Surrender: The Seventh Step on the Spiritual Journey
STEP ON THE JOURNEY – 7. Surrender
LEVEL – Soul
KEYWORD – Faith, Grace, Belief, Hope
ACTIONS – Prayer, Meditation
BELIEFS – Not by my will alone.
CHAKRA – Crown
JUNGIAN ARCHETYPE – The Lover
SIGN – Libra
Surrender and the soul
There is no other step on the journey that happens as instantaneously as Surrender; but, it may take a very long time until we are ready to fully do so. When we do, our prior step of Searching usually moves towards its end. Nearly simultaneously, the next step after Surrender – Healing – begins. As we move deeper into the soul level of the journey, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate out the steps, for they overlap in a very non-linear way. Steps 6, 7 and 8 are usually always a trio.
Let me make it clear that surrendering and giving up are not the same thing. Instead, we first give up in order to surrender. Either the crisis that occurred in step 6 of Searching seemingly breaks us, or our spiritual seeking begins to overwhelm or disillusion us-or both. We are simply exhausted. Unable to solve our problems or find answers, we throw up our hands in defeat.
Once we give up, the opportunity is there for us to discover a higher power that is always available to assist us, should we exercise our free will and allow it into our lives. Not everyone surrenders, and if they simply give up and end things there, the spiritual journey may come to an end. For those who do move into that instant realization of surrender, rather than feeling defeated we are flooded with an enormous sense of relief and hope.
We feel something that is much greater and more powerful than we are. It isn’t our soul, for even that has been wounded by karma and is not operating from a state of wholeness. Instead, the soul within us remembers its connection to Spirit/The Universe/God/The Matrix, call it what you will. We understand that it isn’t by our will alone that the answers can be found; even more wondrous, we don’t need to find all the answers by ourselves!
Instead, we need only connect, ask, and await divine grace. This is usually the step on the journey where we discover (or rediscover) prayer. It may take the traditional form, or we instead commune through meditation and/or stillness. However we go about it, we learn in this step to connect to the All That Is in order to receive solutions. We develop faith. We surrender to the fact that, even though we can’t see the solutions ahead, they will come. We learn to accept that all is well and to believe that everything happens for a greater purpose.
Surrender and spiritual systems
Chakras: Step seven of Surrender is associated with the seventh chakra, the Crown chakra. This chakra is responsible for many functions, but core among them is our ability to connect to our own divinity. It allows us to access the energies of the Universe/God/Source, which we are a part of, in order to receive divine answers to our questions and problems. This chakra is most often opened through meditation and/or prayer.
Contained within the Crown chakra is our soul’s spiritual plan as it spans all lifetimes, as well as the larger ‘master plan’ that it is a part of. This chakra is the lifeline to our own higher existence, not as a separate entity, but as part of The All. When we pray or meditate or ask for divine assistance, we often perceive Spirit as a being or force that is separate from us. In actuality, we are accessing our own unified divinity through our Crown chakra.
Archetypes: Archetypically, Surrender relates to the energy of Jung’s Lover. Beyond the many mundane roles that the Lover plays in our lives, this archetype is ultimately about the power that is generated when our soul seeks partnership with the Divine (however you wish to define it.) As Carol Pearson says in her book, Awakening the Heroes Within, “It is the presence of Eros that allows miracles to happen.”
The Lover can manifest positively and negatively. On the positive side, the Lover asks us to overcome our disconnection and seek unity with all that we truly are. It teaches us that all problems can be solved, and all answers can be found, by applying the energy of Love, for we are Love itself. On the negative side, the Lover may attempt to solve its problems or find answers through spiritual infatuation rather than communion-we worship a system, a guru, a method, or a master rather than seeking equal partnership with God.
The Lover is about the yearning that our soul feels to unite once again with all of existence. True love comes from recognizing that we are part of the Divine, that we are an energy that is essential to the whole. Love is power, and the Lover gifts us with this power in order to fulfill our divine mission.
Astrology: Astrologically, step seven correlates to the sign of Libra, an Air sign and seventh on the wheel. Libra is almost always associated with Venus and romantic partnership, yet it is not a Fire sign; Libra is really not about passion at all. Libra is about peace, about serenity, about harmony. Moreover, on a spiritual level this sign is about partnering with the Divine in order to attain inner peace, inner serenity, inner harmony.
Libra teaches us to balance by partnering our humanity with our divinity. While the Yin-Yang symbol is often associated with the sign of Pisces, I think it is better suited to Libra. Pisces is about transcending opposites entirely, while Libra is all about understanding and mastering them here in 3D reality: death and birth, shadow and light, fear and faith, sorrow and joy, loss and gain, illness and wellness, hate and love, problem and solution. Libra teaches us that if we can find detachment as we move from one to the other, we can find serenity. We can connect to an inner knowing that will help us master each of life’s lessons with grace.
Libra asks us to ease our worry by seeking calm solution. It knows that there is balance in all creation. Our soul never creates a problem or a quest without also, simultaneously, creating the solution or treasure. This air sign helps us look at our life with the mental detachment needed to see things from a much higher, more spiritual, perspective. When we do so, we access the solution or we find the treasure.
To summarize, Step 7 of Surrender is all about partnering with the Divine. It is about realizing that we are not alone and that we don’t have to solve every dilemma by ourselves. Indeed, as Einstein famously said, we can’t solve problems at the same level of consciousness that created them. Surrender allows us to access a higher consciousness in order to transcend the problem and move to a new level entirely. Some call this grace. I call it empowerment.
Once we reach Step 7 of Surrender, we open the door to the possibility of re-membering ourselves back into true wholeness at the soul level, which we will explore next week as we look at Step 8 of Healing.