Is sexting the same as cheating? It all depends if you’re playing in the shadow or the light, says Ellie Burrows. Image: Katie Fischer

Sigh, the Madonna and the Whore. Is there anything more banal then reducing a woman to one of those two archetypes?

Madonna: Non-sexual woman. Keeper of morality. She offers her breasts to her children. She tempts you into eating your peas. She tempts you for your own good.

Whore: Sexual woman. Debaser of morality. She offers her breasts to everyone. She tempts your husband. She tempts you for her own good.

For thousands of years women have been cast in one of these two forms. There is no shortage of literature or decorated scholars who have devoted their lives to studying them. And, there are many feminists who have fought fiercely to destroy such narrow-minded classifications.

But I have a confession. I totally recognize this duality in myself and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Enter: Sexting – digital fingering at its finest, and the space where I recently encountered my inner Madonna and Whore pushing their respective pleasure agendas. As it turns out, I was able to marry them when I understood how to align their supposedly conflicting interests. They were willing to sign a sacred contract, but they had to look each other in the face to do it.

A few months ago, I found myself in a budding Millennial relationship: we were really into each other but having a tough time sorting out the commitment piece. It forced me to evaluate my own feelings about monogamy. And when this column launched in April, it brought some men from my past out of the proverbial woodwork.

I hadn’t talked to Eric in years (name obviously changed). We grew up in the same place and had always had that energetic-sexy-vibe thing happening but we never actually acted on it, mostly due to timing with a dash of trepidation. He reached out to tell me that he was proud of me and confess that he had fantasized about me since his preteens. Before I knew it, we were sexting and it was tons of fun, like major smile-ear-to-ear fun. And if I’m being totally truthful, it happened two more times. Over Gchat. Off the record. That was the problem.

Hello Whore Ellie. Eric has a very serious girlfriend.

The next weekend I was with my boyfriend-who-wasn’t-my-boyfriend. He put up an Instagram that also drew out a woman from his past. When I saw his facial expression when he peeped at his screen, I was intrigued. He told me that she was someone he had a one-night-stand with and since then had occasionally sexted with. He assured me that I had nothing to worry about.

But, I wasn’t concerned at all. Like, at all. See, I knew that I had just engaged in a sexting conversation with someone I was attracted to and it had absolutely nothing to do with him. It wasn’t going anywhere: I’m monogamous and I like to flirt. Of course, someone could say that if I really loved him I wouldn’t have sexted with someone else. If you’re that someone, please go buy Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. Immediately. #requiredreading

Then the following came out of my mouth:

“It’s okay if you sext with her.”


“Well, I’m not sure sexting with her is a direct reflection of how you feel about me. It has nothing to do with me. It’s just an aggressive form of flirting. I would be fine with it as long as she knows that I know that it’s happening and it doesn’t actually become physical.”


“If you both know that I’m aware that it’s going on and are still willing to sext, then you’re playing in the light. Then we are all engaging in conscious behavior and all of us get to enjoy the fantasy. However, if you can’t share it with me and you don’t think I can be part of the fun then that’s playing in the dark. That would be messy.”

Then I dropped the bomb. “In fact, I sexted with someone last week.”

“Really? Look at you.” He had a mischievous smile on his face that mirrored mine.

“Yes, and that exchange had absolutely nothing to do with my love for you. Totally mutually exclusive. It’s sophisticated flirtation. Except his girlfriend doesn’t know about it which is a problem.”

It was like we were sitting in an energetic room and the ceiling was lined with fluorescents. I could see everything. Deception is the fertile soil where the Madonna and the Whore’s separateness is able to survive. And that really is some holy shit.

The next day, I reached out to Eric and shared my revelation. He loved his girlfriend very much but was doing this behind her back, casting her as the Madonna and me as the Whore. I didn’t like engaging in this kind of shadow behavior because it didn’t allow us to play together. It kept us separate.

Maybe Eric believed that his girlfriend couldn’t see the duality and understand the nature of our flirting and so he felt the need to hide it from her. That, or he actually felt like it could go somewhere with me. But by going along with the deception, I wasn’t holding a space; I was trampling straight through one. And if we couldn’t play in the light, then it needed to end. So I ended it. I told him we could speak as long as we could keep it PG. Sadly, Eric and I haven’t spoken in months.

Hello Madonna Ellie. I support monogamy so I wanted to support Eric’s relationship. I also wanted to honor his girlfriend and only play with Eric if we could all play together.

The Madonna and Whore archetypes are in all of us. Both are remarkable extremes in their own right. I intimately know my Madonna and my Whore, and my life is an exercise in integrating them. It’s way beyond just being “a lady in the streets but a freak between the sheets.” I love both of them and so they love each other. I offer each a seat at my well-lit table and that is where they are able to break bread.

Read more from Ellie Burrows at Ellieburrows.com



Can a unique form of group therapy that seeks to define your role within your family heal generations-old inherited issues? Ruby Warrington goes swimming into the energy field with Family Constellations therapy…Image: Shane Small

A few months ago, with the help of French facilitator Marine Selenee, I experienced my first Family Constellations therapy session. Held at Marine’s chic studio apartment in downtown Manhattan, there were three other women present, each of whom played a different role in my Constellation, as did I for them. Many emotions were felt, and many tears shed, and afterwards I felt a sense of release, like something generations old had been worked out of my body at a cellular level.

I was instructed not to speak about my experience for two weeks, to give my mind and body time to integrate with the deep energetic work that had been done. And so I sat with my experience and simply watched on, as every area of my existence began to assume a subtly different and more dynamic form, all thanks to a shift in perception about my family situation – and by definition, myself. If our role in our own “family constellation” is at the root of our human experience, it’s what shapes our entire reality. Right?

How does Family Constellations therapy work? Consider this. Depending on your personal belief system, we all choose our parents, choose to be born in a certain place at a certain moment in time. In doing so, we also choose the unique set of circumstances (and issues) that this configuration gifts us to work with as our karmic lesson in this lifetime.

If that’s too much of a deep dive, then think instead about the question of “nature vs. nurture.” Are we born a certain way, or do the circumstances of our upbringing shape us as we grow? Would I be a completely different person if I was born into a different family in a different time and place? Or am I simply “me,” navigating life with the tools I’ve picked up along the way?

Using Family Constellations therapy, Marine works with the latter theory, the idea being that we repeat the negative patterns we see in our parents out of “loyalty” – they’re the people who gave us life after all, our tribe. We want to be accepted, so we want to be like them. But where these patterns go against our true nature is where we get stuck, where we feel pain – and also where we’ll find the biggest assignments for our personal growth.

I defy any soul currently enjoying this human experience not to have a single issue they can’t trace back to their family (see that ancient Chinese proverb; “they f*** you up, your mom and dad”). As Marine puts it; “90 percent of your issues don’t belong to you – and you pick most of these up before the age of six.” A century of psychoanalysis and talking therapy is entrenched in this understanding, and yet Family Constellations therapy seeks to journey beyond words in search of resolutions to these fundamental glitches in our operating systems.

The key lies in performing the surgery required, the severing of our attachment to our family members’ issues, on our emotional body, before the stories our intellect tells us about who, what and why we [*insert whatever your personal debilitating hang-up is here] have a chance to get a look-in; “Once you recognise that your behaviors and beliefs are not your own, it’s possible to see your true self, your own beliefs and purpose, more clearly,” says Marine.

But how, precisely? Before you embark on a mission to meet your own Family Constellation, here’s what you Need To Know…

• Psychotherapist and former Roman Catholic priest Bert Hellinger discovered Family Constellations therapy when living with the Zulu in South Africa, where the modality was used to resolve issues within the tribe.

• A Constellation can be performed by a group or one-to-one, with a facilitator to moderate. It is the facilitator’s job to do most of the talking; participants are simply asked to notice and express how they feel as events unfold.

