YOUR TOTAL GUIDE TO URANUS IN TAURUS

With electric shocker planet Uranus now rolling through Taurus until 2026, we’re ripe for revolutionizing our resources, and radically grounding into our beautiful bodies. Numi astro crew Lord Chiron, Danielle Paige, Kiranjot, Bess Matassa, Kimberly Peta Dewhirst, and Rebecca Farrar have the full report on this historic meeting of heaven and Earth …

URANUS IN TAURUS :: 5.6.19 – 2026

From LORD CHIRON  
3-D chocolate printing and breaking free of the B.S.

In Greek, the language of the New Testament, Ouranos /Uranus, means “heaven.” Uranus symbolizes the realm of archetypes, effortless creativity, and synchronicity. Where we are out of line with “life” is where Uranus comes in and shocks the bullshit out of us, and with Uranus in Taurus, we can expect many shifts as to what we value here on Earth.

The Mayans equated Earth with the underworld.  They knew what the Buddhists know: that Earthly existence is a never ending loop, and that, until we evolve our consciousness, we’ll be reincarnated into the same mess over and over again. To get into Uranus / heaven, we are going to have let go of something we are holding onto that has outlived its purpose on Earth.

On a lighter note, there is also this totally Uranus in Taurus development: the 3D printing of chocolate.

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From DANELLE PAIGE 
Lean into the cosmic rhythm

The combination of revolutionary awakener Uranus with slow and steady Taurus is interesting for a couple of reasons. Taurus is a fixed sign and doesn’t like change before it’s really, really ready for it, and Uranus hasn’t been in Taurus since the early 1930s (the era of the Great Depression).

While this transit doesn’t have to herald another major financial crisis, it does highlight how we handle our resources, and care for Mother Earth. On a personal level, we’ll be moving more into our bodies, and awakening even more to what we put inside of them and how it was produced.

If you’re a fixed sign (Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius, or Leo), or have any planets in those signs, then this Uranus transit will be making contact with your birth chart specifically. When that happens (meaning when Uranus in Taurus makes an exact angle to any of the planets in these signs) it will mean a personal awakening for you in the area of life that’s being highlighted (as denoted by the House containing the planet in question).

A final note: there is nothing to fear with this transit. This energy is happening because, as a collective, we’re really, really ready. Uranus’ transit through Taurus is set to break us out of old patterns, so that we can liberate who we actually want to be.

To find out more about Danielle’s work and how she can help you embody you soul’s cosmic rhythm follow her on Instagram 

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From KIRANJOT 
Summoning Kundalini courage in the face of change

Crowned “God of the Sky,” Uranus’ energy is electric. He is the revolutionary. He demands innovation and progression at lightening speeds. His symbol even looks like a radio receiver.

We began to slide into the “Age of Aquarius” (the sign co-ruled by Uranus) in 1991, at the same time as the birth of the world wide web, and these Aquarian times have been highlighting the way we as a collective need to evolve if we are going to survive. If channeled well, the energy of Uranus will liberate us, as we’ve seen from the #metoo and #whatif campaigns.

With Uranus in passionate warrior Aries for the past seven years, we’ve been called to step up, claim our individual authority, and be unashamedly real. Social media platforms and the rise of the personal brand have been the frontier of this brave new world. And while we all know social media can be a phenomenal force for good, we’ve also been dealt a heavy side of anxiety as we expose ourselves for public consumption. And if, in Aries, we go out prospecting, in Taurus we bring the treasures home. Super sensual Taurus delights in the body and acquires things that please the senses.

To help us stay strong and able to cope with massive change and intense pressure during these transitional times, use the simple, anxiety soothing meditation below from the Kundalini yoga tradition. It is one of five particular mediations given by Yogi Bhajan for what he called the “gray period,” after the transition into the Aquarian Age, post 2012. Use it to calm the mind, restore mental balance, and protect against irrationality.

Meditation For Strong Nerves: 

-Sit comfortably, spine straight.
-Left hand, touch ring finger and thumb together, hold it at the level of your ear. Right hand, touch little finger and thumb together, keep it relaxed in your lap.
-Close your eyes softly and focus them at the point between your eye brows, which we call the third eye, and take long deep equal breaths. Hold the position for 11 minutes to feel the full effects.
-To finish, take a deep breath in, stretch and shake your hands for a couple of minutes.

Moon Club member Kiranjot is a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Doula in London and Ibiza. Connect with her at kiranjot.com and wisemother.co.uk

Kiranjot summons her Uranian courage

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From BESS MATASSA
Striving to make heaven a place on Earth.

Uranus’ entry into Taurus wants us to loosen our grip, as we offer ourselves up to beauty, and take on a permanent mood ring shade that’s contingent on nothing and no-one to fill our cup.

As Uranus’s neon lightning electrifies the bovine boudoir of Taurus, we are offered the chance to start where we stand, and with exactly the resources we already have on hand. With whatever creams and serums are clustered in our medicine cabinets. With whatever savory spices we are ready to pestle and mortar to perfection. With whatever flesh and bones currently house our spirits. We’re being reminded that our bodies are a vestal vessel for magic and majesty.

That we’ve got enough, and we are more than enough.

Uranus in Taurus Mantra: “When I settle in to what can’t be stolen, I can serve up my delicious mission.”
Theme Song: Heaven is a Place on Earth
Style: The earthbound “housewife” chic of Pedro Almodóvar’s women, in outer space. Chunky lucite hoops, plastic floral hair pieces, and body con neon prints.
Flavors: Think the languid luxe lickables and spontaneous bounty of an impromptu picnic—fresh baguettes, mascarpone, nutty gouda, full-bodied butters, succulent stone fruit, salted charcuterie, and concord grape juice.

Want more juicy cosmic insights and sensory explorations? Arrange a reading or private event with Bess here and follow her on Instagram

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From KIMBERLY PETA DEWHIRST, AKA STAR SIGN STYLE
Ground shaking pragmatism and sensory revolutions.

From the heady daredevil realms of Aries to the bull’s more stable pastures, the flavor of our collective innovations has shifted; a pioneering, fighting spirit transitions into a more practical approach to necessary change.

However, rebellious Uranus faces some challenges in this earthy territory, and we’ve felt the birthing pains to prove it. With earthquakes across the US, and volcanoes in both Hawaii and Japan, we’re viscerally connected to Uranus’ shocking vibrations.

Outside of this Gaia-based realm, whatever Taurus governs can now experience revolutionary leaps—from banking, agriculture and food production, to ways of working, our income, and even sensory experiences. Think the widespread normalization of digital finance, and technological advancement in farming that helps us face sustainability issues with tangible solutions.

And as Taurus governs our sensuality and how we experience the material world, the style forecast for this transit is more Ecological practices in the fashion industry!

Connect with Kimberly at Star Sign Style, and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photo: Patrick Tomasso

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From REBECCA FARRAR, AKA WILD WITCH OF THE WEST 
Awakening Earth activism and connection consciousness.

With the celestial shift of Uranus into Taurus, a.k.a. “Tauranus,” the energy in the air is palpable.

At first, this cosmic combination may seem jolting, as opposing earthly and etheric forces come into contact. Yet Taurus can ground Uranian forces into more practical means, and Uranus has the opportunity to utilize the Taurean powers of connection to move things forward.

As a transpersonal planet closely linked to collective experiences and generations, Uranus’ sign shift is an important indicator of group evolution and the potential for shifts in the collective consciousness. We’ve already seen the effects through new financial structures, such as the sharing economy and cryptocurrency, and Earth technologies that include ocean clean-up efforts and major strides in renewable energy.

Beyond creativity in the fields of environmentalism, food sources, and finance, these next 8 years also offer up revolutions in the way we relate. My hope is for a revolution around connection, and a new consciousness that includes greater intimacy with ourselves, others, mothership Earth, and the cosmic community. I’m eager to watch it unfold.

For more cosmic musings, check out the “Wild Witch of the West” on Instagram and Facebook. 

MANIFESTO FOR AN INCLUSIVE WELLNESS INDUSTRY

After discovering that there was nothing “wrong” with her body except conventional health messaging, Jillian Murphy shares her manifesto for a more inclusive wellness industry …

Photo: Samantha Santy

I had put on 40lbs in my second pregnancy and they seemed to have nestled in for good. I was eating well and moving my body religiously but I just couldn’t lose the weight.

Every well-intentioned health care professional I worked and interacted with as a naturopath was happy to offer up advice about what must be wrong with my adrenals, thyroid, hormonal health, sleep patterns, food combining, mindfulness, sugar intake, etc. etc. etc. and I had worked on it ALL. But to no avail, and I was exhausted from the effort.

Frustrated, I hired a body image and emotional eating coach and, after explaining my long and convoluted health and weight story to this new mentor, she told me something I was wholly unprepared to hear:

“There is nothing wrong with you except for your belief that your body is wrong. You are exceptionally healthy: you don’t have a food problem and your body is exactly, happily, where it needs to be.”

It was one of the strangest, most revolutionary things I’d ever heard. It simultaneously crushed and liberated my soul. Crushed, because, OMG! All the lost time I’d spent trying to “fix” my body. Liberated, because I’d finally been given permission to shed the physical expectations of our culture and just live my life.

The mere suggestion that my body weight and shape may not dictate my health nearly blew up my brain. It set into motion a 7-year journey of critical thinking, self-discovery, and research that would ultimately serve to heal my relationship with food and my body and revolutionize my understanding of health.

What I realized was:

Conventional health messaging flattens beautiful, complex, and biodiverse individuals into 2D facsimiles. Squishes us into mathematical equations, diets, and wellness checklists that promise abundant health and complete control over our bodies.

This messaging makes us believe that if our bodies don’t fit, we are at fault – too lazy, not enough willpower, intelligence, or effort. And in our attempts to conform, we offer up our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, our peace of mind, and sometimes our sanity.

Now, we in the wellness industries are being called to dismantle and challenge outdated, oppressive, and limiting beliefs about food, movement, weight, and health. To present a model for inclusive wellness that is respectful of ALL bodies; critical of information that leaves us feeling confused and in lack; and that offers alternatives to restrictive and prescriptive health ideologies that ignore the lived experience and values of the individual.

This is my manifesto for a more inclusive wellness industry ….

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1// Pursue physical health without compromising your mental, emotional, and/or spiritual self.

