I Serve the World
This post has taken one year, a pandemic, an energy portal and Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, and a non-pandemic related illness to push past my hesitation to write it. Finally, the words are coming. If it feels incomplete, it's because the unfolding of understanding is continuing to happen.
In January 2019 I was in a mastermind with other energy- and woo-woo-aware business women, and during our opening retreat our coach gifted us a reading with Joy Kingsborough, an Archetypal Numerologist and author of Tarot-Numerology Archetypes. She offered to explain the meaning of our ruling number, and also drew two playing cards that represented our life's purpose and our ideal clients.
My number is 10, which fundamentally is about bringing innovation and change for a spiritual purpose. It includes a desire to be creative which can be applied in any form in the world: "You can create in more than one arena; you don't have to commit to one single thing, but you do need just one message in all arenas." That felt right to me.
Then we got to the card reading, which I was eager to hear about. What would mine be? Many of my other sisters in the program had received some lovely readings involving Aces, Kings and Queens, the pinnacle of service, it seemed to me. Mine?
Joy looked at me with something akin to pity and said, "This can be hard to receive. You serve the world." When I asked about my client contract, she looked even more sorry. "I'm sorry, I can't narrow it down. It's the world. You are simply here to serve the greater good."
"This contract is often one of the most challenging, because clarity of purpose may feel elusive. This is because your purpose is not truly defined by one path. You are meant to be an observer of life and instigator of change. This can be manifested in any way that you choose and on any scale that you choose. However, your greatest fulfillment will come from impacting global change in service to humanity and the planet as a whole."
So how did that land for me? It felt entirely validating and affirming. I am definitely most comfortable bringing change, supporting evolution, and orienting to whatever is coming next. I serve Arianrhod, after all, the Goddess of the liminal. I'm always at the edges where the lines blur. And I am committed to raising the vibration in everything I do. Isn't that serving the greater good?
My sisters who have shared their visions with me offered grand images of how I am in the world: volcanoes spewing lava that creates new land; giant priestesses birthing light onto the land; a great winged woman flying to the northern regions and bringing change by her presence alone. Big visions. Big responsibility. Big shoes to fill, so to speak.
So mostly what I felt in the face of Joy's reading was relief. It fit with everything else I had been uncovering and remembering about my purpose. But that didn't mean I didn't have some big questions:
Who am I to Serve the World?
Even with connections to a giant lineage, I am still only human. How does a mere human take on a sacred assignment like this without being crushed beneath it?
I have witnessed the damage that grandiosity can do to a human who takes on too much power from those who want to place them on a pedestal or turn them into a guru. I have studied the phenomenon in an effort to avoid it. I know the risk of the ego wanting to interpret great responsibility in service as proof that I am important and powerful. I have felt that temptation and been burned by it, and have worked hard to tame my ego with practices of gratitude, surrender and humility.
Service at What Cost?
The practice of humility (and some painful lessons in humility when I forget myself), a focus on service, and surrender to the Divine Plan have served me well...to a point. Because it turns out that my interests and desires do factor. My mentors keep asking me, what do you desire? And I had gotten to the point where I couldn't answer that question. How do you factor in desire to a commitment to surrender and service? It didn't really hit home until I had taken a few hard hits when I was called to service, that if it doesn't serve me, it doesn't serve the world.
I'm in it for the long haul, and I come from ancestors that live a long time. I'm not even half way through my life, and I'm determined to serve to the end and not burn out in the process. Whatever I do, however I serve, must be sustainable. And yet, I have been drawn into some situations that do not feel sustainable in an effort to do what I think will serve the world.
To that end, I have done some deep ancestry work to ensure that I am serving in the right way and with a solid team at my back. I am blessed with a team of guides and ancestors in the unseen, and many brilliant mentors in the seen realms. I receive such love and encouragement to keep going, especially during great tests and adversity. They tell me:
You are held with love in multiple dimensions and through time.
We sang you into existence on earth to hold our frequency there. You are infinite and therefore you can hold us in your form no matter our size. You walk among us in your true guise.
