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Starting a line of communication to the unseen

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#1 Eidolon

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 09:06 PM

I have lately found myself desiring to communicate with something/someone not of this world. I feel like this may be the next step I need to take in my path. I am not one to go blindly into a situation so right now I am just in the researching phase. It seems like there is a whole network of paths to go down on in regards to this. For example.. communication with , "spirits" such as, ancestors, astral beings, elementals, demons, deities, etc etc.

I realize these are very different things. I am just wondering if anyone can recommend one over another when just starting out. I suppose it is different for everyone. I have definitely experienced the presence of a couple of these but have not felt ready to communicate with them.

I would certainly be interested in hearing your experience with beginning the communication to the unseen.

Was it something you sought out or was it something that sought you out?

Are you experienced with all of the above or just one or two?

What is your usual method of communication?

Do they have names?

Anything else you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 Kalinia

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 02:22 AM

Following. Would love to read everyones response on this as well.
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#3 Kalinia

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 02:24 AM

This is something that I would love to learn how to do more as well. I have been reading a lot on spirits of items. Such as when we use herbs, oils, etc in our craft, we must connect with the spirit of the item to increase potency. I have always done that through meditation and "feeling" with my mind open to any messages that should come to me.
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#4 Ravenshaw

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:04 AM

I decided to try my hand at necromancy. I have seen human spirits before and figured it was a strength of mine. Instead of doing well. I was opening the door into my life and home and didn't realize what all was there. There was damage from it, and I stopped. I found out that I do not work well with human entities, not like that. I am not a team player, and I do not respect human flaws like I should - the human spirits which are attracted to me are not good, usually. Human spirits are no much of a strength for me.

I tried hedgework. I could do it. I could not defend myself well. I got attacked and it took 3 months to fully recover. The attack was from a low level entity, I was inexperienced and got fucked up pretty bad. It was embarrassing, and I learned a lot.

I have found out that I do better with nature spirits, less damage has been accumulated from my relationships with them (they are not kinder, they are just what I personally work with better), and I am able to have a healthier, more active relationship with the ones I work with. Nature spirits humble me, and I respect them much more easily than human spirits. My attempt to work with humans was a lot of me trying to control everything, and I couldn't hear them well enough to know the damage from it. Nature spirits I can hear loud and clear, and am much better about "dancing" with them - I pull, they push, I push, they pull. I can (generally) form an easier working relationship with them without treading toes, getting my ass handed to me, etc. That being said, I have still had some shit spit in my face - that comes with practice.

Working with the unseen requires knowing your strengths. If you cannot readily sense an entity, do not choose to work with that one. Pick something that is receptive to you, that YOU are receptive to, and if possible, one that is forgiving while you find your sea legs. And expect trial and error. Don't bumrush into the darkness, because you will definitely get hit - and if you are lucky, you will survive it.

I would say, start with what calls you and makes the most sense. What would be useful, or feels right? Try sensing it, feeling it out. Then, try approaching it in a respectful way, and if possible have something ready - energy, an offering (offerings for a working relationship work for some things, too). If it doesn't work, back out. Knowing when to back out is just as much of a strength as being able to work with something. If something approaches you and isn't malicious, try working with it - even if it doesn't make sense at first. I did not expect to be able to have a relationship with storm entities, land wights, or certain passing spirits. Some of the things I have worked well with were a one-time, confusing deal, but hey it worked. Some of the things are willing to have life long relationships, but I don't fully understand the whys or hows of it yet. Some things make perfect sense and ended up being easy as breathing, whether I wanted it, expected it, etc. Keep an open mind, and be ready for anything - the saying of "once you open the door, you cannot close it?" Yeah, they're not kidding.

Good luck!

Edited by Ravenshaw, 26 June 2015 - 03:10 AM.

