The fine art of not fitting in and other inconveniences!
“Some of us aren't meant to belong. Some of us have to turn the world upside down and shake the hell out of it until we make our own place in it.”
― Elizabeth Lowell, Remember Summer.
I was thinking recently about how much the holistic industry has changed.
Since the advent of social media and then the financial crisis in 2008, life as a practitioner has altered dramatically. I am now at an age and a stage in my life when I can recall the days when the holistic market place and general ethos was so very different to what it is now. This, however, is not the point of this blog, yet there is a tenuous link between then and now in so far as the so called 'new age' is much more obligated to offer up its sons and daughters and everyone and I mean everyone, seems to have a message. The paranormal has successfully parked itself amidst the sublime and the profane of the counterculture which has cultivated the dialogue of the ‘confessional’ to dizzying proportions. We all have a story to tell and a healer or psychic or Tarot consultant will tell you that we listen to those stories and throw the magical waters of compassion over the grief and the ecstasy which make up modern living.
Back in the day there was a stronger sense of being different to anyone else in society.
Since being a child I always had this idea of being different to others. Consequently, it was a bit of a hallelujah moment when I came upon the College of Psychic Studies and other places as it meant that I could belong. I found great comfort in being part of a tribe that shared similar life experiences and world views. There is definitely strength in numbers. There was a feeling of pride as well as amazement that one’s life path was very possibly one of connecting to the spiritual and learning about the necessity for accessing non–local consciousness.
Today it is so much more mainstream and widely accepted as a lifestyle choice.
But back in my early years we were often viewed as being a bit barmy and were open to all sorts of criticism and jocular derision. I see that there is still a portion of society that still thinks as I have described but for modern practitioners there is less of a feeling of living in the margins of the rest of the world.
I also think that there is a general homogeneity within the holistic arts and some of the stuff that is churned out has become generic. There is nothing new under the sun, yet some can still turn up with something that is at odds with the rest.
I think that this is a good thing as it keeps things alive.
I remember with great affection those days of putting vast ideas and communications into the tiny box on the side. Art, like water, will find its own level and there is so much to be happy about the accessibility of spiritual knowledge and communities.
An eminent scientist and spiritual scholar was very recently asked, ‘Will people who dedicate themselves to a spiritual practice start to isolate themselves from the social groups around them?’
Good question. It occurred to me that those who follow a spiritual path actually isolate themselves and this may be true of those years when I was in training. It served a purpose to be constrained by a society that didn’t approve or at very least greeted the subject with mirth. Protected by being ‘special’ meant preservation.
These days it is about the gathering together of people.
Spiritual activities are a powerful way of growing communities. Current times require us to reconnect to our own spirit and doing something with a common purpose is better than waiting for the end of the world! Interestingly, the ideology behind spiritualism was to maintain communities both in this place and the next. I feel that this brings hope of continuity and well-being.
The Hermit is not always the ideal for spiritual contemplation, the accent is on sharing and we could be witnessing a natural swing in the pattern towards group collaboration deviating away from the individualism of recent times. Maybe this is a good thing.
To encapsulate this narrative through a Tarot lens I drew a card - you gotta love Tarot! I drew the 9 of Wands.
This card speaks of unity and wholeness, the importance of grounding, bringing together what is above with what is below. This 9 recognises courage and confidence in facing what is to come, to look at the barrier created by self in one’s own spiritual thinking. Inhibition disables progress and the unacknowledged passion within that serves no point unless applied to our own life purpose.
We are reminded that new influences are arriving but we must not get distracted as a downward spiral must occur before we can go up.
It is not for us to suppress our abilities nor should we play small. It is not about us but about the work. Our unconscious attitudes towards service can create a hostility that may not really exist.