Throughout history, few subjects have aroused the fear, fascination and terror that entities have. Our folk history is filled with tales of ghouls, goblins, evil spirits, bewitchings, demonic possession, devils, spells, ghosts, angels, curses, the occult, demons, miracles and magic. Our lore about entities is also replete with ignorance, fear mongering, hyperbole of unimaginable proportions, enough lies to fill the Vatican, and manipulation for political and religious ends that has no equal. What we can say with certainty is that a few individuals have learned to work successfully with these beings and that no one fully understands the subject.
Our word demon comes from the Greek word daimon, which referred to beings with special powers that could place themselves between people and the gods. Homer wrote frequently of daimons. He said, “A sick man pining away is one upon whom an evil spirit has gazed.” Socrates and Aeschylus both thought that insane people were under the influence of daimons, and Plato believed that daimons sometimes obsessed mortals. In the Qur’an, the prophet Mohammed revealed that Jinn, (earthbound spirits) were real, and that they were formed of holy fire (energy). He maintained that they were moral, but that they could also be mischievous and troublesome.
Lets take a look beneath the surface to see what is going on. If you are in a natural state of consciousness, your thoughts will flow naturally and freely. The space both within and around you will be in harmony. If however, you become afraid, contract and lock yourself up, you will create a disharmony – a disturbance in The Universe. And The Universe will push on that disharmony in an effort to resolve it. Think about how others react when you are out of line, for example, or, how you react when someone does something unkind. Those responses are some of the ways The Universe seeks to correct imbalances.
We are not often in a position to respond appropriately to an offense, especially when we are young. When a child is overwhelmed with pain, fear or anxiety and has no real recourse for resolution through her caretakers (most often the caretakers are the ones creating the problem), the traumatized and vulnerable child will make an agreement to accept an entity’s “protection.”
Entities are single-minded in purpose. They seek to protect the child by creating psychological distance between the child and a perceived threat. Like otherworldly beings, entities possess no overt power in this realm. What the entity does is to amplify the child’s existing feelings of fear and then through a number of ploys, encourage the child to avoid potentially difficult situations. The entity will encourage the child to withdraw, repress her feelings, rationalize pain or deny or not remember what happened. The entity will numb the child to her feelings, dull her memory, urge her to deny what is happening, get her to blame herself, devalue her worthiness or through a hundred other schemes, encourage the child to pull back from life. The child has already been conditioned to act in this manner, and the presence of the entity simply intensifies her reaction.
The behavior the entity seeks to elicit is similar to what the ego does. When you collapse feelings into yourself, you tighten your entire system. You go numb. You do not feel. However having an entity is like having an ego on steroids. The manifestations can range all the way from simple anxiety and mental rigidity to personality disorder, dementia, schizophrenia or paranoia. The entity offers separation from pain in much the same way that alcohol or heroin does. Drugs don’t make problems go away – we just don’t feel them for a while. That is what an entity does, without the drugs.
We are often not aware of an entity’s presence because we are so accustomed to it, but its influence can be most profound. Entities operate through influencing and amplifying the thoughts and emotions of their host. Entities do not have the power or malevolence attributed to them throughout history or in the movies. I do not believe that they are evil, per se; in fact, they seem to have no moral convictions at all. But, just because they are not the scary beings depicted by Hollywood or in folk tales, entities can have terrible effect on a fearful or hate-filled human mind, especially when the entity will encourages the child to project his or her pain out onto the world through rage or other dysfunctional behavior.
When you explode out at someone else, the smoke and thunder obscures the pain in your core. But the goal is still the same: to create a feeling of separation from a threat. Striking back is simply a bonus. These are not behaviors that resolve situations. They exist for the sole purpose of creating a sense of separation or false power, and they have little regard for the mayhem left in their wake.
Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the entity/child relationship is that the entity cultivates and expands the feelings of unlovability and unworthiness the child already holds. It does this so that the child will not take risks and subject herself to additional emotional abuse. If the child can be convinced that she is not as good as other people, for example, then she will not be inclined to expose herself to potential rejection. This is a shortsighted strategy, but it is unfortunately, very effective, and the long-term implications can be devastating. Yet, in the moment, with few other options available, it works.
In the shamanic journey environment, entities mostly appear as dark, tar-like blobs or shadow clouds around the inner child. You can also sometimes see them around the people you call into the journey space. When you tell an entity to manifest in its true form, most of the time you will see a conscious tar-like mass with eyes. Entities have different eye colors. The most common eye color is red, but yellow, green, white and black are not unknown. These are subtle differences and not of concern to us here.
