This is an advanced article written for my fellow shamanic practitioners who may need some support during a psychic attack. A lot of this is practical advice that anyone could use, but some components can only be understood by those who have been on the path for some time and/or have been trained in compassionate depossession methods of working with clients.
This article is not about cords, curses or being possessed. It is about the specific situation of one person or spirit sending you harm or more likely, opportunities to connect and become food. It is also not about incidental (and mostly accidental) psychic darts that we send to each other when we are not careful with our energy. This is about enmeshment.
To clarify terms for all readers, a ‘possession’ is usually not related to words like “evil” or “demonic”. It is merely the soul of dead person (or animal or other being) who died and never got a chance to cross over. Many times they don’t even know they are dead. All they want, of course, is life. They have no life force of their own because they don’t have a body, so they drift into someone’s body that has an opening. Such opening is usually caused by soul loss. This soul (or suffering being) is just trying to get more energy and needs, ultimately, love in order to cross over to the other side and finish his/her journey.
The most common way that a situation can typically wind up in psychic attack, is through a very powerful relationship. It usually starts off full of one-way or mutual enamoring but at some point things goes bad, only for us to realize that the other person is possessed. Enmeshment has been happening all along, sort of like falling in love (or perhaps actually falling in love) but now that the relationship is coming apart, the enmeshment has become a psychological and spiritual danger. It is time to get out.
This can manifest in many scenarios: in friendships, romantic love, a teacher/student relationship, at work..you name it. It is no one’s fault or intention. It is more like two people who have entered a dark and enchanted forest without having seen the signs, having walked too far and now things have gotten out of control and it feels too late to get back to that dreamy clearing where the flowers were.
In this situation, the suffering being is activated and is doing everything it can to create drama in order to get more energy. It is painful, it is personal and it is not happening in a session room where the spirit is being brought in by someone asking for help. Neither the spirit nor the other person may be interested in healing or even hearing the concept of possession. You are on your own and the most important thing right now is to get yourself into the light.
You have the skills, the training and the spiritual alliances to make this happen. What it is going to take is you, taking the bull by the horns and refusing to be food. This is very hard work but it is also instructive work, as every difficult decision you are going to have to make is going to be a lesson learned for future situations. How you manage getting yourself back to your own spiritual center becomes a template for how you hold yourself in the light from this day forward.
What it can feel like.
Psychic attack is very much like possession, where a suffering being has found shelter in your body and is trying to create scenarios that will produce high amounts of energy so that it can feed off that energy. That familiar “overshadowing” feeling of lethargy that many of us experience in training can be there, too. The difference is that the influences trying to create these scenarios are coming from outside your field, not inside. This is a subtle, yet important difference that most people cannot ascertain. Those who have been initiated into the field or those who have experienced compassionate depossession healings know the difference between energies affecting them from inside and from outside because they have lived it personally.
Because unfortunately, many of us have had to contend with dysfunctional environments and relationships our entire lives, we may not inherently know what it feels like to be clear. One of the first tasks practitioners do in training for this type of healing is to undergo a series of exercises meant to help us get to know what if feels like to be completely and solely ourselves, in our own divine light. That way, we can tell the difference when we are being influenced by something that is not us.
If you do not know what is going on, go see a healer trained in compassionate depossession. Actually, if you are feeling over your head in any way, it is always good to get outside help. Two great resources for this would be from Betsy Bergstrom’s website here: http://www.betsybergstrom.com/referrals/ If you think you need a soul retrieval or an extraction healing, much of this advice will be difficult to take on. You can find very good shamanic healers at this site here: http://shamanicteachers.com/practitioners.html
So what does it feel like to be under psychic attack? It feels like a normal difficult situation on steroids. Women can relate to this when they think of the difference between normal emotions and emotions heightened by PMS. Except that this situation is many times worse. When this happens in a relationship where the other person has a suffering being with them, ridiculous and destructive arguments can be ignited, bewildering both parties. The suffering being in the other person can see into your mind and know your deepest wounds. These areas get intentionally targeted and triggered by the being, unintentionally by the person who is housing that unfortunate soul. Thus, more drama is created. Pain, resentment, misunderstandings… and the other person may have no idea how badly you have just been hurt.
