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Developing a Relationship With Your Spirits
Finding, Loving, Keeping
Since a lot of people have shown interest, I figured a lens on working with and developing a relationship with your spirits might be useful and answer a lot of your questions. And it will work whether you call those you work with Gods and Goddesses, spirits, angels or anything else. Yes, dragons, gargoyles, totems and more. Any living being responds to love and kindness. But I warn you, like any relationship it will take work.
And I'm no paragon of virtue. I know how easy it is to put people or spirits off so that you can get to work, do this or that or the other. I hear you and I don't judge. We always tell ourselves that we will relax and spend time with them once we get that promotion, win that lottery, retire, whatever. Tomorrow, we say. Well sometimes tomorrow never comes.
So why not think right now of ways to build that relationship from the ground up? Keep in mind that as always this is just friendly advice you can take what you need and leave the rest. I'll be using Santa Muerte in my examples, just because, but this will apply to anyone.
Oh those are her altar flowers and all photos here were taken by moi. Enjoy.
Do your research, but trust your heart
We all find new spirits in various ways. Maybe you see something on TV, hear a song, read a book or watch a movie. And wow, this new being seems really wonderful and exciting! Or maybe we get signs. A whole bunch of stories about that god or goddess, a statue of that saint, a gargoyle as a gift, whatever. But we want a relationship.
First do your research just like you would with any other friend. I think it's very human to put more effort into checking out a new possible friend on Facebook than we do into spirituality. We've all done it and fortunately most of the time had positive outcomes. But learning about someone is only polite. Do you know people who work with him? Does she have a good reputation or a bad one? Think on it, pray on it, meditate, do whatever it is you do then follow your heart.
If you trust and love this being, if you truly want a relationship after hearing both the good and the bad then you can move forward by introducing yourself. Santa Muerte had reached out to me repeatedly but a lot of my research made her sound scary. Yet the saint herself was sweet and mild. At last I took the leap and trusted her and began on the road to friendship.
You sort of get instant friendship with most spirits, but you know what I mean. The trinket to the right was made just to please her and show her she is the queen of my heart.
Pretty much us two
Santa Muerte would be the adorable spunky kitten that I ignored. She pretty much kept being friendly but it took me forever to wake up and realize just what a good friend I'd found. Now we are best buds forever. And yes she thinks adorable kittens are a perfect example, she is such a sweetheart!
Make time for that first meeting
This can be as simple as prayer, which I know you remember is just a friendly chat with a good friend. Introduce yourself like you would to a new friend. It's OK to be shy and it is fine if you don't feel a response. Trust me, you are being heard loud and clear. Just talk, say what is in your heart.
No need for candles yet. Tell your new friend that you want to build a relationship, that you want to be friends. Don't worry if you get no answer at first. A lot of humans have the chronic gimmie-gimmes and some spirits may just be being careful. Or just like you, they want a friend who is around for the long haul.
Now obviously if you have a serious dire need, and by serious I mean you've been abducted, are dying of cancer or just became homeless, then yeah, you can put forth a request with a promise of continued love and devotion. But other than that, just let this be a time of friendship and happiness, OK?
Santa Muerte used a Facebook friend of mine to point out she wanted more time with me. So we spend time together every day now instead of me just rushing off to my computer. I find myself baking and cooking more (she rules my kitchen) and delighting in the energy she gives me.
So that is what she wants most. Not statues, flowers, or altars but time spent together cooking, baking, cleaning, what have you. Your own spirit will likely find things they want to do together as well. Those show-stopping flowers to the right came from my garden. Offering need not cost you anything, OK?
She will give me free hugs, for reals. Just like your spirit will hand out free hugs to you, and often. I once read that a writer would hold out his arms every night during his prayers to God and he always felt one. What faith and what a great hug! Try it, it couldn't hurt.
Nurture your friendship
When you feel the time is right you can make a simple offering. This again can just be five minutes spent in prayer. Your spirits will understand if you can't offer things and they honestly want you and not things anyhow. I am being gently asked to mention that trust makes a wonderful gift, and one humans find hardest to give.
