The more powerful your rituals become, and the more frequently you work with people new to their paths, the more likely you are experience a variety of “Ritual Maladies”. A ritual malady is when people react to what’s happening in unexpected and sometimes dramatic ways. When this happens, what do you do?
This is an exploration of various things that can go wrong spiritually, energetically, psychically and physically in ritual and discusses techniques you can use to counter them. You are invited to contribute your own experiences, stories of how things went wrong and what was done to fix them.
This material is especially recommended for those in “protector” roles in rituals such as warders, lifeguards, summoners, guardians and similarly-named positions.
I highly recommend that those who are in charge of rituals have at lease a basic knowledge of Emergency First Aid to provide them with the background knowledge on how to deal with physical/medical issues that may occur in and around ritual. You can find these classes at local colleges, fire and/or safety departments and Red Cross locations in your area and they are usually offered free or inexpensively.
Triage is the initial, usually rapid, assessment of someone’s condition in order to determine the most likely treatment to help them. It is also used to determine which order to help people in so that those most in need will get attention first and those in the least danger can wait until the more critical folks have been attended to.
After determining who needs what in what order, you can start working on remedying their maladies.
There are a number of techniques and methods to use when maladies occur. Here are some of them:
- Mundane-ing – Get the person out of the ritual mindset and into a mundane, normal mindset. Ask them what they did yesterday, if they like their boss, what there favorite color is. Anything to engage their rational mind and get it to focus on something other than what is/was happening to them.
- Shielding – Create energetic shields around the person to block energy flows that are causing them problems. If they are unable to create their own shields, do it for them (temporarily).
- Blocking – Like shielding, but more physical. Put yourself physically between you and the source of distress. Provides the energetic benefits of shielding with the physical obstruction added in for additional blocking power.
- Charging – Raising a person’s energy level by putting energy into their system.
- Re-Tuning – This is where you re-tune someone’s energy to a higher vibratory level (or rarely, lower level) so that they can handle the higher levels of energy without adverse effect. This is analogous to shifting a car into a higher gear. Like when you shift to a higher gear, the engine sounds quieter, but it is actually capable of running faster. Retuning someone’s energy has a similar effect in that they will perceive energy levels as lower than they actually are because their capacity has increased, and people tend to measure energy related to their own capacity to hold and use it. Retuning should not be done without permission as it can permanently change the person’s vibration and energy levels. It often has an adjustment period of a day to a week where physical and energetic problems may be noticed as your physical and energetic bodies realign.
- Energy Shifting – Like Retuning, but on a smaller and temporary scale. Temporarily shifting the person’s vibration rate, either higher or lower for a short period of time.
- Finding Equilibrium – Hot water poured into cold water creates warm water. Energy will naturally seek to find balance on its own. This state is called Equilibrium. Simply relax and allow energy to flow in, out, around or through without forcing it. This technique is also good for finding harmony with your environment by allowing it and you to flow through and into each other.
- Breaking Connections – Energetic ties or threads can be formed while working magic or ritual, usually unconsciously. By breaking this connection energetically or physically you can often remedy related problems.
- Regaining Focus – A simple reminder to focus on a particular object or task is often all that is needed to help bring a person back to where they should be.
- Stilling – Bringing your body to a calm, steady, relaxed state. The physical version of Centering, Balancing and Attuning.
- Centering – “Getting a grip” mentally. Useful for when concentration is poor, thoughts are scattered or coming in a flood. The mental version of Stilling, Balancing and Attuning.
- Balancing – Consciously working to balance energies. Like Equilibrium, but can be used when the person is unable to relax enough for Finding Equilibrium to let energy flow naturally. The energetic version of Stilling, Centering and Attuning.
- Attuning – Getting in touch with your spiritual core and Spirit. The spiritual version of Stilling, Balancing and Centering.
- Closing – Closing a person’s chakras temporarily, either in whole or in part, to prevent the flow of energy in or out of them.
- Cocooning – Creating a shielding bubble of energy around someone. Can be used to cut someone off from the energy of a circle without them realizing it.
- Resting – Sometimes a person just needs a break. Quiet time, a quick nap or a good sleep does wonders at all levels.
- Remaining Present – A collection of skills for recognizing the signs and feelings of being moved out of control of your own body, such as through channeling or possession. Training for noticing the warning signs, such as trace states, spontaneous body movement, perceiving thoughts, voices and feelings that are not your own and ways to slow or stop the process if desired, along with establishing your boundaries and rules for passing messages through you to others.
- Shock – A surprising sound or sensation can break someone out of many states where their attention is no longer present. A loud noise near them, such as a sharp clap of the hands, will often snap someone out of an altered state. In extreme cases, physical action such as a slap in the face or a moderate kick to the shin will bring people back immediately with no long-term side effects. These should obviously only be used as a last resort and under circumstances that would allow for it.
- Radical Grounding – Techniques can be used to quickly remove excess energy from someone. These involve physical, more than energetic, action. For example:
- Heel Drop – Have the person jump up into the air. When they are in the air, have them lock their knees and land hard on both heels. There will be a physical jarring when they land that serves to drive their energy deep into the ground immediately. Repeat if needed. Note: This technique is not recommended for anyone with knee or spine problems.