When not with this person, you might find yourself saying things like “I feel that person’s rage inside my body.” You might feel all sort of emotions that are not yours coming across to you from outside of you. You might also have that uncanny feeling of being watched, or get a completely unrealistic fear that the other person might show up where ever you are. The more psychically aware could feel a rush of harmful, seductive or mournful energy trying to get into their field. The other person may show up in recurring dreams. The spirit itself may be showing up in your dreams. The connection with this person and the spirit may be so enmeshed that they are in some way in the forefront of your mind every waking moment. This is not infatuation or obsession. This is enmeshment.
On the further end of the spectrum, someone under psychic attack may find themselves in a long string of mishaps and accidents. This can be caused by loss of a power animal or by attack from a magical practitioner outside oneself, using their skills for harm. There are people that intentionally do this, for revenge, greed or payment, but I am not covering this there. This is not as common and a much more severe scenario. If you are experiencing psychic phenomena on the physical plane, remember that phenomena needs to be fueled by someone’s energy. Refusing to ‘fund’ such activities can put a stop to it right away. Many of the steps below will contribute to that change, but it is also possible to say, “Not mine. You can’t have my energy for that.” and depending upon how the phenomena is being manifested, make an immediate change.
Overall, what is happening during a period of psychic assault is that the underlying flavor of your life is being colored by this other person and the spiritual influences around them, to a degree that is not healthy. You are becoming emotionally unstable, depressed or thrown into pain by the triggers that have come your way. Life feels like a crisis even though your mind knows that the events that have occurred do not warrant a crisis. Your own baseline energies are fading and you need to get the floor back under you.
Once again, reach out for help if you are drowning. There is no reason, actually no way you are going to make it out of this alone. You may need more than one kind of help. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other things or cause other things to happen that can be prevented. It is the combination of the symptoms with other subtle aspects like where the energies are coming from that make this a psychic attack.
What to do.
These suggestions are not listed in any order. The time is chaos so you are handling energies and emotions as they come to you. Many things may help all at once in every order or all switched up, depending upon what is going on. It would be romantic and exciting to say that you are in a shamanic battle but the whole point is not to battle.
The playing field we have to work in goes all the way from the edge between survival and aggression, to complete enlightened compassion. On the survival end of the spectrum we are contracted, pulled inside, protective. The line between protective anger and sending rage across to the other person is non-negotiable- as in crossing that line, you have lost your integrity. On the other end of the spectrum we are expansive, connected with all beings, including those that we previously perceived as dangerous beings. This state is reached through a strong foundation of spiritual work and receiving.
Our path is about love, loving ourselves being the first priority so ‘what to do’ becomes many series of deflections, side-stepping, letting go and accepting love. Once you are in a stage of feeling more healthy we can focus on emanating love but for now you need to get out of the storm.
Take it seriously but don’t invest in fear. It’s like housekeeping.
In other words, if you are at all concerned about your mental healing and emotional well-being, this is an emergency but we are supposed to be calm in emergencies, right? In the psychic world, fear attracts danger. On the other hand, telling ourselves that it’s nothing is equally dangerous. In the words of one of my spirit helpers. “You don’t want to create panic, but you don’t want to be stupid, either. Just do the work you need to do, like housework. Clean the kitchen and forget about it.” If you really don’t know how bad things are, conduct a shamanic journey on it. Or have someone else journey on it for you.
Take the bull by the horns and move.
What is at risk here is pretty big. You don’t want to lose your sense of self and compromise your ability to see clients and continue your work as a healer. The longer you wait, the more enmeshed you will be so it is time to take full control over the situation and make change now, as fast as you can, in ways that will become permanent. There is no room for wavering.
