Thursday, November 15, 2012

P - Possession #paganblogproject

Folks in this modern Craft really dislike the term "possession," but it is nothing more than a descriptor for invocation, channeling, aspecting, being ridden by, or drawing down a Deity/Entity.  I have no fearful connotation against this term, so I use it more frequently than the others to point to this act of Craft.

I don't have an issue with the other terms, mind you. They are all perfectly acceptable, and a couple even describe the feeling of possession quite well. So, nope, I find no need to quibble over the terms. I would much rather get down to the nitty gritty of Bonus P Blog Topic -- possession.

When I first began my study of the Craft, I believed that every Witch had possession experiences eventually. I thought that all of us on this path sought to intentionally invoke the spirits of our beloved and honored Gods and Goddesses into our own bodies -- to give them a time within flesh, a voice with which to speak, hands to touch. I thought that learning to achieve this state -- to set myself aside and make room within my body for the Deity -- was part of the training of Witches. Of course, if you let something in, you should be able to let/get it back out, so I figured that was part of the training process, too. All in all, though, I really thought that most Witches underwent this training.

I was wrong. Many -- a very great many -- people who claim Witchcraft as their path openly fear and revile possession.

Possession was most definitely a part of my own training as a Witch, and I have helped my own students and covenmates learn to achieve and release the experience. Each person, in both Traditions of which I have been a part, has had to prove themselves proficient in this area in order to access the Initiation rite that allows them to fully claim the title of Witch. In one Trad, that was at 1*. In American Folkloric Witchcraft, we have only one initiation -- the one that Raises you. But in both cases, we feel that a Witch needs to be capable of this skill in order to have a complete working relationship with Deity and Spirit.

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