- Grounding – Grounding is listed last because it is the most overused technique available. It is often suggested for nearly every situation, and is usually the wrong thing to do. If you are low on energy, grounding won’t help you. If you have an imbalance or blockage of energy, grounding won’t help you. If you are trying to build energy, grounding will suck it out of you. If you are trying to be fluid and mobile, grounding will interfere with this and keep you rooted. If you are trying to do out-of-body work, grounding will keep you in it. Grounding is useful when you have some extra energy that you want to get rid of, and not much else. In most cases where you would want to ground, you can simply do some “instant magic” and project the energy out with an intent behind it, and you will still get the benefit of getting rid of the energy, but you’ll have put it towards a goal.
Some of the things that can go wrong in ritual or magical workings, with suggested methods for treating it include:
- Flashbulbing – When a person absorbs more energy than they can handle and energetically “pops” like an old-style flashbulb, releasing it all at once. Generally followed by a Crash. Treat with Charging to bring them back up to a functional level and Shielding, Blocking or Closing to keep them absorbing more energy. Mundane-ing and Removal may be required if it starts happening again.
- Draining / Leaking – When someone is unable to contain their own energy and it is expelled or leaks out. Treat with Charging if needed, and Shielding, Blocking or Closing, or Removal if disruptive.
- Vampirism – When energy is being drawn from the working or individuals and being taken for private use, by a person or other entity. May be consciously or unconsciously done. If unconsciously done, use Shielding, Blocking or Cocooning, but be aware that they may simply suck the energy out of the shields, too. Removal or Ejection may be needed, followed by an explanation of what was happening and ways to control it if unconscious. If consciously done, Cocooning, Ejection and Barring may be recommended.
- Zoning Out – When a person mentally tunes out or shuts down. Treat with Regaining Focus, Mundane-ing or Removal.
- Energy Sink – When someone is grounding out the energy of the working. Treat with Shielding, Blocking, Cocooning, or Removal. Can sometimes “snap them out of it” with Regaining Focus, Breaking Connections or other techniques.
- Empathic Lock – When a person establishes an empathic connection and is unable to break it. Use Breaking Connections, Blocking or Shifting or Shock.
- Crash – When a person’s physical and energetic bodies shut down at the same time. Suggest Removal with a caregiver, followed by Charging and Centering.
- Passing out – When a person loses consciousness. Removal, followed by qualified medical attention. Charging, Balancing or other methods as appropriate while in transit or after medical attention.
- Channeling – When a person starts speaking or acting on behalf of another entity (but is still present and can reassert control if desired). Not necessarily a malady, but if unwanted, Pushing Out, Mundane-ing, Radical Grounding and Shock work well. Removal if necessary. Follow with training on Remaining Present. If unable to control repeatedly, consider Barring until control is achieved.
- Possession – When a person loses control of their body and another entity takes over (the person is not present or is unable to reassert control). If not intentionally planned and done, this is a malady. Pushing Out, Pulling In, Shock, Removal, Shielding, Closing and Shifting can all useful in expelling what’s in and returning the person’s body to their own control. Follow with training on Remaining Present. If unable to control repeatedly, consider Barring until control is achieved.
- Feedback – When a person begins to cycle energy (a feedback loop) with someone or something else, with it increasing each power with each cycle. Shielding and Blocking to break the flow of energy, or Mundane-ing.
- Harmonic Resonance – When a person is energetically “in tune” with someone or something else and a harmonic resonance forms that links the two energetically, where the energy of each person causes increased energy in the other and so on.. Treat with Shifting one or both so that they are no longer on the same frequency and the harmonic resonance is broken or use Shielding or Blocking to break the connection between them.
- Interruption – When something or someone intrudes on the ritual, either from within or without of the working area. Shielding or Blocking, depending on if it’s physical or not. Ejection if the interruption is repeated or not applicable to other techniques.
- Release – A physical, emotional or energetic release of stored pain, loss or hurt, usually caused by something many years ago. Common in massage and energy working, this can also be triggered by events in a ritual. Frequently exhibited through uncontrollable crying, laughing or shivering. Generally requires immediate attention and support, though simply being there and being reassuring and explaining what is happening is usually enough.
- Projection – Sometimes in a ritual or trance state, a person will begin to astral project spontaneously. Treat with Pulling In, Mundane-ing (if possible) or Shock. Provide training in Remaining Present.
- Wigging Out – Sometimes what is happening in ritual is just too weird for someone and their brain just sort of shorts out and goes freaky because it is unable or unwilling to process what it is perceiving. This often happens when people have a first-time energetic or spiritual experience. Treat with Mundane-ing, Removal or Shock to break them of it, followed by balancing (Stilling, Centering, Balancing, Attuning) as needed. Provide explanations of what happened, what it means and comfort that they are not in any danger. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about what happened.
As you can see, there is quite a list of things that can go wrong in a ritual. Fortunately, there is an even longer list of ways you can regain control of the situation safely and effectively.
The treatments listed here are only suggestions, and you must, of course, use your own judgment, intuition and experience to determine which techniques are most suitable for any situation you encounter.