Forgive yourself of the notion of pulling out of the dark and magnificently transporting into the light. We are not machines. We are organic beings. It takes time to clear and every little thing we do ourselves moves us towards the light. There is a guarantee that things will get better if you just keep moving.
On the practical level there is a lot you can do, around healthy food, exercise, drinking enough water, time alone, time with good friends, applying all your favorite uses of self-care you have learned over the years. Keep moving. To stop and fester or trip out too long on what is going on is to weight in on spiritual death. Energy needs to flow right now. Even if you don’t know where you are going, just keep moving.
The goal is to disconnect
You have got to get into lockdown. Step one is getting the walls up. Some really practical things that can help enormously are as follows:
Do not speak (or type) the person’s name. Speaking someone’s name invokes them and all the energy around them. There is a distinct difference between the person that you love and the being that is trying to gain access to your energy but right now, the name is invoking them both, so just stop. You have to get your world right first. After that, there will be room for more human consideration.
Disconnect internet connections. Social media connections bring people into our thought-stream when we are not choosing to think about that person. Seeing what someone is up to is just another way of getting pulled into the emotions around the situation so closure is best.
Do not accept gifts. This is not about material gifts. When disconnecting from someone who is harmful to be around, it is common to be overwhelmed with the sweetness of how the relationship was before it went sour. This can be a memory or it can actually be a seductive energy being sent out by the being, (not the person). Understanding this can allow you to identify the energy, close in to yourself and just let it pass by, like the wind. Or put steel on the outside of your walls, saying, “There is nothing here for you.” until it gets bored and goes away. Maybe not as easy as it sounds, but possible.
These are temporary measures that are not sustainable. They are tools to use along the way to getting re-centered and plugged back in with your own divinity, at which point, these sorts of attacks won’t phase you at all. You will even be able to have compassion.
Do your cord-cutting practices. There are a myriad of ceremonies to help remove unhealthy bonds between people in the many pagan books out there so I will not list them here but I will say that it is far more effective if you ask your helping spirits to do the work for you, rather than doing it yourself. They have perspective and neutrality that we do not. They know the difference between healthy connections and unhealthy attachments. When this happens, all we need to do is ask and receive. Take this seriously. Don’t do it in your car in the parking lot where you have to be wary of people around you. Go home, create sacred space and invest the time. It is perfectly normal to have to do this more than once, as you or the other person may reach out again out of habit.
Let go of what you think you want.
In accomplishing the goal of disconnecting, you have to convince yourself that you do not want anything from the other person. Wanting anything from someone that is hurting you will only bring more pain. The focus is on you. You and getting yourself to a better place so that you can function. That’s what I mean by lockdown. No energy sent out towards that person and no reaching out by dreaming of what could be. Nip all ‘future pictures’ in the bud.
You do not want their apology. You do not want the money they owe you. You do not want the (fill in the blank) that you shared that you miss so much. It’s not coming back. Not this way at least. You are not waiting for healthy, clear compassionate communication or reconciliation to materialize. If it happens, it happens. It is true what they say about letting people go. If they truly loved you and want to be in your life, they will return. Shamanically speaking, we give people free will to be in our lives or not. If it helps, tell yourself you are going to be the super-Buddha, wanting nothing. Simply, do not want.
Do not need to heal the being. You have all this training. You have helped other beings cross over. You may have even encountered beings that presented themselves as evil, found their true faces and guided them to their own light. Good job. You cannot heal this being. Just because it showed up in your life doesn’t mean that it wants healing. If it showed up in your session room, brought by someone that is looking for help, that might be different. Maybe this one just wants to attack. It wants power. These beings are bigger than we are and if they are not in the mood to work with us, it’s best to stay away. You can hide your energy signature in many ways, one by changing the spiritual symbology that the person and spirit are aware of that you use. Ask your guides about this.
