Astral Destinations: The Grief Place

There’s a place somewhere between the realm of dreams and spirits that is for release of grief emotions.

Perhaps you’ve been there. A place where sorrow is understood and, despite the beings moving around you living their lives, you feel comfortable to be in your grief.

It starts at a sandy altar. A table-style of sandstone, about mid-chest to waist high on an adult. Incense burns here, billowing individual trails of smoke coalescing into a wind of fragrant prayers. The altar is in a courtyard with a blue open sky above, but shadowed by the surrounding pale sandstone walls. Awnings of hand-dyed fabric hang high over the altar, protecting it from rain.

In the dream or astral visit, you start here. Most often you’re at the altar and light incense, shakily pray, or simply try to say goodbye through a pinched, watery smile. Some people linger here, wrapping themselves in black homespun fabric and tucking themselves into corners to cry. Sometimes, people are with you, other times they are not. Who? They could be family, friends, lovers, or strangers that could have been more. Sometimes, its just you.

Who is there depends on what you’re mourning. Mourning a family member, a loved one? You may have loved ones alongside you, family to support you, friends to carry you, lovers to hold you, pets to comfort you. If you’re mourning an event that could have been, a situation you might have had or was in, or just losing a piece of yourself, you’re usually alone.

Either way, there you remain. Until finally, you’re ready to move on. You place your final piece of incense on the altar, say a final goodbye that feels like a loss all on its own, a goodbye that isn’t quite as shaky, a smile that isn’t quite as heatbreaking, and you slip through the archway to the left of the altar.

People move here, work here. It’s a dyer’s marketplace. Baskets of little ornaments, flowers and florals, bolts of fabric, and pocket charms sit on sun-bleached tables. You cannot see the sun though. The entire space has flapping cloth awnings on tall pole, protecting the workers from the heat of the sun, protecting you. More fabric hangs, little banners and flag, swatches of material in all manner of hand-dyed goodness. Blues, greens, reds, oranges, purples, and pinks. Natural linen color dominates with a rainbow of tucked away color. In the distance, you may hear chatter, soft and indistinct. A weaver’s loom works, but it’s comforting. the passage between these stalls, with gently smiling people sharing actual kindness, is narrow. People do not get in your way. As you move, they seem to never be in your way or make you slow down or stop unless you want to stop. They don’t readily acknowledge you either, unless you glance at them first. A smile, a pat on the arm, maybe soft murmuring that’s meant only to be comforting, supporting. Then they move on.

The passage is like a C, but there are other corridors that lead elsewhere to the marketplace. You can even sometimes glimpse where the fabric awnings break into brilliantly, unbelievable blue sky.

In time, you do weave your way through, following a course that you only seem to know in your head. Sometimes you find yourself with dried flowers or charms pressed into your hands. A long string of beads around your wrist, a shawl of soft mauve around your shoulders.

At the end, you come out to of the space with nothing before you. More sandstone buildings are to your left, but the doorway is hidden in the depths of that fabric maze. Beyond the buildings and marketplace is nothing but endless white plains and blue, blue sky. Sometimes family and loved ones stands before you, waiting for you. They may even have a car ready to go. Sometimes its just you.

The dream or astral visit ends there. I’ve been to this place several times, each time mourning different things or people. And it is always the same altar, the same sky, the same place, the same twisting, fabric passage.

What happens during that time varies. Once I came out with a long length of wooden beads around my wrist, neither a mala or rosary. Another time I came out of that comforting place with a bunch of tiny purple and blue flowers in my hands. It varies.

This place, a place of letting go of your grief, should be sad. Instead, I’d say its more comforting than anything. Like finally being able to catch your breath or how much better you feel after crying. You’re still miserable, but there’s a feeling of releasing, letting things go. It’s a somber place, but one of profound peace and change.

Have you been here? Does this place sound familiar? I honestly can’t tell you how to get here. I think you just arrive when you need to be there. I hope that introducing people to this special place will encourage more visitors.

As to whether its a dream or an actual astral destination… I think it’s both. I think a place can be both a dream and astral. The astral is connected to dreams. It can be influenced by dreams. And dreams can slip into astral travel. I think its both.

3 Ways to Magically Reclaim Yourself

Ever been lost in the sea of yourself? You just feel restless and confused and sad. Hopeless yet desperate to move forward. Hoping to find something that will help you keep your head above water yet finding yourself anchored with no where to go.

It’s a crappy feeling. When you spend several weeks, months, or years with barren fields, so to speak, it’s called a fallow time. This can happen to anyone about anything. It happens to artisans (writer’s block, anyone?). It happens to businesses. It happens to spiritual paths. It just happens. Sometimes you need to let your live be boring and kind of crap so you can sow new seeds for a better future for yourself.

This can be exceptionally difficult however, when you’re dealing with spirituality or magic. How do you know you’ve even going the right way? You don’t and that’s extremely difficult to come to terms with when you just want direction.

So here’s a few ways to reclaim yourself and your path magically.

Find a quiet place that feels like home

This one is pretty simple. If there’s a place that you resonate with entirely, the ocean, the mountains, a park, your kitchen, your bed, then schedule yourself time to be there. You should make that location as ideal as possible and make sure that you aren’t disturbed for several hours.

Setting up the ideal situation may require some planning ahead. You may wish to aim for a day where the beach won’t be too crowded so you can enjoy swimming in the ocean without worrying about a beach ball bouncing off your head. Maybe you feel most happy with a batch of delicious bread baking and soup bubbling on the stove. You might need to wash all your bed linens and pull out some extra comfy ones you don’t normally use for this session. Essentially, what you’re doing is setting up as close to a perfect scenario as possible. You may need to clean up the space before you set up (so clear out the stack of crap that accumulated on your kitchen table), but it depends on what place is your happy place.

Distractions should be entirely limited. This means turn off your phone, computer, TV, and so on. Just turn them off. If you’ve never unplugged before, this can be extremely difficult to do. But try it for at least an hour. You may wish to play some music, and if so, make sure that it’s relatively inconvenient for you to scroll through instagram or facebook chat someone. Place the device out of range, with the notifications on silent, and just sink into the relative quiet.

Once you’ve gotten set up, just exist in that space for the time you’ve set aside. Read a book that feels inspiring to you (maybe it’s a big thinking kind of book or maybe you hauled out your Harry Potter to remind you why you love magic.) Swim in the ocean, lay in the grass and watch the clouds. People watch, read through family recipes, hike through the forests, slowly boat across a lake… you get the idea. Just exist in that space in a way that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Let your mind drift (it will) and soon you’ll find you may start connecting spiritually to the place, remembering why it feels so special to you. Recall what’s magically about that place and you may rediscover what’s magical about you.

Cutting the threads

This is spell work that asks you to have a fairly open space and time to set up the spell.

