More thoughts on Demons

In my last post, I spent some time talking about demons and what they actually are. I linked to a couple of excellent blogs that indicated that demons were and are simply spirits/forces that are more closely linked with the processes of destruction and disintegration in our universe. These beings serve their purpose just as the angels do and our fear and moral judgement of them derives more from our discomfort with their processes and their similarity to us.

I would take these ideas a little farther here and note that much of the issue that we have with demons now derives from their association, in Abrahamic religions, with the Adversary of God, sometimes known as Satan. I could go the route of completely denying the existence of Satan which would be technically true but this would be an oversimplification. Satan does exist but not as an independent entity and he does not lead hordes of demons to make human lives miserable.

Without writing a book, let me say simply that Satan is a very powerful thought form that derives from the Christian (and to a lesser extent, Jewish and Muslim) need for a place to house all the ‘evil’ they perceive in the world. Since their god is, by definition, ‘good’ and the source of all ‘good’, and, whether they like it or not, ‘evil’ exists in the world, it became necessary to invent an Adversary who opposes god and upon whom all the bad stuff could be piled.

As a side benefit, the Christians could also claim that the Tempter lured them away from the path whenever they strayed (the devil made me do it defense) AND that any spirit that did not fit into their narrow cosmology was a minion of Satan known as a demon. Thus, Christians could rid themselves of wide swathes of pagan gods and other spirits that pagans worked with simply by claiming that they were demons sent to tempt the poor pagans into unimaginable sin. Never mind, of course, that their own god was originally a Semitic storm lord with a bad temper whom they had tamed down over time. But I digress.

Given that the Christian Church and, to a lesser extent, the other Abrahamic religions have been unrelenting in their insistence on the reality of Satan and his minions over the course of history and that these religions have had a major influence in the West, it is no wonder that ‘demons’ got a bad name. The original Greek word for demon was daimon which simply referred to a spirit and the terms agathodaimon and kaikodaimon (good spirit and bad spirit) referred simply to whether the spirit in question was acting to your benefit or not. Note: I am not a Greek scholar so please pardon spelling if it is not absolutely correct.

Now, if you spend any time around magicians, you will quickly learn that, while these people often consort with angels (and some of them even make a whole magical career out of doing so), there are quite a number who also evoke and work with ‘demons’. Their reasons for doing so seem quite clear – as I mentioned, the daimonic realms have a long association with human beings, have a much clearer idea of what our daily lives are like, understand the whole idea of living in a physical body and have a tendency to deliver on requested work with an expediency that one rarely sees in an angelic working. In other words, the daimonic spirits get things done. The trade off seems to be that they can be very literal and require some careful limits. There is no moral judgment placed on spirits, either angelic or daimonic; they are interfaces with which to work with certain energies.

What magicians do recognize though is another reason why demons and the daimonic realms get such a bad name. As I have said continuously throughout this blog, just as there are hostile people in our world, there are spirits in the Otherworld who are hostile and may be especially unhappy with humans for a number of reasons. Those spirits, whom I have dubbed the Intruders, love the Christian thought form of Satan. What better way to scare the life out of people and make their lives miserable than by posing as a “demon” in the Christian sense of the word in a society that, despite its secular humanist trappings, still has a great number of people who were at least raised in the Church? In addition, there are many levels of parasites in the Otherworld and some of the higher level ones have gotten in on the fun in order to produce the fear which feeds them. All of these Intruders have jumped on the Satanic bandwagon in order to further their own agendas.

So, you see why I flinch when some TV ghost hunter starts attributing phenomenon to a “demon”. If this individual had done the research, they would be able to reach beyond the prevailing paradigm in this culture and recognize that, just as there are all kinds of different people and animals in the world, so too the Otherworld is loaded with different “species”, some of whom are harmless and some of whom are predatory. This fact is why I harp on the idea of knowing what you are dealing with when going into any sort of paranormal event and, if you do not have the tools of discernment necessary to sort the spirits, having someone on your team who can.

Next time, I am going to discuss the idea of ‘demonic possession’.