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:37 AM

Just my opinion but I think when you first start out you have to go to places where there are a lot of "Spirits" that want to talk or be heard. Cemeteries, hospitals, battlefields, really old homes, etc are prime for it's sort of like tapping into a party line and lots of entities are to be found at them. Granted those type places will be more human or those entities that feed upon human emotions than say natural elemental type entities. For elemental type entities I'd suggest areas that are dominated by their element or almost archaic in nature. You can tell for instance when you cross into an old growth forest versus a young forest, yet even in a young forest there are places potentially where it's like stepping through some sort of time barrier and your almost back in a primordial place.

I'd warn though that once you open your phone line it seems, to me anyway, that it's like a dial tone that rings and rings in the other world and things will come to answer it. Yet as time passes you sort of get a feel for what type of thing your going to find in what type places. If it's a place of pain and suffering then that is what your going to get picking up the line, those who are suffering or those who feed upon it and your presence and phone is like a super charged probe compared to the sort of stale and weak signals normally in the area. One reason I personally think so many people have tales of picking up some hitchhiker from a graveyard, battlefield or certain types of hospitals such as mental wards.

Elemental type spirits I find for me I have to clear my mind and immurse myself in the environment at first. Sort of go into a deep woods, sit down and dig your toes and fingers into the soil and close your eyes. Listen with your ears but also listen and feel with every aspect of your body. The subtle kiss upon the skin that sends shivers up the spine, the tickle in your ears that almost sounds like a feather being brushed over it but also a far away song or sound that you hear but have to not really focus upon as you focus upon it. The smells that many times proceed the arrival of the physical form as you hear something approach through the ground clutter but open your eyes and you see nothing but close them again and you hear it move about you, almost as if it is testing you.

All the while learning to set the frequency of your phone and blacking certain numbers or energies even as you try to be selective of which calls your going to accept. Consider water spirits and how some of them your sitting by the shore, maybe have your feet in the water and just letting it wash over you. Various smells come to your senses that you try to pull in yet there is always that stagnate smell that suddenly comes up and it makes you ill. Acknowledge it and it seems to grow stronger and stronger and makes you feel sort of sticky or oily all over and some foul thoughts enter you mind along with foul images at times. yet ignore it and it seems, to me anyway, that you can smell and fell a change in the water as other elementals or spirits glide about you and sort of form a buffer and you feel lighter and cleaner and the foul smell fades away. The chirping of sounds that might be voices, might be fluttering of something like a dragon or damsel flies wings and occasionally a sense of weariness that comes over you but you start to hear sort of a sing songey type high pitched voice that has sort of a bell like quality to it. then, to me anyway, you notice it has been there the whole time but its sort of buried in the gurgling sounds of the river, creek, etc and it sort of masks itself under the gurgle sound. So you speak out loud and the quality of the gurgle and the bells seems to change about you and if your lucky you start to get images, songs or words that "Appear" in your mind or actually see flashes of things in the water that are there then gone but you can still see them.

Sad I suppose but I find when dealing with elemental type spirits you almost always have to start with eyes closed and allow them to speak. yet with human type spirits the visual many times is a must though it seems many times its more of a lateral vision you see from the side than a front on vision before you. Those entities that feed upon human emotions and such I tend to see more as a negative of a sillouette than a smokey shape but that is just me. Sort of like looking at a person in a heavy fog where you see the dark outline but sharpness is never there.

Hope this helps and please feel free to ask any questions for many times this is one of those things I notice but tend not to think about unless asked specifically so its usually sort of tangled when I write about it.

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#6 Ravenshaw

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:49 AM

Monsno, very good post

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#7 Leonardo

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:55 AM

Both Monsnoleedra and Ravenshaw has given some excellent advice above and I fully agree that you must begin with what calls you and feels right.

I would only add that sometimes the simplest act can have the most profound impact. Take a few minutes to make a small offering to nature, to the spirits of your local landscape, your deity(ies), your ancestors, or whoever/whatever. This will forge and strengthen a link to your spiritual and magical current. The more you build up this connection the more natural communicating with the spirit realm becomes. While doing this you will also start to feel small physical changes in your body, take note of these as you will find that your body has a way of informing you when you are in presence of spiritual entities. As Monsnoleedra states “listen and feel with every aspect of your body." For me it is mainly my hands, as they start to tingle and vibrate when I am in a spiritually charged environment, but each person will have their own ’signal’.

