When Invasive Spirits Come Around by Raven Digitalis
Awide variety of people from virtually all cultural backgrounds believe that there is more to life than meets the eye. Civilizations from the dawn of humankind through the present day have long held on to beliefs in nonphysical entities of one variety or another. Still, others disbelieve in these forces altogether, feeling as though strict scientific evidence supersedes experiential data. Mystics and magicians, however, understand the value of experience alongside scientific theory and are more likely to consider alternate dimensions of existence if their own personal experience leads them to such conclusions.
Gods, spirit guides, ascended masters, guardian ancestors, angels, and similar forces are often considered “upper level” astral beings, while others such as ghosts, faeries, and elementals are believed to exist in a plane that is lower and closer to our own world.
Nonphysical beings each have their own personalities and motivations. Just like humans and animals, the personalities of astral beings can be greatly varied and often depend on the “type” of being they are. Many nonphysical entities are harmless and benign. Others, however, most certainly are not.
Ancient pagans and animists from a variety of cultures have long attributed physical and mental ailments to demonic spirits and astral invaders. While modern science brilliantly explains these ailments on a physiological level, mystics understand that the physical and nonphysical realms interact and that the physical dimension is but one of many possibilities. This is not to say that all physical imbalances are caused by spiritual entities, but that it’s worth consideration that the body works in conjunction with energetic planes. It is wise to be aware that the physical and nonphysical worlds are not always as separate as they may seem.
Trust Your Instincts
Because the physical body itself is connected with various energetic planes, it’s important to pay attention to our body’s responses and reactions. When it comes to sensing spirits, or even sensing energy in general, it’s valuable to pay attention to our first instincts. If we sense the presence of a spirit or foreign entity, which emotions or sensations do we immediately experience? As magickal folks, we tend to trust our instincts when interacting with fellow humans, so why would it be any different with the spirit world?
Whether or not we rationally understand or can accurately categorize the entities we encounter, it’s of utmost importance to pay attention to our instincts. From there, we are more apt to make sense of an encounter, even if it’s a momentary experience.
I’m not gonna lie: it can be difficult to make sense of spiritual dimensions and astral dynamics. There are no solid answers because these realms are not solid structures. Metaphysicians of all varieties promote the belief that the mind, intellect, and even the imagination are explicitly linked with unseen realms of existence. It is reasonable to assume that many of these worlds and realms are continually changing and being molded by human minds—and this may even hold true for the gods themselves. It’s also worth mentioning that many nonphysical entities have the ability to change their appearance depending on who they are interacting with, serving to convolute things even further!
When you sense an external spiritual entity, pay attention to what your body and mind tell you. Do you get “good” or “bad” goosebumps? Do you feel a fight-or-flight sensation or heart palpitations, or do you feel at ease? Do you feel a shift in temperature? It’s wise to pay attention to the instincts of the mind and body; after all, you don’t want perform banishing exercises if you are receiving a friendly visitation from a spirit guide or a dearly departed loved one.
The Art of Discernment
As I mentioned, the intuitive and creative dimensions intermingle with unseen planes of existence, making it a challenge to understand where objective experience ends and mental projection begins. It’s vitally important to question every experience with nonphysical entities, but it’s equally important to understand the validity of each experience, even if it’s only on a symbolic level. For example, if I happen to randomly see a moose in my peripheral vision, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a spirit animal, an animal oversoul, or the ghost of a moose, but it could be any of these things. If nothing else, my subconscious mind is communicating “moose energy” to me for some reason, so either way it warrants some metaphysical contemplation. If the moose were to repeatedly appear, the question could be investigated further: What is its origin and what is the purpose of the communication? Every experience with unseen forces has its own importance, whether it’s actually otherworldly or is simply psychologically symbolic.
Allow me to be up front here: I have interacted with countless people who have been in the midst of experiencing inconsolable “supernatural trauma.” A spirit of some type is haunting them for one reason or another; the entity is unaffected by spellcraft, magick, prayer, and everything else; it’s wreaking havoc in every aspect of the person’s life; and so on. Rarely are these claims legitimate; in my experience a vast number of these cases are occurrences of psychological disturbance and delusion, not spiritual activity.
A person’s psychological constitution, past experiences (perhaps causing PTSD), and coping patterns must be taken into consideration when approaching the concept of metaphysical intrusion. In many cases, medical assistance can be much more beneficial than metaphysical assistance. Therapy, psychiatry, and medical treatment are not signs of weakness but signs of empowerment. We all deserve to take control of our mental and emotional constitutions, and by doing so we can more accurately examine issues such as invasive spirits and astral entities. As magickal and metaphysical practitioners, we have the responsibility to objectively determine the nature of our experiences to the best of our abilities. When it comes to invasive spirits, some apparent entities are nothing more than thought forms: projections of the subconscious mind. Others, however, quite obviously have their own distinct agendas and personalities.
A Strange Encounter
Back in 2008 I had an experience with a spirit that still sticks out quite heavily in my memory because of its insidious intensity. While I do sometimes sense earthbound disincarnates (ghosts) and other astral entities, I’ve never had one become attached to such an extent. This encounter began when I visited a city in Oregon as part of my book tour for Shadow Magick Compendium. After doing book signings and tarot readings at a local metaphysical store, the original plan was to explore the city with a tour guide. Unfortunately, this tour guide had to cancel, and I was on my own. Because it was a weeknight, there wasn’t too much going on around town. I found myself wandering downtown and throughout quieter areas of the city. I recall feeling a particularly depressed or desperate sensation in one dark, empty street that I traversed on my way back to the motel. At the time I brushed off this feeling, but for some reason the sensation didn’t really seem to leave, even weeks after returning home. This is not to say that I was especially depressed, but there was a subtle draining sensation that seemed to be increasing with time. Eerily, the sensation felt similar to the feeling I experienced on that empty Oregon street. My instincts told me that something was off.
