WHAT CAN GODDESS APHRODITE TEACH YOU ABOUT LOVE?

As Pisces season brings on the deep emo vibes, George Lizos tells us how the Goddess Aphrodite can help us start calling in the flavor of love we need right now …

Photo: Joanna Nix

Meeting Aphrodite … 
Growing up in Cyprus, the island where Aphrodite was reputedly born, my childhood was saturated with the art, stories, and myths surrounding the Goddess of Love. Everywhere you looked she was there, posing in her seductive nakedness in statues and paintings.

As an adult, dissatisfied with my love life and drained of feminine energy, I travelled back to my homeland with a single desire in mind: I wanted to know love more deeply, more fully. 

I drove to Aphrodite’s Rock, the beach where, according to Hesiod’s myth, the Goddess was born of the sea foam and washed upon the shore. And as I walked into the calm, cool water of the Mediterranean Sea, I felt layers upon layers of sexual shame, limiting beliefs around love, past hurts and resentments, all washing off of my body.

Right then and there, I met Aphrodite. And love finally made sense, for the first time.

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What can the Goddess Aphrodite teach you right now? 
Embodying Aphrodite invites us to accept and honor romantic love in all its meanings and layers. The four ancient epithets she’s been given mix the sea (sensual love), land (erotic love), and sky (spiritual love) energies. Read on to discover which of the four qualities of Goddess Aphrodite is currently missing from your life … 

Photo: Zara Walker

1// Ourania (Sky element; Spiritual love): This is the spiritual, romantic essence of love, that’s best experienced when a couple is “in love” with each other. The experience of falling in love transcends the ego’s perception of love, helping us realize that in spiritual truth, that all is love. Call upon Ourania Aphrodite if you’re having trouble committing to, or falling in love with, a partner.

*How to Call Her In: Mentally place a pink rose within your heart. Visualize the rose blooming slowly and radiating pink light, allowing the energy of Ourania Aphrodite to replace any blocks you have around being vulnerable and opening your heart.

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2// Chrusee (Sea element; Sensual love): This is the love towards oneself that’s fundamental for healthy romantic relationships. It also includes the act of adorning your body with beautiful clothes, jewelry, oils, and perfume. Call upon Chrusee Aphrodite if you’re struggling with low self-esteem, lack of self-love, and body confidence.

*How to Call Her In: An unorthodox yet powerful way to embody Chrusee Aphrodite is by taking away all external body adornment props (i.e. jewelry, clothes, perfume), and facing yourself naked in the mirror. Closing your eyes, visualize your body emanating a bright golden light that reflects its inner, perfect beauty. Open your eyes and accept this new perspective as your truth.

Photo: Hal Gatewood

3// Peitho (Land element; Persuasive Love): Playfulness, flirting, teasing, and being able to seduce a partner into meaningful romantic and sexual experiences. Call upon Peitho Aphrodite to attract vitality if your love life is feeling dull and stagnant.

*How to Call Her In: Buy or create a blend of rose, frankincense and myrrh essential oils. Add three drops in your palms, rub them together, and then use your hands to clear and energize your aura. These three oils were traditionally used for seduction by Aphrodite’s priestesses; instilling your aura with them will give you the inspiration you need to spice up your love life.

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4// Philommeides (Land element; Erotic love): The love of bodily pleasures and intimate sexual connection between lovers. Call upon Philommeides Aphrodite if you have a low sexual drive, have trouble enjoying sex, or lack sexual chemistry with your partner/s.

*How to Call Her In: Just as the name suggests, to embody Philommeides Aphrodite you need to learn to love and accept your genitalia. Spend time observing, exploring, and pleasuring yourself. Educate yourself in your own sexual rhythms, needs, and desires. Make peace with them, accept them without judgment, and let them guide the way in your sexual encounters.

Photo: Michael Paz

Once you’ve channeled your personal Aphrodite, amp up the vibes with a beach ritual to honor romantic love in all its expressions. **And you can download the Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite HERE to infuse your ritual with even more magic!

-Sit or stand on the shoreline, at the point where the waves crash on the sand, and close your eyes. If you don’t have access to the sea, just visualize yourself there and you’ll still benefit from the meditation.

-Breathing in and out, ground yourself and allow your body to adjust to the fluid energy of this in-between place. Reflect on what it means to be at the meeting point of sea, land, and sky, which captures Aphrodite’s multi-layered essence.

-Either mentally or verbally say, “I am Aphrodite,” over and over again. The ‘I am’ statement invites the essence of Aphrodite into your present moment.

-When you establish a connection with the goddess, spend some time reflecting on your willingness to honor both earthly and heavenly love. Do you reject one or the other? Do you feel guilty about either? Are you willing to accept both in your life?

-With eyes closed, open your arms wide and receive the Aphrodite qualities you need in your life right now. As the hymn ends, hug the energy into your heart by gradually bringing your arms and hands to your chest.

-End the meditation by thanking Aphrodite for her continued presence in your life, and ask her to keep guiding you in embodying romantic love to its fullness.

George Lizos is a spiritual teacher, author of Be The Guru, and the creator of the Mermaid Bootcamp. He works with the angelic and elemental realms helping lightworkers find, follow, and fulfill their life purpose. To learn more about George visit georgelizos.com, and follow him on Instagram.

HOLY F*CK: VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION

In a special Valentine’s Day Edition of her monthly column, Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo tells us how reclaiming your “single” status can lead to the greatest love of all.

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

From “intimacy grad school to solo initiation 
From age 21 to 32, I was in “Intimacy Grad School,” aka back-to-back relationships without breaks. Yet there were certain parts of myself I was not integrating. I always had trouble staying dedicated to my spiritual practice with someone traipsing around the bedroom while I was mid-meditation. I also hid some of my weirdness and wildness in certain moments. But more than anything, I hid my mystical.

But for the past two and a half years, I have been single and working on myself deeply, alone. I needed to be by myself to REALLY vow that I would never abandon my practice for anyone, ever again. And I also know that the subsequent career growth, shamanic initiation, and unfolding of myself, had to happen solo so I could define myself as ME and not as WE.

