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Spirit Helpers


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#1 teopiltzin

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 02:19 PM

According to Mr. Michael Harner, the next thing the prospective shaman must do after acquiring a guardian spirit is a large crew of spirit helpers. These spirit helpers can be be of the animal, plant, or mineral family or even otherwise. How do you acquire a large crew of them and for what purposes do you employ such spirit helpers. I've heard that the collective power of a crew of spirit helpers is equivalent to one guardian spirit. The more spirit helpers, the more powerful a shaman.

I've also heard that you could gather plant spirit helpers by ingesting various non-poisonous plants. You could come to posses literally hundreds. Also by collecting and working with rock spirits. All rocks have a certain vibration that determines what effect it will have upon your consciousness and your body, particularly the spirit body, or auric cacoon (aura). Animal spirits other than your guardian spirits can also be considered spirit helpers, although one may argue that you could come to have more than one guardian spirit, but I find this difficult to believe myself.

Where do I find these spirits that I seek. What about the spirits of the dead, like ancestors, deceased shamans and otherwise. I could dream and astral project to Tlalocan and Mictlan in search of such spirits. The vast geography of the aztec spirit world is literally limitless, and is also a place big enough to get lost in. Many trials lay ahead for those who want to go into the lowerworld or celestial paradises. My guide in Mictlan, the land of the dead, is San Simon Judas or Maximon. He takes me on his canoe from the middle world plane, the ordinary mode of existence or reality, down into the underworld where we travel along the river of the dead, which is filled with potentially thousands of spirit helpers in human form.

So whether it be animal, plant, rock, or human, spirit helpers are detrimental to any working shaman that seeks to heal by invoking his helping spirits. How to work beyond this is a total mystery to me. Although I have had my share of practice in communicating with the spirit worlds, the answer to my question still eludes me. How to keep track of the many helping spirits we have. Do you go for quality or quantity that is do you get close to a small number or focus on possessing many, thus working from the sheer magnitude of the number rather than their closeness to you.

Yours in the struggle,
--Teopiltzin

#2 VIRAL

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 12:58 AM

Those are some good questions. But first, I would like to introduce you to a special punctuation mark called the Question Mark. It looks like this:right: ? and can become a very powerful ally in communicating with beings that speak most european languages, including English.

Now for your questons...
It all depends on what seems like the best strategy (or the easiest). Most spirits tend to elevate humans they don't know but consider to be righteous, or at least considerate of them and their world(s). A Personal Guardian isn't necessarily who he/she/it/they/we seems to be, but this is not a tenet. In fact, what you think is one spirit may be several, or vice-versa. It's kinda like Cyberspace, we are all just names without a face or address. Not to mention your "spirit" may be a living human.

That being said, even with people it is good to establish a support network, and said support network can be a large or small as you want it to be. The important part is that it is of a size that suits you. They don't even have to all like each other! (Ever heard of Staff Shopping?) This way you won't be limited to one or two other perspectives, and you won't have to work your schedule around theirs.

Oh yes, one more thing about the spirit world: If the spirit is well-to-do and is interested in you, it's probably because the spirit has something to gain by dealing with you specifically. :)

#3 Caliban

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 06:58 AM

What I have done that works for me is two-fold. One, I honor spirits -in general-. I make offerings of fresh water, fire (a candle), salt and incense at a spirit house. I make food offerings two or three times a year, and generally try to let them know I welcome them.

Magically, to attract spirit helpers, what I have done is open my temple space with proper ceremony, and work up a good charge of energy in my temple that harmonizes with the kind of spirit I wish to attract, and listen carefully to who shows up.

I use a western/European approach, so my spirits come in the guise of planetary forces, but the same general idea should apply. Make a ritual to honor and welcome helpful spirits, excluding those who are not helpful to your work, and see who comes. If you have gods, pray to them to send you helpers. Make sure to treat your spirit friends well.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#4 Waterspirit

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 08:53 AM

The quick and easy way is to pay a shaman to retrieve a bunch for you - that's part of the standard service along with soul retrieval. I have also contacted spirit helpers on my own as well though - you work with your intuition to see which plants and animals you feel "resonance" with and reach out to them mentally. If they are to be significant to you, you will have clear signs and dreams that leave little doubt. I find that in working with a large batch of them it is less confusing than you'd think - just focus your intention on what you wish to accomplish and the ones who can help most will come forward to you in your inner vision.

#5 VIRAL

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 04:20 PM

Caliban-- I'll bet your 'Spirit House' is very pleasing to the eye, and well kept. (My room is getting there, you can actually tell I have some OCD now upon entering...) Say hi to Ouranos/Uranus tonight for me! Today I get to haunt a zombie wedding, I've got an even cooler outfit than Cali's pink camoflage, it even looks OMG... straight! (Until I open my mouth, that is) Time to practice football talk for the college bois LOL.
};-)

#6 TOLKA

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:18 AM

I have found two approaches. The first is to go and seek a spirit, this is done my way through summoning a spirit and asking him for associates who may be able to aid me, or yes leaving the body. The second is a bit of a mystery. I find that they just turn up and give me thier seals. I think that offerings do help. Lighting incense for a planet in my case has had me visited and helped by something of that planet, but other than that Im not too sure why they do. As for the quanitity or quality question I have not found that to be your own choice. Some of what I have recieved are upon the most powerful out there, some are very polite, helpful and probably not that high up at all, but lovely little things. I appreciate them all equally, and the smaller ones are often more helpful. I think when looking for help, you have to be open to whatever you get. That's just my thoughts. Im sorry Im not very Aztecy, but Iv tried to leave it open..
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#7 teopiltzin

