-Guest post by the Banshee
The greatest skill I bring to my work with the spirit world is the fact that I have paid attention to the “wages of sin” or the consequences of generations of psychological and physical abuse in my family. So when I am called into a spiritual situation, no matter how negative, I know it is rooted in pain – that of the abuser and that of the abused, as they are often one and the same.
Rooted forever in unexpressed pain of grief and loss, regret and guilt, it stops the soul from moving forward. I heal from the depths of the soul up and out – through the spirit, the body, the space, the house, the place, the earth, the solar system, galaxy, the Multiverse!
This gives me particular insight into working with the ghosts of slaves and displaced spirits from the past. I ask them not to look at my (seemingly completely white) skin, but search my heart to know that I, too, was a slave. Pulling straight A’s in school, practicing classical piano every day and a member of the church choir, nothing could change what I went home to every night, when I was enslaved to my abusers. Anyone who has been beaten, abused, suffered under constant sexism, racism, sexuality or gender phobia etc., seems to immediately perceive that I am kin. I am not afraid of being broken – anyone can break, and it takes no real skill to break another human. It takes skill to heal them; it takes love and courage and patience and an understanding of your own fragility, and what you yourself would go through to survive. Becoming a monster is remarkably easy; coming back is where the real strength comes.
Dealing with slaves in spirit requires humility. And I’m referring to all the slaves–past and present–the African slave trade, Chinese and Japanese laborers who were worked to death on the railroads, the indigenous “Mission Indians” throughout the West, sex slaves all across the world. Bring white candles to light their way to freedom.
Begin with your face in the dirt because that is both where we came from, and where we ultimately should return to find peace. Bring them food for their starving bellies, and pour out water on the ground to cool them and ease their thirst. Sing to them of your own path. Slaves of every ethnicity and history will appreciate offerings of the most lovely fruit and vegetables for their fragrance, their hue, and their taste. Let them know how you feel about their enslavement – they don’t need to hear platitudes about how it is wrong, but your own fear of what it might have been like, your own discomfort with what might have happened to them, your own terror of being a slave to powers you cannot control.
Let your emotions, whatever you feel, flow freely – you may be channeling the emotions of spirits no longer able to cry, so cry if it feels right. No matter if the ancestors are African, or Chinese, or Native, whatever – honor them as “The Ancestors” – put yourself below them and lift them up. Bring them incense to clear the stench of human degradation, bring flowers to honor their beauty and enduring strength, praise them for their survival and thank them from the bottom of your heart for their endurance. Let them know that they have inspired survivors everywhere, that their example of bravery will stand forever and that you, yourself, are grateful for their irrepressible spirit. Anyone who survives, even in spirit, deserves to be honored as a survivor.
I know many will throw the example of the Axe Murderer still haunting Vallisca, or other horrific characters still stalking the world. But remember, no axe murderer is born; they are created, made into monsters by monstrous acts.
If anything guides this advice, it is my sincere hope that we will stop seeing ourselves as different from any human in spirit, and thus not see ourselves as different from any sentient being still breathing around us. The advice also works for those spirits still embodied: see everyone as a manifestation of the divine, and watch how quickly peace settles into your life.
In healing spirit, we first must heal ourselves – find compassion for everything we have done or haven’t done…but what else are you going to do while walking this earth? Keep watching television? Don’t put off your own healing, lest you have to rely on whomever shows up to your haunting, and have to tolerate centuries of paranormal tourists and so-called researchers until someone, someday arrives with gifts and humbly asks “what can I do to help you?”
-In peace, your Banshee