This is a topic that comes up again and again for people involved in mystical practices and experiences, magicians, witches, and pretty much every occultist and psychic out there: how can you tell the difference between daimons, deities, and your ego? I’ve blogged in the past on discernment and why it’s necessary, but how do you actually make sure that you’re not taken in by self deception? What steps do you take and what should you expect?
Here’s my list of things to do and/or look for:
- You won’t necessarily hear what you want to hear. This one is super important. Every occultist who has been told they’re the reincarnation of xyz famous magician, every mystic who is told they are “the Pythia”, or anything like that is more likely to be experiencing their ego than an actual daimon or deity. What you should be looking for is to be potentially challenged on what you think you already know, and not just be told what you want to hear and/or what will make you feel good.
- You will be challenged, and basically called on your crap. Any daimon or deity who has your best interests at heart is going to give you information you couldn’t otherwise have had access to, make you see things a different way, and force you to reevaluate strongly held beliefs if it benefits you to do so. This doesn’t mean that they will (or should) request that you do stuff that is either against your ethical standards and/or violates your personal boundaries, and this is also precisely the reason why you need to uphold strong boundaries. There will be beings you will encounter who are not remotely human and have a very different concept of what is acceptable than you do. This doesn’t make them bad or evil; they just come from a different culture and/or have a different perspective. You must be mindful enough to know what is genuinely assistance that brings you out of your comfort zone versus something which could harm you.
- You will need to challenge them in return. This doesn’t mean to be rude or demonstrate a lack of respect, but it does mean that you should expect to question them and uphold healthy standards and discernment. If they’re worth their salt, they will answer it and act accordingly. In my experience, most of the time they provide the proverbial ID without my having to question them, but some spirits may be more mercurial than others. Do no harm, but take no crap. Ask them to give you signs or otherwise provide information to demonstrate that they are who they claim they are. If they act like they’re dodging you on that, they’re either trying to mess with your head or it’s just your ego trying to assert itself.
- It’ll be about what they tell you, and how they tell you. Some daimons or deities will go out of their way to give you very valid information that you can verify or otherwise research in order to confirm that they are for real. Listen, pay attention, write down everything, no matter how unimportant it may seem. My own deities do not demand blind faith from me; you should expect no less from any other spirit.
- If you are energy sensitive, pay attention to how they feel coming in. This may be harder for new occultists than others, but is a useful skill despite being more subjective than obtaining information. Do you feel a presence? What does it feel like? Do you sense anything from the daimon in question? Do you get images, sensations? Or do you feel like you’re talking to an empty room? Real talk: I typically wake myself up in dreams and realize that I’m dreaming when I don’t get any energetic feedback from someone I’m talking to in the dream, and that’s when I realize that they’re not actually there and I’m dreaming. Talking to yourself will feel very different from talking with another being. This is where daily meditation practices come in handy and why they’re recommended to begin with: learning how to calm down your mind and go in and out of trance states deliberately can aid one greatly in magical practice. Often times we are more psychically sensitive in a trance state than we are in waking consciousness, and it allows us to better perceive what is going on.
- Physical manifestation isn’t everything. If you’re good enough at mediumship, clairvoyance, or any other form of psychic ability to otherwise hear and perceive spirits, you don’t need to invoke any being into physical manifestation in order to prove that they’re real, nor will they need to provide you with any actual physical activity in order to do so. Failing that, there are various methods you can use including scrying, divination, or dream work.
- Don’t drive yourself crazy second guessing everything. Part of getting better with spirit work is learning to trust yourself and actively be involved in the process enough that you become better at determining when mistakes are made versus actual progress. It will come, but not by beating yourself up and losing your mind trying to figure everything out. Go with the flow, and it will happen.