Aphrodite, Devotions to Aphrodite, Paganism, Spiritual Growth

Dealing with Spiritual Doubt as a Pagan – Divine Synchronicity, Consistent Messages, and Doubts in Devotion

This is Part Three in a series about Dealing with Spiritual Doubt as a Pagan. Read Part One here and Part Two here!

There are two other factors that interweave with my Personal and Shared Spiritual Experiences that help to combat doubt: Divine Synchronicity and Consistent Messages.

Divine Synchronicity

This is the category under which I file things that just can’t be a coincidence. This can be anything from the mundane to the magickal. It can be the perfect timing of events, help showing up when you didn’t expect it, or those moments that just make you say “Of course!”

It can be reading a passage in a book, only to have the same situation happen to you later that day. It can be hearing a comment from a friend, that you didn’t know was advice at the time, but later turned out to be exactly what you needed to hear. It can be the impulse to call a family member, and finding out afterward that they really needed someone to talk to.

For me, divine synchronicity has ranged from witnessing five fantastical things before breakfast to quiet confirmation of a particular Deity’s presence. Most recently, I listened to a relationship podcast that I haven’t listened to in months, only to have a friend call me two hours later with a relationship problem that happened to be covered in the exact episode I listened to. Divine synchronicity has also manifested as a new spiritual opportunity that came along when I was feeling a bit stuck in my personal practice. 

Consistent Messages

Messages from the Divine can come in many forms: direct experience, conversations, visions, signs, dreams, and divination, to name a few. Sometimes when we receive a message, it can be difficult to sort out if it is from the Divine, our own subconscious, our fears, our intuition, or if we are just telling ourselves what we want to hear. One of the ways I combat this type of doubt is through consistent messages.

Sometimes Divine messages are “one and done.” You receive the message, and that’s it. No real follow-up. However, if I am looking for a bit more guidance, or if the message happens to be on an important topic, I will get the same message multiple times, or in a variety of ways.

This happens when you keep drawing the same tarot cards (or oracle cards) over and over again, even though you KNOW you shuffled the deck really well, and there are 72 cards in the deck, so the statistical odds of that happening are very low. This can also happen when you get consistent messages across multiple divinatory tools, such as different decks, a pendulum, or others. I’ve also had this occur with friends, where we each have our own individual spiritual experience and even conversations with different deities, but the same message comes through for several people.

If I am seeking confirmation or clarification about a particular message (say, one I received in a vision), I may look to other divinatory tools to help – actively seeking out those consistent messages. Other times, the consistent messages happen spontaneously. I’ll be drawing for what I think is a different question, only to have the same cards appear that were in my last drawing. 

Doubts in Devotion to Aphrodite

Earlier in my journey with Aphrodite, I would have doubts about my devotion to Her. Exploring a relationship with a new Goddess is a very experimental process. Sometimes the communication doesn’t quite line up. Sometimes prayers aren’t answered. Sometimes life throws you for a loop in ways that seem to counter your current spiritual path. Sometimes you just want to throw your arms in the air and scream “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” to the Divine.

 My belief in Aphrodite came from a combination of all of the things I’ve written about in this post and the preceding ones. It also came from so strongly believing in Her values and what She stands for. When the doubt would creep in and maybe I would think Aphrodite wasn’t real or I was making all this Pagan stuff up in my head, I would come back to Her values. Love is real. And I believe in the power of love. I believe in self-compassion and compassion for others. I believe in leaving the world a more beautiful place than I found it. In those moments, it didn’t really matter if Aphrodite was real or not – because I believed in what She stands for. My belief in Her inspires me to be a better person, to love others, and to love the planet. I love the qualities in myself that Aphrodite brings out. If the Gods affect your life in a positive way, focus on that. Focus on how believing in Them (even if there are doubts in that belief sometimes) helps you to grow as a person.

That, I think, is what has helped me the most with doubt.

These days, I don’t doubt that Aphrodite is real. There are times when I get fed up, sure. There are times where I can’t see the path forward. There are times when I’m exhausted and frustrated. But that doesn’t make Her any less real. My bond with Aphrodite has been forged with blood, sweat, and tears; with hours upon hours of meditation and spellcraft; with hundreds of prayers; with soul-baring rituals; with sensuous dance and sexual ecstasy; and with a sworn oath to serve as Her priestess.

I won’t say that all of my doubt magickally disappeared after my initiation, because it didn’t. But it helped. Knowing that I’ve made an oath to something, to Someone, bigger than myself, has changed my perspective, in both my spirituality and life in general. This work is not for the faint of heart. For me to be the best priestess I can be, I have to put my fears aside in order to let the Divine flow through. And in those incredible moments when that happens, there is no more room for doubt.

This is Part Three in a series about Dealing with Spiritual Doubt as a Pagan. Read Part One here and Part Two here!

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