FEET ON THE GROUND: A YOGA SEQUENCE FOR VIRGO

As Virgo brings its back-to-school energy of diligence and efficiency, Ash Baker shares some grounding poses to bring purification and clarity. PLUS a meditation to purge your fears ad connect you to the innate gifts within.

VIRGO
August 23 to September 22nd

Ruler: Mercury
Element: Earth
Modality: Mutable
Anatomy: Intestines, upper bowel. gallbladder, liver, pancreas and nervous system

6th sign of the Zodiac

The pure and curious creatures of the skies come out from the Cosmic woodwork to say hello this month. As we enter the earthy sign of Virgo, you may feel the winds of change begin to beckon. This month is about an ushering in of the first feelings of Autumn, and a deliciously crisp edge to the atmosphere reminding you to harvest what you’ve been working on.

Virgoans are all about service, purity, analysis and self-containment. All of which characteristics can be used to our utmost advantage. Being in service is gratitude in action and a much needed practice for living in the present. It inspires us to be grounded in a system of a high moral code. Analysis is POWER when used to discern what your heart and soul needs most. Just be careful not to over analyze yourself! And this sign teaches us that when we use self-containment to fill ourselves up with that which we need (gratitude, self love, and truth) we become an unstoppable force of light.

In honor of the Virgo energy that infuses our existence now, here are three poses to detox your whole body, strengthen your liver and calm your nerves. If you have time, flow through a few rounds of Sun Salutes to warm up the body before you move into the more static postures below.

Half Lord Of the Fishes // Ardha Matsyendrasana

Find a comfortable seat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Begin to draw your knees up and drop the left bent knee down to the left. Your left foot should be tucked just under your right seat. Then cross the right foot over the left leg and place it down next to the mid outer hip. This leg will stay upright with the knee towards the ceiling.

Inhale and reach the right arm up, exhale with a slight twist and place it behind your right seat. Take the left upper arm and elbow either around the outside of the right knee or to the outer right hip. This is a deep twist so use your inhales to gather length in your spine and twist deeper on the exhales.

Remember, the twist should be happening in the mid to upper spine. Think ribs up! Hold for five rounds of deep breath and then repeat on the other side.

*Gratitude practice: Inhale and think of something you are grateful for. Exhale and energetically let it surround you.

Bridge Pose // Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This asana offers specific benefits to your liver by strengthening the core muscles that support it. Come down to lie on your back and bend your knees. If you have neck issues take a folded blanket under your shoulders to assist in creating a natural cervical curve.

Make sure your feet are directly under your knees. Rest your arms at your sides. Take a deep inhale through the nose. On your exhale begin to tuck your tailbone, activating the glutes and press your lower back down against the floor. Allow the exhale to lift your hips off the floor. Bring your shoulder blade tips closer together creating space in the front shoulders and collarbone.

Take your arms underneath and clasp your hands together. Press the forearms, hands and feet firmly into the floor. Release on an exhale and slowly wave your spine to the floor. Stay with this pose for 30 seconds up to 1 minute.

*Do not turn your head in this pose. 

Supported Shoulderstand // Salamba Sarvangasana

Begin by folding two blankets into a rectangle shape about one-foot by two-foot. Come to lie on your back with the knees bent and your feet on the floor. Make sure the top two-foot edge of your blanket is lined up with the tops of your shoulders. Your head should be resting on the floor. Inhale, and on your exhale place your arms at your sides.

Firmly press your arms down into the floor as you draw your knees up and your thighs in towards your chest. Take a bend at the elbows making sure they are in alignment with your shoulders and place your palms on the small of your back for support. Begin to really curl your tailbone and extend the legs straight up towards the ceiling while simultaneously walking the hands up the back towards the floor.

Reach up through your toes and focus on bringing your chest towards your chin. Maintain a nice curve to your neck and do not turn your head. Hold this for 30 seconds if you’re a beginner, or more advanced yogis can hold up to five minutes.

To come down, exhale while gently bringing your knees towards your chest and roll the spine out long.

*Allow your body to relax and soak up the benefits of these poses!

You are a jar of stars meditation // Cosmic canned goods

Find a blissful space to sprawl out under a blanket. Maybe even under the moon and stars. Take an inhale for the length of five seconds, hold the breath in for five seconds and exhale for the length of five seconds. Go through 10 rounds of this more controlled breath. Then find a nice, soft rhythmic breath that suits you and place both hands on your belly.

See yourself laying there in your mind’s eye. Understand your body as a container for anything you wish to either get rid of or cultivate. Virgos are masters of discernment and can be an example when it comes to weeding out what we do or don’t want. As you inhale find the positive strengths you possess and view them expanding within you. You are your own cosmic universe.

As you exhale, visualize letting go of the negative junk that makes you feel sad or insecure. Allow your body to be a vessel for change. Lay here as long as you wish.

Monthly Mantra: I am the master of my own domain and I honor my truth.

Cultivatewithin.com 

@missashbaker

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: GALA DARLING

With one of the most successful sites in the blogosphere, Virgo Gala Darling is on a mission to take the radical self love gospel GLOBAL. She shares the details of a meticulously mystical life…

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY RECURRING DREAMS AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY MEAN?
I often dream about getting lost in an airport or missing a flight. I think it means I travel too much!

WHAT’S YOUR MORNING AWAKENING RITUAL?
I wake up next to my husband and our two dogs. When I’m really on top of things, I meditate before waking them up, then wash my face and put on sunscreen before we go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Then I start writing.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FEELGOOD BREAKFAST, AND WHY?
I travel so much that I like to stick to a routine: it helps me feel grounded, no matter where I am in the world. If you opened my suitcase, you’d find little packets of oatmeal stuffed in there. As soon as I make it to my new location, I hunt down almond milk, and I have that every morning. When I travel, I’m usually teaching and it’s so easy to forget to eat, which is never good. I love to scout out a good green juice, and when I’m at home I eat hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, too.

WHAT MATRA DO YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH IN THE MORNING?
“Everything you can imagine is real.”

Wearing her “super-charged” evil eye pendent and a signature flower crown

WHAT’S YOUR LUCKY CHARM?
I wear a little evil eye necklace I bought in Santorini on my 30th birthday, and I don’t think of it as a lucky charm, but I do feel like it’s charged up! I always carry crystals with me, too.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU MOST EMBODY THE TRAITS OF YOUR SIGN?
Oh my stars, where do I begin? I’m a Virgo, so I believe in creating order out of chaos; being of service; efficiency; good manners and social pleasantries; that keeping your home clean makes you a happier person. I’m beyond observant (I’ll ask the neighbour I barely see, “Did you get your eyebrows done?”), I love having a routine, and I don’t really believe that being bored is possible. Plus, spelling errors and typos make me deranged.

WHAT OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR CHART DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST?
My rising is Sagittarius, which explains my need to get out in nature, the urge to travel, my optimism and desire to have fun and enjoy life. I have a lot of planets in Leo too, which clearly speaks to my desire to stand out and be an individual, fight fiercely for what I believe, and the way narrow-mindedness really pisses me off!

WHO IS YOUR GO-TO GURU, AND WHY DOES THEIR WORK RESONATE WITH YOU?
I don’t really do gurus. I think putting someone on a pedestal is unrealistic and will probably lead to disappointment or disillusionment. I prefer to pick and choose the teachings that really resonate with me. That having been said, I feel like I can always learn something new from SARK, Louise Hay, and Danielle LaPorte.

