Some things have an energy and a presence and I am slowly beginning to realise that they have an effect on people. Starting out in the occult it may have been fun and glamorous to have these things around me, but getting older I am getting more cautious and starting to realise that it’s not always the best idea to bring things things into the house since they have a subtle effect on the atmosphere which you only notice after 20 years of collecting this stuff is cleared out and the vacuum which nature and cats abhor begins to get filled with new stuff.
Let me start by telling some experiences. I am not telling everything here of course and I have told other accounts elsewhere.
My first experience with a haunted object was with a picture I picked up in an exhibition. It was a nice automatic drawing done by an occult artist whose work has frequently been described as being “talismanic”. We hear this word used a lot in book terms with “talismanic” editions and speaking from experience this means more than just being a posh edition, it can be something ritually charged and active - or able to be activated in the presence of the right people. This is not always good since a magician may cope with something, but a natural psychic, unaware of the energies might activate it inadvertently.
Anyway, I brought the picture home and popped it safely on top of some books in a bookshelf until I had a chance to get it framed. A bit later I laid down on my bed in the same room to have a short nap. I was awoken a bit later with a sleep catalepsy experience however this time it was more and an entity was holding me down and trying to suffocate me - we struggled and eventually I threw it off and watched it dissipate. There have been a few experiences like this in my life - about 4 I think but the timing of this was interesting to say the least. To people reading this of course its just an anecdote, you had to have been there and believe me I am glad you were not!
Now, I know the sleep catalepsy experience is generated by the brain, basically it switches off the body so we don’t act out our dreams. However it’s more complex that that and science just described the physiological response. The picture has given me no trouble since, but since the picture was of an entity which looked just like what I experienced, something was happening - the artist’s paintings are often described as talismanic and too right.
Another time concerned a book I obtained. A very old book, 400 odd years old and used by many magicians I am sure. A friend and I opened it one evening when I first got it and read out part of the Enochian text (yes, that book!). That night I experienced exactly the same phenomena Dee described, bells, rapping and so on. John Dee was fairly psychic when he let his left brain get out of the way. He needed Edward Kelley though since he was in analysis mode when they were skrying and therefore not engaging his psychic facilities. Again, left alone the book causes no trouble but when you stir things up, they sometimes do respond. Speaking from experience I am pretty sure that the presence of the book and its use made it a magical item in its own right rather than just the text being read - we did not call the calls at all, just read part of the diary.
There have been a few other objects like this in my life and it seems that there are two conditions which can make them very active - on first arrival there seems to be an imprinting experience where it responds to you - often in a disturbing way since some brains have a way to experience interaction in this way. However they can also be activated with magic, simple probing, giving them attention, psychometry or reading the evocation can switch them on and depending on the interaction generate experiences; I wont say phenomena since it’s all personal and often very subjective. But the experiences are there.
That doesn’t say any of this is necessarily a bad thing. All this is a learning experience and I am not saying that any of these objects are evil or such, certainly I am not going to react to phenomena with such an emotional response! But they have a charge and that has an effect on people and we all need to ask ourselves whether we want that effect in our lives. Maybe it’s like living near high voltage power lines and not that healthy to be around or maybe it is just there. I think that depends upon the objects and the charge in the item. Sometimes its just there and I think that the case with my artifacts, I would have disposed of them (burial) years ago if I thought that they were dangerous. But like traffic outside when we life in a town we sometimes miss the energetic effect it could have on us and sometimes its nice to have a bit more quiet.
So after 20 years of living with some of these wild books I decided that it was time to sell them - not because they are haunted, but because they had an intrinsic value which is needed elsewhere. So today I packed them all up and drove to a dealer to pass them on. As I said, I dont think these items are dangerous, if they were I would not sell them but cleanse them. However a lot of this is connections I am making in retrospect as well. Since my road opener I am more psychic than ever and working things out as I go along often at a fast rate as I see new effects around me. I am not gung-ho at all but learning a lot very rapidly and drawing conclusions as I see things in a different way.
Arriving home today to a house sans haunted objects was odd. Yes, it was a long drive, 5 hours of driving there and back today but I was not tired until I got home. Then I noticed physical symptoms, shakes and an ability to settle in what should have been my personal space. It was not horrible but intense and unsettling and took a few hours to settle. Its hard to explain what, since with these objects out, there should be less energy perhaps - I think like traffic outside before moving to the country I was noticing the difference and also being aware of a different energetic dynamic setting and things shifted. In no way did this feel bad, but intense and I feel my personal energy (I hate that word in this context) and also the energies of the spirits I actively work work moving about and settling differently. I am surprised and did not expect such an effect.
So for me, a salt bath and a house cleanse tomorrow as I continue to declutter and assert myself on my own space.
Moving onwards though this is something to be more aware of. These things can build up - I have been lucky that I have brought energetic stuff in the house which was there but fairly benign. Dion Fortune told some interesting stories in her excellent “Psychic Self Defence” of more malevolent stuff. Part of this for me is an offshoot of my recent road opener, I am far more psychic than I have been and as I declutter and clear things there is less around me getting in the way and I notice things more. Its a strange process and feels a bit like tuning a radio properly as I cut out more noise and the inner stuff comes through better. It does have odd effects though, feeling different energies, even if wholesome can make one feel a little shaky on occasion as the body learns to work on this new level. So I dont want to say that these items are bad; but like a weed being a plant in the wrong place they can be problematic.
For me, a wise magician once said that she puts dodgy objects in salt for a few days and this is good advice. Of course it depends upon the item and there are other ways to clean.
Getting older I do notice better the effects of the energies in these objects and feel it more and becoming aware of this is interesting. Its all learning and for me a feeling that having less of it around me helps make me more sensitive. I don’t need the psychic clutter around me at all really and I am make my own haunted objects should I have need (and I really don’t). I’ll make sure to dehaunt them before passing them on though. There is a level of responsibility and psychic hygiene which I feel needs to be observed here. I think its about realising the importance of this psychic hygiene and knowing what you are doing and realising the effect it can have on others environments. Thats a long path and all a learning process as we find out what is right for us and our own personal spaces.
I have been lucky that I have been taught and influenced by some very wise teachers. I sometimes wonder why they ever let me out on my own. Still I am slowly learning and it’s a matter of practicing psychic hygiene.