Category Archives: Divination

Manifestations: Sacred Embodiment and Possession

In the continuation of my Manifestations series, today I will talk about Sacred Embodiment and Possession.  What are they?  When do they occur?  What are the differences between them?

As always, my explanations are taken directly from my own experience.

Let us begin with Sacred Embodiment.  This is a term I have seen used (and use myself) to describe the phenomenon of devotees taking on various aspects of their most closely honored Deities.  These Divine aspects are integrated into the everyday activities, or personalities of the devotees, over time, after a rapport is formed between t/Them.  This rapport, in many cases, especially with Hellenic Deities, involves reciprocity, or kharis.

An example of this could be a devotee of Apollon who was not previously interested or involved in sport, taking up a physical practice of some sort, such as archery, or running.  Or perhaps a devotee of Aphrodite becoming intrigued by the beautiful scents in oils and perfumes.  These are very simple expressions of Sacred Embodiment, and can happen even when one does not have a very intense relationship with the Deity, or when they are just starting out with Them. When Sacred Embodiment deepens, however, the traits taken on can become even more pronounced within the personality.

Using myself as an example, I have become even more of a perfectionist than I already was, prior to being claimed by Apollon.  It is true that some of His preferences had always been a part of me, but after becoming truly dedicated to Him, I began to change even more to reflect His personality.

For instance, whereas before I could easily begin a new project, like sculpting, without knowing if I would actually, not only finish, but perfect my technique within the first attempt, (and without giving myself a panic attack over it) now I have to push past those extreme tendencies so that I might not be hindered by my desire to create perfectly.  I am human.  I will and do make mistakes, especially when creating art.  Apollon is not human, and He does not make mistakes when creating, from what I have witnessed.  Having these traits of His so entwined within me now, is a major factor in my struggle with anxiety today.

When we become close to our Gods, neither we nor They may be able to fully anticipate the ways in which our personalities may change.  In some ways, we get what we get, and have to learn to live with it.  And it may not always be the most grand and coveted traits that we receive.

When Sacred Embodiment goes deeper still, one may experience a sense of the reality of a God living inside you, taking up residence within your physical body as They might take residence within a cult image.  This is when the Deity wears your skin and sees through your eyes; when They hear through your ears, and prompt you to give Their responses to the world with your own voice.  This is not the same as a full Possession, but is only a few steps away from one.

In this way, the Deity will only superficially receive input concerning the world and your interactions with the world, through your senses.  You may carry on prolonged conversations with the Deity within your mind.  They may express a desire for you to consume certain food or drink, to satisfy a craving They may have.  You could certainly lay out this offering on Their shrine or altar, however, partaking in the offering together, utilizing your body as the means of transference, will often enhance your interconnectedness, as well as boost the reciprocal nature of your relationship.

Another term for this particular depth of Sacred Embodiment, which I have referenced in the past, is Shadowing.  Shadowing can be useful in a number of circumstances, but I find it particularly useful while engaged in divination, especially divination for others, wherein they have requested the advice of a Deity.  No matter which Deity is sought after during the divination, if one is Shadowed by one’s own close Deity, receiving the sought after information will generally be made easier.  Your Deity can be a bridge between you and the Other.

Even while doing spiritual work in this manner, Sacred Embodiment does not usually carry with it the same consequences as those associated with full Possession.  The devotee maintains control of the mind and body, while the Deity is carried in a way that is less intense, though no less profound.

Sacred Embodiment happens within the day to day life and activities of a devotee, in contrast to the ritualistic and occasional nature of Possession.  These two modalities of Divine presence share many attributes, yet one is inherently more taxing– physically, mentally and emotionally, than the other.

During a true Possession, it is not uncommon for the Deity to assume full control over a devotee’s body, utilizing the physical form to perform tasks that a non-Possessed human might find impossible.  To speak in languages unknown to the Possessed individual, or to consume dangerous substances (in some traditions). The voice and speech patterns may also change, as well as the physical mannerisms expressed. A Possessed individual will and should speak and behave as the Deity, for in essence, they have become the Deity, manifest on Earth.

