TAROTSCOPES: JUNE 2016

Cast by Lindsay Mack, using The Starchild Tarot.

GEMINI – Justice, reversed 

Happy birthday, dear Gemini! You will be moving through quite the internal journey in Justice reversed, which is bringing some huge invitations this month. Should you choose to navigate this energy gracefully, it will yield to some truly life changing expansions for you. Justice reversed is asking you to accept your life’s present situations and circumstances exactly as they are—no story, no thinking, no blaming, no judgment. Almost every major aspect of your life will be projected to you through this lens and invitation, Gemini, and there’s a two-fold reason as to why:

The first is that our lives are a lot more peaceful and productive when we’re not fighting or arguing with reality. If something is happening, it is what is supposed to happen. Not because of some pseudo-spiritual idealogy, but because it occurred. It is reality. We cannot argue with reality and still live in peaceful alignment with truth. So you can find a new kind of balance in accepting the present moment, Gemini. This doesn’t mean you have to like it! Simply that you’re no longer fighting what is. Once you drop the fight, there will be so much more energy and clarity available to you.

The second reason is that only when we accept ourselves and our current situation as it is that we are free to change it. This acceptance yields to a grounded empowerment, and a sense of true personal responsibility. This is truly the liberation that Justice reversed offers you this month, Gemini. Drop any beliefs around things being “unfair,” or “not supposed to be this way,” along with any passive aggressive behavior that stems from this place. Drop the stories and so much growth is available.

How might your life be different if you weren’t lost in your stories? How much more energy would you have? What kind of empowered action might you take in your relationship, job, or with your health and family? How much more compassion would you have? How much of your anxiety and discomfort with your present life circumstances are connected to your stories about how things “should” be different than they currently are? Inquire and set yourself free.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

CANCER – King of Wands

TOTAL energetic shift for you this month, Cancer! Wow! King of Wands is fire, stability, power and action—so sink your teeth into these qualities and truly soak up all the energy extending its magic to every aspect of your life. It’s going to be a phenomenal month for you if you can consciously harness the power.

Cancers have been bobbing up and down in the waves for the last few cycles—one moment full of directed action and hopeful purpose, the next spent within your shell, retreating and recovering from all of the movement. The great news is that these waves have been preparing you to spend much more time out of your shell, sharing your gifts and abilities with the world. The waves have been slowly building up some energetic muscles for you, helping you to feel safer fully out in the world.

The King of Wands is the perfect ally for you this month, Cancer. This energy is STRONG. It is stable, clear-headed (even during times of extreme pressure), and confident without being cocky. You will be taking on and embodying this energy in June, and it has the potential to be fantastic for your career, creative pursuits, and love life. The fact is, sweet Cancer, you are amazing at what you do. You are worthy, lovable, sexy, smart, and hold so much power and ability to make a huge impact. Be willing to be seen in this light this month—even if it makes you extremely uncomfortable. Frankly, if it does, it means you’re on the right track! If we’re not uncomfortable, we are usually not growing. Take comfort in that.

Last month’s invitation to weed out all possible areas of energetic drain has made this kind of expansion and “take off” possible for you, Cancer. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and step forward into greatness. Begin to implement different self-care techniques to reground and re-center, then step forward again. Be willing to be seen, be willing to speak your truth, and tell the world about your work. Whatever you are making, whatever you are passionate about, share it and open your heart. You have much to offer people, Cancer, but your tribe has to be able to find you. Let the King of Wands light the way.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

LEO – King of Crystals, reversed 

Continue to be very gentle with yourself this month, Leo. This was your invitation in May as well, and you’re still very much in that energy. June is all about self-care for you. It is a time to completely unplug, recharge, go within and get back to basics: breathing, good food, hydration, reading, outdoor time and meditation. It is crucial that you re-center and get back to the core sense of who you are and what you’re here to do. There has been so much burnout, work and distraction for Leo lately; your nervous systems is really fried, even if you might not feel or want to admit this. June is going to help to cool you off considerably, preparing you for a healthy and overflowing expansion in the fall.

King of Crystals (Pentacles in the traditional tarot) right way up is a leader who knows who he is, what he is here for and where he is going. His tremendous passion is grounded and earthy, fire he knows how to use wisely. The reversal of the card for Leo this month, is a gentle indication that you need to realign yourself with these important King of Pentacles aspects: living in your leadership, knowing who you are, tempering that inner fire, cultivating a sense of connection to Earth, and to regeneration. You must go within to reclaim a place of healthy passion, drive and self awareness.

The medicine for you this month is to remember that this time is both temporary and helpful—shining a light on an old pattern so that you don’t have to deal with it anymore. To get your compass facing true north again, you must surrender to this time. Allow gentle self care to be your guiding star, leading you to greatness.

You ARE being led forward into a new and spectacular time, Leo, whether you feel it or not. The path might feel relatively unclear for you at this moment, but this is absolutely appropriate. If you saw all of the goodness on its way to you, it would be a total distraction from the gentle self care that is imperative at this time. Trust and allow. Trust that you are not lost, merely evolving and upgrading to a more grounded and healthy sense of who you are and how you can use your energy and power in the most optimal way. Commit to it and be transformed.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

VIRGO – Nine of Wands 

It is of the utmost importance for Virgos to move at their own pace this month. Nice and easy is the name of the game. Nine of Wands is an enormous energy, one that teaches us to honor rest during a long and wildly intense time, energetically. Whether you are on a journey, in the midst of a deadline, or just moving through some huge internal expansions, it will be imperative to take breaks within the frenzy—and to resist the temptation to apologize or explain yourself for doing so.

Only we can know our inner experience, and it is up to us to honor ourselves by going slowly or resting as we need at any given moment. When we do so, instead of muscling through life, we not only live in alignment with what is in our highest and best on a personal level, but we invite others to do the same thing. This is how we can sustain high frequency energy without burnout, by taking little stops along the way. It is Shakti energy, letting all the power and intensity move through us without getting totally overwhelmed by it.

Virgos bring such an important and unique frequency to the planet. You guys are processing so much energy much of the time, and as a result, your nervous systems are arguably the most sensitive of all the signs. This month will be the chance to truly learn how to move and process high frequency energies while staying grounded and balanced. We get Nine of Wands when we are ALMOST to a finish line. That’s the feel of it. Virgos have been on such a ride these past few months, and there is most definitely a break coming for you energetically in late summer/early fall. Possibly even in mid-June/early July.

There is something very important about this time for Virgos, although it might not seem that way on the surface. It’s the final burst of adrenaline before the finish line, when you can finally recover and nourish yourselves. This card truly helps us know the stuff we are made of. If you can move through Nine of Wands energy, you can do anything. Expect a lot of intensity, pressure and heat this month in your life, Virgo. It’s going to be hard work, but amazing. Embrace the opportunity to master how to balance this energy with gentle breaks and self care.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

LIBRA – Perspective, reversed 

You’ve been given lots and lots of gentle taps on the shoulder, Libra. Little whispers to slow down, quiet the mind, and be still. This month, you almost have no choice but to fall into an Ego death; it’s a whole new level for you in terms of self-actualization.

Perspective is The Hanged Man in the traditional tarot, and this card is the perfect ally for you right now, Libra; a voluntary surrender from the Ego and into the heart and soul. When reversed, however, the main and primary focus is on clearing up any resistance to this surrender before we can flip into the heart. Perspective reversed is an energy that will not leave until the job is done, so you might as well welcome it in with open arms. This month is a bit like entering a new portal for you, Libra. Once you get a taste of this kind of freedom, there really is no going back.

You’ve been working hard, moving through a really intense time, but not fully surrendered yet. One foot is still out the door, specifically around not believing your thoughts. This is what Libra is here to master and experience, so this is in NO WAY a problem. It is exactly what it should be. So honor this, first and foremost. Secondly, this is not a shattering of YOU—just of the ego. Any part of you that resists, or gets defensive and withdrawn is the ego; it freaks because it knows its losing its ranking. Be willing to be courageous, to question your thoughts. Firmly and lovingly move that part of you from the driver’s seat into the back seat, then let it tantrum.

Tantrum is a great word for Perspective reversed. There is profound resistance to hanging out in the Void of pure love, so the ego kicks up a tantrum to distract us—because it’s afraid. Important to remember, so you’re not treating it like an enemy. Let it scream, as you just keep coming back to your breath, to the present moment. This is actually how Hanged Man is working for you this month, by untying the little knots in any given moment you find your ego freaking out in. Stay with it, Libra. Move through this ego death, and prepare for a new way of walking through the world. And unimaginably beautiful things will come out of this time for you.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

SCORPIO – Knight of Wands

Getting back in touch with a playful, joyful sexuality is of the utmost importance for you in June, Scorpio. Where is the part of you that loves to be seen and heard? Loves to dance and rejoice? Loves to let other people feel your power, light and magnetism? You all touched this place within yourselves as children; now it is time to come back home to it.

You’re in a very different energy this month, one that really has the power to fuel you. But it’s not a “getting shit done” kind of month. The Knight of Wands is fire and air; passion, creativity and movement, with our fully-engaged minds along for the ride. This is a conscious commitment to being in your playful, creative flow. Some of you are still healing deep wounds, some of you are quietly processing some major karmic shit—but the invitation to play is open, even for the most fragile of you.

This can be embraced in any number of ways. Take voice lessons, perform in a play, let people hear your music, take salsa dancing class, get a new outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars, walk around topless, listen to music that makes you feel powerful—whatever makes your spirit soar, lean into it. For some of you, this may be a more internal, quiet energy. For others, it’ll be very public and broad. Let yourself be as big as you desire to be, and drop any story about not being ready: you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. Take the plunge.

The “why” of this invitation is really the most powerful part: and the answer is, because you deserve to feel joy and the spark of excitement again, Scorpio. It has been a VERY intense few months for many of you; now it is time to reconnect with how profoundly you deserve to feel good. This is also aligning some of you with how life can be easier, more graceful. So look around you: where is there room for more joy, passion and creativity in your life? Are you too exhausted, busy, broke or distracted to allow this energy to flow through you? It might be tough, it might bring up feelings of defensiveness, but I encourage you to really ask yourself these questions. Absorb your answers with an open heart, and make adjustments from there.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

SAGITTARIUS – King of Swords

Let this entire month be a process of connecting your heart to your throat, Sagittarius. Speak your truth. Your truest truth. Speak about your pain, your defensiveness, your fear—let it be vulnerable, let it be soft, let it be a healing. It is also time to communicate your perceived weaknesses, Sag. No more editing yourself. You don’t have to have it figured out, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just share yourself, wherever you happen to be.

There has been a very interesting pattern arising with Sagittarians. A lot of cracking open, replacing hard walls with softness. Whether you knew it or not, the last few months have been leading you to this moment, embracing and honoring the shadow in a whole new way. Not doctoring or tweaking it to make it more palatable. More sharing what you feel through a raw, imperfect and glorious lens. The King of Swords is a communicator. A powerful presence who allows his passion and his heart to be connected to his mind and words. This is an invitation to speak, share and express yourself profoundly. The phrase, “the truth will set you free” comes to mind.

