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Soon after I had received the intuition about calling a spirit in crow’s form to aid me with trance-work and with dreaming true, with finding out secrets and seeing that which is hidden, I sent the Call out in the form of a handwritten letter, both in this world and in the world of spirit. This was in  late January, and the moon was dark. On the day I did this Work the weather was overcast, and crows had been cawing in the trees outside my window all morning.

I thought that the dark or new moon would be best for this work. The energy of the full moon can be tense, expectant, even too bright, while at the dark of the moon it often feels calm and still, potent with becoming.

What do I mean, anyway, by a “spirit in crow’s form?”

To my thinking, an ‘animal spirit helper’ would likely fall into one of these categories:

First, the spirit could be that of an individual animal who was deceased or not currently incarnated. (I imagine that if one was collecting bones or a corpse for a spirit fetish, this is the kind of spirit one may be working with. I expect one would first try to ascertain if the spirit of that particular creature was still present, and if so, if they would like to stick around, using part of their earthly remains as a link). I say ‘I imagine,’ since I have not read much about, nor have I attempted any such Work.

Second, the spirit could be that of an ‘Animal Master,’ a spirit that has to do with the welfare of a particular kind of creature, or acts somehow as a representation of the essence or archetype of that creature in the Otherworld – the Crow, the Stag, as opposed to an individual crow or stag. The earthly animals themselves could be guided by these beings, who are a distillation of ‘Crow-ness’ or ‘Stag-ness.’  I myself have never encountered any Animal Masters in the Other Worlds, but I have read of them, and it seems logical that such beings would exist. How much willingness they may have to become the ally of a human Spirit-Worker might be another matter entirely.

Third, the spirit may be one who for reasons of its own, or due to the nature of the contract or some particular aspect of the spirit’s being, chooses to show itself to the Practitioner in animal form. The ‘true’ form of the spirit might never be guessed at, but its glamour is such that it is perceived as, and acts as, a particular kind of animal.

Fourth, the spirit could be a Thought- form generated by the Worker herself, brought into being for a certain purpose, or toward a certain end, and nurtured by the mind and energy of the one who created it.

In my case, I suspect I’d likely be dealing with options Two or Three, but I was trying not to make assumptions about how things might play out.  If I’d wanted to generate a Thought form, I would have just read up on that; but no, here I was trying to call a Familiar without having  any real idea how it was ‘supposed’ to be done.

In the letter that I wrote I asked a spirit to come to me, a Spirit in Crow’s Form, and spelled out what I wanted help with. I wrote that I would make regular offerings to the spirit that agreed to help, and that I would turn away any baneful spirit that answered the call. My wording was more lyrical, of course, but I can’t share exactly what I wrote. Into the letter I also incorporated the two symbols I had received during my initial meditation. I folded the letter and daubed it with Saining oil on the four corners and the folded center, and filled it with my desire.

The physical letter I set upon my altar, beneath a crow’s wing feather. In spirit I went to the Crow’s Wood and stood upon the branch of the great tree where I had stood before, and spoke the words of the letter aloud. I was visualizing myself holding the letter as well, and I released it, to drift away among the gnarled trees of the forest.

Still in meditation, I wondered how I would know if any of this was working. The intuition that I got was that I would dream of the spirit, and in this way the initial contact would be made. I also sensed that I should acquire a figurine of a crow to act as a spirit vessel for the one who came.

I then made offerings to crow-kind and to the spirit that I hoped would come – Chicken fat and a bit of shiny silver ribbon. I set these on a dish at the base of a tree in my backyard.

For several nights, I anointed my brow with a Dreaming oil of mugwort and lavender, and slept with a crow’s feather on the nightstand. Before drifting to sleep, I would whisper a call to the spirit to come, that I might dream well and true.

And on the third night, I dreamed…