Possession should safely occur within a designated time frame.  If a Possession runs over long, it can have lasting negative effects on the Possessed individual. It is also a good idea to have at least one other person available to maintain order around the Possessed person, and to keep the Deity from engaging in activities that could be disastrous to the body They inhabit (and also to provide adequate aftercare to the recovering host, after the Possession has ended).  A Deity should not consume substances that Their host is allergic to, for instance.  Nor should They engage in sexual activities, unless the Possessed individual has expressly and enthusiastically consented to those specific activities prior to the Possession.

Possession is a potentially dangerous spiritual activity, and is best done with Deities you have a longstanding and amiable relationship with.  Although it is possible to be a host to a Deity you do not know well, I would not recommend it.

I have personally hosted Dionysos, Apollon, Columbia, Aphrodite, and the Goddess of the Wicca (drawing down the moon).  And while I give the advice of having another person present, that has not usually been the case for myself.  I have been fortunate, in that these Deities have been gentle with me– with the exception of Apollon, who is so immense that hosting Him always leaves me in a delicate and agitated state.  I do not host Him, or Anyone else for that matter, often, and when I do, it is at Their request, or due to a spiritual obligation.

Reasons for Possession may include, but not be limited to, the dispensing of Oracles, rituals of xenia (hospitality) to welcome a Deity among a group of followers, celebration of a Deity’s festivals, or a magical working.  All of these reasons are valid, but a Possession should always be approached with caution, taking into account the physical/emotional health and mental state of the potential host, as well as the expectations of both the Deity and the participants. Realistic goals should be set for the ritual, and n/Nobody should be pushed beyond their willingness or ability to perform.

In closing, Sacred Embodiment and Possession are both very useful spiritual processes, to be utilized in the furtherance of specific goals, or as goals in and of themselves.  They both involve an aspect of merger with a Divine Power, and both involve the dispensation of knowledge from Deity to human.  How they differ is within scope, and extreme.

Care should be taken to prepare oneself, or group, for Possession, yet engaging in Sacred Embodiment might only involve a period of prayer or meditation beforehand.  Or not.  In the end, it is up to the devotee to use their best judgement in these matters.

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Divinatory Services Page

My Divinatory Services page is up, and there you will find all of the information needed to order one of several Tarot or Pendulum options. This is a permanent page, and I will be available for all of these readings, year round, unless I decide otherwise.

But of course, since most would prefer not to click a link to get to another page, I have included all of the relevant information in this post, as well.

Thank you so much in advance to any who seek my services.


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Please allow for one week (7 days), before receipt of your results.


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Divination is Happening!

After a good long break of about a year and a half, I am once again offering paid divination, via the Tarot.  There were unforseen car maintenance issues which drained funds that were allotted for rent, and now I have to make it up fast.  There are also other happenings and surprises that I am not ready to talk about, but the more I earn divining, the faster I can make the necessary arrangements, which will lead to me revealing my secrets!  So, if you need a reading, look no further.  And if you’re simply curious, tell your friends and help me meet my goals!

My 13 card reading, which takes an average of two hours of concentration, is valued at $50 USD.  This is the spread I am offering right now.  Others will come later.

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Please email your ONE question to LaurelColumbine(at)gmail(dot)com, with the header “13 Card Tarot”, along with your preferred name and the name that shows up in PayPal (this is especially important for me to properly identify you), upon initiating payment.  Please allow up to a week (7 days) for receipt of your results.

And if you are someone who has received my services in the past, put out the good word for me, if you please!  I need to pay my rent!  And I really want to tell you what else is going on, but I can’t do that until my finances are stable!

Thank you to everyone in advance!

End of Spiritual Services

If there is a pattern going around, it’s completely coincidental, but I have to make this announcement now, before the next scheduled session. I am cancelling all remaining Divination for the year, as well as cancelling Intercession over the Winter. This decision is indefinite, meaning that I will not promise to offer them again, ever.  The decision comes not due to any slight or wrongdoing, but because the Gods have thrust my life in an entirely different direction now.

As for my health, it is the number one factor in finally setting spiritual work for the larger community aside.  I do have Spiritwork Jobs, but those jobs have never had anything to do with the Pagan community.

