So, I was asked about my working with my land spirit the other day since someone I know is interested in getting to know hers. She wanted to know what I did and how I got into it. I’ll admit, this was a question that, at the time, I didn’t fully answer because I was deep in the thick of my own shit at the time. I kind of pawned it off by referencing her to a Fae Guide a friend of mine wrote and left it at that. I felt kind of like a douche for pawning it off because I always try to tell everyone that if they have a question, I will do my best to answer it as honestly and seriously as I can. However, sometimes, emotions get in the way of wanting to be helpful to others, I guess, and in that moment, I fobbed it off. I’m going to reiterate here that I try not to do that and that is why I’m writing this guide of sorts. I felt like a jerk for doing that and this is kind of like my own, personal peace-offering with myself. So, let’s get started!
I began wanting to work with the land spirit where I live from the second that I moved into this apartment complex. However, things were kind of hard at first. I went from living in someone’s basement, surrounded by land in every direction and never having to actually work at fostering a kind of connection. At my in-law’s home, where I was living before moving to this complex, there is land all over the place and in the back and in the front and it is well taken care of. The land spirits there are happy and cheerful and love it when I walk around in the back forty, just admiring the trees and the leaves and the detritus left behind from having so many trees and leaves. They like it when I stop to smell the roses (literally) and they’re just pleased that the land is so well taken care of and well loved. (TH’s mother is a horticulturist so it stands to reason that her home and its land would be well provided for.) They flaunt their stuff all over the place, all throughout the year. So, in moving to an apartment complex, I was moving to a smaller patch of land and one that I didn’t have any rights to. I mean, I had no rights to my in-law’s home and their land, but TH’s mom loved that I would spend time out of doors just admiring and being generally nice to the land.
There are days, even now, when I still feel more of a powerful connection with that land than I do with where I live now.
The thing is that the land spirit was angry and upset. I’ve mentioned about the land issues when we first moved in. Part of the reason that getting to know the land was so hard wasn’t just because of the shit that was in my own head (which I’ve remarked upon repeatedly and re-wrote down in one of the links provided below) but that the yard was very open and anyone could watch me. The neighbors that used to live here were all very “keep to themselves” people but they also spied on you. Or they were outdoors with their kids, so doing what I do now would have been discussed behind my back and not to my face because that’s the kind of people they were. (Don’t get me wrong, they were nice to a point, but they were very much gossip-mongers.) As the years past and those people moved out, I stopped caring. People are pretty friendly around here but they leave you to yourself for the most part. Besides, if no one called the cops on me when I soaked the keystone in the yard (a marker to denote the division of borders between the village I live in and the twon next door) with rum after placing keys and pennies on it, I’m not worried about it much anymore.
Sometimes, getting to know the land spirit has to do with not worrying about what other people will think of you.
Of course, I understand that as a full-fledged adult, I have a different perspective. I don’t have to worry about family members shooting me odd looks and I don’t have to worry about neighbors shooting me odd looks because, “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” My world, my rules, my practice.
The first step to getting to know your land spirit is to, you know, actually make an active decision to do so. It’s one thing to make an active decision to do so on a patch of land or in a park somewhere, but a whole ‘nother kettle of fish to make that active decision when it comes to where you live. In a forested area or in a park, it’s not your land. There will be someone else who can come along and devote offerings. There will be someone else who feels a connection with the land if you don’t show up to do what you want to do at a given point. And hell, you don’t have to go back to that spit of land the next time you make a foray into working with a land spirit – you can choose a completely different place if you are so inclined. However, when you make the conscious decision to work with the land spirit where you live, this is an on-going project that you can’t put down because you feel like it. If the land spirit isn’t happy, then you know, you probably won’t be either. This isn’t a book you can put down or a god you can ignore for a while: this is where you live and the well-being of the land spirit is intrinsically tied to you and what you do for it. So keep that in mind before you decide, “I’m going to do that, too, because it’s so cool!”
The next step is to just go outside and be.
