Tag: depossession

Samhain Spectres – Saturn’s Gift

Saturn by George PenczFour years ago in celebration of The Dead Time I began sharing some of my more creepy experiences of the wyrd. Sooner or later most people experience phenomena they can’t explain, or that occurs outside the bounds of their belief system. What it is and what it means is open to interpretation, and most certainly is in the eye of the boo-holder. Bless the darkness, hold the light.

This story is a fairly sad one for me, though it gives great insight into the kinds of things shamans encounter, and how they deal with them. It also speaks to the myriad sources of support along our paths. You don’t have to know about Saturn–the god or the planet to get the gist of the story, though if you do you will better discern its gifts. Saturn’s Gift.

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” my collection of true paranormal experiences as a lifelong intuitive.

Healing the PTSD of Paranormal Probing

This week’s inquiry is a comment from my last article Paranormal Investigating – Troubleshooting the Middle World. “Kelley, you said “Should you find residuals from the encounter with these spirits – things like paranoia, troublesome thought or behavior patterns that disrupt your daily life – these are indications that your PTSD switch for paranormal experiences has been flipped on and you should seek help in turning it off.” I dabbled stupidly with the Ouija board as a kid and other things before I realized the seriousness of it. Now, decades later it seems that something may have remained. How can I turn it off? Thanks, Carolyn.”

Thanks for reading and contributing, Carolyn. The absolute best thing to do if you feel PTSD or anything unfinished from these experiences is to find a shaman to help you. I can do this work remotely, but if you let me know your location perhaps I can connect you with someone with whom you can work in person if that is preferred.

Traumatic experience with the paranormal could be as benign as the shock of being told information you weren’t prepared to know or that no one else could know. It could be as jarring as seeing objects move, hearing voices, seeing visitors… Fright can even come days later in some signal, synchronicity, or dream pointing back to the spirit interaction. The definition of ‘trauma’ varies person-to-person. The point is you know you’ve been traumatized if you can’t step out of the fear stemming from the original interaction.

Generally speaking, there are three layers to the aftermath of such spirit interactions. First is turning off the switch, which I call rebalancing your etheric field. Second is removing any errant life force that may be clinging to yours. Third is healing focused on balancing the energy shifts from all of the above.

There is no shortcut to finding the place in your etheric field that is vulnerable to the trauma and rebalancing it. Where it’s located is unique to the individual and the experience. If you are adept at working with the etheric field you can do this yourself, though I would still recommend allowing someone else to do it. The life impact of this kind of imbalance bears being thorough. There are many ways to balance the etheric field, all of which require some knowledge of life force and how to move it.  At this stage, the original trauma is healed, as are emotions that came with it.

Removing unnecessary energies attached to yours is called by many names depending on culture and circumstance—depossession, extraction, releasement. The state of having unneeded life force attached to yours is not good or bad. It’s not light or dark. There are no such judgments in shamanic work. What exists is a state in which you are not functioning at your desired ability and benevolent work can be done to re-establish balance.

Like attracts like. When you experience something that puts you into a panicked, anxious, or terrified state, you attract energy of that same state. Psychological models call this PTSD, or being “shell-shocked.” Spiritually speaking PTSD is recognized when you attract people who express the same feelings, situations reinforcing those feelings, or spirits/energies of similar trauma. You think the distress and building panic are yours, when in reality like attraction is merely exacerbating it. This scenario constitutes a spiritual emergency. Until you direct healing to the trigger for the trauma the anxiety and panic keep playing out and/or attracting more of the same. This is the spiritual truth of any trauma, not just those of paranormal origin.

After balancing the etheric field to restore calmness and removing unnecessary life force, healing is directed to all levels of your being, to help changes from the etheric and spiritual work to gently ground.

How About Demons? by Dr. Felicitas Goodman

How About Demons? by Dr. Felicitas Goodman

That’s it, in a not-so-brief nutshell. If you want to understand “the switch”–what it is, how it functions, and how the spiritual technology of managing it crosses cultures and time, the definitive work in my opinion is How About Demons? by Felicitas D. Goodman.

