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Author Topic: How do you know it's real?  (Read 4638 times)

Nachtigall

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 06:42:22 am »
Quote from: Chausette;52072
Maybe I should clarify a bit - I haven't been trying to work with the Wiccan Goddess, but rather the Greek Goddess Artemis. I had been meditating and thought of arrows and the forest and a lot of other things commonly associated with Artemis, and since then I've been trying to contact her, but when I get answers or anything else it feels forced, like I'm trying to speak for her.

Am I just rushing this or trying too hard to contact her? I feel a very strong draw towards her.

I think a pantheistic approach may suit you better at this stage. Think of what Artemis represents, and why this is important to you - think of her as a set of principles you would like to honor, and think of the ways you could live this principles. Think of *why* she deserves to be honored as a deity, with offerings, prayers and other rituals.

(f.ex. I see my patron's smile in warm sun rays, in every song on my playlist, in every mathematical formula I use in my research, in every book, conversation, experience that brings me further knowledge in something, in every challenge I set to myself... these are always with me, regardless from whether theists or atheists are objectively right).

Perhaps you will have a mystical "personal connection" with her, perhaps not (which is OK; in my opinion, the overemphasis on mysticism is actually very hurtful to the practitioner, especially for a beginner). But for now, yes, it seems from your posts like you a trying too hard to force something.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 06:42:50 am by Nachtigall »

The Grumble

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 10:37:56 am »
Quote from: Wickerman;52075
I see a lot of people talking about personal communications with deities. I am not doubting anyone's experiences, but I don't think that it happens this way for everyone. I have never had such an experience myself, and I do just fine.


I've never had any sort of communication with anything I would consider a deity.  When I do get messages from my guides, whatever they may be at the time, they come in flashes of pictures, short scenes, symbols or maybe a single word.  And that works perfectly fine for what I do and need on my personal journey.  

I think it's different for everyone.  Don't worry about what others are experiencing.

As for the original question, I think it's healthy to keep some skepticism.  However, even if it is all in my head, it's never caused me or others harm, and has helped me cope through some really bad times.  I've grown a lot through my spiritual practices.  I find it therapeutic.

Jabberwocky

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 02:59:33 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;51970
I don't.  I also really could not give less of a damn.

I care whether it works.


This.  So much.

I'm fully aware that pretty much all the 'results' I've achieved could be down to confirmation bias.  I simply decided I don't care if that is the case some time ago.

I will say however that there is a time for this kind of doubt and a time to push it temporarily to one side while you get on with the work.
Your heart is a muscle as big as your fist.

yewberry

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 05:31:19 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;52133
I'm fully aware that pretty much all the 'results' I've achieved could be down to confirmation bias.  I simply decided I don't care if that is the case some time ago.




Brina

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2012, 09:21:55 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;52022
I tend to think heavy doubt also indicates intelligence and critical thinking skills.  Maybe I'm a spiritual weirdo, but I have very serious doubts about my perceptions of this stuff.  The entities I've "met" appear to live in liminal places, including, I imagine, between belief and disbelief.  I've always felt I need to embrace both states in order to even begin to understand them.  But, of course, I could be totally deluding myself.

I should also mention that I don't work with the Wiccan goddess, or any gods at all, so maybe comparing it to what the OP mentions is apples and oranges.

Brina

 Might not have been the best post to quote, but it was the one that triggered my thought process. Mark Twain once presented a theory that nothing exists. We are all just disembodied souls floating in a vacuum, and what we perceive as reality is only an illusion. Sorta like the movie The Matrix. So the real question is how do we know any thing is real? Through our senses? Those can be fooled, but they are all that we have. So I think the test must be the same, if it seems real then it is real.
"Don\'t take life too seriously, or you\'ll never get out of it alive." (Bugs Bunny)

monsnoleedra

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2012, 11:18:05 pm »
Quote from: Chausette;52072
Maybe I should clarify a bit - I haven't been trying to work with the Wiccan Goddess, but rather the Greek Goddess Artemis. I had been meditating and thought of arrows and the forest and a lot of other things commonly associated with Artemis, and since then I've been trying to contact her, but when I get answers or anything else it feels forced, like I'm trying to speak for her.

Am I just rushing this or trying too hard to contact her? I feel a very strong draw towards her.


