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Drawing Down the Spirits: The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession [Kindle Edition]

Kenaz Filan , Raven Kaldera
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An insider’s view of the inner workings and prevalence of spirit possession in our modern world

• Provides practical techniques for preparation, safety, aftercare, and aborting harmful possessions

• Reveals the forms of ritual possession present throughout the world--including Uganda, Nepal, Korea, Bali, Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, and France

Drawing Down the Spirits presents an insider’s view of the inner workings, sacred traditions, and prevalence of spirit possession existing in our modern world. Spirit possession is an integral part of shamanism as well as many neo-pagan forms of worship that draw down deities or invite spirit possession. However, spirit possession is not for the unprepared. In Drawing Down the Spirits, Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera, both initiated and experienced in shamanic and Vodou traditions, present the practical guidance needed to participate in ritual possession.

Addressing the benefits and the dangers that await the naive, Filan and Kaldera show that there is no such thing as a guaranteed “safe” possession because spirits have their own agenda--and they are much more powerful than we are. The authors provide a variety of techniques to prepare for possession and abort possession and to promote the safety of the possessed as well as the spirits and witnesses present. With a wide-ranging look at the historic forms of ritual possession found throughout the world--including Uganda, Nepal, Korea, Bali, Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, and France--the authors also include numerous firsthand accounts collected from witnesses of modern spirit possession.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is a must for anyone considering experimenting with possession or who may have been possessed. As the authors state, you are not crazy if you are possessed. . . . an excellent overview on spirit possession. For the serious student, there are numerous references for future reading, but the most important message of this book is the seriousness of possession." (Arlene Shovald, Ph.D., Fresh Start Therapies, Jan 2010)

". . . this rich, deep and extensive book is the work of two experienced, thoughtful and intelligent travelers who grace us with their map of the land of spirit possession with intelligence, wit and humility.  They ask that we always treat the spirits with respect, learn their ways, original culture, expectations and taboos, and take responsibility for our part in the relationship - not bad advice for any relationship." (Karl Schlotterbeck, MA, CAS, LP, The Henge of Keltria, August 2010)

"Are you ready to have your mind blown? Seriously, are you looking for a book that will force you to confront and/or reevaluate your thoughts on the very prospect of God or Gods themselves? . . . Hidden within this informative, straight forward text, is a philosophical discourse that is fascinating. Once you open this book, you'll find it hard to put down." (The Magical Buffet, June 2009)

"The authors are initiated and experienced in Shamanic and Vodou traditions and here provide keys to understanding possession and spirit agendas." (The Midwest Book Review, Aug 2009)

From the Back Cover


SHAMANISM / INDIGENOUS CULTURES

Drawing Down the Spirits presents an insider’s view of the inner workings, sacred traditions, and prevalence of spirit possession existing in our modern world. Spirit possession is an integral part of shamanism as well as many neo-pagan forms of worship that draw down deities or invite spirit possession. However, spirit possession is not for the unprepared. In Drawing Down the Spirits, Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera, both initiated and experienced in shamanic and Vodou Traditions, present the practical guidance needed to participate in ritual possession.

Addressing the benefits and the dangers that await the naive, Filan and Kaldera show that there is no such thing as a guaranteed “safe” possession, because spirits have their own agenda--and they are much more powerful than we are. The authors provide a variety of techniques to prepare for possession and abort possession and to promote the safety of the possessed as well as the spirits and witnesses present. With a wide-ranging look at the historic forms of ritual possession found throughout the world--including Uganda, Nepal, Korea, Bali, Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, and France--the authors also include numerous firsthand accounts collected from witnesses of modern spirit possession.

KENAZ FILAN (Houngan Coquille du Mer) was initiated in Société la Belle Venus in March 2003 after 10 years of solitary service to the Haitian Vodou lwa. The managing editor of newWitch magazine, Filan is the author of The Haitian Vodou Handbook and Vodou Love Magic and lives in New York City. RAVEN KALDERA is a Northern Tradition Pagan shaman and lives in Massachusetts.

Product Details

  • File Size: 911 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (November 12, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004C05GYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing Down the Spirits January 23, 2011
Format:Paperback
This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 6/23/09.

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Seriously, are you looking for a book that will force you to confront and/or reevaluate your thoughts on the very prospect of God or Gods themselves? Then you must, I repeat must, get your hands on a copy of "Drawing Down the Spirits: The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession" by Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera.

