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Author Topic: Fighting the doubt and going alone  (Read 1611 times)

Sweetened

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Fighting the doubt and going alone
« on: June 28, 2012, 10:12:50 pm »
One thing I've noticed is forging my own path into the occult has really brought my self doubt to the front seat.  I know this is my own personal problem, but I'm wondering if anyone else came across this beginning their practice.

I find I doubt the answers I ask when I'm meditating.  They're typically rational, positive answers, but I often talk myself out of them as me just telling myself what I want to hear.  How have you learned to trust that voice?  I also don't know what to look for in meditative states and if the sensations I feel are really the energies, or me wanting to believe they are.  Trying to raise my vibration is a battle between my mind and I.

In addition, I find I've really hesitated to advance my solitary practice.  My spouse (love him to death) is very much a man of his own system.  He's one of those "show me or it isn't the case" when it comes to a a faith or other related belief (and that's completely fine).  Strange how opposites attract there.  He's agnostic and I subscribe to the Ancient Astronaut theory and the occult.  Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.  Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?

I look forward to hearing from others and learning about their experiences.

MoonCrone

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 04:58:57 am »
Quote from: Sweetened;62016
One thing I've noticed is forging my own path into the occult has really brought my self doubt to the front seat.  I know this is my own personal problem, but I'm wondering if anyone else came across this beginning their practice.

I find I doubt the answers I ask when I'm meditating.  They're typically rational, positive answers, but I often talk myself out of them as me just telling myself what I want to hear.  How have you learned to trust that voice?  I also don't know what to look for in meditative states and if the sensations I feel are really the energies, or me wanting to believe they are.  Trying to raise my vibration is a battle between my mind and I.

In addition, I find I've really hesitated to advance my solitary practice.  My spouse (love him to death) is very much a man of his own system.  He's one of those "show me or it isn't the case" when it comes to a a faith or other related belief (and that's completely fine).  Strange how opposites attract there.  He's agnostic and I subscribe to the Ancient Astronaut theory and the occult.  Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.  Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?

I look forward to hearing from others and learning about their experiences.


Confidence comes with knowledge and practice with all things in life, I am sure it will get.. easier/better with time and keep trying..

as to the altar, it can be what you want it to be... a candle and some flowers on a window ledge.. a Moon shaped tea light, some sea shells in a dish... a bowl of pot pourri in the colours of the next Sabbat perhaps... all that sort of thing.. it doesn't have to look overtly "Pagan"  I'm sure you'll find a way  :)
It\'s all about the Ebb and Flow...

Stardancer

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 07:01:23 am »
Quote from: Sweetened;62016
Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.  Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?

I look forward to hearing from others and learning about their experiences.

 
Remember; it's not the home. It's your home. Both his and yours. You have every right to carve out your own space and decor in that place. Maybe you choose the nightstand on your side of the bed. Maybe you choose a part of your own desk in the home. Maybe you choose the window sill by your favourite chair.

I used to have my altar down in my home office - but I hardly ever went there because it feels too far from the main areas of the house. Now I keep my shrine/offering stuff in the kitchen window. The rest of the family simply is required to accept that it is there. I make sure it doesn't take over the whole bench and get in the way of the cooking, my husband doesn't touch it unless I explicitly say 'hey, you can use the oil/water/whatever in the cooking'.

It's a matter of mutual respect. He respects my beliefs, I trust him to be nice.
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Sweetened

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 08:55:11 am »
Quote from: MoonCrone;62065
Confidence comes with knowledge and practice with all things in life, I am sure it will get.. easier/better with time and keep trying..

as to the altar, it can be what you want it to be... a candle and some flowers on a window ledge.. a Moon shaped tea light, some sea shells in a dish... a bowl of pot pourri in the colours of the next Sabbat perhaps... all that sort of thing.. it doesn't have to look overtly "Pagan"  I'm sure you'll find a way  :)


I suppose I'm just afraid I'm nuts.  One thing I've always feared is that the gifts I had when I was young (and let go, unfortunately when I grew) were just psychosis that never got acknowledged.  However, my Mom always encouraged me when I said I had seen things or had talked to flowers/trees as, at one time, she was also very sensitive to energies and what-have-you.

