A few years ago, a witch-friend that thinks very deeply about subjects of occult nature proposed a question to me. I thought the conversation itself and the response was important enough of an esoteric topic that I would need to remember it as other folks when in training may wonder about the same thing.
The question could be summed up to: “If Reincarnation is accepted as a tenet and fact in the religion of witchcraft, how is it possible to still see and communicate with the departed?”
The simple answer to the question could be, “That is part of understanding the difference between the spirit/mind and the soul.”
That answer may not get us any closer to the shared tenets, tradition or each individual witch’s personal beliefs, so let me give a brief synopsis from some members of our coven’s point of view:
First, I must say that most Wiccans believe in some form of “Supreme Being” or “Source of Power” that may be described as the great “oneness.” Basically, all things are connected and even we are connected – and extend from the Supreme Being or One, where energy continues to collapse into more dense matter.
The “Law of Vibration” may dictate that the more mass something has and more dense something is, the slower it will vibrate and “move around.”
Then the closer that something is to the Supreme Being, the faster the vibration of that thing, and the less and less that we can see of it or “humanize it.”
Many of the folks in our coven believe that we ourselves, through seeking an understanding and enlightenment, can increase our own rate of vibration in order to get a glimpse or peel back the curtain more and more.
This increased seeking of enlightenment is not a requirement of the religion of the Wicca – our religion is simple and focused on the practice of magic; but many folks wish as they advance to explore more and more. (As most Wiccans who advance high enough find out – it seems the better you become at spells, the less we seem to focus on them for some reason?) Which may not be a bad thing – the power is there if we truly need it.
So – let’s think of ourselves in this path of reincarnation:
If our ultimate goal is to continue the cycle of reincarnation in order to learn all that we can, that means eventually the reincarnation cycle for each person may or will eventually stop. This could possibly mean that we will continue to repeat many lives until we have learned enough to not need the body and spirit to teach us. But, even as I write this blog – I know that I am still here, meaning that I still have a GREAT DEAL to learn for certain.
So since the prime tenet is a belief in some form of Universal Source of Power that we have come from and the goal is to one day return to at the end of our learning, which tells me that in each successive lifetime here that we will continue to increase in the speed of vibration.
The “spirit” part of us, when the body is shed in each lifetime, no longer serves us for learning. It is shed and in the “study of God” or Theosophy – is called an “astral shell.” It is hollow and empty and begins its own process of recycling and re-absorption unless it is maintained by thought and intention and given energy. Over time, typically the astral shell will begin its process of decomposition, much like our body does when the soul and spirit leaves it. Without the quintessence – the spark of life – the spirit begins decomposing when it no longer teaches the soul or the soul has no need of it.
The “spirit” may be equated with the “personality.” The personality is who you are in this lifetime, or the ego. So if your name is James Dean or Davey Crockett or whomever the experience that the person (spirit) has lessons to teach you in this lifetime.
However, many of us believe the spirit and the body is not the true self, and our true self is contained within the soul. It is the soul that moves from life to life, from reincarnation to reincarnation. It is the soul that grows young again in the Summerlands (and goes through a purification) and re-born and creates a new spirit or persona (or thought-form) of one, and is brought into physical existence by the acts needed to create a new human birth.
If a “soul” has truly reincarnated into a new body or reunited with the Supreme Being, is it really James Dean or Davey Crockett that we are dealing with in terms of spirit communication?
Yes, we are dealing with these folks – but the soul (the true self) is not James Dean or Davey Crockett, the spirit is. We are speaking with the spirit of the person, the personality – the mind of the individual that the soul has created that indwelled the body of said person. We are speaking with who they were in that particular lifetime.
Some may say the spirit has fully decomposed when the last person that knew or remembered the individual has crossed over and now the attributes and personality may be recycled and used again. (Nothing is ever created or destroyed – it is merely transformed)
So a question we are brought to at this juncture: “It is possible that the spirit can be worn by somebody or someone else if the soul no longer has need of it?”
My personal feeling is – Yes, I have seen it myself. Let me explain…..
If I was a spirit guide or an angel and wanted to provide assistance to help guide you on your learning path, I would most likely find the best way I could to do so. So if I would appear to you in a form, shape, smell and costume that you would accept and understand you may accept and remember my message to a greater extent than if I was a stranger on the street. Your grandfather that is visiting you may or may not be only the spirit/mind of your grandfather. After all, but to provide you with the appropriate peace and comfort, the guides or angels may appear in a form that would be most comforting to you.
This area is where mediums and spiritualists could get into trouble if they haven’t enough training, because yes, it could be possible for spirits of a dark or mischievous nature to parade around in the suit and uniform of the departed and not be just “them.” Many times, you will not be able to tell the difference, though some ways and methods to exist that can help us determine that.
The body, the spirit and the soul are all connected. One connected to the other, but the wise witch will know the difference between these levels and know they exist. After you explore that and find what your own beliefs are on this subject, you will find they slowly evolve over time – making you step out onto the path of the mystic.