Depossession or Exorcism

  • 2 January 2023
  • 4 Min Read

Freeing a possessed person requires great experience and power on the part of the shaman and I will not discuss this technique in detail. However, the invading spirit cannot simply be returned to nature as with intrusion. If it is the soul of a dead person, the shaman must convince or force it to follow its path to the Land of the Dead.
In the case of another kind of spirit, it usually comes from the Underworld. The shaman captures it, often using a special power object, such as a special crystal, and travels to a deep level of the Underworld where he invites the spirit to stay there and leave his victim alone. Often a dangerous struggle is necessary to capture the spirit.

They have many names in ancient cultures. Buryati shamans, for example, call them burhans and sacrifices must be made to send them away. In other words, the spirit demands something in return for agreeing to leave its victim alone.
It may require offerings of food, on whose spiritual energy it feeds, or other

There are certain very powerful spirits that cannot be fought, let alone captured.

War or negotiation?

Spirits, whether souls of the dead or other entities, can either be persuaded by negotiation to leave the host body and return to where they belong, or be forced to do so by a spiritual battle.
Tribal shamans usually use fighting, while neo-shamans, influenced by democratic culture, prefer negotiation. I too always try to negotiate. However, one must be aware that it is not always possible to convince a spirit nicely.
The spirit, especially if it is the soul of a dead person, may ask you to do something that he/she cannot do without a body (such as the one he/she has taken possession of) and it is generally not a good idea to take over someone else’s tasks.
If, however, the action to be performed is simple and does not harm anyone – which is sometimes difficult to assess, some things end up getting out of control – the shaman may decide to accept.
However, the spirit often demands revenge. Hatred, much more than love, tends to keep the dead bound to the life they should leave behind.
And no shaman who is not mad accepts to avenge a spirit.

Capturing Spirits

Whether one succeeds in convincing the spirit by good means or not, one cannot simply get it out of the body it has taken possession of. It may enter into someone else, even into the shaman himself.
The shaman must accompany him to the underworld or to the place where he belongs.
Usually shamans, for safety’s sake, keep the spirit during the Journey in a special instrument, a spirit-catcher used only for this purpose. Others imprison it in the drum.
Some shamans take the spirit (and thus the disease) upon themselves and then release it in the appropriate place. This technique requires great power and excellent protection. If the spirit belongs to the Middle World (as far as I know it never comes from the Celestial Worlds) the shaman’s soul travels to a vast deserted place where the spirit can do no harm and there he sets it free.
If, however, it is very powerful and dangerous, it may be necessary to imprison it, e.g. in a Medicine Wheel or in a cave or hole in the ground which are then sealed with a special ritual. A bottle or a jar can be used in the same way, and fairy tales about the evil genie enclosed in a bottle derive precisely from these practices

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