Be well, Carolyn.

The Dead Time Dawns – Saturn’s Gift

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of encroaching darkness. The light will return soon enough.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The first time I shared this story was last Samhain. It marks one of the most challenging experiences I’ve had as an intuitive, and certainly one of the saddest times in my life. I do think it a very classic modern glimpse of what I call the tribeless modern mystic, as only a gift from an ancient God can be–Saturn’s Gift.

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Read more spooky stories in “Real Wyrd – A Modern Shaman’s Roots in the Middle World,” true paranormal experiences of a lifelong intuitive.

Conductor of Souls

I’ve been asked about the word ‘psychopomp’ several times lately, and it was suggested that a bit of explaining might do. Psychopomp is Greek for ‘conductor of souls,’ or someone whose role is to peacefully lead the departed to their next experience. Traditionally shamans are psychopomps, or deathwalkers, as others refer to them. In that context, there is a good bit more involved than escorting the dead onward and upward. In my childhood were several ongoing experiences that convinced me I was having a different go of things than most, and seeing dead people was one of them. It wasn’t until my late teens that I put the pieces together and understood that I was a natural deathwalker.

In order to be effective as a psychopomp, one has to possess reasonable skills in counseling, nurturing, protection, good boundaries, as well as the obvious ability to move between realms and know to where souls should be directed when they move on. My innate skills lay in seeing souls, but that was about it. I first had to learn not to be afraid of them, as often they were frightening and gruesome, in order to understand why they were coming to me. I gained initial insight into that dynamic on my own, then later learned specific techniques to help them transition. There are many ways to accomplish that purpose, some as simple as opening space and ‘pushing them’ up, or literally escorting them through in an ecstatic trance state. Others that I’ve found useful involve Middle World journeys to release them (solo energies and group), and a group Brazilian mediumistic technique called mesa blanca, which focuses on the release of suffering spirits.
Ultimately the goal is for the souls to move to their next experience of themselves peacefully. Life force isn’t created to be stagnant. It is progressive, evolving energy that needs to maintain challenging experiences to raise its consciousness. Stuck in place, that elevation of awareness can’t happen, and that’s when problems begin. Sometimes releasing life force goes more smoothly than others. Often souls who are invested in the chaos they create in the formed world are less likely to move on, and encouraging them to do so requires skill in counsel, negotiation, and protection. In many cases, the dead don’t realize they are dead, and that reality can be very upsetting to them. Again, finesse is required. On rarer occasions, they just refuse to move on, and this requires a mutual respect. As with the living, we can only be where we are; we can’t force ourselves or anyone else to be where they are not.
A caveat to releasing the dead is, sometimes the spirits in this realm aren’t of the deceased. There are different schools of thought on this scenario, of which I find souls that were never in form require a different approach to address their needs and release them. These usually are energies that have languished for centuries, or longer, if not are elementals and collective buildup resulting from the planet’s etheric grid being congested. Places, structure become entities separate from the people who dwell in them, and sometimes need to be cleared. Nature spirits sometimes need to be appeased and released. Sometimes people become attached to spirits or loved ones, and in the process of depossesion that spirit needs help moving on. The scenarios of psychopomp work are unique and possibly infinite.
It is our nature to keep moving, progressing. When any facet of our diverse souls doesn’t grow, All Things staggers under the weight of that stagnation. My approach to facilitating that has been to teach classes on how to die, as with all things, education goes a long way. In that way, education itself acts as a soul conductor. And in learning how to die, most of us truly begin to live.

