25 October 2010

Shout-Outs and Quiz Results

"Shape Shifter" by Diane Elizabeth Stanely
I found some time this morning during my off-hours to catch up on some of the blogs I follow, and I’d like to highlight a few entries that caught my eye. First and foremost, I almost completely agree with Fire Lyte’s take on the current controversy over The Lost Abbey’s beer label. Read, think, then respond, people. It’s an attack on Catholicism, not Paganism. As always, Hecate’s beautiful writing brought an insightful wisdom to a topic I would have otherwise not even considered. And finally, I took a little quiz.

According to this quiz, I have psychic leanings in, well, pretty much every area of psychic-ness. Never thought that was a potentiality. In fact, having always associated psychic abilities with ESP and talking to spirits of the dead, I never thought I had any “psychic” leanings at all. Nevertheless, this quiz categorized other talents as parts of being psychic, so by their definitions, it made a little more sense. It was a neat little quiz, although I’d say it was definitely *not* without biases and potential for error. There was no accounting for how often these talents manifested, and of course, it’s impossible to eliminate quiz-taker bias. Basically, you read all the questions, and then recorded the number of the questions for which you answered yes, then there were explanations of the numbers you scored. I answered yes to all but three of the questions, but sometimes my “yes” was a qualified one, as in “once or twice I may have felt this way,” especially in those questions pertaining to medium/empathy. My results were as follows:

Empath: 3/5
Channeler: 4/4
Medium: 5/6
Shaman: 5/5

My personal practice has almost always leaned in a Shamanic direction, blending techniques from my various cultural heritages (to include Celtic, Germanic, and a smidgeon of Native American) and finding what works best for me. I love the smell of cedar and sage and sweetgrass, individually and in blends, and burning incense (particularly amber, although I use a lot of forest based scents, too) is integral to my entering trance states during meditation. I haven’t had a sufficient block of undisturbed time in a while to get into any good trances, and furthermore the burning of incense is generally discouraged in my building, so my next big adventure into Shamanism will likely wait until Samhain. In a nutshell, scoring 5/5 on all the Shaman questions was not a surprise to me. Based on the quiz’s definition of Channeling, I suppose I lean that way as well, especially since the definition closely corresponded with those talents I associate with an ability to employ Shamanic techniques. However, what really surprised me was scoring even at all in the Empath and Medium categories.

First of all, I’m not a particularly sensitive person. It kinda goes along with being more or less entirely self-absorbed…I don’t exactly tune in to others’ feelings very often or very well. That said, there are some individuals who I am innately linked with, and I can read their emotions from a mile off and be able to sense them instantly when they’re around. Thus, combining the quiz score—as the directions suggested, I answered all the questions based on my gut instincts and without thinking about it too much—with my sensitivity to certain people (my brothers, cousins, and some friends) leads me to believe that perhaps I do have some latent empathic abilities, but that at an early age, I built up walls to keep people out. Perhaps I built up too many walls, because I really do feel out of touch with most people’s motivations and emotions, but certain ones I can read like a book, and even feel their pain and sorrow and happiness almost as if it were my own. I do distinctly remember being a child and being overcome by emotions all the time; perhaps I was more empathic then, until I learned how to subconsciously guard myself, and then those guards became so integral to who I am now, that I forgot about them. That is, after all, the nature of the subconscious. This would also account for my ability to let those guards down with the people I trust, allowing me to trace their energies and emotions. I don’t even know how these guards drop, only that, perhaps, that’s the explanation for it.

As for my being a medium? Ok, once or twice I thought I saw a ghost, and deceased friends and relatives periodically reach out to me through dreams or when I’m meditating, and maybe once in a blue moon I’ll feel a presence near me apart from that of my familiars, guardians, and deities with whom I’m working. However, I’m far from The Sixth Sense, and I HIGHLY doubt that I could hold a successful séance or reach out to someone beyond the veil if they were not actively reaching out to me at the same time. Animals are generally drawn to me, not ghosts.

Regardless, it was definitely a neat quiz, and one I’d recommend taking mostly for fun rather than any serious method of discovering your talents. It did make me think a little more about what I can and cannot do, and areas I could explore more in depth; however, I feel that looking deep within yourself, your heart, your soul, is a much truer and more successful means of determining where your abilities and talents may lie. While you can use a quiz or questionnaire or similar method as a spring board for further thought, it certainly should not be the sole basis of your determination. Those are just my thoughts. Happy *almost* Samhain :)

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