Sunday, August 25, 2019

Exorcising Ghosts & Spirits - The Ancient Greek Way

Welcome to my final installment on ancient Greek banishment. It has been my pleasure to use my own personal experiences and studies to counsel people on this practice, as it can become necessary at times. 

We must first understand the difference between a general ghost and a spirit, at least in the context I am speaking of. For starters, a ghost is typically from a human. In the past, some people have put forth the theory that a ghost is simply the energy of the physical person that was left in a given place, like a footprint. This would seem to explain why people sometimes report seeing the same ghost in several different areas. However, ghosts have also been reported to directly attack or even talk to a living individual, so we would be led to believe that at least some ghosts have a form of consciousness, perhaps even an extension of the actual soul of the deceased. Ghosts are normally encountered in haunted places, like homes, buildings, traumatic grounds, or even cemeteries. Some ghosts are friendly or neutral, but can still cause uneasiness. Other ghosts, however, can be outright terrifying and malevolent toward people. 

A spirit is a spiritual being that is from, and is living in, the Universe. It does not have to be human, and sometimes isn't. It is also not simply a footprint. It is a literal, fully conscious, intelligent, and free-willed being that can do whatever it chooses. It can come from a variety of places, from simple natural birth to the recesses of condemned realms. While most spirits are good or neutral, there are some which are hostile. It is also possible that they can be conjured and sent by humans, although I am skeptical as to the success rate of this practice. For starters, anyone who thinks they can use their own power to tie down a powerful malevolent force and make them do their bidding, is on a fool's errand. That spirit could wreak havoc on them any time it chooses. If the conjurer thinks about it, they will realize that the entire reason they are raising the spirit is because the spirit has powers that they don't. At best, the spirit is simply using the person doing the conjuring. The person is not in control. Secondly, any spirit powerful enough to be worth conjuring, likely has far better things to do than worry about a human's petty squabbles with their other human rivals. Most of the time when we encounter a spirit on its bad side, it's because we have upset it in some way, such as trespassing onto a sacred area, taking possession of possessed objects, or moving into a dwelling where they are present.

Dealing with ghosts can be difficult. You can read about one of my own haunted house experiences and how I dealt with it here. You can also refer back to my Hellenic House Cleansing rite, because that has worked wonders on hauntings. A while back, a friend of mine a few towns over called me in hysteria over a human ghost that had been messing around in their apartment and that had finally manifested before them. Their residence was right beside a graveyard, so to me, the explanation was rather simple. Not only did I do the Hellenic House Cleaning rite, but I also invoked Gods like Athena and Heroes like Bellerophon and asked them to do battle for the people who lived there, to make the ghost leave or move on (Hermes being the Psychopomp can also be asked to move ghosts or parts of the human spirit onward). When it was over, my friend reported no more incidences in their home, and that people were even sleeping better. Note that anything trying to scare you, is reliant on feeding off that fear. Therefore, don't show any when you enter a place that may be haunted. Be brave and invoke the Gods and Heroes.

Now we move onto the spirits themselves. They don't care if you're scared or not. If they want to attack or mess with you, they will do it. Not too long ago, I did a blog post on keeping bad spirits out of your life. You can read it here.

Sometimes, you might even come into contact with a malevolent spirit by simply handling an object that has been tainted with them or their negativity. For example, let's say you go to a thrift store and buy a table that someone was murdered on, or you purchase an object that had been put under protection by the previous owner. Going back to ghosts for a brief moment, it's also possible you might buy something from a deceased person who is angry that it's being sold, and they may unleash their wrath on you. While these instances are very rare, they can happen. The way to banish and return the object to normal is to cleanse it, using cleansing herbs, sea water, sea salt water, spring water, and/or blessed water, accompanied by a prayer to the Gods to relieve it of its previous owner and all they attached to it. Of course, the best way of all to avoid this is to know what you're buying. Knowledge is power. Ask about it before you put it in your car and drive home, and never steal anything. Ever.

If you think a spirit has been sent your way by someone else, there are two options. You can prepare to repel them, or give them a sufficient offering to go away. While your foe has likely bothered the spirit for a childish brawl, you have given them a splendid gift. You have respected and honored the spirit more than they have, and the spirit may just decide that it doesn't want to hurt you. In fact, it might go back on the sender. One of the best ways to avoid the angry side of a ghost or spirit is to not go looking for trouble in the first place; ghost hunters practically beg for it. Also, don't desire to make enemies with others. Keep as many friends as you can. The less conflict in your life, the better. Lastly, exercise a due level of respect when dealing with places or things that are not your own. In the event that you trespass on or offend a sacred area protected by spirits, you may very well be able to appease them with proper offerings as well.

