Healthy Skepticism, Research, & More Research


We often hear practioners in the spiritual and witch community tell those dipping their toes in the water to do their own research. But what does this entail? When entering into a path of spiritual nature, how does one balance metaphysical evidence and experiences with physical or scientific facts and findings? What happens when the two conflict?

Having a healthy amount of skepticism is extremely important when embarking on any such journey. It is easy to get swept up in the excitement signs, synchronicities, dreams, symbols, and intuitive nudgings, sometimes to the exclusion of science and logic. I believe anyone who hopes to take such a path seriously needs to be aware that you cannot ignore science when studying the metaphysical or paranormal - and these are some things I think need to be talked about more.

Meaningful Research - How is it Done?

It can be hard to find information on such topics, believe me, I know. I’ve been digging this rabbit hole for 16 years! The number of times I’ve ended up scrolling through reddit forums from 2013 about someone else’s particular experience are impossible to count. So here are some tips for finding information that seems impossible to get a grip on.

Cross referencing is your friend! Having one book on a topic and reading one article is not enough. Compare as many sources as possible when studying/learning about something. Sometimes, information varies, especially where the metaphysical is concerned…much of the available information is based off of old texts, stories, myths, and human experience and humans are what..FLAWED. Information gets warped, things get left out. Deep dive those reddit forums, find as many books as you can from different perspectives on a subject, and try to remain as unbiased as possible.

Join groups on facebook or other platforms with like minded people. The number of times I have found AMAZING book recommendations because I was snooping comment sections in a group is..well, you get the point. Nuggets of meaningful information are often found in the least likely of places.

In regards to deities, find out their other names. Many (if not most) deities have MULTIPLE names and appear as even totally different characters throughout history. Often these varying names can reveal totally different pieces of myths, stories, and information.

Talk to other practioners with similar interests. While not everyone is open to sharing personal details about their practice, most people are willing to offer up some books, sites or other sources of information you may have missed.

Look for a Logical Reason Before Jumping to A Metaphysical Conclusion

If it happens once or twice, it’s probably not a sign…if it happens three times, it’s probably a sign. This is one of many guidelines I give myself to ensure I don’t get swept away thinking a new deity is reaching out to me, when in reality, that dove feather on the ground was nothing but coincidence. Sometimes, things happen we can’t explain because we don’t understand the science behind it. It’s important to use logic and common sense.

Allow Room for Inevitable Human Error

I learned a lesson with dowsing rods recently. I bought the so called “divining rods” to communicate with spirits/deities, and neglected to research the scientific side of why they may be working. Google the term “ideomotor phenomenon” if you want to learn more. Essentially, the body is ALWAYS in motion even when it doesn’t seem like it. In summary I do not believe these rods contain any degree of accuracy for spirit communication. Sometimes, we read things from the perspective of someone who won in history, causing the loser to be portrayed as horrible and evil (more on this topic in later blog posts coming.) Anywhere humans are involved there is always room for error, we are imperfect beings and that is part of what makes us beautiful!

Divination is NOT as Great at Predicting the Future as People Think - and Here’s Why

Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s the idea that every decision we make, no matter how miniscule, changes the future indefinitely thereafter. This means that even if you were to divine your future, the second you have made up your mind about something, or acted in any sort of way, your future will change accordingly - regardless of any other options you may have had prior.

Free will is a thing that is given to us because we are meant to make our own choices. You should not base decisions off of divination in which the future changes at any moment. Tarot in particular is far more useful as a tool for shadow work and improving your relationships than for predicting the future. Instead of asking, “What does my future hold?” try asking, “What actions can I take in my present moment to benefit my highest good?” or “Which paths do I have before me and which would be the best to take in my present moment?” Keeping in mind this answer could change tomorrow based off of the decisions of you or anybody else involved in the situation.

When Doing Deity Work, Do NOT Blindly Follow Whatever You Are Told!

Deities, spirit guides, and divine beings will sometimes test us to see how gullible we are. Different divine beings will also give you entirely different advice. If you’ve asked two different members of your spirit team the same question and gotten a COMPLETELY different answer from both…what do you do then? You must think for yourself!

Our spirit team is not here to make decisions for us. That is our job as human beings with free will. We exist to make decisions, make mistakes, and through those mistakes, learn lessons to become even better humans. The divine knows this and will sometimes test you to see if you will think for yourself, or if you’ll blindly go with wherever you’re led like a sheep. Do not take everything a deity/guide says at face value. You have the right as a being of free will to accept, reject, or take advice in part or in whole, and you won’t be smited from the sky if you respectfully decline and go you’re own way.

Before You Ask Your Higher Self, First Ask If Your Higher Self is Evolved

Something I see new practioners do a lot with divination in particular is ask their “higher self” to answer so-and-so question. This line of thinking is flawed and I’ll share my perspective on why.

Unless your higher self is fully evolved as has the knowledge it needs to be your “higher self”, it’s actually just you in your current state. This means, if you ask your “higher self” if you should quit your job, but you’ve already decided to quit the job, the answer via divination will likely be yes - because you asked YOURSELF a question and got the answer you most wanted to hear.

Concepts of Buddhism and enlightenment illuminate why this is. You have to do so many things/learn so many things before you can attain that. Meaning your higher self is only as knowledgable as you are - this takes a life time or even multiple life times. So you cannot see multiple perspectives with this method, only your own and only so far as you have currently evolved.

When Emotionally Invested in an Outcome, Take a Step Back

Being emotionally invested in the outcome of any form of divination means it may not be accurate - to avoid this, have another person or even more than one do a non biased reading. Tarot and other divination tools can be influenced by your subconscious opinions, doubts, hopes, assuptions, etc. When using divination to gain knowledge on a situation, it is important to ask open ended questions based around what you can do to better the situation or make a decision rather than asking the cards to make a decision for you.

I hope these thoughts were helpful to some of you starting your journey, and I will be writing much more on tarot in particular in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

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