First, clear a space. If you’re casting the spell in the living room, you may need to put things on top of your coffee table away and move that side table you always trip on anyway out of the way entirely. You’re going to need space to move and you don’t want to be tripping on things when you don’t need to. You’ll want at least a five foot clear space, but I like to have a few feet extra all around for wiggle room.

Next, write out all the things that are holding you back. What things pull on you, weight you down, whispering unwanted things to you? What makes you feel muddy, sour, mundane, and dumb? Write all of that down on slips of paper (post its are perfect for this). Scatter these slips of paper across your casting space. It’s really ideal to place the paper on or near objects that symbolism or remind you of the words on the paper. (So if looking at your exercise bike makes you feel sloppy and guilty for not using it as often, put that piece of paper on the bike).

Get a ball of string. This can be any color you like, so use color symbolism. Tie a loop around your dominant wrist. It doesn’t need to be tight. Gently, go to each place you put the paper and wrap or tie the string around or near it as best you can and move onto the next paper.

I recommend doing this is the order of the things that come to mind. If you really dislike your job, that might be first, but your second item is you feel poorly whenever you see your aunt, then she might be next even if the photo of her with the slip of paper is all the way across the room.

Things will become a jumbled mess. That’s OK. It’s kind of meant to be. Just keep going until you’ve tagged all the pieces of paper. Once you do, gently tie your non-dominant wrist with the string.

Now grab a sharp pair of scissors or a knife and cut the strings that attach you to the items. You might need to make several cuts so that the string drops to the ground. Keep doing this until all the string is cut and CAREFULLY cut the string free of your wrists.

An alternative way to do the spell is to tie the string to your wrist, then to the object or paper, then back to your wrist, but this can become quite tight and painful in larger spaces as you tug the strings across the room with you. I think it kind of works better this way, because it feels more freeing and thus more powerful, but it’s more painful and tends to break at least one random glass thing you forgot you owned.

Either way, take the strings and burn them in a fire-safe vessel and call it a day.

Ask for a journey or trial

You can always as a spirit for advice. Usually people tap their spirit guides for this, but sometimes you need a stranger to give you advice. Other times they just keep telling you what you already know. Ask them again anyway.

If you don’t have a spirit guide or don’t want to use them, you can go find someone who can help. I wrote about spirits who can help, spirits I can personally vouch for as friendly and helpful. I like and visit these spirits often and the space is still considered quite safe for travelers and dreamers (ie, you) to wander through. The spirit ruler in particular is good for requesting a journey or trial, as they tend to be fully aware of just how much is lost between the astral and the physical realms when it comes to memory.

I know you’re thinking. That’s just getting advice. Well, the reason I make the above suggestion is because if you’re going to ask for a trial, you want it to be from someone who will give you a task that will give you the result you want: reclaiming yourself.

The trial may be something classic: “go here and get this item for me and you’ll be rewarded” but the actual reward is discovering yourself. It could be a battle scenario or dedicating yourself to their service. It depends. You don’t have to say yes to the suggested trial or journey. If it sounds sketchy, then don’t do it. But this gives you a chance for you to have an adventure that will help you find you again. Find yourself and your will once more without all the baggage that comes with living.

Those are just some of the ways to magically reclaim yourself. As always, I recommend cleansing yourself (and cleaning your space) when you’re struggling spiritually as sometimes the mere act of cleansing and cleaning can dissolve the spiritual gunk.

Good luck!

79 Tips, Tricks, & Spells for Halloween 2017 + Sale!

Bonfire by This Crooked Crown

Happy Halloween! Happy Samhain!

I hope you have some amazing plans this Halloween! I don’t personally celebrate Samhain but Halloween is my household’s favorite holiday, hands down. We have as much stuff to decorate for Halloween as we do Yule and it’s not enough.

I’m having a pretty low-key holiday myself. A fabulous witchy dress and hat, of course, but otherwise it’ll be filled with baking, some woo stuff, and passing out candy. It’s sort of a relief to have a quiet holiday. It’s been a crazy couple months and I just got back from a work vacation this weekend. I’m actually super happy to simply have electricity as many people nearby don’t.

Side story: I thank the dead for the fact that I usually have power when my neighborhood doesn’t. My house is, for some reason, on the same power grid as the funeral home across the street and no one else is? So while our power flickered, we didn’t lose it despite the massive storm that took out power for a good portion of our city.

Anyway, what I love about blogging around this time is EVERYONE is posting about spirits. It’s great. I can pick up all sorts of new tips and folklore that way. It’s also prime time for magical rituals and spells. This roundup guide offers tips, tricks, and links on what you can do to to make your night a little more magical.

 

Halloween 2017 Pin

Before you start

Before you get started with your spooky or woo related shenanigans, there’s probably some steps you need to take. My top seven tips and tricks for making contact or dealing with serious spell casting follow.

  1. Make a snack or meal to consume after your working. Carb-y food or sugar-y food is ideal. I typically grab a thick slice of hearty bread or some pasta when I need carbs and a big bowl of fruit and chocolate bits when I need sugar. Make both ahead of time.
  2. Drink water on hand. Getting thirsty during a working is the worst, especially if you’re chanting. Be well-hydrated before you start and make sure you hydrate afterwards. If you’re using alcohol to induce a trance, make sure you have water on hand after your session to hydrate.
  3. If it gets weird, get out. If you’re ghost hunting, contacting a spirit, or any other activity, you can probably leave right away. Thank any spirits for their attention and get out. If you’re in the middle of a spell, quickly but thoroughly finish it and leave the area immediately. Drink some water, take a bath, cleanse yourself, then go do something totally and completely mundane.
  4. Trance safely. Before you use any entheogens, psychedelics, or other trancing method, make sure that you write down what you’re taking and how much. Write down why you’re taking it. Leave a small sample of the consumable along with these notes. This allows emergency medical services to treat you quickly and accordingly if something goes wrong. It also allows you to recreate the circumstances again if you have a good experience that you want to replicate.
  5. Don’t go alone. If you’re doing an outside ritual, traveling, or ghost hunting, go with someone else. Bring a friend who can chill while you do your thing nearby if they’re not willing to lend a hand. Solitude more of your thing? Then make sure to text a friend where you’re going or when you’ve left. There’s a lot of people out there on Halloween and accidents are very common. Be safe.
  6. Practice fire safety. Candle magic is incredibly popular and common. However, practitioners can get carried away. Make sure that you’re practicing fire safety. If you have more than 5-7 candles going at once, keep a fire extinguisher or similar items on hand.
  7. Keep pets indoors. This is more of a Halloween-centric tip than a general one but with so many people out and about on Halloween, it’s a really good idea to keep your pets indoors during this time. I recommend keeping pets inside during outdoor rituals anyway – a dog barking during your chant can really break the mood.

