The Ordinary Workings of the Spirit Realm

The non-ordinary spirit realm can feel and function in very ordinary ways. What we expect from spirit may let us down and cause disappointment. We would all like to experience extraordinary things and let spirit blow our minds. But this is not, perhaps, the best teaching method spirit has. We have to work for our lessons and healing. We cannot expect spirit to do all the work for us. For one thing, that expectation renders us helpless and powerless, which is not who we are.

Christina Pratt of the Last Mask Center pointed out in one of her startlingly insightful podcasts that as children, our experiences with our imaginary friends felt completely natural and ordinary for us. This is what daily communication with so-called non-ordinary (spirit) reality should feel like. It is everyone’s right and even responsibility to claim their natural connection with spirit, remembering that humans are beings of spirit too.

Daily connection with spirit can, if your expectations are too high, feel as dull as doing the dishes. But this is not a hindrance so much as it is precisely the point of these interactions. We do not need spirit for a feeling of exhilaration and inspiration — that is a benefit we can access, but it is not the purpose of working with spirit. The relationships we develop with spirit can and will feel like speaking with old friends and family — sometimes clearly supportive, sometimes maddening, sometimes very neutral, but always of value.




Sacredness Be

Communing with the spirit of a rat who lives in a tree stump in our mostly closed-in backyard porch, I felt the sacredness of all things. I gave him bread (which he steals anyway, from a bag left on a shelf) and watched him take it, knowing that this little creature, so often misunderstood, was himself a king and a god, clothed in sacredness finer than earthly jewels.

Connecting with Spirit


At the heart of it, connecting with spirit should have both routine and spontaneous elements. How you connect ought to develop along with your relationship with spirit, and therefore be ever-changing and not grow stagnant. Another key point is that to connect is to exchange something, be it a glance or a gesture or some other form of energy. It is a give and take between you and spirit.

There are two basic ways one can connect with spirit: symbolically, or literally. Symbolic gestures are those that you offer and by which you intend to honour spirit. Examples of this may be burning incense, fasting every Tuesday, or habitually wearing an Eagle pendant. In these examples the energy exchange is markedly one-sided, being primarily concerned with a person paying attention to spirit by remembrance or making an offering. On the other hand, what I call “literal” ways of connecting with spirit allow for an exchange that will be experienced as meaningful and mutual between a person and spirit. To literally connect with spirit is to converse and share with each other, to experience and feel each other.

The distinction here is not about right or wrong, or amateur vs. skilled. It is all about faith, and opening yourself to accept what spirit has to offer.

Since you are trying to connect with something inherently non-physical, continually remind yourself not to expect physical sensations to “prove” that spirit is with you. This is probably the hardest hurdle we face. We have to learn to identify spiritual sensations, as this is how spirit primarily connects, just by definition. Spirit can give physical signs, but you should get into the mindframe of expecting spiritual signs instead.

How can you identify and even seek spiritual sensations? Non-physical sensations are the realm of the mind and can be found in your thoughts, dreams, emotions, and creativity. Recognizing what is spirit-sent is often about distinguishing your own thoughts from what feels original, spontaneous, and even somewhat foreign to you in your mind.

Dreams feel spontaneous because we don’t feel ourselves inventing them. They seem to just happen and can be very unexpected, strange, or even brilliant. A good time to see this is when you are right about to fall asleep. Right before I slip into real sleep and true dream-states, I experience random thoughts that sometimes make little sense to me. The sensation is that I am listening to a stream of thoughts, not that I am actually thinking them myself. So pay attention to what goes on in your mind.

Another non-physical sensation that can be spirit-sent is your emotions. This can be very tricky to recognize, as it is natural to sometimes have emotions without immediately understanding why they occur. However, if you cannot figure out the origin of an emotion despite giving it sufficient though, it could be from spirit.

Similarly, spirit may connect and communicate with you through your creative inspiration. Many artists feel their art just “comes to them,” being spirit-sent instead of just the product of their own efforts. Art is itself a tremendously rewarding pursuit, making it a wonderful way to experience spirit “speaking” to you.

If you are able to connect with spirit using these methods you will surely build faith and awareness. These ways of tuning into spirit are always available, like a radio channel that’s always broadcasting, making them more accessible and less frustrating than waiting for a physical sign from spirit.

As I mentioned, connection involves an exchange of some form. Just as connecting to the internet involves data exchanges, connecting with spirit is not a one-way street. So how can we evaluate what we are exchanging with spirit?

It is all about what you do with the messages or other spirit-energy that you receive. If you receive a spirit-sent dream, the degree to which you understand, accept, and learn from the message will determine how you will exchange energy with spirit in return. Responding to spirit communication is the essence of exchange, but it doesn’t mean only acknowledging that you heard the message. When you are influenced by the message, and even changed as a person somewhat, then a deep connection is happening.

What if you want to give energy to a spirit? I’ve noted that individual spirits surely have needs, but they are probably nothing like the needs we experience as humans. If you put a bowl of honey on your altar as an offering to honour spirit, the individual spirit probably doesn’t really “need honey” or “need honouring”. But such a symbolic gesture could help you express gratitude, and maybe spirit truly needs to teach you this gratitude. I believe this is more the sort of thing we can offer spirit.

Try keeping a journal of your connection with spirit by noting your interpretation of spirit-sent messages and also how you’ve tried to act on them and learn from them. This will aid you in building your relationship with spirit and help ensure mutual energy exchange.


I do shamanic journeys and healing for others for free. If you are interested in receiving healing, find more info here: Spiritual Readings and Healing