Joined: 28 Jan 2011
|Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:20 am Post subject: Investigative Process
|One of the skills you'll need to hone when entering the world of the supernatural is the ability to properly investigate and find/verify information from your experiences or through others. This can be tricky to catch onto for some, but it comes to most in time. Without learning this, you are bound to have trouble determining fact from fiction, and real paranormal activity from imagination or hoax. I hope this post will help you form your own way of doing this, and keep in mind the steps involved and the process of these supernatural happenings should follow in line with your learning process; Don't start if you haven't gotten the basics down.
First, an important tool for everyone practitioner to have is a journal,log or book of shadows to record their experiences, findings and sources. Keeping track of these things will help you keep focus when you're stuck and need to recap. Recorded data is also essential to making sure no detail is overlooked because you can always go back to it. Make sections for dreams or visions, separate cases or events,helpful advice or conversations, and for spells/techniques you pick up or make along the way. And remember to put much detail and effort into it as possible, you never know what bits may be important later on. When an event you believe to have the potential to be "your kind of weird", start making notes. Record the date, location, lunar cycle, instincts and thoughts, and every detail you can find related to the people, places, time of the occurrence. Then check your sources and determine what you believe to be factual.
Now onto the business of source use and checking. When trying to figure out what is going on, I find it's best to take a scientific and unbiased approach. Don't try to jump to conclusions or contaminate your investigation with presumptions, and most certainly don't go into one wanting it to be, or trying to Make, it a paranormal case. Doing these things will influence you into trying to make your results fit your theory, when it should be the other way around. While the goal isn't exactly to "scientifically prove" your findings, you do want to be sure you stay on track and prove it to yourself. That said, you need to be honest and realistic with yourself and take precautions when interviewing possible witnesses and sources.
In the real world of the supernatural, it'll be quite unlikely for you to be in a situation where everyone is in the same room and Sees a spirit with their own eyes, being that spirits and energy are etheral and have no physical presence. That said, spirituality is an intensely personal experience, so to when another person enters the experience or investigation, they are a essentially a confirmation source, the person you turn to in an earthquake and ask "Did you feel that?" And while that is sufficient for that earthquakes, keeping your sources information pure is mandatory.
For example: Say you're trying to verify a possible spirit sighting or similar event, and that you or someone else has experienced it and you recorded the details of it and want to check another potential source. Now the easiest way would be to tell them everything you found and what it was like and see if it was like that for them. That, my friend is horribly wrong. Even if it is a person you trust, revealing information to a confirmation source can potentially influence their recollection or answer and is then unreliable. While on a personal level you may trust them, a contaminated source can later lead to doubt, which in a practice that can leave you uncertain of your own sanity from time to time, is not good. When you can have your sources and confirmation sources unbiased, you don't have to "think", you get to "Know", and in an investigation that's a big deal, so do your best to play your cards close to your chest, the less the source knows before the check is complete the better.
So now you've checked your sources and you've determined something is going down. This is the part where you'll be putting the information gathered together and figuring out what is what. For beginners this isn't always easy because you've never dealt with such things and are unsure of what is possible, but when you start making theories, remain open and don't rule anything out for good. Now you have your signs and symptoms, so it's time to do some research. This will require help from other investigators and practitioners who've been through or seen this, which you can find on groups such as this or through various texts and what not. The process of finding sources for this can be the most time consuming, but it is best to take into consideration all the input you are given or find and try to figure what they all seem to say. When you're comfortable with an explanation, put it to the test.
Now that you have your theory of what it most likely is, find out yourself. Get to the source whatever way possible and try to interact with it. For instance, in my first case I had gathered a lot of signs from my friends that pointed to a possible demon, hopping from person to person. When I put it all together into a sound theory, I went to my friend who I was working with and we provoked it. A usually frowned upon tactic, but it worked none the less. Using what we could, we found it to be quite dark and it matched the demon I faced as a child, though was different in some ways. I also reconsulted with my sources because I was new and they agreed pretty unanimously.
Lastly, resolve the case. If what you find is something good, you can then move to communicating with and learning from it and other spirits, depending on how well along your path and ready you are. But if the situation is one that needs fixed or dealt with, it can be tricky for each case. Whether it's an unruly spirit not at rest, a demon problem or something that won't play itself out, you have to decide on an action to take. As a beginner, you'll want to do what ever you can to take the least risk for the best solution you can. Learning banishing and protection techniques is pretty vital to this, as well as most your spiritual practice to prevent mishaps. Consulting your sources may be required if you cannot do it yourself, but with enough persistence you'll find your way to, though this requires resourcefulness and a strong will. But keep in mind, nothing is impossible.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes(The Sign of Four)