Following those tips can help you out immensely, especially if things get weird and/or powerful. Another good idea is to go armed with lots of information. Here’s a bunch of posts that can help. I’ve also added some posts geared towards “new year” because for some people, they start or end their magical year on Samhain.

 

 

Hearth by This Crooked Crown

Constant vigilance!

Protecting yourself from dangers while cast spells or contacting spirits is important – but it can also be a hindrance. If you’re protected from spirits, then spirits will have a more difficult time communicating with you.

I do recommend protection spells but it’s not a requirement. I don’t use them on myself personally 99% of the time and never when I’m working with spirits or casting spells unless I feel like I’m in danger from something. But, uh, I’m reckless so it’s probably best to not be me and to cast some protection spells before you go out and about with your shenanigans tonight.

Candle Smoke

Getting in touch with a spirit

Getting in touch with spirits can be difficult, especially if you’re not use to it. Samhain often is said to be a thinning of the veil between the spirit realms and the physical world. While the veil between the worlds happens multiple times a year, this one’s pretty consistent.

The following posts should give you some tips to make contact to a wide variety of spirits and beings. They’ll also help you have a good experience and offer some pretty good advice too.

 

Spell and Herb Candle by This Crooked Crown

Spells to cast

You can cast any spell you want any time you want, according to my practice. Here’s a good long list of spells you can give a try.

 

For All Sorts of Money Powder by This Crooked Crown

Cleansing time!

Cleansing yourself after powerful magic or spirit contact is recommended but, again, not a requirement. I often recommend it especially if you’re dealing with multiple energies, like doing group tarot card readings or going to a haunted place with many spirits. It’s also just a good idea in general.

A Cleansing Ritual For House & Home (Spell Saturday #35) – A walking cleansing ritual for your house and physical spaces.

The Curse & Blessing of the Sun (Spell Saturday #49) – A spell that can be used as a curse or as a blessing, using the power of the sun.

 

Cleansing & Cleaning 101 – Because cleaning is a form of cleansing too!

Cleansing Yourself – Post on various methods to cleanse yourself from baneful energy, static energy, or other unwanted things.

Crown’s “Fuck All the Things!” Cleansing and Banishment [tumblr repost] (Spell Saturday #14) – Two spell variations used for cleansing and banishing both spirits and humans.

Simple Water Glass Cleansing for the Witch on the Run – A very simple but effective way to calm and cleanse the self with just a glass of water.

Uncrossing Oneself – Sometimes we repeat baneful or static patterns that are harmful to ourselves. Uncrossing is breaking that cycle.

 

Wheel of the Year wikipedia

Whew! That was a lot of links. I should be back to regular blogging in November. My burn out has abated so I’m back to writing, full-steam ahead. Which is good because NaNoWriMo is less than 24 hours away.

Speaking of writing, if you haven’t, go pick up my novel Spirit Walker. It’s about astral travel and revenge.

One last thing before I let you get back to your candy and binge-watching Hocus PocusThis Crooked Crown is having a 10% off flash sale. Today (10/31) only. All readings and items in the shop are on sale, including the new reading Taming Your Inner Demons.

Happy Halloween & Samhain!

 

 

 

 

Spirit Destinations: When Spirit Worlds Connect to the Physical World

The astral worlds are not a free-for-all. Not all of them at least. Anyone who has dealt with the fae are definitely aware of this but many other places outside of fairylands have rulers that hold territory. Knowing you’re in someone’s territory can be tricky and knowing where those territories begin and end, especially because they change all the time, is a full time job. My best advice is to assume you’re trespassing and be polite as possible if confronted (and run away if you need to).

But there’s another territory to think about. Another weird thing that can happen. Sometimes the astral spirit worlds and the physical worlds mesh together.

Sometimes you step into a place here in the physical world and you think, “oh crap, this is connected to the spirit worlds, somewhere”. You might even feel unsafe and need to hightail it out of there. And other times it’s the best place ever to meditate and be safe.

This is one of things that you’ll know if you’ve experienced it because it’s often a defining moment for you. One you’ll remember. It’s also similar to fairy tales and legends of wild hunts and faerie proceedings.

 

When Spirit Worlds Connect to the Physical World by This Crooked Crown

 

What are the signs?

There are numerous signs that indicate that a particular area is experiencing a merging or an overlap. Some of the signs appear for other things like a psychic attack so be aware of that possibility and look for multiple indications that the spirit world is overlapping into the physical world.

As always, if you feel like you’re being hunted, stalked, or in danger, leave the area immediately and go to a safe place where you can calm down, ground and center yourself, and get something re-energizing to eat.

  • A weird energy signature
  • An immensely powerful energy
  • Feeling yourself being drained of energy
  • Feeling your energy hum
  • Feeling an increase in energy, like adrenaline, but is likely difficult to control
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Pressure in your head or body, especially forehead
  • Surge of emotions, images, sounds, or smells out of nowhere that are not your own
  • Hearing voices or music or sounds without a discernible source
  • Smelling scents that are out of place and without a discernible source
  • A sense of flightiness or lack of control like intoxication
  • A feeling of dream-like fog
  • Feeling of being small or in front of something large
  • Being overwhelmed emotionally or spiritually, like a wave overtaking you
  • A feeling of open-ness in a small that should not feel that open
  • A feeling of disconnect, like watching yourself do something outside of your body
  • Feeling watched or not alone
  • The feeling of immediate danger
  • Time is working too slowly, too quickly, or you seem to be out of time
  • Becoming lost in the physical space
  • Objects, pathways, walls, and other things seem to move or become blocked when they weren’t moments before

 

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Walk along the water with me?

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What triggers these connections? 

Spirit worlds connecting to physical worlds can happen in any number of ways. These connections are not permanent and some will disappear even a few hours after it appears. You can remove a connection with enough time, effort, and energy but it would be a hard-won fight.

Anywhere can be connected at any point in time to the spirit worlds but it often happens when no where is there and therefore there isn’t conflicting energy. Or they are areas with lots of potential but nothing happened. Or they’re areas of high energy. Liminal places, like crossroads, rest stops, buildings with lots of empty hallways (schools, offices, abandoned buildings), and bridges are common targets as well. Any place you’d expect spirit activity is particular susceptible to this kind of phenomena.

These are a few ways that the spirit worlds and physical world can become connected. Keep in mind, these aren’t the only ways and not every method will works for every area. Some places seem more susceptible to certain methods than others, likely due to energy reasons.

