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 …

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

DIARY OF AN EGO DEATH ON LSD

Facing a major life meltdown, Sam Lam was ready to turn herself inside out. Little did she know, her first LSD trip would lead to the experience of ego death …

Photo: Frida Aguilar Estrada

I’d majored in philosophy in college, studied metaphysics, epistemology, and even endured a stint in theology. But despite the multitude of theoretical expeditions I’ve taken into human consciousness, nothing could have prepared me  for the acid trip that led to me experiencing the much-documented “ego death.”

By age 30, I’d burnt out in my career as a Business Development Manager for a multi-national oil and gas company. So I did what any self-respecting women worthy of her prized Louboutins would do: I jacked in that job, packed my (many) bags and boarded a flight to ‘La La Land’ to pursue a career in fashion.

As if this identity crisis wasn’t enough, a couple of months prior I’d discovered that my now ex-husband of almost 10 years was having an affair. Needless to say, I was a total emotional-fucking-wreck. A 30-something divorcée with a fresh “Monroe” lip piercing, I soon found myself trying to heal my shattered heart by reliving my hard-partying youth.

Cut to me raging it up at a major music festival. I’d never taken LSD before that night, but in the sweltering heat of the desert, as the hot, orange sun began to dip, I decided to drop.

I felt very little at first. Twenty, maybe thirty minutes passed and by this point I was eager to rush to the front of the main stage and offer my metallic flash-tattooed body as a sacrifice to the music now engulfing me. I just wanted to dance. Dance all my life’s pain away.

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This was death, I felt certain of it … 
It’s not really possible to describe what happened next. Before I could even begin to move in the direction of the stage, I took one glance at the illuminated festival Ferris wheel swirling ahead and the acid hit my brain like a bolt of lightning.

In that instant all of my senses merged. I could taste sounds, smell the music, and literally see my feelings.

This was death, I felt certain of it. The world as I knew it disappeared, and while I could no longer feel my body, my mind got busy imagining my demise in vivid, graphic, Technicolor.

Gory, violent, blood curdling. Vicious ends that felt oh too real. At one point I was hit by a steam-train in the middle of the desert. The next I was being eaten alive by rattle snakes. Next, I was a victim to the desert sun as its rays pierced my skin and melted my flesh to the bone. I then tried to write an (imaginary) letter to my family to apologize for giving up and going out in such a shameful way, but I literally couldn’t find the words to express how deeply sorry I was.

Then came a silence. A complete and utter black quiet in my head. It was a peaceful moment where I was truly thinking “nothing” at all (if that’s possible). A temporary respite from that torment that followed.

Photo: Kelly Malloy

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I could feel the world weep … 
Nothing can prepare you for “Ego Death”—the term is used in various, intertwined contexts to describe a fundamental transformation in the psyche, where we lose the self entirely. The words “I,” “me,” “myself” lose all meaning whatsoever.

This is what I experienced next, and it altered my life forever.

I could feel the pain of the entire Universe. Immense and immeasurable, agonizing torture. Quite literally, I felt for both a split second and an eternity, the utter, agonizing grief of every single man, woman, child, animal, tree, the oceans, and the skies.

I felt the Universe inside of me and all of its desperate misery. I could feel the world weeping.

A the Universe sobbed, my sense of self had completely and utterly vanished into it. “I” no longer existed. “I” no longer related to anything. It was as if I had become “dark matter,” as theorized in quantum physics—”I” was empty space. Nothing.

I woke up the next morning on the floor of my hotel room, with my festival uniform intact (bikini top, denim shorts, misappropriated tribal feathers). The desert was still in my hair and I had no memory of how I’d gotten home.

As my eyes slowly opened and the speckles of light danced into my retinas, I realized I was still alive. “Samantha” had survived her first (and probably one and only) acid trip. But something fundamental had changed …

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Had I melted my brain? 
The trip had been so intense, I was left fearing the worst. For months I worried that I had in fact melted my brain. I was no longer draw to “partying” as a way to dance out my demons. What can I say, the world just isn’t the same after you’ve “died.” Nothing seemed to make sense anymore.

Four months after the trip, I was severely depressed and still trying to make sense of my marriage breakdown, my scattered career choices, and this extraordinary experience. One afternoon, I found myself all alone in my apartment.

I was lying on my bed ugly crying, with blood-shot puffy eyes and chapped lips, and the what felt like the weight of my woes making it difficult for me to breath. I was then gripped with an urge to step out onto the balcony of my pokey apartment to get some fresh air. As I stood out on that balcony staring at the cloudless blue expanse of sky, I could have sworn I heard a voice in my head:

“You have felt my pain, now let me take yours,” said what I can only sensibly identify as The Universe.

In that instant I felt a warm calmness encircle me, as if I’d been injected with a large dose of MDMA. Yet this was an instant, drug-free Nirvana. The voice signaled that it was going to take away my suffering and pain, and transform it into something positive, pleasurable, maybe even beautiful.

In that moment, everything in my life just seemed to make total and absolutely succinct sense. I understood that I was designed to contain light and dark energy—to be the embodiment of Yin and Yang. I wanted to kiss my pain. Without it, I wouldn’t have embarked on this journey. I wouldn’t have had the courage to push my body beyond its physical and mental limits. I would have remained spiritually asleep.

The author

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The comedown … 
My life has since returned to “normal.” But my Ego Death experience has led to notable changes to my outlook.

I’ve drawn relationships into my life that are supportive and calm but also fun. I laugh more. My current partner lets me fully be myself. And I’ve found friendships circles with likeminded creatives and artists who are interested in alchemy and alternative modalities.

After these experiences, it’s been hard to return to the corporate world. Climbing the ladder no longer appeals to me. And though I haven’t quite found my niche, I’m figuring it out. I know somehow I’m supposed to be here in L.A … that something drew me here.

Most importantly, I’m more eco-conscious and aware of how my choices are impacting the future of the planet (after all, I had felt the whole world sobbing). I still love fashion, but I am no longer her slave, and have lost the desire to consume in the way I used to. And while organized religion is still not something I identify with, I’ve become intrigued by esoteric and alternative spiritual modalities.

What learned about a connected global consciousness is well documented elsewhere—an open-minded outlook that’s especially relevant in our current era of regressive, right-wing politicking.

After all, in the words of ethnobotanist and mystic Terence McKenna: “If the words life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the ‘Declaration of Independence’ isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”

I certainly don’t believe that drugs are the only path to experiences such as mine. But surely to muse and ask “why?”—or to protest “WTF?”—is an innate part of the human experience. How else can we pursue the kind of evolutionary advancements I may have accidentally stumbled on during my long, bizarre, and deadly dark night of ego death?

Born and raised in the North East of Scotland to an Irish/Scottish mother and Chinese father and having travelled the world in her previous career, Sam Lam is an L.A based creative who spends her time writing, consulting, styling, modeling and collaborating with brands to produce visual content.

THE AQUARIUS WANING QUARTER MOON WANTS US TO GET READY FOR BREAKTHROUGH

In preparation for the 25th’s New Moon, the Aquarius Waning Quarter Moon asks us to look back before we charge into the future. Revisit and restructure so you can get ready to radicalize, says Jennifer RacioppiArtwork: Seana Gavin 

Waning Quarter Moon :: May 18 2017 :: 10:46 pm EST :: 28 Degrees Aquarius

Marking the halfway point between the 10th’s Full Moon in Scorpio and the 25th’s New Moon in Gemini, the Aquarius Waning Quarter Moon reveals that it’s essential to look backward before charging forward.

Think back to February 2015’s Aquarius New Moon. This current Quarter Moon brings those past intentions and actions into greater focus. Try to decipher what’s culminating in your life now that relates to seeds planted then. 

Simultaneously, on the day after the Aquarius Waning Quarter Moon, we will experience the second of three trines (a positive golden aspect) between Uranus, who represents revolution and freedom, and Saturn, who offers a heavy dose of structure and discipline. The first of these three trines happened on December 24, 2016, and the final will occur on November 11, 2017. This positive aspect suggests an innovative breakthrough in the structures of life. Use it to your advantage! 

:: The Sun ::
With the Sun at the tail end of steady, stable, sensual Taurus, and primed to enter quick witted and communicative Gemini on the 20th, we sit on the heels of change. As we take in the last moments of Taurus and prepare to switch zodiac signs, the Sun forms a T-square with the nodes of fate. This evolutionary configuration asks us to take stock of where we are in relation to our desires, goals, and dharma.

When the Sun moves into Gemini, it’ll be time to get into the flow of socializing, communicating, and networking. Right now, however, we have the opportunity to assess, systematize, and steadily focus our attention on where we are in relationship to our desired outcomes, and to make changes accordingly.

:: The Moon::
The future-oriented, humanitarian driven Aquarius Moon conjoins the South Node before moving into Pisces hours after this square. With the Moon in this delicate position, squaring the Sun and opposing the North Node of Destiny, forgiveness becomes paramount. As you assess your progress, have a forgiving heart. Tenderly release expectations that have not come to fruition. You need to make room for the bigger and better things just around the corner.

:: The Square ::
The Sun in Taurus squaring the Moon in Aquarius asks us to look at any friction between our desires for practicality, and our needs for innovation and humanitarian drives. The Sun in Taurus favors the tried and true path of tradition. However, the Aquarius moon wants progress, change, and forward momentum.

Since this waning square also involves the North and South Nodes, it’s essential to lean more into Aquarius than Taurus. Remember, one day after this Quarter Moon, Uranus and Saturn trine, which promotes progress and innovation. Shortly afterward, the Sun moves into social Gemini. So let progress lead the way!

:: The Message :: 

Revaluate. Plan. Innovate. Release. Surrender. Trust. With the Sun squaring the nodes of fate, and the Aquarius Moon directly conjoined to the South Node, this Quarter Moon drives us to evaluate how are doing so we can lean more fully into our progressive ideals.