When we exercise though our body is asking for rest; when we cut carbs or calories despite our body begging for sustenance; when we skip dinner out for fear of not having the “right” food options; when thinking about food and health consumes our every thought – we sacrifice our sense of peace, connection, and joy in the pursuit of physical “health.” The outcome is a feeling of depletion despite doing “everything right.”

The shift: Put physical health back in its place, as one piece of the health puzzle and not the whole picture.

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2// Respect and appreciate the diversity of human bodies. 

All bodies deserve access to quality healthcare and health resources without judgment or shame. Current body type and weight ideals are problematic and unscientific (including the Body Mass Index or BMI). They negatively impact our relationship with food and movement, and encourage the stigmatization of all but a small percentage of bodies deemed “appropriate.”  Those in bigger bodies are judged harshly and mistreated in every sphere of society, from the workplace to medicine.

The shift: We must shed the belief that losing weight is the #1 path to health and wellness and work instead to pursue behaviors that have been proven to have a positive impact on health – whether we lose weight or not – while developing a much broader and inclusive definition of bodies we deem healthy, attractive, and worthy.

Photo: Samantha Santy

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3// Define “health” and “wellness” for yourself. 

These terms are social constructs that differ across communities and cultures. It’s also important to recognize that many people don’t have the privilege of prioritizing wellness, even if they want to. We can own our own investment and interest in health and wellness without projecting it onto others. Imagine how many hours a day/week could you free up if you let go of food, body control, and worry.

The shift: Consider what aspects of health and wellness actually light you up. Can you think of moments when you’ve judged the health and wellness choices of others? Begin to think about how our narrowly drawn ideas about these concepts impact the overall health of our society.

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4// Become the leading expert on YOU.

We have been taught that we must rely on externally devised, highly moralized food plans telling us how much to eat, what to eat, and when to eat. The Now Age way is to turn to models for nourishing ourselves that put us back in touch with our innate ability to regulate food variety and quantity. These models consider the needs of our physical bodies, while also taking the mental, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of food, movement, and health into account.

The shift: Promote eating based on our bodies’ internal cues instead of following fad diets or parroting somebody else’s food rules. (ED: read Jillian’s tips on using body positivity to unlock your intuition).

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5// Cultivate a sense of purpose and worth beyond your physical form.

The exhaustion, digestive issues, inflammatory processes, and body concerns I see in so many of my patients are one part physical, two parts spiritual/emotional. We feel disconnected and the stress of floating through the world unsure of where we belong, what makes us worthy, and what our purpose is shows up as dysfunction in our thought processes and bodies. We then cling to the rituals, routines, and ideologies of wellness and weight that serve as the ultimate distraction.

The shift: Replace diets and health “regimens” with rituals that connect you to the moon, meditation, talk therapy, dance parties, ditching toxic relationships, eating mindfully, speaking up, saying no, walking in nature, swimming in the ocean, lighting a candle, giving back. Anything that reminds us that our worth is inherent, we are more than our bodies, and we are connected to everyone and everything.

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6// Work to change the systems in place that deeply affect the health and wellness of our culture and community.

Socioeconomic status is the leading determinant of health. Accordingly, we must work to shift these issues on a systemic level if we truly care about our health and the health of those around us. There are systems in place that can’t be “love + light”ed away, and we all have a responsibility to pull apart our own oppressive beliefs and work toward amplifying the perspectives of those who experience this system differently.

The shift: Realize that representation matters – if we want to feel normal and acceptable in our various forms, we need to SEE those forms and diverse paths to health. Start with your social media feed by including a wide range of body shapes, sizes, races, abilities, and gender expressions, and enter into those spaces with the intention of listening. As you learn, commit to engaging those who share your social identity in conversations that question your current health and wellness beliefs. Be an active catalyst for change.

NON-BINARY BEAUTY FOR GEMINI SEASON

Treat yourself to the full Gemini season rainbow with Eunice Lucero‘s non-binary beauty picks …

Photo: Rawpixel

Thankfully, we’ve begun to embrace that gender is anything but a binary concept—it’s not black and white, or worse, pink versus blue—and Gemini season is prime time to embrace the full spectrum of the rainbow. No shade to feminine frills, but this month we’re feeling sleek, minimalistic buys that are as sassy as they are inclusive.

We’ve listed our selections for each Gemini placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Gemini rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free. Oh and bonus, we also put the spotlight on product pairs and groups—as Geminis know, twinning is twice the fun …

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1// Sun in Gemini: Panacea The Aegis Daily Facial Moisturizer, $46 for 50ml, and The Aegis Daily Facial SPF, $38. Named after the Greek word for “all-healing,” you love witty products that talk the talk, but that have integrity too. This line is made of premium ingredients all in a straightforward, easy-to-use formulation—appealing to your smart, ingredient-based approach to skincare. The moisturizer’s potent yet streamlined cocktail (hyaluronic acid, Japanese seaweed, fig extract) delivers lightweight nourishment and syncs up with your penchant for thoughtful content; the SPF is scentless and non-greasy, allowing you some hassle-free fun in the sun, as you can’t let UV rays cramp your networking steez. Best yet? They’re both TSA-friendly, because, of course, you’re all about leaning into that natural wanderlust.

Panacea Moisturizer & SPF

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2// Moon in Gemini: Meant The Absolute Balm, $45 and The Wonder Polish, $43. Multitasking is the name of the game for this delightfully chic line, which totally simplifies your shower routine—and gives mood-groomers like you a break from overthinking! Your decisions, particularly with beauty indulgences, are as mercurial as your mile-a-minute convo skills, so dual-purpose winners take the anxiety out of choosing between style and substance. Prep with the polish, which is an organic body scrub and an in-shower moisturizer (it has coffee, sugar and avocado—basically brekkie for your bod), then indulge in the anti-oxidant-filled balm, whose soft formula doubles as a sexy, cozy salve that treats and soothes.

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3// Ascendant in Gemini: Schwarzkopf Professionals BlondMe® Instant Blush Blonde Beautifier in Steel Blue and Strawberry, $22 each. Your youthful looks and charming open-mindedness give you the moxie for the latest trends; you’re not afraid to try new things, which is why you were probably first on the candy-hair bandwagon when it hit the scene years ago. Prolong those rainbow-unicorn vibes while giving your look a current spin with a pair of non-committal pastel sprays specifically formulated for lightened or blonde locks. Spray and comb through for a fest-best ’do, or even use the light blue shade to help tone that on-trend dusky platinum when it turns brassy. The colors last up to five washes—enough time to stay breezily on-point for your next soirée.

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4// Mercury in Gemini: Cydney Mar Wellness Energetic Body & Mind Adrenal Support, $38, and Jecca Correct & Conceal Palette in Medium, $21.80. A ball of restless energy, you’re undoubtedly at home in an intellectually stimulating environment. Eclectic, versatile and super quick on the uptake, life can definitely burn you out if you’re not careful! A supplement that gives a gentle energy boost via rhodiola, a.k.a. nature’s secret weapon against fatigue and mental burnout, is great for nervous types. Fun fact: Rhodiola also helps improve allergy resistance, which is clutch for you Mercs in Gemini who are so plugged into their social surroundings. Once you’re set on the inside, fine-tune any remaining imperfections with a concealer palette that impeccably neutralizes, because as you’ll learn time and again, life is nothing but a play on balance.

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5// Venus in Gemini: Pinrose Pillowtalk Poet Eau de Parfum, $65 for 50ml, and Bite Beauty Limited Edition Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gemini, $26. Words are the way to your heart; lively, sparkling conversation is what you consider the biggest turn-on. Communication is also the main vehicle for your charms, making you an expert in the art of smooth-talking and flirty conversation, not to mention that perfectly placed double entendre. Maintain this seductive signature with a perfume that’s made for morning-after banter—a powdery, fresh-laundry scent evokes a light, gender-neutral vibe—and seal the deal with a two-in-one (!) lippie, in shades that mirror both sides of that quirky Gem personality.

Pinrose “Pillowtalk Poet” Parfum

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6// Mars in Gemini: Context Nude Balm in Heartbreaker, $20, and dōTERRA Basil Oil, $26.67. Gentle reminder to all you Mars in Gemini firecrackers: The pen is mightier than the sword, particularly where you’re concerned. An impassioned orator and writer, you are SO not one to shy away from a healthy debate to get your point across—so perhaps a muted, non-threatening lip balm can help soften those blows (also try and keep your convo nasty-free, just like the balm’s formula). For that changeable energy though, go for an oil blend that heightens focus and keeps your social ADHD from going haywire. Tip: Rub on your pulse points and inhale with three deep breaths, especially when you start feeling fidgety.

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7// Jupiter in Gemini: Non Gender Specific Everything Serum, $65, The Art of Shaving Engraved 3 Blade Razor, $175. You’re genuinely curious and outgoing, leaving you with no shortage of friends, and perhaps even a handful of admirers who enjoy your “the more, the merrier” approach in social situations. Your magnanimous vibe is echoed in your choice of self-care too: You love starting with a positive, clean slate, and a clean shave, with a quality razor, is as tabula rasa as it gets! Follow up with an equally high-minded serum that’s not afraid to go big: As the name suggests, this optimistic formula targets nearly all major skin issues, from lines to pores to hyperpigmentation, with a lovely, all-folks-welcome smile on its face.

Non Gender Specific Everything Serum

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8// Saturn in Gemini: KNIGHT CO. Exfoliating Face Scrub, $30, and Complete Moisturizer, $30. Crisp and simple, yet with an exacting attention to detail, it’s no surprise that you resonate with expertly curated products that don’t waste time on frivolities. Not only is this no-nasty exfoliant too chic not to flaunt on your shelf (you’re all about understated, almost curt-like quality), it’s also made with natural and organic ingredients. Same with the moisturizer, which wears so light on skin and imparts a soft matte glow, which people know is a hallmark of your cool confident look.

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9// Uranus in Gemini: Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination/Oily Skin Types, $48. A bit dry one day, crazy-oily the next? Sometimes travel can wreak havoc on a complexion, as changes in temps and hormonal levels can be zany AF. Thankfully you’re no stranger to unpredictability (and frequent flyer miles!), and even welcome both with a gregarious, offbeat spirit. Thank your innate good-naturedness, or, you know, having a handy, backpack-friendly, beat-anything set of natural face and body boosters in tow. Just saying.

Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set

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10// Neptune in Gemini: Fluide Blue Trio (liquid lipstick, glitter and nail polish), on sale for $35. This wonderfully inclusive brand’s lip, nail and glitter set is made for nebulous Neptune Gems, who practically embody sparkle in thought and deed. For this wildly imaginative lot, communication is more intuitive and facts are more like suggestions anyway, right? And besides, anyone who doesn’t get your big-picture mentality can immediately be waved off, stat, with a perfectly pigmented, 7-free vegan mani and matching pout.

 

Fluide Blue

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11/ Pluto in Gemini: Context White Charcoal Detox Mask, $45, and Absorb Skin Care The Face Oil, $110. Detoxing, whether physically, mentally or energetically, is a requisite in this day and age, and Pluto Geminis embrace this purge like a fish to water. Keeping things fresh and cutting edge highlights your love of renewal and change, and a luxe charcoal mask, followed by a refreshing serum made of all of nature’s best stuff (organic pomegranate and other omegas and antioxidants) is all the doctor ordered to kick-start your skin—and psyche—into gear.

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12// Chiron in Gemini: MMXV Infinitude Universal Facial Treatment, $225, and The Better Skin Co. Zit No More Acne Treatment, $18. Maybe you never got over that niggling middle-school bout of insecurity keeping you from speaking your truth; maybe it’s just a paralyzing self-doubt of not being articulate or well-versed enough, or being the subject of other people’s toxic gossip. Squash all these irrational bad news bears and start building your confidence from the outside in, with a skin saver that gives you one less thing to feel anxious about. Follow it up with a game-changing miracle cream that also tackles seven main concerns, literally making your glam as foolproof as can be.

HOLY F*CK: A DARK MOON PRACTICE TO LIBERATE YOUR SPIRITUAL ESSENCE

Stuck under layers of conditioning and aching to break free? Alexandra Roxo shares 5 ways to liberate your spiritual essence …

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

I’ve been doing stripteases since I was 12. In 1996, in Marietta, Georgia, my friends and I dressed in Victoria’s Secret matching leopard-print bra and panties sets, and knew all the moves to Elizabeth Berkley’s routines from Showgirls.

But the striptease I wanna share with you here is FAR sexier. FAR juicier. FAR edgier. It’s one that will have your heart racing. Your panties wet. Your knees trembling.

Because it’s time for us to bring it back to basics and get spiritually NAKED. We live in “apart”ments. We stare at screens most of the day. The way we eat, shit, talk, walk, dress are all programmed for us by the dominant schema that we are born into. A return to our spiritual essence is a deep call for each of us. One that could possibly change the course of history. Of Mother Nature’s well-being. Our grandchildren’s lives. The health of the ocean. The future of fashion magazines. Of culture. Of REALITY as we perceive it.

This means peeling away, layer by layer, of all the baggage we have inherited. The stories. The conditioning. The things that weigh on us everyday. Stripping this away and getting down to our spiritual essence is part of our individual and collective awakening.

You began taking on your family’s shit in utero. Your mom’s anxiety. Depression. Her busyness. The way her heart sank when your dad didn’t come home til late or just flipped the TV on after work. The pain at seeing her old body slip away. The abuse she endured perhaps. Or her mom’s or her grandma’s. From the moment you were the size of a pea in the womb you began to be clothed in layers. Your spiritual essence began to be shrouded.

When popped out you inherited a specific culture. The pressure to look a certain way, talk a certain way,  dress a certain way. Coats and veils of other people’s ideas and customs and ways of being.

As a teen, this led you to feel confused about your body. Why did it not look the way it was supposed to? People were mean at school. Boys touched you. You weren’t allowed to be gay or queer. So you put on some more layers. You hid yourself. You were too weird. Too much. Too sexy. Too fat. If people didn’t notice you they couldn’t hurt you.

Perhaps there were traumas. Date rape. An eating disorder. Abandonment. Neglect. Health issues. Things that forced you deeper into hiding. Further masked your wild, loving, utterly unique spiritual essence.

And now here you are today—wearing enough layers to survive an antarctic freeze of the soul! True healing? The ultimate liberation? Learning how to peel them back, one by one, until you are bare. Naked. Vulnerable and WHOLE.

Below are my tried and true tips for freeing yourself from those layers and living in alignment with your spiritual essence …

Photo: Ed Herrera

1// Learn to feel your feelings. You may think “Well of course I know how to do that!” But we all have days where we think we’re feeling but are actually THINKING, which prevents us knowing our soul’s truth. To learn to FEEL more, breathe into your belly all day. Stay soft. Pull your car over to cry when you need to. Start sentences with “I feel …” instead of “I think …”  and before you make a decision FEEL into it with all your being. Soon you will start to feel more of YOU.

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2// Begin to hunt for your true essence. Look for it in books, works of art, libraries, operas, films, museums, national parks, oceans, fields, and albums. As you do these things, BREATHE into your heart and FEEL. Did that book make me wanna jump for joy? Scream? Did it feel like a wildfire broke out in your veins? Then THIS my dear that is a KEY to your TRUTH and your ESSENCE! Keep it close.

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3// Speak up when something hurts or doesn’t feel right. This may seem obvious, but it’s the microhurts that betray our soul’s essence. If someone cuts you off in line for the bathroom than say “Excuse me. I’m in line.” If you’re in a class and the teacher says something inappropriate, stand up and say, “Excuse me. That didn’t feel appropriate to me.” This demand for integrity will tell your soul you are SERIOUS about your devotion to yourself. You’ll notice how often these little things happen. You think “Oh whatever. No biggie.” This puts you into complacency and is literally like an ice pack for your JUICY fire. Once you stop you doing it, you’ll begin to feel a POWER beyond words emerge from you.

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4// Dare to pave a new way. Notice how many times a day you do and say things because that’s what others do. Now try something new. If all the other wellness people on Instagram are taking photos with white backgrounds and green plants but it feels more “you” to do it in a vintage car on a deserted highway, then why not? Notice where you follow the status quo out of habit. When you feel afraid to shake it up, look to people who have not followed; Frida. Anais. Albert Einstein. There is a huge payoff for taking a risk that’s aligned with your truth.

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5// Surround yourself with Souls who are unafraid to bare their love and truth to the world. You are who surrounds you. Your community should feel like Butter Love, Fire Love, Honey Love, warm tea, firecrackers in your Soul. When you leave hangouts notice: Do you feel more YOU? More alive? More loved? If not, find the community that does make you feel this way.

**Bonus: Take this a step further with an actual striptease class or simply strip in the mirror with your sexy self. As you remove layers of clothes, imagine that you are removing “Mom’s catholic shame,” “my fear of being too big” or “society’s gender impositions” so that you’re stripping on all levels at once—multitasking your way into your Soul’s Grand Reveal to humanity.  

 

Alexandra offers one-on-one transformational coaching programs globally online, and in NYC and LA. She also is the co-founder of Moon Club where she guides group coaching, leadership training, and mystical moon school.  Find her @alexandraroxo and alexandraroxo.com

TAURUS SEASON BEAUTY TO MAKE YOU FEEL A MILLION DOLLARS

Taurus season is time for getting grounded and knowing your worth. Eunice Lucero reveals the best beauty luxuries for indulging your celestial senses …

Empress Perfume by Stephanie Crystal Pierre

1// Sun in Taurus: Empress Perfume, from $7.00. Infused with the trademark voluptuous hallmarks of your ruling planet, this natural, artisanal Venusian blend of Turkish rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and honey all linger around a heart of cardamom, a.k.a. the “Fire of Venus.” And as it is with you, the fragrance has a mellow, comfy cacao baseline that pleasantly lingers and gently grounds.

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2// Moon in Taurus: Kindred Skincare La Femme Body Oil, $60. Beauty and the pursuit of sweet and juicy sensuality is the name of your game, and this certified organic, award-winning, illuminating floral-scented body oil is just the cozy, sexy little thing to envelop you in all the things you love: femininity and bodily luxuries. Best yet? Partial proceeds benefit the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally. How’s that for honoring the Goddess?

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3// Ascendant in Taurus: LAFCO New York Reed Diffuser in Champagne, $115. Step into my gilded/decadently decorated/sinfully comfy parlor, said the classy Taurus Rising! Pamper both yourself and your beloved guests with a warm yet sparkling room scent made of citruses and rose named after the celebratory drink that, like you, tenderly brings people together.

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4// Mercury in Taurus: Joyōme Illuminating Day Serum and Intensive Overnight Repair Serum, $153 for duo. The ultimate witty connoisseur, you gravitate towards quirky yet effective beauty finds that embody sensible chic. A simplified, expertly curated two-step routine that not only lightens up your everyday glam but makes you rethink old imprints about skin (by working with our natural microbiome and not hate-scrubbing against it).

Joyome Day & Night Serum Duo

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5// Venus in Taurus: NEWA Anti-Aging Skin-Tightening Device. With Taurus in Venus, the goddess is in her castle! You happily elevate your daily glam time into an actual, sacred, physical ritual. A skincare device that mimics the effect of high-end procedures, all while in the comfort of your own home, is a quality investment fit for a queen like you. Bonus: The device uses RF technology to tighten problem areas like the jawline, putting the spotlight on true Taurean beauty points—that sexy neck and throat.

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6// Mars in Taurus: Lansinoh® HPA® Lanolin Nipple Cream, $8.79. Your formidable inner strength gives you a patient, determined approach to getting ahead, which sometimes results in a bit of wear and tear along the way to the top. A single-ingredient, preservative-free product that acts as a catch-all for a myriad of concerns (it ingeniously moisturizes cracked, dry skin apart from soothing mama’s breastfeeding nips!) is a perfect companion for busy, goal-oriented people like you who’ll appreciate its straightforward formula, and also delight in a good beauty hack.

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7// Jupiter in Taurus: UNI Organics Exfoliating Face Scrub, $44. Jupiter in Taurus goddesses go about life armed with an infectious combo of wide-eyed optimism and a solid, realistic foundation based on total integrity. You’re happiest when you’re a bit extra but always for a good cause; donating part of your hard-earned moolah to charity, or investing in sustainable skincare, gets your mojo rising. This certified organic exfoliant chock full of all plant-based ingredients gives you the conscientious fresh start that exuberant bosses like you crave each morning.

