Thursday, November 17, 2016

Do Not Seek Validation

Very often in Facebook groups dedicated to certain gods or paths I see the same questions repeatedly. “Has anyone had [the deity] inspire you to…?” or “Has anyone ever felt this after praying to the [deity]?” These questions are understandable. We have a human need to be validated. We have a need to be connected to others through our experiences. These things bring deeply needed comfort.

The problem is asking these questions to large quantities of random people on the internet will always yield the same answer. If I asked in one of those groups if anyone has seen Hecate with a blue monkey on her shoulder and standing on a turtle someone would say yes. That is not validation. If I said has anyone said has anyone seen Her as a young blonde with deep blue eyes (a common vision of Her) many people would say yes. Again, this is not a confirmation, even when it is completely accurate. The problem is that there is no way to distinguished who is ‘connected’ and who is a well-meaning newb. Worse, self-appointed teachers seeking their own validation as ‘wise’ or ‘knowing’ or whatever will make sure to paint their answer to validate themselves while the seeker sees validation of their own work.

Validation comes when you are not looking.

There was a time when I was first being introduced to One whom I called “The Helpful Deity.” I had many visions of Her and sought to learn more about her. I passed on all the Llewellyn books and purple websites. I picked up some scholarly works which I find boringly necessary. In those books I kept finding historical descriptions of Her that reflected the symbolism I perceived perfectly. I even recalled Her telling me something that I read later as a direct quote from an ancient devotee. There was no way that I had come across that quote before as I had no interest in Hecate and certainly no interests that would reveal such an obscure quote. The difference there is I know no one validated my experience to be nice and supportive. No one had to spin my experience into something outside the original context to figure out how it may relate Her and no one that had different experiences had the chance to tell me that I was delusional.

There is very little more damaging than having a valid experience and having someone that one is foolish enough to believe tell you that you are out of your mind. Even if you are completely crackers a statement like that is almost never helpful. There are much better ways to guide a seeker than telling them they are a thousand miles off the mark or accidentally validating some wild perception.

Another form of validation is comes completely from without. Lately I have been approaching La Santa Muerte, aka Holy Death. She has answered some prayers and in return I have lit a light for Her. That has literally been the extent of our relationship. 

Last Sunday on the disc golf course I was approached by a fellow golfer. Last summer I had given him an old disc golf cart that needed more repairs than I was willing to invest. He was quite grateful. Yesterday out of the blue he gave me a disc that was too heavy for him to throw. The disc was stamped with an image of death wielding a scythe (one of her symbols). This did not yield an overwhelming sense of connection. We do not have that sort of relationship and likely never will. The experience was more along the lines of "I recognize you".

Why did she recognize me? Because I asked the Lady of Holy Death to kill aspects of myself that I was holding onto that I did not need. When she did I did not fight Her by hanging on. I was grateful. In truth, I still have those traits as each prayer was to kill a part of me for that day. This does not build a deep relationship. It forms a relationship a little like a friendly acquaintance.   

Had the relationship been deeper someone may have given me a statue of Her unbidden. Perhaps I would have a waking vision of Her standing outside my office door. Like all things there are levels and it is up to the practitioner to determine the meaning.

Another form of validation is inner change. With Hecate she directly and obviously healed my obsession by showing me how to rid myself of the astral gunk that encased my being. She showed me the gunk and gave me the power to push my physical finger into it. The gunk stuck to my finger. She told me to run my finger along a cyclone fence. The gunk would stick to that and as I walked pull from my body. I witnessed this directly, and I could immediately tell the difference. It took quite while repeating this exercise before I healed enough to change me.

Shared experience can be another form of validation. That is more likely to come from compatriots that experience the same visions in a shared ritual than random people on internet groups.

I am not making an exhaustive list here of every form of validation. This post is merely to point out one that I feel is particularly less than useful and toss in some examples of other ways this can happen. 

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