any normal skill, you advance and progress at a predictable rate. You
practice the piano for 30 minutes a day and you can expect to
progress at a steady rate.
not how it works for spirituality, however!
is like a roller coaster. You can advance at rapid rates, have
plateaus, and even drop down.
can be immensely frustrating for people who are trying hard to
advance, especially following an intense period of growth or an
“upswing” in magical power. Not to mention the ennui that can
result from a “drop” or period of stagnation.
can happen surrounding an initiation, a period of intense revelation,
following hard work, after drug use, or as fated by your natural
spiritual cycle. This period makes you feel like you have reached the
“next step” in your practice. Following the roller coaster
analogy, it feels like you are zooming “up” and forward on your
path. New spiritual abilities, greater strength and endurance, and a
shift in perspective may happen following a breakthrough.
is a natural state that occurs when you put a focus on improving
yourself both physically and spiritually. The more you learn and
practice, the more fulfilling and likely to occur a phase of growth
is. Growth is not as intense as a breakthrough, but it is more
stable, less intense, and very satisfying.
is a phase where growth does not seem to be happening. A plateau
phase is likely to occur after a long period of
growth. A plateau is a phase where you can seek rest, stabilization,
and grounding. It is a place where you can explore your new powers
and abilities, and see what you can really do. Plateaus are often
frustrating for people who would like to see continual growth without
breaks, but it is an important phase which reminds us that rest is
necessary. A plateau is an excellent opportunity to test what you
know and become familiar with your spiritual path and magical powers.
is a frustrating phase that I relate to ‘cocooning’. Sometimes it is
necessary for us to withdraw and focus on the physical while our
spiritual powers can rest and evolve. A downswing may occur
immediately after a big breakthrough so new powers have a chance to
assimilate. A downswing is like turning the water off so pluming can
be safely fixed and improved. Sometimes, downswings are not related
to spiritual advancement and are just a natural period of darkness.
While it can be scary to feel as though you have lost your connection
and powers, rest assured that a downswing such as the ones I am
speaking of are temporary. If a downswing occurs after a
breakthrough, a period of growth is likely to follow.