Spirit possession can be very different from the type of possession that most of us think of when we hear the word. There are two very different types of spirit possession – possession and attachment. A spirit attachment is a voluntary surrender of the body to a spirit, while a possession occurs without the permission of the host. The terms tend to be rounded up under the heading of spirit possession because the definition is the same regardless – it is the belief that the human body can be possessed by a spirit, god, or other entity that is not that entity for which the body was intended.
Different Types of Spirit Possession
However spirit possession, in many circles, differs from involuntary possession which is most often known as demonic possession to differentiate. Most of the time when you hear a discussion on spirit possession it is a positive experience, one in which the host has welcomed the spirit into their body. An excellent way to show the difference between demonic possession and spirit possession is to consider Pentecostal churches which invite the spirit of God into their physical bodies, invoking the spirit to take possession of their bodies leading them to speak in tongues.
Conversely, demonic possession is far from friendly. Many times the possessing spirit will find a ‘backdoor’ way of entering the body of the host without their awareness, taking advantage of reckless behaviors or interests. Some may try a slow attachment, convincing their host over time to allow them control while others who are stronger simply break in through the weak spot and take control. The changes may happen slowly or suddenly but they will be there and often the host has no idea why they are happening.
History of Possession and Religion
Spirit possession has been practiced by many different religions for nearly as long as mankind has been on the earth. It is an integral part of shamanistic and pagan religions. In many of these religions during trances, the possessed individual has been known to get up and dance or do things that they do not remember upon the return of control. In fact, there are numerous stories of people who, while in control of their body could not move, but once their physical shell was under the control of the possessing spirit they were able to stand and dance!
Another popular form of spirit possession occurs with mediums who will reach across the veil and allow spirits to possess their body so that they can share a message with those on this side of the divide. This is commonly called channeling and is very frequently a part of the activities of a medium. One of the biggest differences between a medium and a psychic is the ability to channel and commune with spirits. Not all spirits that a medium works with are the spirits of the dead and being able to differentiate between a spirit that means well and one that has malevolent intentions can mean the difference in the safety of a medium. Being prepared for a possession can literally save your life.