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Middle World Spirits

Shamanic Middle World Spirits:
Risks, Empowerment, and Safety

The middle world of non-ordinary reality is a fascinating place, yet working in that world with its spirits without training and prior to development of one's personal empowerment is reckless because of the risks. While spirits in the upper and lower world are either unilaterally motivated by compassion, or else 'neutral' and, as it is sometimes is expressed, simply a 'part of the landscape', this is not the case in the nonordinary middle world.

The nonordinary shamanic middle world is inhabited by numerous spirits of several types, including:

1) the spirits of nature (such things as wind, storms, trees, mountains and places)

2) ancestral spirits ('ancestors' to such groups as families, tribes, guilds and crafts),

3) intrusions (odd, animal, insect or bizarre something that is squirmy, unusual, and parasite-like, exists by tapping into person's life-force),

4) spirits of deceased persons who have not transcended (crossed over) to the other side, and

5) the whole worldwide bevy of gnomes, elves, faires and others beings that are nonhuman spirits.

There are Risks
Psycho-spiritual 'geography' is a complex and vast topic and worth at least an entire course series itself, however, the non-ordinary middle world can be almost introduced as a sort of weird and risky reflection of our own ordinary reality. 

Just as there are mixed agendas among human beings, the same is true in the non-ordinary middle world. Middle world spirits are not singularly guided by compassion, nor are they guaranteed to be 'neutral'. To the contrary and like human beings, they may be motivated by what they see as their own best interests. The problem is that they are largely clueless as to what really would be in their best interest, which - as it has amply demonstrated among human beings - is something that can lead to non-benevolent behavior. 

The upshot is that although the non-ordinary middle world can have occasional flickers of benevolence, there is an extraordinary amount of self-interest, with the consequential possibility of destructive behavior. I don't refer to this as 'bad', or even less, that it has anything to do with 'evil'. Looking at our ordinary reality, the withholding of sharing, and not providing for each other, simply does not understand the nature of life and humanity. The plain truth is that when we treat each other with kindness and compassion, everyone benefits. It is a win-win situation.

However, in the non-ordinary middle world, spirits frequently try to usurp the power or vitality of another. This is short-sighted because it ultimately reduces the vitality and life of everything, including themselves. If they gave up trying to hang onto the barest shadow of an existence in the non-ordinary middle world, and proceed with transitioning to the other side, many of these middle world spirits would be far happier. To not transition across is not 'evil' or 'bad', but simply ignorance.

I am here focusing on those middle world spirits that of deceased persons who have not 'crossed over'. To say such spirits are 'ignorant' is not out of disrespect, but because they simply do not know or believe that by transcending the middle world, they will go to a better place. 'Ignorance' here, simply refers to their lack of awareness or understanding that they will be completely satisfied once they allow themselves to continue on as a healthy part of the sort of 'universal recycling' that maintains the vitality of the whole. However, instead of going with the natural flow, some deceased persons remain hanging out in the middle world (not transcending/crossing over) and can only survive – even in the barest of shadow form - by maintaining their existence through the power and vitality of a living being.

In a sense, the deceased have a ‘feast’ waiting for them on the ‘other side’. The ignorance is that that they do not know this or don’t believe it, and instead desperately remain, foraging for scraps of life force from living beings, which on the one hand doesn’t belong to them or sustain them enough, and on the other, only weakens those from whom it is taken.

Because it is out of ignorance, this can hardly be considered non-ordinary 'criminal' behavior. Moreover, the parasitic draining of one's life force by a middle world spirit can be entirely unrecognized as such by not only the victim, but the spirit itself! Here is an example: perhaps a much-loved relative passes on. Out of a deep attachment to this person, those who are left behind sometimes refuse to let them go. This emotional tie extends into non-ordinary reality. Or, perhaps that deceased person refuses to move on because they are similarly emotionally attached to someone still living. These ties are like physical cords, and prevent the natural cycle. Both the spirit of the deceased and the ones left living become tied in place.