Saturn’s Gift

Real Wyrd - A Modern Shaman's Roots in the Middle World by S. Kelley Harrell

Every year for Samhain I publish accounts of my more charged, and in some cases creepy, spiritual pursuits. The Dead Time is a treasured journey to Solstice, and as it is a time of untime, the shadowed season presents a great opportunity to tell the stories that many who do shamanic work won’t tell–the occasions when things don’t go well or the unseen presents itself unexpectedly. You may recognize some of these accounts from my previous stories, while others are more recent. Enjoy the solitude of the darkness, and know the light will soon warm!

Saturn. The name of the Roman god elicits shudders from historians and astrology enthusiasts, alike. The wielder of justice, the task master, the great leveler of the playing field. Saturn, the planet, is no less all business. With the intention of forcing you to face what you have not, this stellar body moves into a new sign about every three years. Practically speaking, this means that it occupies the exact location in the natal chart once roughly every 28-30 years. Saturn Returns, as such are known, are surrounded by much hype largely because they bring three years of intense personal clearing and transition. Considered a cosmic vice that will bear down on what you have not prior been able to release or move, rumor was that after all the intense purging managed by Saturn, the impartial judge would leave his tenderized charge a gift. Little did I know how hard I would work for that gift, or what that gift would be.

For me the fun began in March of 2001, with a car accident that left me in extreme pain for about three years and health conditions to manage ever after. The first year after I had intense kundalini explosions commonly referred to as a spiritual emergency (when the soul evolves more intensely than the psyche can manage). That was the conclusion of my first Saturn Return. Next came Saturn taking up station in my sun sign, which is not a common synchronous event. Where most people have the approximate three years’ liaison with Saturn, I had six. It was a profitable time during which I wrote and published Gift of the Dreamtime, inadvertently bringing me a great deal of healing. Willing to accept that as my gift at the close of my Return, I elected to follow Saturn’s lead for the next three years.

In July of 2005 I was staying alone in a hotel when I became aware of a presence in the room. I had already cleared the room, as hotels usually require such, and I was surprised to find a spirit there. When I closed my eyes I saw a spiritual manifestation of my grandfather. He told me that he was leaving and that he wouldn’t be back in this realm in form again. It was a peaceful interaction, though I carried no particular sadness at his announced departure. In my childhood he had sexually assaulted me on numerous occasions, the healing of which was thoroughly brought through in my Saturn Return. The next day, the day that Saturn left my birth sign in 2005, my grandfather died.

Despite the fact that I wasn’t close to him in any loving sense the news hit me fiercely, literally leaving me dizzy and needing to sit. My life force changed on the spot, some primordial thread passed from him, to my father, to me. In my lack of grief I felt oddly raw for a long while after, in a way that I couldn’t articulate. I felt as though I was exposed energetically and couldn’t regain grounding or protection. Aware of this lack, I focused on connecting with my spiritual allies and left the situation in their hands.

During this time one of my cats, Phoenix, began to act strange. He had made clear to me early in our fifteen-year relationship that he was my familiar. I had asked him what that meant, exactly, and he said, “I’m your companion.”

“What does a companion do?” I asked.

“Keep you company,” he replied. I didn’t ask him anymore questions. In that timeframe after my grandfather’s death I frequently found Phoenix talking with a presence in the guest bathroom. He always sat facing a particular spot, staring at it and caterwauling deep conversation. If I interrupted he would glare at me until I backed from the room, then he would continue talking. I didn’t know what was happening but it was clear to me that Phoenix wasn’t alone. As Phoenix was unfazed, excellent energy judges that cats are, I left him to it. My sense of the dynamic was that Phoenix was orchestrating something and I was not part of it.

By February of that year we began finding blood in the house–huge crimson sprays on the walls and carpet about 6-8 inches in diameter. At the time we had two cats and a dog, all of whom presented perfect health. Two months later, Phoenix began to show signs of vestibular imbalance, and I was at last with him during a projectile nosebleed. Mystery solved, this condition followed a pattern of him being immobile for days, then he would bounce back to light, life and playful kittiness. Evident to us was that his body was under extreme duress, though his veterinarian found no cause for or proof of his symptoms. I felt keen dismay at his odd decline. Having facilitated the deaths of several animal friends, upon talking with Phoenix I expected him to advise me of his life plans and what role I might play in them. To my surprise, he told me to do nothing. He told me that he was finishing work on another plane and that he would tell me when it had been completed. Clear to me was the fact that if I did facilitate his death to alleviate my grief it would be against his wishes.

