I have been aware, in the past few weeks, of a certain seeming contradiction in the nature of my social media posts.
Some are sweetness and light, paths forward, time on the land, gratitude.
Some are filled with anger, fury, denouncements of white supremacy, racist police, and brutality.
It is tempting to choose one or the other and go with it.
It is tempting to avoid the risk that folks who like my spiritual posts will be turned away by my angry posts.
It is tempting to avoid the risk that folks who appreciate my social justice advocacy will be turned away by my spiritual posts.
It is tempting to choose one or the other and go with it.
But that is not my way, and it is not the way of wholeness.
My spirituality takes me many places. I deliberately enter altered states of consciousness on a regular basis via meditation, drumming, and other practices. I commune with my ancestors and my many spiritual guides, allies, and companions. I call on the energies of my animal and plant allies. I travel in realms of spirit and communicate with energies on other planes and bring back information and messages for myself and others.
This work has the potential to render one "high," and often does. I love this work. I love what it does for my mood and my sense of connectedness with the world.
But I am not one who believes that being "high" all the time is the goal. In fact, I believe in shadow work. I believe in the importance of also going down, deep into our unconscious and discovering what's there, good, bad, and ugly. And reckoning with it.
There are certain schools of thought that focus exclusively on "high vibes" and "positive thinking." These are valuable practices in their place, but when they are practiced without also examining what lies below the level of consciousness, they grow toxic. They allow unconscious prejudices, beliefs, and thoughts to go unchecked. And these unconscious monsters always eventually rise to the surface to wreak havoc.
The monsters always, eventually, rise to the surface.
So in my spiritual practice, I practice balance. I go up, in search of connection with holy divine. I go down, in search of connection with holy matter. I go within, in search of connection and centeredness within myself.
And I go below, into the depths of the unconscious, and I face my demons.
Now, consider: As above, so below; as within, so without. Everything is a microcosm of everything else.
As in my spiritual practice, so also in society.
It's all good and well to think happy thoughts and hope for the best and high vibe for a better society.
But if we do that without also examining the dark underside of our collective unconscious and all the damage it has wreaked over centuries and millennia and continues to wreak, then all we have done is plastered happy faces over a whole lot of ugliness.
For me, my spiritual practice is not about getting high and being happy. It's about facing life in integrity. It's about truth. It's about authenticity. It's about connecting with the truth of who we are and what we can accomplish. It's about glorying in all that is beautiful, yes, and it's about facing with courage all that is challenging.
It's about walking through the world in balance.
It's about being who we are.
And it's about pursuing truth, authenticity, integrity, and justice for all.
As within, so without.
Our world is facing a collective reckoning, for all the things we have shoved down below and tried to ignore. All the brutality. The white supremacy that has led to violence on BIPOC bodies. The human supremacy that has led to violence upon the body of our earth. The religious supremacy that has led to violence upon the bodies of all who don't fit the "right" boxes. The male supremacy that has led to violence upon the bodies of women. And on and on. All the layers of supremacy we created and set in place and then tried really hard to ignore and drive underground so we didn't have to notice the brutal foundations of our civilization.
The monster has risen.
The monster was always there. And for those who have been its victims, it was never hidden. But now it has revealed itself to all of us, even those of us who have tried really hard to high vibe our way out of seeing it.
It refuses to be ignored.
Thus, for me, there is no contradiction in the nature of my posts.
The "spiritual" posts are about justice. The justice posts are about spirit.
As without, so within.
As our society reckons with its monsters, so also many of us are being pushed to reckon with our own. Our inner shadow has arisen too, to be faced.
Thus, the Anamchara work I do is in part about learning to navigate and face our personal demons, and in part about learning to reconnect and appreciate our own divinity.
And it's also in part about advocating the same at the societal level.
For this work, inward and outward, the time has come.
Fen Druadìn (they/them) is anamchara, storyteller, dragon, student of trees, and a breaker of generational curses.
Fen's mission here is to love and remember themself completely, connect deeply with the world, and help others do the same for themselves.
Fen connects deeply with the universe through their relationship with a sacred land in the Appalachians of North Carolina, and shares messages here and elsewhere. When not in the woods, they can be found on Facebook and Patreon.
If you feel led and are able, you can support Fen's work in any of these ways:
You can also contribute to the work of reconnecting with yourself and the world in any or all of these ways:
Stand in front of a mirror, look in your eyes, and say, "I love you." Repeat daily for as long as it takes
Send your love to the trees and stones and water and Earth
Spend time in quiet meditation with a plant or stone person, and listen for messages
Clean up litter in your neighborhood and/or engage in other acts of environmental restoration
Build a personal relationship with the plants and animals in your area by spending time with them and listening for their messages and responding to their needs
Reconnect with your own strength and power and truth via meditative practice such as yoga, guided meditation, chanting, drumming, dance, or any other tool that feels right and helps you ground and connect
Engage in this community and/or other communities committed to re-establishing our right relationship with ourselves and the earth
Wherever you are, on your journey and in your life, may you be well, may you be at peace, and may you always find the next good step.