Over the next week, these sensations were palpably present on the upper right side of my body—I didn’t sense the presence anywhere else. During quiet moments of the day, it almost felt as if someone was sitting on my aura and watching my every movement. It was an uncomfortable sensation that only seemed to increase in strength, coupled with the fact that my general level of energy seemed lower than normal. I decided to meditate on the situation.
It didn’t take long to discover that a conscious being with an independent personality was clinging to my energetic body and thus also my physical body. In deep meditation, the spirit clearly felt female. I could feel her astral hair and even feel her breath—slightly creepy! But it didn’t stop there; I sensed myself empathetically affected by this spirit’s desperate sorrow. I could feel her astral body attempting to draw closer and attach to my deeper levels of energy, such as through the chakra points. I even felt sexually aroused, which was a clear indication that she was attempting to merge with my body through sexual energy. It was clear that she attached to me on that dark and empty street; the feelings were just too uncannily similar to dismiss. This entity was most likely a ghost who, for all intents and purposes, became a parasitic and vampiric succubus.
By continually repeating protective exercises, such as those mentioned toward the end of this article, I was eventually able to shake her off my aura. The whole process took a couple of weeks and involved a lot of trial and error. Because the spirit was slowly and subtly feeding off my own emotional and sexual energy, I had to be extremely mindful and self-aware of both of those realms. I had the responsibility of understanding which emotions and energies were my own and which were “other.” Luckily, as an empath, I had already grown familiar with the practice of emotional discernment.
While all of the protective exercises and procedures I enacted were certainly helpful in relieving the situation, the most effective form of banishing was also the most difficult: I had to verbally command her, repeatedly and regularly, to go away. Because she had attached to my emotions and was attempting to merge with my energetic body, a feeling of rejection and sorrow would continually follow any statement of “go away and leave me alone.” This, of course, was not my own sadness; it belonged to the spirit. Still, I felt like a cruel and heartless person for telling this astral stalker to disappear—incidentally, in an attempt to stay attached, this is exactly how she wanted me to feel. As difficult as it was, I built up the courage to forcibly evict the spirit and demand that she “go to the light.” Eventually, it worked.
Understanding an Encounter
If you are experiencing a strange spiritual encounter that you feel is invasive toward the self, the home, or another person, try analyzing the experience for yourself by following these steps. This meditation is but one suggestion for how to identify the being or beings you may be encountering. As always, use a healthy amount of discretion to understand what may be a mental projection and what is more likely to be an objective observation.
Situate yourself near the environment or person who has been experiencing a perceived spiritual invasion. If you are the person who is experiencing the invasive spirit, get comfortable in your own sacred space.
Close your eyes and use your subtle senses to locate the entity or energy in question. If fear arises, try to overcome it. If it feels genuinely and immediately threatening, skip to the last paragraph of this section.
First, determine whether this is an energy or an entity: Is it simply a body of energy, or does it seem to have a distinct personality? If it feels like a negative body of energy, consider using some of the suggestions in the next section. If it feels like an individual conscious entity, move on to the next step.
Try to sense the general energy of the entity. Feel it out. Does it appear to be a kind or curious spirit, or does it legitimately intend harm? Could it have been sent by another person, consciously or unconsciously, or is it simply a passerby? Does it wish to communicate with you? If you determine that the spirit “feels okay,” try verbally and psychically communicating, noting the impressions you receive; the spirit might actually be there to help or might simply need a gentle “push” to move on.
If you have determined that the entity you’ve encountering is in fact malicious and invasive, do your best to summon the courage to fight against it. Demand that it leave; explain that it is not welcome here and must depart. Claim your power and make your needs known without hesitation. Tell it how it is! Next, proceed to follow some of the following suggestions and use your best judgment in dealing with the situation. You have a lot more influence and ability than you may think!
Regardless of its origins, if you feel the presence of a maliciously invasive spirit, these suggestions can help deflect its energy from your sphere. Experiment with different methods and see what works best for you personally.
• Smudge yourself with sage, using locally sourced sage if possible.
• Asperge your aura with salt water or water from a sacred location.
• Light matches: the sulfur/brimstone exorcises negative forces.
• Use a magick wand, athame, or your pointer finger to draw a large earth banishing pentagram (a star beginning in the lower left-hand corner) toward the direction of the entity. See this pentagram glowing in a bright blue flame.
• Perform protective rituals such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.
• Wear high-energy stones such as selenite and moldavite.
• Forcibly declare the Greek phrase Apo pantos kakodaimonos. This roughly translates to “Away, evil spirits!” The phrase is also incorporated in a basic ritual of Thelema called the Star Ruby.
• Hang protective herbs around the house, such as bulbs of garlic, sliced onions, and cloves.
• Utilize symbols such as pentagrams, the eye of the dragon, Xs, and anti—evil eye symbols. These can be put onto items, clothing, candles, artwork, and charms or drawn on the body.
• Call upon upper-level beings, such as gods, spirit guides, and angels; they are often believed to have the ability to intercede with lower-level affairs, such as hauntings, possessions, and restless spirits.
• Make it a daily practice to visualize and reinforce your energetic shields.
• Recite prayers, affirmations, and inspirational readings of holy texts. Project positive and upbeat energy toward the entity or energy in order to help avert its influence.
• Most importantly, choose to remain as optimistically positive as possible: your mood changes your energy, which in and of itself is profoundly protective.