Are you a Mystic?
What Type of Inner Work Do You Need?
There are many routes we can take to get us through the depths of our unconscious. Which path should you take?
Modern spirituality places great emphasis on the transcendent – on the Spirit. But unfortunately, this obsession with the ethereal comes at a detriment to the Soul.
The Soul is Spirit embodied. The Soul is mystery, enchantment, and poetry incarnate – it is earthy, sensual, ecstatic, and rooted in the here-and-now. The Soul is primarily yin (feminine), while Spirit is primarily yang (masculine).
In a world currently dominated by an imbalance of yang, we need yin again. We desperately need to reconnect with the Soul.
We need to walk the path of the Mystic who is innately and irresistibly drawn to the flame of the Soul – one’s Inner Light.
The way to do this is through Ensoulment.
Table of contents
What is the Soul?
We all possess a Soul. On a fundamental level, Soul is our animating essence – it derives from the Old English word sāwol which means “spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence” (1). Through the ages, thanks to both religious and wider spiritual influence alike, the Soul has been understood as the indwelling spark of Divinity we all carry.
In a nutshell, Soul is your innermost essence or Spirit embodied in earthly form. To use a simple analogy, Spirit is like pure light, whereas Soul is the kaleidoscopic multi-colored lens through which Spirit shines.
Read more: Higher Self: 11 Ways to Connect With Your Soul »
What is Ensoulment?
The word Ensoulment is composed of ‘Ensoul‘ which means to endow or imbue with a Soul, and the suffix ‘ment‘ which means action or process. So Ensoulment quite literally refers to the process of being imbued with Soul.
As such, Ensoulment can be seen as both a present moment experience and a journey. It’s about learning to live a life more imbued with Soul and it’s also a path of embodying your most authentic Self.
Ensoulment is a core part of the spiritual awakening journey and it is the central path of the Mystic. Another synonym for Ensoulment is Soul retrieval – however, Ensoulment is a philosophy and ongoing lived experience whereas Soul retrieval tends to be a one-off practice.
Note: originally, Ensoulment is a term with religious connotations, referring to the moment in which a fetus gains a Soul. But that’s not what we’re talking about in this article. Instead, we have intentionally redefined and reimagined Ensoulment to mean the ongoing experience of Soul Initiation.
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The Darkest Pandemic of all Time: Soul Loss
The great malady of the twentieth century, implicated in all our troubles and affecting us individually and socially, is “loss of soul.” When the soul is neglected, it doesn’t just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence, and loss of meaning.– T. Moore
What is at the root of all our suffering?
This is a question that has haunted the minds of humanity since the dawn of time.
What we’ve learned from religion and spiritual traditions alike is that the core of our torment is rooted deep within human beings.
It is a canker of the Soul. A fragmentation of the psyche. A disturbance of the mind. A severance from nature. A desecration of the very world around us.
All of this pain is rooted within loss of Soul.
When we are cut off from the Soul, we are cut off from each other and the world. It is then that we collapse into a state of fundamentalism, cold rationalism, mechanistic reductionism that sees the world/others as an object to be used and discarded.
When we are severed from the Soul, the human being becomes deranged. Illnesses of every kind begin to emerge, starting within the body as chronic illnesses and eating disorders – ending with mental illnesses, existential crises, paranoia, hatred, suicide, murder, and the psychotic abuse of our most innocent members of society.
For humanity to heal, we must reconnect with the Soul. We must become Ensouled. For us to reverse, in whatever way possible, the direct path of self-destruction we’re forging right now, we must be initiated into the spiritual path. We must walk the path of the embodied Mystic or the Bodhisattva.
Ensoulment is the answer to the most severe pandemic of all time, afflicting all people of all races and countries: Soul Loss.
Let this be known. Let this be written in stone. Let this be screamed from the rooftops. Humanity has lost its Soul, and without a move toward Ensoulment, what hope is there for our children’s children to survive in a world that is being laid to waste as we speak?
11 Signs You’re a Modern Mystic
Ensoulment begins with the prefix en – Latin for “in.” So Ensoulment quite literally means being in the Soul or embodying the Divine essence within you.
A modern Mystic is a person who is called to live, express, and fulfill the destiny of their Soul.
If you’re a modern Mystic, you’ll:
- Sense that you have a specific meaningful role to play on this planet (perhaps since an early age)
- Intensely crave a purpose-filled life
- Feel depressed when you don’t know or can’t ‘figure out’ your destiny
- Be drawn toward the spiritual or metaphysical realm
- Have undergone a Spiritual Awakening, Kundalini Awakening, and/or Dark Night of the Soul
- Find it hard to fit in or belong in this world
- Feel everything intensely (as a highly sensitive person and/or empath)
- Crave solitude and enjoy introspection
- Often struggle with crises of some sort (such as the midlife or quarter life crisis, existential crisis, etc.)
- Struggle to find your Soul tribe (likely due to the aforementioned Soul Loss epidemic!) and therefore struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Long to unite with the Divine, God/dess, Life, the Beloved
Our world desperately needs modern Mystics who rediscover, reclaim, live, breathe and share their Soul’s purpose.