Demons

I almost entitled this “Demons: The Real Scoop” but decided that I was going to talk about more than just what a demon is in occult thought. Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember a post from some time back called Types of Spirits – A Small Primer. In that post, I stated:

“Demons” – Most of the so-called “demons” are actually daemons or faery/djinn of the Unseelie variety busily working out their malice toward human kind. However, if one deals with the darker aspects of the paranormal/occult, one will eventually run up against a creature which seems to be the exact opposite of an angel. Rather than being a creature of radiant light, totally aligned to the will of “God” (however you see that), these beings seem to gather darkness around them and to delight in the destruction, on all levels, of human beings. . .

In some areas of the blogosphere (mostly amongst occultists), there has been an ongoing discussion of this subject. Two very erudite posts on this subject can be found on the blogs of Josephine McCarthy, the noted writer on visionary magic, and Ian Corrigan, another respected writer on pagan topics. While these two writers do not agree with my above quote completely, I find myself in complete agreement with what they have to say. I encourage you to read these two posts thoroughly and to really consider them.

Looking back on my own post, I see that I was still writing about demons from the vestiges of my Judeo-Christian upbringing. At the time of writing that post, I felt that, if I were going to write about angels, a phenomenon with which I have had direct experience in the Otherworld, then I had to balance them off with demons. After more research both academic and practical, I have to say that this was a mistake. The creatures that some call demons are, in fact, members of the daimonic realm; the difference is that they are the spirits of the “sub-lunar” realms that frighten us.

We in the United States (I can not speak for other countries) have developed a cult of youth and beauty. People in this country spend ridiculous amounts of money trying to superimpose a totally unrealistic image of beauty on themselves and refuse to face the fact that, genetically, we just cannot all look like super models or actors (male or female) no matter what we do. We worship at the altar of their youth and good looks and, as soon as they begin to age, with a few exceptions, they are cast aside for the next “hot property”.

On the other end of the scale, while we set our eyes firmly on the young, we do our best to ignore the old and, worse yet, death. It used to be that everyone above a certain age had seen a beloved relative or friend die, at home, surrounded by kith and kin. No longer. Nowadays, many people die in hospitals, surrounded by technology designed to keep them alive past the point where their body has given up. Once death has occurred, bodies are covered and removed as quickly as possible and then disposed of with as much haste as families can manage. Very seldom do we see the old custom of laying someone out, having their relatives tenderly prepare their bodies and attending to the dead in vigil.

Plainly, we have been trained to view youth and impossible good looks as the ideal and to hide our faces from old age and death. And yet . . . the occult traditions have always told us that death is a birth into new life and birth is a gateway to death.

In the Otherworld, there are forces of creation and manifestation and there are forces of destruction and dissolution working together in an ongoing recycling effort to ensure that nothing in this universe ever goes to waste. We have no trouble with the angels, who work on the creative side but we start to flinch when we come to the daimon/demons who are responsible for tearing things down and taking out the trash (as well as other functions we can only understand if we have converse with them). Mr. Corrigan does an excellent job, in his blog post, of tracing the descent of the daimon to the demon and his work there is, again, well worth reading.

So, the “demon” meets with our rejection because of its part in the natural order but there is more to it than that. We also fear the demon, I think, because these spirits remind us of ourselves. An angel is, as Ms. McCarthy notes, a rather ‘point and click’ type of spirit. The angelic orders have their functions and they perform them admirably but they are not the most approachable beings in the Otherworld. While magicians certainly do work with them, to good effect, the work is most often conducted on the angel’s terms since these spirits do not/cannot really negotiate and do not really have any idea what it is like to live a human life in a human body.

Demons, on the other hand, have a long history of interaction with people, tend to have more of a personality and certainly have a deeper understanding of what our lives are about not only from the interaction but quite possibly as the result of having had relations with us in the past (take the Nephilim as an example). Because they are creatures aligned more to the forces of dissolution and because they interact in a more “human” manner, they hold a mirror up to us and show us that we really are not as virtuous and civilized as we sometimes think we are.

While I no longer view the demon as a creature bent on human destruction, they certainly are capable of bringing that destruction about in as impersonal a manner as the general giving the command for a drone strike. If we look past our fears (and I include myself here), however, I think that we will see that this class of spirits is much maligned and is every bit as necessary as the angelic orders. Where would we be if there was no one to take apart old structures, clear the area and make way for new building?


