I believe the Gods are always speaking. We are bombarded with thousands of messages everyday. However they come, we need to be careful in reading these messages. I’m sure everyone can think of that one person on their life who everything can be attributed to magical things; the Divine is in constant contact with them. Well, this might be the case but more than likely, I think not. Before we jump to magical conclusions, I think we should evaluate messages and situations in our lives. Finally, for all the messages we do acknowledge in our lives, because we were primed by the outside world, another influence, or our past to see them: we miss thousands.
There are two kinds of messages: confirmations that come from ourselves and messages from the Divine. Now, messages from ourselves are not necessarily a bad. They’re necessary and a part of learning to listen to our intuition. We ought to better acknowledge when it comes from inside not outside. That song on the radio confirms something: but WHAT and who’s doing the choosing is important here. Why not the song that was on five minutes before – did it not speak a message to you? The first thing I evaluate when I receive a message is where is this coming from: myself or the outside. Confirmation bias is our own tendency to confirm information we already have been told. For example, on a mundane level if you really want to believe 9/11 was an inside job you will seek out evidence to support this theory and unconsciously not give evidence to the contrary a fair evaluation: you already have the truth. For a magical example: if you really want to believe what your coven leader says about a person, and they’ve said it enough, if you hear a song on the radio when you were going to call them that confirms the information that becomes a “sign.” Well – in my opinion, that’s not a sign from anyone but yourself. See, most signs don’t *confirm* what you already know. By their nature, signs and messages bring to light new information.
If you can determine that the message is not just your own unconscious trying to confirm something you’ve been told, the next step is to tell if the message comes from the Divine or your imagination. Most of the time, though messages are about us and our lives: “we” are not at the center of them. I’d say most things are beyond your control and basically NOT about you. Even when messages are coming to you about your daily or very personal parts of your life, they’re not about you. You are probably not being chosen for something special, required to do great feats, or whatever else. All of those “messages” are very Ego driven. Now, as a Pagan I don’t believe the Ego is bad – but I also believe that for spiritual and emotional maturity we need to learn to control it. Seeing around the Ego is an important skill for magical people to have. We can get lost in our Ego: “I can make it better,” “I can do better,” “I am chosen.” Honestly? Get real. “Messages” like that are most often not coming from the Divine but from our own Ego’s wish for gratification. Messages that say something specific about another are also suspect in my book as well, see that seems more like confirmation bias: messages usually speak to a situation and overall state of being, not characters.
What do you do if you have a message that isn’t you-centered or confirming information? Well, we choose where we take our messages from so we naturally have a tendency to choose “languages” we speak. For instance, I am familiar with Jungian psychology, the Western esoteric tradition, and Tarot. All of these systems provide a multitude of opportunity for the Divine to lay messages out for me. Why would the Divine pick a language I don’t speak? In my experience, it doesn’t. So if you have to stretch too far to figure it out, it probably wasn’t meant for you. All other things being equal, at that point, if I really truly feel this was important write whatever it was down in a journal and come back to it at a later date. Maybe years down the road, it will make sense: if not, it’s not a big deal.
When we do get messages from the Divine, we can and should take them when and where we can. However, I believe even Gods can be wrong. We are always in control of our own actions, up to and including interpreting messages. When we give up that control to another, be it an entity from another world or another person, we have committed a grave error. Remaining vigilant in our own personal reflections in how we receive information is an important step in spiritual maturity. Just as finding the messages is a skill, so too actually hearing them over our own psychic chatter.