  • A land spirit makes the connection or holds significant power in that place
  • It’s a height of power and energy for some reason and thus easily accessible to spirits
  • A human dreams or recreates that space in the spirit world
  • They are so similar of places in looks, energy, or history that they merge for unknown reasons
  • Spirits gather there for unknown or multitude of reasons, thus making the physical world more like a spirit world.
  • A practitioner connects them for easy access to the spirit world
  • A practitioner has cast a lot of energy or spells recently or invoked a spirit, opening the way for this sort of thing
  • There’s been a wild hunt style procession recently through that area
  • Construction, death, powerful emotions, trauma, or other events can cause havoc, not unlike ghosts getting riled up during a home remodeling.

 

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Twilight cherry blossoms

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What to do

What you can do with an area that is connected to the spirit worlds is up to you. I recommend leave it alone. It’s probably not hurting anyone (except you might see a rise of headaches and emotions in that place) and it will often go away on it’s own. As mentioned above, you can try to get rid of the area but you must be very sure of yourself and your ability to manipulate the spirit energy in order to do this properly. You can patrol or guard the area, making it sacred, and thus keeping outsiders from going into it.

Most of the time, if you leave the area (and spirits inside the area) alone, they’ll leave you alone. They’re essentially just visiting.  However, if the spirits begin to get aggressive, you may want to step up and remind them that while the area IS theirs, most humans cannot see or sense them and therefore do not know to stay away. You could even banish them from this realm, leaving the territory connected or go ahead and sever the connection. Whether you do not this or not is up you. It’s personal choice.

As for myself, I typically leave spirit connected areas alone. I might go and remind aggressive spirits to play nice or I’ll have do something about them but most often, I leave them alone. So long as they’re not actively hunting humans, I have no problems with them. I find such areas a delight to visit because I truly love the spirit worlds and knowing I can connect to them here in the physical world at times is something I find absolutely amazing.

 

Money in the Spirit World – Astral Currency & Trade

Money in the Spirit World

 

Here’s some real talk: shit costs money. This is true with your spirit dealings as well.

Historically, money has been used in multiple cultures as offerings to spirits. (Also, historically paying the people who dealt with spirits, such as practitioners, was and still is a thing.)

However, it’s not always about the amount of cash you can put out. Trading expensive goods is also something that’s often used. Are you giving that expensive alcohol as a gift – or a bribe? Or is it really for services rendered on your behalf?

Offerings are made for a lot of reasons. They can be made from a place of love or fear. As a perfunctory action to something you’re excited to share. There’s lots of reasons to give offerings. It’s not necessarily part of a commerce-based action. You can simply do it to please the spirit or deity you’re with.

But, what about commerce? What about actions made that are not an offering? How do you trade with spirits? How does money work in the astral? To be honest, it’s not that much different with how money works here.

 

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My payment for services rendered today. Iron and brass.

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Commerce isn’t always going to be based on coins or paper money. In fact, most of the time, it isn’t. If you’re operating in a territory controlled by a specific ruler, that territory may offer currency, like any country would. But that currency will probably be worthless outside of that territory.

Trading services or items is probably one of the easiest ways to get something. Can you draw? Suggest that. Can you cast a spell or create a magical item? Did you find a pretty astral stone or grow a particular herb in your astral home’s garden? Try that as a means of trade.

Of course, you can always trade information. Information is, almost always, the most appreciated sort of currency. Tell someone where to a particular river, give directions to someone, mention where you last saw a particular spirit. Even gossip and rumors have their own weight and merit. Best of all, you can use the same information gained with different people and some people will pay very highly for information. The more desperate they are for that information, the more you can charge. It’s a very good idea to keep an eye on what kind of information you have to share and how much that’s worth to some people.

 

Another option is to get a job. This probably is the least liked option but is certainly going to get you what you want. If you do take on a job for someone, be sure that your terms are agreed upon in a very plain fashion. You will do X for Y and that’s it. Courier is a very popular job for dreamers and spirit walkers like us.  You can also be a freelancer of any skill you’re good at or even a mercenary. The tie-less kind of jobs are quite suitable for us as we aren’t consistently able to access the astral.

 

 

If you have you own territory or home, you can grow, make, rent, or create something there to sustain yourself. Maybe you’ll grow herbs or you have the only water for miles. You could be the only person in the area that can heal or has light or a safe place to sleep at night. Trade for these commodities and go from there.

You can also see if a local spirit has work for you to do. Working under the service of a spirit ruler or any spirit will be like working in you regular day job. The only exception is the work will probably be different and there probably isn’t a lot of rules in place. Make sure that you know your rights and how to get out of the job if you no longer want it. You can even make agreements to when your job ends if you don’t want it with the person that hires you right off the bat. Help yourself and make these demands and agreements at the start so you don’t have to worry about it later.

You can also make agreements to do something in the physical realm for the spirit. This works very well for us and it’s utterly unique to use dreamers and spirit walkers. Spirits can’t do this for one another usually so it gives us a unique advantage. However, I’ve found that the more you pay attention to a spirit while in this realm, the more control they have over this realm. For example, if a spirit asks you to make them a shrine in the woods and some kids find that shrine, it may give that spirit more power here because more people believe in them. It’s hit or miss as some spirits don’t work in the manner.

There’s pros and cons to each of these methods. You’ll have to talk to people and have a good grasp of people in order to trade information. Working under a spirit ruler may gain you some enemies because of your association but you’ll probably also be under their protection. Grow herbs to sell and you’ll have to actually, you know, grow them. Weigh your options before you decide what to do.

 

 

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to make trades and arrangements in front of a third neutral party. There are even mediator spirits you can hire for this specific purpose. But, anyone can serve as a third part. These third parties will verify the agreement of the trade (or whatever) and if one side of it is broken, then actions can be taken.

There are also spirits that work like money lenders or even currency exchange. These spirits will vary wildly in temperament so you might wind up dealing with a very nasty spirit or someone who is a complete sweetheart. Currency exchange will usually have a direct price – you bring 8 X and get 5 Y. The spirit making the exchange will take a small percentage of the trade for their own payment.

Keep in mind that breaking promises or agreements is considered extremely bad. Note, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a loophole to your advantage. Faeries are really the experts at this – they won’t do something outright against the agreement but they will find every loophole ever and use it instead.

Theft is an additional problem to remember. Items, even those in the astral, have energy and some people – even some practitioners – can track that energy like a bloodhound. So if you steal something and someone is skilled in tracking energy, they could hunt you down.

 

 

Not everything you can trade or do will be useful so cultivating many skills or keeping items around like some pack-rat RPG hero can help you figure out exactly what to offer at the time.

It’s tricky to get the hang of so don’t be surprised if you get up getting proverbially robbed during a deal. It happens. Live and learn. Like in real life, it takes time and practice to develop a good system of deal-making.

Why should you jump through all these hoops? Well, not everyone can create everything in the astral. And some items require knowledge to create that you don’t have. It also fosters relationships within the community. Plus, some things are just easier to buy than make.

