Common steps and sub-activities
Exorcism (from Greek ἐξορκισμός, exorkismos – binding by oath) is the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or an area they are believed to have possessed. Thus there is a link here with possession, as well as demons.
It may be worth adding that with the increase in people attempting out of body experiences, - people who are not in control and do not know what they are doing, - the apparent possession of some people may be because the Higher spirit has somehow become attached to the wrong body. In this case it is an act of kindness to help them find their own body.
Thus one can exorcise a person, an animal and something like a house or piece of land. Generally speaking - aside from the OBE victims - they will all be the victims of some form of hurt – mental or physical. In the cases of people, they may be the instigators of the hurt and these demons are more difficult to get rid of, but where a place for example, was the scene of a beating or a murder, or mental torture, the fear and high emotion will be ‘embedded’ into the fabric of the place. There may even be lost souls trapped in the spirit fabric of the place that need releasing. Some spirits do not realise they are dead.
Generally speaking it is achieved via ritual and ceremony, but with words that aim to convince the entity or demon to depart in peace. Forgiveness is an extremely effective way of exorcising both people and places. The repetition of the words ‘you are forgiven go in peace’ over and over again, slowly said and with genuine intent, is often enough to achieve the result. Note that this approach is pretty universal amongst all mystic groups:
Rabbi Gershon Winkler of New Mexico explains that the procedure for a Jewish exorcism is intended not only to drive away the possessing force, but to help both the possessor and the possessed in an act of healing. The Jewish exorcism ritual is performed by a rabbi who has mastered practical Kabbalah. Also present is a minyan (a group of ten adult males), who gather in a circle around the possessed person. The group recites Psalm 91 three times, and then the rabbi blows a shofar (a ram's horn). The shofar is blown in a certain way, with various notes and tones, in effect to "shatter the body" so that the possessing force will be shaken loose. After it has been shaken loose, the rabbi begins to communicate with it and ask it questions such as why it is possessing the body of the possessed. The minyan may pray for it and perform a ceremony for it in order to enable it to feel safe, and so that it can leave the person's body
This Kabbalistic approach is not at all unusual, if we take another example, that of Catholicism:
The Catholic rite for a formal exorcism, is called a "Major Exorcism", and is given in Section 11 of the Rituale Romanum. The Ritual lists guidelines for conducting an exorcism, and for determining when a formal exorcism is required. In Catholic practice the person performing the exorcism, known as an exorcist, is a consecrated priest. The exorcist recites prayers according to the rubrics of the rite, and may make use of religious materials such as icons and sacramentals. Possessed persons are not regarded as evil in themselves, nor wholly responsible for their actions. Therefore, practitioners regard exorcism as a cure and not some kind of punishment. The Catholic rite takes this into account, ensuring that there is no violence to those possessed, only that they be tied down if deemed necessary for their own protection and that of the practitioners.
Orders, aggressive action, condemnation, confrontation rarely if ever work. The spiritual realm, whether in the form of a spirit being or a demon, is a great deal stronger than we are. Aim to help the spirit beings, confront them and show no fear.
One interesting statistic from Wikipedia. There was “a 50% increase in the number of exorcisms performed in the USA between the early 1960s and the mid-1970s”.
We have provided an extremely detailed section on Expunging demons, which is quite specific to demons and not anything else. Please follow the link.
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- Crichton, Michael - from Travels - Michael’s demons get exorcised
- Heywood, Rosalind - The Infinite Hive - Dealing with hostile entities that could be neither seen nor heard
- Janet, Pierre - Healing Achille
- Jesus - Luke 13 - A Crippled Woman Healed on the Sabbath
- M Huc - Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China during the years
- Michaux, Henri - The Company of Monsters
- Mudang spiritual experiences – The healing of Mirim's Mother’s Father
- Religious Beliefs, Possession States, and Spirits: Three Case Studies from Sri Lanka
- Rochas, Albert De - Levitation of the human body – 10 Françoise Fontaine
- Tarot - 03 Minor Arcana - 07s Redemption [Rebirth]
- The Poltergeist of Ohiro Lodge, Wellington in New Zealand 1963
- The Possession of Father Surin
- The Stocksbridge by-pass haunting
- The Syrian in Palestine who specialised in exorcising ghosts and curing victims of demonic possession
- Watson, Lyall - On exorcism
- Wesley, John - Journal 23rd October, 1739 - Dealing with a case of possession