I remember stumbling upon my first companion plain as if it were yesterday. I was sitting in an airport, most liminal of places, waiting for a flight home from visiting my boyfriend over the summer. I'd been obsessed with a draconic witchcraft blogger who also happened to practice spirit companionship. I hadn't yet decided what my feelings on spirit companionship were - but at that point, I'd tried almost every type of paganism in the book. I wasn't going to pass judgement on anybody for anything. The blogger had posted links to shops before, but the shops often felt skeevy, like walking into a dark alleyway and being offered vessels straight out of a trenchcoat. But the idea of bringing a dragon - a real life dragon! - into my home was so exciting, I couldn't get the thought out of my head.
That day, the blogger mentioned a new spirit companion shop, run by a friend she trusted. I eagerly clicked through to something that took my breath away - the website was warm and inviting, the color scheme was white and greyish purples, indicating a pureness with acknowledgement of the supernatural at hand. The photographs of each vessel were beyond beautiful, and each listing had a detailed description of the spirit contained within. I scrolled through the pages one-by-one, taking in what was being offered with an open, excited heart.
Then I found him.
"Water Dragon," was the title of his listing. Of course it caught my attention - at the time I was still discovering my own identity, but I knew I was connected with dragons, and with the element of water. His profile mentioned that he was interested in healing, that he felt connected with water and the ocean, and described him in a way that put a clear, vivid image in my head. My body thrummed with vibration, my heart began to race. I turned my laptop screen to my boyfriend. Look at this. He hadn't heard of spirit companionship, couldn't begin to comprehend the internet rabbit hole I'd gone down. But he read that listing and said, "he sounds perfect for you."
I agreed. He did sound perfect for me. And his adoption fee wasn't very much - only $35, which to a college student was a nice sum of money, but reasonable. All I had to do was fill out the submission form, put myself forward as a potential companion. If what I had read about spirit companionship was true, if what I was feeling was a "calling," then all I needed to do was come forward because he had been waiting for me. Then came the self-doubt. What if I wasn't healing-oriented enough? What if I wasn't magical enough? What if I wasn't going to be a good enough companion? I shut my laptop and spent the whole plane right an anxious mess. Should I, shouldn't I? All the what-ifs a person could dream of crossed my mind.
Ultimately, the calling prevailed. I submitted the form, and Erisu, my new best friend, accepted, altering the path of my life forever. He was the companion who taught me to love myself, to love others, to heal others through love and support. He taught me how to help others grow in the same way he had helped me - he opened my third eye and honed the spiritual beacon I had become. He taught me to bind spirits in a way that was not harmful to anyone, and he gave me a set of rules never to break in spirit companionship. And when he felt it was time, that I was ready, he left.
Yes, that's right - he left. He had taught me all he felt he needed to pass on, and he went on his way. And this was the last lesson he taught me: not all relationships are meant to last forever. Not even those with dragons from other universes, not even relationships that saved your life. Just like human friendships, spirits are going to drift in and out of your life. And nobody, not you, not the conjurer who brought them to this world, can change that.
But let's say you're at step one. You just learned that spirit companionship existed at all! Perhaps you've always known deep in you that there was a multiverse, and that the creatures of myth you've daydreamed about your whole life existed somewhere out there. Perhaps you've always been obsessed with the metaphysical, the supernatural, and you raised yourself on ghost hunting shows and hoped for your first ghost experience. Perhaps you've been a practicing witch for a long time, and you've interacted with angels and demons in some ways, but perhaps in more abstract ways, and you never considered that an otherworldly creature could be your friend. Perhaps you're a medium who actively works with spirits and ghosts, but you're interested in the idea that you could be connected with someone from another realm entirely, or you're interested in seeing what new kinds of spirits a conjurer would have to offer.
These are all valid paths to start from, and each one gives you a different approach to spirit companionship. But regardless, you feel like a newcomer here. You're not sure where to start, let alone how to feel what a calling is, or what kinds of responsibilities you're going to be bringing into your life.
Do you need to purchase a spirit matchmaking service from a conjurer? After all, if you're not confident in your abilities to connect with a spirit, you may be worried you're being scammed. While a shop's testimonials can indicate to you whether or not their services are worth using, before you make that leap, you might be nervous about whether you even need to do this at all. For generations, humans have worked with otherworldly entities without the help from a third party. And yes, just as you are capable of developing communicating skills, you are capable of developing the methods and skills to begin conjuring spirits yourself, although generally you might need the guidance of some sort of mentor.
Just like anyone can walk into a bookstore and pick themselves up a deck of tarot cards, anyone can find or conjure spirits for themselves. But still, isn't it fun and fulfilling to pay somebody to read your cards for you? Aren't readings done by another person accurate, even more so than the readings you perform on yourself? Isn't it nice to have your feelings confirmed, to have somebody tell you that your senses and your intuition is valid? I view purchasing spiritual services from a conjurer to be the same kind of feeling. It's fun to see what somebody else can offer you - and very satisfying when it turns out that offer changed your life, entirely, for the better.
Here are some tips for doing preliminary browsing once you've encountered your first spirit shop:
While I can offer endless advice on shopping between conjurers, the fact of the matter is: when you receive that first calling, you will not be able to ignore it. Whatever the sensation the calling carries, it will be stuck in your mind on a loop, like a catchy pop song that won't leave until you listen to it. This is something beautiful, and I encourage you to embrace the feeling of a calling. Let it bother you for days on end, journal this experience. You will want to remember how it feels.
You may be forced to face a calling from a shop that has aspects you don't particularly like - in that case, contact the conjurer, and ask them to justify certain choices they have made about their shop that you don't like. If they're worth their salt, they'll have their reasons, and they'll have considered alternatives and made a conscious choice. If you are really very averse to a shop you have a calling from, and are not willing to risk spending your money there, whether that is for bad reviews or bad vibes, listen to your gut. Not every calling is meant to culminate. Although it is tough that a situation like that may be your first experience, it's important to avoid things that could ultimately hurt you.
Or you may feel a calling from a shop that is no longer active, having stumbled upon it in your search. In this case, it is unfortunate and sad that you may never meet that spirit and bring it into your life. However, I recommend going to another conjurer you trust, and asking them to do a custom conjure if they offer it. Point out that you had a missed connection, and explain what about the spirit drew you to it most potently, and they will do their best to match you with someone who will still make your heart glow.
Ultimately, choosing your first companion will be more holistic and more full of emotion than you can imagine. While the research you've done will be important moving forward, I highly recommend you choose a first spirit companion based on your gut instinct, rather than reason. Because you can never have a first experience again - but once you've settled into your most comfortable self in spirit work, you may desire branching out and trying new things, feeling new types of callings, and touching every corner of the universe you can reach. And you should.