Always a Bridesmaid, Never the Bride…

To be lost somewhere and everywhere. To be suspended in time and space, away from thoughts and form. That is what some spiritists describe the process of trance possession is like. For me it is more like having the lights dimmed all around and feeling as though I am falling into a deep dark well. Falling without hitting the bottom. But that is as far as I go. You see, not every spiritist has the hability to simply let go and allow the process of trance possession to simply happen.

As a medium I consider myself like lighting rod, condensing energy around me and dissipating it or directing it to another medium who can simply let go, for I cannot. I have to remain in control at all times, I guess it is the nature of my being. My job is that of caring for a medium in trance, guiding him or her in the search for ingredients, items and keeping record of the every move and message of the manifested spirit. Becoming a record keeper can be at times frustrating. Spirits can be demanding and dictate fast and often times using dialect that is not known to the auxiliary medium. Anyone who has seen a talented medium at work has observed that normally the spirit could request a cigar, water, a beverage (alcoholic or not) and even food. Some spirits still yearn for material things, for what was familiar to them. In any case, when working with a medium in full trance one has to be ready for anything.

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On Spiritual Hygene and Spiritism

Cascarilla cup, can be found at most Botanicas

Spiritism is a practice is based in the belief that spirits exist as non-physical beings and can indeed communicate with the living in many different ways. In the Caribbean this communication often times takes the form of a Spiritual Mass or a seance type of gathering where mediums pray, offer light and water to the spirits and await for mental or physical mediums to establish contact with beings that no longer have physical form.

This is of course an extremely simplified description of what Spiritism is. It could take pages upon pages to write about its origins, leaders, advocates and practices. But for now it is sufficient to say that Alan Kardec was one of its most famous pillars and that in the New World there are many talented manifestations of spiritism, from Jane Roberts and her Seth channelings, to Edgar Cayce and his healing through trance channeling.

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Spiritual Masses: A Door to the Other World

Selected Prayers

The Spiritual Mass is a reunion of mediums in search of contact with non-corporeal entities. A series of variations on spiritual masses are observed in the Caribbean and in the United States, but some common elements include the use of a white candle, a large glass bowl filled with water, a cross, florida water, and a book of prayers. Additionally, white flowers or plants associated with spirits are also used for cleansings during a spiritual mass.

Holding a spiritual mass is not unlike a séance, as it requires that mediums and expectators are concentrated and have a sole purpose: Spirit communication. To that extent spiritists take pride in working for the good of people, in seeking to do charity by helping others elevate their spiritual knowledge, learning about their ‘cuadro espiritual’ or their assigned guardian spirits, and by lifting negative spiritual influences or helping to improve physical conditions.

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