In London with Numinous Tarotscopes mega-babe Louise Androlia

AND THE HEALER YOU HAVE ON SPEED-DIAL?
Emma McGregor-Mento is an incredibly gifted masseuse. She works out of her apartment, which has a beautiful and lush green wall – http://www.eastvillagespa.com/about – and she works with her eyes closed.

WHAT’S THE ONE UNIVERSAL MESSAGE YOU WISH WOMEN COULD GET THEIR HEADS AROUND?
That you can absolutely live the life that you dream about. There are no limits, only blueness of sky.

AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?
Tapping, meditation, deep breathing, working out.

RETAIL THERAPY IS…?
Powerful! But after a certain point, you need to take a look at what’s going on internally, rather than just dressing up the exterior.

WHAT’S YOUR POWER OUTFIT?
High heels, a fit-and-flare skirt, bright lipstick, something striped, something pink, and either a hat, a flower crown, or a bedazzled headband on my head.

In happy, smiley workout mode. “On Friday I do a double workout – pilates followed by an hour of weight training. A.k.a. I’m exhausted”

AND WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL, WHY?
I feel beautiful the day after working out, when I can feel the tension in my muscles every time I stretch. It brings me back to my body and makes me appreciate it.

YOUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH THE UNIVERSE WENT SOMETHING LIKE…?
I’ve started praying recently (a new thing for me!), and there’s something wonderful about letting your worries go, and admitting you can’t do it all alone.

AND WITH YOUR PSYCHIC GUIDE?
I get little nudges all the time.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE GOT?
It’s good to scare yourself.

WHEN DID YOU LAST WITNESS MAGIC IN ACTION?
It’s all around us, all the time! Yesterday, the reflection of the sun on the buildings and the clouds hanging above were so beautiful I had to stop and stare.

 

WHAT’S ON YOUR VISION BOARD RIGHT NOW?
We just moved into a new place, so no vision board right now. On my interior vision board, though, I’m plotting to do up Darling HQ all pink, and to take my Radical Self Love Salons all over the world. http://galadarling.com/radical-self-love-salons/

YOUR MISSION IN YOUR CURRENT EARTHLING INCARNATION IS…?
Now that I’ve discovered the bad-assery of happiness, I am dedicated to helping other women fall in love with themselves, too.

www.galadarling.com

@galadarling

ESCAPE TO EDEN: IS BURNING MAN A SPRITUAL GAME CHANGER?

Is making the pilgrimage to Burning Man a spiritual game-changer, or can that change only occur within? The conscious party scene can be a portal for sure, but there’s no fast track to enlightenment, says David H. Wagner. Homepage image: Elena Kulikova via Behance.net 

Recently, I shared an email exchange with a young seeker in our community. She was considering making it to Burning Man this summer. I have to preface this whole thing by saying I have nothing against BM. I have dear friends and colleagues that go every year, I think it’s actually pretty cool. Overall, I’m glad it exists.

This could just as easily be written about a South American Shamanic Retreat, or a hot new weekend workshop, or someone signing up for a Yoga Teacher Training. It just so happens it’s about BM. That aside, I think there are valuable points in here about the cross pollination between yoga, spiritual disciplines, partying, and consciousness expanding drug use. Here’s a snippet from the email:

“As an elder in this spiritual scene I’ve seen so much of this over the years. I’m not against partying – and the kind of partying at Burning Man is probably a lot more positive than other party scenes you’ll find. But if you choose to go – just be clear what you’re getting into. Many people will talk about it like it’s a spiritually ‘game changing’ experience – but in many ways it’s just a slightly spiritualized party.

You might experience a little anarchy, or get naked in public, or take some E or some acid, or smoke some weed, or dance all night, or have ‘deep conversations’ with people while doing any of the above. And if you were TOTALLY closed before that, or TOTALLY uptight or TOTALLY un-awakened then it’s true that any of these experiences could be profound…”

True. If I could send my conservative Kentuckian cousins to Burning Man, they might come back transformed. But the young seeker I was writing to was already very open-minded and in the process of awakening, and looking for training and a deepening of her experience. Here’s some more:

“Anyone can FEEL free taking E and dancing naked at Burning Man. But feeling free and learning to BE free are two different things.

And…too much of the former actually can hinder the experience of awakening. In all my years working on a spiritual level with people, there have been only a handful of people I really couldn’t help. Among them the ones who’ve burned their neurotransmitters out on E, or built up a whole quasi-spiritual identity based on these external experiences. In my experience, getting high prevents people from learning to be high.

These sorts of experiences are good doorways – if the doors are stuck. But the idea is to then walk through them. You don’t hang around the doorway, or deify the door, or the openers. You move forward, you find your vision for life. You live your vision.

Ram Dass has awesome teachings about all this. Once he asked his guru Neem Karoli Baba about using drugs as a spiritual means. The Maharaji said; ‘You can use it to see Christ. But you can’t use it to become Christ’.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all into experiencing new things. The thing is, when people rave about the experience (pun intended), I think that’s more about the raver than the rave. People can have deep experiences even at super hokey things. It’s the same when people have been in the presence of great masters and have been exposed to great practices and teachings, but only a handful get the deep benefits. It’s what’s going on inside that counts.

More from the email:

“A sincere seeker will get benefit from even the stupidest bullshit. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. If you haven’t already, you’ll hear about ayahuasca, and Ecstasy, and all sorts of substances that people have found to be the key to their awakening. Or you’ll have people try to enroll you into some new coaching method, or a radical health approach they found to be the ‘answer.’ And often times you’ll hear about these things from really goodhearted people. And for them, in this snippet of time, it may have been the answer.

But over the years I’ve seen that things come and go. Even if, in the moment, they are THE THING for a group of people, like all things, they then move on. What remains, hopefully, are the seekers and their sincere intention to live in wisdom and freedom. All the long-term yogis and path-walkers I know have cycled through dozens of different ‘game-changers of the moment.’ And as we have, we’ve seen countless good people get swept up and lost in these things when they lost their sense of self and perspective.”

On the spiritual path, we need to know what we’re after. And know ourselves well enough to know whether or not we’re on the right track. It also helps to have some elders around. People who have some seasoning and can offer some perspective. Even after 26 years on the path, I feel like I barely qualify – but none the less, when someone like this person has a question, I feel it’s our duty to answer, even if I sound old and lame.

As a young seeker, your beauty, your sincerity and your light are all qualities that people are going to lust after. And not just in a sexual way, I mean organizations lusting after your enthusiasm and your brightness. I mean “scenes” lusting after your awesome energy and vitality. If you’re getting into all of this at a young age, you will likely have a lot of different ponds to swim in.

It’s all good. Swim in them.

But listen to your gut before you dive in, heart first. Just know there are a lot of blind people out there leading other blind people, and some straight up jackals too. So stay alert. Stay in touch with your heart. And you’ll be good.

Read more from David and learn about his work at Davidhwagner.com

WOMAN IN BLACK: DRESSING TO HONOR THE DEATH CARD

When she decided to shave half her head and dress only in black, it was an homage to the unyielding potential of the Death card, says Gaby Herstik. Photos: Alexandra Herstik

My passion for what lies beyond the life we see, for spirituality and the occult, began when I was 12. That passion is something that alienated me, but it also gave me what I needed to truly find myself at a young age. At 16 I shaved off half of my long, brown hair, and began the process of fully growing into myself and finding my own personal style.

I decided to attend the University of South Carolina to study fashion merchandising and print journalism, an unusual decision considering Columbia, USC’s home, doesn’t necessarily condone pitch black hair, bright red lips, half shaved heads and eccentric clothes; all the hallmarks of my look.

