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Spirit Possession And Medium Culture

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With ambrose ekhosuehi {Last update 25/092017}

Spirit possession and medium culture is basically a belief that a spirit is submerging someone’s personally, speaking and acting through that person and the possessed person is called a medium (Ebo-zoe).

An altered state of consciousness known as dissociated mentality that sometimes make the person affected, performs actions conforming to the identity of the spirit, which is thought to be possessing the person.

Dissociated mentality may be otherwise pathological. Ordinarily it is a natural state, for which a facility can be developed. The identity and character of the spirit, which is the object of the belief, depends on the particular social or the rites of the context.

Patron spirit are those that belong to a central rite and are usually the objects of religious faith and worship, such as the ancestral worship or divinities, usually there is no dissociated mentality involved in patron spirit possession.

There is a mystical spirits originated in specific places that have thought to have moved from place to place. River gods and goddesses possess persons and use them as channel of communication with the spirits on behalf of others.

A medium may preside over worship in a patronal rites or presides over the healing rituals of a community of affliction. Medium is also practiced as a form of divination. Community of affliction is a community of people suffering from deprivation, depression centered on invoking the spirit of mediumship. In most rites, women membership predominate, sometimes, the problem is identified as an alien spirit which are psychological phenomena or morally neutral.

Sometimes, the spirit of possession, is interpreted by Glossolalia, the state in which the possessed person feels double and is not in control of what he or she says.

The sounds which come out from the possessed person may be intelligible as a known language but if un-intelligible, the sounds may be called an unknown language or ascribed to a language not spoken by the hearers or known to them. The person may be said “speaking in tongues”
Glossolalia is sometimes interpreted by an exorcist or specialist during a conversation or interrogation. The dissociated person is susceptible to suggestion in this condition and may be led by the interrogator to give responses that confirm to the socio-cultural context.

Glossolalia is a sign of indwelling spirit propelled with a communicating spirit while the possessed person feels double, and is not in control of what he or she says.

In like manner, demono-pathic obsession and possession refer to the belief that a devil or moral evil in personal form is possessing a person. Such a person may be helped in conjuncuon with professional psychoanalysis, while misfortunes should not all be demonized just because some people have facility for dissociated mentality.

Numerous spirits possessions with specialized spheres of influence and activities can be found among the Edo culture. Members are often organized into cultural societies whose rites are in part secret with specific dances.

In the olden days, a crime detecting and witch fighting deities, the ulele, Agaba, and Azenu cultural ensembles were specific in chosen a medium or spirit possession to achieve the cultural context.

The centre of the irepepe of Urhore in ivbiosakon orgnaised into a society called irepepe. They worship a spirit named Edebi which is said to be fit and worthy to render any possible help to anyone who explains his or her difficulties and needs.

Spirit possession and medium could be easily identified in Olokun ceremonies which are somewhat more modest in character. In the ensemble, the favourite spirit, wife of Olokun is called at certain number of times, so that she may take the prayers to the divine Deity-Olokun. Ora must be called before offering gifts or sacrifices to Olokun.

The worship is carried out with dancing and singing to the accompaniment of an instrumental ensemble. During the performance of the cenemony the members bring their request before the olokun.

The appropriate song is then sung. The communal singing of the right song at the right time is believed to reinforce and strengthen the efficacy of prayer offered to Olokun. The main focus of the ceremony is the hope for the descent of the Olokun upon his priest or priestess. The songs appear to persuade the deity to descend.

The singing and dancing are preliminary to the desired spirit possession, when the worshipers believe that they can hear their deity speak.

Spirit possessions can still be observed in a number of deity worshippers. Most river goddesses, some traditional doctor specialists, possesses certain spirit which enable them to recognize and combat evils, witchcraft and the “Ordeal doctor” administers ordeals of various kinds.

Spirit possession and medium culture could also be seen from hero- deities who were mystical or semi-mythical figures of the past. Most of whom were believed to have been persons of exceptional magical powers who lived and were believed to have turned themse3/lves into natural objects such as trees, rivers or stones, which at their ceremonies or state enter into their subjects as a medium to communicate with their spirits on behalf of others.

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