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When Land Spirits Head South

30 Oct

Alternate title: Why land spirits are important

I feel like a lot of modern Pagan practices have an over-emphasis on the gods. Don’t get me wrong, gods are important, but I feel like local spirits and lesser known spirits are undervalued in our modern practices. I wanted to share a story about my own experiences with local land spirits as a way of illustrating why I’ve found that its important to consider them in your practice.

Early last year, I had moved to a new apartment. Usually, when I move, one of the first things I do is set up shop with the local fae or land spirits that live around me. I’m not sure where I picked up the habit of doing this, but its something that I’ve always found that I do. I thought I was lucky with this new apartment- I had two trees right outside of my balcony as well as a water feature that was always running just below my front window. It seemed like this was going to be a great location to work with the fae because of all of the greenery right outside of my house.

And at first, it was pretty good. There were tons of fae around my house. The offerings went over well, my spirituality was doing okay. Things were good.

But then the summer storms hit. I’ve have a very love hate with the monsoon since I moved back to Arizona. You see, the only real thing I love about Arizona are the monsoon storms, and it seems that someone somewhere has seen fit to ensure that I miss every large monsoon storm that occurs since I moved back. However, while I lived in this apartment, I was fortuitous enough to catch three large monsoon storms. And during each storm, I watched one of the trees outside of my house break off until slowly, no trees remained.

I should have noticed then that something was wrong.

Dead Plants by Kelly Sikkema via Flickr

 

Over the course of the rest of my stay at this apartment, my life would slowly stagnate, and in some places- unravel. By the time I moved from that apartment, there were dead birds every 50 feet or so along the road that led to my apartment complex. I also found that a lot of the plant life was suffering in the area, and most notably- my life itself was grinding to a halt in almost all areas.

And lo! As soon as I moved to my new apartment- things cleared up quickly. My job got better, my health and relationships improved- it seems like someone had broken a dam of things within my life. And looking back on it- I believe that land spirits played a role.

You see, I think that land spirits should be considered in every religious practice- regardless of which deities you worship or what path you’re on. This is simply because I have learned that if land spirits aren’t in your favor- they can actively cock block your gods or other entities from helping you. Its kinda like saying that your life is a house, and the gods have left some awesome presents in your mailbox that is at the end of the driveway, but the land spirits lock all of the doors so that you can’t get outside to the mailbox. They can, in my experience, cripple your endeavors to get ahead if they so choose to.

When I first arrived at my apartment, things went alright because we had active land spirits outside and the land was doing well. But when two of the trees snapped in half and one tree was wrongfully cut down (they should have put a series of supports under the tree and allowed it to recover- instead, they opted to just chop the whole thing down. This was the tree closest to my house), I believe that most of the fae and land spirits packed up shop and moved to greener pastures. I also think that its possible that what few land spirits remained were upset because of the state of the land around them- and possibly took it out on the residents still remaining there (despite my efforts to help quell the backlash from the tree being cut down).

Many polytheists and pagans look to the gods first for answers, but sometimes its not within the gods’ capacity to fix something that is off limits to them. When in doubt, sometimes its better to try appealing to something that is closer to home- such as the spirits and entities that live around you. Many times I have found that if you can keep the local fauna happy, in turn you will find that things run smoother for yourself in all areas of life. I’ve also found that my gods can open more doors for me, and my astral partners also have an easier time of things because there aren’t local entities barring my doors from being opened from the outside.

So the next time that you run into problems, perhaps try reaching out to local spirits. I’m sure they’d enjoy the attention.

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26 responses to “When Land Spirits Head South

  1. Aine Rayne

    October 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    huh, I have considered reaching out to the local land spirit, but I’ve never been sure if that’s a good idea. I’m not here very consistently and when I move out the spirit will be left alone and high and dry. My mom doesn’t really have a green thumb and my stepdad is just oblivious and callous about nature. I don’t think it would be very fair, starting a relationship knowing that it’s going to end up lonely and ignored again.

    How do you go about honoring and working with your land spirits? Especially in an apartment?

     
    • von186

      October 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      I understand the concerns regarding moving. I’ve always worried about that, too.
      Over the next few weeks I’m going to be releasing some posts about working with land spirits- which includes some of my methods of how to honor them and work with them. Hopefully that will be helpful :>
      The short version is to leave out offerings for them, spend time outside, and make your outdoor areas enjoyable for hte local spirits (aka have growth and plants and stuff). But there is a lot more to it than that, I think. So hopefully hte posts will help.

       
      • Aine Rayne

        October 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm

        I guess my next concern is my parents. My stepdad refuses to let me plant a garden out back (to “save his lawn”, which he doesn’t take great care of anyway) and I doubt he’d like me leaving offerings. Food doesn’t go over well in urban environments, people don’t like pests. Not with so many pets around. It’s also cold here 😄 so I think maybe that should be something to consider, that not everywhere is Arizona lol not that it’s easy to spend time outdoors there O_O but still, how would I go about this sort of thing ninja style?

