1) set up protections
This is extremely important. Once you open yourself up to the “Spiritual World” you become a beacon. You need to have wards and other things set up beforehand so nasties won’t get in. It may also be a good idea to cleanse your space before the vessel arrives because it makes the Spirit more comfortable.
2) Research, research, research
Find out everything you can about the type of Spirit you are looking at. If there is very little to no lore then ask the seller. Actually on that note you should also research the seller. Check both the positive and negative reviews and weigh them against each other. Find out how long they’ve been working with Spirits, how they seem to treat them, if there’s any dirt on them that you can use to figure out if they are trustworthy and/or reputable.
3) Don’t rush into it
Seriously, don’t. I’ve been seeing a concerning amount of people on here who seem to think that it’s all easy. It’s not. It’s a major commitment and there is the possibility of it turning dangerous. For example I know this kid who tried to jump in before learning how to swim. He bought three vessels at once from the same place and only one of those Spirits actually wanted to be there. One of the others was actually pretty hostile and really pissed at this kid and was in general a threat to him and his family because they not only didn’t want to be there but blamed the kid for the situation they found themself in. I’ve also seen a bunch of people say that they want to start conjuring and binding right off the bat… Don’t do this either. It’s highly dangerous and extremely draining and baby Companions don’t stand a chance mainly because they have no clue what they are doing. You’re basically inviting a stranger into your space and hoping that they aren’t dangerous to you and yours and that’s putting it very simply. I could go into this more but I believe @spirithighway recently made a detailed post as to why it’s not a good idea.
4) Don’t be discouraged if you can’t sense the Spirit immediately.
Most people have to build up to that point, especially if they don’t have any prior experience in Spirit Work. Sleep or meditate with the vessel. This will help establish a connection and they may even appear to you in your dreams. If you are able to then monitor any energy fluctuations that you feel with the vessel. Emotional energy is an excellent way of figuring out how the Spirit feels and what they are doing.
5) Try not to second guess everything.
I get it, it’s probably your first time working with a Spirit in general and you have no clue if you’re getting it all right. Do they really like that incense you got for them or are you just hoping they do? What about that stone, is it their favorite or is it this one? Oh my god this pendant would be perfect for them… Or would they hate it? Second guessing comes with the territory but when it comes to certain things normally your first guess/instinct is the corect one. If you are still unsure then try asking the seller that you got the vessel from as they should have a decent connection to the Spirit. If you didn’t get them from a seller then try asking the Soirit directly via something discreet, like a necklace-turned-pendulum.
6) Have fun
Whether your interactions with the Spirit(s) are teacher/student or more personal don’t forget to have fun. They are friends and colleagues, family and lovers. I understand that it can be nerve wracking at first and you’ll need to test where that Spirit’s limits are but they’re not all serious all the time. I have at least two that are constantly cracking perverted jokes and one that is as laid back as someone can get. Joke with your Spirits, bond with them. As I said they are your Family now and should be treated as such.