20 THINGS I LEARNED AT CRYSTAL SCHOOL

Crystal consciousness is on the rise! Isn’t it about time you expanded your knowledge of these mystical rocks at crystal school? By Ruby Warrington. Images: Karina Eibatova (available as prints at Karina’s online store)

You know crystal consciousness is MAJORLY on the rise when even mainstream media like the London Evening Standard is covering the phenomenon. And it makes sense that more and more people are being drawn to working with crystals – not only are they said to possess mystical healing powers, they give us a much-needed connection back to nature. And seeing as they also look totally beautiful, it’s kind of like why wouldn’t you want more crystals in your life?

I’ve connected with crystals on and off over the years, whether I’ve been been gifted them by friends or actively sought out specific stones I felt would help at times I could use a little extra cosmic support. As a result, I’ve ended up with crystals stashed in different bags and nooks and crannies of my apartment – from the Lemurian quartz pendant from Vega Jewelry that travels in my yoga bag for general high-vibery, to the selenite tower I picked up at Spellbound Sky that watches over my dreams from my bedside.

And considering all these stones have just somehow shown up in my life (which crystals have a habit of doing), I figured it was time to learn a little more about how to work with their numinous properties. Enter lovely Luke Simon and his in-depth crystal workshops at Maha Rose Center for Healing in Greenpoint, BK.

“I started working with crystals when I first moved to NYC and realized I needed some serious juju to wear ON my body,” he explained, kicking off the session I attended last month. As for the first step on the path to expanding your crystal consciousness? “Crystals first job is to give us permission to work with our intuition,” explained Luke, “I like to call it their ‘Tinkerbell effect’.” In other words, you just have to believe…

Here are 20 more things I learned that day at crystal school:

1. Never have more crystals than you have time to love

2. Crystals form very slowly as liquid cools and evaporates and atoms of whatever pure substance remains move closer and closer together, imbuing them with a concentrated energy that’s much more highly evolved than glass

3. The particles in crystals form repeating tight-knit structures – as in music, and in our thoughts and physical structure. In humans, these patterns becoming disturbed is what leads to dis-ease, and crystal healing occurs when our own cellular structures seek to mimic the crystal structures we hold in close proximity to us

4. If you’re repeatedly drawn to certain crystals, it’s likely you will have worked with them in past lives

5. Lots of small crystals formed to make a “bed” is called a “cluster”

6. You can directly imbibe crystal energy by putting them in your tea kettle. Also keep in mind however, that some crystals dissolve in water (like Selenite and Halite) and some can be toxic to ingest, like Malachite. So consult a book or an expert first!

7. Placing crystals in a “grid” is like following a recipe that allows them to merge their properties and heal on a more potent level

8. Use four crystals in a grid to create stability; three or five to work with themes of transformation; and eight to symbolize infinity, and in multiples of these numbers. When placing crystals in a grid, consider the properties of the different stones you’re using and be very clear with your intention

9. Your energy will also stir your crystals up, and this is what makes them programmable. Clear quartz crystals are the most receptive to this process, making them like a blank canvas for channelling your consciousness

10. When working with a specific stone over a period of time, you can keep a crystal journal to chart your progress

11. When selecting a new crystal to work with, see which stone you feel naturally drawn to. Your cells will be attracted to the vibrations of the crystal that can offer the most healing to you in that moment

12. Hold the crystal in your non-dominant hand, as you’ll be more sensitive to the subtle vibe it creates for you. Ask yourself, does the stone make you feel more energized, or more grounded? Practise this with different stones to develop your sensitivity

13. If you’re repelled by a certain stone, consider whether it relates to something you’re avoiding in your life

14. Since crystals absorb the energy around them, they need to be reset with regular cleansing

15. Ways to cleanse your crystals include: using the smoke from burning sage or other cleansing herbs (i.e. Palo Santo, Cedar leaves, sweetgrass, lavender) – and imagining the smoke as water; submerging them in natural spring water; burying them in salt (if intense cleansing is needed); burying them in earth in your garden or a plant pot (remembering to put a marker in the ground if you do this outdoors!)

16. Some crystals don’t need cleansing – Citrine for example doesn’t hold negativity, while Selenite is self-cleansing

17. To charge your crystals, place them in direct sun or moon light for anything from a couple of hours to overnight. Do this when your stones begin to look or feel “dull” to you

18. You can also charge crystals with the energy of a place or icon that holds special meaning for you by placing them on an altar next to symbolic imagery

19. When placing crystals on the body for more intimate and specific healing, it’s more comfortable to work with polished stones

20. Never forget your crystals in a crisis!

Have you been working with crystals? Connect with us and share your experiences on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Luke Simon’s next crystal workshop at Maha Rose takes place June 6 and is titled: Crystal Breathwork: Labradorite. Click here to sign up and get more details

ANDY PUDDICOMBE: MEDITATION & YOUR INNER KNOWING

Andy Puddicombe has brought meditation to the masses with his Headspace app. In an exclusive interview, the former Buddhist monk and trained circus performer tells Ruby Warrington how your practice can also boost your intuition…

Image by Neil Krug

I first met Andy Puddicombe five years ago, when he was on the brink of launching Headspace – a platform with a single aim: to make meditation accessible, relevant and beneficial to as many people as possible. Erm hello, honorary member of the Numinati right there…

And it’s safe to say he’s succeeded in his mission. What has become the world’s most-downloaded meditation app has since gone on to be used by over 2 million people in 150 countries worldwide – which is a whole lot of actual head space Andy’s created.

And sure we all know the benefits of a regular meditation practice. But does that make it any easier to just. Freaking. Sit? Nope. Like a 5-year-old on a sugar-high, the monkey mind is pretty much always up for a game of tag. But if you needed one more reason to exercise some discipline around your practice, here it is: meditation is a direct route to accessing a deeper relationship with your intuition.

And more open communication between you and that voice = more confidence, more flow, and more of the life you really want. It’s that simple. Read on for Andy’s insider insights…

Image by Neil Krug

SINCE ADOPTING A (SEMI) REGULAR MEDITATION PRACTISE, I’VE NOTICED IT’S EASIER TO TUNE INTO MY ‘GUT FEELING’ ABOUT THINGS. WHY IS THIS?
When the mind is busy it’s very difficult to have any real clarity around our intuition or gut feel. I often liken it to a pool of water, with all the thoughts creating ripples on the surface. But as the mind calms down, the ripples decrease and the surface of the water becomes clear, enabling us to see what’s beneath. As a result, we find it easier to see things clearly and to hear and trust that inner voice.

IS MY INNER VOICE OR INTUITION THE SAME VOICE THAT ‘NOTICES’ WHEN MY MIND IS WANDERING WHEN I SIT IN MEDITATION?
What notices is pure, naked awareness. I would differentiate this from gut feel or intuition, but at the same time it is still part of the mind, so we cannot say it is separate. I would say that the easiest way to define ‘intuition’ is as the clarity beneath all the everyday clutter. Awareness simply sees and trusts that clarity for what it is.

WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU THINK IT CAN HAVE ON SOMEBODY’S LIFE WHEN THEY ARE MAKING ALL THEIR DECISIONS ‘FROM THE GUT’ – OR RATHER, THAT PLACE OF INNER KNOWING?
Well, learning to let go of discursive and unproductive thinking is the same thing as learning to listen to our gut feeling. We cannot do the latter without the former. But it is a lifelong process and something that can always be refined. To begin with it requires a little effort, but after some practice it becomes quite effortless.

In fact, as cliche as it may sound, it really becomes a way of being. With this comes a greater sense of flow, where we feel as though we are at the right point, at the right time, in every moment of every day – we are at ease with each and every moment. This is radical, revolutionary and liberating all at once.

Andy Puddicombe

IS THIS HOW YOU EXPERIENCE LIFE? CAN YOU GIVE ANY EXAMPLES OF HOW THIS HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL TO YOU?
My own experience is not so important. I try to encourage people to examine their own lives, to apply this approach to their own lives. What’s important is letting go, and cultivating curiosity and kindness in your life. But if I have to give one big example, it would be becoming a monk.

