SARAH DURHAM WILSON: CONVERSATIONS WITH MY COVEN

With The Coven Conversations, Sarah Durham Wilson wants to help women heal themselves – so they can heal the world. She shares her vision for a women’s circle with serious purpose…

“Most women I know are Priestesses and healers…We are, all of us, sisters of a mysterious order.” – Marianne Williamson

Do It Girl founder and former music journalist Sarah Durham Wilson has chosen this killer quote to preface the intention of The Coven Conversations, a series of 13 live interviews with the women she calls “Coven.”

On a mission to help women heal themselves, so they in turn can help to heal the world, Sarah has hand-selected a tribe of 24 miracle-making modern mystics to take part in the series, which will take place Tuesday nights – launching 7/7.

“Sharing our stories as women is what helps us heal, and I wanted to spotlight the sisters who have held and inspired me on my path, and who have also undergone transformation – change of form – to become their true selves,” she says.

As for the title; “the word Coven means Gathering of Witches, while “witch” simply means healer, or wise woman. In fact, Covens were once banned because the power of women circling together with common intentions proved too powerful.”

Which we think you’ll agree, pretty much sets the scene for some serious bad-assery…

Available to subscribers via Sarah’s site, you can sign up and find out more about the series and the speakers at www.doitgirl.com – while below, Sarah shares how to stage a Coven conversation of your own…

What’s the ideal moon phase for a powow with your Coven?
I tend to believe Full Moons are the best times to convene in coven. They’re a time of deep celebration, honoring, illumination, and fullness. Conversely, I’ve found New Moon Ceremonies call in our shadow to be seen, which is super important of course, just not for the novice priestess. But then I’ve always learned the hard way…

How do you prep the space?
Well the Coven Conversations are virtual, but if we were in physical coven, we’d prepare the space like we would for a moon circle – which it is, women gathering with healing intention, holding space for the self, the other, and the Goddess. For me, ritual is all about intention. You can prep everything “perfectly” and by the book, but if your intention isn’t there, it won’t be imparted to your Self/the Divine. So you could actually do nothing “physical”, but set the intention of sacred space and healing, and you’d be doing it perfectly.

Still, saging yourself and the area where you’re enacting ritual is always good to clear the energy. Lighting candles, because Spirit loves light, is a beautiful invitation, while calling in the elements (North/Earth, East/Air, South/Fire, West/Water, Spirit/Self), and even casting a circle, all aid in creating space for the ritual.

We would begin by breathing, to bring us into our body, before saying an incantation to the Goddess/God, or Spirit, to bring us into our divinity and to bring Her into the space. When you’re holding a party for the most elegant guest in the Cosmos, it’s about setting a place at the table for the Goddess and simply inviting her in.

What’s on the menu?
I’ve learned not to imbibe in “spirits” before a spiritual ritual! But afterward, women like to pass wine or sparkling juice, and bless chocolate and break it together. Eating the chocolate is like taking in that blessing into the body. The Goddess also loves a celebration. Joy is her perfume and she douses herself in it generously. As the Hopi Prophecy says, “the time of the lone wolf is over, gather yourselves.” And I believe this means all rituals now should be enacted in a manner of celebration.

Any herbal enhancements?
Incense. I like Cedar these days, because it smells like my family’s cabin on Martha’s Vineyard, and currently based in Taos, New Mexico, I feel so far away.

Are men ever allowed?
While every woman and man needs to heal their feminine energy and bring it forth on the planet, presently, I am focussed on working with women. We’re healing the body of the feminine to heal the body of the earth – and when sharing stories of the feminine in sacred circles, women, at this point, tend to feel safer with a female-only audience. But stay tuned!

The most pressing topic of conversation for you and your coven today?
Mary Magdalene teaches: “My story is your story,” and that’s sort of the premise for the Coven Conversations. That beneath the character names and places and timing of events, we share similar stories of shame, exilement, self abandonment, fear, healing, and love. The purpose of sharing your story is that it not only heals you, but those who hear it. This communion, of coming into union with your sisters and recognizing yourself in their stories, brings us into wholeness, and oneness, moves us from isolation into community, and from a feeling of being alone to the understanding that we are all one.

