Using a Spirit Sensor
Written by: Michelle Belanger
A spirit sensor can be any weighted object that is depended from a string and hung in an area where you plan on working regularly with spirits. The spirit sensor should be heavy enough that it will not be set into motion by a simple disturbance in the air, but light enough that it will not take a spirit too much effort to set it swinging.
Constructing Your Spirit Sensor
A spirit sensor can be constructed from pretty much anything. I recommend using materials that you resonate with and which are receptive to energy. As you construct the sensor, you will be investing it with the energy of your intent, and you want it to hold this energy for as long as possible. The spirit's interaction with the sensor will also involve an exchange of energy.
The spirit is not literally reaching out on a physical level to set the sensor swinging. Instead, the spirit expends energy, directed by intent, which manifests in the physical world as kinetic energy - the motion of all or part of the sensor. As the spirit must exert energy in order to affect the sensor (or accomplish any manifestation perceptible in the physical world) it is also a good idea to charge some part of the sensor with vital energy that the spirit can draw upon. Such a gift of vital energy always gives a spirit an extra incentive to respond to your call, as energy is the food and the currency of the otherside.
I have constructed my spirit sensor from a collection of bones. I took these from a necklace that was given to me, so they were already sanded, shellacked, and drilled lengthwise with holes. Using garnet, onyx, and hematite beads as endcaps, I wired the bones together in a three-dimensional pattern that is basically two pyramids attached together, base to base. I added a small pendulum of carved hematite to the center of the main structure, and this hangs in the very center of the open diamond of bone. Five bones hang in a pattern from the bottom, one connected at the very base and the rest hanging down from the other four corners.
From certain angles, it looks like a three-dimensional hexagram. The geometric pattern seems to significantly increase the strength of the item, although this is merely an unexpected benefit of a largely unintentional pattern. The shape just came to me as I was working with the bones. I had eighteen pieces of bone to work with, and a few were shorter than the others, so in all, there were only twelve that were of nearly the same shape and length. A couple of different pattern combinations were possible with these twelve bones, but the open diamond had the best feel to it.
The bones of course serve to attract spirits because they resonate with that particular energy associated with death. I worked garnet, onyx and hematite into the structure for several different reasons. First of all, I have a special affinity with these stones. Whenever I've constructed an object, I've been drawn to working these stones into the item, as they seem to help me connect better to that item. The stronger the connection, the easier it is for me to invest the item with energy as I work, thus adding to its effectiveness. There was also an aesthetic choice in using these stones. The bones of the necklace are a beautiful aged ivory color, and the rich red of the garnet combined with the black of the onyx and the dark sheen of the hematite served to accent this wonderfully.
Finally, of course, there are the magickal associations of these stones. The solid black of the onyx has long made it a stone many believe to have protective powers, mainly by absorbing negativity into its depths. Of course, black is also the color of night and all things hidden in shadow, and by extension, becomes a color associated with death and the dead. For the garnet and the hematite, there is an association between both of these stones and that quintessential source of vital energy: blood.
Garnets, at least in my opinion, are the gems that most resemble drops of blood - especially those deeply colored garnets that have something of a rusty tinge to their hue. Hematite has long been associated with blood because of the connection between blood and iron. Iron oxide is what gives our blood its rich crimson color, and this is also the main constituent of the gemstone hematite. Because of their associations with blood, I've found that both of these stones are very receptive to being charged with vital energy. This becomes very handy in any item that is intended to attract the dead, for all spirits feed upon energy, and the vital energy of the living is especially potent for the dead. For this reason, I keep the central hematite pendulum charged with vital energy so the spirits have something to draw upon to fuel their manifestations.
During the construction, my intent was to attract only those spirits who meant no harm and were willing to sincerely work with me. Whenever I do a summoning, I ask that a spirit announce its presence by making the sensor, or at least the bones hanging from the bottom, move. The strength of the spirit tends to influence its ability to interact with objects in the physical world, so my results have varied between a barely perceptible quiver that trembled once through the entire thing to one entity that sent the entire sensor swinging like a tetherball.
In time, as you adjust to sensing spirits as they manifest in your ritual area, you will learn to sense the energy of spirits on your own. In this way, you can measure the accuracy of your perceptions against the activity of the spirit sensor. As you hone these perceptions, you will even be able to differentiate between one spirit and the next so eventually you'll know just through its energy if a spirit is who (or what) it says it is.