I have noticed a disturbing trend in the Pagan festival scene of people manifesting symptoms similar to that of possession. These incidences crop up in several different ways and all of them are damaging to Pagan community. I hope this article will raise to a greater awareness the issues of false possession so that we can act as a community to lessen the negative effects of these occurrences with calm action, rationality, and a unified responsibility toward the community for which we care so much.
For many years, I shied away from pubic trance-possession and fet rites. This was not because I had any issue at all with the African diaspora religions, but because there seemed to be both a chaotic atmosphere to them that attracted the less stable folks of our community. Furthermore, until I did have some oracular, divine possession, and augury work under my belt, I was downright scared. I didn’t understand how the rite worked or what might not only come knocking on my head, but what might blast open my energetic front door and take up home during one of these rites. If I didn’t understand how a spirit might enter, how would I know how to get rid of it? No Ma’am, thank you very much!
I kept most of these feelings to myself for many years, until recently. I did in fact have some training on divine possession and then became wary of the opposite; that I was distancing myself from the experience solely out of fear and limiting my exposure to something I should probably be aware of.
In addition to serving as Acting High Priest of Tenders of the Earth Templa, Bob Bruhin is a web developer, tour guide, art photographer, author, blogger, and graphic designer. His love of urban landscapes, especially in post-industrial Philadelphia, PA, leads him to document some of the darker corners of his city.