Wednesday Journal Entry, Week 14
Karina Lafayette – July 27th 2022
When a few people I was familiar with began leaving the New Age Community, I was shocked. I couldn’t understand why they’d leave behind something beautiful, where people seemed so generous and welcoming. And even though today I still don’t agree with the direction that some of them went in, I actually get it. Apparently, you really can have too much of a good thing.
A lot of people started joining the New Age Community as an alternative to religion. We wanted spirituality without the dogma and indoctrination. Not to mention, a lot of us come from backgrounds of abuse and addiction, or from families who basically rejected us for being a weirdo. The New Age Community felt like coming home, a home that for a lot of us slowly turned into a nightmare. As much as it’s helpful in a lot of ways, it’s also a part of society that enforces trauma bonding.
I started my journey back in 2013. At that point, I was living with my mother who was a narcissist. Day and night she would yell at me, instigate fights and bounce between overbearing mother bear, to Mommie Dearest. Since there was no way to leave, I started meditating, and it wasn’t long before I learned about my moon sign, and everything made sense. The first astrologers I began following were Michele Knight and Nadiyah Shah. For understanding trauma and anxiety, I would watch Teal Swan videos, but something about her always seemed off, and eventually I unsubscribed after learning about her cult. It was clear to me that as a survivor of narcissistic abuse, I needed to be cautious around where and who I learned from. Fast forward a few years later, between surviving an abusive relationship and financial woes, my boundaries got a lot stronger. During the period after my ex and I broke up, I was doing astrology readings for people and finally bought my first tarot deck.
For me, spirituality is about achieving inner balance, but the farther I got along in my path, the more I realize sometimes we use spirituality for clout or to escape the real world. Cultural appropriation of things like yoga and certain deities, is the modern colonialism. The idea that Starseeds are supposedly often blue-eyed and blonde haired is clearly just another attempt to justify racism. The way some claim that politics shouldn’t be talked about ever, is really a form of spiritual warfare. And by spiritual warfare, I don’t mean in terms of a conspiracy theory, I mean that they’ll literally gaslight, harass, belittle, and judge you for even mentioning what’s wrong with the world. Instead of “love and light”, the mantra should be, “obedience and denial”. All this made me wonder whether I even belonged in the New Age Community in the first place.
Many times, I was getting into arguments. I’d get accused of being negative, too sensitive, and too stubborn, over issues that were very much valid. I’ve also blocked dozens of “coaches” on social media who kept on saying that Roe v Wade and Black Lives Matter were designed to divide the population, which was interesting from my perspective, because the last time I checked, the system was already designed to keep certain groups away from each other, based on gender, class, and race. I understand that sometimes spirituality is comforting, and can be a safe space from drama, but all throughout history, there’s a pattern of people in position of power telling the rest of us not to complain, and it’s this mindset that allows wars and inequality to continue. There’s also been plenty of people who are spiritual that got involved in human rights, like Martin Luther King, Jr. And yet modern spirituality is becoming more self-serving and less about actually helping anyone these days. It’s also clear to me that some just rather only take part in conversations that affect them, because apparently, nobody else matters anyhow.
These types of arguments haven’t really been a new experience either. Even long before I knew how to read a birth chart, I was a truth seeker. My family would get mad at me for being curious, and I’ve even had situations where random strangers would start yelling at me as soon as I felt uncomfortable around them, despite trying my best to keep composure. My intuition was already picking up on a lot of bs that couldn’t be swept under the rug, from as early as I can remember. The phases of the moon… nature… intuition…animals following me- the path was already written, and not only that, I’m also an artist. And a year prior to getting into spirituality, there was a student strike in my home province of Quebec, so I got into activism first, and spirituality came later. Sometimes people separate the two, but for me, they’re related, and to try and keep them separate all the time, would be like lying to myself. Especially when you think about how a hundred years ago, I would’ve been accused of evil, it’s hard not to stand up for justice. I’m not what you call socially acceptable. Practicing openly without fear is literally a privilege these days, and it’s easy to forget with the safety of social media.