“That Feeling” : Another Early Warning Sign

I have noted, in previous blogs, two phenomenon, The Silence and Ghost Lights, that seem to be precursors to the opening of a window area or portal into the Otherworld. In the cases that I examined in those two blogs, these precursors appeared before the actual Fortean event manifested and I noted that investigators might want to pay more attention to these “warning signs” so that they can place themselves to interact with the phenomenon rather than simply taking reports later.

Considering these precursors to activity, I think that, once more, good things come in three. It seems to me that I have neglected one of the signals of paranormal activity that pops up in many reports that you read across the lore from UFO’s to Sasquatch and beyond. I will illustrate this warning sign with a story from my own experience.

Once upon a time, when I was a newly minted neo-pagan searching for reading material and contacts into the local community, I happened to hear of a bookstore in Phoenix, where I lived at the time, that was supposed to be “the place” for magical practitioners of all kinds. When I had a day off, I climbed in my car and, after some difficulty (this was before the day of GPS), I found the place, a little shop tucked into a strip mall in downtown Phoenix. From the outside, it did not look very impressive. In fact, it gave the impression of being rather run down but I had come this far and was determined to see what others were talking about.

As I laid my hand on the door of the shop, the hair on the back of my neck literally stood up and a frisson ran up my spine. Something in me backed away from that door for a moment and, being the cautious person that I am, I took a moment to ensure that my magical protections were in place before going into the store.

I walked into the place and I could feel my shields harden around me. If I had been standing on the bridge of the fictional starship Enterprise, the captain would have been shouting, “Shields up!” and probably would have had the weapons armed. At first glance, I could not understand why I was so “uptight”. The bookstore was a veritable cornucopia of literature for people of the magical persuasion. I should have been ecstatic over finding a place where I could buy books by authors that actually knew something about the subject but, as I continued to browse the stacks, I discovered that the shop carried tomes on magical practices that fell firmly on the ‘dark’ side as well as supplies for those practices. I’ve grown up a lot since that experience but, at the time, I was just coming out of my Judeo-Christian upbringing and had little experience of the spirit world. I was not prepared to deal with some of the ‘hotter’ spirits and, I believe, my inner self took steps to protect me that day.

How often, when reading a report of paranormal activity, have we seen people say things like:

I just felt like something was not right . . .
The hair stood up on the back of my neck . . .
I had that feeling my grandmother described as someone walking over your grave . . .
Something stopped me and I don’t know what it was . . .
I felt something was watching me but I was not sure why I felt that way . . .

And endless permutations of the above.

There are a lot of ways that we could explain “the feeling”. It might be due to a base level of psychic awareness present in most, if not all, people. If we view people as connected to the Universal Energy Field in some way, it might be the ‘voice’ of their ‘Higher Self” warning them of potential danger. Since I live in a world of spirits, I might say that the spirits warn us of issues. If we take a more ‘skeptical’ viewpoint, it might be their subconscious mind sifting out anomalous signals from the mass of sensory data around them (see Gavin De Becker’s interesting book, The Gift of Fear). As always, I am inclined to say yes to all these inputs and more.

Regardless of the source or sources of “That Feeling”, there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that we need to pay attention when our early warning system tells us that something is amiss. As De Becker notes in the above-referenced book, the early warning system can save us from physical danger but, in the world of paranormal investigation, that ‘radar’ might actually guide investigators into the experiences that they seek.

Warning note: I have laid out three signs of potential paranormal activity throughout these pages. I am sure that there are more and I may write on them as they occur to me but I want to take a moment to issue a proviso to investigators. While I certainly understand the desire to pursue the paranormal and to actually see it for one’s self, I would be remiss if I did not encourage investigators to pay close attention not only to the signs – The Silence, Ghost Lights and That Feeling – but also what That Feeling might be telling them.

De Becker, in The Gift of Fear notes that many of the people he worked with could have avoided traumatic incidents if they had just listened to that intuitive sense that yelled “danger!” at them. I’ve made it clear though out these pages that some spirits simply do not like humans. Do not let your desire to explore overcome your danger sense. If you feel that something you are encountering or about to encounter is hostile to humans then chances are good that it is. Act accordingly based on your level of training and confidence in your ability to shield yourself and those with you.


