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Freydis

House spirits or ghosts?

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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. ūüôā

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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Do you have animals, a dog or a cat? Observe them and you could tell if it is Domovoi. Cats and dogs see him too, but are not afraid. 

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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. ūüôā

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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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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
Added something

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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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