forth experienced by two members of the household. Offerings left were returned diminished – a sign I take as being accepted. And a new presence creeps through the darkened rooms at night, neither friendly nor aggressive, just going about its’ business.
So welcome, spirit, make yourself at home.