I CAN PINPOINT THE MOMENT in New Mexico, almost 10 years ago, when my spiritual awakening began. I had just visited Santa Fe for the first time and was driving back to my new apartment in Albuquerque. Just outside of Santa Fe, I suddenly experienced my crown chakra opening up. I almost felt as if I were going to float out of the roof of my car. I remember quickly wondering if I should pull over and also feeling an intense amount of peace, love and connection. It was glorious. Soon after that I began working with my first intuitive mentor, Anna Sayce, who then passed me on to Slade Roberson. And then my spiritual awakening/psychic powers sort of went underground for a few years while I got my physical life in order: met Andy. Moved to Costa Rica. Had two babies. Built a house. This is totally normal, by the way.

One frustrated and lonely night earlier this year, I googled something like “isolation as part of spiritual path” because I was feeling terribly isolated in motherhood as well as in circumstances– living on top of a mountain, two hours away from civilization, in a foreign country with a foreign language. Yet I also knew I was ready to take my spiritual awakening to the next level, that this isolation was part of it, but I had no idea where to take it. The Google Oracle delivered me to Mary Shutan, whom I’ve just finished a 6-month one-on-one spiritual work mentorship with and whom I’m still learning a great deal from via her group e-mail-based courses.

Mary has a book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities and the Conditioned Layers of Reality that helped me put my spiritual journey into perspective as well as define some of the stranger and more difficult aspects of it. It was almost as eye-opening as an actual spiritual awakening!

Did you know there are over 30 different types of spiritual awakenings?!?

In her book, Mary goes over each type of awakening as well as the common experiences and sensations associated with each awakening. With her descriptions of all of the awakenings and all of the conditioned layers of reality, I realized just how barely awake I actually am! I thought it might be helpful to you, too, to see how many different ways there are to experience a spiritual awakening. But first, I want to point out that while spiritual awakenings can be exciting, they are painful. Some spiritual awakenings even cause extreme physical pain and psychological trauma. There is no shame in seeking medical help due to the symptoms of a spiritual awakening. It’s not easy task to flip your view of reality upside down. It also doesn’t make you fancy, special or a goddess. That’s an ego-awakening.

Here are just a few of the types of spiritual awakenings we can experience:

Gradual Awakenings

A gradual awakening can occur over many years or even go on throughout the background of your entire life. In this type of awakening you go through spiritual learning processes almost step-by-step. Occasionally you may experience more intense learning periods than others.

Sudden Awakenings

Sudden awakenings are becoming more common, says Mary, because of how mainstream practices like yoga and meditation have become. Sudden awakenings can be painful psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, spiritually and psychically. This is especially so if you go into yoga for the physical benefits and have almost no spiritual knowledge and then find yourself in the midst of a full-blown awakening.

If your life has been turned inside out by a sudden spiritual awakening, I highly recommend seeking out a skilled spiritual worker who can help you process everything from a physical and an energetic standpoint.

Energetic Transmissions

This type of awakening may happen after receiving an energetic transmission from an enlightened guru. It may be sudden or gradual and is often lower level or temporary, a sort of spiritual hit or glimpse. The danger in this is that we can become attached to a guru or teacher and their transmissions, giving our spiritual power over to them and/or using these energetic transmissions as a bypass to doing the real work required to sustain or advance our spiritual path.

Note: I know a lot of New Agers in this bypass category and it’s part of the motivation behind my no-bullshit, be your own oracle, need no guru approach to spirituality.

Chakra Awakenings

Individual chakra awakenings can happen in both gradual and sudden awakenings. Chakra awakenings can happen one by one or in small clusters (like the root and sacral chakra opening at the same time, for example). Our chakras store everything.  Trauma, from this life and others, emotions, illnesses, layers of reality. It’s all stored in our chakras. When our chakras open, all of the pain, trauma and other blockages come up to be released. This releasing may be intense at first, calm down a bit and even rev up again.

This section on chakra awakenings really opened my eyes because New Age dogma really only gives a basic understanding of the function of chakras. I think the book is worth its salt just on the chapters on chakras alone!

Psychic Awakenings

We generally have one or two dominant psychic abilities that develop to a certain point before kickstarting another ability that sort of acts as a sidekick to the dominant abilities. In addition to “the four clairs” that most of us are familiar with, and that I wrote about in my book ORACLE: Divination for Magical Babes, (clairaudience, the ability to hear beyond the veil; claircognizance, the ability to know something without knowing why you know it; clairvoyance, the ability to see beyond the veil; and clairsentience, the ability to sense or feel beyond the veil) Mary also introduces three new (to me) clairs:

Claircoersion: the ability to energetically affect the outcome or inclinations of people and places (obviously this can be a slippery slope).

Clairalience: the ability to smell beyond the physical senses.

Clairgustance: the ability to taste beyond the physical senses.

She also covers empath, mediums and channeling.

Kundalini Awakening

This bit was especially thought provoking. “Kundalini awakening” has become a rather commonplace term but authentic kundalini awakenings actually sound horrendous and I’m not sure I want to aspire to have one 😛 Mary goes over the differences between kundalini awakenings, kundalini stirrings and kundalini experiences. If you thinkyou’re having a kundalini awakening, you’re not. It was probably just a stirring or an experience.

Shamanic Awakening

This usually involves a metaphorical or almost-literal death and, again, doesn’t really sound like something I want to experience. I’ll let you read Mary’s book for more on that.

Occult Awakening

Along with psychic and chakra awakenings, I suspect this is becoming a more common type of awakening. This awakening is brought about through occult practices and rituals through things like witchcraft, magic and/or tarot.

Other interesting awakenings described by Mary include: walk-ins, religious awakenings, possession, and Indigo.

Learn more about spiritual awakenings in The Spiritual Awakening Guide

Tell us about your own spiritual awakening in the comments! I don’t think we talk enough about the actual awakening process.

Until next time,


image sources: Unsplash, thespianoge and in5d