Now, let us clarify something here: Sagittarians will speak their mind on anything. This is one of the greatest qualities about your sign. If you’re feeling or thinking something, trust that it’s going to be shared. However, there is a portion of your truth that does not get shared. For some of you, a little side dish—for others, a full meal. It’s usually around an area where you’re highly vulnerable, or have your guard and defenses up very high. And there’s rawness of expression that you’re being asked to hang out in this month. The why of it, however, is pretty amazing.

You’re leveling up, Sag. You want bigger, brighter, sweeter and more potent lives? Share that raw truth, and it’ll drop right in. You guys bring forward courageous, empowered, passionate expression, blazing the torch for other people to share their truest truth. You cannot do this unless you are willing to share yours—even if you qualify this as “difficult” for you. Let your heart continue to crack open. Get raw, soft, and vulnerable, and you will find levels of expansion you didn’t even know were possible.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

CAPRICORN – Nine of Crystals, reversed

There is so much goodness, joy and abundance in your life right now, Capricorn. So resist getting lost in your story about how you don’t have this or that and just be here now. Taste the blessings around you. Look at the fruits of all you’ve worked for. Can you show yourself gratitude for that without adding a “but” or a “should” to your language? This will be your invitation this month—to come back to this moment, and all the goodness around you. To appreciate yourself and all that you’ve gained with your efforts in life thus far. To drop the story about how it’s not what you really want or what you think you should have, be or think. None of that is reality.

Reality is what’s right in front of you, and I can tell you it’s exactly what you need because it’s what you’ve got! You cannot move forward and receive more unless you’re willing to start here, so you might as well do it now. For some of you, any quasi disappointment with what’s “here now” might be around love and relationships. You cannot improve the relationship you’re in unless you yourself are expanding (with or without your partner), so refocus on that and drop the story. Same goes for those of you who are single. Are you embracing this solitary time? It won’t be forever, so appreciate the space, the richness of possibility. Don’t wait for anyone—just live.

For those of you who are feeling “less than” about work, are you full of complaints and stories about how you want to quit, move on, learn this new thing, yet nothing happens? Just drop the story and do the thing. Commit and see what flows from there. Instead of loathing your current situation, bless it and send a prayer up to the Universe that you desire better. This way you keep living in the frequency of “better.” Take empowered action and choose what brings you joy; see what’s right in front of you. If this is arising about money, I guarantee you that you need to offer yourself more alone time—to go inward and be grateful for what’s here.

Capricorn, this is usually not my style. I don’t believe in making up dishonest gratitude when we just aren’t feeling it. But with you this is different. You really DO have all this beauty around you that you’re not seeing. You must pause in order to pick the fruit and appreciate what you’ve created thus far. Nurture the belief that you are enough and you have all you need. Watch and see how much more dances its way to your door.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

AQUARIUS – Six of Swords, reversed 

It might be harder to see the forest for the trees this month, Aquarius. Our inner experiences and external situations may act as thick foliage, obscuring the bigger picture. For most of you, the Six of Swords is a tiny whisper—a call to inquire and get clear before you jump to action or assume anything. For a few of you, it may be more like a knock on the head. Either way, it’s a specific invitation to pause and get clear before you take action. How you do so will determine a great deal of the month for you. It’ll also bring you into a space of rationale and personal responsibility around all things. So, how do you act from a place of center, when things around you are unclear?

One ways to get clear is to go slower in all ways. Think before you act, assume less, pause more. This is going to show up in different ways for all of you this month; for some of you it will be in relationships or matters of the heart. For others, it’ll be around family and work. Just go gently through whatever arises, meeting it with as much curiosity and compassion as possible.

The other invitation for you this month, Aquarius, is to ask for help if you need it. Support is a huge piece, because you need to feel that it’s available to you anytime you need it. Reaching out for any kind of support shuts down the voice in the brain (the voice of the ego) that tells us we have to woman-up and go it alone. It’s also important to welcome the assistance of friends, neighbors and our soul tribe, since the people in our life serve as mirrors for us. They show us where we are pointed when the compass is whizzing around and confusing us.

So as you reach out to others, choose wisely—seeking the council and support of those you sense will help you evolve through this place of potential lack of clarity by utilizing the clearest mirrors in your life to reflect back love and guidance to you. On the other hand, the backdrop to this tricky-sounding footwork is a month that will also be full of light, love, goodness and fun for you, Aquarius. Think of this energy as just a highly specific and very important dance that you’re learning right now. Lean into it and feel the support in your life leading you back home.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

PISCES – King of Cups 

This is a good month for Pisces, especially those of you who are healers, artists or helping professionals in some way. King of Cups holds immense space for the emotions of others, and can do so without becoming overwhelmed or drained. He can do this because he is balanced, which is the key word for Pisces this month. You’ve been working through some swings; some moments it’s all about you with no room for anyone else, other times it’s all about other people.

This month, there’s a quantum shift. You have the capacity to hold space for your own emotions while remaining balanced and available to others. It’s going to have a beautiful effect on your self esteem, relationships, and careers. The King of Cups walks the line of fire and water; blending passion, a nurturing heart, and an ability to flow with whatever is in front of him. Basically Pisces, you now have enough space within YOU to truly hold space for others. Utilize this, and trust in your ability to do this. Even if you’re not a helping professional, the spirit remains the same. This month will show you that you can take on much more than you thought you could—and thrive.

It’s been a powerful time for Pisces, a lot of reordering and rebuilding, helping your sensitive souls get used to the frenetic energy of the times. Your nervous systems are getting more and more used to it, and I think you’ll feel a huge difference this month. In the Motherpeace tarot, the King of Cups wears a mask to do his healing work in the world. Not a bad mask, but one that allows him to hold both a private experience and a public face; and he can do this because he is a gentle leader, one who is coded for service.

Basically what this invitation means for you, Pisces, is that it’s time to get back into the flow of life. To show up. To speak your truth, share your wisdom, and to not hold back. The world really needs you. It needs you in your joy, in your light, healthy and happy. You have overflow, so use it. A gentle invitation to those of you who, at this moment, might feel miles away from this place of energetic abundance, this place of balance and generosity: remember you can always choose the willingness to stay open to the possibility of a different way of seeing, doing, and being.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

ARIES – Ten of Wands 

Aries, the Divine is cracking the whip. The way you are working and moving through the world is no longer serving you—at all. There is a level of continual adrenal exhaustion that is really not sustainable. No more, and thank God for it. There must be a new way, and everything is here to support you in creating it. June will be inviting you into a space where you will have to make adjustments to the way you work, take on tasks, and replenish your personal well.

There must be a new commitment to balance, or you can no longer continue to go forward at all. So where do you start? You begin by employing some gentleness, and calming down the Ram, so to speak. You start with baby steps: whatever your dream self care routine is, begin. Even if it’s five minutes a day, start with five minutes.

The second thing, which is crucial, is that you must ask for help—you must, Aries. You must! Know that you can trust other people and that it is safe for you to receive. An important message for your ego too, which in moments like this can be fragile. It can be intensely vulnerable for you to ask for help, Aries. But this is important for you. There really is no other way.

Also: this isn’t about lightening up your schedule or streamlining your life, necessarily. If you’re busy or working or in a situation that moves you, that’s all well and good—this isn’t about saying “no” to more. But you do have to take a knee, be fearless, and welcome in more support to help you maintain this level of work. How you are functioning isn’t sustainable, so June will be directing you in a new way. When we find ourselves in a place like this, we don’t drop the thing we are engaged in or working on. We try a new way with it, and see how we can reorder it.

However—if you DO feel the need to take more time for yourself, or sense that you want to lighten up in one area or another, you won’t know what must go until you’ve rested and regenerated a bit. And so go gently and mindfully through the month. But above all, know that don’t have to do it on your own, Aries. More so, that it’s not serving you to do it on your own. So open the windows and doors and let the support flood in.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

TAURUS – Three of Swords, reversed

June is a month for taking out the trash, Taurus. As in, outdated forms of self-medication, drama, gossip and people in your life who drain you energetically. Everything that keeps you in a place of swirling negativity, anxiety and low frequency is gone—swept away in the energy of the Three of Swords reversed. The potential for personal transformation from this energetic clear out is massive. June is clearing out the last little splinters that have been pulling you back into contraction. What is being birthed in its place is true peace and separation from any energy that does not serve you, allowing you to heal any old wounds.

Three of Swords is an experience of heartbreak, heartache, drama, betrayal, anxiety and/hurt feelings. I have always thought of the Buddhist teaching of The Second Arrow with this card; we can’t always control the first sword to the heart. Someone is rude to us on the subway; a parent or partner says something insensitive or out of anger. Any of these are the “first arrow,” and we had no control over the wound they caused. It pierced us without any warning.

The “second arrow,” however, is optional, and created by our reaction to the first arrow. These are the wounds we cause by making war with the offending person, place or situation, or dropping into anger and victimhood. Sword upon sword upon sword. The Three of Swords asks that we remove the knives completely, drop the drama, and tend to the heart, the deep wounds and to our vulnerability, rather than the story of the wounds. This is what it is asking of you, too, Taurus.

Because the card is reversed for you, it speaks of good tidings. You’re no longer engaged in the same reactionary cycle as you once were, which is something to celebrate. The Three of Swords reversed, is bringing a much lighter energy for you than if it was right side up. It is here this month to completely break any cycle of mental identification with victimhood, and to soften you into your heart even more deeply than you imagined. In doing so, you will change your relationship with how you treat your precious body, mind and spirit, no longer dragging yourself through mud or drama. Move through the energy, complete the cycle, and soothe the heart.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Lindsay here and follow her on Instagram.

COSMIC CULTURE FOR JUNE

All that’s Nu in music, movies, books, and film: read on for Amelia Quint‘s round-up of cosmic culture for June…

Virgo Florence Welch at Glastonbury

:: MUSIC ::

It’s music festival season! Time to adorn yourself with sigils, pack your sage smudges, wear your favorite talismans, and get going. Here’s your mystical guide to the best music festivals happening this month, and the lowdown on which one will give your soul the nourishment it’s craving.

Gentle reminder: have fun, and while you’re there, please practice proper safety. Love and respect the place you’re in, love and respect yourself and those around you, and all will be chill.

GLASTONBURY

June 22 – 26, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, UK

The ladies rule Glastonbury this year, just as Morgan le Fay once did. Go for what’s sure to be a stunning performance from the high priestess of all festival stages, Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine. Stay for Adele’s ferocious pipes, the PJ Harvey’s uncompromising artistry, and up-and-comer Låpsley’s dream-pop. If there’s time, let Unknown Mortal Orchestra sweep you off your feet with their cinematic brand of rock. Also, word on the street is that there’s a secret set from Radiohead in the works, so be ready to drop everything and Thom Yorke dance at any moment.

THIS FESTIVAL IS FOR: Lunar goddesses. Water sign people who want to touch the sublime parts of life through music.

BONNAROO

June 9 – 12, Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN, USA

Bonnaroo may have the most universally appealing lineup out of this year’s festival set, with an undeniably danceable blend of crowd pleasers. There are your typical festival darlings like Tame Impala, Haim, and Blood Orange, supplemented by a few nostalgia acts (Third Eye Blind) and hot young things (Sunflower Bean). Still, for a festival that has a history of catering to a niche crowd, this year’s list refreshing! Hip-hop lovers, put Bryson Tiller and J. Cole at the top of your list. Fans of The Weekend and Kanye West circa Late Registration will definitely approve.