But I never even considered attempting to change myself to blend in to my surroundings in Columbia. Early on my freshman year, I made a conscious decision to pretend I was in New York City, and to dress how I wanted to dress no matter what. No matter the side eyes, the questioning glances or the open mouth gapes; I decided to wear whatever it was that made me feel powerful, beautiful and capable.

It wasn’t until I truly owned my inner strength that I was able to become a Death Queen. Personally, I feel the most like a goddess when I wear all black, preferably with some faux leather and some high, high heels, and I choose what I wear for no one else but me.

But being a Death Queen is about more than clothes. It means understanding that endings are an unavoidable part of life, and that the beginnings that come from these endings are infinitely and vastly more powerful. A true Death Queen sees the positive in everything. A Death Queen understands that she can tap into her inner power to create her ideal reality.

Which brings us to the Death card. Death is number 13 in the classic tarot deck, a number that brings to mind its own macabre imagery – namely black cats and cursed Fridays. But Death herself rules transformation in the biggest and most powerful sense of the word; to draw Death is to draw new opportunities and ventures. Death literally represents the opening one door and the closing of another, and, when life feels either too structured or unsettling, often an open door is all you need.

And perhaps that is what defines a Death Queen; tapping into the unyielding potential within yourself to understand the importance and power of change, namely through the properties of death. Being a Death Queen isn’t a morbid fate, and nor is it a stifling existence that leaves you constantly dancing on the edge of life.

At first, change can seem intimidating and scary, ominous and eerie. Death is a forlorn concept, and its card is tainted by society’s portrayal of what it represents, not what it actually is. Death represents big, commanding change. Yes, it most definitely represents the end of something, but the new beginning it ushers in overpowers that ending by eons. Death is an energetic worker who helps you start fresh and start powerfully; if you want control of new beginnings, tapping into the energies of Death and her card is the surest way to go.

In this sense, a Death Queen is a woman who dances between the realms and uses her own power to manifest the most beautiful and positive situations she can, even when times get tough. She remembers that sometimes our judgments cloud our reality, and that being open, aware and present are the best tools in dealing with a tough time.

It’s not always easy to understand the language of your soul, but owning your inner Death Queen means creating a reality that you’re proud of; it means understanding that every ending is a new beginning. In this way a true Death Queen is a woman who’s drawn to examine the darker reaches of the soul, but is innately light.

Being a Death Queen means no more than owning every dark crevice your being, and then using this to create the most beautiful reality you can, to serve you in this life and beyond.

Read more from Gabby Herstik at www.breathingfashion.net

@GabyHerstik

GET DOWN AND GET GOD: A DANCE PARTY WITH THE DIVINE

What if the way to enlightenment wasn’t through your crown chakra…but your feet? Nadia Noir heads to the nearest dance party to find out.

Prayer and meditation are awesome tools for channeling moments of introspective clarity. But as a spiritual species that spends an unfathomable amount of time psychoanalyzing ourselves through mantra apps, self-help books on Audible.com, and grounding ourselves through following our favorite guru via social media, channeling a primal version of Miley Cyrus while gyrating to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” can be a bridge into unbridled bliss. We live in our heads enough already. Enter the body-purifying sweat of a good old-fashioned, orgiastic dance sesh.

It wasn’t just the ancient Greeks who encouraged the human iterations of their gods, goddesses and muses to get down and get God through song and dance. The Torah calls for dancing, not only as a celebration of God or as a way to worship, but as a way to create the frenzied, supercharged atoms between two lovers in Song of Solomon. In Hinduism, there are the Apsarases, 23 celestial gods that dance to “express the supreme truths in the magic of movement.” Sufis twirled themselves into ecstasy and the Ancient Egyptians thought of everything they did in life as one eternal dance. They even danced at funerals, ready to dance their way through the darkness of death and into the afterlife.

If you’re still perpetually feeling low-grade anxiety or self-abusing your ten pound weight gain, maybe that’s because the answer isn’t in your crown chakra. Sure you can keep seeking a connection to a higher power, but you might never understand what true liberation is until you strip away your sins at classes like Sheila Kelley’s S Factor, talk up to yourself at Patricia Moreno’s Intensati, bump-and-grind your way into a state of Bhakti at Yoga Booty Ballet, or the spiral-sensationalizing of Buti.

But about just hitting up a dance club and twerking shamelessly to a raunchy Nicki Minaj song, feeling the sensation of strength and pleasure crawling up your root chakra, through your core and into your heart. You could stomp it out to some metal like the world’s sexiest Kali, destroying the earth below you and incinerating any doubts you have in yourself. Or, if that’s too hardcore for you, if you’re one of those supple, gentle souls that drowns in tears and whiskey, go sing some old country songs by Patsy Cline at your local karaoke dive bar. Studies even say that moderate drinking accompanied by karaoke is super good for your health.

And in case you’re like, “When am I going to have the time to do any of this stuff? I’m a super woman trying to be a spiritual being having a human experience and those bills don’t pay themselves,” here are four easy steps to just sing when the spirit says sing and twerk when the spirit is like, “Work it girl.”

GET OVER YOURSELF
That’s right. Who cares if you’re flabby or ungraceful or if you’re hailing a cab on a busy street. The minute negativity starts creeping into your psyche, do a little dance on the sidewalk or belt out some Beyonce. The only person who is embarrassed by what you’re doing is you. Maybe other people are jealous or hating, but a majority of people will feel inspired by your little performance. They might just join in. Spontaneous soul-healing flash mob? Sounds awesome.

PLAY ON, PLAYA
Keep a playlist on your iPhone for those times that you really need to really play. Songs you can dance to in the mirror while dripping wet from the shower or to encourage anyone around you to join you for a slow dance. If that sounds awkward, ABBA usually works.

RECORD YOUR POSTERIOR FOR POSTERITY
Have you ever looked back at pictures of yourself when you were in high school or college or some other time you were mired in angst and depression and went, “Damn. I looked hot. What was my problem?” It’s always good to keep visual reminders to yourself that sometimes your pain can be blown out of proportion by your own psyche. There’s no better way to document yourself than at the height of some fun time; dancing, singing, glowing. You might grimace, but guarantee you, when you’re 70-years-old, you’ll be thinking, “I was having the time of my life.” Like me in this video singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” I kind of hate it, but in five years I’ll love it. Don’t shortchange your future with how you feel about yourself today.

GRAB YOUR PARTNER BY THE HAND
Mix things up in your relationships with some Sir Mix-a-lot and a mixed beverage of your choice. Or just let the wild nymph out to play and make up some songs in the middle of  a hike or something. Start a fake band. Create a fake dance. In fact, keep faking on it ‘til you make it. Let your fake persona, the confident and sassy one, override your warped internal programming to bring out the “real” and really dope damsel and dimepiece that is you.

But you know, some things work for some people and other things work for other people – a really simple and trite statement, but it’s true. If you hate something, you’re not going to keep doing it. If meditating and mantra-repeating doesn’t work for you, you’re not broken. You’re not spiritually unevolved. It’s just up to you to find out what you vibrate with. And maybe, just maybe, what will really reshuffle your chakras and shake up your soul is a sultry striptease in front of one other living being who will never judge you—your cat.

Read more from Nadia Noir at Illuminadia.com

@NadiaNoir

COUNTDOWN TO BLACK ROCK CITY: 51 BURNING MAN ESSENTIALS

Here it comes…the countdown to BURNING MAN 2014 is on! As the final preparations take place, we canvassed the most seasoned Burners of the Numinati to compile the ultimate pre-playa check-list…Images: Reka Nyari and Michael Chichi

:: JANA PINCHBECK, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR PLANETARY CULTURE ::

Friends. I am coming with my two best girlfriends from London and a few from New York. I cannot imagine BM without a court of fabulous sexy friends

Masha Lunara Feather Hair Clips, $98. Expect to have lucid dreams if you fall asleep wearing these!

