A note: I use Goddess/Goddesses as gender neutral terms.
And even God Herself/Has fewer plans than me
But She never helps me out with my scams for free,/ though She grabs a stick and then She points it at me/ When I say nothing, I say everything/ Yeah when I say nothing, I say everything. – Lazaretto, Jack White
Sometimes God Herself Finds You Super Tedious
As some of you may recall, I was raised Catholic. There was a lot of God works in mysterious ways and a lot of one sided conversations.
The idea that you could (sometimes literally) hear a goddess speak to you, was incomprehensible to me when I first became a Witch. Prayer always seemed to require a lot of tedious repetition, waiting and then repeating steps 1 and 2 and never ever getting mad at God for failing to deliver ponies, boyfriends, good hair or extra trips to the library. Getting pissy with God meant that you doubted Her plan, weren’t patient and were possibly faithless. Also, God is very busy and She doesn’t have time to fulfill every boring little request you put in. It’s always like requesting paid time off in August when you work for an eyeglass store. Maybe, just maybe, but probably not.
I was no Lady Margaret Beaufort even on my best of days. I got restless from being on my knees too long, I didn’t want to fast, there were no religious destiny dreams being sent my way, I cussed a lot, I got into cars with boys and few people would describe Catholic Teen Deb as pious, though I was as faithful as I knew how to be.
When I became a Witch, it took some time before I met people who had two sided conversations with Goddesses and Spirits. It took me a while to trust that voice because . . .hearing voices was usually not the sign that a long and prosperous life was impending for most people.
I’m still not one of those people who receives verbal messages from goddesses all that often. My indicators that my Witchcraft is working tend to be more along the lines of radiomancy, Golden Moth Illumination and sometimes dreams. My sister who is generally universally thumbs down on all magical experiences regardless of spiritual background, is actually more attuned to the other side of the veil than I am.
Reading Eat, Pray, Love of all things actually made me trust in my connections to my Goddesses more:
How to Win Friends and Influence the Universe
1. Who is initiating this conversation? Sometimes, when a Goddess or Spirit is interested in you, much like when a corporal person is interested in you, They will show little signs that They are interested in you. A small bit of good fortune with something that symbolizes Them, seeing and hearing about Them everywhere, a dream with Them, etc.
If you are Not That Into Them, much like in regular life, either keep hitting ignore until They get the message or firmly (but kindly) let Them know that you aren’t into it.
If you are interested, you could ask for a specific omen that the Goddess/Spirit you think is trying to contact you is actually trying to contact you.
If you are the one trying to make contact, it is generally good manners to try to make contact with the Goddess/Spirt much like when you are invited to someone’s house for the first time. Tell Them what you admire about Them, offer gifts (tea lights, fresh water, incense and flowers are just about universally well received) and be polite. Do this once a week for a month. After the second week, start asking for a small omen that They are interested in continuing the conversation.
If They Are Not That Into You, you’ll know because either things will get worse in your life, or more likely, nothing happens. All your little niceties will amount to a dead, wet, cold fish on the floor. Jesus is tasked to love all of our sad, sorry little selves. The rest of the pantheons are not.
2. Received a positive omen! What next? Well, what kind of relationship do you want to have with this Spirit or Goddess? What kind of relationship do They appear to want to have with you? Do both visions match up? If you want to be equals and pals and She wants you to be a devotee with devotee boundaries, that may not be a great fit. How deeply involved do you want to get? Do you want your Witchcraft to be centered around this relationship or for your Craft to be something that you do and your Goddess or Spirit occasionally steps in to lend a hand?
3. Don’t Give Into Spiritual NRE (New Relationship Energy). You know when you first start dating someone, you want to spend every minute of every day with that person and you would promise them anything? You know how you think that person is the smartest, prettiest, funnest person alive? You know how three months later you sometimes would rather light yourself on fire than spend another minute with this person? You realize you have nothing in common, and you now think this person is vain, shallow and stupid? Welllllll. That experience isn’t limited to the physical world. Sometimes it feels like a “click” with a Goddess or Spirit and you make vows and then you don’t want to keep them in a few months.