THIS FESTIVAL IS FOR: Magpie Air sign people who want a little bit of everything.

Gemini Fetty Wap at Electric Forest

ELECTRIC FOREST

June 23-26, Double JJ Resort, Grand Township, MI, USA

This gathering is unique in every way, from its eclectic lineup to its singular location. Set in the heart of the Double JJ Resort’s beautiful ranch property, the forest provides the perfect environment for people to release the wildness within their souls. The lineup consists primarily of electronic dance music mainstays, including Bassnectar, Bonobo, and Disco Biscuits—the kind of music that will keep you dancing into the wee hours. Club favorites like Fetty Wap and DJ Mustard (Needed Me, Or Nah) are also on the bill, so there’s something here for everyone’s inner maenad.

THIS FESTIVAL IS FOR: Fire sign people looking for an ecstatic route to enlightenment.

MOUNTAIN JAM

June 2-5, Hunter Mountain, NY, USA

If you’re looking for a festival where you can kick back, relax, and let me music move you—this one’s tailored to you. Top billing goes to Beck, Wilco, and The Avett Brothers, with support from Brandi Carlile and high vibe favorite Michael Franti & Spearhead. He’s so loved by those of our ilk that you can even take a yoga class while he serenades you through sun salutations! If you can deal with the fact that Train will be covering Led Zeppelin II in its entirety, this is a show you won’t want to miss.

THIS FESTIVAL IS FOR: Grounded Earth sign people who want to reconnect with their roots.

:: FILM ::

THE NEON DEMON

In this Valley of the Dolls-style thriller, Nicolas Winding Refn of Drive acclaim follows an aspiring model’s descent into the fashion industry’s dark underworld. Elle Fanning stars,and it’s rumored to have been inspired by Venus-in-Leo-gone-wrong, Elizabeth Báthory, who allegedly bathed in the blood of virgins to preserve her own youth. Will the film be a successful indictment of youth worship, or will its model-filled scenes prove otherwise? Reviews so far are mixed, so you’ll have to decide for yourself. If nothing else, it will be beautiful.

THE NEON DEMON premieres June 24 in the United States.

TIME TO CHOOSE

In the new documentary by the Academy Award winning director of Inside Job, Charles Ferguson explores solutions to the climate change crisis. He interviews experts in the energy field, including politicians, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators, and individuals already directly experiencing the catastrophic effects of climate change. Come to help save Mother Gaia, stay for the narration by your internet BF, Oscar Isaac.

TIME TO CHOOSE premieres June 3 in the United States.

:: TELEVISION ::

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

Surprise—Orange is the New Black may be the most woke show on television! Last season’s brave exploration of faith and miracles was, in many ways, a depiction of what we’ve all experienced in our respective journeys. Watching the Litchfield women do full moon rituals, gather kitchen supplies for spells, fear judgment for their beliefs, and grapple with doubt was, for me, a deeply humbling experience. I don’t want to spoil anything, so suffice to say that let’s hope they continue that narrative in the forthcoming season. We need it.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK premieres on June 17 on Netflix.

AQUARIUS

If you’re experiencing The X-Files withdrawals, this could be your fix. Set in the psychedelic 1960s, David Duchovny goes undercover to investigate Charles Manson’s infamous cult. It’s not an mystical show per se, but his descent into the Manson family’s world illustrates how Aquarian age concepts go wrong when lower Neptune urges (think sex, drugs, rock and roll, and madness) distort the original message. Aquarius is worth watching as a modern mystic.

AQUARIUS premieres June 16 on NBC.

:: BOOKS ::

THE PAST LIFE PERSPECTIVE

Curious about who you may have been in a past life? In this book, licensed therapist Ann Barham opens the doors of her office for a revealing look at what actually happens in past life regressions, including her own experiences and those of many clients. She explores the potential of regression as an aid for personal healing, spiritual inquiry, and discovering your true nature across multiple lifetimes.

The Past Life Perspective will be available June 7 from Atria/Enliven (Simon & Schuster).

THE GAIAN TAROT

After a long hiatus, this beloved tarot deck from Joanna Powell Colbert will be back in print with an updated guidebook and illustrations. The art is a mix of animals and people living in wild nature, and the deck’s comforting energy is grounded and relatable. As an owner of the deck, I can say that it provides incredibly accurate readings, especially for personal journaling and spiritual practice. Get your hands on this quickly, because copies will go fast!

Gaian Tarot will be available June 28 from Schiffer Publishing.

COMFORTABLY NUMB: JUST SAY NO TO PEOPLE-PLEASING

Used to numbing out her own needs by being hyper-helpful, Kate Atkinson has been learning how to just say “NO” to people-pleasing…

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski

People have asked a couple of things of me this month. You know, the usual friend favors. It happens daily right? Do you think you could walk my dog? Can I borrow some cash until the end of the month? Hey, would you mind checking over my resume? I’ve done it myself plenty of times, and given these small acts of good will in return. Natural right? Favors and back-scratching are a part of life…except that recently, I haven’t felt so accommodating.

In fact, there have been a few requests in lately where I’ve felt like saying: “do you know what actually—no.” Except that I won’t. Instead, I will let the emails fester in my inbox until they’ve burned a hole in my psyche, turning them over and over in my head until I think I am going to explode.

That’s right, I’m a “yes” wo(man). As in, I really don’t know how to say “no.” Like a narcotic, I get high on my own hyper-helpfulness—every email a ping of serotonin: “I got this.” Except that running on a treadmill of responsiveness has become exhausting, and these days I don’t know who I’m running the race for.

My “yes” complex has also proven to be a useful numbing strategy, when I’ve got sucked so far down the vortex of helping and fixing I fail to see things as they really are—acting so quickly to keep others happy that my own, likely un-met, needs become irrelevant. There’s an old adage that resentment is like letting someone live rent free in your head. And if that’s the case, I’ve been letting out an entire Brooklyn apartment block to a bunch of freaks.

In my research about how to get better at saying “no,” here’s my number one discovery—the modern way of affirming negative goes something like this: say nothing at all. Repeat.

In this always-connected age, the pretend-I-just-didn’t-get-the-memo is what comes out trumps. Ignore it, and hopefully it will disappear. But what’s it doing to us, this radio silence? And like, why can’t we just be fucking honest with each other? What I want to know is, when was the last time you said “no” to someone, guilt free?

Try it:

“No, I am not coming to that dinner because I think the people are extremely shallow and self absorbed.”

“No, I won’t head over when your boyfriend’s out of town because you didn’t answer my call when I needed you.”

“No, I won’t work for you for free because actually—what the blimmin’ heck have you done for me lately?”

Feels great right?

This is because, as Melodie Beattie writes in The Language of Letting Go: “When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean…(and) we don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.”

Rewind to a me watching a talk by the inimitable Marina Abramovic. The outspoken Russian and her pal Laurie Anderson both had a fair bit to say about living vs dying, and both were riffing on codes to live by…how we are to get the most out of our lives in the limited time that we have on earth.

The theme that came through loud and strong was the importance of marching to the beat of one’s own drum. To cut it with the people-pleasing, and find your own voice. Because, to put it simply: YOLO.

Words that have sunk in, this past month, to a backdrop of several people in my circle suddenly dropping like flies. No morbid details, rather to say that sometimes, suddenly, you are served a brutal reminder that our days in this life are limited.

So how can we stop people-pleasing, and spend our precious hours crafting a life we want?
By getting comfortable that you’re going to miss out. By getting down with the fact that it’s okay to not show up when people “need” you sometimes. By realizing that you only get one life, and that while friends and intimacy are important, not for one second are you here to live your life for someone else. By realizing that while some people might bitch you out, your real mates are going to stick around.

N-O. Say it. Say it louder! Time to stop pepping with the yes pills. And settle into the headspace that comes from realizing that less can most definitely be more.

A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL MONTAUK

Want a more meaningful beach retreat this summer? Colleen Kelly, Bret Caretsky and Madeleine Murphy of the Montauk Juice Factory, share their guide to spiritual Montauk…Images: Elayne Safir

Montauk: it’s the energy vortex of the East Coast summer. The air is special up here, charged with a cosmic energy that engulfs and transforms you the moment you cross the stretch. So if you’re planning a visit to The End, make the most of the vibes with our top 7 ways to elevate your mind, body and spirit—allowing the blend of salty air and sacred land guide you on an inward journey to the deepest part of yourself.

1. Ground down. Meaning kick off your shoes (and socks) and feel the earth. Enjoy a long, barefoot beach walk is gonna feel extra special since the sand between your toes in Montauk is made of small fragments of clear quartz, leaving you feeling instantly clearer and stronger. Let the negative ions seep into your skin, and balance out the positively charged toxins in your body.

2. Be a litter picker. During your stay, if you see any loose litter blowing down the beaches pick it up and recycle—to give Mother Earth the signal to continue to give back to you throughout your visit.

2. Get salty. Visit the Montauk Salt Cave for a holistic and rejuvenating wellness experience surrounded with the healing energy of pink Himalayan sea salts and rocks. Designed to clear toxins from our lungs and nasal passageways, this magical place is deeply restorative for the respiratory tract and spirit. Check out their website to see what salty healing events they have going on. If you’re lucky you may even stumble upon a Kundalini class with our good friend and gong queen, Jen Frasher.

3. Salute the sun. Watching the sunrise or sunset can lessen anxiety, stress and depression, since it encourages us to slow down and be conscious in the moment, as we observe every streak the sun has painted in the sky. Soon your mood will match the colors—bright and vibrant—and you will naturally have less headspace for irritability and worry, and more for beauty and joy. We recommend checking out the beaches at Navy Road where you can watch the sun set over the water in the summer months. Visualize the energy from the sun spreading from your crown to the rest of the body while letting the sounds of the water relax your inner being.

4. Get tribal. Weekly drum circles are held on the beach, but you’ll have to ask around to try to attend one. It’s worth the legwork to connect to the rhythmic beat, tap into your primal side, and unleash your inner wild.

5. Unplug and create. If you’re looking for a place to get quiet and seek inspiration, try the walking labyrinth—a hidden gem built by a local community group. Overlooking Fort Pond Bay, this intricate path of stones is a beautiful spot for walking meditations, contemplation and mindful moments. Every step is a chance to remind yourself of something to be grateful for; to let go of something that is holding you back; or to just be fully present in the moment.

6. Get your flow going. Yoga is obviously a yes in Montauk! Our favorite is Yoga Lila (which means “divine play” in Sanskrit) for creative classes in a beautiful, inspiring studio—or try their SUP yoga classes if you are a drawn to the water.

7. Make some magic. A definite date for the diary is the Montauk Magic Retreat. Hosted by Numinous contributor Fern Olivia and rockstar shaman Alyson Charles in a private home by the ocean, you can enjoy daily movement and meditation, beach hikes, chanting, chakra and aura cleansing accompanied, by plant based cuisine and MJF cold-pressed juices. July 20-25 2016.

