Working with Spirits: The Only Offering I Use

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Darbe.jae asks:

can you tell me what you know about leaving offerings for the spirits that we work with?

I’m going to give you the Direct Magick answer, which is different than the Voodoo or Golden Dawn or other answers. It’s not that I’m right and they’re wrong, it’s that I’m coming to this with a different set of skills and goals, so I wind up at different answers. I’ll cover that too.

So here’s the deal with offerings in Direct Magick: I’ve tried offering energy. I’ve tried offering heartfelt thanks. Both are OK. But the only one that seems to really matter is knowledge.

By knowledge, I mean training the spirit in something they care about. The best is a technique, such as teaching them a better way to awaken ethereal muscles or some other aspect of magick. Human knowledge can be good too, such as medicine to computer algorithms, but it needs to come with an explanation of how to apply it to magick techniques the spirit uses. To anyone who wonders how I network with spirits, that’s how: Train them, and they’ll view you as a peer, and be eager to work with you.

But… That’s not easy to do. It took me nearly 20 years to get there. I had to learn:

  • Precise communication. When I started working with spirits, I would get a few concepts and unconsciously fill in the details. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I started learning better communication techniques. It kept me from communicating precisely (because I was mostly hearing my own unconscious expectations), which would keep me from sharing anything of value.
  • I also needed a technique to train the spirits in. This isn’t a favorite visualization or a phrase you chant or any other aspect of typical magick practice. Those are for getting your intent to your unconscious. Instead, it’s got to be something done the way spirits do it, by reaching out with connections and altering ethereal structures directly. I discuss the difference in this post on visualizing vs sensing.

I know good techniques for both communication and training, so the only offering I use is an exchange of knowledge. But what about before then, when I started working with spirits?

I’ve asked the spirits I work with today, “Why did you train me back then?” (I don’t work with all the same spirits, but I’ve kept in touch with some of them.)

Their answer is partly that it was easy to help, partly that they enjoy helping and seeing me learn, but mostly that some percentage of the people they train develop new techniques and help them in return.

(I get the impression that humans come up with ideas that spirits wouldn’t, which adds to the value. I can certainly say, the new techniques I’ve developed owe a lot to having a physical body, to looking at some aspects of energy healing and magick that spirits often ignore, and to drawing from cultural ideas that they don’t know. It’s not that I’m better than the spirits — I’m definitely not, they learn my new techniques almost instantly, while I struggle with half of what they teach me. It’s that anything new is valuable, and often leads to many other new ideas.)

But while they’re training you, before you can contribute new techniques, what offerings can you give? A simple “Thank you” is often sufficient. Focus on the feeling of gratitude while you say it, since most communication happens in concepts, not words, and they can feel your gratitude.

I suppose, in a way, saying “thank you” is an offering.

On other offerings: I view “valuable” offering (like a plate of food) as an elaborate way of saying “thank you.” The spirit doesn’t actually want your food, but the action helps focus your mind on the help and the gratitude. Can any practitioners of offering-based systems share insight here? (Perhaps a certain professor of religion?)

What about offering energy? Some spirits seem to like it, but I’ve never enjoyed working with them. They often drain more than you’d like, and the most skilled spirits seem uninterested in my energy. They have enough of their own, thank you very much.

So that’s my answer: Offer knowledge. And until you get there, offer thanks, and keep learning.

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13 Responses to “Working with Spirits: The Only Offering I Use”

  1. Yvonne says:

    hi Mike,
    I didn’t see this until today. I don’t make religious or physical offerings to non physical beings anymore, because, as you indicate, I think they are more interested in ideas and intentions than form or the symbol that might be associated with an interaction. Appreciation works to take us to a place where we can communicate in a neutral space, but since most of these guys don’t operate on an emotional level, I think that loaded notions like “gratitude” and offering “thanks” with material gifts are more meaningful to us – as beings with bodies – than to intelligences that don’t have physicality. I always say thank you because my mother raised me to be polite, but I agree, spirits seem to be most attracted to mutual goals and intentions, projects, teachings, and activities by which specific purposes and applications can occur. Of course, there are a lot of astral beings who thrive on emotion, but they tend to obscure when clarity is needed, imo. Need the correct tools for the job. happy new year friend

    • Neat! It sounds like ideas, intentions, and opportunities for collaboration are what your spirits respond to also. And it’s interesting that they don’t respond to emotion — it sounds like a heartfelt “thank you” doesn’t do any more than a casual flat “thank you,” has that been your experience? Interesting.

