Though it seems like a contradiction, many Wiccans do not experience obvious magic or other mystical states. Understandably, no one wants to admit to being too mundane, earth-bound, or any other label that implies that we are not real Wiccans who walk around in continuous mystical state. So should we just work harder to force the magic? Give up? Or accept our inferior lot in life?
One of the most appealing things about Wicca is its emphasis on each Wiccan’s personal connection with magic and deity. Wiccans are expected to communicate directly with their patron gods and goddesses. Most religions expect you to interact with the divine through an ecclesiastical authority such as church, minister, or priest. Others emphasize the need for metaphysical intervention such as with saints, lwa, or ancestor spirits. But Wicca is built on an acceptance of personal mysticism. This includes the possibility that Wiccans may experience extensive psychic phenomena such as seeing ghosts, having visions, divining the future, accessing past lives, and casting spells with immediate and obvious results.
So what happens if you are a Wiccan who has never had a mystical experience? The gods have never spoken to you – not even a few cryptic lines in a dream. You try divination and are successful only fifty percent of the time. You have never glimpsed an aura or a ghost. When you attempt to practice witchcraft, the results from your spells are so open to interpretation that you feel you are fooling yourself. You might feel frustration, guilt, shame, and even desperation.
Meanwhile, your envy may intensify as you encounter other Wiccans who seem to live with one foot in a supernatural realm. Some claim to have such a close connection to their patron god that they are spouses or lovers. Others see portents and currents of psychic energy everywhere. Many speak of extensive exploration of past lives, or long meaningful conversations with spirit guides. Are these Wiccans faking it for competitive reasons? Are they completely deluded? Or is all this magical stuff really happening? And why isn’t it happening to Wiccans like you and me?
Believe me, I can relate to these questions. I have been studying Wicca and paganism for years – reading the right books, meditating, and observing the sabbats. However, I have never had a profound mystical experience. The gods have never spoken to me though I have always been drawn to Odin All-Father (or Wotan, as we Anglo-Saxons call him), and was even born on his day (Wednesday). When I hear about other Wiccans having a close connection with the gods, I sometimes I wonder if I am feeling the same way as most of the Carmelite nuns did, plodding along with their bookkeeping and chicken raising while living in the shadow of the great Spanish mystic Saint Teresa of Avila.
I wish I could offer reassurance that you and I will have a dramatic supernatural break-through someday, if we work hard enough. But I don’t know for sure. Opening up to the otherworldly realms is not something that we can force. For most of us, it might have to happen naturally in a state of pure relaxation. This means that we should probably let ourselves forget about it while concentrating on learning as much as we can about the Wiccan path. Meanwhile, our subconscious will be free to open to the mystical realms. Maybe the gods intend some of us to walk our Wiccan path, feeling alone amidst self-doubt, and we will never communicate directly with them. Maybe they know that we can develop the strongest and deepest faith of all Wiccans because we are not getting rewarded with obvious feedback from our efforts. Therefore, our faith has to be strong enough to guide us.
Try not to compare your own Wiccan path to anyone else’s or you may come to the false conclusion that you are doing something wrong, or even that you are not intuitive, psychic, or spiritual enough to be Wiccan. There are many ways to be Wiccan, and not every path is the path that gets the most publicity – the magical mystery tour. Your intuition guided you to Wicca for a reason. Until you feel in your heart that it is not right for you, you should practice Wicca with an open heart and an inquiring mind to find out not what marvels Wicca can show you, but how you can refine yourself through Wicca in order to help bring light to the world.
Buy True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit on Amazon.com. This terrific guide gives you fun, everyday ideas with which to open and strengthen all seven of your chakra energy-centers, including the third-eye chakra and crown chakra which help you to connect with psychic phenomena and the divine.
Buy Ordinary People As Monks & Mystics: Lifestyles for Spiritual Wholeness at Amazon.com. I love the emphasis on "ordinary people" who are not sequestered away from the world. Don't be scared by the word "monk." This book takes a general spiritual context rather than emphasizing a specific religion like Christianity or Buddhism. It's the only book I've read recently that examines the equally valid path of the non-mystical type (the monk) and the mystic.