What is Ascension, Awakening and Enlightenment?

What is Ascension, Awakening and Enlightenment?

What is the difference between ascension, awakening, and enlightenment?  There definitely is some squishiness to many concepts in spirituality or new-age philosophy. By their very nature, we are trying to describe the ineffable. But I think appreciating their distinctive characteristics goes a long way in assisting us in knowing what tools, resources, and practices can deepen where we are in our spiritual journey.  As with all things that are explored across many disciplines and with different points of origin, interpretations vary. But here is a good guide to understanding these often misused terms.

What is Ascension?

Ascension refers to the process of transcending to a higher level of consciousness or existence. Ascension is both an individual and collective journey towards a higher state of being. And is thought of more as an energetic/spiritual process rather than a physical one. This shift is characterized by moving from a world based on ego identity, separation, and Us vs Them mentality to one of love, unity, and interconnection. From this higher state of being, we have heightened perception and greater intuitive capacities. Gaining access to spiritual gifts that were not previously available due to the density of the 3-D world.

What is Awakening?

Awakening can be thought of as what is happening as we move from the 3-D to 5-D world. If ascension is the larger process, awakening is the unfolding realization and recognition of the nature of reality that happens within that process. Bringing with it profound insights and shifts in perception, leading to increased mindfulness, spiritual growth, and a deeper connection to oneself and the world. These realizations can happen suddenly or over a long period of time with steep stages and plateaus. It can be triggered by unexplainable events, a life transition, or a peak experience, but it starts with a deeper appreciation that we are part of something bigger than just ourselves. 

New to Awakening: 3 Books Everyone Should Read

What is Enlightenment?

Enlightenment is often considered the ultimate result of awakening in spiritual traditions. It is an absolute state of being that once you have achieved it, there is no other way of being. The idea of what the ultimate result is can vary from tradition to tradition. For Buddhists and Hindus, it involves liberation from the cycle of rebirth. In Taoism, enlightenment is seen as a return to the inherent harmony of the Tao (the Way), the natural order of the universe. Some others believe that it is simply non-duality. It is safe to say that there have been very few enlightened people in humanity’s history. Because enlightenment transcends the limitations of ego and conditioned patterns of thinking and involves living with the knowing of our oneness (non-duality), it is not easy to achieve.

Practices and Rituals

Because these concepts are interrelated, all of these practices lend themselves to the awakening path.

Common Practices:

  • Meditation and journeys
  • Breathwork
  • Plant-based medicine
  • Honing intuitive skills
  • Practicing compassion
  • Fasting
  • Light body activations/meditations
  • Using frameworks/exercises that challenge biases/constructs
  • Drumming, shaking, dancing
  • Chanting, singing
  • Adornment
  • Journaling

In conclusion, ascension refers to a process, and awakening are the realizations one has during this process. Enlightenment is the ultimate result or state that can be achieved through this journey. While it is amazing to have personal breakthroughs and ‘AHa’ moments, these are truly important. We must also remember that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. And on some level – WE ARE ONE. Give thanks for all discoveries you have and know that as you awaken so does the cosmos. 

Where do you fit in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

To go deeper on this topic – Read Understanding Ascension, Awakening, and Enlightenment on Substack.

Moon Spirit: Working With Moon Energy

Moon Spirit: Working With Moon Energy

Working with moon energy can be a powerful tool to create change in our lives and deepen our relationship with the cosmos. As our closest celestial companion, the moon is not only responsible for the tides of the ocean, without which life would look very different. But also has an impact, although subtle, on human behavior. People across all continents, over many eras, have contemplated our relationship with this celestial consciousness.  Many spiritual practices acknowledge the moon as a powerful force capable of guiding individuals on their spiritual journey. So by honoring the moon and being in relationship with it we deepened our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and activate one more piece of our true human potential.  The Moon & The Divine Feminine

Each culture has its own view and relationship with the moon. So what I present here is a blend of many perspectives. Use them as an example or guide, but don’t discount your intuitive power. Especially since the moon represents the mystery and divine feminine energy. Associated with goddesses such as Artemis, Luna, and Selene, the moon embodies qualities of nurturing, intuition, and healing. When people talk about going with the flow. There is no greater example of flowing within the cycles as the waxing and waning of the moon. This ebb and flow of life and the rise and fall of energy permeates our natural world. In order to move with the cycles, we first need to understand them. 

Moon Phases

Phases of the moonThe image above illustrates the phases of the moon. The lunar month lasts approximately 29.5 days.

