Friday, April 23, 2010

Animist art of the Séance

For thousands of years around the world in many diverse animist cultures people have practiced the art of the séance. We may imagine that the séance is a dusty ol room with long thin curtains over midnight windows, with candles and crystal balls in the middle of tea time table. But the reality is the séance is ancient, from mesa ceremonies, to Yuwipi and Inipi ceremonies, to Inuit trance ceremonies, the spirits of other-than-human-persons are called on, given respect to, offerings given, often in a darkened room but some times in broad day light, the spirits are called, a representation of them often in the room. In darkness, after songs are song, prayers and the calling of the spirits has been done, the proper ceremonial showing of respect has been completed, and the cleansing and preparation of the participants has been accomplished, the spirits come, some times they lift the building, some times their voices thunder or whisper, some times rattles fly around the lodge or ceremonial space. People cannot see them, though many report blue lights, hypnogogic images, figures, or if some have the sight they see them. In some ceremonies the lights are on, and the spirits arrive in physical form, some will take the physical form of the anointed, the cleansed, the chosen, the healer, the medicine people, the holy people, the spiritual leaders, they will speak through them, move their bodies.

Some of these beings that are called on in these animist séances are spirits of the land itself, some are mountains, some are the power animals that where obtained on spiritual fasts or quests or journeys, Some come because there is a mask with their face on it allowing them a vessel to ride, some come to help, some to warn, some to heal, some to cause mischief, some are not even invited! The natural world, the spirits of place, the people of place all work together in these séances. This is a communal gathering of persons to work in mutual synergy with each other, to promote balance in the life place among other things... the relational dynamics between people of place and other than human persons is seemingly infinite in its complex diversity.

I would encourage those that wish to work with the other then human persons of their life place to co-create these animist séances with the other than human persons of their life place. The process itself can be as creative and complex as one wishes... the importance is humility, generosity, not commanding or being controlling, but inviting a powerful guest into ones sacred space. How one chooses to do this is up to the co-creativity that emerges from ones relationship with the life place, allow it to guide your process by holding the intention and letting go, allowing the spirit of place to move your mind, thoughts feelings, words, and actions. The bioregional entrainment practice described on this site would be very useful perhaps in developing this practice.
Once we can develop these relationships with the spirits of our life place we can begin to work with them to co-create a way of life that empowers health, well being and high synergy with the natural world.

I would like to thank Stella Osorojos for writing her piece at reality sandwich that inspired me to write this piece. Blessings!