The 4 Spirit Courts
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
The four Spirit Courts are an old system of spirit taxonomy, an attempt to understand the nature of Being in a system of spiritual ecology and interrelation. This map has old sources in Thomas Middleton’s 17th century play The Witch, as well as Shakespeare's Macbeth, and features in the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible.
Our Daimon-Geniuses each “belong” to one of these Spirit Courts, representing the primary power mightiest in the witch’s true nature. This understanding helps us realize our place in the ecology of the Unseen. Claim it and its power. The Courts are thus:
The Red Court are animal daimons, spirit-chains enshrined in creatures of flesh and blood, whether tied to human or other animals, and this includes those witches whose Otherness is deeply expressed in the experience of being theriomorphic; especially the werewolves and skin-changers of folklore. Those in this court identify very deeply with their Fetch-beasts. Its witches are living exemplars of the Red Serpent, the first sorcery of humankind. It is the magic of Blood; the power of menstruation, birth, manifestation, and sacrifice. The Wise Women, the "Daughters of Man" of the early human tribes held these mysteries chiefly. Those who had contact with the Fallen Watchers and contracted spirit marriages with them were called the Blood-Mothers. They tend to be highly skilled in and drawn to the Mysteries of Love and Sex, organizing and maintaining resources, coalescing events to occur, transformation, healing, channeling magical forces, tool-making, cunning, and forming lasting bonds between spirits. Here is the Witchblood.
The White Court is made of seraphim, kerubim/gryphons, phoenixes, thunderbirds, chalkydrios, angelic beings, and other stellar and solar daimons. They are Mighty and Mysterious spirits of Primal Light. This includes the Fallen Angels, the Watchers, who were the first Fetch Mates to mortal humans and who first passed us the Star Fire, as well as their children the Nephilim. The Angels sing the Song of Creation and maintain an “all-seeing” perspective with their many eyes, often behaving more like architecture than organism. Witches of the White Court are powerful seers, namers, and psychic healers. Those classed as “Good Walkers,” the Benandanti, who protect their community and were once seen as great noble Heroes, are found in this court. These beings weave reality via the Star Fire.
The Glas Court are Faery/Elven spirits, as well as Land Wights of forest, tree and plant, hill and plain, and spirits of the waters such as rivers and streams, lakes, ponds, and the ocean, as well as bogs, swamps and marshes. The Faery-beings, the Elves, are strange and eerie entities who are aligned to the inner nature of reality, the Underworld, and the Fateful weave of the world. They live in a state of perpetuity where time bends in on itself in peculiar ways, and are said to possess "blood like sap." Counted among this court are many legendary beings such as Piskies, Selkies, Nymphs, Satyrs and Seirim, Dryads, the noble Sidhe, genii loci, Disir, Djinni, and many beings called gods. They are Shining and Terrible. Some may have once been living persons in some manner and in their death have been transformed into something that is of the Otherworld. The first humans among the Faeries were from the Brood of the Nephilim, the children of the Watchers and the Daughters of Man, who opened the Faery Road to humans in their Wise and Mighty Deaths. Here lies the Kingdom of Dream and its denizens. They tend to the Green Mist.
The Black Court is comprised of the Dead in the Underworld, deceased soul-forces in the dark inner-earth and the entities of the Deeper Underworld’s swirling airy Void, the Cauldron of Annwfn where Fate is a singularity, those in the retinue of Hulda/Hekate/Lilith-Ereshkigal, the Black Sphinx. These are the Dark Elves, ifrit and infernal entities, imps, goblins, trolls, ettin/jotun/giants, and vampyric beings that rade in the dark of night with the wrath of the Elder Gods to give the Unseen its share of blood and corpses. They are forces of binding, constriction, stasis, space-&-time, tactility and manifestation of spiritual force, Aither and the Primal Elements, collapse, rot and decay, curses, and predation. Mountains and caverns are their homes, and the roots of trees. Here, Death is the Utmost Necessity and Fate is the Supreme Being. It is not just human beings who have a consciousness that “dies”--the famed “tithe to Hell” that Tim Lin speaks of is such an experience of moving from the perpetuity of Elfhame into the deeper darkness of the Black Court, the constricting and consuming powers that “take back” all life. The Grave is the repository for All in the end...and the womb of all, too. Here burns the Black Fire.