Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical Language Volume I and Volume II, and Essential Enochian Grimoire.

I have seen it stated, as a cold hard fact, that spiritual possession (also referred to as being “mounted” or “ridden” by a spirit) is not a part of the Western tradition. This person even asserted that no true archangel would ever possess a person (that activity being strictly relegated to the demonic).

Yet, over the years of my occult practice, especially my Solomonic work, I have seen plenty of archangels (and deities) possess people.

The grimoires do not *specifically* mention ritual possession; however, I am not so convinced it isn’t there. It could very well be that the books’ authors simply didn’t see it as a “thing”—that it wasn’t such a special event they felt a need to designate it separately from regular skrying. That is to say, once a skryer sits down to the task, he or she might simply have visions OR they might be mounted by the spirits who then speak through them.

Indeed, John Dee describes, in his journals, Edward Kelley going into a trance while he skryed. (A flash of light extended from the stone and into Kelley’s head). During this trance Kelley could understand the angels’ speech, and it sure seems like they (the angels) spend a lot of time speaking directly through him. At one point in the journals, Kelley specifically says he can feel them moving around inside his head, and he hated the feeling.

My wife is a natural at this kind of thing, and she describes the exact same feeling during our Solomonic and Enochian work. (Though I can’t say “hate” is the way she feels toward it, but “love” isn’t the right word, either.) And she will indeed sometimes have visions or sometimes be mounted directly by the angels.

And no, we are not talking about mixing in ATR techniques into our work. These trance possessions take place via perfectly traditional Solomonic (and sometimes Golden Dawn, see below) rituals.

And while I am not a natural at it, I have spent years (working with my Holy Guardian Angel) to develop the skill. Of course my HGA is the first and foremost spirit who does this with me. I have also been ridden by Gabriel (who proceeded to perform an exorcism on one of my students). We also do this sort of thing in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where we summon an angel or god by calling it down directly onto a medium. I once got to be the medium for Iophiel (my patron), and it was a wonderful and deeply moving experience for all.

In my opinion, ritual possession is one of the “lost secrets” of Western Magick. I know I am not the only modern magician exploring this subject, and I think we have much to discover ahead.


Our thanks to Aaron for his guest post! Visit Aaron Leitch’s author page for more information, including articles and his books.

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Written by Anna
Anna is the editor of Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, and Llewellyn's monthly newsletters. She also blogs, tweets, and helps maintain Llewellyn's Facebook page. In her free time, Anna enjoys crossword puzzles, Jeopardy!, being a grammar geek, and spending time ...