Sun protection. Heliocare Ultra SPF 90 Cream 50 Ml. is the best ever non-greasy natural plant extract that protects your skin from burning sun on the playa

Shannon Shiang Phoenix Wings Pendant, $225. Shannon’s pieces take inspiration from sacred geometry and nature

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell (Thinking Classics) by Aldous Huxley. The only book that I am taking this year, recommended by a friend James Oroc who is the author of Tryptamine Palace

:: CLOSET – DRESS FOR THE EXPERIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT ::

Religion Insignia Faux Fur Coat, $328.90
Feather Junkie Earrings, $80
JADEtribe Cross-Body Bag, $198
Teeki Capri Leggings, $52
Bandana, $88, Marc by Marc Jacobs
River Island Biker Boots, $69.95
Magenta Anime Curls Wig, $16.99
Touchtip Tie-dye Gloves, $26.99

:: TALI EDUT, CO-FOUNDER, ASTROSTYLE.COM ::

Interactive giveaways. These are great icebreakers, like these Metallic Jewelry Temporary Tattoos. People love to adorn themselves there, so when you can help them channel that, all the better

Fresh food. Forget what you heard about only eating out of cans or Tasty Bites. This woman’s suggestions have kept me well fed on the playa

A comfy chair. There’s a lot of time to lounge when the Sun is out and a sturdy camp chair like this Telescope Casual Cabana Beach Folding Chair is a godsend

Battery operated costume lights. A strand of Ultra Thin 30 Micro LEDs with a little battery pack are great. I love to drape them over my faux-fur coat (another Burner essential)

No Rinse Bathing Wipes. Kind of like a baby wipe on steroids.

:: CAMP – MAKE YOUR HOME THE SWEETEST HOME ::

Bubble Inflatables Blow-up Couch, $51.88
Boombotix Boombot Portable Weatherproof Speaker, $26.97
White Magic Room Spray, $16
First Aid Kit, $29.94
Espiritus Del Ande Palo Santo, Wiraqoya and Copal Incense, $20

:: VICTORIA KEEN, DESIGNER ::

An offering for the temple. Think, photos of loved ones that have passed, a significant object, or simply some heartfelt words to leave there

Teeny glass vials with cork stoppers to collect some playa dust in. Some people make them into necklaces

Vega Jewelry Aqua Aura Quartz, $325

Proper eye wear. The sun is serious out there

Raw organic energy bars. To keep with you at all times in case you are having an adventure and don’t want to be bothered by finding food

Gaia Goddessa Head-dress, $400

:: KITCHEN – NOURISH YOUR BODY, NOURISH YOUR SPIRIT ::

Cider vinegar (your all-purpose cleaner) – Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar by Bragg (1 gallon) $19.09

Aloha powdered greens, $40

Aloe Force (to keep things flowing on the go) – Herbal Whole Raw Aloe Vera Juice 32 fl. oz. $35.60

Veev Sustainable Acai Spirit, $34.99

Coconut oil (for your food and your face) – Barlean’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 16-Ounce Jar, $12.99

Urban Moonshine Organic Digestive Bitters, $7.99

:: COSMETIC – ALL HAIL THE EMBODIED BODY BEAUTIFUL ::

Lulu Organics Jasmine Hair Powder (dry shampoo), $30
Living Proof No Frizz Leave-in Conditioner, $24
Lotus Wei Joy Juice Perfume, $45
Suti Fabulous Organic Foot Balm, $30
Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, $14
Remee Lucid Dream Enhancing Eye Mask, $100

 :: ERICA JAGO, FOUNDER, JAGO YOGA ::

An old journal to burn in the temple. Time to say c’est la vie to the past and bring good fortune to the future

Socks. Cleaning my feet, moisturizing, then putting on a new pair of socks = heaven! (Happy Socks, $12)

An open heart. Can you love everyone the same, without holding rank and expand your limits on love?

A fanny pack. Filled with gifts to hand out to special people I meet during the ride (Pendleton, $119)

K-Y Jelly. The bike seat gets brutal after day five, especially when all you wear are bikini bottoms. Just a little bit can smooth things out. You can thank me later 🙂

www.burningman.com

YOGI VEGAN LEZ: RELATIONSHIPS AND THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

Meet Yogi Vegan Lez, a.k.a. Alexandra Roxo and her girlfriend Orian Barki. In the first chapter of a new series on the challenges of conscious modern coupling, is a road trip actually the best kind of couples therapy?

“Totally worth four breakups in an eight-hour drive”

Just like doing a cleanse together as a couple sounded like a great idea, so did taking a road trip. However, deciding what juice to buy and dribbling pulled oil down your t-shirt in front of your brand new girlfriend is nothing in comparison to being lost in the mountains of Colorado and encountering two large creepy bikers who “reallllllly want to take a photo with you” because “someone” didn’t listen to Siri.

Road trips are the real deal. Sure we live together in Brooklyn, but that’s different. Yoga down the street. $11 green juice by delivery. And our own little love den to nest in. But eight months in and our relationship could survive Mexican food from roadside vendors and lumpy beds, right?

The conversation came up when Orian and I found ourselves in New Mexico, working on a movie called Bare that my company Purple Milk is producing. Orian arrived from New York at the end of the most stressful week in my life, in which both of the lead actors pulled out and we had to recast it , all the while maintaining fake smiles to make all the other crew members not bail off.

I needed a time out, so the next day and we set off in a tiny rental with some Spiderman sleeping bags from the associate producer’s kids, blankets “borrowed” from our Air B ‘n B, and a bag of organic groceries – raw chocolate, kale chips, and Biodynamic red wine a-plenty. And then we headed in the direction of the nearest hot springs… okay spa. Come on, you gotta start a road trip to get back to nature somewhere!

When we arrived, our room was basically in the kitchen with a view of the dumpster. Fuck. I marched right back to reception with my fists in fighting position. But turns out they were booked solid with couples in their 50’s, most of whom were currently asleep in the “romantic” rooms that I had planned on having sex in that night. Orian decided to take over before I snapped and let my “lower self” take over.

By now I was openly sobbing in a leather armchair in a reception painted with “native art” – aka bows and arrows – surrounded by two children playing Angry Birds on an iPad and an elderly German couple sitting silently in flip flops and robes waiting for a shiatsu or something. They casually observed my tears as if I was the lobby fountain, and turned back to their spa menus.

The sweet manager finally offered us an equally impressive room with a bed practically in the center of the restaurant, but with an hour in a private hot spring, a bottle of wine and a whopping discount thrown in. Orian wanted to leave and go look for another place to stay, but I was set on a day of relaxation in the hot spring. I rested my weary my head on her shoulder and told her we had to make the best of it. She agreed. And instead of being grossed out by the overpriced airplane food in the restaurant and the hairy men ogling us in the hot tubs, we drank our wine under the stars and made the best of the bed.

“Apparently we have sensitive skin”

We drove away from the spa the next day with our faces red and splotchy from the free flowing sulphuric smelling mud we’d smeared all over ourselves before baking in the sun. I looked like a burn victim. It was only then I remembered I’d been using Retinol cream because I’m terrified of wrinkles and my Brazilian family swears by it (they also swear by plastic surgery, but whatever) and wasn’t supposed to go in the sun. I began to imagine my face peeling off a la Goldie Hawn in “Death Becomes Her,” pulled my oversized hat over my face and hid.

