Spirituality

5 Bright and Powerful Ways to Become Spiritually Enlightened

Spiritual Enlightenment
Joseph Barela, the Author, enjoying his enlightening meditation session.

Here’s the big misconception about Spiritual Enlightenment: It’s something impossible to attain.

That’s what everyone seems to think when they first wake up, of course.

However, over the course of your journey, you may learn different ways to become enlightened.

Here are at least 5 bright and powerful ways you may run across that lead to spiritual enlightenment!

1. Lighten Your Load

Becoming less dense is crucial to enlightenment if you subscribe to the idea that you are a vibrational being. By sticking to “lighter” foods, and moving your body, you naturally lose weight and mass.

Psychologically, diet and exercise set the stage for your Work on the other levels as well. Exercise releases natural antidepressants and also provides a daily goal towards which you can strive. Without goals, it’s almost impossible to lead a happy life!

Also, what better physical goal is there than to extend your life by being active and healthy?

Starting this path is the beginning of what the New Age calls “coming into alignment.” Don’t let the language confuse  you; it just simply means that you operate on four different levels of being:

  1. The Physical
  2. The Mental
  3. The Emotional
  4. The Spiritual

“Coming into alignment” in these terms means that we must acknowledge enlightenment on each level. So now with the first level down (the Physical), we can move on to the next one (the Mental).

 

2. Kindle the Light of Consciousness

Mental Enlightenment
Carl Gustav Jung was the founder of Analytical Psychology.

In the words of Carl Jung:

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”

From this perspective, enlightenment means to become aware of your hidden, subconscious aspects, also known as your Shadow. Doing so would enable you to be a better force for good in the world.

The subconscious is home to those aspects of you that tend to react rather than respond. They seem to control you when you aren’t thinking and are often the most significant source of your suffering.

Truth seekers regularly work to shed light on the dark spots of their consciousness. They are transmuting their ignorance into awareness. However, when one tends to identify solely with the mental aspects of being, the other three tend to be lacking.

Thus, they come “out of alignment” with themselves. However, to fully enlighten yourself, you must not focus on only the first one or two levels of being.

Thus, by doing Shadow work, you can prepare yourself for Emotional enlightenment.

 

3. Look on the Bright Side

 

Life isn’t always what you perceive it to be. Instead, events you may see as unfavorable are, in fact, part of your journey towards good moments.

 

Building and maintain an optimistic mindset is a critical pillar of spirituality. It’s the acknowledgment of duality.

Duality holds that everything in the Universe has equal and opposite aspects. Emotional enlightenment, then, means knowing there are both “negative” and “positive” perspectives to every experience.

Alan Watts teaches that you can never know the consequences of good or bad fortune. Good luck doesn’t always yield functional outcomes.

Likewise, bad fortune doesn’t always yield adverse results. Instead, what determines good or bad chances is your perspective on them.

Life isn’t always what you perceive it to be. Instead, events you may see as unfavorable are, in fact,  part of your journey towards good moments.

The deeper part of enlightenment on this level starts by digging into your past. There, you can choose to see more and more of your “dark” history as a past filled with “light.”

Once you remove more and more the burden of a “dark” past, you begin to “lighten” the weight of the emotional burden that you carry within.

By digging into your past and clearing up any darkness within you, you begin to open the doorway to Spiritual Enlightenment.

 

4. Be Light-Hearted

Chakra Enlightenment
Like blooming lotus flowers, the chakras can only open in the presence of light.

New Age thinking considers the Heart Chakra as most important for Spiritual Enlightenment. Why? Because from it, you can be your most compassionate self.

Selfless action and creativity for the highest good of all involved come from compassion. For you to live from that perspective, that particular chakra must be “opened.”

Like blooming lotus flowers, the chakras can only open in the presence of light. However, how do you open them?

You begin by doing the enlightenment work on the previous levels of being. Once you’ve worked on the earlier levels, no longer are you focused on lack, but on the abundance that surrounds you.

No longer do you focus on the heaviness of your past, but on the infinite possibilities that lie ahead of you in your future. Even better: you can focus on the ecstasy of the present moment.

Moreover, no longer do anxious and disappointing thoughts invade your mind.

Instead, you celebrate what you indeed are: spiritual beings living this human experience.

That’s not to say that you will stop experiencing negative thoughts or events. However, you can now encounter them from this higher perspective.

Doing so enables you to better deal with them in a way that does not bring you down, but instead, helps you move forward.

 

5. Spread Your Light and Love

 

In living your life from this state of being, you can embrace life for what it is: a miracle.

 

Enlightenment is not something to attain, nor a destination at which you arrive. Instead, it is the process, the Work, the life-long journey you and everyone else strives to live.

Like happiness, its embodiment depends on your pursuit of it. As such, you could say that enlightenment and happiness are the same and that it is what gives you purpose.

It’s never about the result, but always about growing from one point to another.

How do you know when you’re on that path? You become light-hearted. You become filled with joy and laughter; you become carefree and free-spirited.

You become childlike and wondrous; You reflect the pure innocence of the soul. You could say you become a proper medium through which to channel your soul, ultimately.

You “awaken” your soul within. You allow it to come out and experience the world as it intended to: from within the presence of an enlightened state of being.

In living your life from this state of being, you can embrace life for what it is: a miracle.

 

Bonus Tip: Help Enlighten Others!

