HOLY F*CK: A CALL TO EMBRACE OUR HUMANITY

It’s time to stop using spirituality as an escape—and embrace our humanity, says Alexandra Roxo

In times likes these—where we have somehow managed to elect a president with terrifying beliefs and judgements, where Native people are still fighting to protect the Earth while most everyone else walks around trying to protect money—I feel like it’s so obvious. As a culture and a people we need to get out of our heads and into our feet. Into our wombs, our pussies, and THE EARTH.

We’ve become so focused on “success,” making money, how we climb and grow. All masculine principles. All in the mind. Goal oriented. We barely notice when animals become endangered. We forget to talk about climate change.

It’s not our fault, it’s what we were born into: a consumerist, capitalist culture. When I ask my clients about how much time they spend focusing on their sexual energy or creative energy or with their feet on the ground, it PALES in comparison to how much time is spent in the realm of the computer. Money. Capital. Thought. Even meditation. It’s all up, up, up, into the Cloud.

But the way I see it, we need to go down, down, down! Get back into our bodies. And it turns out spirituality, just like work or booze, can become an escape from the pains and earthy work of being human.

Speaking as somebody who can be a spirituality abuser myself, I think it’s time we stop using it as such. Let me tell you a story about why.

***

When I was 13 I had a bad year. 1: I got held down by a bunch of boys and sprayed with red super soaker guns in 30 degree weather while calling me names. I punched one of them and everyone hated me. 2: My bestie’s parents called us out for being gay after she told them we had innocently experimented sexually together and forbade us to be friends anymore. I was DEVASTATED.

So what did I do? I went to church to get SAVED. This was my first bout of checking out of human life by saying: “God I can’t take it down here! Beam me up!” I spoke in tongues, got saved like 100 times. And even wore Abercormbie. (No offense.) My New-Age-psychic-seeing-Angel-lovin-Enya-listening Mom got worried.

Eventually I went back to feeling like I could manage down here. I did theatre, volunteer work/built homes for homeless, wore 4-inch cork wedges to school, flirted with boys, and learned all the dance moves to “Bye Bye Bye.” But my spirituality abuser didn’t go away. I always found some new practice to dive into. Some psychic to look to for the answers.

By age 19 I found myself sitting on a spiritual pedestal feeling like I was “special” and that others “weren’t awake.” While doing an acting exercise in college my teacher called me out in front of the class: “You are using spirituality a mask. It’s keeping you from feeling things and being here. Go back to your seat and come back when you want to be real.” DAMN. I was crushed. But I took her words wisely and went home, cried for about three days, painted, wrote love letters, laughed with friends and gently got down off my spiritual high horse.

It happened again though. Only two years later, after a trauma abroad, I was ready to sign up to be a monastic in a commune in Italy where I had been meditating in caves, sitting on cold stone floors, and wearing communal Cosby sweaters. I renounced sex, alcohol, or anything “of the flesh!” Mom got worried again.

I found my way back to humanity again. But my spiritual extremist rears her head every so often. I see her spending more time reading horoscopes than DOING things that can help. Talking more to other realms than folks in Trader Joe’s. Diving into days of plant medicine ceremonies and shamanic journeys. And avoiding the harsh pains of reality. Any of this sounding familiar?

As wonderful as it it to wake at 6am and meditate every day, to read all the articles and check the horoscopes and pull a card from all the decks, I am trying to refrain. In the name of balance.

My aim is to cultivate as much of an EARTH practice as I have a SPIRITUAL one. Which means for every meditation or journey to the spirit realms, I better be doing something here here on Earth. CAUSE I WAS BORN A HUMAN. And the Earth needs me. Head out of phone. Feeling my toes in the dirt. Pussy alive with energy and life force. Does ALL LIFE originate in my brain? NAH, IT’S IN THE PUSS.

***

I don’t think it’s enough to just pray and send love and light to Trump, or anyone for that matter. Pray for peace, yes. For love, yes. But I think we also need to get dirt under our nails and be humble and immerse ourselves in what’s happening out on the streets.

And so I urge you, like I urge ME, to embrace your humanity!

Get in the pub and talk to old Latino men and share food and drink with them.