When I read this over I get reminded of food.  I like Pizza, like it quite a bit infact and one might say I am drawn to it as a meal.  Yet Pizza does not like me at all.  I know if I eat it I had better take the appropriate acid killers and such before hand or I am going to be hurting because of it.  Even then I will still hurt in my stomach, have acid indigestion for days, sleepless nights and other assortment of things.  All simply because as much as I like it and am drawn to it, if it were an aware thing it would tell me it doesn't want me.  Heck perhaps cause as much trouble as possible till I got the message and left it alone.

I'm 53 years old and have followed and been sworn to Artemis since I was about 9 years old when she told me "I'm Artemis and your mine!"  Perhaps different for others but with me Artemis has always been all or nothing.  People about me have tried to contact her and she's been as silent as the grave, other's wanted nothing to do with her and she didn't give them that option.

How do you know its real?  I think that varries from person to person truthfuly.  I have no doubt that Artemis was real when that deer stood face to face with me so long ago and I heard the woman's voice.  My son is positive she is real for one day as we talked about her a cloud came over the mountain shaped like a woman who was flying, all he could say was "Dad, she's here with us now look up behind us!"  Sure enough that same cloud followed us for a good 40 minutes as we drove through the mountains and talked.  My wife knows she's real to me because we were talking about it and she said show me, got the mail and there was something with Artemis on it.  Yet that is what real was to me.

Yet in truth we never really know what is real and what is imagination or supposed syncronicity where we think we have a connection to make it real.  In part it's all faith in not only ourselves but our beliefs and willingness to believe in those gods / goddesses we call upon and honor in our hearts and in our physical actions.

I have doubts.  I have periods where I strongly wonder where the cat headed women I encountered Bast and Pahket or was it really Artemis showing a new mask as she was the one who led me to those ladies.  Heck in some ways I still wonder about it.  I spent many years trying to figure out just who Hekate / Hecate was before I finally figured it out and knew in my heart and spirit who she was as I knew upon paper and page who she was finally.

The one I call the Huntsman I know is real but have no idea who he is.  Because of that my faith and deep belief in him does waiver.  Then I find him again and now for that moment he is real but still I seek his identity that I may know for sure who and what he is beyond my troubled beliefs.  It's like I am drawn and curius about Poseidon and wonder if he is not the one I call the Huntsman but still the doubt is there and I can not say for sure, even in my heart.  Yet I find I am compelled to do searchs on Poseidon and keep returning to his coins with a desire to obtain them like I do for Artemis and Hekate / Hecate.

In my heart of hearts I know they are real and to me that is all I need.  Doesn't matter if others believe or disbelieve for my faith and beliefs are not depended upon them or thier acceptance or recognization of my beliefs.  That I think is when and how you know its real.

For if you don't believe then none of it is real no matter what is said, shown or revealed to you.  Yet one might say just because you have a leaning towards something doesn't mean it will return that or make it real to you.  A living, breathing person will not like you simply because you like or are drawn to them no matter how much you desire it.  To me those I am honor bound to and sworn to are living breathing people but I also accept that there are other's who I might notice or think I am interested in who won't give me the time of day no matter how much I call to them or look to them.
 
But in the end only you can know for sure.

Chausette

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2012, 03:09:34 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;52177
When I read this over I get reminded of food.  I like Pizza, like it quite a bit infact and one might say I am drawn to it as a meal.  Yet Pizza does not like me at all.  I know if I eat it I had better take the appropriate acid killers and such before hand or I am going to be hurting because of it.  Even then I will still hurt in my stomach, have acid indigestion for days, sleepless nights and other assortment of things.  All simply because as much as I like it and am drawn to it, if it were an aware thing it would tell me it doesn't want me.  Heck perhaps cause as much trouble as possible till I got the message and left it alone.

I'm 53 years old and have followed and been sworn to Artemis since I was about 9 years old when she told me "I'm Artemis and your mine!"  Perhaps different for others but with me Artemis has always been all or nothing.  People about me have tried to contact her and she's been as silent as the grave, other's wanted nothing to do with her and she didn't give them that option.

How do you know its real?  I think that varries from person to person truthfuly.  I have no doubt that Artemis was real when that deer stood face to face with me so long ago and I heard the woman's voice.  My son is positive she is real for one day as we talked about her a cloud came over the mountain shaped like a woman who was flying, all he could say was "Dad, she's here with us now look up behind us!"  Sure enough that same cloud followed us for a good 40 minutes as we drove through the mountains and talked.  My wife knows she's real to me because we were talking about it and she said show me, got the mail and there was something with Artemis on it.  Yet that is what real was to me.