The astral is a truly fantastic place and spirits of all kinds exist there. Some will have wildly different ideas of what’s useful or worth currency. Ask questions politely and you’ll probably do just fine.

March Round Up

We made it to the other side of March. Yay! This month has been truly insanely busy for me between medical appointments (everyone’s OK, no worries!), caring for sick people, chasing after paperwork, birthdays, funerals, and a small snowstorm. I signed up for a bunch of stuff that I’m now scrambling to complete because I can see the end of March and those deadlines are looming.

When it comes to the blog, I unintentionally took the first week of March off. I needed the rest but I truly dislike leaving everyone without content to enjoy. I’ll try not to let that happen again. The posts that did make it were more on the spiritual side of things.

 

Secular Witchcraft Defined by This Crooked Crown

 

Tumblr followers know I identify as a secular witch and this month tackled how I define and work within my paradigm to some degree. Secular Witchcraft Defined proved to be an interesting read and one I hope will help out new witchlings in understanding this newer form of witchcraft. To counter this, I talked about my current focus of Getting Back to My Roots on a spiritual level. I even offered an Awakening Spring Ritual for some ideas on how my witchcraft and spirituality are separated. For those thinking about working with spirits, which is a bridge between my witchcraft and my spirituality for me, How to Know What Spirit You’re Talking To might offer some insight for you. If you’re looking to see those beings, check out Enchanting Objects for Second Sight for a helping hand.

Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere although the snow storm and cold snap recently sure doesn’t feel like spring here in Rhode Island. If you’re trying to counter the final winter push, try the spell Burn Away the Winter Blues.  If you need a push to get over that winter lethargy, give the Forged in Fire spell a look. It’s mean to kick procrastination in the ass and celebrated fifty Spell Saturdays. (There, uh, should be more but let’s celebrate our victories and not failures, OK?)

We also saw the Curse and Blessing of the Sun which is a spell that can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your intent. My brother the Necromancer has really been into the Sun as a being of worship recently so I’ve been inspired to create a shrine for him and some spells. By the way, the Curse and Blessing of the Sun has been updated. I originally said that you should create two boxes if you want a curse and a blessing at the same time but I don’t know what I was thinking. Clever wording can create both in one box so check out that spell for new tips.

 

The Curse and Blessing of the Sun Spell

 

I don’t really work healing spells too much so I rarely post them but the Sand Healing Spell is specifically designed for those with chronic illnesses that spend a lot of time in one place. It’s a jar spell and one that’s very low key. It’s not designed to heal you but rather focus on alleviating pain and symptoms. I hope it helps!

On a more practical and mundane front, I wrote a guide on Where to Buy A Tarot Deck which is a question often asked to me and others on social media. We also saw two reviews this month, one on the beautiful Scrying Ink Lenormand deck by Siolo Thompson, the creator of the Linestrider Tarot. There was also the book view for The Soul Searcher’s Handbook by Emma Mildon which scored a 4.5 out of 5. I love both of these things so I’m really happy to recommend them to you all. Speaking of things I loved I started a new mini series I’ve nicknamed “Obsession” which dives into what I’m currently working on or obsessed with right now. I hope this gives a fun insight into the everyday workings around here.

 

Heart

Heart from Scrying Ink by Siolo Thompson and Nourish the Sacred Feminine from Sacred Creators by Chris-Anne Donnelly | thiscrookedcrown.com

 

Other quick news for This Crooked Crown:

  • I recently changed up my newsletter to come out twice a month – once at the full moon and again at the new moon.The newsletters are smaller but contain mini divination readings for the current moon phase which is always fun.
  • Flying Salves arrived in the shop at the end of February and quickly sold out. I hope to have them in again by the end of May, if not sooner.
  • We reached out first goal over on Patreon. I’m always, always floored by the support I receive from everyone and cannot thank you all enough.
  • I received the absolutely amazing  Idiosyncradeck Tarot and the Amethyst Oracle from Jessica Bott who is probably better known as Cracked Amethyst. I’m absolutely in love with them both and can’t wait to do more readings with them.

 

Getting Back to Your Spiritual Roots by This Crooked Crown

 

So that’s what was up this month at This Crooked Crown. It was super busy in a way I wasn’t expecting but I’m thinking I’ve made the most of it. What were your favorite posts? What do you want to see more of? Planning on trying any of the spells? See you in April!

 

How to Tell What Kind of Spirit You’re Talking To

Spirits are hard. How can you tell who you’re talking to? Are they really who they say they are? Can you really trust them?

The short answer is no. No you can’t trust them and no they should not expect you to automatically trust them any more than you should automatically trust a stranger.

The long version is no as well but it’s kind of a complicated no.

 

How to Tell What Kind of Spirit You're Talking To by This Crooked Crown

 

Spirits sometimes cannot or will not tell you who they are. They could be doing that for several reasons. They could be worried about being bound by their names. They could be working for someone who doesn’t want to be known. They might not even have a name.

This is also somewhat true for what kind of spirit they are. After all, how often do you just blurt out your genealogy to random folks off the street? Can you even sight your ancestry? Do you know who owns the company you’re working for? Can you name the mayor of your town? Would you tell a random person that you’ve just met all of that information?

Yeah, I thought not. If you can’t or won’t do it, then you can’t expect a spirit to want to do it either.

I’ll be honest, I don’t usually bother figuring out what kind of spirit I might be talking to. They are themselves and I’ll treat them according to how they act. That being said, it’s still important to be able to figure out who or what you might be talking about. Here’s how

 

Observe them

What do they love? What do they hate? How do they speak? How do they interact with others? You can figure out a lot by channeling your inner Sherlock.

For example, if a spirit loves cucumbers then you might guess that maybe they’re a Kappa. Or they could be related to cucumbers in some way. Or they’re the spirit of a farmer. Or maybe they just really love cucumbers.

Observing them will tell you what that individual likes. Observing that spirit in a group of similar spirits can tell you what that kind of spirit is like as a whole.

 

How do others treat them?

Do others balk and run away from them? Are they treated in a lordly manner? A polite manner? Do people give them the stink-eye?

This gives you some idea on whether or not this spirit is considered important or is tied to someone important. Depending on the context, you might be able to figure out that they’re a servant to a faerie court or that they’re very wise and thus respected.

If they’re getting dirty looks then maybe they don’t have the kind of stellar reputation they’ve been gloating about. They could be an information broker, murderer, or just a known liar. They could even be a contract breaker (which is bad because that means they will definitely break their word and probably stab you in the back).

 

Ask them for a small favor

See what happens when you ask them for a small favor which you will pay in kind. This could be something like “hey, want to try my ice cream and I’ll try yours” kind of deal or it could be something like “can you go over to this faerie court and pass along this message and I’ll go over to this spirit marketplace and buy that thing for you”.