Against all the advice, from people I loved, trusted and respected, I knew, without any hesitation and with absolute confidence, trusting an inner voice that had never been so bright and clear, that I would become a monk. So I dropped all the thinking, let it all wash over me, and simply followed that sense of clarity of knowing. It was life changing in every way.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TECHNIQUES FOR TUNING IN TO THAT INNER VOICE WHEN YOU’RE OUT AND ABOUT, OPPOSED TO SITTING IN MEDITATION?
As I say, with practice this really becomes a way of being and does not require a lot of conscious intention. But if you are looking for tips, then yes, take a moment to pause when you are out and about. Whether you are standing or sitting, take a deep breath and as you breathe out, feel the mind sink down into the body as you become more aware of the physical sensations.

Repeat this a couple of times, allowing thoughts to just come and go. As you continue, you will notice that you start to feel more in tune with your surroundings, that the mind begins to calm and the inner voice becomes more apparent. But whatever you do, don’t go searching for your inner voice, this just creates more ripples on the surface of the pool. Instead, patiently allow that gut feeling to come to the surface in its own time.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE TO DIVINE THE ‘INTUITIVE’ RESPONSE WHEN FACED WITH A DIFFICULT DECISION?
I use the tools of patience and awareness. When we are aware, we are present. There is no confusion and we have clarity, with both our everyday thinking and our inner voice. But that does not mean that the answer or direction is immediately apparent.

Sometimes we have to wait patiently for it to arise. But if we are happy resting in the present, with no sense of panic, we realize that we are quite okay to rest with the mind as it is until it becomes more obvious.

How has meditation impacted on your life? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram andTwitter and share your story.

HOW TO FIND THE HEALING PATH FOR YOU

Ready to explore your awakening, but unsure where to start? Hairdresser-turned-Shamanic-practitioner Wolf Sister shares a simple formula to start you on your healing path…Images: Johnny Abegg

*Are you at a point in your life where you want to instigate some positive change?
*Are your usual pastimes or achievements feeling a bit lacklustre?
*Do you keep finding yourself back in a perpetuating rut?
*Are you curious enough to dip your toe in the pool of awakening, but not quite sure if you’re ready to dive fully in…yet?

Maybe the thought of making changes in your life seems overwhelming, and you feel like you don’t know where to start.

It’s likely you find yourself looking at others, and comparing your journey to theirs. But everyone’s path is unique, and it’s so important to find what feels right for YOU. This way, you can have what you think ‘they have’ and MORE.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my healing journey so far has been to break it all down into bite-sized goals. Think; what can you do NOW? How can you make yourself feel better today?

So write down some simple steps, and then play pick and mix, choosing one or two to start off with. Focus on what feels good for you, and at the same time be brave enough to step just outside of your comfort zone (this is usually where the juiciest life results occur).

Making significant life changes requires a certain amount of tenacity, surrender, and commitment, as well as a whole lotta self-love – these are the key ingredients for positive transformation. There follows below a simple formula to get you started…

:: READ ::
There’s a plethora of self-development books out there to help you find the healing path that’s right for you. I’ve noticed that the books we need will often find their way to us. Either by a friend’s recommendation, as a gift, the fact they appear in recurring adverts, or maybe simply by catching our eye in the book store. Books are a great and portable way of absorbing new information, and getting inspired about new ways of living.

:: MEDITATE ::
Have you been feeling anxious and overwhelmed? The quickest fix is to stop, drop (sit or lie down) …and meditate! Just a few minutes of regular meditation can help you develop more clarity and balance in times of stress and chaos. Meditation isn’t just for gurus and ‘enlightened’ beings. You can do it too, and you don’t have to sit in silence for hours to get the benefits.

:: EXERCISE ::
It’s time to get moving. If you’ve been feeling sluggish and stuck mentally and emotionally, physical activity will boosts those feel good vibes – a.k.a. endorphins. Exercise is also a great way of practising active meditation, encouraging you to focus on a single task and bringing your consciousness nicely into the present moment. Regular exercise can result in increased self-confidence, improved sleep, increased energy, and life vitality.

:: EAT RIGHT ::
What we put in our body has a great impact on how we feel. With processed food, the sugar high or full feeling wears off quickly, and will leave you feeling sluggish and low. If the old saying goes – ‘you are what you eat’ – what do you want to be? Colorful and radiating high vibrations, or over-processed and beige? You don’t have to become vegan overnight or suddenly break up with all of the sweet treats you love. Just start by adding more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet and drinking more water. Now see how you feel and go from there.

:: SOCIAL MEDIA DETOX ::
There’s almost no avoiding our social media feeds, but is what you’re following inspiring you or weighing you down? Focus on finding feeds that light you up and inspire you and only then click ‘follow/like.’ This way you can make sure that when you’re having a bad day or just killing time, you’ve got an online treasure trove of good vibes to pick you up and keep you going.

:: HOLISTIC HEALING ::
Working with a therapist, in whatever modality you are drawn to (Counselling, Psychotherapy, Shamanic healing, Reiki, Crystal Healing, Tarot, Light Grids etc) will help you tap into unseen layers of yourself. With the awareness of your emotional/mental/energetic blocks these modalities bring, you will be better equipped to dissipate any restrictions that may have been influencing your life until now.

Having regular sessions with a healer encourages you to make time for yourself, escape from your everyday routine, and step into your soul-journey. How to find the right therapist for you? It’s easy healers on the Internet now, and lots also work via Skype, so you aren’t limited to people working in your locale. When choosing a healer or therapist, they should be someone that resonates with you. It’s VERY important that you feel comfortable with your choice, and there needs to be a strong sense of trust – so really listen to your gut.

:: WORKSHOPS/TALKS/RETREATS::
Time to find your tribe! At group gatherings such as workshops and talks, you are creating an opportunity to meet like-minded souls and honouring your journey by taking time out of your ‘real’ life to learn about more about the subjects that truly ignite your spirit. Your friends may not be on the same journey as you at the moment, but don’t let that hold you back. Be bold enough to go on your own – and be open to making some new friends!

As you embrace where your spiritual journey wants to take you, it’s likely you’ll begin to feel happier, and so the world around you will begin to vibrate on the same frequency. This is when the law of attraction kicks into action, and more magic starts heading straight for you! So make sure you surround yourself with all the things that inspire you, and people that support your healing journey. Don’t forget…THE UNIVERSE IS SUPPORTING YOU, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!

What was the gateway to your healing journey? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your story!

OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITY: A YOGA SEQUENCE FOR GEMINI

With the Sun conjunct Mercury retrograde in Gemini, the stage is set to review the conversations you have with yourself and the world this month. Ash Baker shares a simple yoga sequence for Gemini to aid the process…Images: Hanne Gaby Odiele by Serge Leblon for Mixte Paris (S/S 2012)

 

GEMINI: May 21 to June 21

Ruler: Mercury
Element: Air
Modality: Mutable
Anatomy: Hands, arms, shoulders. lungs & nervous system
3rd sign of the Zodiac

Interesting times ahead as the sun enters Gemini while Mercury is also retrograde (May 18th – June 11th) in the sign he rules, Gemini! That’s a high quota of twin energy, and communication will be a key theme for the next month.

And all of this Mercurial energy vibing in the air, this relates both to the dialogue we keep with others as well as ourselves. So use the retrograde to your advantage. RE-view, RE-establish, and RE-connect with areas of yourself and your life that could benefit from a slowed-down perspective.

This retrograde period is the Universe’s way of forcing us (granted in very frustrating retrograde ways sometimes!) to take a pause and ponder all that’s occurring around us, and everything that brought us to this point in our journey.

Below are some yoga tools to connect with your breath, strengthen your body and create the space to spend time within. Give yourself the gift of perspective through grace. And remember, we’re all in this together!

