House Spirits

Summoned Sphinx

Have you been taking care of your house spirit? They’ve certainly been taking care of you. These finicky wights, extremely loyal and generous if treated well—but terribly shy and easily heartbroken and offended according to folklore—take care of their households, promoting luck, fertility, and activity among their patrons, cleaning little messes here and there, and often serving as an intermediary between other local spirits. Sometimes they’ll accompany the same bloodline for generations, becoming elevated thereby as a kind of ancestral protector of its own, representative of a family’s luck over centuries. However, a series of heated arguments and tantrums between family members gone wrong can be all that it takes to make their house spirit up and leave in search of a new home.

These characteristics are not universal, of course. I’m mostly speaking about my experience with Slavic house spirits, which are most often known as domovoi. Growing up…

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