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Understanding The Spirit World

Updated on May 3, 2012
Edward Reeves performing a Faery Prayer.
Edward Reeves performing a Faery Prayer.

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What Is The Spirit World? And Furthermore... Where Is It?

This is an interesting question...I would say that the simple answer is - the Spirit World is the place where the Spirits dwell. It is the realm, or realms, that are occupied by the Spirits, though connected to our physical world in many ways it is not the same place. It is here but not here. The veil between the worlds is meant to be at its thinnest at the Pagan festivals of Samhain and Beltane. This is the time when Spirits and Humans can cross the borders of the realms most easily and the time when our worlds link together and move as one.

The placing of the Spirit World is a mystery that people have tried to answer since time immemorial. In most mythology it is a place underground or even under the ocean with the Spirits being able to travel between their world and ours at will. However, for a mortal it is much harder to travel from one realm to the next. Some new age beliefs place the Spirit World as a realm that is parallel to ours, existing in the same place but on a different plane of existence. This is sometimes called the Astral Plane, a realm that is identical to ours but more of a reflection of it than the same place.

My personal belief is that there are many realms of Spirit. Some Spirits dwell in our realm, whereas some live in their own world; the Fae in Faerieland and the Voodoo Spirits in Guinee, for example. However many Spirits, the Fae in particular, can travel between the realms as easily as a mortal can walk from one room to the next. As stated before it is much harder for a mortal to travel between realms, but not impossible. Astral Travel is the name given for ones Spirit Body or Soul to leave the body and traverse the different realms as well as our own. A physical journey from one realm to the next is very difficult and very few cases are recorded and even fewer of those are believed. The most famous cases in the United Kingdom and Ireland are those of mortals being taken to Faerieland, the most notable of those being the case of Thomas Rymer who was taken to Faerieland by a Queen of Fae and returned with the gift of a tongue that could not lie.

Four Protective Symbols (They are all pentacles as we are a Pagan coven and that is our protective symbol.)
Four Protective Symbols (They are all pentacles as we are a Pagan coven and that is our protective symbol.)

What/ Who Are The Spirits?

Spirit is a broad term, encompassing Deities, Ghosts, Demons, Faeries and many more entities. The human soul is also a Spirit creature, though bound in a physical form. Most Spirits do not have a physical body Per Se, but have been noted to be able to take on a corporeal form, be this through concentrating their spiritual energy or by possessing a physical body, be it animal, human or plant.

The thing to remember about Spirits is many of them are not human. Even Ghost and Ancestral Spirits who were once human may have lost some humanity in their time in the Spirit world. As such the rules, morals and codes of humans rarely apply in the world of Spirit. We cannot expect a Spirit to act the way a human would. Though many have human qualities they simply are not humans.

Offering wine to the spirit, Ezili Freda.
Offering wine to the spirit, Ezili Freda.

How Can We Work With Them?

In popular culture working with a Spirit is usually confined to Demon summoning. In this case the price for the Demons favour would be your soul. This is a very dramatised though not completely inaccurate representation of working with Spirits.

There are several rules when working with Spirits, the most important of these being to respect the forces you are working with. Nobody likes being ordered around, especially not Spirits. It would take a very competent Witch to summon, bind, control and order a Spirit around without suffering severe consequences. Remember, this is very important, Spirits are far more powerful than we are.

The next rule for working with Spirits is the Law of Exchange. Nothing in life is free – no truer words have ever been spoken. Though there are some very charitable Spirits out there who would be happy to help you out of the kindness of their hearts, not all Spirits work for free (and even the kind, loving ones still would like heart felt thanks as payment). Most Spirits require payment of some kind for their services, some like food and drink, some like prayers and worship, some like material possessions, some like energy, some merely like to be thanked, some like their work to be made public and some like their efforts to remain a secret. It is important to thoroughly research what the Spirits you wish to work with like to be paid with before you even think about bargaining with them.

