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Author Topic: House and Land Spirits/Wights  (Read 5406 times)
Juniperberry
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Religion: Heathen
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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. )

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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

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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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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