Saturn by George Pencz

Saturn by George Pencz

The pattern of gruesome explosions continued, along with Phoenix’ chipper little personality telling me to hold the space for him to complete his work. He began to talk to his friend even more. The presence in the house became overbearing and by this point in my grief, my ability to fend off unwanted spiritual influences was almost nonexistent. Phoenix had stopped sleeping at night and was talking nonstop. He still ate well, groomed, and kept to his usual routine of napping in the yard and his favorite sunny spots about the house. Frequently I asked him, to his annoyance, if he was ready to die. He told me repeatedly that he was not and that I was, with no ambiguity, not to euthanize him unless or until he specifically told me to. He told me that he had work to complete here that would be more beneficial to do while he was still in form, and that if I euthanized him before that point it would complicate his process radically. Sadly, I left that governance to him and listened closely.

All the while that we had been supporting Phoenix other strange things began to happen in the house. Our dog began to exhibit vestibular imbalance, and lights began to flicker randomly throughout. I noticed changes in my own health. Within the space of about two weeks my hearing degraded significantly and I suddenly manifest problems reading. It was as if I had rapidly become dyslexic, only it wasn’t just that letters and words inverted on a page. I began seeing symbols that I didn’t recognize suffused with blank spaces mid-sentence. I felt that something major was going on etherically, a very profound shift of wiring, so to speak. I consulted the neurologist I had seen after the car-crash. Brain scans came back clean and the neurologist insisted that I had always been dyslexic and didn’t realize it.

One morning that August, Phoenix began crying in the wee hours. I gathered him around 3am and we lay on the couch. About an hour later I was awakened by a bright flash that settled into a horizontal sheet of white light cloaking the room. I sat up and observed that I could see above and below the hovering blanket of light. Phoenix began crying in my arms while the dog and other cat became agitated and left the room. Again there was a blinding flash and one of the computer monitors turned on. Instantly after that the four computers in the room simultaneously turned off. The room was deadly silent in the absence of the technohum, and I felt a masculine presence in the room. It hit me then that Phoenix had been buffering this energy and that his ability to continue buffering it was declining. Initially, I was very startled. Then, as is common for me when entities create physical intrusions, I became angry. I approached the monitor and saw that despite the fact that the desktop was displayed, none of the computers were on. I switched the monitor off and was livid.

Realizing that I was too emotionally involved with the situation to affect it I called on a colleague to help. Right off the bat she isolated that my grandfather was clinging to me and was manipulating my lower chakras. She didn’t know anything about my past with him, and I was genuinely surprised to hear her assessment. She went on to say that he was intentionally interfering with my sleep cycle to disrupt my usual healing work in my dreamstate, and that he was specifically dumping his karma on me to avoid having to do the work himself. My many spiritual interactions with him had always been very peaceful, very compassionate. I was genuinely taken aback to learn that not only had he not transitioned thoroughly, particularly after his visit to me the night before he died, but that he was lingering to cause me more harm. When I told my friend this she informed me that the aspect of him clinging to me now was not the higher, balanced being I’d seen so many times and the night before his death; rather, it was the earthly consciousness that was deeply troubled and still perpetuating abusive patterns.

Properly armed, I came home and thanked Phoenix for his work and cleared the house. I closed those of my grandather’s chakras that had remained partially functional after his demise. Three days of persistent entity release rituals transpired before I felt this suffering aspect of his consciousness completely transition. When it did I told Phoenix that he could relax and that he no longer had to do the work alone. His relief was evident, but he told me that his work was still not complete.

