Category Archives: trees

5 reasons not work with local spirits

Recently I came across this post

My post is not a rebuttal, but an ad joiner to the possible undesired experience that come from seeking connection with local spirits.

5) Just because a spirit is there, doesn’t mean it wants to “work” with you.

For one thing, let me clarify a term. In conversations I have had with other spiritualist minded folks and people who get into trying to chat up spirits, there is a difference between veneration and “working”. Veneration can be very simple, is pretty much devotional, and doesn’t expect much between the two parties except for a simple exchange of “pleasantries” and expressions of good will. Of course, if you get a negative feedback, it maybe because you have offended said local spirit, but we’ll get to that later. Generally veneration is just a way to say “hi” and “thanks for all that you do” and “lets be friendly and polite with each other”. Venerating ancestors, venerating local spirits, venerating Gods, and heroes and every thing else. It’s all just a way of making nice. This niceness can lead to “working” and help build relationships that can be quite beneficial in the future, and possibly even buy you a Free pass when you make a mistake, but don’t always count on it.

“Working” indicates that there is a request being made of a specific variety and purpose to a specific end for your benefit. Whether it is protection, wealth, love, knowledge etc…, what makes it different is the specificness and that you are making a specific request for something you want accomplished. Often it will entail behavior on your part that reciprocates to the spirit that you are willing to work for them. A number of spiritual beings are known to be workers, who are quite open to requests for things. Gods, Saints, Angels, Demons etc… and there are books quite busting at the seems with them. But local spirits, you’ll notice, don’t seem to function that way universally, for everyone in the same way that say, St. Expedite can for so many people. One person can have a great relationship with a local spirit, and another person may get bubkis. That’s just the way it seems to go. Just because you are aware of spirit that is tied to a certain local, doesn’t mean it wants to work with you, and it will often make that perfectly clear as soon as you attempt to connect with it.

4) Just because a spirit is there, doesn’t mean it’s going to know a lot of about anything in the area.

Or for that matter, be able to communicate it in a useful or intelligible way. A spirit of the tree is mostly going to know about Tree things, and if it notices if someone stole your bike or not, will have more to do with if that bike thief happened to interact with the tree shortly before or after. If you happened to have your bike chained to the tree, it’s only thought maybe “heavy earth thing was leaning against me and now it’s not” and that’s about it. Of course a larger local spirit (say of the park) might notice, but unless your bike was important to it for some reason, why should it even care. Unless you interact with a local spirit that has vested interest in human affairs and a reasonably intelligible way to understand and communicate it, you’re really not going to get much. It is for this reason that you’ll notice a lot of cultures often have a greater spirit of a particular thing (plants, animals minerals etc…) that is often more understanding of humanity and better able to connect with it. Most people, in my experience, are usually connecting with the larger overarching spirit then the much more limited spirit of the specific object, plant, mineral, animal or place and those spirits are not “local” per se.

3) Most local spirits could give about two cents to you and your issues

this of course, ties in nicely with my last point. While the various local spirits might be quite appreciate of offerings, veneration and devotions done to them, and thus you might get them to be more favorable inclined to you, which could generally make your going about in the locale easier over all, when it comes to specifics (theft, health, wealth, love, etc..) you know, all those things that humans value in interacting with other humans, local spirits quite literally don’t understand, or for some of the larger ones, don’t care. If there is some kind of human pandemic experience going around, it might peak some of the larger more understandings ones interests (like high murder or suicide rate, or a larger number of clinically depressed) because being that we are part of their environment that they govern that might be somewhat invested in it being harmonious for everyone, but the local tree spirit, rock spirit, spirit in the park, is going to be completely uncaring to your issues, if they understand them at all. If they are even open to working with you, they might still not understand something, unless you explain it in as naturalistic terms as possible (literally think birds and bees and pollen and trees people) otherwise, you’re going to get a kind of shoulder shrug, if anything at all.

2) They have needs that you can never provide for.

Do you know how to pollinate a flower? Probably not. Even if you do know, do you have the time and patience to do it for every flower during a 3 month period? I’m guessing not. What about trees? Or, the local watering hole? Maybe you could organize a community event to help clean it up if it was dirty or only barely polluted with trash, but if the spirit is telling you it wants to flow over there, and not there, I think you’re going to have a problem convincing those people in their nice homes to make way for the creek you feel ought to build. Generally, if you’re getting a quite possibly impossible request from a local spirit, it’s politely telling you to Go away! Because it doesn’t have time for your nonsense, human.

1) Just because a spirit is tied to specific locale doesn’t mean it’s smaller.

There is such a thing as Local Gods. These being are Gods, Divine beings in their own right, who don’t need to be worshiped or venerated because their divinity comes from their locale. Perhaps a shrine might exist to them (like in Japan, or China or places that have long standing animistic spiritualist traditions) but generally there won’t be one, and they don’t really need it. You might be able to identify it with some dowsing, but it could very well be very hard to reach, and the local god may not want you to reach it in the first place. So, they being a local God can really make things miserable for you if you offend them, much like any god, and more then likely, they will be much more easier to offend and will stay offended longer then a more transcendent Divine being that is not tied to specific location. The Spirit of the The City you live in, the spirit of your neighborhood, even the spirit of your building (which in very large apartment buildings can be quite powerful) and of course, there could be more natural spirits of ecosystems and environments that are quite mighty and powerful. If you ever notice that when you enter into some areas that you get lost easier, seem to have ongoing problems with minor nuisances (insects, muddy puddles, bumps in the road, tripping over roots) is probably because the local spirits find something about you vaguely offensive. You could try to clear it up, make an offering and appease them, and can work, but some people just don’t like some people no matter what. You just plain smell bad to them, and they will never like you and they have no compunctions about making their dislike and displeasure known. You may not experience this if you only visit, especially to a major city or tourist area, but if you try to stay and settle in, is when the problems start to occur.