This should be an inconsequential favor. Don’t ask them to do something for you that’s actually important.

How they treat this request and how they complete it (if they even agree to it) can tell you a lot about their operating methods which often allows you to figure out spirit type.

 

Keep notes

If there’s a specific spirit you’re trying to figure out, keep notes. Write down the things they like, dislike, and do. Write down their appearance to you, even if they change appearances all the time. Every so often, google those attributes and see what comes up.

 

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Autumn evening walks

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That’s all you can do. Since most of the time you’re not going to be dealing with many of the same spirits, you’re always going to be battling the question “is this how all of them act or just this individual spirit?”

A good way to deal with spirits is to remember these rules:

  • All spirits can hurt you
  • All spirits have the potential to be benevolent or malicious
  • Spirits are not there for your benefit. They live their own lives and you’re just a person in it.
  • Spirits have their own culture, beliefs, and needs. They don’t need to make sense to you.

 

Make no mistake, knowing your mythology and folklore can definitely help you figure out who you might be talking to but it’s not the be all that ends all. You could be talking to an anthropomorphize spirit of freedom or a minor spirit of winter. How might those spirits be summarized? Can you even summarize them neatly?

Spirits aren’t animals or plants that can be so easily categorized. They’re people. It might be prudent to ask yourself if you even need to know what kind of spirit they are. If you’re worried for your safety, then act according to that potential danger. Otherwise, you might fall into the trap of expecting someone to betray you because their species is a known trickster and that’s not really fair to them – or you.

Enchanting Objects for Second Sight

If you’ve hung around fairy tales long enough, you’ve run into the concept of using objects to achieve second sight.

Second sight is the ability to see things that are beyond normal perception such as spirits or energy. Some people are naturally gifted at this and others train themselves to use it. It sits firmly on the line between psychic ability and intuition.

Enchanting Objects for Second Sight by This Crooked Crown

Let’s be clear on one thing – just because someone has the second sight does not mean that they’re seeing spirits all the time. It doesn’t mean that they’re able to see all spirits. It doesn’t mean that they are always seeing spirits with their physical eyes. Spiritual beings aren’t always able to be perceive with physical eyes. It’s far more minute than “can you see that ghost?” even if it doesn’t seem like it.

There’s lots of folk information on how to achieve this. Looking through a hagstone or enchanting object are just one of the ways. You can use sandalwood, wisteria, wild thyme, and a number of other herbs to see what’s beyond normal vision. Trance inducers like flying ointments also work in this manner.

Look through a hagstone or doorway is another way to see these things. It’s about threshold crossing which is known to allow one to step between the worlds. (Hence the word “hedge-crossing”). Using this method, you’ll look through a hagstone (a stone with a natural hole in the center but shells with holes in the center work well too) and see what there is to see. Threshold crossing can be any kind of threshold. Stepping between two poles could be a threshold. Crossing between a wall and a hedge could be a threshold. There’s tons of ways to cross like that.

Weirdly, enchanting objects to allow you to see things is common in folk stories and fairy tales but not a common technique shared in modern day. I have no idea why this is.

In order to enchant an object to see what’s beyond normal sight, you’ll first need to pick an object that can be held up to your eye. Eyeglasses and sunglasses are absolutely the easiest and more available for this. A camera could also be used. You may want to pick a necklace you can hold up to your eye. This will be a constant spell so it’ll always be working.

That could actually be a problem. Anyone who has the second sight can tell you that it can be really distracting to see stuff that isn’t there. I’ve braked suddenly while driving thinking I was going to run over a dog that wasn’t there. I nearly jumped out a chair just last night because I thought something ran across the wall directly next to me – but nothing was there. If you’re not use to seeing these beings, you can absolutely end up looking a bit weird. It’s not a consistent thing but at least once a week I end up being startle by some spirit shenanigans that I wasn’t expecting and no one else can see.

You could also pick an object that you wear in order to give you second sight. This gives you more control over the ability. A pair of earrings is a good choice but a necklace or even an article of clothing can be a good choice too.

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Mushroom, mushroom

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The technique is very simple but gathering the ingredients can be very complex. It can take up two or three months to set this up if you don’t have any of the materials on hand. For best results, it could take years because you should collect the water and plants on the first of May and then cast the enchantment then as well – which could be difficult if the moon’s not working with you. You could, alternatively also or exchange May Day for October 31st or some other spirit important holiday. I don’t bother because that’s a lot of hurry up and wait for me but to each their own.

First gather water from an old water source – an old river, well, the ocean, etc. I specifically mention old as a pond newly made in a golf course isn’t going to have the same kind of results we want.

Gather the first morning dew for about seven days. You can do this by placing a jar outside overnight and picking it up as the sun rises the next morning. It probably won’t amount to much but that’s OK.

Create full moon water and new moon water by placing jars of water in window sills under the moonlight (or lack of moonlight).

Pour water from each of these sources into a bowl and place any of the following into it: calendula petals, wisteria leaves, powdered sandalwood, mugwort, ash leaves, violets, wild thyme, lavender, or woodworm. Pick as many or as few as you’d like. Let this sit under the full moon for a full night but remove it from sight before the sun rises. You can strain this water now, if you want.

Cleanse the object you intend to enchant. Wash the object with each water source. Make sure that you concentrate on the surfaces of the object. For a pair of glasses, you’ll trace the water along the eyeglass frame then wash the lenses on both sides. Repeat once more with the herb infused water.

Sleep with the object at your side on the night that you wash it. Then it’s ready to use. To use it, concentrate on what’s before you with your mind to see if there’s anything there for you to see. This should allow you to see spirits and energy far more frequently than before. As stated above, you may not physically see things with your eyes all the time but you should be able to sense things and see glimpses more easily.

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Autumn evening walks

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In addition to the problem mentioned above with reacting to things as if they’re physically in front of you, there’s another thing to be aware of. When spirits begin to notice that you’re able to see them, then they start paying attention to you. This can be fun for some people and terrifying for others. It depends on the beings you end up meeting and how you interact with them. If you’re not thinking about spirit work, then you might want to consider against this entirely. In the end, that’s a choice you’ll have to make.

It can be difficult to see spirits. Sometimes they simply don’t want to be seen or the circumstances aren’t right. Or maybe they don’t even have a physical form for you to see. You may need to just roll with whatever they give you. Good luck!

An Exercise for Meditation or Astral Travel

Finding an exercise for mediation or astral travel can be difficult. It will largely depend on your personal preferences for environment and pacing. So while this exercise might work beautifully for your friend, it might not work well for you. Experiment until you find one that works for you.

If you’re looking for an adventure in astral travel, combine this exercise with Myridin’s information.

