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I’m a professional historian, so I’ve certainly been thinking a lot about what this era means in the long sweep of history. I’ve learned that my fascination with the past – even longing to have experienced periods like the 1960s – was naive. History is interesting to study. Not so fun to live in real time.

I’ve also been trying to think about what these current times mean to me in the context of my spiritual beliefs. I feel lost and overwhelmed and scared. But I anchor into my beliefs and try to find answers. These answers don’t necessarily assuage my fear – because my beliefs don’t change what seems to be the reality. But they calm me. They center me. They give me courage in the face of my fears, because I know that I chose to be here in this life, in these moments. So I put on my big girl britches, take a deep breath, and keep going.

History feels like it is coming at us faster and faster. But it starts to make sense in the context of a paradigm shift that many believe is under way. Metaphysical practitioners talk about the Earth’s ascension to a higher consciousness. That is, the vibration of the entire plant – all of us – is rising. This is a positive development in our human evolution because higher vibrations encompass realities of love, compassion, and understanding. Lower vibrations are associated with experiences of pain, anger, hate, and other unpleasantries. But it’s a rough process. Change is never easy, particularly when we are talking about change on a global, evolutionary scale.

The fear and chaos we see erupting in much of the world are a reaction to this shift. Beings of lower vibration (Donald Trump, violent police officers, white supremacists) resist evolution to a higher consciousness because it’s not them, it doesn’t fit where they are in their own personal evolution. It’s uncomfortable; they fear it. So they react. They scream. They fight. And darkness seems to engulf us. Except that there is another step in this process, and that is the expansion of light in response to the chaos. Things will probably get worse before they get better. People will suffer and some will die. But the emergence of so much hatred and anger ignites an awakening that overcomes these lower frequencies, bending the arc of the moral universe ever closer to true justice.

This evolution ushers in a new age of the Divine Feminine, an era in which the old ways of white supremacy and patriarchy – greed, destruction, inequality, exploitation – dissolve in favor of more compassion, cooperation, care for ourselves, each other, and our planet. This may seem hard to believe when we turn on the news. But it all makes sense if we consider the narrative of planetary spiritual evolution.

Watching the violence on the news, I thought, “What must George Floyd be thinking as he sees this chaos following his death? Is this what he would have wanted?” But then I remembered my beliefs. I believe that we all choose the roles we are going to play in each lifetime. These are called “soul contracts.” From this perspective, Floyd is elevated to a highly evolved spiritual leader of almost unimaginable significance. Likewise, his heartbroken family are brave, giving warriors of love, because they, too, agreed to be part of this global story. If it is true that he chose this role for this lifetime, he did so to help lead us to a better, more just world.

I’d like to think that George Floyd, now expanding in healing and joy, is indeed watching this with sadness for his family, his community, his world. But he is also watching with empowerment (unlike the vicious disempowerment white supremacy imposed upon his earthly body) and knowing. Knowing that, from his higher, wider view, voices of justice are rising. And he played a critical role in that process.

This is not to say that violence, oppression, or persecution is ok, acceptable, or justifiable. According to this spiritual paradigm, all beings have free will. So perpetrators of harm, like police officer Derek Chauvin, must be held accountable. This system of white supremacy must be destroyed.

Another feeling I’ve been exploring is my core belief that self-improvement and spiritual exploration means nothing if you don’t put it to good use in improving your world. I see a lot of seekers who often seem to be navel gazing and focused only on personal growth. That’s just self-centeredness. “Love and light” is the life blood of the universe. But unless we use that force to motivate us to engage with hatred and injustice, to really look it in the eye, for others as well as ourselves, then the animating power of the cosmos is robbed of its true essence. It’s not “feeding lower energy” to acknowledge it and battle it. It’s committing to be a soldier in the army of the goddess, who is the force of justice and truth, unafraid to step into battle.

Goddess traditions around the world and throughout history show us that the goddess appears in many forms. She can be nurturing and gentle. But she can also be raging and destructive. I think that what we are seeing now – expressed through violence, outrage, virus, environmental collapse – is the burning, the cleansing, of the death goddess. Now is a time of reckoning. A new world is struggling to be born, but the old one must die away first. As any woman who has birthed a child can tell you, if you tense up and resist the pain, it will hurt more. It will last longer. But if you can summon the strength to relax into the pain, as hard as that is, that opening actually makes the birth easier. It makes the pain easier to bare.

If it’s true that George Floyd and his devastated family chose to play this role at this time in human history – then we did, too. We chose this time. We chose this time because we have a role to play.

What will yours be?

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