 

Enlightenment Infographic
Don’t forget download this infographic to share with your friends!

 

Believe it or not, enlightenment is not the most important thing you could learn on your journey. Instead, learning to open up and share your experiences and insights is what’s important here.

Perhaps your quest for truth has led you to experience many unexplainable things. When viewed from the outside, it may be easy to label them as crazy or impossible.

If you’ve learned to take from those experiences and extract the truth from them, you may see that you’re not so mad after all. Also, of course, only when you’re able to spread the truth will you grow and flourish in the world.

So please, be sure to share your truth in the comments below, and if this article resonates with you, share it with those who might also benefit from or appreciate it.

Together, let’s help spread the light one retweet or hashtag or repost at a time.

After all, we’re all in this together, aren’t we?

Personal, Review

Safely Navigating Your Shamanic Calling with Andrew Camargo

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you might be aware I have a tendency to sign up to (often free) online workshops and courses that fall into my path as I try to navigate my way through healing trauma and spiritual growth independently.

The last two courses I’d reviewed on this site were both spiritual in nature. I had little success with the Energy Alignment Method (EAM) course that promised to help me heal my life, yet had interesting experiences with another course that promised to empower me.

Though I’ve still yet to revisit and properly review, as promised, my experiences with the very first workshop I signed up to in December 2017, as well as other courses in 2018, I’d like to dive straight into discussing my latest journey with Andrew Camargo’s course, Safely Navigating Your Shamanic Calling. I was able to take the workshop for free, having stumbled across the course in a Facebook advert.

If you follow my Instagram, you’ll have seen that recently, I’ve quoted Camargo on the subject of reality and imagination. Not only should this be indication I quickly gained an amount of respect for what Camargo was teaching, but also that I’m deeply concerned about separating reality and illusion or truth and lies.

I encounter so many issues in my spiritual communities online, it’s hard to keep track of them all, but I felt that Camargo’s warnings in the earlier lessons of the workshop, highlighted a couple of the most common problems, such as people being unable to discern imagination from spiritual experiences.

In my communities there are issues with people failing to understand what spiritual growth is and how to achieve it, assuming that burning sage and behaving as if they are spiritual achieves (and indicates) advancement; there are a great deal of vulnerable people out there, unable to discern truth from lies; vulnerable people turning to Twin Flame legends to help them cope with their troubled relationships, when they should perhaps be seeking a counsellor; there are a lot of people displaying serious mental health issues; many are convinced, after a spiritual experience or taking interest in spiritual growth that their life purpose is to take on a professional role in the ‘spiritual sector’; and finally, we are inundated with frauds and cold readers, “psychics” who are either knowingly being dishonest and making things up as they go along, or people who have a very inflated sense of their own abilities, failing to realise they still have much more work to do in terms of spiritual advancement.

The latter issue may explain why every day on Facebook, when I see someone ask ‘what colour is my aura?’ they receive anything from 10 to 100 responses, saying different things. Or, you may simply argue the responses are different, because there’s no such thing as aura’s or being able to see one!

For some reason, most people within the community aren’t talking about the reality that things are obviously going so very wrong, for so many people, and if you try to address it, there’s a high chance of hostile response from these so-called enlightened people.

‘Well, that’s your belief, not mine.’ you might read.

Somewhat worrying and frustrating when you know a person willingly opts to believe in a lie!

man wearing hoodie forming chakra wallpaper
Photo by Nizam Abdul Latheef on Pexels.com

Allow me now to just explain to readers why a course like Camargo’s would appeal in the first place, and why I remain open to the possibility that not every psychic or person who claimed to have special abilities was a liar or crazy.

First of all, I’ve visited psychics in person a number of times. I’d say 9 out of 10 times, they absolutely were very skilled, professional cold readers. I am discerning enough to be able to spot when someone is being as vague as possible and actually trying to draw information out of me which they can then use to their advantage. However, although that’s a whopping 9 out of 10 times that I feel I was dealing with a fraud, it’s not 10 out of 10.

I’ve dealt with a psychic that forewarned me before we began that he was ‘very accurate’ and he said this almost as if he was saying ‘you can still cancel this appointment, if you don’t think you can handle it.’

‘What an arrogant jerk!’ I’d thought.

And then this “arrogant jerk” told me to keep my mouth shut and let him do his thing. He had no interest in fishing information out of me. He just meant to sit there, holding my ring in his hands with his eyes closed and tell me everything he claimed spirit was showing him in images. The result of our appointment was us falling into an argument, and him leaving in anger refusing to take my money, calling me ‘arrogant’ for refusing to accept what he was saying.

It was my worst meeting with a psychic ever, because I’d finally stumbled across one that seemed to know everything about everything – a whole bunch of things he couldn’t and shouldn’t possibly know – and he was, as he warned, very accurate.

Now, as if this incredible man wasn’t enough to make me remain open to the possibility that some people out there are genuine, I myself have had a lifetime of experiences that suggest that spirits, energy work and manifesting, and psychic abilities are real things that people can experience, no matter where we’re at with our scientific understanding of such things.

I’ve had recurring dreams that I eventually realised were prophetic in nature, when the events of said dreams came to pass. I’ve had visions, knowings and heard things of prophetic nature that came to pass. I’ve seen people in front of me appear and then vanish and I’ve even shared some of these experiences with other people, with some of them blaming me for attracting the vanishing people.

