Sorcerer’s Plant: Care, Feeding, and Consecration


Before I continue the post proper I wanted to address a question I got and can’t easily work into the post.

“Why do you suggest big blade aloe plants?”

There are two reasons. The first is when the angel(s) gave me the image it was the large bladed type of aloe vera, and I have kept my plants as close as possible to their vision and instruction. The second reason is because you can actually cut off a blade to use in certain rituals, but the plant is an ally, so the destruction of part of its body should be a sacrifice. If it’s dozens of small blades one removed will not contain much power, and will not be noticed, but a larger blade will make you think twice before using it.

Previously I spoke a bit about the uses of the plant, and the type of plant selected and the basic preparation, now let’s shift to the methods of consecration.

There are two elements of the consecration, a regular routine one, and an irregular one.

I mentioned that the plant is a connection to places and spirits you work with, this is part of the irregular consecration.

I’ve talked before about collecting dirt, here and here. This is how you connect the plant to different places. Follow the method I mentioned (or something similar) where you are not just grabbing dirt, but making an offering for it, gather the essence of the place into it, and then collect the dirt.

Gather Nest dirt, which I mentioned but didn’t describe in those posts, but to reiterate a Nest is a power place, often conceptualized in the West as a Nexus point, a crisscrossing of Ley Lines or flows of nature energy. But a Nest doesn’t have to be such a crisscrossing (or rather my tradition claims that some lines are far beneath the Earth and only rear their Head in certain areas), sometimes there is a place of power disconnected for the area around. Gather dirt that is important to your practice. Power places, temples, graves that are relevant to your work, holy places, whatever.

Now if you don't have soil samples from various graves, power points, and dragon's nests, then store bought is fine...actually, no it's not.

Now if you don’t have soil samples from various graves, power points, and dragon’s nests, then store bought is fine…actually, no it’s not.

When you have the dirt I recommend sterilizing it. You don’t have to, but dirt can contain harmful microorganisms which can be damaging to plants, and if you’re using it to detect magickal attacks you want to avoid any confusion if it starts wilting. To sterilize soil you bake it believe it or not. Put the soil in an oven safe container, I find mini-cupcake pans are the perfect size for my soil samples. The soil should be slightly damp. Cover the container with tin foil and pop in the oven at 90C (200F), once the dirt reaches around 82C (180F) keep it at that temperature for half an hour. Don’t let it go much higher than that, because that can actually produce (so the gardening sites claim) toxins in the soil. After half an hour take it out, and let it cool. You now have sterilized dirt that is free of damaging organisms for your plant.

My plant has soil from the various Nests near me. Places along the shore where I communicate with the spirits of Lake Ontario, places on the Bluffs, a crypt that has been a focus of my magickal work for 12 years, places like that. It also has dirt from the Blue Hole in the Pine Barrens, and sand from the Atlantic ocean, Graveyard dirt from the focal points of the various Lords of the Dead in different cemeteries I’ve visited in Canada and the US, and even stuff as far reaching as dirt from the roots of the (supposed) Bodhi Tree, and sand from the shore of Lake Rakshastal in the Himalayas (a lake of special importance to me). Think about the places that are important and powerful to you, and the places you have spirit allies. Take dirt from there.

Adding the dirt to the plant is something that I do non-ceremoniously, though I only do it when I water the plant. Before I start I hold the dirt, and use it as a link to the spirit or place, and reach out and connect it, then I speak to the spirit and place and plant, and explain that I’m giving it the dirt to connect them, so they become linked. So that offerings to the plant are offerings to these spirits, so that the plant becomes a place where I can easily speak to those far away and draw on their forces. You don’t need to add much, and if you’re like me, you don’t want to use too much, because pretty soon your pot will be overflowing. I use maybe a teaspoon each time.

(As a sidenote: I mentioned that my last plant died. I took the soil from that pot, from the edge away from the roots, just in case they started to rot, and I sterilized that dirt and reused it with my new plant. That way it kept some of the energy of the plant, and the connections I had already established. It felt like they broke, but the guidelines are there, so it’s just a matter of charging this plant back up to connect.)

