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Ritual Death and Rebirth, and becoming someone new.


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#21 travsha

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 05:22 PM

And I did say the true self does exist, and doesn't at the same time. This cannot be understood intellectually. Your true self keeps unfolding and revealing more, and it will do that forever because there id no crux, no locus mundi, no center. Each revelation is another nexus, and another passage that leads to whst is you, and not you. But don't take my word for it.

.....

Just because something grows and changes and evolves doesnt mean it isnt there.

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#22 Oroboros

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 09:20 PM

My thought is that here is truth in both statements, and I personally don't know where one truth ends and the other begins. Of course this has to do largely with your world and spiritual views.

In a practical application sense, can you reprogram the parts of a human being that were inevitably nurtured or not, damaged and grown etc, during their formative childhood years. So some things may be very difficult to break through. Certain hang-ups, phobias etc. Maybe, probably, usually.

From the stand point of all life is one, what is the true self then? We all begin and end in a blip of time, but before and after this life were we joined, were we fluid, were we all one, and are we returning to that state. If so, how real is the "true self."

Now, perhaps there is an "ultimate" each of us. A divine reflection. A version of us that is both fettered to all that is, but remains unique and its "own man". Perhaps that true self can be revealed if we can strip away the poison we inflict on each other from birth to death.

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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#23 RoseRed

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 10:00 PM

I thought that finding one's true self was one of the purposes of the Shadow Work and Self Work that we do.
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#24 Oroboros

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 10:21 PM

@RR To my understanding sure it is. I suppose I was waxing existential above:). But those exercises to me are one way to find at understand and heal that "self". What that process is called and how it's carried out I would assume would vary according to belief structure etc.
There is unarguably much to be gained by that work.

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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#25 RoseRed

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 11:11 PM

And there are so many different ways to do it.
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#26 ArcticWitch

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 12:58 AM

I think a good initiation should be the start of something new, but in the context of magic, witchcraft, etc. It should not come with any promises of one's safety, or the safety of one's moral orientation. There should be a factor of the unknown, and that should be genuine. There should be a feeling of risk, and a fear of failure. Otherwise it's just a high school dance. So in a sense, the initiating should be in control of the initiators, not the initiate.

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I don't feel that initiation is the only type of witchcraft where the practitioner benefits from the vulnerability of submitting themselves to the unknown. I have done major Workings in the past where I intentionally left the total process open to any and all influences: the successes of those Workings were enormous, but so was the price! (What I have found interesting is that even when I have given up all control regarding how my willpower manifests, I was still shown what the price would be for my intentions to become reality, and was given the opportunity to accept or decline the offer without negative consequences for my choice. That's just my experience thus far in my Path; your mileage may vary.)

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#27 Vivienne

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 11:07 PM

I can only contribute my experience with this.
A few years ago, the Hepatitis C I had been carrying around dormant for my entire life (got it from a blood transfusion as a preemie in '88) decided to kick in, right around the same time I found out I had hypothyroidism. I was already feeling pretty low from that, only to find out I was going to have to go through treatment for it. Luckily, my mother-in-law agreed to come stay with us for the months I went through treatment.

For people who aren't familiar with it, it is like Hell on earth. So many pills, shots,etc. I literally woke up one morning and felt like I imagined dying would feel. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't eat, once I woke up with feet that looked and felt like I'd stuck them in ice. I spent weeks in my bed or on my sofa, curled up in the darkness of my blankets (I was always freezing, running a temperature,etc.) wondering how I had gotten here, thinking about my religious beliefs, my family, anything to keep my mind busy. I hated everyone and everything, the people responsible for giving me this, all the friends who had abandoned me when I needed them most, the religious community that shut me out and left me to rot. Then the fevers got really bad, and I found out that I had inadvertently given this crap to my son, who is only 3. I don't remember a whole lot after that, my brain probably decided it couldn't handle anymore, but when I finally finished treatment, I felt very different. Not just health-wise but my thoughts, my beliefs, everything. It was like, someone had come through with a flamethrower and burned out the inside of my skull, cleared out all the cobwebs and shit that was covering up the strong person who I used to be and suddenly, everything was strangely clear. And slowly I realized I wasn't a Muslim anymore,couldn't be one and not only that, I was a witch again. I tried to make things go back to the way they were before, for the sake of my family, and couldn't. Everything came back and here I am. :cool_witch:

