Twelve Healing Stars is a yearlong project in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft that explores social justice through the lessons of the 12 Zodiac Signs. This is part 12.
Passion is a wonderful thing. It fuels our fire and motivates us to take action. It gives us a purpose to serve. But it takes more than passion to effectively advocate for change. It takes organization.
“Organization” is in the very words used to describe social justice movements. Laborers “organize” into unions to advocate for better wages and working conditions. We talk of “organizing” protests; national political “organizations” such as the NAACP, the Human Rights Commission, or the Occupy movement bring people together to more effectively advance their cause. Without organization, social justice has no form. Without organization, causes devolve into random smatterings of cranky people with signs.
Organizations contain the message, sharpen its delivery, and take the time to train their members in the art of skillful advocacy. It’s not glamorous, and much work is done behind the scenes, but it is vital to any cause. It takes that organized and meticulous Virgo mindset to transform zeal and belief into real world change.
Organizations facilitate change. They are the real-world representation of any cause. Over time, and with patience and effective management, they build financial and political capital to the extent that they become the spirit of a cause. Affiliation with a larger organization gives a single person with strong beliefs the credibility and the resources they need to help make change at the local level. It’s about effective service. The organization serves the cause it stands for and gives its members a way to serve the cause they believe in.
There are many secular organizations doing great work, but there are also some that are expressing Pagan values through their work. One example is the new PaganAid organization. This is a fledgling charitable organization in the U.K. that is the brainchild of Druid Ian Chandler. PaganAid’s goal is to, “break the cycle of destitution and destruction” of the Earth by helping indigenous communities earn money and “develop their own livelihood and the environment around them.” Environmental problems are often exacerbated by the destruction of forest land or other natural resources when large corporations kick out the local people, cut down the trees, and create unsustainable industries like pastures or mining. PaganAid helps indigenous people make money while also protecting their resources. You can learn more about PaganAid on the most recent episode of DruidCast.
Organizations like PaganAid takes that purpose that we all wish to serve and turn them into realities. They take people who wish to serve a purpose and give them the means to do so effectively. But before you can contribute to an organization, you need to know your own Will, your own purpose. What is the cause you wish to serve?
“Everybody seems to ask, ‘What is my purpose?’ ‘Where is the place I belong?’ ‘What is my True Will?” says Adam Sartwell, co-founder and lead Virgo Minister for the Temple of Witchcraft. However, he says, “We need to re-frame the question to ‘How can I serve?’” All of Arthur’s knights may have quested for the Holy Grail, but in the end the real question was “Whom does the Grail serve?” In the same way, our True Wills in some way serve a higher will, and perhaps and organization that provides the structure for the cause we wish to serve. So in the end, finding out whom we serve, like with the Grail, helps us enact our True Will.
Also like the Grail, “The answer changes for each situation you are in,” adds Sartwell. He advised that we take some time to meditate on the true answer to the question in each facet of our lives. In meditation, he suggests, “Ask your psychic self these questions.” Don’t just stop there. Continue with more questions:
“How do I serve?”
“Why do I serve?”
This last one, says Sartwell jokingly, “can be repeated multiple times like you were an annoying three-year old who just learned the word ‘Why.’” Further, it can be seen in all aspects of your life. “Project yourself to work,” he suggests, “and ask these questions. “ “Project yourself to your house and ask the questions,” and finally, “project yourself to your place of power and reverence and ask these questions…the answers may surprise you.”
“Ask yourself what you think this tells you about your True Will, your purpose, and the place you belong,” adds Sartwell. In this way, we can better identify, understand, and serve our True Wills. And serving that Will often tells us what kind of organization we wish to align with in our individual quests to make a better world.
“Asking these questions may make you want to serve in a way that helps a particular organization,” he says. First, “Do your research about how you can help this organization.” Go to their website and check for volunteer opportunities or donation programs. After you have helped the organization physically, “You may want to add your spiritual energy to the organization.”
