yellow maple leaf holdingPeople hear the word depossession and their imaginations often go to images from some scary movie or to stories of priests with crosses and holy water.  The truth is that depossession is just one of the ways you can be healed.  Depossession when done well is a very positive healing with a minimum of drama.

Sometimes you will see depossession healing titled as Compassionate Depossession or Spirit Releasement Therapy.  What it comes down to is that if you have energy attached to you and that energy is the spirit of another person, there are specific ways to move that spirit on.  Unlike removing general energy, as is done in shamanic extraction, the removal process takes into account that the energy being removed is the spirit of or a part of the spirit of another person. A Compassionate Depossession honors that and heals all the souls involved in the healing process.


Whoa there… did you say I can have a spirit attached to me?

Yes, but this is probably not as scary as you think.  In most cases it is just like any other energy that can be attached to you, it doesn’t belong there and so its just needs to be moved on.  When people die and they don’t manage to cross over, they begin to lose energy.  Betsy Bergstrom uses the image of a dry leaf.  Just like a dry leaf they no longer have the energy to move and be active in the world.  Eventually this “dry leaf” can drift into the energy of another person.

In many cases, the spirit may make minimal to no impact on you.

However, carrying around extra energy can weigh you down.  If you and the spirit have similar emotional patterns, your feelings can activate a boost of emotional feelings from the spirit, magnifying your own.  If it happens that you both struggled with similar emotional issues, that can magnify your own issue and make it harder to deal with it.

In cases where a spirit is more active in impacting your energy, that can also be rather innocent.  Sometimes a grandparent will stick around because they want to protect you.  Perhaps a child was lost and confused and you welcomed them in (unconsciously) offering the child a safe place.  Perhaps a spirit recognized a feeling you were having and stayed with you out of a desire to support you.

moth in glassHowever, because these spirits had their own reasons for being with you, and came with their own emotional context, their presence can impact you.  A male energy could feel uncomfortable when a woman flirts or gets dressed up.  A child energy may react with a fear that an adult would not feel.  The energy of a former alcoholic may increase your desire to drink more than you would normally.

There are also cases where an attached spirit might be more conscious, and interfere because of its own agenda.  Such a spirit may resist some choices, and try to influence your decisions.

Whatever the reason the spirit came to be with you, it is often harder to work through your own feelings and thoughts when there is extra energy coming from someone else.  A depossession healing, therefore, will lighten your own energy, and enable you to be clear with your own emotions.


Depossession without the Drama

There are two main reasons the depossessions you see on TV are so dramatic:

The first is that it makes for a more interesting story.

clouds mirror windowThe second is that all energy reacts to the attitude and approach of the healer.  Even the most kind spirit may react badly and negatively to being called a demon and to an attempt to yank them out of the warm safe place that they have been living.

In many cases, a spirit doesn’t even know he or she is dead.  He didn’t realized that he has had an impact on the person he has been residing with.  She didn’t know that there was somewhere else to go.

Deppossessions without drama, or compassionate depossessions, show the spirit where they are, that they don’t belong there, and how to move on.  In this approach, the spirit chooses to leave willingly because they were approached in a compassionate way.  Often the spirit will feel gratitude towards the person who has been sheltering them, as well as joy at being able to find a way back to their loved ones.  In cases where a spirit had its own agenda, he or she is shown that there is another way to move forward.

Rarely, there can be a truly negative spirit that needs to be moved on.  These spirits can have a greater impact on the person they are attached to. However, even these spirits can also be approached without drama.  In this case, the spirit still makes the choice to leave.  The healer makes it clear that it is time to go, but does not create or allow a drama, or a conflict.  It doesn’t matter how powerful that spirit might be, a healer who is experienced with compassionate depossession knows what to do to.


True Healing through Depossession

dancer jumps sea sunsetDepossession without drama is important.  When a spirit is forcibly removed from a client, that impacts the energy of the person being healed.  There can be places where the client and the spirit have become melded, and those places get torn apart if a healer forces the spirit to leave.

When a spirit chooses to leave, the separation is natural and does not leave behind any energy problems.

Also, when a healer ensures that a spirit chooses to leave it is unlikely that the spirit will come back.  This is due to the fact that all of the energy of that spirit will go when the spirit leaves.  The spirit has chosen to leave, he or she is completely gone.

There can be a time of adjustment afterwards.  There can be a major shift in your energy that could take some time to adjust to.  A soul retrieval, or some other type of energy retrieval could be needed.  However, a depossession healing is meant to ensure that all of the energy in your body is your energy.   You may still have your own issues to be healed or resolved, but a depossession should clear your pathway to move forward.


How do I know if I need a Depossession?

The first and most important thing is not to worry about whether or not you need a depossession.  As mentioned earlier, in many cases having another spirit in your energy isn’t a major problem.  Its normally to have energy that influences you.  While its helpful when you can clear the energy, that doesn’t mean that you have an emergency.

hands holding autumn leavesYou can think about it like how you have family, and having them in your life can have an impact your energy and your life.  However, in this case an attached spirit may be easier to deal with than your family!  A sleepy attached spirit can be way less annoying than a close relative, or a work colleague.