Now for the part of the regular consecration, this is what helps connect the plant to you, and helps it stand in as you during magickal attacks. It also, I believe, it was largely gives it the power to become something more than just a plant, but a more conscious spirit.

It is to be watered every New Moon, and every Full Moon. (Water in between if it needs it, but not a full watering)I use rain water (or melted snow in the winter), I wasn’t told to, but it just seems right. Every Full Moon it’s not just water I feed my sorcerer’s plant, but my blood as well. *insert people suddenly being squeamish for no good reason* It doesn’t have to be much, I usually only include three drops for a symbolic reasoning. I mix the blood in with the water, and give it to the plant. As usual it’s less ceremony and more altered state chatting with the plant, reminding it that I share my blood with its water, so that I may become part of the plant, and that the plant is part of me, to bind us together and to enliven the plant. On the New Moon I offer my plant water and semen. (Those who didn’t know my sex or gender, you at least know I have functioning testicles) I cannot speak for those without the ability to produce semen, either due to medical issues or have different gonads/genitals, though I suppose other sexual secretions would work, or a second serving of blood. When I water the plant this time it is much the same, just explaining and reinforcing our connection.

(Feeding the plant my blood and semen is why my sorcerer’s plant has earned the endearing, but inaccurate, nickname of being a cum-guzzling cannibal cactus.)

This really gives the plant its own presence, and as mentioned helps it become a sort of astral double that works well as a stand in for a lot of malefic magick. There is nothing done to make it stand in, it just seems to be a nature of the plant, a natural occurrence after it builds up enough force.

Now that the plant is active and developing, you can use it essentially as a remote altar. If you need to connect to a distant spirit or place, treat the plant as you would an image or statue on an altar. Reach through it, make the offerings to it, connect to it, and speak through/to it.

I mentioned cutting off the blades. When I find I really need a boost in a ritual, I need access to more force/energy than I can easily tap, or I want to be empowered by distant allies I cut off a blade, split it lengthwise down the centre and use its gel as an anointing oil. My forehead, temples, wrists, and any other appropriate power point is wiped with the gel and I find that really sends me up and out into the ritual. Also I’ve used it as a stand in for my own blood in other rituals when I’ve not been comfortable using my own blood.

The sorcerer’s plant has inspired other such botanical familiars in my work, and I’ve come across similar ideas since then, but this post is long enough as is, so I will leave it here.


Sorcerer’s Plant


For well over a year I cultivated my sorcerer’s plant, and in that time it was a good focus and tool, and in the end it proved to be a great ally. Two weeks a good I began the process of consecrating and ensorcerelling a new one. Since people asked me about it, I asked the spirits who helped guide me to the plant, and I have a green light to talk about it. (I figured since it was part of a tradition of sorts, I needed permission to discuss it exactly, rather than in broad strokes)

So to start, just what is a sorcerer’s plant? It’s a hard question to answer, but most simply it’s a living (literally) talisman. Now a lot of us magickal folks (myself included) see some of our talismans and objects as alive, but this literally is alive on a biological level. A sorcerer’s plant has several purposes. It’s a focal point of power, it’s a very lively plant, and can be used to draw energy from, far more than you could from a regular plant, but it’s more than a battery, because it’s a focal point of different entities, and nests, and sacred places. (Nest in this tradition refers to a Dragon’s Nest, what most people would understand/call a nexus point of Ley Lines, a point of convergence of flows of power across the land) Through the plant you can access, if in a limited way, places and entities that are distant. (The spirits who set me about working on the plant told me that a long-lived and powerful sorcerer’s plant would eventually shift the flows around it to become a nest of its own. I don’t know if I believe that, or if it’s true, they might have been speaking out of their ass-trals.) It also has a more active plant genus attached to it, a more conscious spirit.