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What are you really in love with?  
In these years, I have gone deep into both the pains and joys of being “single.” And part of this process has been about realizing that the word “single” is problematic to begin with. The word implies a LACK of something. And it implies that if you aren’t in a partnership, you aren’t whole in some way. Cause let’s face it- knowing if someone is “single” or not ties into old school traditional ways of viewing relationships and love and sex.

What if instead of saying “I’m single,” we said “I’m currently in love with my book writing!” Or “I’m loving my besties so hard right now!” Or “I’m doing some major healing work.” Because chances are you are deeply loving and in partnership with MANY things in your life, with or without a romantic love.

When we define ourselves based on LACK we set ourselves up for suffering, pain, anxiety, depression. When we define ourselves based on what excites us, makes us feel alive, connected, sexy and real—then we reprogram ourselves for success!

Now, that doesnt mean it’s not okay to want Love, or partnership, or a family. Allow that yearning. Always! But there is a difference between wanting something from a strong grounded place versus wanting something from a desparate clingy place outside of ourselves. One feels REALLY good to claim. The other feels like anxiety in the body.

Read on for 5 ways to swap your “single” status for “in love with so many other things” … 

Portrait by Caitlin Mitchell Studio

1// Stay connected to your heart. There is no better time to get to know the deepest of your Heart’s desires than when you have time and space. Get to know your blocks. Your barriers to Love. Your yearning. Your longing. How can you ask another to enter your Heart if you don’t know your own Heart? DO your work. Now is the time

*Easy ways to begin: Journal and/or meditate daily. Make a Pinterest boards of “What Makes you feel Alive” or “What Turns you On” and most of all BREATHE. Learn to let your belly hang loose and let breath travel through your body for a hugely more connected experience of living.

2// Change your words, change your realityChange your WHOLE vocab around dating, sex and love. No more “Honestly there are just no good men in X (swap X for your city).” Or, “Gosh dating in LA is so hard!” New Yorkers say the same. Small towners say the same. Your language CREATES your reality.

*Easy ways to begin: Try focusing on the good stuff—”Wow! I met two amazing, conscious men last week.” Sounds cheesy but it will reframe your experience! When someone does something kind for you, like opens a door or offers to help you at the store, take notice. And say it aloud: “Wow so sweet this guy carried my groceries!” It’s a SIMPLE practice but it can move mountains.

3// Reclaim your solo sex practice. This one can get super hard. But if you’re walking around horny all the time and unfulfilled, you will be like a starving animal on the prowl.

Take back your sexual power instead of waiting for someone to enter your life and get you off. Yes, it’s not the same. But you are going to feel so yummy and juicy if you start this process. Folks are gonna tooooootally look at you differently in Whole Foods. Trust me.

*Easy ways to begin: Take your masturbation practice up a notch. No more lazy vibrator in sweats to an old porn nights. Put on lingerie. Burn a candle. Buy some new toys. Explore something new on your own. Buy some erotica to read in the tub. Go to a ropes class.

4// Get clear about your REAL values. Many times we “think” we know and then someone comes and we’re all googoo gaga for them and wake up 6 months later like “whoops, our values are not aligned” because we didn’t define and clarify what we wanted. So take this time to dial in your business and get clear on your desires.

*Easy ways to begin: Get to know yourself—not the you from last year. What are you into right now, what do you want more of in your life, what are your hard Yeses and hard Nos in love and sex and relating?

5// See the whole world as your soul mate.  This is *advanced* spiritual practice my Loves!  But you can let love flow through you ALL the time. In every old man’s smile. Each caress of wind on your cheek. You see, there is no separation between the Beloved and You and your Whole Life. This is the shit the mystics talk about. Rumi. Hafiz. This is real deal work, and focusing on this will let your Heart be met ALL THE TIME.

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Alexandra Roxo works with clients one-on-one, both in person and online, and focuses on sexual healing, sensual embodiment and empowerment! *Parts of this piece were edited from Alexandra’s “Sex Goddess” monthly column on Horoscope.com—check out her other work HERE.

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOBER DATING

Leo season means the romance AND the party vibes are in full force. How to navigate the love landscape sans booze? Caitlin Cecil shares 10 things you need to know about sober dating …

Photo: JD Mason

Once upon a time, my favorite part of dating was getting ready for the date: mixing myself a rum and Coke to take the edge off, jamming to some Blink 182, choosing my outfit and make up, and sipping on my beverage to alleviate the first date jitters. Even if the date turned out to be a bust, I really enjoyed having a drink with myself in anticipation of a night out …

Two years ago, alcohol having wrecked havoc on my health through migraines, anxiety, and the occasional total melt down, I chose to go booze free. But I’m certainly still dating. And as a 29-year-old single woman in Texas, the constant go to when I’m asked out is, “Do you want to grab a drink?”

How to navigate this new terrain? Whether you’re sober or just sober curious, here are 10 things you need to know when it comes to sober dating …

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1// Know what you want. Whether you want to date a fellow non-drinker or don’t mind dating someone who drinks, make a clear decision. This takes some research. Go on some dates and see where you fall on the spectrum. I’ve done both and discovered that while I don’t need to date someone who’s also sober and can handle a partner who enjoys a drink, dates who get blasted over and over again are certainly not for me.

2// Reveal only as much as you want. Decide ahead of time how much you want to give away. When I first quit drinking, I was still a little embarrassed to tell people I didn’t drink. In a dimly lit bar with an attractive man, I’d feel silly saying, “Oh this? It’s a Shirley Temple.” It’s your call if you want to obscure the truth while you get to know somebody. Or if you’re totally vibing with the person and want to reveal your alcohol free lifestyle, go for it … any judgement is on their part.

3// Know your secret drinks. The magic concoction that got me through the early stages of my new life was a little drink called bitters and Coke. Bitters has an orange flavor to it, most people do not know what it is, a lot of my dates just assumed it was a type of alcohol, and bartenders would never charge me much for it. The truth is, it has a teeeeny bit of alcohol in, it but not enough to cause any sort of difference in your BAC. And the more comfortable I got, the more I was able to move away from dependence on sugary sodas.

Photo: Matthew Henry

4//Take the lead suggesting date ideas. If you have a date coming up and he or she asks you if you have any ideas about what to do, suggest something that doesn’t involve alcohol. Coffee, bowling, hiking, dog walking … one time I even visited a wolf sanctuary! Once you open your mind to what a date “should” look like, the possibilities are endless. Check your local listings and start exploring.

