This will be the last post that I write on this, unless of course something sparks my interests and I need to make another one.
Preparing the Horse for a possession
There is no way to "make" a possession happen but there are ways to help aid a possession to go more smoothly. It is very helpful to the horse when the deity lets the horse know ahead of time by a week or even a day that they will be taking over the horses body. There are certain techniques that one can do especially if its for a public devotional ceremony, where a possession is scheduled.
The horse should be doing a good amount of devotional work to make a better relationship with that god/spirit. If a horse is unable to carry out a conversation with the god then the chances of having a strong enough connection to be ridden is very unlikely. There is the chance that yes they can push their way in because after all they are stronger then we are but it would be far more better in making a connection out of devotion rather then having it come off more as a violation.
Having good sleeps for a few nights prior to the possession and definitely the night before is very ideal. As well one should spend sometime beforehand in research certain taboos that maybe related to the deity that will be horsing them. For example say if your planning on horsing a warrior-god it might mean doing work-out sessions a few days in advanced. If the horse already has a bond with the deity then the deity will probably let the horse know what they would like. Eating good is very important as well because when a deity takes over your body it can eat up a lot of your energy and can play havoc on your health etc.
One thing that can help a possession is something called a Haunted Costume or ceremonial clothing which belongs only to that deity. This can range anywhere from a full outfit to a simple piece of jewelry. After a while or sometimes even after the first uses the costume will get enough magick in it to be used as a gateway for the deity and help aid the horse if they have some blocks. So in saying that you dont want to be using this material object for anything else, especially non-possessory ceremonies. Sometimes a costume can make itself haunted. How this can work is say you are creating a sacred outfit to wear when your going to be speaking the part of that deity ( Integration or Aspecting) not necessarily going for a full on possession, the costume can after being worn a while pick up the energy of that deity and when someone puts it on who is more open may get the feeling like that deity is wanting to horse them.
"One ritual participant stumbled in the middle of a ceremony while wearing a costume that the group didnt realize had become a magnet for that deity, and lost a few seconds of consciousness, during which her body continued with the invocation. When something liked this happens, theres no going back for that piece of clothing. It is now a sacred artifact of that deity, and should be reverently put away and used only to invoke them, with the full knowledge that they may choose to take the body on which it hangs if they find it suitable."Raven Kaldera
Also its always best if your doing this for a ritual purpose you should have a back up if the god does not show up or it does not work. It is very wrong for the horse to start pretending that they are being horsed if it does not work, even if they can make it believable.
Community Preparation for God-Possession
It is always best to do a divination a short period of time before the ritual would take place, like a week before. You will want to make sure that your asking the right questions as well as making sure that everything will go as planned and if there is any important information from the Gods that you need to know that you may have missed. If by any chance there is uncertainty in the group about the divination its best to get more then one person doing a divination and compare your results. Some of the questions you can ask are: Should we be doing this possession ritual? Have we picked the right people for the positions? How will things go with the audiences? Is there anything that should be changed? What does the deity expect and desire? If the answer comes back as a no for the first question you may want to look at your motives for why your wanting to do this ritual. Possession rituals are not something to mess around with and should be seen as a sacred event and approached with respect. If your planning on holding a ritual like this because you want to prove youre a "Serious Practitioner" or show your "Uniqueness"your only going to be walking into danger. Two things may happen with this, first your God may simply just ignore you and not show up at all or worst they may show up and that would not be a good thing under these circumstances.
The group should really do some research about understanding their Gods and of course understand the all about of what god possession is. This research part would be to find good primary sources and actual academic resources. Its not simply I picked up a book that is Gods and Goddess 101 and I am good to go now. Look for work put out by popular publishers, study the legends and sages, as well as look at the experiences (UPG or PCPG) and lives of people who work with the God/Spirit your interested about on a daily base.