Spiritual Significance of Moon Phases

Each phase of the moon has its own unique meaning, symbolic significance and energy that can be harnessed to create rituals and ceremonies. It is important to note that the specific interpretations of the moon phases may vary depending on cultural or individual beliefs. Not all practices need to start with the new moon, though there is a natural progression, especially if someone is looking to change or let go of something significant. Understanding the energy of each phase of the moon can assist us in understanding how we can utilize its power. 

Here are some common spiritual associations with each phase of the moon:

  • New Moon Energy: This phase is all about setting intentions and planting seeds. Is there something new you are looking to create or a habit to let go of? This is the moment. This phase is all about renewal, new beginnings, and potential energy. Make sure you express your intention in multiple ways. Write it down, say it out loud, and tell a friend. You can also place a totem or other representation of your intention on your altar.
  • Waxing Moon Energy – These phases are all about building energy and persevering. Take action on your goals and desires. It is a time of expansion, growth, and outward momentum. Stay focused and stick with your priorities. Do you need to make a course correction? Fine-tune your goals and actions as needed. 
  • Full Moon Energy: The full moon is a powerful symbol of completion and illumination. It is about celebration and gratitude. It is time to release anything that doesn’t serve you. The moon’s energy is most powerful at this time. So emotions, intuitions, and desires can be right on the surface.  Be mindful, sometimes things can get a little wonky during this time. 
  • Waning Energy – The waning moon is about release and forgiveness. Reflection and introspection are key during this time. Are you ready to let go of an old story? Do you have beliefs about yourself and the world that no longer serve? Time to let it go. Maybe it is time to retreat and recharge. Think about past experiences – what insights did you learn? What worked? What would you do differently? Refine your values and clarify your motivations based on your reflections.

Ways to Work With Moon Phases

Now that you understand the energy and symbolic representations. What are some ways that we can incorporate moon phases into your spiritual life:

  • Track the moon phases: Start by becoming mindful of what phase of the moon you are in. You can add this to your calendar as a reminder. Then be mindful of how you feel, how you sleep, and your energy shifts. Can any correlations be made? The moon’s energy may be subtle at first, but the more you tune in, the more heightened your perceptions become. 
  • Flowing With The Energy: For example, during the waning phase,  take more time for meditation and/or journal about where you are and if it feels aligned. Make the full moon celebratory and have friends over for dinner and dancing. 
  • Set intentions: If you are looking to make a big shift, prepare yourself to begin at the new moon phase. Do some prep work so you have a well-developed intention when the new moon begins. 
  • Create Sacred Space: Honor the moon on your altar or window sill. Use crystals, cards, or whatever symbolic representation that holds meaning for you.
  • Perform rituals: Following the descriptions above, create a ritual that utilizes the unique energy of each phase. For example, during a full moon, perform a fire ceremony. Write down everything you want to release and give it to the universe by throwing it in the fire.  Or maybe an offering ceremony that gives thanks for the many blessing you’ve received. Here is a great resource for creating moon rituals. 
  • Moon Gazing: Spend time in nature and gaze at the moon. The ancient technique of simply observing the moon allows its gentle glow to illuminate hidden truths and soothe the mind and soul.
  • Shadow Work: What is ready to be illuminated? Dive deep into the Divine Feminine and look at what is in your shadow. There are so many interesting frameworks and ways to work with the shadow. Here are a few to get you started.

Spirituality 101: What is Shadow Work or this Substack Post Diving Deep Into the Shadow.

The moon’s spiritual significance reaches far beyond its physical existence. From ancient rituals to modern practices, this celestial body has guided and inspired humanity for millennia. By following moon phases, you can deepen your spiritual journey, connect with the cycles of nature, and understand the connectedness of all of life. As we gaze upon its magical presence in the night sky, may we remember the profound wisdom and transformative energy the moon offers us all.

Spiritual Awakening: Exploring the Infinite Depths Within

Spiritual Awakening: Exploring the Infinite Depths Within

Amidst the chaos of the modern world, many individuals are seeking solace and a greater sense of meaning in life. Leading them to embark upon an awakening journey. Spiritual awakening is an enlightening process that transcends religious boundaries and explores the limitless depths of consciousness. But what does this really mean and what does an awakening journey look like in our day-to-day experience? This article intends to shed light on the essence and significance of spiritual awakening, guiding readers through its profound impacts, signs, and steps to navigate one’s awakening.

What is a Spiritual Awakening?

Spiritual awakening can be thought of as an awakening of consciousness, marked by a deep realization of our interconnectedness with all beings and the universe. It often occurs as a result of a profound shift in perspective usually brought on by a significant life transition (though not always). While the experience differs for each individual, there are common threads that many will experience as they engage with this continual process. It usually requires an abrupt or gradual shedding of beliefs, identity, and worldviews. Followed by a massive thirst for new knowledge and perspectives.