5// Find your time zone. I used to say yes to dates at 8 or 830pm. Now? Heck no! Too close to my sober life bed time. If someone wants to take me out, they’re going to get my best self earlier in the day. Let your date know your best time zone, give them some options, and don’t be afraid to suggest earlier times if your alcohol free lifestyle has your schedule shifting.

6// Do NOT feel pressured. A big part of dating alcohol free is remembering that you are a ROCK STAR for choosing to live the way you want to live in the face of social pressures. You are making a choice that goes against the grain and yes, many people will be confused. I recently went on a bowling date and ordered a beer for my date, but he felt really uncomfortable because I wasn’t drinking too. I assured him that I wanted him to enjoy himself and that my not drinking was a choice I made for me—nothing to do me with judging him.

7// Craft your answers. When people have serious addiction problems and enter into AA or other treatment programs, others seldom ask why. But choosing to be alcohol free for other reasons often leaves others confused and asking a lot of questions. Never feel pressured to respond in a certain way. Sometimes, I reveal medical information and talk about my migraines. But other times, I choose to keep it short and simple. You can simply say “I’m doing a cleanse,” or “I’m alcohol free to support others who cannot drink.” Say what you want to and what feels right, and remember that if somebody’s weirded out, they’re probably not for you.

8// Feel for real connections. Dating is a two way street and sober or not, you have to actually get along. When you’re sober and really connecting with someone, you’ll have even MORE amazing conversations about the universe, TV shows, animals, political drama … and guess what? You’ll actually remember them the next day!!

9// Irish goodbye if you need to. The Irish goodbye stems from the idea of an Irish person being so drunk they just leave a social event without saying goodbye, but in this case it’s a reverse Irish goodbye. While this may seem like regular dating ed 101, for the newly alcohol free it may be harder to do. If your date is drunk or you are uncomfortable for any reason, Irish goodbye on out of there.

10// HAVE FUN! Do not let the disappearance of alcohol hold you back from meeting people, discovering fun activities in your city, and trying new things. Remember, being booze free and feeling healthy will actually liven you up—not the opposite!

Caitlin Cecil is a Houston-based wellness coach who focuses on helping people with stress, burn out, anxiety, and finding balance. She has a degree in Rtvf, a NESTA wellness coaching certification, teaches barre, and loves coaching women to their highest potential. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram, sign up for her newsletter HERE, and check out her “Cruise from Booze” wellness program. 

TEMPLE OF VENUS: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GODDESS VENUS

Elyssa Jakim sits down with her hero, the Goddess Venus, for some lessons in love, sex, and relationships for 2017…

The author channeling Goddess Venus

In the spring of 2012, I took a fated voyage to Italy. I toured Rome, Florence, and Venice for two weeks by myself without knowing any Italian except different variations of ciao and grazie. I had experiences that ranged in tint from enchanting to bizarre to intense to delicious to profound.

Of course, I visited the Uffizi Gallery in Florence: the must-see museum city’s must-see museum. After rounding a nondescript corner of this monolith, I found myself face-to-face with Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. The sight was astonishing. Instantly, tears sprang to my eyes at the golden masterwork. I knew Venus. I looked like her. I was her.

Chills ran through my body. Identifying with Venus bundled me in a new layer of self-acceptance, like a warm cloak. The sight of that painting changed something in me.

This all happened before I had discovered that I was a latent medium. But, looking back on my emotional response, I believe this meeting with Venus sealed my future work with her—and my eventual ability to hear her. Since that trip, Venus (and that image of her) has entered my life in countless ways—not least with my Temple Of Venus column for The Numinous, in which I have discussed many ways to work with the energy of the Goddess Venus.

As this column prepares to transition in the New Year (stay tuned for its next incarnation), I decided that a perfect way to pay homage to our Venus would be to let her speak. 

So as we close out 2016, I sat down with the Goddess Venus to get her tips on love and romance for the year ahead. And yes, by sitting down with the Goddess, I mean I went into deep meditation and had a conversation with my hero Venus!

VENUS GREETS US!
“Hello Universe! It is a pleasure to be heard by you. Numinous readers have deep sensitivity. I hope they can feel my vibration through these words.”

ELYSSA JAKIM: What can you tell us about relationships in the current climate, Venus?
GODDESS VENUS: Recently, I have found I want more from my lovers and my standards are elevated, which means you mortals too have been more demanding in your relationships. It’s good to have high standards. But like anything, these high expectations must be balanced. So here is my tip for relationships in 2017: look at your closest relationships, especially with those family members who you perhaps spent more time with during the holidays.

Ask yourself: are my standards fair? Am I being too hard on the people around me? How can I receive the love that they are trying to give, even if they lack the right words? How can I appreciate the effort my loved ones make, even when it doesn’t land quite right? This will free you up into compassion. 

EJ: Are the high standards also helpful?
GV: Yes! The shift into higher standards is very important for those wishing to break their relationship patterns and attract a new kind of love in the new year. If you know you are ready to change how you date and whom you date, start setting your new patterns without delay. Walk your talk. When the same type of person you always date with no positive results asks you out, decline. Cut a date short if you don’t feel honored. It is time to spend time with people who lift you up, enlighten you, who make you laugh, and who make you feel healthy. Be aware of the company you keep.

EJ: What’s your message to the world right now?
GV: Stay close to your heart. It’s easy to look outside of yourself to find the answers, and it is easy to look outside of yourself for despair too. But the thing that is truly sustaining is the energy of your own knowing. People know what is right for them so much more than they think. I see so many of you asking for advice when you don’t really need it.

Is it advice or is it permission you’re seeking? I give you permission right now to make your own decisions. Trust that you have all of the answers inside of you. Especially in this Internet age where there are so many answers. Before googling all the symptoms (physical and metaphysical) simply ask your self what you need. 