8. Pay us a visit. This isn’t just a shameless plug! Swing by 12 South Etna Avenue to fuel your body and your high-vibe vacay with high-integrity juices and smoothies. Our organic, nutrient-dense juices are made with intentional, purpose-driven recipes to make every cell in your body rejoice.

Inspired by our cosmic surroundings and natural environment, we also offer the MJF Apothecary—a rad self-care line of botanical beauty formulas that are holistic, gentle and effective. Drawing on the wisdom of the earth, the power of the ocean and the magic of the same functional ingredients we use in our raw kitchen, every product is 100% organic and handcrafted in small batches—all designed to keep your Montauk glow shining even longer.

Join The Montauk Juice Factory and Kalisa Augustine for a special Spirit Animal 101 workshop July 16 2016. Learn what a spirit animal is and how to connect with yours, followed by a shamanic journey with sound healing crystal bowls, guided visualization, served up with high vibe raw food and juices. All the details are at this link! 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HOW TO USE THE RETROGRADES FOR HEALING

With Pluto, Saturn and Mars all retrograde, there’s rich opportunity now to transcend deep-seated patterns and re-vamp your sense of purpose. This week showed me how to use the retrogrades for healing…

Sub Rosa’s Michael Ventura

:: MONDAY (-WEDNESDAY) ::
A healing session with Michael Ventura, who also happens to be CEO of design and branding agency Sub Rosa, which also happens to be the venue for some of NYC’s most high-vibe happenings (including our Club SÖDA NYC event in April with Biet Simkin). This is what I love about New York—everybody has a side project that’s at least as interesting as their day job. In Michael’s case, 10 years spent studying everything from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Native American shamanic healing (with Yogi Bhajan’s personal healer, no less).

“These retrogrades have stirred up all kinds of funky stuff,” I told him. “You know, like ‘who am I?’ and ‘how can my voice have real impact in the world?'” (um, anybody else feeling the existential crunch right now?) My treatment was a combination of hands-on healing and pressure-point release, with some crystals and some burning herbs, after which I practically levitated off the table, leaving with the instructions to send an update by email after two sleeps. By which time I was actually experiencing a disquieting sense of wanting to completely re-evaluate my message and my mission, in line with my personal needs.

And since I know I’m not alone in this right now, I share with you here Michael’s beautiful response:

“We all too often think of our lives across two spectrums—positive and negative. However, there is a third and powerful force—neutrality—which can serve you well in these times of reflection and integration. You don’t need to have the plan. At the same time, you don’t need to get down on yourself for not having a plan. Simply un-attaching and not identifying with an outcome will let things happen at their own pace. A flower doesn’t bloom by trying to bloom. It simply allows.”

:: WEDNESDAY NIGHT ::
So I allowed the unease (WTF am I doing with my life? How is what I’m doing actually of service in the world?) to just be there. And now enter my third sleep of the week, during which I experienced the most incredible healing dream—facilitated (in my dream) by wonderful Alexandra Derby, who appeared in my mind’s eye and told me it was time to perform a ritual.

This involved an astral visitation with my ex—a man to whom I utterly subjugated my sense of self during my late teens and early twenties. Confronted with his same old, patronizing ways, I felt his words and gross, overbearing sexual energy bounce off me, like I’d developed a cosmic force-field. “You are an insect on the sole of my shoe, and I am more powerful than you will even know,” was basically the over-riding vibe. At which point I came semi-conscious to the sound of a series of “clicks” in my brain—as if a piece of code in my internal operating system had been re-written. By morning, I awoke feeling newly and fully empowered on my path. Existential crisis averted!

So…I’ve gone into way more detail here than I usually would in this column, but my this week has been an amazing opportunity to work with the current retrogrades for healing. Pluto and Saturn, in particular, are opening up deep karmic wounds, and since everywhere I look it seems people are experiencing a similar sense of having outgrown their own skin, or are having conflicting thoughts and feelings about where they’re “at” and what they really want, it felt appropriate to share.

And so, I believe this is a perfect time to:

– Seek assistance bringing any funky energy that’s being stirred up to the surface—ideally a session with a trusted energy worker (think reiki, acupuncture, sound healing—whatever works for you).
– Allow all the weird shit you might be thinking and feeling to just be there. Don’t over-analyse it—just allow it move through you. Trust that it will find its own way out—in a dream like mine, perhaps.
– Feel it to heal it. Which means resisting the temptation to numb out from it with drink, drugs, drama, shopping (*insert your preferred method of numbing here*).
– Journal. I actually wrote a poem the morning after my healing dream, my favorite new way to purge the numinous un-namables that are screeching to be let out. Try it—I bet you like it!

:: THURSDAY ::
Mainly processing the above. While also finally finishing my book manuscript (TF!)

:: FRIDAY ::
A beautiful astanga class with Makeesha Hill of the Urban Yogis—a grass roots initiative bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to NYCs inner city communities, that we’re supporting with sales of our Designer Yogis sweatshirt collection. A fitting end to this week of self-enquiry, as one of the things that’s coming through loud and clear for me right now is that if my work (like, this platform) isn’t actively in service of helping people be happier humans, in a healthier, more harmonious society…then really, what’s the point? As the Yogis themselves would say: #peaceisalifestyle!

The Urban Yogis: a.k.a. (l-r) Raheem Lewis, Tyrell Carter, Jaytaun McMillan, Makeesha Hill, and Juquille Johnston

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO FIND YOUR EDGE

Only in the places of discomfort can we experience true healing, says Alexandra Roxo. PLUS 5 ways to find your edge…

Goddess power earrings by Marcia Vidal. Non toxic lipstick by Ilia Beauty.

“There must be something deeply disturbed about a person who wants to be flogged or spit on.” As my friend said this I nearly spit out my kombucha. It was a sunny day and we were sitting on a blanket in the Bay area, having some girl talk, munching on goji berries, having just completed two nights of plant medicine ceremony together.

I started to feel sweaty and hot which means my deep soul was having a freakout. I put my cup down, took a deep breath summoning massive courage and said: “I disagree. It can also be about a person wanting to push their edges. It can be a game, power play, fun, and a vehicle for catharsis. Something beyond the human polarities of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Just as enlightening as any other medicine that pushes you to your edge and into a place of expansion.”

Let’s be real, in a lot of spiritual circles we tend towards the light and white, the higher chakras, high vibes…And well, usually as far away as possible from the dark, scary underbelly of things. Be it talking about BDSM or deep wounds, many of us shy away. After all, IG posts that are dark/revealing and heavy, usually get a lot less likes than the ones that are bright and all “I’m floating up here with my Spirit team!”

Well I say…Fuck. That. In the past few years I’ve found the scary bits—the “nevers,” the edges, the parts that make my heart beat fast—to be possibly my biggest teachers. Lately I’ve been wanting to talk about them more and more among circles of women whose faces might go white as an angel’s wing if I said something about squirting being transcendental. But ladies, the time has come! (And yes squirting, and even fisting, can be transcendental. But more on that another time. Or just DM me, lol.)

>>>

You know those friends who push you to your edge? Usher you out of your cozy wozy comfort zone full of sheepskin rugs and Palo Santo, into a scary dark place you cannot control and force you to pull down your “Everything’s okay!” mask? I LOVE those friends. In the moment, I hate them for “making” me hitchhike with a creepy Mexican man on a beach in Oaxaca into the jungle.

Or for saying: “I saved you a spot on the three-day plant medicine retreat where we’ll be fasting and sleeping under the stars. Bring a poop bucket!” Or for calling me out on my shit. HATE THAT. But I really LOVE it. Thank Goddess for the friends that help you to your edge.

I recently signed up for an online course called a “Relationship Detox” with Perri Gorman. On Perri’s intake form you get to say to what level you want to be pushed. I checked off “HOT ORANGE” or something. Basically as hot as possible. (#overachiever!) So in class the other day, when I had to say what conclusions I had come to after making a relationship chronology, and I started rambling, “Well, we were dating and he said some really mean things but you see I’ve been meditating and doing a lot of WORK on this for months. Many healers. I really feel great about it now!” She stopped me mid-sentence.

“No you don’t. Pull off your mask, get in your pussy and tell me the story again!” I was taken aback but I knew immediately what she meant. I breathed through my mask, told the story again, deeply rooted into my truth, shared all the embarrassing parts, tears running down my cheeks, feeling such a huge catharsis: the feeling of being grounded deeply into my body. And then Perri told me: “Ultimate kindness is to risk saying something the ego may detest but that the soul is craving.” Which a wonderful teacher like that can make happen.

So forget smiling pleasantly with a namaste! Let’s get messy together. Hold space for each other to WAIL. Ask real questions to women who have birthed many babies. Talk about fucking. Sob until snot is running into our mouths. Have multiple orgasms that make us scream uncontrollably and then weep in a puddle of our own fluid. Not be afraid to pull down our masks.

“Thank Goddess for friends who call you out on your shit!”

Be it a paddling to the ass, or a projectile purge into a bucket in a room full of people or simply allowing yourself to feel anger, it’s only at the edge that we’ll find the collective catharsis we are looking for—a massive reconnection into the present of our bodies. And especially into our pussies. Into the force which creates life. Pushing us past our edges into a new land, the land of growth.

I try to push an edge every day. Last week I drove for an hour while still on mushrooms. A few days ago I admitted to a room full of people choking through sobs my deepest darkest shadows in love and relationships. I kissed a snake on the lips a few weeks ago. Just finished 40 days of chanting to Kali. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

:: 5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR EDGE ::

1. Make a list of all the things that make you uncomfortable, or that you said you would never do or say or be or admit. This could be getting naked in front of someone. Crying in front of someone. Admitting to yourself your heart is closed off and you need help. Going on a vision quest. Camping alone. Now get to know that list. Put it on your altar. Start to allow it into your consciousness.

2. Break it into steps. Maybe it’s opening a Tinder account and asking someone out. Or spending time alone. Maybe it’s working out in a sports bra instead of a t-shirt. Signing up for a primal screaming course. A tantric sexual healer. Not exercising for a few days. Everyone’s edge is different! Start small and BREATHE through it. If it’s not making your heart beat fast, then it’s not an edge.

3. Ask for help. I could not have done this alone. Find a friend who helps you find your edge. Or a coach. A teacher. A witness. Someone to keep you accountable and help you and hold you when you cry.

4. When it starts getting tough do not abandon ship! There is a point in the work where we wanna say “Okay cool! I think I’ve got this and I’m gonna take a break.” Don’t do it! Push yourself just a little more. When you make it over that hump it is going to be glorious I tell you!!!

5. When in doubt go back to your pussy and breathe into your roots. Dance alone naked. Shake it off. Keep going. Cry through it. Do not give up. Umm, yeah, Earth hasn’t given up on us though we’ve pillaged her. Our bodies keep going after disease and childbirth and self-hatred and eating disorders. We owe it to ourselves and to the grandma’s that came before us to not give up and get too comfortable.

And P.S. Remember your edge is your own. Do not compare to the friend who did ayahuasca 366 times in Peru. Do not worry about your friend who saw Jesus when she was cumming. Your journey is about YOU. And in your dark personal corners, you could find something so magnificent…you really have NO idea!

