Book of Shadows: Preparing Yourself to Meet With Spirit
By Andrea Mariz
This Book of Shadows entry discusses methods of cleansing, grounding, centering and other preparations for ritual, particularly those involving the spirits or Spirit.
How to Create and Maintain a Sacred Space
How to prepare an energetic container for the Seance
Human beings, and all other beings on Earth, are not only the physical bodies we perceive through five senses. Everything has many layers to it and creating a strong sacred container for ritual work is very important, because it allows you to have a powerful and safe experience.
Your being, or you “vessel” is compounded by several layers – all layers must be taken care of and prepared, and that’s why it’s fundamental to center your energies: centering brings all parts of you into alignment, and after this, we ground, in order not to feel “airy” during the ritual or the session. After all, the goal of a ritual or seance is to bring the spiritual into matter – to anchor spirit in this reality, so you can experience it right here, right now.
Preparing Your Physical Body
Cleansing: Taking cleansing baths/washing hands cleanse your physical body, and if you add the visualization/energy intention, it will cleanse your astral body too.
Prepare the physical space: altar, candles, incense, water, pen and paper, kleenex
Centering and Grounding: Use meditation, guided visualizations, breath work, body movement and dance to center and ground. We will be starting the seance with a guided meditation but prepare yourself to come into the space grounded and centered.
Preparing Your Mental Body
Decide your intention for the ritual, who is allowed in; in a group setting, it’s important that all participants are doing the same thing, check the group ritual goals and align yourself to it. This step has to be done days before the ritual occurs. Write down your intentions and goals for the ritual or seance. Writing anchors the mental aspect into reality. It’s powerful magic.
The mental layer is about using your will and personal power. In case you are confused, lost, feeling like you are living “in a fog”, you may have to clean your mind before the ritual, and specially before a seance- use mind dump journaling, releasing rituals, meditation, breath work.
After the session / ritual, close you own sacred space properly by thanking the presence of the spirits that came in, and ask them to depart.
Preparing Your Emotional Body
We have emotions, we are not our emotions. Our emotional state interferes with spiritual and / or ritual work, thus we can prepare our emotional state for the best suitable for the work/ritual at hand. In the case of communicating with spirits, the best bet is to raise your vibration so we do not attract low vibration spirits.
Our emotions can be processed, digested and released thru a multitude of ways: journaling and guided visualizations and meditations are some of the most known and easiest ways, easily accessible on Youtube.
You can raise your vibrations using the Buddhist practice of metta, also called loving kindness meditation. There is a ton of videos like that on Youtube. This may need some practice until you feel the effects.
If you feel sad, angry, fearful, over-worried or out of a minimal peaceful state in any way, you can change it through a ritual, but in the case of a seance, you need to clear your emotional state before you enter the seance. Otherwise you will spit out all your emotion into the seance and its participants, and this can attract low vibration spirits. It is perfectly acceptable to feel excited, enthusiastic, curious. Just watch your emotional state, observe how you feel, and do the emotional processing if it’s needed.
Preparing Your Astral/Energetic Body
All things are made of astral substance, or energy. Everything you do in ritual space has a reflection in the astral realm, so you can add this layer of preparation in your ritual, by adding the intentional (mind) aspect, the feeling (emotional) aspect to your gestures. It sounds complicate, but it’s very simple. For example, when you are prepping the objects for a ritual, you infuse your intention and emotion into the gesture and into the object itself. When you light a candle, you imagine (see, feel, etc) you are lighting a candle in the astral realm at the same time. This creates a counterpart in the astral realm – an energetic container. It’s like you are doing the ritual in many levels at the same time.
When you do this, you create a strong energetic and sacred container for your spirit work. The energies can flow more easily, and you will feel held by a protective energy. You will feel and sense things more clearly. The energy of the spirit realm can come in and flow more strongly when there is a strong energetic container.
Many witches, magicians and religious people creates this sacred container, in all levels, intuitively. However, the more conscious you are about this sacred container creation process, the most powerful your spirit / spiritual / magical work will be.
Preparing Your Spiritual Body
This aspect is related to the spirit beings we invite in, who guides and protects us. It doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie or an experienced witch / spirit worker, we all need guidance and protection in the spiritual realm because it’s new territory and we don’t know its rules. So, after you center and ground, you can ask your divine self and / or your guides to join you in the ritual, and you have to ask them for support, guidance and protection. It’s not automatic – you have to ask for it, always, every time.
The best guide is your own divinity, but there are many other spiritual aspects or beings you can call in: guardian angel, spirit guardians, spirit guides, the deities you work with, your ancestors, animal spirits, etc. You also have to thank them for their presence and support, and ask them to leave. In some situations a guide doesn’t leave at all; but this is another conversation. Asking for the spirits’ departure is important in a seance.
If you feel fearful of encountering demons, hauntings, and stuff like that, ask your own guides and guardians to be with you, to protect and guide you. Light a candle to your guardian angel, next to a glass of clean water and ask protection and guidance for the session, whether it is a seance, ritual or other type of magickal working that involves deities or the dead.