Artwork: Bea Toa

EJ: What are your tips for sensuality in 2017?
GV: Get into your body, and get truly sensual! Challenge your lingerie choices. If you always wear a bra, forget it for a day. If you’re always flying free, try something structured and see how it makes you feel. Notice your body’s sensory reaction to clothes. What makes your genitals a little excited when you think about wearing it? What are your sensual fabrics? Read a book of erotica or a book about tantra and practice by yourself. Get intimate and cozy and hot inside to offset the frost. Winter’s dark mysteries can be pretty sexy. 

EJ: Is January really a good time for a detox?
GV: We often indulge during the holidays, since emotions are running high, and being surrounded by family members can trigger this. A way to temper this is to make sure your self-care practices are also on high alert. In January, drink SOOOOO much water. Put crystals in the water to make it more fun! If you have a sweet tooth, perhaps try a spoonful of honey. It may be cold out, but fresh air will help you to re-group and re-ground.

This is not a time of denial. If you’re choosing to eat healthier in January, feel excited by this act of nourishment. Receive the sweetness you maybe crave from other things. From a warm hug. From a great wintery walk. From candles. From kisses in the snow. From romance.

EJ: You are the Goddess of romance, Venus. What does that word mean to you?
GV: It means saying your true feelings out loud. Whether this is a crush or a long-term lover, to me being bold can be really sexy. Remember when you wrote letters to people as a teen, Elyssa? I loved that! You might have been embarrassed, but I found it beautiful! Most importantly, be romantic for yourself. Light candles in your space and play music that feels sexy or heartwarming to you. Sit by the fire, take hot showers, seek heat and warmth. Put red roses or petals in your space. Write yourself a love letter. Cook yourself a nice meal. Take yourself out on your own perfect date. The ways to be romantic are limitless, it’s just important to remember to do it.

EJ: How can Numinous readers connect with you in 2017?
GV: My energy is awakening more and more on the planet right now and I invite any one reading this to spend time in meditation with me. And remember, I exist in many forms. I exist as honeybees. I am a planet, obviously. I am white buffalo calf woman. I am the earth. I am sensuality. I am the womb. I am your deep femininity. Please spend some time with me. Please put a red rose in your hair, light a white candle, wear something gold, anoint your body with oil, listen to music, sway, and think of me. I love you so much. Have fun and you will prosper!

Elyssa Jakim is available for intuitive readings that channel goddesses, guides, angels, ancestors as well as astral travel sessions, distance reiki, and more! Check out elyssajakim.com for details on how to work with her. And discover her on Instagram @temple_of_venus.

HOLY F*CK: 5 WAYS TO JUMPSTART YOUR LOVE AND SEX LIFE IN 2017

In her final Holy F*ck column of 2016, Alexandra Roxo has 5 ways to jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…Portrait: Alexandra Herstik

2016 has been a wild year for the planet and for America. For me it’s been a year of change and growth and reshuffling and purging and mourning and planting seeds and learning. I also hadn’t been single in 10 years, and have spent this one being VERY single. I’ve used this time to have a giant rethink of ALL my ideas, values, and beliefs about love and sex.

I’ve done some dating, sure, but I put the brakes on things in the name of some deep diving and learning and observing of myself and my clients, which is hard for a Piscean princess who loves to dive into romance. My birthday is just days from Anais Nin (if that means anything to you you’re prob my tribe!).

Last week, in search of my culminating thoughts about love and sex and spirit for the end of this year, I called my friend Gala Darling, whose latest love story is one of my faves! After a divorce, Gala met her adorable boyfriend online a little over a year ago and I’d been swooning over them via Insta for a while. I wanted to hear the dirt…Did she believe in soul mates? Manifesting the man of your dreams with spells and rituals? Making a list of important things in love and meditating on them? I had a lot of questions for her.

Gala said many things but what stuck out the most was: “Relationships are not meant to be easy. Marriage is not easy. They are not meant to be comfortable. They are meant to push you to see things about yourself that are not actualized. Having a soul mate is not a party!” This sentiment is way too overlooked in the twin flame/soul mate discourse. Where’s the footer that says “Hey BTW this shit hurts”?

Gala Darling and her boyfriend Garnett shot by Juliane Berry

She also reminded me that there is no certainty. Like ever. In marriage. In relationships. In any of it. People who are single think “Oh when will I meet that special someone?” And then people who are in partnership may be asking “Is this right? Is it supposed to hurt this much? Be this hard? Do I still love them?” There is no certainty but our devotion to ourselves, and our practice of keeping aligned with our heart’s needs.

So in order to do just that I’ve prepared some writing exercises for this column, to help you too rethink/ rewrite / jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…

So get out your journal. Put on a kimono. Or silk PJ’s. Select some quiet tunes. Burn some incense.  Make yourself a cozy nest. I rec bed surrounded by blankets and pillows and some rose tea and a few candles.

  1. RETHINK YOUR “LIST”

We all make these grand lists of what we want in a partnership and we often forget that the human we imagine coming into our life will also be flawed. Just like us! Do you have some list you’ve been working on for years? Fantasies in your mind about how your partner should or shouldn’t be? This can change as you grow so def revisit every six months. So use this time to make a list of HARD YES’s and HARD NO’s, and to really meditate on them.

Ask yourself big questions like: “Could you be with someone who doesn’t believe in God? Or do you absolutely need to be with someone who wants kids?”

 

  1. BROADEN YOUR IDEA OF A SOUL MATE

Do you have people in your life you have let see the whole spectrum of your madness and beauty? Your most ugly side and your most beautiful? I believe all the people who can hold all of us and push us to our edges are our soul mates. If you’ve never let your darkness come out with anyone I say deepen a friendship with someone who you can do that with. Not in an abusive way, but in a way where the connection can go deep under the surface. That will get you ready for partnership, and if you’re partnered it will keep you deep diving into yourself.

My friend Rebecca and I really did NOT like each other when we met. I thought she was a dirty hippie and she thought I was a stuck up goodie two shoes. 15 years later we are best friends. During that time we’ve hated each other. Not spoken for a year. Had the most heinous of fights.  But had the most enlightening and fun and hilarious moments together too. She knows me in a way no one else can. Our love is as deep as the ocean.

Ask yourself: “Who are my soul mates now? Who has pushed me to the edges and helped me grow? What can I learn from these relationships about myself?”