The plant also becomes an early warning system. The method of consecration causes a type of mirroring or interference between you and the plant, so a lot of stuff directed at you runs through the plant. In the case of attacks or malefic magick, this means the plant can absorb it, and it will affect the plant instead or first. Also the way it’s powered and connected makes it a great ritual ingredient for heightening trance states and the like. There is more to it, but any competent magickal folk will also start figuring out their own uses to it, and potentially tweaking it.

Regarding the early warning system, that is why I’m consecrating my second plant. I was recently a target of some malefic magick (since dealt with) which involved some pretty impressive signs. A dead mouse beside my offering dish, and the wards I drew on my walls before painting literally bled through the paint, and my healthy and living plant became mush. It didn’t just die or whither, it was suddenly a pile of goo held together by its skin. I don’t know what would have happened without it, but to turn a plant to mush, I’m pretty sure it took the brunt of it. I had found it useful before this, but this really drove it home.

Larger, fewer blades

Larger, fewer blades

So first one must acquire a plant to become the receptacle. I was told to acquire “the plant of immortality,” and my first thought was the Epic of Gilgamesh, but it was accompanied by a mental image of an aloe vera plant. Now supposedly (internet says) the Khemetic people called aloe vera the plant of immortality, but regardless it matches up, and makes sense to use aloe because of its gel (more on that next post). There are a couple of species of aloe vera, I personally recommend one with fewer larger blades, rather than many small ones. If you’ve never grown an aloe before, I recommend googling how to, they can be tricky plants, especially if you’re used to “normal” house plants, not succulents.

Too many small blades. Also avoid the more squat bladed species.

Too many small blades. Also avoid the more squat bladed species.

Then you need a pot, it doesn’t have to be a fancy pot, but large enough for the plant (again google what type of pots and setups are best for aloe), and preferably a touch deeper than needed. The most vague part of the instructions I was given was “make the pot magickal.” So I repeat that to you. I did it by using food colouring to paint the seals of some of my planetary angels on the inside of the pot and a few personal symbols related to the tradition. I used food colouring because it’s a terra cotta pot, so it absorbs well, and I didn’t want to use something like paint that would potentially be harmful to the plant.

Now plant the aloe into the pot, don’t fill it with dirt all the way to the top though. Leave some room. Almost to the top.

In most cases an aloe vera plant can be watered every two weeks, which just happens to sync up pretty excellently with the lunar cycle. I was told to water the plant on the New Moon and the Full Moon. Every once and a while in a really dry period I might need to give it a bit more in between, but save the full watering for the New and Full moons.

Next time I’ll discuss more on how it’s consecrated, nurtured, and worked with.

Wednesday Webshare: Shidak, Ecosystems, Gods, and Giants


Mercury WebAfter my series on Local Spirits I was sent a few other articles on the same thing, which I was really glad to see.

First off is a largely personal account about meeting and living with a local spirit, and more advice on how to get to know them.

There is an entire blog devoted to locally focused spirituality, which they’re terming Bioregional Animism, and I’m really enjoying the take on it as a whole, as well as some of the little instances and ideas. I look forward to reading more when I have time.

In a step beyond just local spirits, The Professor talks about Spirit Ecosystems, in the sense of the atmosphere and ecosystem and culture we develop in an area through our work. I really liked her cast of characters she sees in her area, and I have to agree with the attitude about creating a space with entities in it, rather than always banishing.

If you enjoy her writing there, she also talks about some work she did in a cemetery, with the spirits of the place, and the Lord of the Graveyard. (I admit a minor influence in what she did) The idea of caring for the unknown dead of an area is something that has always been close to me, and it’s nice to see someone else moved to help.

Speaking of the dead, if you know anything about Tibetan Buddhism, it probably is the awesome, surreal, and complex “Book of the Dead.” The text (more properly known as The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo) is a description of what happens when you die, what you experience, and how to navigate it to the best incarnation possible, if not enlightenment. It’s really dense and culturally coded, so most people will find this introduction to it through a comic far more accessible.

