Do Your Dharma: Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose
“Because a human being is endowed with empathy, he violates the natural order if he does not reach out to those who need care. Responding to this empathy, one is in harmony with the order of things, with dharma; otherwise, one is not.”-Dayananda Saraswati
“Why am I here?” is probably one of the most common questions we all have asked. Very few of us realize the answer to this question until later on in life, possibly in our 30’s, 40’s, or even 50’s… after we’ve made lots of mistakes and have had a variety of experiences. We all ultimately want the same thing: to live a life full of purpose and meaning so we can experience joy, peace, pleasure and contentment during our short time here on Earth… But what does that look like? There’s so many things to do and try on for size. But one thing is for sure: our soul’s deepest mission is to follow our dharma.
What is Dharma?
If you’re not into buddhism or yoga, you may have never learned about the concept of dharma. Dharma is defined as your life’s purpose or “true life’s path”.
“When you live in the harmonious flow of dharma, the entire field of pure potentiality opens to you. You’re able to create as much happiness and wealth as you want because you’re aligned with the domain of spirit, the unlimited source of all manifestation.”-The Chopra Center
Chopra Center continues, “The spiritual Law of Dharma states that for every special talent, the world has a unique need that can only be filled by the expression of that talent. You can make the fullest use of the Law of Dharma by committing to serve others through your unique creative expression, in whatever form that takes.”
When you’re in flow with the Law of Dharma, you are also in Kriya (a sanskrit word meaning “effortless flow” or “boundless action”). When you experience kriya it is much easier to also access love, compassion, forgiveness, abundance, the law of attraction and manifestation. However, aligning with your purpose requires a dedicated practice of self-awareness, intention, self-work, healing and vulnerability. You must truly know yourself, be yourself and be extremely consistent with this practice; letting go of old programming, stories, negative thoughts, negative beliefs and toxic patterns that are not serving you (and are not truly who you are). What gets in the way a lot of the time is our ego, which is typically not aligned with the soul. Ego generally wants us to play small and stay in fear, and our soul wants us to play big, take risks, embody empathy, and serve others.
Shamanic Astrology Can Help!
Confused about what your path is? That’s okay. It’s not something that needs to be figured out right now or in a hurried manner. It’s in the quiet moments, when we are most relaxed and our chakras are balanced, are when these answers typically download and come to us. That’s when synchronicities occur and life starts to flow! Just like when you find a relationship when you aren’t looking, or when things seem to effortlessly fall into place.
I was recently in a shamanic retreat where we looked at our birth charts (where the stars / planets / moon and sun were during the time of our birth). All of this information is a lot more meaningful than I ever realized. Most people know their sun sign, but rarely know much else, and our sun sign is such a small piece of it.
The foundational philosophical truth of Shamanic Astrology dives into the patterns of the constellations and the cycles of the Sun, Moon and planets and how they align with the patterns and cycles of the human psyche and the seasons of our lives. The relationship isn’t cause and effect, but rather a harmonious dance with what is written in our cosmic destiny. The practitioner of Shamanic Astrology is at home with this magical and geomantic intuition.
Not to make it too confusing, as I will definitely go into more detail about Shamanic Astrology in another blog, but here’s a taste of what you can learn about yourself with the help of an experienced shamanic astrologer.
- Your MOON tells you where you came from (i.e. reflects the dominant theme of your past incarnations), so in some ways it’s more important than the mainstream zodiac sign we are typically more familiar with For example, even though my sun sign is Aries, I came from the moon Sagittarius (a fire sign). The feminine archetype of Sagittarius is the spiritual adventurer, continually exploring and expanding consciousness.
- Your SUN tells you where you are going – or what you are learning to become. For me, I’m becoming and learning to be Aries (also a fire sign), which is the fiercely wild warrior woman.
- Your MARS is your inner masculine. We all have an inner feminine and masculine, because souls are genderless. It’s good to get acquainted with both sides, and learn to harmonize and marry them together. My inner masculine is Gemini, which is the eternal youth, the peter pan, the cosmic joker who loves to laugh and play.