Who’s in your Coven, and what does the word mean to you? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your stories of sisterhood

SISTERS OF THE BLACK MOON: HOW TO BE A SUMMER GOTH

Gabriela Herstik meets Goth queens Sisters Of The Black Moon, and delivers some style tips for dressing the part in the summer heat…

Sisters of the Black Moon first opened their “matte black gates” in February of 2010, when a road trip turned into an epiphany. Founders Sara Larocca-Ramm, Alecia Marcum, and Rachel Hunt found the path they were on was no longer serving them, they decided to shift course – and so the numinous universe of SOTBM was born.

With a careful edit of designers, all with an occult and metaphysical aesthetic, SOTBM has cultivated a community of like-minded people while creating an ethical shopping experience. Think everything from exaggerated black capes to quartz and moonstone jewelry and constellation candles.

But perhaps most notable is SOTBM’s own unisex label – the current theme of which is EMBERS, with the emphasis on more structural pieces than previous collections.

We love the Moon-white crop tops and floor length skirts with harness details, and the stark black cloak dresses and in sheer, airy tunics. For all the dramatic undertones, there’s a sense of ease and versatility to the collection, which is designed to take the wearer from day-to-day tasks to gatherings and rituals held under the full moon.

More than anything else, the goal of Larocca-Ramm, Marcum and Hunt is for the souls who cloak themselves in SOTBM to feel confident, comfortable and empowered – a nurturing energy that’s amplified when you learn all three women are mothers. Check out our edit of their online store below, as well as 5 styling tips for summer Goths!

:: Play with proportions ::
When it’s sweltering out, the last thing you want is layers of fabric clinging to your skin. Play with proportion instead. Shorts or a skirt with chunky black boots are a sure fire way to look dark and not overheat. A good pair of leather ankle boots or combat boots will look extra edgy, especially when you’re showing a little leg.

:: Go sheer ::
Goth doesn’t mean layering on the heaviest black fabrics you can find. Instead, try layering sheer fabrics over one another – a great look, especially when they’re both in airy black. If you’re feeling extra spunky, a sheer top with a sheer bra is an empowered look.

:: Light leather ::
Whoever said leather isn’t for summer was completely misinformed and needs a talking to! Leather looks sexy when the sun’s out; plus, it’s the ultimate form of fashion rebellion. A leather choker feels especially appropriate with 90’s inspiration in full swing, while a good pair of leather shorts is equally sexy-tough.

:: Makeup mania ::
If you really don’t want to cake on layers of foundation, commit to your summer Goth look with a bit of smudged black eyeliner, a slinky cat eye and some dark oxblood lipstick. If you’re more adventurous try a full-on black lip and some striking brows. Oh, and never tan. Meowww.

:: Always accessorize ::
Keeping your outfits simple and adding dark accessories is the ultimate way to stay Summer Goth. Tie some long black sleeves around your waist, grab a vintage black wide brimmed hat and load up on occult inspired jewelry. Think onyx and quartz, paint your nails black, grab your favorite pair of pointy black boots or heels and you’re off!

SistersOfTheBlackMoon.com

Maude Nieblungen Shroud Dress, $264
Paula Hagerskans Branch necklace, $466
Paula Hagerskans Cone Ring Moonstone, $340
Moonshine essential oil blend by Naked Eye Beauty for SOTBM, $34
Peg & Awl Constellation Candle Block, £23

FULL MOON IN CAPRICORN: A VEDIC READING

In Vedic astrology, the Full Moon in Capricorn ushers in an opportunity to embrace concepts of unity and Universal love, says Eve James

Sitting in contemplation about the astrological theme for Summer 2015, a profound yet simple story from my teacher in India rose from the depths of my memory. In short, it was a story about his Master asking one of his close disciples why he felt the need to shout when angry. This disciple humbly replied that he had become frustrated – but his Master explained that the need to shout proves that anger creates distance and separation.