I guess that’s the type of thing that happens as Eastern and Western thought continue to mingle. It’s a shame hearing about young Tibetan’s who are getting into Western philosophy though.

The question of who and what are the gods is something that gets tossed around, and more often tossed aside, but how about an interesting discussion on what it means to have the potential for apotheosis?

Or how about the idea that perhaps God in a supreme creator sense, isn’t something that existed before and beyond the universe, but potentially could be a part of the universe none-the-less?

I guess the best answer to who/what god/s are is to ask the creator themself, here in an exclusive interview.
(And this, dear readers, is why Metatron is important)

Now for something completely awesome. Fuck Yeah Altars on tumblr. Just pictures of epic altars. I really love this. Sometimes altars are decorations, sometimes they’re more, but they’re great insight into the people’s practice and focus.

Speaking of awesome. We’ve uncovered another underground city, and this is the largest one found so far. Aside from just being amazing these cities open up some potentially interesting religious questions, and if you don’t know how, reread Genesis.

Local Spirits: Series Round Up


I’m making this post for ease of use, just linking to five posts in my local spirit series.

Local Spirits: Categories and Classifications. Here I discuss common types of spirits that get lumped as local spirits, but aren’t necessarily such in my understanding.

Local Spirits: Clarifying Sadak and Shidak Here I discuss the sadak and shidak, and the nature of local spirits proper.

Local Spirits: Reasons of Engagement Here I talk a bit about why you should work with local spirits, what they can do for you.

Local Spirits: Offerings and Engagement Here I talk about how to make offerings and how to sense and work with the shidak.

Local Spirits: Sensing and Structures Here I discuss a bit more on sensing shidak, as well as how they seem to be structured and operate.

Local Spirits: Sensing and Structures


Sensing the shidak can be difficult, because you’re surrounded by them. If you go from place to place you can feel the difference, and if you really pay attention you can feel the boundaries, but it’s hard to sense when you’re in them. Think of it like a room, unless there is a noticeable draft or temperature outside of an acceptable range it can be hard to feel the air movement and temperature in the room, especially after you’ve been in the room for a while. You have to really stop to notice it. The shidak can be the same way, so one of the most important things to sensing them is stillness, of the body and mind.

Shidak are bigger than we are, and I’d say they’re slower in a lot of ways, so you really need to stop to sense them, unless you’re used to that particular one, or have gotten good are reading their flows. If you want to sense them just sit down, relax your mind, pick a spot on the ground in front of you and stare at it. Think about that spot, and if you find your mind wanders (and it will) focus on the spot again. When you’ve stilled yourself, then you can try to reach out and sense them, and communicate with them. If you have trouble communicating or sensing them try sitting in a Wildspace or in an “unusual” area, by an old or odd tree, in a spot where the grass is all shorter, whatever. This might be where they anchor themselves (a Well) and that’s an easier spot to communicate with them, they’re a bit more present there.

I find shidak, especially initially, take more work to receive communication from, because of this still, slow nature. So don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to get talking with them, just be willing to sit and be there for a while. Also just because you’re not receiving communication doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to communicate, or are unappreciative of what you’re doing.

Now I’ve mentioned the anchor spots before, where the shidak is more present, I was taught to call these Wells, but to make the leap of association I’d say it’s fair to call them chakras or energy centres.

Let’s take this a bit farther down the rabbit hole.

Think of the human body, your body is surrounded by your energy, your energy body and your aura. Within that it is focused and centralized in several spots, the energy centres. Along with having their own functions the energy centres are the anchor points between the subtle body and the solid body, they’re the bridging point between our flesh and our spirit.

