Submitted by rosasempervirens, and thanks again!
Hello. I recently saw your post about wights (land and ancestral). We’ve had “brownies” all my life in my mother’s house. I’ve never heard of them being offended by Christian symbols. Our house was littered with Christian symbols and it never bothered them. Wherever we went, there they were, and they were honored, and they cared nothing about the crosses and fish. I suppose this is because most Christian symbols are old pagan ones refitted and re-purposed.
These are traditions based on my family tradition. I do not know where they all came from, they are probably a hodgepodge of the eight different ethnicities within me.
- Always keep a jar of your old, useless keys. The house spirit can use these to help you find things.
- Always keep whiskey or gin under the sink, it will help prevent leaky pipes (I will swear on my own grave on this one).
- Crackers and honey are a suitable offering on most holidays, but milk and honey is received with splendor.
- Treat the spirit like a member of the family on major holidays. For instance, if you give gifts on yule, the spirit should receive a gift (usually a coin wrapped in some natural linen and tied with a dried reed).
— since the shrine for the spirit was usually on the back or front porch, we would often give small chocolate coins which would be hastened away in the night to great effect—
- If you are going to sage/smudge/cleanse the house spiritually, always “alert” the spirit first so that you don’t offend it and chase it away. (My mother did this once, only once. To appease the spirit, she took the offering plate -which was a simple saucer ‘cause we was po’ - and poured some of the whiskey into it and set it outside asking the spirit to please help itself while she cleaned. Then she invited it back in when she was done.)
If you are going to use shards of broken glass to protect a home or property - by scattering around the boundaries - make one shard a piece of a mirror, which will allow the spirit to pass unharmed across the boundary. Be sure to ‘hide’ the piece among the glass while ‘with’ the spirit.
Have cats? Dogs? Other pets that might also enjoy some milk and honey? Place the shrine in a cabinet or high shelf.
Want the shrine outside? Put it on the eastern wall/corner. (I’ve heard the southern wall too.)Be sure to provide some warm shelter in the winter months.
If you notice something in particular that goes missing much, (like say… socks) give that item to the shrine.
As children we were encourage to write messages to the spirit in the frost and fog on the window panes. Sometimes I still do. Sometimes I am answered.
Again, these are familial traditions. They are passed down from many different places. I cannot say which traditions each comes from, but I’ll swear by the matriarch of the family that they work.
To call out the spirit, pick your space for the altar, light the candle, call out a welcome and begin to tend it quietly. You will find the spirit will be drawn out by your respect and warmth.
Good luck, good magic, and good fortune.
A lot of this sounds familiar to me, either from stuff I’ve read or heard or done. Neat post!