Image: Caryn Drexl
The community seems to be divided when it comes to the topic of spiritual oppression and possession; there are those who absolutely believe in possession and oppression, then there are those who think it is nothing more than religious scare tactics, or our own fear manifesting; 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 more outlandish possibilities.
Some Witch’s stub their toe, lose their job, or get into one car accident and think it’s because another Witch has attacked them or some dramatic scenario that involves an entity has a vendetta and is 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.
And, yes, sometimes a Spirit is pissed off and wreaking havoc; sometimes another Witch has hexed or cursed us; sometimes we curse ourselves.
A full blown spiritual possession as the Church or Hollywood describes it is not common.
I do believe in spiritual possession because not only have I seen it, I was a victim of it.
I don’t believe that a possession happens on accident or regularly; the person either opened themselves up, some form of Malefica was performed, a haunted object was involved, haunted or active land was disturbed etc.
Spiritual Possessions don’t “just happen”—it always connects to something bigger in the person’s life.
When bending the laws of nature to our will, and peaking beyond the veil we all risk ourselves to the negative affects of Magick.
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’s rarely demonic in nature.
Ancestral, Land, and Familiar Spirits are some common offenders.
Spiritual oppression does not usually involve a takeover of the mind and/or body; in many cases, it appears as a string of “bad luck”, stagnation or blockages 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, or didn’t follow through with our word.
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 cast by you backfired; displeasing Land Spirits (this can be Elementals but also human Spirits who stake claim to a piece of property that you 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 or connect to 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 you are doing and calling upon.
Each Witch has their 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.
Finally, 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’s of the upmost importance that we are prepared to deal with anything that comes our way.
It’s the definition of 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.