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Author Topic: House and Land Spirits/Wights  (Read 5329 times)
MysticRayne
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« Topic Start: May 19, 2011, 05:33:54 pm »

I wasn't sure where to put this so I hope I chose correctly. 

While I've believed in the existence of both house and land spirits (wights) for many years, I've never actually made offerings or such to them due to a fear of offending them by not doing it right.  However, I have been suspecting that I share my room with a kobold and have been thinking that I probably should do something to acknowledge him.  I had things move as though something had run across the floor and had brushed past them on it's way.  The first thing that popped into my head when this happened was the word 'kobold'.  At that time I wasn't really sure what a kobold was so it made little sense that I would immediately think of a kobold as the culprit for the disturbance.  I also had an amethyst ring that fell under a dresser along with a couple other rings.  While I found the other rings easily, I never did find the amethyst ring, even after completely removing all the furniture from the room.  These aren't the only occurances, but an example.  I've been doing a lot of reading, but I've not been successful in finding answers to some of my questions.   
  • For people who have experience with house spirits, how do you know you share your space with a house spirit?  Were there specific signs, a mental image, or just a feeling?  How did you know it wasn't just your imagination or a ghost?

The follow are questions that about both house and land spirits/wights:
  • What is an appropriate offering?  Would an offering of plain water or cow's milk be offensive?  I have very limited resources.
  • When making an offering, what do you say (if anything)?
  • How frequently should offerings be made?  What do you do if you go on vacation or have a hospital stay and won't be home?
  • I've read that some people will ask their house/land spirits to do things for them but I don't understand what they mean by that or how you'd ask without risking offending them.  What can they be asked to do?  I've also read that you should never thank them?

One last thing I've been wondering about...
  • What happens if a house spirit takes up residence in the home of someone who doesn't believe they exist and therefore will never be inclined to acknowledge them?  While it doesn't apply here, I'm still curious as to what happens with that.  Would the house spirit just eventually leave or be a troublemaker or what?
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Juniperberry
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« Reply #1: May 19, 2011, 08:59:57 pm »

  • For people who have experience with house spirits, how do you know you share your space with a house spirit?  Were there specific signs, a mental image, or just a feeling?  How did you know it wasn't just your imagination or a ghost?

For myself it's not so much sharing my home/property with them as much as it was just acknowledging that they have been there all along, and would be there long after I remain. I suppose some could be like ghosts in the sense that they visibly "haunt", but I rather think that they've been inhabiting houses and land this whole time- even when we've forgotten our knowledge of them- and so what we take as a house, or what the home feels like, doesn't become anything different once we acknowledge the wight's presence- because they've always just been a part of that. (I feel that isn't making much sense or conveying the message that I want. Each house has it's personality; the way in which it settles, the drafts that blow through, the heater that only kicks on with a soft touch or a swift kick, funny electric outlets. How we as moderns experience the house isn't any different...we just don't recognize it as a wight. )

Quote
The follow are questions that about both house and land spirits/wights:
  • What is an appropriate offering?  Would an offering of plain water or cow's milk be offensive?  I have very limited resources.

This is something you'll have to figure out as you build a relationship. My wight seems to like foods such as bread and jam, apple slices, banana, coffee, apple cider. It feels appropriate to me just in the sense that I feel good giving it. It's gift giving basically, and you always feel better and are more excited to give something you took time to find, pick out and that you really know the other person is going to enjoy. I know you have limited resources, but if you come across the oppurtunity to give more- take it. It's worth it. Smiley

Quote
  • When making an offering, what do you say (if anything)?

At first I would say something simple. I would announce what I was doing and who it was for. As it became routine and a spot was settled on I feel into the habit of just knocking on the counter when I was setting food/drink out. I still may say something, but it's really very casual.

Quote
  • How frequently should offerings be made?  What do you do if you go on vacation or have a hospital stay and won't be home?

It's better, IMO, to start small. You don't want to rush ahead and make grand gestures on a daily basis if you don't think you'll be able to keep up the routine. Start small and you lessen the risk of offending. An offering here or there, build a relationship, and look for the clues. After starting out with my wight, I noticed after awhile that my cat started staring at exactly that spot for days. I realized that the wight might be out wondering where the hell his food had been and I should probably leave something out more often. The cat stopped staring. Smiley

Quote
  • I've read that some people will ask their house/land spirits to do things for them but I don't understand what they mean by that or how you'd ask without risking offending them.  What can they be asked to do?  I've also read that you should never thank them?


A wight will protect the house, keep things running smoothly...If there's a storm outside the wight may help fortify the tree out front so that it doesn't fall into the roof. It's the wights home and land, too, so they want the best for it. Leaving offerings is just a way to build a working relationship and to show some respect for those whom you're sharing land with. I've never heard not to thank one, except in fairy lore, which I think are two different things. Wighst are just the spirit. We are spirit and flesh. The grass, the trees etc are all the flesh of a spirit that roams through. It isn't one great earth spirit, but spirits of an area, a tree, a grove.

Quote
One last thing I've been wondering about...
  • What happens if a house spirit takes up residence in the home of someone who doesn't believe they exist and therefore will never be inclined to acknowledge them?  While it doesn't apply here, I'm still curious as to what happens with that.  Would the house spirit just eventually leave or be a troublemaker or what?


I think I answered this a bit further up, but, the wight just is. It isn't around in the hopes to be worshipped, or acknowledged. It might not notice you as much as you don't notice it. Which is one of the points of leaving offerings. Another thing is that - in heathenry at least- wights are not of a religion. They exist outside of heathenry, hellenics(?), NA spirituality, etc but are often recognized by these spiritual paths. For example, the land spirits here in the SW are probably much more familiar with the Hopi traditions and expecting those patterns than they are the heathen ones.

