'Choosing' Saints or Spirits

Every so often I will do work with a certain spirit or saint and when the client sees a pic of the working they will ask me "why did you use spirit/saint X for this job - I thought he/she was only good for Y?"

The idea that a spirit or saint is used for one thing and one thing only is problematic on many levels. Firstly, these are non-corporeal beings. We don't use them. We should discourage this language whenever possible. We pray for their aid, we beg for their intercession, at best we work with them - we certainly don't use them like kitchen appliances.

Secondly, a saint or spirit may be famous for working in a certain area but that doesn't mean that's all they can or will do. This is such a flawed, mechanistic, two dimensional way of looking at these beings - and one that reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about their underlying reality. Moreover, it's rather cynical if you think about it and does them a great disservice.

So I would like to suggest a different approach to this. Instead of looking at a saints 'stats' to see which would be good for your next working - far better, and more fruitful in terms of results, would be to take some time to consider with which saint it is that you have that special relationship and found your work on that. Because, after a while you will begin to notice some of them have a unique and powerful connection to you as a spiritual worker. This can manifest in a couple of ways.

For instance, you may find that contact with a certain spirit or saint comes to you by unusual means: you are gifted a statue; or you find a holy card in the street; you have a dream or vision about them or are otherwise brought into contact with them in some surprising and meaningful way. These kinds of events are special clues that a spirit is about to enter your spiritual framework, and would like to help in your work and establish a relationship with you.

The truth is that in reality the spirits and saints choose us.

You will find that a saint or spirit whom you form this kind of connection with (as apposed to the shopping for cewl powerz route) really moves and gets things done when you petition them. There is a potent flavour to any work you do with them because you know them very personally. What's more is you might find they will work in numerous different areas besides the thing that they are famous for. And they will begin showing you unique ways in which they will work for you alone.

I would like to dedicate this post to the most miraculous and marvellous Saint Joseph. This saint has blessed me by working in numerous different ways over the last couple of years and always startles me with his compassion and power. My his name be elevated in Gods celestial territory!

Prayer of St. Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.

This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall poison take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.

Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail, so be sure you really want what you ask.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree, I may not typically work with Saints, but as you say the same applies to spirits and I've definitely seen this 'choosing of the spirits' and 'connection' within my own practice. Actually dovetails rather nicely with a couple of posts I made a few days ago on my own blog. All too often it's easy to get caught up in a 'shopping list' mentality, and ignoring that critical relationship piece. Good to see some common sense in regards to magic and spirits in particular.

  2. Certainly Vale, to my way of thinking this applies to spirits of various sorts. I happened to be thinking about saints today but just as often you hear people say that they should petition, say, a certain Orisha because they are 'for' love, or protection, or wealth or whatever. As any Santo initiate knows well enough - any one of them can get results in any field of human concern. It's really about your relationship to said spirit that is the issue. By the same token, a certain spirit may be all 'about' whatever human concern you working towards but if you have no connection with that spirit you may as well petition a lamp post!

  3. I think that attitude reflects upon a person who is outside a spiritual culture. It is a mechanistic impersonal viewpoint, because those people are used to thinking of things in that way, because it is an impersonal, mechanistic, materialistic philosophy that dominates most of western culture.

    I also love St Joseph. I recently came across a "St Joseph home sale kit" at a local hardware store, which was very surprising to me. It's not usually the place you see spiritual supplies.

  4. You hit the nail on the head Brother Christopher. It really is symptom of a materialistic understanding of the world. How awesome finding St. Joseph in the hardware store! Perfect example!

  5. This is a wonderful post! I've recently discovered this phenomenon within my own life and work; two Saints kinda popped up, strongly suggesting to me that I work with them. Ordinarily I wouldn't have thought of doing so, but I shifted my paradigm of working and when I did, marvelous results occurred.

    I've worked with St. Michael before and He kept making Himself known, so I listened. As for St. Jude, as I began working on my novel, He just popped into my head and was written in to a section. Once He did, I researched His attributes and worked with Him as well. I am very glad I did. I now have a relationship with St. Jude I cherish.

  6. And think of the poor saint! Would you want to be bored and constantly pigeon-holed by only being asked to do one type of work? And people forget that not every spirit "knows" you, or wants to work with you - if you are depending on their "job description," and they don't seem inclined, you'll be up the creek, as they say. Some will start practically pounding on your door, (St. Rita!) and that's a whole other area to explore.

  7. @rose : I'm glad to hear this post resonates with your experience. Also, St Jude is a very interesting saint...
    @miss E: Exactly! If they don't have interest in you - you may as well petition a lamp post ;-)

  8. Great post - and some deep truths about spirit communion and relationships here. Thank you!

  9. "We pray for their aid, we beg for their intercession, at best we work with them - we certainly don't use them like kitchen appliances."

    This dismays me somewhat. One of the reasons I left the Christian Church was because I was tired of only being able to approach the Divine as a beggar. I was tired of asking for something in prayer, more often than not not getting it, and having to chalk it all up to "God's will". I wanted to take some responsibility for my own life, to make plans, take steps, and accept the success or failure on my own terms. When I wrote on my own blog recently about gravitating to hoodoo because it seemed to me to take into account the power of the spirits around us, I guess I was thinking more of the nature spirits of the roots and other curios of hoodoo, which it seems to me you can use precisely like a kitchen appliance (or ingredients in a recipe), than of spirits with personalities. I'm happy to work together with a spirit, but I really don't want to have to beg any entity for the things I desire.