My experiences date back to as far back as I can remember. I always thought it was as if I was simply born a witch, as I’m often described. I began meditating and casting spells, without instruction from a teacher or book from a very young age, but I was also very young when I actively tried to shut myself down and stop seeing people that weren’t there.

I learned my name, April, means “to open” and it was an ‘AHA!’ moment for me, like suddenly I’d been given explanation for my inherent openness, honesty and interest in seeing what’s behind every door I come across.

In one of my old homes, both I and two of my ex boyfriends kept feeling something grabbing us by the throat, or punching the pillows in front of our faces in the night. Once, in that home, I loudly proclaimed ‘there’s no such thing as ghosts’ when a young girl was on the news claiming her house was haunted, and then my sunglasses that had been placed on a shelf, immediately came flying off the shelf across the room towards me, leaving my ex-boyfriend and I jumping up and down screaming, with him insisting I apologise to the ghost I’d just pissed off.

We both caught a glimpse of what we believed to be the entity bothering us one evening, when my ex was – no judgement please – taking a hit from a bong and then turned to me, said ‘watch this’ and blew a thin stream of smoke across the room. The smoke appeared to gather into a big fog, right next to the same spot where my sunglasses had been launched across the room and the smoke took the shape of person, marching on the spot. Once again, we were both screaming.

Most doctors would put me on pills for discussing this, especially now that my ex is no longer alive to verify our experiences (even if he was, they’d probably put us both on pills). I, however, don’t think I need pills. I think I need answers and quite frankly, nobody has even been able to explain why things fly off shelves, why I and my friends have shared experiences and why sometimes, I just know stuff because it’s like someone opened a door in my head, walked in and dropped the information there.

Laura Berry - support
A message from a friend some months after my ex-husband’s suicide

I always get nervous talking about these experiences and blogging about it for all to see is a scary thing to do. It doesn’t matter how discerning or reasonable I am about things, I will always meet people that will call me a liar and suggest I’ve made it all up. People will always insist I’m crazy. On the flip-side, there are also people adamant I killed my ex-husband with witchcraft, and insist I was the ‘evil abuser’ in that relationship.

I will also always encounter people that will attempt to explain some of my experiences as something other than spiritual or paranormal in nature, without actually successfully explaining them. Yet, I’m fully prepared to accept an explanation that isn’t paranormal or spiritual in nature, when there is one.

It doesn’t matter that I don’t claim to have the answers and am simply remaining open-minded, a closed-mind that thinks it knows for sure the in’s and out’s of this universe and what’s beyond it will dismiss what I have to say. I’m full of wonder and questions, whereas some people, especially those that never experienced anything extraordinary, are full of answers and fixed beliefs.

I’m most certainly not a shaman and until working my way through Camargo’s workshop, had no conscious idea that any events or experiences in my life could’ve indicated shamanic calling. I took the course out of little more than curiosity, hoping to understand a little more about what shamanism is all about. I’d say I have a pretty vague understanding, what with not being a shaman myself and never meeting anybody who described themselves as such.

I didn’t feel a shamanic calling, but after completing the workshop, I wonder if I have simply been ignoring it, sometimes out of terror and often because of stereotypical views about who a shaman is and where they must come from. See, much like I accuse people in my spiritual communities of often being confused or misled, I wrongly assumed that shamanism means giving up life as I know it, buying some robes and living out the rest of my days in a cave, where I would drink weird potions and spend most of my time either in the spirit realm, or in the perilous throes of psychosis. I also couldn’t imagine a genuine shaman being a white person from the west.

As it happens, I’m as guilty as I charge others, at least in terms of shamanism and what I thought of the subject. I ended the workshop wishing I had the time and money to commit to diving deeper into Camargo’s world, in his much more extensive and more expensive course.

Photo on 2016-07-05 at 9.24 AM #2
The man himself, Andrew Camargo

The six lessons I sat through obviously only scratched the surface of the things Camargo means to teach people, and there’s various reasons why, despite still not knowing truth from lies, I’d be interested in learning more from Camargo.  And here are those reasons:

1. Camargo actually acknowledges people’s inability to discern reality from imagination.

In his short course, Camargo describes how initiation into shamanism can often lead people to very quickly have an inflated sense of their own abilities. All it takes sometimes is just one experience with spirits, the spirit realm or psychic ability for people to believe they are now awakened and the level of an Elder.

The result of trying to run before you can walk, or an inflated sense of one’s abilities leads to people being unable to separate truth from their own imagination. In other words, bunches of these psychics I refer to as frauds, genuinely might not be able to tell they are simply operating from imagination, rather than communicating with spirits.

Camargo refers to having struggled with this issue in the past himself. Surprisingly, at least for me, it’s been rare to come across somebody holding spiritual-based workshops or teaching spiritual sciences that is prepared to acknowledge the b***s*** in the community.

2. Camargo acknowledges that the spirit realm is not all “love and light”.

Is anybody else tired of hearing about love and light from the droves of people that you’re pretty sure haven’t bothered with a minute of shadow work, because of their inflated sense of how enlightened they are?

