Becoming a Horse
by Lydia Helasdottir
excerpt from Wightridden: Paths of Northern-Tradition Shamanism
For me it started doing priestess work. One night, after a ceremony at a Gnostic church, while celebrating a Gnostic Mass there, I was laying in bed masturbating, and this identity with a huge starry span became present. I wasn't doing anything other than that; I wasn't tripping or anything, but I was taken up into this experience of existing as this starry void, which is the Egyptian goddess of the stars. So having had that experience, I spoke to my teacher, and she said that perhaps I should try being the ceremonial divine channel. It turned out that I had a natural affinity for that; it was very easy for me. With the Gnostic ceremony, as soon as you get onto the altar, one or another of the goddesses comes and possesses you, to a greater or lesser extent depending on how good you are at it. So I would have a whole variety of different goddesses looking out through my eyes at the congregation, and I would be there but not there, and my eyes would always feel funny, as if I was looking out at them secondhand. And that's how god-possession started.
Then, next, I learned how to channel, and let entities use my mouth to speak with. Then I would go into it more fully and pretty much my whole body would be beyond my control while they were there. I would hold a particular posture, something that I wouldn't usually do, like my hand would go out and just stay there in a way that would be hard to do with just muscle. Eventually Hela started to possess me pretty fully, and do things with my body.
But most of the time I'm pretty aware of what's going on, even when I'm stuck "behind the safety glass"...although more recently less so. I don't have the luxury of amnesia, as many do. She'll possess me fully while I'm doing an ordeal ritual, or talking to someone, or if she needs to be there for any reason. I'm just her vehicle. A body is a vehicle for a disincarnate spirit which happens to be human; it can also (with a bit of difficulty) be a vehicle for a disincarnate spirit which happens to be a deity.
In terms of negotiating, Hela does whatever she wants with my body. Other deities, if
they want to speak through me, have to clear it through her, and they can never go as far into
possession as she does. The negotiations with me are usually about not doing anything that could
send me to prison, or that would damage me. Sometimes astral spirits, lineage spirits for
example, tag along to go for a ride. I don't consider that to be full-on possession; they'll just come
along and sit in the body and experience what it's like to be incarnate. We'll go to the movies
together, or drive a car. They'll get the sensation of being in the body, but they're not in control.
I've horsed Hela, the Enochian entity called Ebifahe, another Enochian called Narwaj, Hecate to an extent, Green Tara - she's very gentle to the body and always lets me take back control. The ones that I have horsed have been very good about my body, but I know that there are those who are not so careful. I don't mind exhaustion - I think it's part of the deal. Baphomet doesn't horse me, he just tells me what to do, but I don't know what would happen if I refused his orders, because I've never tried. Maybe I'd find out that I had much less control than I thought. Baphomet's been in the background giving direction on doing ordeal rituals sometimes, intimating movements, motoring me through them. That's how I've learned certain skills - a deity motoring me through the activity. I've learned from Arachne for certain complex bondage things. Sometimes I ask for help in doing something, sometimes they just show up and say "This needs doing, and we're doing it now. Yeah, I talked to your Boss, it's OK."
Hela's not as gentle on my body, but she sees it as a valuable possession that needs to not get broken too much. In the Gnostic priestess situation, it was such a ritually controlled space that although it is full-on horsing, the body is limited in what it's allowed to do. Their official deal is, "You get to come horse every other week when we do these Masses, but you don't get to move the body around, you have to line up and see who's going to come out, and you get to beam out energy and be present, but that's it. These are the rules." So any deity who can't live with that, doesn't come. But the variety was amazing. Some of them would leave me and I'd feel really buzzed and happy; some would leave and as soon as the veil would close I'm slump over in a fit of complete exhaustion; some would leave me nauseated and I'd have to sleep for three days; sometimes I could hardly walk to get off the altar and sometimes I was fleet of foot, nimble and happy walking around. Sometimes they wouldn't even identify themselves, but because it was in such a controlled ritual context it didn't really matter. Anything that could come and be in that space had to abide by those rules; they had a pass.
Afterwards, I'd often feel run over; my back would be sore. At first I'd think that it was just from sitting in that position for a long time, and then I'd try to just do that, and it doesn't hurt a bit. It's like a massive vibration has gone through you and rattled you at a cellular level...or like someone has ripped your spine out and put it back in again with two channels instead of one, and then afterwards they yanked the second channel out and loosely stitched it back together. It's sore. But that's also a "throughput" issue, because if you're only used to 110 volts running through your spine, and now you've got deity energy running through you - ten thousand volts and several more million amperes than you're used to - it can fry your circuits. Doing it a lot, you grow fatter wires, fatter pipes, until you can manage the deity energy easier. But then it starts to seep into everyday life; you can be in a constant state of being shadowed, a walking pair of eyes for your deity to ride along with.
I think that anyone can learn to channel, or to let something ride along with them to shadow, but not everyone can horse. Some people just can't let go of control, some people just aren't wired for it, and some spirits just won't horse a particular person. They're picky; they like a particular body type or brain type or personality. There's no judgment there; it's just not a fit with them. I think that anyone can be taught to be an energy channel, but we would never accept anyone as a divine energy channel who hasn't had some kind of experience with being touched by Deity. And just being a divine energy channel is the lowest, simplest level of horsing. I think there are cultural factors as well, so I'm undecided on the issue. I don't think everybody can naturally do it. In fact, I think some people are forbidden and precluded from doing it by their patrons. I think that you can teach people to have the channel open, but you can't force the deity through. You can teach them relaxation, mental preparation, awe, and such, and you can practice that, but that's not the same as deity coming through.