I also think there’s something to be said about focusing too much on spirituality. If you make it your entire identity, its easy to become ungrounded and lose touch with responsibilities and other interests. Also, this idea that nothing else should be talked about in these circles may seem like it’s putting a focus on education, but when you look further you’ll find that people who avoid topics like politics, psychology, social issues and shadow work tend to be pretty shallow at best, or hateful at worst. They’re not doing any favors by promoting censorship.
For awhile in 2021, I’d regularly post tarot readings, till I realized how easy it is for people to become attached to that guidance. Some readers even going so far as to create “will he come back?” videos for unsuspecting women still hopeful about some guy who ghosted them. So I I stopped doing videos and only do tarot privately now, aside from my new moon/full moon articles. I even quietly pondered whether it was still worth it to do astrology altogether, because I was getting too caught up in transits and just feeling out of control. There needed to be boundaries.
The thing about astrology is that even though it’s educational and gives a lot of insight, at the end of the day, everyone has free will- but not many will tell you that. Once you’re familiar with your chart, if certain areas are a challenge, you don’t have to succumb to them- like what Carl Jung says about “making the unconscious conscious”. In my case, I have two T-squares that I’ve slowly been able to work with. After awhile, you can work your chart to your advantage. Whenever someone gets a reading from me, I never want them to feel powerless, or like everything is about fate. I want them to feel like they can take charge.
And this is where the New Age Community pushed me to my limit. No matter how much free will is proven to be a thing, there’s the inherent notion that we don’t have a choice in what happens. I agree to an extent we can’t control everything, but people are more powerful than they think. Anytime someone explains their mental health, or how they struggled with their family growing up, it’s almost always replied with, “that’s just what the universe had in store for you”, or “you’re not working hard enough on yourself”. It’s never taken seriously, and if anything, the attitude makes people feel even worse.
After mentioning my abusive ex in a Facebook group, someone commented how it’s because in a past life I was the abuser and he got revenge. And yet, you also have those who claim that everything is law of attraction, so which is it? Free will or fate?? The manipulation game is strong here. The community really is filled with some kind of ick. As much as spirituality is a good thing, using it to victim-blame and isolate people isn’t helpful, it’s damaging, and while throwing away your tarot cards isn’t the answer, I can’t blame anyone who would. I almost feel like a broken record for saying all this, but when you keep getting told how crazy you are for wanting basic respect and real answers, you have every right to walk away. Most recently, I left behind a dozen or so of online groups, because I’ve had enough of being told how to practice my craft.
I spent too many years watering myself down to be more digestible, that if someone gets offended anytime I bring up a certain issue, it simply isn’t my problem. It’s a them problem. The truth hurts sometimes. One thing we learn in spirituality is the art of letting go; letting go of expectations, letting go of the need to make everyone like you, letting go of control, and most of all, letting go of people and situations that don’t align with you. The universe will literally put a break on some areas of your life anytime you hold onto something (or someone) that isn’t for you. It’s also important to understand that group-think has a tendency of erasing individuality, making it so people will go along with things they otherwise wouldn’t even do. Humans are social, but we still need boundaries. It’s also becoming more apparent during my Saturn Return that I’m finally figuring out my place in the world, since Aquarius Saturn people struggle to fit in.
However, just because I keep certain people at a distance, doesn’t mean I’ll let go of astrology or any part of my craft, because no one can take away that knowledge, skill and experience. I consider myself as a bit of a witch- or maybe a full on witch. Saying that aloud is still pretty taboo. But no guru, coach, or group- not even peer pressure, can change what’s real. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “the mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” If anything, this is only the beginning.
I also thought about what it would be like if everyone like me were to just leave the New Age Community, and that scenario seems more awful than staying. We already know that a lot of alt-right and Qanon folks have co-opted the community, as Steph Najjar discusses extensively on her Tiktok. We also know that coaches who are hungry for power, aren’t going to stop unless they’re held accountable. What’s done in the dark eventually comes to light. We can’t give in now. If there was a fight worth standing up for, it’s this one. And I’m not claiming to be perfect, but growing, learning and sharing have all been important to me, even if it means rebelling along the way. After all, nobody makes waves without being a bit of a challenge. The best thing to do is to keep on reading, writing, blogging, and discussing, hoping that people find what they need, and feel a little less lonely, knowing that somewhere out there is a weirdo just like them.
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