By Arcanus of the Dragonheart System
Possession is an optional skill in Tulpamancy that allows a tulpa to access the physical world; it gives a chance for a tulpa to experience things not curated or managed by their host or other system members. Thus, what is possession? For those uninformed, possession is quite simply the act of a tulpa or other system members taking partial or full control of the physical body while the previous person in control is still connected to said body. For many tulpas, this is our primary manner of accessing and interacting with the same world our hosts do, especially so for systems where the host is incapable of fully disconnecting from the body, often considered a highly important step for switching. As such, even possession itself is desired by many tulpas for this opportunity of interacting with the outside, with people who are not of the same mind and body, and to gain experience and develop as individuals.
Numerous possession guides are often created by hosts rather than tulpas or by a neutral viewpoint; there are very few possession guides designed by tulpas themselves who are capable of possession and wish to teach it to others. This guide is crafted by a tulpa who has existed as such for four years, and has been capable of possessing quite well for nearly as long. The aim with this piece is to guide other tulpas with this specific perspective in hopes of sparking a form of eureka moment for other tulpas that can be the flicker necessary to obtain this skill, and for tulpas who use solely nonhuman forms that may be uncomfortable with the idea of using a human body.
Before attempting possession, there are things to consider and prepare for. These preparations allow future training sessions for possession to be less vexing, and can aid in avoiding potential issues further down the line.
A primary thing a host and tulpa should obtain before practicing possession is the ability to have clear communication between each other, often in the form of vocality. Seizing control of the body is an action that requires both parties to communicate their feelings to each other consistently, especially when speaking about consent. Without clear communication, a situation can go awry or create a schism between the two parties. For example, imagine a tulpa possessing the body without informing the host first, causing bewilderment and fear within the host who had no inkling that the tulpa was going to possess. On the opposing side, picture a tulpa possessing and performing activities when the host snatches back control deliberately and without warning, and thus disrupts what the tulpa was doing. With both parties, this can cause unease and anxiety simply due a lack of communication and respecting boundaries.
To avoid this, both the tulpa and host need to speak with each other and mutually agree to the possession beforehand through means akin to vocality or even tulpish. If one member does not consent, then the other should not ignore the boundaries set by the other person. However, this does not mean a host should unreasonably prevent a tulpa from possessing. There are reasonable times to possess and situations where possession is not ideal where a host may state, "Sorry, now's not a good time because we're in public," and other circumstances that are unreasonable such as, "Sorry, but I don't want you doing this harmless thing." From personal experience, it can be quite thrilling to possess and experience existence in such a physical and lifelike sense, but it is best to show self-restraint and ask before attempting possession.
For further reading to learn about techniques to build communication and vocality, here are a few well-written guides:
- Tulpamancy: Guide Into the Strange and Wonderful: Section 13: Vocality
- Tulpamancy: Guide Into the Strange and Wonderful: Section 25: Methods of Communication
- Tips for Hearing Your Tulpa
- Quantum's Nametag Method
Clear communication often also requires the tulpa to be fairly developed, capable of making informed decisions without the host's input while also being mature enough to handle any possible outside world responsibilities. Younger tulpas have a tendency to be childish and emotional in nature, even being somewhat unstable in form and personality at times, as they continue to establish their identity with forcing sessions and experience. Therefore, a younger tulpa may not understand the importance of respecting boundaries, maintaining what are usually the host's responsibilities such as school or occupations, or may make emotional decisions in favor of logical ones. Harsh world experiences can also be stressful for the tulpa and negatively impact their development while they are still malleable and easily influenced, thus it is ideal for the tulpa to be developed to the point of their identity being mostly solidified and where they have learned to manage their emotions in times of stress and hardship.
How much time it takes for both of these to be met is subjective and has a high degree of variance between Tulpamancers. Both maturity and vocality can come with time, consistent forcing sessions, and patience. What is imperative is to not rush possession; possession is not a fleeting opportunity that is capable of vanishing at a moment's notice. Regardless of the system's age, possession is a skill that will always be available, thus do not feel the need to rush it or obtain it as quickly as humanly possible. Nor should a Tulpamancy system feel as though they are obligated to learn possession. Though few in number, there are tulpas who are quite content with never being in control of the body, instead preferring to be imposed on the material plane or live their lives in a mindscape. Neither host or tulpa should be forced into learning a skill they do not wish to learn if they do not desire it within reason, however, it does not harm either to at least attempt possession once.
