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.
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.
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.