I hope I can work through my own self doubt in order to get better/learn/progress in these practices.

Quote from: Stardancer
Remember; it's not the home. It's your home. Both his and yours. You have every right to carve out your own space and decor in that place. Maybe you choose the nightstand on your side of the bed. Maybe you choose a part of your own desk in the home. Maybe you choose the window sill by your favourite chair.

I used to have my altar down in my home office - but I hardly ever went there because it feels too far from the main areas of the house. Now I keep my shrine/offering stuff in the kitchen window. The rest of the family simply is required to accept that it is there. I make sure it doesn't take over the whole bench and get in the way of the cooking, my husband doesn't touch it unless I explicitly say 'hey, you can use the oil/water/whatever in the cooking'.

It's a matter of mutual respect. He respects my beliefs, I trust him to be nice.

 
You make a good point; one I think he understands, but that I don't acknowledge.  I live my life as an apologetic person which I've grown to hate about myself (and I'm slowly working to change that), and I think that is something that hinders me from 'just doing it.'  I was also afraid, however, that I'd upset the patron if it was disguised or intermingled where few, if any, people other than myself would recognize it.

Thanks to both of you for your replies.

veggiewolf

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 09:14:06 am »
Quote from: Sweetened;62016
...Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.


I think it depends on the individual, honestly.  I tend to think of the home in which I live with my husband as *our* home and while I made sure he was comfortable with my ancestor shrine living on our fireplace mantel, I set up my other shrines in my home office without discussing it with him.  I figure, if he gets to strew cables about while doing his thing, then incense, etc. coming from my space shouldn't be a problem.  ;)

Now, my attitude would change were I living with roommates, or staying with a friend because it wouldn't be my own space.

Quote
Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?

I look forward to hearing from others and learning about their experiences.

 
No, an inconspicuous altar/shrine does not reduce its effectiveness or offend deity.  In fact, I'd be willing to be that if you polled our membership a great number of people have shrines set up that resemble that description.
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Catherine

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 11:47:54 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;62083

No, an inconspicuous altar/shrine does not reduce its effectiveness or offend deity.  In fact, I'd be willing to be that if you polled our membership a great number of people have shrines set up that resemble that description.

 
*raises hand* I'm one of those. My shrine to Juno is on the mantle in our living room because She likes to be honored in the place where the family gathers. Unless you know what you're looking for, you wouldn't recognize it as a shrine. Most people think it's just a collection of odd, yet pretty things.

Shine

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 04:29:15 pm »
I'm answering more from the perspective of a theist, but I hope something I say will be useful to you.

Quote from: Sweetened;62016
I find I doubt the answers I ask when I'm meditating.  They're typically rational, positive answers, but I often talk myself out of them as me just telling myself what I want to hear.  How have you learned to trust that voice?  I also don't know what to look for in meditative states and if the sensations I feel are really the energies, or me wanting to believe they are.  Trying to raise my vibration is a battle between my mind and I.


I doubt most, if not all, the answers I get during meditation or worship. I'm too suspect to wishful thinking, so unless that "voice within" is coupled with a strong conviction or something else, I set it aside to come back to later if more things develop.

As time passes, I find I'm becoming slightly more adept at discerning what's my own wishful thinking and what might be worth looking at more closely. Maybe that will be true for you?

Quote from: Sweetened
. . . Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.  Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?



I think it does take some measure of confidence to set up a sacred space of any kind. Personally, I've had shrines that I disguised by placing "sacred" items seemingly at random with "non-sacred" items. Depending on your viewpoint, that may be okay, or it may not be.

Some entities will want their own space that "stands out", if you will, while others may prefer a more hidden space, or others don't care. If you're working magic, I'm not sure how important the hidden vs visible set up is.

