Ep. #52: A Tarot Spread, Ahimsa Ritual, and Journaling to Help You Show Up as Both an Activist and a Healer in the World
In this episode, I'm sharing a tarot spread, a ritual, and journaling prompts from my book, bring your woo-woo to the protest: a seeker's guide to spiritual activism to help you show up as both an activist and a healer in the world. These tools are centered around the principle of Ahimsa, nonviolence and compassion, from the yamas of yoga philosophy.
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ahimsa is probably one of the most well-known of the yamas. There are juice bars, restaurants, yoga studios, and clothing lines named after this principle, with good reason.
Ahimsa is the principle of nonviolence. This yama invites you to step into compassion and kindness.
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is to activism. Activists like Dr. King have been preaching this principle for a long time.
In the Vedas, the texts of ancient Indian knowledge, they say that everything is Brahma; everything is God.
You, me, the planet, all people. We are all God. We are all love.
Knowledge of our sameness is yoga.
This is yoga. This is union. Our souls are all interconnected. There is no place where you end and I begin. Everything is Brahma.
Remembering this allows us to step into our compassion and into non-judgment so we can meet people exactly where they are.
Remember this: what you see in another is also in you. What you do for another, you do for yourself. It is crucial to access your own compassion and extend that compassion to others, even those with completely different beliefs from you. Even those who are not being compassionate to you. This is Ahimsa for the greater good of whatever movement or cause or issue you care about, and for the greater healing good of the world.
The tarot spread, ritual, and journaling prompts below will help you move into that place of compassion and understand your relationship with this yama.
4-Card Tarot Spread
Clear your mind, hold space for yourself, and pull a card for each of the following questions.
1. When I’m not in Ahimsa, what story is my ego telling me?
2. What blocks me from my compassion?
3. Where do I most need to offer my compassion?
4. How might stepping into my compassion change my life?
Get cozy, get quiet, and free write to the questions below. Try to allow a stream-of-consciousness type of writing to occur without editing yourself.
1. Think of a time that you practiced activism from a place of compassion. Describe the situation. What happened? How did you feel?
2. Think of a time that instead of practicing activism from a place of compassion, you let passion and anger get the best of you. Describe the situation. What happened? How did you feel?
3. What situations typically occur in your activism that make you forget compassion?
4. How can you be more compassionate in your activism? What will you do to make this happen?
- Clear quartz, to amplify your intentions
- Rose quartz, for heart-opening and unconditional love
- Larimar crystal, to integrate polarities
- Pink candle(s)
- Your Strength tarot card
Set up your crystals, candles, and Strength tarot card around you.
Return to your tarot spread: what do you need to let go of to embrace Ahimsa (question 2)? Write the tarot’s medicine for you on one side of a piece of paper. On the other side, write your favorite affirmation from the list below, or another affirmation that embodies Ahimsa to you.
- I am one with all that is.
I extend my compassion to myself and to all.
All that I give to others is a gift to myself. When I give compassion, I receive compassion.
I always do the most good possible.
Come into a comfortable seat and bring your hands into Padma or Lotus mudra, with your palms at heart center. Your hands blossom open, with thumbs and pinky fingers staying together.
Then begin to chant, silently or out loud, the mantra Om Shanti Om for a few minutes.
When you feel ready, open your eyes, release your mudra, and pick up your piece of paper.
Read out loud what holds you back from practicing Ahimsa, that you would like to release. Then read out loud your affirmation, which you would like to call in.
Hold the paper over the flame of one of your pink candles (make sure you have a fire-safe dish under the candle to drop the paper onto) and watch as your intentions waft up to the sky as smoke.
After the paper burns, say, “And so it is.”
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