If you wanna go deep and investigate your patterns with love, sex and relationships, join us for The Numinous: Re-write your Love Story Retreat July 15-17th in upstate New York! We’re offering an early bird special while Venus is in Gemini of $50 off EACH if you bring a friend (#healinghangdate time!)

HOW ALANIS MORISSETTE TAUGHT ME TO FEEL MY FEELINGS

The wisdom and wise words of Alanis Morissette taught me to finally feel my feelings…says Red Magazine’s Pip McCormac

“And are you thinking of me when you fuck her?” – You Oughta Know

That’s not when Alanis taught me to feel my feelings. That line, spat out from the depths of her era-defining 1990s album Jagged Little Pill was, for me, only a glimpse of empowerment. I’d bark the lyric like a helpless dog chained tightly to a tree: hollowly, with no real intent. It felt good to howl, but meant nothing. Aged 15, living in suburban Britain, quietly hating myself for being gay, I had no bite. I was meek, and this line was fun to sing, an eye on the door in case grown-ups overheard. But it had nothing to do with how I really felt.

In fact, as Alanis was emboldening a whole generation, I was learning to squash my feelings. Far better, I learned, to train myself not to be self-aware, not to study my shame at being gay. Far fewer outbursts, less look-at-me-meltdowns, if I just carried on, smiled through each day, forgot what I actually felt. Listened to Jagged Little Pill and pretended Alanis’s feelings were mine, instead.

“Thank you India, thank you terror, thank you disillusionment.” – Thank You

The next album was also not when Alanis taught me to feel my feelings. I rotated that record a lot, on my cassette Walkman, on coaches out of Bangkok, on Red Bull hangovers, on pillows made from my arm against bus windows.

Conversations about life, as a concept, took importance over what was actually my life. One step removed, I removed myself. “I’m an existentialist,” I’d declare, because of course that’s what all 19-year-olds were in 1999. I took a star-shaped stud out of my ear and left it on Sartre’s grave, sure that, if this were a movie, I’d meet my true love in the cemetery.

I played my life like a movie. I was just a role, my personality a plot point, changeable in line with the needs of each scene. Each relationship. If a boy called for me to be the ditzy ingénue, I could do it. The matriarchal carer? Done in one take. The sufferer in silence? My specialty.

My boyfriends didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know who I was.


“Lean in to your own personal growth. This will unlock your creativity, courage and self.” – Conversations with Alanis

Finally, two months ago, THIS was how Alanis taught me to feel my feelings. Self-learning my way through her podcast Conversations with Alanis, through her weekly Guardian newspaper advice columns, the 1990s rage in her voice has been replaced by a light, encouraging rasp.

Alanis, you see, likes to workshop her feelings. “Restore yourself to sanity,” she said in one episode. “The good friend in you that you can be to others? Be it to yourself.”

Sat in my self-care socks (alpaca wool, looking after my feet, my body, my mind), cat snoozing on my lap, my journey of self-discovery had begun. I’d had a breakup, but for once not a breakdown, was starting to wonder what I was really all about. Alanis gave me the confidence to find out.

For she doesn’t talk in inverted commas. There is no embarrassment at admitting she began an eight-week Imago course to help her be the person who could find a husband (it worked). No hint of the irony she was once so fond of when she speaks of “diving into self-knowledge,” or says “I thought I could just write songs [about my pain] but I found that having self-knowledge through deep intimacy and commitment was where I could find a deep healing.”

Self-knowledge, she made me realize, is key, and unlocking my feelings would not open a trap door.

When the anger at the break up finally dissipated, healthily, and was replaced by the sadness it had been masking, I knew what was happening, and why. Because I have the courage to be aware of my feelings, as they happen. To notice them, and understand them. To notice and understand myself.

Since learning to feel my feelings, I’ve been a better friend, to others and myself. More honest, less concealed. I’ve spoken up at work, begun two new passion projects, finally aware of what makes me feel lit-up. I’ve not got off with any boys because it’s the end of the date and it seems like the right thing to do, even if I don’t really fancy them. Because I know how I feel already, I don’t need a miserable kiss to tell me.

And I’m happy. I know when I’m happy. I acknowledge it, and it shines through and I feel it.

I feel empowered. And the reason I know I do? Because Alanis.

:: SOME FAVORITE ALANIS WISDOM ::
People who are in co-dependent relationships believe themselves unworthy of love and so put up with a lot, and compromise too much. Those in securely dependent relationships believe they are worthy of love and believe those around them believe they are worthy of love. YES!!!!

Mindsight –
How the mind can influence relationships, with others and with our own selves. Makes keeping the mind healthy a priority.

Autonomous healing is not the only way – 
The old adage that if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone else love you isn’t always true. The best healing can happen in relationships (romantic or otherwise) where you strengthen each other and learn and grow together. Makes sense.

On conflict resolution within a relationship – 
Talk it out. Both say your piece until you feel like you’ve been heard, and then, instead of compromise, talk it out more until you get to a place where you both win. Enlightened.

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF GEMINI SEASON

Enter Gemini season—with a tribute to the one and only Prince, in this month’s exploration of the current cosmic energies by Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Gemini season beckons us to strap on our butterfly wings and sample the infinite possible pathways through the kaleidoscope of our lives. The zodiac’s iridescent muse reminds us that we can choose “both, and,” rather than “either, or,” and that it’s all just happening without us always having to understand.

It’s a month for simply letting the Universe happen through us, without judgment and sometimes without any filtration at all. So click your ruby-slippered heels together three times, and turn your story inside out. Bend it. Stretch it. Paint it twenty-five shades of rainbow-kissed wilderness. And remember that certainty is brittle. Indeed, that certainty begs to be broken.

The keyword: “Threshold.”  

The song lyrics: I’m not a woman/I’m not a man/I am something that you’ll never understand” – Prince, I Would Die 4 U

Check out our playlist, complete with street sounds, exploratory electronica, and rogue tunes from across the pond. And while our musical Gemini patron saint isn’t on Spotify, we’ve included special Prince picks in our sign-by-sign selection (further below).

The colors: Somewhere over the rainbow and way beyond Kansas with iridescence, shimmer, and glitter, cracking us open to prismatic perspectives.  

The look: Ethereal glitter rock, expansive androgyny, and high/low cultural collisions. Feathers, gossamer, fabrics that move, and star-studded stilettos paired with men’s leisure wear.

 

The scents and flavors: Dazzlingly disorienting mixtures of synthetic and organic that both excite and confuse our olfactory sensibilities. Think Thierry Mugler’s ecstatically strange “Angel,” street meats, and unexpected snacks like lavender ice cream or nasturtium salad.  

The healing: Mind-altering descents into the urban fray: think wandering flea markets and bazaars as we revel in cacophonous sensory mosaics; signing up for an off-the-beaten path walking tour or scavenger hunt; or maybe just brunching in a new neighborhood or sampling a fresh food truck.  

GEMINI SEASON BY SIGN :: COLOR PALETTES AND PRINCE JAMS!

With all four mutable signs playing a key role in the cosmic landscape of Gemini season, it’s a moment to don our mood rings and delight in chameleon color palettes as we let the full spectrum of visual and emotional luminescence into our apartments, makeup bags, and beyond. In the wise words of the Purple One: “I wish there was no black or white/I wish there were no rules.”  

:: ARIES ::
Gemini season invites you to experiment with energetic androgyny as you mix your masculine action principle with some radio tower receiving, and revel in the curious sensation of not having to commit to a particular end goal. Think color collisions fit for a tough yet bedazzled Jem from the Holograms.

Prince Anthem:Cream”

:: TAURUS ::
Gemini season invites you to quicken your pace and get out into the melee as you let your tightly-held values collide with alternate belief systems. Infuse your usual chocolate truffle palette with the levity of some candied Jordan almond pastels.

Prince Anthem: Pink Cashmere”

:: GEMINI ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the full expression of your circulatory, winged sociability while also finding some ballast to soothe your nervous system. Activate your inner Rainbow Brite with Skittles shades and playground primaries.

Prince Anthem: Controversy”

:: CANCER ::
Gemini season invites you to break up calcified habitual patterns and practice voicing your emotional needs directly. Radicalize and renovate your clam shell with electric neons fit for an 80s prom queen Ariel.

Prince Anthem: When Doves Cry”

:: LEO ::
Gemini season invites you to practice glowing brightly without having to stand at the center of the action, as you trust in an individualism that doesn’t need to be spotlighted. Let your full-on solar power kick back under a Capri sun with summer sorbet shades and limoncello yellow.

Prince Anthem: Raspberry Beret”

:: VIRGO ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the dazzling dance of information gathering without having to worry about developing expertise. Honor the ever-unfolding spectacle with ballet slipper pinks and mint julep shades fit for a midsummer night’s dream.

Prince Anthem: Nothing Compares 2 U”

:: LIBRA ::
Gemini season invites you to say yes to both ends of the spectrum and to infuse your high-minded idealism with some “beginner’s mind” buoyancy that’s deliciously judgement free. Conjure newness with clean slate greys and an unexpected splash of sparkling limeade.

Prince Anthem: Diamonds & Pearls”  

:: SCORPIO ::
Gemini energy invites you to explore fusing your “go deep or go home” mentality with a fresh curiosity that can contain both gravitas and levity. Old Hollywood femme fatale enters the technicolor age with a palette that trades vampy purple for ombréd lilacs as you play with varying levels of potency.

Prince Anthem: Private Joy”

:: SAGITTARIUS ::
Gemini season invites you to celebrate the “unknown” with in the known as you infuse your sense of far-flung adventurism with a little local exploration. With a rare succession of two Full Moons in your sign this season, it’s a moment for colors that conjure nocturnal howling, lunar metals, and the air that fans your bonfire.  

Prince Anthem: Little Red Corvette”  

:: CAPRICORN ::
Gemini season invites you to mix your proclivity for wise maturity and getting the job done with some juicy, youthful playtime. Deck your life out with a boss lady leisure palette perfect for yacht parties and transcontinental jet setting.

Prince Anthem: Sign O’ The Times”

:: AQUARIUS ::
Gemini season invites you to sample the infinite array of possible perspectives without having to commit to a credo. Summon your prismatic potentials with colors fit for splashing in a forest pool or climbing to the top of some magically elven tree where you can just sit back and let it all be.

Prince Anthem: 1999″

:: PISCES ::
Gemini season invites you to balance your penchant for continuous emotional intake with a little intellectual detachment and some soft-focus solitary retreat. Relish shades of wine, roses, and terracotta as you let this rich, grounded palette soothe some of this season’s mutable madness.

Prince Anthem: Purple Rain”

HAVE SOME FUN: READING FOR THE SAGITTARIUS FULL MOON

The energy of Sagittarius Full Moon is here to encourage you to go out and have fun. So step outside of your comfort zone, and see what the Universe has in store for you, says Hannah Ariel

With the Sagittarius Full Moon, we’re turned on and tuned in to our inner visionary; the archer that shoots beyond the Moon, the courageous voice that resides within, reminding us that we are always on a journey—and we that have what it takes even when we think we aren’t “getting it” or we are “missing the point.” When we feel challenged from all ends of the spectrum.