Instead of reading another self-help book (like me!) go to the rally. Sign up to volunteer. Watch documentaries and educate yourself. Go to open mics and comedy clubs in areas that are new to you and mingle with people who aren’t like you.

Let’s look at how much we’re spending on “spiritual” paraphernalia, and re-balance the books! How about a pole dancing class instead? Donations to planned parenthood? Community gardening?

Let’s admit that we don’t know the answers. It’s not fair to all the other folks who have been working tirelessly for years if we pretend we know how to save the world with our ascension ideas. (I mean would you say that to an 85-year-old Native woman? Nah, probs not.)

And remember. If and when we need a strict practice to get us through a hard time, it will ALWAYS be there. You won’t lose it. Because it’s in you! “Spirit” won’t get angry and turn its back on you. I promise.

But for now the world needs YOU and your humanity. Out there. Off the mountain and in the streets.

I love you.

Moon Club co-founder Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker and intuitive coach living in LA. Read more about her work at www.alexandraroxo.com and follow her love and sex and life woes and victories on Instagram.

COSMIC CULTURE FOR JUNE

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

Virgo Florence Welch at Glastonbury

:: MUSIC ::

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

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

GLASTONBURY

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

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

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

BONNAROO

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

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

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

Gemini Fetty Wap at Electric Forest

ELECTRIC FOREST

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

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

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

MOUNTAIN JAM

June 2-5, Hunter Mountain, NY, USA

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

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

:: FILM ::

THE NEON DEMON

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

THE NEON DEMON premieres June 24 in the United States.

TIME TO CHOOSE

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

TIME TO CHOOSE premieres June 3 in the United States.

:: TELEVISION ::

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

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

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

AQUARIUS

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

AQUARIUS premieres June 16 on NBC.

:: BOOKS ::

THE PAST LIFE PERSPECTIVE

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

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

THE GAIAN TAROT

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

Gaian Tarot will be available June 28 from Schiffer Publishing.

COMFORTABLY NUMB: EAT THE PAIN AWAY

Is our obsession with healthy food just another way to eat the pain away, asks Kate Atkinson? Images: Instagram.com/dishpigs

“Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we’re in the mood —
Cold jelly and custard! “

Lionel Bart, Oliver – Food, Glorious Food Lyrics, 1968.

Cut to the twenty first century: “I’ll have the burger please. Only I won’t have the bun. Or do you have gluten free bread? Wheat gives me hives. Does it have seeds in it too? Where was the meat farmed? Were the cows happy, like REALLY happy? I mean, ecstatic. Oh and can you make sure there isn’t any cheese on there? I’m allergic to dairy. My whole face turns bright yellow when I eat it. Actually I’ll just have some lettuce, thanks.”

To quote the Miranda July film title, this has begun to sound just a little like me and you and everyone we know. And apologies in advance to all my vegan, gluten-free friends out there, but can we just take a step back from obsessing over every morsel that goes in our mouth for a moment?

I’ll preface this by admitting I ate gluten-free bread the other morning (and full disclosure, it was really not as good as sourdough). Why? Because I’d travelled from the NY winter (read: seven layers of clothes + one extra layer of fat) to my home town of sunny Sydney, and found I was suddenly hyper aware of what I ate. But how many of us actually have a serious intolerance to gluten i.e. celiac? Why not just say we feel fat, and are convinced for some reason that “gluten-free” also means less calories?

Here’s some food for thought: are we depriving ourselves of the snacks we know and have always loved, inventing all sorts of conditions, because we’re ashamed to admit that actually we just really want to be perfect? Ashamed of looking stupid and being so susceptible to the unattainable ideals we’re pushed, since we all know perfection is impossible.

As ballet coach Thomas Leroy says to an emaciated Natalie Portman in Black Swan: “Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them.” And when it comes food, I think we should do likewise.

Back in high school, the pursuit of body-perfection meant doing star jumps in the toilet cubicles and puking when we thought no one is looking. Not me personally, but many girls I knew.

Now we’re all grown up, its our addiction to false nutrition bullshit that’s feeding the same appetite for fear. See the modern malaise of Orthorexia nervosa – literally translating as “proper appetite”, and a pathological fixation with eating only “healthy food,” that has aptly been described as “a disease disguised as a virtue”.

