Drawing Down the Spirits, VI








The Future


Touching Gods



Public God-Possession




Touching Gods


p. 303 statements concerning the relationship between the deities and the material world

[by Oloris^a O.L.J.W. :] "I am initiated to Yemaya, and to the Egun. We [deities and mortals] take care of each other on a daily basis. ... I believe that the health of the unseen world is dependent on the seen world, and vice versa. [Deity-]Possession is one tool used to keep all creation functioning in a whole way."

[by spirit-worker S.M. :] "To me, divinity is an immanent force -- ourselves and and our world aren't separate from the gods, and the gods can't separate themselves from us. [Deity-]Possession illustrates this immanence very well; when they use our bodies, the gods

are in the world and of the world in a greater way.

{usually described as being "in the world, but not of it" (Shinto "IWBNOI", S.ufi "WhS.").}

Witnessing or experiencing [deity-]possession emphasizes this connection, and helps build faith."

"IWBNOI" = "In the World, But Not of It" http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/articles/NArtintheworld.asp#.Un4zIXBJOcc

"WhS." = "What's a S[.]ufi" https://web.archive.org/web/20080705082559/http://www.secondsufis.com/whatsuf.html quoted at http://askville.amazon.com/bible-verse-talks-world/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=4085552

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." (1st Epistole of Ioannes 2:15)

"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world" (LDS text of Euangelion according to Ioannes 17:11 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/17.11,14-17?lang=eng ).

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (Euangelion according to Ioannes 17:16)

p. 304 salutation

"Hail to all the Gods and spirits who bless us,

Hail to the Dead who came before us".

{Because every one of them is already redincarnated (repeatedly!) into another life, they may, however, all be very much offended by being thus designated as "dead"!}


Public God-Possession


p. 309 astonishment of bystanders upon witnessing deities speaking to them from within the bodies of possessees

Visitors "who did not understand the situation could be ... bewildered by someone [possessed by a deity] who suddenly walked into the crowd, perhaps dressed oddly, and began saying strange things to people ...; some deities would call people by names they hadn't been called by since high school, or say things that only that person knew, or just generally bring up strange feelings simply by being present. While this might be seen as "proof of deity" by some, ... those who didn't understand what was going on ... had no model of how to act in the presence of God/dess."

pp. 310-1 advent of European deities who had not been praesent to worshippers in hundreds or more of years

p. 310

"First, these were European deities who had not been able to appear in this way to the people in hundreds or even thousands of years. They wanted this outlet again, ... to be able to appear to the masses in forms that could speak and communicate, for the sake of those who could not hear them in any other way. {Here, "in any other way" could include in dreams, or (even while waking) in praeternatural spirit-voices.} However, they did not want to be disrespected. They had particular things that they wanted to wear, eat, and hold, and they wanted to be treated in specific ways. ... Our [pagan European] gods ... tend to expect what they would have been offered thousands of of years ago, and it takes some careful and respectful negotiating to explain the new circumstances. This means that we pray, at lot, and ... assure them that within these limits, we will do everything we can to please them. ... The first limit is that they have to warn us that they are coming, and allow us to schedule them in. This gives us time to research what that deity likes and have it ready ... . ...

p. 311

We ask them what they might like that we might have forgotten or not known about, which sometimes leads to shopping trips with the {possesee} being "shadowed" by the deity, a situation that that their [the deities'] presence rising in the back of the {possessee}'s head but not in any sort of control of the body."

pp. 311-2 praeplanned programs for deity-possession performances

p. 311

"Generally, we will make up programs for the ritual, containing not only the time when each thing happens, but also some basic information about what we'll be doing, who is coming, what the god is like, how they [the deities] should be treated, and how one [mortal participant or spectator] is expected to behave. ... We are careful in how we word the program ... .

One example of careful wording might be : "Some subjects ... have requested a ritual in honor of the (origin, type, and name of deity) on ... night. During this ritual, one of our folk will be connecting with the essential energy of this god(dess). While s/he is channeling (deity), s/he {actually, the deity in person} may choose to interact with participants and bystanders ... . Please be courteous of this ...; consider it a blessing of good fortune to nbe singled out. ... If you wish [without having been so singled out] to approach the God(dess), ask the staff and they will arrange it. ..."

