On Being Pagan and Energy-Blind

I feel like I’ve written about this before somewhere, but I can’t find it if it exists at all, so you’ll just have to read about it again, because it’s on my mind. I feel like I might have discussed this in a broader post about magic, but I can’t be sure. In any case, have another post on it. I feel like this is kind of related to the whole godphone/lack of godphone thing, but not really the same thing? I think it’s all the godphone discussion lately that’s made me think about this, and all the work I’ve been doing with elements and whatnot.

I’m also going to post this one, and not just spend hours writing things like this, and then not posting them because reasons. I am terrible at that. I chicken out of posting things all the time, and I feel bad about it. I feel like I shouldn’t be censoring my own blog (except if it concerns stuff I legit can’t talk about). I know I need to work on this. But anyway. I digress.

Firstly, I can’t really do anything these days without Defining My Terms (thank you, Arts degree), so for the purposes of this discussion, I’m using ‘energy-blind’ to mean someone who doesn’t sense energy, or who can’t really feel it around them in a way that others are able to do. ‘Energy’ being not just elemental or magical stuff, but also gods and spirits etc. I don’t know if ‘energy-blind’ is the best way to describe this concept, but it’s what I’ll use. If you know of a better word, I’m all for it.

I’m going to come out and say that I rarely feel energy. The most I get is rare occurrences when gods turn up, and I can feel ~a presence~ nearby, though it’s usually nothing more than an indescribable change in the energy in the air around me. I’ve been like this my whole Pagan life, and there was always a part of me that felt it weird that I couldn’t sense energy, or work with energy in a magical sense, or anything like that. Crystals hold no perceptible energy for me; they’re just pretty shiny rocks, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve come to accept that I’m just one of those people who can’t sense energy, and probably never will. But it still occasionally makes me feel like I’m Doing It Wrong, because when I’m reading about magical or meditation exercises, or trying to do them, I always feel slightly incompetent when I’m sat there feeling nothing at all. I feel like I’m constantly at that stage of being a new Pagan where I’ve found a ritual in a book, and I’ve done my first ritual, and I’m just sat there going, well, now what? as I wonder if the damn thing even worked. I just can’t tell.

Divination can sort of help with this, if it’s a system/deck I’m competent with. I’m still working on the runes, which is the only divination set I have out at the moment. (I am still annoyed I packed ALL MY TAROT DECKS away. Good thinking, Sasha. Very well done. At least it’s forcing me to use the runes, and get to know them, so that’s something. But I digress.)

It’s this problem that makes me preference folk magic and assuming inherent magical properties, rather than needing to charge things. I can’t charge anything. I can’t sense any energy enough to feel like I’m doing anything other than holding a small bag of stuff in my hands, and warming it up. My visualisation skills are good for meditation and journeying, but not for sensing energy.

And none of this is necessarily a problem? I mean, the magic works the way I do it, so I can’t really find fault with it. Still don’t know how I’m meant to make amulets and talismans if I can’t charge the fuckers with the right sort of energy though. I mean, I feel I could competently learn to make them, and they’d be fine, but I think I would fail at the charging bit. And I haven’t figured out a way to compensate for that yet, if there is a way to compensate for it at all, save finding someone else to do that for me.

Sometimes, I think other polytheists or Pagans would probably go mad if they had to deal with the small amount of god contact that I have. Like, I don’t really feel like I’ve felt Their presence at all for two months now, maybe three? With perhaps a couple of nods from Woden, but that’s about it. I mean, I know They’re keeping an eye on me, because that’s what Sobek does. But I don’t expect Them to hang around all the time; I feel They have better things to do than hang about shadowing me. But I still turn up at shrine every day, and I still say my prayers, even if They’re not there.

I think I rely on faith and trust much more than others who can sense energy can, because I have nothing else. I have to trust in my magic, I have to trust in my gods. because that’s all I’ve got.

And, okay, so with the Season of the Seeker program, we’re getting into working with elemental energies now, and my inability to sense energy is hampering some of my work here. I don’t think it’s a hindrance, but it does mean I need to find other ways of doing things. Because, like, any exercise that assumes you should be able to sense energy is not going to work for me, because I can’t do that. I need to find another way into it, or I’m going to fail at it, and sit there in circle wondering wtf I’m doing, and whether I’ve achieved anything at all. (Not that I sit in circles for these at all.)

I feel like so much of the Pagan world works on the assumption you can sense energy, or can learn to sense energy, and I just don’t think I’m one of those people. And, y’know, I’ve tried. I’ve tried many techniques that are meant to open you up to these things, but none of them have ever worked. The best I get are the vague and rare energies of a handful of gods who turn up every now and then.

Perhaps I really am far, far too Earthy, and I’m a Geodude immune to electrical attacks. IDK. Sometimes I feel that way, that I’m made of rock, and energy just can’t penetrate it. I don’t have the right configuration of … whatever is necessary to sense energy. I feel like rock at the moment, though. I feel like I’m solid and heavy, and, well, dense. Grounded. Nothing moves through me or affects me. I mean, I can feel physical sensations and elements, but not energetic ones.

