Image: Caryn Drexl
It has been a while since I have written and even longer since it was a piece about Lessons in Magick; this topic has been on my mind for well over a month now and since movies about ‘demonic possession’ seem to be all over the airwaves due to the time of year, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to get this out.
The blog is going to be about Spiritual Possession vs. Spiritual Oppression but, before I get into what they are and how to tell if you have fallen victim to either, let me address one thing first.
The community seems to be divided when it comes to this topic and there are those who absolutely believe in Possession and Oppression, then there are those who think it is nothing more than religious scare tactics; I fall somewhere in between.
I think that we should always approach situations in life, both mundane and Magickal, with a logical mindset; when logic fails then we can begin to wander into the realm of the supernatural or outlandish possibilities.
It’s like some Witches stub their toe, lose their job, or get into one car accident and think it’s because another Witch has attacked them or some other dramatic scenario that involves an entity of their choosing who has a vendetta out to “get them”.
Sometimes bad shit just happens; I don’t believe in coincidence but I do believe in accidents and chance, both of which are entirely out of our control.
“Demonic possession” as the Church or Hollywood describes/promotes it is not common—although I do believe in Spiritual Possession because not only have I seen it, I almost was a victim of it; I don’t believe that a Possession happens on accident or regularly; the person either opened themselves up, Black Magick or some form of Malefica was performed, a haunted object was involved, haunted or active land, etc. Spiritual Possessions don’t “just happen”—it always connects to something bigger in the person’s life.
All I ask is that regardless of what side you stand on that you keep an open mind when reading this piece.
Spiritual Possession is the takeover of the mind and/or body by an outside force; an entirely separate entity from the host. The goal (in most cases) being complete takeover of the Soul and unconscious mind. The source of the Possession can come from many different places and contrary to popular belief, it is rarely demonic in nature.
Ancestral, Land, and Familiar Spirits are some common offenders.
Spiritual Oppression does not always involve a takeover of the mind and/or body; in many cases, it appears as “bad luck”, remaining stagnant in life (work, relationships, Spiritual path, etc), becoming accident prone, a quick onset of health issues with no cause, sleep paralysis, and Aura leaks to name a few. Unlike a Possession, a Spiritual Oppression is not always from an outside source and can be our Shadow Self, or even a fragmented piece of ourselves trying to get our attention.
Like Possessions, Oppressions can be caused by Ancestral or Familiar Spirits of whom we have, in one way or another displeased.
So, WHY do Possessions and Oppressions happen?
Well, as mentioned above it can be the very Spirits that we work with, either routinely or just once, and in some way, we have angered them, not paid our debts, didn’t follow through with our word, something of that nature.
Other Sources can be, bringing a haunted object into the home or coming in direct contact with a haunted object and an attachment/transfer occurs; Magick has been cast against you or Magick casted by you backfired; displeasing Land Spirits (this can be Elementals but also human Spirits who stake claim to a piece of property that we are inhabiting).
There are obviously plenty of other examples of why Possessions and Oppressions happen, this is an abbreviated list.
In cases where the Shadow Self is involved the events can become traumatic, even violent and the symptoms can manifest as anything from an intense flu to psychosis; when the Shadow wants to be heard, and seen, there is not much we can do to ignore it.
HOW do you know if you are a victim of a Possession or Oppression?
This is tricky to answer because there are *so many* manifestations but some that I have witnessed personally and never seen talked about are:
Lapses in Memory, or blackouts during the day that are accompanied by erratic behavior
Impulsive behavior and/or acting out of character
Vivid night terrors where you question what is real and what is not
A string of bad luck, negative energy and thoughts
Loss of people you love; arguments, fallouts, seclusion
Loss of desire to engage in activities you otherwise truly enjoy
Inability to connect with your Spirits or the other side
Inability to use your Divination tools
(Disclaimer: In the event of a drastic change in mental and/or physical health please seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Do not under any circumstance jump to the conclusion that something is supernatural in nature before you have ruled out the medical.)
It is necessary to take precautionary measures when dealing with the Occult and Magick; this does not mean that you fear what you work with or yourself, it means that you understand what it is that you are doing/calling upon.
Each Witch has our own way to practice, whether it is calling on guardian Spirits to stand watch, casting a circle of protection, or using crystals, talismans and other enchanted objects, protection should be our top priority. Awareness of Self should be second on our list; the better we know ourselves the more likely we are to realize when something isn’t right. And, trusting our tribe; this is important because the people closest to us will be the first ones to notice any change in behavior or strange happenings.
Nobody is above being a victim of Possession or Oppression so it is of the upmost importance that we are prepared to deal with anything that comes our way.
It is naïve to think we go through our Magickal life and personal Alchemical transformation with no scars or damage done; the wounds, pain, and demons are our greatest lessons, and teachers.