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The storm clouds tonight are lovely.

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Close your eyes. Breathe in deeply, slowly, and hold for a moment, then release. Do this several times until you feel your muscles relax.

Picture a forest. The forest is in a valley and you are on top of hill somewhere in the middle of it. The trees are old, tall, and very green. The ground is grass, moss, and packed, dark earth. The air that you breathe in is warm but clean, smelling like sea salt and pine slightly.

In front of you, far into the distance, there’s a tall, cool mountain range. It rises up and clouds cover the top of the mountain. It is too far away to walk to.

Looking to your right, you see that the forest goes on for as far as you can see. To your left are more trees, deep, green, and lush. Behind you are more mountains, chilly and solid. In the very far distance, almost out of sight is a dirt road, leading into the sea of trees.

Above you the sky is a brilliant blue, almost aqua in it’s glory. White fluffy clouds drift by as if asleep.

Breathe in deeply and release. You are safe.

Where to go from here will be up to you. You can wander through the forest and find the road. Or you can hike deeper into the forest or towards the mountain. Or you can sit in the forest and enjoy a moment’s peace. Spend time watching the clouds or wait until night falls and stare at constellations in a star-filled sky you’ve never heard of before. The choice is yours.

When you are ready to return, sit down and close your eyes in your mind. Breathe in slowly, deeply, hold for a moment, and release. Repeat. Now envision the room you are sitting or laying in. Allow time to come back to yourself and focus on your breathing. When ready, open your eyes. You’re done.

 

Dealing with Spirit-Induced Trauma and Injuries

This is one of those posts I bring back once a year or so to remind people that it’s definitely a thing that needs to be discussed!

My friend duskenpath got an ask on tumblr about links for dealing with spirit-induced trauma and I remember kicking myself as I read it because I actually have a fair amount of experience with this and I haven’t posted on it. Which I feel guilty for.

First, let’s talk about spirit induced traumas and injuries. You can absolutely be abused, harassed, raped, assaulted, and tortured by spirits. You can absolutely bare physical injuries caused by spirits. This can absolutely happen and anyone who says otherwise… well, they haven’t talked to enough people then.

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From our friend's dock while visiting yesterday.

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I have a finger that was broken by spirits. My finger grew crooked afterwards, the nail growth stunted, and now fifteen years later it causes me pain enough to wear a finger brace and have to pop it back in place daily. I have a knee that was damaged in a fight with a monstrously sized hill toll. I played a decoy for my companions and for my effort I was snapped up into the air, whipped back and forth like a child’s toy with my knee being the bending point. I couldn’t walk for days afterwards and now, almost two years later, my knee still gives me trouble as if I had physically injured it. I’ve seen scratches pop up before my eyes after a spirit encounter where I’ve only been sitting in the middle of a couch with no way for such marks to appear otherwise. I’ve been possessed and nearly thrown off cliffs before. Sure, maybe it is psychosomatic but the point is you can be injured by spirits. But I have and always will attest this: just because your mind is producing the phenomena doesn’t mean that it isn’t also real. It may simply be that spirits use our minds to hurt us.

Experiences in the astral can be extremely traumatic. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been trapped and tortured where in a single night days worth of trauma was inflicted. Time doesn’t work the same way in the spirit realms. So much can happen in a short period of time. Seeing someone murdered – or murdering someone yourself – can still affect you. Although it’s rarely spoken of, we have a tendency to view spirits as “others” and thus murdering or harming them doesn’t count. You can wake up and it’s over, not matter how much you’ve hurt a spirit. This isn’t universally true, of course. Some people treat spirits as equals and others will have to deal with the consequences of their actions long after the event occurs. It depends on the situation and the individuals involved. You can be hurt by them and they can be hurt by you.

Trauma caused by spirits isn’t just spiritual in nature however. You can be affected even outside of the astral. You can be abused, manipulated, and gaslighted. The abuser could be anyone from a ghost, to a nature spirit, or even a deity. Just because these individuals might be nice and beneficial to someone else doesn’t mean they won’t hurt you. Never think that. These beings are far more complicated and complex than many practitioners realize. There’s no reason to think that a deity could be a savior or role model for one practitioner wouldn’t also be a spiteful, cruel abuser to another practitioner.

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The storm clouds tonight are lovely.

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The ways to deal with the situations as they arise can be easy. Say no. Defend yourself, violently if needed. Distance yourself. Protect yourself. And let others know of your experience so you can help help.

These steps get trickier when the being is non-corporeal. Binding, banishing, and cleansing can do wonders. Surround yourself in protections and wards designed to keep them specifically out. And keep saying no.

But just because they’re gone doesn’t mean the situation’s over. Spirit wounds take longer to heal and the trauma you’ve experienced isn’t suddenly gone. It’s a long road to recovery. Spirit wounds linger and should be treated with both healing spells and magic and physical healing techniques like physical therapy and appropriate medicines. Improper care can lead to long-term damage and some wounds won’t heal (like my knee which did receive proper care but was shattered horrifically in the astral.)

Trauma should be handled similarly. Look up treatments and ways to handle similarly experienced trauma like PTSD. And take it slow. What’s good to keep in mind is that just because you experienced the trauma from a spirit doesn’t invalidate it. Try to find an open-minded or pagan-friendly therapist. You may also want to find a clergy member, community elder, or mentor that can help you work through the trauma and be someone to talk to. While licensed therapists are better, they’re not always the best solution for all problems so choose carefully. There’s also support groups that meet to discuss and support one another through the recovery process.

 

Victims of trauma suffer a wide variety of symptoms and trauma can occur from a wide variety of sources such as breaking up a significant relationship (which many spiritual relationship can also fall into), abuse, car accidents, humiliating or disappointing experience, physical assaults, surgery, death of someone significant, sustaining an injury… It’s actually very common. The thing to remember is that your reactions are normal for an abnormal situation – whether that trauma’s from a sport injury or a spirit injury.

Symptoms can wary widely but the most common is to be in shock and deny it ever happened. Anger, irritability, and mood swings are also common. Guilt, shame, and self-blame are extremely common, especially when one’s in a situation where they felt helpless or hopeless. Continuing sadness, hopelessness, and feeling disconnected or numb also occurs. Suffers may also feel confusion, have difficulty concentrating and withdrawn from others. Fear and anxiety, sometimes coupled with depression can linger long after the event occurs. Physically, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, agitation, and inability to focus can happen. The opposite might also be true. You may have blank spaces in your memory and sleep excessively while plagued with fatigue and apathy. The body also responds with aches, pains, muscle tension, and paranoia which can lead to being easily startled.

