Nest Building in Spirit Companionship

Note: This post is a slightly edited post from an old blog post I made on my tumblr, magickal-milo. I had enough information about spirit companionship and Kat’s nest on that blog that some information was implicit, though I fear that won’t be the case here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’m happy to explain anything or make a post about a topic to clear things up. Thanks for understanding! — Milo


I am currently companion to one spirit, Kat. When I first ordered her, I had done a ton of research. One of the things I often read was that I could have a nest for her. While researching nests, I found some useful advice from others, for the most part I saw “like a shrine.” While they are similar, one of the biggest parts of building shrines [for me] is imagery related to the deity. As someone whose companion had sparse folklore and little associated imagery, I was unsure where to begin.

When I refer to a nest, I am referring to a space dedicated to one or more spirits, in this case I’m referring to a spirit companion with a vessel (though you could certainly use this guide for other cases). The nest is typically used for giving and displaying offerings. It also serves as a spirits personal space in your home. For example, this used to be Kat’s nest on the left. This has been built up over months–Shells, stones, and other trinkets have all been gifted over time. You don’t need to worry about creating an elaborate nest (not that mine is) before your companion arrives.

Although I have one nest per spirit, some may prefer to have a public/community nest. In a public nest, you may give shared offerings for all spirits. You can also give each spirit their own offering dish for individual offerings, depending on your and the entities’ preferences. If you have some spirits who want their own space, you can also give them a private nest, but have a community nest for other spirits. Your system will also depend on how much space you can put into your spirit’s nests. This guide will focus on creating a nest for a single spirit, but could work for a community nest.

A Pinterest Graphic for Nest building in Spirit Companionship

Before arrival

These steps can be done before your companion arrives (if you are preparing in advance).

1. Choose your space.

Kat’s nest is just on an old nightstand I had been using to make candles. If you’re limited on space, you could also look into other solutions–shelves, drawers, or even just a corner of your nightstand or desk. Regardless of the size, what matters most is that you’re giving them their own space and putting in the effort for them.

2. Gather basic items.

This depends on your preference and your plans for the nest. For me, I knew I wanted to give Kat gifts and dedicate a candle her. I also wanted to have a place to store her vessels. My basic items were; an offering dish, candle(s), candle holder(s), and a place for your vessel. You could use a bowl, dish, jewelry holder, or anything similar. I use a pedestal planter. If your companion’s vessel is a necklace, you could even use a hook on the wall.

3. Gather other items.

This is an optional step, but gather anything else you might want. I suggest storage for offerings the spirit doesn’t want or need on display, especially if you have an entity which likes offerings that may get ‘messy’ if an accident were to occur. For example, Kat enjoys sea salt–naturally, if I don’t keep it in separate storage than just an offering dish it goes everywhere. I have a few wooden box type things for this purpose.

You could include a statue for imagery, a vase if you know they like flowers, etc. If you think you are going to gift liquid offerings often, maybe include a cup. This is the stage where you could look into folklore or at any information you already have about your companion. Don’t get too caught up in this stage–As I said before, you don’t need to worry about setting up anything elaborate at first. As with our own rooms, clutter and decor will build up over time.

4. Set up the Nest!

I recommend starting with whatever you use to hold the vessel. I consider it a major focal point. After that, I place other items wherever there is space and it looks decent. My offering storage is under the table, but depending on the size of your nest you could keep it on top, if you use it. Again, don’t worry too much about this placement–likely you’ll end up rearranging it later anyways.

5. Cleanse the Nest.

I recommend doing this the day/morning before your companion arrives if you know when they will arrive. You could use sage, or a cleansing spray, or whatever method of cleansing you prefer. This is just personal preference, but it seems polite to me to give them a fresh space to settle into so they can fill it with their own energy.

After arrival

These steps should spread out over time. From this point on, the nest is a constant work in progress, just like your own bedroom. You might do a huge renovation, but for the most part you just add a new poster now and then.

