The Hidden Pleasure Of Spirit Possession

When we imagine spirit possession, we think of movies like “The Exorcist.” But what if spirit possession was a pleasurable way for us to communicate with our spirit guides?

The Hidden Pleasure Of Spirit Possession
Via Unsplash

Traditional Orisha worshipers saw spirit possession as a means of necessary communication with their spirit guides. When possessed, the devotee would enter a meditative state and sense their guide with their body

Their spirit guide would descend into the living realm to mount their devotee and take possession of them. This is called “riding the Spirit.” 

Every devotee experiences “riding” differently. The energy shared between devotee and spirit guide is intense, almost erotic. 

In “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” Audre Lorde explained the erotic is about more than sexual desire. It’s a transformative energy that exists within everything, including spirituality.

While Lorde’s work used radical language to discuss the erotic, erotic energy has been present throughout the African Diaspora, especially in its traditional spiritualities.

Many  traditional African cultures celebrated eroticism. This eroticism terrified colonizers. They policed our ancestors’ exercise of the erotic, and prohibited spiritual practices like riding the Spirit.

Riding the Spirit reminds us that pleasure is spiritual, an ancestral practice strategically preserved for its power. Reclaiming the erotic as a divine energy source brings us closer to God. 

Reclaiming pleasure will look different for everyone. Only we get to determine what pleasure is for us. So when pleasure calls, are we gonna ride it? 

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