When you work with shidak for a long time you might realize that their Wells have the same function. A shidak may have one or several primary centres (depending on size and activity), and a myriad of minor centres, just like a person. A person has a central column of six centres (disagree if you want, not the point here) but only one or two of them is their primary most active centre, then there are more minor centres at joints, and even smaller ones elsewhere. Shidak have the same. Their Wells can work differently too. I don’t think there is a standardized set, but that shidak may have different elements or focuses in different areas. One Well might really connect you on a spiritual level or even work as a place where the distinction between Subtle and Solid is weaker, while another may invigorate and refresh you. When you find a Well, be open to what comes with it, and you can start to map out the different aspect of the shidak.

Also like a person the shidak has more than just the drops, the Wells, the energy centres, but they have channels that move between them. If you can find a Well you can usually trace off a channel or few from it, but more importantly for working with the shidak if you can’t find a Well but find a channel you can follow it to the source. We all sense things differently, but I’ve found it’s helpful when trying to trace a flow to have my arms slightly extended to the sides, and slowly swivel my body back and forth. Like trying to feel a temperature difference, the slow movement through space, and the contrast between the two hands will help you more easily feel where the flow is. Once you can figure out where it is going you can follow it.

In a more natural setting it’s not uncommon to see an elephant path (the random path everyone walks through and thus the grass is beaten down) that follows the channels. I don’t know if people unconsciously follow the channels, or perhaps people moving over the space in the same route for a while redirects or burns a channel, but I’ve found it’s a safe bet to start with an elephant path when tracing a flow.

If you’re really methodical you could map out the major energy system of a shidak, it has little practical value, but is interesting to work with.

The reason I mention the Wells and flows is for a few reasons. First off, I have a thing for energy body structures and like studying them, and this is an interesting offshoot. Flows help you find the Wells, and from a Well you can find flows to other Wells, giving you a sense of where and how to work with and access a shidak. Disruptions as the Wells and flows distrupt the shidak. Though they’re less physically oriented than a sadak, they’re still tied to the land. So if it’s your property, knowing the Wells will let you make better choices for you and the shidak in how you manage the space. If it’s a public shidak, knowing the flows and wells will help you engage and even heal the shidak. If it feels weak or sick, you can follow the flows and see if something has been put in the way or is disrupting the energy for them.

Tumbling farther down the hole, past the weird cat, shidak do and can get sick or injured and even die. There are more causes than just disruptions though, I’ve encountered shidak that seemed sick, and it was just because their land was so polluted that it was making them sick (or at least that was the external cause or symptom, it could have been a deeper issue). I met another shidak that (major woogity moment) more or less said it had been in the same spot for centuries and its Wells were weakening, that it was essentially dying of old age. After a few years it “died,” the shidak was gone, the Wells were gone, and the place was dead. The grass didn’t grow much, the trees weren’t healthy, and the ground itself started rapidly giving away (it was a cliff shidak). After another two years the vitality returned, a few of the Wells were back, and a few new ones where present, the ground and plants returned to normal. Yet when I went to communicate with the shidak, I found one, but it wasn’t the initial one I had built a relationship, but another.

It is as if shidak are mortal like we are, but on a longer/larger scale, and after a time their soul departs and another takes up the land. I don’t know if shidak only “incarnate” as shidak, but I suspect that there isn’t an essential soul type for shidak, so a person could die and end up as a place, or vice versa.

I’m going to finish off my local spirit series with that note. I feel I’m moving away from concrete and practical, and into the abstract and bizarre. While abstract and bizarre are great I’d rather leave it here, let people think on it, work with it, agree or disagree, and if need be I can return to the topic later with greater depth. I wanted to open up the topic and get people thinking, and from the feedback it seems as if I’ve got the mental ball rolling.

Local Spirits: Offering and Engaging


So I’ve talked about what local spirits are, and why to work with them, now it’s time to talk about how to work with them. Like the last post this one isn’t as Buddhist focused, stuff will be drawn from a variety of places. Also even though I made the case about how the classes explained in the first post aren’t shidak or sadak, the techniques in this post can be used to work with most of these groups too.