Finally, we come to the worst situation of all, but also one that seems to be a rarity, possession of the body or attachment to the body. A spirit can take possession of a human being or cling so tightly to them that they influence their actions. I have seen it happen first hand, and successfully exorcised it. Fortunately, I have only had to encounter this a couple of times, which is why I say that, in my experience, it is rare. It can be prevented by doing all the things I have talked about here and in the past 2 posts, but normally, when you run into possession, the damage is already done. There's no preventing what has already taken place. The only option then is to cure it. Normally, I would advise someone to be heavily experienced in their spirituality or call a priest or priestess for this kind of situation, but that's not to say you can't exorcise the person or yourself successfully.

First, you must determine if possession is actually taking place. If the person has severe depression, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, schizophrenia, or severe anger issues, you may simply be looking at mental illness, especially if they are not medicated. However, if the person is not known to have mental problems, there is likely something else at play. In short, acting out of character. Someone who is possessed or claimed by a malevolent spirit, will normally exhibit the following traits or conditions: Hate for self, others and the world, extreme resentment of anyone or anything that symbolizes goodness, order or love, angry verbal or physical outbursts, self-harming, isolation, prolonged unhappiness, suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts, unable to remember bad behavior, scratching, biting, growling or talking in strange voices, finding pleasure in the pain of others, going in and out of consciousness, or exhibiting a split or multiple personalities. Of course, all of the symptoms I described can be medical and not spiritual, but when all mundane explanations have been ruled out and all tactics tried, it's time for spiritual intervention.

In one case I handled a long time ago, the girl would show malevolence unlike herself, but when I looked into her eyes and called her name, she started to cry as she became herself again, begging me for help. She described it as a drowning feeling when the spirit was in control, and that hearing me call her name brought her back each time. But then, she would fall back into the other personality immediately after I stopped. Only after successfully achieving the help of Athena and Apollo was the spirit forced out, never again to return. This was a legitimate case of spiritual possession or attachment.

A spirit that has possession of a person can be explicit in their presence by coming right out and telling you who they are, or they may try to hide. In a rare case, I've even seen spirits masquerade as deities in order to fool people in a number of ways, but remember the ancient proverb; if something does evil, it is not a God. The spirit might claim to be all kinds of things if they think it will further their ambitions of fear, control and destruction, which is why you really shouldn't listen to the ramblings of evil.

To begin an exorcism of someone else or yourself, cleanse the body with sea water or spring water that has been blessed (the basic prayer to Apollon and Poseidon in the House Cleansing rite will suffice for the blessing).

I ask that Apollon and Poseidon bless this water, to drive out malevolence from all it touches, and shake us free from the bonds of evil.

I have also seen malevolent presence successfully hindered by the burning of sage in the room. It appears to weaken the spirit's grasp. If possible, open the windows and let sunlight come in the room or on the person.

When you begin your prayers, you must focus on Gods and/or Heroes who are specifically geared toward battle and the destruction of evil or monsters, so for example, Athena, Apollon, Ares, Theseus, Bellerophon, and Kadmos. Giving them offerings and sacrifices will increase your chance of successfully gaining their attention. You are to ask them humbly to please fight for you or the person, to expel the spirit and the presence of evil from yourself or another. This is where you may see things really take hold. The spirit will probably hate your prayers deeply, and hate the Gods. Sometimes, this can be the hardest part because you may have to stick it out for a long time and keep up the pressure. In my own experience as a Hellene, I have never gone more than 5 or 10 minutes doing a banishment or exorcism. The Gods and Heroes are very powerful and responsive, but I can't be sure that everyone will have the same experience as me. Stay with it until it's over, and trust me, it will eventually end. It's also possible that it could end several times. In other words, you may have to be a kind of doctor to the afflicted, and return from time to time if their condition arises again. Sometimes, you may find yourself in a continuous fight, the ultimate outcome determined by whose will is stronger.

Before doing an exorcism on someone else, always have their permission and do not harm or allow them to harm themselves. Remember, if it's legitimate, you're not actually dealing with the person. You're fighting that which is not physical itself. I also would not suggest jumping right into one if you're inexperienced. If it's forced on you, that is one thing. You have no choice in the matter. But you should dedicate yourself to deep study, a strong relationship with the Gods, and maybe even some smaller banishing of energies before exorcisms generally speaking, because trust me, they are terrifying and difficult. I sincerely hope that all of my advice and experience in these entries has helped, and will help, all of you.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

If you have not read my previous 2 posts on this subject, they can be found at the following links: Part 1, Part 2.