Sagittarius tells us to keep it up, keep going—because there’s something here for you. With the Sagittarius Full Moon, there is a heightened awareness of how we are experiencing (or lacking) the faith that is totally necessary for us to keep going, keep reaching. And it certainly hasn’t been an easy ride lately.

The energy of the May 6 Taurus New Moon dealt with the grounded, earthly facets of our lives. It inspired a manifestation process that has asked us to take it easy, one step at a time, and amid a myriad of retrograde energies that have thrown us emotional curveballs left and right. The sagittarius Full Moon is here to lift our spirits in the face of hard work, emotional work, and spiritual work.

It there’s one thing to know about the Sagittarius Full Moon, it’s that your your willingness to keep your head high and your eyes forward is required; that your confidence, your inspiration, and your vision is truly essential. This moon needs you to work yourself up to a state of full-fledged faith in whatever project you are currently involving your energy with.

Because chances are, with four planets still in retrograde, you may still be riddled with some doubts—doubts that are keeping you from fully giving yourself over to the manifestation process and getting what the Taurus New Moon in Taurus signified you truly want and need from this cycle of energy.

So here we are, May 21, just a day after the Sun enters Gemini, with the moon reaching its peak fullness on the very first degree of Sagittarius—making an EXACT conjunction with MARS also in Sag. This signals an awakening, since there is a “fighting spirit” to this degree. According to Dane Rudhyar, the first degree of Sagittarius reaffirms our capacity to remember previous achievements in the face of adversity, even achievements experienced by past generations. There is something seriously spiritually uplifting about this degree!

Just imagine, for a moment, that at this point in your journey you are being supported by the visions of your ancestors—all the people that came before you to help bring you to this point in time to do what you came here to do. This first degree of Sag, where the full moon and Mars retrograde will meet, “implies a special kind of fire that burns the now to build a greater tomorrow. It is future oriented—refers to the very power implied in the process of civilization—the perpetuation of the spirit of struggle,” writes Rudhyar.

If you feel like you’ve been struggling, know that you’re so not alone; and that you are about to be SO empowered by this Sagittarius Full Moon!

At this time, also keep in mind the power of being connected to other people. With the Sun in Gemini, we may be reminded how some of the most incredible opportunities arrive when we just get out there and mingle with the whims of the Universe, when we aren’t afraid to let go our way of doing things, when we step outside ourselves, and communicate our process and ideas with friends and neighbors.

The energy of this Sagittarius Full Moon feels like the friend who encourages you to go out to ‘the party’ with them, even when you’re not ‘in the mood’—only to go on ahead, and find exactly what you’ve been looking for to help you in your process. The invitation now is to experience opportunities seemingly MEANT for you that you’d never have stumbled across if you hadn’t listened to the voice that said: “c’mon, it’ll be fun!”

Also, as a reminder, lucky Jupiter went direct at the beginning of this cycle, another reason to get that bright-eyed optimism back online. Sure, Jupiter is also squaring Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, confronting us with our capacity to remain optimistic even in the face of limitations. But you’ve got nothing to lose by staying positive. Jupiter goes forward as Saturn moves backward, so instead of looking to where things went wrong in the past, have faith and look to where things are going right.

If you’ve been honoring your Taurus New Moon intentions and have been carefully plodding away at a task, this could be your big breakthrough—or a reminder of how much others are there for you, whatever your manifestation mission may be. What began with a material outlook may very well reveal a whole new spiritual understanding of what you are capable of as a human being among other human beings.

Look for events around this Sagittarius Full Moon to show you where you need to give yourself an extra push forward, or find a friend to remind you: “c’mon it’ll be fun.” It’s Sagittarius, after all!

To book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel email: [email protected]

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A YOGIC IMMERSION, AND A POET WHO DIDN’T KNOW IT

An Immersion with my yoga preachers, an animal spirit out of balance, and an epic journey of self-discovery…

New pals! @welltodomag @thevoguetrip and @mind_body_bowl

:: MONDAY & TUESDAY ::
I’m dedicating some extra space today to THE most incredible weekend with my friends at lululemon. “The Immersion” was a four-day experience in Austin, TX, hosted by lulu ambassadors Gabrielle Bernstein and Baron Baptiste—creator of mega transformational practice, Baptiste Yoga. And it came at the perfect time for me, since 2016 has been the year I’ve finally found a dedicated yoga routine, but have found myself yearning for ways to tap the spiritual side of the practice. As in, use it as a way to commune with the Universal oneness, y’all!

Well of course this is Gabby’s whole jam with her Kundalini practice, which she described to us (50 of the most switched-on, diverse and interesting disrupter-entrepreneur types I’ve had the privilege of spending some dedicated hang-time with—and what an HONOR to be numbered among them!) as bringing “physicality to my spiritual practice.” A long-time meditator, “I was always like, ‘how do I get my body involved?'” And I may not be the most dedicated K-head (“K” as in Kundalini, obvs), but every time I do practice I can be guaranteed some pretty out-there downloads from the energy I call “spirit.”

Gabs getting her Kundalini on

And then there was Baron, a prime example of a breed I’ve named the “yoga preachers.” Not in the sense that he’s preaching a certain way to be or dogma to believe. If anything, his philosophy centers around the concept of “santosha”—sanskrit for something like: “satisfaction with the status quo…tinged with curiosity for where this could go.” But he’s one of those teachers with a sixth sense about precisely the right words to deliver at precisely the right moment in the practice to unlock the door to the divine. That is, to an understanding of your Self as a limitless being of pure light consciousness. Hallelujah!

Baron Baptiste: the preacher man himself

:: WEDNESDAY ::
A also brought along my new Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck, a.k.a. my favorite new toy. The card I pulled for guidance about my time at The Immersion? The Firefly—a flighty, creative energy that burns super-bright, but can easily burn out. Which sounds exactly like me—a major introvert—in full-on retreat mode. The suggestion to bring this energy into balance? “Write a poem.” Which I’ve actually never done before, but which has rapidly become my favorite thing! Kim Krans’s practical tips are one of the best things about the deck. Have you been using yours yet? I’d love to hear what you think.

:: THURSDAY ::
So Ellen Degeneres is a secret Numi. Um, going through the research for a recent interview I did with her uncovered the following evidence: she came out after a trip to spiritual development center Esalen, where, “What came up was: ‘would they still love me if I was gay?’ It made me feel ashamed that I was pretending to be something else, just to make people like me”; she’s a long-time advocate of Transcendental Meditation – “when your computer goes crazy, you just shut it down and when you turn it on, it’s okay again. That’s what meditation is for me”; AND in 2010 she founded a record company called eleveneleven. #materialgirlmysticalworld

…oh and she’s 99% #vegan

:: FRIDAY ::
You guys—I’m so so close to handing in the final manuscript for my book! And writing it has been the most epic journey of self-discovery, something I was reminded of today when I re-worked the intro I wrote as part of my original proposal waaaay back in early 2015. From the overall tone, to my knowledge and understanding of all things numinous, the process crystalized exactly how much I’ve grown in the past 18 months—not least as a result of me literally living what I’ve been writing about. Which bodes well for the impact the finished result could have on YOUR lives, dear potential readers! Safe to say I’m fully psyched to share my baby with y’all next year.

COSMIC ANATOMY: ASTROLOGY FOR SELF-HEALING

With her new book, Your Body and the Stars, astrologer Rebecca Gordon has collaborated with Stephanie Marango MD to create a total guide for how to use astrology for self-healing…Images: Taylor Allen

We caught up with Rebecca to get the inside scoop on astrology for self-healing, and to learn how astrology is intimately related to your body. PLUS scroll down to do a cosmic body-scan by sign, and learn what practices and techniques can help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing…

The Numinous: What’s the first thing to know about astrology for self-healing?
Rebecca Gordon: As well as your personality characteristics, your chart speaks volumes about your body and soul disposition. This is because each Sign of the zodiac has rulership over a region of your body, and so the signs you are born under will tell a story of your physical strengths and susceptibilities.

In ancient times, medicine and astrology were practiced in concert together—and in fact, in most Universities of the middle ages and Renaissances, and in the Hippocratic school of Medicine, a physician would not be allowed to practice medicine without a prior knowledge of astrology.

TN: And how is your new book designed to be used?
RG: First of all, remember that each sign of the zodiac lives within you—since every sign is somewhere in your chart, and each sign is also represented in one part of your body. The condition of that region of your body can tell a lot about your character and life lessons at any given moment.

As such, the book is designed to give you deep insight into your emotions, mind and spirit through the lens of your body. You can strengthen your life force by simply looking up your Sun sign, learning about the lessons and doing the exercises. You can also do this for your Moon and rising signs.

But let’s say you have this reoccurring low back pain. Then you can turn to the chapter on Libra, and use it to assess where you’re at. On a more emotional level, if you have a big speech to give and you are mortified about public speaking I’d recommend focusing on Leo practices, and incorporating them into your life for at least a month prior—to strengthen a heartfelt sense of self-expression.

The recommended practices are meant to ‘tonify’ each sign and they will range from breath work, to physical exercises, Yoga poses, affirmations, and lifestyle routines.

TN: How have you used astrology for self-healing yourself?
RG: Whenever I feel a blockage in my body such as sinus infection or neck pain, I immediately ask myself ‘what else could this mean?’ Asking the questions related to the sign ruling these areas (Aries and Taurus) I always learn so much about myself, and often when any internal imbalances are addressed, my physical symptoms will also clear up. Not always in one day, and I am a huge fan of doing one practice for a 40-day period, the time frame required to carve new neural pathways.

TN: Besides your Sun and rising signs, which other planets can give clues to your overall health?
RG: Sometimes our Saturn sign will show where there can be tightness or blockages. It shows where there are deeper lessons to learn on the emotional, psychological and physical plane. The Jupiter sign can often show where there may be inflammation or an over-extended region of the body.

But every planet has its say. In relationship to overall health, I see the natal chart as a holistic map of the spirit, psyche and physical body. It’s really all the same thing, as the physical body is merely an interpretation of the spirit body.

Below, Rebecca shares a brief insight into the health issues commonly faced by each sign, as well tip for how to use astrology for self-healing. As well as your Sun and rising, read all signs so you can do a general body scan, and find much more explicit descriptions in the book! Get your copy here.

ARIES
Aries rules over the head and has a reputation for being headstrong in life. When the Aries in you is out of balance, you can often feel symptoms like blocked or runny sinus’s or headaches.

Tip for healing: Say “I am X” aloud, finishing with a quality you aspire to—i.e.: “I am focused and efficient.”

TAURUS
When the Taurus in you is out of balance, it can show up as neck tension, the urge to crack your neck often, sore throat, unsteady voice or thyroid imbalance.

Tips for healing: Try daily neck circles (refer to book for details), and making the seed sound Ham (say “h-a-r-m”) which will work to balance the throat chakra.

GEMINI
Gemini serves as a messenger of the illuminated mind. A scattered mind, fear of expressing yourself, or maybe there is arm and hand pain are signals that the Gemini in you is out of balance.

Tips for healing: Try making Uttarabodhi Mudra (directions in book), and figure-8 circles using hands and extending fingers.