Don't attach strings to your offering just like you wouldn't with a good friend. Just give your gift, and it can be just trust and love and know it is appreciated even if you don't feel a thing or sense a sign in return. The skull brownie was cooked in a pan a friend sent as a thank you offering.
This is where you can start to imagine a response. Because imagination is the key to all good magic and it opens the door to a real working relationship. Imagine your new friend's pleasure in your gift and sooner or later you will be able to feel it.
It took a while for me to be sure Santa Muerte was really there and I didn't just talk myself into a Mexican folk saint. But she is indeed there and shows it in countless ways. Communication is easy now, but it took time. And our friendship grew from both of us bing shy and unsure we were wanted to her being the keystone of my home and my being her most beloved mija.
One protective mom
You can't tell this cat a human baby isn't hers. You can't tell Santa Muerte I'm not her baby either. But any spirit will become this loving and nurturing in time.
Any god or goddess, any saint, angel or spirit always has a few followers who, for whatever reason present them as a cure-all. And maybe the spirit can, but not all the time and not for everyone. This is not the spirit playing favorites, punishing you or being mean, but sometimes they can't grant us everything we desire.
There will be times when it feels like nothing you are asking for is being given even if you've reached a point of regular devotion and offerings. Again, your spirit didn't wander away and she isn't spoiled. They fail, just like we do. No one wants to hear it, but they do. Because sometimes what we desire or even need just isn't in the cards for us.
And this is hard to accept with grace, even for me. I get frustrated like everyone else. But this is the time to have compassion and love for your spirits, they feel bad enough not being able to help, yelling at this point and making them feel like unwanted burdens is not going to help. Remember, they took you on as well, despite your human frailties.
If you have said terrible things, apologize. Because if you really love them it will hurt you to have hurt them. And if they love you, and I'm sure they do, they will forgive you and take you back, human frailty and all. This is a wonderful time to spend bonding time together.
Cook, sing dance, watch a movie. Just be with them and know all will be well. Let not your heart be troubled. I can tell you from experience that it is a lot easier to calm your rising anger and frustration than to deal with pain on the part of your beloved spirits. I have at times lost my infamous temper and snapped at my poor Santa Muerte.
Her responses have been everything from justified anger to compassion, but I never had the right to take out my frustrations on her, and as an adult I know she can't do everything in an instant and some things she simply cannot give me. Whether I keep her and love her at these times or cast her out as a weak spirit says a lot about me as a person I think.
Yes, for the love of Goddess she is still here. Much like her lovely statue that arrived broken but was repaired.
Reconnecting is the best feeling ever! Just apologize and thank your lucky stars you're forgiven and loved.
I mentioned it before, but trust is the hardest thing for most people to give. With good reason, you say, and I hear you, I do. All too often life can let you down and some of us reach the point where we give up trusting anyone, ever. So even though we crave a relationship with our spirits we withhold our trust and with it some of our love. Maybe you're telling yourself they'll abandon you, just like other people have.
Or maybe you expect violence or other suffering you've received from human hands. Spirits aren't like that, OK? They don't hit you until you can't move, they don't take everything you have then leave. They are kind, they are trustworthy, they are loving and good.
Yes, in all fairness they may chastise you but it will never be with the human need for vengeance in their heart. It will always be from a place of love since you are theirs now to take care of and they love you dearly.
Santa Muerte, perhaps because she is my beautiful girl and lovely lady or perhaps because of her sweet nature can coax some trust out of me when by and large life has taught me not to. But it is an adult trust she wants, not a child's magical belief that she can do everything. She yearns to be trusted to be with me, to help when she can and to be there to comfort me when she can't.
So even if you can only give the tiniest bit of trust or faith, do it and nurture it and it will grow in time. The statue shows both her and me that I trust her to provide for me.
I'd love to hear from you!