 

:: Sun Salute ::
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, and fold down again.

As you inhale again, place your hands on the floor and step or jump back into Plank Pose. Keep the tailbone tucked, engage your abdominal muscles. Exhaling, either bring the knees to the floor or keep legs lifted while slowly 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 – energetically at least if the heels don’t reach.

Stay for three rounds of full belly breath. On the fourth inhale, raise onto your tiptoes and on the exhale bend your knees and either step or jump your feet to meet your hands at the front of your mat. Inhale and come into the flat back position, hands on your chins or touching the floor. Exhale and fold over your legs. Inhale and stand up straight, bringing your hands to kiss above your head as you do, and then to rest in front of your heart in prayer position. Repeat the whole sequence three times.

:: Supine Pigeon ::
Come to lie on your back. Bend the knees so both feet are flat on the floor. Take the right foot/ankle and place it just above the left knee and focus on opening the right knee and hip. Now gently draw the left knee towards your chest and interlace your fingers either around the front of the left shin or behind the left thigh. While you press the right foot/ankle into the left leg, keep drawing the left knee towards your chest creating resistance. Keep the shoulders and neck on the floor. Jaw should be soft. Relax and allow the right hip to open up. Hold for up to 1 minute. Switch sides.

:: Viparita Karani with block/bolster ::
Come down on your back and bend your knees. Lift your hips up and place a block or bolster under your sacrum for support. Let your arms rest out to your sides with palms facing up or down. Gently begin to extend both legs straight up towards the ceiling. You can have a micro-bend in the knees but keep the legs slightly firm. Let your face and belly soften. Stay here for up to 1 minute.

Monthly Mantra: I go within to begin.

How does your yoga practise facilitate a conversation with your self? Connect with us and share your insight on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

YOGA BEAUTY SECRETS WITH GURU JAGAT

Cold showers and the mysterious powers of the jade egg. Ruby Warrington gets a lesson in yoga beauty secrets from Guru Jagat

If you read our previous interview with cosmic kundalini yoga powerhouse Guru Jagat, you’ll be aware that thia is a woman who does not mince her words. And seeing as telling things like they are is in the DNA of all things Numinous (you gotta get real to get healed, right?) it’s no wonder she’s become something of an iconic figure among the Numinati.

So was I psyched to join her for an 8am session on Yogic Beauty Secrets at holistic haven CAP Beauty in NYC last week? Let’s just say the cosmos would have had to pull some seriously gnarly s*** to stop me being there – despite the scheduling conflict with my usual morning snuggle time with the husb.

And boy did she not disappoint. I think the reason Guru Jagat’s teachings are resonating so strongly right now, is that she has a unique way of taking ancient spiritual wisdom and packaging it up in a way that feels totally relevant for now – as in the Now Age, baby!

Over kale, avocado, cantaloupe and black pepper smoothies from Gingersnap’s Organic, we learned things like the benefits of a yoghurt bath (just add a handful of organic live yoghurt to the water as an external probiotic), and how the quality of your vaginal walls is reflected in the lines on your face – for realz! Also the reason why Guru Jagat recommends all women take to using a jade egg for “toning” purposes…

Intrigued? Here Guru Jagat shares more yoga beauty secrets from her guru, kudalini yoga founder Yogi Bhajan, as detailed in his series The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

Guru Jagat at CAP Beauty last week

:: WAKE-UP ROUTINE ::
Wake-up gently, cupping the hands over the eyes and then opening the eyes and slowly moving the hands away. Before getting out of bed each morning massage the ovaries for about five minutes and the breasts and the area around the breasts for another five minutes. This provides proper circulation.

:: 3 DAILY TIPS FOR WOMEN ::
1. To be beautiful, slim and full of energy, women must vigorously exercise each day – until there is sweat on the brow. (This is imperative during menopause!)
2. Life nerve stretch – to be performed daily. Sit down with your legs extended. Reach for your toes and bend forward with straight legs, bringing your nose between your knees; your elbows should touch the floor. As long as a woman maintains this standard of the pose, she will stay young. As you get older the third vertebra shrinks; this exercise stretches the spine at the third vertebra keeping you flexible and strong.
3. A woman should nap 11 minutes, twice a day.

:: 10 NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR WOMEN ::
1. Substitute lemon for salt
2. Detox with green chilli: no poisons will build up in the intestines.
3. Meditation aid and improving memory: two bananas a day with lemon juice
4. P-fruits in general are good for a woman, especially: peaches, plums, papaya, pears, persimmons, prunes
5. For the glandular system, The Turnip Diet: Steam white turnips, mash them and add almond oil, turmeric, lemon and pepper. Must be a monodiet. You may also use the turnip greens.
6. Internal cosmetic: Turmeric is most healing
7. Liver cleansing: Beets steamed whole and then peeled. Can be eaten with a little yogurt and one glass of orange juice in the morning.
8. Nerves: celery juice
9. Stomach and intestinal tract cleanser: Finely chopped orange peel, sautéed in olive oil, mixed with turmeric paste (cooked in water)
10. Water retention (bloating): Cucumber juice and lemons

:: SUGAR – THE ENEMY OF A WOMAN’S YOUTH ::
“Fructose, sucrose, whatever you want to call it, is the enemy of a woman’s youth. When I see you eating cake, ice cream, cookies and chocolate this and chocolate that, and then you say, “No, no, it’s honey, not sugar,” it doesn’t bother me. But I know that the shine in you, the shine of a woman, is going to be lost. There is only one enemy of the woman— and that is sweetness in any shape or form. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it makes you look old.”

That glow, which a woman produces because of her hormones, is gone. Watch how politely you are hooked to sugar. Watch very clearly and understand it. Go for one week on a diet free of all sorts of sugar. Notice the change; you will be shocked. You don’t have to bring heavens to the Earth. Simply understand that there are certain things that don’t suit you.” – Yogi Bhajan, summer 1983

:: THE PERFECT BREAKFAST DRINK FOR WOMEN ::
Yogi Bhajan said that women, especially over the age of 28, should begin supplementing their diet with high quality, cold-pressed oils, first thing in the morning: two tablespoons of almond, sesame or olive oil, combined or alone, along with a tablespoon or two of ground flax seed every day.

If these oils are taken at night, they act as a laxative. Taken together or used by themselves,they lower cholesterol, reduce fat in the body, keep the skin healthy, reduce hunger, cleanse the body of toxins and are excellent sources of protein. In addition, 2-3 tablespoons of water soluble liquid chlorophyll in a glass of water daily is really helpful to the large intestines.

Here’s a perfect nutritious breakfast drink for women, rich in potassium, iron, oils and the alkaline qualities of chlorophyll. This drink provides a woman with the necessary daily doses of sesame or almond oil which nurtures her skin and hair, chlorophyll as an internal cleanser, and rice bran syrup which supports the nervous system.
1 ripe banana
8 ounces (250 ml) orange juice
1 Tablespoon (20 ml) liquid chlorophyll
2 Teaspoons Rice Bran Syrup
2 Teaspoons cold-pressed almond or sesame oil
Blend well until frothy.

:: WOMEN AND COLD SHOWERS ::
Showers should be cold. Cold showers preserve a woman as a woman; they correct
imbalanced menstruation, prevent early menopause, skin problems and they help her to
keep her glow.

11 benefits of Cold Showers:
1. Bring blood to the capillaries
2. Cleanse the circulatory system
3. Reduce blood pressure on internal organs, flushing internal organs and giving them a new supply of blood
4. Strengthen the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
5. Contract the muscles and cause them to eliminate toxins and poisons more quickly
6. Bring the power of resistance and resilience to the body
7. Strengthen the mucous membranes
8. Keep the skin young and shining
9. Prevent the body from developing an extra layer of fat, which affects the liver
10. Balance all the glands
11. Circulation and nerve problems can be prevented by regular cold showers.