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8// Saturn in Taurus: Kama Botanicals Skin Superfood Serum, $99. A few drops of this nutrient-rich, 100 percent natural and organic wonder oil is said to do everything from repair damage to minimize stretch marks and plump up skin. A tall order? Its roster of powerful botanicals were tried and tested by the proprietor herself ,and created to heal her own scars and blemishes. It’s those trustworthy, proof-is-in-the-pudding results that appeal to those with Saturn in Taurus, who put a lot of stock into responsibility and dependability.

Kama Botanicals Skin Superfood Serum

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9// Uranus in Taurus: Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Everyday Unscented Natural Deodorant, $8.95. Environmentally woke Uranus in Taurus babes come alive with organic/gluten- cruelty/nasty-free/vegan alternatives, and this winner checks all boxes—while also being unisex, because true beauty is universal indeed! This winner uses arrow root, and not baking soda or aluminum, to absorb moisture, transforming your post-shower ritual into a more natural, chemical-free experience.

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10// Neptune in Taurus: BioSphère Naturel Lumière Crème Jour, $44. Your emotive, lovestruck, artistic nature finds balance in a healthy obsession with material possessions, most notably with a luxurious French cream that has a clean, elegant sex appeal. Since Taurus tempers that famous Neptunian illusory vibe, something that imparts actual visible results is key. Not only is it no-nasty cruelty-free and vegan, the moisturizer also has organic rice powder to mattify, as well as organic bamboo extract to protect from environmental stressors—super clutch for the pollution-sensitive soul that you are.

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11// Pluto in Taurus: Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, $24. Stubborn and hyper-focused Pluto in Taurus people don’t take too well to compromise … and with this power-player mascara, they don’t have to. A revolutionary move of replacing beeswax with cannabis oil gives this hydrating, vegan, 100 percent cruelty- and paraben-free formula an edge among others in the market, while staying on-brand for the adventurous game-changers with this Taurus placement. Heart-shaped fibers also help reinforce that famous Plutonian stare by allowing for more intensely volumized and curled lashes.

Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara

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12// Chiron in Taurus: Apotheca Zincuta Ointment, $12.5o. It’s no fun avoiding risk all the time, so a cure-all ointment that helps ease physical insecurities or alleviate anxieties about stepping out of your comfort zone can be a crucial addition to your go bag. Be armed against most skin afflictions—from bug bites to eczema—and know that you’re a goddess to be celebrated in your own skin, with and without all the liveries.

QUEER HERO: 7 WAYS TO HEAL FROM SEXUAL TRAUMA

In the wake of Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio, sexual trauma has been brought to light over and over again. In his latest “Queer Hero” column, survivor and healer Danny Brave shares 7 ways to process the deep pain and move from #Metoo to I AM … Photos by Tal Shpantzer 

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

The #MeToo movement exploded onto social media on October 15th 2017, only four days after Scorpio’s transit into Jupiter (the sign of intimacy, sex, secrets, and power). The hashtag was created by Tarana Burke, the black woman whose brilliant activism started the movement all the way back in 2006. Her decade of advocacy reached mainstream awareness when Alyssa Milano tweeted #metoo in response to accusations of sexual assault & misconduct in Hollywood.

Whether or not we wanted to deal with it, molestation, rape, and sexual trauma was being brought to light over and over and over again. Some of us felt ready for this darkness to reveal itself so dramatically and intensely, while others of us felt ill-prepared for all of the undigested emotions and traumas that these women were bringing to the forefront of our consciousness.

With Jupiter still retrograding through Scorpio, and April marking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (S.A.A.M.), I have been reflecting on all that has transpired since the initiation of this powerful planetary movement … 

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Widening the sexual trauma narrative
The stories of who is sexually assaulting who are as varied as the number of people on earth. I know white cis gender men who have been assaulted by cis white women, and I have met men who were molested by their mothers as boys. Sexual violation has been perpetrated by gay men to other gay men, by queer POC to other queer POC, by fathers to girls who come out later in life as non-binary or trans men, by white people to black people and vice versa.

The list of race, gender, sexuality, body type, and age variable narratives continues, as is reflected by the statistics:

– 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime
– Of trans people of color: American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) have experienced sexual assault
– American Indians are twice as likely to experience rape/sexual assault compared to all races
– 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault
– 1 in 10 men experience sexual assault
– 44% of lesbians experience rape
– 61% bisexual women experience rape
– 26% of gay men experience rape
– 37% of bisexual men experience rape

*Statistics are for the United States only, from the U.S. Trans Survey in 2015RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), and the National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey). 

And the effects are staggering. From persistent and debilitating anxiety and/or depression, to the shutdown of one’s sexuality, and a sense of complete worthlessness and suicidal thinking, the wake of this abuse’s devastation goes on and on.

For the sake of everyone’s healing, we must not confine this widespread epidemic to old stereotypes and the rigidity of the gender binary.

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

7 ways to heal your sexual trauma …
To provide some solutions, below is a love letter—a list of tools, rituals and advice that have helped me and my clients reclaim our lives, sexuality, and bodies in the aftermath of sexual trauma …

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1//Make art. Whatever your creative medium, express it! You don’t have to show what you create to anyone at all (unless you want to!), you don’t have to be good at it, and you don’t have to spend much money (writing, for example, costs about $3 for a cheap notebook and pen). The purpose is just to get the energy moving.

Creativity is governed by the sacral chakra, located in the pelvis, genitals, and lower back, and connected to sexual energy. When you are being creative, you are helping to unearth, clear, uplift, and release some of the stagnant or painful energy that got planted there during moments of abuse.

If you are struggling with depression in particular, making art makes you active again. It puts the ball back in your court and helps you remember that life can be beautiful, and that it is okay to feel. Become the transmuter of your own pain through your creativity and I promise you catharsis will be there, and that this will eventually (if not immediately) lead to feeling better.

*Recommended:  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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2//Tell someone who makes you feel safe and who you know will believe you. One of my mentors taught me that the lips of the labia and the lips of the mouth have the same nerve endings—they are connected. What this means is that sexual trauma silences us; it makes us somehow incapable of voicing our truth, standing up for ourselves, and asking for our needs (emotional or otherwise) to be met.

Telling our deep dark truths to someone we can trust can be one of the most healing experiences. Here’s a loose structure to get you started:

1 – Contact the person you are going to meet and ask them, in your own words, if they will meet with you in person so that you can vent and get something really difficult off your chest.

2 – Tell them exactly what you need from them afterwards. Is it a quick hug? To be held for a while? To say “I’m sorry that happened to you,” to say “thank you for telling me your story”? It can feel weird to make such a clear and specific requests, but people aren’t mind-readers, and our abuse stories are so intense that we often require a very specific type of support to feel just that: supported.

3 – Tell them your story and provide as many details as possible. I am talking about the date and time, who did it, the location of the abuse on your body, how you felt—the whole thing. If it makes it easier, you can write this out all out in advance. Notice the resistance to doing this and try to push through and speak your truth anyway.

4 – Set up something really lovely to do for yourself afterwards—something that makes you feel comforted, brings you back to the present moment, or brings you joy. Do you love to go see movies? To plant a garden? To paint? To go for a joy drive and blast music? After unleashing your powerful truth, make sure you engage with this activity for as long as it takes to get you back to the present moment.

*Recommended: Vagina by Naomi Wolf

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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3//Realize that what happened to you is NOT your fault. Something that tends to get built into the experience of sexual abuse is that we, on some level, caused or created it.

The mind of a child is more straightforward than the mind of an adult, and it does not understand that bad things that happen are not caused by them. If the abuse is being perpetrated by an adult to a child, the child knows that the parent is the one feeding and clothing them and therefore will do any and all mental gymnastics to repress, imagine, or self-blame the abuse away by taking on and in all of the pain and blame.

If you were an adult when the abuse happened to you, it’s still easy to think: “If I hadn’t been drunk, if I had been wearing something different …” If we are spiritually-inclined, we might even torture ourselves with spirituality and the law of attraction, asking ourselves ridiculous things such as: “Why did I create this experience? Maybe I wasn’t thinking positively enough … I wonder why I attracted this abuse?”

Why do we try to make something as awful as this our fault? The truth is simple: it is easier to blame ourselves and engage in self-hatred then it is to deal with the fact that what happened was not in our control and not our fault whatsoever. Doing this also prevents us from having to deal with the emotional reality of holding someone else accountable for their actions.

Hating ourselves or trying to make ourselves responsible for something we clearly didn’t cause or do is an incredibly effective defense mechanism to either defend the memory of our parents because we want to maintain a relationship with them, and/or to avoid holding the perpetrator fully accountable for the painful emotions associated.

It is because of this that I cannot stress enough: what happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault.

It wasn’t.

And coming to terms with this is an all-too-necessary step that needs to happen before forgiveness and letting go (after all, if we don’t hold someone accountable to begin with, then what is there even to forgive?)

*Recommended: Repressed Memories by Renee FredricksonQueering Sexual Violence by Jennifer Patterson; Stacyann Chin’s powerful speech: Not my fault; Diana Oh’s incredible feminist art/activist installation My Lingerie Play (Especially Installation 3/10: “Even If You Found Me Like This”).

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4//Perform a releasing ritual. Ritual is a powerful way that we can find closure and healing for experiences and situations that seem impossible to ever gain closure from. By doing something physical, ritual provides a concrete moment that serves as a bridge for us to walk over and into the next phase of our lives.

Here are a couple of suggestions for releasing rituals that I have found to be incredibly powerful in healing my own sexual trauma:

1 – Write a letterto the person who did it (and don’t send it). I know, it’s intense. The thing is … if you have not done something like this already, it is likely that the thoughts and feelings you would communicate directly to this person are rolling around in your head and your body, anyway, and without an outlet.

What we are looking for here is catharsis and closure. It is not meant to be sent to the person, and that being said, it does not have to be respectful or kind in any way. Get it aaaaalllll out. And then, safely destroy it! Rip it up, or light it on fire. Afterwards, make sure you set yourself up with some really lovely after-care: a relaxing walk alone or with a friend, a gentle movie that makes you feel comforted, etc.