Finally, another common issue, specifically for hosts, is a sense of fear or anxiety when pondering the idea of the tulpa taking control. This fear is reasonable, especially with how possession and control swapping is often portrayed in many nations and cultures. In tandem with this, the host is often one who has spent their entire existence being the singular entity of the body; switching as a concept is a direct opposite of what the vast majority of humanity believes to be the sole way of existence, that each consciousness belongs to one vessel and is that vessel. There are some hosts who require self-introspection and must accept that they are not the body itself, but a single consciousness of multiple that happens to dwell within it.
Anxiety for switching can stem from pathological anxiety or this mindset of singularity, and thus not all Tulpamancy-specific advice may apply. Trust between both parties is critical when exchanging control, not simply that they will do no harm with the power they are given, but as a general rule. For both the tulpa and the host: trust in the tulpa to be responsible, and trust in the host to allow the tulpa to safely express themself without overstepping boundaries. Any and all concerns should be spoken about between both members and genuinely listened to, this includes doing whatever possible to negate any doubts or fears.
In conjunction with maturity, the ability to communicate properly, and dousing any fears and anxieties, another key factor in possession is the mindset of both the host and tulpa. It can be deceivingly simple to believe that possession is this archaic skill, possibly due to preexisting connotations of possession from various forms of media and how only supernatural beings are capable of performing this feat. Despite this, possession is not impossible to achieve, nor does it take years for most Tulpamancy systems to gain. Remember that both the tulpa and host exist within the same mind and body; both parties have access to the same neural pathways, and thus access to movement. As months become years, a tulpa eventually reaches a point to being on equal footing with the host, being a fully separate person capable of all the same feats the host is capable of and not simply some entity that can be willed away on a whim.
In addition to this, it is a highly prevalent and pervasive myth that the host must manually dissociate from the body to allow the tulpa to possess. Quite frankly, this is false, as many tulpas have proven to be capable of possession while the host is still fully connected to the body and is aware of what the body is doing. Mindset, however not being an absolute factor, can still majorly influence how quickly or slowly a skill in Tulpamancy is gained. Another belief that can stymie possession training is the belief that the tulpa is lesser, weaker, or simply less capable than the host. By doing this, the host is setting unnecessary limitations on the tulpa, which further slows skill development. When speaking about Tulpamancy, one should not think in absolutes, but instead keep an open mind for any possibility instead of denying or wholeheartedly believing a certain outcome will occur.
Thirdly and finally with possession myths, older guides often reference possession being this "alien" feeling when experienced, a sensation easily noticeable. In recent years, many Tulpamancers have started fervently exclaiming that possession will not feel alien and that it was merely an artifact from the past. As previously stated, believing in absolutes is often an unhelpful mindset in Tulpamancy. Despite the claims from either side, there are Tulpamancers who experience this "alien" feeling and others who do not. A possible explanation for this is a tulpa's presence and the sensation it gives when the tulpa possess, or perhaps this "alien" feeling is more common with tulpas with nonhuman forms that clash more with a human body when attempting to control it. Regardless of whether or not a system will experience this "alien" feeling is unimportant, as many believe this sensation alerts the host whether or not the tulpa is actually moving the body. If one is simply unsure if the body's movement was theirs or their tulpa's, they can simply verify it with the tulpa instead of merely guessing.
Once mentally overcoming these hurdles to the best of one's ability, possession is much more likely to be swift with ample progression and lowering the possibility of tribulations in the future.
At last, the process of possession specifically for tulpas in the perspective of another tulpa. For the sake of brevity and simplicity, the possession strategy will be laid out in steps first, then the explanation will be placed after the method itself. Remember that this method is done solely in the perspective of the tulpa, however, the host at minimum should relax in whatever means they wish and simply allow the tulpa to go through the process.
- Begin by connecting to the body's senses, look through the body's eyes, feel the gravity of the earth pulling downwards, take in any scents or sounds that can be heard, and even pay close attention to any flavors the mouth may be experiencing.
- Hone in on a singular sense, whichever is desired. With the eyes, absorb every single detail possible, every color, every shape, their distance from the body, and more as an example. Or not simply feel the effect of gravity, but also the textures of objects or even the body itself, the temperature of the air or ground, and potentially even focus on negative sensations such as pain if they are present.