6. Move in!

For me, this went along with all my other introductions for a new spirit companion (house rules, introducing myself, talking a lot, asking them questions, introducing my friends, etc). I simply pointed the space out, talked about what each piece I put there was for, and made sure she knew it was her space in the room.

7. Give gifts/Decorate.

Over time you might give offerings as gifts or rewards. For example, when you see an item you think they’ll like, or if they complete a task for you. Over time, these will build up. If you want to give them a gift and you’re unsure, just ask! Ask what kind of things they want for their nest. They may offer you a theme or idea (like motherhood or penguins), or a very specific object.

For example, the first time I asked Kat about what she’d like she said mother and ‘sent’ me a thought about those Willow Tree figures, and so she got one of those as a gift.

8. Maintaining the Nest: Rearranging and Cleaning

Do your best to keep the nest clean. Make sure it stays clear of any random clutter (read: don’t put your phone or books on it), and make sure to dust and keep things tidy.

When you are cleaning, you can ask your companion if they want to change anything. You can use a pendulum for this, and go through objects one by one. Hold the object in one hand, and the pendulum in the other. I usually ask if Kat wants the object on display, then if she says yes hold the pendulum above the nest and ask her to show me where she wants it. (hint: start at the bottom corner of your nest so that you don’t have to guess if you should go backwards or forwards) Your pendulum may circle or completely stop when you go over where your companion wants the object. It also may do something else–you’ll usually know.  If it’s an object like a shell which has a few ways it could be facing, I usually ask if they want it facing up or down.
Sometimes with a new object, the pendulum isn’t necessary. You might get a clear image of where it belongs.


Though a nest isn’t required, I’ve found it very rewarding. Not only does it serve as a physical reminder to talk to my companion, it also helps ensure that I almost always know where their vessel is–it’s either on me or in the nest. Finally, it’s interesting to see how they arrange their spaces. By only displaying objects they want to you can see changes in their personality depending on the time, and sometimes I’ve had Kat create shapes with shells and such on her nest. Her nest often reflects her mindset.

I hope this was helpful to you–feel free to lest me know if you have any questions.

Happy nesting!

How I Learned to Read Tarot (and how you can too)

I became interested in tarot shortly after becoming interested in witchcraft. I searched high and low to find a deck that called to me. Eventually, I settled on The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot by Maggie Stiefvater. I soon realized tarot was a lot more difficult than I expected. It seemed like a language of it’s own. This post will not teach you how to read tarot. However, it will teach you how to learn tarot. It will provide resources I used when learning, advice on beginning, and other useful information for your journey.


Materials
First of all, I’d like to recommend the bare minimum you should have when you start this process.
1. A tarot deck
2. Guidebook, if your deck came with one
3. A notebook (Or many many loose papers.)
4. Highlighters and/or pencils/pens.
5. Patience.

First Impressions
Go through the cards. Do you have any feelings about them? What stands out?  I would recommend writing any impressions down–In your notebook, create a page for each card. Yes, it will take awhile. And yes, it will be worth it.
I personally did not do this with my first deck, but I wish I had.

The Guidebook
If you’re lucky like I was, your guidebook came with in depth explanations of the cards. Some only have a pamphlet with keywords and little to go on. Regardless, go through your guidebook, look at the cards as you read about them. What seems to fit with the image? Highlight key words, phrases, and ideas. If you have more than one color, try using one color for key phrases and another for ideas which match your initial ideas.
Write down those key words, ideas, and phrases on the corresponding page in the notebook.

Online Resources
There are practically limitless resources online. I’m not going to list the best ones, because someone on Tumblr has already done that. I used the masterpost tarot-sybarite created when I was learning. It was one of the best collections of links I came across. You can find that by clicking here for the original post.
There are other resources on Tumblr, YouTube, and many other places. One video series I liked was the Trainee Tarot series by  Kelly-Ann Maddox on YouTube. I also have a tarot board on pinterest you can check out–there are lots of little card summaries, tips, and ideas there.