My personal journey started with honoring my ancestors and the guardian spirits at the gates between the living and the dead. Speaking to my ancestors daily, leaving offering and tending to their altar attuned me to the ever-present reality of the spirit world.

As I got older I really piqued an interested in grimoire magic and invocation and evocation of various spirits. This was a period of trial and error as I began to test the waters so to speak and see just how much tangible physical change I could effect via magical workings. I tried evoking spirits into crystal balls, into black mirrors, into the solomonic triangle, etc. This was a rather tumultuous time in my life and I made many costly mistakes dealing with entities that I was clearly not ready to invite into my life.

Today, I have a handful of spirits that I work with very frequently though I still seek out new ones from time to time using the methods outlined in the Greek Magical Papyri and in a select set of grimoires. Yes, they have names. Some are spirits of the dead who I work with for mutual benefit ( a necromantic business partnership, if you will), some are the same spirits outlined in the grimoires others are personal guardians that I have never heard of until they came to me and still others are outright deities. Over time I've built up a small spirit family that I can trust :smile:

Edited by Leonardo, 26 June 2015 - 04:08 AM.

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 04:09 AM

Leonardo mentions it a bit but just for discussion'

Usually Evoke is to call or summon a entity to appear before you in some capacity

Usually invoke is to call or summon an entity to take residence within you in some capacity.

When you start dealing with goetia type spirits or even some higher daemon forms it's really important to have that clearly defined within your own mind. Some of the "Spirits" will take miles for every inch you give them and exploit it when your not sure just what you want or think your doing. Just my own opinion so take it or leave it as you will.

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#9 RoseRed

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 02:38 PM

RS - You should print that and put it away. That was beautiful.

Another thought about opening doors that you can't close. Just because the practitioner wants or expects contact of a certain kind - we cannot always control what comes through those doors. What we imagine these things to be like is nothing like the reality of it.

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#10 Christine

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 02:56 PM

This is some of the best advice that I have ever read on the topic, and I completely agree with what's been written here. I'm a nitpicker by nature, so that is extremely rare.

If you follow the advice from Ravenshaw, MonSnoLeeDra, and Leonado, you will get results, and with minimal damage. At some point you will then want to stop having contact with spiritual entities, at least for a little while. Everyone needs a break. There are some things you can work out individually as you progress regarding the circumstances under which various entities may contact you, you'll find that information all over the place.

Edited by Christine, 26 June 2015 - 02:56 PM.

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#11 Christine

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 03:17 PM

I do know some effective techniques for taking a break from it, but I am having a rough time describing them. If I can work that out, I will post more.
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#12 Gyreleaf

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 04:07 PM

Be sincere. Don't have expectations of what you will experience, just be open to having experiences or you may miss the most subtle of conversations which might be nothing more then a sudden breeze or a rustle of leaves. Get to know yourself so when they communicate you can tell when it is them and not you in your thoughts and feelings. Assume they are always "watching and listening" so do not say or intend one thing and then by your actions do something else, like cleaning up a forest area of rubbish to show respect to the spirits only to throw your next empty bottle in a bush. Do not make promises until you are much much more experienced. Give thanks, make offerings, talk to them even if you can't perceive a reply, they are always talking we just have to learn to recognise it. Try and try again, over and over.

People work and communicate with spirits in different ways so I advise to not measure success on whether you can do what others do. It can take a lot of work and time, for some it takes years but it is worth it.

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#13 travsha

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 05:38 PM

I never look up spirits in books and then try to find them.... Mostly I work with either ancestors, personal guides, and plant spirits. Sometimes other spirits will be involved, but not as often as those 3 groups.

