"The belief that the dead may return to trouble the living goes back to antiquity and it remains widespread in non-western cultures. In the west it continues in Christian teaching. The New Testament abounds with accounts of Jesus casting out devils and unclean spirits. Exorcism, as still used by the Christian churches, ritualises this practice. But expelling the attached entity in this way is an adversarial procedure, far removed from contemporary spirit release, which aims to help both host and entity." 1
I did not set out to become an exorcist. My interest in ‘Spirit Release’, ‘Rescue Work’ or ‘Deliverance’ - the head spin doctor terms for Exorcism - has arisen from my consultations.
It is useful to define terms. I use three broad categories :
· Ordinary people who were once alive and are now dead, but are still 'hanging around'. They are sometimes referred to as ‘spirits’, or ‘trapped’ or 'earth-bound’ souls.
· The traces or remanence of ordinary people who were once alive, but who are now dead (and perhaps died in violent or dramatic circumstances). It is their 'trace' or effect on the environment which is detectable, but they themselves have moved on, or at least they are no longer present.
· Everything else that might go bump in the night. Poltergiests, nature spirits, old & inappropriate thought forms, and 'bad stuff', (if you accept the notion of the existence of bad stuff, as opposed to the mere absence of good.) The undead rarely get a look in due to their aversion to mirrors.
Any one of the above categories can become 'attached' to either a person, or a place, or both.
In the west the Church used to have a monopoly on Deliverance, but there are now many practitioners and approaches. The activity also used to be isolated and clandestine, but practitioners are now more likely to share their experience with colleagues.
One of the interesting developments in recent years has been the creation of the Spirit Release Foundation (SRF), an organisation where psychiatrists, healers, dowsers, and other practitioners meet and discuss their work. The SRF also provides a variety of training courses, and Alan Sanderson's fascinating article on Spirit Release and Health, quoted above, is available on the SRF website1 and provides an excellent introduction and overview.
There are many ways of undertaking Spirit Release, including :
· The practitioner directly addressing/dealing with the 'spirit',
· The practitioner addressing the spirit via the client (who may be in a light trance)
· Procedural approaches : surrounding the spirit with white light, putting spirits on an 'escalators to upstairs', etc
Simple techniques are set out in David Furlong's "Earth Energies" and Caitlin Matthews "Psychic Protection Handbook". David Ashworth’s "Dancing with the Devil ~ Survival for Healers and Therapists" sets out the work of someone long experienced in this field. Peter Dawkins, the founder of the Gatekeeper Trust, runs Rescue courses (www.Zoence.co.uk) and writes that the rescue of earth-bounds is one of the most important acts of healing and service that can be undertaken.
The Spirit Release Foundation (www.SpiritRelease.com) is the largest organisation in the field, and its wide range of courses benefit from the interchange of ideas that takes place within the SRF itself. On June 10th the SRF's annual event in London features Edith Fiore.
Is it all really real ? (But then, are ley lines really real ?) Even if it isn't, approaching the problem as if it is, and dealing with it with respect, can be extremely beneficial. A novel approach is set out in the work of Phil Rickman, whose reports of the work of the Rev. Merrily Watkins, Deliverance Consultant to the Hereford Diocese2, are full of fascinating insights.
2 http://www.philrickman.co.uk/page17.html (See also the book review in Dowsing Today for December 2005)
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