Community
Reach out to other readers! I like to believe most will be willing to answer your questions. I would be, of course, so feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Also, the tarot community tag is filled with other readers!
Additionally, the Aeclectic Tarot Forum has many helpful users. I would recommend checking out Using Tarot Cards for card meaning discussions. Also, Talking Tarot has many interesting discussions.

Reading for Yourself
I advise you start reading for yourself before reading for others, especially for strangers. Many people take readings very seriously. Try a couple readings for yourself first.
Reading for yourself is a great way to start. Start small, draw a card every morning and try to think of how it fits into your situation and what it could mean for your day.
For example, say you draw a card that can mean a painful transition–like the Tower–and you and your partner break up. The connection between the card and the event is clear. What about in line at a coffee shop? How about a good test grade? The card won’t always be relevant, but thinking of how it could can be a great way to explore a card’s meanings.
Consider writing about how your card was relevant that day before you go to sleep. It can be useful to keep track of what cards you’ve drawn.
You can also ask questions or try out spreads. Keep in mind there are some questions tarot simply can’t answer. You can often find spreads in guidebooks, on Tumblr, on Pinterest, and other websites. I particularly like the Little Red Tarot page of spreads. There are entire books dedicated to spreads, too–I own Power Tarot by Trish MacGregor and Phyllis Vega.
You can also try doing what I call general readings. Focus on the topic you are curious about (or the person you are reading for) and draw at least three cards. It’s up to you to discover the relationships between the cards.

Reading for Friends
Reading for others for the first time can be nerve-racking. Try to stay calm and confident. Reading for friends is a great way to practice. Until you feel confident with the cards, make sure to disclose that you are still learning. Have them choose a spread online, or pick a topic and try a general readings, or anything else you’d like to try.

Reading for Strangers
I first started reading for strangers on Tumblr, but you could do this in any number of places. If you don’t feel comfortable reading for everyone, feel free to message me on any social media. I’d be happy to let you read for me and to give you feedback! If you give readings I recommend creating a feedback survey. I used Typeform to create mine, and you can see a copy of it here. After making 25 posts on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and being a member for a week, you can also participate in  Reading Exchanges. Please make sure to read the rules first!
Another way to read for strangers is via referral. Ask your friends if they know anyone interested in a reading. Again, tell them you are still learning when you do the reading.
Reading for strangers is great practice, since you often don’t know the details of their situation.

Read Readings
Follow blogs who post their own readings often. If you have Instagram, many readers post photos of their daily draws there (including myself). Reading interpretations of the cards is a great way to gain more insight and to see the card from a different perspective.
Another option is to consider purchasing a reading! There are many talented tarot readers on Etsy. I have an Etsy shop here, and there are also other professional readers on Etsy and other marketplace websites, as well as on Tumblr and all over the web.
While I don’t always do a great job keeping up, I try to post a quote inspired by a tarot card every day on Tumblr and Instagram, as well as posting daily draws on both accounts. I also have a twitter. You can check out my newsletter for exclusive monthly cards, discount codes to my tarot shop, blog posts, tips for tarot readers, and more.

Other Methods
You can also try reading books on tarot to help. One amazing book is 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer. It has exercises that can help you connect with your deck and expand your understanding of tarot.
There are also several other exercises you can try written by other readers. You can see some I’ve reblogged onto my tumblr here.
Some, including myself, believe you form kind of a bond with your cards. If you have a new deck, it may be beneficial to try to ‘bond’ with it. Some ways to do this include: sleeping with it, shuffling it, and keeping it nearby often. There are many other ways to accomplish this as well.


This looks like a lot. Keep in mind, you can be doing many of these at the same time.
For example, you can take out a card, write down your first impressions for a minute or two, and then go through the guidebook. Of course going through the entire deck will take awhile, but you can still do daily draws at the same time. If it’s a new card, simply write your impressions and then check the keywords. It may take some time, but you definitely can learn to read tarot cards! Who knows, you may even end up becoming a professional some day.

Feel free to reach out to me on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Etsy, or Email me at tarottreatreadings@gmail.com with questions or for feedback!

Thanks so much for reading!