When I was a baby pagan witch, I had no idea what people meant when they said the gods or spirits speak to them. I’d never heard voices, either out loud or in my head. I didn’t understand what they meant until I experienced it myself. For me, it’s a lot like hearing my cat’s voice in my head.
We’re lucky if the gods answer our summon requests, especially if we’ve never worked with them before, or don’t work with them often. But if we’re lucky, the gods speak to us, first with their presences.
When I call upon with a deity, sometimes, I don’t feel anything at all. I keep at it, making regular offerings and waiting patiently. I tell them I appreciate them in a humble, loving way. Sometimes, nothing ever happens, and I stop calling upon them.
Then, there are times when I sense an energetic change in the room. I feel a powerful presence outside of myself. Things feels different somehow. I feel a variety of sensations, including chills, shivers, goosebumps, an electrified scalp, or a cool, otherworldly wind blowing across my body. Sometimes, I even catch a whiff of a strange aroma. Once, I felt energy pouring into my heart in serene waves—a sensation that rejuvenated me entirely.
But not all of the gods feel ‘safe.’ I’ve also felt raw fear in the presence of a powerful and wild goddess. When I accepted that I didn’t understand what she was, or how she existed, the fear left, and I was filled with love, respect, and awe.
Moments like these are special, and I cherish them. They don’t happen every day or in every ritual. It makes them all the more special when I do feel them.
A Soft Voice
I hear the gods and my beloved dead most often as a soft voice in my head. This sotto voce, or soft voice, is within my head, and is vastly different from my own voice. It comes unbidden. It has its own cadence of words that’s not similar to mine. I can even hear an accent sometimes. They usually tell me something I had no way of knowing.
Before you dismiss this as crazy or something you’ll never be able to do, think about whether you’ve ever talked with pets or other animals. Speaking with the gods and spirits is not unlike asking your cat or dog a question and knowing their answer, or hearing their voice in your head. If you’ve ever spoken out loud for your animal companion with an accent, bravo — you’re already doing this kind of communication!
The gods and spirits sometimes speak in non-verbal communication, too. There are times when they give me an intuitive nudge. Don’t go there, it says. Talk to that person.
I believe the natural world can connect with the gods and spirits more easily than we can. Yes, there are times when a butterfly is just a butterfly, but sometimes, it’s more. When the crow laughs with perfect timing, it reminds me to take myself less seriously. I take it as a sign from the divine.
This is the most amazing form in my opinion. Genuine experiences of this seem to be very rare. People rarely mention them.
I actually heard a voice speak out loud to me only once. I was walking in the middle of an wide open, empty field. The voice spoke as loudly and clearly as if they were right beside my ear. It was freaky. Whatever it was, it hasn’t been back.
How do the gods speak to you? Please share your story in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.