If anything indicated to me that the spirit realm may be full of tricksters or dangerous entities, it was feeling hands wrapping around my throat trying to choke me and having exes screaming about experiencing the same thing. It’s being woken up in the night by a boyfriend, screaming, because he thought I, who had been asleep, had just tried to punch him in the face, and then experiencing the same thing myself. It’s breaking up with that boyfriend, wondering if it was him punching my pillow in the night all along, only to repeat the experiences with the next boyfriend to move in.

Camargo suggests that as well as struggling to discern imagination from reality, those who have an inflated sense of their own abilities will also be unable to recognise darker spirits, like tricksters, who purposefully deliver messages of half-truths, cloaked in lies.

Surprisingly, many people I stumble across at the moment seem to be so wrapped up in the “love and light” idea, they’re completely dismissive of the possibility of darker spirits, low-vibrational entities and even lower realms that could perhaps be described as sort of Hell realms, where you’re more likely to experience bad things, rather than good. And when they do acknowledge a person who thinks they are being tormented by a dark or negative energy or entity, their solution is always “love and light”. That’s it!

I remember one evening at a friends house when my brother, for reasons I wont get into, became concerned we may be in the presence of a dark energy. His response, though hilarious to me, struck me as likely more effective than “sending love and light”. He jumped from his seat, terrified, screaming and swearing, and ran straight to the kitchen, where he found a bottle of salt and amusingly began spraying it all over my friends house, still swearing at the likely imagined entity and actively trying to banish it.

Why do I think love and light might not be an effective method of dealing with the kind of entity Camargo describes as a Trickster?

Well, it’s just a theory, but I figure if you’re talking to a Trickster and you trust it, chances are you’re going to be rather friendly and perhaps even (conditionally) loving and compassionate towards it. If the conditional love and light of most people was genuinely effective, why are Tricksters sticking around, giving people prepared to listen to them the time of day?

Though I may be wrong about my brother’s solution being more effective, the “love and light” gang strike me as lacking some serious substance. I agree we’re beings of love and light, but I also agree that we all cast a shadow and something about people parroting the words “love and light” pisses me off. I’m clearly not an enlightened being, see! But neither are most of these people.

3. Camargo stresses the necessity of shadow work and agrees it’s a lifelong process.

Do I really keep meeting people that think they have completed their shadow work? Yes.

Maybe one of the reasons I failed to get on with EAM,  is because EAM essentially claims that you can heal your life, clear your energy and begin vibrating at higher frequencies without really doing any of the necessary inner work and self-reflection required to heal. It’s all about “finding blocks in your energy” and repeating affirmations to release the blocks.

The process of finding and releasing said blocks should require some amount of self-reflection, but with all focus primarily being on waving your woes away like a Fairy Godmother, I would assume you’re of course not dealing with things properly.

Camargo stresses that shadow work never ends. He suggests the more light you begin to cast, the bigger that shadow you cast becomes! I like Camargo.

4. Camargo has really done his homework and comes across as having experience.

My name is Andrew Camargo. I have been studying Archetypal Shamanism, Entheogenic Spirituality, Alchemy, Jungian Psychology, Modern Mythology and Visionary Art for the past 17 years.

~ Andrew Camargo

He allegedly went to Yale. He’s done some travelling. I believe he mentioned working with genuine shaman’s at some point. He’s claiming he’s experienced having a self-inflated ego and sense of his own abilities and then eventually realised his mistake. As a result, he’s genuinely grown. He now has the ability to be discerning. He is now, unlike so many other teachers who are surprisingly failing to do so, actively warning all students that come to him of the extreme likelihood that the initiatory call results in the exact same mistakes for a lot of people.

5. Camargo repeatedly refers to Carl G. Jung.

I don’t remember when I discovered Jung, myself, and I by no means am as familiar with his work as Camargo obviously is, but I do know that as soon as I began to discover Jung, I began to learn very important things. Just by reading a small quote of Jung’s, or a few paragraphs on his discoveries and theories, I’ve learned so much about myself and people, that I’m prepared to name him as one of my greatest teachers.

Jung has repeatedly triggered me to have a heightened understanding of the nature of the psyche. He, perhaps, has taught me more about what I want or need to know in a few minutes than some teachers who tried to teach me for entire years at school did.

I quickly gained respect for what Camargo was doing, despite not knowing whether there is such a thing as a genuine shaman, because I at least know there is such a thing as not being genuine. His references to Jung only make me more inclined to pay attention to what he has to say. At the very least, isn’t Camargo’s interest in Jung indicative of a person deeply interested in seeking greater understanding of himself, of humanity on the whole and of life itself?

6. Camargo alludes to shamans having ordinary jobs.

Back once again to my concerns that spiritualism leads to people misunderstanding what they should be doing with their lives, thanks to stereotyping and “teachers” and teaching all the wrong stuff, Camargo, like a breath of fresh air, describes in his lessons people with “ordinary” jobs that can be assisted in expression by formative and empowering facets of the Shamanic Archetype.

I expressed that it would be a disaster if everybody who felt they had a spiritual calling decided to become a Reiki therapist, because actually, the world still needs people working in other professions. When you enter a spiritual community on social media, there’s very little talk of people in ordinary professions and a lot of discussion about people having left, or trying to leave their corporate or ordinary jobs, because they feel they’re lightworkers and should take on some stereotypically appropriate role. And that’s without the 17 years of experience Camargo has had studying various relevant subjects, or like my almost 31 years now of experiences that have gone unexplained by conventional science.

