I saw a post recently on Tumblr in which the original poster was making an attempt to list what sorts of magic/energy work/etc. skills, techniques, etc., ought to be considered basic, intermediate, and advanced. Some of it seemed reasonable, but there was plenty there that really made no sense to me (talking to deities: on the advanced list; ummmm why? that was my first basic step, and I know that’s also true for lots of other people). I suppose there are a LOT of ways people can take their first step into witchy/pagan ventures, and thus a lot of ways to go from Beginner to Advanced, but at any rate, it got me thinking about what sort of progress I’ve made over the last five years. Because it’s been five years and change since I set out the door, literally, to try out this polytheism thing, and WELL. It’s brought a lot of other things with it.
But I can’t say I feel like I’m an advanced anything.
I feel pretty confident and comfortable with how my relationships with my Spouses are (“pretty confident” is not the same as “100%”). So there’s definitely been advancement there!
My divination skills are way better than they used to be; I’m pretty comfortable reading cards intuitively vs strictly by-the-book, though sometimes I do turn to the book when I feel stumped. I’m also comfortable just pulling cards as needed, rather than needing the structure of a spread to answer questions; lots of spirit communication happens this way – pull cards and lay them out as needed.
I’ve also started to learn Lenormand and geomancy in the last year. Those are both fun! Lenormand is something of a challenge because it isn’t supposed to be read intuitively, and memorizing the cards’ meanings, and how to relate them to each other in spreads, is kind of slow going.
I’ve never done much witchcraft or other forms of magic, so my skills there are, like, whatever. LOL. Ad hoc, and I’ve no idea how successful they’ve been (for some of the things I’ve worked on, I seemed to get results, but how can I tell if that was truly my doing).
One of my biggest frustrations has been the seeming lack of advancement of my visionary skills, or perhaps only minimal improvement. I learned real early on how to “daydream” and let that become the platform for an encounter/communication with a god/other spirit, but while that is a SUPER USEFUL technique, 99% of the time that feels less “real” and vivid than most of my regular old dreams. (Not that the encounters themselves feel unreal; they are plenty real, sometimes VERY VERY IMPACTFUL, they are just mostly in black and white, and lack some of the other details I experience in real dreams.)
Part of my frustration comes from the fact that various Powers have done things to me that apparently were supposed to improve some of my “communication” skills, but I’ve never noticed any immediate change. Perhaps it’s something that, for me, requires lots of adjustments over a long period for there to BE a noticeable difference? I should ask.
I have noticed, in the last year, an increase in the number of not-really-dreams I’ve had during my first few hours asleep in which spirits who are not Loki have been showing up and communicating/interacting with me. Is this because something about my skills have changed, or did some other barrier get shifted?
I’ve also noticed that certain dreams in the last year have been WAY more vivid in particular ways than those types of dreams ever used to be. But again, I’m not sure why.
I haven’t been putting much into trying to improve a lot of skills, either. So much of my energy has been burned up just with my (now former) job, and trying to survive, that even contemplating doing more stuff – trance techniques, whatever – felt exhausting. And, you know, what I’ve been able to do seems like it’s been plenty good for what I’ve needed to do, so I haven’t had a lot of motivation to put more effort into any of it.
A total noob I am not, but I also don’t really give a shit if I’m considered “intermediate” or “advanced” or whatever.
I’m also curious about what the next few months or year might bring. Pretty sure some of it may qualify as “advanced” or something (terrific, just what I need). Last fall, the Plant Powers, and some Others, indicated there were some fairly significant tasks and roles They’d like me to take on. Some of this stuff seems like it requires a lot more responsibility than I’ve had for the previous years. I’m sure it will be fine, I just need to figure out what it is. I love plants, so I said I would, and then – typical spirits – They basically stopped talking about it except to indicate more would come when certain other conditions were met.
Some of those conditions seemed to be related to material aspects of my life, and those have undergone some major changes, and are about to undergo more. I left my job near the end of winter, due to being super awfully burned out, and have spent the last few months recovering my physical and mental stamina and considering my next move.
I also realized about a month ago that I need to move out of this city, and NOT to another city, to a much more rural environment in Central Oregon. The landscape there has taken hold of my heart several times in the last few years, some of the spirits told me a couple years ago They wanted me “home,” and now is apparently the time. It hasn’t been an easy realization. I’ve built a life for myself here over the last four years and had hopes and expectations to continue building on some of that. I thought I’d have more years here; as much as I want to be out there, the impending change has been hard to cope with at times.
I am not going back to another fucking desk job. I cannot. (If need required it, I’d temp again, but only that.) There is work I want to do, in a place I love, and these things seem maybe kinda more-than-slightly related to Plant sorts of concerns, so I suppose I’ll get more info from Them about these tasks once I’ve made the move and gotten going with my new life.
It will also be great to be living in a place that feels good, and relaxing, in a way that I can’t find in densely-built places. I’m hoping for further recuperation, and along with that, more involvement with my spirits and the work They have in mind. Might even finally learn what They’ve been slowly working me up to!