18 July 2011

Magickal Triage

One of the top questions I get from people is: How do I know if there’s something paranormal going on or if I’m blowing things out of proportion?  I wish there were an easy answer to this, but there really isn’t.  Truthfully, even after many years of practice I still sometimes have trouble figuring it out, although I’m more likely to get a false negative than a false positive (it’s the skeptic in me, I can’t help it.).  Here’s what I tend to do when someone comes to me with a potential problem.

First, I tell them not to panic.  Paranormal phenomena, or something mistaken for paranormal phenomena, can be very frightening and people don’t usually come to me unless they are well and truly freaked out.  After the person has calmed down a bit I like to get the whole story from their point of view.  Being in a paranormal situation, if you’re not used to it, can feel very alienating – chances are good the person has tried to get help from someone else and was told it was all imagined or otherwise undermined.  Even if the situation isn’t really paranormal it’s imperative to respect the person’s experiences.

Once you’ve heard the person’s experiences, then you can start to assess the situation.  The trick to assessing any situation is to find out not only what people think is going on, but also exactly what they’ve been experiencing.  Ask questions like, “What exactly have you been experiencing?” “What makes you think that you’ve got a problem with X?”  Ask questions that will give you the specifics of the situation.  If someone tells you that objects have been moving, you want to find out what they really mean by that.  Does it mean that trinkets are falling off shelves, books are flying across the room, objects on tables being in different positions than they were left in, or something else entirely.

It’s important to find out as much as possible about the situation before you even consider walking into it.  The more you know about the situation, the more accurate an assessment of it you can make, the safer you will be.

Here is a checklist of things you need to find out before you can properly assess the situation:
·         What kind of phenomena have been experienced?
·         How long have the phenomena been occurring, including whether any particular things trigger the phenomena?
·         What intensity of phenomena have occurred?
·         Has anyone been injured?
·         Are there children involved?
·         Has anything been attempted to end the phenomena? If yes, what were the results – for better or for worse?

Once you have that information you can try to figure out what’s really going on.  Look at the actual symptoms people are experiencing – do they match what you know of a particular creature or phenomenon; can they be explained without the presence of the paranormal?  Also look at the person wanting your help – does the person’s energy feel right, is he genuinely worried about the situation, is he trustworthy?  If the symptoms as I understand them seem to match known paranormal phenomena and the person seems genuine, then I will usually err on the side of caution and suggest performing whatever remedy would be appropriate if the explanation were paranormal.  The beauty of cleansings and purifications is that they will get rid of harmful paranormal activity if it’s there and won’t do any harm if it isn’t.  If there’s an obvious mundane explanation, then I’ll say so.  If there isn’t, or I’m not certain that there isn’t, a mundane explanation, then go ahead with the appropriate cleansings.

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