Don't believe something just because it was told to you by someone who has been at it longer.
Don't believe something just because it was printed in a book or magazine.
Don't believe something just because your family has been doing it that way as long as anyone can remember.
Don't believe something just because someone took the time to blog about it. Including me.
Believe your instincts.
Believe your true personal gnosis.
Believe your dreams from the Gates of Horn.
Believe your ability to determine Truth for yourself.
Remember that truth is a matter of perspective.
Remember that magic is a matter of will.
So why the hymn to questioning everything? A friend once complained that I question too much and should just go with the flow. My response was "then I'd be a Catholic." I'm a Libra, and true to my sign, I like to debate things ad nauseum- not a confrontational type of debate, I mean wherein you examine the pros, cons, virtues and vices of a person, place, thing, or thought. Especially when it comes to religious traditions, and what people call Truth.
An example from today:
I was chatting with a friend about a ritual they recently attended wherein the Archangels were called in the quarters in a certain way. I asked why they were called that way and felt compelled to point out that my question was inquisitive, not incredulous. I wanted to know the reasoning behind the placement so I could understand their perspective and see their truth.
It's not that I think my Truth is superior to the Truth of anyone else (well I do, otherwise it wouldn't be my truth, but for the sake of clarity, let's just take the previous statement as fact), but when something disagrees with my perspective, it can irritate. I want to see it from another way to be more comfortable with it- I want to experience this new way as truth for a moment and walk in their shoes. If it feels right (not often) then I can simply roll with it or visit it occasionally or adopt it as my own way of doing or thinking about it. Usually, I just try it on, it feels itchy and weird and I go back to my own perspective feeling more sure about it than before.
I think it's silly to call Raphael in the East and Gabriel in the West- it's going against their own symbolism: A fish in the east? A trumpet in the west? But Dion Fortune did it so many neo pagans and wiccans take it as fact. I don't agree with Ms. Fortune on many points, this one included, but I do on others. Anyway, I've done circles where this is how the Archangels have been called and I always ask why they call them this way. I've never been given a satisfactory answer until today. (It was called that way because of the terrain used for the ritual).
Granted, Archangels can be anywhere they please, we just assign them symbols and places to relate them to our own human minds and needs. HOWEVER! Be consistent! If you're going to call water in the west and creatures of water in the West, why aren't you calling the Archangel of healing who is holding a FISH in the west? A dollar to the person who can give me a satisfactory answer. But! Tonight isn't about a rant which won't solve anything.
In these 11 + months of daily blogging, I have questioned every day. I have questioned my perspective and opinions, what others hold as truth, where our beliefs and traditions come from, and so much more. I'm starting to look back at the broader themes which have surfaced throughout the year. The first one: Always question. You never learn anything by remaining silent for fear of asking something stupid. Never hold back a polite, sincere question because you're afraid you'll offend the person you're asking; If they are offended you know they're full of shit and can stop wasting your time with them.
That is the extent of my advice on the matter tonight.
If you have a question for me, want to call me on something, want to test your own perspective or get into a friendly debate about any topic, post it in the comments and let's get to it!