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House spirits or ghosts?


Freydis
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So the topic about farm spirits got me thinking... This is an exciting topic and one I have been contemplating of late. I am very interested in the landvaettir. There are also the husevaettir (sp?) or house spirits. We have had a lot of strange occurrances around our house in the past couple of years that has accelerated lately. I have done some research on the internet trying to see if anyone had advice on disginguisihing a ghost from a house spirit. I came up with nothing.  My husband is open to things, but not generally as in to the same sort of things as I am. A skeptical believer I guess. But when I had something blow air in my ear (as in even making the small ridges in my ear vibrate) and he heard it when he was several steps ahead of me on the basement steps, he started paying attention. He has witnessed cupboard doors creaking (that had to be opened to creak), I have had lights turn on and heard the basement stairs that had to have weight on them to creak (the sound is very distinctive and one I am familiar with) when no one was around. My daughters have both witnessed a "finger" poking through the shower curtain in the bathroom adjencent to the basement late at night. My 14 year old frequently sees dark shapes flitting around that part of the house. No one ever feels anything negative or really scary about it, though the finger poking thing kind of freaked the girls out. 🙂

My question is, this a house spirit that has taken up residence here or have we suddenly become haunted? How to differentiate? If the former, how best to propitiate such a spirit?

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Sounds like a Domovoi, maybe try leaving a small offering of bread or milk and see if there is a change in behavior.  Ghosts tend to repeat the same actions over and over again.  A home or farm spirit can actually be helpful and offer a certain amount of protection, just do some research and try not to offend him, he may choose to spoil your food, cause leaks in your roof, or worse, leave.

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Thank you, Sagefire and Mona. We do have cats. My one cat will walk around and yowl in a complainy annoying way for no reason. Perhaps she is talking to him?  One of my daughters had the idea to use a spirit board to communicate with him. Haven't done it yet. Sometime when the house is super quiet and it is just me, I want to sit and communicate with him/her/it in my head and see what I come up with. I will try to leave an offering. Maybe on the kitchen counter? The basement and area where most of this is happening is next to the kitchen. Also if my husband sees food left on the counter in the kitchen he won't think I am off my rocker. 🙂

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Traditions say that Domovoi like to be near the stove or hearth, the kitchen would likely be the best place to leave an offering.  If he accepts it you may notice things happening, like lost items suddenly appearing.  Unfortunately in these modern times this is not much for him to do, but if you cook, you may find that your recipes are successful and that your food lasts longer, you may also notice a lack of insects or rodents in your home.  He may not respond to the spirit board attempt, Domovoi value their privacy.  This type of spirit is really more from Mona's neck of the woods than mine.

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Domovoi is obviously the Slavic name and will have it's own traditions. The folklore surrounding them is similar to the British Brownie. Brownies can be rather mischievous and play up when the home is neglected. Milk & Honey is the traditional offering, as it is for a lot of things. But if I were you, I would look into your local land spirits. What is your local folklore? Yes you could possibly get Domovoi & Brownies in the US, but like I said, look into your local folklore.

Do some divination on it and see if that comes up with any clues. Also record the times you hear/see these things happen. Like Mona said with the animals, see how they react. Cats are known to see things we can't, so if yours is staring at something that isn't obvious to you, then there could be something there. But that won't help you tell what it is.

I think your best bet is probably the divination route. Also what household protections have you got in place?

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you all for your replies. I have done some reading on the Domovoi (part of it was research for a historical novel about the Varangians thayt I was writing) and I found it very interesting. I still haven't found the quiet moment to just sit and be present and listen to whatever is there, but I plan on it. As far as household protections, probably a little weak in this area, thoguh I did place a ward on the house. What do you suggest Phagos?

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15 hours ago, Freydis said:

Thank you all for your replies. I have done some reading on the Domovoi (part of it was research for a historical novel about the Varangians thayt I was writing) and I found it very interesting. I still haven't found the quiet moment to just sit and be present and listen to whatever is there, but I plan on it. As far as household protections, probably a little weak in this area, thoguh I did place a ward on the house. What do you suggest Phagos?

Home protections take many forms. You can carry protective incense counter clock wise around the home and place the ashes at the front and back door and windows of the first floor. You can simmer protective herbs and then pour that around the home, you can use powders, sigils, etc it depends on your way of working. I personally appreciate the incense (just place herbs on a charcoal bricket) among others.

Bay leaves are excellent for protection against beings which intend to do harm.