- Entrench oneself in that specific sense until feeling completely absorbed by it, entranced to the point of losing awareness of one's form or anything else, even the thoughts of oneself or the host.
- Become that sense, become the eyes, become the skin, the nose, the mouth, or ears. Not simply using the sense, but embodying that sense itself.
- Once this step is complete, repeat the process with the other senses, slowly becoming them while remaining connected to the ones already focused on.
- With every sense focused intensely on, attempt to move the body in some capacity. An example would be moving the eyes if the first step taken was to become sight.
- Attempt to do this with the other senses and what they are related to. Move the body's arms, look around, take a deep breath, and listen to one's environment.
- If the process was successful, the tulpa will be possessing the body.
Note how this strategy does not ask the host to "give up" the body or instruct the tulpa to flow their essence into the body unlike other possession guides. The mindset behind the method presented is guiding the tulpa to essentially synchronize with the body to the point of becoming one with it instead of a nonphysical person, becoming so lost with the world they are experiencing that they simply forget that they are a passenger in the car. When honing in on or focusing highly on a sense, it can be possible for a tulpa to accidentally begin possessing what controls that sense. For example, a tulpa may be interested in what the host is eating, paying such close attention to the food that they begin to experience it physically, possibly even moving the mouth to eat without realizing it.
However, not all tulpas understand the idea of "connecting" to the body's senses, especially tulpas used to living their days in a mindscape. Quite simply, this can be done through intuition and trial and error, or through symbolic means that translate to the act of connecting. It boils down to: what makes sense? For every tulpa, this is highly subjective and there is no flawless method that can be taught.
One must also keep in mind that following these steps may not be successful the first attempt or even after multiple attempts. Rather, a tulpa may take time learning how to focus on a particular sense, or possibly learning how to focus so intently in any sense. One day may be a day filled with progress, but said progress is halted by a singular part, mileage will vary between systems.
Not every tulpa takes on a human appearance, or even an appearance that matches a human's general shape. Though a tulpa is not quite literally their form, there are some tulpas who are quite connected to their form in a sense either through means of identity or simply out of fondness for their appearance. For tulpas in this category, possession or fronting at all can be uncomfortable or possibly unpleasant due to the contrast between the body and the tulpa's form; this connection with the tulpa's form can also impact how they act whilst in control such as mannerisms, walking style, or even voice to a notable degree.
Common advice to counteract this is for the tulpa to temporarily take a human form when fronting to ease the bodily dysphoria, yet, there are tulpas who are uncomfortable with that idea and would prefer to avoid it. This section is intended for tulpas who are uncomfortable with changing their form just to front.
A simple way to ease the discomfort of body dysphoria is to accept any "quirky" fronting mannerisms, opting to embrace them instead of fully attempting to act like a human. Walking on toes, using hands in a way that is considered odd, even imposing one's own form over the body to whatever capacity within reason (typically known as "phantom limbs if this includes adding otherwise nonexistent limbs). Unless it is necessary not to out the system as plural to others the system is not out to yet, allow oneself to be nonhuman in nature regardless of if they are currently using a human body.
Another method is to have the mindset of, "I am not actually a human, just a nonhuman taking control of a human body," much like the more fantastical definition of possession many are familiar with. This mindset can create a disconnect that may ease the dysphoria, especially for tulpas who solely identify as a singular or set form.
Choose articles of clothing or accessories that match the form or at minimum, mask the human shape such as hoodies or sweatpants. One can also avoid staring at the body in the mirror or undressing, but this can have the negative consequences of becoming more and more avoidant of the body, which is not ideal if one wishes to become at least somewhat accustomed with it.
Being able to control a physical body can be a wonderful opportunity to grow as a person, form relationships and bond with new people, and to have meaningful impact on the world. Possession in of itself may not be a tedious challenge, but it also may not be a breeze a tulpa and host can accomplish within a day. Remember that this guide and strategy are one of many; do not feel shackled to a particular method if it is simply not working out. Every host and tulpa's experiences with possession will vary to some degree, and that is the beauty of such a thing, as it allows for many to share their experiences and knowledge that can reach out to benefit others.
I do hope this guide aids my fellow tulpas.
Feedback and constructive criticism is welcome, as this guide is subject to changes and improvements.