I always want to title my misa posts with something punny, but most ways of using misa sound JarJar Binks/Racist.
For those new, or have forgotten, a misa is an event in espiritismo where a group get to together to talk with their spirits: spirit guides, ancestors, whatnot. Usually there are two people who do most the talking (I’m one of them at my friend’s misas), but everyone can be open to whatever is to be communicated.
I recently attended another misa of a friend of mine, she likes talking to her dead people. I find the entire thing fascinating, the types of messages that come through, how people receive them, who shows up, and how the experience as a whole goes down.
At this misa, like all the others, I know my friend who is hosting it, and then there are generally four or so other people that I don’t know. I find this is an advantage for me because it means my reading isn’t biased by knowing anything about the lives of 4 out of 5 people, which prevents contamination.
I found this a bigger issue this time. It isn’t to say I think my friend was using the excuse of spirits to say what she wanted to say, or that her foreknowledge overwhelmed her perceptions, but the messages that came from her obviously drew from her prior knowledge. For instance she’d bring in a message for someone, and then when it was done she’d occasionally toss out an interpretation “I know you recently changed jobs, maybe it’s about…” or “I’m pretty sure they’re talking about …”
I, on the other hand, had no such advantage (or handicap) being the only person not in that circle of friends. As someone developing my skills, testing my abilities, and looking for verification that’s how I want it to go down. For instance, while it was very unfortunate for the recepient of my messages, in one case I twice upset/triggered the same person because the messages that came through hit on something personal and visceral. I was given descriptions of places where very bad things occured in his life, and related information, but I had no context or foreknowledge for the data. While I can’t rule out woogity variables, it was at least clear I was connected to something, doing something right. Yet my friend doesn’t have that advantage, and perhaps doesn’t want it, maybe I’m too focused on results and proof rather than faith.
I can’t help but wonder how much knowledge taints my friend’s messages, especially when her message for me is somewhat in line with her pre-existing biases and knowledge. For instance at this misa I was told by one of her spirits (cause my spirits never show up to talk to others), that Buddhism seems to be the right path for me and that my ceremonial magick practices aren’t benefiting me, and doing both is just confusing things spiritually. Now said friend has a complex relationship with ceremonial magick, ex-Thelemite, who always preferred more witchy/ecstatic methods to ceremonial, and would say she dislikes most ceremonial practices and ceremonialists with me being an exception. Now even without this bias, even if it was my spirits and not hers, I wouldn’t just listen to what was said and follow, spirits aren’t all-knowing and all-wise. Yet I can’t help but wonder if that message was from her, or her spirits, or if her position confused the message coming through. While I love my ceremonial practices, at the time of the misa I had been performing Resh daily and I felt it had reached saturation, that it was no longer giving me the benefit it was when I started doing it again a few months earlier.
Could it be someone was telling my Resh wasn’t useful, but her position on ceremonial magick got in the way? Could it be that consciously or unconsciously the format of the misa gave her “permission” to state her opinion as fact and advice? Could it be that some spirit really thinks that ceremonial magick has no purpose for me. I don’t know, and I’m not expecting an answer, more than anything I’m relaying the event and pondering through it. Beyond the source and filter of the message, it also makes me wonder about people who just listen to such advice. Your Grandfather didn’t always know what was best for you while he was alive, why would he know better now that he’s dead? It’s not the people recieving the messages aren’t intelligent, but I feel they’re uncritical and I just don’t understand that position. Perhaps they really get what they need, the advice works, and each time they may come back a little better, but I just can’t understand that level of trust in the spirits and the intermediary. With every source of information, especially an occult source, question the information, question the source, question the bias, question who benefits. The advice may be right, wrong, or indifferent, but it’s up to us to figure out which is which, and to work with what we’re given.