Garlic protects against evil (such as serial killers and other terrible beings).

Edited by FancyShadowCat
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20 hours ago, Freydis said:

 As far as household protections, probably a little weak in this area, thoguh I did place a ward on the house. What do you suggest Phagos?

Like what FancyShadowCat said, there are many ways. The main reason I mentioned protections, is a while back I had some "activity" in my home, I was going through some stuff so the last thing I wanted was anything negative around. It had been a while since I had redone my protections, so I went all out. Banish, Cleanse, Protect. I did the banish as I was getting mixed readings as to what was there, so to be safe I got rid.

The protection part, I don't do a lot tbh. Just seal the doors and windows and sigils on the glass. The majority of my little ritual is cleansing but I suppose it's like using an anti-bac spray, your cleaning and protecting at the same time. It's air purification and floor/wall washes. The rest is charms.

What tradition are you following? In recent years I have become increasingly aware of cultural appropriation and am quite strict as to what I incorporate into my practice. It reminds me too much of wicca and I don't want to be an eclectic witch. Not saying that I don't find other cultural practices interesting, I like to learn about them, just not incorporate them. ... .aaaand I'm talking about myself too much hahaha I'll shut up.

Someone said to me once, when you cast it's like lighting a beacon, and like moths to a flame, things will be attracted by that. Some will be harmless, others not so. So always cover your ass first. There are so many charms you can use in the home, Traditional British Witchcraft has a tonne, a lot used by Christians to keep witches out lol

Did you do any divination on it?

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I have not yet done any divination on it. I am of English, German and Scandenavian descent and since I was  pretty young, have always been drawn to thebcuatima of these ancestors. I am not Asatru, but follow along with a basic semblance of Germanic/ Northern European magic. I too, have no interest in utilizing magic outside my own culture. I have been exploring bind runes a lot. I know the Vegvisir is supposed to guide through rough weather but I been exploring its use because what is life but weathering the storm? I have smudged with cedar, European sage and mugwort. I truly don't feel as though this spirit is in any way malevaloent. But I do see your point about spiritual hygeine.

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  • 1 year later...

A few days ago I bought, from a person who has a business on preparing food from goat/ram known here as "barbacoa", a goat skull with the purpose to make an altar at some point. I left it in a bag waiting for the moment to completely clean it in a physical way. It stayed in the bag and I put it near the phone used at home. That night, while I was sleeping, the speaker button was on so the dial tone was loud.  It was placed above the phone.  I supposed that gravity (haha) made its work because maybe I placed the bag in a position that finished making it pushing the button.

My cats have been too curious with the skull because they got approached and I was wondering that maybe they could play with it and throw it making some damage. I didn't want that so that is the main reason It's placed in the bag.

Next day (yesterday) I had little time to take care of the skull to cleanse it but I didn't finished so I changed the bag and placed it next to the phone again taking care not to be so close to it. That night the same thing happened with the phone while I was asleep. I woke up to silence the loudly dial tone while my son came telling me that he heard some buttons where pushed as if someone was dialing (pushing the numbers). That was weird and I didn't like it. So I disconnected the telephone line while I consulted the cards (I used the playing cards as in Hutcheson 54 devils) and to my surprise all of them where positive but at the same time with the message each card represents it has an ambivalent meaning. They were yes/no answers. I got in my mind the spirit houses and this is different, I guess, because If there is a spirit in the goat skull I didn't invited him/her/it to the skull. The cards tell the spirit was not invited by anyone, like if it is making its own desitions to inhabit the skull but maybe that's inacurate (the card to that question was a no but at the same time was a King of clubs meaning someone with authority...). If it is in the skull, may someone placed it there? My cat continue returning intrigued near the bag (I also think that my cat did the dial while pushing with its paws). Should I finish cleaning the skull and left it out of the bag to place it somewhere?

So suspicious: the man from whom I bought it in the first place...

any suggestions?

Edited by sugarskull
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Hmmm in my working cosmology the skull itself is (has?) a spirit. So I wouldn't see it as anyone placing it there or anything choosing to inhabit it, just... a skull being a skull, especially in a witch's house? If I had sought out and brought a skull to my home to work magic I would damn sure expect it to have spiritual activity (and I would make sure I have a good reason to do so), if that makes sense? Why else bother, you know?

But we may be working from different paradigms. How are you planning to use it, if you're willing to share?