I don’t know if it affects my practice very much. I’ve learnt to stick with what works for me, so I’ve found some ways to compromise and work around my inability to work with energy. But of course not everything is like that, and I can only work with what I can do. If I can’t sense energy, then I don’t work with things that require it. So things like, energetic cleansing, shields and wards, grounding and centring, auras, chakras, channelling energy into objects, crystals and stones, etc.

I actually don’t know if there are others out there like me who can’t sense energy. I feel like there’s a pervasive assumption that it’s the norm, and I rarely see anyone saying they can’t do it outside of new Pagans just getting started. So I don’t even know if this is just a Me thing, or something that’s more pervasive, like the lack of a godphone thing.

Maybe that’s just how I am. IDK. I don’t know what it’s like to sense energy, though. I don’t know what it’s meant to feel like, or how it changes your perception of the world. For me, there’s nothing much to sense except gods. And, IDK, I figure, if I can only just manage to sense gods, perhaps other spirits and energies are too weak for me to sense. Perhaps they just vibrate at a frequency that’s outside my range. Maybe it’s like visualisation, and I’ve failed to find a method that works for me yet. I’m really not sure, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to know for sure.

12 thoughts on “On Being Pagan and Energy-Blind

  1. I learned that there are four very different ways to “sense” energy. One is through “seeing”, either with physical eyes or through visualisation. Another is through “feeling” which is what I think you mean by sensing. Another is through “hearing”, and the last through a sense of smell. Seeing and feeling seem to be the most common, but hearing and smelling are just as valid. Have you tried working with thise senses?

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard of those four, and tried all of them to varying degrees, but no results. Like I said, either I still haven’t found a method that works for me, or I’m just never going to be able to do it. *shrugs*

      1. Or maybe you’ll discover some new method when you’re busy doing something else. 🙂 That’s usually what happens.

        Have you tried using Runes to get some advice on how to sense and work with energy?

        1. Well, maybe. Or maybe it’ll never happen. I don’t know. I’m not really bothered either way, tbh. I’ve learnt to work without it.

          I haven’t asked the runes, though, no. I don’t feel I know them well enough to gauge the answer to a question like that.

  2. Sometimes I wish I was more grounded. It’s great that you’re finding ways to work around it. I think that’s why so many different methods exist, so that we can do what works best. The Doing It Wrong crowd seems to forget that.

  3. I struggle to sense energies in crystals, hit and miss . I find gods the easiest to sense. It can be frustrating when I try to charge things and can’t tell if it’s worked by feel. I have to just have confidence that it worked and luckily I haven’t been wrong yet.

  4. I can’t really sense very much here in the physical. The best I get is general feelings liek “I feel like someone is watching me”. I can feel my own energy, the stuff that flows through my body, but that’s about where it ends for me. That’s why a lot of my spirit work has next to nothing to do with this realm of existence, because I’m just not very good at seeing and hearing stuff here. I also wrote my guides to try and include people who can’t sense stuff very well because I know its a challenge.
    I personally think a lot of people convince themselves they are feeling things. I honestly believe that there are more people who are energy-blind than not, but alas. Being blind doesn’t seem to be cool, or people think it doesn’t get page views (I disagree, but alas).
    Fwiw, you’re not the only one. And while I have the ability to community with deities and non-physical entities over *there*, I can’t sense very much over *here*.

  5. I just found this, and I want you to know, I can absolutely relate. I’ve even used the phrase “energy-blind” to describe myself. I don’t talk about it much, because there are a lot of people in the Pagan community who can’t seem to believe that anyone would just not be able to sense energy, and I don’t want yet another helpful lecture about how I’m not trying hard enough.

    There are people who are physically blind, so why wouldn’t there be people who are psychically blind? Maybe it’s just one of those things that happen.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if energy-blindness is actually very common, and we just don’t run into it much because most energy-blind people assume that people who claim to sense energy are nuts, which leads to them not being Pagans.

    I do feel the gods sometimes, but I’ve always thought of gods as qualitatively different from the other stuff Pagans lump under “energy”. Gods can reach out and insert themselves into my perception if they want to.

      1. Yes, I am CoH too! We should totally be friends. 🙂 Feel free to email, if you like, if you want to chat: ibdjehutyATgmail.com 😀

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses that term. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. I also think it’s more common than some people assume, but I think there’s also a lot of assumptions going on, and that sense of Not Doing It Right if you can’t do it silences people.

      Once I got the whole meditation thing to work, once I grokked it as using the same techniques as writing stories in my head, then it worked. The gods come alive over there. But I rarely feel anything here, and tbh, I think I prefer it that way. I can dip in and see Them when I need to, rather than feel drowned in it all the time. But perhaps that’s the introvert in me coming out. 😛

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