Speaking with the Gods
When I was just a kid, I remember my Grandma keeping various candles about the house that she used for different purposes. One was in the shape of a five-pointed star and was green. This was her money candle. These early memories must have influenced me because I’ve always been attracted to candle magic. I enjoy the choice of color, scent, and shape. When developing my own rituals for communicating with deities, candles were a natural choice.
Jay's Starting Technique
The first step is to choose an entity that you wish to speak with. It can be a God, Goddess, or nature spirit. I won't go into communicating with the spirits of deceased humans in this article. Once you have selected your subject of interest, do some research on them. Find their associated symbols, read and familiarize yourself with stories about them, even look for related art. Really get familiar with them, and get your mind tuned to their essence.
For this technique we'll use a slightly ritualistic approach with candle magic. Find a candle that you feel represents the deity you are going to communicate with. Try and find a color, smell, shape or size that reminds you of the deity's attributes. For instance, I think of Manannan as a storm god, so I chose a black candle that had a very masculine and mysterious scent to it. The shape didn't matter to me as much and so I chose something practical, but it can be helpful symbolism to chose a 3-sided candle for communicating with a triple-aspect goddess and so forth.
Once you have the candle, it's good to add some personal touches to its appearance to give it more importance. This can be done by carving a symbol representing the god or goddess into the candle. If you are unsure what symbol to use, there are plenty of books that cover this topic, or you can try searching for information on the internet. If the deity correlates with one of the planets, you can use the astrological symbol. In addition to symbols, you can attach plants and herbs or surround the candle's base in a wreath of them. A decorative holder can also be used, such as a shining gold base for a sun god, a shallow bowl filled with water for those water related, etc… Stones, earth, feathers, you name it! Make the candle special with whatever feels right to you and has a strong personalized connection to the spirit you want to speak with.
With the candle prepared, the next step is to imbue it with the energy of your will and desire. This process can be started while you are working on decorating the candle. Think about what you know of their history, their nature, and what you hope to gain by speaking with them. Feel the energy pouring out of your hands as you work on the candle. Do this at a time when you are feeling an appropriate level of enthusiasm. Give the candle your full focus, making sure distractions don't take you away from the task. This candle is an expression of your willpower to communicate with a higher entity, and a vessel for your personal energy. It may seem like a lot of work, but this is something you will be using over and over again. I personally feel it lends extra power to the candle the more times you use it.
The second step is to plan a good a time and place to make the connection. For Manannan, since I didn't live near the ocean at the time, I chose to communicate during a storm. Likewise, working with a moon deity is best in view of the moon at night, and a nature deity could be contacted in the woods. For some situations you'll have to create your own environment. For fire deities, you could try it in front of a fireplace or in a dark room lit by a lot of small candles. The idea is to make you feel closer to the element of that God/Goddess, and to put you in an appropriately mystical mood. It's not a requirement that you be near a like element at all, only a suggestion to help increase the conductivity. Of course it is also always sensible to find a place or time you won't be disturbed during the process.
Once your candle is ready and everything is in place, simply sit there for a while and calm yourself. Get all distracting thoughts out of the way (as much as any human can expect to) and get comfortable. If you want to be in a chair, on the floor, or standing, do it. Go with whatever feels right in this situation. As you light the candle in front of you, say the deity's name out loud like a mantra. Elongate the syllables and really feel the name. "Maa-naan-naaan" or "Briiih-ghiid" etc. Repeat the name while willing the god or goddess to appear in front of you. Make your will and your call a friendly invitation and a hopeful request for conversation. Some people will see a visual signifier that a presence has entered the room, others will simply sense a shift in the rooms atmosphere. There isn't one key event used to signify that a deity has arrived. Sometimes they will speak first, other times they will enter and wait to be addressed. I usually sense a building of energy in front of me as the deity enters the room. When this build-up stabilizes is when I attempt to converse.
This is the hardest part to describe, as it may be different depending on the person. When I communicate with a deity or spirit, I often speak out loud. If you choose to speak out loud, also be sure to "think" what you are saying loudly. Make sure that as you are saying the words, you are also thinking of those words and what they mean. As humans we have the amazing ability to speak while thinking of something totally unrelated at the same time. Try to maintain a balance of focus and relaxation. After you speak, immediately clear your mind of thought and listen for an answer. Be patient and be open. Some people receive communication in the form of images, others hear the voice respond in their mind, and some receive mental concepts in return. Feelings and ideas can be as effective as words, and you may want to try communicating with those as well. Likewise if you relate to images stronger than words, try communicating by sending images to the god. Experiment and find the method that works best.
I recommend your first communication with the deity to be an introduction and a statement of purpose. Much like when you approach someone in person, introduce yourself and let them know why you're talking to them. Tell them about yourself while also expressing interest in who you are speaking to. Maintain a cordial tone and be respectful until you know who you're speaking to better. It is very possible to have a casual relationship with a deity but in the beginning I highly recommend keeping things more reserved. After introductions are out of the way, wing it. Respond to what they say or move the conversation toward your goal.
For some people, success will be instant. For others practice is needed. I find that the more times you speak with a spirit or deity the easier it becomes to hear and communicate. Some people become comfortable enough that they can communicate while walking in the woods or while driving to work. There will be days, no matter how often you practice, that your mind is too distracted or nervous, so don't give up and don't let failure get you down! The rewards out weigh the effort by tenfold!
Advance Spirit Bonding Technique
Before we begin with the advanced technique, I'd like to say that this is potentially dangerous. In spite of this I feel comfortable publishing it for two reasons: 1. Too many magic and occult books shy away from anything potentially unsafe or risky, which is somewhat dishonest. There are dangers on the astral plane, from immoral magic users in the form of psychic attack, and negative nature elementals. That's a fact any active occultist will have to face someday. 2. Not everyone is going to be able to apply this technique, as it requires some amount of experience and skill. If a newbie is able to do this, then their natural gift will hopefully help them deal with the results.