Also important when working with Spirits is precision. You must be very clear in what you are asking for, some Spirits would love the opportunity to screw you over by giving you exactly what you verbalised a desire for, no matter what you actually meant, or some Spirits may just become confused by a generalised wish. Also, remember that Spirits give you what you wish for in the easiest and most natural way possible. So wishing for a lot of money when you have a rich relative with a dodgy ticker is probably not the best idea. We also need to be specific when discussing payment. Make sure the Spirits know exactly what payment is being offered and in what quantity. Also state that the payment will be received after the request has been granted. If your wish does not get granted, the payment has obviously not been considered acceptable and you will need to renegotiate.

I know I said to respect Spirits but being firm is also important. Many Spirits would be quite happy to take what you have to offer and wave bye bye. This may make Spirits seem malicious, but this is not the case. They are not human, and therefore do not operate by human standards and morals. It is for this reason that I would suggest starting out by working with 'cooler' Spirits. By this I mean ones with less of a temper and more compassion towards humanity.

The next step is to build a relationship with the Spirits before you start asking for things. After all, how would you feel if a complete stranger came up to you and started asking for favours? It is advisable to find Spirits you can relate to, ones who share your views on the world and share qualities with you. You may find when you start working with Spirits that certain Spirits seek you out due to a connection they can sense. Spirits seem to enjoy working with people who emulate what they stand for. For example, I get on quite well with the Ghede family of Voodoo Spirits. These are the Spirits of Death and rebirth and personality wise we have a lot in common – we find humour in all things no matter how serious or solemn they seem, we like to drink, we like to smoke and we don't take anything too seriously because we realise that all will come to Death in the end. Though they are Spirits of Death they teach us how to live. I respect these Spirits and consider them part of my family after years of working and building a relationship with them and that means I feel completely comfortable asking them for help and giving them offerings in return.

A final step to consider is protection. Not all Spirits are nice (just like not all humans are nice) it is for this reason that I would suggest you do not go prodding the big bad Spirits with sticks or trying to Summon Demonic beasties to do your bidding. Even when working with 'cooler' Spirits it is important to remember this – when you look into the Spirit world, the Spirit world looks back. There is always a potential of attracting Spirits you would rather not encounter. This is why Witches cast protective circles or wear protective symbols. The important thing is that you have something to keep you safe. Things that tend to repel Spirits that mean you harm are Salt, holy water, a protective circle, iron or a symbol of your faith such as a crucifix, pentagram, star of David etc. (note this must be your faith, a symbol of a faith you don't believe in will NOT protect you). One of the best forms of protection, however, is a Spirit Guide. This is a Spirit who will work with you, advise and guide you and protect you from negative Spirits. Please note though that a Spirit Guide will probably not stick around if you use having one as an excuse to annoy dangerous Spirits. There are many ways to attract a Spirit Guide but the simplest is during meditation to pray or wish for one. Then let the image of your guide come to you, talk to them, get to know them, find out what kind of Spirit they are, also tell them a bit about yourself. Do this as often as you can and eventually you will find that you can communicate with them outside of a meditative state. Spirit Guides are wonderful friends and allies to have in both the Spirit world and your every day life.

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A Catalogue Of Some Spirits

This is just a brief run down of some Spirits that can be worked with, and some that should be avoided.

Ancestral Spirits –

These are the Spirits of members of your family. They are almost always willing to lend a hand to their family members in spiritual workings and usually only want recognition and thanks in return. It is believed in some cultures that only through sustained relationships with their living relatives can Ancestral Spirits retain their identity or have a happy afterlife. I must point out however that some Ancestral Spirits are not very friendly, a good rule of thumb is to find out what kind of person they were when they were alive. The safest bet if you did not know any of your deceased ancestors personally is to call to your Ancestors in general, specifying that only ones who wish to help you and build a relationship should draw near.

Fae Spirits –

These are the Spirits of the Faerie Realms, they include The Trouping Fae, The Solitary Fae, The Elemental Beings and many more. A few pointers, the Fae hate salt, holy water and iron. They get offended by being told Thank You and being called Fairies – preferring to be called by other names such as the Good People, the Fae and the Shining Ones. Also, many have their own individual rules of conduct and preferred ways of payment that you should get to know before communicating with them. They are tricky Spirits to understand and very powerful but also very rewarding to work with. I have been working with Fae Spirits for most of my life and find it very rewarding and never dull.