In the short course, Camargo refers to midwives, funeral directors and DJs, whose professions are guided and empowered by shamanic abilities. So, I’ve finally stumbled upon a teacher who essentially acknowledges that people with psychic abilities or other special abilities, aren’t necessarily supposed to be Tarot readers and Crystal Therapists. I consider this an important lesson that more people need to learn.

7. Camargo got me painting.

Throughout the learning process, Camargo invites us to write, as this will help us in the learning process. At the end of course, after having tried to identify one shamanic facet that is dominant in me, and then six facets that either form or empower the dominant facet, Camargo instructs us to draw our personal constellation, creating a ‘Sacred Soul Artefact’ to keep for inspiration. Again, this last piece of homework supports the learning process and would perhaps even trigger the activation of dormant or latent energies.

I think it was early last year I said to my mum I’d love to start painting with her and she handed me paper and encouraged me to get on with it. I’ve been saying for a long time that I want to get painting and drawing, not because I’m good at it at all, but because art classes were one of my favourites at school and I missed doing it.

And yet, all I did for months was just think about painting from time to time, never actually allowing my interest in painting to manifest into reality. That’s something I’m prone to do, especially when it comes to my creative interests. I’ll think about the story I want to write, or the picture I want to paint, but I wont actually do it.

It’s almost outrageous I haven’t bothered to paint until now, considering last year, on another blog I wrote about the importance of creative expression for good health and how at times, such expression can even be linked to shadow work, and the acknowledgement or expression of parts of our psyche we have tried to reject. I sat and thought a lot about the need to be creative and all I’ve done since, (this blog not included), is write roughly three poems and 20 pages of a story I might never finish. And I wrote all of that in the same three-week period.

If Camargo’s course triggered anything at all, it was at the very least, getting me off my backside to finally enjoy painting something. Though I largely wasn’t sure at all what exactly I was taking away from the course when I began the work, I at least knew I wanted to put effort into this project and place a little trust in the workshop as having something useful to offer me.

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My Sacred Soul Artefact

My amateurish piece of work has brought to life the personal shamanic constellation I devised as I worked through Camargo’s course.

At the centre of my constellation, is symbolism for the Visionary Artist or Writer facet of the Shamanic Archetype. It was difficult, at first, to pinpoint my main facet as the descriptions given for each facet seem to describe them how they would be expressed by a skilled or experienced shaman. For that reason, I almost considered the Psychic or Wounded Healer facets as my main facet, as the description for Visionary Artist details an artist that “records humanity’s ongoing, ever-evolving relationship to the supersensible, archetypal, mythical, imaginal, magical, spiritual realms.” I felt that only a fraction of my poetry or stories reflected this.

However, after much deliberation, I realised that if I considered where I’ve had the most success in my life, it’s through writing. I realised that I tend to hear “you should be a writer” more than I’ve heard anything else. I also realised that just days before beginning the course I’d resolved that I was perhaps, at least for now, being guided away from fixating on the Wounded Healer facet, without realising it in those terms, of course, until completing the course.

Finally, I understood my potential psychic abilities to not be anywhere near strong enough to select it as my main facet. I absolutely do not for one second believe my skills there are stronger than my skills as a writer. Writing has, as well as got me into small amounts of trouble over the years, saved my skin more than once. As well as winning various writing competitions over the years, something as simple as writing letters has gotten me out of trouble many times or essentially resulted in me getting exactly what I want in life.

As a result of this realisation, The Wounded Healer became a formative facet in my constellation, and the Psychic became an empowering facet. The other two formative facets, which shape how the Writer facet manifests, and are symbolised in the ring closely orbiting the centre are the Trickster and Storyteller facets. For a better understanding of what all of this means, I strongly suggest signing up Camargo’s course if you’re interested.

However, my reasons choosing the Storyteller as a formative facet should perhaps be rather obvious when I have chosen Writer as my main. I selected the Trickster, also known as the Sacred Clown or Holy Fool for a number of reasons, not just limited to the description I was given of the facet.

First of all, whereas my name means ‘to open’ and often conjures up thoughts of springtime in a lot of people’s minds, it also greatly reminds people of April Fool’s Day. I personally always feel like The Fool in the tarot deck, always at the beginning of my spiritual journey and also, always at the end of something too, which is what the card numbered zero tends to imply. It also reminds me how springtime is also very much a beginning and an end of a cycle and my birthday actually falls on the Equinox.

Second,  the term trickster conjures up a million memories of my tendency to be mischievous and rebellious, or a bit of a prankster, whereas the word clown resonates deeply because a lot of the time, much of it was clowning around and an attempt to entertain myself or others. So, I’ve always described myself as a clown and so, was obviously immediately drawn to the facet.

Camargo’s shamanic-based description of the Trickster is that they reveal the subconscious, like your repressed shadows and because of this, tend to trigger healing. Upon reading that, my mind automatically flashed to times where I, through my actions or words that may have initially been upsetting for people, actually triggered an individual to heal or better themselves. A Trickster allegedly tends to “expose inconvenient truths” and is “creatively destructive and destructively creative”.

Again, those ideas about a Trickster resonated, but I also realised I was remembering a number of events I felt guilty about. I also recently got kicked out of a spiritual community on Facebook, for trying to expose the kinds of “inconvenient truths” about the ego I’ve discussed here, that Camargo also describes.