CANCER
The chest is the body part ruled by Cancer so imbalances here can show up in the form of cysts, fibroids, slumped chest, excess phlegm or emotional eating.

Tip for healing: Three-part breath. Count a six-second slow inhale through the nose; hold the breath inside the low belly for another six seconds; then slowly exhale through the nose for six seconds. Repeat daily for 11 minutes.

LEO
Imbalance in Leo can show in the form of heart problems, tightness or weakness in the upper back.

Tip for healing: Sphinx pose and Camel pose can help you to open to the light of your heart (directions in book). Do these on a daily basis for at least a few weeks and note the difference in your feeling of openness.

VIRGO
When Virgo’s quest for purity is either absent or goes overboard, then the body can show symptoms like stomach ulcers, poor digestion, eating disorders, obsessive behavior and a weak core.

Tips for Healing: Forearm plank for core strength; Breath of Fire (see book) for purification.

LIBRA
When the Libra in you is out of balance, it can show as low back or kidney pain, limited range of motion or extreme S shaped posture.

Tips for healing: Sa Ta Na Ma mantra and finger Mudra (details in book).

SCORPIO
When the Scorpio in you is out of balance, this can show up as a urinary tract infection, menstrual irregularity, IBS, or a weak pelvic floor.

Tips for healing: Dance, swim, stand under a waterfall, declutter and throw things away; Cat & Cow pose with deep ujjayi breath.

SAGITTARIUS
When Sagittarius has fallen out of balance, this can often show up as tight hips, turned out hips, liver problems and a tendency to over-indulge in food and drink.

Tips for healing: Chair pose, Pigeon pose, hip circles.

CAPRICORN
Weak knees, tight knees, knee pain or excess fluid around knees can be a sign of a Capricorn kind of imbalance within.

Tips for healing: Saturn finger meditation, Warrior Two pose (descriptions in book).

AQUARIUS
When the Aquarius within you is out of balance, it may result in weak ankles, often sprained ankles, and stiffness and cracking around the ankles.

Tips for healing: Tree pose to refine and strengthen your stance.

PISCES
Hypermobile or stiff feet, growths like warts or bunions, inflammation of the feet or stubbed toes can often occur to signal an imbalance with Pisces.

Tips for healing: Try foot massage / reflexology, and either foot stomping or simply walking barefoot on the earth.

Rebecca Gordon is the resident astrologer for Harper’s Bazaar. Discover more about her Astrology School and book a reading here, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac As Your Wellness Guide is out now.

 

SHADOW EMOTION: HOW TO WORK WITH ANGER

Mars retrograde stirring up any suppressed…rage (um, Lemonaid)? You can use your anger as a powerful tool for transformation, says Erin Telford

Anger is my favorite shadow emotion. It’s powerful, it gets things done and it is excellent at creating boundaries and change.

But anger is also one of the most misunderstood and underutilized emotions. As women, we are socialized in both overt and covert ways to be nice, not make a fuss and not rock the boat. When we are taught by our loved-ones and by our culture to bite our tongue in service of keeping the peace, we can get very disconnected from trusting our feelings and from feeling safe to work with this emotion when it flares up.

The thing is, most of us have never seen a healthy expression of anger. We associate it with road rage, throwing things at people, screaming, crying, cursing, fear, abuse, physical threats, danger, and out of control people. These are all examples of unhealthy anger. It’s not an emotion we appreciate so we try our very best to suppress it out of existence.

But it’s actually unexpressed or suppressed anger can get ugly. And beyond the stigma, all anger is, is a catalyst for change and an opportunity for some honest communication. Anger can actually work for you if you work with it.

Anger in its purest form simply says: “I don’t like this. Something needs to be different about this situation.” It’s a call to action! You don’t like it? Okay, change it!

One of the best examples of healthy anger is peaceful protest. This is anger put to work—a group of people turning their collective anger into action to create change. We are seeing this right now in politics, the environment, and human rights. It is impossible for anyone with a beating heart to turn a blind eye to what is going on in our world. We are riled up, expressing our opinions and getting involved!

We can all do this in our personal lives as well. Anger is a very powerful force and if wielded with grace and finesse, it can move mountains. Where we get into trouble with anger is when we push it down, causing it to build.

Anger is connected with the season of spring. This is because it speaks to the catalytic energy surge required to turn a seed into a plant, to push it’s little head above the soil and reach for the sun! Spring, our liver, and by association the energy of anger, are connected with upward and outward growth.

So what happens if your growth is inhibited? What happens when someone tells you “no”? A ridiculous new policy is created at work? What if you are simply just trying to walk down the street and everyone is in your way? You didn’t get the apartment or the job or the acceptance letter, a flight is delayed, a class isn’t offered, you didn’t get the promotion?

These are ways that an obstacle interrupts the smooth flow of our life. We don’t like obstacles. We don’t like no. We don’t like interruptions to our plans.

And so our natural reaction can be anger. Which is totally fine. We are upset.

But to deny this is to block our access our personal power. When we feel guilty about what we feel or label ourselves as being “negative” when we feel angry, we miss out on an opportunity to out-create our circumstances.

Rather, if we can sit with our anger, can look at where it’s coming from and why we feel it, we can polish it into a nugget of transformational gold. If we have been hurt or upset by another person, rather than lashing out, we can advocate for ourselves and clearly state our needs to that person. If someone continually disrespects or hurts us, you may need to use that anger to create a change in the terms of that relationship!

You may have heard that anger turned inward results in depression—an oversimplified expression, since depression has many roots and takes many forms—but there is some weight to it.

When we repress our anger toward a partner, friend, loved one or co-worker by not sharing our truth, we are betraying ourselves. We are inadvertently communicating to ourselves that our feelings don’t matter and we are not worth standing up for. Self-betrayal is the most painful betrayal of all and can decrease self-esteem and confidence—leading to depression.

So we stay snippy and unexpressed and we self-medicate even more or our tense up even more, or our digestion suffers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Use your anger as a call to action to change your circumstances.

Breathe it out. Dance it out. Run it out. Write it out. Scream it out (not at someone else!) Sing it out. Create it out. Talk it out. Paint it out. Boot camp it out. Express it out.

You have to feel it to heal it. You have to let it out to transform it. Just don’t be afraid of anger.

The more you know your triggers and can feel when it’s rising in you, the more gently and safely you can manage this emotion. Anger is so powerful and properly harnessed it can do so much for you. Think of anger as your inner Mama Bear, your inner Kali, and your inner badass.

And let it be fuel to create powerful change and transform your life.

WILD UNKNOWN: HOW TO WORK WITH THE ANIMAL SPIRIT ORACLE

It’s the deck everybody’s talking about. Gabriela Herstik has the low-down on how to work with the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle…

Wild Unknown creator Kim Krans

It’s “Animal Spirit” and not “Spirit Animal” for a reason! For Kim Krans, head honcho/Goddess of The Wild Unknown, her latest oracle deck is an exploration of all the divine animal energies that encompass aspects of human existence and spirit.

Instead of focusing on your “spirit animal,” Krans invites us to focus on the elemental energies of each creature in a way that speaks to our relationships and to deeper parts of ourselves—once again, inviting exploration of the wild unknown of the soul.

This new deck allows for introspection in a radical and untamed way. This deck says it’s okay to be feral and wild, or tame and controlled, because it’s important to wander through it all. And by including Spirit as an element, Krans takes it one step further, inviting creativity and intuition to be a part of the journey. Whether you’re a unicorn or bumblebee, all is welcome in The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle.

Below, we explore each element, as well as an animal card from each, gaining a little more insight into the fantastic world of the Animal Spirit Oracle. And in learning about the animals in the deck, Krans hopes to inspire a more connected relationship to this world and all her creatures.

:: Earth ::

Animals of the Earth represent our basic needs, like home, money and work. These animals are grounded in the present and approach their routines with ease, but can get stuck without freedom from what they know. Animals of the Earth ask us to listen and shift perspectives—are we looking too much to the ground, or too much at the sky? These creatures are asking us to soften and surrender to the changes we may be facing, and they remind us to water our own soil, since self-compassion is necessary for growth.

The Deer – The Deer suggests a feminine softness and a graceful, maternal take on what can be a very stoic energy. How can steady and grounded Earth energy help you to bask in everything new? Don’t be afraid to reap the rewards of your harvest. By finding tenderness in yourself, you’re able to walk this life with more grace and intention—no matter how bumpy the ground is. Tap into your intuition and listen from your heart. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself in your situation, your inner deer will thank you.

:: The Air ::

With freedom comes wisdom. Creatures of the Air are able to see what others may miss, observing quietly, powerfully and deeply. When a creature of this suite comes up in a reading it can be a reminder to find some grounding, to slow down and to reconnect to the physical realms. Life is complex and we seek to move as effortlessly as possible, like the wind. By tapping into Air energy at its most expansive, we are invited to see and feel the subtler realm of existence.

The Crow – Through the eyes of The Crow, the world becomes something magical—something mysterious and precious and exciting. The Crow is a drawn to the unseen, to the supernatural and the occult. She has a fascination with the deeper, all-encompassing experience of the past, present and future. Use this energy when your mind is ready. To be present. Be open. Be patient. Sometimes the wind tells us secrets that we must be ready to hear.

:: Fire ::

By working with animals that speak of our passion and what lights our spark, we’re able to tap into the fiery aspect of ourselves for the ultimate transformation. These most powerful, and sometimes destructive, aspects of ourselves, pave the way for transmutation and rebirth—as the creatures of the Fire elment attest to. These cards represent growth, they represent the death of ego, and they ask us to sit in the fire until it’s too hot. Invite these beings in to help burn the way to a new you.

The Lion – BE the Lion. You have it in you to be the king of the jungle, after all. Don’t stop feeding your flame simply because others are not ready for it. The Lion’s energy may intimidate those who aren’t ready, but his energy is available to all who are willing. By tapping into this card, transformation is completely possible—with a keen sense of your personal strengths, you’re able to accomplish anything. The Lion simply asks you to open up to this sort of revolution. Once you do you’ll see how easy it is to roar.

:: Water ::

In the name of balance, creatures of the Water are asking us to jump into the messy, wonderful, beautiful world of our emotions, loves and passions. These are creatures that speak of our ability to express ourselves and to love and create. These animals ask us to open ourselves up and to surrender—to be a conduit for the flow of the Universe. Allow the current to take you where it may—what can you learn from floating down a different stream?

The Oyster – We all have special gifts – and the Oyster reminds us to share these gifts with the world. When we see the sensitive, watery side of ourselves as a treasure instead of a burden, we’re able to use our intuition and deep-rooted wisdom in a more authentic way. The Oyster works hard to create her pearl—a beautiful gift that no one else can give. By revealing this part of yourself, by showing your more vulnerable side, you’re allowing space for growth and reflection, all while giving others permission to do the same.

:: Spirit ::

The nature of the Spirit cards is steeped in mystery. These creatures exist on realms parallel to our own— asking us to shift our gaze so we can embody the messages they’re trying to teach us. By working with our subtle body and energies, like the chakras, these cards help us view situations in a new, more inviting and profound light. Even for Krans, these cards are mysterious, inviting one to delve into the deeper, unknown waters to see what lies beneath the surface. Krans explains that it’s okay to not completely understand the Spirit cards. Invite the energies in, work with them and let them take you on their journey.

