If you follow this blog, you may have remembered Saturday's post, which I mentioned had to be edited in the middle of writing because half of what I thought I knew about my deities and the relationship that I had with them got turned on its head. Unfortunately, this happens! For all that spiritwork closes the gap between our world and the ethereal world, deities are still capricious beings, and it doesn't always serve them to give you the full story the first time that you ask for it. If - like me - you're prone to pushing your luck with a pendulum and find yourself faced with more questions than answers about your spiritual relationships, it's not the end of the world. (Probably. Does anyone have Ragnarök on their 2020 Bingo?) Here's my advice on how to deal with a deity turning your understanding of a situation or relationship upside-down.
But - you - ADSFGHKLDJKL--!
With that fresh out of my system, yes; sometimes, you just need to start with a good old button mash. Either literally (see above) or in the direction of a friend. If you're anything like me, sometimes having your beliefs shaken up sometimes just needs to be met head-on with a half hour or so of panic. Or drinking three and a half shots of apple pie moonshine. Or shouting in the direction of your pendulums while standing in the shower while you microwave eggos that you forgot to buy butter to go with. There's no shame in dealing with things by not dealing with things, so long as you eventually do deal with things. Yes. That made sense. Honest. What I'm trying to say is practice self-care first and foremost.
Playing Twenty Questions with Gods
Moving on to the more serious coping mechanisms, it's important - when a firmly held belief in your spiritwork (or any part of your practice or UPG) is thrown into question - to make sure that you're understanding the situation correctly. Ask your deities or spirits to clarify what they're saying in as much detail as you need to (without overwhelming yourself with answers). If you don't think you've worded a question right, ask it again another way. Weigh up the new information alongside what your instincts are telling you, and see if the two line up. In my experience if a deity really wants you to know, they'll meet you in the middle; more or less.
If you're confused or freaking out to the point where you don't trust your own intuition, this is where turning to your divination tools (or a trusted friend) can come in handy. For example, if you were communicating with a deity via pendulum and felt as though a yes/no question didn't give you enough information, you could try drawing a rune or two to clear up the brain-fog. If you were godphoning or astral-travelling and were given new information by one spirit, ask another spirit that you know and trust if they see the situation the same way. Note: It is important, when asking for a second opinion, to be 100% certain that you expect the third party to tell you the truth. Be wary of imposters who will tell you what you want to know. As in all spiritwork, use your brain.
Open Your Textbooks to Page 321...
Remember how in school, teachers would do that infuriating thing of making you study one way of understanding, say, the mitochondria of the cell, and then in the next grade they would say "forget what we taught you last year, here's the full story"? Well, sometimes deities do that, and you're left sitting bog-eyed at your desk, wondering what the point in buying last year's textbook was. I know it's nobody's idea of a good time, but sometimes you'll find the only way to make sense of a change is to do some homework.
Take, for example, my current conundrum: what do my gods mean when they say "fae"? A major part of figuring out that my deities were a) not who they said they were but also b) exactly who they said they were, but not what I thought they said they were - bear with me - was coming to the realisation that we weren't working with the same phrasebook. They told me what I needed to know, at the time, in the vocabulary that I had, and when they decided it was time for me to understand further they started trying to teach me a new language. I could tear my hair out and ask them to clarify, or I could do some reading. In my case, I pendulum'd myself out, so I'm going to hit my library for what the Norse had to say about the fae, and try to unlearn my British assumptions.
It's not insulting to your deities to want to do the homework yourself. Presumably, they had their reasons for not telling you the full story or telling you a half truth, but I personally find it very respectful to do what you can to understand what someone is telling you. Quite often, our deities are trying to teach us something, and like lecturers at school they'll feed us more information when they think we're ready for it. Meeting a deity in the middle means both sides have to do a little walking, and really; when is learning something new ever truly a bad thing?
The Beginning is the End is the Beginning
Finally, here's the bitter pill. Finding out that you've misunderstood a deity relationship, or that the relationship is not what you took it to be, or that your deities haven't been entirely honest with you, can sometimes be a deal-breaker. And that's alright, too. You're allowed to take a step back, look at a situation or relationship without the old fog of war, and decide that it doesn't work for you after all. If this is how you feel after discerning, assessing and better understanding the update to your knowledge, then you're faced with two options: end the relationship, or reach a compromise.
If you're not willing to have the relationship evolve the way they want it to or the reveal is not something you're comfortable with, speak up. Boundaries in spiritwork are so very, very important and just because deities hold more power in a relationship doesn't mean they can bully you into doing things their way. And if they're not willing or able to work with you - or the new understanding of the relationship makes you uncomfortable or triggers you or the like - you can respectfully (or rudely, if they ask for it) bow out and say "thanks for the time we had". Or, depending on the situation, ask for the space that you need to work it out.
Changes can be big. If you went your whole life thinking 2+2=4 only to find out that you're meant to be counting in base three so 2+2=11, you're going to be a little bit thrown. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself the time and space to readjust to the new status quo. Grill your deities, your books or your tarot cards for answers. And in the end, make sure that the next steps you take on your spiritwork and identity journey are healthy ones.