Yesterday, during a fabulous workshop on trance work with Ivo Dominguez, Jr., we got into a conversation about the problem of roadside accident shrines. This is something that I, too, perceive as a problem and have been working on when I see them.
Roadside accident shrines are a serious problem for the following reasons.
- They keep grief from healing. They are not really shrines for the dead, they are shrines that often function to keep grief and suffering alive. This is obviously a problem for the people left behind, but those problems bleed over into the spirit world and cause harm to the deceased who is constantly being pinged by loved ones who are in despair.
- Every time anyone drives by and sees it, they have this second of "oh how tragic!" When you have an emotion, there is always a little burst of energy associated with it. There are entities that feed on the energy that is released by various kinds of emotions. It's their food, if you want to think of it that way. Entities that feed on our so-called "negative" emotions tend to be unwholesome for the well-being of humans. Now, that doesn't mean you should freak out every time you feel sorrow, anger, or fear...but it does mean that if you either HABITUALLY experience these emotions or are in a place that is filled with people who within that context feel them regularly, it is likely to have drawn those beings. In Christianity, they often get the name of "demons," but I think that is giving them way more credit and power than is appropriate....in my experience, they are rarely actually intelligent. Typically they are better starved than fought. So, these roadside accident shrines can become places where unwholesome beings congregate.
- Because of both aspects of #2, roadside accident shrines tend to create more accidents. First of all, when you are driving and see one and have your moment of "oh how tragic!" you are distracted. Secondly, although I don't believe most of the types of beings that we are talking about in #2 are particularly intelligent, like all other beings, they like to increase their food supply..so they are distracting on that un/subconscious level to most people as well. Never underestimate how much of the work of consciousness is below the surface. So, roadside accident shrines are physically dangerous and spiritually dangerous.
Here is what I do. I try to overwrite them and I'm going to now encourage you all to participate. I try to turn them over to Hermes by turning them into a Herm. Now, Herms were all over the ancient world. They were little roadside shrines in honor of Hermes - traditionally a pillar with the head of Hermes and then a phallus on the front of the pillar. Here's a really traditional example.
Why a Herm?
- There is a ready-made appropriate traditional thought form already easily accessible in the astral for wholesome roadside shrines.
- Hermes protects travelers. Isn't that the way to transform that grief into something positive? May all travelers on this road be safe! Hermes is a powerfully wholesome influence.
- Hermes is also a psychopomp and, in my experience, is incredibly compassionate in that role. He can handle and carry over anything that is in those spaces that shouldn't be there.
Here, then is what I do...and I can do it quite quickly, although again, be careful because you don't want to be distracted to the point of adding to the problem by getting into an accident yourself.
1. I really quickly put the image of the Herm on top of whatever accident stuff is there.
2. I say "Hail Hermes, full of grace, I call to you to claim this place."
If it is a place I drive by regularly, I do it every time (at the moment, I am not living close to any).
That's it! If you should want to participate, I think this would be a good thing for any Pagan or magick-worker to do as service to the Greater Good.