The problem is, generally speaking Goddesses and Spirits have access to energy that you don’t have access to. That’s part of why you decided to work with Goddesses and Spirits. It can be a really good reciprocal relationship but if one of you no longer wishes to reciprocate, then it can be a problem. Imagine working in a company of ten people and you start dating your boss. You dump your boss after promising your boss you would be together forever and spend every Sunday at her beach house for the rest of your lives. Boss didn’t want to break up. Jobs at other companies in your field are few and far between, you’re stuck at this company. How do you suppose the next few years at this company are going to play out? Not well, friend. Not well.
So don’t make any crazy vows or promises in the beginning of your new (spiritual) relationship unless you are willing to accept the consequences of your actions. Do something super crazy: get to know each other, keep giving offerings, get yourself attuned to Their energy, see if you’re both a good fit for each other.
4. Start as a bottom feeder. One of my mentors refers to herself as a spiritual bottom feeder. Meaning, for her, the relationship needs to be reciprocal. A favor for a favor. Start with small favors. Small favors I’ve asked for included: getting rid of a cold, a long baby nap, for an evening to go smoothly, etc. I do X (Japa, offerings, etc) and ask for Y. If I try this a few times and it doesn’t work, there’s something wrong with the connection. That Goddess or Spirit is Not That Into You, you’re too grabby, They don’t want to grant your requests for whatever reason, etc.
Goddesses and Spirits aren’t spiritual gum ball machines, if you’re always going to them with your hand out, they’re going to get annoyed with you. You need to build an actual connection between you both, one that isn’t built solely on the granting of favors ideally. Think about it this way: If you ask a bunch of strangers for $10, one of them will maybe give it to you, but probably not. If you ask a friend for $10, they will probably give it to you. On the other hand, if you’re always asking that friend for a ten spot, they are going to feel used and abused and either cut you off as a friend or cut off the money.
But friends and family do often want to help you, especially if you’ve helped them in the past. The same is true of Goddesses and Spirits. If you are asking for a larger petition, you need to be willing to give more yourself. More time, better jewels, more energy, more tapas, whatever your Goddess or Spirit is into. Often, when asking you would give the Goddess or Spirit half up front and the other half when your petition is granted.
But remember, Goddesses and Spirits can be just as opportunistic (if not more so!) than any human. If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, He’ll Probably Want a Glass of Milk. In other words, if you’re going to keep giving and giving and giving and not ask for anything back in the relationship, that Goddess or Spirit is going to ride you like a prize winning show pony until you have nothing left. If that’s not your goal, then you need to set some boundaries and the expectation of reciprocity. If that Goddess or Spirit is not willing to work within your boundaries, you need to do some serious thinking about whether or not you want to be in that relationship anymore. If you don’t, you may need to consult someone (a mentor, a Goddess or Spirit you already work with, etc) about how to extricate yourself from that situation.
5. Stranger Danger. For some reason, when dealing with Goddesses and Spirits, some people completely disengage their common sense. After all, speaking with Someone(s) from the Spirit world isn’t common, so common sense shouldn’t apply, right? Wrong. Until you get to know your Goddess and Spirit, your guard should be up as much as it would be with a new acquaintance. Once you better get to know your Goddess or Spirit, your guard should be about as up as it would be with a close friend, a sibling or your spouse. They most likely would never willingly hurt you, but there’s always that chance that they will. If something seems off, don’t rush into agreeing. Meditate on why it feels off. Ask for clarification.
You don’t need to be hostile, you don’t need to be armed to the teeth . . .unless you are using force in your invocation and compelling your Spirit to be with you. That’s sort of like trying to make friends by ethering a stranger, wrapping her in a rug and tossing her in the back of your windowless white van. BFFS, right?!
If you want to consort with Spirits that are known to be more dangerous, hey, it’s your party you can cry if you want to. Personally, I don’t consort with people that require me to have a gun in my purse in my regular life, I don’t have any desire to consort with Goddesses and Spirits that require me to do the same. Just remember much like misunderstood teens at the Hot Topic at the mall, “dark” doesn’t always equal dangerous and “well known and well liked” doesn’t always equal safe. Use your critical thinking skills, use your gift of fear, use your common sense. It’s a wild ride, but that’s why we’re Witches, right?