An introductory article on spirit vessels. What they are, upkeep, and uses.
Spirit vessels are typically used to house familiar or household spirits. This style of spirit work is found frequently among traditional practitioners, though modern practitioners too, do use these vessels.
Why use these?
There are numerous reasons a practitioner may have for using a vessel.
A practitioner who works with a familiar spirit will typically fashion them a house or dwelling to facilitate the bond with spirit. This is a safe space for a familiar spirit to return to, to bed down. This space is safe, clean, and inviting for spirits one works closely with.
In my case I have a household spirit afoot. This spirit has not always been the most pleasant. For this reason I have fashioned a vessel to give it a space to "be" and to attempt to keep it out of trouble. I do this more for sanities sake than anything else.
Household Fae can be tricky. Vessels can serve as a safe space to help appease household Fae. A place they can come and go even if you do not choose to personally work with them.
Servitors and other constructs:
Vessels can be made for temporary thoughtforms. Temporary dwellings can be fashioned for servitors to return to, until their dismantling.
How many you need will depend on the spirits you work with, your housemates and their feelings, and how much space you have.
Vessels can be made from a number of materials. Traditionally it is common to see animal bones (ethically obtained) being used as a vessel. Boxes too are common.
I find it best to keep my vessel clean. I leave offerings at a minimum. This is because of the relationship with the spirit my vessel is made for.
Offerings are a personal preference and are based off your personal relationship with the spirit involved. My personal method is minimal offerings for Fae and certain spirits, and adequate offerings for ancestral and familiar spirits.
I like to offer protections in the area of my vessel, to help aid the spirit along. Offering protections takes an interest in the well being of the spirit. Mirrors within vessels are a great way to do this. I currently have a small cast iron dish with exorcism herbs within I will offer to the spirit of my vessel. I do cleanse my home space with the intent that any non harmful spirits wishing to stay can.
Other protections can include sigils or symbols placed within the vessel.
Offering protections symbolizes not only your intent to keep the home safe, but also all those whom dwell there. Including household or familiar spirits or ancestors is a wonderful gesture.
Vessels are used traditionally to house spirits, often familiar and household spirits. Upkeep, offerings, and the number of vessels needed is largely based upon personal preference.