Spiritism: Poetry and Prose

Light for your Spirit!

This post comes to us from New Jersey, from Angel, a Spiritist and Tata Nkisi who expresses his learnings through poetry and short prose. Luz para tu ser! (Light for your Spirit!).


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How to Select Outstanding Godparents

Godparents are not disposable items.

There is no perfect way to select godparents when entering any African Traditional Religion. But I am a keen observer, a student of the University of Hard Knocks, and, since the idea of this blog is to share lessons learned from all sort of spiritual practices, here are my two cents on how to select outstanding godparents.

When a religion become a commodity, the truly devoted tend to suffer. I have seen over and over again how people that come with a true calling to be part of the Orisha community are let down by unscrupulous iyaloshas and babaloshas (mothers and fathers of the orisha). Neophytes are rushed through stages, intimidated and even coerced to receive initiations that can simply wait, because everything, everything is a process.

Long time ago, I took the time to type some of this material on an e-mail for a person looking for an Ilé Orisha (House of Orisha). Ever since, when someone approaches me for information on initiation, I dust my old e-mail and press foward.
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One Evil Spirit Bites the Dust with LBRP

Blue Pentragram used in LBRP

This post contains an atypical operation in the world of traditional spiritism which is my normal practice and point of view, but spirit, as it binds and moves us all, has no boundaries. Therefore, there are times when situations dictate the use of creative application of techniques.

Nightmares are not frequent for me. But I woke up truly frightened from this one. Fear is the mind killer, but I have ways to settle fears quickly and effectively when it comes to spooky moments.

In my nightmare I was waiting to be served at a fast food place, chatting up with a friend when suddenly the attendant steps out whimpering and saying, “It hurts, it hurts.” At first I thought she had burned herself, but no. She sat on the floor and then I was shocked. I could see thin likes appearing in her arms, lines that started to swell and bleed in front of my eyes, they looked like scratches…scratches made by small hands. They continued to appear right there. Suddently I pulled out a digital camera from my purse and I started to take photos and out of anger and dispair I shouted: “Show yourself you bastard!”. That is when I lost it.

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Personal Experiences with Chinese Spiritism – Part 2

A Chinese ghost

My introduction to Daoist shamanism came mostly through a good friend who is an anthropologist specializing in Chinese folklore. His focus for many years was the I Ching, but he ruffled a few feathers with a structural-functionalist approach to numerology, which seemed to render obsolete much of the scholarship of various tenured professors who did not appreciate obsolescence. So he moved on to spirit possession, which seemed to be very popular and easily gained a lot of funding. For many years, he worked with a little rooftop temple that had a priestess who would channel various gods and engage in glossolalia. She also issued prophetic advice and would guide other initiates into trance states with reputed therapeutic results.

One time he invited me to come, and I certainly did witness her getting possessed by two different spirits. The timing of her possession was suspiciously excellent, coming right as it did after dinner. It seemed obvious that a certain amount of acting and/or conscious control was involved. However, her channeling was very fluent. One of the spirits spoke in a mixture of Japanese and Taiwanese, and she couldn’t speak Japanese outside of her trance states. My anthropologist friend spent a lot of time analyzing her pronouncements, which involved a lot of archaic linguistic forms and poetic imagery (which he analyzed from a structural-functionalist perspective and cross-referenced to traditional Daoist texts, etc.) I tried to pin him down on whether he considered what she was doing to be real, to which he replied, “What is real?”
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Mediumship (Patience + Practice + Perseverance) = Success?

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein once said when speaking about his works in the field of Physics “The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.

Knowing that Einstein had to still express his results in terms of formulas and equations, which are equivalent to learning, training and perseverance when adquiring the language of mathematics and physics, then, how do we define our own formula of success when developing mediumship? What is your measure for relative success? Furthermore, what is your understanding of mediumship?

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Personal Experiences with Chinese Spiritism – Part 1

The following article is submitted by our guest writer, Dod Grile. It is very good and since we do not want to edit out one single word of it, it will be posted on 3 parts. Happy reading!

White Cloud Monastery, Beijing

A note about Daoism for those who may be unfamiliar:

Daoism (or “Taoism” as it is more traditionally spelled) is Chinese folk religion. It is community-based and features an emphasis on the pursuit of longevity. Therefore, Daoism is impossible to fully separate from the traditional calendar of folk festivals, theories of physical exercise that are the foundation of the martial arts, or the herb lore that has developed into Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Daoism is polytheistic, with a wide variety of patron deities for different aspects or endeavors of life, in a way quite similar to the patron saints of Catholicism. Many Daoist gods or goddesses began as historical people or legendary figures of human status, and over the course of time their worshipers came to impute divine powers upon them.