I have no idea what the fuck went on during that time but whatever it was, I feel like a completely different person then I did just prior. I feel like I am back to my old self, my true self and yet, in some ways things are also new. I hope that makes sense. I have only told one other person about this. I figure most people would think I'm nuts and my family would just spout some bullshit about Jesus.

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#28 Nikki

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 05:32 PM

How brave of you, CF to share this story. What an experience !! Welcome back :)
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#29 Vivienne

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 11:43 PM

I don't know that it's brave. Lol Just life I guess.I have nothing to hide and not everyone gets to experiance that sort of thing, so I hoped others would find it interesting or informative to hear my 'rebirth' story. Plus, as I said, I haven't told very many people, and it still seems kind of surreal to me. Telling the story makes it seem a bit less so. :)

Edited by CoyoteFair, 14 December 2015 - 11:45 PM.

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#30 Barnstock

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 12:40 PM

Sorry to abandon my own thread, my life is a whirlwind, made by my own hands.

 

So, quickly reading through, I could see one loose end, and that's the practical side of things, the actual ritual approach. First, one last bit of opinionated esoterica, then nuts and bolts.

 

Questions arose about the true self, whether it can be changed or not, if there is or not, and all that. I tend to forget that we each experience this existence in a unique way, and can only perceive and interpret with the tools we are given through circumstance, much of which is not up to us. One is no more or less valid than another, and we each have to find our own way. Even the term witchcraft, the thing that brings us here, is mind bogglingly different to each of us.

 

Bearing in mind this is a public forum, I will leave the more dangerous stuff out.

 

The key to a ritual death is psycho-drama. I can't prescribe a specific ritual but there are games we can play:

 

The first is similar to what your parents or friends did when you were little, and they pretended not to be able to see or hear you, and they would walk around saying "where's Johnny?, have you seen Johnny?" and everyone would play along, this was often prompted by you hiding at first, but then they would pretend not to have found you, and suddenly you were invisible. There you are waving your hands and yelling, and you are invisible. This, with the simple addition of "oh, didn't you hear? he died" or something similar, if played out long enough can have a devastating effect. The people involved are instructed to just keep doing it at long as they have to. The "dead" person will have to use mental techniques to help convince himself that he has truly died, and is a ghost walking around among the living. The rebirth happens after the departed has slept, and when he wakes up, he his greeted by the same people as someone new, and welcomed into the group.

 

Again, specific elements have to be decided on according to group lore.

 

Another option is the mock funeral. this can go many ways. One way is to have the person lie in state, surrounded by a number of personal possessions, each member of the group takes one thing, in remembrance of the person that passed as the "body" lies perfectly still in a state of complete relaxation, but not sleep. The former person is eulogized, last rights are given, and he is borne away by those he knew in life. Where the person is taken can vary, a "burial chamber" in a basement, hole dug in the ground, or other similar arrangement(just don't actually bury someone). The next step is for the person to be awakened by whatever death deity is relevant, a group member in costume and mask, who demands payment for crossing over, or guides the departed through the underworld and eventually back to life. One way of doing this is by having the departed surrender his old clothes, the vestiges of his former life, in return for a new set, or some similar act. 

 

Other elements can be exchanged or added, such as cremation of an effigy, funerary processions, wakes, etc.