The central problem is that non-ordinary middle world spirits maintain - and can only maintain - their existence by tapping into and existing on the life force of living beings. This very well may well be the one who out of love and attachment, refuses to let them go. We may personally know such people, perhaps pining away, sad, and suffering. The imprisoning relationship they maintain with their deceased loved one is draining them of their vitality.

Middle world spirits are only problematic to the extent that we who are around them are not sufficiently empowered ourselves. Empowerment does not guarantee 'immunity', but it certainly offers a best defense and at least, insulation. When we are empowered (and after we get sufficiently familiar with dealing with them), middle world spirits may end up being little more than an annoyance.

Potential harm comes from spirits who 'feed' on one's power. Such parasitic entities leave one even more vulnerable to further ordinary and non-ordinary situations. Similar to the many kinds of virus and microbes that can attack a biological organism, the loss of shamanic power can be compared to the loss of biological resistance. When one loses a strong defense, they are left with a reduced ability to fight off a virus that could take advantage of this weakness. What follows in a shamanic paradigm is in this way similar to the physiological paradigm: the potential for further complications and loss.

Intentionally working with middle world spirits demands heightened personal power and extremely close relationships with our spirit helpers. Unfortunately, there are tons of people who out of curiosity or innocent exuberance, begin to explore middle world spirit entities thinking it is kind of like a scary movie, with no training, knowledge or preparation. What starts as fun, ends up being potentially harmful as such explorers are end up beset with drains on their own power and vitality, leading possibly to illness, depression, or other consequences of their weakening. Once middle world spirits take advantage of a human vulnerability and find a weakness, they find subsistence.

Empowerment and Protection
When learning shamanism, a new practitioner typically starts out without full empowerment. This is simply to be expected, since empowerment comes from the reintegration of our lost soul and power parts, as well as the increased alignment with and proximity to our upper and lower world spirit teachers and power animals.

It just makes sense that in one's shamanic education, one starts by working in the upper and lower worlds with the compassionate teachers and spirit helpers that are there. Since they are entirely compassionate (or else just part of the ‘scenery’), no harm can come from them. Instead, upper and lower world spirits and their realms are where we find our learning, growth, and empowerment.

How does one Approach Middle World Work?
Proximity to middle world spirits is the normal human condition: they are around us all of the time. Anyone who is at all disempowered is ‘at risk’ and since there are plenty of disempowered people around us, there are likely to be all sorts of people who are suffering from the intrusion or other weakening by middle world spirits. 

One should not engage in middle-world non-ordinary activities until they have sufficient empowerment from the reintegration of their soul parts and power, and from close work with their spirit helpers. The only exceptions to this are when one is working with their own ancestor spirits and is already educated in how to do so and when the spirits are from their own ordinary reality lineage and would be protecting anyway.

The other middle world spirits who are safe to work with are the voices of the nature spirits, such as when one is communicating with trees. Other than these few situations, without the preparation of education, the consequences of working with middle world spirits can be unhappy.

My advice to shamanic practitioners might be compared that given to the caregiving staff of a hospital. It is normal that patients with contagious disease often end up in the hospital. The hospital staff, however, do not seek out these patients and work with their acute affliction without the training and protection that will keep them safe.

The same is true in the shamanic sense: similar to a caregiver in a hospital, a shamanic practitioner actually puts him or herself in harm’s way when working with such spirits. In both cases, one should not go looking for them without education and protection. Just as hospital staff may have the ability to open the closed door of a contagious patient’s room, they are instructed, and then choose to not do so without training, protection and a specific healing purpose.

I discourage having anything to do with the non-ordinary middle world aside from listening to the voices of the nature spirits, until one has a considerable degree of training, and then only in very specific and highly focused ways. Practitioner protection does not come automatically, and is developed over time with the retrieval and reincorporation of one’s power and the gaining of upper and lower world spirit help.

The wise practitioner first focuses on two things: developing a strong alignment with the compassionate upper and lower world spirits, and gathering his or her own power. The difference between being safe or not safe when in non-ordinary reality is in the degree to which we are personally empowered and have our own spirit help with us protecting us.