I was chatting with my friend Olivia from Leafing Out Gardening (who happened to do the illustrations for On the Tightrope (preorders open until August 8!)) yesterday about spirit work and she said something interesting:
"All of the spirit workers I know are some of the most down-to-earth people I know."
This struck me because I think there's this conception that spirit workers are caught up in woo and wanting to be special and the sheer drama and thrill of interacting with entities on another plane. People think that folks who claim to be working with spirits or have spirit companions etc. are looking for attention, positioning themselves to be "better than" others, gloating, or what have you.
I can't deny that there are certainly some people out there who fall into that camp. Hell, I had a phase where I was trying to interact with as many different types of spirits as I could to make myself feel special and better about myself. (High school was rough, y'all.)
But I think it's a disservice to spirit workers and the spirits they deal with to assume they're out-of-touch with reality or just seeking attention.
In my opinion, good spirit workers are masters of discernment. They're aware that sometimes their own brains interfere, or that everything might be a figment of their imagination. They don't take things at face value, but also don't get mired in the doubt swamp (oh, gods, this is so hard, let me tell you). They generally don't go around crowing about the spirits in their lives to just anyone, though I know some who do have blogs dedicated specifically to spirit work and recording/sharing experiences to help others. And, most of all, they never use their experience or connections to manipulate/gaslight/abuse/generally make others feel bad.
I guess my point here is let's stop making spirit work something that's super out there and woo and crazy. Instead, let's maybe try to focus on the fact that this is something everyone can do if they want to, no special skills required. Just patience, practice, trust, and learning.
Nonir is a queer pagan nerd and writes about various things in those realms.