Note: When menstruating, women should not take a cold shower. A woman is advised to take showers with lukewarm water during the menstrual cycle.

Instructions
Always precede cold showers with a massage of almond oil or olive oil. Be sure to massage the breasts, too.

It is recommended that a woman wear undershorts that cover her thighs while she is in the shower. This protects the sex nerve and the femur (thigh bone) from the sudden changes in temperature. (The femur regulates the production of calcium in the body and is very sensitive to temperature.)

After the massage, step into the shower. Let the cold water strike your body while you briskly massage the water into the skin. Move! Chant Sat Nam Wahe Guru! You should not stand continuously under a cold shower, nor should you do Breath of Fire to keep yourself warm. Instead, rub the skin vigorously.

Then step out of the water and continue to massage the skin. Then step back in, and be sure to stand under the spray and allow the breasts to be massaged by the water; continue massaging your entire body, step out again and repeat this process three or four times until you feel warm—even though the water is still cold. This will show the capillaries have opened up and are bringing blood to the surface of the skin.

When finished, dry yourself briskly with a towel. Of course, the ideal is a daily cold shower (ishnan), but Yogi Bhajan later encourages women to do it at least once a week—as a minimum requirement.

Have you been following any of Yogi Bhajan’s beauty tips? Share your stories with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Find out more about Guru Jagat and her Ra Ma Institute here

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENA DUNHAM…HERE COMES YOUR SATURN RETURN

Turning 29 today, Lena Dunham is staring down the barrel of her Saturn Return. What kind of a cosmic shift could this mean for her – and her generation? Kimberly Peta Dewhirst checks out Lena’s chart…

Hannah Horvath by Lizzy Anderson via Behance.net

It’s Lena Dunham’s 29th birthday today – you know what that means? Time for Saturn Return to make its entrance and shake things up in this star’s life.

However, the planet of hard knocks hasn’t done a full turn of Lena’s astrological chart quite yet. In fact, 2015 sees Saturn retrograde, just like Mercury, so Dunham won’t have her official Saturn Return until late in November.

Still, it’s the run up to this heavy astrological transit that can be the most grueling part, and she could already be feeling the tremors…

So, what can she expect?

The Saturn Return is a notoriously testing time marked with a ‘letting go’ of the things that no longer serve us – that goes for jobs, relationships, living situations or anything that needs to change. We become aware of both our limitations and our inner strength, and this pushes us to commit and step up to the plate, or relinquish control, depending on our personal circumstances.

But we all have a Saturn Return.

It’s the time when we really start to take responsibility, looking hard at the situations we know aren’t working, taking matters into our own capable hands, now that we’re that bit more mature. It’s a natural shift into adulthood, and it’s at this stage we instinctively feel better equipped to take life more seriously.

Collage by Seana Gavin

Thankfully this happens all of its own accord, however many wouldn’t describe the process as ‘painless’. It can be HUGE for some people, with major milestones or events occurring roughly between the ages of 28 and 30. For others it’s marked more subtly, and it can often depend on how Saturn behaves in the person’s own natal chart – meaning how it is aspected, and whether its restrictive energies sit comfortably with the individual.

 

For example, someone with a strongly watery chart (lots of Pisces and Cancer) might not fare as well as those with personal planets in Capricorn for example, ruled by Saturn meaning more familiarity with this energy.

And I know what you’re thinking – what about that friend who still doesn’t seem to have grown up after 30? Don’t worry about him or her – Saturn will come round again at about 57 years old, so they’ll get another chance to learn those lessons!

Sadly we don’t have a birth time for Lena, so we can’t see exactly where the planet falls in relation to the overall dynamic of her natal chart. However we do know that she has an un-aspected Saturn (Saturn has no relationships with the other planets in her natal astrological chart – it doesn’t ‘trine’ or ‘square’ or ‘oppose’ the other planets), and that it’s also retrograding.

A retrograde planet indicates an awkwardness with the themes of the planet and Lena might struggle with Saturnian issues – she could be overly anxious about fulfilling her responsibilities, she could feel nervous in formal situations, she may have lacked real structure growing up.

Fauxscape by Brian Bell via Behance.net

 

The nature of the planet not connecting to the others in the chart points to a sense of disconnect, resulting in an overcompensation through work achievements, lots of self-discipline and a somewhat serious nature. Lena also has Mars in Capricorn, which emphasizes these characteristics again – no wonder the girl’s done good with her career!

Another factor that colours her Saturn Return is that it’s occurring in Sagittarius, the sign that rules higher education, philosophy, long-distance travel and truth. This will add a flavor to the type of experience Lena – and her whole generation -will undergo as their coming of age. Perhaps there will be restriction around international expansion, or she could be pushed to speak out about her principles, and forced to get more serious when she speaks up.

Throughout her Saturn Return (which is exact between 26th November and 4th December) Neptune in Pisces will be squaring Saturn, forming a 90-degree angle. The hard lines of Saturn could be blurred, there could be some scandal or a previous disillusion could be cleared up and set straight.

The positive outcome of this astrological transit is that with Saturn’s guidance we become an expert in the field where the planet appears, and the remaining forces in our lives feel far more solid on the other side.

Those born between November 1985 and November 1988 share this astrological hallmark – Saturn in Sagittarius – with Lena.

You can identify the position of your Saturn by creating a free birth chart and identifying the symbol that looks like a cross over a ‘h’- ♄

KNOW YOUR DOSHA (HINT: IT MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK)

Know your dosha…know how to balance your body your mind and your LIFE. But don’t go thinking you’ve only got one to work with, says Wolf Medicine. Image: Geonah Lee via Behance.net

*note, I am not a licensed physician and cannot diagnose or treat dis-ease. Please consult your GP before proceeding with any of the comments or suggestions presented in this blog post.

So it’s 2015 and everybody is all about getting away from categorization and labelling (or maybe it’s just the people I hang out with). You’re post- human? Post-label? You don’t want to be called anything? Cool. Those are all labels too, but whatever. And well I’m the opposite. I’m a label fiend. Gay – check. Queer – check. Black, cancer, scorpio rising, feminist, killjoy, Ayurvedic teacher and yogini. Check, check, check and check.

Listen, I get it – we all want to be seen as individuals with our own unique qualities and attributes that set us apart, but we humans also want to belong, which is why we often seek out community/tribe. There’s a constant push-pull of wanting to belong, but also be seen as standing out from the crowd.

Which brings me to a HUGE misconception about Ayurveda I’ve been wanting to address for some time: the doshas. More specifically, the idea that each of us is just one. Hint: we aren’t!

I’ve lost count of the number of times a client has come to me for a consultation, and begins the session by telling me what dosha they are. This is usually based on a quiz they took, a book they read, or maybe what some random person told them eight years ago at a meditation retreat in Maui.

Not that I’m here to patronize and act as some elevated expert guru. I was taught, in depth, a great deal about the sacred science of Ayurveda, and simply act as a conduit for that info. I have deep respect for this ancient philosophy and its lineage, and am into learning just as much as I am into sharing. This is why I want to clear up some myths surrounding not only doshas but the practice of Ayurveda itself.

So, why label the doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the first place? To begin, Ayurveda, the science of life, or living in harmony with the rhythms of nature as I like to think of it, has its origins in India dating back at least 5,000 years.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy everything on earth is made up of five qualities: ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. These qualities are then separated into three categories: Vata (ether + air), Pitta (water + fire) and Kapha (earth + water). These are the doshas.

So as you can see, these elements are all everywhere – in you, in me, in our pets, our plants etc. There is no perfect translation from Sanskrit to English, but know that the word “dosha” refers to that which vitiates. Meaning, the doshas are always moving, shifting and getting out of balance within each of us, often wreaking havoc within the body as they do.

So when you take Deepak’s quiz online and declare yourself a “Vata”, what you are labelling is your true essence. It means that those qualities of Vata (ether and air) are dominant in you – but by no means are they the only qualities in you.