Finally, I knew the Sacred Clown would be in my constellation somewhere, because if you walked into my home, you wouldn’t have to look too hard to find a clown. I have always loved clowns. They may scare some people, but as I’ve suggested already, I identify with clowns.

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That’s me, showing off Clarence, a one-of-a-kind Shadow Doll made by a witch in Gloucester.

The last two facets, which are symbolised in the outer circle of my constellation along with the Psychic facet, supposedly empower and inspire my main facet. These facets are Tender of Dreams and Occult Scientist.

I have, over the last year, had an increased interest in dream interpretation and helping others in interpreting their own. My dreams have also directly influenced my writing, poetry, stories and even decisions. I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps The Wounded Healer and Tender of Dreams should have been placed the other way around.

Are my own wounds really forming much of how I express myself in my writing, or did they just inspire me to study psychology and take training in some complementary therapies?

The Occult Scientist facet is essentially what I think of as the witches facet. Whereas I could’ve chosen the Energy Worker facet, as much of witchcraft does simply involve energy work in some form and led me to taking Reiki training, The Occult Scientist facet recognises there is a little more to it and implies that one understands on a deeper level exactly how to use energy. And of course I feel empowered and inspired by my knowledge and abilities as a so-called witch.

Whether I made a mistake in creating my personal constellation or not, I feel confident that I chose the 7 facets out of Camargo’s 25 that are most suitable for me. And though I didn’t know when I began to write this exactly what I’d gotten from the course so far, as I end this post it’s starting to become a little more clear. Not only have I learned more about shamanism, and the various ways in which shamanism is expressed, but I’ve once again looked at little deeper at myself, my path and my progress and abilities.

Camargo’s workshop triggered interesting self-reflection and inspired me to write what is possibly the longest blog post I’ve written here so far. I have created a painting that I’m actually rather proud to have completed and genuinely will keep close-by, just in case it does have the power to inspire and empower me, or trigger me to take the next step in spiritual growth. Though I may never become a shaman, I consider this time well spent!

Opinion, Spirituality

Are We Blocking Spiritualists From Their True Purpose?

What do terms like lightworker and healer mean to you? Are lightworkers and healers restricted to roles such as Reiki practitioners, mediums and so on?

Supposing now, everyone does have a ‘life purpose’ and a path they are supposed to follow. The first people to believe this are usually spiritualists and religious people. But are we blocking spiritualists from their true purpose by perpetuating stereotypical ideas about ‘raising vibrations’?

In the spiritual community, especially a large online one, like a large Facebook group, we can see thousands of people that feel it is their life purpose to raise the vibrations of the planet.

Lot’s of people feel they’re lightworkers and empaths. These ideas come up repeatedly in the community and these individuals seem to tend to make the decision to devote their life to things such as energy healing, after taking a couple of days training a few times.

I repeatedly see the idea that now they are spiritual and awakening, they must do what everyone else seems to be doing and that’s either building a career in the “spiritual sector” or building rapport as a hobbyist medium or preconceived spiritually approved profession or activity. Even I am using those relevant skills more often, or gaining new ones.

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Why am I, personally, continuing to gain experience with various healing or therapy modalities and studying psychology?

Because helping and healing and a natural understanding of people has dominated my life since I was a child. As a witch, I’ve been working with energy as far back as I can remember and I first took counselling training aged 12, because my teachers at school thought I’d be good at it.

Do I think it’s what I’m supposed to do, really, with my whole life?

Actually, no, and I’ll explain why in a minute.

Do you not wonder if stereotypical ideas about lightworking and how to raise the vibrations of the planet are limiting people?

I do.

You see, people who heal, who share light, who guide and who teach are not actually limited to a few professions or activities. These guides and healers can come in the form of the slightly more obvious charity worker, or the less obvious musician. They can be lawyers. They can be unemployed. They can have seemingly no “special” abilities at all, but their actions and choices in life serve to raise vibrations, heal and spread light.

It’s suggested your life purpose is tied to the things that truly make your soul sing. For some people that’s rock climbing or parachuting! I think, among the spiritual community people can be inclined to disregard the things that bring them the most joy if it’s an activity that doesn’t fit the preconceived ideas about being a spiritual person.

My entire life may have seemed to be pulling me in the direction of therapist and spiritual truth seeker, but a role as a psychologist, a therapist or healer actually seems to be secondary when I consider what truly makes my heart sing. My biggest passions are with creative and performance arts and always have been. If your purpose lies in your biggest passions, my primary purpose is to write and create.

I have a therapist of my own and she very quickly picked up on the things that make my heart and soul sing, because of the way my demeanour changed when I began to talk about it. When I spoke of writing poetry and my latest ideas for a fiction story, I began to “light up” and this in turn lifted my therapist.

And all my life, all I have been hearing is “you should write a book” as well as “you’d make a great counsellor”. I had so many small successes in writing and creative arts growing up, everyone was pretty sure that’s what I’d do with my life. When I was younger I used to hear a lot of people say “you should be an actress or comedian” too, as I very much enjoyed stage performance and entertaining the people around me.

When I talk about music, watching bands play live and how I used to write my own music, I “light up”. When I think about painting, I get excited. It’s probably not too unusual, as I think we all probably have an inherent (but possibly dormant) desire to make like a God and create, but creativity becomes secondary or completely forgotten in life because of the necessity to devote much of our lives to earning money to survive.