This is more than just communicating with a God. It is sharing your physical body; being a host for the deity's spirit or soul. Making one's body available to an outside energy is the basis of channeling, and in my experience there are two levels of this process. The most extreme version of channeling has the host completely leave his body so that another entity can inhabit it. This is not only the most dangerous but also the least useful to the experiencer. Classically in this situation a second person is required to interact with the channeled spirit as the body's true soul is pushed or displaced to a different location during the session. If you were to attempt this on your own, you would remember only fragments at best.
What I am teaching here allows a very temporary coexistence within your body. Your soul still fully inhabits its vessel and the god or goddess overlaps parts of your soul while partially occupying your body. Let me simply go over a typical session's requirements and events and I'll expand on this concept as I do. This should of course be done with an entity you have communicated with frequently and one with which you share a close bond of trust.
I strongly advise doing the advanced communication technique in a well shielded area that you have done magic in previously. Be at your most comfortable and secluded. Ask anyone in your home not to disturb you no matter the reason, turn off your phone, etc. Do whatever you usually do to get yourself into a trance like state. (Incense, dark room, music, whatever.) Call the deity you wish to attempt this with as you always do. You of course want to discuss this idea with the god or spirit as they may be unwilling or unable. I only say unable because of the large range in spirit or deity type, although I believe most all types are capable of this. Once the event is agreed upon, a shift in your will is required. This may vary depending on the type of psychic self defense you have. If you keep shields around you to keep out all outside energy types, you will of course have to lower these or alter their intention. If you have them you know how to do this. Next, one needs to become fully aware of his or her spiritual energies. Quiet your mind and feel the shape of your astral body and the energy that infuses your physical being. Feel the flow of energy and lightly part it in front of your body as if you were opening a door. Mentally/verbally say: "It is my will that (name) enter and share my body." If you want to alter this sentence to have preset limitations (such as "..my body for the next 20 minutes") it is fine of course, although you may want to question why you have a trust issue. Let the deity's energy flow into you. Don't feel like you have to react to it, simply let it be. You won't have to combine your energy with that of the god, they should be able to flow over and around each other without mixing.
The experience at this point will vary depending on who or what you are communicating with. The first thing I always feel is very strong energy flowing into my body. This may be gradual, or it may be very quick. It is the entity merging with your body. Because of the size and strength of most deities, the whole of their essence will not fill your body completely. Only a portion of it will, and the rest will surround your body. My awareness increases dramatically at this point and my perception is very different. Senses like taste, sound, and smell will be most apparently different. An odd combination of divine experience and physical sensations overlap at the same time. Knowledge can be shared very quickly in this mode, although each entity should have control over what knowledge is imparted. The potential at this point is up to you and who you are dealing with. The mutual benefits should be obvious. The energy overflow from having multiple souls in one body, especially one being a deity, is too much to handle for an extended amount of time. If this is the first time you've attempted this, you may want to keep it short. Use your own judgment with this. Go by your gut, and if you feel like you should quit or it is getting to be overwhelming, just stop.
The separation process for me has always been a communication to the deity that it is time to stop and the energies have always willfully been withdrawn. Another reason to only do this with a trusted entity that you have worked with many, many times before. Reshield yourself as necessary. You should find yourself feeling very energetic when this experience is over.
Question and Answer section:
Q. I'm hearing a response when I try to communicate, but how do I know that it's not me answering my own questions? -or- Are the voices in my head coming from the inside or the outside?
A. Sometimes we question if the conversation we're hearing is self created. For me it often feels too strong and different from my own thoughts to be doubted. Other times it may seem too much like, and may even be, inner dialog. You'll reach a point where you'll know you are speaking to someone else because you'll learn things you didn't already know, and get answers to your question that you never would have expected. Sometimes you want to hear an answer so badly your inner-self offers up an answer and blocks out the deity. This is normal. Just clear your mind, take a deep breath, and sharpen your focus. I think a healthy dose of skepticism is great, but a friend of mine advises to simply not worry too much about it and press on. With practice you'll know for sure.
Other times our inner-voice offers up an answer because it should be listened to. More than once, while asking for advice, I have found that I already knew the answer before the question was finished. This is good too, and shows us in our busy world how little we take time out to quietly do some soul searching.
Q. I've tried speaking with (insert deity name here) many times now and never with any success. What am I doing wrong?
A. You may want to try a different technique than mine, or change any technique so that it works better for you personally. Also, you may want to attempt speaking with a different deity. You will find you have better connections with some more than others because of their nature and your own. Just like people in your work place and in your family, it's simply easier to talk to some people than others.
Some deities are also more person friendly than others. Some don't feel the need to communicate with humans, or are very selective. Most seem to enjoy it, and welcome the opportunity. You may want to make sure you are making your attempt with respect. Commanding a god or goddess to appear isn't very effective or cool.
Q. Isn't speaking to God or whatever a sign of insanity?
A. Ah yes, this classic idea springs from stories of mad bombers and murderers who were commanded by God to commit such heinous acts. My first response is to point out that even if someone told you to kidnap a bus full of nuns, you'd have to be really nuts to simply say: "Okay. Sure, I'll get right on that."
Aside from that, no it doesn't mean you're crazy. Pagans, Hindus, some Christian groups, and many other religions have some sort of way to communicate with god.
A pinch of skepticism is good, so if you hear something scary or crazy, by all means dismiss it. If the whole topic makes you too uncomfortable, simply don't do it. If it makes you feel better, they say that really insane people are too crazy to question their own sanity.