Possession, Spiritual

Spiritual possession refers to the practice whereby an individual, as part of a religious community, involuntarily enters a dissociative state, allegedly under the power of a spirit, and thereby becomes a conduit for communication, or a medium, between the spirit world and the community. Depending on the society, the spirit that possesses the individual may be a family ancestor, an animated projection of a natural object such as a tree, a plant, or a stone; it may be an animal, a deity, a founding or autochthonous ancestor of a people, or a supra-human entity. In almost all cases, the society regards the spirit as intimately interlinked with its well-being, usually in a positive sense, but in some cases as a threat to the community’s stability ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles