I won’t sugarcoat it: by now, much of the world has been dealing with a pandemic for over six months, and in the US there seems to be no end in sight. Here in California, an early start to what may be only the latest in a string of severe wildfire seasons has even the most centered among us experiencing fear and trepidation about what the months ahead might hold.
Oh yeah, and there’s a presidential election in November that promises to be one of the most polarized in history, with the added chaos of more people voting by mail than ever before. Given the devastating effects of the current administration’s lack of leadership during the pandemic, many feel that unseating Donald Trump is literally a matter of life and death, yet in what some have called the “post-truth era,” it’s impossible to know how widespread this belief might be. Trump’s victory shocked many in 2016; now we wonder, what’s to prevent him from pulling off the same feat in 2020? And if he does, can the nation and the world survive four more years?
To answer these questions, let’s rewind our minds to February for a moment. Unemployment was at 4% or lower, and the economy was booming. With cash to spare, many people were as entranced by consumerism and entertainment as they’ve ever been. If that trend had not been crushed by the pandemic, I would have bet everything I have on Trump’s re-election this year, because I haven’t always lived in a progressive enclave, and I’m under no illusions about the priorities and values that many of our fellow citizens hold dear. They believe that America is entitled to its privileges because we’re the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” charged with the sacred duty to defend freedom throughout the world. They believe, with the fervor of zealots, that in America, anyone who is willing to work hard and follow the rules will be able to get ahead. Some of them seem to believe that burning as much petroleum as possible, regardless of the reason, is part of what makes America great. I count some of my own relatives among this group.
Well, if we say nothing else about 2020, we have to admit that the events of this year have made it much, much harder for society to collectively ignore the race- and class-based disparities that render those beliefs untenable (not to mention the laws of ecology that make this planet habitable). In fact, you could say that the events of 2020 have set us up to collectively take some steps towards social justice and environmental sustainability that we should have taken decades ago, quickly enough to prevent the worst-case scenarios from playing out. How else would it have been possible, really?
I once asked an older friend what happened that caused the spiritual, social, and ecological awakenings of the 60s and 70s to give way to the “Material Girl” ethic of the 80s. His hilarious answer was, “hookers and blow,” which was a tongue-and-cheek way of hinting at how easy it was then for governments and corporations to manipulate people’s values in service of the .01%.
Before the Internet, we were living in a “material world” of programming through advertising and the manipulation and confirmation of belief, but that was the price of entertainment: TV was a one-way medium. Now, with 20 years of the Internet under our belts, not only do more of us realize that the Web only shows us what it thinks we want to see, we also have every viewpoint in the world at our fingertips.
Where does Archangel Azrael fit into all of this? Some fear him as the Angel of Death, but his true role has nothing to do with the death of the body, and everything to do with the release of illusions. Our identity as separate bodies is illusory after all, a fact reported by many who have had near-death experiences. He is not cruel, but the gentlest of guides who leads us not toward oblivion, but away from illusions, including and especially the ones that are most precious to us. He is a being of unconditional love, and therefore he does this only if and when, at some level, we are asking for it. This is what is happening globally now, as part of an awakening process that has been underway for some time.
If you consider yourself to be a lightworker, or even just a ‘highly-sensitive person,” the demands of 2020 may feel like more than you bargained for in this incarnation. The question, then, is how do we remain inspired and energized to do the work we’re asked to do, even as things seem to fall apart? Working with Archangel Azrael (alone, or in combination with Michael and Zadkiel) can go a long way. I like how Kyle Gray puts it in his writings on Azrael:
“One of the most important energies that comes with Azrael is a sense of peace and comfort. He may be known as ‘the angel of death’, but he doesn’t bring death, he supports us as we return home.
When his energy comes to us, it doesn’t always represent a physical passing, but can also relate to moving from an old life to a new one. Azrael brings the energy of transition as we leave behind all that we no longer need, especially hurt and pain. He will gently guide us through a dramatic change in our life.”
This year is providing us with a turbo-boost into the New Earth that many of us have been dreaming of for so long, but we cannot get there collectively without healing personally. The most important thing is to recognize that we don’t have to walk this path alone; the angels are just waiting for our invitation. Whatever else you do right now, make sure you do those things that nourish your spirit, mind and body, so you can hold more of the light that you are in the months and years to come. Nothing less than the full embrace of our humanity by our divinity is asked of us by these times.