2 – Go somewhere in nature. Preferably a body of water (and especially the ocean). Take a stroll to find either a seashell or rock, and place it in your hand. With the object in your hand, charge it up with all of the feelings and experiences of the abuse, and all of the things that have happened as a result of it.

Take a moment to really feel all of that energy and pain moving through and out of your body and into the shell or rock. Then, THROW IT IN THE OCEAN! Boom: it’s done, it’s over. Give yourself some time to sit and have a leisurely walk or maybe even journal after you release this- again, with everything involving your recovery, taking the time for gentle after-care is important.

*Recommended: She Let Go by Rev. Safire Rose (adjust pronouns accordingly, brave ones!)

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5//Adjust your sexual expression accordingly. While it may not be the case for everyone, it has been my own, and many of my clients’ experiences that sexual abuse tends to create a polarity of subsequent sexual expression: either way too much, or way too little (basically non-existent).

This is not an invitation to judge yourself, rather to become self aware of your sexuality and sexual patterns from a place of unconditional love. Remember, the extremity is not your fault (re-visit bullet point #3 if you’re beating yourself up).

*For my way too much-ers: Take a vow of celibacy for 3 months (it’s ok: you can still masturbate). During this time, when you do masturbate, take a few breaths and ask to connect to God/Spirit/the Universe (whichever term you prefer) through your sexual energy (and prepare to be blown away!!)

Make a list of 10 other ways to feel loved, outside of engaging in sexual activity with another person, and commit to exploring one of them each week during your temporary celibacy.

*For my non-existent/way too little-ers: Make it a non-negotiable commitment to exploring your sexual nature and opening up to sexual experiences on a bi-weekly basis, working up to sharing yourself with a consenting partner, if it feels right.

Also, dance. Yes, DANCE. Take dance classes that bring the energy down into the lower chakras: African dance, hip hop, pole dancing, etc. Get out of your comfort zone!

*Recommended: Why Mother Nature is the Ultimate Goddess of Love by Tirzah Shiya

Photo of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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6//Invest in healing that is holistic and takes your body into account. We know that the conscious mind governs only 10-20% of the totality of our consciousness. Traditional psychotherapy is typically working with the 10-20% of the conscious mind to try to get to the 80-90% that’s less conscious. Unsurprisingly, I prefer methods that go straight to the 80-90%: reiki, shamanic healing, and meditation. You might also try sound healing, hypnotherapy, tapping, somatic experience, or any other mind-body practice you feel drawn to.

The site that is typically inflicted with a sexual trauma wound for women, trans men, and those assigned-female-at-birth is the vagina, or “yoni.” Mystics and shamans know this place to be the gateway to the universe, and the key to creation of life itself—not only human life as in childbirth, but also the creation of all things, such as personal dreams and manifestations.

In my personal shamanic healing practice, I use a tool called a shamanic extraction, which uses the intelligence of crystals to safely extract pain, fear, and any other energy intrusions that were inflicted on the individual’s yoni during the time of abuse out, followed by the channeling of reiki healing energy into the area. This allows the individual to have agency over their yoni, one of the deepest and most powerful tools for us to create our lives from this place- a place of health, clarity, and integrity.

Another incredibly effective tool I use is shamanic cord cutting, which is a powerful ritual in which we take the cord of energy that is usually still subconsciously or unconsciously connecting the client to their abuser via a vibration of pain, and we release it, and follow up by channeling reiki or healing energy into the area for deep healing.

*Recommended:  My one-on-one healing workMoon Mysteries by Nao Sims & Nikiah Seeds & Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

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7//Connect with community. The patriarchy thrives off of separation. Pain and darkness prevail when we are in isolation. This is not normal or natural, and we need matriarchy now—a matriarchy that is for all genders, races, body types, and ages.

It is imperative that in your healing journey, you find some sort of community to join where you feel safe enough to be seen. It can be a shamanic community, a monthly women’s circle, AA, a hiking club—there are tons of things to do and join in this world, both in-person and online.

Don’t do this alone. You can’t do it alone. Other people need you and you need them, and that’s okay. My hope is that we start to live in a world where our emotional needs are no longer judged as being “needy.” We all need each other, and we all heal each other. So let’s do that.

*Recommended:  If you’re located in NYC, sign up for my upcoming 6-week transformational community group HERE; also check out the Red Tent MovementMoon Club, and Meetup.com

HOW BODY POSITIVITY CAN UNLOCK YOUR INTUITION

After a lifetime of food issues, Jillian Murphy discovered that living fully in her own skin was the key to her magic. She shares how body positivity can unlock your intuition …

Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

“Before you can hear, much less follow, the voice of your soul, you have to win back your body.” – Meggan Watterson

I remember the day I first abandoned my body. 

I was 8 years old and visiting the mysterious temple my mother escaped to every evening when my dad got home from work—she called this evasive place of worship “the gym.” It was a Saturday open house and I was an immediate convert. The place was magical – dusty rose carpet, slick chrome and mirrors, George Michael pumping through the speakers, and LYCRA. So much lycra! (It was the 80s, k?)

I could tell right away that this was the place for me—a space of transformation, potential, and movie-worthy —this was a place where life happened. I grabbed a pop and a hotdog and then I naively hopped up on the scale where they were weighing everyone. And that’s where “It” got me.

As I scarfed my lunch, the two staff members in charge of weighing me began sniggering. Whispering about something clearly “adding 5 pounds” while looking at my body.

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but I knew the joke was on me. And I knew it was bad. Bad enough to remember but never ever talk about, until 25 years later, when I finally started to heal my relationship with food and with my own shape and size.

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Coming face to face with “it” … 
“It” is not that creepy clown from the Stephen King movie you’re picturing. No, no, the “It” I speak of is much worse—its name is diet culture and it spews a thin-is-best, fatphobic, classist, able-ist, racist, gender-biased rhetoric where the gold standard of beauty, body, and more recently “wellness,” is blatantly clear, objectively unhealthy, and unavailable to most.

Beyond the gym, there were many other moments when “It” got me, some that obvious, highlighted in Technicolor and frozen in time—a mental photo album created to prove my lack—while others were so subtle I internalized them without realizing, recognizing the damage only in hindsight.

From health messaging at school and dieting advice from teen magazines, to negative looks from boys and the admiration of “beautiful” girls in front of me, the signs were everywhere.  

Once, I remember hearing an older male cousin condescendingly laugh about the shape of a specific woman – stating that “to be attractive to men your shoulders needed to be at least “X”cm wider than your waist. Though I thought it harsh, I internalized the comment as though it were about me. In a diet culture with rigid beauty ideals, no woman is left unscathed.

Everywhere, the message I absorbed was: you are not good enough. More specifically: your body is not good enough.  

Even more specifically: your body is not good enough and, as a female, it’s your personal responsibility to take charge of your weight and beauty and behavior and do what it takes until you fit the ideal lest you remain unworthy forever. Also, hot sticks of processed meat are un-ladylike.

Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Your intuition lives in your flesh …
It might look like a criticism, a comment, a side-eye (sometimes much worse), and it makes you gasp, the foul gas of “you’re not good enough” filling your lungs and seeping into your tissues. From that day on, the myth of diet culture is no longer just a story around you, it is a story about you.

You disconnect. You abandon your physical self. You override your female knowing that your curvy, lumpy, bumpy body is beautiful and normal and you do your best to crush the voice that says “I’m hungry” or “carbs would be nice” because that voice is clearly an idiot that doesn’t know bikini season is coming up.

The result? Food issues, yes. But diet culture doesn’t just destroy our relationship with food and distort our body image—it separates us from the most powerful ally we have—our inner knowing.  

Your intuition lives in your flesh and speaks to you through your body. She is nourished by pleasure, abundance, approval, and desire.

When she has been dampened and starved into submission, you are left living a storyline that keeps you doubtful, unsteady, competitive, and unsure. An ideal that keeps you distracted from your most important work in the world and suggests your worth is up for debate.

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Amplify the whisper …
When we discourage (read: flat out ignore) the whisper of biological feedback that tells us we need more calories or carbs or a day of rest—we simultaneously diminish the whisper that helps us discern and decide in all areas of our lives.

These whispers are one in the same. Learning to hear and trust the signals from our very intelligent, self-regulating, female appetites is a super-powered short cut, reconnecting us to our broader inner knowing. It amplifies the whisper.

I lost so much time sacrificing my wellbeing and connection to self in the pursuit of worthiness via weight loss and superficial beauty. I made bad decisions. I was distracted. I lost time. I learned slowly that, in order to write a new storyline for myself, I would need the power of my intuition and that the first step in rebuilding a connection with my soul voice was winning back my body.

Photo of Jillian & family by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Here’s how to start amplifying the whisper and winning back your own body …

1// Give up the pursuit of weight-loss. The pursuit of weight loss is THE thing that disconnects us and keep us looking outside of ourselves for shoddy solutions. Weight-loss attempts fail over 90% of the time, long-term, and the collateral damage is your relationship with food and your connection to your inner knowing. Start by pretending that you aren’t in control of your weight (because you really aren’t) and that your only goal is to feel vibrant and energetic and joyful in your body.

2// Counter the deprivation narrative. Tuning into our hunger and reliably feeding our bodies is the first step in repairing the collateral damage of deprivation and moving towards a more intuitive relationship with food.

Start the process of consistent nourishment by connecting with your hunger signals. See if you can rate your hunger on a scale of 0-10 (0 = not hungry at all, 10 = “hungry,” low blood sugar, shaky). Can you notice the subtle differences between a 4 and a 7, or do you regularly swing from overstuffed to starving?

3//Discover your delicious. The basics when it comes to nutrition and movement have been well understood and unchanging for generations – move your body regularly, get fresh air, drink water, eat lots of plants and unprocessed foods – not too little, not too much, and honor your mental/emotional need for pleasurable, celebratory foods.

Now, from this magical place—without all the rigid rules, “shoulds”, and fears—what do you feel like eating? How do you feel like eating it? How do you want to move your body and for how long?

*Note: There is a good chance you have NO IDEA. Start by asking the questions and experimenting. Follow your curiosity and see how it goes—maybe you hate plain raw carrots but you love them roasted or with dip (Hot tip: DIP IS DELICIOUS). Allow yourself to try new things and neutrally observe how your body feels.