Reply to a Reader: Respect for Sites

I had the following comment from a reader and wanted to take a few moments to post something in reply:

I’m . . . visiting Superstition Mountains this weekend. I’m not interested in gold, more interested in learning more about vortexes and cryptozoological sightings. I’d like to do so in a respectful, cautious, and open-minded manner.

First of all, thank you for your comment and your question. The very fact that you have asked the question likely means that you are in no serious danger of doing something disrespectful that might get you in trouble. Respect starts with awareness and you seem to have that already.

Specific to the Superstition area, while I am sure there are vortexes (areas where one or more ley lines intersect and cause a power center), I did not encounter any in that area. That’s not to say that they are not there, just that I did not happen to walk into one, nor am I aware of anyone having surveyed and mapped vortexes in that area. Sedona, a little farther north of the Phoenix area, is famous for its vortexes and there are maps aplenty of those, some of which you can find online.

There have been some Sasquatch type sightings on the Mogollon Rim (again, just north of the Phoenix metroplex) and I believe that there is at least one in the area just to the south of the range so a cryptozoological encounter is not impossible but not as likely as it would be further north in AZ.

As I mentioned in my post on the Superstitions, the area is sacred ground to the Apache. Much of your experience will depend on where you go. If you stay on “the beaten path”, then my impression is that the spirits of the place will more or less leave you be. They have grown accustomed to people wandering through their demesne and, while they will keep an eye on you (that feeling of being watched) in some places, that is no cause for concern.

Where you have to be more careful is if you choose to leave the designated trails in the area, particularly if you are going to be over-nighting. If you are going to bushwhack at all, look to your physical safety first: travel with a partner, or if you are alone, at least be sure someone knows where you are and when you should be back. Carry a good first aid kit (many slip and fall hazards in addition to snakes beginning to move around this time of year) and more water than you think you will need. The desert is DRY and it dries you out more quickly than you might think. Supply lists can be found on many backpacking sites and how much you carry will depend on how long you are going to be out.

On the psychic/spiritual level, my biggest advice is to maintain your attitude of respect and, as I mentioned in the earlier blog, listen carefully to your gut. If you happen to wander into one of those “dead zones” that I describe in the article, then back out slowly. If you feel that something is not right, that some place might be dangerous, that you are being watched and the feeling becomes oppressive or if you feel presences you are uncomfortable with then my best advice is to leave whatever area this occurs in. If this means a detour then so be it. Do not let your route dictate your safety and, if your navigation skills are not up to plotting such a route, simply go back the way you came. Discretion is the better part of valor in this area.

Apache people traditionally make offerings and do blessings with cornmeal so it might be useful to carry some with you. If you stumble across anything that you fear you might have offended, leave a pinch of cornmeal on a rock or the ground, explain quietly that you meant no disrespect and leave the area. This same technique can work if you come into an area with “friendlies”. Offer a pinch of cornmeal, explain that you have come in peace to learn about the area and its inhabitants both visible and invisible and ask to be introduced. Sit quietly, turn your attention inward (meditate if you are of that bent) and see what manifests. You may see nothing, you may see things with your inner vision or you might be lucky enough to see something with your physical eyes. I’ve had some encounters in that area with beings that appeared solid but were definitely creatures from Southwestern myth.

One other thing in the respect realm: there is an old backpacker saying – leave only footprints, take only photos. This applies doubly in this wilderness area. Not only is leaving trash around ecologically unsound, it is extremely disrespectful of the local supernatural fauna. How would you feel if someone walked into your home and left their candy wrappers and cigarette butts laying on your carpet? Be sure to pack out everything you take in and, if nature calls, use proper wilderness disposal techniques. The discourtesy that some people have in the wild provides you with another ‘offering’ you can make to the ‘locals’. I used to take a bag with me when I went into the mountain ranges around Phoenix so that I could pick up trash and cigarette butts along the trails. You would be amazed at the amount of good will this generated in the Otherworld.

In summary, your best defense in this area is an attitude of respect. I can almost guarantee you that, if you walk softly in the area, make some offerings as suggested above and listen with all your senses, you will come away from the experience with some stories to tell. Enjoy your time in one of the great wilderness areas of the US!