As we drove through southern Colorado, total silence descended on the car and paranoia began to set in. For some reason, we weren’t connecting. Our only conversation in hours had been a heated debate about google maps. Spiritually I look at things as effort vs. struggle – and so far, this was feeling like a lot of struggle. What happened to us having a blast doing everything together, from buying toothpaste to cleaning the toilet? Were those magic times over already?

Since we’d spent the past month apart, I chalked it up to the fact we needed some time for our energy to “sync” as a couple and tried to breathe despite the by now overwhelming anxiety and dry mouth. Tents, stars, and the enforced isolation camping allows would haaaave to bond us back together.

Now, I’m not new to camping. As a kid we couldn’t afford vacations and went camping one week every summer – my mom sometimes even brought the TV. As a teen I camped under a tarp in the Oregon woods for a week and foraged for berries at witch camp. And as a post-college “seeker,” I shit in a trough at a Rainbow Gathering next to rows of hippies with dreads and slept surrounded by people screaming from too many drugs in the wilds of West Virginia.

You get the picture – I’m no newbie to roughing it. But it was only as we neared Monument Valley where we planned to pitch up the next night that I realized I’d brought three pairs of platforms for the entire trip in lieu of any sensible footwear (I blame my overcrowded stress den of a mind when I was packing). So though Orian was dying to get camping already, we made a (emotionally fraught) decision: a well-choreographed stop-off at enemy no.1, Wal Mart.

As she’s from Israel and has only lived in the US for a year, spending most of her time in Brooklyn buying overpriced Ann Taylor linen from Polish vintage stores, Orian has never been to Wal Mart. And so I tried to warn her. “Look we go in. I get the imitation Keds. You grab the cooler. Out in 20, okay?” “Copy!” she relied, like the Israeli soldier she narrowly escaped becoming.

One and a half hours and $112.00 later we left, defeated, with six bags of crap. I sat in the car with my head in my hands, contemplating what had just happened as Orian insisted; “But we neeeeeeded the pink pepper spray, two glow in the dark t-shirts, an American flag bikini, six jugs of water just in case, and a copy of US weekly. We really did.” I got extremely annoyed in this moment and felt my skin begin to crawl, but told myself to calm the fuck down. And on we marched.

“Everything looks better in the photos”

We arrived to Monument Valley as the sun was beginning to set and decided on our camping spot, naturally choosing the one furthest from the trail so we could walk around in our underwear in peace. Our quest for solitude meant by the time we’d hiked our groceries, tent, firewood, camping chairs, tent, cooler, and our Wal Mart haul, the sun was nearly down. I decided to get our tent up as fast as I could, in which I am well practiced.

And maybe it was the drive, the trauma with the mud, or perhaps the lack of greens in my current diet? But I just couldn’t work it out. Which is when Orian stepped up to the plate and nailed it like an angel in a one-piece white American Apparel swimsuit. It was beautiful to watch. And as we drank our wine and watched the sun go down, it felt like things were finally beginning to gel.

I realized that this whole trip, being forced to make decisions about things like which non-organic snacks to buy had left Orian and I feeling like strangers. And our differing road trip priorities were distracting us from the point – the love we feel for each other. It’s rare for any couple to have time away from our obligations and responsibilities, and we needed to remember to just enjoy each other, regardless of the circumstances.

And as much as a week in Cabo or Tulum would have been more like the Valium my soul really needed, absorbing the epic beauty of Monument Valley I realized there’s a reason couples go on these quests together. Who wants a quick fix when it’s the road less travelled that brings growth? Trying three times to put a tent up together can be bonding. Really. Same for being forced to eat tacos made with GM corn from roadside vendors until the flatulence is just white noise.

“Even arguing about google maps can be bonding when it comes from the heart”

People go to couples therapy to confront their differences (like why the hell do you leave your shoes right outside the tent where I trip on them every day?) So here’s a tip for saving a shit-tonne of money. TAKE A ROAD TRIP. Get annoyed when your partner goes 60 mph or when they aren’t paying attention to google maps and miss the turn-off right when there’s no other turn off for like 100 miles. GO THERE. Don’t be afraid to let your girlfriend see you cry in public in at least three places in an attempt to get your way. Talk about a lesson in acceptance.

NEXT UP ON Yogi Vegan Lez: Navigating times of celibacy for ceremony….

@yogi_vegan_lez

SOUL CAMP: CONNECTING WITH MY REAL TRIBE

When Michelle Goldblum was asked to create a summer camp for grown-ups, it forced her to confront age-old feelings of sadness and un-belonging. But it was also the catalyst for the next stage in her personal growth. Images: Karolina Daria Flora

As an adult, I’ve always looked back on my summers spent at camp as some of the best times of my life. And when I met Ali, having found each other in the wellness world (I own a branding and marketing agency for thought leaders in this field and she’s a body confidence coach), and we realized we were both Camp Towanda kids, every time we got together it was like we were back, cheering on the way to the soccer field. The energy of those times lived on in our relationship, which was always very childlike and fun, and like nothing I’ve experienced with anybody else.

As it turns out, our camp director follows both of us on Facebook, and in October last year, he reached out to us to ask; “would you like to bring a mind, body, spirit retreat to Camp Towanda?” Of course, as soon as Ali and I got together, it was obvious that our soul mission (maybe it was even the reason we met?) was to accept, and in doing so bring back what we both remembered as “The Magic of Camp.”

But when we went back to Towanda, which is located in Wayne County, PA, for our first site visit, walking around the familiar grounds, the memories that now began flooding back for me were far from happy. How could it be? Instead of joy, I was overwhelmed with a long-forgotten sensation of feeling completely isolated, and I realized how alone I actually felt at camp as a kid and how I so longed to be accepted.

I remembered having to find things to do during free time, when everyone huddled together in their packs. I remembered going from group to group, trying to find where I belonged, with an intense feeling that something must be wrong with me. I felt a familiar sensation in my neck, my chest and my gut, the same overwhelming feeling of sadness I realized I experienced back then.

I even had a flashback to the camp counsellor giving me a bookmark, which said something like; “it’s not how many friends you have but the quality of friendship that’s important.” At the time, I was so offended. But she’d obviously seen the pain my ten-year-old self had thought I was hiding so well.

Camp is supposed to be where you learn how to have relationships. It’s where people get their first boyfriends, and have their first kisses. Going back to Towanda, I realized how much of that I missed out on. Was it because I was fat? As a child, I realized I felt like; “I am different because I’m bigger. That’s why I’m not going out on the raid, that is why I’m not part of the crew.”

Or maybe it was because didn’t have the Kate Spade bag that all the other girls had. But even when I got the bag and all the other “stuff” I thought I needed to fit in, I still experienced the same feelings of separateness. My way of coping? By my last year at Towanda, aged 15, I was Camper Captain. On the outside, I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. But inside, there was this feeling of; “oh wow – I slipped under the radar there.” And guess what? It turns out Ali, a couple of years younger than me, was experiencing the same thing.

This was all new to me. I was shocked that my memory could play such tricks on me, casting my experience of camp in such a rose-tinted glow. And it’s only more recently I’ve been able to join the dots – how hiding the feelings of inadequacy that camp instilled in me became part of my adult identity, manifesting in an eating disorder I kept secret for years, an addiction to Adderall when I found myself working in big pharma post-college, and a co-dependent relationship that left me needy, isolated and without too much of a social life.

The best part though, is that this realization has also been a catalyst and a turning point in the next stage in my personal growth.

