I've been studying occult history and the paranormal, as well as different belief systems and cultures for quite a while. I'm familiar with the ritual of exorcism to deal with negative forces but I'm very interested to know the Pagan point of view on the nature of negative forces and how you would cleanse or otherwise handle this situation? By negative forces I mean what some people would term demonic entities/negative spirits.
Seeker, it's hard to get one response to what you're asking since the term Pagan is used for a wide range of spiritual practicioners. I don't know if you get my meaning. It's hard to explain. I am a psychic, even though I don't make a living as one, and my way of dealing with negative spirits will be different to someone who practices Wicca. I, for one, don't believe in the need of any type of ritual. I meditate to atune my spirit with the whole and level out the positive and negative energies that make me who I am. For me, this is the most effective way to get rid of anything that feels uncomfortable.
Garlic works great, but you have to hang exactly 666 cloves around your neck for it to work with demons, but you only need a few dozen for everyone else.
Seeker, in Wicca there is an old saying, "Bless before you bind, bind before you bane (or blast)."
That means, the first line of defense is simply to bless. Use positive energy to purify a space. This can be as simple as sprinkling pure consecrated saltwater and censing with frankincense and myrrh in the problem area.
The reason this works is because most of the time you're not dealing with a demon or something truly dark. It's usually simply a matter of cleansing. Think of the difference between cleaning your house and calling an exterminator: You'd clean first.
If that doesn't work, the next thing to do is to bind the entity against doing harm. You would first, of course, determine there really is an entity. I would use divination, dream work, and probably get verification from a third party.
Finally, if none of that works, it's time for blasting. Asaphoedita, for example, is an incense that drives away negative forces.
Many thanks for your response.
I think you have hit the nail on the head by saying most of the time there is no demon involved. Many of the cases I have researched, would seem to indicate that the first gut reaction to those investigating was that the energy/entity had to be a demon and nothing else. And of course the resulting exorcism not only didn't work but made things a hell of a lot worse as well.
As I was saying to eapratte, the pagan rituals of cleansing that are used seemed to be having a much higher success rate than exorcisms. I think this is because there is empathy and a genuine sympathy for the energy/spirit without being judgemental.
Negative energy isn't necessarily a spirit. There are many ways of attracting negative energy. One is simply anger directed at you. If someone is furious at you, sometimes, depending upon a whole lot of circumstances, it can happen that the rage clusters around you even though the angry person hasn't purposely cursed you.
Sometimes it can be a psychic vampire, draining and sickening you.
Sometimes it's just that a person is too empathetic and is letting their own energy be dissipated by other people.
If you have a "neutral" entity causing trouble -- often an elemental -- that entity has to be banished, but politeness is called for.
Don't attract them in the first place. Energy attracts like energy. We can give the different energies the open doorway or we close them and don't let them in.
If more people took your advice there wouldn't be so many nasty cases going around probably.
Many thanks for your response, this was very interesting. I take your point about 'Paganism' being a very broad term - but I'm interested in a number of different viewpoints on this subject. If the question falls flat because it is too broad, then I will write it to more specific beliefs.
Because I'm interested and it's a subject area I write about.
The energy you accrete becomes part of who you are. A relaxed and quiet mind is the best starting point. And remember that 'rituals' almost always make for negative energy. Being out in nature is a good way to resist negative energy. An appreciation of the good in your life is also helpful. If your conscious self is haunted by a past experience or an emptiness in your present it is best to deal with it honestly and without bs-ing yourself.
Hi Jonathan, many thanks for your response. I understand where you're coming from. I was a witness to one exorcism - a couple who I knew thourgh my work as a nurse - many years ago and it was a thoroughly unplesant experience for the people directly concerned - but to top it all it didn't work and did seemed to make things much worse. One of the reasons I am asking - apart from my general interest - is that there seems to be an increase in 'exorcisms' being carried out. I do plan to write an article on this once I've carried out research. Getting back to the exorcism from a few years back, yes I think this does still disturb me quite a bit even to this day, more so because of the detremental effect it had on the young couple who were involved.
One Pagan can have a different approach to negative forces than the next. We all typically believe in negative energies (at least in the stagnant sense) but not all believe in it in the demonic sense. Sage or other incense for "smudging" is very common amongst Pagans as are other forms of "energy clearing" for places and people, as are banishing spells. A lot of us use meditation as a form of energy clearing to rid ourselves of bad/stagnant energies. Meditation in this sense can even be seen as a form of deliverance since many of us consider meditation a form of communication with God/Goddess/Your Choice of Divine Being. Blessed/holy water is also really popular. It usually consists of any kind of water (tap, river, well, etc), sea salt, and maybe an herb or two, like rose.