• The facilitator begins by asking a few questions pertaining to the issue the participant wants to address. He or she then asks the people needed to bring about a resolution to find their place (whatever position feels right in relation to each other) within “the field.”

• The field, usually the space contained within the circle of the group or the room where the Constellation is taking place, represents the energy field where all souls and all generations exist together as pure spirit.

• In a session, actual family members do not need to be present – other members of the group are called on to “perform” these roles (not nearly as awkward or potentially embarrassing as it sounds).

• This may include family members who have passed, or any unborn children who are also part of the participant’s Constellation.

• Once situated within the field, the facilitator may also ask the different “family members” to recite key phrases relating to the issue in question (without ever going into the “story” – what, why, how) – again asking people to identify the emotions connected to these statements.

• Forgiveness may be asked, and apologies offered (again via the facilitator).

• Many tears may flow.

• A resolution occurs when it becomes evident which family member owns which emotion, behaviour or belief, allowing the participant to realize their own power to simply let whatever doesn’t “belong” to them go.

To find out more about Family Constellations or book a session contact [email protected] or visit Marineselenee.com

Marine will also be hosting group sessions ($60 per person) in Brooklyn, NY, on:

July 31st (6:30pm)
August 3rd (1pm)
August 7th (6:30pm)
August 10th (11am)


Guru Jagat is the outspoken face behind the Ra Ma Institute, the only all kundalini yoga studio in California’s Venice Beach. She talks to Madeline Giles about her vision for the Age of Aquarius, life on the 33rd parallel and outsmarting the Global Elite. Conspiracy theories or conscious debate? You decide… Images: Lisandra Vazquez

I moved to Venice Beach from Brooklyn on December 30, 2013 – and by January 7, three people had already mentioned Guru Jagat to me. I learned she founded and taught at Ra Ma Yoga Institute, the only all-kundalini yoga studio in Venice. Since I a) loved kundalini yoga (I practiced in New York, but not consistently) and b) operate by the rule of three – meaning if I hear something mentioned three times or more, I take it as a Divine directive to do it – I went to her class as soon as I could.

Guru Jagat begins each class with a 20-minute lecture seated in front of Ra Ma’s 60-inch gong (which was initially made for Van Halen). Whether she’s talking about astrology, her most recent meditative conversation with a Pleiadian priest, the influence of the Global Elite, the Piscean Age vs. the Aquarian Age or her all-white, probably vintage, always amazing attire – I always find myself laughing (she’s really funny!) and learning SO much.

I adore Guru Jagat because she isn’t afraid to talk about things most people disregard – and I, for one, want to hear all about how that one Lady Gaga song is actually a mantra used to control the masses (more on that in the Q&A below). Yet beyond that, and perhaps more importantly, she has an incredibly ability to make people feel like they belong.

I’ve experienced this firsthand several times since first stepping into Ra Ma a few months ago. In class, Guru Jagat acknowledges and personally welcomes all her students, whether they are first-timers or regulars. She offers a free dinner after Sunday night class, free daily Sadhana, endless amazing events, specific classes and workshops based on the planetary cycles, and magical, high-vibe mantra music via Ra Ma Records (she sings, too!). To me, Guru Jagat is a true embodiment of what it means to thrive as a magical person in a modern world.

In a world where many spiritual teachers (not that Guru Jagat would ever call herself that) walk their talk solely on social media and stage, Guru Jagat is setting a new example. She’s devoted to her students’ growth whether or not the livestream camera is on, and it’s a palpable aspect of her presence. If you’re unable to make it to Ra Ma in person, I highly recommend experiencing her classes online via Ra Ma TV.

Tell us about your journey into kundalini yoga. How did you become this cosmic warrior queen of Earth?
“Well, I’ll tell you…I had studied with the Osho people, the Encounter groups – I was doing the New Age circuit, yet when I walked into my first kundalini yoga class, I felt a massive opening of my crown chakra. New Age savvy as I was, I didn’t know what was going on. I later learned that’s not an uncommon experience for first-timers – the kundalini energy moves up the spine and that pressure opens up the crown chakra, which attributes to elevating your consciousness. I was lucky enough to be around when Yogi Bhajan was still alive, and I got major transmissions from that by studying with him in New Mexico as much as possible before he passed away. I’ve been trailblazing the forefront of the kundalini revolution since.

What do find most valuable about the kundalini yoga teachings?
Kundalini yoga is so accessible to anybody. It literally has more mass appeal than any other type of yoga, because anybody can do it – and by that I mean people in peak physical condition all the way to paraplegics can do some form of the yoga. This (points to turban) has kind of kept people from it, but at Ra Ma we’re working to debunk it without watering it down or apologizing.

That’s what I love about your classes. They’re so unique without comprising the integrity of the teachings, plus you lecture on subject matters that most people choose not to acknowledge – like the concept of the Global Elite…
“A bunch of people are joking that they’re going to take my quote and make it into a t-shirt, which is: “If the Illuminati can do it, we can do it!” It would be an amazing t-shirt! Basically, the whole Aquarian Age – this age of consciousness – is about taking our power back. The Global Elite know how to use the lunar cycles, the astrological phenomenons and the grid of the planet (latitude and longitude substantiates the grid). That’s their specialty, and they’ve used it in a certain way – and now, the Aquarian Age is about the masses accessing all that power and using it in a light way. The Age we just came from was all about the Elite having the power to control the masses, but now, thanks to the Internet, there are no secrets. Now the masses have the opportunity, and kundalini yoga helps people access this power and use it to evolve consciousness.”

You’ve mentioned in class about Ra Ma needing to be situated in a certain location so it can be on the 33rd parallel. Can you speak a bit more about that?
“Venice Beach is situated on the 33rd longitude degree, which also goes through all these other occult places on the planet. Kennedy was assassinated on the 33rd parallel, Yogi Bhajan’s yoga school in Florida is situated on it, and in the 2004 election the night before the debate, it made national news that Bush chose to spend the day in the middle of a Florida field with 40 farmers, while Kerry was touring around the major cities of Florida. Even the newscasters were like; “what is Bush doing?” Basically, he was specifically put on the 33rd parallel to soak up the energy – but that’s another story! Anytime you get the number 33, you’re working in the sixth dimension of reality – it’s a power place, a vortex. Yogi Bhajan told me when he was still alive that [my yoga studio] had to be between certain blocks on Lincoln Blvd. [in Venice] – and as particularly close to Rose Ave. as I could get it. If we were north of Rose, we would be on the 34th parallel, so it literally had to be here.”

What are your thoughts on people who dismiss things like this as conspiracy theory?
“Kundalini is the yoga of awareness, so practicing it we become aware of this information. It’s about what we do with it that matters. If you want to put yourself on this frequency, you actually see that the whole world is conspiring for your greatest good, and once you activate your brain centers in a certain way – at a certain vibrational frequency – you can’t go back to sleep. For lack of a better metaphor, once you go in and say, “I’m an addict” or “I’m an alcoholic,” you’ll never be able to go and use again the way you used to. I feel that a lot of the conspiracy theory rabbit holes are being used for fear mongering and money making, however, and that’s obviously not what we’re about.”

What is your vision for a society that fully integrates the teachings and energy of the Aquarian Age?
“In the vision of the Aquarian Age, there’s enough for everybody and the reason we’re here is to serve others. Our [collective] vow is to be actively and generously giving our gifts to the world and each other, and so everything we do becomes a creative and manifesting act. That sounds very utopian on some level, but it’s also very ordinary. In the Piscean Age, everything was compartmentalized. People said things like; “this is my yoga practice and then I go do whatever I do” – which was usually not in alignment with the yoga practice. Everything had a split and a chasm and a compartment. In the Aquarian Age, everything is integrated seamlessly.”


