I’m just going to say my bit here and go back to being quiet for a while.
There sure is a lot of talk of possession here. My questions are: possession by who, and more importantly, for what reason?
I was never introduced to (insert deity names here), and don’t know them. They weren’t part of what I learned, so I have no idea if they would like me – or if I would like them.
I hope my questioning of what seems to be a very common practice in some of the Bloodrose-related traditions is not blasphemous or shocking, but I have trouble believing that I am the only person on this list who has very serious questions about letting disembodied beings take control of their body.
And I also have trouble believing that I am the only person who has questions about what possession means in a tradition where, I was told, one of the goals was to be Self Possessed, to let my own Godself manifest in the here and now. I don’t quite see how letting some disembodied being use me for a while is going to help me in any particular way. And I can see a lot of ways where it could really screw me up.
I don’t want to be the wet blanket, but that’s what concerns me. It doesn’t seem to match up with “God is Self, and Self is God, and God is a person like myself.”
I will freely admit that my one personal experience with a possessory tradition was when I was involved in Charismatic Christianity for six years. I was able to see people manifest all kinds of possessory behavior. The unfortunate part was they were still racist, sexist, and homophobic. One minute they were singing beautifully, speaking in tongues and trancing out – then the next minute, they’d say that God wants you to vote Republican, homosexuality was evil, and that Christians shouldn’t own black cats because they are the familiars of witches.
As insane as it will sound, I will go further and admit that the same spirit attempted to possess me during a church service. I was able to resist this possession, with a great deal of effort. I am not sorry I did this because whatever spirit was possessing them certainly had little if anything to do with Jesus and what Jesus taught.
So my experience may have poisoned me a little. But I am curious about the practicality and the purpose of possession. In my experience in the charismatic Christian movement, the purpose of possession was to reinforce their faith more than anything else. It had little to no practical result. Certainly, no matter how much I spoke in tongues, I was still prone to the fierce depressive episodes that were immune to laying on of hands and prayer, and were only relieved 15 years later, after I had left the church, through therapy and Welbutrin. One would think that the spirit that was possessing them, and attempted to possess me, would have been courteous enough to tell me at some point that I had clinical depression and needed talk therapy and medication.
I am interested in an open and frank discussion on this subject. I hope this does not sound too cranky, but I am getting a little tired of the coy hinting and the winking over the heads of others when making references to received teachings. We are all initiates here. My feeling is that either we should speak freely, without references to initials or nicknames, or we should not speak about anything meaningful at all and confine the list to birthday greetings and flirting.