Friday, October 31, 2008
Two Short Ghosts Stories and a Lengthy Recipe
I have had so many embarrassing encounters with ghosts. I remember a Halloween when I stood with the other members of my Very High Profile Coven in front of 1,500 people in the midst of our largest community ritual. My Very High Profile Coven was supposed to channel the wisdom of the Dead. There was a microphone set up in the middle of our circle of six, so that every single person in the room could hear us. We held hands, closed our eyes ... and then ... we channeled the stupid dead, or the stoner dead. I don't know who we were channeling but nothing we said made any sense at all. It was SO embarrassing.
Or the time we went to Gettysburg, five of us Powerful Wiccan Practitioners, just to map the energy, or so we said. One thing we agreed to, on the way to the battlefield, was that the five of us would stick together. But the moment the car was parked, we all jumped out and headed in opposite directions. Not only were we unable to map the energy of that haunted place, but on the ride home we couldn't agree on anything. We didn't shout at each other, but we were definitely quarrelsome. Oops. One-upped by the dead again!
Sometime I'll write about Gettysburg as the icon of divided America, not today though because I promised Willow I would publish a "recipe" for helping ghosts gently cross over to a place of healing and renewal.
Clearly I am no genius when it comes to dealing with the dead, but the following ritual IS genius. It comes from Pomegranate Doyle who was one of my Reclaiming wiccan colleagues.
RITUAL TO HELP GHOSTS CROSS OVER
What you'll need:
Someone to work with (you need two people for this ritual)
Black or white candle
Two face-sized hand mirrors. They do not have to be fancy - drugstore mirrors work just fine.
A black cloth big enough to wrap around the mirrors
Smudge stick or a dried sprig of rosemary, or bells, singing bowls, or salt water (to cleanse the space afterwards)
A sense of humor
The ability to behave as if you know what you're doing
Choose a place in the house where you feel comfortable. You could go to the most haunted space, but if it creeps you out to work there, the ritual won't work as well. Let your intuition guide you.
Light the candle. If you feel the presence of the ghosts, proceed with the order of the ritual. If you don't feel them you might have to "wake them up." That involves going to the haunted spaces and clapping your hands, snapping your fingers, knocking on the walls, saying things like "Hey! WAKE UP!" Again, let your intuition guide you.
Order of ritual:
Place the hand mirrors back to back so that the mirror surfaces are facing outwards. Hold the mirrors tightly together between the two of you, at the level of your faces.
One of you will be working with the ghost(s) themselves, the other person will be calling in loving ancestors of the ghosts who will guide the lost spirits to wherever it is they go after death.
The person who works with the ancestors simply needs to be sincere in calling them to come to "the gate" (the mirrors form a portal through which the dead can pass on). Appeal to them in terms of how they once loved the ghosts, let them know how stuck the ghosts are and how much they need the help of loving ancestors. Be firm, yet respectful. The ancestors will come, I promise.
The person who works with the ghosts needs to be more "in your face." What I do is look into the mirror and speak plainly and loudly. The point is to make the ghosts understand they are DEAD and it's time to move on. Ghosts are no smarter than you or me, and they're just as deluded. I loved the movie The Sixth Sense because Bruce Willis is so perfect as a ghost that is clueless about what happened to him.
I hold the newspaper up to the mirror and point out the date. I always say, "Look at how I'm dressed!" The last time I did this I held my ipod up to the mirror and said, "Do you know what this is? OF COURSE NOT, because it's 2008!!" When I feel that the ghost finally understands he/she IS dead, then I tell them that their ancestors are present and ready to guide them to a place of healing and renewal. I tell them it's time to go as if there is no other choice. The more conviction you can muster, the better.
When you feel the presence of the ancestors (feels very calm, wise and angelic) and when the ghosts seem to be aware of what's happening, then both of the living people begin to blow into the mirrors, each from his/her respective side of the gate. Often one person will feel warm while the other feels cold, though that doesn't always happen. You don't have to blow as hard as you can, but consistently. It might take two minutes or it might take ten minutes. You don't have to blow for an hour though - ten minutes is the absolute maximum amount of time I've ever had to blow, and that was for a LOT of ghosts.
At some point it will feel like Something Has Happened. Both people doing the ritual will know when the ghosts have crossed. Something in the room changes. Check in with each other.
Trust your intuition!
After Something Has Happened, immediately turn the mirrors to face each other and hold them together tightly. Blow out the candle. Both of the living say out loud "THE GATE IS CLOSED." Mean it when you say it. Wrap the mirrors in the black cloth and tie them securely together with string.
Some people bury the mirrors or throw them in the river. I like to get them outside of the house but I'll admit I've never buried them. After awhile the energy fades and they're just mirrors again. At that point I use them to apply mascara or whatever.
After the gate is closed and secured, cleanse the house by lighting a smudge stick and waving it around the whole house, or ringing bells or sprinkling salt water in the corners. Imagine that all the energy that doesn't belong in the house has dispersed.
Then imagine a secure boundary about the outside of the house. Sometimes it "looks" like a soap bubble, nice and shiny, that encircles the space. Turn on all the lights in the house, play music or sing, laugh, dance around like an idiot. When the house feels full of living energy, you can turn off all the electronics.
Eat something and have something non-alcoholic to drink.
That's it ... good luck!
And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!