Asking around, it seemed like Ali and I weren’t lone “camp loners,” either. People would tell us; “I had a horrible experience at camp, I never want to go back.” They shared painful memories of sitting alone at the dining hall and not being included in activities, and it was based on this feedback that we began to come up with the concept for Soul Camp.

Sitting in our dorm during that first site visit, we shared exactly what was going on for each other. That night we decided that our souls had signed an agreement, and that it was our job to process and heal all the pent up feelings that were rushing to the surface so that we’d be equipped to hold the space for other people to return to camp and confront their hurtful, shameful, hidden memories as well.

We set about putting together a roster of more than 30 of the most incredible speakers and healers from our pioneering wellness world – people like Nisha Moodley, Terri Cole, Meggan Watterson, Ed Harrold, Ashley Turner – to join us on our journey.

And I feel like we’ve created the ultimate alternative camp for all the people who felt weird, or different, and like they didn’t belong. And maybe that’s everybody, on some level. From the bonfire and “fear burning” ritual on the opening night, to yoga by the beautiful lake, empowering intenSati classes with one of my personal teachers, Patricia Moreno, and incredible, nourishing food prepared with love, we’ve designed Soul Camp to create new memories. Joyful memories. Memories of meeting like-minded, welcoming friends; of exploring new activities and learning new techniques; of coming together, connecting inward, and feeling a-part-of.

Of course it’s also fine to just find your spot at the waterfront and write in your journal all weekend, but the most important piece for me is that we’ll all be there together. Reliving our childhood experience, but in a way that feels completely supportive and safe. You feel “different”? So do I. And guess what – that makes us all the same.

Now that I remember camp properly, I know there were some beautiful moments too. I had one counsellor, Mindy Karp, who is my friend to this day, and when we were nine or 10 she’d put us to bed playing Joni Mitchell and leading us in a deep relaxation meditation. Not that we understood it as that then, she’d just tell us; “feel your toes, now relax your toes…” She was the inspiration for our own “bunk leaders,” who we’ve equipped with tools to facilitate community, openness and togetherness in each bunk. And thank God for people like her.

Soul Camp at Camp Towanda takes place September 4-7. For details of the full line-up and to purchase tickets visit Soulcamp2014.com. PLUS enter the code “NUMI” at checkout for a $100 discount!

TAROTSCOPES: AUGUST 2014

Cast by Louise Androlia using The Cosmic Tarot Deck

I love to chat with you about your ‘scopes and how your month is going, so find me on Twitter and Instagram @louniverse and at Facebook/louiseandrolia

Leo / Leo Rising – The Ten of Pentacles

Happy Birthday, sweet beast! So you’re about ready for a switch up. Something’s got to give, something’s got to go and you need to reshuffle yourself back into your home zone – it’s time to step it up. What does that mean to you? I’m talking about upping your game. Is there a wobble of anxiety or a fear of failure that comes with that idea, to go bigger, to be greater, to feel better? I want you to approach your nerves this month with a shift in perspective, and turn that wobble into a wave of excitement – an unapologetic urge to keep seeking what lights you up and ways to brighten your experience.

For those of you feeling stuck somewhere that you don’t want to be, then now is the time to believe in change and know that you are allowed to pull things apart and put them back together again. In fact, your inner soul is calling out for you to do exactly this. You aren’t here on this planet to be hiding from the things you feel the urge to dream up and pursue.

It’s human nature to find a comfortable seat in an uncomfortable space – and you know what that looks like, right? But when I talk about upping your game, it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, knowing there is something more for you to reach for. So the message this month is simple – it’s time to honor that emotion. Change is good, and it’s even better when you bring it in yourself.

If you’ve been struggling against the tide and are feeling a little on the edge of a victim mentality, it’s okay. We all quite frequently want to wave our hands in the air and go, ‘wait ARE YOU SERIOUS?!’ So over the next few weeks, just check in with yourself, all the time. Maybe you’ll see where it feels like you’re erring slightly off course – and be able to ask yourself, have you been stopped in your tracks on purpose? Perhaps this is your chance to carve out a new space for yourself, a better space.

Finally, the art of sharing is important this month. Your story is what makes you unique, so yes, keep something for yourself. But also recognize that you might experience the most healing when you allow yourself to be vulnerable to the influence of others. Writing will be on your side too, so get up every day and journal, or ‘brain vomit’ as I like to call it! Let your subconscious spill onto the pages. You might just find the answers you’ve been looking for.

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

 

Virgo / Virgo Rising – The Two of Wands

Hey traveller. You really have been all over the place recently, physically and emotionally, quite the adventurer. You kind of get a kick out of it but there is definitely an inner yearning for some boring old peace and quite now! I can’t promise that, but I can remind you how to check in on your journey and how to thrive while moving at super speed.

Even when you’re up to your eyeballs with work and general overload it’s important to find a way to carve out a space to breathe. And yes, conscious breathing itself is an awesome practice, but when I say breathe I really mean just make some space for nothingness. Like full on nada, zilch, nothing at all. Lying on your carpet staring at the ceiling. You want to always have a corner of your internal white board sparkling clean and free. Why? Because otherwise how are you ever going to see your way out of a problem or expand yourself to your next power zone!

So yeah, let’s take a look at what you’re manifesting – that old trick, what does the word even mean to you? I feel it gets thrown around a little too casually these days, and we can harness it much more elegantly I think. You are filled with ideas, I know you are, so think what the patch of land you are building on looks like at the moment. Groundwork means literally securing a safe and impassioned space to build something from, so do a quick rec and check your balance. Are your actions fully aligned with your highest truth and best intentions? Which idea feels the best to you? Which idea holds the least amount of fear and ego driven ‘what ifs’?

It feels to me like you are about to shift into a new perspective around a career and passion project or situation. You may be letting something go (woo hoo) or feeling your way around a familiar scene and wondering how to pep it up. Try not to be too frantic for change; there is a sense of easing your way in that will help you over the coming weeks. Avoid panicking and remember to be grateful for having got yourself to this place. You are exactly where you should be, so stand proud and tall and just take one step.

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

 

Libra / Libra Rising – Five of Cups

Did you feel some changes or shifts last month? That Judgement card is such a calling to rise up that it can often bring in a wobble via the Universe, with the intent of shooting you off in a new direction. Unfortunately when that happens we often have no idea why we’ve been shoved over. You want to get up and march on, full of empowerment, but aren’t quite sure what the purpose of it all is.

So this month I want you to try and see where you feel like you’ve been let down or knocked about a bit. Is there a point right now, perhaps in a shift in career or relationship focus, where you feel a bit like ‘um, well what was the point of that?’ It’s easy to feel that life has tipped you up and wonder where the hope is.

But I want you to not feel like you’ve taken any steps backwards, or are slipping back into a role from the past you didn’t really like. Each day is always a new start, and the past is never a blueprint for your future. Feelings of loss and disappointment are supposed to feel uneasy, so make sure that if you are feeling a wobble that you sit down and feel those feelings. Or write it out to get out your anxieties out of your mind and body – you don’t need to be pacing round having debates with your own ego mind, so speak, shout, announce your fears, and they won’t seem nearly so overpowering.

Then it’s time to have a think about what the redirection might be. Usually when we feel a bit lost, it’s because a pause in energy is offering us a moment to recalibrate. In order to do that you must think about how you are connected right now and if something needs to be shifted, or maybe the ways in which you aren’t connected to your experience at all.

Take some time this month to try and align yourself with your spirit – which really just means giving time to your passions and remembering why you are you. What makes you feel ‘in your skin’? What projects have you hidden in the shadows because you think you ‘should’ do something else? How have you been holding your true spirit back in your relationships or friendships? Ask your soul self the questions and be brave enough to take steps from the answers that you hear.