Signs of Spiritual Awakening

For some, this journey will unfold subtly, and for others, it will be abrupt and destructive. But there are distinct signs and experiences regardless of the onboarding speed. These signs may include a heightened sense of connection, increased perception, and sensitivity to the environment. A deeper sense of compassion and the ability and desire to see the world from another’s perspective. There is an increased awareness of one’s thoughts and emotions and a stronger desire for introspection. Other signs can manifest as synchronicities, unexplainable occurrences,  increased intuition, or wanting to consciously co-create one’s life. Additionally, individuals undergoing spiritual awakening may experience a profound shift in values and priorities, as they detach from ego-driven outcomes in pursuit of meaning, peace, and purpose.

Read The True Nature of Synchronicity

The Impact of Awakening

Because spiritual awakening invites us to dive into our inner world, we uncover layers of conditioning, destructive beliefs, and limiting perspectives that hold us back from living meaningful lives. This allows us to move through life with more compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance toward ourselves and others. Often fostering harmonious relationships and improved communication. As awareness expands we are capable of a greater appreciation for nature, the beauty of existence, and the impermanence of life. We also experience Oneness or the interconnectedness of all things more frequently and often see our life through this wider lens. These perspectives are necessary for a deeper level of purpose and meaning. 

Navigating the Spiritual Path

This path at times can be exciting, and awe-inspiring. But it can also be painful as old patterns, people and behaviors begin to fall out of our lives.  Cultivating mindfulness through practices such as meditation, yoga, or journaling helps create the necessary space for introspection and self-awareness. As well as helps to hone our concentrative abilities. Additionally, engaging with spiritual teachings, and books, or attending retreats can provide guidance and inspiration along the way. Finding a supportive community can help as sometimes this path can make you feel a little crazy and it is good to have the support of like-minded people who can keep you grounded. And help you process the life changes you will go through as part of this journey. Maintaining a mindset of curiosity, openness, and surrender is vital, as spiritual awakening often defies logic and requires embracing the unknown.

New to Awakening? Three Books Everyone Should Read

Spiritual awakening is an invitation to embark upon a profound and transformative journey, unlocking the infinite depths within us. By embracing this path, we connect with our true essence, discover the interconnectedness of all existence, and find solace and purpose in an ever-changing world. Through signs, experiences, and the profound impacts it brings, spiritual awakening provides an opportunity for deep healing, personal growth, and heightened consciousness. By embarking upon this journey with curiosity, openness, and mindfulness, we forge a deeper connection with ourselves, others, and the universe. Unveiling the boundless wonders that reside within.

Balancing the Divine Feminine

Balancing the Divine Feminine

The Divine Feminine is often explored in contrast to the patriarchal structures that modern society was built on. However, the Divine Feminine is one of the fundamental archetypal and energetic building blocks of creation and is not limited to females. It is not just a response to patriarchal structures, but instead a principal form of energy that all beings possess, regardless of a person’s gender. It is complementary to the Divine Masculine, and together they are the forces behind all of creation. This article will explore the Divine Feminine traits, archetypes, and imbalances, as well as how to awaken this force within each of us.

Characteristics of the Divine Feminine

In many spiritual traditions, the Divine Feminine is personified as a goddess or a divine mother figure. It is associated with intuition, feelings, nurturing, receptivity, interconnectedness, healing, creativity, empathy, and communication. Symbols such as the moon, Gaia (Mother Earth), and water as all considered expressions of the Divine Feminine. It acts as a counterbalance to the masculine aspects, which are associated with the qualities of strength, action, and logic. If the masculine is focused on doing, the feminine is focused on being. She is not only represented by the more abstract and emotional aspects but she is also the container from which all things are birthed. She is the unmanifest consciousness that awaits the masculine structure and instruction to bring form out of the formless.

Read More About the Divine Masculine Energies

The Divine Feminine Archetypes

In mythology and literature, the Divine Feminine is represented in various forms and includes a multitude of energies, deities, virtues, and personifications. These archetypes are not goddesses but rather attributes of the Divine Feminine, and they can be used to cultivate a deeper awareness of ourselves. By recognizing which of these archetypes we embody, we can learn how these energies manifest as both the shadow and light depending on our own unique experiences. We can call upon different aspects of these forms to restore balance and wholeness to our being.

