Arizona is not known for it’s earthquakes. In fact, Arizona is probably not known for much in terms of natural disasters. However, earlier this month, Arizona had the pleasure of experiencing 3 earthquakes in one night. Typically this isn’t something I’d bring up on this blog. TTR is about Kemeticism and astral tom foolery, not geology. However, as I sat in the dark looking for information on why my house felt like it had just done a small dance, I noticed something really interesting about people’s reactions that made me think about a rather common topic in paganism: people were questioning their discernment.
You see, I bring up the whole “Arizona is not known for earthquakes” because it’s rather relevant for this story. You’d think that an earthquake would be pretty easy to discern even if you’d never experienced one before, right? The ground moves. Everything on the ground moves with it. Sometimes your house makes noise. Sometimes pictures fall off the wall, or chandeliers shake. It’s pretty straightforward, right?
Apparently it’s not straightforward enough, because many Arizonans were questioning what exactly had happened to them- myself included.
Even though all of us had felt the ground move and knew that earthquakes and little else usually involve the ground moving, we were all scratching our heads going “did I get that right?”
This seems to be how it goes with the Unseen, too. So many times we seem to think that some stuff should be pretty easy to discern. “If I see this sign, then I’ll know for sure that this is real.” “If I experience this, then I’ll know for sure that this is real.”
But how many of us actually operate that way? How many times have we seen something smack us straight in the face, and we still deny it?
“Every single reading I’ve gotten has pointed to X, but I’m still not sure that it’s actually X.” “I had a vision about the thing, and then a dream about the thing, and then a reading about the thing, but I’m still not sold that I’ve got it right.”
It seems that questioning your experiences isn’t really something that only happens in the pagan community. Even for something as blatant as an earthquake, because Arizonans believe that “those things just don’t happen here”, many of us second guessed whether we had actually felt the ground move. The only reason I was looking up information online was because I really had a hard time believing that I had felt the ground move, that I had felt an earthquake happen (even though I know for a fact that they do happen here in the state).
Now imagine what that’s like for something less physical. Something a bit more nebulous and harder to prove one way or the other. It’s really no wonder so many of us have problems with discernment. And while this experience didn’t teach me how to discern better, it did teach me to be a little less hard on myself when trying to figure things out. It’s taught me to question ingrained ideas about what I consider to be “logical” or “within the possibility of being real”. And possibly even more importantly, it taught me that so many others question just like I do. It seems like a lot of people assume that people instantly assume anything they experience is real without a second thought. But as you can see in the screencaps above, that’s apparently not the case- even in mundane matters. So many of us question things that should be pretty obvious. So many of us struggle with discernment.
Discernment isn’t easy (probably for anyone), and this experience has definitely reminded me to be more patient with myself (and others) when I am trying to discern the “truth”out of something. I have to remind myself that questioning everything to death is more normal than most of us assume, and that there reaches a point where questioning is no longer doing anyone any benefit. Now if only discerning stuff from the Unseen was as easy as discerning an earthquake- then we’d be on to something!
For more information on how to fine tune your discernment, check out the FAQ.