As I have mentioned in previous posts, the Spirit World is as alive and inhabited as is our own physical realm. I am sure my own practices have only but scratched the surface of the various types of entities; good, bad, and indifferent. As the author at Kina’ani has taken it upon him/herself to explain the practice of discernment and likely will do a better job than I could, I have decided instead to bypass that subject and instead veer into the various types of Spirits I Work with or am aware of. Many of these are those that I have encountered once or twice, and a few are those that I have no interest in ever encountering again.
Such is the way of the Spirit realm. Much as our own, not every entity is friendly to us. Few are true predators, but they may range from helpful to curious, to irritated, to angered, to hostile.
The simplest to begin with then, are those of deceased human spirits. As they were previously human, these are Spirits which logic would dictate ought to be the easiest for living humans to understand. Unfortunately, this is not normally the case.
On this side of the “Veil,” we have our own set of difficulties when encountered by or encountering the deceased.
1. Misapprehension, particularly because of popular culture. “Ghosts” have been turned, by and large, into mass-entertainment and widely misunderstood.”Ghost stories” serve to scare young and old alike, and the most horrific of these have been turned into movies which both scare and thrill. True deceased human spirits are rather anticlimactic in comparison.
2. There is also a hesitance on the living’s part to encounter, communicate, or work with the deceased because of soured relationships which happened while the deceased Spirit lived. Sometimes the hesitancy is warranted, other times it is not. A lack of understanding and education is most often to blame. Yes, these Spirits were human. Yes, death rarely changes the personality of the dead. If you had personality conflicts with someone while they were in this realm, it is possible you would have problems with them in the Spirit realm. Possible, but not necessarily true. In fact, death often gives the deceased a certain amount of perspective and a wider view on things which they were not able to comprehend while living. As a result it is normally the living human who is hanging on to these mental issues, and not the deceased. Although normally the case, there are naturally exceptions.
On their side lies an entirely different set of difficulties.
1. Does the Spirit even know they are deceased? Anyone working with deceased Spirits will undoubtedly run into those who have no real comprehension of what has happened, particularly if the death was recent. This Spirit will need to be informed of, and in some cases convinced of, their new state of existence before true communication is possible.
2. Do they remember who they were? Death is not easy for most humans, particularly from cultures where there is a fear of what might come after life. This can cause anything from a temporary to permanent amnesia for the deceased. Encountering and communicating with these Spirits is difficult, and best left to those who have some practice with this type of Work. Leading questions must, at all times, be avoided. As they do not have a memory of who they were or are, they will answer to any name, title, and role given to them. Calling a Lost Spirit by your brother’s name might do no harm to the practitioner, but if the Spirit is not your brother, it will inhibit the Spirit’s growth and ability to find where they truly belong. Also, calling a Lost Spirit anything from Saint Anne to Zeus does not make that spirit into that name. The human Spirit might well try to live up to that name, but will inevitably fail miserably, leaving the practitioner very disappointed in whichever Spirit they thought the deceased person was.
3. Death does change most human Spirits, giving them wisdom and perspective unavailable while they were among the living. Many of the most vile of the deceased Work excessively hard to make up for the errors of their ways, whether it be alcoholism, abuse, abandonment, adultery, murder, gossip, slander, or any of the other hostile actions against other humans and their own kin. These Spirits will especially be interested in assisting relatives that they have in this reality, through intentional or unintentional actions, damaged. It is up to the living relative to open the doors of communication and allow that Spirit to serve their self-imposed penance. If the living does not wish it, but wishes that Spirit to “stew in their own juices,” that Spirit will suffer, but likely so will the living as the Spirit has valuable assistance to give. This is a decision each living human must make when confronted with those Spirits who have offended or injured themselves or their loved ones. It is not an easy decision to make.
4. Death does not change others. There are those that were vile in life and will be vile in death. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure where you stand with a Spirit is through your own discernment, or having another Spirit to vouch/warn about that particular Spirit. These are what I have referred to in the past as malo muerte, a term taken from Spanish-speaking practitioners of the African Traditions. The term translated means, quite simply, “bad dead,” but sounds much more poetic in Spanish. The bad dead are not limited to members of your own family or bloodline; these are the Spirits from which most of the gruesome, thrilling, and frightening horror stories are derived. They are everywhere. They are the deceased of those who have committed atrocities in life and will commit or assist in atrocities in death. They can not be trusted; although some will Work with them, and they have their uses for those who wish to work on the darker side of things. There is always a cost in such agreements, however, and the malo muerte have their own agenda.
The personality of a deceased human seldom changes much, even as their perspective might. If they were sarcastic while alive, they will be sarcastic in death. If they were cold and aloof in life, they will be cold and aloof in death. Likewise, their desires will not change. If while alive the Spirit enjoyed “rot gut” liquor, they will be pleased with offerings of the cheapest alcohol the practitioner may acquire and will refuse offerings of “higher shelf” liquors. If they smoked in life, likely they would appreciate a cigar, cigarette, or pipe smoked in their presence, and so on and so forth. In that way, an amateur practitioner might be able to make guesses about which Spirit is contacting them. However, until the practitioner learns discernment, or are able to consult with an Elder who can advise them, it is advised that they refrain from Working with the Spirit.
Of course, all the advise in the world will not prevent people from doing what they wish and stumbling through what hey ought not to mess with. I have spoken my truth. What the reader does from here is ultimately up to him/her.