That may sound ridiculous and kind of silly, but it’s what I did to get started. When the spring hit and the weather became peaceful and bright again, I would go outside multiple times a day and just sit. I would just be. I would look around me and marvel at the growth of the grass now that the grass wasn’t being cut every week just an inch too short. I would marvel at how green and ripe it was. I would watch as the trees began to really start to grow and the leaves would unfurl. As I’ve mentioned, my previous landlady would keep the trees cut very short to the point where birds could not roost within and the leaves barely grew. But, in the going outside and looking and marveling and enjoying the new feel to things (it’s amazing how much change happened the second the new landlord bought the property and told me I could have free reign over the land), I was able to feel the beginnings of a connection. That’s how I got started.
My next step wasn’t just to go out and sit and be, but to go out barefoot and shuffle in the grass. I would take my dogs outside with me and my son. We would all run around in the thick, green, verdant grass barefoot. This, I think, was essential to the connection-forging. In visualizing, centering and all of that jazz, they will tell you to “be a tree.” In the aiding of this, they will tell you to go outside, barefoot, and feel the earth to try and get close with nature and “be a tree.” I kind of subconsciously used this in my forging a connection. I would shuffle around barefoot in the grass and stare around like a creeper. I’m. Not. Joking. I would stare intently at a patch of grass as I went shuffling around my grass barefoot. This helped me to build more connection with the land as well as to feel its change beneath my feet. It was only after I had done this throughout most of the summer that I began to feel tugged, so to speak, to meet up with the land spirit.
The big moment when I began intentionally working on what to do to get to know my land spirit was about the time I began rolling around in the grass. And also that one time when I did a little working for Wep-Ronpet in my yard. It dawned on me as I was working with my gods out of doors that my shuffling, rolling around, and being a general land-creeper was all well and good, but maybe I should do more. In effect, this meant that I had to start figuring out what the land spirit would want. I figured offerings were a good way to go. I also noticed how fast the incense cone I had used to help purify the god statues I was working with burnt down really fast. This meant that, maybe, offerings were the way to go here.
Currently, this means that once a month I go out and leave apples for the land spirit. I also leave out bread because, you know, what birds and squirrels don’t like eating bread leftovers? The land spirit seems pleased with this but would like more. (I keep getting rocks as a recommendation from other people when I talk to them about this as well as, you know, seeing a pile of rocks in my head when I’m outside and trying to commune with the land spirit. So, I’m going to bet here that, you know, it wants some rocks.) It’s very reminiscent, to me, in working with the gods. You have faith that they are there and listening and that they desire something and you’ll get hit with what that desire is at some point or another. In similar fashion, I get similar feelings from land spirit.
The only other thing I have to add is that the person who inspired this post did mention about worrying about possums and raccoons. I told that person that I don’t worry about it and here’s why. Humanity encroached on nature, of which both possums and raccoons and skunks, are a part of. We came in, built our homes, forgot about working with the earth and nature, and have since labeled such creatures as health hazards and nuisances. They are not. They are part of the natural order, which includes working with land spirit. If a raccoon likes the apples I leave out, then they are welcome to them. If a skunk eats the bread I leave out, then it is welcome to it. This is part and parcel of working with land spirit. You don’t worry about the animals eating up offerings left behind in parks and wooded areas, so why should you worry about it just because of where you live? You shouldn’t.
I will mention one other thing that has helped me here besides friends and Google searches and gut instinct here. I have a single area that I focus most of my intent when I am actively cultivating time with the land spirit. This is a particular tree that seemed to get the worst of the removal process when the landlady would cut the trees back. It would be very small and without any leaves for months and months, but they would continue to snip it back. Since the new owner came in, this tree has flourished since the “pruning back process” has stopped. (More like decimation process.) Since this tree has achieved more in the last few months than some of the other trees in the yard, I have used this as a focal point for where I leave my offerings and where I talk to the land spirit.
Yes, I talk to the land spirit regularly.
To me, it’s not so different from working with the gods and the ancestors. It just has a different “temple” so to speak.
- Working With Land Spirit.
- Working with the Fae by Devo.
- Land Spirits by Dver.
- The Curious Case of American Land Spirits by The Druid of Fisher Sheet.
- Land Spirits…at Patheos.