Sea Serpent – Ruling over the second chakra, the Sea Serpent gives us permission to bask in creativity and sensuality without shame. This card is like Kundalini energy personified, allowing us to live with our desires in a way that feeds our soul. Like a mother giving her child a loving embrace, this Spirit card asks us to step into pleasure in its purest form. What do you have to let go of to let the energy of this card flow through you? Where is there drought, and what is flooded? Allow the energy of the Sea Serpent, allow the energy of Spirit, to cradle you. Do less. Open yourself up, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Shop The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle

TEMPLE OF VENUS: BEAUTY IMAGE BEAUTIFUL

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim discovers that even among spiritual circles, body image issues persist…Images: Karis Wakeling-Farren 

Beauty. Isn’t that a gorgeous word? Look at how it sits on the page: regal with all those vowels. I’ve always adored words with lots of vowels: elegant, exquisite, gorgeous, pleasing. Beauty is such an angel word.

Recently in a meditation, I heard the message: “You are more beautiful than you think you are.” This message struck me—it brought a sad little pang to my heart. When I thought more about it, I realized I’ve been experiencing one of those periods where I look in the mirror and think I look weird. Where I’m breaking out more than usual, where I don’t feel particularly connected to my sensual side, where, I don’t know, I just don’t “feel beautiful,” you know?

And I know what it’s about, really, this denial of beauty. I’ve been dancing with body image issues since I was thirteen. There was something wrong with my belly! Why did it stick out from my body like that? Why was I the only one with a strange belly like this? At 17, when other stresses kicked in, I acted on these thoughts and began dieting. I struggled from compulsive dieting for the next eight years.

I had grown up wanting to be an actress, famously a profession of body image perfectionism. When I was 19, I spent my summer as an apprentice at a theatre festival. I recall hanging out in a circle of about 10 women, and the conversation turned to food and dieting. It became clear to me that all these young women who wanted to be actresses had struggled with or were struggling with eating disorder.

All these gorgeous women who I knew as gorgeous because of their insides, their passionate outlook and fearlessness on stage, were folding themselves in one way or another in order to feel included in an exclusive industry: in order to feel included in their own dreams. It was the first time I realized how much I wasn’t alone in this “bad body image” compulsion. And, of course, it’s not just actresses who go through this. It’s all of us.

As years have passed, I feel better about me. A lot. I’m no longer dieting, and I feel I can accept whatever it is I have chosen to eat. However, I now find myself in many other women’s circles that mirror the above one. Healing circle. Meditation Circle. Brunch table. And to tell you the truth, even though these are circles of loving, empowered people, I’m often still worrying about the size of my belly.

The tendency toward self-blame is always there lingering in the background—and I’d like to posit that it is for many of us. It’s an elephant in our yoga studios and sound baths. We’ve had so much programming about how we’re supposed to look for our whole lives, that body anxiety just feels like a channel many of us have been set to. Especially if you live in a trendy city, and the street suggests fashion putting your body on show.

In groups and even just among friends, I’ve started paying attention to when my body image insecurity comes up. I get in touch with my inner knowing and I ask, “Is this mine?” Often, I hear “no.” It belongs to a peer. It belongs to a friend. Doing this has helped me understand, once again, that I am truly not alone in my insecurity. That it is SO MANY OF US who feel not right in ourselves.

Everyone, everyone has that something: “I’ve got a great body, but my skin sucks.” “I love my hips but my eyes kind of cross sometimes and I think I look messed up.” “My face is weird.” “I should look more masculine.” “I should look more feminine.” We compartmentalize ourselves and obsess over our “wrong” thing. So of course, even if the thought is usually not mine, it IS mine too. It’s all of ours. And we “empath” it back and forth to one another.

At this point, I’d like to bring up that this is the ego’s favorite myth, that: “There is something wrong with me.” Psychologist Tara Brach brilliantly describes this concept in her book Radical Acceptance:

[T]he universal sense that “something is wrong” easily solidifies into “something is wrong with me.” When I look into my own feelings of unworthiness, sometimes I can’t point to any significant way I’m actually falling short. Yet just this feeling of being a self, separate from others, brings up a fundamental assumption that I am not okay…Believing that we are separate, incomplete, and therefore at risk, is not some malfunction of nature. Rather, this perception is an intrinsic part of our human experience—indeed of all life.

Brach makes it clear: it’s our sense of alone-ness that makes us feel wrong. The great irony of course is that we’re all together in feeling separate. And there is nothing wrong with you or me or us. There may, however, be something wrong with the society we live in (“The universal sense that something is wrong…”). There may be something wrong with the messages that we ingest and unknowingly propagate.

The author today

But what is the gift of these insane societal standards? What is the gift of the insecurity?

Disagreeing with the ego’s unloving ideas strengthens the mind and soul. When you choose to say “no” to this habit of self-attack, when you choose love in favor of compulsion, you are growing. You are claiming your worth. You are getting stronger each time. Whenever we actively proclaim the Truth to the unloving self, we are paving the way for freedom.

Choose an affirmation today for your unloving habit and resolve to challenge it in order to gain freedom. Mine is: “I know that these fears about my body are untrue. I know I am so much more than this body. I surrender these fears to love.” This can, of course, be applied to any flavor of compulsion, not just body perfectionism. And of course, whenever we free ourselves, we free our sisters and brothers, too. The grip of group insecurity relaxes, we’re all getting spiritually lighter together. Which, in my humble opinion, is way more important than physical lightness. This is a spiritual workout!

These hurts also build empathy and compassion. How could I, Elyssa, help others love their bodies if I hadn’t run the whole gamut of fear and love in my own thinking? Thus our misfortunes become our miracles.

I told a friend about my meditation, the one in which I heard, “You are more beautiful than you think you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. “Physically?”

“Yes, physically.”

“Go to your heart,” he said. “Go to your heart. That’s where beauty lives. Focus on the feelings inside your heart and you will know you’re beautiful. Then your whole self responds.”

I love this. And, it is true. And when I talked to Venus, Venus told me: “You are all beautiful. You are all divine. You are all so much more radiant than you know.” Go to your heart. Find the beauty and resilience there. “Heart.” That’s got a nice vowel assortment too.

PS: This post marks my one-year anniversary of writing for the Numinous! From Spring to Spring, I am grateful for all of the gifts.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on the practice of receiving.

SENSUAL AWAKENING: WORK WITH YOUR TAURUS MOON SIGN

Understand your Taurus Moon sign and maximize your self-care practice to be the best YOU, says Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Taurus Moon sign is the symbol of sensuality. The full embrace of our five senses. Our moon sign symbolizes our heart, our deepest needs, our ideal environment, as well as the things in life that make us feel secure, safe and loved. We feed our moon and our moon feeds us. Understanding this side of yourself can help you feel more balanced, stable and centered.

The moon is considered to be exalted in Taurus—meaning the moon loves this sign and can operate quite well here. She gets to express her desire for security through earthy realms that satisfy our more human needs. As such, if you have a Taurus Moon sign, you like to stop and smell the roses and have the ability to feel comforted by the simple joys of life.

Work out your moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

The Taurus Moon sign also needs and seeks out stability in all areas of life. It can be quite unnerving to you if you find yourself in a whirlpool of whipping emotions. Even if it doesn’t have to do with you in particular, just being around energy like that can take you off-kilter. You like to operate in a way that feels safe and comfortable.

You usually don’t rush into emotional situations without careful thought or even planning. The Taurus Moon sign likes to see what organically develops and prefers to allow time and space for trust to blossom. If you find yourself being forced into a situation that you feel you are not ready for, then those around you should get ready for some serious stubborn responses. This moon will emotionally resist just to prove a point because moving too quickly can threaten the sensitive heart of a Taurus Moon sign.

This moon can also be prone to overindulgence for pleasure’s sake or external soothing—such as emotional eating. A real love of healing touch, delicious tastes, and lovely landscapes are most certainly not a bad thing. It only gets unhealthy when you begin to use sensual pleasure as a band-aid. The Taurus Moon sign is stellar at finding pleasure in simply being human, but the real beauty is to enjoy it without getting totally lost in it.

:: CREATE INNER STABILITY ::
Accountability. Sudden change can be psychically toxic to this moon, so making your own plans and sticking to them helps keep your core more centered. Often not so simple in our fast-paced, always shifting world. Work on creating some habitual patterns with intent. For example, head to the market every Sunday to buy yourself fresh flowers for the week. You get the dependability of your routine and the sensual pleasure of the flowers themselves. Start an exercise regime that feels good to your body and stick to the goals you set. The more you can rely on yourself, the more your emotional body will open up to the vacillating currents of life.

:: CALM BEFORE THE STORM ::
Try this mini meditation when life does throw you some curveballs. The Taurus Moon sign doesn’t enjoy change, since they work hard to develop stable systems that work for them. Yet we all know that life moves to its own beat. When you find yourself freaking out, take the time to stop and do some deep breathing. Then really ask yourself, “Is my immediate reaction equal to the outcome of the change in front of me?”

We live in such a high-stress society that our nervous systems are always in “go” mode, making us more susceptible to react rather than respond. And for the sweet and stable lunar Taurus it can be even more difficult. We first breathe to balance the body, and then we create open space to allow the inner dialogue to occur.

:: MANTRA ::
“I am collected regardless of external uncertainty.”

:: SENSUAL BALANCE :: 
Seek out the pleasures in life without totally leaning on them for emotional stability. Ice-cream will eventually let you down. Sad, but true. Especially if you’re one those people that beats yourself up after eating a whole tub. Our bodies are amazing machines, and deserve to be taken care of. If you find yourself returning too often to something that’s not the most healthy option, take time to consider why. What are you trying to avoid, hide or ignore?

If you can’t dig deep enough to scoop up the root consider exploring this with a therapist.  I’ve seen many clients with this moon placement who use food in particular as a form of comfort, yet secretly hate this about themselves. I’ve even seen the opposite occur, where the denial of pleasure becomes a form of stability. Either way, these are vicious cycles that are usually signals that some psyche work needs addressing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of—everybody is going through something, and we are on this earth to help each other through it.

:: EARTHLY DELIGHTS :: 
This is a creative moon that needs to feel connected to its earthy roots. Think gardening, getting your hands dirty, and really feeling the earth. As well as working with pottery, clay, sculpture, mixed media, paper mache, etc, it’s about creating something that feels good in your hands and takes time to master. Go for long walks outdoors, collect beautiful flowers that you can press later for safe keeping, or go to artistic events that inspire you.

:: MOVEMENT :: 
The Taurus Moon sign is what’s called in astro language “fixed,” which can be embodied by traits such as being stubborn, lethargic or possibly lazy. Keep in mind that Venus rules Taurus, and she really does enjoy lying about being fed grapes from time to time. With that said, the body needs a fair amount of movement. Try vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga or a barre class, all practices that work through repetitive motions, allowing for heat and stability to build. A double whammy for you too, because you get the consistency of a set routine while allowing for more expansion in your head and your heart.