Each person responds differently to trauma. My brother, for example, was hit by a car and permanently damaged for life when he was 13 while riding his bike. His dream of opening a dojo could never be realized with his injuries and he was bedridden for two years. He’s never ridden a bike since. He hates driving for any length of time and driving for longer than ten minutes will result in chain smoking and extreme agitation for him. He will always prefer someone else driving him someone to the point where he’ll schedule appointments around other people’s schedules. That’s trauma. He also experienced spiritual trauma. A few years before his accident we lived in a severely haunted condo complex. The kind of haunted where we didn’t go into certain rooms and visitors reported seeing a child ghost. Every single visitor, including the ones from out of state and never met described the child the exact same way. My brother and I have always been sensitive to spirits and always had them attracted to us. By this point I had buckled down my personal protections so spirits’ attentions shifted to my brother. Nightmares every night and physically seeing the faces of the dead. Therapy did nothing and everything I did to help didn’t help. Eventually he got sick of it and started to destroy them and banish the spirits. It led him down the path of necromancy and dealing with the dead because if they wouldn’t leave him alone he’d make them leave him alone. That’s also trauma.

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Pretty pink roses!

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Knowing your triggers are key. I know that being held against my will, even for a few seconds, will result in me lashing out with extreme violence. I’ve literally thrown a six foot 260lbs man across the room and drew out a knife because he wouldn’t let me go when I said so. I know this and so when someone grabs me even while playing around I warn them in a no bullshit voice that if they don’t let me go I will hurt them. I let that boundary be known. Communication is important to making sure that boundaries aren’t crossed and triggers aren’t hit. That’s not always easy or doable for everyone though.

Isolation from the situation is common. You may pull back from astral travel and all spiritual contact. You may even pull back from talking to friends about spiritual pursuits and stop your practice all together. Stop your practice as needed but don’t isolate yourself. Talk to others in the community. An elder, mentor, or clergy member may be able to help you and there are support groups that can help. Talk to people, even if it’s not about the problem at hand. It might take a lot of motivation to do it but try for just fifteen minutes. If you still don’t want to after fifteen minutes, then don’t.

Grounding yourself and staying grounded is really important. Grounding techniques vary but my favorites are eating high carb foods like bread, pushing the excess energy into an object like a ball or necklace, or sitting/laying down and letting the energy bleed away from you. This isn’t just good for excessive energy. If you’re feeling confused, disoriented, anxious, or lost, sit down and take slow, even breaths. Rocking may help keep your breathing even but it depends on the person- it might make you more anxious. You may even want to concentrate on keeping the body tight and pick out objects in the room to concentrate on – like all the green objects. Feel the ground around you. Touching solid things may also help steady you.

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Close up ♡

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Allow yourself to feel what your feeling. I hate that I lose my compassion when I’m triggered. I’m angry, violent, wild. I hate it. But I let myself feel it. I get it out and forgive myself later. It’s not always easy though. It may take days of self-care and losing myself in books or video games to reconcile it with myself. Doing normal things and keeping to my daily schedule also helps. Doing dishes, going for a walk, petting the cat. All these normal things helps. I’m a big, big fan of breaking up big tasks into smaller ones in any circumstances but it’s especially nice to even write them down when I’m feeling triggered. It helps ground me that these are things I can do. Accomplishing those things helps even more, even if it’s something like folding laundry. Keeping up your practice, even if you aren’t reaching out to anything spiritual, can help cement things for you. There’s many elements to many spiritual practices that don’t requires spiritual involvement.

Be kind to yourself. Self-care isn’t just about mental care but also physical care. Eat balanced meals regularly. The easiest way to do this is to make a huge bowl of salad and cut up hard boiled eggs, meats, cheese, and other additives and keep them separate. Mix and match at will. It keeps you from being bored and still having regular, balanced meals. Avoid drinks and foods with lots of sugar or caffeine in excessive. Chocolate may help calm you down but six ounces of chocolate and ten coffees isn’t healthy. Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also recommended as they might make symptoms worse or could give you an escape route from the trauma that can lead to addiction. Exercise, even just stretching, can give you an excellent venue to use excess energy or work out aggression or anxiety. It can also keep you grounded and feel more in control. Sleeping regularly the recommended amount is ideal. Not too much or too little. 7-9 hours is recommended by physicians at the moment.

Meditation and yoga can be useful. I’ve written on meditation before so pick the kind of meditation you prefer from the more “I’m going to sit here and ponder this” to the more new agey “breath in and out and go on a spiritual journey”. It might be more useful for you to do neither and just spend time sitting and listening to soothing sounds. I recommend the noise generators over at mynoise.net. Deep breathing, swimming, or activities you enjoy will also work. I like napping outside in the sun. It’s grounding, relaxing, and provides a favorite hobby: falling asleep while reading.

Many times we can treat our own trauma with time, patience, and self-care. This isn’t always the case. If you find yourself unable to engage in relationships or the trauma is affecting your life long-term such as affecting job performance, sleep months later, or trouble functioning in day to day life. Escaping into addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, video games, or sleep is also a sign. Depression and enhanced anxiety or fear are also signs. If this happens to you seek out a professional therapist. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek help.

 

You may need to revisit the event in order to move past it. Coming to terms with what happened often is part of the healing process. This might not happen for years later but it probably will happen. For some people, it never will. For spirit related traumas, I usually recommend joining in on a group ritual where someone else is in charge and someone is aware of your history. That last bit is exceptionally important. They watch to see if you’re overwhelmed and extra protection can be laid on you as needed. You may even want to watch a ritual instead of participating to help soothe your anxiety. One-on-one sessions with another practitioner who has a solid hand on the spirits they work with is also a good idea.

This isn’t always possible however so lead meditations or contacting healing spirits may be something you’ll want to look into. Go slowly and take your time. If you ever feel unsafe, disengage slowly and ground yourself. Reach out and contact people to help solidify that you’re here and safe. It’s a good idea to keep some protection and cleansing implements at the ready to boost your space’s safety and to reduce any anxiety.

When dealing with spirits afterwards, it may be a good idea to come up with a set of rules on how to treat each other. Penalties of the rules should also be listed. For example, my home has a “no assault” rule. No one is to be touched. So when an aggressive spirit chased a friend this past winter to his car, my brother and I didn’t just chase the ghost away but purged the entire crossroads my house sits at. I later invited back those spirits who had been banished but had done no harm. The rule stands however and no one has harassed us since. Spirits should agree to the rules but watch the way they agree to them. They might try to find loopholes just because they can. (Fae are especially known for this.)

 

What’s really important to keep in mind is that healing will take time but your experiences and feelings do matter and are important. Just because the person or situation responsible for your trauma is spiritual doesn’t make it less valid. You’ve been hurt and the wound sits deep in you. It will take time, patience, and work to heal. Each person is different and your healing process may vary wildly from someone else’s. Just know that you’re not alone.