Through my experiences over the years with groups and the pagan community, is encountering so many pagans who look for answers to fix the problems they face. Unfortunately, the teachings of the pagan religions tend to be lax on insight, providing more a recipe for fixing problems with a spell rather than looking deeper into the issues at hand.
Sometimes you need the bad experiences of life to strengthen your soul. Here are a few tips you don’t often find in the pagan books;
Do not look outside yourself for answers. All the answers to your questions and problems lie within you. Although at times outside influences can spark an answer, provide insight, or even smack you into the actualization; you have the answers already. Whatever your spiritual guide or power animal, tarot cards, or even scrying will reveal to you is what you already know inside. They provide a realization, not answers.
Do not presume to know answers for others. It really peeves me when I see pagans who believe they are empathetic enough to provide answers to someone else. Being able to sense another’s emotion doesn’t give you permission to spoon feed your enlightenment to another. In fact, if you were enlightened, you would present the ‘answer’ as a possible answer amid many others.
I’ve seen occasions where an individual needed desperately to go through a process in order to find their answers, to evolve, and just handing them over (your) answers like a prize not earned is both unfair and pompous. The spouse enduring a bad relationship needs to come the decision him/herself, to weigh that decision against needs and wants, and even to be open for possible fixing of the problem. The shy witch may need to go through various obstacles to discover the inner strength within, or the drunk needs rock bottom to find his way back up to the top.
Helping can, in fact, enable a person’s bad behavior or habits, rather than help in the end. Ask yourself if you’re really helping this person. Sometimes being a friend is enough, where you withhold your judgments and assure them that its okay to make mistakes now and then.
Don’t wallow in your misery. If you find yourself sharing with others all the health conditions and emotional issues you carry, then perhaps its not healing you’re after but pity. Are you hoping others can help you or are you looking for a way to excuse behavior?
I remember once a woman managed to snap at a group of drummers as she entered the room, teling them they shouldn’t wear rings and do this or that. I’m not sure what her intention was at the time, but she managed to alienate everyone in the room. When confronted with what she did, her excuse was that she was in a fight with her husband just before that. She wasn’t apologziing; she was giving excuses to her behavior. Instead of dealing with the issue of the fight with her spouse, she lashed out to people who had nothing to do with it, then expected them to forgive her for that behavior (despite her not being sorry let alone saying she was sorry).
Instead of focusing on the negative, look at the situation as a learning experience; that the problem is something to be solved, not endured. Lost your job? Maybe the next job will be better for you. Have health problems? Maybe its time to start taking care of yourself, to explore various healing methods, or look deep inside yourself that the illness manifests from some deeply ingrained emotion you haven’t comprehended yet.
Don’t expect a spell or prayer will get you out your mess. In fact, with many problems I’ve seen over the years that pagans are facing, it has more to do with some idiosyncrasy they have and refuse to overcome rather than the ‘powers that be’ having any influence. No amount of magick or prayer will fix that until they’re willing to move forward. If anything, the Divine/God/dess places situations to teach you, not fix your problems.
Take a moment to consider the problems you have in your life and consider how YOU are the main issue in them.
I can use myself as an example; I am a huge procrastinator which stems in fear. Where did this fear come from? How to overcome fears I’ve carried since childhood? It was, I discovered, a fear of failure stemming from the numerous times my family would point out my setbacks, labeling me as quitter or somehow lacking in this or that skill. No encouragement mind you, no words to help me figure out things for me, but the constant haranguing of what I did wrong. This soon developed into not wanting to do anything for fear of screwing my life up more than it had.
Now I realize it was ultimately me that was my biggest obstacle. Whatever reasons the fear started, I still picked it up and went with it. I’m an adult now. I can’t blame others for the fear I carry now. I have to choose to drop it, release it, or deny it, or however I wish to deal with that fear.
“Its okay to make mistakes” was one of Life’s most powerful lessons for me that I had to learn on my own through a process of mediation, reading books, talking to others, etc. Fortunately a series of serendipity kept hammering that idea into my head, and now it struck home. Wow, its okay to make mistakes.
You’d think such a lesson is basic and ‘everyone knows that’, but some of us don’t…or rather didn’t, and need to go through the process to get to that place. Its like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, where she had the ability to go home any time she wanted, but she needed the Journey to discover that for herself.