Sometimes they just start talking to me, and other times I reach out to them. Sometimes it is during meditation, or during journey work, or while sitting in nature - and sometimes it is just randomly when I dont expect it (like when reading a book or something). I also often work with altered states and psychoactive plants, so a lot of communication happens that way as well (though certainly not the only way I connect with plants).

Easiest ways I work with spirits which I could teach others would be through use of plant medicines, or maybe trying different styles of what some people call "shamanic journey" (similar to astral travel, but different cultural starting point and focus). I usually prefer teaching the plant way because there is less room to make things up or day-dream, especially if they consume them in the right manner (random psychedelic play would be totally different then ceremonial usage).

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#14 ArcticWitch

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 09:36 PM

All of the comments made by other members are brilliant. My computer mouse is getting worn out with all of the +1 clicks. :D

The only thing that I feel I can add is the discipline of establishing a baseline. What this means is that before engaging in new activities in witchcraft, take a few days to define your "normal". Humans are dynamic creatures, always changing and growing- so what is "normal" behavior and thinking for you is probably going to be different now than it was a year ago. Personally, during these periods of establishing a baseline, I like to be as "clean" as possible: engage in little to no witchcraft, completely abstain from any mind-altering chemicals, and even adhere to a strict diet of unprocessed foods. It is a time not only to prepare for new experiences, but also to reflect upon my personal development.

Creating this "control group" to use as a reference comes in handy when new experiences with the Other may prompt a witch to doubt their own perceptions (and, in extreme cases, their sanity). It provides a set of criteria for that one can strive to regain if they begin to feel as if they're losing themselves when working with the dead, autonomous entities, or traditional deities. Also, it can be an excellent tool to use when defining the different levels of influence a witch experiences when communicating with the unseen: there is an enormous spectrum of interaction, ranging from easily-missed messages to full-on invocation.

"Witch, know thyself" isn't an adage that applies only to Seekers: it's a wise commitment to self-awareness that is critical for safety when dealing with the occult.

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#15 RoseRed

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 12:44 AM

Cleansing and purifying oneself before a big Working, spiritual encounter, ritual or Ritual is something that a lot of magical and theurgical practitioners do. Some simply take a cleansing bath, others do the 1 or 3 days thing, some do an entire month and a rare handful follow the old grimoires to the day. For bigger workings I'll do a 3 day thing and finding that baseline is a part of it. I love the way you described it.

You're a natural, girl. It's a Gift.

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#16 Aurelian

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:42 AM

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It took me a while to decide how best to respond to this, and I've decided we should get down to a bit of practical business, as none of our well-meant advice and wisdom will matter really if you can't actually manage to perceive and communicate with the entities in question. The first step is to actually flex and build up those muscles which will enable you to do so

Can you induce a typical, non-ecstatic trance state, by yourself? This a practice which will help you greatly, and not just with spirit communication, in your lifelong practice of the Arte.

My typical advice regarding spirit communication is to promote the practice of scrying, at least 20 minutes per session, as often as possible, preferably daily, until you are able to perceive those spirits which are already around you...and trust me, if you practice magic with any regularity, you will have attracted a number of them.

You know what, get yourself a nice bottle of Abramelin oil, acquired from someone who actually knows what they're doing, and USE it! Anoint the so-called 'third-eye' area with it, just a dab, prior to any exercises pertaining to this project. Some things, like this, are minor, but really quite helpful.

Another thing you can do, is to go outside, and practice projecting your consciousness into the air, into the wind, but only when you're well-rested, and do all your good protective juju! Not all the spirits in your local environment are likely to be wonderfully friendly, and this will attract their attention. If you can attune yourself properly, their presence will be apparent, IME. Just don't expect the sort of interaction you'd have with a human, or human spirit...you can get stream of consciousness type oddness directed your way, or the like, but that's typical of nature spirits.