Thinking about Holographic Projection

I have discovered the wonders of Oyster, an application on my iPad, that allows me to pay a monthly fee and have access to any book in their system. Although it is best used for hunting up a good novel to read, I have found several interesting paranormal titles as well. One of the books that I have had a chance to peruse recently is Nick Redfern’s Keep Out! Top Secret Places Governments Don’t Want You To Know About. While a great deal of the book is highly conjectural, I did find the following quote from the section on the Montauk research facility on Long Island quite interesting:

As for Bigfoot, and the notion that the Montauk team learned how to project imagery of such beasts from the dark depths of the human mind into quasi-physical form in the real world, isn’t that just too outlandish to warrant even a solitary comment? Not everyone thinks so. One of those who offered commentary on these matters is a man who features significantly in another chapter of this book: Gabe Valdez, a key player in the story of the alleged underground alien base at Dulce, New Mexico.

Valdez has uncovered information that leads him to believe that many New Mexico Bigfoot sightings are actually the work of a covert arm of the U.S. government possessing the ability to create holographic imagery of the hairy man-beasts. The purpose? To deter people from getting too close to some of its secret underground installations. It is fascinating to hear such a theory coming out of the mouth of a respected police officer who was consulted by the FBI on cattle-mutilation cases at Dulce in the 1970s. Even more fascinating, Valdez’s position on Bigfoot eerily parallels the stories surfacing from the Montauk research community.

I have maintained for some time that some UFO sightings around the country are simply people spying top secret military aircraft. I’ve also noted in my In Response to Alien Infiltration Vs. Mind Games post that it is quite conceivable that some abduction experiences are the result of government/military mind control experimentation. While Mr. Redfern does not cite a source for Gabe Valdez’ contention about holographic projection, I think that the idea deserves careful consideration.

First of all, let me be clear, I am not proposing that all Sasquatch and other paranormal sightings (i.e. the Manwolf and various other ‘monsters’ seen throughout the world) are simply the result of governments trying to protect their secrets via the use of advanced imaging tech. There are far too many sightings of such beings scattered across too broad a range to make such a contention tenable. What I am saying is that it is possible that some sightings are the result of military or intelligence groups trying to keep civilians out of areas that they do not want discovered or investigated.

We would like to believe that our governments operate entirely above the board and with total transparency but such a view would be totally naive. Declassified documents and information collected through acts like the US FOIA are constantly showing us that, in some sections of government secrecy is the default. Given this sort of institutional paranoia and access to cutting edge technology, we can certainly conjecture that classified agencies within the government have reached into their black bag of tricks in order to prevent incursions on their installations. In addition, I think it is reasonable to assume that these agencies might be developing weapons to use against our enemies and be using civilians as test subjects.

If one wanted to keep people out of a specific area, what better way to scare people off than by having them come face to face with what appeared to be a real live physical monster? If, for example, one were tasked with protecting a top secret establishment that was testing cutting edge military aircraft, prototypes that were far in advance of vehicles that we have flying right now, one might establish that base underground with very limited and difficult to find access (first ring of protection). The site might have conventional physical security measure like clear zones, fences, razor wire, lighting, alarms and patrol personnel (second ring of protection). Before anyone got that far however, the insightful planner might want to establish a third ring of protection by scaring any but the most determined intruder out of the area before they ever encountered the hardened perimeter. The use of psychological warfare methods – such as our holographic projector theory – would fit nicely here. If people are frightened away from the area before they ever realize there is anything out there, so much the better.

My counter to this idea is that, if the place became known for a particular type of ‘monster’, it might actually draw interested investigators into the area. I find it far more likely that these covert agencies are simply testing their psychological warfare operations on innocent civilians.

The idea of using holographic projections to frighten people may seem far fetched but we know that CIA, in a well documented case involving Major General Edward Lansdale, used the myth of the aswang to good effect against Filipino rebels. Lansdale planted stories of aswang attacks near a rebel stronghold and then arranged fake vampire attacks in the area to scare the rebels into abandoning their position. This event occurred in the 1950′s. Imagine what a psy-ops group equipped with holographic projectors could do to an enemy with a native superstition. I have to wonder if some of the reports of werewolf/manwolf type creatures and other monsters in the Middle East, during the recent conflicts there, were not experiments or actual operations of the psychological warfare units. After all, the djinn of Arabic legend are known shape shifters and beings that frighten the heck out of many people in Muslim countries.