“My vision and my interpretation of Yogi Bhajan’s vision is that we are integrating all the activities of our regular, ordinary, householder lives into very extraordinary, spiritually connected experiences. Meaning that every moment, everything that we’re doing throughout the day – working, picking up kids, doing schoolwork or whatever we’re doing – we’re actively bringing elegance to the moment. It sounds poetic, but the actual practice is very intensive. It’s meditation in action. From that space, the more we are able to experience glimpses of inner peace, the more the world is going to experience glimpses of world peace. It’s totally and completely related.”

With all the changes happening in the world, how can we adjust? Especially for people who aren’t open to practicing kundalini yoga?
“The sound current and the breath creates a buffer, and in this technology we believe the sound current puts you at a certain frequency that then determines who you meet and who you don’t meet. Like frequencies are going to attract each other, so the more developed your frequency, the more sophisticated the interactions and opportunities that come your way are going to be. That’s why we’re focused on getting our songs and mantras out on Ra Ma Records. So many people are listening to my songs that would never go to a yoga class, but they’re getting an infusion of energy. Same thing with Ra Ma TV. I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of emails and messages around the fact that people are having their parents or sisters or brothers or kids listen to my lectures. They’re not doing the yoga, they’re just watching the class, and they’re getting a transmission of energy through the sound current of my voice.”

Which is kind of amazing…
“We kind of downplay Ra Ma records and say, oh it’s just this fun little project – but it’s one of the most important things we’re doing. The songs on Ra Ma Records Volume 2 (released this past summer solstice) are all crossover tracks. Every single one could be played on the radio, and it’s going to happen. The thing is, the Global Elite also know how to use rhythm and sound to control the masses. It’s no coincidence that nobody knows any of the words from Lady Gaga’s biggest hit except for; “ra ra ra ma ma, ra ra ra ma ma” – it’s a mantra. So, if they can do it, we can do it!”

Check out Guru Jagat’s classes from anywhere in the world via Ra Ma TV. For a full schedule of classes at the Venice beach studio click here



Enter Leo, and passionate, sunshine times are here. Ash Baker shares a simple yoga sequence and 2nd chakra meditation to honor your inner Lion, boost your creativity and cultivate the courage to truly love yourself and others. Image: Karolina Daria Flora


July 23 to August 22nd

Ruler: The Sun
Element: Fire
Modality: Fixed
Anatomy: The heart, spine & hair ( your Lion’s mane )
5th sign of the Zodiac

Queens & Kings rise to their cosmic throne this month! We are now entering the summery sign of Leo who worships the Sun, all things luxurious and leaps boldly into creative, fierce endeavors. This is a month of action rather than reaction, and for taking moments to connect with your inner child. Finding that magical place in your heart that defies logic and lives for the moment. Let these poses infuse your more solar side and add some sparkle to your courageous stride.

Surya Namaskar // Sun Salute // 3-5 rounds

A flowing salute to Leo’s ruler, the Sun. This simple series is great for beginners as well as the seasoned yogi. It will also help to alleviate some of the loveable but stubborn fixed nature that the Lion is known for.

Come to stand at the front of your mat. Feel your feet grounding downward by pressing your big toe mound, little toe mound and heel firmly against the floor. Scoop your tailbone slightly, giving the abdominals a slight inward moving squeeze. Draw your shoulders back allowing your collarbones to widen. Lengthen your neck by raising the crown of your head up towards the sky. Arms are softly at your sides with slightly open palms. Now you are in Tadasana or Standing Mountain Pose.

Take a deep inhale inflating the entire belly while simultaneously reaching the arms out and up, bringing the palms to kiss. Exhale and begin to fold forward with your arms following out to your sides like wings. Remember to create a hinge at your hips when you fold and keep a slight bend in your knees. Keep your back nice and flat until you reach your edge in the stretch. Then you can gently round the spine as you surrender to the fold. Inhaling, come up halfway, placing the fingertips on the floor or the palms to the shins. Exhale fold down again.

Inhale, place your hands on the floor and step or jump back into plank pose. Keep the tailbone tucked and engage your abdominal muscles. Exhaling, either bring the knees to the floor or keep legs lifted while slowing lowering down through Chaturanga push up position. Come all the way to the floor. Inhaling, with hands next to your shoulders, press up into Cobra or Upward Facing Dog.

Exhaling, bend the knees and press back and up into Downward Facing Dog. Root down through all ten fingers especially the thumbs. Press your hips up towards the sky and ground your feet into the floor, at least do so energetically if the heels don’t reach.

While in Downward Dog we are going to add in Lions Breath! A little pause to honor our inner fierceness. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale with an open mouth while simultaneously sticking your tongue out. Let the exhale be forceful, making a “ha” sound. Do three to five rounds of this breath each time you come into Down Dog. Take this opportunity to let go of anything negative in your inner landscape that may be hindering your growth or creativity. With each exhale imagine yourself releasing that negative attachment. The “ha” sound is you laughing at your fears. Just as any lion would do.

Walk or hop the feet up to meet the hands coming into a forward fold with a slight bend in the knees. Take your hands to your shins or take your fingertips to touch the ground and come up half way with a flat spine. Reaching forward with the crown of your head, take an inhale. Exhale and fold forward once more. Inhale while rolling your whole body up to stand from the ground up. Keep your knees slightly bent, allow your spine to unfurl and reach the arms to the sky. Bring the fingertips to touch, collect yourself, your intentions and place them before your heart with prayer hands.

Heart to Heart time.

Now that your body is warmed up we can move onto some more static yet deeply powerful postures. This next pose is a great way to open your heart and lungs. Leo rules the heart, and not in the way you may think. They can be great romantics but they are not the kind to wear their heart on their sleeve. It takes genuine courage to truly open your heart to another person, which is why harnessing Leo like courage within our bodies and towards ourselves is so powerful. The more we open to vulnerability with strength and grace, the more we can offer the ones we love.

Camel // Ustrasana

Come to hands and knees. Go through a few rounds of cat/cow just to get a nice spinal flow forwards and backwards. Then come up on your knees. If you have crabby knees like I do, take a blanket or towel underneath them. Take your hands to your lower back with the fingertips pointed towards the floor and begin to press your hands downward. You should feel your lower back lengthening and your collarbones widening. Just stay with this for 3 rounds of breath.

Then take one arm behind you grabbing your heel or ankle. Stay there breathing for a moment and then take your other arm behind you clasping your heel or ankle.. Draw your shoulders open, tuck the tailbone down while also drawing the top of your hip points up and inward. This will naturally engage your abdominals. Stay in this pose for up to 1 minute if there is no pain in your low back or knees.

Once released take your hips to your heels, reach the arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor. Allow yourself to surrender to your heart’s requests. Breathe deeply for a minute.

Locust Pose // Salabhasana

Now that the front of your body is open and ready to receive, we will strengthen the back of the heart. Leos also rule the back which is key in developing self courage. Many of us are courageous in the name of others but not so much for ourselves. We always have a choice and it requires deep work to not always be a people pleaser! The Lion speaks his truth with fearless ease.

Plus this pose always makes me feel like Superwoman!

Come onto your belly. Keep your arms along your sides, point the fingers and let your forehead rest on the floor. Inhaling begin to unfurl your head, shoulders and chest upwards. Allow the arms to follow the upwards motion like you are in flight! Keep pressing the pubic bone and belly towards the floor to keep your low back supported. Now begin to zip up the legs by squeezing them together and engaging your glutes. With pointed toes begin to lift the legs up. Now all limbs should be flying. Breathe and feel how strong you are. Hold this for five rounds of breath. Come back down, releasing for a few seconds. If you feel energized by this pose go into it once more.