DSCF0610On 21 November I was admitted to the hospital with appendicitis. While I was waiting for surgery Phoenix came to me and told me that he was ready to move on. I lamented that I couldn’t help him and he assured me that there was no rush. He just wanted me to know he was finished. On 10 December 2006 we went to the vet with Phoenix, though we came home without him. His deathwalk was very difficult for me, yet it became clear in that procession that Phoenix had released me from very old, harmful misogynistic life threads. I also felt that he was paving an opening for radical etheric change in my life and in his own destiny. At that point I realized in our time together just how much Phoenix had contributed to grounding my life force. Physical evidence of that etheric transition came in March of 2007, when after having further health concerns I went to a new neurologist. In the brain scans that she did scarring was present, indicators of a series of minor strokes that left several physical markers, countless unseen ones.

What, then, did Saturn gift me? A deep and lasting release from limiting patterns. It may not be as exciting as a science toy, but it felt really great nonetheless. A budding insight into the vast . A budding insight into the vast and incomprehensible nature of consciousness. An opportunity to work through lingering anger toward my grandfather. An understanding that part of grief is the changing etheric field. An appreciation for the physical manifestation of widening awareness. More than any of those Saturn left me thankful for unconditional love and soulful support most evident in a truth of Wise Women lore that says when her familiar leaves Woman steps into her true power.

What is a Shaman? What Can a Shaman Do for Me?

I’ve observed that the Universe seems to send out memos on topics, as I will go ages without an inquiry about a particular theme then receive several at once. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve encountered people curious about shamanism. On the whole people do not stumble into shamanism, whether that is feeling led to study it or to receive shamanic healing. Even in the world of energy work and holistic medicine shamanism still seems to elude many. In hopes of addressing this spiritual curiosity I am reworking a hand out I give to new clients, information that is also on my website. That information is: What is a shaman? What can a shaman do for me?

There are all kinds of academic, even poetic explanations of what shamans are and what they do. In fact, a very detailed FAQ on shamanism can be found at various locations on the web. Detail or no, the questions from most people are, “What is a shaman? What can a shaman do for me?”

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

Siberian Shaman, Lake Baikal

A shaman can help you heal whatever you are open to healing. Shamans are intermediaries with the spirit world, not just links to the spirits but explorers of the spirit realm, itself. “Aren’t we all?” you ask. Yes, we all have the potential to be, though not all of us readily know how. We are not all active participants in the worlds within and around us, though we all have the ability to be.

Shamanism is not a religion; rather, it is a perspective entailing that everything is alive. A base shamanic view holds that everything, everything has a soul, and is connected to every creature and energy. Through that connection we are able to travel out of our bodies beyond our egos to communicate with souls of the dead, ourselves and other humans; plants, animals, Earth, the elements; even “higher” spirits, such as guides, helpers, our own High Selves, and our Higher Power. How shamans accomplish this act is perhaps most telling, and most individual.

There are some basic tenets of shamanism that pervade ancient, indigenous cultures, and neoshamanic practice such as we all have animal guides and spirit guides; the concept of soul retrieval; extracting an illness or entity from the body for physical, emotional, mental or spiritual healing; psychopomp work, or death walking–guiding the dead to Spirit; and divination. Beyond the basic functions a shaman performs the similarities across cultures largely stop there. Shamanic cultures are diverse, as every cultural history records a social role of a person performing some facet of the role of shaman. Called medicine men, wise women, skywalkers, nagual, and many more titles and roles, today the purpose of the shaman is no different. Neoshamanic work draws on these same primary tenets creating many outlets for learning indigenous and contemporary shamanic practices for daily life.