Sartwell, who is also the author of 21 days of Reiki, explains that a spirit is created when a group of people organize to do any kind of work. “This spirit is a lot like our higher self that needs to be fed energy so it can make needed changes to improve the group,” he says. With this in mind, Adam Sartwell, has written a meditation to meet with the spirit of the organization that you wish to serve, the group doing the work that is the most in line with your own True Will. Magick always helps drive the real-world work that creates change. In that spirit, I present Sartwell’s meditation here in full. Whatever your cause is, it can always be beneficial to attune to it directly and serve your organization on levels beyond the physical.
Get into a relaxed meditative state by your own preferred method or by following this countdown method. Relax your body. Allow it to sink into the surface you are on. Focus on the top of your head and relax the muscles. Begin to move your way down the body, relaxing each part. Let a wave of relaxation flow down from the top of the head to your forehead, to your jaw, and down into your neck and shoulders. Relaxation flows down your shoulders and into your arms and down to your fingertips. Relax your chest and back. Relax your abdomen and your hips. Relax your legs and your calves. Relax your feet and toes. Let a wave of relaxation flow through your body. Relax your mind and let all worries and thoughts flow away. Relax your heart and emotions, letting them drift away. Relax your spirit and let its light guide you.
Create before you in your mind’s eye a screen. It could be a theater screen or a blackboard. On it you will visualize a set of numbers from 12 to 1. With each number you go deeper into a meditative state. Visualize twelve on the screen of your mind. Visualize eleven on the screen of your mind. Visualize ten on the screen of your mind. Visualize nine on the screen of your mind. Let the numbers take you deeper. Visualize eight on the screen of your mind. Seven on the screen of your mind. Six on the screen of your mind. Five on the screen of your mind. Four on the screen of you mind. Deeper and deeper. Three on the screen of your mind. Two on the screen of your mind. One on the screen of your mind. You are now in a ritual consciousness where you have complete control of your psychic and magickal faculties.
Once again you will count down from thirteen to one, but release the screen of your mind and relax and just let the numbers take you down. Thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. You are now in a deep state where all is possible.
Imagine on the screen of your mind a tree with a door. Upon that door is the symbol for the group or organization you want to help. Before you go through that door, call out to your higher self, your Watcher, your Aumakua, and ask them to aid and guide this meditation. Knock on the door and through the door say that you want to talk to the spirit that is the higher self of the group. Open the door and step through. Notice your surroundings. What is this place? Look around until you find the spirit of this place. This is the Higher Self of the group you called out for. Talk to them and get to know them. What is the spirit’s name? What does it look like? In your conversation tell them how much gratitude you have for the work being done by this organization. Tell them about how you wish to act on that gratitude by supporting them. Ask “How can I serve you?” “What can I offer you?” Or ask a question of your own making. The answer may not be in words and may need interpretation. Ask the spirit what its sign of thanks and presence are.
Thank the spirit again for its time and answers. Say goodbye for now. Step back through the door and close it. The door fades in your mind’s eye and you come back to yourself. You can do this in your preferred method or the count up method offered here: Begin to count yourself up to an awakened state going from one to thirteen. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. Wiggle your fingers and toes and come back to body consciousness.
Count up again and don’t bother with the screen, just concentrate on the numbers: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
Sweep your hands over your head down your body, visualizing all energies not for your highest good being swept away. Say “I give myself clearance and balance. I banish all that does not serve.”
“The most important part of this is to actually do what the spirit asked of you,” Sartwell emphasizes. “The reason you ask for the sign is so there is an exchange between you and the spirit, and so you know that your work is recognized by the spirit.” The organization may like your psychic energy, but what it really needs is your feet on the ground. “Don’t be surprised if it just asks you to do some physical-level work such as volunteering or giving resources.” Practical, real world work may be necessary. Even though the stereotypical Virgo may cringe at this turn of phrase, you may have to get your hands dirty.