by Edeline Wrigh
The world is a scary place right now. Just in the United States, we have children being separated from parents who seek asylum at the border, police brutality disproportionately leveraged against people of color, and lawmakers routinely making decisions about the reproductive systems of bodies they will never have.
There are scores and scores of activists addressing these and other issues. People are putting their brands, relationships, and bodies on the line in service of world change.
This is important work: we need our world-changers right now. And we need our healers fully engaged.
Yet, many are refusing the call.
In a lot of spiritual communities, practitioners seek a “higher vibration.”
They want to work “in the light” and “change the world by changing themselves.”
A lot of their philosophy borrows heavily from The Secret, and they repeat statements like “What you focus on grows” like mantras.
They feel better. Their predominantly white, cisgender, middle-to-upper class followers feel better.
Many of them even experience solid results, though how much of those results are due to their vibrational alignment rather than their privilege is definitely up for debate.
Their “results” will often take the form of a paycheck, and the results they get their clients will often also result in a paycheck, reinforcing how “easy” it is to “think and grow rich.”
Meanwhile, people who are disenfranchised and fighting to end oppression will point out that there are real barriers many have to achieving the same type of success in the same way.
Or they’ll point out that there are people dying due to societal oppression.
They’ll bring personal experiences and scientifically-backed facts and they’ll be told they’re being divisive, creating their own “negative” reality, or otherwise not spiritual enough to truly understand what’s holding them back.
I’m not knocking light work, nor am I knocking figuring out how to live an aligned life or integrating “positive thinking” principles into a larger framework.
I am criticizing the mindset that to be a spiritual practitioner, especially a spiritual leader, we should be “rising above” the world and ascending so far into our meditation space that we’re unwilling to contend with real-world issues presented to us.
The understanding of shadow work as valuable is catching on – and learning to engage with the world’s problems from a grounded, spiritual place is the next step.
I believe in applying myself to communion with my gods and devoting my life entirely to my spiritual directive.
I believe in this so strongly I am building a business, changing my diet, and catering my entire lifestyle in accordance with my spiritual and ethical belief system.
I believe in the Otherworld and in the spirit realm.
If the higher powers who run everything designed it such that all we have to do is detach enough from real-world atrocities in order to solve them, there’s no reason we would need to be here in bodies at this time.
My gods stress embodiment.
Self-education, meditation, and personal development are all key parts of my devotional practice – so are gardening, martial arts, and cultivation of an aesthetic that honors my ancestors.
Connecting with the world is a fundamental part of my spiritual path.
My worship is in creation. It’s in being honest about what’s going on around me and then contending with it directly.
I don’t think there’s any one right thing to do to help the world.
I truly believe that we all have particular gifts that will make certain modalities of change and service better fits for us – I’m a terrible fit for running for office but a great one for helping others create stories, for instance.
Yet, we have a responsibility to take external actions to create change if we’re going to label ourselves as someone here to help the world.
Opting out and calling it “spirituality” is an abandonment of our calling.
The gods gave us the tools to manifest not only for ourselves – but also for the greater good.
There’s nothing wrong with crafting beautiful altars and glamorous lifestyles, but teaching others to ascend through capitalism does nothing to create the shift the world needs now.
And, if we’re simultaneously discouraging people from confronting the systemic problems running the broken machine, we’re actively contributing to the harm it causes.
The fact is that the world needs its healers. It needs those of us who can visualize something better. And it needs us to be tuned into and contending with what’s actually happening.
We can’t heal the sickness by pretending its not there. We cannot be fully attuned to those around us – and therefore cannot be fully in service – by gaslighting them and claiming everything bad is a “lesson” or a “choice.”
Detaching from reality becomes a form of detaching from humanity, including our own.
We deny ourselves the complexity of a human experience by pretending that nothing that’s happening to or around us matters.
It’s past time for us to engage with the world’s problems and not ours alone – we just have to be brave enough to do it.
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About the Author:
Edeline Wrigh is a fantasy author and a productivity strategist for creatives who believes that stories are a type of practical magick. She spends hours writing at altars dedicated to Áine and The Morrigan and talks to birds when her cats will share her. A queer, nonbinary, disabled artist-type, she’s learned to love the fringes and is fiercely dedicated to helping others embrace their uniqueness. You can find her podcast, eCourse and various writing projects at creativemagick.com.
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