Make your way into Childs Pose.

If you need a little help softening or just want a sweet pose this month try a Yin heart opener – Yin being the soft, receptive and cooling side of the circle. Use this to say to the Universe that you are open for business, fearless and ready for what’s next.

You will need two blocks, a bolster or blanket and a pillow.

If you don’t have a bolster just roll up a blanket. Place your bolster or blanket horizontally across your mat. Come down onto your back with the blanket just under the tips of your shoulder blades. This will create a nice opening in the chest. Draw your feet to touch creating a diamond shape with the legs. Place a block under each knee allowing the legs to gently relax into the stretch. Your arms should be outstretched to the sides comfortably. Lastly, take your pillow and place it under your head. You should feel fully supported and safe. Stay here for as long as you need.

Sun meditation // 2nd chakra

This would be a great meditation to do while in the supported Yin pose, but if you prefer you can sit cross legged on a pillow with the hands gently resting on your legs. The 2nd chakra, Svadhisthana, is the seat of our creativity and passion. Leos are pleasure hunters, and it’s our energetic pleasure hub and. When one has a clear connection to this chakra they are in tune with their feelings, desires and can communicate that easily to others. This is the birth place of artistic divinity and when flowing freely we experience pleasures in every moment.

Close your eyes. Take one hand to your heart and one to your belly. Really feel both areas of your body and picture them being harmonious in their communications to each other. What seeds do you want to plant within yourself? Where do you want to be more open? More creative? How could you cultivate more pleasure in your life? The answers to these questions are your seeds.

Now imagine a garden within yourself filled with all your favorite plants, flowers and creatures (unicorns are welcome!) Take all of those seeds (desires) and start to plant them in the dirt, knowing in your heart what they will look like in full bloom. Look up and see a big, radiantly beaming Sun pouring down upon your garden, nourishing all you have sown. Feel the warmth and know that you are actively pursuing the things in life you want or need. Again you are courageous and always have a choice. Just stay here breathing, opening and surrendering to your own strength.

Monthly Mantra: I am the ruler of my heart, my strength and all things contained within my inner kingdom.


Forbes’ 52nd most powerful woman in the world, Cancerian author and spiritual activist Arianna Huffington is at the forefront of the mindfulness revolution. Initiated into transcendental meditation by the Maharishi himself when she was just 13, here she reveals the details of a successfully Mystical Life…

Do you have any recurring dreams and what do you think they mean?
“I had a dream that has remained very important to me but is not recurring. I am on a train going home to God. (Bear with me!) It’s a long journey, and everything that happens in my life is scenery along the way. Some of it is beautiful; I want to linger over it awhile, perhaps hold on to it or even try to take it with me.

Other parts of the journey are spent grinding through a barren, ugly countryside. Either way the train moves on. And pain comes whenever I cling to the scenery, beautiful or ugly, rather than accept that all the scenery is grist for the mill, containing, as Marcus Aurelius counseled us, some hidden purpose and a hidden blessing.

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and my younger daughter and I regularly exchange our dreams. One of her recurring dreams is a good metaphor for what a good night’s sleep allows us to do. She imagines herself as a living “Stop” sign, forcing people to come to a complete stop before moving on with their lives.”

What is your morning awakening ritual?
“My perfect morning begins the night before, with a good night’s sleep – which, for me, means seven to eight hours. And a big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: when I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone.

I make sure I have my phones charging far, far away from my bed, to help me avoid the temptation to check the latest news or emails. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.”

What is your favorite feel-good breakfast and why?
“I have terrible breakfast habits. I basically love breakfast foods but not at breakfast – the only thing I like at breakfast is a soy or almond cappuccino.”

What mantra do you leave the house with in the morning?
“’Don’t miss the moment.’ This was one of my mother’s favorite sayings and it embodied the philosophy of her life.”

Arianna’s daughters Christina and Isabella: “My healers”

What’s your lucky charm?
“Flat shoes!”

In what ways do you most embody the traits of your sign?
“If one of the signs of being a Cancer is being a homebody, then there is nothing I like more than staying home with a good book and my favorite music.”

And the healer you have on speed-dial?
“My daughters!”

What’s the one universal message you wish we could all could get our heads around?
“It’s a lesson I learned when I had my painful wakeup call in 2007: not only is there no tradeoff between living a well-rounded life and high performance, your performance will actually improve when your life includes time for renewal, wisdom, wonder and giving.”

And how do you deal with negative thoughts?
“I call my negative thoughts the obnoxious roommate living in our head. It feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. I have spent many years trying to evict my obnoxious roommate and have now managed to relegate her to only occasional guest appearances in my head.

Educating our obnoxious roommate requires redefining success and what it means to live a life that matters, which will be different for each of us, according to our own values and goals (and not those imposed upon us by society).”

Retail therapy is…?
“Nice, but ultimately not the answer!”

What’s your power outfit?
“A simple beige dress that I wear with a cotton bolero.”

And what makes you feel beautiful, why?
“What makes me feel beautiful is an 8-hour sleep, half an hour of meditation and a great yoga class.”

Your last conversation with the universe went something like…?
“It was me putting the universe in its place: ‘Sorry, I know I have an obscene number of unanswered emails, but I’m putting my phone away and going to bed!’”

For upcoming Third Metric events go to www.thrive.huffingtonpost.com.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington is out now. 



Man it can get LOUD out there. Have you ever considered shutting down the noise and embarking on a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat? Sarah McKinney shares the experience that left her “more integrated, and whole.” Images: Karolina Daria Flora.

I’d always been fascinated when people said they’d gone on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, in the same way I’m fascinated by people who tell me they run marathons, my usual reaction being: “That’s so awesome — for you.” But this past October, when one of my yoga teachers strongly recommended Jack Kornfield’s 37th annual spring Vipassana, something inside of me sparked, and I knew it was time for me to experience it for myself.

I’d been trying to “should” myself into establishing a daily seated meditation practice for a while, but couldn’t get it to stick. I’d rationalized that yoga was a moving meditation. I’d done maybe a dozen or so 30-minute guided meditations, and had sat quietly for five-minute meditations countless times.

But I knew that meditating in silence for hours every day, for 10 days in a row, would be like learning to swim in the deep end. I felt a little nervous, but also confident that I had the tools needed to process whatever thoughts or emotions might come up. And I was comforted by the fact that Jack’s retreat didn’t require 100% silence.

We were allowed to talk during three different meetings with teachers — one small group, and two one-on-ones, when they would check in on how we were doing and offer some perspective and advice. There was a brief Q&A period at the end of one morning and one afternoon sit each day, giving students the opportunity to ask questions that pertained to their practice. And during the working meditations we could exchange words related to our jobs.

We were also told it was okay to jot down some notes if we felt the need — particularly permissible during the Dharma talks every night, when the teachers would share various lessons from the Buddha. But we were told to avoid eye contact whenever possible, the point being to help us stay focused on our internal experiences. There would also be no reading or use of technology, and any kind of sexual conduct was disallowed.

I’d been warned that the first few days on retreat were often the most difficult — the “settling in” period, they called it. I’d assumed this was because people had repressed traumatic or abusive experiences from their past that suddenly rose to the surface, and I half-hoped I’d be gifted with something surprisingly dramatic and juicy. But instead what I experienced was intense boredom, impatience, fantasy thinking, planning, sleepiness, and intermittent frustration that there wasn’t more instruction given.

The teachers said they were intentionally keeping it simple to start us off, telling us to just keep coming back to our inhale and exhale, and our right and left foot, as we alternated between 45-minute sitting and walking meditation periods.

The walking meditation was not like walking for exercise, or even walking to get from one place to the next. The point was to maintain single minded focus — feeling the weight shift from heel to toe, or from the left to right side of our body, stopping if we noticed something in our surroundings to really observe it before returning to our footsteps.