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

 

Scorpio / Scorpio Rising – The Princess of Wands

You’re back on the manifesting train again, hopefully because you have some of your fire back now that Mars has moved into your sign. Do you feel ready to move? The great thing about the energy for you this month is that it’s a wonderful combination of desire and action. You know there’s no point in dallying around, and if you actually want to see things change and move onwards then you need to put in the work. I’m not so much cracking the whip here but more encouraging you to make plans and stick to them!

Everything that you want needs a space to grow from, so this month is the perfect time to be reshuffling and making space. If you are planning to move house then it’s time to get ready. Clean up in your current situation – what bills need paying, and what old belongings could you sell or donate? Get your energy ready to shift and then when the time comes, you’ll be ready. It’s essentially a process of making things easier for yourself. Instead of being so super active and quite the procrastinator, let’s go with the super powered Scorpio energy this month ok?

So think; what isn’t working right now? And how can you shake up your structure so that you regain a sense of flow? It can be easy to tune too much into the ‘I cant’s’ or ‘why is this happening’ moments, when what you need to do is at least embrace the option of expansion to see your way through a challenge. It might be as small as just saying to yourself; ‘I know there is a more expansive way of viewing this today.’ It’s time to see where you are in your own way, step back and take a look from a new viewpoint. From a different perspective, it may be obvious what you need to move in order to make space.

Over the next few weeks practice the ultimate manifesting practice. I believe it goes like this: Intention – What are you aiming for? What do you want to feel like? How can you honor your journey more? Then, Action – Make moves in the direction of your dreams, practical measures. Finally – Surrender rather than obsess. Keep everything in the day and work moment by moment and see how things suddenly seem to weave themselves together.

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

 

Sagittarius / Sagittarius Rising – The Princess of Swords

In what ways are you not connected to your inner truth right now? I’m feeling as though you’ve allowed your own personal power to slip to the sidelines. This may have manifested in a variety of ways – a dip in confidence perhaps? Are you finding yourself more judgmental of yourself and others recently? Feeling neglected by life? There is a need for you to recalibrate your inner strength this month – and not in the way that you might usually go about it.

There is often a tendency to just ‘pull yourself together’, stand up put on a brave face and say you are fine. Sure that does work, but it’s not addressing what’s at the heart of the matter, and doesn’t really nurture your whole self. I want you to go within, big time! This is about upping your relationship with your inner soul system and choosing not to ignore your gut.

I’m often wary of using that word – ‘gut’ – because sometimes the ego likes to join that party. I want you to start to focus with on just checking in with how you feel and how your body feels. Notice what or whom you feel you are pulling away from and start to think about why. If you find yourself with all sorts of ideas and opinions about other people, remember that everyone is a mirror.

If you are speaking negatively about someone then it’s going to be pulling something out that you’re actually feeling about yourself. It’s a good month to do some autonomous writing; open up a notepad and just brain spill out on to the page. You might discover that it’s your own inner dialogue towards yourself that needs clarifying and brightening in order for the world to seem a little less cold.

So back to your own sense of empowerment; check in with how much you’ve been taking on that you haven’t really felt connected to or inspired by. Quite a few things maybe? Being spiritual means quite simply, ‘to honour your spirit.’ So how can you do that over the next few weeks? Go back to basics and connect to your passions and interests and allow that to boost your inner strength. With this in line it’s a lot easier to step into your power, own your experience, feel less threatened and ultimately, have more fun!

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

 

Capricorn / Capricorn Rising – The Seven of Swords

Last month I encouraged you to allow some stillness and take some rest – with that, I feel that you may be facing up to some old fears surrounding issues of trust. I want to talk about how much you trust yourself right now and how much you have faith in your journey, because I feel that you could be feeling a little lost. It’s almost as if you don’t trust in your own viewpoint or knowledge, and that often comes in when we have disconnected from our mind and body.

You have had a busy stretch of year and a lot of climbing uphill, not to mention a lot of trying to please others going on. This is draining and it translates into a lack of confidence so easily. The thing is, you are no less brilliant than you have ever been, you haven’t lost your personal power but you may have left it on a shelf somewhere out of reach.

I’d like you to try to reconnect to your feelings of potential, remember what your hopes are, and remember what makes you feel good. Stop trying to be something for everyone else. If you are connected and aligned with your self fully then everything around you will sit better – work, friendships, health and relationships. It’s time to reclaim your power and your personality, no one can take these things from you but it’s easy to give them away or forget they are yours in the first place. You might be feeling wary of who to trust right now, or how to make a decision – perhaps you’re worried about making the wrong choice somewhere along the line? Again, this is only a reflection of the state your inner system is in, so consciously choosing to have faith in your own steps will help you to find your balance in the external world.

You’re not here to play small, hide behind yourself or to not participate in your adventure. Take note of anywhere you are sidelining and reel yourself back in. Have you been looking after your body? Have you been listening to your intuition? Have you been honoring your passions? Make some plans to get connected, sit still and listen to what is going on – if you are jittery and don’t want to be by yourself then keep sitting. Get comfortable in your own uncomfortable, it’s time to check back in.

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

 

Aquarius / Aquarius Rising – The Prince of Cups

How committed are you feeling right now? Across the board; what are you inching yourself away from? Where are you hiding? What are you missing? In order to experience the changes that you wish to see you must get present with the fears that these questions unearth within you. If you feel unable to commit to something or someone there is a need to go deeper and work out why, because it’s not about what’s happening externally – it’s all about you.

You are head first in your journey right now, which is why I want to make sure you are wide-awake. It’s easy to think that life is passing you by, but this only happens if you aren’t present for the experience, or aren’t actively invested in the adventure. Being a dreamer is wonderful, but you need some action in there too, otherwise it all gets a bit never-never land and you can feel let down and lost. So it’s time to really sink your teeth in and be ready to really feel everything, and maybe that will include having to feel the negative or sad feelings that you don’t want to. But it’s okay. You are on your way to a new sense of material and spiritual balance so you need to attend to both.

On the spiritual side, getting seriously connected to your spirit is easier than you think – it really just requires you to be respectful of your own passions and take note of your feelings. Try not to block yourself in with ‘I shoulds’ and ‘I cant’s’. Instead, remind yourself of your potential and of what you have overcome in the past. In the material world check in with how fulfilled you are at work and in your relationships. Is there a spark of excitement for something of someone that you haven’t really even addressed?

Romantically this is essential, to be honest with your own feelings and not be scared of failing, not hide in your shadows because of a fear of rejection. The more you are in your own body and truth the brighter you appear. Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable; shift your strength to an attitude of just trying. Life is happening, your life is happening, all you need to do is show up.

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

 

Pisces / Pisces Rising – The Three of Pentacles

Oh hey over there Pisces, rise and shine! You’ve been through the mill this year, but then again that’s often what being a Pisces is all about – you soak up everything and yet you know everything, so it’s a back and forth shift between feeling overwhelmed and super powered. Keep reaching for the latter.

So on we go. This month is all about the rotation of learning and teaching. You are talented, you have talents and you have passions, many more than many people, and it’s essential you recognize them now. I believe it is our duty to share our spirit with others, because it helps them get more spirited themselves, and we do this via sharing skills and sharing knowledge. You are being called to rise up and accept master status of your own life, okay?