Edited by spectropoetics
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17 hours ago, spectropoetics said:

t, just... a skull being a skull, especially in a witch's house

Putting it that way, make sense, of course.

I plan to have it in an altar among other things regarding ancestors, the land, etc. I will need to have the place fot it yet and I'm working on it. After what happened that very same day at noon I cleaned the house to finish cleaning it and making with it an agreement (stop spooking me... as I was cleansing it, sort of "As I am doing you well you do well to me too"). I poured five drops of cedar essential oil and perfumed it all and other stuff, placed it in above the piano. I guess it suits fine for the moment until the altar is ready and I get ready for a more formal-ritual welcome. Nothing else had happened since then. After that my cats have been seeing things much more than any other moment but quite calm.

 

17 hours ago, spectropoetics said:

How are you planning to use it

I would like it to take part it in some rituals and as a spirit home for a familiar but that is something I'm working on and need to be well informed. In the meantime I continue my research. BUT, if it already has a spirit (as you and the cards confirmed, well, what I need to do is get acquainted and get to know that spirit, I guess).

Thinking on the card (ambivalent) answers, the next day I remembered that the nature (to put it that way) of spirits is not "good" of "bad" in a traditional Judaic-Christian way of understanding it. I think it more like a force, an impulse, that has its own mind and will, lets say. Thinking for example on the Witch Father as a natural and indomitable force, spirits should be that way and one would do agreements with them if one wants them to wotk with you in any kind of goal (spells, divination, meeting the Otherworld, etc.).

Thanks for your concern @spectropoetics!

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Got to say: at the same time I take it seriously and become more aware of what it takes to be a witch (be spooked included) I like it and feel more attracted to it at my own pace.

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I think you're hitting the nail on the head! As you know, I believe that spooking yourself is the Secret Essence of the Efficacious Arte Magical or whatever lmao

For what it's worth I'm sure you did good talking to it, considering it like a person etc. From what little context I have, one of my guesses is that it was literally calling you to attention, like hey you brought me here to store me in a bag??! you bet you're not gonna sleep easy.

Maybe your next step could be - rather than diving about the skull - using the cards to talk to it about your plans and to see how you guys can work together? They might have a very different idea, or refuse entirely and ask to be let go in a respectful manner. Like you said:

26 minutes ago, sugarskull said:

a force, an impulse, that has its own mind

Edited to add: best of luck, keep us posted!

Edited by spectropoetics
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2 hours ago, spectropoetics said:

I believe that spooking yourself is the Secret Essence of the Efficacious Arte Magical or whatever lmao

Got to keep trying, then. 🙃

2 hours ago, spectropoetics said:

calling you to attention, like hey you brought me here to store me in a bag??! you bet you're not gonna sleep easy.

You're right! It was disrespectful.

 

2 hours ago, spectropoetics said:

using the cards to talk to it about your plans and to see how you guys can work together?

I love this forum alright because of these exchange of ideas!

Thanks again, I will be doing that. It seems acurate for me.

🤘🏽

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On 9/22/2020 at 1:25 PM, Freydis said:

"My question is, this a house spirit that has taken up residence here or have we suddenly become haunted? How to differentiate? If the former, how best to propitiate such a spirit?"

In the community I live, over the last ten years most of the homes around me have had family members pass on. In some cases whole households have become empty for the same reason. I have not encountered any of these folk on a spirit level. However, there are lots of spirit movements, lots of shadow and of course many energies associated with different personalities. Over the last many years I discovered that almost all of the many spirits I encounter are in fact the disembodied aspects of many living people - loss of Soul, literally. We have not lived in such a psychologically repressed time since the Victorian era. Thanks to virtual reality and the almost complete destruction of empathy on a social level people's Souls are actually starving for communion with other Souls and folk. When people are forced to take on personas that are divorced from their reality, as Political Correctness does, people are forced into mental illness. They dissociate and become split off. They become disembodiment shadows roaming the streets of the astral realms so-to-speak, searching either for communion or food. This is a very premeditated MO. This is  what AI and virtual reality is doing to the human and spirit realm of the Earth Mother.

There is no question I've always had a very shamanic leaning. If they are spirits of folk who have passed on then I would treat them as you would anyone on the street or in your community. If they are at all unsocial then I always use a "gentle teaching approach". Befriending, patience and modelling. Otherwise I don't hesitate after a certain grace period to use exorcism or something more effective.

II think the world needs some new types of psycho therapeutic interventions.

 

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