Borrowing from the Aries Pitta pop art weirdo Lady Gaga, it is Ayurveda’s way of saying you were born this way. And your dominant dosha will also be what lies beneath any diseases/maladies you are experiencing.

But actually, two doshas usually proliferate in people – your body type is one dosha while your personality is another. Once you know what these two are, you can use that knowledge to eat for your body type, address any dis-ease you are experiencing and, hopefully, feel empowered to maintain a balance in mind, body and spirit.

During my time studying Ayurveda I began to understand the intricacies of the doshas, and on a personal level this has helped me to better understand how I am behaving (i.e. several days of boiling rage means I need to cool that fiery Pitta) and to also work with and meet others where they’re at.

Here’s my take on the doshas and how they might all manifest in you:

:: Vata (ether + air) ::
Physically, these people are usually very short or very tall. Basically think super model, Lurch from the Addams Family or Tinkerbell. They have trouble putting on weight and often don’t achieve bulky muscle mass. These are the people who eat and eat and eat and never put on weight.

The downside? Well there’s a reason one of my favorite teachers refers to them as “crunchy, munchy, itty, bitty, teeny, tiny Vata.” They tend toward brittle hair and nails, dry skin, cracking joints and brittle bones. Of all the doshas, they are the most susceptible to disease and illness and don’t have strong immunity.

What is awesome about vata people is that they tend to be really optimistic and positive. They are creative and playful and like to think outside of the box. Vata is that person who shows up at a community meeting with a TON of ideas and enthusiasm and gets everyone motivated and hyped up…and then never shows up again or quits after three days.

:: Pitta (water + fire) ::
Whoa there Pitta people. CTFO. Seriously. Pittas – my personal favs but don’t tell – have more muscular bodies or can build muscle quickly. Their weight fluctuates and they are sometimes more susceptible to thinning hair or balding and skin issues such as acne. Gingers are usually considered Pitta, with their red hair, fair skin, freckles and alleged quick tempers.

Pittas are usually courageous, determined, goal-oriented, follow through on projects and can tend toward being bossy, controlling and critical of others. I like to think of Pitta’s tendency towards being judgy and critical as misunderstood passion. Pittas get turnt up when people are being lazy and don’t care. My best advice if you want to avoid that feisty Pitta in your life (being one myself), is to show up and be ready to give 100% – or leave and quit wasting folks’ time.

Pittas like to accomplish goals and get ahead and don’t like to do things half-assed. I advise all Pitta people prone to anger/rage to stay the hell away from hot yoga and try some twists and grounding yoga poses in a cool place instead. Also, drink lots of coconut water and aloe juice. Seva, or selfless service, is also a great way to constructively channel that Pitta fire.

:: Kapha (earth + water) ::
Big, beautiful, abundant Kapha. The dosha with the strongest immunity. It is said that Kapha is only susceptible to 40 or so diseases while Vata is vulnerable to 80+. Kaphas are a sturdy bunch. They tend to put on weight easily and have trouble loosing it (if they so desire). Their joints and ligaments are strong and limber. Their hair is think and wavy and their skin has just the right amount of oil and suppleness.

Chronic sinus, congestion and lung issues pop up when Kapha is out of balance. I don’t want to say that kaphas are pushover doormats prone to hoarding but…let’s just say that these people just aren’t frantic, anxious or bossy. Don’t expect them to purge possessions or relationships easily either. I actually make it a point to cultivate relationships with Kapha people. When you are as fiery, feisty and flaky as me, you need some of that calm, earthy vibe around you. My boo and many of my friends are Kaphas and it’s a good balance for me.

They take their time when making big changes. They are never in a rush and don’t really like to get angry or upset folks. What I love about Kaphas and try to access within my Vata-Pitta self is their sense of groundedness, kindness and empathy. They aren’t quick to react and aren’t easily angered. When Kapha is too abundant in the body, people can become depressed, lethargic, clingy and possessive. Vigorous yoga and pranayama as well as spicy food are great for busting up too much Kapha.

So there you have it – Vata, Pitta and Kapha all working together harmoniously (hopefully) within every body.

VENUS RISING: A CELEBRATION OF MY GODDESS TRIBE

Who’s in your Goddess Tribe? Get inspired to get creative with the women in your life with this beautiful photo series by designer Victoria Keen. High-vibrational clothing throughout by Victoria Keen

Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen

“I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go” – Anais Nin

Can you sum up your vision of Goddess energy in 5 words?
Divine
Imagination
Archetype
Yin
Community

And what does Tribe mean to you?
Tribe is that invisible thread that connects you to your people, that primal desire to be in community, to be seen, understood and held in all of your strangeness. As someone who has always been so damn DIFFERENT, finding my tribe has been everything.

My yoga teacher of over a decade, Ana Forrest, brought me into her tribe, her fold of globally fierce soul family, and I’ve since connected with this very special tribe all over the world, from NYC to Hong Kong and everywhere in between.

Rebecca Jo Phillips shot by Victoria Keen in Tulum
Rebecca Jo Phillips shot by Victoria Keen in Tulum

What made you want to celebrate these concepts with the Goddess Tribe series?
Over the New Year as I was meditating on all the things that you do at that time, and my intuition made it very clear that this year’s focus was to be on my Tribe, deepening my existing friendships and making space for new ones. I realized I had been squeezing my friendships into the leftover nooks and crannies of life. Without a conscious effort it’s so easy to do this.

I also needed a creative outlet from my creative outlet (!) – anyone who knows me knows that I have a forever artistically restless soul. I started putting together a mood board and got really inspired to bring it to life. In the spirit of Play and Magic, I began gathering my Goddess Tribe together.

The series has taken on a life of its own, and has given me another lens to view my friends, and another reason to seek beautiful places for new adventures. What a cool way to spend some time with friends I love!

Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen in NYC
Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen in NYC

When and how do you feel most connected to your Goddess Tribe?
At my Urban Wellness lectures, which is why I have this dream to make these gatherings into full retreats. My time in Tulum recently was magical and made this vision seem entirely possible – there’s such a big Tulum/NYC connection! I plan to get a house next year and set up a base and have all my friends come visit me.

Victoria’s top tips for a High Vibe shoot with your Goddess Tribe:

Get inspired. Put together a thoughtful mood board, a collection of inspiring images so everyone working on the shoot is on the same page. Plus it’s a ton of fun

Create an atmosphere. Blast really good music. Burn Palo Santo, copal or sage, anything aromatic and sumptuous, and feast on delicious organic food

The more the merrier. Photo shoots require lots of work, so the more hands on hand to help bring a vision to life the better

Play! It’s about the experience of coming together to create something, less about the result. Magic happens when we women bring our intention and attention together, a vortex is created and a portal to pure imagination is opened

Be open. Really look to see the beauty inherent in your Tribe and in your surroundings. Make things just to make them, take photos just to take them. Be ridiculous. Be Marvelous

Check out the full series and shop Victoria Keen’s collection at V-Keen.com. You can also follow the Goddess Tribe on Victoria’s Instagram account

Kaylee Boyer shot by Sam Li in NYC
Keylee Boyer shot by Sam Li in NYC

ROUND THE MAYPOLE: WHY BELTANE IS THE SEASON TO BE SEXY

Does the Beltane maypole really represent the phallus? Elyssa Jakim uncovers the Pagan roots of pole dancing, and has some sexy tips for spring… Image: Ania Powalowska

The wheel of the year is turning toward Beltane. Traditionally celebrated on the first of May, this wiccan/pagan holiday conjures up the famous image of the maypole. I wasn’t told until recently that the circling maypole is an inherently phallic symbol—decorating and dancing around, well, a large penis. So much the better! Beltane is about fertility, sexuality, and abundance. This time of year, we are beginning to really dust off our bodies from the stiffness of winter, to come home to our sensuality. We’re moving from April showers to May flowers. It is all about blossoming. As such, it is the perfect time to celebrate sexuality fertility.