You are also going to want to have your ritual carefully planned from the beginning, middle and end. You also want to make sure you leave some room for the unexpected that may happen. If by a off chance the deity does not arrive there should be a back up plan to allow you to still hold the respectful ritual. As well there should be plans in place if by the off chance the horse can not handle the possession.One of the ways to best help the horse out if they need to stop the possession is by calling their full birthname if you know it. Also asking the horse say a work related question can help because it will shift their mental state back into the material world. If by a off chance this does not work you can try pouring water on the horses head which can help end the possession, however this would not be a good idea if your getting horsed by a water deity, so that is why research is so important.
If your doing a public ritual your going to want to know your audiences and whether your wanting to keep this as small or allow it to be more open to the public. The group holding the ritual as well as the god/spirit is going to expect everyone to be on their best behavior. Having a drama queen or a drunk around might not just make the deity upset but also cause problems for the whole crowd. Sometimes people who are not prepared to see the Gods and think its all fun and games can have a rude awakening when finally being in the presences of that deity. It always best to take into consideration who you will allow at a ritual.
This is definitely not a need to have a prep-team but it will make things easier for the horse. The prep-team will help the hose out with what needs to be done such as with the costume (making sure everything is there for the costume and is not broken), hairstyling, and make-up. For the horse, not having to worry about the material aspect of everything will not only give them something less to stress about because of course the horse will be a bit nervous (especially if this is a first time for the horse) but it will also let them see themselves being transformed and reinforce the knowledge that their body will be used as a offering to temporary house the deity/spirit. You should always make sure that the horse trusts and is comfortable with the prep-team. As well the prep-team should know ahead of time what all the preparation for the ritual will be so that things are not being rushed and bounced around, you want things to go as smooth as possible. If the horse is nervous you are going to want a prep-team that is confident and calm to be able to calm the horse down and remind them that the deity would not have picked them if they did not think they could not handle it and remind them that this is a scared duty they are doing. The prep-team should also stay with the horse through the whole thing, you dont want a prep-team that may abandon the horse. The prep-team does not only just worry about the beginning part of the ritual but also the middle and end. So in saying that the prep-team can hold more then one position.
A few of the positions are:
The page: The page needs to be on hand for the deity once they arrive. This includes bring them something to drink/food, taking things away once the deity is done with them, get things for the deity etc. A good page should be comfortable with allowing their "will" to be seized by the deity.
"Pages often report that they feel glued to the deitys side and totally focused on them, as if nothing else in the universe matters at that moment. Its basking in the shadow of the god/dess, but at the same time it is a position of total subservience, and one that may be somewhat ego-destroying for some people."Raven Kaldera
The Steward : The steward is the person who creates a boundary between the audiences and the deity. They usually are several feet away from the deity and if a member from the audiences would like to talk to the deity they will first need to approach the steward.The steward needs to have good/firm boundaries and be able to deal with the occasional pushy, drunk or deliberately disrespectful looking person who may end up ruining the ritual for everyone.(You will get these people by holding a public ritual where you cant control who shows up and who doesnt. That is why some people will only do closed rituals so they have better control) If the deity decides to get up and move around the steward will need to make sure they follow the deity and have a path cleared for them, as well as keep anyone away that may cause problems. If its a big crowd and the deity does not like to sit still it may be wise to have more the one steward. However the steward also needs to not get into the "overly self-important" headspace, thinking that they are the ones protecting the deity. Deities need no protecting and the steward is actually protecting the people that the deity turned away. Dont ever put it past a deity that they wont punish someone who is a jerk in their presences. The steward is the boundary between the deity and the staff. If the deity needs something that is not in reach then the steward needs to go to the staff and get them to fetch it. Your not going to want the page leaving the deities side for a long length of time to go find something and you dont want the steward wandering off either. The page would go to the steward and tell them and from there the steward would go tell a staff and then the staff would go around fetching whatever needs fetching.
