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Helping a Frightened Nature Spirit
When many Pagans today begin to work with nature spirits, and other energies in nature, they frequently end up causing problems because of their misunderstanding of how these beings view the world. Much of the traditional lore built up by covens over years of experience has been subsumed by current culture and books written by theorists rather than people with practical experience. When I worked in a Pagan shop in my home city of Portsmouth (UK) customers would frequently tell us about their experiences with rituals and evocations that had lead to unwanted consequences.
Some of these were the result of simple mistakes, such as not casting a circle before a ritual or spell. But others were through not understanding the beings and energies that they were working with. Some of the most common problems occurred when beginning to work with the Elements. Water tended to cause emotional upheavals and plumbing problems, Air frequently resulted in rows which could cause the breakup of relationships and groups. We saw several cases of depression occurring with people working on Earth Element skills and Fire could lead to hyperactivity and obsessions.
Fortunately the owner of the shop was a skilled Tarot counsellor and was able to help to some degree with analysis and pathworking through the cards. She also taught me, which meant that when people came into the shop with Element related problems we were able to help them through the symbololgy and energies inherent in the cards. The real ‘fun’ began when people were having problems with nature spirits and entities because, while the Elements corresponded with aspects of peoples’ personalities, entities have their own agenda.
I first found this out when I was working as a security guard at a new industrial complex near a major town in the UK. The place had a reputation for being haunted and I was the only guard that didn’t mind working there. Security guards in the UK are unarmed, which didn’t really bother me as after a decade of studying Ninpo, the modern development of Ninjitsu, I had learned how to use everyday items to protect myself if necessary. That, combined with my magickal skills meant that I was more than happy to look after the building against most forms of problems,
The first few nights passed without incident, but as the moon began to wax I began to notice a change in the atmosphere. At the beginning of the second week I had just finished a patrol and was about to have some tea in the office when I heard something moving in the main body of the building. I unplugged the electrical cord from the kettle and wall and draped it over my shoulders so that both ends hung accessible at chest height. I turned off all the lights and after waiting a short while for my eyes to adapt I moved quietly into the open area of the main building.
Moonlight deepened the shadows as I crouched by the pair of fire extinguishers near the doorway. I looked and listened for anything that might have made the noise I thought I had heard. In the shadows my uniform and posture made me blend in, looking like another extinguisher – or so I hoped. Not seeing or hearing anything I shifted my perceptions into dowsing mode, ‘feeling’ for anything of an entity nature. I felt it was safe enough to enter a state of mild trance enhancing my kinaesthetic senses on the physical plane as well as the Mental and Astral. Immediately I detected something in the middle of the vast open area of the warehouse, which was also in shadow, and my lower posture gave me no advantage in seeing what it was.
As a precaution I covered one eye with my hand as I reached up to the light switch with the other. Light blazed revealing a totally empty warehouse as I returned to waking consciousness to see that there was no-one there, at least not on the Physical Plane. I turned the light off and rolled a few feet from where I had been when the lights were on, my arms crossed over my chest in a protective runic sign which also kept the kettle cord in place. I closed my eyes as I did so using the mild disorientation of the roll to re-enter my trance state.
As the momentum of the roll carried me to a standing position I opened the eye I closed and covered when I turned on the light, and closed the other one. Instantly my night-adapted vision returned and I could see as clearly as I could before I turned on the lights. Anything of a physical nature – especially a fellow human – would take several minutes to regain sensitivity to the much lower light levels. That, and my rolling to a new position, were two good precautions against ordinary intruders who might have broken in and be after me because they were now effectively temporarily blind and they last place they had seen me was by the door. But the sight of the empty room had assured me that it wasn’t a physical intruder, I just hoped the burst of light had unsettled it enough for me to gain an advantage if it were needed.
I had opened both eyes as I knew that my brain would continue to predominantly use the dark-adapted eye until both eyes had the same sensitivity. But In my altered state of consciousness my dowsing sense was much more sensitive. I could sense the space around me, and even things such as a metal drain under the floor leading to the outside. I could also feel a presence poised only a few feet away. Intuitively I sensed it was a nature spirit, and it was angry, scared, and confused at suddenly (according to its way of seeing the world) finding itself in a barren concrete wasteland
It was one of the strongest and strangest experiences of my life. I have had a few ‘Peak Experiences’ but they have been confined to the Physical Plane. This, and one other that I will link to in the notes, were the only ones I have had without a ritual and still firmly anchored in my physical body.
I breathed deeply a few times, and focussed on a bubble of protection surrounding me and moved towards where I felt the entity was , taking the kettle cord from around my neck and forming most of it into a loose coil. I wrapped the remaining length of wire around the coils to make sure they kept their shape whilst considering what to do next. Most nature entities are approximately as clever as an intelligent dog, or about the level of a four year old human. This meant that clear concise direction was probably the best way to go.
“Good evening. I understand you are lost and just want to get home. I want to help, but am prepared to defend myself if needed.” I said as lifted the coiled cord in my hand to shoulder height “This is a coil of metal. It won’t do permanent damage, but will scramble your current physical form and probably be uncomfortable to say the least” This was a precaution in case the spirit had discovered (or preferred) attack as the best form of defence. They learn quickly that many people who are not used to encountering Otherworld entities are easy to scare or trick and are thus easy to manipulate. It’s not that they’re “evil”, but just that it’s expedient for them. By showing that I was willing to help, but also knew something about their nature, and empathised with their plight I marked myself as someone who understood them.
“What has happened here is that the area you used to live in has changed to not being your home” I explained. It was not so much what I said as the way I said it that I hoped was getting through to the Being. “My apologies for that. To escape from here follow the metal pipe near you and go that way back to the wild” I pointed in the direction of some untouched forest the other side of the fencing that surrounded the park the warehouse was in. “I call upon the Goddess Artemis, and Hern The Hunter, guardians of all wild things to guide and protect you. My they also call attention to the plight of this area, especially to groups that can help protect it and keep it and you safe. So mote it be.”At that moment the cloud must have covered the moon because the room became even darker. The space suddenly felt empty and when the moonlight beamed again I realised the entity had gone, evidently following my advice.
For the next few nights I checked the warehouse regularly for any signs of the nature spirits return, or any other activity that many people would have termed “Supernatural”. There was none, and I realised that my empathy and advice - with a little bit of warning – seemed to have worked well. The only negative side effect, from my point of view, was that with the warehouse having a safer atmosphere now that the nature spirit had moved out the owners decided that they no longer needed a security presence and I was moved to another job in a less rural area.
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