Why is the paranormal so much easier to comprehend for witches and pagans than for others? I find it interesting that of all the people I have spoken to in the past, many, both witches, and non-magickal people, reported having experiences in their life that stood out as something considered beyond “normal” by most people. Obviously, the paranormal is something experienced by people regardless of their spiritual orientation. As such, why is it that people on pagan paths or paths of witchcraft are more accepting of these interactions with the paranormal than others are? Is it fear? Is it a belief that accepting the paranormal will devalue their spiritual path?
The very word, paranormal, brings different ideas to mind for different people. For some people paranormal happenings are outrageous occurrences that are unbelievable when they happen to others. Some claim to being confused or claim not to “remember” it when something paranormal happens to them. Some people even refuse to accept what happens to them, denying it after the fact. For other people paranormal things that occur are merely a step outside the norm of everyday life. Personally, I approach the “paranormal” in a linguistic light. After all, breaking down the word, paranormal, into its linguistic roots makes it easier to understand its actual meaning instead of relying on the meanings that Hollywood and popular modern novels try to impart via fiction.
Para – (prefix): meaning beside, near, to one side of, close to, and resembling.
Normal – (adjective): meaning usual, average, common, typical, natural, and regular.
Thus, we see that something that is paranormal is not some astounding feat of strangeness that strikes when we least expect it. It is merely an occurrence of something that not considered normal at this time, but explainable with greater knowledge of the world or universe around us. As we learn more through scientific inquiry and experimentation, will we discover that some of the things we currently consider as paranormal are, in fact, normal occurrences just more infrequent?
Perhaps paranormal occurrences are even frequent, but only detectable by certain individuals. Just as some people can follow higher mathematical functions and some cannot. Just as some people can understand scientific theories easily and some cannot. Just as some witches have a specific ability to divine that other witches do not. Perhaps some humans are attuned with certain vibrations within our world that others are not. When looking to science for explanations, we can fall back on the concepts behind supersymmetry, multiverses, and string theory for possible explanations. After all, if multiverses exist, or if the suspected 11 dimensions exist instead of only the four we may quantify currently, then perhaps a portion of what is seen as paranormal is actually nothing more than the interaction between the multiverses or dimension that are detected by some but not others.
There is no certainty that can be claimed about the paranormal other than some experience it regularly, some experience it occasionally, some claim not to believe in it even after experiencing it and some have never experienced it as far as they are aware.
For myself, I have had experiences that have forced me to believe in things rarely seen or not understood currently. It began with the dark specter in my home while I was growing up, experiences with loved ones who are gone from this earth and even the experiences during magickal practices with others and alone. Where I once did not want to believe what was happening, I now have no other choice. Not only have I found peace by accepting that things are not always as they seem, but also find comfort in the fact that I am not the only one who experiences the mysterious paranormal that so confounds expectations, at times.
Growing up I was told that such things did not exist, so when they happened I doubted my sanity and myself. I wondered what was wrong with me that I could see things that others could not. Why could I feel things that no one else felt? I was so vehemently discouraged from believing in things that were paranormal; I have never even spoken to my own siblings about them. I do not know if they, too, felt or saw the dark presence that lived in that bedroom.
As one of six siblings, that room, originally used for my three brothers in the beginning, was frightening. I will never know if the dark energy was already there when we moved into it. Things happened that should not have in that room. I stayed in that room until I was 18, out of high school, and could escape. I never liked the room. It no longer exists in the house today. Two years after I moved out, the house received a glancing blow from a tornado, then, flooded the same night with torrential rains, so my parents rebuilt it and that room was converted. Part of the room is now a laundry room and the rest added the living room to increase its size.
The wall separating the two halves is exactly in line with where the figure of the dark specter liked to stand. I do not know if he survived the stripping away of the old and the rebuilding, as everything was removed down to the wooden frame inside the bricks. Portions of the frame itself were removed, though not where he used to stand. I hope that he is completely gone, if not, then trapped in the new wall in some fashion. I only know that when I moved back into the house briefly for 10 weeks after Azrael crossed over that I did not feel that specter. At that time, I could not stay in the house we shared when Az crossed, but the only paranormal occurrences that the boys and I felt during those weeks were the visits from our beloved Az who visited and soothed us as best he could in that terrible time.
After so many experiences of my own, I can understand the paranormal and accept it in ways that others do not seem able. It may be one of the reasons that witchcraft makes sense to me. The acceptance of the paranormal and practice of witchcraft seem to go hand-in-hand in my life. It makes me wonder if this is not the reason that the practice of witchcraft and witches is on the rise. Are more people becoming witches because the frequency of paranormal experiences is on the rise, or are more people being born who experience the paranormal and, as such, are drawn to become witches?