In the spiritual community, cold readers are rife. People lacking in the abilities necessary for the things they claim to be able to do are rife. It leaves me feeling that stereotypical ideas about spirituality and purpose are blocking people from going out and discovering the things they really should be doing. I’m talking about the things that make your heart sing so loud, you can hear it ringing in your ears and everybody around you can see that you’re glowing.

Yes, trying to help others to heal feels nice and like a perfectly purposeful thing to do, but many might be better off using their free time to try things like rock climbing, joining a choir or knitting club. Honestly, it might sound silly, but it’s easier to raise the vibrations of yourself and everyone around you when you’re so happy you’re lit up like a Christmas tree than it is to try to wedge yourself into the shoes (or sandals) of healers like Jesus Christ.

Yes, there’s more than just a few ways to help and heal people. There’s more than a few ways to light up this world.

It may be some people are missing out on their true purpose, or what would really make them and others around them happy, because they have been misguided by the common idea in the community that everyone’s life purpose is to be an energy healer or professional spiritualist of some sort. It’s time to get real and recognise if it’s your primary purpose, secondary purpose or not really meant for you at all.

You might be working a “normal” day job, and using your free time to give people tarot readings on the Internet, when you’re supposed to be playing for your local football team. Some people have found what I’m saying to be upsetting, but I ask them to consider why they are really upset about this.

Think of all the things we’d lose, if everybody on the planet quit their jobs to become a Reiki practitioner tomorrow because that sounds like the right thing for a spiritually woke person to do. I dread to think!

If everyone does have a purpose in life and a path they are supposed to follow – if everyone has things that they are supposed to do – don’t you think it’s a little bizarre that in the spiritual communities, everybody has decided their purpose and strengths are exactly the same things?

mental health, mindfulness, Spirituality

How Do I Achieve Spiritual Growth?

I wasn’t going to write another post until January. But we seem to be having a spiritual emergency. Some online spiritual communities seem to be in a crisis. You’ll realise this as soon as you’re added to the “wrong” group on social media.

Where do we find our spirituality? Where do we find out who and what we are? Where do we discover and achieve true spiritual growth?

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Is spiritual growth found in collecting crystals, or playing with tarot and oracle cards?

Is it found in rearranging our wardrobe and beginning to dress a certain way?

Is it found in decorating our home and ourselves a certain way? Hanging dream catchers from the walls?

Is it found in becoming a vegan, or switching our diet to what we feel is the healthiest and most environmentally friendly?

Is it found in burning sage?

Is it found in attaching ourselves to stories?

Is it found in convincing ourselves we are starseeds, indigo and crystal children? Is it found in letting the ego tell stories about ourselves and how extraordinary we are?

Or Twin Flames? Do we succeed in becoming enlightened through an egocentric, obsessive attachment to another?

Is it found in the belief we are light-workers and empaths, or witches and trying act on those beliefs?

Is it found in dreams?

Is it found in ouija boards?

Is it found talking to ghosts?

Is it found in wearing religious symbols or placing them around the home?

Is going to church or spiritual groups enough?

Is it found in psychic visions, pictures we see in the mind and attempts at astral travel? Is it found in the vivid imagination, conjuring up stories and movies?

Is it found in the labels we attach to ourselves that sound spiritual and mystical in origin?

Is it found in practices and lifestyle changes supported by spiritual communities, the trends you’ve all heard of, because these are the things spiritual people do?

Is it found listening to certain kinds of music?

Is it found through sharing philosophical quotes by Rumi or Buddha on social media?

Is it found reading a good book?

Is it found by expressing yourself a certain way, like by choosing to end all conversations with “love and light”?

Is it found in the ego, filling up the emptiness or pain inside of yourself with stuff and labels and stories and more stuff until you are suitably smothered by all the ideas you have that you think make you a spiritual, enlightened, extraordinary and special being?

Are outwardly actions and expressions, and labels and stories and attachments a catalyst for growth, or are these the very things standing in the way of yourself?

Who are you, really?

Sincerely,

Your Self.

Opinion, Review

5 Things I Discovered Taking Part in The Energy Alignment Method’s 5 Day’s to Flow

The magic of EAM is that it enables you to shift energy, let go of repetitive thoughts, and overwhelming emotions. It helps you to release physical or emotional pain, negative feelings, painful memories and traumatic experiences to be free from stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.

My Facebook feed is always inundated with ads by coaches, from spiritual to general life coaching, trying to sell me their services, most of which, I ignore. However, scrolling through recently I spotted a post about The Energy Alignment Method, inviting me to participate in a free study, 5 Days To Flow.

The study introduces participants to The Energy Alignment Method (EAM), designed by Yvette Taylor. The study is held in a private Facebook group over 5 units, which can be taken in 5 days or longer and is built on the premise of such concepts as The Law’s of Attraction and Vibration, Kinesiology and Eastern Spiritual practice among others. The method, if followed correctly, is suggested to change a person’s life for the better, making The Law of Attraction work for them and clearing your aura or personal energy field of negativity and blocks that essentially prevent you from living your best life.

But what is EAM, and what did I learn about the method and myself during the five day course?

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Image belongs to EAM

1. EAM is “energy work”

EAM relys on your subconscious mind knowing exactly where there are points of resistance and reversal (like blocks) in your energy field so that you may release them. These points of resistance and reversal may have been created at any point in your life, but particularly in childhood and even, allegedly, in past lives you do not consciously remember.