I’ve been getting this hint in strange ways in my inbox all week. Emails about “my orgasm type?”, an offer for a month of erotic tips, a request from a friend to be interviewed about love, a video about how to be a conscious and loving parent. It’s seems like we’re all tuning into this energy (subtly and not so subtly) so why not embrace it?

And so, because it’s fun, I’ve gathered a few tips to help you love up your sexual self and celebrate Beltane! I’ll also be offering a by-donation Beltane ritual at Species by the Thousands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on May 5, if you want to keep the juiciness flowing through the coming Full Moon period.

:: SPRING SEXY TIME TIPS ::

Light some genital candles. Seriously. Penis and pussy candles, sold at Enchantments among other places, are extremely powerful. They come in red, white, and black—my preference being the white ones, for healing and purification. You can light each candle with the intention of stepping into your sexual power, fully embodying the divine feminine and masculine, celebrating the goddess and the god, and clearing old sexual hurts.

I recently lit a penis candle as a way to “say goodbye to the old dicks” in my life, and heal past sexual relationships, wishing all old lovers light. I then lit the pussy candle with the intention of fully honoring and loving her, of stepping into my sexual power and sensuality. Of course, which candle you light and how you light it will depend on your sexual preferences and history and your intuition. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

Love up your whole body. Get some shea butter, coconut oil, or any nice body moisturizer that you enjoy, and use it to anoint every inch of your body. Go slowly, celebrating each part of you, telling yourself how beautiful you are, noticing small details and marks, and breathing through the experience. This process may not be easy, as we all have so many stored, often hidden, feelings about our bodies – which in turn store feelings that may be released through this practice. My advice is to go slowly and gently, play soft music and offer yourself as much compassion as you can. And don’t worry, it’s largely lovely and enjoyable!

Do something romantic for yourself. Buy yourself flowers. Take a bath with essential oils, rose petals, crystals, and candles. Take yourself out on a date and get dressed up for yourself. Then take yourself home and make love to yourself. And if you have a partner, do all of this for them too!

Play a secret, sexy game. Whenever you see someone you’re sexually attracted to, check in with your genitals and see how they feel. Intentionally connecting our visual cues of attraction from our eyes to our sex center is so healing and opening for us. This one is great for the subway. Oh, and throw in some kegels too, why don’t you?

Go out dancing. The Earth gods and goddesses (not to mention the fairies) just love dancing. So go dance for them! Dance for your body, and dance!

Happy Beltane all. I hope that by loving up your body and sexual essence your inner fire can melt away those last vestiges of winter, making you be ready for a spring that’s full of play.

Have you been feeling the Beltane awakening? Share your spring rituals with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Elyssa’s Beltane workshop takes place at Species By The Thousands on May 5. For more information visit Elyssajakimwellness.com

TAROTSCOPES: MAY 2015

Cast by Louise Androlia using the Wild Unknown Tarot Deck.

Taurus / Taurus Rising – Eight of Swords

Perhaps you’ve noticed…after new beginnings or points of change, the fears come rushing in. The doorbell goes and there’s anxiety number one fear – and what’s more, he’s brought all his friends with him! The good news is that this is NORMAL. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to devalue your feelings? Tell yourself you ‘should’ feel fine, or that other people have things worse? To the other extreme, maybe when you don’t feel good you reach straight for the punishment card and tell yourself you’re not good enough or that you’re broken.

The month of May is here to let you know that whatever is coming up for you right now, it’s supposed to be there. You may feel like you’re moving backwards because an old habit has reared its head. NOPE, still moving forwards. However, whatever has come up has its place in your journey and needs to be valued. This is your time to be empowered, to get to know those fears and to work with them. You realize that when your fears are familiar then they can no longer be scary right? So go on, open that door and get to work.

So what’s the higher purpose of all this? It represents a clear-out for you. You’ve committed to change, you’ve taken a leap of faith, and now the decks need to be cleared because you NEED the space. Don’t be afraid to breathe and let go. As in surrender, and give up to the flow of things; you don’t need to strangle the space around you. Your spring clean is for the purpose of transformation and no process of metamorphosis has ever felt comfortable. It takes effort and courage to crack through that eggshell, or to step out of the cocoon.

Moments of stillness are also part of the process, so if you feel stuck, disconnected, or off beat – embrace it. It’s easy to only associate action with forward motion, but this period of stop, start, anxiety, overwhelm, nonsense, sense – it’s all part of the big picture, fueled by a higher love. Your only job is to accept this, and not to devalue what is coming up and out. You are never the victim, you are the super star in this scenario. Find yourself a symbol of transformation, be it a butterfly or a phoenix. Hold tight and breathe strong. All is coming up golden.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Gemini / Gemini Rising – Eight of Pentacles

Are you feeling bored? Uninspired? Got itchy feet, and want to know what’s next? I feel that you’ve stepped into a space where you’re ready for some new skills and new knowledge, and that this has inspired a renewed faith in your journey. It’s a great space to be, and it’s intricately laid with opportunities. Your best path ahead is to just allow yourself to feel clear about what YOU need. Need, not want – when you focus on what you need, you clear a path directly to your intuitive self, a soul connection. It’s quicker, easier and more comfortable. So, what do you need right now?

Don’t judge the answer when it appears – it’s often more simple than we expect. Sometimes what you need is just to lie on the floor, to have a cup of tea, to scream at the top of your lungs, to stretch out, or to look up. The deeper need is created from what you are being called to learn and explore right now – and the month of May is all about learning. For some of you this will appear in the most obvious sense, actual education. So what classes do you fancy signing up for? What skills would benefit you right now? It’s a good time for soaking up information, be it a lecture, book, or even a practice that helps you just tune in to your inner soul system.

On a deeper level this month is about recommitting to your journey and trusting the web that you are weaving. Time is never wasted, but if it were it would be any time spent worrying about what others think of you, or devaluing your time. Your life is about the exploration of you, and upping your own self-awareness so you can be of a greater good. Your month will likely highlight what parts of your past you need to forgive and to accept as a meaningful piece of this puzzle. Remember that forgiveness is an act of freedom for you, it’s actually all about self love.

Finally – under the theme of education comes teaching. Life is about cycles, so it’s also time for you to consider what you want to give back, what you feel enthused to share, on a personal and professional level. Some knowledge you’ve gained recently is going be helpful to someone you know; this is another reminder to you that everything is aligned exactly as it should be – so speak up.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Cancer / Cancer Rising – The Lovers

The first key theme for your month is a return to self-love and grace, a return to a level of high personal trust. Why? Because you’ll need this when faced with some important decision-making. I want you to know that you’re always capable of making a choice that will be right for you. You don’t need anyone else to tell you what you ‘should’ do. You’ve got this – well, your inner soul system has, you just may not have caught up with it yet.

I want you to work with the word FREEDOM this month, and what makes you soar. What parts of your life feel like they’re flying up, up, up, and where do you feel deflated? There needs to be enough of the soaring to keep you balanced when faced with any anxiety, so keep reconnecting to your spirit (what lights you up) as often and as much as possible. This isn’t a frivolous activity, it’s an essential part of essential feeling good and empowered in the face of your challenges.

On the subject of new connections, whether in love or business this is a month where you may find that you are attracted to far and distant lands, travel and adventure. It’s not as simple as ‘you’ll meet someone on a beautiful white beach’ – we’re talking a much more interesting level of self-discovery. The travel theme (whilst this may relate to actual physical travel for some of you) is that you’re being called to uncover what and whom you need to fly beside you as you continue your great adventure. Just check to be sure you aren’t hauling someone on your back who should have been left behind a while ago. Spend time with those who lift you up and encourage you to feel more alive, more empowered and full of inspired strength. This is the best flight path and the one that will support you.