         
      • von186

        October 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        kekekekek. Easy to spend time outdoors because it’s Arizona. XDD
        No. 😛
        I don’t go outside from April to November (except to walk to work). That’s 2/3rds of the year.
        Outside of offerings, I find that just paying attention to the land around you is important. If you can channel energy into the land around you, there is that possibility. Collecting things from outside is also another thing I’ve done that seems to help. I used to love to collect rocks and sticks and crap- and that seems to bring hte outside in, and help for entities to see that I am there.
        Sometimes having a nice outdoors isn’t so much about having plants as it is maintaining what is already there. Keeping your landscaping nice (where applicable). I’ve also found that helping the local wildlife can help (its a story I’ll bring up in one of my upcoming posts, involves helping birds that smack into buildings).
        Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
        Windchimes. I think those help.
        Bird feeders. (can be messy)
        I can probably think of more.
        I also find that driving around town connects me with the environment around me. Esp if it involves loud music becaues loud music is my love. XDDD
        *rolls around* I’m sure there is more x.x;;;

         
      • Aine Rayne

        October 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm

        Hmm, as a kid i loved collecting rocks and such too lol i had a vague thought that maybe the land spirit might like being invited inside to live with my plants. Then if and when i move it’ll still be with me and get attention. We have windchimes but they don’t chime very much for some reason. I’d be fine with music too lol those are good ideas, certainly food for thought.

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 7:42 am

        I’m like you, u collect rocks and shells from places I visit. It’s mainly from vacations or rare beach trips though. Also I have no idea how to connect to land spirits. Since I live in the New England area, I have to deal with its wacky weather. However, my dad is gardener at my house. Since he grew up on farm, he does his own thing. Everything that Von has suggested has been done by him so I have no idea what to do now. Maybe with Von’s help we can figure this out.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 7:49 am

        Well you could always try doing what your dad does with him? You kinda have a slight advantage by having someone who knows how to connect already. Why not try? I know New England has crazy weather, but it couldn’t hurt to try

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 7:53 am

        True, I’ve tried to help once before but I was told that I was in the way. That and my dad isn’t good at teaching. He thinks that you should be able to do it automatically.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 8:33 am

        Heh, not everyone has that automatic connection with plants. I’d say most people only barely have the sense for it. It’s unfortunate your dad won’t teach you. However, gardening isn’t extremely hard. Start by getting a hard to kill houseplant and do research on taking care of it. Talk to it, try and feel it out. Touch it every day and look over it for bugs and discoloration so that you know if it isn’t doing well. Plants are like immobile and noiseless pets, they respond to care and affection

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

        I’ll try that! I just my dad won’t take over. He tends to think that ALL plants are outdoor plants and need full sun. (sighs) We’ve lost so many plants that way.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

        He’s not that great of a gardener then O.o each plant species has its own general needs. Even if you make them all outdoor plants, some of them sunburn and die because they NEED shade, not direct sun. Just the same as not every plant should be shaded or indoors. Then you have to consider that every plant is pretty much an individual as well because of genetics and such. If he just throws plants into the sun thoughtlessly despite the needs of the plant, he’s really irresponsible and I’m surprised any plants respond to him.

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

        He’s actually a great gardener, he just grew up on a farm in Ireland.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

        I apologize, but I also grew up in a house full of gardeners. You don’t just stick any random plant in the sun. You also don’t assume you know everything just because you grew up gardening or farming. That’s how you end up with a lot of dead plants. Nonetheless, I’m sorry for what I said, that wasn’t nice of me

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

        It’s ok. I get frustrated by him also.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

        What state do you live in, if you don’t mind me asking? I can help you research a good starting plant if you like? I love plants myself, and I mostly raise them indoors. It would be a good excuse to pick new ones for next spring lol

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

        I live in Massachusetts and thanks for the help.

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

        OK, so you need something that’s frost resistant in case it ends up outside and that can take sun and shade. A perennial could be best, but they have a harder time doing well indoors. Hmmm, I’ll see what I can find. There might be excellent native plants that do well indoors

         
      • von186

        November 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

        hahahaha maybe you should write about selecting plants and all of that as a means to get started with land spirits and plant spirits XDDD

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

        😄 perhaps lol

         
      • Aine Rayne

        November 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

        Anyway, that’s also another good reason to pick a tough plant. If you choose one that can thrive in shade and sun, then your dad won’t kill it so easily either

         
      • von186

        November 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

        I’ll second what Aine said. That’s no way to keep plants XDD That’s why I don’t keep plants because its almost impossible to get htem to survive the summer sun here. 😛

         
      • autumnsilvermoon

        November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

        I have a plant called a Money tree that gets watered once a week. It takes indirect sunlight and so far dad has left it alone. When I came back from college it wasn’t doing so well but now it is! It has new leaves now! (does happy dance) Now I just need my to get my poor Holly Bush back on its feet.

         
      • von186

        November 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

        If you’ve got an affinity for that tree, you could easily start there with any sort of land spirit work. Pay attention to the tree. Sit under it or by it. Spend time around it and notice some of the nuances of the tree. Might help you to begin to connect.

         
  2. Stefen Hudson

    November 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    One interesting plant experience I’ve had was with a split-leaf plant. It went so long without growing any split-leaves until I started taking care of it. When I take care of a plant, I don’t just dump water in and leave it alone, I talk to it out loud. I’m not sure how exactly that’s supposed to work since they don’t have ears (that I know of), but oh well. I also hold my hands a few inches from the leaves and focus on giving energy to the plant.

    Anyhow, shortly after I started taking care of it, a single split-leaf grew. Pretty neat stuff.

    Also, if I hold one of the leaves for long enough, it actually feels like I’m holding someone’s hand. I put that on my list of things that are kind of creepy but awesome.

     
    • von186

      November 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Sounds like an amazing experience to me :>

       

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