People tend to regard crystal spirit release as comparatively new, but the earliest spirit releases I have researched occur in Egypt and Mesopotamia where troublesome spirits were believed to interfere in people’s lives, causing havoc. Crystals were part of the tool box for dealing with them. People commonly wrote letters to a deceased person asking them to desist and wore crystal amulets to support that call and to protect themselves. A Mesopotamian banishing ritual at least five thousand years old uses Selenite. Once the spirit causing the misfortune has been expelled and returned to the Otherworld, something has to be put in its place. Selenite held ‘the divine light of the gods’ and filled the vacuum so that nothing else could attach.
In the ancient world, each crystal had its own god who could inhabit and become the crystal in a way that we don’t fully grasp today because we have lost our understanding of ‘correspondence’ (roughly translated ‘as above, so below’). So, for instance, Lapis Lazuli was the Sun god Ra (Egypt) or Venus (Mesopotamia), Carnelian was Ninlil (a Mespot goddess of destiny) and so on.
In those days illness was believed to be caused by attacking spirits and there is a fascinating contemporary account of a priest healing a sick man. The ritual, which uses both crystal and sound therapy, constructs a net in which to ‘catch’ the invading spirit with the assistance of gods who become embodied in the magical tools:
‘The gypsum [Selenite] and bitumen which they smear on the door of the sick man. The gypsum is Ninurta [Saturn, one of the ‘good guys’ in Mesopotamian mythology]. The bitumen is Asakku [a demon god]. Ninurta pursues Asakku [i.e. good chases out the evil spirit].
The circle of flour which surrounds the bed of the sick man [is] Lugulgirra and Meslamtaea [other gods]
The three heaps of flour which they cast down [are] Anu, Enil and Ea [yet more gods]
The design which they draw in front of the bed. That is a net that traps any Evil.
The drum and cymbals which are resplendent at the head of the sick man. The drum is Anu. The cymbals are Enlil.
The standards which are set up at the head of the sick man. They are Sibitti, the great gods, sons of Ishara.
The scapegoat which is placed at the head of the sick man: Ninamaskuga, Enlil’s shepherd.
The censor and torch placed in the house of the sick man: The censor is Kusu. The torch is Nusku.’
[Alasdair Livingstone, ‘Mystical and Mythological Explanatory works of Assyrian and Babylonia Scholars’, Clarendon press, Oxford 1986 p.173ff ]
Unfortunately the tablet breaks off there so we don’t have a complete description of the ritual but we do know that it describes a battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ gods for the soul of the sick man. It may be presumed that the invading spirit is then sent into the ‘scapegoat’ waiting at the head of the sick man but, in other descriptions, it is captured in ‘a stone’.
Part of Mesopotamian and Egyptian ‘closing rituals’ after detaching spirits was to make a necklace out of Carnelian, Lazulite or Lapis Lazuli, Serpentine, ‘spotted stone’, ‘very spotted stone’, shiny silex (Flint), breccia and ‘little breccia’ (Jasper) beads. This was worn around the neck for seven days. Only some of these crystals can be accurately identified, but those that do still work today.
If you’d like to know more about soul retrieval and spirit attachment, watch out for Crystal Prescriptions volume 6: Karmic healing, soul reintegration and ancestral clearing. Coming soon!
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