The following are examples of Divine Feminine archetypes:

  1. Maiden: embodies innocence, playfulness, and new beginnings. E.g. Persephone, Cinderella, Snow White
  2. Lover: represents sensuality, intimacy, and emotional connection. E.g. Aphrodite, Venus, Guinevere, Juliet, Cleopatra
  3. Mother: embodies nurturing, compassion, and unconditional love. E.g. Demeter, Mary, Gaia, Mother Nature.
  4. Enchantress: represents the mysterious, seductive, and magical aspects of femininity. E.g. Circe, Medusa, Baba, Maleficent.
  5. Healer: embodies the power of healing, restoration, and transformation. E.g. Hecate, Kuan Yin, White Buffalo Calf Woman
  6. Creatrix: represents creativity, imagination, and the ability to bring form out of the formless. E.g. Saraswati, Minerva, Sophia, Oshun
  7. Priestess: embodies spirituality, intuition, and connection to the Divine. E.g. Hestia, Isis, Mary Magdalene
  8. Queen: represents leadership, authority, and the ability to create order and stability. E.g.Hera, Ishtar, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great
  9. Wild Woman: represents freedom, authenticity, and the ability to embrace one’s primal nature. E.g. Lilith, Eve, Salome, Calypso, Pandora.
  10. Wise Woman: embodies wisdom, knowledge, and the ability to guide others through life’s challenges. E.g. Sophia, Kuan Yin, Baba Yaga

Working with these archetypes can be a transformative journey for women (and men), allowing them to embody the highest expression of their feminine energies.

(Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss is a fantastic book to learn more about archetypes)

The Divine Feminine Out of Balance

The best way to understand the balance of the Divine Feminine is to see it in relationship to the Divine Masculine. Think of the Yin/Yang. These two energies exist in harmony. If one is out of balance, it means that the other is also imbalanced. When our Divine Feminine energy is out of harmony, we exhibit the shadow side – the wounded feminine. This is characterized by unhealthy patterns of behavior such as jealousy, manipulation, and victimhood. Finding a balance between the two is key.

An imbalance in the Divine Feminine can manifest in various ways, including:

  1. Repression of emotions and feelings.
  2. Lack of creativity and self-expression.
  3. Difficulty in nurturing and caring for oneself and others.
  4. Overly passive behavior or playing the victim.
  5. Inability to set healthy boundaries.
  6. Disconnection from nature and the environment.
  7. Overly emotional or placing feelings above all else.
  8. A tendency towards perfectionism or people-pleasing.
  9. Difficulty in receiving and accepting help or support from others.
  10. Using emotional blackmail to manipulate others.

Awakening the Divine Feminine

Regardless of your gender, awakening the Divine Feminine within can benefit your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. Bringing a deeper sense of meaning and purpose into your life and connecting you to your inner guidance system.

Here are some ways to awaken the Divine Feminine:

  1. Spend time in nature, walk barefoot, sunbathe naked, and bathe in the river.
  2. Do things that deepen your relationship with the Earth like gardening, conservation, and working with animals.
  3. Access, fully feel, and release our feelings without judgment.
  4. Practice self-care and self-love.
  5. Cultivate healthy boundaries and learn to say no.
  6. Connect with the Divine Feminine through meditation, prayer, ritual, and ceremony.
  7. Embrace creativity, whether it’s through dance, art, music, writing, or other forms of expression.
  8. Cultivate intuition and take action on your inner guidance.
  9. Examine your wounds that arose from early and important relationships with women. Explore what they taught you about femininity and the qualities of the Divine Feminine.
  10. Practice compassion, empathy, and kindness towards ourselves and others.
  11. Nurture relationships, people, plants, and animals. Take care of your world with a loving presence.
  12. Flow within the micro and macro cycles of the day, month, year, etc.

Rise of the Divine Feminine

Patriarchal and masculine structures have dominated modern society for centuries. Part of bringing balance to a world that seeks domination over nature and each other is to bring balance to the divine principles. Awakening the Divine Feminine in each of us can help to empower all people and promote equality. In our linear and logical world, the qualities of the Divine Feminine like intuition, and emotions are seen as less than. But to bring balance and harmony to our world, all aspects of the divine energies need to be valued and revered. They don’t exist on a spectrum, they exist as a whole in complement to each other.

Read Seeing Beyond the Lens of Patriarchy

 

Connecting to the Divine Feminine helps us live more in alignment with our higher self and assists us in operating from a space of self-love, kindness, and inner peace. We can be compassionate and nurturing, without sacrificing healthy boundaries – embracing the idea of power with instead of power over. Essentially, when our energies are in balance, we are empowered and, in turn, empower others. Through meditation, prayer, and self-exploration, we can tap into the Divine Feminine energy within us and connect with the sacredness of all life. By embracing the Divine Feminine principle, we can create a world that is more compassionate, just, and equitable for all beings.

