Posted by: rosenthorn | July 5, 2011

“Things that go bump in the night”. Part IV. Approaches to exorcisms.

(© 2005 AE McDougall)

Reflections of the Reiki Jewel is a series of essays on how Reiki can impact the most unexpected life situations, spaces and places.   This is a quick look at all the forms of exorcism as I have heard, studied or am familiar with.  Each looks at their draw-backs and values.   This is more if you have a choice and need to get rid of a “real nasty, nasty”.

Most likely, when you need to call in an expert, you’ll have to take what you can get and hope for the best; you may have to bring in someone from far-away.  It is useful to know the various approaches and possibilities, just in case you have a choice.  The following are generalities but they can help you decide what is most appropriate for the situation.  If the exorcist is skilled in universal principles, s/he can work within any religious framework, but many are only linked to and have authority within a specific tradition.  This may cause problems in the long run.  Often times the people involved in the situation require a specific framework (i.e. Roman Catholic).  Remember that “bad apples” or charlatans are found “everywhere” doing everything.  Certain groups may have hidden agendas, when they agree to help you.  Having grown up fundamentalist, I KNOW that many fundamentalist Christian churches aim to convert EVERYONE.   So some forms of Christian help may come with a price, but I would like to believe that not all will.  I will note them when appropriate, so now, here from A-Z are various approaches that I know about or am familiar with.

BUDDHIST (Tibetan).   From my few years as a student of Tibetan Buddhism, I discovered that they have several ways of approaching spirits, hauntings and the like.   They prefer to reach out peacefully first, by make offerings to the beings, often doing a special Buddhist “ego-destroying” practice called “Chod” and help the being(s) move on into the “Light” (as we’d call it).   Many times they’ll actually convert the being(s) into what are called Dharma Protectors, so that restless spirits become committed to Dharma and helping the person’s practice who converted them.   If these gentler approaches do not work, they have very powerful, wrathful beings that do not hesitate to move the beings on, whether they want to go or not.   Some of the Tibetan Medicine Buddha tantras have amazing ways to free areas or people of spirits.

CEREMONIAL MAGIC(K).   From what I have seen of ceremonial magic (some people add the “k” on to distinguish it from stage magic), it tends to banish, threaten, torment and destroy violently in a Holy name.   Yet there are some groups who have created special rituals that help ghosts and spirits move on.  I was told back in Baltimore that a Thelemite group did rituals to help civil war ghosts move to the next level.  In the past I’d take the principles from Dharma and express them in a ceremonial setting as it was less contentious and more appropriate for the entity’s evolution.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND/EPISCOPALIAN.  I don’t know much about them except I read about an exorcist who used hypnosis in his work in one of my exorcism textbooks.  He was an Anglican minister out of the United Kingdom.

FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS.   First, I tend to place Charismatic, Evangelical, Pentecostal and other fundamentalists into this same category.  I know from having friends in these different groups, that they tend to view each others as “Heathens”.    Most likely it will be in a fundamentalist church that you will find an exorcist in, though they may call it “deliverance work”.  I believe a popular exorcist/author was Bob Larson who teaches others to cast out Satan and all his minions.  I grew up hearing about a gentleman from England, named Ben Alexander.  He has a whole “ministry” devoted to debunking ALL spirituality except very strict Christianity.  Last I knew (1980s) his ministry was called ESP (Exposing Satans’ Power) and was devoted to convincing the world that ALL metaphysics etc was evil; it was located in Missouri (I have since seen ESP’s address moves around a lot).   I’d stay away from his group.  There was another person out of Minnesota with loose ties with Campus Crusade for Christ who was an exorcist.  He often held tirades and mass meetings on the dangers of Wiccans, Gays and Aleister Crowley, treating them all as the same thing.  I heard him speak at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa in the mid-1980s.   He was one of those who, since he was gifted, claimed the gifts came from God; but refused to acknowledge gifts in any non-Christian.

GYPSIES.   I believe they prefer to call themselves “the Rom”.   I don’t know much about them.  If you are good friends with them, go for it, otherwise seek elsewhere.

HEALERS.    Some energetic healers, such as some Reiki Masters, have the ability to help spirits move on as part of their healing process.   Diane Stein has material on this.

HEXENMEISTERS.   These are rooted in the Pennsylvania-Dutch folk practices.  Silver Ravenwolf has written material on them.   I believe they are called “Pow-wow” Doctors.   This “pow-wow” is not the same as the Native American gatherings.

NATIVE AMERICAN MEDICINE PEOPLE.    These will depend on the tribe and their practices.  What one tribe does may not mean anything to another one.   But, they are all linked very strongly with the Earths’ energies and her cycles.  If you need to find one, go to a “Pow-Wow” and “listen” carefully to everything going on.  Your respect and intuition may help you find the right person.

METAPHYSICIANS.   (Often also known as  psychics, spiritualists, spiritual consultants and New Agers). These can be found in various metaphysical organizations, churches and gatherings.  Look for the citys’ metaphysical newspaper or magazine and browse.  Or go to meetings and ask.  Backgrounds range from the devotee of Edgar Casey, to Catherine Ponder, to the local centers.  They may or may not have a religious framework in life.  They use anything from pure mind magic to bell, book and candle.

NATIVE EXPERTS.   These are the local experts you find in ethnic parts of a large city … like the herbalists and healers in Chinatown, Voudon priest/esses in New Orleans, the “herbalists” in Baltimore and so on.  They are framed in a specific tradition and culture that you may or mayn’t be familiar with.  What is important is if they can help you transform the situation, and will they do so if asked respectfully and appropriately.   You may have to “court” them, respectfully, giving yourself a crash course on their culture .

PAGANS.   Some Pagans have ceremonial aspects to their faith and practice and be skilled in releasing spirits.  Ask around as they may be “underground”, especially if they worship different deities than are acceptable in their area.   Treat them with respect.  This includes Heathens, who are Norse in orientation but don’t consider themselves Pagan.

PARAPSYCHOLOGISTS.  These are those who’ve trained at establishment places like the Rhine Institute.  Hans Holzer has written much material on what they do and how they approach it. A good tongue in cheek version is the old movie “GHOSTBUSTERS”, though I doubt if real parapsychologists are that opportunistic and belligerent.

ROMAN CATHOLIC. These are approved of by the Pope and have received special training from the Roman Catholic church.  From what I’ve read, they cast the entity(ies) into the hell realms and do a lot of threatening of divine torment to get them to leave.

“SHAMANS”.   Many people have been initiated and now practice shamanism from around the world.  The anthropologist Michael Harner has been credited with saving some forms of shamanic practice.   To my understanding, shamans usually have allies, travel to the astral and conduct their business there.  They may do drumming or get involved with elaborate rituals.   They appear to specialize in soul retrieval.

SPIRIT RELEASEMENT HYPNOTHERAPISTS.   These are specialized hypnotherapists that can often release entities etc from a site without even going there.

WITCHES.   This category actually covers two forms.  There is the traditional “witch” as occult practitioner, who may or may not be Pagan in religion.  Then there is the “Wiccan” witch who may or may not practice “the craft” but is a very dedicated priest/ess of their chosen god/dess. Many of these are skilled in spirit releasement and the like, though their frameworks will vary.

Any positive aspects in this essay belong to the various authors and teachers;   any mistakes are my own due to ignorance.    Any merit raised here, I offer to my guru and to benefit sentient beings.

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