Now, if you strike up a relationship with a wight and it comes to expect gifts and a friendship then it will turn on you if you begin to ignore or neglect it. And it will turn on those who are a danger to the land or the house- even those who don't recognize the wight.
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MysticRayne
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« Reply #2: May 20, 2011, 04:03:20 pm »


Many thanks, Juniperberry.  You've been very helpful.  Smiley
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« Reply #3: May 20, 2011, 04:14:30 pm »

Many thanks, Juniperberry.  You've been very helpful.  Smiley

Heh, what Juniper said. Something else I do 'cause my wight/spirit and I are just getting friendly so to speak is walk around my home and our patch of property, especially the seldom visited areas. Just to kind of make my presence known. I also leave out a tiny bowl of mead about once a week.
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« Reply #4: May 22, 2011, 10:00:34 am »



  • For people who have experience with house spirits, how do you know you share your space with a house spirit?  Were there specific signs, a mental image, or just a feeling?  How did you know it wasn't just your imagination or a ghost?
I can't say I've had much experience directly with them. But I am pretty darn sure that I have a house-wight. And I think most people do.
Quote
The follow are questions that about both house and land spirits/wights:
  • What is an appropriate offering?  Would an offering of plain water or cow's milk be offensive?  I have very limited resources.
I actually use milk as my standard offering. Sometimes I add honey to it. But so far I haven't gotten any complaints with the milk/honey. I've also offering homemade bread, toast with jam, oatmeal (the real kind, i.e not from a pack  Wink ). I've even given a plate of scrambled eggs with spinach and toast once.

As a side note, one thing that is taboo to offer many types of household spirits happens to be clothes. The Scottish brownie comes to mind, but I am certain I've heard it mentioned in other cultures as well. I just can't remember where I've read it.  Undecided
Quote
  • When making an offering, what do you say (if anything)?
I usually say something such as "hail housewight, I leave this for you, please enjoy!" or something to that effect. I don't think the actual wording is all that important. As long as you acknowledge that it's for them specifically.
Quote
  • How frequently should offerings be made?  What do you do if you go on vacation or have a hospital stay and won't be home?
I make my offerings once a week. Every Tuesday (no reason other than that's the day I left out something and decided to try to keep it up). I haven't missed a week yet, but if I had to due to unforeseen circumstance, I'd make an extra lavish gift at my return and offer my apologizes - just as a would to a friend who I have let down by mistake.
Quote
  • I've read that some people will ask their house/land spirits to do things for them but I don't understand what they mean by that or how you'd ask without risking offending them.  What can they be asked to do?  I've also read that you should never thank them?
I can't really comment on this because I have never really asked it to do anything. But if you have a good rapport with it, I see no reason to ask for a little extra help when you have a sticky situation. And yes, I have heard that it's taboo to thank certain types of wights, particularly the Celtic variety, such as fairies. I try to refrain from thanking them too much, if at all. Simply because it seems like bad manners to thank them for things they like to do. I've heard someone on a thread once say that it can make it seem like they are obligated to do things for you, or that they're doing their job just to satisfy you, which understandably can be offensive to some of them. But honestly, I see little problem in thanking one occasionally once you have a good relationship of respect & trust - although that's just me.

Quote
One last thing I've been wondering about...
  • What happens if a house spirit takes up residence in the home of someone who doesn't believe they exist and therefore will never be inclined to acknowledge them?  While it doesn't apply here, I'm still curious as to what happens with that.  Would the house spirit just eventually leave or be a troublemaker or what?

I think the house-wight will keep going on it's business as usual so long as the person doesn't do anything to directly offend or anger it. I suspect that many "hauntings" are just house-wights feeling mischievous Something Juniperberry touched on up in the thread.

I hope that helps some!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 10:53:24 am by SunflowerP, Reason: fixing quote code » Logged
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« Reply #5: May 22, 2011, 10:24:53 am »

And yes, I have heard that it's taboo to thank certain types of wights, particularly the Celtic variety, such as fairies. I try to refrain from thanking them too much, if at all. Simply because it seems like bad manners to thank them for things they like to do. I've heard someone on a thread once say that it can make it seem like they are obligated to do things for you, or that they're doing their job just to satisfy you, which understandably can be offensive to some of them.

I wonder if these beliefs stem from any particular culture's thoughts about manners. In the US, thanking someone does not mean that they were obligated to do the task, it means that we are grateful for their action. It would be rude NOT to thank someone. I know different cultures have different responses to "Thank You". In the US, it's "your welcome', in Mexico it's "it's nothing", and in Japan it's "thank you".

I wonder if it would be more appropriate to interact with a spirit in accordance with the culture in which they live, rather than that of another culture. But I don't have any experience with housewights, just pondering.
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« Reply #6: May 22, 2011, 10:31:36 am »

And yes, I have heard that it's taboo to thank certain types of wights, particularly the Celtic variety, such as fairies. I try to refrain from thanking them too much, if at all. Simply because it seems like bad manners to thank them for things they like to do. I've heard someone on a thread once say that it can make it seem like they are obligated to do things for you, or that they're doing their job just to satisfy you, which understandably can be offensive to some of them. But honestly, I see little problem in thanking one occasionally once you have a good relationship of respect & trust - although that's just me.


I've come across this as well but not regarding house wight/spirit. If you believe in the literal fey/Sidhe then they're quite a different horse from a land wight or land spririt (though likely kin) and I would think that just as thanking them (implying a superior status, I.E. thank you waitress) would be offensive treating them as *your* wight/spirit would as well.  I've also read that expressing gratitude such as complimenting the gift etc is perfectly acceptable.
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