Overall, it's what works for you and whatever task(s) you're trying to complete. If you keep practicing, too, you'll find some small measure of confidence. Take the inch you earn and stretch it out a mile. :whis:
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

dragonfaerie

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 05:42:12 am »
Quote from: Sweetened;62016
One thing I've noticed is forging my own path into the occult has really brought my self doubt to the front seat.  I know this is my own personal problem, but I'm wondering if anyone else came across this beginning their practice.

I think it's pretty normal, in Western culture, to doubt mystical experiences. At some point, though, you just sort of have to "let go and let god", in a way. If you want to invite the Gods into your life, then you have to be willing to cast aside the doubt and listen to what they're telling you. That's not easy, I know, and it isn't something you can casually discuss with a coworker during a coffee break, but at least you've got a message board full of folks who've been there.

Quote
How have you learned to trust that voice?

Through sorting through the consequences when I ignore it. I was pretty skeptical about my intuition at first. Through a series of spectacular mishaps when I had a very bad gut feeling about something, I learned to trust those feelings. Which isn't to say I enjoy that... I "knew" my husband's grandmother was going to die several weeks before it happened, and I had to keep that to myself because I didn't want to upset him and I certainly would have, because he knows about my bad vibes.

Quote
Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.

I'm fortunate to have a pagan husband, so this isn't an issue for me exactly. However, I do have a good friend who is very skeptical about the occult and my work as a paranormal investigator. At times, she's downright annoying, but I have the option of just not talking to her about it.

Shrines and altars can be whatever you want them to be. I personally have never liked hiding or disguising mine, but there are lots of valid reasons to do so, from "I don't want the kids touching blades" to "I have 4 roommates and can't leave stuff set up" to "My in-laws are fundies and I don't want to fight with them."

Ultimately, you need to set things up how you want them, in a way that isn't disruptive to the household. The Gods, I don't think they particularly care whether you have a 6 foot Aphrodite statue in the living room or whether you just keep a pile of heart-shaped rose quartz on a certain bookshelf. There's very very few hard "right and wrong" ways to do stuff in paganism.

I really need to work on writing a book negating all these notions that Paganism is anything but your own personal journey. While established traditions and systems do have rules, you can take them or leave them if you aren't studying within those systems. No author or other Big Name Pagan can tell you what to do. I know that sort of freedom's a bit scary, but once you embrace that idea, it's really really cool.

Karen
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 05:43:18 am by dragonfaerie »

Sweetened

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 09:49:46 pm »
Thanks everyone.  I will definitely continue to work on my self-trust and confidence.  I have set up somewhat of a shrine/altar to realize my dreams.  For now, I haven't connected with a patron yet and have continued to ask for guidance as to who is right for me as I research.

redcloverspirit

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 01:18:17 pm »
Quote from: Sweetened;62016


In addition, I find I've really hesitated to advance my solitary practice.  My spouse (love him to death) is very much a man of his own system.  He's one of those "show me or it isn't the case" when it comes to a a faith or other related belief (and that's completely fine).  Strange how opposites attract there.  He's agnostic and I subscribe to the Ancient Astronaut theory and the occult.  Anyway, is it merely a confidence thing, that is, me having hesitation to make a sacred space in the home, or is it a somewhat commonplace thing to feel as though it may be invasive to do so.  Altars can be inconspicuous, I understand, but does that or having an altar mingled/disguised within some other decor reduce their effectiveness/offend the deity?

I look forward to hearing from others and learning about their experiences.

 

I am also struggling with a lot of self doubt in advancing my practice, also mostly because of my husband.  I really don't have any advice, but wanted to let you know you're not alone in this situation.  I suppose what we have to do is just persevere...  We can do this!

Crohm

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 09:04:28 pm »
Quote from: redcloverspirit;63683
I am also struggling with a lot of self doubt

 
With the internet, we can find that there are many around when otherwise we would just think ourself that crazy man/woman in a shed by the river.

I am the only child of my father and mother.  My grandmother once told me, when she was emotionally weak and tired that she could sense things as a child.. but that a Christian mother beat that out of her.  Then, my mother in a similar point, when she was doubting her own faith.. told me that as a girl she would water the plants and swore she could hear them telling her 'thank you' in her head.  Unfortunately, the cycle continued and that was beat out of her by her mother.

