I am asked all the time by people, “ how do we go deeper in our magick?”. I think what they really mean to say is, “how do we gain more magical power?” Well, that is easy! We rekindle the covenant we once had with the spirits. What I mean to say is that we must reconnect to the energies and spirits that witches hold sacred. We must reconnect with the ancestors to gain the energy and life force from under the earth. We must reconnect with the celestial spirits to gain the energy and life force from above the earth. We must also reconnect with the spirits of the land so that we remain in balance with all the forces of life.
I am noticing in many magical practices that not many people work with the spirits, save for our gods and goddesses and the occasional angel. I also hear from time to time people saying to “ask their guides” about a problem they may be having. But what about the other spirits? What about the spirits right here on the earth and in the astral counterpart of the earth; the Otherworld? Facebook is full of many groups that talk about faeries, elves, and dragons. Most of these groups see these beings as spirit guides or helpful beings that find your house keys. In reality, these beings are not spirit guides or spirit helpers. They are beings who are in spirit form and they appear to us as bright, shining, powerful beings. I think it’s human arrogance to think that these spirits are on earth to simply help us through our day. Remember, humans are a part of the spiritual universe and not at the top of it. Think of like we are but one spoke in the wheel of spiritual beings.
There are many other beings besides faeries and dragons. Each plant, rock, cloud, tree, and all things found on the earth have a spirit. Think of it like this, we have a physical body with a spirit inside. Well, rocks, trees, and plants are the physical body to their own spirit. In my training with the Lakota, we see these beings as just as important and sacred as humans. Sometimes more so because it is from these beings that we get our healing medicines from.
So what does all this have to do with the powers of the witch. In my magical tradition, we believe that before humans turned away from paganism and magick we had a sacred energetic and spiritual bond with the spirits of the land. The land is what gives of everything we need for life. She gives us food, shelter, water, clothes, and the air to breath. This is why Native American tribes call her Mother Earth. We lived closely with the land. We had to grow our own food, hunt animals, and build our own homes. We were very aware of the seasonal changes. We knew when to plant, when to allow plants to grow, and when to harvest. We were connected to the energies of the land for survival. To be this close to the land meant that we had to be close to the spirits of the land. It is my belief that we grew to rely on the spirits during tough times of drought, storms, and cold winters. If this is so, then the rules of hospitality say that you must help those who helped you. So, a covenant between us and the fairies and elves may have been formed because of this.
For those of us who grew up in rural areas we can see how it is easy to connect to the land and by proxy, the spirits.. We can smell the rain before it pours down raining. We see the migration of birds telling us of the seasonal changes. We can observe the changes in the forests as time goes by. The more you are in nature the more connected you become to the spirits of the land. Many of us have felt the difference when we leave the city and spend time in the country. We feel less stress and allow ourselves to slow down to connect with the beauty of nature. We are connecting with the land spirits and we didn’t even know it.
There is a reason why the old stories tell of witches deep in the woods. Witches and spirit walkers worked with the spirits of the land for many reasons. Sometimes it was to use the plants in their medicines and potions, but other times it was to add the powers of the land to their own powers for magick. These witches also knew that the old woods were sacred to the faerie and elvish beings. The energies of the land creates many places that the faeries and elves can easily travel between our world and the Otherworld. Witches knew this and sought partnership with them. Witches needed the magical influence of faeries and elves and they, inturn, needed our physical influence in the physical world.
We know that faeries and elves were experts in magick, enchantment, glamour, shapeshifting, and healing. These are all things that witches seek to perform as well. I like to think that these witches connected with them not just to learn their magick but also because they wanted to live in harmony and community with these magnificent beings. All we have is the old stories, but I’m going to guess there were those who connected to them for the betterment of all and those who simply wanted more power. I warn my students against working with the faeries and elves simply for the sake of power. They can read your aura and your thoughts and they do not like to be exploited.
For our modern times I think it’s very important to reconnect with the spirits of the land and the faeries and elves. Over the last few centuries many people have gone further and further away from the land. This has caused a disconnect between many people and the land spirits. I believe that this is one of the many reasons that modern people are unhappy with life and what society has become. The spirits of the land cannot fix all your problems, but they can give you earth energy that is healing and balancing. Remember, it is the plant spirits where we get our medicine from. In holistic healing we believe that disease is caused by living an unbalanced life.
I also believe that our magick can become more powerful if we re-establish our connection; our covenant, to the faerie and elvish spirits. They can help us learn the “deeper” mysteries of the land and the spiritual realm. They can help us remember that our power comes from nature because we, ourselves, are from nature. They can help us summon the life force of the earth and call down the power of the stars.
There are many different ways and magical techniques that will help you reconnect to the spirits of the land. One of the best ways is to read the old tales of magick and faery lore. Learn the old wives tales of the earth spirits. Another way is to build a shrine to these spirits and leave prayers and offerings for them. Also, you can invite them to observe your magick. Later, if it feels appropriate you can ask the land spirits to join you in your ceremonies and rituals. One of my favorite ways to work with land spirits is to be out in nature and perform a shamanic journey or guided visualization with them. Remember, if you meet the spirits, treat them like you would anyone else. Be respectful. Introduce yourself. Give a small gift.
I would highly recommend that you do more research in land spirits, faeries, and elves. There are some great authors out there and some not as great. Remember, faeries and elves are not the little winged pixies of Victorian stories. They are stately beings who command great magick. Any author who describes them as small whimsical beings are not speaking of traditional faeries and elves. For further study, check out my book Otherworld: Ecstatic Witchcraft for the Spirits of the Land. This book will give you step by step instructions on how to go into trance, work with the faeries and elves, and connect to the plant and animal spirits.