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 06:50 AM

And another thing. In shamanism, we usually do not try to be commandist about how we work with spirits. Ceremonial magicians would use the four elements of astral evocation, which are: calling on the spirit, viewing and communication with the spirit, commanding the spirit, and dismissing the spirit. But is it better to command the spirit, binding it by a pact made between the magician and the entity. Or is it better still to have more of a friendly relationship with any spirit we may encounter, that is, asking it with humility to help you solve a problem rather than do your bidding. In shamanism, spirits are thought to be potential allies rather than the property of the magician or shaman. So is it better to command or ask politely?

#8 TOLKA

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

Binding a spirit after you have summoned it is one of the most basic rules of Ceremonial Magic.

Whether asking or commanding is correct, it depends on who you are summoning in my opinion. There are good spirits which you can ask and they will help you, or bad spirits which from the moment they appear you are in a battle of minds, words and wills with. Asking those isn't going to do you much good.
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#9 VIRAL

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 04:03 AM

@ Tolka: Rub it in, why dontcha'!

#10 son of dhamma

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 03:56 PM

teopiltzin said:

According to Mr. Michael Harner, the next thing the prospective shaman must do after acquiring a guardian spirit is a large crew of spirit helpers... Animal spirits other than your guardian spirits can also be considered spirit helpers, although one may argue that you could come to have more than one guardian spirit, but I find this difficult to believe myself.
What exactly is meant here by guardian spirit? Is it a totem (representing the instinctual nature of your soul through an animal), a god, an angelic-like guardian, or something else?
Coincidence is but one of the many fictions clung to by men.

#11 Caliban

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:04 PM

TOLKA said:

Binding a spirit after you have summoned it is one of the most basic rules of Ceremonial Magic.

Whether asking or commanding is correct, it depends on who you are summoning in my opinion. There are good spirits which you can ask and they will help you, or bad spirits which from the moment they appear you are in a battle of minds, words and wills with. Asking those isn't going to do you much good.
If you are antagonizing them with your conjuration, of course they are angry when they arrive. If on the other hand you tailor your approach to the nature of the force which you are conjuring, then there ought not to be this degree of conflict.

I disagree strongly that constraint and compulsion are necessary elements of ceremonial workings. They are relics of a culture built on notions of hierarchal authority in both church and state, and geared toward maintaining that culture through war. These are not cultural assumptions from which I work. It is hard for me to understand why magical models should not evolve as our social dynamics do. Some concepts like sovereignty are themselves symbolic. One could argue that for the notion of battling rebellious spirits, but personally I find a more accomodating approach more productive.

I use my sword to distinguish my area of working from mundane space. To achieve the cooperation of spirits, I use the Cup. I think being a friend to all spirits and master of none is ultimately the most balanced approach to personal empowerment and growth through spirit contacts.


"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen


#12 Alice

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:16 PM

I agree with your philosophy, Caliban.

As a practitioner of the dark arts, I work with some very dark entities, including those who are traditionally known as monsters, who feed on the energies of humans and so on. I can tell you from experience that it is possible to forge a friendly relationship with almost any spirit.

I use the term "familiar" rather than spirit helper; a familiar spirit being any spiritual entity with which one has a working relationship. I like the term partially because it's neutral in terms of the nature of the relationship, it does not imply subordination or servitude, you are similar familiar with that spirit, so to speak.

All of my familiars are under contract with me, I want something from them, and they want something from me, so my obligations and theirs, as well as the things they are not allowed to do are established from the beginning. For most of them, they could leave any time they wish, and I could dismiss them if their services were no longer needed. In some cases, they are only working with me because I am interesting and they had nothing better to do. Some that I have worked with, as I said, feed on humans, and I offer my own energy in exchange for them doing something that I could not do for myself.

At least one (but I won't give any details on most of them for various reasons) is in a relationship of mutual protection; my wards protect them from things that might harm them, and they feed on things that my wards would not protect me from.

There are self serving and dangerous beings out there, but with care and compassion even those can be worked with. All you need to do in most cases is make them an offer so that working with you instead of against you is in their best interest. That won't work on anything that cannot be reasoned with, but that goes without saying.

Most my familiars were actually acquired through sorcery (similar to shamanism, but without the emphasis on astral projection, and much more dark work) and we used a spirit (oujia) board in the beginning. I strongly advise against using that method without an experienced practitioner or a powerful guardian present. Spirit boards open a gateway automatically that must be closed "manually", and it can be difficult to control what might come through the gateway while it is opened. When we used the board, my coven consisted of a sorcerer/channeler, a "wall" of a man who can banish practically anything, a practitioner capable of warding and closing the gateway, and a record keeper. At one point there were hundreds of spirits waiting to speak to us, and we had to prioritize, so there's definitely no shortage of beings who would be happy to work with a human practitioner.

As someone previously mentioned, some of my familiars approached me out of the blue and made me an offer. I'm not sure what prompts them to do so, but the only prerequisite to working with them is being able to hear them when they come.

May you find what you seek,
Landra





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