Using a technique known as The Sway, a method in Kinesiology, participants are invited to ask their bodies to help them locate energy blocks, so that they can begin the process of releasing them.

In EAM, areas of your life are broken down into ten specific areas, for example, physical health, relationships and your thoughts and beliefs. During the short study, participants are invited to locate reversal or resistance in their energy by focusing on one of the simpler areas, with relationships suggested as the last area you would focus on as it takes being aligned in all other areas to work on your relationships.

An example of this might be focusing on your thoughts and beliefs surrounding your job, e.g. you would determine using The Sway if you feel resistance towards going to work and, if yes, you’d then begin to work on the process of release.

I discovered that I didn’t quite trust EAM, or The Sway and quickly grew frustrated with the process, despite my initial interest.

2. Administration might not be paying attention

For the purposes of the study, participants are invited to leave their comments and questions about each unit in the specific threads where each unit is found. If you decide to make your own post asking questions or making comments, it’s likely admin will respond, but they will suggest you leave your comments in the appropriate thread.

However, they are not responding to comments and questions in the threads, causing me to eventually make my own post in the group asking for help. I was told to post in the appropriate thread and explained that I had been, but administration weren’t providing feedback or answering questions and the administrator in question quickly went and located my previous post and responded. This didn’t make a difference for all of the other unanswered questions left by everybody else and I continued to get no responses on any other comment I’d made in the appropriate place.

I discovered that without support of an EAM mentor, you can’t possibly clear up any confusion you may have about the process and I begin to grow frustrated and even more distrustful.

3. The release process is…

After locating an apparent block in your energy, the release process method is simple, though it may not work the first time and you may have to keep doing it, or, I think (?), find another block that is preventing the release process from working. The release process is simply stating, three times in a row, that you are now ready to release the block, e.g. “I am ready to release this black cloud from my energy.” etc.

So, the release process is simply saying words with the intent of releasing negative energy until The Sway confirms your attempts have been successful. There is some talk of positive affirmations not being enough, because they’re just words, but then again, read about The Law of Vibration and positive affirmations and thinking are supposed to be quite handy in raising your vibration.

Either way, a witch knows that intent and belief matters, so whatever the words, I tried to say them with some feeling, just as I do so with positive affirmations.

While working on myself, I came to a standstill when I was being told by “The Sway” I was failing to release some negative thoughts and beliefs on a certain subject. I had questions and needed them answered, but decided not to pursue the mentors beyond posting where I was told to. I didn’t get my answers, so eventually moved on to the next steps, beginning to look forward to the end of the study so I could forget about EAM.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. EAM is apparently working for some people

I saw a great number of positive comments and feedback from people and I’m aware that I was actually a participant of EAM’s second study, the first of which had apparently gone quite well. Yvette Taylor hopes that through the results of the study she can prove the method works and get EAM all over the world presumably.

I, however, felt that the only way I’d ever know if EAM is a method that really works is if I were to pay a lot of money to get on the EAM program, supported by a mentor. It’s absolutely not something I’m prepared to do. I hoped that I was being positively discerning and not wrongly sceptical, but the word “convoluted” kept springing to mind.

The main website states: industry leaders are already saying is “The Fastest Method For Getting In Flow”.

I disagreed.

I thought to myself “but there are easier ways” and funnily enough, The Sway confirmed this. The Sway confirmed I could clear my energy using other methods. The Sway confirmed I already had been doing a damn good job of clearing my own energy field. The Sway confirmed that I didn’t have to follow the Energy Alignment Method to reap the benefits of EAM. I believed all of this consciously and according to The Sway, my subconscious is in full of agreement.

“I’m powerful. I can do this any way I like.” I thought, quite arrogantly. And then, “That was quite arrogant, wasn’t it, April?

I suppose I learned I have a lot of faith in myself and that this may be misguided, in the sense I may have an exaggerated sense of my own abilities.

There was a lot I liked about EAM. I like the idea of trying to locate energy blocks and targeting them. I thought it was wonderful how it was apparently working out for some people. However, I also didn’t like EAM and I certainly grew annoyed about the lack of communication and support from mentors during the study. Perhaps I should have done the exact opposite of what I was advised and start giving my feedback and asking questions in my own posts.

5. The program costs?

I mentioned already that in order to get full support and really dive into EAM, I’d have to “pay a lot of money”.  The truth is, I can’t remember exactly how much the program costs, as I’ve misplaced old emails and trying to find the cost on the website is, for me, like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If I remember correctly though, you would pay a monthly fee for participation in a 10 month program. All I know is I determined it either wasn’t affordable or I just wasn’t sold on the method enough to pay for it.

Yvette seems happy, friendly and like a person living her dream right now. The fact that I walk away with a less than shining review and opinion of EAM so far is not something I do joyfully with the hope of condemning her business to ruin. In fact, I wish I had the time and money to give EAM a proper chance by taking on the program with extensive support from a mentor. Whether I think there are easier and faster ways or not, any form of therapeutic work or even spiritual and energy work is of interest to me and I’d like to understand it.

If EAM is genuinely working for people, then by all means, I hope that more people continue to discover it and get much more of it than I did, but for now, I’m going to continue working on self and life improvement through other methods.