4// Fully live with the beautiful bod you’ve got. When your physical appearance stops representing your entire worth and is, instead, just a fun outward expression of your personality, the game changes. Start living the life you aspire to have when you are in the perfect body and watch the shift!

Make a list of all the activities you are waiting to do when you lose the weight, get more toned, have your nose fixed, are more perfect, etc. Make the list as exhaustive as possible. Next step? Start doing all of those things IMMEDIATELY. Wear the red lipstick, rock the shorts, eat the gelato, show your navel, go on the date, try the tap class, climb a mountain, go back to school. Do it all!

Dr. Jillian Murphy is a registered, licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She has dedicated the past 8 years to studying intuitive eating and body image, and works with diverse, smart, health-conscious, women who are DONE WITH DIETING, and looking to get out of their heads and re-connect with their bodies. Follow her on Instagram, listen for more wisdom on her Podcast, and join The Food Freedom/Body Love Collective, her monthly membership space that provides you with the tools, strategies, support, and community you need to live healthfully in the body you are IN! 

SPREAD ‘EM: SEX TAROT 101

Looking to add some spice to your divination practice? Alessandra Calderin gives us a crash course in Sex Tarot 101, and uncovers how you can start casting cards between the sheets …

Art: Serpentfire Tarot

The Tarot is a mirror and a tool that reflects archetypal imagery that spans the spirals of the human experience. It allows us to connect to ourselves (and our Selves) because we intuitively understand these images. Sexuality is as primal and instinctual in us as the need to eat, sleep and breathe, and so the cards can reflect the ways in which our power, intuition, and connection manifest through our sexuality.

So WTF is a “sex tarot” reading?? There are so many ways to draw cards and create spreads to explore sex and desire! Here are 4 ways to get started …

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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1// Pull a “desire” spread. Pull cards asking what your subconscious desires are, what might be blocking them, and how to work through that block. The possibilities are endless!

Start with a simple 6 card spread:

Card 1: What is my heart’s desire?
Card 2: What is blocking me from fulfilling it?
Card 3: What is my deeper unconscious desire?
Card 4: What is preventing me from seeing this?
Card 5: How can I balance and integrate these desires?
Card 6: What can I shed to make space for their fulfillment?

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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2// Do a sacral chakra reading. Explore the seat of your sexuality by diving into the 4 “sides” of this chakra. The more you look at the pelvis and your desire as linked to your creativity, the more you start feeling how they ebb and flow together, and the more tools you have to work through both.

Card 1: Front of the sacral chakra. How does your sexuality appear to others? What is your exhibition style?
Card 2: Right side. How do you manifest sexuality and creativity in the world?
Card 3: Back. What experience of your sexuality do you hold onto?
Card 4: Left side. How do you receive creative inspiration, the desire of others, and pleasure?

Art: Serpentfire Tarot

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3// Masturbate with the Majors. You can also use Tarot for masturbation and sex magic practices by meditating on the archetypes of the Major Arcana or court cards.

Choose whatever cards are ruled by planets or signs that show up strongly in your birth chart, where the Moon is hanging out, what astro season we’re in, or just pull a Major and start working with it at random. You might even choose one you have trouble with (like when I pulled Justice- I was bummed by how unsexy that card might be on the surface, but there was powerful medicine in that feeling and the resulting meditation!)

Most recently, for the Super Blue Blood Moon in Leo on 1/31 during Aquarius season, I meditated on Strength (because Leo rules it) and The Star (because Aquarius rules). I let those two figures guide me as I touched, explored, played with my hands and my favorite toy (Njoy Pure Wand). As I was getting ready to orgasm, these two images reassured me that my sexuality and desire were a gift, and sacred sources of feminine power.

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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4// And channel the deck’s sexiest cards to unlock pure magic! I could probably make an argument for the sexual energy of every card, but this is a good place to start. Explore how you feel about these cards and the kind of pleasure they channel, or isolate the pack and draw one as your teacher of the moment.

*She/He pronouns refer to the archetypal genders of masculine and feminine energy. These figures are figuratively gendered, but anatomically genderless.

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:: Strength :: In the Thoth, Strength is actually called Lust. Some interpretations say it’s the taming of desire, but I would say it’s more like mastery over desire. Taming connotes that there is too much desire and you need to control it. In this context, I see her as the master of her desire in a world that denies her that power. Your desire becomes sacred fuel the moment you master it.

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:: The Empress :: The Empress is receptive. She is how I learned to receive pleasure without having to think about reciprocating in that moment. She allows herself to be fully nourished, filled to the brim with love, pleasure, and affection, but she also rides and caresses like a goddess. She bestows the gift of her mouth upon you and it’s like drinking an unearthly elixir with her kisses and nibbles and expertly executed oral.

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:: The Emperor :: The Emperor might be a surprise for this, but as the Empress’s counterpart, he allows her to unleash. He’s like a very good Dom, providing the container for every expression of kink you might wish to explore safely. You want to be tied up, spanked, penetrated in out of the ordinary ways? He reads your body language, pushes the edges, and knows your limits before you even need to utter a safe word. The master of boundaries, he’s here to teach you how to consent so enthusiastically you forget what ambiguity feels like.

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:: The Moon :: The Moon represents the wild woman running naked in the woods and howling at the Moon- the deep waters of sexuality and mystery. She is a shapeshifter. A wolf. A mountain lion. She visits you in the dead of night and brings your to orgasm in the dream realm, and when you wake up the memory is hazy but you know something powerful has been touched inside you. She breathes underwater and is as mysterious as the bottom of the sea. You know her without words.

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:: The Devil :: The Devil can sometimes deal with a repression of desire, and to me has always had a BDSM vibe to it. I think this one depends on your relationship to that kind of imagery and sexual practice, but as a Capricorn (The Devil is ruled by Capricorn), and a big fan of power play, The Devil can sometimes be a freeing card. Reclaiming the divinity and balance of the shadow, of words like slut, whore, bitch, freak, breaks the chains that bind us to our own fear and repression. It’s a balancing act. The Devil reminds us that there are more layers and sides to it.

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:: The Lovers :: The Lovers feels like an obvious one because you have to love all the sides of yourself like a lover before you can love anyone else. Getting there is anything but obvious or easy, though. Use a mirror. Look at yourself. This is the real shit. The deep work. It takes a lot of unraveling and excavation to be able to love your body and yourself just as you are. Your best Lover will look back at you eventually.

Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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:: Queen of Pentacles :: Queen of Pentacles is the master of the home and body. An independent woman, she knows what she likes and moves through the material world with the grace of an angelic ballerina. Queen of Wands is known to be the most sexual queen in the deck, but Queen of Pentacles knows pleasure like no one else. Part earth angel, part water nymph, she creates the primordial mud that those Dead Sea masks get their magic from.

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:: Knight of Cups :: Knight of Cups will go down on you first without being asked. Inviting this kind of energy into your bedroom, the person who will massage and caress you slowly, who dreams of drinking you like you’re water in the desert, is clutch in truly sinking into pleasure. Find you a man (or woman or non-binary) who can give it to you good.

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:: Page of Wands :: Page of Wands is bursting with potential energy, often creative and sexual. She’s ready and willing to try new toys and discover what she likes. She’s the teen who just discovered her clitoris and hasn’t been told there is something wrong with the amazing feeling that swims through her body when she touches it. She just got her period and is ready to finger paint with her blood. She will make out behind the bleachers and let herself love completely. She writes love songs and sings them without the slightest bit of embarrassment.

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:: Ace of Cups :: Ace of Cups is a pure gift of water, love, communication, and intuition. I often see it as an invitation to masturbate with more loving intention. To swim in your waters and to practice accepting the water gifts from elsewhere.

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:: 10 of Cups :: 10 of Cups is a literal orgasm. It could be something that feels as good as an orgasm, a self pleasure practice that’s out of this world, or a partner that takes you to the places of rainforest waterfalls and fireworks.

Alessandra is an intuitive healing facilitator, tarot practitioner, yoga teacher, writer, poet, comedienne and performer based in New York. She will be teaching her Tarot Immersive later this month and currently teaches yoga at Three Jewels, focusing her attention on energetic sensitivity and the pelvic floor. Explore her offerings at Boneseed, and follow her on Instagram.

THE BEST OF MERMAID BEAUTY

Plunge into the pleasures of Pisces Season with mermaid beauty that sparkles and shimmers. Eunice Lucero serves up the top deep-sea picks to make part of your world  …

Spectrum Collections ‘The Glam Clam’

Happy Pisces season, sirens! Now that we’re smack-dab in the middle of the spiritual, watery vibes, we can’t help but ride the waves of emotion as we indulge in a bit of escapism …

Queue the soul-soothing R&R, and add a dose of all things glistening, sparkly and low-key seductive—exactly what our fave beautiful, mythical sea creatures have in spades.

See which of these mermaid-inspired winners will have you yearning to be part of their world … at least for a few weeks!

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// HAIR // Mermaid hair is the stuff of legend: long, wavy, sea-drenched locks down to there, in the most ethereal of colors. While we’ll never understand how mermaid hair stays healthy in all that salt water (#DisneyMagic), try these picks to emulate the etherial look.

Mermaid No. 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

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// FACE // Shine like the deep-sea treasure you are in prismatic highlighters and jewel-toned shimmer shadows, set off against impeccably hydrated skin.

Tarte ‘Be a Mermaid’ Eyeshadow Palette

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// BODY // The winter blues got you feeling like a fish out of water? Get back into your sexy groove with scrubs that slough off those scaly bits and a self-tanner that gives you only the good stuff.

Million Dollar Tan Mermaid Mousse

NEW JACK WITCH: 4 MAGIC WORKOUTS FOR FALL

Lost both your mystical practice and your fitness routine in a sea of BBQs and long-weekends away? In the inaugural installment of his Fitness Witch column, Russ Marshalek shares 4 on-the-go magic workouts for fall, that will fast track you back towards body alchemy.

Image: “Sigil for Strong Bones” by Jon Iñaki

:: A Life on the Road: Taco Bell & Alchemy :: 
After having steeped myself in my practice to cope with a remarkably terrible 2016, full of betrayals and trauma, magic had become literally just one more thing to cross off on a daily list of to-dos. Not coincidentally, I’d also had a falling off in my personal fitness practice.

