As Above, So Below: Why Community Involvement is Spiritual Work
Originally published in The Orange Journal.
Many of us in alternative spiritual communities, such as witches, occultists, and New Age practitioners, often speak of the collective consciousness — the idea that we are all interconnected on a spiritual and psychic level. We embrace the phrase “as above, so below,” signifying the connection between the divine and the earthly realms. However, we rarely discuss how can bridge the gap between our spiritual work and real-world struggles.
Spiritual healers have always been pillars of their communities, providing essential support in times of need when no one else could help. Today, many people are struggling with food insecurity, housing instability, lack of access to healthcare, polluted water, and other challenges. To truly embody the spirit of “as above, so below,” we must draw inspiration from these traditional healers and take a more active role in our communities through mutual aid and volunteer opportunities. By doing so, we can foster a sense of unity and support in the face of adversity.
Real-World Connections Our spiritual beliefs can bring us closer to the divine, but they can also drive us to create a more harmonious and supportive world. As spiritual practitioners, we have the opportunity to share our unique gifts and resources with those in need. By actively participating in our local communities, we can help build a world that reflects the core values of love, unity, and compassion.
Some of the ways we can get involved in our communities include:
Mutual Aid Networks If you recall my review of MUTUAL AID: BUILDING SOLIDARITY DURING THIS CRISIS (AND THE NEXT) by Dean Spade, then you know that mutual aid creates networks that are built on the principles of solidarity and reciprocity. By participating in mutual aid, we can support one another in times of need, creating a network of care and assistance. This can include anything from sharing resources to providing emotional support and skill-sharing. To get started, look for mutual aid groups in your area, or consider starting one if none exists. If you’re starting from scratch, I highly recommend that you read Dean Spade’s book for doing this successfully.
Food Banks and Soup Kitchens Volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen is a hands-on way to address food insecurity in your community. By donating time, resources, or both, you can help make a difference in the lives of those who are struggling to access nutritious meals. Advocate for free school lunches and university pantry programs and contact farms, stores, and restaurants about food rescue programs.
Environmental Initiatives As spiritual practitioners, we understand the deep connection between humanity and the natural world. We can honor nature, Gaia, Terra Mater, by participating in environmental initiatives such as community cleanups, tree planting, or advocating for sustainable practices. What’s more spiritual than contributing to the health of our planet and the well-being of our neighbors?
Housing and Homelessness Advocacy With soaring rent pricing, housing instability is a pressing issue for many. By volunteering with organizations that provide temporary housing, advocating for affordable housing policies, or offering support to those experiencing homelessness, we can work towards a more just and equitable society. We can also advocate for change in the areas of life that may lead to housing insecurity: housing affordability, racial disparities, domestic violence, and accessibility for disabled people.
Community Health Initiatives Access to healthcare is a vital aspect of well-being. By volunteering with local health clinics, supporting mental health initiatives, or advocating for healthcare access, we can help address these disparities and contribute to healthier communities. If you work with herbs, look up your state’s requirements for practicing herbal medicine to offer your community safe and affordable alternatives to healthcare.
As spiritual practioners, we have a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the spiritual and physical realms. By embracing the principle of “as above, so below” and actively engaging in our communities through mutual aid and volunteer opportunities, we can create a world that reflects our values and fosters connection in both the spiritual and physical realms.
We should work towards embodying the interconnectedness we so often speak of in our spiritual practices and bring that spirit of unity, compassion, and support to the real-world struggles that many of our neighbors face.
Are you ready to harness your spiritual gifts, tools, and rituals to make a tangible impact on your community? Combine your spiritual abilities with real-world support to uplift those around you. Join me on TikTok, Instagram or subscribe to my newsletter, and together we’ll explore the most effective ways to merge spirituality and practical action for the greater good. Let’s make a difference!