Sensing a Presence: How to Identify a Spirit

Once you can sense the presence of Spirit, how can you tell who it is or what they want? What are the next steps? 

By Sarah Petruno, Shamana

Sensing the presence of a Spirit means one thing.

You have the intuitive gift of Clairsentience.

This is the gift of clear feeling, of sensing, without any of your physical senses, a shift in the energetic environment.

When a Spirit enters your space, there’s a shift in the energetic dynamics of that space. All things in this universe are made up of energy, including intangible things, like those in Spirit. When a Spirit, for example, enters a space that already has it’s own energetic makeup and dynamics, as all spaces do, there’s a change. Something is added to an energetic system, and there’s a subsequent shift in the energetics of that space.

And there’s you, with your ability of clairsentience, feeling the shift.

How did you know, that the feeling from the shift was due to a Spirit, and not, for example, an argument?

Well, it’s likely that over time, you’ve coupled other spiritual experiences, like noises, or flashes of light, with the way that you feel when these things occur.

So, maybe not without consciously knowing it, you’ve equated this feeling with a Spirit presence.

And you were right!

But, here you are, sitting in your kitchen and feeling a Spirit. Now what do you do?

How can you tell who it is and what do you even say to them?

Once you can sense the presence of Spirit, how can you tell who it is or what they want? What are the next steps? 

This is awkward. A living person and a dead person in the same space, not talking, but aware of each other's presence.


Are you going to do?

Well, first things first, before names are exchanged, it’s important to learn the difference between dark Spirits and light Spirits and who you want in your space. You can do that here (dark vs. light) and here (setting boundaries).

But if you don’t even want to go that far, and you want to make a snap judgement of if you should talk to them or not, there’s an easier way - at least for us clairsentients!

You can already feel Spirits, and now, just ask yourself if this Spirit feels heavy and creepy, or if they feel friendly and nice?

Trust what you feel here. Heavy and Creepy generally means Dark (not crossed over) Spirit, and Friendly and Nice generally means Light Spirit. Obviously this isn't the end all be all method, but it is a good one for snap decisions.

Identify and decide which type of Spirit you're dealing with here, as best you can. 


Ask their name and if you can help them with something.

When I’m sitting in my own kitchen and I sense a Spirit, the first thing I do is identify Dark or Light. Then, after I’ve decided they’re someone worth talking to, I ask who it is and what they want.

And I wait.

What happens next, mostly depends on how that particular Spirit chooses to identify themselves.

Sometimes, you’ll get the feeling that they’re someone’s uncle and they need a favor.

Other times, you’ll imagine (aka receive clairvoyant information) that they look like a Victorian Woman from the 1800s and you’ll get the impression she wants to know where her children are.

And still other times, you’ll hear a name or get an idea of who they are and what they want.

Whatever comes to you, trust that this information came from the Spirit.

You are not inventing it or making it up, even if it feels like you are.

There are no fancy tricks to the trade, beyond just asking questions and waiting to see what comes to you. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you become.  

The only fancy trick is learning to trust the information you receive. If you need help doing that, check out this article.

Happy Spirit Chatting!


want to learn how to better sense the presence of a spirit? with the Healer Initiation Level 1 eCourse for Energy Attunement, you can hone your energy sensing abilities and begin to learn how to sense different types of energy. The first step to identifying a sprit is knowing one when is present - by sensing their energy. 

LAST UPDATED: November 24, 2014

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