Balancing the Divine Masculine

Balancing the Divine Masculine

​The concept of the Divine Masculine is often misunderstood and overlooked in our society, which tends to focus more on the negative aspects of masculinity. However, the Divine Masculine represents the best and most inspiring aspects of masculine expression in the universe. The Divine Masculine is thought to reside within all individuals, regardless of gender identity, and is seen as a vital aspect of personal growth and spiritual development. It is complementary to the Divine Feminine, and together they create balance in the universe. In this article, we will explore the Divine Masculine principle, its archetypes, traits, and imbalances.

Characteristics of the Divine Masculine

The Divine Masculine is an energetic, spiritual, and archetypal ideal that exists on a transpersonal and universal level manifesting itself through conscious thoughts, plans, processes, goals, and structures. This principle is very action-based, focused on doing rather than being, and it is represented by power, strength, focus, leadership, and logic. In proper balance, it is confident without being arrogant, rational without being possessive, and strong while still being gentle. It offers safety and guidance through compassion and support.

Divine Masculine Archetypes

In mythology and literature, the Divine Masculine is represented by various archetypes. These archetypes can embody both the light and shadow aspects. Both men and women can embody these representations.

Here are some examples:

  1. The King – represents sovereignty, leadership, and responsibility
  2. The Knight – represents courage, chivalry, protection, honor
  3. The Warrior – represents strength, courage, and protection
  4. The Magician – represents intelligence, wisdom, and transformation
  5. The Father – represents nurturing, supportive, and protective energy
  6. The Lover – represents passion, intimacy, and emotional connection

Examples of these archetypes can be found in various spiritual traditions, such as Hinduism, Greek mythology, and Christianity. Characters like Hercules, Perseus, Shiva, Zeus, and even the idea of a masculine God or “Father” in Christianity embody the Divine Masculine archetype.

Here is a great resource to learn more about Divine Masculine Archetypes.

Unbalanced Divine Masculine

The best way to understand the balance of the Divine Masculine is to see it in relationship to the Divine Feminine. Think of the Ying/Yang. These two energies exist in harmony. If one is out of balance it means that the other is also imbalanced. So if you are too grounded in your masculine energy, you will be deficient in the Divine Feminine and vis versa. Finding a balance between the two is key.  If you notice any of these signs, it may be an indication that your Divine Masculine energy is out of balance, and you may need to work on tapping into your feminine energy or work on any deficiency in your masculine energy.

Here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Overly aggressive or dominant behavior
  2. Lack of empathy or emotional intelligence
  3. Inability to connect with others on an emotional level
  4. Difficulty expressing vulnerability or emotions
  5. Overemphasis on doing rather than being
  6. Overemphasis on material success and wealth
  7. Lack of focus or direction in life
  8. Difficulty with self-discipline and not taking accountability

Awakening the Divine Masculine

Some practices that can help awaken the Divine Masculine energy within oneself include:

  1. Set boundaries: Being assertive and setting boundaries is a masculine trait. Saying “no” to people and things that do not align with your values is an important step in taking responsibility for your life.
  2. Practice Responsibility and accountability: Take charge of your life and be accountable for your role in situations.
  3. Examine your wounds surrounding the masculine: Reflecting on your formative and important relationships with the men in your life. What did you learn about masculinity? How did this guide your actions as an adult?
  4. Create Structure & Processes: Think about where your lack of structure and self-discipline has harmed you or inhibited your success. Can you create more processes or healthy habits that allow you to be more productive?
  5. Take action: Go get shit done.

By practicing these methods, one can nurture and balance the Divine Masculine energy within oneself, leading to a more balanced and awakened life.

Read: Seeing Beyond the Lens of Patriarchy

The Masculinity Crisis

Initiations and rituals that help boys transition into manhood used to be an integral part of traditional societies. However, over the centuries of civilization in the West, almost all of these ritual processes have been abandoned or discredited. This has led to a crisis in masculinity, where men are struggling to find their identity and purpose in life. The lack of meaningful ritual for masculine initiation has disconnected men from the processes by which they achieved their gender identity in a deep, mature, and life-enhancing way. As a result, many men either had no initiation into manhood or had pseudo-initiations that did not have the power necessary to achieve genuine transformation of consciousness.

It is necessary to find a balance between the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine to live a whole, awakened, and balanced life. Awakening the Divine Masculine requires responsibility, accountability, and self-awareness. We need to work on the shadow side of the Masculine to resolve the crisis of masculinity in society as a whole. By tapping into the balanced aspects and engaging with its archetypes, men can become more centered, and generative towards themselves and others, and live a more peaceful, aligned, and meaningful existence.