The High Priest/ Priestess: The HP is the one that runs the ritual and gets the audiences ready for the appearances of the deity as well as calms the crowd down once the deity has left. A good HP should be able to get and keep the attention of a crowd, speak clearly so everyone can understand and do the invocation without to much dependence on paper if its needed. They need to be able to make eye contact with all the prep-team involved if need to keep things going as well be able to bend the ritual if the deity decides they want some changes. A good HP will be able to adapt to anything that may arise with grace and ease and take the audiences with them. If the deity wishes for specific religious acts for the public, the HP will be the one who does this and this could include making offerings, singing, kneeling etc.
"Like the position of the page, this position should not be held by anyone who cannot offer genuine reverential respect for the god/dess. Mere general respect is not enough: they must honestly have a place for that deity in their soul." Raven Kaldera
Shills: This is a good position for someone who wants to take part in the ritual but does not want their experience interrupted by staff work. The HP will talk to the shill before the ritual begins and may give the shill cues to remember. When the HP directs the audiences to move the shill is the first one up to help lead. If a invocation needs a response from the audiences the shill is the first one to respond. When the deity is ready to see the people the shill is the first one in line and if they have nothing to ask of that deity they still welcome the deity with enthusiasm. The shill needs to be a model of good behavior for the audiences and should not be shy.
Drummers: People who follow the Afro-Caribbean tradition will tell you god-possession does work better with drumming. In this faith they have drummers that are trained to call/drum each god into the horse with specific rhythms. Research was done and evidences was found that at least some ancient European cultures had forms of divine rhythms but unfortunately they have not survived. Being a horse is not a easy thing and sometimes if they start to come out of it this can mess with the deities manifestation. Having a drum beat going will be a good tool to have with keeping the horse in trance. If your wanting to have a drum beat going through the whole ritual its best to have at least two drummers, this way the drummer does not need to break the beat to go use the washroom and worry that it was a distraction to the deity/horse and the people.The staff should be bring the drummers food and water and whatever else they may need. As well the drummers should not be focusing on anything else but the drumming and should have a place to sit where they will not get bumped.
The Staff: The staff are in charge of taking care of the physical objects. They make sure the alter and ritual area is set up, they make sure the food/drinks are available for the deity, the drummers etc. They will be handing out of programs (if you have them) and tell people where their jackets need to go. The staff also needs to be able to keep a unsurprised/calm/never freaking out presences about them to make sure the audiences stays this way as well. After people witness a possession they probably may have some questions so its always good to have a few staff that can go around and try to answer the questions to the best of their ability. The staff your going to want in this area are ones who have been around rituals like this before, have the knowledge that would be required, as well maybe having them be good at counseling people.
Aborting a possession
If a horse(one that is not preparing to be possessed) or anyone for that matter feels a possession starting to happen there are certain things one can do to help that person snap out of that early trance state that helps lead into a possession. Some of the techniques are:
Drinking a glass of cold salt water- Salt is a good way to help ground yourself. You may not be able to swallow all the saltwater, which is normal because it will not taste the best. However vomiting is ok and also if you do vomit, it going to help bring you back to your body as well as help close off the channel. After you drink as much saltwater as you can follow this by drinking fresh water and if your stomach will allow you eat some food.
Eat something extremely hot/spicy- Make sure if your going to do this that you have water to drink as well.
Cold water- Taking a cold shower if your able too will help as well as putting cold water on the back of your neck. Afterwards eating something that is grounding will help you as well.
If none of the above work your last thing to try is telling one of your friends to cause you physical pain. I am not talking about having your friend punch,kick, use objects that can severely hurt you. One way of the pain I am talking about is having your friend pull your hair to help snap you out of it. Doing it yourself is not recommended as well the pain should be short and fast and you dont want to see it coming. After you have gotten back to yourself do some activities that you can concentrate on but you also want to have them not be repetitive. You want something that is going to keep your full attention but will also have you changing what your doing while your doing it.
Drawing Down the Spirits- The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession- Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera