The Importance of Metacognition in Witchcraft
When talking about witchcraft, paganism, any combination of the two, you often hear people talking about using discernment to help you determine the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ signs from gods, effects from spells, and divination among other things. But something that pays a heavy roll in that, which I don’t ever really see directly addressed, is the idea of metacognition.
Metacognition is “cognition about cognition”, “thinking about thinking”, “knowing about knowing”, becoming “aware of one’s awareness” and higher-order thinking skills. [Wikipedia]
Being aware of how you think, how you respond to things, and being aware of who you are is a major point of being able to look at your practice and tell what is, and more importantly what isn’t you.
When you know how you think, you’re able to quickly identify when something isn’t following your mental patterns. For example: If you’re speaking to a deity or a spirit, knowing your emotions and your typical thought patterns will make it pretty obvious when it’s not you that’s trying to communicate in any method.
It also helps when you’re meditating as being metacognitive will give you an internal view on your thoughts and thus better control of the; it also aids in spell working in a very similar manner.
In my personal belief, this makes metacognition one of the most important things you can develop as someone working with magic or spirits. Developing a strong understanding of the way you learn or the way you think only builds your confidence in what you do and what you believe.