 

  1. COMMIT TO A PRACTICE AND STICK WITH IT

If you haven’t dated in a while, will you commit to a dating practice? Perhaps you and a friend can buddy up, open an online account, make a ritual of creating your profile (which Gala says is “like casting a spell!”) Practice connecting with strangers in a non-attached way. Go on coffee dates with no agenda except chatting with a stranger. Maybe 1 out of 10 will be someone you’re actually attracted to, so keep it chill. No expectations. Treat it like a morning yoga practice!

If you’re in a relationship commit to a growth practice. Is it seeing a relationship coach once a month to make sure you are growing? Does your sex life need a reboot? Can you commit to an afternoon every other week of sexual exploration time to keep expanding there? If your relationship has become too dependent can you commit to developing and nurturing solo space?

Decide what practice you want to commit to in 2017 and break it down over the months and weeks.

 

  1. GET TO KNOW YOUR LOVE STYLES

How do you like to be loved? (If you need some inspo you can do the 5 Languages of Love quiz.) I know I mostly need to be loved with touch and kind words, and if I feel I can communicate that to my next partner they don’t waste their time buying me gifts or giving me rides or cooking for me. I told Loulou (one of my besties) about this, and now we know that we both highly value a solid compliment we pay each other loving compliments regularly! It just takes knowing and asking.

Make a list of ways you like to be loved, either within a partnership or solo. Do you need more touch? Schedule a weekly massage or trade with a friend. 

 

  1. LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Don’t make me quote Michael but um…he had a point! If you were a potential partner meeting yourself for the first time what would you think? What would you want more of? Less of? This is good to look at whether you’re single or attached. Would you prefer someone who is more available? Someone who is more financially stable? Someone in better shape? Someone who meditates daily? Well, this is a great way to see where you need to make changes on yourself.

For example, I was thinking I would just love a partner who can chop wood—so fuck it, I guess I’ll learn to chop wood in 2017 too! You can also be the partner you want to your friends. I mean, don’t make out with them passionately or anything (unless that’s how you roll!) but love your friends like you wanna be loved. Cook for them. Write cute notes. Romance your friends and yourself!

Set some goals for how you can become the best partner and self and friend.

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If you want to go deeper with this work sign up for my Holy F*ck course where we will be using creative writing and storytelling to dive deep into our habits, tendencies, hopes and dreams in love and sex in a conscious way.  I also see clients one on one for six month periods of mentorship and on off coaching sessions. More info here.

Alexandra Roxo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, writer, entrepreneur and mentor currently residing in LA. She recently co-founded Moon Club with Ruby Warrington (founder of the Numinous) and has been featured in Well + GoodNylon,  Out Magazine and more.

5 HIGH-VIBE DATING DEAL-BREAKERS

In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul connection? Gabriela Herstik lays down her high-vibe dating deal-breakers…

Material girl, mystical world. It ain’t always easy. Take dating, where finding a partner you click with, who also shares the same values as you, can be a minefield. In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul-connection? And you shouldn’t have to explain what the position of the moon has to do with your pressing and urgent need to sage wash your iPhone. Right?

And then there’s food. Apparently November is World Vegan Month (we were clueless too), which led some company to publish research showing 1 in 3 would NOT date a vegan. Like, even if he happened to be Liam Hemsworth! It goes without saying that having BBQ for every meal is a swipe-out in our Numiverse. Here are 5 more high-vibe dating deal-breakers…

1. Not being a feminist
Honestly ya’ll, it’s 2016. How is it that Hillary Clinton was up for president against someone with literally zero experience in any sort of government, and who is openly a racist bigot, and yet a vote for her still wasn’t a no-brainer. Intersectional feminism is vital for deconstructing patriarchal structures that affect women all over the world—from the wage gap, to war-mongers who use crimes against women as ammo, to the violence experienced by queer and trans women in the United States. So if you’re not down for feminism, I’m not down for you. Awaken or leave me be.

2. Not respecting my spiritual beliefs
You don’t have to understand why I do what I do. You don’t have to read the tarot, come to yoga or even have to believe in a higher power. But you know what you DO have to do? RESPECT MY BELIEFS. Because there’s nothing more low-vibe than judging someone for what they believe. And obviously this goes both ways, and can be an amazing way to grow together! Amelia Quint of The Midheaven sums up her high-vibe relationship perfectly: “When Zach and I met, I still kept some Christian philosophies and he was atheist. Now we’re both cosmic space children. Don’t write someone off because of their beliefs. Follow your heart and soul.” AMEN SISTER.

3. Being closed-minded
I know that the occult is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I feel the same way about sports. But the sexiest thing you can wear is an open mind! This goes for any sort of relationship: them not being willing to learn or listen is a major red flag. A conscious relationship means being open to the full experience each other brings, after all. You have to be willing to taste some of the salty and sour to truly enjoy the sweet, and being open to all experiences makes life way more delicious.

Vegan = “undateable”?

4. Non-communication
As someone who has been gaslighted and manipulated by past partners for sharing my feelings and emotions, I am NOT down with non-communication. If I can try and communicate with my higher power, you can try and communicate with me! When you’re in a space of deep self-exploration, being able to talk to your partner about what you’re learning, how you’re changing, and what’s no longer working is vital. We are all mirrors for one another, after all, and as you deal with your own shit you’ll more than likely see it reflected in your partner as well. If you can’t talk to them about it—even fight about it—then the relationship has nowhere to expand.

5. Disrespecting Mother Earth
As we witness the water bearers and Native people of Standing Rock struggle against the government for basic human rights, we’re reminded of ALL our responsibilities to Gaia—our Earth. Which makes being disrespectful of our planet—whether it’s littering or having zero regard for your carbon footprint—is a total deal-breaker. Like, IF YOU CAN’T RESPECT YOUR MOTHER HOW CAN YOU RESPECT ME?? We all walk this Earth together, and it’s on us to protect her for the sake of generations to come. You don’t have to be a total hippie to get this, but if you’re not FOR the Earth, you’re against her—and that’s just not okay.

HOLY F*CK: IS MODERN DATING ALL ABOUT SECOND BEST?

Is second best enough when it comes to modern dating? Alexandra Roxo breaks her six-month self-love and celibacy regime to find out…

Over sushi last Friday with my friend Kristina, she suggested that perhaps it was time for me to dip a toe back in the dating game. I’d taken a six month break from sex and dating in the name of self-love and self growth, and, Jesus, that felt like long enough. But as Kristina recounted her latest dating exploits, I wanted to run for the hills—a.k.a. bury myself back in Doreen Virtue videos in my muumuu, with nothing but some Coconut Bliss in bed with me!

Okay, so maybe dating isn’t all that bad. I have a handful of friends that have found their “life partners” in the past year. Hopelessly in love. Soul mate status. One couple met on Tinder. One at Burning Man. Two other friends who just passed a decade met their loves out with friends, and just felt instantly “at home.” And these couples keep me full of hope.

But the rest of us perhaps fall into two categories:

-Those of us in a string of casual romances, engaging with people that seem exciting but just aren’t available or right.

-Or those of us sitting it out and waiting/minding our own business (a.k.a. dancing and having fun and meditating and sometimes feeling bored and starved of love).

So what’s best while searching for true love? Keeping on dating people who don’t seem “in it to win to it” (i.e. are always busy, “wanna keep it chill” and “low pressure with no commitment” blah blah) Or waiting it out? I feel like the easiest thing when it comes to modern day dating and sex is to accept what’s there: perhaps someone hot and fun who meets some of our needs, but not all. Especially since: “You can’t have it all.” Right?

Last week in our first Holy F*ck salon I heard a lot of this. Women accepting half loves. Or a morsel of connection. Or a lot of drunk sex with regretful mornings but fun nights. I’ve talked to friends too who are torn about this. We ponder “Should I go on casual dates? Spend that time on dating apps? Is it worth it if you know your heart’s not in it and neither is theirs?”

I’d been a serial monogamist for ten whole years, and last year upon being single and freshly in Los Angeles I found myself busy but not really satisfied. There was the hot writer who was in a failing open relationship (a.k.a. still in love with someone) but who would stare into my eyes with such passion when we had sex and orgasmed in tandem, and put cinnamon in my coffee.

Then there was the high school teacher who wanted to be called “Daddy” in bed and didn’t tell me he was engaged until date four. The friend of six years who professed his love and then confessed he had a new girlfriend. The Hollywood director who wined and dined me and wrote a part based on my life in his T.V. show, and then mentioned casually on date three he was in an open relationship of two years after ordering me an Uber town car home.

Not forgetting the famous musician who told me he wanted to meet my mom and refused to wear condoms, and who my friend saw on a dating app the next day. All. Unavailable. (And three out of five of these men meditate daily and do plant medicine or Buddhist retreats btw!)

There were women too. And at least they were more forthcoming and told me on date two they were just in it for fun casual vibes or what not. But overall it was a lot of kiiiiinda fun things that didn’t add up to one great thing.

So when I met someone earlier this year mid dating cleanse, who seemed amazing and into me, but who was also in an open relationship, I was like “Nope! I wanna be someone’s number 1!” I’ve had plentya number 2 status in the last year, and I honestly don’t know how I got demoted. So I also said: “Let’s be friends.”

But yes, I’m currently back to dating. And there I am, naked in a bed in a state of post orgasmic bliss, that cool Los Angeles breeze sweeping through the room, after a day having my feet massaged by the very same previously mentioned person. Because after six months of celibacy, I’ve somehow I’ve managed to I convince myself I can adjust my needs and be more progressive—a.k.a. share my lover with his two to three other lovers.

And then he stepped away to take a call. The primary partner of five years. Oh yeah…right. The magic spell lifted and I was reminded of the bigger picture. I was not Queen Bee.

This Rumi quote has echoed in my ears for over a decade: “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

And I’ve decided this is true, for me. And that it applies to EVERYTHING. Not just love, but work. Friendships. Sometimes something is so close, but just not 100% right. And if you say yes to it anyway, you’re telling your self that you will always settle for less. Worse, in lowering your standards, you could also miss that the thing you really want because now you’re vibrating at a half mast frequency.

As my new friend Andi reminded me on the beach last week: “If it’s not a hell YES it’s a NO!”

When you’re hungry for something, sometimes it’s hard to resist whatever comes along that’s almost what you want. It’s like you know that it’s not quite going to satisfy you, but you eat it anyway—then wish you’d waited for what you really want. And yes, sometimes healthy compromise is key—and only YOU can decipher where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Since my recent experience of making a commitment to loving my SELF, I’ve also found myself inspired and in love with art, nature, friends, my work, all of it. As I was up late the other night, deep in celebration of this, I found this quote by Bjork, whom I’ve loved since I was 18:

“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”

I hope whether single or attached you can commit to finding your own inner orgy—and I believe that from this place it’s impossible to accept half loves, or half jobs, or half friends. You just smile and wink and mosey along if it doesn’t feel right. And by holding space for the most magnificent YOU, all the other stuff will just begin to filter in.

Alexandra offers one on one mentorship and coaching and her Holy F*ck group salon, which was just featured in Amuse/i-d Magazine. The next session of the Holy F*ck salon will begin September 6th for 6 weeks of chatting/deconstructing/and tuning in around love, sex and spirituality. Sign up here!

HOW I BECAME MY OWN REBOUND RELATIONSHIP

Rather than indulging in a post-break-up rebound with another person, engage in a fling with yourself says Emma Whitehair…  Artwork: Maja Planinac

The first thing that “rebound relationship” googles up is: “an attempt to fill a hole in your life… to avoid the pain of a breakup.” And there’s few of us unfamiliar with that visceral craving to have something, or someone, fill the void left by the ending of an intimate human connection.

Even though my last breakup didn’t involve a breakdown, letting go of a lover often leaves me feeling bereft. That special closeness lost, gone forever, with them having known me so intimately.

So I grieved a little, before my gut suggested—actually shouted pretty loudly—that I needed to treat this hole as space for growth. This was my time to face my fear of being single, pack up my emotional baggage and elope. With myself.

Unlike the quick fix of a fling, or a replacement insta-relationship, rebounding with yourself is about so much more than simply avoiding heartache. No one else can offer the same level of security, unconditional love or acceptance, as a divine relationship with yourself.

As I have discovered, this kind of self-generated love allows your life to flow with joy, and for things to start magically falling into place. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. So, how about a three-way with mind, body and soul; be part of the self-love revolution!