A condition in its infancy, Orthorexia is not yet recognized as a psychiatric disorder – but I see focussing so thoroughly on virtuous eating as just another way of distracting ourselves from our reality, and numbing what’s really going on.

I believe perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order – and deprivation just another means of exercising control in a world of imperfect unknowns. On a parallel with OCD, it’s a way of ignoring our pain and conforming to perceived societal norms…but what for exactly? To maintain the body of a 12-year-old who’s never even menstruated, or, come to think of it, slept with a man who told them they had a great ass?

A friend of mine, Georgia Ashdown, has recently started a blog in Australia called Dish-Pig as a way of exploring women’s relationship with food. Her crowd are foodies, but they aren’t obsessive, and while they’re all about sustainability and conscious eating, they also champion the enjoyment of food in a progressive way. Think hot babes (US Vogue are fans) eating ACTUAL food, not cotton wool!

I think it’s time for a new language around food. Most women (myself included) have a long way to go in learning to truly love  our own bodies. With so much social conditioning about we should look under our clothes, how can we not feel terrible when we see ourselves in the mirror naked?

By realizing none of this shit actually matters, because it really, really doesn’t. By remembering we are not the women being forced to marry suicide bombers in ISIS. By taking the time to tell each other how great our asses look. By realizing that it is totally normal and acceptable to pig out sometimes and not rush to justify it to others and ourselves. By no more comparing ourselves to celebrities or impossibly thin friends. By reading up properly on food, not just jumping on the latest fad diet when it comes along. By realizing that the people you want to look good for really DON’t care – they just want you to be happy in your own skin.

There are so many things in the world we can’t control. A talking head that no one can quite believe has been given an international stage. Gun laws that mean your four-year-old is able to shoot you. Climate change. Terrorism. Police brutality.

Can’t we just enjoy and be grateful for the simple pleasures we have?

To quote political activist and author Anne Lamott:

“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is you will die anyway, and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

We are all enough. More than enough. So isn’t it time we ate enough, too, and stopped picking toppings off our pizza? It’s getting really, really boring.

A STORY OF ASTROLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Is Astrology helping tell the story of human responses to climate change? With Saturn in Sagittarius and a scary new deadline to cut fossil fuel emissions, it’s time to pick each pilgrimage wisely, says Ruby Warrington. Images: Mariano Peccinetti

So this was going to be a post about how to use astrocartography to plan your vacations and retreats in 2015. Astrocartography is the practise of placing your birth chart over a map of the world, to see where the different planets hold the most influence for you – which is obviously completely fascinating, and I urge you to download your map here STAT!

But then I started reading Naomi Klein’s climate change manifesto This Changes Everything – and it’s become a story about how air miles feel like my most guilty pleasure.

Scanning my mind for my very favorite, most life defining memories, so many of them were made following the burning of a shit-tonne of fossil fuels – like the time I travelled to Greece as a moody adolescent, and got to experience another culture first hand for the first time. Or to Ibiza as a happy-go-lucky rave babe in my twenties, and to Miami to marry my husband, just the two of us, nervous and giggling like teenagers in the garden at the Delano hotel.

These are the memoires that exist in 3D Technicolor for me, aromas, emotions and all, and I had been fully intending to create many, many more in 2015. I’ve already booked a trip down to the Bahamas to swim with dolphins in February, which, considering I have a life-long phobia of snorkelling (I am a human, last time I checked I am not equipped for breathing underwater) I’m anticipating will be a game-changer for me.

Then there’s Lauren and Joe’s wedding in London in March (my biggest matchmaking success story), and the big ol’ Santa-Fe-to-Big-Sur road-trip I’ve been loosely fantasizing about.

But since This Changes Everything, I’m beginning to relate to the part of my mind that continues to think it’s totally okay to jump on a plane somewhere every other month like that creepy, morally corrupt dude Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. There is shame, and there is a degree of disgust.

In her book, Klein says it’s our collective “climate change denial” (i.e. continuing to jump on planes places every other month) that means we’re currently facing a situation where, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA): “If we do not get our emissions under control by 2017 our fossil fuel economy will ‘lock in’ extremely dangerous warming.”

By “lock in,” they mean seal the deal on irreversible changes to our global climate, which could trigger completely devastating environmental disasters on an as yet unimaginable scale – the trailer for which disaster movie has already begun playing on a loop.