There are definitely Pagan exorcism rituals, and depending on what you consider Pagan, those can include say, Hindu or Native American exorcism rituals. Some Pagans believe that demons are beings of pure ill intent who have never been human. Some believe that they are actually thought forms, like the product of negative emotions and thoughts made real. There are other opinions too, though.
I'm a Pagan and paranormal/religious researcher and I have mixed opinions on the demonic and exorcisms, so many that if you wanted to know them, it'd probably be best to message me personally so I don't bombard your forum. I believe that possession is a definite problem in the world (like you said, exorcism on the rise) but the nature of it and why it is exactly, I have no justifiable answer, only many possible explanations.
What a wonderful response and this has given me a much better insight but I also take on board that the Pagan belief systems are world wide and covers many cultures and so various practices - I am also tending to find that many Pagan cleansing rituals are having a higher success rate than more formal traditions- going by the accounts I have heard about.
For myself I study the Kabbalah and was taught that negative energies/demonics were simply misplaced energies or in other words energies that were simply in the wrong place. I feel on the whole I do tend to follow this thought but not entirely. Some of the research I have done would suggest that at least some negative energy may actively seek interaction with the physical world - so in effect 'misplacing' themselves. I think the problem comes with the word 'demonic'. Traditionally going back to the ancient Greeks this was not an evil entity of any kind and I think the term was daemon. So, as usual, the waters have become very muddied about the actual nature of negative forces and I don't think the answer is a simple one and it may encompass many different kinds of being/energy/enties. In addition I think how we view these energies is very much based on our spiritual beliefs. As with yourself I don't have any answers only 'possible explanations'. Many thanks again for your response.
"I am also tending to find that many Pagan cleansing rituals are having a higher success rate than more formal traditions- going by the accounts I have heard about." That's really interesting. I have wondered if that were the case but never could seem to draw any conclusion. I've been trying to figure out how I can find how many exorcisms done world wide are done by whom, but those statistics are of course hard to come by. Then I want to see how many have been thought successful and then how many of them were not or needed to be done repetitively. I'm really not sure how I would do this, but it's a goal I have.
I had known about the Greek "daemon" not having negative connotations. Do you know about the Arabic djinn? Some people have the same feelings about them -- Some say they are demons, some say they just are.
Glad you could find my comment useful. The Kabbalah seems really interesting but it's one of the few things I haven't studied at all yet. Going to have to though.
the statistics are very hard to come by and the only way I have been able to find out if any form of ritual has worked is to spend hours researching. However, you then have the problem of verifying the accounts and what has worked and what has not.
As a Pagan for over 30 years, I must say I do not believe in demons.
Negativity comes through actions of yourself or others. Karma.
Hi Reality Bytes,
I respect your beliefs and take on this subject. However, although I do believe that negativity can come through self actions and karma etc., there are nevertheless well researched and documented accounts that strongly suggest there are definitive entities of a negative nature that have plagued people. Some have no doubt attracted them deliberately, but many others have certainly not. In addition there are places that seem to hold negative entities as opposed to people attracting them.
Mental illness can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Especially when someone is under the spell of an organized religion.
Can you show any of those researched and documented accounts?
Not from pseudoscience sites, either, thanks.
"In addition there are places that seem to hold negative entities as opposed to people attracting them." Yes I have felt like negative energy spots any number of times.
It's all about feeling. You either got feeling or you don't. Intellectualism more times than not overrules feeling.
If I enter a room full of friends I can also feel the positive energy. Likewise in a dangerous situation I am aware of negative energy. The belief that these energies have consciousness is a little far fetched.
You're sure that isn't just a result of your own body triggering those emotions within you based on the data received from your senses, ie. sight, sound?
Yes it is internal. All reality is only what your senses have translated to your mind. Nothing exists to the individual outside the mind.
Hence, there are no positive or negative energies "felt" when one enters a room full of people.
Felt internally, unless you count hairs rising on necks and arms.
Reality Bytes - So basically what you believe is that there are no life forms outside of physical existance including humans. I personally don't believe that. And No I don't think it is too far fetched to say that some form of energies - negative or otherwise may have a form of conciousness. I would suggest that it is far fetched to presume that we are the only life with consciousness - physical or otherwise. But perhaps we can agree to differ on this.
Your welcome. Maybe when it is negative we call it
evil spirits, and when it is positive we call it the Muse.
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