Spirit House Founder Aja Daashuur On Democratizing Spirituality & Wellness
During days when communal sound baths and busy breathwork circles are a distant memory, Spirit House Collective is a place to tune in with community, sans the germs.
Before the pandemic, the collective of spiritual practitioners hosted gatherings in pop-up locations across the country. Since COVID hit, they have transferred their offerings (think coffee readings, akashic records, and spell-poem casting workshops) into the digital arena.
That's not the only change made. Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, the WOC-led space started an aptly named True Wellness program.
With this program, founder Aja Daashuur hopes to chip away at the barriers that have historically kept the BIPOC community sidelined from wellness by giving white and white-passing people the option to fund workshops for Black people and non-Black POC.
Now more than ever, Daashuur thinks that wellness—specifically, the more spiritual side of wellness—needs to be a basic human right.
"People are feeling rudderless right now," she says on a call to mbg. "I think that's why spirituality is having a renaissance period. People are like, 'I want to know who I am. I don't want to be told who I am anymore. I want to make my own decisions. And I really want to connect to how powerful, how divine, and how limitless my soul can be.'"
Daashuur's preferred medium for tapping into expansive energy during restrictive times is spirit guide communication. Each week, she holds a weekly Spirit Church session that connects a virtual group with loving guides and ancestors. She has seen it be a powerful experience, especially for BIPOC folks who are holding onto generational trauma.
"Trusting that there are energies that truly care about our interests can—I know it sounds cheesy, but—it can make the world a more inclusive, diverse place all around," she says.
While Daashuur is intuitive by nature, she thinks that everyone can see the unseen with a little practice. Here, she shares some tips for fostering a connection with spiritual guides (which you can also think of as angels, universal energies, or any other name you feel comfortable with) in the charged days leading up to Halloween, Samhain, and the Day of the Dead.
Aja's advice for connecting to spirit and discerning intuition from imagination.
This time of year lends itself to spiritual work: "Dating back to Paganism, this has historically been a time when a more concentrated effort is made on connection," Daashuur explains. "We are focusing a lot of energy on paying respects to those who have come before us, and that is already creating a charged energy to reach through the veil and receive guidance from those that aren't on this plane anymore."
She says that the first step in doing so is sitting in meditation. While it can be difficult to turn your attention away from your physical experience, it's the only way that any sort of metaphysical guidance can come through. Intuitive guidance doesn't tend to visit when our mind is still stuck in our last zoom call.
"You're trying to allow your subconscious mind to push information to your conscious mind," she says. "So when you're meditating and things are coming through, whether it's words, images, body feelings, don't ask yourself in the beginning what's happening. Just allow it."
You may not see or feel much of anything when you meditate—especially if you're new to the practice—and that's normal. Daashuur says that it takes time before any sort of intuitive hits and messages can come through. But to help speed them along, she offers these tips:
- Before your next meditation, test your senses to see which one you are dominant in. Imagine seeing yourself in a mirror, hearing the sound of a gong, smelling lavender, tasting a delicious meal, or feeling the cool rush of water. Which sensation comes through the strongest for you? That's likely your dominant sense, and you should lean on it during your meditation.
- Another way to open yourself up to guidance is to actively develop self-trust, which, Daashuur says, is the foundation of any kind of intuitive work.
- Finally, knowing how to discern your intuition from imagination is key. And there's a quick way to do it: Let's say you are meditating and start to see visuals of a cheetah. When that happens, try to change the visual in the mind's eye to something else—say, a unicorn. Daashuur says that if the visual stays a unicorn after that, it's a figment of your imagination. If it keeps turning back to a cheetah? That is spirit at work. The cheetah is sending you a message, and now your work is deciphering what it's saying to you.
Daashuur has seen how comforting it can be to honor a steady practice of getting quiet enough to allow subtle information to come through and then actually listening to that guidance once it does. "That feeling of knowing you're not alone," she says, "is something I wish I could give everybody."
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