Of course, there are other smaller beings, but they are often in league with the larger beings of the area, and will tend to take directions from the “top” on down. They might be willing to work with at first, but after some time, will be less friendly and sociable if your general essence is just not compatible with the local area. If that is the case, you’re probably better off moving, then trying to make a go at it. Good luck explaining that to your friends and family who moved with you, or the cost of the move in the first place.

It is also my experience that smaller spirits are far more dramatic and showy then the non-time space fixed transcendent beings. Most hauntings are caused by smaller spirits, not by gods and actual major demons (despite the name they toss around). To make a ready and known comparison, think of a Midsummer’s night dream. Oberon doesn’t do the dirty work himself, he sends Puck, a servant, to do it for him. A similar situation will apply in naturalistic settings. Most major local spirits won’t do something directly if they can avoid it. They will send a representative to do it for them. Of course, if you enter into an actual working relationship with one, you may very well end up being that representative from time to time as part of your deal in desire fulfillment.

Finally, for some people, in some situations, none of this, both helpful or harmful will hold true. Some people are, as I like to call it, Unicorns. Gifted mediums who are favorably received by all spirits. People gifted with spiritual authority, that allows them to work better with spirits, and perhaps from time to time, command them when needed. Others are favored by the land, or the Gods, or a God and in certain situations that favor will manifest things for that that others will never receive within the Land, or Gods, or God. Your mileage may vary.

Trees and Runes

In the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc there are a few trees mentioned, mainly in the names of various runes. The most clearly mentioned are as follows.


In the poem itself, Birch is often understood to be a form of poplar tree found in British Isles, but for the sake of simplicity, lets just say Birch.

In a sense, all of these trees could be seen as a different aspect of Yggdrasil or the world tree, especially in the context of the runes and their qualities described. The quality that I perceive in these trees is as follow.

Thorn – I identity Thorn/Thurisaz with the challenging and destructive side of the World Tree. The main identification comes from the Rune Poem where it is described as “harmful” and “exceedingly cruel”. In some light studying of Thorn trees (of which the whole family has been named Hawthorn) one of their qualities is to grow a fruit. Most of the trees, the fruit is either bitter or very sour, and needs to be conditioned in someway to become more palatable to people. One entry even indicated that in most cases, it was the fruit eaten only during the winter, when most other food stores were low or gone. The rune Thurisaz is identified with the Thurse or Giants and particularly the oldest Giants i.e. the Frost Giants (winter). It also works nicely in understanding the nature of the Giants. You cannot just reach out and grab them. They need to be approached carefully; otherwise they can wound you, and are exceedingly dangerous.

Yew – Yew can be seen in two runes. The main one is Ihwaz/Eoh, The 2nd one is the wood of yew trees, worked into a tool, the bow. This rune is found at ýr. As that rune is more related to humanity, I will overlook it now. In the Rune Poem, the many virtues of yew is extolled, but in the last line, the author describes the “deep roots” of the yew tree. My own impression of Eoh is that it connects to the Underworld, but also connects all worlds. Most Trees have a root system that mirrors its branches. If you look at a picture of the yew, its branches are very twisting and bent, with a lot of complexities. The root system mirrors this. In my own revelations about this, it shows the twisting roads that exist and connect all of existence. They can also lead you down into the underworld, but sometimes the paths themselves are dark, deep and forgotten. They are secret paths that can lead you between worlds, and even between locations. Yet, at the same time, it is a mighty tree, a good fuel for fire, and a joy to the home. Those qualities suggest something about its protective nature, which is often mentioned by authors about the Runes

Birch – Birch (and Poplar) are often one of the first trees to come back to life after the cold of winter. In most information about the end of the Ice Age, the first trees to grow as the glaciers receded were Birch trees. It is known for its ability to quickly repopulate open areas of land, even after fires and other destruction of local flora. It was also used as a tool to write on in many countries, where the thinly peeled birch bark could be removed and written upon, and it would last for a long time, because of the high resinous oil content of birch bark. In Birch, I see the nurturing and regenerative aspect of the World Tree.

Oak – Oaks are some of the most recognized and celebrated trees in Western Culture. Often times they are noted for their Strength and Endurance, and this is a theme which is found in the rune poem, as well as a source of food, although not for people directly. Their endurance is also tested, as the oak is made into boats that men would use to travel across the sea and oceans. I see the Oak and the rune Ac (which is pronounced similarly) as relating to the Trunk of the World tree, and its connection to the Middle World or Midgard.

Ash – The most commonly held tree in Northern European native spirituality, Ash is most common held to be the World Tree itself. I also value that idea, but find that Ash itself has a particular connection to the top most branches of the World Tree. Up in the shining skies is what Ash and its rune Aesc relate to. The first man was said to be made from an Ash tree, and the ash itself has many folkloric uses, from repelling snakes, to curing warts and other diseases. While Oak and Birch also have uses as woods in musical instruments, Ash is generally considered to produce a brighter tone and a more sustaining quality to sound produced using Ash wood.
It is also these woods that figure best in creation runic talismans, to carve and redden the runes into them, and are often described in the Galdrabok as wood to be used, with Oak and Ash being mentioned the most.