In the pagan mailbox this morning…

In my mailbox today:

Hello my name is X and I have a little problem with my beliefs. I have been a pagan since I was 14, and I was raised in a metaphysical household.{ I am not a flake I promise. } I have had many occult experiences in my life. I am 22 now and I have been doubting that Any of what I have experienced is real. This is probably due in part to the overly rational environment that my college trains a person to be. (for the record I am a sociology major with trust issues.) Well throughout my college carrer I have been getting less and less proficent at my abilities to where now they are almost nill. I can’t feel anything anymore when it comes to psychic energies. I am having trouble believing anything anymore and It is killing my spirit. NOTHING seems to be working and it continues to make me frustrated dispirited and sad. When I try some energy work or something it doesn’t seem to be very effective. I just can’t rid myself of that part of me that says; :This is stupid, I cant believe I am still doing this. What if there is no form of divinity and no such thing as magic.” I am not trying to have yo
u solve all of my problems or anything I would just appriciate some kind words if you wish to give them. Thank you for your time and concern.

Here’s my response:

I don’t know if I’m really the right person to ask. It sounds like the first place you should go for advice might be your metaphysical household. Barring that, it sounds to me like you are experiencing life as a typical 22-year old, at least based on my own experience. When I was 22, what I discovered is that my capacity for doubt really expanded. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing — but it certainly can be overwhelming when the questions outnumber the answers at a greater ratio than they did in the past. I wish I could tell you that the answers come quicker as you get older, but that would be a lie. The fact is that what becomes more important is that you really understand the questions. As for problems with workings, the only things that I can immediately suggest are to change, as much as possible, your environment. Start hanging out with people who intrigue you, who challenge your curiosity and are likewise searching for answers to the big questions. Take time out to simply “be” with nature. Don’t stress over controlling the energies of the universe, or focusing them to do your will. Seek to understand the balance, and to see the energy that by necessity inhabits everything. To paraphrase a Buddhist teaching — seek the sacred in the little things, the rituals you do every day without calling them rituals and isolating them from the “mundane”. There is no mundane. Every act is a deliberate thing, with consequences and learning wrapped up in it. The little rituals we do without thinking — like changing the mood of a room simply by smiling when you enter it, by saying hello, by being interested in other people — have much more effect that we typically acknowledge. Find music that speaks to your soul — not specifically “pagan” music.

Sociology is, in my opinion, a field that looks to find ways to help other people. But it often crosses the line of personal responsibility and does things for people that they really need to be doing themselves. And it often finds problems simply to give sociologists something to talk about and draw salaries for analyzing. Try to step back from the study in a dry, academic sense and think about what you can really do to help others. The first step in changing the world is to change your perception of it. That is magick in its most basic, fundamental form. Changing the world by changing yourself. That is the true meaning, for me, of “as above, so below.”

Finally, remember that in truth, nothing can kill your spirit. Because it is eternal. The problem that so many face is that they think so small. It is not just YOUR spirit. It is the spirit that indwells in every thing. The things you think are important, and the things you assume are not. The things you see and think you understand, and the things you don’t see and can’t even imagine. The world is bigger than you. And it doesn’t necessarily have a plan that is perceivable to you. All you can do is start where you are, today, looking at where your foot is on the ground. That is your path. And nobody else’s. That’s what makes it absolutely essential. Only you define it. And in the process of definition there are of course missteps, wanderings, periods of drought and flood. That’s balance. To understand that balance, and to strive to achieve it, is for me the essense of what being a pagan is. Not thinking metaphysically, or magickally, or religiously, or philosophically. Just thinking, and acting.

The real problem for you right now is not that things are not real. It is that they are absolutely real. And the illusions of ambitions of what could or should be accomplishable with energy workings, spellcraft, psychic energies are fading into a much larger, much more vibrant reality. The reality of being. Just being yourself. And figuring out who that is in the process.

Hope this helps.

Bright Blessings to you.

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