For the next few posts i plan to do a series of posts about the celtic realms of Land, Sea,and Sky. These posts with largely be workings to honor spirits specific to each area. At some point i may, in the future, write a bit about their shamanic significance. But for now i wanted to start with some basics. What follows is a working to venerate or honor the Genius Loci, or Land Spirit of a specific area.
The Genius Loci is the spirit of a specific area,even cityscapes have some genius loci in them. This spirit will watch over the area and the spirits that reside within it. They are the Guardians of the area and can be a great ally too the practitioner.
This process or ritual is intended to be used on a regular bases to build a relationship with this entity. The benefits of doing the work is many fold, including helping the practitioner to come to understand, in a more personal way, the symbiosis between man and nature. As well as learning the locations of power spots or Faery Gates in the area,being able to ask favors or petitions of the Land Spirit, and creating a power location for personal spiritual work.
I strongly suggest you not petition the land spirits for anything until you have established a firm relationship with them.
What you will need for the working:
- 1 red candle
- Bread (please remember this is an offering too someone, quality DOES matter)
- Wine,beer,or other spirits again quality
- any bobbles you may wish to also offer
- bell,whistle,or drum
For this rite you will not be casting a circle, so you do need to be mindful of the area you have chosen. If an area feels hostile or negative its a good bet its not a land spirit interested in your company. Thus do not choose to do this working there. I would suggest starting with the Genius Loci near your home. Look for some thing distinctive in the landscape. Often that is where you will make the strongest first connection with the spirit. Once you have found your location you may proceed as follows:
Facing north, place the candle in the middle of your work space, bread to the north of the candle,wine to the west,bell to the east, and finally, you set in the south. If you wish at this point you may walk in a widdershin direction around your work space 3,6,or 9 times. This will help you create a stronger connection with the Unseen spaces. Think of it as cranking on an old Graham Bell telephone.
Settle down before your altar, setting in the south facing north,close your eyes and experience the sounds,smells, and sensations of the area. Try to sense the spirit here. When you are calm and centered and have fully awakened your senses too your surroundings; take up your bell or other instrument and ring it. As you do you must KNOW that this sound rings forth into the Otherworld across the Veil and is heard by the Genius Loci.
Now light the red candle saying something to the effect of:
“I kindle this flame
as a beacon into the unseen places.
I draw the eye of the Spirit of this Land.
A sworn child of the Mother,
who wishes only to honor you.”
Hopefully, if all goes well straight out of the gate, you could get some sort of response here. Be patient and above all, observant. It will be subtle a branch moving oddly, an animal that looks at you in an uncanny manner. If nothing happens, do not fear, it may not for several workings. Just continue on with the work. However, if a feeling of panic, or hostility comes over you, pack it in sister! You’re being told to shove off. But lets say all goes well.
Next hold your hand over the bread and say something to the effect of:
“Here is the bread of life,the nourishment of the Earth
As it gives life too me
i offer of it too you
I consecrate it in honor too the spirits of this land.”
Take a small bit of the bread and say “May we never hunger”
Next take up the cup of wine and say some thing too the effect of:
“Here is the cup of Mater Sangreal
The blood of the Mother
The blood of abundance
I consecrate it in honor of you the land spirits.”
Take a sip of the wine and say “may we never thirst.”
Now you have a few options here, you may place the bread and wine in a hole you have dug, or a bowl,or place the bread in the cup then poor it out as you speak. However you choose to do it bring the two together and say something to the effect of:
“As i have taken,
So this is given
Shared in honor
as one who is of the family of the Old Gods
with the Spirits of the Land.
I give it to the Ground
I give it to the Genius Loci
That the seen and unseen people
and spirits may be made whole
again and live in peace.
For behold,what is taken is truly given,
and what is given is truly taken.
So be it.”
(by the by the line what is taken is truly given and what is given is truly taken is from Robin Artissons book The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill please check it out for more workings and prose )
From here you may leave any other offerings you have thank the spirits and leave your offering of bread and wine on the earth as the invocation suggests. Tahda! you just honored a Genius Loci…now keep doing so! Come back and keep the area clean, feed the animals, do this working again at least once a month. Eventually very interesting things will happen if you allow your self to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.
and now a few resources:
ge·ni·us lo·ci (j n – s l s , -k , -k ). n. 1. The distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place. 2. The guardian deity of a place.