- Your ASCENDANT tells you your soul’s final destination and purpose, which is a really big deal to know and resonate with. Mine is Libra, which again, shows up as partnership and relationship focused as my spiritual path and my highest calling. I must learn to be a high priestess of relationships. This includes not just romantic relationships, but also relationships with family, friends, and my community. I must learn the balance between my individual truth and consensus reality, and using my truth to relate to others, which is really optimal for therapists and healers.
- Your ASCENDANT AND DESCENDANT combined determines your Relationship Axis, which is your path to relationships, how you do relationships and what’s important to you. For me, my path is that of conscious and equal partnership as the path to enlightenment. My path is much more relationship focused than other paths.
- Your CHIRON MEDICINE (and its house position. There are 12 “houses”, which goes beyond the scope of this article). Your Chiron is the medicine you need in your life. For me, I am Cancer in the 10th house, which means the two medicines I need most for healing and optimal wellness include: Exquisite self-care and responsibility. You experience Chiron Return around the age of 50-51 years old, sometimes 49. This is a once in a lifetime window (and rite of passage), which can be a significant evolutionary period that lasts up to a year. Chiron return is a chance to truly experience healing your wounds through your Chiron medicine. Chiron is the Wounded Healer.
So as you can see, you can learn quite a bit from our birth chart! We have cosmic patterns tied to many of the signs, not just the Sun-sign popularized by Western media. It’s pretty awesome and a little mysterious how much of this fits for me and for so many others. A good astrological reading of your chart can help you find guidance, clarity and peace around your life, relationships, and dharma (life purpose).
Discovering My Dharma
Just like we all hope to move past our pain and turn it into something beautiful, my dharma starts with my own trauma. I have a history of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault, among other traumatic events. I recently put out into the Universe that I am on a path to becoming a shamanic healer, using shamanic and holistic principes. I started this path 6 years ago as I started my healing path in graduate school. This has required a lot of difficult self-work including looking at my past traumas, my family patterns and dynamics, generational trauma, going to consistent therapy (and not just a therapist who validated me, but one that challenged me), EMDR therapy, working on healing my inner child, lots of self-care, and re-working the shame based negative beliefs about myself which drove everything.
I have come along way, and the more crap I move out of the way, the more I have made room for my true authentic self. I always knew that a big part of my life calling was to help others, which led me down the path of becoming a therapist. I knew I had to heal myself before I could help others. (The healer must first be healed.) However, I also knew I wanted to do more for people than providing therapy once a week for an hour. I wanted to help in a deeper, more meaningful, intensive way, because this is the type of healing I also needed and craved.
“When the Beatles sang, “All you need is love,” they were correct (with the proviso that we consider “love” as a verb). Love, in this case, equals consciousness and the healing of our own wounds. We cannot take others to where we ourselves have been unwilling to go.”-Linda Star Wolff
This past month, I completed an accelerated version of the Shamanic Priestess Retreat and I am now ordained by the Shamanic Global Ministry. My dharma is surrounded specifically around offering healing retreats for young women (in their 20’s and 30’s) who have experienced sexual trauma (sexual abuse and/or sexual assault). I now realize how my own trauma has lead me towards this path all along. Besides the word trauma, we can also call these Shamanic Experiences, which is a severely wounding experience that leads you to go deep within.
I would love to work with stepmothers as well in a retreat setting, as I know how painful and lonely that journey can be. And eventually, after some more time and healing, I’d love to work with blended families, as well. I am more sure than ever that all of this is my Dharma (life purpose) and that this is the correct path for me in my own healing — and the healing for so many others. This knowing fills me with such purpose, pride, confidence, joy and peace. I so look forward to helping others discover their dharma as well.
Now I would love to hear from you.
Have you figured out what your dharma (life purpose) is? Has your own trauma affected this? Have you used astrology or shamanic astrology to help? Have you spoken with a psychic to find clarity? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to connecting and going deeper with you. Sending much love, self-care, and gratitude.