Collecting Graveyard Dirt: Working with the Dead

graveyard dirt

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Many practitioners like to incorporate graveyard dirt into their magickal workings or spells. If collected and used properly, it can be a very powerful ingredient. But you are also asking for assistance from the other side when you collect it. So it is important to do this in a proper way that doesn’t cause any backlash. Graveyard dirt can be used for good or evil depending how you want to work with it. This is why it’s important to understand what you’re doing before you start messing with things you don’t understand.

Graveyard dirt can be a very powerful ingredient in many different spells. Protection is usually the first thing that comes to mind when I think about working with graveyard dirt. However it can also be used for love spells, to make someone move away and for ancestor work or assistance. In some cases it is used to hex or curse someone, or when trying to stop or punish an enemy. Everyone works differently so it’s not up to me to dictate or judge how anyone wishes to practice. However those of you that know me are aware that I stick to white magick and avoid love spells at any cost. I truly believe certain forms of magick come at a price, and what you put out will come back to you. So however you like to work, please make sure you collect your ingredients responsibly.

Graveyard dirt works because the soil in and around the grave carries the energy of the person who is buried beneath it. Each person has their own type of energy and personality traits, which is an important consideration when collecting this item. Many people like to use dirt from a family member’s grave site because of the personal connection. If this is your preference, please feel free to work with your loved ones, especially if you’re doing love spells or any type of ancestral magick.

Collecting Graveyard Dirt:

There are many different ways and methods people use, although the basic principles of the collection remain the same.  Please act accordingly to avoid any repercussions or negative aspects in your workings.

Leave a Toll

Before you enter the graveyard to collect dirt, many people find it customary to leave a toll or an offering for safe passage. I like to leave three pennies at the gate. However, you may leave whatever you feel is acceptable. Some people prefer to leave an offering only at the grave site of the spirit they are working with. However I generally choose to respect the spirits in the cemetery as a whole, as well as on an individual basis.

Ask Permission

As with everything else in life and nature, it is important to ask permission before we take. Remember that in using graveyard dirt, your intent should not be to capture someone’s spirit and force it to do your bidding. But it should a contract between two parties that are agreeable to the terms and willing to help each other out.

My first order of business in asking permission is to connect with the spirit of the grave in which I have chosen. I say hello, introduce myself, and ask if they are willing to help me. I also mention to them for what purpose I require the dirt. This way they can decide of their own free will if they are willing to help me or not.

Leave an Offering

If the spirit agrees to help me, I ask them if they would like an offering in return for their assistance. Sometimes they will help for free if the cause is just. Other times they may require something small and reasonable. I have not yet been asked for anything that was out of my league or comfort zone to deliver. Should you find yourself in this position, please do not take the dirt if you cannot pay the price. You should also not collect any dirt if the spirit refuses or says no.  (If you would like to make an offering up front as a gesture of goodwill, this is also an acceptable way to go. General offerings include flowers, pennies, dimes, and whisky. But feel free to leave anything you feel drawn to offer.)

Pick the right grave

Knowing what kind of work you intend to use the graveyard dirt for is extremely important. It will help you pick the proper place to take it from. As I mentioned before, the grave and the earth around it carries the energy of the person who is buried there. Say you have a spell that requires protection. In this case you will want a spirit who was strong and brave, such as a soldier or a police officer. But what if you need to work magick to bring about just actions against someone who is harming you? Your choice here should be a spirit who is fair, but willing to do what is necessary even if it is difficult. When you need assistance making something positive happen, perhaps a spirit who started as a criminal but turned his life around doing good deeds would be a good match.

Exercise Caution

I think it’s important to note that you should exercise caution when working with spirits. Not everyone in the graveyard passed easily or with a healed spirit. Criminals or murder victims might have a bone to pick or vengeance they want to take. On the flip side, some of these spirits may be seeking redemption. Others may want to protect others because no one was able to protect them. So pay close attention to what you are being told if you approach a grave and ask for assistance. Never be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right.

What if I don’t know which grave to use?!

My suggestion would be to let your intuition guide you through the graveyard. See if a particular headstone catches your eye. Or if you feel pulled or inclined to walk in a particular direction. Read the headstones and see how you energetically feel about them. Most of the time a specific one will just seem right or feel good. This is important because you are making a connection with the spirit in the grave as well as working with them on an energetic level.

(Working with graveyard dirt from a loved family member is always a good way to go if you don’t know where to start.)

Always collect your own dirt

Many people involved with the occult may actually sell graveyard dirt. This might seem like a great idea because it’s a huge time-saver! However it is important to note that just because you can easily buy it, doesn’t guarantee that it was “purchased” properly from the spirit in the grave. That means you could be working with the energy of an enslaved spirit. And that could cause some issues on its own, not to mention with your work.

Most places where people live have access to a graveyard or cemetery. So collecting graveyard dirt is more about the amount of effort that you are willing to put in for your magick to go properly. And because you have formed a personal connection with the spirit that has agreed to help you, the dirt is more powerful for the work you are trying to do.  If for any reason you cannot obtain this on your own, please ask the proper questions to ensure you are getting what you actually pay for.

Proper Storage

It’s important to label your graveyard dirt, especially if you are collecting from multiple graveyards or spirits. I like to include a name and any details I have about them or our conversation. This way when I am ready to use the dirt I can reconnect with them personally when I cast my spell. Some other things you may want to include are the birth and death dates. Or the graveyard they are in and when you collected the dirt. If it is acceptable to the spirit you may also ask to take a picture of their headstone. This way you can research or pick up any further details about them when you get home. Out of respect, please try to store the dirt in nice container or glass jar.

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