First and foremost in how to work with a shidak I would recommend offerings. This is a very Buddhist approach, but it’s a good way to start for a few reasons. If the shidak hasn’t been engaged, or engaged in a long time it’s a simple peaceful way to get the ball rolling, you’re not asking for anything, you’re not doing anything, you’re just giving them something to show you acknowledge them though. Also as hinted at last post not all shidak are very active. Do you work in an office surrounded by people actually stupider than you? By the end of the day you might feel a bit dumb from engaging them at their level. Likewise if there isn’t someone spiritually engaging a shidak, or hasn’t been for a while, they can be inactive, almost like they’re asleep or just half paying attention. Offerings help build the connection with them, but also start giving them a source of outside energy to help begin waking them up.

While the shidak exists everywhere in the area, you shouldn’t just leave the offerings wherever, you should find or make a special place to them. Is there an area that feels different, or looks different? A tree that is older or oddly shaped? A place where flowers grow randomly? If so start with that place. Shidak tend to anchor themselves in a few places, and those areas have a greater connection, usually they look or feel different. (If the shidak has been inactive, you might not be able to sense that spot, and that’s fine, pick a place to work with, and as the shidak becomes more active you can find a better spot to work with.)

If you’re dealing with the shidak your house is on you have a few more options. (This specifically applies to people living in a place that they have control over their property, so not so much people in apartments, though you can tweak it.) If so it is great to make a Wildspace for the shidak, this is an area of your property that you don’t touch. You don’t mow the lawn there, you don’t trim the branches or bushes there, you don’t do anything but let it be. While there are ways to work with the shidak, it’s nice for them to have a spot that is untouched as much as possible. For me the far south corner of my backyard is such an area, and even though it’s only a few square feet you can feel a difference by it. This becomes a great place to leave offerings and work with the shidak. If you live in an apartment you can make a potted Wildspace, taking soil and grass/plants from the area, and then planting them in a pot. I wouldn’t say it’s as effective, but it could still give them an easier purchase on that area.

In terms of offerings I’m often boggled by what some people suggest. I’ve seen so many people say things like “I just pick some flowers, and give them to the local spirit.” What? Remember the shidak pervades the place and all the living creatures in it, including the plants. What you’re saying is “Here, I know you spent time and energy growing and expressing yourself through these plants, let me rip them up and give them to you.” It’s almost like giving a person an offering of their own toenail clippings.

Another offering I don’t get is using local honey. I ranted about it on twitter, and Catherine Mason took my phrase and made me an awesome image.


Again, the bees and the plants are part of the shidak, you’re just returning its own creation to itself. (Also, I still laugh at that image, even though it’s been like two weeks)

What should you offer then? Non-local foods, water, tea, incense. If you’re offering food pick something that won’t be dangerous to animals if and when they eat it, and they will, but don’t worry, they’re part of the shidak, so when they eat the offerings it is still supporting the shidak. So no chocolate muffins, but give bread or cake, that’s fine. Water and tea are great and common offerings. Incense works well.

Some people say you shouldn’t leave anything not biodegradable or that the spirit “can’t use.” I’m torn on this, because some people leave polished stones and what not as offerings, and people complain the shidak can’t use those…as if the offerings of food, gems, and incense to statues are actually being “used” by them in a conventional sense. While I haven’t felt a need to leave a precious stone as an offering for a shidak, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

So how do you make the offering? Just take whatever you have to the Wildspace or the place you identified previously. If weather and environment permit actually sit down with the offering so you’re touching the ground more fully. Place your palm on the ground and reach out and down a bit, introduce yourself, even if you’re worked with the shidak you’re just letting them know who you are and that you’re present. Like when you walk into a family member’s house you still yell who it is, or to the person so they know you’re there. Call to them, either out loud or through the connection of the ground, I usually tap the ground lightly as if to more localize their awareness. Then lay out the offerings, place the food, pour the water, light the incense, whatever. Just talk to them, it doesn’t have to be flowery or formal. “Hi, I’ve brought you some water and incense. Take from it what you will.” My offerings are usually double-sided, so pour your energy into the offerings as you give them.