By afternoon I could hear the cars zooming down the nearby highway and pictured myself running across the desert, yelling; “Save me! Take me away from the land of the slow, where people walk like zombies of the night!” I was entertaining myself — preferable to maintaining single-minded focus, apparently.

When the teachers would release us from sitting meditation saying, “enjoy your walking period” with their Buddha smiles, it felt mildly torturous. Like being told to go enjoy just one sip of wine, or one chocolate chip. But I practiced contrary action, and tried to do what I was told.

On the second day we began receiving more instruction — my thirst for guidance, quenched! During one of the morning walking meditations I became momentarily captivated by the most beautifully bright little yellow flowers growing on a tree, surrounded by soft white fluff. And then a few steps later, by a delicate purple flower growing out of a brittle cactus — the symbolism made me smile.

I sat on a bench during lunch, mindfully chewing and savoring the different textures and flavors per the teachers’ suggestions, and noticed that the Koi pond I was gazing at was particularly green — like a Matcha green tea latte. Looking up I observed a large bush covered in white flowers, and then another one with pink flowers. How had I missed all this the day before? I watched a tall narrow tree bend in the wind as I listened to the chirping birds, my hand clasping a warm cup of tea. I felt the weather beginning to shift.

My working meditation was breakfast set up from 6 — 6:45am. I was grateful for something to do. My working partner was a woman named Margo who I had an immediate affinity for. She was in her late 60’s and (I later learned) a poet, and a writing teacher. She had a son around my age and lived in San Diego with her husband — a man who’d been going on silent meditation retreats for decades. This was her fourth.

We’d occasionally break the rules and whisper to each other; “How are you doing?” Knowing she was having a hard time with the meditations too made me feel less alone. Margo felt like my version of that guy in Eat Pray Love who called Elizabeth Gilbert “Groceries” — she was my friend. Occasionally we would make accidental eye contact when passing each other on the grounds, and sneak smiles.

Throughout my entire life people have commented on how cold my hands are and my go-to response has always been; “cold hands warm heart!” But during the seated meditations I could feel my hands burning with heat as they rested on my thighs, and I remembered an energy worker telling me once that the hands become warm when you are in your body and out of the analytic mind.

And so I began using my hands as my barometer for how much I was “dropping in”, and allowing myself to feel. As that was apparently what we were here to do. “How does that feel in your body?” the teachers frequently asked, when students would share their various mind states, and laughably relatable neuroses. The goal was equanimity, which merely means  to observe our feelings with a balanced perspective, to enable us to respond appropriately.

I was less sleepy by day three, but still pretty bored, and the fantasy thinking had been going into overdrive, carrying over into my sleep. I dreamt I was having sex with someone I’d though about going to bed with, and quickly thanked my subconscious for having taken note before realizing some old familiar feelings were present  too— insecurity, performance, validation seeking. Leftover residue from a life so busily lived that not everything can be fully processed.

Lying in bed, I decided to envision how I’d like to feel having sex with this person — safe, comfortable, playful, fully in my body, ripe with desire, generously giving, the embodiment of “yes.” “Much better,” I noted to myself, as I reached down to my suitcase for some clothes, and then began my walk to the dining hall.

I was surprised that I didn’t miss technology at all, given how obsessively I tend to check it at home. Or exercise. We did have Qigong at 3:15 every afternoon, which gave us a chance to move our bodies, albeit slowly. It was taught by a German man named Franz Moeckl who was so charismatic that all the ladies started giggling the moment he appeared, and then again when he spoke. It became one of my favorite parts of each day, but after about 15 minutes I was still checking my watch — what’s next.

I came to enjoy the simple foods. No seconds. No desire for more. Though I did find myself hoarding a bit — taking an apple at breakfast in case I wanted it later, and one night I wrapped three dark chocolates in a napkin and slipped it into my bag, anticipating a future desire for sweetness, or simply something to look forward to.

I placed them in the freezer of the mini fridge in my room, and took some comfort in just knowing they were there — like an active alcoholic stashing bottles around the house, or a smoker who’s trying to quit but keeps a few cigarettes in a secret drawer, just in case.

I also discovered that one of my roommates was from Australia, due to her being an active sleep talker — it’s like her subconscious found a loophole and was going to town. She had full on conversations that began around 4am, and one morning I nearly laughed out loud when she blurted out in her thick accent; “Well yes, that’s a very large hemorrhage.”

As for the internal work I’d been expecting? On day five I was greeted with an onslaught of anger and resentment, and found myself intensely preoccupied with planning a conversation that I’d decided I needed to have with a friend about how I couldn’t show up and be authentically supportive of her recent decisions.

I explored every angle, and couldn’t seem to find a way to say it that wasn’t charged with judgment and righteousness. In the afternoon we were guided through a forgiveness meditation, and it became clear that the person I’d been planning to “de-friend” was actually an undeniable amalgamation of all of the wounded parts of myself that I’ve worked hard to heal.

She was all of my jagged edges and broken pieces hanging in a wind chime, clanging just outside my door. The walking instruction given was to silently say with each step; “I forgive you. Please forgive me. I forgive myself.” The anger dissipated.

By now I couldn’t seem to access the fantasy thinking anymore — I missed it, and even when I reached out for it, there were no hooks to reel it in. Instead I was left with a near-constant internal narration of my present-time experiences. A ladybug would crawl on my shoe and I’d hear myself say; “Today, a ladybug crawled on my shoe.”

The voice sounded a little bit like that of an older man, maybe Billy Collins or Garrison Keillor — someone with a lot of time on their hands, and a keen attention to detail. It kept me company, but was also kind of annoying.

I also found my mind frequently drifting to things I’d written — poems, mostly — or ideas for new things, based on what I was experiencing on retreat. I’d notice their presence and label them “reciting” or “writing,” letting them float away like clouds so I could return to my breath, or footsteps.

I mentioned this pattern to a teacher during one of my meetings and she asked me to explore how it might feel if I didn’t write about my retreat experience. Little daggers shot out of my heart; “No, I’m not interested in not writing. This is my first silent retreat — maybe next time,” was my response.

She asked me to explain why, and it really came down to a feeling that all of my experiences must be productive. Who am I, and what is my value, if I don’t have anything to show for it?

I smiled when trying to imagine any of my family members doing this retreat. Particularly my Dad — a man who attempted to weed my Grandma’s entire front garden while we were locked out of her house for 20 minutes once. I sat on the front step and watched. He eventually looked up at me, both hands filled with weeds, and evaluated his work, saying, “Well, I’m not sure how much I’ve really accomplished here.” I responded, “But at least you kept busy, right?”

I tease them all for being so Type A. In our family, the question, “How are you?” is most often answered with a list of things you’ve done since you last spoke, followed by another one of everything you plan to do in the immediate future.

Both my parents grew up in households that were very unpredictable so they’ve created a pretty structured approach to life, and it’s worked well for them. I on the other hand, grew up in a household that was very predictable, so have been left craving less structure and more fluidity — the pendulum swings.

By now I was beginning to experience some pretty blissed out states — my body nearly always tingly and pulsing with my heartbeat. Like when you just wake up from a deep sleep, and just lie there, too peaceful to move. I could also feel a strange pressure in my forehead, like it was opening up and pushing dense material off to the sides.

I still refuse to call this my third eye, but I know enough about energy centers to understand that’s what it was —and that I  was tapping in to that concentrated spaciousness, a dark expansiveness, the limitless sea of consciousness.

As the retreat began to inch closer to the end, and my excitement about returning home reignited my planning mind, the mantra I kept repeating to myself during the walking meditations was simply; “I love you. Keep going.”

