How Do I Know It’s Not All In My Head?

One of the most common questions that comes up in discussions of deities, angels, and spirit communication is, “How do I know that these messages are really coming from an outside source and not from my own imagination? How do I know it’s not all in my head?

I try to keep Harry Potter references to a minimum on this blog. I really do. And 99.9% of the time, Harry Potter is NOT an accurate representation of what real witchcraft/magick is like. But I hope y’all will allow me this one quote, because it’s too perfect to pass up:

“‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry. ‘Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?’
‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’”

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Our minds are the lens through which we view and interpret the world around us, including the world of spirit. Our minds are us. They house our personalities, our beliefs, our fears and our desires. And they play a key role in our spiritual development.

In The Gospel of Mary, a work of Christian apocrypha with Gnostic and Platonist influences, Mary Magdalene has a vision of the ascended Jesus. Mary asks Jesus which part of her self is “seeing” this vision: her soul or her spirit? Jesus answers, “A person does not see with the soul or with the spirit. Rather the mind, which exists between the two, sees the vision.”

Anyone who practices meditation or pathworking probably already knows this from personal experience. When you are deep in a pathworking (a mental journey performed in a meditative state) or a guided meditation, you are using your imagination like a stepladder to reach some sort of spiritual revelation that you wouldn’t be able to grasp in your normal, waking life. And while yes, technically the meditation is happening “in your head,” that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or that you aren’t connecting with outside entities (like deities, angels, and spirit guides) while in that meditative state.

So, instead of asking “How do I know it’s not all in my head?” maybe a better question would be, “How do I know I’m really connecting with an outside entity?”

The simple answer? Ask for their credentials.

I’m being 100% serious. A real deity, ancestor, spirit guide, or other spiritual being with good intentions will have absolutely no problem proving themselves to you. They’ll be able to tell you things you would have no way of knowing, or they may send you physical signs and synchronicities. If you’re a natural medium or someone who does a lot of work with spiritual entities (be they gods, angels, faeries, ancestors, or somewhere in between), make a habit of asking for a sign to validate your experience every time you connect with a new entity.  

Always. Ask. For. Proof.

Sometimes, the sign is incredibly simple and straightforward. For example, one of my spirit guides is an ancestor who died before I was born. When she first started communicating with me, I had a very clear mental image of what she looked like, even though I had never seen any photos of her or had her described to me. Later I spoke to a relative who knew this ancestor in life, and was able to confirm that she looked exactly like the vision I had received, down to the way she styled her hair and the type of clothes she wore.

Other times, your guides may have a little more fun with the method they choose to prove themselves. Recently, I connected with Archangel Raphael during a meditation. I haven’t really worked with Raphael in the past and wasn’t familiar with his presence, so I asked for a sign to validate our meeting. He told me, “Look for a tree in bloom. That will be your sign.”

Here’s the thing: It’s late August, and spring is long gone in my corner of the globe. Most of the flowering trees in my area have long since shed their blooms. Most of the foliage around my house this time of year is either bright green or a dehydrated brown. But maybe Raphael wasn’t being so literal. I figured maybe I’d see a flowering tree in a movie or a painting or something.

On my commute to work that day, I noticed 47 trees in bloom. FORTY. SEVEN.

I did some research, and most of the trees I saw that day were the same species: crepe myrtle. This tree doesn’t bloom until late summer. There had been a big thunderstorm in my area the night before my meditation, and it seemed to be just the push the myrtles needed to release their blooms. Everywhere I looked that day, I saw these big, beautiful clusters of bright pink flowers.

I think Raphael may have been showing off a little.

And that’s the thing: our guides like sending us signs. They like connecting with us, and they want us to be comfortable and confident in our relationships with them. They aren’t going to look down on you for needing proof of their presence, and there’s really no reason to be afraid to ask. Most of them are more than happy to show you what they can do, and the way in which they send their signs may reveal a deeper insight into their personalities and senses of humor. (I once had Archangel Uriel send me a sign in the form of an ugly Christmas sweater, and it’s become a running joke between me and my partner that Odin sends ravens and crows to check in at random and occasionally inconvenient times. And yes, having an in-joke with the god of war and prophecy does feel incredibly cool.)

Asking for signs also invites your guides to take a more active role in your everyday life, which can really help in developing a closer relationship with them. This helps us (or at least me) to feel more comfortable calling on them… which in turn makes their job way easier. It’s a win-win situation, really.

So next time you’re not sure whether you’re receiving divine revelation or just having a really weird daydream, ask. Your guides will be more than happy to provide the validation you need.

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