GABRIELA HERSTIK

What’s in an awakening, anyway?

Why is that when we need external validation for something we already know internally, we tend to feel dissatisfied with what we’re given?  Or at least like we’re looking for something *more*. This air of comparison is dangerous (and I’m a Scorpio Moon so I know all about that for real!) When we compare our own spiritual journey to someone else’s we’re not only doing a disservice to ourselves but to others as well. Because no two journeys are going to look alike, ever. Ever, ever. And this is not just in spirit speak. But, is especially true in spirt speak. As we go through a collective unconscious awakening (hello 2012,) more of us are waking up, but that doesn’t mean we’re all doing so at the same time, at the same rate or even in the same way. Which sounds scary, but really, it means that there’s no wrong way to have an awakening.

Photo by Alexandra Herstik

I had a intuitive  tattoo session done (I got a fake one, no worries mom!) for a piece I’m writing, and part of the process was getting my cards read. Something I’ve been working is having healthy boundaries for myself. I think of it as a riverbank; the walls are there so I can flow between them with ease, allowing me safety to grow while still having structure. I’ve also been working with Venus, with the goal of nurturing my heart and keeping her open.

My work for this waning moon, and the question I asked when I got my cards read for the session, is on releasing old patterns that I have with family; the habit that I have of reacting too angrily, too personally, too much from a place of victimization. And one major theme that came up during my reading? That I’m going through an initiation as a healer, that an awakening is happening; one where I step fully into my power, especially as a sensual and sexual being. I even felt like I was waiting for someone to validate these feelings for me but as soon as that happened I started to question if it was actually true.

At the end of July, I’ll have been in Los Angeles for a year. As of today, my parents have been living in San Diego for two years. And at the end of this month I’ll have been working full time (at HelloGiggles) for six months. I’m also writing a book, trying to go to yoga regularly, working on myself spirituality and generally learning to adult all while balancing a healthy social life. Is this what an awakening feels like?

Here’s the thing; even before this woman reading my cards told me I was going through this, I felt it.  Not because of anything I’ve heard or seen or done, but because I’m doing the work, or doing my best to do the work. I’m seeing my triggers, talking to my jealousy, meditating, making an effort to be healthier, and talk and listening to my spiritual team (of guides, angels, faeries, ancestors…you get the picture) on the reg. Do I feel like my awakening isn’t really an awakening because I haven’t had crazy visions or had some random visitation by an extraterrestrial? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, there’s no one else who’s walked my path. There’s no one else who knows my experiences as well as I do. And there’s no one else who feels consciousness the way that I do; and I will never know these experiences as someone else. So why should I feel like my experience right here, right now, isn’t valid just because it doesn’t look the way someone told me it was supposed to?

The Chariot by Starchild Tarot

I pulled one of my favorite cards earlier this week. The Chariot is a reminder of our own work, of the fact that movement is still progress even when we feel like it isn’t. And that taking time to stop, readjust and get our foundation set before we start moving forward doesn’t mean we aren’t progressing. The Chariot reminds us of our personal journey, power and path. A path that won’t look like anyone elses! My awakening has led me to feel more than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. It’s led me to find a coven across the world. It’s led me away from loneliness to feeling whole while also alone. This cards is a reminder that our spiritual path doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to be valid. What’s the fun in that anyway?

Photo by Alexandra Herstik

Your spiritual path doesn’t have to parallel anyone else’s. Trust no guru. If someone thinks they know something that you don’t know and that they’re more powerful than you because of that, then don’t trust them. A teacher should be a teacher; question them. Learn from them. Take everything they say with a grain of salt until you learn it for yourself. They should facilitate your growth by asking you questions that will allow you to dig deep and learn the answers yourself. No one knows more about you than you, period.

Photo by Alexandra Herstik

Your awakening may take years. It may take months. It may simply take a week. The only person who knows this is you. I like to think that our life is one giant awakening, with big bursts here and there. Spirituality is a journey, not a destination. May you always remember that your feelings, visions, manifestations, spiritual practices and magick are valid. And if anyone else tells you otherwise then they’re not worth your time.
Blessed be sweet souls. May your awakening be exactly what you need.

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