      Happy new year to you too :)

  2. Julie says:


    The spirit guide that I talked with had enough knowledge of his own and he was around to help me. Maybe, helping me, helped him? Leaving him food, that’s funny, like cookies for Santa. I thank the angels all the time, for everything.

    At first I thought it was spooky to meet him, because I don’t like scary movies, but he was really nice, he had a gentle energy. I read the book, Seth Speaks, a long time ago and I think it prepared me by opening my eyes to the idea of energy personalities and multiple dimensions.

    It’s called clairaudience (clear hearing) when you can hear spirit. He first spoke to me when I was having a difficult time. Later on, I used automatic writing to have conversations with him. I read Neale Donald Walsh’s book, Conversations with God, and realize that was preparation as well.

    Do you ever get scared to use your gifts? Or shy away from developing your skills further? I do.

    I’m also worried that I’ve made myself sick again. The good news, the manuscript is with the copy editor now and I don’t have to do any more revisions. J and M said it’s fantastic. That made me cry. I have trouble giving myself credit for my accomplishments.

    Some people say spirit guides are deceased relatives. I don’t think so, he’s not my dad. I also read that my soul chose the lessons I’d go through this lifetime and the helpers I’d need. Do you believe that? What are your spirits like?

    Thanks for listening,

  3. Julie says:


    Thanks for the reply, I enjoy hearing from you. Your blog is quite fascinating. There’s so much great content here. How is your book coming along? Are you making good progress? Is it nearing completion? No pressure, lol :)

    Compiling these ideas into a book would save a person from having to bounce around your blog. Until then, the blog is fine. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect! You might want to hire a developmental editor, they can help you make it more accessible for readers, while keeping the information, intention, and heart. Are you planning to self-publish? That would be great.

    Your knowledge and wisdom, in science and magick, far exceeds the normal person. Start simple, so we can enjoy and benefit from the book. I know you don’t need my advice. You have your own creative vision to follow. Just offering my two cents. Writing a book is a big project. Let me know if I can help in any way.


    • Thank you!

      Last year I didn’t get much done on the book. Between a 12-month consulting project, a close friend dying, and a relationship ending somewhat dramatically, it was a tiring year.

      For the past couple months, my writing time has been going to Healing Lab, a company I’m starting to do scientific research into biofield healing, publishing case studies and double-blind trials of some of the healing techniques I’ve discussed here. I hope to have the website and the flyers for volunteers done next month, and I’m pretty excited about it.

      After that, I’m really looking forward to resuming my book. It’s been a year or more since I worked on it, and I’ve figured out a lot about how to teach Direct Magick since then. Most of what I’ve written won’t change, but were some techniques (like sensory connections) that I wasn’t sure how to include, and now I’ve figured that out. So I’m eager to return to my book too.

      Yes, I’ll be self-publishing, and once it’s written I’ll also offer a hard copy for purchase.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Julie says:


    Wow! You’ve had a busy and difficult year. My condolences.

    The healing lab sounds awesome, if I lived closer I’d definitely participate. I’m excited for you :)

    Do you have experience healing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy or lymphedema?

    Sounds like taking a year off from your book was a good thing since you were able to learn more. That happened to me, too. Happy writing when you resume!

    Do your pets notice or act strange when there is new energy in the room?


    • Thank you, both for the condolences and for being so excited about Healing Lab.