As I embarked on a two-week tour this summer with my band, a place both wonderful and strangeI realized I’d come to an impasse in my personal practice as a self-trained fitness witch.

As we set out, I had fully resigned myself to embracing a traditional “dude on the road with his band” approach to physical and spiritual wellness: Taco Bell, drinking heavily, occasional substance consumption, Applebees, gas station fountain drinks, sleeping in every morning until the last possible second.

At the last minute, I threw a kettlebell and a shitty yoga mat in the trunk as an attempt to appease my own ever-dwindling sense of self-care. This worked out fairly well for me for a few days, and I blocked out the existence of my body while subsisting solely on bottles of Chardonnay and vegan-friendly trash food (and some pretty trashy non-vegan, food too).

Then, one morning I woke up sobbing and in that hilarious and terrifying way people discuss Ayahuasca trips, I had a 6-hour chat with myself in the back seat of the car and came to a few fundamental truths:

That I simply wasn’t drinking enough water. That performing every night both deserved and required a spiritual and physical groundedness and presence that I had been outright ignoring. And that I was a fucking lucky duck; I had the opportunity to travel for work and get paid for creating art, every night, with two of my best friends.

In short, I owed it to everyone involved, myself included, to actually show up for it.

From that day forward, I was never without a bottle of water, I started performing simple offerings to local spirits in each town we visited, and I developed a simple on-the-road exercise routine coupled with daily rituals.

Within two days of kicking my own ass into realizing that my body was unwell because my spirit was unwell, and vice versa, I was happier, more energized, and the shows that ended the tour were the best we’d ever done.

It took me being hundreds of miles away from home for me to be reminded that the true meaning of “self-care” isn’t “tuck inside a brownie and a blanket” but rather “make sure you’re as well as you can be in body and spirit.” And the true meaning of “giving a good performance” is basically the same.

Whether you’re literally on-the-go, or just feeling far from home, here are 4 magic workouts for fall to up your mystical body mojo …

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1/ Get Out 
Regardless of where you are and what the situation is, there’s comfort and solace to be found in exploring local nature. It’s where we came from, and it’s where we are going. 

Fitness: Get up as early as makes sense, lace up your sneakers, find a park or path, and go for a 20 minute jog or brisk walk. Recognize and acknowledge the foliage, the rocks, the ways in which nature finds a way.

Magic: On your journey into nature, find a patch of green that’s particularly appealing to you, and make an offering to local spirits. Alternate between drinking water from your water bottle, ideally filled with water from a local source, and pouring it on the ground as you recite the following:

Spirits of this place in which I dwell/Please accept this offering/May it multiply to the 10 directions and take the form that is most pleasing to you/Take your fill and maintain peace between me and thee/So shall it be
*Drafted by Vanessa Irena and inspired by the writings of Jason Miller

Feel at peace in your surroundings.

Music: a place both wonderful and strange, “W*tch

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2// Peace In Discomfort 
The assimilation/accommodation process is an incredibly valuable and powerful one when in any type of new environment, and particularly so when you’re away from your literal home or just out of your comfort zone. Learn how to be at peace with the discomfort of the unfamiliar. 

Fitness: This is a modified version of a routine I developed myself for use on the road, and requires nothing more than a yoga mat and a kettle bell.

Experiment with using just a little more weight than you’re comfortable with (safely of course). If you don’t have a kettle bell, find a heavy thing–other free weights/hand weights, phone books, flanks of meat, a cat. If you don’t have a yoga mat, just make sure the surface you’re on is soft enough to not destroy your knees and tailbone. Grass is a wonderful substitute.

20 kettle bell squats/20 kettle bell swings/20 Russian twists/Plank for 30 seconds/Repeat 3x. **If this is too easy and you want to really shake yourself up, feel free to add more reps or sets. I do 5 sets of 30, with a 90 second plank in each. 

Magic: A simple mind-clearing ritual to help achieve calmness and clarity. It’s best to perform this at an open window or outside. Light a yellow candle, face towards the open window, close your eyes, and recite:

I call upon the power of Air/To clear the mind of confusion/To focus my thinking/And blow away the clutter/That keeps me from making good choices/Blow in the winds of clarity/And help me to think rationally and clearly/So Mote It Be  *Adapted from Witches of the Craft

Imagine any internal strife quieting. Take three slow, deep breaths. Open your eyes. Leave the yellow candle burning as long as possible.

Music: Zola Jesus, “Avalanche (slow)

Russ on the road with his band

3// Mother Night
We owe a debt of gratitude to the Moon and as such, it’s only fitting that we get outside and both observe and pay tribute to her.

Fitness: Under the cover of night, find a space that’s safe, that’s just yours, and take your clothes off. The freeing feeling of being naked, at night, and sweating, is an unbelievable, freeing high like no other. Do any routine that feels good and challenging to you. If you’re stumped, repeat the routine from #1, noticing how different your body feels.

Magic: Ideally, you’d be performing this simple blessing honoring the Moon after having just completed the workout above, and would still be nude. Sit crosslegged, with your palms resting on your knees facing up, in view of the Moon. Take a moment to ponder it in whatever form it’s presenting on this night. Unlike most rituals, don’t close your eyes–continue staring at the Moon, and allow its magic to dance in your mind. Repeat the following:

Mother Moon/I am restored by you/I am divinely protected by you/Help me feel your strength/Help me feel your power

Music: knifesex, “Mother

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4// Sleep Well, Beast
When in unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory, our inner life can turn to a raging beast that causes us to sacrifice our own sense of well-being. For many, myself included, the first thing that that gets thrown out the window is a good night’s sleep. When I don’t sleep well, I have maybe about a day’s reserve of top-level adult functionality before I begin to get angry, withdrawn, and paranoid. In those situations, sleep is quite literally the only cure. 

Fitness: There’s literally nothing like bedtime yoga to help with sleep. This Popsugar routine helped me find a good night’s sleep on the road.

Magic: Sit crosslegged in a quiet, dark, cool spot. Close your eyes. Feel your breathing as you breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Become aware of your breath and your body.

Inhale through the nose for a count of six/Hold for 3 seconds/Exhale through the nose for a count of six/Hold again for 3 seconds/Repeat this series four more times.

Imagine your body as a slowly glowing, calming blue light, originating at your heart and slowly spreading to the rest of your body. Feel gratitude for yourself, your body, and your accomplishments of the day.

Music: Sky Ferreira, “Night Time is My Time (a place both wonderful and strange remix)

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Russ Marshalek is the founder of the occult electronic music project a place both wonderful and strange, a personal trainer, and the co-founder of the witchcraft collective New Jack Witch.

MOONERS & SHAKERS: THE MOON CLUB MEMBER PRACTICING ‘NOW AGE’ AYURVEDA

After a lifetime of health challenges, Sahara Rose was ready to get healed. Little did she know, she’d become a healer herself. Meet the Moon Club member practicing ‘Now Age’ Ayurveda that blends ancient wisdom with up-to-the-minute innovation …

Health crisis as dharma discovery … 
“I suffered from chronic digestive issues and a hormonal imbalance, and no doctor could figure out the root cause. I was told it was something I would just have to deal with, and that I’d have to take multiple pharmaceutical pills to mask the symptoms.

Deciding to become my own investigator eventually brought me to Ayurveda. I became fascinated by this ancient science and ended up traveling to India to study alongside doctors and practitioners for over two years, which culminated in the publication of my first book, Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda. Crazy! I realize now that my health issues were given to me to allow me to become a better healer.

I believe the purpose of obtaining health is so you can utilize that energy and strength to go out there and fulfill your dharma—your life’s purpose. My mission is to give people the tools they need to find their creative flow and blossom into the butterflies they already are.”

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Ayurveda is the knowledge of life …
Originating in ancient India 5000 years ago, this sister science of yoga has truly passed the test of time- it isn’t another fad diet or trend. Ayurveda literally means “the knowledge of life” in Sanskrit because in order to have health, you must have full knowledge of your life- mind, body, and spirit.

In the West, we tend to just look at symptoms isolated from one another, like a stomachache or losing your period, without looking at the bigger picture.

So many people, like myself, have jumped from one diet to the next (I’ve been raw-vegan, paleo, keto and everything in between) and Ayurveda offers a solution: there is no one diet for all people or even just you because YOU are always changing—with the season, where you are in your cycle, your environment, your stress levels, your age …

Through Ayurveda, I’ve learned how deeply everything is interconnected. As a practitioner, I ask people just as much about their dreams as I do their digestion because the two go hand-in-hand. Did you know that dreams of fleeing and flying are related to bloating, gas and constipation? Seriously, it’s crazy.

The mind and body are interconnected, and every single part of us has its own intelligence.

Sahara leading a packed workshop at the Envision Festival in Costa Rica

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When two worlds collide …
I feel like I have one foot in ancient India, one in modern Santa Monica—and I love it!

The ancient provides us with wisdom, insight, depth, and clarity. The modern provides us with technology, innovation, efficiency, and research. We need the two words to collide in order to move forward in this world with authenticity and understanding.

I’m currently working on a project with mentor Deepak Chopra to use scientific research to prove that the Ayurvedic practices like customized nutrition, yoga, and meditation are beneficial for your health. While we undoubtedly experience the benefits in our bodies, legitimizing the effects in this way can allow insurance companies to recognize them as a true source of healing.

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Follow your “bliss” body …
In Ayurveda, we don’t have one body—we have five koshas: physical, energetic, mental, intuitive, and bliss bodies. Each body is equally important and we can’t access the next unless the one before it is balanced.

I see a lot of super “spiritual” people disassociate with the physical body but this is our first home! I’m all about enjoying my physical body—feeding myself good food, ecstatic dancing, tantra, yoga, movement.

Our pranamaya kosha is our energetic body—essentially the vibes we give off. It’s our responsibility to keep our vibes high because this is the energy we are putting out in the world as we co-create our reality!

Our mental, manomaya, bodies are our construct of who we think we are. It’s the ego-created self that keeps chattering, interacts with the world, and figures out how to pay our bills. A lot of people get stuck on this one.

Our intuitive, vijnanamaya, kosha gives us our ability to pick up on things before they happen. When magical coincidences keep on occurring, that’s when we are operating from this place.

Lastly, we have anandamaya kosha- bliss bodies. Because above all, we are supposed to enjoy our time here on this planet serving our missions and experiencing life, complete with all the cool oceans and trees and things to do and people to interact with.