  10. I think you may be taking that turn of phrase a little too literally mister Li. Although, it is true that we pray in hoodoo I don't think too much actual begging is necessary. My main point there was really that we don't want to 'use' saints like objects. Also, it should be noted that in African American conjure the saints are few and far between - it's mainly Protestant. You may want to check out some you tube videos of Missionary Baptist religious services to get a sense of the devotional style and preaching...

  11. YES YES YES!!!

    Relationship trumps association any day.

    In my new book I put in a glib little piece called Inominandum's guide for working with spirits:

    1. DEPTH IS BETTER THAN QUANTITY: it is better to extol the virtues and actions of one being in an invocation than it is to invoke lots of different gods and names. Just because they are prosperity or Jupiterian beings, does not mean that they are the same. Even deities that are traditionally synchretized like Thoth-Hermes or Jupiter-Zeus are NOT the same. Those synchretizations are pulling together two mythologies in a very particular way, something not to be undertaken lightly. I have been to too many open circles where the goal seems to be to call as many deities into each quarter as possible with absolutely no attempt made as learning much about any of them at all past their name. This is the kind of thing that gives eclecticism a bad name. Do some research to learn about the being. Follow this with experimentation and communication. Use what comes through for more research and experimentation.

    2. PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TRUMPS ASSOCIATION: If you have a long and ongoing relationship with a spirit, saint, or deity but they are not necessarily a "wealth" being you may be better off asking them for help than in starting a new relationship with a wealth being. Many entities have more facets than we know, and can turn their special talents towards your goal. One student of mine has worked almost exclusively with Aphrodite for 15 years and has never invoked wealth god as a matter of being true to this patron. When she asked me how she should work wealth magic, I told her to ask Aphrodite. Sure enough Aphrodite used her wiles and influence to create a lot of wealth in this person's life, landing them their first six figure position. Sometimes you may need to go to a wealth being or love being for help when you need it, but give your long term contacts a try first. They may surprise you.

    3. MAINTAIN SOVEREIGNTY: Your life is yours to live. Do not turn responsibility or decision making over to angels, spirits, demons, deities or anything else. There is a tendency of many people to do whatever a spirit tells them to and it's a growing trend that needs to stop. Yes, it is traditional in many cultures, but not everything traditional is a good idea. The spirits do not live here and do not know all the nuances of how you want your life to run- that your job. Evaluate non-human advice the same way that evaluate human advice. By all means develop relationships, praise and worship and make offerings. If however a God tells you to make an offering that will bankrupt you, I would recommend re-thinking that relationship. Maintain your sovereignty.

  12. @Mister Li Liu - but even with the spirits of roots and leaves, there are ways to approach them, especially when wild-crafting, and paying them to do the work. We aren't to just yank them out of the ground and assume they'll do the work. Not that you are suggesting that, but the kitchen appliance metaphor lends itself to that imagery. My two-cents, on someone elses blog no less, is that there is a balance between assuming power, supplication, and respect. You don't want to beg (although I've been close at times to pretty much crying on a spirit's shoulder,) but you don't want take them for granted, either.

  13. Hey Jason! Brilliant - well said. Great minds and all that ;-)

  14. Wise words indeed, they also apply equally to "demotic" magic or Goetia. These 71 Daimons are never to be coerced, one chooses a sponsor of sorts, preferably high in rank within the so-called misnomer "The Hierarchy of Hell." The pact one makes with this prince and principality of the air is a mutually beneficial agreement. It is not (or needs not be) like the tragedy of Faustus: or "selling your soul to the devil." It is the meeting of the "Black Man" or the particular daimon's body of infernal Light as manifest to human sight.
    The ancient rite conducted at the crossroads, the Temple of Nox and template between "Heaven and Hell." ~Marcus

  15. Wise words indeed, these spirits are "allies," or powerful guardians, who within the Afro-Diaspora, have 'merged' or taken on many of the attributes of the Roman Catholic recognised Saints. They are to be appealed to with humility & always treated with the traditional Honour one would accord to a regal guest. Each of these "living gods" has a persona that makes Him / Her appropriate for the nature of the working. The relationship should always be covalent, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial.
    ~Marcus A. Vipunen

  16. I'm catching up and skimming over this post a little late, but I wanted to commend you on this article. I can't tell you how aggravated I get every time people shop around for Saints like they can just pick them off the shelf at the grocery store. Saints are human spirits, you should treat them with the same respect and reverence you would if you met them in the flesh.

    I have had a close connection with St. Michael and St. Anthony since I was young. I've tried to build slowly and get to know other saints over the years, like St. Jude and St. Expedite, but I always go back to Tony and Mike. I have found that once you build a relationship with them, you can pretty much go to them for help on any matter.

    It's not like they can only help you with one task, although they might be better at some things. Once you build a relationship with them, you really have a friend and guardian for life, and it's a special relationship i wish more people could enjoy.