One day during a sit I decided to kill some time by scanning my entire body, starting at my toes and traveling all the way up to my head, and apologizing for what I’ve put it through — the pounding, twisting, spraining, scratching, bruising, burning, devaluing, starving, pushing, prodding, betraying, withholding, criticizing, ignoring and abandoning — and then thanking it for continuing to be there for me. Tears welled up in my eyes.

The mindful eating was also very healing. Being able to really tune into my body and feel the various stages of digestion, I realized that I often misinterpret digestion as hunger — back in my life of busyness — and don’t wait for it to pass. But in meditation, I could sit with those sensations and feel them as they moved through me. I was eating plenty, but my body continued to feel lighter, healthier and more free.

We broke silence the afternoon before our final day. We were told to partner up with someone and take turns listening and talking for three minutes each. Apparently I had been developing a silent friendship with the woman to my left over the course of the retreat, because once we spoke there was immediate comfort. She was here with her husband, and was four months pregnant. She’d had a hard time, and wanted to know how it was for me.

I struggled to adequately articulate what felt like such a diverse and detailed experience. “It was good,” I started in with, “It felt like a detox, and a self-amends. It was very healing, and very challenging at times, too.” We chatted on a bit more and were then asked to sit in silence again, and to feel the buzzing energy in our bodies that the talking had produced.

We were allowed to continue talking during dinner that night, but then it was back to silence for the 6:30pm meditation, the final Dharma talk, and through breakfast the next day. After packing up our rooms we all met one final time in the meditation hall for a closing ceremony — the teachers each giving us some advice on how to have a smooth re-entry, and keep our meditation practice up.

We were each given a red string, and asked to tie three knots in it — one to represent where we take refuge, one to represent compassion, and one to represent a promise we were making to ourselves. We then partnered up to tie them on for each other, and exchange a blessing.

Before heading back to Los Angeles I asked someone to take a picture of me standing out in the desert, so I could have something visual to remember the retreat by. I had the same dress on that I’d arrived in 10 days prior, but the woman wearing it felt different — more integrated, and whole.

I realized after driving away that I’d left the chocolates I’d taken from the dining hall in my room’s mini fridge. I guess I found the sweetness I expected to crave somewhere deep within myself instead.

Sarah McKinney is a poet, entrepreneur and songwriter, and the founder of Amp, an online directory of sustainability resources. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her @sarahmck

For a full diary of retreats at Jack Kornfield’s Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center click here.


Born on the beach, raised in New York City and recently adopted by Los Angeles, Amber Ibarreche is an artist, designer and poet. A woman of few words – boy does she make them count. Images: Amber’s Instagram account.

Buy all Amber’s t-shirts here.

What’s your favorite feeling? “Spirited.”
Have you found the missing peace? “Yes. In love.”
Your mantra? “Never hesitate to levitate.”
Who’s the Goddess you most like fucking with? “Everybody is a Goddess. I fuck with everyone.”
If you were a crystal, which one would you be and why? “Labradorite. It’s excellent for strengthening intuitions.”
Where the hell have you been all my life? “Heaven only knows.”


Cast by Louise Androlia using the The Rider Tarot Deck

And just like that Mercury is on the move again – so for any of you who’ve been waving your fists in the air, expect normal service to resume. I hope you don’t have too much cleaning up to do! In contrast, I feel that July will bring action, movement, force and vigor. The waiting and surrendering seems to be dissolving, the picture sharpening, as life gets just a little clearer. And so we prepare to gallop on ahead. I’m all in, are you?

I love to chat with you about your scopes and how your month is going so find me on Twitter and Instagram @louniverse


Cancer / Cancer Rising – King of Wands

Happy Birthday month, sweet Cancerian friends. July is waiting for you to take it by the hand and go off and adventure. You’ve been clearing space and there is now an almost overwhelming pull from within you to tap back into your own creative self. In recent months there may have been more material world ins and outs and ups and downs than your intuitive spirit could handle. Of course you could handle it, but you may have been feeling exhausted and off balance. It’s now time to reclaim your heartiest of hearts. Are you ready?

So, you’ve been letting go, surrendering and giving up what no longer works for you. Keep at it – we must remember that we are constantly in a cycle, preparing for the new and the better. In order to move forward you must have faith in your own ability to regenerate and step into you’re a-game. You know the place? The one where you have the wildest of ideas and the will to follow them through? That is where you’re moving your bags to, that room of wonder and weird and joy. It’s time to place some intentions and interest in doing what makes you feel good, what makes you feel inspired and alive. In fact, focus on that this month – FEELING ALIVE. What turns you on? Who lights you up? How do you tune into your own inner light? These aren’t always the easiest questions to answer but it’s fun trying.

Your ability to ‘have it all’ is boosted right now. So what does that mean to you? I like to think this means bathing in what we have while striving for what we feel is for our highest good. It’s not about piling everything back into this space you’ve created and then mirroring stress from times past – no, no, no. How about stepping into a newer and more confident you? Confidence is gained from feeling empowered. Empowerment is gained from being embodied. To get embodied you need to pay the upmost respect to your journey and your soul’s desire. Go in the direction of your biggest ideas, know that you can fulfill them, but don’t forget to balance the working hard with the feeling good. Self care can’t be put in the back seat any more, it must be prioritised in this day and age.

For inspiration, look to the dreamers and the entrepreneurs around you. Who do you know who is always stubborn about blazing their own path? These people are your guides this month and ultimately your mirrors too. When you see the stories that you want, know that they are also yours to claim. Finally, you will find love via lighting your own spark.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Leo / Leo Rising – The Five of Swords

As you approach your birthday, which is of course your own unique New Years day, it’s a good time to pull yourself together. I mean that in the kindest of ways – that it’s the right few weeks to revamp, re-camp and reset. I feel that you may have been a little energetically and emotionally scattered recently, perhaps from the push and pull of others’ opinions – words from all directions. It’s easy to kind of collapse into a less whole version of ourselves sometimes. However, your goal is to feel grounded and present within yourself, so it’s time to clean up!

When and where do you feel like a victim? Are you holding on to a circumstance and blaming someone or the Universe for ‘doing’ something to you? We all have these low points, where we feel so out of control that we kind of fall into the lap of our inner demons and let them start ruling the show. Your experience is yours to love and to embrace, to claim. This month, try to not be self-destructive just because it feels like an easy option. While a positive approach to a challenging situation can seem like impossibility, know that it’s a starting point for a miraculous change in perception.

If you’ve been suffering with low self esteem, again don’t be the victim or the bad guy in your own story – let this be your moment to foster a kinder approach to yourself. Speak to yourself with only your highest voice. You know that bashing yourself never leads to a great feeling of enlightenment so how about a gentle ‘It’s okay’, ‘you’re fine’ once in a while – fake it until you make it, as they say.

Remember that life isn’t a game of winning or losing; you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone or to yourself. Playing the game is about you feeling good, standing in your own shoes and embracing your own oddities and unique traits. Over the next few weeks sideline comparing yourself to others, or fighting to ‘be the best’ and focus on celebrating what makes you YOU. With this practice in place it will be easier to notice a sense of grounding and confidence coming back in, served with a smile, of course.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Virgo / Virgo Rising – The Five of Pentacles

Sometimes the Wheel of Fortune brings in shifts and changes, which is why I spoke with you last month about honoring the cycles of life and participating in your experience. Did you notice any shakeups? Often during a period of change it can be easy to get really locked into material world stressors in our day to day and veer away from nurturing our own downtime – which of course is exactly when we need it! Balance is no laughing matter. We need to place positive energy in all avenues of our adventure so that we feel the most empowered – and so that we can also laugh, because we are having so much fun!

