There’s so much bullshit out there. Twin Flames hide abusive relationship dynamics and cultish thinking. The Secret and other money manifestation tools are a New Age cover for prosperity gospel. Appropriation of Native American traditions. Goddess spirituality that serves as a veil for old-fashioned gender roles with a heaping helping of transphobia. Dangerous cults. The list goes on.
And all of this bullshit promises to heal what ails you. They poke at your sore spots and promise a miracle cure to rid of them. They promise connection to the lonely, healing to the sick, transcendence for the hopeless. They promise it will be magical, rapturous, blissful. They promise it in glossy #unfiltered photos from some exotic destination. It is promised to you in breathless testimonials about how it-will-just-feel-so-good-you-just-have-to give them your email, sign up for their $5,000 course, release your ego, confront your shadow, meditate for hours on end, purify yourself by only eating an all-natural, specially-prepared scam diet. If only you had the free time and disposable income to travel to a remote sacred forest you, too, could be as aligned and ascended as the person in the photo above! Cue the *eye roll*.
It does make you roll your eyes, but it’s also exhausting. There’s is so much bullshit out there. And plenty of folks get taken in by it. It’s absolutely not their fault either. There’s so much bullshit, so much struggle in the world, and the scammers have gotten so very sophisticated and good at this game. The desire to find meaning and belonging and magic is strong. And when someone promises all of that and more, when you’re so inundated with aspirational messaging, it can be hard not to say yes.
It is somewhat emblematic of the kind of world we are living in, so suffused with the structures of capitalism, patriarchy and colonialism – the very things that separate people from connection, meaning, and magic – that the desire for the things these structures have taken from us can have us running right into the arms of a crass money-making scheme.
There’s so much bullshit in the spiritual realm. But that doesn’t make your desire for the magical and spiritual bullshit. Wanting magic, connection, healing, purpose, whatever it is that is calling you down a spiritual path is deeply human. And the fact that all this bullshit does happen and people still pursue this path emphasizes that this calling into divine relationship is a deep, deep human need that has been suppressed for far too long.
It is your right to walk this path. But how can you follow this path without being taken in by bullshit? You need a few things:
You need to be skeptical.
You need to trust your intuition.
And, most importantly:
You need to be in communication with the beyond.
Let’s talk about these a bit.
- You need to be skeptical. I put this one first because it is SO IMPORTANT. There are people out there who are spinning absolute bullshit, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. Believing in magic does not mean being credulous. Engaging with spirits or talking with the dead DOES NOT obligate you to believe every single spiritual claim that is made. So how do you practice skepticism in spiritual spaces? First, ask LOTS of questions, then ask questions of the answers. Ask an annoying amount of questions. Question your spirits, question your teachers, question own assumptions. Second, treat it all as an experiment. You’re a spiritual experimenter with a sample size of one. The marker of success for an experiment is, “Does it work without violating my autonomy, values, or harming others?”
- You need to trust your intuition. This one is complicated. If you’re just getting started you’ve probably spend years ignoring your intuition. And it’s important to know as you get started that you’re coming in with an impairment. If you don’t have a good check on what is right for you and if something’s bullshit (which is what your intuition does!) it will be much easier to get taken in by an alluring but misaligned thing. You’ll wanna get started building up your intuition ASAP! Check out a book like Keys to Perception (link) or start a daily(-ish) intuition practice. Let your intuition know you want to be able to connect to it. Ask it to show you what your intuition feels like, sounds like. Over time you’ll learn what how your intuition speaks to your. You’ll be able to tentatively begin to trust it, and over time you’ll build that trust.
- You need to be in communication with the beyond. No matter what your ultimate goal or calling is in the spiritual space – whether you want to heal, recover lost traditions, make magic, find meaning and connection – you will need to be in communication with the beyond. YOU, not someone else. Not a tarot reader or a spiritual medium, or a leader of some group. Your spiritual practice needs to rest on your communication and relationships with the beyond. If a teacher or a system or whatever doesn’t want you to cultivate your own skills for connecting with the beyond, what that is what you desire, it’s time to get very very skeptical and ask A LOT of hard questions!
If you’re ready to find connection, healing, transcendence, meaning, whatever it is that is calling you down the spiritual path and you wanna do it without bullshit that pulls you away from your own values and intuition, your skepticism + intuition + ability to communicate with the beyond will help you find your own path into spirituality and magic. Nurturing your connection to yourself through your skepticism and intuition, and building a strong community of spirit connections will help you avoid stuck in the muck along the road so that you can follow your spiritual or magical path.
Wanna hone your communication skills so that you can really get in connection with the beyond? Ancestor work is a great place to start! Your ancestors want to connect with you and want to help you navigate your path! If wanna get started with ancestor work here a few ways you can get started: Read all the entries in the ancestor work blog series (linked below)! Download the FREE Journal Your Ancestor Journey journal prompts to help you get started with your practice! Or book an ancestor tarot reading with me and get one-on-one guidance for beginning your ancestor work journey!
Other Posts in the Ancestor Work Series:
- Finding Magic and Healing Through Ancestor Work
- Ancestor Work Helps You Find Authentic Magic and Spiritual Practices
- Ancestor Work is Easy – 4 Steps to Building Community With Your
- How To Do Ancestor Work When Your Ancestors Were Assholes
- Destroying White Supremacy Through Ancestor Work: An Authentic Spirituality