Sometimes entities will take the form of spiders, snakes, scorpions, bats and even the occasional dragon, underlying our general dislike of bugs and reptiles and the enduring presence of dragons in fairy tales. Sometimes entities will appear two dimensional and “cartoon-like,” or as people we know or figures from our memory. The relationship with entities ranges from simply having an entity reside in our shadow, something that is fairly common, to full-blown entity possession, which is more rare.
What entities bring into every situation is perfectly matched to the needs of the wounded child. The entity provides a sense of sanctuary at a painful and uncertain moment. Unfortunately, once the pattern of behaviors is established, the child, later adult, will continue to react to life in this way because these defenses do work, at least temporarily, and have given a feeling of protection to a vulnerable psyche. They will also have led to the creation of a set of personal beliefs that can be virtually impervious to outside influence. Life may be miserable, and the external circumstances may no longer warrant this level of protective response, but the pattern has been established, and it is safe and familiar. It also reflects the way the person has come to see herself and the world based on The Misunderstanding, which I explain at length in my book, Journey to Enlightenment.
The vast majority of convicts imprisoned for violent offenses, both men and women, report being physically and emotionally abused as children. (The percentages for women by the way are much higher.) Violent criminals report that their abuse was severe. Psychiatrists have tried for years to help violent criminals change their behaviors with the disappointing outcome that prison recidivism rates remain astronomical. From the Shamanic perspective, psychiatrists have not been addressing the real problems. And this is something we all should be far more concerned about because of the terrible price this behavior exacts on society, whether through crime, terrorism or war.
We do not appreciate the cost to society of our dysfunctional families, and although sexual abuse, drug use and physical abuse are more common in low-income environments, it is not isolated there by any means. The mass school shootings at Columbine years ago through today’s recent shootings at Parkland Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, were all done by middle class young white men.
There are ongoing discussions about whether entities are actually separate beings or extensions of the human consciousness, and there are good arguments for each point of view. But the disagreement is largely academic. Is this the perfection of God’s system or simply the soul’s vast conscious awareness? Each of us is much greater than our waking consciousness, so it is possible that entities are “just us” in some expanded form.
What is important to me, is that entities act in limited and predictable ways, and that we know how to deal with them, whatever their status or origin. Entities present themselves as separate beings with a limited consciousness and can be effectively dealt with as such, so I treat them as such. After all, there are teachers like Ramana Maharshi who maintain that life itself was a “waking dream,” developed out of our vast consciousness. So perhaps entities are just imagined characters in “our waking dream.”
Earlier, I spoke of possession. In a normal entity relationship, the entity has access and can influence the thinking of the wounded child. However, if the trauma suffered by the child is severe enough, the child will sometimes simply surrender control of her emotional self over to the entity. This is a condition traditionally known as “possession.” With possession, the person is still there, but speaking with her is like addressing a hollow shell with a bomb inside it. The behavior of the inner child will be erratic, sometimes rageful and mean. If you look into the eyes of a possessed inner child, they will flash or in the alternative, appear like the blackness of infinity. This tells us that the trauma to the child was serious and that it will require a more dedicated effort to straighten things out.
If a person’s healing process requires it, an entity can also masquerade as a light being or wise spirit, purporting to share wisdom, exposing the person’s naiveté and desire to avoid addressing her inner pain. This can lead to no end of confusion, frustration and consternation. Looking at it energetically, the entity’s masquerade is a poor imitation of the real thing, but to a person unfamiliar with these matters, the charade can be convincing. This is why dialoguing with an entity is never helpful. Entities sometimes work in pairs, by the way, one protecting the other. One will create a distraction when the other’s connection to the inner child is threatened.
Your relationship with your entities is thousands of years old, reaching back through many lifetimes. The pain you experienced in your present childhood is familiar. The events will be different, but the feelings and dynamics will be old. Remember, you have been working with these issues for a long time. And, no, you have not failed. Look around you. The rest of us are doing about as well as you are.
So the question remains, what do you do if you have an entity? I address this subject at length in my books Healing The Shadow, and Journey to Enlightenment.
I am frequently asked about protection from entities. People are looking for spells, or potions or some way to avoid. There is a problem with the concept. The “vulnerability” to an entity comes because of the pain carried by your inner child. So having an entity is really an “inside job.” So protection from an entity means telling part of yourself that it is unworthy, which is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Doing something external can help to focus your intention, but without the support of your inner self, it will not last long. There are rituals and spells that can help by creating conditions in your energy field that make it difficult for entities to enter, but they are far from foolproof. If you want a real solution, go to the source of the problem and heal the pain carried by your inner child.