Life is not meant to be hard. When you’re living in your dharma, you’re in a state of bliss—even when you are working. When we’ve reached anandamaya kosha, we realize that everything in the universe has a place and all is divinely timed. We are guided on our missions and all we have to do is silence the chatters of our minds to truly listen.

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The Moon Club inspiration … 
I bought my year-long subscription literally knowing nothing about it—I just knew I had to be a part of it.

Through a mutual friend, I connected with moonie Sah D’Simone and felt like he was my twin brother in a past life. Months later, through that chance encounter, I ended up at a conference where I met Deepak Chopra—which truly changed the course of my whole life …

For me, Moon Club is about like-minded souls crossing paths so we can live out our karma together. The GREATEST resource we have is each other. Each person was brought here for a reason. Each of us has so much to offer.

Friend a random person; send someone a DM and tell them you love their style; start a conversation about the universe … I’m sure that person will dig it!

Synchronicities are awaiting each of us if we just connect with one another, and Moon Club is an incredible place to start.

Sahara Rose is the best-selling author of the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, a wellness blogger and host of the Highest Self Podcast. Follow her on Instagram and discover your Ayurvedic mind-body type with her free quiz.  

**Want to start manifesting your own dreams? Sign up for Moon Club and join our tribe of cosmic change makers at Moonclub.co. Sahara will also be leading a virtual workshop for our Moon Club members on August 29.

 

HOLY F*CK: WHY SHIBARI BONDAGE IS THE ULTIMATE SURRENDER

In search of the deepest act of spiritual surrender, Alexandra Roxo gets bound and discovers boundlessness with the ancient art of Shibari bondage …

Shibari (Japanese Rope Bondage) can be erotic, intimate, loving, sexy, quiet or raucous, meditative, artistic, insightful, transformative—all depending on the people engaged and how they both feel at the moment” – Victoria Blue

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I am always on the hunt to find ways to get free, to go wild, to let loose, and to go deeper into myself. Over the last 15 years, my search to explore the depths of my sexuality and spirituality has taken me everywhere from witch camp in the woods of Oregon, to working as a dancer in a truck stop strip club in New Mexico, to banging a drum at a Rainbow Gathering in West Virginia, to an orgasmic meditation circle where I had my clit stroked by an old Indian man … and SO many other places and practices.  

Drugs. Sex. Spirit. Art. It’s been a lifetime of exploration that started the first time my mom pulled Louise Hay off the bookshelf when I was 7, and the first time I kissed a boy, and girl, at 8 … 

So for an explorer of depths who hasn’t left many stones unturned, I am always seeking something new to try and am always ready with a big fat YES! 

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WOMEN TYING WOMEN 
My next yes fell straight into my lap after my dear friend Kyp Malone (who played the “urban shaman” in my web series “Be Here Nowish,” and whom I consider a Yoda of sorts), took me to a dinner party, introduced me to a woman in the corner named Victoria Blue, and said “You two should talk.”  

It all remained a mystery until months later. I was on the bus back home from 3 days of steeping and soaking in the magical Orr Hot Springs of Northern California and I suddenly thought to myself: I want to be tied up. This was especially random after spending 3 days in a tub reading a book about Jesus’ mystical life. But the words were clear and from my heart.

I’d been tied up by lovers before and engaged in a fair amount of BDSM in sex, but I knew there was something more here that I wanted and I began to investigate the ancient form of Japanese bondage called Shibari. Whereas other types of BDSM include performed dominance or submission, or the giving and receiving of pain as practice, Shibari is a fine art. Comparing a “50 Shades” rope scene with Shibari would be like comparing an IKEA rug with one from a Moroccan souk. 

Interestingly, when I googled “Shibari LA” and the first thing to pop up was a workshop called “Women Tying Women” with none other than Kyp’s friend Victoria as teacher! The next day, the magic continued when I walked into my 5Rhythms class and a cute woman ran up to me, handed me a card, and said  “Come to ‘Women Tying Women!’ My friend Victoria Blue is teaching!“ “She has one private session left. Do you want it?’ 

FULL. BODY. YES! 

Victoria in a state of calm, suspended surrender

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GOING OFF LEASH 
So why did these words spring from my soul and why did I even want to be tied? Perhaps there is some past life witch healing there. But really, I think it’s because I crave deep surrender. And I crave deep catharsis.  And I long to become art as often as possible … 

How many places in your life can you TRULY surrender in? By surrender, I mean LOSE YOUR MIND. Let go of the reins. My friend Andi calls it “going off leash.” When you go “off leash” you slip into an altered state of ecstasy and sometimes agony and the mind goes quiet. Void.

Mind-blowing, expansive sex is a place one can find surrender. Meditation can be. Some good old fashioned tequila and a night of all night dancing with some MDMA licked from a tiny plastic bag in a Brooklyn bathroom worked in my late 20s. Plant medicine ceremonies too. Dance can be ecstatic and deep. But being tied up seemed like a depth of surrender and catharsis that my soul needed now.

Even though I’d been “off leash” many times, I was still nervous before going to see Victoria. Because not only was I going to be tied, I would also be suspended. Not like suspended from school—like suspended from the ceiling off a rope. Yes, this may conjure some morbid images of hanging corpses, but I thought of it like making myself into an ornate chandelier hanging as a centerpiece.

I told Victoria I wanted to be tied in a pose of expansion—heart opening, if possible. She quietly blindfolded me … 

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BOUND & BOUNDLESS 
I closed my eyes and Victoria began to play a German instrumental album that was integral to my sexual awakening in my early 20s. Out of all the music in the world she chose the goth band that the first person who ever tied me up used to play, and whom I had learned some of the most beautiful and fun things about sex at the age of 23. This moment of kismet softened my heart like butter, and as she tied me I felt myself starting to relax after being reminded of the divinity present.  

She bound me tight, hands up and open, back arched up, heart to the sky, one leg extended, and one folded. I let the ropes hold me. They were tight. Not soft and sweet. I began to turn into pliable flesh with no other option but letting go. I was like an infant. Helpless. Paralyzed almost. But the more and more I was tied, the more and more relaxed I felt. Like someone was caring for my soul.  

Then she hoisted me up and I lay back, being held only by this rope around my waist, floating in the air. The whole of my weight resting on one piece of rope. Completely bound. Angelic even. And that’s when the full surrender and deep catharsis began … 

Tears streamed down. Then they broke into deep, deep sobs from some place inside me that I had never met before. And moans of pain mixed with joy. Of release. Of heartache and heartbreak. I hung there. The pain escalated until the discomfort quieted the mind in the most nurturing way. The only thing possible to do was breathe.

I sobbed and breathed until I reached that edge that I have loved to flirt with for so many years. I whispered to her: “I’m at my limit” with tears streaming down my face and my chest. And then, ever so gently, Victoria pulled me down. She stroked my head and told me that I stayed up there a very long time and that I was very strong. As she pulled the ropes off me, my body felt lighter and freer than it had in ages. I felt my consciousness move into every cell. I could breathe into corners where breath hadn’t touched. I felt alive.

Victoria and @sophiashibari

Discover more about Victoria’s private sessions and group classes HERE, and join she and I this October for a two day overnight retreat in Topanga that will bring together Shibari, Shadow Work, Storytelling, and Sexual Healing. If you’re interested in this deep work, add your name HERE and we’ll send out applications and full retreat info in a few weeks. 

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.

 

A FLORAL TAPPING RITUAL FOR GROUNDING

Just in time for Eclipse Season, Valerie Oula brings the healing power of flowers to a tapping ritual for grounding… Artwork: Karolina Daria Flora

There’s a new kid on the holistic healing scene: floral tapping.

During sadhana a few months back, I received the “download” to work with flower essences topically. It’s not often that I get such clear cut, specific instructions from The Universe. And so when this happens, despite any resistance, it feels like I’d better follow through at some point.

And so I’ve been using the flowers in both my private sessions and workshops, and while people aren’t quite sure what’s happening, what they do know is that they feel different. A shift is happening.

Flower essences are the energetic imprint of the flower/tree captured in water. Subtle energy medicine. They do not have a scent and are mixed with grain alcohol or brandy as a preservative. The essences are vibrational remedies that work on the emotional energy body. When we use flower essences, we get attuned to the healing frequency of the flowers – which is essentially about raising our own vibration.

Since this is subtle energy work, it can take some time to recognize the shift that is taking place. It’s not like popping a pill for instant relief – although in this Aquarian age, as more and more of us are waking up and tuning in through energy work and practices like Kundalini Yoga, we may feel the effects faster.

As for floral tapping? It’s a technique that combines these vibrational essences with various tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) modalities. In fact, think of it as EFT – super-charged. By delivering the vibrational essences along several acupuncture points around the ear as we tap, we are loading up on energetic goodness.

And with the swirling energy of Eclipse Season on the way, here’s a grounding floral tapping ritual for extra vibrational support.

What You’ll Need

  • A grounding flower essence such as Walnut – which is excellent for grounding and protection, to help with change and transition. Also to be used as a shield during an epic sample sale, or the subway at rush hour. Bach flower essences are available in most health food stores as well as at Whole Foods.
  • A small cup/bowl of spring water or filtered tap water. To prepare, hold the bottle and tap the bottom into the palm of your opposite hand eight times to activate, holding your intention for your ritual in your mind. Add two drops of the essence to water.

Floral Tapping :: The Flower Power Tap – Right Side Only

  • Prepare a short, simple grounding affirmation expressed in the positive. Some examples you might use: “I am grounded and calm” / “I am grounded and sovereign of my energy / “I embody my truth” / “Sat Nam” (which means “truth is my identity”)
  • Now bring the fingertips of the right hand together, bunched loosely. Dip your fingers in the activated flower essence water.
  • Begin solidly tapping with the fingers, starting at the right temple by the opening of the ear. Continue to tap, circling the right ear, while saying the affirmation. Take a deep breath in and out. Tune into the rooted, grounding energy.
  • Do this three-five rounds at least five times a day, and at least 30 minutes apart.

In the midst of our busy lives in our glorious urban jungles, tap into the essence of the flowers to ground you back to earth. Vibrational medicine works to support us, to allow us to live our life in the full technicolor sensory system of our very human being.