After that first year, when I’d met Apollon’s original goal, I did not have to continue.  Every single divination done after that was offered out of the kindness of my heart, and mine alone.  The Intercession that I have been offering per Zeus’ request, was offered to the human community, again, as a kindness from myself. Never has Zeus stipulated that I needed to offer this service to anyone other than the spirits of my Court and Other realms.  The only true obligation I have to any human spiritual community, is to my Treasury Sisters.

Now that I am forced to take inventory of my life in anticipation of a new arrival, I see that I’ve allowed the human community to siphon off precious time and attention from my real responsibilities.  But that shall no longer be the case, because I’ve had time to reflect and to remember where the core of my relationship with Apollon, and the Other Gods, lies.

From the beginning, in every life I ever lived with Him (that I have memory of), my highest priority was keeping myself safe, sane and stable.  It isn’t about the Other Things I can do for Him, because if w/We’re honest about what I’m supposed to be Doing, it isn’t all meant for Him.  We have a large Family, and Zeus said to me: “Increase the honor of your Family.”  Not “Increase the honor of Apollon.”

And since my Family is paramount, I’m going to spend the next years focusing on o/Our expected baby, and raising two spiritually aware Hellenic Polytheists, in tandem with strengthening the bonds of my Court.

So, this blog with remain open, and I will continue to share my Work or opinions with my readership as the mood arises, but I will no longer offer Spiritual Services of any kind, including paid divination.

And lastly, I have to give credit to Jolene Poseidonae for the inspiration to visually prioritize the relationships in my life, which led to the realization that, yes, I work for spirits, not humans.

What I’ve Been Up To…

I have a few candid pictures for all of my wonderful readers!  Not to mention some personal, UPG references.  :)

Okay, so for the last few weeks Apollon has been all over me about extending His space further into the house.  His main shrine, which He shares with Aphrodite, is in my living room, and is pretty big, but I don’t spend a whole lot of time in there on a day-to-day basis.  So, basically, He asked me to make ready a new space for Him, in the kitchen.  So, I did, and here are my results! I just thought I’d share, because doing this has made me so happy.  <3

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This is a very special altar.  Every part of it holds meaning for me, from the number of legs on the little table (three legs– it is a tripod), to each individual object placed upon it.  It is a Working altar, and it is designed to cultivate certain Delphic concepts, to evoke in me that connection, for divination and other spiritual purposes.

This is the space wherein which all of my divination will take place, from now on, and indeed was where I conducted my first open session, which was posted to this blog.

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In the above picture, you will first note the round stone sitting atop the pedestal dish (which is really a large candle holder).  It represents to me, the Omphalos of Delphi, upon which daily offerings were given, long ago.  I am called to pay homage to that tradition, in this small way.  When I pour oil over the stone, it flows over it and gathers neatly at the bottom of the dish.

Beside the Omphalos representation, is the dish of purified water which I keep filled to quench the thirst of those who have served Apollon in antiquity, who are represented here by the very small, stone cobra figurine that is being hugged slightly by the green snake (representing Apollon Himself).  I chose a cobra (specifically, the spitting variety) to represent the Pythias and the Priests, because they “spat” forth the word of the god, for all who would come to hear it.

Now, the snake, which I think is obviously representing Apollon, so I won’t go into to much detail here.  However, I bet you’re wondering what those pretty good sized clay, komodo dragon-looking figures (hand-moulded by me) are about, aren’t you?  Well, I’ll tell you!  :)

They are there to represent the two spirit Beings that were given into my care from Apollon, last year.  They are my dragons, and they have an important and prominent place upon Apollon’s new altar.  I shall paint the figures their proper colors when I can afford it, so they are a bit unfinished, but the Beings have settled into them, nicely.

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I think the final items of note, are my Tarot Cards, which are kept wrapped in white cloth, behind the Omphalos representation, and the red pouch containing my Limyran Oracle tiles, hand painted by me.  There is also a candle snuffer back there, along with a small vial of bay leaf oil, and a branch of Mesquite wood (you can’t really see it) that I use as a delicious smelling incense. Burning Mesquite wood has such a wonderful aroma.

And, that’s it!  Our Lord Apollon receives much love from me in His new sacred space.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the pictures, and please do enjoy the rest of your day!  <3

Hail Apollon, Lord of Delphi, the All-seeing One, my Beloved!