After giving the offering take a moment to sit silently, let your mind drift and relax, and see if the shidak has any response. In my experience most shidak communicate through mindtouches rather than words. So sensory input, real or imagined, images and urges. For instance a shidak in a more forested area might communicate through your pareidolia using shadows cast by leaves, or the sound of the rustling. I’ve had shidak communicate yes and no answers through scents before. I’ve also had a shidak lead me on a high speed run to find a stang within its forest. I asked for it, explained it, and had this sudden impulse to run a certain direction, I had no idea where I was going, but had these quick urges of which way to turn, and then finally to stop and look under a log, and sure enough found exactly what I wanted. There was not a mental-verbal formation of communication, just the urge of movement and direction. Some shidak can communicate more linguistically, and while I’m not totally sure I suspect that is a function of their interaction and activity, so something they can develop into over years of work.

If you’ve not worked with the shidak before, I’d leave it at that. Don’t ask anything, don’t push, just give them an offering and thanks, and let them be. Do this once a week for a few weeks, and if they don’t go out of their way to engage you, then try gently communicating more directly. Once you get to know them you can start asking them if you need something, or even let them know who you are and what you’re doing, which is especially import if you’re doing magick in their space.

Lastly one of the best things to offer a shidak is taking care of its space. If it’s a public space, pick up litter, if it is your property check your plants, are the bushes in good health, can you do anything? The first shidak that ever made contact with me did so after I took it upon myself to start cleaning up its space. It’s a popular hideout for high school students, so sadly they often leave a mess, and after a few weeks of cleaning it once a week the mindtouches began.

Next post I’ll talk a bit more about sensing shidak and their structures.

Local Spirits: Reasons of Engagement


Before I start this post proper, can I just take a moment to say how awesome this comic is? Catherine Mason, inspired by my explanation of sadak and shidak did a great little comic on them. Her presentation of Louisiana, NOLA, and Bourbon Street is excellent. Check out more of her art here. Also there will be more work from her to come in this blog because she’s already hilariously illustrated one of my rants about local spirits, so stay tuned for that.

The last few posts have been a bit more Buddhist centric in their sources (but I’d argue fairly universal in application), but the next two posts will be less Buddhist directly. They will also draw on more shamanic practices, witchcraft, ceremonial magick, and personal discoveries. I just wanted to clarify here so what I mention doesn’t get misrepresented as a Buddhist theory or practice.

Now that I’ve laid the framework about local spirits it’s time to talk about engaging them. The thing that so many people ask is “Why bother?” That’s why you can have competent spiritual people engage every spirit in their area, but miss shidak, they don’t see a reason or method to work with them.

There are many reasons to engage the shidak of your areas, first and foremost it’s just a matter of understanding and etiquette. After all you’re living in and on them, you’re a part of them and vice versa, you should be more consciously engaged with them. Tied into that idea, not all shidak are exactly happy with the state of our civilization, we’ve dug into their land, built under it, paved over it, forced out plants and wildlife (another symbiotic part of the shidak), and more or less ignore it. When you work with the shidak, and make offerings to it, you’re showing that you appreciate it, as well as by giving to it you consciously give it access to your life. By giving it energy you help it sustain itself in a more vibrant way. A great deal of pagan and paganesque folks I know understand this on a global level and give thanks to Gaia in this way, but then forget about the spirit that was disrupted to build their house.

On practical levels (because let’s face it beneficence only goes so far) shidaks are great to work with. You exist symbiotically with them, if they’re happy and healthy it makes it easier for you to be happy and healthy. You know when you’ve been to a house of someone who is unwell and you can just feel it in the air, pulling on you? Now imagine that subtly spread all through your area, it would slowly get to you. If the shidak is sick or damaged (and that can happen) then it will filter into your life, and anyone else in their catchment.

