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City witchcraft: connecting with city spirits

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For many urban witches, city witchcraft includes working with city spirits to boost our city magic and help us achieve our goals and desires. Working with city spirits can also help us feel safer and more connected in our cities as well as helping us to support our communities.

Connecting with city spirits can boost our city witchcraft in many ways. If you often feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a city then building a connection to a city spirit can help you to feel more secure and welcome. If you need help in achieving your goals and desires, city spirits may oblige. In addition, if your town or city needs help, you can petition urban deities for support. This relationship works both ways. An important part of city witchcraft is supporting our local communities of people, plants, animals and entities. Just as we want to work with the city spirits, they may also want to work with us. They want to be acknowledged and valued. They may be willing to help, or they may require help themselves. 

There are two main types of city spirits that we can work with in our city witchcraft. The first is the city spirit itself. These are often nature spirits or land spirits that have become city spirits over time. To anyone with an animist mindset, cities are living sentient entities which humans can interact with in just the same way as with nature spirits. In her book Urban Magic: A Guide for the City Witch, Diana Rajchel says, ‘the city spirit manifests by forming an intelligence and energy generated from the people living in a city’. She also points out that city spirits are very used to interacting with humans so it can actually be very easy to connect with the spirit of place in the city.

The second types of spirit we can work with in city witchcraft are the entities that inhabit the city. They can have a range of names and attributes depending on the culture they originated from. There may be river spirits, tree spirits and ancient spirits of the land from before the town even existed. There may be gods and goddesses, devas, fairies and ghosts. A multicultural city may also have spirits that came with the populations who moved into it. You may find ancient Pagan Deities, Roman Gods, Hindu Goddesses or an Arabic Djinn all jostling for space and attention. In city witchcraft, we can work with all these entities to enhance our magic.

If you do not work with spirits or deities in your city witchcraft, you will still be working in an environment that is full of energies, both positive and negative, from the people who inhabit your city. In addition, there may be residual energies in certain locations or related to certain people that you can tap into. For example, a writer might visit the place where a famous author lived, or a witch who wants to boost their influence might visit the statue of a leading figure in society.

City witchcraft: connecting with a city spirit

To begin working with a city spirit, it can be helpful to find out as much as possible about your local area in order to make a connection with the spirits that abide there. If you live in a large town or city then the place will have a city spirit. Smaller communities may not have a city spirit but will undoubtedly have genius loci or smaller spirits such as river deities that you can connect with. Research the history of the area, as that will give you an idea of what energies the city is built upon. Look at new developments, too. If your city is rapidly changing then your city spirit may be changing too. It may be feeling disorientated and appreciate some extra recognition and support.

Offerings for city spirits

In city witchcraft, I think it is useful to think outside the box when making offerings. Picking up litter is an offering to city spirits. Service to your community is an offering to city spirits. Donating to a food bank or local charity is a great offering to support your community. Taking care of a patch of land, keeping your front garden tidy, putting some plants on a windowsill or balcony – these are all offerings to the city spirits. We can offer clean water, moon water or crystal-infused water. By all means, offer native herbs that will not affect the environment. But do your research, introducing an invasive species or leaving an offering that will harm wildlife is not what city witchcraft is about. Certainly do not leave items such as glass, metal, string, ribbon, wire, or any other item that might harm wildlife.

City witchcraft: a home ritual to connect with city spirits

What you will need


A white candle or LED candle
A coin
A clear quartz crystal or any stone you have picked up in the city
A city map or image

What to do

For this city witchcraft ritual, find a quiet and clean space where you can set up your altar. Place the map or image of the city at the centre of the space. To the left of the bowl, place the white candle. To the right of the bowl, place the clear quartz crystal or stone.

Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and envision any negativity or distractions leaving your body.

Light the white candle which symbolises purity and spiritual connection. As you do so, say:

“With this light, I seek to connect,
To the spirits of the city, I pay my respect.
Guide me in this sacred space,
With love and wisdom, fill this place.”

Gaze at the city map or image. Visualize the city coming alive, with its streets, buildings and people. Imagine a warm, welcoming energy emanating from the city and connecting with your own energy. Feel the presence of the city spirits around you.

Hold the offering coin in your hands and visualize your respect and desire to connect with the city spirits flowing into the offering. Place it in front of the city map or image.

Close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes, allowing any messages or feelings from the city spirits to come to you. Listen and be open to their presence.

Thank the city spirits for their presence and guidance.

“Thank you, spirits, for your grace,
In this city I find my place.
May our connection forever grow,
As above, so below.”

Blow out the candle and ground yourself by visualising any excess energy returning to the earth.

Once your spell is complete, you can donate the coin to a city charity. This forms an energetic exchange between you and the city spirits.

City witchcraft ritual: connecting with a city spirit

For this city witchcraft ritual you should visit a place that you feel holds strong city energy. For example a cathedral, church, government building, station or square. If you cannot do this in person, you can visualise the place instead. Use images and guidebooks to help you create the scene in your mind.

Spend some time in your chosen space to see if you can tap into any kind of city spirit. This may be very difficult at first, especially in a busy area. You may want to wear headphones and listen to some relaxing sounds or a meditation track. 

Say aloud or in your head. I would like to work with the spirit of this place. You may not experience anything directly at first but be assured that the city spirit will be aware of you. 

Make an offering, such as pouring some water on the ground, putting some money in a church collection box, throwing a coin into a fountain, or buying a sandwich for a homeless person. You might also like to bring something home with you and place it on your altar – a postcard, local guidebook or history book or another souvenir would be ideal. You could simply take home a stone or twig that you found. Meditating or spending time with this item will help you foster the relationship with the spirit further. Look out for signs of the city spirits’ presence in your life over the next few days or weeks and follow any guidance you feel. 

Once you feel you have connected with a spirit – even if that is just getting a sense of peace or curiosity when you are in a certain spot, then make sure to visit the place as often as you can to develop that relationship.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to city witchcraft and working with city spirits.

Eva May Baker
Eva May Baker
Hello, and welcome to The City Witch, your portal into the magical world that exists within the hustle and bustle of city life. My name is Eva Baker and I am an urban folk witch, author and your guide on this magical journey.

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