Setting up for the ritual includes ... some kind of appropriately decorated throne, draped in the god/dess's colors, with a table on each side. One table is decorated as an elaborate altar, with space in front for people to leave offerings. The other table bears whatever food or drink is to be offered to the deity through the {possessee}, and anything else that

p. 312

they [deity-and-possessee] might want to use ... .

Some deities use their throne-space as a place to accept audiences, and

when they wander among the crowd they want to be unbothered;

others seem to prefer that their throne-space is {be} a sanctuary undefiled by any save a servant or two, from which they can look over the festivities, and

when they want to speak to people they will come down.

We generally ask them beforehand which is which, and we usually get that information intuitively while setting up the space and the altar.

Another policy is that when the deity gets up and moves around, the entire staff moves with them [deity-and-possessee] ... . The space is permeable -- if the deity wishes it, people can approach them [deity-and-possessee] -- but we make sure that they [deity-and-possessee] are never crowded ..., unless they make known to us that this is what we want ... . ... This staff provides a buffer between the onlookers and the deity, and also makes sure that everyone gets what they want ..., gods and humans alike."

p. 313 multiple instances of the same deity praesent at the same caerimony simultaneously

In "Afro-Caribbean faiths {and, indeed, in African deity-possession cults themselves} ... a single god might take over the "heads" of several people present, including unwitting bystanders.

{This collective (multiple) single-deity-possession result is very easily feasible, simply because any one deity name-and-identity is actually the name-and-identity of numerous immortal individuals who are members of the same divine commune and of the same divine gendre.}

Those faiths gennerally have a context and structure that allows for this; we don't."

{The context would be an outlook of communistic sharing of name-and-identity; the structure would be genuine communism.}

{Lack of communistic sharing of name-and-identity amongst invited deities, and lack of dedication to genuine theokratic communism, is such a major defect of the authors' theology and religious establishment as to effectively invalidate virtually everything that they do or propose. No wonder that both of them were required by the highly-annoyed deities whom they invoke (for their deity-possession) to amputate their own genitalia (which they foolishly complied with, not realizing that such a requirement by the deities was merely the deities' sarcastic way of indicating that those deities were highly-disgusted at authors' lack of revolutionary communist orientation). [written Nov 11, 2013]}

pp. 313-4 how a potential possessee can praepare for partifcipation in a public deity-possession caerimony

p. 313

"Pray to the deity who[m] you will be {possessed by}, and ask what they {he or she} want. ... Make a connection with that deity; ask if there are certain ways that you should be treating your body in order to make it a better physical vessel. Some gods might want purification rituals,

p. 314

others dietary restrictions, still others various taboos. These restrictions can actually help ... the deity to come in, and they also work to jolt the {possessee} back into their body when when they {possessees} are broken or discarded after {being deity-possessed}. ... On the day of the ritual, the {possessee}'s job is to do ... utiseta {/u`ti-seta/ 'out-sitting' (referred to in Vo,luspa` 28), an all-night vision-quaest vigil on a grave-mound or in a cemetery or at a crossroad of corpse-roads where ghosts gather (FM&SR, pp. 33-4 -- "V28U"); "US"} or prayer or chanting."

FM&SR = Paul Devereux : Fairy Paths and Spirit Roads. Vega/Chrysalis Bks Grp, London, 2003.

"VS--V28U" = "Voluspa Studies -- Voluspa 28 : Utsetia" http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/voluspa_studies/conversations/topics/404 "message history"

"US" = "Uti Seta" http://home.earthlink.net/~jordsvin/Seidhr/Uti%20Seta.htm

p. 315 hairdressing of potential possessee prior to being possessed by deity

"for a female {intended possessee} who was {intended to by possessed by} a love goddess, the prep team gave her a ritual bath in perfumed water. They anointed her body with scented oil, dressed her, had ... her hair ... arranged, and touched her gently and respectfully in specific ways.

