Kit and I were having a conversation about the hard long hours that spiritual work entails. There is hard work and discipline required to attain a decent understanding of the mechanics of Spiritism and spiritual communication.
Since Kit is in the process of learning how to better communicate with his spirit guides, I have been sharing with him what I have learned over the years, it is a process of trial and error and it is very personal. However, we both agreed that things do not happen quickly.
Speed in manifestation is not exactly considered success for me. Particularly because who is to say that the energies, forces or spirits that are manifesting fast in a neophyte’s life are really what they seem to be. Spirits have their own agenda, most are adept at adapting and masking and when a person eager to learn about spirits shows along fresh and filled with energy…well that is equal to laying out a feast in front of a hoard of hungry homeless spirits. Anyone can show up for the meal…and abuse the host they will.
How does one protect themselves?
The Long Haul
There are some practical steps that are important. The first one is simple. Do not be greedy for success. Have a humble approach to the world of spirits, it is good to be curious and inquisitive, but it is better to be cautious and yes, skeptical as well.
Most people want things to happen quickly. They want to see spirits, become mediums, do readings, gain recognition, and some go into it because they want to make money doing consultations. The list of ambitious goals is long, trust me I have seen them all. Those who go for the instant gratification generally end up disappointed and usually give up. Spiritual work is not a sprint, it is a marathon. It is akin to learning a craft in a foreign language. Let me explain.
Say that you want to learn to cook. You are admitted at Cordon Bleu. You are on your way to Paris, however, you do not speak French…worse than that…you use the imperial system of measurements and not the metric system like the French do. Oh my, are you in for a treat.
See it this way, the practice of Spiritism is learning how to cook. Communication with spirits is learning the metric system as a language and working from the communications parameters you know.
In order to succeed navigating the system and establishing successful communications with spirits, it is important to learn to listen, take time to study and be open to adapt to a developed system without imposing your own perspectives or current practices onto it. If you are Wiccan, leave those ideas aside while you learn to work within the Spiritist frame of mind. Same I would say if you have another set of spiritual practices, be willing to set them aside and not let them be a filter in your learning process. One cannot drink coffee from a cup half-filled with orange juice.
If you take the Spiritist practice to heart, you will develop means of communications with your own spirit guides and it will become second nature to you. What are these means of communications? Here are a few: Prayers, using divination tools (pendulum, Spanish cards, dice, bones, tarot cards, scrying, rods, mirrors, water and candle, etc.).
Action Speaks Louder than Words
Most failures in life have commonalities, one of those is lack of planning. Before you can start to work on a communication system, there are things that need to come to play. Preparation is a must and so is having an action plan with goals and a timeline.
Consider including the following on your plan:
3. Daily meditation
4. Weekly cleansings
When it comes to goals consider defining them in attainable portions, this way you will actually motivate yourself through the process by taking baby steps and accomplishing them. There is nothing more frustrating than establishing a lofty goal and falling flat on your face because you can’t reach it. It has been useful to me to set short-term goals (those you can reach within 1 to 6 months) and long-term goals (those that take a year or more). Parallel to setting the goals is the process of defining what success looks like to you, particularly because success in spiritual development is extremely personal.
What is success to you compared to your goal?
Consider also that you will need to be your harshest critic. Be willing to analyze your progress with detachment and don’t wait until you are about to reach your goal’s deadline to assess your progress. If you evaluate progress at the mid-point of your self-established deadline you will have time to adjust and adapt and meet your goal.
How to measure spiritual progress?
It all depends on your goal. To give you an example. If you want to learn to still your mind during meditation then that is your goal. How long can you keep your thoughts from intruding the mental silence, well that would be a measure of your progress.
Daily meditation is very important when developing a spiritual regime. Most Spiritists recommend working on prayers at the boveda every day. It does not have to be an exhaustive process, 10 minutes well spent on prayers and opening up to the energies of your most elevated spirit guides should suffice. Now, the key is finding out who are those spirits. Remember I was talking earlier about communications, this is where listening comes to play. Address your spirits in earnest prayer and then quiet your thoughts and listen for the response. Maybe you will get it while working at your boveda, maybe you will get it in dreams or even messages delivered serendipitously by third parties. Be open to listen. The Universe rarely leaves prayers unanswered.
Just as important to progress as are the prior steps is considering a strong regime of baths, cleansings, nutrition and rest and keeping company with likeminded individuals who are actually progressing in their life. Cleansings and baths work. They will also be a means of communication with spirits if you ask them to guide your hands while preparing them.
Keeping track of your progress, goals, aspirations and inspirations while you meditate is crucial. Learn to record properly (date, astrological aspects, weather observations, what you ate that day, your mood) by taking as many details as you can down. Keep your notebooks because there will be recurring themes emerging and you want to pay attention to those patterns. Some like to keep a written journal (old fashioned notebook and pen—I like those) but some are partial to journaling on-line, you could consider a site like livejournal.com and keeping the pages private. I like that as well and to be honest, I keep both.
Finally, networking with individuals who are on the same path helps tremendously. If you are isolated from a Spiritist community, chances are you will rely on networking on-line. There is nothing wrong with that. However, in spiritual matters nothing substitute hands-on direct learning from others who know what they are doing and from sharing with peers who are going through the same process or learning stage.
I do hope you consider these ideas and put some of them in motion. If you have questions, drop me a note below and I will do my best to guide you.
Oní Yemayá Achagbá