There are many routes to saying a passionate yes to yourself, and while each person’s path is as individual as them, here are a few things that helped ignite a romance with the soul mate under my very nose. Literally.

:: TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER WISDOM ::

A.k.a. your intuition, as only it knows what your true needs are, and how to go about getting them met.

‘Focusing’ was a technique I learned on a course at the West London Buddhist Centre. A reflective practice that involves taking a curious awareness into your body and listening for messages, simply close your eyes in a quiet place, as you would to meditate, but instead, sense what needs your attention.

Describe out loud what you are experiencing. Is your chest tight? Stomach heavy? As I described my constricted throat the words resonated deeply, and the words that followed flowed, like a stream of consciousness. with my body, not my head, leading. “There is so much sadness I need to release…talk about….to heal…”

Then the visuals came. I saw an anxious, pining Wolfhound—frantically scratching at a locked door and whining to be let out. It took a few days to process this but eventually it dawned on me: this was a clear message to step away from the door to the outside world, and deepen my meditation practice.

:: UP YOUR MEDITATION GAME ::

As Einstein said: “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”

Although I previously had a vague meditation practice, I wanted to try a new technique in order to get a better connection to my inner self, and Transcendental Meditation was the gateway.

From the first session, I noticed how effortless it was to meditate using a mantra as a stepping stone. And a few weeks in, I had my first experience of transcending, which will stay with me forever—I was hardly using the mantra at all, my breathing became shallow and I felt a melting sensation, like I was disappearing into unboundedness. My head become weightless, like a helium balloon before I felt an an ecstatic rush. It was the feeling of falling in love, with myself. Grinning from ear to ear, I was hooked.

The more I meditate, when negative thoughts and emotions inevitably creep up, I have the tools to observe them with curiosity and acceptance. So regardless of what’s happening in my life experience, I can get to some serenity. Not quite cosmic consciousness yet, but slowly and surely getting a little closer.

:: DEAL WITH THE JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK ::

And I don’t mean sorting out your loft, although that of course can help too (just speak to Marie Kondo). Most of us have issues holding us back in one way or another, and a breakup is the perfect time to find the right professional to help with some emotional sat nav.

For me that person was Fiona Arrigo. With a background of 30 years in psychotherapy, Fiona runs haute holistic healing retreats in rural Somerset, where she carefully assembles a crack team for bespoke programs. Orchestrated treatment by treatment, the therapists all compare notes to ensure the next session works with the discoveries from the one before.

Checking in with me each day of the retreat, with just a little guidance during our chats, Fiona helped me untangle my past, understand some of my triggers and shift a lot of the sadness I have been carrying around since the ‘dark ages’.

Note: aside from Fiona’s healing retreats, she also has clients from all over the world she ‘sees’ for skype therapy sessions.

:: EXPERIMENT WITH HOLISTIC HEALING ::

Be open to finding multi-discipline healing techniques to help you feel more integrated. The investment in yourself is worth it.

My The Arrigo Programme retreat gave me the opportunity to try everything from Acupuncture, Kinesiology and EFT to Soul Fragment Retrieval. Astrological Counselling being the biggest eye-opener—helping me understand recurring obstacles, life lessons and talents.

On this retreat I also hit a sweet spot with Tibetan Pulsing—an energy work using a diagnosis from the iris of the eye, which gives a feeling of such deep peace. Transformational Breathwork was another game changer, and Matrix Re-aligning allowed me to have a conversation with my deceased mother’s spirit, releasing some of the grief I’d been holding on to for years.

:: HAVE A SING-ALONG ::

From Kirtan Kriya to church choir or karaoke, the benefits of singing are scientifically proven. Encouraging deep breathing, it uplifts your spirit and gives a sense of well-being

Personally, I prefer warbling along into a hairbrush at the top of my voice, in the privacy of my own home. Get it all out by wallowing with Adele or having a rage-along with Alanis. Then move on by creating a feel good playlist of songs such as State of Independence, Ch-Chng and Love Me. Or take the anthems of co-dependence, and change the object of the lyrics adoration to Self. Let It Go may or may not also be on repeat. Sorry neighbors.

:: TALK TO YOURSELF ::

Not like a crazy lady, but like you would talk to your lover—using words of self-appreciation not depreciation. Develop an affectionate conversation with yourself and respond to any negative thoughts with compassion, acknowledging them but not letting them linger.

Be reverent, congratulatory and give compliments regularly. Look, really look at yourself in the mirror, hush the critical voice and observe with the eyes of love. Thank your body. Be your own cheerleader.

Deepen your self-love practice at out next Club SÖDA NYC event, Sex, Lies & Alcohol, August 23 in NYC. Details and ticket info here.

Club SÖDA NYC: SEX, LIES & ALCOHOL

Discover the truth about you and booze at Sex, Lies & Alcohol…our next Club SÖDA NYC event with Biet Simkin and special guest Betsy LeFae.

Found on Pinterest

“Sober isn’t lame. Sober is brazen, hilarious, kingly, free; Sober is a spiritual quest riddled with madness, authenticity, and true love.” The Sober Life

What are the stories you tell yourself about booze? About why you drink, when you drink, and what people will think if you don’t? About how alcohol makes you feel? About the role drinking plays in your friendships, your career, your dating life, and in the bedroom?

Our collective myths around drinking are ancient, worn smooth like old money. Learned from watching our parents drink, our peers at college drink; from how they drink in books and movies, from Cosmos in Sex and The City. New York is a drinkers town, right? Work hard, play hard. Alcohol a stimulant, a way to relax, a marker of sophistication, of camaraderie, the key to connection in a crazy world.

But what if some of the stuff what we thought we knew about booze, some of the stories we just swallowed, was a lie? What if we were actually more confident, more relaxed, funnier, sexier, and a better friend…sober?

Sex, Lies & Alcohol, the next Club SÖDA NYC event from The Numinous and Guided By Biet, will begin with a group discussion to debunk some of our most deeply ingrained drinking myths—including one of the big ones: that you have to drink when you date, and that sober sex lacks passion.

Celebrated meditation coach Biet Simkin will then share her favorite sober flirting techniques, before bringing the group together with her signature Center of the Cyclone meditation experience.

