In recent years, certain phrases and the concepts behind them have spread like wildfire, and perhaps one of the most prominent has to be Tribe.
After recently discussing this concept with the wonderful Joanna Devoe and my dear Tribee Cris Ashburn, my brain had began to percolate with the notion of the many tribes that we may come into contact with throughout our lives; mainly dividing these up into the concept of Earth Tribe and Soul Tribe.
I will say, before discussing this further, that ultimately, I feel that we are all one tribe, every living being on this planet, humanoid and otherwise, and that we have to a large degree, willfully forgotten this, seeking to create division from others for a whole host of self serving reasons.
The reasoning behind seeking out ones spiritual tribe is the human drive to connect; a force with no small power behind it, the urge to be seen, heard, valued and loved are deeply entrenched values, even urges, within most of our psyches.
Ultimately we want to feel as though we belong, which hearkens back to the Cult of Not Belonging which I have discussed before.
The idea of Tribe is almost primal in nature, suggesting a desire to reject modern social templates for interacting with other human beings and the world around us in favour of a way that harmonizes with nature and cyclic existence.
For many the term Tribe is usually associated with Native American spirituality (who still use the terminology to depict the different groups within their society) which provides an idealized template for many modern spiritualists, who consider the idea of connection and reverence to Earth and all inhabitants to be sorely missing in most other cultures.
There is an inward drive for deeper, more meaningful connection. Something that enriches our lives on a completely different level than we usually find.
There are many problems associated with this idealistic connection that can cause pitfalls in human interactivity however, and if we are limiting our idea of what Tribe is “allowed” to be within our own mindset, then we set ourselves up for disappointment.
It is perhaps a universal truth that people are never entirely who we expect them to be, and the more we garner a perception of them in our heads, the more likely we are to be wrong about them as an individual. Not only does this set us up for personal disappointment, it is also hugely unfair on the person with whom we are interacting; almost divorcing them from their humanity; we place conditions on their worth to us.
This, for the record, is not what I consider to be connecting to Tribe in any sense of the word, either Soul Tribe or Earth Tribe.
Earth tribe is what I have loosely termed the connections we have with people in our lives whom we value, connect with, and likely hold common goals and values with. Soul tribe, in my experience, is something else entirely.
Group dynamics can, and often are, ruined by a toxic element which is conditioned into us from an early age, whereby personal judgment creeps into the group space. This is often on a superficial level; monetary wealth, physical attributes and so forth erode the relationships within a group.
This is not the case in Soul tribe.
I have seen many idealized assertions about soul tribe however, and I wish to say that these too are deeply damaging to the way we view our connections to other people.
It is perfectly normal to experience all emotions, including jealousy. The difference in soul tribe is that nothing is hidden away and everything is on the table for discussion.
In Soul tribe, the connection, and the individual, are valued, which includes ALL elements of the human experience.
I do not believe in labeling any emotion as ‘negative’ as long as the root of the emotional response is identified and discussed; laying the foundation for further emotional, mental and spiritual work within the group.
Soul tribe is not a place where the individuals will ever excuse you from doing the work, nor is it an ‘easy ride’ where everyone agrees with you; it is in fact, the opposite; where the individuals are safe to disagree (respectfully) with one another and can discuss any topic openly without fear of rejection.
Discussion will likely stem from seeking out the causes of personal reaction in order to help the others involved. Gossip is seemingly a habit of humanity which can cause a great deal of harm, indeed it is often dedicated to the degradation of another.
In Soul tribe, whilst there is always a safe space provided to vent about the behaviours of other people if needed, the conversation turns instead to why this poking a shadow of the tribe member. There is a moment to let the poison out and then the spiritual business of cleansing that wound begins to let it heal, and again, the work can flow forth from that point.
Perceived weaknesses of the self, vulnerabilities, so-called failures… are all visible.
This can seem disconcerting to begin with, and indeed it can feel uncomfortable at points; we as human beings are sadly used to concealing the parts of ourselves that we feel make us undesirable friends or partners. Earth tribe connections may well hear us out with our troubles, and even provide advice and help the same way a Soul tribe might, but Soul tribe is likely to offer deeper insight and confront us when we seek to hide elements of our experience (in order to ‘look better’ or because we’re afraid of certain aspects of an experience, whatever it might be.)
Soul tribe also connects energetically in a way which is almost surreal, and certainly is not atypical of any personal interaction, even within spiritual groups.
Firstly, there is a natural energetic bond that simply happens. The individuals are connected without ever having to try; they seem to sense one another, know how the others are feeling and if they are needed, and likely will receive spiritual messages for others in the group or for the group as a whole.
If magickal ritual is performed together, their energetic bodies will likely fuse in a way that is again, unlike performing magick with any other individuals.
To give a pop culture reference it’s a bit like spiritual Power Rangers. I cannot fully explain how or why this occurs, I just have personal experience that it does, and not entirely how one would expect. With Earth tribe, we may sense each other, and even connect to an extent, but we still feel a level of separation. This is not to demean Earth tribes whatsoever, those connections are still deep and meaningful, even necessary.
There is also the difficult aspect of Tribe Shadow work.
Only Soul Tribe can hope to overcome this, because it is by all accounts, difficult.
Tribe Shadow is whereby all members are dealing with one theme or energy that is poking their shadow, and whilst the reactions to the issue can differ, the root (the shadow) is very similar. This necessitates the kinds of connection which can allow for others to be suffering whilst we too are suffering from similar vibrations, and seek to help each other in whatever way that best manifests. Sometimes, it is the silent presence that offers a presence, and allows the other to feel or express themselves. Sometimes it is the truth teller, that holds space and echoes the person so they can find their truth and path within the difficulty.
Whatever the path might be, Soul tribe will find it together, without judgment or competition. This has been a personal trouble of mine; in a world that constantly seeks to take away or steal from my creativity, learning to be amongst women (in particular) who I can trust and raise up with… has been a God/dess send.
Soul tribe doesn’t dictate, there is no hierarchy, no control. It is sanctuary, without limits.
I can’t tell you where to find yours; merely say that to believe and seek is to find.
Many blessings, Starlet,