 

But, sometimes you don't have a group to work with. Solo death rituals can be as effective, but again I'm leaving out the stuff that could get someone hurt, including the way I did it myself. The role of the individual in both a group setting and solo is similar. You have to contemplate death, and what it means, for a long time. This includes separating yourself from attachments to the elements of your life as it is now to the greatest extent possible. I don't mean actually getting rid of things or giving stuff away, but developing the full understanding that all of what you have in this world is temporary, and ultimately meaningless, including the body you inhabit, your habits, your preferences. Realize that all of these elements could have been very different, and are merely accessories and learned affectations.

 

When working solo, you can set up a mock grave site, complete with headstone or another kind of marker and visit it regularly, hanging around it like a ghost. Create a physical representation of your death deity and place it in some far away place that is hard to get to, then later, make the journey on foot, alone to it in order to "meet your death" spend some time with it in the underworld, leave a token of yourself, and return to a "new life". Or simply find a place that represents the death part of the life cycle to you and remain there, perfectly still, unable to move for a predetermined amount of time, with the attitude that your body is no longer yours and is vulnerable to whatever forces are present(wind, cold, insects, hobos--ok, not hobos). Naturally you don't want to do this in a place where you will be disturbed, or eaten alive by something, or could freeze to death). Do whatever works in order to get the idea into your psyche that this is the end of the life you were living. You will reach a point of release, after which comes a feeling of complete freedom. This is the desired result.

 

I hope this helps those that are curious.


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#31 Oroboros

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:03 PM

Wow, I keep re-reading this last post...  There are several things in this that feel very significant and important to me,  at the moment I am full of thoughts about this-many of which contradict each other.

So, I'm going to go with the beginning only for now.  Excellent post- much food for thought here!  

-----------------------

Barn stock:"The first is similar to what your parents or friends did when you were little, and they pretended not to be able to see or hear you, and they would walk around saying "where's Johnny?, have you seen Johnny?" and everyone would play along, this was often prompted by you hiding at first, but then they would pretend not to have found you, and suddenly you were invisible. There you are waving your hands and yelling, and you are invisible. This, with the simple addition of "oh, didn't you hear? he died" or something similar, if played out long enough can have a devastating effect. "

-----------------------

 

Why do we do this as children I wonder?  The very same child would freak out into full tilt tantrum- if this invisibility were not of their own choosing. Yet, this "game" is somehow innate to us.  Seriously... this is in some ways the complex version of "peek-a-boo".  BABIES play peek-a-boo.   The "invisible" person certainly is not missing- even if they have a blanket pulled over their face- everyone knows where they are.   "When I close my eyes, you can't see me" sort of thing...       The blanket that protects us from the thing under the bed -the basic instinct that so long as no part of us is visible we are "safe"-same general idea.  

 

So this "game" is some innate thing, we understand from a ridiculously early age.  Likewise, from a ridiculously early age, we NEED TO BE HEARD, when we need to be heard.  Which almost seems like a contradiction.  The reason it isn't, I think, is CONTROL.  We need, on a very primal level, to feel that we have total control, over our ability to be seen and heard and HOW we are seen and heard.  How many times as kids have we asked for a "second chance," a "do-over",  a clean slate.  

 

Part of me feel that as we live in a universe, both spiritually and physically, of butterfly effects- there can be no do-overs.   Every tiny thing we do, or fail to do has cataclysmic ripple effects.  In this way we are done unto and in this way we affect others, our world and ourselves.  This truth is why, the very worst things I have been through, I can recognize, having made me who I am, and therefore, cannot completely reject those experiences.

 

That being said, and acknowledging that perhaps a clean slate-or "plate"- is not what is needed, but a scrubbed clean, but well used, trusty cast Iron pot.:)  If one is attempting such a transformation, and one is fortunate enough to have, friends or loved ones, or fellow practitioners that are willing to see the game through.  Meaning, they are equally committed to viewing the person in this new way.  This concept of it being a matter of decision and choice to have "died" and become invisible, seems like it would appeal in an effective way to our most basic human wiring.


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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#32 FrozenThunderbolt

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:24 AM

Hmmm useful, thank you.

Had something of this nature planned for later this year, will tweek it a bit with you insights in mind. :cauldron:


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