Given the range of techniques shamans use, it’s important to understand how these skills apply to everyday life. In the most broad perspective, shamans promote healing. Opening communication with the spirit realm can open you to your own healing ability, body, mind, soul, and emotion. Bear in mind that no shaman, doctor, surgery, or medication can heal you. You heal yourself. You make the conscious decision to allow whatever healing modality you receive to actually heal you. Healing is your personal agreement between yourself and Spirit. Know that when you interact in the journey state, which is the theta brain wave level of deep cognizant deep dreaming, you are in the space to directly access yourself at the central levels of being. You can reshape your physical and spiritual DNA, taking command of the creative ability with which Spirit blessed you. With shamanic healing you are an active participant in your wellbeing. Through understanding your ability to co-create your own life with Spirit, you not only improve your own quality of life, but that of All Life.



What a shaman can do for you depends on your reasons for seeking one. Perhaps you have a chronic illness that doesn’t seem to abate. Perhaps you are depressed, or want to be rid of a disruptive pattern, relationship, belief, or habit in your life. Perhaps you feel you have unlimited potential, but can’t seem to manifest it into what you need in your life. Perhaps you just want to find meaning in your life, or want insight into your own abilities. Maybe you want to meet your spirit guides. The reunion with your guides can help in each of those things, as well as the reunion with your High Self. Remembering these relationships allows you to reconnect to Spirit, empowering you, and giving you intimate knowledge of your own strengths, abilities, and love. You will never feel alone again once you have remembered your spiritual allies.

Additional work could also help, such as a soul retrieval, in which spirit aspects that left due to trauma are returned and integrated, allowed to heal and age to your current maturity. In some cases soul aspects aren’t returned to the Earth consciousness but move on to Spirit. The effects of this technique usually include ending the pattern of chronic illness, depression, or other pattern that you have become locked into. In some cases, memories are returned, and certainly abilities that you may have missed as you have aged.

Another way to specifically address patterns, thoughts, or habits that have become harmful, such as addiction, obsessive behaviour, a disruptive relationship dynamic, or even chronic illness is life regression and progression. Often seeing the origin of these patterns helps one to clear them, as well as talking with a future self to see the healing as it has manifest and carried through one’s life.

In some cases, an extraction of an intruding entity is needed to release a pattern or offending condition. Some refer to this as depossession or exorcism, though it is rarely theatrical as it is depicted in fiction. It is, however, quite profound. In the most base terms such interferences are merely energy that is no longer functional in its current place. Symptoms of this may be physical issues, radical shifts in mood or temperament, an imbalance of power in a relationship. When the energy is removed and health flow to the etheric form restored the flow balance on all levels can be better maintained.

DIY Totemism

DIY Totemism

Another way to bring about balanced flow in your life force is a technique called “dismemberment”. In this technique, your animal guide is asked to do the dismemberment, and allowed to completely destroy your physical body. The animal may “re-member” you immediately after, or it may recommend that you take time in this re-membering. The end result is your body fully re-membered, without the affliction. It is new.

These are just a few of the techniques shamans use, and only a vague description of the reasons that you may feel led to a shaman. Wildspeak is a great resource of articles on shamanism, animism and a quite extensive animal totem dictionary. As well, for insight into working with helping spirits, Lupa’s DIY Totemism: Your Personal Guide to Animal Totems is brilliant.

Gift of the Dreamtime

Gift of the Dreamtime

My book, Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma gives a thorough presentation of shamanic healing in a useable modern context and may be very helpful in determining if shamanic work is appropriate for you.

I wish you deep healing and prolific power!

Suffering Spirits

Question: Dear Kelley, My question is more general.  Is there really such thing as spirit possession?  Does it really happen the way I read about and see on tv?  I’m very curious since it’s become a “trendy”ailment.
Curious, Linda.

