Ok, so I'm setting off on a journey to research the egyptian deity Thoth. That's my homework (assigned by the school of Hard Knox ;))
Speaking of... where do you go for research when there's something you want to know about a deity (and you allready tried the direct method)... what sorts of info do you write down in your BOS if you keep deity info there?
Also... when you try the "direct" method, how do the answers come?
Scarlet, if you've tried the direct method (internet) and found nothing, try the book store in the mythology section... There are a lot of great books there on deities etc.. Hear me though, those types of books get really expensive real fast.. Why?, I have no clue but, my last one I paid 65.00 for it. Check amazon for used ones, that might help, also, used book stores are great steals.
I agree with the college library thing. The bigger the college, the better the probability that you'll find the really good "arcane" tidbits that help you make connections and get the whole "light bulb over the head" effect.
As for online resources, Wikipedia is actually fairly good- now hear me out on that, please.
The actual articles are exactly what they are meant to be....general outlines of the actual subject. Good enough for supporting online opinions and such. However, the real treasure trove is actually at the very bottom...where everyone just zones out.
There, you'll find the external links to other "accredited" (and I use the term loosely) websites, but you'll also find a bibliography of the WRITTEN work used to back up the article. At the very least, you'll be given everything you need to research the matter in depth...which is what anyone should do if they're choosing "signposts" for mapping out their path.
What goes in my Book of Shadows? Well, I'm not wicca or a classical witch so I don't have one, but I do keep journals and blogs. The journals keep all the pertinent dreams/visions insights, as well as the questions that "jump out at me". The reason I like blogs is because some, like WordPress, allow great amounts of categorization, have great tools for blog migration (taking things from Myspace, Ning, LiveJournal and so on) and transferring it all straight across). Another good trick is to get free discussion board space. The security settings are much more comprehensive, and the use of the board architecture in "charting connectivity" is a huge help.
What do I write?
Similarities of symbols, how they "move". If it involves a diety, I try and get all the aspect s of that diety...how it evolved through time and social/economic feedback of the various cultures and time periods it appears in.
I know... I guess I'm just trying to figure out how do I locate the ones that are most valid... I'll get bizarre entries about the elmerald tablet and other sci-fi references to Him or I'll find a myth where He's mentioned once in periphery, but it doesnt' say anything about Him.
It's getting a tad frustrating.
The only reason you get references to the Emerald Tablet is because Thoth was considered one of the three major incarnations of Hermes. So, you might have been referred to that book because it might be nice for you to know what that triple aspected God was famous for (I guarantee he was not known for science fiction :)
Scarlet, I've never tried to connect to a deity, but I would assume it's pretty much the same process as when I connect with my spirit guides. The key is deep meditation which is sometimes hard to achieve, but once there you can call upon the deity and just let what happens happen. Once the connection is made it becomes easier and easier to reconnect. The biggest problem you'll have is you'll try to convince yourself it's all your imagination. Perhaps sometimes it is. But sometimes the visions are just too detailed to be anything I myself could have imagined.
Why would it be "impertinent" to approach a deity directly???!
"As Above, So Below" means that (along with many other interpretations) we are part of that Divine, so we are equal to them. We work with them, not for them. We are Divinity in human form. The human body is frail and incapable of holding all that power personally, so we call upon those deities still in the Spiritual form of the Divine to access their unlimited power.
As for how are direct answers received, I'm sure its different for everyone. For me, personally, a thought will "pop" in my head that was too clearly received to have been my own. It wasn't a thought generated by myself, but one that just "appeared".
Most thoughts have a process to get to that point, sometimes direct, sometimes rambling, until it reaches its "conclusion". Kind of like walking a path to a destination. These aren't like that. They're just suddenly there.
I have actually heard a voice on a few occasions. THAT is really disconcerting. It didn't frighten me, but I was sure stunned for a few moments!
Start by talking to them as you would anyone else - I have conversations aloud and silently all the time. At some point you will receive your answer, audibly or symbolically or as a thought or some other manner that will be suitable for you. You'll be surprised at how quickly they'll respond - because they're finally being listened to and for!
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"...LOL! I know, sounds lame, huh? LOL! Sometimes the answers come in ways we least expect...and often question. My policy is to trust your instincts and insights. If you're drawn to the library, internet seach engines, whatever...fine! But if 'inner journeying' is where you're being drawn...that's cool too. We each experience what we seek in different ways. Go with your gut....it's your guide as much as any external data. (at least that's been the case for me, each to his own, of course!)