This turning point of 2017 asks us to let go of what no longer serves us. Is there anything you need to release that stands in the way of receiving your intended goals? Are you ready to cultivate the prosperity and joy from all of your hard work? Under Taurus Sun’s influence, letting go is hard. But don’t let that stop you. Use this Waning Quarter Moon to make progressive adjustments.

Allow friction to propel you forward … 

For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com. To learn more about how to work with each Moon phase, join our community of lunar lovers at Moon Club!

SHE’S ELECTRIC: READING FOR THE ARIES NEW MOON

The Aries New Moon is here to spark the next current of your personal evolution. Hannah Ariel explains how to max out the electrifying cosmic energy…

If there is one astrological phenomenon we can count on to be even more invigorating to our consciousness than the monthly New Moon itself, it is the annual New Moon that takes place in a CARDINAL FIRE sign; a New Moon in ARIES; and, this coming April 7, a New Moon conjunct URANUS in Aries, at that.

Over the past five years, all moon cycles beginning in Aries have, to some extent, sparked our Uranian capacity to become agents of radical change in our own lives. Since 2011, not one person can say they haven’t experienced some type of an inner revolution. A fundamentally microcosmic life altering realization, that has led to the total reformation of a past ideal.

Along the way, each Aries New Moon has been a tipping points in our ability to creatively break out of seemingly impossible-to-change, consistently stuck-in-our-own-way patterns. And in exchange for freeing ourselves from the old, each Aries New Moon cycle has helped us find new and immediately effective ways to develop new parts of ourselves. Like, innovative, far-reaching, freaky-deaky-ridiculously magical parts of our beings. Everything from the way we think, to he way we make decisions and navigate our relationships has been somehow challenged over the past five years, as if begging for an upgrade.

On April 7 2016 we will experience once more the shockingly electric energy of Uranus conjunct the Moon in Aries – but this time even more powerfully so, as Uranus will be right by this Moon’s side. The impact it will have on us as individuals depends on our willingness to continue to confidently divert from the norm, from what has been before, and embrace what are revealed as exciting new ways of being.

Before you read any further – pause, and think back in time to one year ago. Who were you then? What understanding did you have of yourself? How has that person changed since then? Now go back to just six months ago. How had you begun integrating those changes? What or who were you in the process of becoming more of? Now, come back to this very moment. How have you completely TRANSFORMED since one year ago? What has fundamentally changed?

The question NOW, is what will the part of you that remains do next?

See, an Aries New Moon is all about YOU, the individual; YOU, as a traveler through space and time; YOU, as the hero/heroine of your own personal journey; and all that YOU have brought into existence. And as it is your tale that is dynamically unfolding, it is only you who knows what comes next.

There’s no doubt that there will be some degree of serendipity at work – IF, that is, you tune into your story and what it’s telling you. This is a time to come alive with excitement about where these changes in your personality are taking you. And you can trust that whatever you have built on is here to stay this time around. For the first time in since Uranus entered fiery Aries, SATURN, the planet of karma, the planet that structures our whole reality in real time, is in a visionary fire sign of SAGITTARIUS.

In aspect to one another, this Aries New Moon is positively ensuring that we will be creating more stability for ourselves with the eventful actions we are taking now as an expression of our individuality – the true source of all fantastic Uranian breakthroughs.

To work with this energy on an even deeper level, we can also look to decipher the intention that lies behind the very degree that this Aries New Moon takes place – the 18th degree of Aries. The Sabian Symbol (a deeply symbolic channeled image) for this degree as stated in Dane Rudhyar’s Astrological Mandala, is: “An empty hammock stretched between two trees. A constructive alternation of activity and rest, referring to the ability to balance outer vitalistic activity and withdrawal from such activity… which suggests a middle path between total involvement in instinctual or social drives and withdrawal in silence – thus living rhythmically.”

And so this Aries New Moon is an invitation to stretch your consciousness to hold both polarities: the part of yourself ready for immediate action, AND the part of yourself that knows how to hold back to develop your ideas in private.

As much as this is a time to act on all the electricity that is being stirred up externally in your life, it will also serve you to consider ways you can tap into the quietly imaginative recesses of your consciousness, where your most unique and the magical solutions can take shape. Uranus in Aries energetically brings the future to the present moment and embodies the very idea that when every individual takes action from a place that includes a vision of the far-flung future, the present moment becomes ECSTATIC and can “contain multitudes.”

The key to unlocking the gifts of this Aries New Moon will be to proactively seek an electrifying source of inspiration from within you, to be open the many possibilities you hold, and to align with the adventure of who you are becoming. And to remember all you have gone through to become who you are now. The answers to what kind of actions to take in light of your current circumstances will spring forth as soon as you allow yourself to embody the power of both creation and recreation.

As an empowering mantra for ALL sun signs at this time, I’m including the below poem – some carefully selected bits and pieces from sections of Walt Whitman’s brilliant Song of Myself:

(3.) There was never any more inception than there is now
(20.) I exist as I am, that is enough
And I know the amplitude of time
I am afoot with my vision
(51.) The past and present wilt – I have fill’d them, emptied them,
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

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