Also, as Leonardo mentioned, establishing relations with ancestral spirits will get you everywhere, and will help you to attune to Other. So, as a daily practice, start leaving out glasses of water for the deceased. Light a candle when you do so, for just a little while, and call out to them whilst you're setting out this minor offering, as this will help them to perceive YOU. This is one of the great utilities of fire for a witch, it's not necessarily, or limited to, elemental concerns! If you would like to make this even more effective, go to a cemetery which feels 'friendly' to you, leave offerings of silver at the gate, and bury a simple glass-encased candle just inside the gates. Leave it there for a while...at least 13 days, for traditions sake, and if you'd like, drill some holes down into the candle and load it up with wormwood.

Also, as nobody has yet mentioned it, find yourself a nice active crossroads! You want chatty spirits...well, that's one place to find them, and if you establish relations via intent and offerings with a gatekeeper spirit(Hecate, certain mercurial spirits, angels and the like, there's quite a few of them), and this will be a less dangerous place to interact with them than wandering graveyards or haunted locales.

Be persistent, and do not give up! This really can take a while, trust me, I know. If you want relations with spirits that are worth building relationships with, this will signal to them that you are not the idiotic type of ignorant thrill-seeking dabbler that disrespects the otherworlds!

These tips are in no particular order, and I've forgotten what else I was going to say....

Edit: Oh! You need to get yourself a familiar. Having such will help to eliminate the type of bullshit problems that can crop up in these practices. Also, consider acquiring a guardian daemon, think about it! Highly recommended!

Anyone else have ideas on how to help her flex those senses that will enable communication? Book recommendations, anything? Let's do this girl right!

Edited by Aurelian, 28 June 2015 - 03:45 AM.

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"The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning." - Cormac McCarthy

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:56 AM

Been awhile since I read it so don't accept it blindly as an endorsement by me. The book Awakening to the Spirit Wold, The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation by Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman I seem to recall was pretty good and had some descent practice stuff. Some of it sort of touchy feely new agey stuff but all in all not to bad of a read.
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#18 Michele

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 02:22 PM

Another thing I'd add is to start with getting in touch with an Archetype.. something that is well known even without personal communication. That way, you will have an already defined "personality" you are dealing with so it will be easier to ascertain if interactions and/or answers are coming from the spirit you are trying to contact, something else, or even your own mind. For me, personally, that has always been one of the hardest things, to ascertain whether or not it is actual input or whether I am creating the input I personally want to see/feel, etc. Only three times that immediately comes to mind has something screamed at me so loudly that it pushed all other thoughts from my head and I could actually feel the "head voice" coming from somewhere else. All three times it was either an extreme "no" or "stop" when I was doing something or thinkiing about doing something, lol. I suppose for those who are actually clairaudient (however one spells that) and they hear a voice outside of themselves that it may be different, but I don't hear outside voices... it's more "telepathic" for lack of a better way of explaining it..... images, ideas, inspirations, or sudden thought-sentences.

When I "jump" into something then it is different as I actually see the thing and speak with it in the form of actual conversation, but that is in an altered state and the "thing" is still seen inside of my "mind" in the altered state... I never actually see apparitions with my eyes or hear them with my ears. I think that can be confusing for some people. To this day I still sometimes wonder about it and probably always will. I often speak out loud to the garden, but their answers (unless visual like via the wind or something) are almost always telepathic. I have heard of some who can actually audio-hear them, but that is not one of my talents. However, there is more than one way of having "ears to hear" you just have to be able to ascertain when it is coming from elsewhere and when it isn't. (Easier said than done, lol.)

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#19 Ravenshaw

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:54 PM

Leaving out food and water for my ancestors definitely began attract other things, within a month or so. Light a candle with some wormwood oil or sprinkle wormwood around it, say a few words of why you're bothering to offer the stuff in the first place, and set it out. No food with salt in it, if you don't know what to give, try raw fruits and veggies OR an ancestors favorite meal. Just water will do as well.And be patient, some spirits are shy, wary, nervous, angry, etc... Can take them a while.

This will definitely attract other spirits. Be sure to lay down boundaries in your house where you don't want them. Expect some of these spirits to not oblige your wishes unless done with action.

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#20 Ravenshaw

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:56 PM

And Aurelian and Michele - excellent posts!

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