      I don’t have any experience with those conditions. There is some research suggesting that acupuncture is effective for lymphedema

      I have done healings on two people with slipped disks causing spine issues and numbness in the leg. Both reported an improved condition after the healings. I want to mention, those are case studies and don’t rule out placebo, coincidence or other possible causes. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss.

      I grew up with cats, who didn’t seem to notice anything I did with energy. I don’t have pets now. It’s difficult to separate out the pet noticing the energy itself vs them noticing the person moving or breathing differently, but that would be some interesting research. Are you interested in joining in the scientific exploration of magick and healing?

  5. Alexandra Howard says:

    I think that I get distracted by connecting people with loved ones on the otherside & talking to my loved ones. My guide who is not my family is more interested in teaching me & helping me heal others. He has allowed me to feel amazing things like a small but completely powerful taste of the love & connection you feel in the spirit world as well as the peaceful inviting feeling you feel when you die. I have been told what will happen if myself or loved ones taken a certain path in life. It has helped me leave a person who was terrible for me & find a perfect match in a man 2,500 from where I was living. I still wonder about some of the random amazing things my guide allowed me to experience. I once was able to “see thru” my cabinet door. I also have touched objects my eyes closed & known what color they are. I touch objects & know who they belonged to. Anyone else who experienced any of these things? I also know when people are sick & what there illness is. I was instructed to use my hands to heal a man once & I have received healing energy for myself. Have you had similar experiences?

    • Those sound like some useful psychic intuitions. Broadly, I can say that you’re not alone in getting psychic intuitions, and if you’re feeling alone it’s because so few people share mystical experiences these days. Other people experience the same thing, but it’s not socially acceptable to talk about so no one shares and everyone feels isolated. It’s really a tragedy.

      In terms of medical intuitions, there’s an entire category on Yelp for it So yes, other people have those intuitions.

      Around 5 years ago, I helped a friend change the source of her psychic intuitions. She had used one source, one ethereal software, since she was a kid, but she was going into medicine and wanted medical intuitions and wasn’t getting any. So I asked the spirits I work with for the ethereal software they use for psychic intuitions, set her up with that, and after some trial and error she started getting intuitions around which lab results to focus on, or which patients would have severe problems and had to be monitored more closely. Super helpful in her job, and a nice confirmation that changing the psychic ethereal software we use can have good effects.

  6. Spencer Moss aka 'Random' says:

    Hey Mike!
    I read the parts of the E-book you have finished to date, and I must say, Excellent work!! Clear, concise, and easy-flowing! I have been a practicing Mage for more than 25 years, and I have taught several groups.
    Regarding Spirits and offerings: I got into summoning spirits by trying to use the Goetia, but the spirits that arrived were always positive, cooperative, and BS-dispelling (most of the Goetia turns out to be BS for me). Generally, each would show up and ‘say’ “What are we doing tonight, Boss?” … Somewhat as if I were the Brain from Pinkie and the Brain. I have been able to do some effective works with them, and they did enjoy being thanked and praised. Very few wanted any kind of offerings, and those that did, did not want material things or anything living harmed, they wanted me to work at something physically, while keeping them and my appreciation of them foremost in my mind, something that would help or beautify the world, specifically a part of the world that I did not own or rent and had no right to or receive any benefits from. Pruning a vacant lot, picking garbage up off a highway, volunteering to clip toenails at a nursing home, etc.
    …..I hope that helps.
    PS Do you game? I know you don’t have a lot of time, but I have been exploring how a magickal ritual is like a tabletop RPG session is like a magickal ritual; as well as how designing a Role-Playing System is like a self-initiation ritual….
    Biggest Brightest Blessings!!!

    • Thank you! And thanks for sharing your experience with spirits, that’s interesting about the offerings of service they want, and how it has to be altruistic.

      I did some tabletop RPGs in high school, and today I sometimes play tabletop strategy games. I also enjoy Hearthstone and the Civilization series. That’s an interesting idea about the game-as-ritual and self-initiation, good luck with it!

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