For those on the Shamanic path, you will come to find that working with the Spirits of Place are deeply valuable and rewarding relationships to cultivate. The Spirit of Place can be found in the places we live, the places we work and the places we play. In traditional Shamanism, it was easy to discover them within the nature all around you; sending their messages in the ruffling leaves or through bird and animal messengers. In our modern world however, those natural landscapes, rich with trees, plants and animals have given way to roads, buildings and cars. In this urban landscape, Spirit of Place can be difficult to locate at times but I assure you many of them are still there, available to work with you.
You may be wondering; what is a Spirit of Place? Simply put, Spirit of Place are those helping Spirits that are aligned with the Spirit of Mother Earth and take residence in a particular geographic area to be the steward of that land, so-to-speak. By being in right relationship with those helping Spirits that inhibit the places we work, live and play, we are cultivating the energies necessary to support us on our life paths. Now, those energies that support our life path should be the byproduct of being in right-relationship with Spirit of Place and should not be the motivation for establishing the relationship itself. Try not to force yourself into the relationship - if you feel drawn to form a relationship, then step towards it. Just like in your day-to-day life, relationships are formed organically and can’t be forced.
When you’re first learning to tune-in to the Spirit of Place, it can be a really subtle form of communication. I’ve found that going into meditation with the intent to communicate works very well. You can, of course, pick up on the vibrational energies around you any time without meditating, but centering yourself and opening yourself up to Spirit through intention will do the trick. Once in meditation, you may wish to journey to the middle world and meet with the Spirit of Place in a location you feel pulled to. Once you encounter this Spirit, they may show up in a recognizable form, something mythical or they may just simply present themselves as an illuminated Spirit body. However they present themselves, just allow it without judgment.
Once you’ve introduced yourself, allow the conversation to happen naturally. It may be helpful to think of it like you’re getting to know a new coworker or acquaintance; you ask questions. Questions like: What do you like to be called?; how long have you been here?; how might I give an honoring to you? The list of questions can go on - be open to what they say without expectations. If you are struggling to communicate with them through meditation and/or journeying to the middle world, you may start communication by leaving an offering of your choosing. Do this daily without an expectation they will show up for you. This dedication will help raise the energetic vibration of your intent to communicate and will lay the foundation for that relationship to begin. Just like people though, some Spirits just aren’t interested in communicating. Respect that boundary just as you would for your next door neighbor that likes their privacy.
Several months ago, when I moved to a new land, I knew I’d be meeting the Spirit of Place sooner, rather than later. When I first moved to the land, Spirit of Place was quiet and watchful. I could sense him (he presented as a masculine energy) around when we parked our 303 sq ft. Tiny House on the land. Some days later, once we were settled and unpacked, I set the intention to communicate with him. After all, we were now sharing this time-space-reality so introducing myself seemed like the neighborly thing to do. Once the intention was set, I went into a deep meditation and found myself in a light trance. While in this trace state, I asked this Spirit to draw in close only if they were of equal or higher vibration (I always place the boundary of “equal or higher vibration” to protect my own energy field from unwanted influence). It wasn’t long before I could feel this Spirit energy around me, sharing energetic impressions about himself. During our communication, I asked how I may honor him and he instructed me to leave the ashes from my sacred ceremonies (usually a mixture of white sage, local cedar, and mugwort) along the fence-line facing east. This was a very specific request, and one I was happy to oblige. While working with our helping Spirits, just like people, the relationship develops through communication and reciprocity. One way to be in reciprocity with a helping Spirit is to place offerings at their place of choosing.
Two days after communicating with the Spirit of Place, I received a call from our land-lord that the country inspectors had showed up and walked part of the property line, taking pictures of our home - specifically, the the fence-line facing east! It’s still illegal in most of the US to live in a tiny house and we’ve had to move from county to county to stay under the radar. After a tense few days of not knowing if we were going to have to move again, the county dropped their inquiry into our home. It was clear to me that Spirit of Place was looking out for us! For reasons not totally clear to me at the time, Spirit of Place wanted us to stay and made sure we worked together to facilitate the proper energies to support our continued relationship. I was grateful I was receptive to his message for the offering and was able to follow through with it.
Offerings for Spirit are usually fairly simple and is typically something that can be easily worked into your daily routine without requiring a large block of time. Spirit of Place is usually more moved by the gesture than the actual item in which you are offering. I have come to understand that the energy of that item or ceremony is enhanced by your pure intentions to express gratitude and love. When I met with the Spirit of Place at my office in downtown Portland OR, they asked that I simply light a candle when I begin work - it takes me less than 30 seconds to do! Giving a regular offering tells the Universe and Spirit that you are serious about the relationship, and that it’s important to you. A small gesture can go a long ways. You may find it difficult to remember to make an offering each day but if you simply build it into your routine, it just becomes part of your day without having to think about it.
In downtown landscapes, you can still find the signs and messages from Spirit. You just need to learn how to see them. You may find the influences of Spirit of Place from plants growing through cracks in the sidewalk; through butterflies that seem to find themselves out of place amongst the concrete and glass; to a crow that always perches outside your door. The signs are abundant and available to you when you are open and aware.
Some questions that usually arise when working with Spirit of Place in a downtown area are: how large of a space does this Spirit encompass? Is it just the building you’re in?; is it a city block?; the entire City? The answer is yes, it can be any and all of these size of spaces. I suggest asking the Spirit of Place this question directly. You may hear their answer in your mind, or they may flash an image across your minds-eye indicating how much land they look over. Knowing the reaches of their energetic influence over the land can be important when doing for a ceremony for the Spirit of Place.
You may even find yourself communicating with the Spirit of Place while out on vacation. Do be mindful that the local community may have already established a long-term relationship with that Spirit and may have a community altar. Be respectful of their already established traditions and ask, without expectations or assumptions, if visitors are welcome to place an offering as well. It can be emotionally and energetically rewarding to simply give thanks to Spirit for allowing you to share this space, even if it’s for a short while.
As you further develop relationships with these helping Spirits, you may find that new doors to opportunities open for you and relationships or situations that no longer serve you may end. As you grow your Spiritual support team, you will be uplifted by the magic around you every day in every moment. These relationships will help to raise your vibration and dissolve resistance that keeps you from manifesting the life you were always meant to live. These relationships can be only temporary or they may last a lifetime and beyond. Whatever the duration, honor it; treasure it and experience gratitude as deeply as you can.