Witches Who Don’t Work With Spirits (And Why YOU Should)
In modern times, witchcraft is gaining popularity all across the globe. And with this insurgence of people coming to the craft, I’ve noticed something – many modern witches are leaving out the practice of working with spirits. Some flat-out state they don’t work with spirits and don’t feel it’s necessary. This is bothersome to me on a few levels of which we will discuss at length in this article PLUS why you SHOULD work with spirits in your craft.
Spirits are energy and energy is witchcraft.
I’ve read on a few popular witchcraft blogs the statement, “you don’t have to work with spirits to be a witch.” And while I believe that everyone’s paths are unique and nothing is required in the craft, witches who leave spirits out of their craft are missing out on a key aspect. They say it’s “not necessary to work with spirits”, but what about working with crystal energy? Herb energy? Moon energy? The energy of the elements? All of these things lend their energy to help the witch create change in his or her world. And guess what? Spirits are energy – PURE energy. In fact, you could also say that the energy from a crystal is the crystal’s spirit.
So to say you’re a witch and don’t work with spirits is sort of a fallacy. And to deny the spirit-work aspect of the craft is to deny a HUGE part of witchcraft at its core. EVERY magical tradition across the world that stems from an older magical tradition engages in spirit-work, this includes shamans, witch doctors, conjurers, sorcerers, etc.
Start small and safe with spirits.
I think for many modern witches working with spirits seems dangerous or foreign and so they shy away from it. To that, I say – start small and start safe. No one is requiring you to evoke an Ancient Sumerian god of war on the first attempt. A great exercise to start working with spirits is to get in touch with your spirit guides and ancestors. They are the closest spirits to you and the ones who are looking out for your best benefit. They want to talk to you and they want to hear your voice. A simple prayer is perfect to begin. Then set up an altar for your spirit guides/ancestors with offerings and lit candles to continue the relationship.
Divination is communication with spirit(s).
Some of the same witches who claim they don’t work with spirits also partake in divination of various kinds – tarot, oracle, pendulum dowsing, etc. When I say divination is communication with spirit(s), they answer “it’s communication with your higher self”. While I agree this is possible, the entire reason divination was invented was to have an open line of contact with the divine – the gods, angels, the dead, etc. When our ancestors came up with tarot, the runes, mirror scrying, etc. they weren’t doing it to contact themselves – they were looking for answers from a “higher” power outside of themselves. I still believe this is what we’re doing when we practice divination.
Protect yourself during divination.
If you want to practice divination and contact spirits safely, there are ways to protect yourself. The first, and probably most traditional, is to cast a circle. Here’s how to cast a circle if you’re not familiar. Wearing protective talismans and charms wards off evil spirits and negative energies. You should also call upon your ancestors and guides to aid in your readings. They won’t lead you astray and will protect you from low-level spirits or spirits that seek to harm.
The Benefits of Spirit-Work
The next time a witch says spirit-work isn’t necessary, ignore him or her. Spirit-work might not be the fluffiest, most lovey-dovey aspect of the craft, which is why many beginners shy away from it, BUT it is incredibly beneficial in many ways. Spirit-work gets the witch in touch with his or her ancestors, guides, guardians, and familiars. It also puts the witch in touch with the old gods and nature spirits. All of these spirits will aid your magical endeavors and spiritual growth. To deny the presence of spirits in the craft is to deny the craft itself. Spirits are energy and energy is the key to witchcraft.