Thanks for your question, Linda.  Initially, we all take on other energies around us all the time.  How they affect us is what is significant.  We’ve all experienced being in a great mood then walking into a space that is subdued and typically we notice that our demeanor changes to reflect that heaviness.  This is a base example of taking on an energy that is not our own. From a more personal standpoint, perhaps there is one person in particular that always brings out mischief side, or inversely has a calming effect.  Again, these are examples of being influenced at an energetic level by surroundings.  We can be influenced in an enriching way, or in a manner that makes us feel fearful or sad.  It’s those draining energetic experiences that leave us feeling off kilter, requiring more attention either from ourselves or from someone who can help us feel centered again.  A contemporary term for someone who tends to bring the mood down consistently is “pranic vampire.” In other words, this person is considered a life force stealer.  While this type of intrusion is annoying it rarely affects the overall ability to function well in life.  It’s when energetic interferences do affect the ability to function well that it’s fitting to consider removing those attachments.

The shamanic perspective on such attachments, as they are commonly called, is the condition that arises when an imbalance of energy has occurred.  The attachment may be perceived as a spirit, an object, or an impressionistic block in the life force.  When energy in one place ceases to be effective it is considered a parasite to the whole and it needs to be encouraged to move on to a place where it and its host can again be functional.  The process of removing an attachment is called extraction.  There are many techniques of extraction, the basis of which is facilitating the unneeded life force away from the host so that balance for both can be restored.  Situations that leave one vulnerable to attachments are traumas (physical, emotional, spiritual or mental), surgery, the death of a loved one, illness, substance abuse…  Basically any event creating an energetic vulnerability can create an opening into which attachments occur.  Symptoms of having an attachment may be recurring illness and fatigue, injuries that don’t heal, relationships or facets of life that don’t improve with attention.  Again, attachments can disturb one’s quality of life, but they are viewed as hitchhikers to the host.  They do not seek to overcome the host.  In fact, an attachment may not have a sentient recognition that it is in someone else’s life force.  Given these two descriptions of displaced energy, naturally most people have experienced or are experiencing some level of attachment to a degree.

When an energetic intrusion actually takes over the function of the host body, altering the personality and causing harm to the host and others, this is considered spirit possession.  Most often when spirit possession has occurred external indications of the presence of an unsettled spirit occur, such as seeing and hearing spirits, objects moving.  These sorts of phenomena are typically observed by others, not just the host.  In this light, true spirit possession is rare.  The reasons for it are diverse.  It may occur because a soul has not moved on and doesn’t want to; thus, it is stuck in this realm.  Sometimes a harmful relationship in life carries over into a harmful relationship in death.  As well, it can be that the beings that enter the life force of others were never in form and seek to be by aggressive proxy.  Symptoms of spirit possession may include feeling “haunted”, radical mood swings, addictive behaviour, abrupt personality changes, acute insomnia, hearing voices…  In indigenous and modern cultures spirit possession is often linked to conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolarism.  There are many approaches to removing such spirits, ranging from the Catholic Rituale Romanum to the Jewish Ba’al Shem Tov, and the extraction technique.  While they all tend to bring balance to the host’s life, they don’t all necessarily address the removed energy with the same compassion.

An interesting note about possession is that it rarely occurs by entities outside one’s own world view.  That is, generally speaking, Buddhists don’t become possessed by an angered Yoruba spirit.  People who experience spirit possession display the worst facets of their own belief system.  Contemporary depictions of possession lead us to believe that one can be energetically overtaken by any errant spirit just walking down any random street.  Maybe.  That’s not what is typically observed by practitioners of spirit releasement work.  The phenomenon is very culturally specific in how it manifests. In this light the concept of possession widens, viewing it as a state in which the host is locked into an ecstatic trance (a charged spiritual space) and cannot shift out of it voluntarily. We are certainly seeing more mental healthcare givers opening their practices to the observation that such spiritual afflictions occur, which may be why the concept of possession and the relief of it are more widely known.

Any life force can become imbalanced to the degree that attention is needed–be that in an animal, a plant, an object, or a person.  In some part the importance of learning about the death process and including that information in one’s personal life view can help souls, us, when we die, so that we do not get stuck and suffer.  Likewise, in the comfort of knowing how to die, we would likely live more happily.

Be well, Linda!