Possession or spirit possession is a term used to describe an event in which animas, demons, extraterrestrials, Gods, or spirits take control of a human body.
Christianity, Wicca, Buddhism, and African traditions all believe that in one form or another a person can become possessed. In some cultures possession can be and is voluntary while in others it is involuntary. Some religions believe that being possessed is beneficial but the belief that one is possessed is more common among women than men.
Buddhism: Indian medical literature and Tantric Buddhist scriptures, most of the so called "seizers", or those that threaten the lives of young children, appear in these animal forms: cow, lion, fox, monkey, horse, dog, pig, cat, crow, pheasant, owl, and snake. It is believed that the impersonation or incarnation of these animals can be highly beneficial to the person.
South Africa: A belief in spirit possession appears among the xesibe, a Xhosa speaking people from Transkei, South Africa. The majority of the supposedly possessed are married women. The Condition of spirit possession among them is called inwatso. Those who develop the condition of inwatso are regarded as having a special calling to divine the future. They are first tread with sympathy, and then with respect as they allegedly develop their abilities to foretell the future.
The Zar cult in Sudan conducts ethnomedical healing ceremonies involving possession, typically of Muslim women by a Zar spirit.
Christianity is a bit different, the Roman Catholic doctrine states that angels are non-corporeal spiritual beings, Angels are believed to have their own intelligence and will in which they operate. Fallen angels or demons however are able to "demonically possess" individuals without the victim's knowledge or consent. A demonic possession has been known to cause a person to have great strength and even speak in languages that the person wouldn't normally know.
Currently in psychology spirit possession is not recognized as a psychiatric or medical diagnosis by the DSM-IV or the ICD-IO . People alleged to be possessed by spirits sometimes exhibit symptoms similar to those associated with mental illness such as psychosis, hysteria, mania, tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, schizophrenia, or dissociative identity disorder. In 29% of people who suffer from identity disorder, suffers have claimed to be possessed by demons.
1. Area possession
2. Personal possession
Area possession is less dangerous but is troublesome and often is a case of one or more demons occupying a physical space like a home. While there the demons usually take pride in tormenting the people living in the space. The tormenting is important to them because it can weaken people mentally and spiritually which in turn can possibly open the person's body to personal possession.
In some cases demons have been known to do area possession in places due to a past event or preexisting binding. Area possession can also occur in places where people once or continue to engage in negative or violent activities.
Personal possession occurs when a demon or demons possess the body of a person. This type of possession usually occurs in three stages.
2. Personal possession
3. Perfect possession
Demonization is the first stage in which the demon or demons succeeds in possessing a body of a person. During this first stage a person will begin to show signs of possession like becoming unreasonably irritable or display unexplained or irrational aversion to anything having to do with faith or religion.
Personal possession is stage two and is the stage in which the person possessed becomes less and less themselves and the demon begins to demonstrate an influence over the person's speech or behavior. Some examples of this is speaking in languages that are otherwise unknown to the person. The person may also know details of an event or events that the person didn't witness or have no previous knowledge about. Even in the second stage a person still has a bit of resistance towards the demon and can assist in his or her exorcism.
The third and most serious stage is perfect possession. This is the stage where little to no original personality of the person remains. Usually at this point the person will appear and behave as though they have accepted the evil spirit within them. The person might also have developed a spiritual attachment to the demon, if that is happening then the person might fear the demon's expulsion from their body. Perfect possession is considered the most dangerous and an exorcism can not be attempted without detailed planning. An exorcism for a perfect possession can be fatal or the possessed and the exorcist.
PLEASE NOTE!!! An exorcism should never be attempted by anyone who isn't properly trained. Even a well trained and experience exorcist can get long-term side effects from an exorcism. The exorcist may experience permanent physical, psychological, or spiritual damage. Once the exorcist has engaged a demon the exorcism can not be stopped until the demon or demons are successfully expelled. Engaging a demon especially if you call it by name should be done at one's own risk!