Voodoo Spirits –

The Loa, as they are called, are very powerful Spirits. I do not intend to go into a list of all of them here but prominent ones include Ezili Freda Dahomey (The Loa of Love) Baron Samedi (Head of the Ghede family and Loa of Death) and Damballah (The Primordial Serpent). Each of the Loa have their own areas of expertise, preferred methods of payment, and rules of etiquette to consider when talking to them. Always be respectful with them and be certain of their relationships with each other as some do not appreciate being petitioned with certain others. It is vital to research a Loa thoroughly before working with them as many of them are quite 'hot' or temperamental Spirits, as easy to offend as to please. A note of warning – many Voodoo practitioners invite the Loa to possess them, though involuntary possession is rare it can occur, especially to those who are hypersensitive to the Spirit world. Make sure you have protection when working with these Spirits, just in case.

Demonic Spirits –

It is not a good idea to try to work with Demonic Spirits, though not technically evil (they just have different standards of what is acceptable) they very rarely have a humans best interests at heart. What I will say is that if you are unlucky enough to attract one, a symbol of your faith will protect you along with blessed or holy water or salt. Also, remember that Demons are famous for possessing people, though not as common or as aggressive as the film industry makes out in most cases it can still be quite a traumatic experience. Please use protection if you fear Demonic Spirits are lingering near by.

Angelic Spirits –

Contrary to popular belief, not all Angels have humanities backs. After all, Angels destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible. However, many Angels are humanities guardians and a link to the creator. With Angels a heartfelt prayer is considered payment in itself and a sincere request will usually be granted, unless it is not deemed a worthy cause (in the eyes of the Angel in question). Your best bet is to try and communicate with and gain a guardian Angel who will aid you with day to day troubles.

A house cleansing. A witch would walk around and flick blessed water while praying and working magic.
A house cleansing. A witch would walk around and flick blessed water while praying and working magic.

A Note On Spirit Possession

There are many different kinds of Spiritual Possession. The rarest form of this, you will be happy to know, is complete Spirit Possession. This is a complete loss of control and complete take over by the invading Spirit and can only be cured by intensive cleansing, banishing and exorcism. The more likely scenarios in possession are Partial Possession, where the Spirit inhabits a persons body but does not take complete control and Spiritual Infestation, when the Spirit does not invade the person but lingers near them at all times.

Partial Possession can cause mood swings, deep depression, a feeling of invasion, loss of emotional and physical control (though in short, random episodes as opposed to complete Spiritual Possession where the loss of control is almost permanent) and great levels of distress. This can be cured by cleansing, banishing or in extreme cases, exorcism.

Spiritual Infestation is the lowest form of Spiritual Possession and the easiest to get rid of. Here the Spirit has merely attached itself to the person but has not invaded them. This can cause mood swings, a feeling of not being alone even when nobody is there, and great unease. The simplest way to drive away an Infestation is with a cleansing, in severe cases a banishing may be required but exorcism will not be needed.


I hope this hub has shed some light on the Spirit World.

I also hope that the many warnings included have not put people off working with Spirits. As long as you obey the rules and are respectful to your Spirits there is very little that can go wrong. Working with Spirits is a wonderful experience that can bring joy and happiness. Even if you are not asking the Spirits for anything, just communicating them with can be an enriching and fantastic experience.

I am aware that some areas have not been covered in great detail so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Also if you feel any areas need expanding on in detail I will be happy to publish another Hub going into greater detail on some of the subjects covered.



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    • C.V.Rajan profile image


      5 years ago from Kerala, India

      I found it very interesting.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I can not erase the vote down option I meant a thumbs up

    • WitchesMIX profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      We noticed :) thankyou very much!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      6 years ago from Summerland

      Wonderful ! and by the way, I subscribed to you all on Youtube, I have my own YT channel as well...under the name RhiannonDancingOak. :)


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