There is constant tension between understanding that this work needs to be healing to me as well as to the world, and that sometimes it does not require 'doing' at all. My shadow work is to integrate and heal my ancestral compulsion to gain value through doing and accomplishing things, even to the detriment of my life force and health. My recent illness during the energy portal was an undeniable reminder that putting myself first is a form sustainable service. And the message I received in that moment was "Surrender more."
What Does Serving the World Look Like?
At first I would ask myself, is THIS what serving the world looks like? Should I be doing more? Should I be on a different path than the one I am on? Arianrhod gave me the short answer, which is like a mantra and constant reminder:
"Remember, Dear One, this is all one line of trajectory. Everything that has come before has prepared you for what comes next."
Since I have begun exploring my spiritual purpose more intensively, I have been called into more and more situations where I have been asked to clear properties and support healing of the land. How did that trajectory begin? By following impulses. First, I followed the impulse to attend a Feminine Leadership retreat. Then I received a message from one of the women there that I needed to get a drum, so I explored that possibility.
I followed the impulse to get a drum—a very large drum. The largest I could find. Then I received the information that it would travel with me. So I arranged to have a custom case made. As this was happening, when I didn't know what the drum was for, my family and I were invited to a Sun Dance ceremony. The purpose of a Sun Dance is to Renew the World. I said yes, not knowing what to expect, whether we would be welcome, or what being in service at a Sun Dance would look like. But I took my drum.
The experience was transformative, and my drum was not only blessed (and gently mocked for being covered in glitter and made of vinyl, not animal hides) but also received the great honour to be used in the women's full moon ceremony. I learned that my ancestry work and training with my shaman and with Shakti Rising had prepared me to be fully present and serve in many mundane and profound ways during the ceremony. We have attended for two years now and and hope to attend again this summer.
This blessed drum was then called (by an internal/Divine voice that will not be ignored) to be played in and around my home, to honour the river under the full moon, to honour the land at my parents' property, and eventually to help conduct clearings of properties, not only of energy imbalances or complicated individual deaths, but also an historic battlefield. At the same time, I was hired as a consultant in my business to help an Indigenous Nation commemorate a traditional wintering site that was also the site of a massacre of their ancestors. The overlaps between my seen and unseen work continues to unfold and gain complexity.
Am I on the right path? Should I be doing this differently? My mind and ego try to tell me maybe I'm off base, and that I should be doing something else; my heart, belly and womb tell me, yes you are on the right path. This is the way. How could you doubt?
This process of serving the world seems to evolve slowly. I am beginning to understand that it does not require any kind of extended grind (as that is not sustainable), and that the ripples happen in multiple dimensions. I won't always know their impact, but I can trust that the work is happening. And that even as a writer-and-consultant-turned-priestess-guardian-of-the-threshold-turned-land-healer in a little Prairie city in Canada, I am serving the world.
Building the Web
I've sat on this post for over a year, knowing that I needed to declare that I serve the world (although to what purpose, I still don't know), and also being unsure of how to say it, or how it would be received.
I have been encouraged to share my wisdom, but I often feel as though I'm pushing people too far, or will make them uncomfortable with my commitments to magic, and at the same time, I criticize myself that I am somehow in resistance when I get encouraged to share my wisdom in ways or on timelines that don't feel alive or in service to me. I'm learning to trust the Divine voice and to practice discernment of the voices trying to keep me small AND the voices that push me back into over-doing.
What I do know is that the web of connections that I have been weaving and tending my whole life continues to grow wider and in unexpected ways. The network does spread across the world, and I check in with the various points on the web as the impulse arises. While I don't know the purpose of the network, I will understand more when the time is right. Until then, I will be here, tending the edges and following the impulse.
I know there must be more of us out there who also serve the world in their current earthly incarnation, and I wonder: how do you answer the questions I've struggled with? How do you tend the web? How can we support one another? How is your practice of trust and surrender? How is your heart these days? Are you ready for what is coming...or what is already here? I would love to hear from you.