Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World
I just had a great conversation on-air with Galina and Sannion during their Wyrd Ways radio show. And it occurs to me that the point I called in to make is something I’ve never really seen addressed, and something that would be useful to talk about here.
I’ve talked about fallow times here before, when you can’t hear/see/feel the gods the way you usually can, and how to survive them. Any mystic knows that you cannot just drop your practices, that you need to be able to endure these times of silence and keep your faith. Even for the most connected spirit-workers and devotees, the ability to sense and directly communicate with the gods and spirits ebbs and flows over time – just like an artist will not always be able to access their inspiration (and will suffer just as badly when they can’t as a mystic when cut off from her god). So you can’t rely entirely on being in the right headspace or “feeling it” in order to do your Work, maintain your spiritual relationships, etc.
Which is why it’s so important to have a tangible form of communication between yourself and your gods and spirits. In other words, it shouldn’t all be taking place only in your head, because that’s not always going to work (not to mention, it’s a lot easier to get the message wrong, to end up talking to sockpuppets, and to be plagued with doubt about your internal experiences). Not only do you need to have physical practices on your end of the “conversation” – making offerings, of course, but also engaging the material world when doing ritual and magic – but you need to develop a habit of looking for and acknowledging the divine messages that manifest in the material world – i.e., omens. Because if your fallow times are just the result of the normal ebb of spiritual mojo, the gods can still communicate with you via external signs. Which can not only be a great comfort (and useful to know you’re not on the wrong track but simply in a fallow headspace), but it can allow you to continue your Work with the input of the gods.
From what I’ve seen in my own experiences and those of others, the more you are aware of the ways the gods might be communicating with you, the more you acknowledge the clear omens when they happen, the more They will use these methods to speak to you. After all, why spend all your energy shouting at someone who’s not listening? But if you’re open to such omens, well, manipulating the world a little here or there seems relatively easy for Them, and probably often more sure to get Their message across, unimpeded by the vagaries of the human brain.
Remember that the gods are not just in your head. That is not the only place you can meet Them. They suffuse the world.