With these ideas in mind, know that as you leave behind the paths that just don’t feel right behind, you’re migrating to fresh and open spaces. Choose to view the space ahead of you as holding something that you need – it may just be that you don’t what it is yet. As you leap into the unknown, either your wings will form or you will be caught; trust that this is real, no matter what your fears are chiming in with.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Leo / Leo Rising – Strength

A common theme in your life that only you will know is coming back into play this month, and you may well recognize it from this time last year. It feels to me that it’s common for you to experience your biggest shifts at this point in the year, just before the season changes and you head towards your solar return. It’s ad if you can feel warrior and the fighter building up within you, and so it’s time to check in with where you’re channeling your fire energy and the efforts of your highest self.

I feel that many of you are going to be called to step up your game as a teacher and a healer this month – it’s time to really be of service, babe. Remember that you can be of service in all walks of life; this doesn’t literally mean you have to become a coach or an energy worker. Being of service is about how you choose to view the world around you and your position in it. Are you angry? Are you feeling like a victim? Are you feeling restricted, or expansive of mindset?

I feel that in order for you to settle into the path that you’ve chosen, or want to choose for yourself, there needs to be an underlying theme of self-healing. In what ways have you been hard on yourself recently? Can you perform a self-forgiveness ceremony? YES you can. First, locate where you have been restricting yourself or your abilities, and write this down on a piece of white paper. Sit with the paper and take one deep breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth. As you exhale, say; “I forgive myself for the pressure and restrictions I have placed upon myself. I know that within forgiveness lies freedom. I am ready to feel free.” Take another deep breath, scrunch up that paper and either burn it (SAFELY!) or throw it in the nearest trashcan.

Now, smile. If you need to perform this exercise every day then go ahead, this is a safe surrender exercise and will help to release anxiety and criticism. And what are you going to do with this newfound sense of self, this big, wide expansive space inside? Start filling it with all the good stuff, the work you’re impassioned about, the activities you adore, and the people you can’t bear to be without. Oh and be sure to always leave a little room just for you.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Virgo / Virgo Rising – Three of Swords

I feel that emotions are going to be running high throughout May my earthy friends, so it will be important to remember that feelings are normal, and good! Feeling feelings is even greater, and whatever is swimming around you right now needs to be felt. It seems as though there is something, however great or small, that you’ve been putting off addressing. It might be a really old fear that’s hanging about like a lost dog, or something brand new and so overwhelming that you just don’t even want to say hello to it. For many of you though, I feel it will be a bunch of little niggling doubts that are really only present because you’re moving forwards at full force. As we march on, we need to be constantly letting go and spring-cleaning. It’s normal and it feels good if we let it.

Your fears of disappointment or loss are wayyy less intense than the highs you will experience when you give in to what feels good. It’s the little things that are going to help, the safety nets you know you have in place, and the sense of trust that you’ve always had things in the bag. No, but seriously, you really know how to own your own story! Right now is no different.

I also want to ask whether you’re also allowing yourself to really feel all the GOOD THINGS happening in your world right now! Hell yeah the good stuff, the cascades of high fives and ‘ah-ha’ moments. Of course, there’s also the worry about whether things will still be okay and people will still like you if you evolve and change. YES is the simple answer. It’s easy to fear really embracing everything that’s going right, because you know, ‘what if’ it gets taken away again! It’s a common concern, but it has no root in reality – thinking positively or embracing the good doesn’t up the chances of experiencing a down.

In fact, I’m pretty convinced from my own experiences that when you get all starry eyed and proud of your greatness you stretch out the space around you to hold more and feel even better. It’s at least worth a try, right? So your job is to bathe in your own glory AND feel all your anxieties and overwhelm. Oh and surrender, surrender forever. Make like me, and wake up and shout ‘I SURRENDER’ in your bed. It may not look cool (or does it?) but it sure feels good to start the day by tuning in to your most expansive self.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Libra / Libra Rising – Ten of Swords

As May begins I feel you are SO ready to release some pressure, and for that brain fog to clear a bit. I sense you’ve been head-in-the-sand for a little while, at least in one area of your life. Overwhelm can be a frequent occurrence for you when you’re trying to find your balance, and you know the up-up and the down-down quite well. It’s time for the cycle to shift into a brighter space, and that’s what this month’s energy is bringing you, a glimpse of clarity. Whatever you feel defeated by, know that this is the point where everything changes. Well, where everything can change.

So what can you do to feel less stressed out and more clear? First up, the classic – up your self-care practices. I’ve realized when we feel the most stuck or annoyed we get so locked in our fears that we start to believe there’s no such things as a simple solution. This is also why we’re so quick to mistrust our intuition, because surely it can’t be that simple? Can it? Yeah, well, it can, and this is why looking after yourself and valuing your time and abilities is the first point of call – whatever you are feeling (yes even if it’s AWESOME). So, renew your morning practice. Meditation is for everyone, including you; and it’s really just about valuing your time. So how can you do that? Can you start each day with even five minutes of sitting by yourself, before you jump on your phone?

Meanwhile, lets talk about how GREAT clarity is. It’s not something you can necessarily search for, or hope to achieve as a result of somebody else’s actions. Clarity is attained when you simply say ‘yes’ to trusting your feelings – which in turn means honoring your journey and slamming yourself into the present moment. Clarity is received when you commit to getting aligned with yourself, so yeah the whole self care thing brings actual results via an increases in your sense of personal power and self-confidence.

You see, although you may be waiting on external things, it doesn’t mean you can’t be confident about the way things feel on the inside, and in doing so renew your trust in your path. Oh and P.S. This is also a month for a serious truth exercise. In what ways aren’t you being authentic, and how can you change that up? It isn’t called a leap of faith for nothing.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Scorpio / Scorpio – Son of Wands

This month echoes a lot of what April was about for you because things still feel very action based. However, whereas April was trying to push you into where you wanted to place your will, May is about you giving yourself permission to really dive in and kick off the experience yourself. This is a fire-driven, passion-fuelled month and likely to be pretty jam-packed – and while you may feel overwhelmed at times but it’s all going to be good. I feel lit up just writing this, so I know you’re being called to a more self-confident place. Also that the veils of spirit connection are going to be finer for you this month, so expect a greater tune in with your highest self. YEAH!

In order for things to really feel good, I want you to access the parts of your own fire element you feel uncomfortable with. You may be struggling with anger and irritability, scared of failure if you follow your dreams, or terrified of moving forward within dating or a relationship. Fire is balanced with water so you’ll find that compassion is usually helpful in almost all fire-related overwhelm – even if it’s not what we always reach for naturally.

But being compassionate to your anxieties you discover how you can self-soothe. For anger and irritation, acknowledge the anger sensation in the body, so it can be forgiven and then expressed in a creative or energetic way (hello running, sex, artwork). As for following those dreams – all I can say is DIVE IN, you won’t be disappointed. As a Scorpio you are designed to be successful at change! And for those dating dilemmas, measure up how annoyed you’ll be if you stay in your comfort zone versus the really great things that might lie ahead once you remember how amazing you are.

Reach for inspiration from those who seem to embody energy that you seek. Tell them how great they are, and as you lift them up, remember that they are your mirror and that you are shining equally bright. In fact, this is your natural state. Growing pains are normal but diamonds need to be polished. Rise up and show up for all of your anxieties, but don’t forget to show up for the good stuff too. It’s time to own everything you’ve been working on over the past six months and choose to move with confidence.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Sagittarius / Sagittarius Rising – Three of Wands

In true Sag style, your eyes are truly off in the distance right now, with daydreams and future visions on your mind big time. And why not? You have to dream BIG right? Yes, and this month you are fully supported in looking ahead with a great expansive vision. So where are the limits? They can only be created if you put restrictions on the possible outcomes of what you want. The power of manifesting lies in surveying the scene, getting clear on what you want and need, and then setting about taking action in the present moment. The rest is without roots for now, and you’ll feel most empowered in acknowledging those future wants yet embracing all that is NOW. It feels fun, I’m excited for all the magic making you’re doing now and beyond!

