This business concluded last winter, sometime after Yule, and had been going on intermittently for a couple of years before that. So, my reconstruction of the timeline probably won’t be exact.
Even so, I wanted to lay it out as an example of an attempted spirit contact that worked, but was neither good nor bad. Nothing terrible happened, no arcane knowledge was passed – but it was a useful experience for knowing more about spirits, and how they might make themselves known, and what it feels like when one is rattling around your house.
It all started with this experience, here.
After making contact with the spirit which I was pretty sure had come to inhabit the hood ornament (or had used it as a doorway or gate to look into/pass through) I offered it milk a few times, because that was what it had asked for, and I wanted to be polite. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem dark or evil or ill willing.
Besides, I was just going off of vague feelings and hunches. Notions. I was trying to make sure and pay attention to the voice of intuition, since I was dealing with hypothetical-contact-with-incorporeal-entities. Feeling my way along and seeing what happened.
It was dog-shaped, and made of bound twigs and bones and clay, a dead/alive thing that seemed like it might have something to do with the ranks of the Furious Host. There are a lot of different spirits that ride the Wild Hunt, or trail along it’s edges, or scavenge near it, so… it could be anything.
Cold winter soil, cold earth. smooth skin, slip, movement. White plaster and lathe, wattle and daub. It would lick at my fingers like a puppy with a cold, quick tongue.
It didn’t seem to want anything else, or ask for anything, or offer anything, and it’s presence faded after a while. So, I turned to other things, and let the exploration of what the spirit was and if any kind of useful contract could be made with it lie fallow. Things stood like this all through the summer, until just after Samhain of the next year.
After an early November Ancestor Communion rite that I had hosted, two friends and I were chatting in my living room. One turned to me and said “do you have a dog spirit in here?”
“No, I don’t think s.. wait. Yes. Yes I do.”
She saw a small shadowy thing leap through the room as if it was trying to be noticed. I brought her the hood ornament and she held it. “There is certainly something there” she said.
I started to feel like I was being watched. (Because I was; with the dying of the year the dead/alive little thing woke up, or roused from hibernation, quickened with the turning of the wheel). But I didn’t attribute it to the spirit at first. I had recently discovered the Paranormal subreddit, and the Truth is Here subreddit, and had spent most of my winter break reading about ghosts and hauntings and mimics and people who go under skins, and so I had spooky on the brain. I thought that was the cause of it.
I also had slacked off on doing offerings and divination, and hadn’t done any witch work in some time.
But I was alone in the house, and I felt something brush against my ankles when I was typing at the dining room table. It felt like a small animal.
I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, and heard the rapid tic tic tic of paws approaching the bed, then something jumped up on the pillow beside me. I started and growled. There was nothing there, but I had distinctly heard something approach from the South – through the closet door. So it had come out of my office, through the wall, out of the closet, into the bed. Hey. Hey. Look at me.
It still didn’t seem ill wiling or “negative,” but I suddenly understood the vague uncomfortable feelings I’d been having for months when I went into my office (the room with my altar and shrines), or upstairs at all. The spirit! Of Course! It had been trying to get my attention, and was hungry.
So I offered it some milk, and apologized for being so inattentive.
the next evening I was dozing off downstairs, and heard/felt a small animal run up to me and jump in the chair. It was thanking me for finally paying attention to it.
But WHAT WAS IT AND WHAT PURPOSE DID IT SERVE?
I asked it, but it was silent. Just the images of cold winter soil, stillness/movement, bound branches and bone and clay.
I asked a few friends for some divinatory insight. The received message was: It likes it here. It’s better than where it was before. It’s happy to stay, but it really doesn’t have a specific purpose. It was not Sent by the Witchfather. It just showed up. You can send it back if you want, or keep it around, whatever. But it’s in no hurry to leave.
I knew, somehow, that if I was going to encourage it to go back to wherever it had come from, that I needed to do it before Autumn came again. It seemed to be getting a little stronger. It was growing/becoming flesh. The image in my mind was of a canine skull with living eyes. It was becoming empowered, slowly, and if it turned wholly into a flesh seeming creature, it would be more difficult to convince it to leave.
A name also came to me, one day when I considered the creature in meditation.
It is a Barghest
Which is a name for a black spirit dog, a red-eyed haunter of the moors, an omen with a terrible howl. Which didn’t exactly fit the little spirit who had come through the figurine of the silver hound. But still, it was enough to go on.
This spring, I cleaned out the closet in my office. Old paper, paint, crafts, candle holders. Everything was in plastic bags, ready to be donated to a local craft store. The moon, I think, was new.
I held the figurine in my hands, and called the spirit. I gave it leave to return from whence it came. I gave it my blessing, that it was free to go. It’s not that I don’t want you here, but you have no reason to be here. This isn’t your home. I stroked the figurine, felt the spirit pass into it.
I took an antique key and turned it against the figurine’s chest. This figurine, this hood ornament, is only a statue. It sits on my shrine as an emblem of the Hounds in the Wild Hunt. But door it is no longer, gate it is no longer. What has passed through cannot return. The way is shut.
And that was that. The figurine was closed. My old craft supplies, and any scraps and tatters of whatever energy may have clung to them, were out of the house (just in case). I sprinkled Florida water, burned incense.
I felt kind of bad, sending the little thing back to wherever it came from. But it was just… a stray that I had fed, something that came around and stayed, and I had no use for it as a Familiar. and, beyond a thirst for milk and a house to roam in, it had no real purpose for me either?? So I’m not sure if I did the right thing. But the energy pattern is gone, the hood ornament is quiet and uninhabited.
So that, as far as I can tell from then to now, was that.