Yep, that means hatching a new plan for the next few months, and you don’t have to do it alone. You see the great thing about being so creative or just having so many ideas is that you can let your energy be fuelled up in the positive way by collaborating with others and simply asking for help. It is essential for you to recharge alone, but you know there is a fine line between alone and lonely, or just plain isolation. When you’re home alone, it can feel like you aren’t being appreciated by the outside world, which in turn makes you want to retreat an hide. But it’s actually time to step out. So tame the ego part of the inner dialogue that wants to be recognized. Simply make it your intention to share, and it’s from here that you might receive the respect that you are hoping for.

You’re also in a fine position to be laying foundations for what’s to come – and lifting out of a bit of a low period. Actually we all are, it’s been an odd year so far. So allow yourself to shake it out and shake it off a little, and choose to believe in yourself and your potential to get up and do what you want to do. Just recognize that opportunities don’t always appear in the form that you want or expect them to, and that to receive the best you need to think and be as expansive as possible. Be wide-awake and ready.

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

 

Aries / Aries Rising – The Emperor

After last month’s spin of the wheel do you have a little more of a sense of direction when it comes to where you’re going or what you want? Either way, this month is going to crack the whip on you and get you further into the driving seat. Whenever this card comes up we really need to respect order, discipline and prepare to work with the divine masculine!

Whaaat, how do we do that? Okay, so this card is basically pure Mars energy. Your ruler, Mars is the planet that governs our impulses, passions, sex-drive, and all things action oriented; it’s your truest source of power. Mars has just moved into Scorpio, a sign it also has great affinity with, and so it’s likely that you (who is always at the forefront) have a bunch of things you just want to get done. Now.

So, have a think about how you can set the pace in a way which is a) Going to be productive and b) Not going to burn you out and blast you to the floor. I think you can channel this masculine Mars power into a force of protection for your material and spiritual health. It’s time to step up and be strict, but not in the boring overpowering (Saturn) way, but by doing what you do best – channeling your stubbornness into a super power. I know you can get behind this. So I want you to be hell bent on being good to yourself, on nurturing your journey and devoting time to what feels good. You are also going to tap yourself on the shoulder and say ‘get on with it’ and not listen to your fears and their limiting ideas.

Procrastination, after all is just a fear of change and the unknown, it’s a fear of failure and of success. The reason we hold back from pursuing what we want is because we sure as hell don’t know what it will look like when we get it. Scary! But you know what, maybe things will turn out even better than you hoped? Standing in the background just wishing or waiting won’t ever bring the results that you’ve come to desire and respect. So preserve and respect your life force by making the most of it. Get things in order, clear your office, clean up your inner dialogue and blast away any negative energy you’ve been carrying around. Get to it.

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

 

Taurus / Taurus Rising – The Devil

This card is moving through the zodiac in my readings here, and it’s easy to see and go ‘uh oh… what does THAT mean?’ But it only ever highlights something that we are completely and utterly aware of. Yes, The Devil brings in our fears and our temptations, but with that a great opportunity to face them. I like to laugh at my own fears and their tiny ideas. I like to hang out in their company and choose not listen to them. I like to walk up to them in the street and say ‘hey,’ but not stay to chat.

You see the thing with fear, it’s always around. It’s an everyday thing, but we tend to give too much energy to it. We use fear like a swimming pool and dive in and let it wash over and under us. It’s so easy to fall in the pool and it’s terribly difficult to climb out.

So this month I want you to practice just listening to what the fears that come up are, then sitting with them, not running in the opposite direction or trying to fight them, but just being present with them. Now have a look at what your go to temptations are. It might be certain thought patterns, a habit you repeat or something negative you indulge in. Look at any addictive or obsessive tendencies and be present with them and try and not judge yourself. To overcome the parts of us that we perceive to be the darkest we have to shine light on them and, actually, love them. None of us are without our demons.

The thing about our own Devil is that he gets in the way, distracts us from our better path and highest self and detours us towards fear. Your job this month is to note where you are switching direction and try and liberate yourself. Sit with the word ‘freedom’ and see what it means to you. What would be mean to be able to untie your own bound up self? Remind yourself that you aren’t a slave or a victim to yourself or anything and your intention to be well and kind to yourself is everything. Ultimately this month, be considerate to yourself, know that anxiety and stress are normal, you are not broken, and there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you. Allow yourself to feel free.

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

 

Gemini / Gemini Rising – The Wheel of Fortune

Like many of us you are in a period of change, and over the next few weeks you might get a little bit more in touch with where you cycle is spinning. You of all signs can often caught up in the whirlwind, and can either be flying high or feeling utterly overwhelmed. It’s time to make the choice to really balance out a bit. This can be done via feeling your way through life a little more. Instead of wanting to know what everything ‘means’ just focus on how you are feeling about every situation that is coming your way, the highs and the lows.

Last month I was encouraging you to expand yourself into a more magical state of mind, and this is an attitude you can hold onto as a permanent part of your mindset. Now, you are called to participate in your adventure even more so, and to really welcome in the change and shifts that you are a part of. I feel you’ve reached a turning point, and you will soon know exactly where you are at. This might relate to something obvious, like a new job opportunity or moving house, or something subtler like a shift within your mind or body. When the wheel starts spinning it is always stressful – so know that, and don’t expect yourself to be feeling relaxed and chilled out during these stops and starts. Be kind to yourself and just be present with it all.

On the empowerment side of things, where are you placing your energy? And where are you placing your will? Beware of sidelining and getting caught up in bells and whistles, false promises or your own ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds.’ Remember that
Destiny is only your partner in crime, and that you do get a say in things. Try to not resist change, and remember that good change still feels strange because it still ushers in the unknown – and that this is okay too. We don’t want to stay wrapped up in situations that aren’t good for us, just because we’re comfortable and familiar with how they feel.

Finally, don’t fret if things aren’t moving at the speed that you’d like them to. Amp up your intentions and put in some actions, then allow the Universe to give a helping hand. It’s all feeling a little mysterious but clear skies and clarity are en route.

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

 

Cancer / Cancer Rising – The Ace of Swords

This month is all about clarity and pulling yourself together so that you can really feel good. It’s likely that the last month was quite active with ideas and creativity and now all that air activity is bringing forth the best your mind has got! I believe in the power of just one thought. Once we go beyond that we can dive into fear and anxiety territory – a.k.a. overwhelm. But sense of clarity that comes when you pair your intuition with your intelligence in one pure thought is empowering and exciting. Is that what you’re seeking right now?

To find these moments of empowerment we need to work on our own sense of trust. After all, how will you know when you know if you don’t trust yourself enough to believe the guidance that comes from within? I’d like you to set aside at least five minutes each day to sit and listen to your inner dialogue, to be quiet and to give yourself space. Yes, it’s what some people call meditation, but it’s also whatever you want it to be. You can’t do this wrong, but I can’t guarantee it will be comfortable. Sometimes our sharpest insights come from sitting and feeling fidgety and feeling uncomfortable. So sit down with questions and intentions.

What are the areas of your life that you need clarity on? I feel for some of you there are shifts in career and feelings of self worth, so you may need to sit down and summon some self-confidence in, to remind you that you can trust in the changes you are bringing in. For relationships it’s time to listen to your own truths. Are you on equal ground? Is there a proper balance happening? Do you feel you are giving some of your power away? Asking yourself questions is a powerful way to reclaim your present moment and the strength to make decisions.

Notice if you are using the dreaded ‘should’ word and experiment with shifting your dialogue to something more expansive, something that embraces possibility and opportunity. Keep connecting your thoughts with your feelings, and watch how your body always responds positively in a moment of truth. We often refer to epiphanies as only happening once in a while, but when you are truly aligned in your holistic self then all thoughts can be this powerful.

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