This is a big topic. And I happen to have a project coming out in the end of 2021 that will go a lot more in depth. But I wanted to touch on a few of the basics as liminality in relation to paranormal phenomena is something that I have a particular fascination with.
Let's start with the literal definition of liminal. Liminal is an adjective relating to the position at a boundary/threshold or the transitional stage of a process. The term liminality was first adopted by Arnold Van Gennep and used in an anthropological sense, relating to the ambiguous moment in the midst of a rite of passage. It's most basically, the moment in which one stands at a threshold between what is now and what is next. Who they were and who they will be.
Again, this is a big topic.
Liminality in relation to rites of passage can be seen in religion, psychology, and anthropology however anyone can experience liminal spaces (bathrooms, airports, hallways), liminal beings (teenagers going through puberty, those charged but not yet convicted of a crime, etc.) and liminal events (birth, death, puberty, marriage and divorce). Furthermore, there are also liminoid experiences - transitional moments in time that do not result in any change of status. Any of these instances can be big or small. Remember that uncomfortable and confusing feeling when you were sent home from work for "two weeks" at the beginning of a global pandemic? Yep. A grand liminoid experience.
Now lets get in to its relation to paranormal phenomena. What's the first thing that comes to mind now while thinking of liminality and the paranormal...
That's right. Death. And I would say to expand further, I also think of magick. Nearly all things supernatural have some kind of transitionary aspect. And so liminality can be experienced often while digging into the world of the paranormal. One of the most well-known instances of connectedness between the paranormal and liminality is poltergeist activity - which is often manifested by puberty. And of course, death. The book The Trickster and the Paranormal by George Hansen delves deeper into this and is a great resource if you want to get in the weeds about this connection.
Most importantly, I would encourage you to not let "liminal" encompass too much - one could start to see how life as a whole is a liminal event, at which point the word begins to lose its meaning. I would also encourage you though to pay close attention to the liminality you experience in your life. The moment you are standing in your house before or after you move. The shift in air during the change of seasons. The act of moving from student to teacher on a certain topic. How do you feel? And how can you harness that ambiguity to empower you to move in to your desired state?
I personally believe that liminality in particular can beget paranormal phenomena. And that liminal circumstances can even create paranormal archetypes. Furthermore, I believe that if one can harness the energy of liminality, you can experience and even create moments of strangeness - essentially manipulating the paranormal. But I will leave the topic on that note here today. I hope that you ponder and explore and study it for yourself. And that moving forward, you can learn to greet liminality with open arms.
I feel like the last time I wrote a blog post was a century ago. In reality, I think it was maybe 8 months, at most. Maybe 10? The point is, as I sit here writing to you today, I am a different person. Or rather the same person, but with a little more or a little less of certain things. A little more self love, a little more confidence. A little less ego and selfishness. A little more skepticism and a lot more compassion, for others and for myself.
When I started Pretty Fn Spooky, I thought I was an expert. While time does beget experience, I was quick to learn that although I had a decade under my belt, I had a lot more to learn. I also had more people to meet and more places to see. I came into my journey as a solo female paranormal investigator thinking there were few of us. I was wrong.
Last summer, I took a step back from projecting myself as the expert and became a student once again. I traveled, I explored, I studied, I cried and I said goodbye to parts of myself that left holes I had to learn how to fill. I am still a student today. But after all that I've accomplished in the last year, I think I have some valuable things to share with all of you now. Maybe I can help you learn. Maybe I can help you not feel so alone. Or maybe I have nothing to offer you. But I am here now and open to let any of those options become reality.
I feel myself defeating the imposter syndrome I dealt with more than two years ago. So here we go. My name is Amanda and I'm a paranormal investigator in Spokane, Washington. I have some unconventional thoughts on conventional paranormal topics but that unconventionality is growing more popular by the day. We are not alone. The paranormal field is changing. It's up to you if you want to come along for this transition.