Thursday, January 12, 2012

Possession, Demons and Exorcism: part 2

When possession comes to mind, the first thoughts are generally negative in nature. The mind wanders off to the Hollywood renditions of heads spinning, weird things being regurgitated at record distances, convulsions, and intimidating voices issuing threats from the twisted features of the possessed. While some of these things may actually be true, it is not the whole story of possession. For the most part Hollywood and TV land has neglected to take into account the phenomenon of sacred possessions, unless you count The Vampire Diaries in season one where Bonnie the witch is possessed by the spirit of her ancestor to prevent something terrible from happening ( see no spoilers for those who have not seen it yet.) That's pretty close to what I am talking about when I talk about sacred possession, but it doesn't earn a cigar ( sorry Bonnie.)
What I am talking about is possession of a person by a divine being and in some cases, the spirit of a spiritual leader, for example, Marie Laveau has been called forth at least once that I can recall seeing.  I wish I could find the video of it on YouTube again. It was so long ago that I saw it on YouTube that it probably no longer exists if my searches are correct. In Voodou tradition, possession of their Gods is a common theme. It is even said that the Haitians gained their freedom while being possessed during battle by their Gods. This type of possession, generally does not happen spontaneously. It is worked for. Some traditions use trance, others dancing, others yet a series of trance and invocation. This process is just that, a conscious effort to call a specific being/spirit/divinity into the body of a willing host for the benefit of that specific spiritual community.

Christianity is included in the traditions that practice possession. *gasp* Ever heard of the Holy Rollers? The Holy Rollers are a group of Pentecostal Christians who at one point in time during the mass would literally roll down the aisles of the church to whip up the energy. They would do this to invoke God within them and speak in tongues. According to my Pentecostal friend this is no longer practiced, but they still practice possession. They call it getting the Holy Ghost.

I could talk about this subject in an arm chair magician sort of style, but that's not who I am. I come from a line in my tradition that does possession with the Gods. My first taste of possession was, in fact, something that falls into: "this generally does not happen category." I was working on an oil devoted to one of our deities. I had contacted Her before I actually started working on creating the oil to ask Her what she desired Her oil to be like. I listened and took notes and this process continued for a few days while I asked questions, listened and played with energetic resonances of the oil mixtures I was testing for this project. When it came time to actually blend things together and leave it steep for the proper time I could feel Her hover near and my crown chakra would spin and become very warm. At the Dark Moon when it came time to bless this oil and call Her to empower it something different happened. I could feel Her half slip into me like a hand filling a glove and all the things I had planned on saying and chanting went right out the window. I could hear a difference in my voice, I could feel my eyes and other facial features being held in a different manner. I felt VERY large as though I could just stretch out and touch the other side of the house if I wanted to. It took a few hours after the blessing for the effects of Her coming and going to fully dissipate and even my kids looked carefully at me as though they were wondering who else was in there with me. I have witnessed another practicing this sort of possession and watching it happen on the outside I can tell you that there is a marked change in the person hosting the Gods while they are present.

While popular media likes to spin things in a manner of the sensational, the truth is that what ever it is they are spinning probably has another side and face to the subject and possession is no different. Possession is both sacred and profane and it is up to you to determine which you wish to embrace.


  1. Years ago, I was invited to attend a Santerian gathering. My friend was the HP for a very large Santerian community and one of his students was having his birthday (his anniversary of his initiation).

    My friend was a Priest of Yemaya and during the chant dedicated to Her, he was possessed by her. It was a very moving and powerful moment. All the chanting stopped, everyone fell to their knees. He/She went around the room, delivering instructions and messages to the various members of the community. At one point, He/She stopped in front of me and gave me a long look. What I saw looking back at me was not my friend AT ALL.

    I will never forget that feeling.

    1. Absolutely. . . there is something different about not only the person possessed, but the whole electrical current in the room shifts to something quite potent! I am glad that you had the opportunity to witness such an extraordinary event!