Where to begin? First, I like the authors' honesty and straight forward nature. There are ample texts out there that study the phenomena of spirit possession, the cultures that practice it, etc. Most of it is written from a perspective of trying to dissect it, to figure out why practitioners believe it's happening and what's really going on. This makes for intriguing reading. The authors here make it clear that this is not that kind of book.

"The metaphysical preconceptions underlying this book are quite simple. The authors believe that possession is a real phenomenon; we also see the spirit world(s) as a real place, and that at least some instances of possession involve the displacement of the horse's ego by an outside entity. We acknowledge scientific method as a useful tool, but we do not limit ourselves to this method, nor do we believe it can explain all possessions."

(These guys would get along with LeShan and his theories on the study of the paranormal.)

So with that out on the table by page 34, you might be inclined to think that "Drawing Down the Spirits" is going to become an odd how-to book, or a long winded retelling of first hand experiences. Boy howdy would you be wrong!

The book opens with a fantastically well written, in depth look at the history of spirit possession.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with common sense, humor and humility October 21, 2010
Format:Paperback
Drawing Down the Spirits is far and away the best resource I've found on the subject of vesseling or horsing. For many years I worked in a "traditional" coven but was told I couldn't possibly be experiencing having the Gods come and sit on my head or speak through me, I wasn't an initiate yet. Guess what--the Gods don't always care! I got no help, no guidence, just a slap on the wrist everytime it happened. I came upon this book entirely by chance, having heard Raven speak at a conference about astrology and thinking 'cool, I need to check out some of his books.' All I can say is 'thank you' to both he and Kenaz Filan for this excellent resource.

Drawing Down the Spirits is written with common sense, humor and humility.

I'm the priestess of my own coven now and *all* my kids read this one, whether the Gods are trying to sit on their heads or not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a joke. You call this Haitian Vodou. ... November 8, 2014
By tower
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a joke. You call this Haitian Vodou. HA! I may use this book in a bonfire to call up Ogou. This book was a book made for Wiccans. This is what you get when someone writes a book and do not live and thrive within the Haitian Culture.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent piece of work... May 1, 2009
Format:Paperback
Kaldera and Filan write an interesting perspective on the drawing down of spirits within the African Diasporic Traditions (particularly Vodou and Umbanda) and the NeoPagan movement. While this book doesn't teach one how to specifically become a 'horse', it does go into the how, what, where, and why people allow themselves to become living vehicles for the divine. An interesting read for anyone interested in Shamanism, Neopaganism, and Trancework.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensable for horses and the curious. February 8, 2012
By essjay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, excellent book. It treats the gods as real, independent entities and focuses on the hows, whys, nuts and bolts of spiritual possession (the positive kind -- although it also addresses its less cuddly aspects). Particularly good is grounding advice for horses, and how to tell real possessory experiences from faked ones.

If you are having these kinds of experiences, or working in a trad where these things happen, this is a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative read, not what I expected November 4, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is about spirit working, spirit and deity possession in particular. It's very informative and has a lot of good ideas and different methods of practice involved within. However, this book was not intended to be a guide to god or spirit possession. They constantly stress about how possession is not something one should go looking to do because of the dangers and issues involved, which I tend to agree upon. This book is not meant to tell you how to perform possession rites, it is meant for an individual who is already experiencing it. Needless to say, I feel this book was very informative for what it was. It's filled with loads of experiences from other people on the subject, dealing with dangers, issues, and other things, like community and how to tell the difference between a fraud and a real possession. All and all, it's quite an interesting book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't try this at home
Kaldera, with help from blogger and Haitian Vodou initiate Kenaz Filan, discusses the practical side of a controversial but increasingly prevalent practice in modern paganism:... Read more
Published on December 5, 2012 by Merri-Todd Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Choice for Library
This book is necessary and useful and would make a great addition to any pagan library and lends itself to groups who seek to work with possession. Read more
Published on November 13, 2012 by Garnet
4.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of info on spirit possession
The book covers a variety of information about spirit possession and also examines the history of spirit possession. Read more
Published on August 23, 2011 by Crystal
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, but not what I wanted...
Before I write anything else, I must commend Filan and Kaldera for their in-depth survey of spirit possession throughout various world religions. Read more
Published on September 23, 2009 by Jonathan Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank You?
First let me say that "Drawing Down the Spirits" is a good book. It offers a look into the minds of people in modern day paganism who are still working with living gods, the ones... Read more
Published on September 6, 2009 by Doug Chango
5.0 out of 5 stars The authors are initiated and experienced in Shamanic and Vodou...
Drawing Down the Spirits: The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession offers an insider's view of the inner traditions and actualization of spirit possession in the modern... Read more
Published on August 19, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
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