10 – Relationships: Spirits of the Land

The Nature Spirits are those spirits who reside within the Land upon which we live. They are the spirits of the plants and animals, of rocks and rivers. Their provenance is uncertain — have they always been here, or did some of them come with our ancestors upon immigration? We do not know, of course.

This grouping of spirits may also include those “archetypal” spirits which oversee an entire species — the spirit of the Bear or of the Rowan Tree, as opposed to that bear or that rowan tree. It also includes spirits that are very large, and may even be considered gods. Our Grove’s An Cailleach is so rooted in this place that we believe she is one of many cailleachan, and may be a very powerful land spirit who has adopted that imagery for her own.

Some people consider the faery folk to be part of this Kindred, as they are not gods and not human. They are powerful beings in their own right, and need to be treated with respect. If you are working in a particular cultural context, you may wish to seek out advice from your tradition on appropriate behaviour and conduct for interacting (or avoiding) them.

When leaving offerings for land spirits, it is important that we ensure our offerings will not harm the natural environment. Offerings should be biodegradable, and shouldn’t contain seeds of invasive species. Too many offerings left in one place could cause problems for the animal population. Offerings such as chocolate, grapes, and many other foods can be harmful if eaten by some animals. When in doubt, clean water is always a suitable offering.

We can also perform acts of service for the land spirits as offering — picking up trash, volunteering with our local wildlife shelters or conservation areas, to name just a few. Being good stewards of the Earth not only furthers our relationships with the Earth herself, but also with the other creatures that dwell upon her.

[ 30 Days of Druidry ]

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