Klein’s manifesto makes for scary but what feels like essential reading. Relating to the 28% of fossil fuel consumption attributed to the transportation industry, it’s also got me thinking about Saturn, planet of harsh life lessons, restriction and karma, recently having stationed in globe-trotting, happy-go-lucky Sagittarius. Where it will remain until – you guessed it – December 19 2017, a.k.a. pretty much D-day on potential environmental Armageddon. Which suggests that the next three years are about a stern approach to re-thinking our attitudes to why, when and how we travel.

Wow, it sucks being stuck in this materialistic human suit sometimes. At the center of my being, my soul intelligence can be finally waking up to the fact that it’s time for some RADICAL FREAKING CHANGES, but still my physical body will argue; “not quite yet though, yeah? Swimming with those dolphins is seriously gonna rock your world…”

The hard-core environmentalists will argue that there is no room, or time, for compromise. But the Titanic won’t turn on a dime. Which is an interesting metaphor in itself, considering it’s also been predicted that a rise in sea levels resulting from the disintegration of the West antarctic ice sheet (due to global warming) could wipe out coastal metropolis’ like New York, LA and London by 2100.

And I know, I KNOW. But how about, for now (really though, NOW), we commit to only travel for true pilgrimage. It’s an idea that’s also in keeping with Saturn in Sag, the notion that our journeys must have real purpose, and if it meant we all took just one trip a year instead of five, wouldn’t that be going some way towards meeting the IEA’s 2017 targets? As for all those business trips, the jaunts across continents for meetings that really need to take place face-to-face…um, isn’t that why we invented Skype?

As always, writing and thinking about environmental issues makes me feel like a total hypocrite and also extremely naive (you too, I know, which is why it feels so much nicer to just keep looking the other way), because of course I’ll be going to that wedding. Obviously a trip to Berlin to meet my new nephew this summer counts as a pilgrimage too, right? And actually, isn’t this all just too little, too late?

But as a mere human, a microscopic particle in the organism of our collective Earthly consciousness, I have no real choice but to believe that even the one, or two, or three trips I choose not to take this year will make a difference. A theory that only really works if I’m not the only one making those choices.

So then how to choose the journeys that are really worth waiting for? A while ago I had my astrocartography chart read by a British astrologer called Zoe Hind. It’s all way too complicated for me to explain in detail here, but below is a map of my chart to give you an idea.

The different colored lines represent the planets, and the labels at the top and bottom – “MC, IC, AS, DS” – show their highest and lowest points, as well as where they are ascending and descending. The idea being that a planet ascending over a certain country means it’s influence will be strengthened there. The reverse if it’s descending. So where there are lots of lines, shows where in the world there is the most cosmic potential for you.

Thinking in terms of my personal and spiritual growth (i.e. “pilgrimage”), this looks a lot like Hawaii, South America, Africa, Scandinavia, and Russia / Tibet. None of which have factored in my travels to date. But with cosmic healer Chiron strong over the Pacific, Hawaii could be the ideal location for a solo retreat, says Zoe – opposed to a group trip, as Uranus, planet of group activity, is also at it lowest there.

South America, the Amazon in particular, is where my Sun, Venus, Mercury and Chiron, all in my fourth house of family roots, are “going to sleep.” The interpretation? “If you were going to have an; ‘I want to get away from myself, change my mind and challenge my core beliefs in a group scenario’ sort of trip, then obviously South America is looking very strong. Because the planets in your 11th house of groups (Uranus, North Node) are also lit up.” Which sounds about right for the ayahuasca experience in Peru I’ve got scheduled for somewhere around age 50.

As for putting my money where my mouth is for now though, and simply staying put? When I moved to New York from London in 2012, I had a visceral sense of destiny itself kicking me out of my comfort zone and into a new life across the Atlantic.

And wouldn’t you know, my Sun, the essence of my being, and Moon, representing my instincts and subconscious mind, meet high up in the sky, directly above this dirty, dramatic, endangered city. It’s my three-year anniversary next month, and the internal pilgrimage I’ve been on here has created some of my most momentous life milestones of all. So this year I commit to making lots more of those, RIGHT HERE.

Discover more about Zoe Hind’s astrology at AstroZo.com

Read more about This Changes Everything