 
This post helped me quite a bit. I guess just because I feel a strong draw towards her doesn't mean it's the same from her to me. But, should I keep trying? If she's very "all or nothing", I don't want to keep trying for no reason, but I don't want to give up on her too early either.

monsnoleedra

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2012, 01:21:52 pm »
Quote from: Chausette;52206
This post helped me quite a bit. I guess just because I feel a strong draw towards her doesn't mean it's the same from her to me. But, should I keep trying? If she's very "all or nothing", I don't want to keep trying for no reason, but I don't want to give up on her too early either.


The best I can advise on this is with a situation that occured to me.

I had a friend that was a follower of Kali's.  He prayed to her each day, made offerings, (Jappas I think is what he called them) the whole nine yards.  Yet only on rare instances did he actually sense her or hear her.  With Hekate / Hecate's permission Kali used me as her Hollow Bone or Talking Stick to speak to him.

As such I started to get all these walking visions and dreams of things and told to pass them to him.  Eventually he realized the issue was he was trying so hard to hear her that he actually tuned her out in the process. He had decided the what, where and how of communications with her to the point where it didn't match so he was sure it wasn't her.

That may be your issue.  You are trying to force something and dictating in your own mind the what, where and how she will speak to you.  In some ways almost to the point where you can't see the forest because the tree's are getting in the way.

The other thing I would consider is that you may be equating the persona of Artemis as used by another goddess who acts like her in some capacity.  It's like Artemis is equated to Potnia Theron (Mistress of Animals) yet she is not the only one.  Hera also holds that recongization in places for instance, Artumes of Etruscian history is also equated to Artemis as Potnia Theron to even include the associations with Deer.

So your seeing an idea or activity and equate it to Artemis but its only a reflection of her but could be pointing to another.  Perhaps even to the extent its actually Diana who is calling but you see Artemis.  Other's will say they are one in the same but I had Artemis tell me twice that they were not in no uncertain terms so I have to say they are different.

Sharysa

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 09:08:48 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;52244
That may be your issue.  You are trying to force something and dictating in your own mind the what, where and how she will speak to you.  In some ways almost to the point where you can't see the forest because the tree's are getting in the way.

This.

Being too specific results in not seeing the options that are trying to present themselves; you could be getting a call from Athena or Dionysus, but you're so bent on hearing from Artemis that you don't notice them. I think maybe you're just suffering a case of over-eagerness. Keep the eagerness, but remember to open your mind to ANY sign you could be getting, not just the ones you want to see from the deity you want to hear from.

Ironically enough, I was a would-be follower of Artemis when I was younger--and then the Morrigan from the Irish pantheon whacked me upside the head and told me to follow her. Being twelve/thirteen at the time, it took me a year to make my decision because I was scared that shitless of her, but I did and I regret nothing.

Just goes to show how weird things can turn out.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:16:58 pm by Sharysa »
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Teigue

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 09:34:34 pm »
Quote from: Sharysa;52611
This.

Ironically enough, I was a would-be follower of Artemis when I was younger--and then the Morrigan from the Irish pantheon whacked me upside the head and told me to follow her. Being twelve/thirteen at the time, it took me a year to make my decision because I was scared that shitless of her, but I did and I regret nothing.

Just goes to show how weird things can turn out.


I had similar experiences with Brigid.  How rare is it for a male to be first called by the goddess of hearth, healing and childbirth.  Though I look upon her as the lady of the forge (re: my avatar)

She's not as easy as some may think, she works me hard.  I know I still need tempering, then that edge.

I'd look into divination, open meditation and reading up on goddesses that are similar to Artemis that they might look to YOU to be her.

Keep an open mind and don't try so hard, sometimes it really does boil down to faith.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:38:57 pm by Teigue »

Elizabeth

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2012, 07:33:08 am »
Quote from: Chausette;51950

I have not read through this whole thread yet, so bear with me if I repeat something.

I've been struggling a lot with faith lately. The one thing that has helped me is FlameKeeping. There is a SIG on these forums if you are interested. It has helped me build a foundation for MY beliefs.

This is how I think of it. If I decide I want to begin lifting weights, I can't expect to start with 50, 20, or even 10. 5 or maybe even 3 lbs is what I must begin with. Religion/Faith/Beliefs are the same thing. I need a solid foundation. I need to know MY beliefs before I begin to look at a certain belief system. Once I am strong in my own beliefs, then I can add the beliefs of a belief system and not feel overwhelmed. I don't have to throw out the baby with the bath water, but only because FlameKeeping and the foundation it is helping me build.