With a fair amount of attention being placed on your career recently you may have dredged up a need for some serious spiritual downtime. There’s a fine line which often reveals itself during hectic busy times, when it’s easy to sometimes neglect your inner soul system because you’re feeling an external need to be ‘on top of everything’. Know that the finest practical moves come from having pure and clear clarity of thought – which is only achieved from being fully aligned with your highest self.

So this month honor your inner pilot light! It’s flickering and needing your attention – reconnect to your own divine self. How do you do that? This is a question only you can answer but I can tell you that it requires you to allow yourself some time to be still, reflect and just be. Even in the most hectic of days you can give yourself some moments. For a meditative journaling exercise, ask yourself; ‘In what areas do I feel like the alien or feel isolated? Are there are any parts of my highest good that I feel like I have abandoned?’

It may even be that you felt too emotional about a situation, and so cut yourself off from it. In these cases again, it’s about addressing the balance with some Earth energy, and celebrating your material world experience so that you can reconnect to your self-soothing spirit. As you respond to these inner calls you may notice that they reflect back some clarity into some of the challenges you see in the world around you. Repair within, thrive without.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Libra / Libra Rising – Judgement

I feel that you’ll notice the strongest shifts this month than you have for quite a while, and you’re ready. The energy that arrives for you is all about standing in your strongest self and highest source of light. I want to face the rest of the year in complete embodied empowerment. Wouldn’t you like to feel that too?

So where you do you see yourself? What are you walking towards? Where are you going? What are you feeling? Are you standing in your own shadow and playing small, or are you wide-eyed and open and ready? If parts of yourself feel uninspired or you notice in some situations that you aren’t quite ‘in it’, use these questions to help feel your way through anything else you need to let go of. When we move on from things that aren’t workable we just create new space for manifesting something better – and we all like the sound of that! I want to give you a nudge, because you may be wavering on the sidelines of a big decision or veering away from making a huge change because it seems scary. This is the time to stand up and be counted, and why not? You are good enough and you deserve to follow through with your biggest goals and dreams.

Instead of judging yourself with a negative perspective, try it from a positive viewpoint. This can be done by simply shifting your dialogue – for instance, if you hate your job, instead of getting down on your own abilities and losing self confidence the message may just be that it’s time to up your game and move to something that works for you. There is always a way to make an empowered move.

If your spirit feels like it’s flagging, then love it and love it and love it some more. Light yourself up in all the silliest ways that you know how. Write a letter to your life and ask for what you want, remembering that you are the co-creator of this amazing existence! Everything is aligning and you are always exactly where you are supposed to be. Choose to wear a pair of new lenses this month. Be willing to see everything in a new way and see what you can unearth.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Scorpio / Scorpio – The Nine of Cups

How do you feel about the term; ‘Be careful what you wish for?’ I don’t believe in bringing warnings into our daily practices but I do believe that we have strong energies within the words that we choose to use! And I use the word ‘choose’ here because being mindful of your voice is one of the fastest and most effective things you can use to change the experience that you’re having. This is a month for nurturing your words and your thoughts to not only to call in your dreams and desires, but also to honor and respect the decisions that you’ve been making. In a year of highs and lows and multiple surrenders, your highest self is now ready to celebrate YOU.

It’s also time to relax into this regenerated version of yourself in order for things to settle. To keep your energy clear, notice where you may be closing yourself in with your words, it’s easy to restrict our own flow sometimes purely by crowding ourselves out with a ‘can’t, won’t and what if’ mentality. Clean up your language inside and out to allow in limitless expansion.

Emotions and feelings are on the forefront over the next few weeks. You may be hovering between feeling overwhelmed and elated, so try to recognize that they are one and the same – a new rush of energy for you to direct as you like. Channel that downpour into your creative activities, whether they be exercise, art or a crazy wild passionate love affair. It feels to me like you’ve been restless and relentless waiting for something to move forwards, and it may just be that you’re pushing yourself out of habit. Know that a turn is coming and try not be mad that things aren’t always happening on your time frame – everything is actually exactly as it should be.

The word ‘glory’ is coming through for you right now, and so sit for a moment and have a ponder what that word means to you. I’d like you to be rejoicing in your own talents and achievements in equal measure, as well as being grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given and are about to receive. And so back to the phrase we began with. You are in a powerful month to see your biggest hopes play out in reality, so why not…make a wish?

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Sagittarius / Sagittarius Rising – The Magician

Following on from last month where I encouraged you to set your adventurous sights high, you now are moving to a place where you must stand strong and claim this story that you’re writing. Consider the word ‘fate’ and what it means to you – personally, I feel we must empower the word by acknowledging and acting as though we have a hand in everything we see. I wrote in your 2014 Tarotscope a mantra for you; ‘Destiny is my partner in crime’. Take this on board as your ruling truth this month as you step into a new sense of inner power.

Now, at this point I want you to keep your ego in check! Remember that by succeeding in your career or making breakthroughs from your challenges you have made a personal victory. By all means be grateful and remember that these experiences are given to you to share and help you on your journey, not to place yourself on a pedestal. You may indeed find that others are looking to you for advice this month on how you got where you are – so here’s a little reminder to be the teacher not the preacher.

If you are looking for ways to expand your skillset, then consider how you might be able to share a little further and wider – Is there a book waiting to be written or a workshop you want to create? Explore your potential, with respect and kindness. If you’ve been feeling scattered, then here come a few weeks to call back in your core passions, a time to remind yourself who you really are. Let loose any comparisons or jealousies towards others and embrace what makes you tick. Your life force is powerful beyond what you may realize, and it’s waiting for you to come out and dance. It’s not the time to play in your shadows.

Last month I wanted you to manifest and plan, and now it’s action time. It’s the time to “just do it’ – and you know exactly what ‘it’ is! As one of the Five Sutras for the Aquarian Age, Yogi Bajan taught us; “When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.” This is your calling for July – it’s time to take that first step, knowing that you have all the resources that you need within you. Allow it and the path will form.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Capricorn / Capricorn Rising – The Four of Swords

I wasn’t surprised to see this card turn for you, as it sums up the past few months and cements all the lessons your journey has bestowed upon you. Last month we talked about balance and priorities, and over the next few weeks I feel that you’ll be settling into some new ways of thinking and I’m excited about this. The emphasis is still upon rest and regroup though – it’s like you’re in a masterclass for the art of getting comfortable with space and stillness!

So more of it, but this is also the card that always shouts out to me ‘the calm before the storm’. In other words, by no means freak out if things aren’t going to your time frame (aka full speed ahead!) and enjoy the mellow road because swift moves are soon to be upon you. You are essentially perfectly placed to be gathering your strength for new projects, swift communications and heart bursting adventures.
Are you taking a vacation this summer? Even if you feel that you have ‘no time’ to, then remember that even one night away from home or out of your hectic comfort zone could be just the down time that you need. A lone retreat with your social media and computer switched firmly off can calm down the buzz and allow you to get some real sleep. Speaking of which, how is your sleep right now? That is the area I want you to nurture, so experiment with your pre-slumber routine and find out what suits you. I say this because I feel that any anxieties you have may be popping up at bedtime, or even in your dreams. Keep a notebook by your bed to jot down lingering thoughts and midnight epiphanies – those can be dealt with in the morning.

Now that we’re at the mid-year point you can also think of this month as time to look at your foundations. The ground you stand on, live on and walk on is your place for growth, comfort and grounding. How do you feel about where you stand? Always remind yourself of your journey and don’t waste your energy on anything less than the essentials. In areas where you just feel like giving up, consider, is ‘giving up’ actually just the surrender you need?

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Aquarius / Aquarius Rising – The Hermit

This is a fitting card for you to take on as a mentor, my Aquarian friends. How often do you choose to bash your self-confidence rather than acknowledge your own inner power? A few times recently, it feels. You’re a person of so much wisdom, and yet can hide from it or go easily against your own grain. Over the next few weeks it’s likely that you’ll be called upon to honor your highest self – a great lesson to learn and embody.