The goal is to realign
The sole, only and only powerful focus you have is the focus on yourself. Not the person and not the being. The person is drowning, and not asking you for your help. Don’t PAY any attention. Attention is energy that you cannot afford to be flagrantly spending anywhere right now. Power lost to you and gained by other. Ironically, the only thing that will heal anything outside of you in this situation is you focusing on yourself and nurturing your own light, anyways. This knowledge is not small. It is not a cliché. It is wider than the world. It is ‘the’ only way we can help anyone, is to nurture ourselves. When we are well, the cup over-floweth and there is more than enough for others.
Here are ways to get back into alignment with that which supports your health:
Start a daily practice.
Not all of us are cut out to be daily practice people. In a situation psychic assault, however,it becomes critical because we are encountering difficult energies and emotions every day–so every day we need to allow ourselves to be cleared. Take some time in the morning to do whatever it is that you do to clear your field. Meditate. Practice a martial art or yoga. Shamanic journey. Sit with your cleansing crystals. Get you butt outside in nature.
Open yourself to the divine energies outside of you and ask them to clear you. In this practice, you may begin to understand the difference between the other person and the being they walk with. You may even naturally find yourself shining light their way. This is the first step towards compassion. But don’t pressure yourself. You are not well and this practice is for you. When the session is over, close the sacred space and allow yourself to be human, having human emotions.
And then do all those things you do when you are freaking out. Chocolate, talking to friends, seeing a ridiculous movie, dancing to bad music in the living r0om… that stuff. Remember that alcohol is a depressant, caffeine shields you from your natural body rhythms and any mind-altering substance takes you out of your body. If you are going to get better, you have to get in your body. Exercise. Loud shower singing.
Expansion and movement. Instead of isolation, tunnel vision or stagnation.
The number one way a powerful spirit who wants our energy can overwhelm us is by making us feel….well, attacked. The fear that can be invoked, the “Am I crazy?”, the extremes of emotion can make us dig into ourselves and isolate. A tunnel vision can ensue, where the topic of this situation is all you think about as everything else in life begins to fade. This is exactly what the suffering being wants. We must remember that these beings really are bigger and more powerful than we are. That is why we work with our helping spirits. It is only through connection with the divine that we can have any sort of constructive interaction with them.
This is what I do. I find that sick place in myself that is comforted by being isolated, that place that wants to curl up and die. It’s a powerful want that can be utilized. Then I lock into myself just like I want but–I shut out the being. Then I expand in an entirely different field, the one where my friends are and my spirit helpers and power animals are waiting for me. Where the waterfalls and spring flowers are. The opening happens and the light literally rushes in. They have been here all along! It was me that was blocking them out, as I was blocking absolutely everything out of my field except the being that wanted to overtake me. But now, I am not alone. I am with. I am in relationship, as we are supposed to be as members of this beautiful planet. Connected. Inter-connected. Now you are part of a team working together to bring more light into the world, starting with your own system.
Good job. Repeat as many times a day as necessary.
It really is ok to feel. Emotion is useful
Underneath all this drama created by the suffering being, there is a real human situation where there is loss, confusion, pain and misunderstandings. Allow yourself to process the un-exaggerated emotions that are running through you. It’s ok that you got in this deep and it’s ok that you feel this much and it’s ok that you are separating to take care of yourself.
One strange comment I want to make is that you are also not obligated to feel bad. Some of us grew up in environments where the only kind of intimacy we knew was through emotional drama, rage, psychological or physical abuse. Because of this, we may feel the strange notion that getting out and feeling better is a form of abandoning and betraying the other person. It is not. It is actually better for everyone to get better. If the other person loves you they will want this for you too, so please, take care of yourself.
The purpose of anger in this situation is clarifying, clearing, unbelievable sharp sight, not the same as the tunnel vision of rage. Anger creates instant, unpenetratable boundaries – that you need right now. It allows you to be alone, separated from all the murky confusing, binding, slippery energy of the situation and to get the soul food you need. Use this energy to create energetic boundaries that are deeply rooted, very high, yet do not project anger out.