To find out if a deposession would be helpful to you, you can find a person who does compassionate depossession, or spirit releasement therapy.  Confirm that they are a no-drama kind of healer, and then ask them to do a diagnosis for you to find out whether or not you could use a depossession.

Some people may read this and have a knowing that they have a spirit attachment.  If you know you have a problem with spirits, don’t panic.  There are many good healers out there, and an experienced healer can help you.  Even if the situation seems difficult or impossible, it is something that such healers deal with every day. There is a healer out there that can help you.

tree reflect in waterSymptoms of whether you need a depossession will depend on how active the spirit is. Many symptoms are not definitive, meaning if you have them that does not mean you are suffering from an attached spirit.  The common symptoms are similar to ones you might have for other reasons (depression, low energy, confused thoughts.)

However, strong feelings that do not seem to be your own would be one symptom.  You might have a sense that you can’t get to the bottom of an emotional issue, which is true if the issue is not coming from you.  Any sudden change in personality or emotions, could be a symptom of a spirit attachment.  Although as mentioned, there are physical illnesses that can cause those symptoms.


Positive Possession

woods reflecting riverIn many cases, its best to have your energy to yourself.  However, there is a particular type of healer who works through possession.

In this case, an individual would be in contact with powerful and positive healing spirits.  These spirits reside within the healers body, so that they can make a direct connection with the physical world.  Or the possession might be occasional, only during a healing or during a ceremony.

This spirit relationship should be healthy and respectful.  The relationship should be made with evolved spirits who are not ego driven.  This type of healer usually had a calling to work this way. If you suspect you are this type of healer, make sure you still have good boundaries.  Spirit possession should not stop you from being an empowered individual.  You can contact a shamanic practitioner to get a second opinion on the spirits you are working with, if needed.

Working with spirits through possession can be dangerous.  Healthy possession requires a relationship of trust with spirits who are worthy of your trust.


How Does Possession Occur?

hands reaching near river

As mentioned earlier, after a spirit dies, they can lose energy and drift into a living person’s field.  Sometimes they will remain on the edges of the field, sometimes they will be closer.  An emotional resonance may attract you and a spirit to one another.

Those who feel the emotions of other such as mediums or empathic people can have a higher susceptibility to picking up lost souls.  Just as with those kind people who welcome living “lost souls” into their homes and lives, certain mediums and empathic people have the tendency to reach out more frequently, if unconsciously.

If a spirit has become attached to your field, you in some way have allowed it.  You might have just been tired, or you might have attracted each other when you were going through a tough time.  Whatever the case, much of the time the connection was made innocently.

The main way to avoid spirit attachment is to employ methods of energy protection, as explained in a Shaman Links Blog post.  If you are filled with positive energy, you are less likely to allow a spirit to attach to you.  However, there are some energy workers who are more susceptible to picking up spirits because of the work they do.  There are also some people that have latent medium abilities that can make them susceptible to picking up spirits.  For those people, they may need to learn additional methods of protection, and have themselves checked and cleared by another healer from time to time.


Additional Resources

The Shaman Links Book Directory has: a book by Peter Salomone on Compassionate Deposession, and will continue to add more deposession books as we find them.

Drawing Down the Spirits is a book that discusses the history of possession in spiritual practice, how to distinguish positive possession, and details on how to handle possession.

Click for the Shaman Links Post on Energy Protection

Betsy Bergstrom’s list of compassionate depossession healers. (As of Today 11/5/17, this list has people, it had been revamped earlier and was blank for a time.)


More Shaman Links Articles:

What about long distance healing?

Talking to the Spirits discusses the importance of trust.

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Depossession Healing — 2 Comments

  1. This type of thing makes sense to me, especially when you take into account the times when you feel bad, without having a very good reason to. It is interesting to know that a good spirit can react badly when you treat it as if it were a bad spirit. I think I should get a psychic to help me understand this type of thing. Do you have any tips for how I might find a good one?

    • I am not aware of all the places you can look for this type of healing, one is Betsy Bergstrom’s referral list:

      Because it is best to have this particular type of healing in person, you may not see a person listed in your area. You can look at lists such as the Shaman Links healer directory, and look for healers who list de-possession as one of their specialties.
      Or which as a list of screened healers:

      Once you identify a healer that lists de-possession as one of their specialties, you want to find out if they perform depossession compassionately by asking them how they do this healing. This means that the healer works with de-possession by getting the energy to leave by its own choice, and see the healing as being both for you “the client” and the energy that needs to move on as well.

      Conflict based de-possession has a long tradition, and I do not mean to be disrespectful to other traditions. However, compassionate de-possession avoids the energetic damage that can happen when a spirit is forced to leave, and doesn’t have a opportunity to withdraw on its own.

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