I really would like to believe there is a Being with whom I can communicate. Who I can talk to in times of need and feel comfort and peace. But, the idea is so hard for my mind to grasp. I was raised Christian and told to believe so many things "just because." I was never taught to think about them, to reason with them, to grapple with them. Because of this, my mindset towards religion has been all or nothing. With the foundation I am building, I can realize I believe different things, and it is okay. I may not have the typical view of a God/dess or Being, but it is my own and I am comfortable with it.

I used to believe when I prayed, God was supposed to "speak" to me, clearly lead me to make a decision that would be good for me. I always heard Christians (and people of other religions) say they felt peace and comfort from their Being. I never felt that and wondered if something was wrong with me. Then I realized, my brain just can't wrap around the idea of a Being looking down at me and being separate from my world. I am a pantheist, and while some may disagree, I believe pantheism CAN co-exist with polytheism, monotheism, etc. It is just a different view of God/dess than others have, but that is okay. It helps me feel a little less foolish (not saying others are foolish, just that I felt foolish because I couldn't distinguish real/unreal). I still struggle sometimes with whether the things I believe are real, but for now, they make me a better person. They bring me peace and keep me sane. If that changes in the future, so will my beliefs.

I hope this wasn't seen as rambling and is somewhat helpful. I am not trying to push FlameKeeping/Pantheism on you. I am just trying to say that there are different ways of looking at something, such as how you perceive God.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 07:37:42 am by Elizabeth »
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“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” - Neil Gaiman

Elizabeth

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2012, 07:55:16 am »
Quote from: Chausette;51950



One more thing I would like to add. Even if my communications with the Divine aren't real, I still come to a solution that leaves me feeling peaceful. If the Divine is all in my head, then at least believing Something is there helps me to reason things out loud for myself.

If that makes any sense whatsoever.
Quote
“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” - Neil Gaiman

Morphidae

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2012, 03:14:25 pm »
Quote from: Elizabeth;53381
I've been struggling a lot with faith lately.


I've been struggling a lot too. I finally decided to "fake it until I make it." What do I WANT my spiritual life to look look like? If I really believed in the Divine, how would my relationship look with It? How would my day be structured if it was one of faith? When would I connect with the Divine?  How would I connect with the Divine?

After much thought, research and prayerful asking, I've chosen a deity to work with. Call Her a "temporary patron." I'll be creating a small shrine. I have a reminder that pops up every hour to remind me to "check in." I have committed to a certain amount of research each day, etc.

In a year, I'll reevaluate.

monsnoleedra

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2012, 05:08:14 pm »
Quote from: Morphidae;53420
.. After much thought, research and prayerful asking, I've chosen a deity to work with. Call Her a "temporary patron." I'll be creating a small shrine. I have a reminder that pops up every hour to remind me to "check in." I have committed to a certain amount of research each day, etc.

In a year, I'll reevaluate.


Again I can't speak for anyone other than myself but one facet I do know is that there is not a day that goes by that I do not research and seek info about them.  Sometimes it seem's a repeatitive pattern and nothing new is discovered other times it's like "Wow, How have I missed this all this time?"

It's like I had a new urge to seek Artemis through stamps.  Libia I discovered has some wonderful stamps of Artemis of Ephesus but they are known as Diana of Ephesus in the books.  Jordan has a series of Air Mail stamps that show the ruins of her Temple at Geresh.  Portugal has a set that shows one of her temples though it could also be Diana's.  Yet it's trully a search for you eitehr go through stamp guides page by page and read all the little print or hope that whomever posted something about them places Artemis in the name instead of just using Scott or Stanley Gibbons numbers.

Coins are an excellent guide to where temples, shrines and sanctuaries are to be found.  Even to how she is portrayed and understood.  It's like many are famliar with Diana Lucifera yet don't realize that Artemis also holds that name and its equated to her Chthonic role.  It's like on a number she is depicted with the dog, stag and her pulling an arrow yet it doesn't represent her role as huntress but her persona as the untamed wilderness and fields.  Yet in both capacities she is Artemis Agrotera.

For me once claimed it's a never ending urge to discover more and more about them.  Not just the Spiritual facet of it either as that seems almost beneath them when they speak or guide me.  It's almost as if knowing "Why" is the most important thing of all for when I know the why of it I can better understand the "Why Not!" of it.

Morphidae

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Re: How do you know it's real?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2012, 09:19:19 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;53433

It's like I had a new urge to seek Artemis through stamps.


That's a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing. Mine is Athena and I'll look for stamps and coins (I'm sure there will be some!) for the shrine.

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