For a male {intended possessee} who was opening to an Egyptian god, we braided his hair into many small braids, and attached beads of specific colors to each one, singing and chanting while it was done."

p. 316 care of divinely consecrated vestments

"Sacred costumes -- special clothing that is worn only when {possessed by} a deity -- can take on the vibrations of that god/dess, to the point that some pieces should not be handled by any {potential possessee} who could theoretically {be possessed by} that god/dess, or it {inopportune deity-possession} might start happening inadvertently. ... If the prep team contains other {potential possessees}, no {potential possessee} that has been {possessed} by that deity should touch the ritual costume unless they have already spoken to that deity and cleared that they will not be the vessel [of deity-possession] tonight."

pp. 316-7 praecautions in process of emergence of deity-possessed mortal's own personality at the conclusion of deity-possession episode

p. 316

"[Possessees] often feel disoriented and claustrophobic after coming out of a [deity-possession episode]; their soul has been squeezed down into a tiny space to make room for something much larger, and even the crowding of someone leaning ... into their personal space can make them want to scream and run. The team should stand at a short distance, out of their aura (which may be a bit overexpanded to compensate) with everything that they might need at hand and in view. Unless they ask for it, do not touch the horse. ... Some horses have been known to bolt and run when touched during the ... after-stage.

Experienced {possessees} who are dealing with deities they've {been possessed by}

p. 317

before will usually come out of the blurry phase quickly. In some cases, {emergent-from-deity-possession} people can be nonverbal for a while ...; having a loose ring of people quietly holding food, water, and blankets in view can help, as they only need gesture to get something. Most {emergers-from-deity-possession} ... want water fairly immediately. ... They may want to get to the bathroom; the presence of a deity can put off bodily urges for a long time."

p. 318 sexual interaction of deity (possessing a possessee) with unpossessed servant

"A deity who is known to occasionally request sexual attentions should not be sent a page {attendant, servant} of the gender that god/dess is known to choose as a sexual partner unless they [possessee and attendant] are comfortable with that, because there is a chance that it [sexual demand] might arise."

{A possessee is (even while merely being "shadowed" by that deity) religiously obliged to undergo whatever sexual activity the deity may care to impose. Not to be "comfortable" with such obligations would be an impious rebellion against the deity, and certainly ought to be proscribed and prohibited, and (if it were ever to occur) to be punished by expulsion from membership and from participation any group-activities.}

{The authors of this book are too tolerant of disobedience (to deities) on the part of possessees and of atttendants. It is better to expell all such disobedient mortals, so as to have as membres only true devotees; such expulsion would far better please deities in general, and would tend to attract the more powerful deities, who are more capable of accomplishing radical-revolutionary socio-politico-oikonomic objectives. [written Nov 11, 2013]}

pp. 318-9 regulation by a steward of access by audience-persons to conversation with a deity who is in occupation of a possessee; sending staff-persons peremptorily to fetch objects

p. 318

"The stewart holds the boundary between the deity's area and the audience. ... We've generally found that the deity lets the stewart know who[m] they {he or she} want to approach them {him or her} by making eye contact; if the deity is looking in the direction of the individuaol who has approached the stewart, that usually means that they {he or she} should be sent through for an audience. ...

p. 319

If the deity rises and moves, the stewart moves with them {him or her}, circling ... at a distance".

"If ... the deity requests something that is not present, but that could be fetched ..., ... the stewart calls over a staff person and sends them {him or her} for the item".

pp. 319-20 functions of the high-priest/ess in a public ritual

p. 319

"The HP ... is the one who actually runs the ritual. ...

p. 320

A good HP should ... be flexible enough to bend the ritual if the deity suddenly decides to make changes ... . ... A well-trained HP will be able to adapt to changing circumstances gracefully ... . They {HPs} also need to be able to project the right kind of reverential attitude ... . That might be reverent-enthusiastic, or reverent-solemn, or reverent-intense, depending on the nature of the deity."

p. 320 shills

"Shills are a great thing, and we suggest that you have at least one of them in the audience at all times."

p. 321 music for deity-possession

"There is some evidence ... that at least some ancient European cultures had ... divine rhythms ... . ... we are fairly confident that future spirit-drummers will rediscover them through interactions with those gods".

{It is at least as likely that archaic European deity-possession was accompanied by flute-music, as it is traditionally in Omoto spirit-possession.}


Kenaz Filan & Raven Kaldera : Drawing Down the Spirits : the Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession. Destiny Bks, Rochester (VT), 2009.