I feel that with this sense of expansion in the air there are going to be a number of opportunities to get you out of your comfort zone. For some of you this may come in the form of ideas and contracts being offered to you that are somewhat different to what you’re used to. The great thing is that it’s all up to you. Think about what you will enjoy most, and what will you learn from? What will help you to grow the most in your desired direction?

For those of you who feel stuck, know that it’s only because you are blinkered in someway. This blinkering may be coming from within – do you have a case of the tunnel visions? Or does the block seem to be in the form of a situation or another person? Do you feel stuck because you’re waiting for somebody else to make their move? Recognize that the stuck feelings are actually a valuable part of the process. Just because things aren’t full speed ahead, it doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. Ponder on that for a while and trust it.

Meanwhile I hope that nearer the end of the month you’ll start getting a few more answers, but you must keep asking questions too. Don’t mess around wondering ‘what if’ – start acting and educating yourself today. Knowledge is power and self-knowledge is personal power. Oh and I don’t want to forget to add that this month is pretty great for having fun, especially for those of you with more of a controlling edge. I hate to say loosen up a little…BUT how about just shaking it all out a little more? Laughter is one of our human superpowers.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Capricorn / Capricorn Rising – The Hierophant

Oh my great Capricorn! I love seeing this energy for you this month, because it’s one that you often resist the most – but it’s exactly what you need right now. It’s a month to ask for help.Yes, help – guidance, therapy, love, support, care; whatever you want to call it, it’s time to seek what you need. This is also about external help, as it feels like the pressure might need to be lifted off your friends and family. You will benefit from a third party to call a safe place. Now, this isn’t because those around you can’t or don’t want to help, it’s just that you’ll need them on the flip side really to laugh and feel the joy with too. When you can get some external support, then you get a sense of freedom and fun returning to your closest relationships.

There are different levels to this ask for support. Some of you may end up screeching it from the rooftops and others of you dropping hints all over, hoping someone might notice. To empower your own voice, sit and ask yourself what you NEED right now. Do you need a good listening to, or some bodywork, or nutritional nourishment? Maybe you need some help tuning back into your creative spirit or coaching for your business or work situation. Remember also that guidance can come in many forms, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Read, write, walk, and open up.

What I’m feeling is that someone outside your usual circle may offer you the sweetest gem of wisdom, maybe even totally unexpectedly, so you just need to slot yourself into a place of receiving – which I know isn’t always easy for you.

In the meantime, on the flipside there are plenty of you who are in the role of the helper, and perhaps have been overextending yourself, putting everyone else’s needs first. This only leads to feelings of lack, so fill yourself up as much as possible before returning to your work. If you’re happy and feeling energized though, perhaps you’re one of the ones being called to step up and share more. Are you ready to be of service and be the catalyst for change? If you feel that call, then know people are waiting for you and they need you and your work, whatever it is. Time to take that step.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Aquarius / Aquarius Rising – Son of Pentacles

May brings through a steady grounding energy that you’re really in need of right now. Did April bring in the rattles of change? I want you to start the month by committing to a pressure-free mindset. It’s so easy to pile on the goals and restrictions, in some kind of ‘I must move forward’ panic. But actually just stopping and centering yourself is essential in a time of change – whether it’s exciting or challenging.

Yes, there are a million and one things you ‘could’ and ‘should’ be doing, but nothing will feel smooth unless you ground the process. Step one is the acknowledgement of what has been happening over the last few weeks. For some of you it might be really processing big moves and for others it’s just taking a compassionate check in with your feelings and acknowledging where you’re at in terms of a balanced mind, body, spirit connection.

The next thing is to get yourself back into a positive manifesting mind set with the understanding that time is stretchy. If you feel ‘put upon’ it’s because you’ve forgotten to value your own time. Again, even with all the stuff you need and want to do, taking time for yourself is the golden ticket, you’ll get more done I swear. Just try it even if you aren’t really convinced. You can also use the mantra ‘I have all the time that I need’ when you feel overwhelmed by any to-do lists.

What I feel coming through for you strongly as well this month is a sense of confidence and trust in your own choices. This is a nod and a wink to say, it’s okay, you’re safe to keep moving on based upon the choices you’ve made for yourself. Did you shift things up for a greater quality of life? Did you decide to commit more to your own sense of self worth? YES, so there are no bad choices you see! Trust in this steady process and if your fears try and whisk you away, know it’s okay to ground down again. Slowly and steadily choose to not let your fears take the lead, you are on a new path and it’s forming solid ground. In fact, you may just start to feel like you’re growing some roots for the first time in forever.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Pisces / Pisces Rising – The Six of Swords

Things are continuing to uplift and simplify for you Pisces, and no that doesn’t mean that things are super relaxed and stress free. BUT you certainly aren’t down in the deep waters you’ve experienced before. You are more empowered than you have been in recent years, and perhaps consider the fact that having all these things to attend to and all these feelings to feel might just be a sign that you are fully experiencing your life!

May is a month for really recognizing what it is you need to feel good, and then standing within your inner strength and owning it. You have things ahead that you will have to show up for, events that will require your full present moment attention, and aren’t you excited to just be there? So this energy is also about gratitude and self-assurance. I want you to stop and be proud of yourself and how you’ve navigated certain things, which maybe you didn’t know you could. Just because life doesn’t seem ‘perfect’, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t exactly where you’re supposed to be and can’t see great things ahead.

There is also a strong sense of mind, body, spirit recalibration as you move forward towards a more positive place for you. The strength you receive will come as you realize that you just aren’t that interested in drama and complications anymore. You might also have to come face-to-face with what situations YOU pull the drama card in – but this can only be great self-development for you. Alongside this though you can realize that the pull towards a more loving, creative, and simple life is stronger than the choice of stress. Now then, you really are getting somewhere.

With this new way of thinking in place it’s time to check in your baggage and check in with your baggage to venture into the great space ahead of you. I’ll use the word ‘simplify’ again, especially with your internal dialogue. Do you have room in your case for those old fears? I didn’t think so. I feel you will notice your energy shift this month every time you have one of those unexpected deep sighs, a breath that really pulls you into the present moment and makes you feel alive and awake. This is a full-functioning way of living, and doesn’t it feel good? Work with the moment and let it pull you over the rainbow.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse

 

Aries / Aries Rising – Ace of Wands

The energy from this card was literally designed for you! Which leads me to feel that May is going to be a month where you really have access to your best and highest self; so, are you interested? I also imagine in true fire-starting style you may be feeling a little itchy of feet and perhaps even a tad frustrated as you burst with more and more ideas. It’s important for you to be able to ground each of your big wild dreams so that they are actually applicable – and I feel you can do this over the coming weeks.

Think of your ideas and creativity as the strike of the match, and how something needs to actually be lit to keep that flame burning. You need to actively direct the energy onto something that can keep it alive – this is the action. Now, many of you may have someone to help you here, which is where a co-worker, partner, or PR person comes in handy. Someone that’s able to grab those sparks and start forming the magic. If it’s just you, then just allow yourself to experiment with the ways in which you are least likely to procrastinate. We all know our own tricks, so where right now are you holding yourself back?

Can you pin-point your one most prominent fear? I feel that some of you may be wavering on the edge of launching a new endeavor or committing to your work because you can actually feel how good it’s going to be. So fear of success sweeps in, which is masquerading as fear of failure – but of course both are really just that old fear of the unknown! You’ve got this, just trust that you’re the expert of your own life. It’s kind of wild when you really embody that as a choice. Of course, you have to stop and listen to what you need, and always check in again and again. But it’s still you, and you do you better than anyone.

Finally, this is definitely a month for igniting or reigniting the spark with your lover or a jumping into bed with a new one. This is pure passion so you’re encouraged to leave your inhabitations at home and feel that fuel; with the right person of course. Don’t waste this awesome energy on anyone less than someone you feel a fully swoon-inducing magnetic pull towards.

Have you downloaded your full 2015 Tarotscope? Questions? Come and chat with me about how your month is going @louniverse