(art by Kat Kissick)
“Religion is following the messenger, spirituality is following the message.”
There is no doubt that we are living in extreme times where lack of decorum and openly hateful behaviour are being encouraged by folks in leadership positions. This trend is not exclusive to the United States: It is being experienced in Canada where I live, in the United Kingdom, and around the world. I’ve talked to a lot of people recently who are feeling hopeless, which leads to folks descending into depression, addiction, illness, and disease. We humans seem to be losing our inner equilibrium as wars rage on, injustices go unchecked, white supremacy increases, the world is warming, oceans are rising and natural disasters pop up regularly on the news. On the surface, it seems like the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I hope to present an alternative view to the one mainstream media is feeding us. My intent is to shed some spiritual light on our situation that can help us navigate these trying times with more ease and grace.
In the last one hundred and fifty years or so, we’ve lived through a time of unprecedented change due to scientific findings and technological inventions that altered every aspect of our lives. For example, we went from living relatively close to the Earth and her cycles to not knowing how to grow or hunt our own food, relying instead on grocery stores to provide for us. English chef Jamie Oliver has noted in interviews that many inner-city children in his food education programs don’t even know the names of common vegetables or what they look like in their full plant form. The traditional culinary arts that used to be passed on through generations are being lost due to our busy lifestyles and reliance on fast, processed foods. This disconnection from vital survival knowledge would have been unthinkable about fifty years ago! We have forgotten that we rely on the health of the Earth and her systems for our very survival as a species. What we do to her, we ultimately do to ourselves.
On December 21, 2012 our species crossed a spiritual threshold into the Fifth World as indicated in Maya prophecy. Some folks believed that this date on the Mayan Long Count Calendar meant a literal end to the world, however, I believe this was never intended to be a doomsday message: The Maya meant that we are currently being propelled into a new state of consciousness as a species where the same ol’ same ol’ mentality no longer works. In short, it was the end of what the Maya call the Fourth World, a cycle of five thousand years where we humans got to play out our illusion that we had dominion over nature. We are currently in the beginning of the new cycle the Maya called the Fifth World where we are being asked to raise our consciousness and step into a new kind of balance with the cosmos and the Earth. In studying the Mesoamerican and Hopi prophecies about the transition into the Fifth World, it makes sense to me that we are experiencing tension between humans caught in belief systems contributing to the desecration of our planet and others working to “wake up” our species to the ways of Mother Earth. We simply cannot keep ignoring what we know about how all the systems, sentient and non-sentient beings are related and work together to keep life going on our planet if we expect to survive as a species.
If fellow humans are struggling to find some perspective on this, I highly recommend watching the National Geographic series “One Strange Rock,” now available on Netflix. Ten astronauts who have spent time in space are featured in this show and speak of what is now called “the overview effect”: After experiencing Earth from space, they came back to our planet forever changed and rocked by a major paradigm shift inside themselves. From space, it is clear to them that Earth is a living being with the ability to heal herself. And that we humans are all earthlings, specially adapted to live on this planet alone. Interestingly, the astronauts don’t come back feeling defeated but rather with a sense of inner peace and awe that is palpable to viewers. They use spiritual language that indicates to me as a shamanic practitioner that they were able to grok in a new way the importance of how everything is connected in the cosmos. And the vastness of all we do not know as humans about the mystery of how it all works.
In light of all this information, what can each of us do to maintain our own inner balance? The simple answer I have is three-fold:
- Commit to living your personal inner truth and heal the inner patterns that are not congruent with that through ritual, conversation, contemplative practices, and energy healing. In short, whatever spiritual tools you have need to be dusted off and put to use!
- Connect with the Earth regularly. Intuit what she needs to help her heal and offer what you can (i.e. prayers, tobacco, resources, inventions, ocean clean ups, ceremony, etc.).
- Align with the Sacred Dream of Life and with Spirit. However you connect with the cosmos and the intelligence of the universe, do it daily. Ask for direction from the “as above” and take action on the messages you receive. Work with your spirit animals and guides in daily meditation and dreams to support you.
As we humans return to a state of inner balance, the outer world will reflect that. As we re-orient ourselves to the natural cycles of life, it will become clear to us how to move forward in a good way.
“The light we see in the mirror of the heart of [the Wiccan Wheel of the Year] guides our evolution towards greater consciousness. Collectively, this opens the portal for our human evolution into the human luminous (a.k.a. homo luminous) of Mayan prophecy. As a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis is transformed, showing no trace of its previous caterpillar DNA, we can change human identity by transforming ourselves, one [human] at a time.”
-Susa Silvermarie excerpt from We’Moon 2019: Fanning the Flame
I suppose this is why I practice shamanism. It keeps me on an even keel in the midst of all the chaos. I am glad there are folks out there pushing back against ignorance. All we need to do is what we are being called to in our hearts as individuals. The world desperately needs us to take up space and stand in what we know to be true. Folks will be called to support in loads of different ways as activists, environmental lawyers, farmers, teachers, scientists, and policy-makers–to name a few. Spirit’s called me to help the humans heal; I endeavour to stay in my lane and let others do what they are good at in their “lanes.” This keeps my energy focused and increases my effectiveness. I do that via shamanic tools and practices. I figure that if humans heal, the environment will return to balance too. Shamanism keeps me connected to the earth-based practices of our ancestors, who guide me on my journey. I am not alone. Indeed, none of us are. I don’t know if all of this will be enough to save our species in the end, however, I do know the Earth will heal herself with or without us. And I am committed to my spiritual growth and to supporting others on their spiritual journey while I am here on this beautiful and abundant planet. I’ve chosen to focus on what I can control as an individual because anything else is futile. I leave you with some questions to ponder: How will you take up space in a good way? What strengths do you bring to offer the collective? I send healing heart prayers to each of you and wish you well on your Earth walk.
article: The Prophecy of the Fifth World
One Strange Rock:
About the Author:
Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.
Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:
“The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”
“Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”
For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com