Have you ever woken up in the morning and decided you no longer like something? Or perhaps that favourite TV series just does not resonate with you any more. You don’t dislike it, you do not state it no longer exists, but you have grown and changed and it’s time for something new.
I have a confession to make and it’s been building for a while. But first a little back story.
I have been an ‘Asatru’ pagan for a decade, and a witch for 20 years. I have met some obstacles from other heathens with the fact I have always had a polytheistic approach to believing in all pantheons. For the past 6 months I have been on a personal crusade to better myself as a human being and heal from mental illness. I have been asking some pretrt hard questions, I even had a Sunday where I took myself to a Christian church. I have been neck deep in self help books, different religious texts and spiritual progression.
So, my confession. I am not longer an Asatru pagan. I still believe in Odin, Frigg, Freya, Loki, but it’s time for me to move on and it’s a rather scary prospect.
You see, over the past several months The God Pan has been tapping me on the shoulder, and appearing in my dreams and I feel transported back to when I was a child, obsessed with the greek myths and legends. I revisited that passion I had as a child. It has been marvellous. But then I crashed. I overthought. I broke my spirit.
I have found myself burdened down by labels, so many labels. Eclectic pagan, Heathen, Greek, Pantheistic, Polytheistic, Chaos Magick. So may types and labels that yesterday broke me and I felt lost.
I asked for help, and was thankful to find others who thought as I did, who felt burdened by labels and who also overthought things.
So here is what I believe.
I believe all pantheons exist. However, I do believe some gods and goddesses are the same entity just viewed differently by different people. I believe deities exist as actual beings, not constructs or archetypes. I believe our universe is complex with different levels and multi-verses where different entities exist. I also believe that the universe itself is a living entity, the creator spirit, the spark, and within it lives deities, spirits, entities and of course us. As separate, unique beings with conscious thought.
I believe in the Fae and the Fae realm
I believe in ghosts and spirits.
I believe every living thing has a spirit, a soul. I believe plants and animals can manifest their spirit in the form or personified entities. Such as Nymphs.
I also believe in Demons and angels and this caused several issues in my thought process. Do I believe in the Christian God? Not in the way Christians do, and is not an energy I work with, but I do believe that there are planes of existence where there are beings of light and beings of dark.
I believe in reincarnation.
I believe in magick.
My magical practise may very well change, thought I never really worked with deity while I was Asatru in my magical practise, I worked with my ancestors and Fae and spirits and while I held Frigg and Odin as my matron and patron, I never had a good solid relationship with them. But Pan, I am excited to work with him. Odd, as when I was a child I used to have nightmares about seeing Pan in the woodland near by house and how scary he was. Now as an adult I am like, “Dude, let’s get our wild magical shit on!”
Goddess wise, this is on hold, Frigg will always be special to me, but I think I need someone as twisty and dark as I am.
So, I have been on my pagan path for 20 years and its still changing.
Psychic or Cuckoo? That is the question.
We’ve all been there. Laying in bed at night, nodding off, feeling the soft weight of the duvet and soothing warmth washes over us.
Now, I am making a rather grand presumption that those who do not struggle with mental illness also have audio hallucinations, because Wikipedia told me so. It is most common for those not suffering from psychosis to have at least one audio hallucination in their life time, usually just before slipping into REM sleep or just as they awake.
So I have been pondering. What is a hallucination and what is a spiritual event.
By spiritual event, I mean, either being contacted or witnessing a ghost, spirit, Wight, Fey species or God.
By Hallucination I mean, witnessing, feeling or seeing something constructed by your own mind as a result of a mental illness, or neurological illness.
I see dead people. The problem is, I also hallucinate dead people…well, one dead person, My mother. How do I differentiated between her and the other spirits I see? I used to hallucinate my mother when she was alive.
Intuition comes into play, and I, like many others who live with mental illness know our minds and body extremely well. We study ourselves on a daily basis. When I hallucinate my mother, there is always a little voice that says, ‘not real’, sometimes it is very quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes I must dig deep to hear it. But it’s there. It’s a gut reaction, deep instinct that I know, she is not real. I am not haunted by my mother, she is not real.
But this does pose the question, is mental illness a sign of perhaps being too spiritually Intune with things? Does our human mind struggle with being strong empaths, psychic abilities and such? Or do these abilities stem from mental illness. There were several studies on the effects of LSD on the human mind, studies that linked into the fact most humans can only see, hear and process a finite amount of information, and when under the influence of LSD their minds opened, many claimed to see aura’s, energy radiating off people, off machines.
How often has our pet cat or dog been fixated on a part of the room, growling or hissing and we see nothing.
Intuition is my gift, it allows me to recognise hallucination from spiritual event. A spiritual event for me varies in what emotions I feel, but there is always that gut instinct that tells me it’s real, as opposed to the little voice that tells me my mother is a construct of my own mind.
So how do we tell the difference. We can’t, but we do, we know, it’s that same feeling that tells you to take a different route to work, or that you shouldn’t trust someone. Intuition, a gift that saves, and helps and allows us to heal. Intuition is a great tool for mental illness, and is one of my trusted friends.