Given what we know about government psy-ops, I think that the use of holographic projection or other psychological warfare techniques are issues that we need to keep in the back of our mind while speaking with witnesses.


The Physical Body: Why is it so important?

There is a tendency in ‘spiritual’ circles to fall into a fallacy about the physical body. The thinking goes something like this: I am a spiritual being having a physical experience; therefore, if I could just shuck this body, I could be a more spiritual person. I was, in the past, involved with a group that actually expressed this as the spirit, that part of us which is a part of the All, being trapped or imprisoned in the body. Our goal then was to set aside the physical as much a possible and pay close attention to the spiritual. This tendency to try to disregard the body is especially strong in the Abrahamic religions where this thinking was taken to ridiculous extremes (and may still be) of asceticism and mortification of the flesh.

I could go on about why this state of affairs has come to pass but I do not want to turn this into a rant. Rather, let me take a more positive tack and recount something that has been shown to me in meditation a number of times.

Many moons ago, I was deep in meditation when I saw in vision the world around me in shades of blue with electric lines of energy connecting me and all things around me. In this instance, I became aware of a disturbance in the climate of my area and, sure enough, later that night, we experienced a storm. This “matrix” view of the universe has repeated itself to me on a number of occasions and each time it has had a profound effect on me, showing me the basic interconnectedness of all things. Unlike some, I do not see this as being one with everything nor do I feel it as a melding of myself into all things. I retain my sense of separateness but understand that I am “wired into” the All in ways I can not begin to understand intellectually.

What I do understand though is that my physical self is an important part of this phenomenon. The body serves as an interface to the matrix of energy that I see. In some ways, one might describe it as an antenna through which I perceive the various forces around me – whether they be forces that pertain to my physical senses or forces that touch me on other levels. If I were not in a body, my perception would be wholly different and my experiences would be those of a spirit and not those of a human being.

Most spiritual systems will agree that we, as humans, are here to learn and grow, to become better people. Some might even go so far as to argue that humans are on this planet to evolve spiritually through the various experiences that physical life has to offer us. What is clear to me through my experiences with this matrix of energy is that we need our bodies in order to have the fullness of experience necessary to spiritual growth and evolution. If we take care of those bodies with disciplines such as exercise, good nutrition and meditation, the physical is better able to perceive the more subtle dimensions.

Lest my readers think I am trying to develop a second career as a spiritual counselor, let me relate this to the realm of the paranormal. How many times have you heard a paranormal investigator say something along the lines of “dang, I wish I could see what these people are seeing!” Then that individual goes off to the local fast food eatery, has a greasy burger and follows it with a cigarette and a little too much of the local beer. If we accept, even for the sake of experimentation, this idea that the body is a sort of antenna to subtle energies, what “frequency” do you suppose this individual is tuning their body to? I would be inclined to think that the tuning might be a little more physical and a little less subtle.

I would submit that this investigator might have a little trouble picking up energies outside the realm of the workaday senses unless they happened to be really gifted in that area. Ask an experienced medium or magician what happens when they overindulge and most will tell you that their work suffers or that, at least, they have to compensate for that overindulgence. While I have known people who could pick up subtle energies and converse with spirits over a glass of whiskey and a cigarette, those folks are the exception rather than the rule in my experience. We ordinary mortals are much more likely to be able to perceive the inner realms if we take some care with our bodies and view them not as an encumbrance but as a vital part of our soul complex.

There is a reason why magicians, preparing for a major working, will sometimes spend considerable time in preparation, including periods of light fasting, prayer and meditation. The idea is to harmonize the physical with the other parts of the soul complex and to bring the full person to bear in the work to come. While we all have habits that are not the most healthy, the wise magician and, in my mind, paranormal investigator, knows that taking some measure of care for their body will only increase the chances of their success.


Museums: A Matter of Curiosity

I have been reading Josephine McCarthy’s excellent book Magical Knowledge 1: Foundations slowly and deliberately over the past weeks. I am finding the book to be an excellent primer on visionary magic and, as always happens when I read some new text on magic, I think of you, my readers. Here is a quote from the book, where the author is discussing the process of enlivening a statue with the consciousness of a deity:

Therefore, an ancient statue of say, Sekhmet, is very likely to retain echoes of her power. If a magician, who is adept at inner communication, visits a museum, he is very likely to pick up on the calls and demands of this deities as they try to communicate through the images. It is important to note that the power is within the original statue that was ritually enlivened, not the generic image. So, a copy of the image will be just an image and nothing more.

