Working with Ghosts

Working with Ghosts
When many people think of a ghost they think of it as solely being a spiritual essence of a person who has died, but is still lingering on the Physical Plane. This is a highly inaccurate description, as the term ‘ghost’ can cover a number of ethereal phenomena including sentient nature energies, and past events imprinted on the area where they happened. There are even records of a psychic research team ‘manufacturing’ a ghost in the 1970’s.

Traditionally in many cultures Witches and Cunning Folk used to be the go-to group for contacting the spirits of people who had died. This was less for the emotional consolation, and more for answering questions along the lines of “Where did you bury the family valuables?”, or “Who will win the 3:30 race at Chepstow?”. The latter being asked because being dead meant that you were free from the bonds of space and time and could thus see the future. This branch of magick was called Necromancy and could involve literally digging up the corpse to interrogate it, which was a folk memory of the Celtic story of the ‘Oracular Head’. The most well-known example of this occurs in the stories of Bran Fendigaid or Bendigeitvran, the Celtic God of Regeneration, whose severed head could predict the future and acted as a talisman to empower the land itself. Both because of digging up bodies that had supposedly been laid to rest, and calling the spirits back to the living, Necromancy was not popular with the dominant religion of the day. It didn’t help that the term Necromancy was frequently corrupted to “Negromancy”, meaning “Black magic” with all the immorality that term had associated with it.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the person’s demise, and their personality, necromantic rituals to raise a real persona may have had some results. There are a number of theories about why. One of the most prevalent is that the person’s Ethereic (bio magnetic) body stays on the Earth Plane for a while before being dissipated by Astral forces. During that time can be evoked to visibility, or otherwise contacted, and lucid information obtained. Some Witches and other Pagans who have worked with Spiritualists theorise that even when the essence/soul of a person has “moved on” an ‘Astral Shell’ of the person may be left as an impression in the Ether. This impression can still react as though it was that person when the Medium/Enquirer tunes into them thus eliminating the need for having the body of the deceased present.

Another type of ghost is a type of recording embedded in the surrounding environment. As with recordings the images don’t interact with anyone seeing them and follow the same series of actions time and again. This would account for the images following old floor plans, to the extent of walking through a doorway that has long ago been bricked up and giving the impression that the phantom has walked through the wall. This type of ghost is usually found in areas where an event connected to strong emotions has occurred and the energies released - much like a frequently cast circle - have embedded themselves in the physical structure. These events are then replayed when the right occasions happen. This might be when somebody is in a relaxed and receptive state of mind, or in the same emotional condition as when the imprint was made. So a grisly murder which leaves a ‘recording’ can be seen by someone who is either very anxious, or very calm, which seems odd unless the mechanics behind it

Not all the imprint hauntings are dramatic though. I remember one practitioner of Alexandrian Witchcraft who was called to a suburban home in the UK where a child kept seeing the ‘ghost’ of an Egyptian Mummy. Questioning the child he found out that they were seeing appeared to be a lot like the funerary mask of Tutankhamen, and it appeared to them at a fixed point on the wall in their bedroom. The house had the reputation of ‘being owned by Witches’ in the past, which is why someone who knew both the people who occupied it and the Witch had suggested he come and have a look. The people in the house had moved in recently and were still getting ready to decorate so, bearing this in mind, he asked if he could remove the wallpaper. The householders agreed, and a poster of Tutankhamun’s mask was uncovered exactly in the area that the child had seen it in.

No one in the family knew it was there and the Witch suspected that it had been a devotional image above an altar and the focus of intent had, in essence, given it its own aura that the child could see. That the child could see it while the adults could not may have been due to perception filters not being consolidated in the younger brain. The Witch carefully removed the poster and that was the end of the ‘haunting’. He passed it onto a Pagan who was a devotee of the Egyptian Pantheon and it ended up in pride of place above his altar.

Other ‘playbacks’ of events only occur when the area they are recorded in is disturbed in some way. This can vary from simple rearranging of the furniture in a room that has been a certain way for a many years, through to major rebuilding and earth moving projects. During the construction of the M3 UK motorway through the area of Twyford Down a few miles from where I lived many Pagans of all persuasions went there to try to stop the project. A number of rituals and spellcasting technique were used, some of them invoking the ghostly energies of the area that may have been activated by the earthmoving going on. Due to the mixture of styles and personalities involved the results were a little “hit and miss” but on occasion were successful enough to cause materialisations to become solid enough to scare security guards. In one case a ritual evoked spectral monks that scared the people who’d dressed up as ghosts, and the guards they were trying to scare!

In the next article we will look at the more active types of ghosts, including poltergeists and elementals. Plus some tips for interacting with them and the basics of simple exorcisms of places.

You Should Also Read:
Creation of Thoughtforms
Classical Pagan Views of the Afterlife
Some Modern Pagan Views of the Afterlife

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