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  1. The spirits where I live tend to be pretty inviting, well-adjusted to human company for the most part. We partner with our housevaettir to keep our home as calm, frithful, and well as we can. The spirits of the land we live on are gracious, while demanding respect. We have coyotes that frequently sing no matter what time of night, and rabbits who run around and occasionally will take to eating the food we plant. We’ve had snakes live in our compost when it got warm, and the soil is rich and black.

    The spirits in our home are many. Some Dead stop by as a kind of waystation (part of my duties to Anpu) until ready to move along. We hold shrines to our Gods, Ancestors, and the vaettir. We have space on our Earthvaettir shrine to various States we’ve gone; I bring back shot glasses as dual offering vessels and representations of each State. We hold space on that shrine for the Roadside Dead, our landvaettir, Earthvaettir, indigenous spirits, and others. During snow a lot of the Earthvaettir seem to slumber. Even the big ones might give you a lazy nod at most when making offerings. We salute the Roadside Dead as we pass, and sometimes we have been called to bring Them home, take off their skin, bury or burn Them. I have a shrine for RĂșnatyr and the Runevaettir, with a shot glass of whiskey for Them. We have good working relationships fed by offerings of whiskey and blood. To try and describe the Runevaettir in full, our relationships would…be a lot.

    The graveyard we visit has friendly Dead, many who are eager just to have some time, some tobacco. Some of Them like chocolate, and others like to drink, and still others just like to sit with you in silence. There are trees that grow up in and around the graves, and some are so old you can barely make out the names. Some of the Dead are clearly still there and some have moved on. Some are in the trees and rocks that are around the graves and the line between landvaettr and dead human are disappearing or gone.

    All in all my family and I’s relationships with the spirits are good and warm.

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  2. the ones i’ve come to know best are the ones i suspect are easiest for most- the dryads. while their time sense is nothing like ours, once you’ve managed to get their attention they tend to be very open to communicate. since i’ve lived here almost 20 years, longer than i’ve ever lived anywhere before, i’ve had time to begin to get to know quite a few of them.

    interestingly, i know the house spirits less well. i can’t say i know any of ’em on an individual basis, but hope on, hope ever!

    my beloved dead show up pretty regularly at the liminal times, and occasionally just as a nice surprise.

    the wild Dead of Dio only come at the prescribed times, thank the Theoi.

    there are fae. i love them, take time to decorate their space and leave them offerings, and treat them with a healthy respect and wariness. there are places i’ve agreed to stay out of altogether and leave entirely to them.

    there’s a little dark thing, about the size of a corgi, who barrels through now and then. it’s been a few years now, but i haven’t been able to get it to slow down or get more of a sense of it.

    there’s another spirit, a bigger and more anthropomorphic one, who drops by from time to time. the name we’ve settled on for me to call him is ‘robin goodfellow’, which seems to amuse him. he hasn’t done anything nasty, but i’m wary of him. we have a cautious truce. he’s welcome here so long as he doesn’t fuck with us, but i’ve implied fire and brimstone if he unleashes any of the malice that seems to lurk. and i leave him treats from time to time.

    it’s alway fun to try and get a sense of the spirits when i go somewhere new, but i’ve got to say, it’s pretty wonderful to be rooted enough finally to really get to know the ones with whom i share this beautiful space.

    khairete
    suz

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  3. I live in an urban area. There are two crosses a mile a part where two people died driving off the road near a stop light. These memorials have been maintained for 10 years, and going. I see them as the Lars of the Crossroads. Each is there to watch the crossroads. I sense Them when I push the button to cross the road. They seem to look out for pedestrians and fellow drivers.

    I believe that in the Roman sense, the people became Manes (spirits of the Dead), and then as their friends continued to hold memorial rituals on their death days, they transformed into Lars. I give them small offerings when I cross the street.

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  4. The spirits in my backyard are still very wild. We regard each other with some wariness, I sense Them and They watch me. Not yet ready to drop my guard around Them. I’m not a very avid gardener, but I make sure to make offerings of food/milk/water during changes in the season, and only use natural foods or natural tools to do yard work (like physically cutting instead of using chemicals for weeding, etc.)

    The house spirit is not so clear to me, but I have been helped from injuring myself badly when inside. I make offerings to the boundary spirit as well, so at least we seem cool.

    Surprisingly, I seem to have a good connection with the insects and birds of my area. Bees and yellow jackets allow me to watch them, and I’ve gone from running from them to actually handling them when they’ve gotten stuck in other people’s space (individually, at least). I’ve made my boundaries pretty clear to the ants and other insects that I will not bother them if they don’t invade or damage the house. The spiders…like to troll from time to time (crawling on me!), but they are good roommates otherwise.

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  5. Portland, Oregon, is a weiird place. When I first got there I could feel the pressing presence of Dead that felt “sorrowful”; I got a sense of drug overdoses, suicides, and others, far more than in my hometown in rural Massachusetts. The Columbia River was old and vast, but seemed relatively “close” to human beings; my intuition told me that once upon a time, the River’s spirit was revered by human beings frequently enough that the River recognized what I was doing. It seemed grumpy about all the dams, though not -angry- as such; It cheerfully seemed to communicate to me that if the dams ever broke It would relish the chance to devour thousands of humans as sacrifice by flooding the city.

    Mount Hood was HUGE and far more alien than even the River, almost inaccessible to my consciousness, as though It moved in a sense of time and place that engulfed mine. It seemed to welcome my attention with a mix of benevolence and yet complete indifference–it seems paradoxical but that’s what I sensed. It was the first mountain I ever talked to; I didn’t really “sense” Its volcanism, but then again, Its nature is so enormous and far from human that I don’t really think I would know what to look for.

    Honestly, I’m not sure that I’m a fan of Portland’s vibes; things feel janky and unsettled on the human side of it. Maybe that’s more of a reflection of my own spiritual state while I’ve been there, however.

    Back home is different. I was raised in the same town for my entire childhood and adolescence. The local indigenous chieftain’s burial ground is a remarkable place, one of the few indigenous sacred sites in New England where cultus has been maintained into the present era. He seems to be a local Guardian King, and I bring him maple syrup almost every time I walk by there. His wife is there too, but her name has not been preserved. I got the sense that there is a kind of doorway to some spirit world accessible at that site, but I haven’t messed about with that; I haven’t had any reason to potentially go faffing about in indigenous American underworlds or wherever it might lead.

    The trees back home are super friendly; especially the hemlocks, which to me have a sort of sleepy grand-parental vibe. I can easily fall asleep in the middle of the forests back home, the trees seem to invite it.

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