CAN’T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING?
I get this question often: “How do I know when I am actually hearing a spirit’s request for a specific offering?”
Well, there are a number of ways, but it may take you a while to discern just what you are “hearing,” how you are hearing it, and from whom you are hearing it.
However, before I go much further, I would like say that while many of the examples I present herein will be food or drink-related, an offering can be nearly anything that a given spirit or entity would enjoy. A short listing of such items might include the gifting of symbolic objects, the playing of music, the recitation of specific prayers, poems, or other literature, artwork, iconography, adornments, blood sacrifices, acts of supplication, the completion of a task or journey, submitting oneself to pain, clothing, jewelry or beads, lights or candles, incense or colognes, tobacco or other smoke, flowers or other plants, toys/games/puzzles, tools, mechanical or kinetic items—just about anything!
So, for any given spirit or entity, there are, what I like to call, “affinities”—things they like, things to which they are drawn. For example, when you begin working with a saint, there will be certain affinities that have already been established for that saint, either through an association of what they patronize or through their established lore; what others have found they like or things from stories about that specific saint. So, when working with that saint, you have a starting point from which to serve them what they enjoy and a way of establishing a connection. I liken it to offering the stranger next to you a stick of gum. It gives you an opening, it establishes a dialog. Other entities, like deities or spiritual concepts, will most often have documented affinities, as well. If, for some reason, they don’t, then we can often extrapolate what they would enjoy by examining their qualities and their realms of influence.
The same things apply for immediate family members and other recent dead. You most likely knew what they enjoyed or what they were like in life, and now you can carry over their delight of that thing, or connect with those qualities, after their death. But what about our Ancestors? That’s a little more tricky; discernment will play a greater role. However, you can always take cues from their cultural background and the time period in which they lived. Sure, you may not hit on something they like the first or fifth time. (Pro Tip: just start with water and a candle.) However, I find that in the spirit world, especially with our Ancestors, it’s the thought that counts the most.
In all the above cases, how those offerings are consumed or enjoyed and how the spirit’s or entity’s appreciation for those offerings is reflected in your life and practice are beyond the scope of what I want to say here. However, I see that whole thing, in a way, as being a sort of conversation—those spirits/entities and their affinities, desires, and even needs, are one side of it.
But what about you? Your wants, needs, likes and dislikes are the other side of the conversation. So, that’s an additional frame of reference to consider when discerning from where a particular request is coming. Obviously, you know what you like and don’t like, what you want and don’t want, so there’s your starting point. For instance, I don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t do drugs. I am not morally opposed to any of those things, but they just aren’t MY thing. My point being, if in my mind or ear I hear, “Some Jack Daniels would really be good about now,” I know that’s not me, but one of my Ancestors or a spirit with which I work. A spirit is putting in an order for some spirits!
Alternately, you may see a commercial for KFC and think, “I kinda have a craving for that!” So, you go get ya’ some. Now, did you really have a craving, did one of your spirits have a craving, or was it just good advertising? Hard to tell. However, before you chomp down on a thigh, you might hear something in your head or ear like, “Hey, don’t Bogart that chicken!” Now, you know somebody is wantin’ some! Well, which one is it? Which would be the most likely to want it? Which one of your spirits talks like a stoner? If you ask, they will for sure tell you, ‘cause they want some of that chicken! The key point here being, spirits can use your wants, needs, and desires to get their wants, needs, and desires met, as well. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell, especially if you like the same things.
As I was saying, when you get comfortable “conversing” you can just ask your spirits/entities what they want. I tell ya’, it can be surprising because, quite often, the most off-the-wall thing will come through. Not just things you haven’t thought of or had contact with in a long time, but things you may know nothing of, things that you may not think are available (like white cake donuts with white icing and coconut), things you may have to research, and even things you may have to interpret.
Now, speaking of interpretation, it has been my experience that spirits will most commonly speak to us using shortcuts. Whatever is the least amount of effort to get the idea across is the method they will use. Furthermore, if we are to pursue a path of spiritual communication, then part of doing so is us developing our own Personal Dictionary of Symbolism. However, until you can fully develop your Personal Dictionary of Symbolism, you will first rely on your feelings, intuitions, gut instincts, mental flashes, instances of repetition, synchronicity, and tugs on your focus, along with other meaningful stimuli. When I was first learning to “converse” it was the tugs on my focus (“Look here!”) that most frequently indicated for me what a particular spirit wanted. In addition, it was those same sort of tugs that would bring me to work with that spirit in the first place. So, taking direction on how to serve that spirit was just an extension of what had already been established.
Like I said in the beginning, there are a number of ways you can tell what a spirit/entity is asking for and many of those ways are particular to you and/or the spirit/entity with which you are working. There are some resources to help you along, but with a lot of things in the metaphysical/spiritual arena, it’s a matter of study, practice, of paying attention, and developing that discernment muscle.
What about you? How do you know what a spirit or entity wants from you?
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