I, personally, am possessed by a group of deities who belong to the pantheon of the indigenous people where I live (Guatemala). I was originally working with these deities in a more casual fashion, with regard to agriculture, when my spirit guides suggested that I invite them to possess me, and I did so (spirit guides are just that – guides. They have neither the power nor inclination to possess humans). These deities help me in various ways. They prop me up – help me accomplish things that I could not normally do by myself. For example, they taught me how to hold my attention fixed on a single feeling moment-to-moment, all day long, every day. At first they lent me their power, so in the beginning I found the exercise remarkably easy; then little-by-little they withdrew their power, which made the thing progressively harder and harder to do, but still doable, until I was able to do it by myself. This training was part of their teaching me how to drop the obsession of everyday life by breaking its fixation.
Another thing they’ve done on occasion is show me scenes from my past and future in my mind’s eye, but incredibly vivid and emotionally compelling, not unlike what the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future did to Ebenezer Scrooge. Sometimes they have altered my consciousness - like taking a psychedelic drug - to show me things.
Also, the frequency and intensity of omens and portents in my life seem to have jumped exponentially ever since these deities took over the controls. And they talk to me and tell me about all sorts of things, like agriculture, divination, healing, etc. They also have introduced me to some interesting people. They come to me in dreams and show me things. Actually, they’re a trip. But beyond the weird stuff, they’re also good friends. I trust them and feel comfortable in their presence; and they’re omnipresent.
The relationship between humans and spirits is symbiotic. Possessing humans gives spirits embodied agents in the physical world through whom the spirits can extend the range of their activities. Spirits cannot act directly upon the physical world;* all they can do by themselves is wait until a fortuitous juxtaposition of circumstances pops up, and then give things a little tangential shove this way or that. But they are not capable of acting in the world in a sustained, methodical fashion; for that they need human (or animal, or vegetable, or mineral) agents.
The dilemma for the aspirant is that the spiritual path requires calmness, gentleness, and humility; and spirit possession militates against the development of these qualities. On the other hand, the spiritual path also requires fierce determination and an unwavering sense of direction, which are really only available by means of some form of possession. A human guru tries to prevent his or her disciples from indulging in excesses by constantly kicking the legs out from under their self-importance (which is why e.g. Don Juan, Sri Yukteswar, Gurdjieff, etc. were so harsh and abusive to their disciples); but with spirit possession there are no such restraints. On the other hand, in this day and age there are very few true gurus out there, so the aspirant on the spiritual path has to make use of what tools are available.
Being possessed by a spirit is like packing a loaded pistol. Some people get a real charge out of having a gun in their hands, and it makes them act in all kinds of crazy and stupid ways. People like that are a real danger to themselves and to others. But there is such a thing as responsible gun handling; and there is such a thing as responsible spirit possession.
The widespread fear and condemnation of spirit possession in our society is complete hypocrisy, considering the sizable percentage of the population which is possessed. Just as up until very recently society made us feel ashamed of our sexuality, so too does society make us fear a perfectly ordinary and commonplace phenomenon such as spirit possession. It’s about time everyone came out of the closet and copped to what’s really going on.
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* Actually, here and there spirits can act on the so-called physical world; poltergeists are an example. But for the most part their interventions are hit-or-miss rather than deliberate and methodical. Spirits need humans to make connections for them in the physical world. This is the purpose of priesthood in all religions.
(excerpted from Magical Living, Copyright © 2001 by Bob Makransky. All rights reserved.)
More of Bob Makransky’s articles are posted at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MagicalAlmanac/files