What Happens When We Become Ensouled?
It’s not hard to imagine what Soul Loss looks like – just observe the world around you. Anxiety, depression, addictions, narcissism, violence, and abuse of all kinds defines what a soulless society looks like.
An Ensouled human, on the other hand, is much less common. Who is there in this modern day and age, to initiate us into the mysteries and depths of the Soul? The answer is that those who are willing and capable are few and far between. We live in a cultural and societal spiritual desert after all.
To do Soul Work and to come to a place where one can guide other Souls is a strange calling. It’s not something I ever imagined for myself. I am the daughter of a Christian preacher, but I never imagined myself to become a Soul guide; a psychopomp guiding seekers into the mysterious waters of their inner selves.
Perhaps my own experience of extreme inner desolation, Dark Night despair, and Soul-longing growing up forged my sensitivity to this global crisis that is largely ignored – and in many cases not even seen.
Ensoulment, while hard to find, can be sensed in those who live purpose-driven lives that center not just around their needs, but the needs of the collective. To summarize, here’s what I’ve observed in Ensouled humans:
- Receptivity, humility, and openness
- Heartfulness (awe, reference, wonder, enchantment, devotion, compassion)
- Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose
- Knowing and honing one’s unique spiritual gifts
- Intimacy with the present moment
- Greater ability to let go and surrender to a Higher Power
- Feeling connected with other people, the world, and Life itself
- Honoring the power of imagination, symbolism, and creativity
- Orienting to the mysterious, the numinous, and the magic within/without us
- Embracing the Divine as both a transcendent and immanent force
- Moving toward internal integration and balance (Wholeness)
- Connecting with and embodying the Soul
To crystallize what I’ve written above, Ensouled people live with a great sense of meaning and purpose, are connected to their hearts, and feel a strong connection with the Divine.
Ensoulment isn’t something we “achieve” or “tick off our to-do list” in the logical linear sense.
Instead, it’s a slow and ambling journey that ebbs and flows. It’s a movement of nature: organic but powerful. And there is no one single “finish line” either – Ensoulment is an ever-deepening process. It could be said that Ensoulment is like a thousand-petaled lotus that is both being and becoming, always.
Paths of Ensoulment
How do we become more Ensouled? That’s the next reasonable question.
The answer is that there are many paths, all with their unique gifts and capacities.
I’ve spent over a decade exploring paths of Ensoulment and Soul Communication and it’s no easy feat to include them all in one article. However, I’ll include the Soul Work paths that come immediately to mind:
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.― Daniel Defoe
Love is the nature of the soul.– John O’Donohue
Music and art and poetry attune the soul to God.– Thomas Merton
There is no coming to consciousness without pain… People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.– Carl G. Jung
Of course, not all of these paths lead exclusively to Ensoulment.
Gardening, for instance, can easily become a mindless chore if it isn’t infused with a sense of symbolic meaning or contemplative mindfulness (see Lectio Divina). Another example from the above list is chanting, which can become a dead droning of empty words if it isn’t first imbued with heart-centered feeling and depth.
In summary, anything we do in life can be a path of Ensoulment (i.e., Soul Work) – it’s all about your heart’s inner attitude and the approach or meaning you infuse into what you do. However, there does seem to be some specific paths that are more well-suited to intentionally practicing Ensoulment.
Ensoulment is inner archaeology – it helps us to go back to the root of our being.
Choose what resonates with you and leave the rest.
Ensoulment is something that is so close to my heart that it has been my focus for over a decade now – I could even say that this entire website is an expression of my own Ensoulment!
So, why is Ensoulment so painfully vital?
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"Shadow and Light's weekly guidance always rings true to my heart. Thanks for acknowledging my shadows and inviting my inner light. I always get excited to open the Shadow and light emails on Sunday!" – Angela M.
The reason why Ensoulment is so essential is that the world crucially and desperately needs it! We’re suffering from pandemic-proportions of Soul Loss that’s only getting worse, putting us on the fast track to the sixth mass extinction. We’re not only destroying Mother Nature and the ecosystem, but we’re also experiencing large-scale cultural collapse that is undermining the fabric of our civilization.
We need to think bigger as a race. Whatever we do can’t merely be for the individual – we don’t have that luxury. Our efforts must be directed toward the Whole.
Being true to who we are means carrying our spirit like a candle in the center of our darkness. If we are to live without silencing or numbing essential parts of who we are, a vow must be invoked and upheld within oneself.– Mark Nepo
I hope what I’ve written here has sparked within you the desire to commit to rediscovering and reconnecting with your Soul. This is the path of the Mystic, the path of the Bodhisattva. The path that can redeem humanity of its heartbreaking Soul Loss.
Let me know what you think and your experience with Ensoulment in the comments below!
(✬ By the way, if you need extra in-depth support after reading this article, I highly recommend checking out our Ensoulment Bundle – this unique offering gives you a wide selection of deep, nourishing, and powerful tools and resources to empower you on your journey.)