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.

~ by Dver on June 4, 2014.

12 Responses to “Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World”

  1. Reblogged this on Mountain, Path, and Pool.

  2. This was my first time listening, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I’m especially guilty of keeping the radio or a tv show going non-stop, and I don’t doubt this hinders my relationship with the gods and spirits quite a bit. I’ll try to be more mindful of this, and of paying attention to signs and omens, in the future.

    • Thanks for reminding me of that other point, about unplugging from things in order to give the gods space to communicate. Just made a post on that one too.

  3. […] About midway through we had a special surprise guest call in, Dver, who fleshed out some of her thoughts in the post Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World: […]

  4. Reblogged this on Wolf and Raven.

  5. Reblogged this on The Forest Witch and commented:
    Such an important thing to remember when we are in spiritually fallow times. It’s a balance to strive for as well, not just in said fallowness, but at all times. Learn to read omens in our physical world, and you will never be without your Gods.

  6. Something that has become more and more clear over the years is that the “godphone,” such as it is, that I have is much different than that of most other people I’ve encoutnered who do serious spiritwork. I rarely “hear” the gods I deal with, even at the best of times…

    And, something that has become clear to me now more than ever is that, naturally, I’m an auditory learner: I prefer to hear something rather than see it (as visual learners do, who are about 40-45% of the population) or do it (as kinesthetic learners do, who are also about 40-45% of the population). My divine experiences, however, have tended to be more in the realm of either visionary experiences (both waking and dreaming), or they occur in the midst of practice/ritual/”doing” something. I suspect that this has occurred the way it has because it has forced me to expand my boundaries in general, rather than just relying on my strengths. In my poetic practice, it’s important to remember that for the Irish, the fili is, first and foremost, a “seer,” as the word fili comes from roots meaning “to see” (though they also have a word that means “seer/prophet,” which is fáith), and thus using that modality, which is also heavily auditory-based (given that poetry is language, and is meant to be spoken and declaimed rather than read silently), doesn’t lean entirely on my usual strengths, but does ultimately incorporate them.

    SO MUCH more could be said, but I’m glad you called in! It made for a very interesting show! 😉

    • It’s really important to realize that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to these things… for me, it was a big realization to finally understand that I simply did not have the internal visualization abilities that most people seem to have – not only do I not tend to “see” in the visionary sense, but I can’t even picture things in my imagination very well. Sometimes I hear, sometimes I just “know” with a certainty that I’ve come to recognize as coming from beyond me… in any case, any of these methods can dry up occasionally, and I think no matter how one usually internally communicates with the gods, having external methods as well is incredibly useful.

      • Absolutely.

        On the internal visualization matter: I’ve always hated those within wider paganism and elsewhere, because they don’t work for me at all. When I get visions, they are not by choice or effort, they come unbidden and pretty much cancel everything else out for a short while. So, I’m totally on-board with you there! 😉

  7. […] Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World. […]

  8. Thank you for the words of wisdom. I wish I had access to these back when I first lost my husband 15+ years ago and turned my back on my path out of pain and despair. It took a long while for me to re-access my path and at first the silence was deafening. Thanks for words which can help many!

  9. […] Engaging with the Spiritual in the Physical World. […]

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