The pantheons in many Daoist temples also include Buddhist bodhisattvas, and indeed, Buddhist temples may have Daoist idols too. At the level of community practice, the dividing line between the two religions can sometimes blur.
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On Spirits and Offerings: Excerpts from “Food for Thought, no Pun Intended”

Eggun (ancestors) shrine with simple food offering.

I had a nightmare. I was jolted out of my bed in between worlds, agitated and most of all, very hungry…

Let me tell you how it all started. I had not done dream work in a very long time, but a few weeks before this horrid dream, during a spirit transmission through my husband, one of my spirits came with a request. We were to shift our line of communications to the sleep realm. She outlined the first set of in instructions on how to sew a ‘dream pillow’.

I enjoy sewing on my spare time and I even turn that craft into active meditation and as eager as I was to start my project, I sensed something was missing. Further inspiration came to me hours later while chatting with my best and dearest friend as well as my spiritual co-worker. Upon doing divination together consulting our main spirit guides who happen to both be older ladies, we defined the materials that would go inside my dream pillow. He then helped me to secure some herbs which harder to find as fresh as possible in the Caribbean. But for him it was easy to simply send them from England.

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Daily Spiritual Workout

Every bóveda has a different look and feel, elements included depend on what spirits request over the years.

Working with your spirits guides, wether you know them or not, does not have to be a cumbersome routine.

Once a bóveda is set up (refer to Spirits in the Material World), there are some elemental steps in keeping up the energies of that ritual space and strengthening your energetic connection to guardian spirits. It will take you a minimum of 5 minutes in the morning and another 5 minutes in the evening to do a simple blessing ritual and a closing of the day prayer. Why are these important? Do you like to be greeted by people in the morning? Do you like to have someone ask you how your day went at the end of the day? Spirits like communication and many of them observe sets of formulas where courtesy and traditions are well regarded. It is also a good way to break the ice and start developing a routine that is comfortable and second nature to a person hoping to develop as a medium.

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Spirits in the Material World: An Everyday Affair for Practitioners of any Discipline

Basic bóveda set up

Call them what you will. There are lots of types of spirits and they are around us in our material world every single day. Their force is felt in our magical rituals, in our moments of solitude and meditation and sometimes, while we are surrounded by every day people.

Dealing with spirits is second nature to me. There is no longer a fear factor involved to conquer, and through the years the sense of awe has faded away. But I am not jaded or take their presence for granted. There are spirits that are malevolent and one must be truly careful in our dealings with them, but fear should not be part of the equation, only preparation and discipline. I am still in awe of the things they can help us accomplish, but I am not longer in awe because they exist.

Since I started the blog, I have received several emails and instant messages from people who know I am a Spiritist and want to integrate spiritist practices and technology into their own practices and rituals. I am all for that. Every person has guardian spirits. However, most are not aware of them and go about life rationalizing odd feelings and sensations. Have you ever felt hair standing on the nape or you neck when visiting a place or meeting someone and touching them for the first time? Have you felt a chill and goose bumps or even a dizzying sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach while visiting an old place or a nature spot? Well, that is more than likely because your body has reacted like an antenna to spiritual presences, but you were perhaps none the wiser.

So how do we turn on this antenna? How do we apply spiritist techniques and concepts to your own practice?

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The Importance of Spiritual Resonance

Old places are filled with energies and echoes of the past.

Spiritual Resonance is important to the pursuit of mystical and esoteric practices. It is a state of mind, an experience as well as a technique that can directly be put to use developing our abilities. Spiritual Resonance is also a corresponding set of emotions that we have when we have made a connection or spiritual rapport with something. Accompanying this contact or connection is a lessening of the awareness of self, a loosening of the ego. How do you know what a resonating emotion feels like? It is sweeping emotion that can be deeply felt in your body. Spiritual Resonance carries the same description but it deepens because the emotion is understood by the body, mind and spirit. These sensations are usually experienced in the chest or solar plexus as pulses or vibrations that can be quite intense. Almost always this resonance is experienced and carries with it a deeply felt sense of meaning.

Spiritual Resonance is important because it can uncover areas in which we have hidden interests and abilities. It can sometimes orient us towards those directions and paths that we need to be on. It can be a spiritual alarm clock that wakes us up and gets our attention. Resonance imparts meaning in our lives because it points us in the direction towards what is uniquely and individually meaningful to us. In addition to these things, resonance can be a tool that connects us directly with spirit and the spiritual. In a later essay I would like to explore the various uses of resonance. I would like however, at this moment to share with readers how the experience of resonance set me upon my own spiritual path. My story is a zig-zag encounter with the subject of spirits and magic.

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