A lot of people work hard to make their home nice, safe, and spirit-free. Others prefer a little incorporeal company.
Spirit shenanigans aren’t uncommon in my household. Just earlier today I watched an indoor wind chime twist around, jangle loudly, and physical move for half a minute. the wind chime closer to the window and less than a foot away from the moving wind chime didn’t move a bit. I happen to be across the room at the time putting up my hair, standing next to my sleeping cat. Nothing I could see moved or touched it. It’s weird. I’m not saying it was a spirit but I’m not ruling it out either, you know? These kinds of events are pretty common in my household. In fact, you’ll probably run into a spirit just as often as you’d run into a visiting friend around here.
So how can you invite spirits around your own home?
First you need to consider your location. I live between two crossroads, at the top of a hill, down the street of a swamp, less than a mile from the ocean and a river, and behind a funeral home (in fact, my street’s technically part of a corpse road). My house is naturally attractive to spirits because of this. In fact, when we moved in, we had to kick spirits out because they weren’t willing to share. We get a lot of water and murky spirits here due to our location and a lot human dead. 90% of our visitors are transient and we never see them again. This is linked to our location. If you live on a street with a lot of flourishing gardens you’re more likely to run across fae than water spirits. If you live by the sea you’re going to see a lot more water spirits than anything else.
Trying to cater to your local spirits may be a good idea: take fallen branches from the yard and fashion them into an offering – hang it on the wall or leave it by an offering space if that’s what you’re doing. Otherwise, I just make wind chimes out of the fallen branches and leave them in the yard. I also tend to leave out animal-safe food offering such as sugar-free bread and purified water.
Next you need to decide what spirits best suit you. Our most prominent spirits, outside of the human dead, are goblins. They’re mischievous and tend to break shit for the fun of it. Most folks don’t invite them into their homes because they cause more trouble than anything else. I find them funny and honest, in a way. They’re intentions are typically selfish and I get that. We also like the transient spirits that come and go as that also suits our family’s personality. We’re something like a roadside inn. You don’t need to know what spirit you want in the home but what temperament is best. It’s not unlike trying to find a new housemate except that the questions revolve less around “do you smoke?” and more of “do you break shit just for the giggles?”
Once you decide what kind of spirits you’re looking at, do research. If you’re looking for a specific spirit, leave out offerings they would like. If you’re looking for just more spirits in general, read up on people’s accounts of living with spirits. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be and you may find yourself wishing otherwise. (For example, when we first moved in here there was a spirit that would watch me shower and another that lived under the stairs and would turn the light on and off at will, even if no one used the stairs that day. Or, a few Christmases ago the spirit that set off the fire alarms four times, including at five a.m. That particular spirit refused to stop until it was given an offering. I threw it’s ass to the curb.)
This is also a good time to start catering your protection wards and spells to your new purpose. If you want to let in fae, then you’re going to have to make sure that your protection doesn’t hurt them or kick them out.
Before you do any serious inviting, be sure you can kick out whatever you’re inviting in. Sometimes, spirits just become assholes. Pick out a good binding and/or banishing spell ahead of time and be sure to have cleansing materials on hand.
Set ground rules. I have a few rules that each spirit is told upon entering the house. Generally, they seem to know ahead of time so maybe other spirits tell them but sometimes I need to make it a point. My rules are for them to stay out of the bedrooms, generally speaking, especially when we sleep and the bathrooms when they’re in use. Another is to leave the cats alone. The third is to not manipulate electronics (in case they break something) and the fourth is for them to leave my mother alone. Be firm with these rules and don’t be afraid to break out the cleansing and banishing materials if the rules are broken. They need to know that you’re serious and not playing around. I’ve even had spirits banished and come back at a later day, promising not to do whatever they did wrong previously again.
Offerings are nice but not always necessary. In fact, you may wish to make sure they aren’t a daily thing. This is where research comes in handy. A brownie may demand a gift every day in exchange for keeping the house running smoothly and a spirit guardian spirit may require one on specific occasions. Generally speaking it’s not good to spoil them too much. If you give offerings to the neighborhood spirits every week for two months, they’re going to be pissed when you don’t do it in that third month – and they may take it out on you. Re-negotiations may need to take place to remedy that situation. It’s better to not get into that sort of situation to begin with. I give offerings on specific days or events – Thanksgiving they get turkey soup, New Year’s Eve they get wine. If I spend the day baking, I give a bit of whatever to them. Outside of that, it’s sporadic and that works best for me and them. I have a few spots in the yard I leave offerings but I’ve recently installed a little house-shaped shadowbox for permanent offerings by a window and I have a dish I leave by my coffee maker for the household spirits like brownies.
Most spirits like shiny things, so leaving a small selection of shiny objects like coins, rough crystals, bits of broken chains, etc may attract spirits. Avoid warding measures like knives, scissors, and nails in windowsills unless you want that room to be banned for them.
Make a formal offer. This may be as simple as trancing or meditating in your room and telling them to enter, taking a walk in a park, or puttering about the yard. I tend to step into the middle of our largest crossroad and make the offer. This usually ends up being “hey, if you want to swing in and say hi, go for it” and that’s about as formal as I get.
Having a space for household spirits is somewhat ideal. This may be the hall closet or, in my case, the boiler room. A lesser used room is typically ideal, although they may take up residence in the basement, ceilings, attics, and floor. A friend of mine had a spirit take residence in their unused chimney and I have several spirit houses dedicated for this exact purpose. This isn’t necessary however and in fact may be preferred that they’re more nomadic in the space.
It takes time, so keep that in mind. Spirits have their own minds, agendas, cultures, personalities, and backgrounds. It may take a while for certain spirits to warm up to you. You might need to readjust and reassess if things aren’t going the way you want them to. You can call up or summon spirits to speed up the process but you’ll want to be sure they’re the kind of spirit you want to hang around.
Keep records. I say this often about a lot of things but I recommend keeping a record of weird happenings if you’re attempting to attract spirits. This way you can track patterns that might be spirits communicating. If you have a busy household, it can even be fun for kids and guests to write down what they’re experiencing in a book.
I think that’s a good place to start. Generally, give it time and be friendly!
This post was adapted and based off of an ask from tumblr here.