Do not plan to use anger to maintain your protective boundaries over time though, as prolonged anger will burn you up and can damage your health and relationships. This is a way to use anger to get you to a safe place where you can access other type of protection through relationship with your helping spirits.
The purpose of weeping in this situation is cleansing. Releasing toxins, getting the anger away from attacking your body and making you sick. Crying is good. Use this energy to listen deeply to the issues that are surfacing from your past so that they may be cared for.
Your emotions are for you. They are instructive and healing. They are not meant to be projected, psychically shared with the other person or judged. You are in your lockdown room and you are taking control back of your life. You want to have this space to let all your emotions run but under no circumstances should you allow the intensity of these emotions to go flying towards the other person. To do so can truly harm the other person and will surely give energy to the suffering being. You do not want to do to the other person what has happened to you.
So you need to watch your rage, in both its upper levels and the deeper levels so you do not curse or wound the other person. Or get yourself hooked back into the being. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you have it covered because your hot firey anger is in check when the depth of your rage could silently knock a house over. If you are a skilled shamanic or energy practitioner, to slip would be to use your knowledge and power for destruction, rather than creation and healing. Because of your training, the results could be more damaging than you know. This is highly unethical and there are severe repercussions for this kind of practice. You are risking your entire life’s calling being turned in a direction that will harm many, many people.
You must know how to perceive and separate your human emotion from spiritual aspect of your emotion so that you can allow yourself to feel without harming others. As was mentioned before, an attacking spiritual being will go after your deepest wounds so take the opportunity to face them and grow. Separate the old wounds from the source of the trigger and be grateful for the opportunity to have these things unearthed.
Allow yourself to receive
Allow your spirit helpers to come into your field and surround you. They want to! Don’t know they are there for you as a concept. Be present. Invite them. Ask them for support. Journey to your heart home in the lower world. If you have never done that, ask your power animal to take you to your heart home in the lower world. It is a very nurturing place to be.
Be open to new energies coming into your life. They are a blessing, will break up the dark pattern. New people, unexpected events or invitations, new flavors of ice cream. Literally, intentionally focus on spiritual light. On being a shaft of light…. but don’t get all crazy about failing or overdo it. After all your training and years of pulling yourself to where you are, just getting to feeling ‘normal’ is probably a ton of light compared to how it has been lately. Invoke happy feelings. Favorite things…just like the song. This is not a cheesy, shallow lifestyle suggestion whipped up by teenage new-agers who think they can project happy thoughts as a way of solving real world problems. This is an emergency. You MUST keep your head above water and not forget what the light feels like. You want to raise the bar in your energetic field, not allow it to be lowered.
I realize that not everyone has good friends in their lives, but if you do, hang out with and see the people you trust. Just being in their presence will change the energy in your field. Sing. Make music. Make anything. Creative action is flow and flow is very, very good for you right now.
And then lie down and let yourself feel bad. :) Because you love yourself.
Don’t be a fool. Ask for help.
You are not super human or a super spiritual practitioner. Actually, any super spiritual practitioner knows that we cannot walk this road alone. To do so is far too dangerous. We are super because of our connection with all that is beautiful and divine. We are super because we show the same care we offer others, to ourselves.
Do ceremony to get your life going in the right direction.
This might be difficult but you have to do it. When we are in ceremony what we say and do changes the imprint of the world we are living in. So, really, you only have to keep your compassion, optimism and positive vision clear and sharp for the length of the ceremony. Then, as before when sending love and light, close the circle, go on your way and allow yourself to be messed up and human, trusting that the work you did and the help you are receiving from the compassionate spirits will change the energetic course of your life.
The goal is compassion.
