I’ll talk more about the spirit-in-the-crystal-ball stuff soon, but this post will be a bit of a personal retrospective about how my seership came to be.
I had a rough childhood, and probably developed some dissociative tendencies at that time. That will serve to partially explain why it’s relatively easy to get myself out of the way to permit occupation by gods and angels, which is how this all started for me.
The witchcraft community that I was part of for many years calls this “aspecting.” However, it didn't start there.
When I was a kid, I loved church. I loved to sing, I loved the candles, the high ceiling, the feeling and sense of sacredness. It seemed natural to me that I was Mary at the Christmas pageant for a couple years running starting when I was about 10 years old.
I present this event in particular because it may have been when I first aspected a deity. When I played Mary in the children’s Christmas pageant, I WAS Mary. Mary was in me. People commented upon the strangeness of the thing. Looking back, that in itself was sort of weird. Means that those Lutherans actually could sense the presence of the sacred… Who would’ve thought?
So fast-forward through my years as one of the first female “altar-attendants”, my terrifying visionary experiences in church when I felt guilty about teenage problems, the time the pastor decided that he would save my soul… the end result being my apostasy from all things Christian.
Many years later, I much more purposefully learned how to contain and present the gods in public ritual when I was a priestess in the Reclaiming community. It came naturally – making my own personality quiet so that something else could enter. In those early days, I held Erishkegal, Psyche, Hekate, Inanna, and many others. With some help from my teachers, especially Shen-Tat at Coven of the Witches, I learned how to let myself go AND re-establish myself when I was finished. The last time I aspected publicly was at a pagan festival near Denver, where I was filled by Quakoralina, the Faery Star Goddess.
Often, when aspecting is done in wiccan/pagan/faery ceremony, the deity/spirit who is to be housed in the witch performing the aspecting is subject to an invitation by other celebrants (typical those who are organizing the ceremony). The idea is for the aspecting individual to open themselves to the deity in the safety of sacred space, moderated by others who are monitoring the process.
The personality of the individual is quieted during this operation, such that the deity can participate in the rite or even address the celebrants. It perhaps a form of hypnotism. This is analogous in many ways to being “ridden” in Voudou. In many cases when I was performing this purpose in ritual, I literally have no recollection of what transpired, emphasizing the point that moderators are very important.
All this is different from seership, where the personality of the seer must be close enough to the surface to be able to utilize the senses (both physical and astral) to sense and interpret the message of the disincarnate being called in the rite. There are important things in common, however: a safe environment is required, the “personality” and body must be relaxed in such a way that sensual data can be used to feel the presence of a non-corporeal entity. Interestingly, many of the basic preparations for the two things are the same, and that is what I’ll address in the next post.
Be thou blessed.
["Cleopatra" J.W. Waterhouse]