Independent confidence is benefitted from moments or periods of isolation, although it’s not about hiding away. Your right now is about appreciating the re-charge moments, and learning to love your own downtime because it can reconnect you to your inner guide and source energy. When you feel tired, you feel like you’ve been drained of life right? Your life source needs a recharge right now – but remember, the art of meditating, for instance, isn’t learning to block your thoughts it’s just opening up a space to stop and listen.

How can you alchemize the challenges that you are experiencing into wisdom to move forwards with? Try to not perceive everything as a block in front of you, even when, oh yes, it looks and feels like one. Is it simply a redirection towards a healing or a better experience? Often it is, but we have to have faith in that. So realign your belief in your journey, and how you want your story to play out. Then start with your inner dialogue – how are you speaking to and about yourself? Pep it up to the more empowered version – even if you feel like it’s a cheese fest write down some of the qualities that you love about yourself or what employers of partners may find attractive, then accept them as the truth. You are worth every moment of the experience you want to have.

Socially it might be that the next few weeks can teach you the power of the one-on-one and small group activities – you don’t always need to please and entertain everyone. A lesson in independence is to enjoy and thrive by yourself and with just that one person – for it is here that you can get comfortable with basking in your own light.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Pisces / Pisces Rising – The Devil

Oh boy, times of change just bring all the bubbles to the surface don’t they? The last four months have been a string of big events, full on wow experiences, ah ha moments and for some of you a feeling of crushing defeat. It’s like all the big guns have come to your party and this month it’s time to say hello to those that you didn’t invite!

The art of managing anxiety and fear is learning to get comfortable with your uncomfortable. I always say that fear should be treated like an acquaintance you see in the street – you must always say hello but not stop to chat. However it’s that saying hello part that’s the hardest, for it’s so much easier to run from the devil on your shoulder than allow him to sit beside you. Over the next few weeks start to practice welcoming your negative thoughts into your space and choose to learn to not be afraid of them. Think of fear as something that’s completely dissolvable and has no tangible roots. This is why, when you’re in a time of change (new job, new relationship, break up, house move, health issue and so on), fear rears up – because change also has no roots, you’re in the limbo zone. But hey guess what? It’s okay to not feel okay.

This is a time for action though – less of the hanging around and more of the full power ahead and I CAN DO IT attitude. If you feel stuck, then this is only highlighting where you feel restricted. These ties are like distractions, trying to lure you away from following your highest self and brightest path – so don’t fall for your own tricks. You know what they are.

You’ll feel so liberated the moment that you say ‘no more’, whether it’s to your limited mindset, a tendency to indulge in too much of what you don’t need, a decrepit old fear or an experience that isn’t serving you. It’s time to free yourself to do and be everything you’re afraid you can’t do or be. What if you can have everything you wish, and it’s just a matter of claiming and allowing it? Instead of overindulging in the old negative habits, use the positive aspect of your ego and stand in your own strength. Light up.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Aries / Aries Rising – The Wheel of Fortune

The perfect card for the mid-year point and the perfect card for you, the Astro leader. July throws you into a whole new cycle, are you ready? Um yeah of course you are, but I mean are you really on it? I say this with the nudge to honor the word new here – so how about this time you do things differently? Are you with me?

So, as you launch yourself into the next six months’ activitym then you at least want to start by feeling confident – so absolutely no playing the victim in your own adventure, okay? I feel you could find that you are very much becoming present with areas in your life where you like to play the saboteur – and let’s face it, we all do it. What are you not starting because you have placed a few too many ‘what ifs’ in the way? What limiting stories have you told yourself recently? Where do the ‘I cant’s’ lie for you? Do you feel like a part of you has been diluted somewhere and needs revving up? All of these questions are yours to sit with and choose to fuel your inner Fire. It’s you element after all.

I call on you to ask these questions because I feel that right now is the best time for you to be changing patterns; there is a sharp energy about you that brings with it the intent to shift! It’s sometimes easy you see to spin in our own circles and feel like that’s ‘just the way things are’, but who’s idea was that? Hell, who says you can’t just go out there and bring a new method to your very own personal brand of madness!

I love the idea that it’s your own life force and drive and desire that can spin your wheel to the next stage, bring in the change that you are ready for and help you shape the days ahead. I can never help but be cryptic with this card because I always see it kind of hovering above, just throwing questions at you and trying to force you to play your own game – a total tease in fact. So answer the questions you receive honestly, and just be ready, and above all, interested in the possibility of great fortunes ahead of you.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Taurus / Taurus Rising – The Queen of Cups

How was last month? Did you dive in and reclaim your life force? I hope so as July softens and brings forth more intuitive and emotional energy, and it’s time for you to get comfortable with that. The questions I want you to pose yourself for the next few weeks are; What needs to be nurtured? And where do I always put the most pressure on myself?

One of the quickest ways to check in with how you are speaking to and treating yourself is by checking whether you’d look after your nearest and dearest in the same way. I want you to nurture yourself the way that you would your most loved friend, your child or your partner. This is a self-soothing therapeutic practice for your soul – so go all in.

With all the connecting to your superpowers that’s been going on recently your intuition will be heightened, so take advantage of this by testing out your ‘going with your gut’ response – this is the quickest way to affirm that your actions are indeed on the money. I do have a feeling that you may be called up as a bit of a life coach for friends and family over the next few weeks, and perhaps this is why you want to be really in tune with your mind, body and spirit. If you’re not feeling up to scratch personally, then it will be easy to want to avoid others’ demands or get irritable when people ask for your time. You want to be able to be the sage advice giver and have equal time to yourself. If you feel at any point like you want everyone to just ‘go away’, it’s a swift kick in the backside from the Universe, to remind you to take some quiet time and support yourself first.

Career wise know that it’s okay to soften too, and let people know how you are feeling. Just because you know you’re good at what you do it doesn’t mean you have to manage it all by yourself. Being in touch with your emotions means getting comfortable with being vulnerable once in a while – and with that, there is wisdom to be gained. Show the real you, anxieties and all and you may suddenly receive exactly what you need.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse


Gemini / Gemini Rising – Page of Cups

Synchronicities and miracles, are you seeing them? This month I’d like you to continue on your journey of higher path exploration by merging your spiritual self with your material surroundings. It’s easy to believe they’re completely separate, but actually they’re one and the same. You are on a gentle adventure right about now, so try to avoid putting pressure on yourself to be anything but you and be anywhere but here. It’s a lovely few weeks to embrace all this is you and really practice following your own inner wisdom.

It can be quite a fun exercise to just see how easy it is to shape your own experience, especially when shifting your inner dialogue. Try and locate the areas where you are feeling stressed or anxious and decide now in this moment that you are going to be willing to perceive things in a new way. If you are truly ready to bring another option, idea or direction you will instantly open up to being able to really see it. I like to think of it as the spectacles that you choose to wear – so practice choosing to see through lenses crafted to reflect back your highest good. Do you see how with your own embodied choices in place, you can manage to feel full of personal power even when faced by a challenge?

Meanwhile, the energy around you is light and childlike. Remind yourself of what you loved to do when you were younger and carried less fear, and bring that into the now. You may want to retreat and spend time alone, working on sparking your own light, and that is great – any work that’s about nurturing your spirit and your wildest passions is time well spent.

And when you notice any weird moments or strange coincidences, then choose see them as a sign of you connecting to your highest self – then celebrate, and say thank you to your journey. Now choose to believe that it shouldn’t be unusual to connect to this place, in fact it should be the norm. Trusting your gut must be your first choice from now on. Allow your own feelings to be valid and important. Go within and listen, then take compassion-filled action – swoon on.

Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse