I usually avoid listening/watching recordings of rituals, because historically, such recordings make me feel… uncomfortable. Maybe I pick up on spiritual echoes that ring me like a tuning fork. Maybe the years of shit I have survived and intentionally forgotten resonate in the mental caverns where my fear lairs. Maybe my lack of self-esteem made me feel dirty for watching undoubtedly genuine experiences that I did not have a right to observe, even though they were released explicitly to be observed.
I took a risk, and listened to an audio recording of a specific ritual that was published explicitly to be listened to at minimum, and to participate along with as standard. (What the fuck is time to spirits, amirite?)
Spoiler: I came out okay. Invigorated, even.
In the also recorded post-ritual cool-down, one of the hosts apologized for a thing happening in mid-ritual/recording that was not supposed to happen that I kinda heard when it came up but didn’t pay it any mind because shit happens in rituals and the hosts rolled with it so smoothly that the ritual itself wasn’t bothered. But it did happen, and the person it happened to came out of it okay, and everyone even joked that this was something that happens so much to that particular person, that it’s expected with the same regularity that the sun is expected to rise in the morning.
At that moment, I had to stop the playback and reconsider some life experiences.
The thing that happened is one of my Key Panic Triggers and is The Fucking Reason why I am hesitant to involve myself in spiritual/ritual gatherings with other people. When I was full on Fundamentalist Christian, this thing actually happened nearly on command by other people. I had no control over it, and entities both corporeal and non-corporeal took advantage of it and drove me into literal madness.
To say that I am terrified of it happening again, even after all the leagues of recovery I have made physically, mentally, and spiritually, is to say that water might be a little bit wet. And I realize now, a good part of that fear is that I am effectively alone, and without the safety net that having an esoteric partner provides.
In the hour of reflection that followed, I realized some important understandings about my self.
- What I have is a skill that has been misused. But it is still a skill, and one I can learn to use and flow with instead of being battered by it.
- I am not alone. I could be the only body in a room, and I will not be alone. I do have a safety net, it’s just not one that would be expected.
- This is what I have been herded into confronting these past several months. This is one of the skills “left on the table”, and it is critical that I recover it.
- How I express “The Thing” will rely on this skill.
- I am nowhere near ready to deal with this shit.
Welp… the only way out is through, right?
Okay. Let’s go.