Insurance, if you’re on good terms with the shidak and you do something offensive to it without thinking (cutting down that old tree in the back yard, digging in new plumbing) it is more likely to be understanding. Otherwise it might actually retaliate, and yes shidak can and do attack. I’ve seen them weaken people by draining their energy and making them sick, and classically they’re known to cause people to trip and injure themselves. Though I’ve never experienced that, one of my teachers started a retreat without giving offerings to the shidak (which is a huge faux pas) and in the first day tripped on nothing he could find and managed to break his ankle and had to cancel the retreat. If you’re on good terms they’re less likely to lash out.

Influence, you’re part of the shidak, they’re part of you, and so is everyone else in that area. If you need to work on a neighbour, good or bad, the shidak is a place to start. Rowdy loud neighbour, angry with you for no reason, see if the shidak can smooth over the rough edges, or even remove them from the area. Sick neighbour, along with everything else you can work with the shidak to keep the energy of their area healthy and flowing to facilitate their healing. For more concrete actions (getting a raise, or zoning permission) you might be better off with the drongdak (city groupmind spirit), but for interpersonal stuff the shidak is a great ally.

Protection, a shidak can work as a guardian for you, not in a dedicated sense, but if they’re on your side they might have a sense of who and what to redirect for you. Think of it like a friend, if you’re friends with your neighbours they might do something about someone snooping around, or know someone shouldn’t there when you’re not, or know that you don’t want someone there. The shidak is the same, they’re great at dealing with people in that way. Again the trip hazard can occur, I’ve seen shidak utterly disorient people to keep them from getting somewhere, they can drain/intimidate/weaken people who shouldn’t be there. I’ve had the perverse pleasure in watching a shidak paralyze someone with irrational fear about entering the area (a park) to keep them from me. While visiting a friend of mine I felt psychically dead, in a fog, we realized that their shidak wasn’t sure about me so was dampening my senses/abilities, so I couldn’t do anything, they were protecting the friend by inhibiting me.

In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism it’s fairly uncommon to do any major ritual without addressing the shidak (and all the other classes that might be lumped as local spirits that I mentioned in the first post). Their influence is recognized as something to be courted, they can help and hinder, either just by presence or intention, so they’re often addressed before a ritual, even if only to say “I’m going to be using this space for a while, please don’t interfere.”

Also with a well-developed shidak (as they can be varying degrees of intelligent and active) they can make connections, so even if it isn’t their area to do something, if they have influence over someone or something that can help, they can direct you to meet.

I’ve encountered a theory that a lot of spirits in Solomonic traditions are essentially glorified shidak, and I think that can extend to a lot of collections of spirits. They’re spirits contacted in a certain place, and out of their element elsewhere. (Not to mention the fact that some gods just seem weaker outside of their regions, is that belief, or are they major shidak stretched too far?) I don’t know if I believe it, or believe it completely, but I bring it up because if it is true it shows the range of abilities shidaks can have. And as previously said, if they can’t handle something they sometimes can redirect you, in the same way sometimes one Angelic type will pass your request on to a more appropriate figure.

One final reason to work with shidak is because they’re accessible and present. They aren’t always as effective or efficient as an angel, a demon, a Bodhisattva, or god, or whatever, but they’re easier to quickly engage in most cases. There is no need to summon, to invocate or evocate, no special tools or ingredients required, because the shidak is already there. It’s as easy (when you’ve developed a relationship with them) as setting out an offering (to be polite) and just chatting about what you want.

I’ll stress this again, because I mentioned how there are so many things they can do, they’re not necessarily the best at the job you want and some other spirit might be a better choice, but they’re there and easy to work with. Your friend might not be the best choice to help you replace the bathroom sink, but they’ll do it for free, and are a simple text message away. A professional plumber is a better choice, but then you have to pay, arrange times, set up a contract, and a variety of other bureaucratic issues. A shidak might not be the best choice to help with a love spell, but they’d try.

Get to know them, don’t underestimate them, but don’t overestimate them either.

Next time, how to actually work with them.

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