Ok, so I know there is a popular song out there by MC Yogi that says, “Don’t follow the guru. You are the guru!”. It reflects a positive notion that all the wisdom and compassion we are seeking is within ourselves. This it true but not instantaneously! I am the Buddha and you are the Buddha but the cat just knocked a bunch of stuff over in the living room and I am busy and my family of origin stuff has been triggered and there is a monster at the door and if I do not lock the door I am going to die, so I am going to lock the door and worry about openness and compassion later. K?
So, once the place is safe and the alarms are installed we can sit down and meditate from a very small, equally locked room. In this room, we may find the healing and strength to be filled with our own divinity, self-love and light enough to be able to focus our attention outside the house. To consider a stance of compassion to that which just hath fucked us up.
This is a gift. A rush of joy, pure gold to be able to do this. This is good for everyone involved and actually creates a better field of protection around you. Do it as long as you can, then get up from the small meditation room, put your work clothes on and continue with the day. Disconnect from the spiritual meditational mindstream before going on with your day so that the opening you created in order to send compassion does not become an opening from which to receive more interference. Or be pulled out of with your dreaming of what could be.
The big compassion will come with persistence. The daily practices of self-care, allowing yourself to feel and also keeping the ultimate goal as reaching a compassionate state will slowly increase your state of grace. What was once, “Big scary demon. Oh fuck,” becomes, “Big scary demon. I’m not alone. How do you like that?! Ha! Ha! Tee Hee!” and eventually turns to “Big scary demon not look so much like big scary demon anymore.” Looking more like what it usually is, a lost and frustrated soul needing love.
Allow yourself to mourn.
And then one day, your old friend, or lover, teacher or boss is just a person. It’s clear. You can move on. Maybe it was all the releasing that let you get to the root of the pain, maybe it was finding the catch in your past that allowed you to let go, but now you can grieve. Once the attachment is gone, what is left is simple human-sized emotions. There might be relief, joy, sadness, anger, disbelief, betrayal, very likely all of that. You can go through them now and feel the pain without feeling like the entire universe is being ripped apart. There is no magic pill for the loss of the connection you had with this person. Just know that on some level, it was real. It’s just lost. There might even be opportunity for resolution with enough time passed and patterns stopped. For now, your job is to continue to process the real wounds that were triggered so that no one can ever trigger them again. Face that. Don’t avoid it. You’ve come this far.
When you are strong again, feeling protected and back in flow with Spirit, the first thing to do is to enjoy the freedom you have to think about love and where it fits in the situation while still keeping you safe. Remember the pure love that you shared and the highest view you had of them as a loving person. Everyone has a good heart. Wish them well. We are not allowed to do healing for others without permission but you can send them compassion to be received or not. To prevent old habits of sending personal energy out, as your helping spirits to guide you in how to be a channel for a higher light.
And finally, there will be a time when compassion reaches you, instead of you seeking it. I call this is a gift, as it comes from outside. We are in the flow of something greater than ourselves. Perhaps the energy is centering out from a great crystal in your heart that is in touch with something beyond. This gift is a gift like no other because suddenly there is no reaching, no work or trying, there is a blossoming within you that colors everything you are aware of. She is not a helping spirit to interact with. She just is. There is no worry about protection or sliding backwards because compassion for ourselves gives us good boundaries. There is a shield made of light and understanding and whatever is reaching out to touch us will only touch light.
Let this. This blessing of Be. Allow and place gratitude in the grace of being.
Who knows how long this beauty will sustain? Ask your Spirits for guidance. Ask the guardians of the crossings to come down and show this suffering being what light feels like. Of what could be possible. Keep working. We want to be able to carry love in our hearts for all the people we have known and spirits we have met. This is a good goal. It is the road we have chosen.
If this article was helpful to you and you are in this situation, read it over every few days. Your world is overwhelming and ever-changing so some suggestions may be more helpful on one day than another.
Many thanks to all my teachers from both planes, notably Betsy Bergstrom, whose compassion, bravery and patience has changed my life.