Even when someone is physically close to you, he explained, if you get angry with them you feel the need to shout loudly in their face – as if they were standing on the other side of the Grand Canyon. Conversely, the Master pointed out, when two people really love each other or feel tenderly towards each other, the need for speech dissolves. They feel internally connected, even if they find themselves physically separated.

Therefore, anger literally creates distance – whereas love engulfs that distance. Love unifies even while experiencing physical distance, while anger separates even in physical closeness.

This summer, we find ourselves riding an oceanic wave of higher consciousness, that is pushing relentlessly forward. Its only agenda is to manifest in a palpable way, exposing the truth of the heart, the truth of unity, and the interconnectedness of the human condition.

The first full Moon of July will be on July 1st at 10:20PM EST (7:20PM PST), and it’s firstly important to say that this Moon will actually be in Sagittarius in Vedic astrology (which calculates planetary positions based on astronomy versus the Western tropical system). More specifically, it is in the Vedic Venus-ruled star sign of Purva Ashadha. Whereas the previous star associated with Venus (Purva Phalguni) demonstrates the beauty and power of deeply romantic, personal love (as expressed in stories like Romeo & Juliet), Purva Ashadha is a sign of great selfless love, and the haunting beauty of sacrifice.

Though the stories of these two star signs intertwine, Purva Ashadha doesn’t sing the song of union for the sake of one or two of us, but for all of us. It is the sign of the cosmic waters, the ocean of collective consciousness and a rising awareness of universal love and connection. This sign should not be mistaken as fluffy, idealistic or lacking grit. It’s a sign that deals with the vulnerability of our human condition, something we all share, and the love that penetrates all things — the glue that unifies us all.

The quality of love expressed through Purva Ashadha manifests as a kind of inner upheaval, showing us what is worth fighting for in life as a family, a culture, a community, a city, a country or planet.

Purva Ashadha is known as an “invincible” star, demonstrating the invincible truth of unity and love, yet it is also a sign that, if compromised, is said to bring separation, war and disharmony. It also demonstrates how sometimes friction or conflict brings us into greater harmony with the truth of life, just as the terrible nature of war shows us the value of peace.

Due to this influence (which began June 28), through July we will continue to be required to use our moral compass, contrasting our core values against ideas, social structures or even laws that are unjust. This ushers in a tidal wave of opportunity for love and tolerance over judgement and anger, as expressed in last week’s landmark Supreme Court ruling to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states.

Due to the heightened energy of this Full Moon, we can also expect some heated situations, and a microscopic focus on areas of our romantic or family life that need renovation. This could lead to times of intensity in romance, a dualistic expression of union and separation.

Travel is another big theme this month, as Purva Ashadha is also said to give blessings in travel and multicultural experiences. This is a perfect time to dissolve the idea of any country or culture as “foreign”, and embrace new ventures overseas in business or leisure. Donating to charity or non-profit organizations, starting a new project that supports bridging the gap between communities, and learning a new language also fits nicely into the agenda.

For those of you who have considered teaching or learning overseas, the experience should be especially fruitful and rewarding during this period.

Sacrificing for the good of the family as a unit is also commonly experienced during Purva Ashadha periods, and you may find yourself away from home with work or the service that you offer, or, conversely, experience what feels like an increase in responsibility and duties in the home.

You may also feel a new creative edge to projects you have been working on, and feel the need to restructure your team to bring fresh people or energy to your project. Some of this new work may require sacrifices that test limits, or bring into focus dynamic potential for expansion.

Philosophical and political discussions, arguments, debates or protests, are other things you may wish to embrace this month at your discretion. Purva Ashadha is definitely a sign that fuels higher thinking and deep political renovations, but it can be a sign of hostility – just as the ocean becomes destructive in a storm. Avoid harsh, opinionated or heated discussions if you wish to be affective, and rely on a grounded sense of unity, tapping into the Universal love consciousness (even with your enemy) if you want to be heard.

How will you work with the theme of Universal love in the weeks to come? Connect with us and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Book a reading with Eve James and learn more about Vedic astrology at EveOfAstrology.com