Now, oddly enough, I can attest to this experience with this goddess personally. Many moons ago, when I lived in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, I had occasion to go to an exhibit of ancient Egyptian artifacts with some magically inclined friends. We wandered through some preliminary display rooms before emerging finally into the main hall of the museum. The centerpiece of the display was a fourteen foot high statue of Sekhmet.

The power of the goddess swept over me as soon as I entered the room and it was all I could do to keep my feet. I literally had the desire to prostrate myself before this statue and it was only with difficulty that I kept my attention in the present moment. Even as I did so, I was aware of a substrate of my mind approaching a temple of the goddess, the temple walkway lined with hundreds of smaller versions of the statue before me. I could almost feel the hot desert breeze wafting over me in the air conditioned comfort of that museum hall and I wondered how it was that everyone around me seemed to be so . . . collected.

I wandered from case to case with my friends, continuously aware of the powerful presence of the Lady and doing my best to give her honor even as I pretended to study the artifacts on display. It seemed a very long time before my friends were prepared to move out of that room and, even once I had a wall between me and the statue, the intensity of the experience dimmed but did not go away entirely.

After this experience, I have often wondered why it is that we do not hear more reports of museum hauntings. While the manifestation of the consciousness of a goddess might be rare, museums are loaded with items that could serve as storehouses of psychic energy – for example, items that were worn at the time of the traumatic death of the wearer – that could generate some interesting “imprint” style hauntings under the right circumstances.

In addition, items of ritual and magical significance from varying cultures are often on display in museums. I am thinking particularly of museums I visited in Arizona and Washington DC that were loaded with Native American artifacts of all kinds, including items used in ritual practice. I have said before and I will say again that indigenous medicine people bear powerful magic. For those with senses attuned to such things, that magic and the spirits that work with it are evident in exhibits. I am sure that the same could be said of exhibits from a variety of other cultures, both ancient and modern.

Our habit of cavalierly digging up and displaying the grave goods of ancient peoples could also serve as a source of hauntings and worse. Many ancient people buried their dead with specific intent based on their concept of the afterlife and disturbance of those remains could very well serve to unleash the unpleasantness associated with disturbing their dead. The Egyptians, of course come to mind in this regard, but we can look to the Norse as well. Disturbance of one of the ancient burial mounds of these people produced draugr, a real live, capable of ripping you apart, sort of zombie in the sagas. While I don’t take the stories literally, I suspect that the old Norse guarded their tombs with pretty fierce guardians and that disturbance of those tombs, even after all these years, would be liable to unleash those guardians. I imagine that the only thing that saves archeologists and museum staff from a lot of psychic unpleasantness is that these guardians have likely weakened over the centuries since they were not being tended in the traditional manner.

Nevertheless, given the perfect storm of “imprints”, ritual objects and grave goods, one would think that museums would be pretty haunted places. While one does occasionally hear such a story, it still seems that haunted houses get all the attention. Why might this be?

In magical circles, non-magical people are sometimes derisively referred to as mundanes. Oddly enough, I think that this is what saves most people from having haunted experiences in museums. I had my Sekhmet experience with a group of magical folks and none of them had the same experience, although some did note the strong energy coming from the statue. I admittedly had the most mediumistic ability in the group so it is logical that I would have the strongest experience.

Most ‘mundanes’ have had any psychic ability (and I think almost everyone has some ability) beaten out of them by the Western educational system that teaches them that, if they can not touch it, it is not real. So many people do not have the sensitivity to perceive what is going on in the inner realms around them and, when they go to museums it is for “educational” purposes i.e. enforcing the paradigm. Add to this that museum staff tend to be scientific folks who are very invested in the sensory paradigm and you have an additional layer of protection. Finally, there is the ridicule factor that prevents many people from reporting their paranormal experiences and, viola’, you have perfect storm of investment in the sensory paradigm to counteract the potential for haunting in a museum.


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