Thankfully, I was never subjected to this.  I am told the cycles of power resonate in the feminine of my people.  Being that my maternal line is Scottish, the belief in the sight and the Otherworld has never quite left the women even with the years of christian sentiments.

I came to terms with these gifts I was bestowed with and with their responsibility have sought to aid others as was best within my capacity to do so.

Know this, as long as you have an internet connection, you are never alone and yet, even in a power outtage your ancestors are still there watching over you.
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Sweetened

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2012, 09:15:09 pm »
Quote from: Crohm;64326

I am the only child of my father and mother.  My grandmother once told me, when she was emotionally weak and tired that she could sense things as a child.. but that a Christian mother beat that out of her.  Then, my mother in a similar point, when she was doubting her own faith.. told me that as a girl she would water the plants and swore she could hear them telling her 'thank you' in her head.  Unfortunately, the cycle continued and that was beat out of her by her mother.

Thankfully, I was never subjected to this.  I am told the cycles of power resonate in the feminine of my people.  Being that my maternal line is Scottish, the belief in the sight and the Otherworld has never quite left the women even with the years of christian sentiments.

I came to terms with these gifts I was bestowed with and with their responsibility have sought to aid others as was best within my capacity to do so.

Know this, as long as you have an internet connection, you are never alone and yet, even in a power outtage your ancestors are still there watching over you.

 
I'm sorry to hear of the trials of your family, though I'm happy that you've been able to embrace your gifts.  I, too, have often had encounters with plants, though I often shove the in-my-head conversation away shortly after it happens.  This is especially so when pruning my trees.  I apologize for every cut and often find a response of comforting response of understanding and relief of weight.  On the rare occasion I've made a bad cut, my apology went with a snark remark -- Typically, that tree wound will bleed and struggle to cap.

Despite this, I try to ignore it.  As a child my mother said I was gifted.  Be it true or not, I can't be sure.  I know, however, at the age of 17 or so, I lost most of those gifts/feelings after ignoring the strongest one in my life and having it turn out badly.  A choice, maybe, a punishment perhaps.

I think that's what's put me back on a journey into spirituality.

Thanks so much for your reply.

Crohm

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 09:45:29 pm »
Quote from: Sweetened;64329
Thanks so much for your reply.

 
It was my pleasure to offer what I can.

among my gifts is not among plants.  I have, when on a summer day's walk offered some water from a bottle and see a stem perk up a bit afterwards.

Remote viewing, energy signatures ( I am not too fond of 'auras' as it were for terminology) and animal speak to name the primary ones.

Wild animals are in tune with the cycles of nature.. all of them.  I believe humans who swear off meat altogether to be as misguided as the one who buys pounds of supermarket meat.

A responsible support of organic farmers, who humanely slaughter the animals is more in line with the notions I have felt from such wild animals.  They hunt.. they kill.  There is no remorse or guilt, because it was not pre-meditated or with hateful intents.

I do hope you have peace in your path and it is my hope this community continues to foster your growth in your own path.
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DancesWithHorses

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Re: Fighting the doubt and going alone
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 12:00:16 pm »
Quote from: Sweetened;64329

Despite this, I try to ignore it.  As a child my mother said I was gifted.  Be it true or not, I can't be sure.  I know, however, at the age of 17 or so, I lost most of those gifts/feelings after ignoring the strongest one in my life and having it turn out badly.  A choice, maybe, a punishment perhaps.

I think that's what's put me back on a journey into spirituality.


I also self-doubt.  I did want to say that sometimes those gifts come back. I lost mine around the time I was 14/15 and at 19 they are slowly coming back.  For me, its not voices, its emotions, an energy type of thing. There is one aspect that scares me a lot, I can help spirits let go if they want to. Very terrifying to me and one of the reasons I started walking a pagan path. I've met people with much stronger abilities than mine. I can sense turmoil and negativity but also complete contentment and happiness.  Not in everyone but people I spend time with. I don't touch people often because I never know when the wave of energy will hit.

Good luck, it gets easier with time.
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