To finish, intuitive coach Betsy LeFae will guide us through some simple exercises to help us tune in to the voice of our intuition, of our TRUTH, to help us navigate beyond the half-truths we harbor around booze—leaving us free to approach our future drinking choices with more clarity, confidence and integrity.

Refreshments will be served.

Sex, Lies & Alcohol, will be held in NYC on August 23 2016. Click here for details and tickets, and sign up for our newsletter to see how the conversation unfolds.

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ABOUT Club SÖDA NYC

Club SÖDA NYC is a social experiment from The Numinous and Guided By Biet—a new space for the sober curious to investigate just how good life can get when we re-frame our relationship with alcohol. Far from “boring”, what if choosing a more sober life meant being “high” all the time?

This might not mean total abstinence from alcohol, either. The power of positive drinking can be a beautiful thing. A sacrament, even. But an occasional cocktail to celebrate life can also be a slippery slope into the kind of habitual drinking that becomes a substitute for sustained, self-generated joy; that dulls our awareness; that only exacerbates feelings of anxiety and emptiness; and that ultimately separates us from a true sense of self.

A series of meet-ups, talks, workshops, and other events, Club SÖDA NYC could be for you if:

– You drink to feel good, but it often leaves you feeling worse

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of your social life

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of DATING

– You want to cultivate a healthier relationship with booze

– You want to attend high-end, high-vibe events where alcohol is off the menu

– You love how good life feels when you don’t drink, and want to connect with other people who’ve discovered this too

– You want to experience getting crazy high on your own supply

And a caveat: Club SÖDA NYC is NOT an addiction recovery program – although it may be a stepping stone to AA for some people. If you think you might need a higher level of support to address a drinking problem that’s negatively impacting your life, or in dealing with any underlying emotional issues that may be part of this, we also have the resources to connect you with people who can help.

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ABOUT BETSY LEFAE

Intuition Coach Betsy LeFae holds a BA in psychology and has nearly two decades of combined experience in social work and intuitive consulting. An expert educator in intuitive development, she teaches that our body is the tool through which we can learn to hear the messages constantly streaming from our intuition and, as a facilitator of the mind-body connection, how maintaining regular practices is an effective way to keep the channel clear. She has been featured on Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, NPR, Vice and Refinery 29, and was named one of the top psychic mediums in New York City by Time Out New York.

 

 

THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS

                            

SOBER CURIOUS: GET HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY

Join The Numinous & Guided By Biet for SOBER CURIOUS, a social experiment to discover what it means to get high on your own supply…

 

“Numbing vulnerability also dulls our experience of love, joy, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotion. Numb the dark and you numb the light” – Brene Brown

There’s a reason sobriety is in, and it’s because it feels amazing. Blissful, even. Within days of alcohol leaving your system, you become aware of how much more at peace you feel in your body. A little longer, and you’ll notice how even a friendly text sends a tingle of physical pleasure along your limbs. Give it a few weeks, and you may find yourself breaking into spontaneous laughter at the sheer ecstasy of being alive.

This is what it feels like to get high on your own supply. But modern drinking culture makes it easier, often way too easy, to choose booze as our go-to method for feeling good (by simply numbing the “bad”). The price? We’ve all been there.

And so SOBER CURIOUS is a social experiment from The Numinous and Guided By Biet – a new space for the sober curious to investigate just how good life can get when we re-frame our relationship with alcohol. Far from “boring” (an accusation they love to levy against non-drinkers), what if choosing sobriety meant being “high” all the time?

This might not mean total abstinence from alcohol, either. The power of positive drinking can be a beautiful thing. A sacrament, even. But an occasional cocktail to celebrate life can also be a slippery slope into the kind of habitual drinking that becomes a substitute for sustained, self-generated joy; that dulls our awareness; that only exacerbates feelings of anxiety and emptiness; and that ultimately separates us from a true sense of self.

A proposed series of meet-ups, talks, workshops, and other events, SOBER CURIOUS could be for you if:

– You drink to feel good, but it often leaves you feeling worse (and it helps to talk about it)

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of your social life

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of DATING

– You want to cultivate a healthier relationship with booze

– You want to attend high-end, high-vibe events where alcohol is off the menu

– You love how good life feels when you don’t drink, and want to connect with other people who’ve discovered this too

– You want to experience getting crazy high on your own supply

Sign up for the Numinous newsletter to see how the conversation unfolds.

And a caveat: SOBER CURIOUS is NOT an addiction recovery program – although it may be a stepping stone to AA for some people. If you think you might need a higher level of support to address a drinking problem that’s negatively impacting your life, or in dealing with any underlying emotional issues that may be part of this, we also have the resources to connect you with people who can help.

HOLY F*CK: IN SEARCH OF A SMILF…

“I want to date a spiritual guy who doesn’t LOOK spiritual, you know?” In the latest installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo goes in search of a SMILF…

I was recently discussing relationships with my friend Loulou, and I admitted to finally being ready to surrender to my desire for a “spiritual partner” in love and life.

Lou, like many other friends of mine has a diff take on me about this. As I waxed poetic about Hawaiian yoga retreats with a lover she stopped me, saying: “A big block to finding a partner is putting a limit on who they have to be. Whether it’s the type of clothes they wear, or their career – let’s not throw spirituality into the mix, too.” And I toooootally get it. But if we share our spiritual work with our friends how can we not with a partner?

Over the last 15+ years of dating I’ve mostly stayed away from “spiritual types.” I’ve also spent years sneaking out of bed to meditate in bathrooms in the a.m. Praying silently over my food alone. But while keeping your practice sacred and personal can be beautiful, it can also get old. Most people I dated looked at my altars like I was doing voodoo. (Ok fine, there may have been a snake skin and some bones on there from time to time). A few even made fun of my “woo” at dinner parties – and, well, we DID NOT last.

In my show Be Here Nowish my character Sam goes to a Spiritual Speed Dating event at a place based on Maha Rose in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. After a few too many guys wearing patchouli offer to take her back to their place for an “aura photo” she says to her bestie Nina: “I wanna date a spiritual dude. But not a guy who looks spiritual, you know?”

Since I wrote this line I MEANT IT at the time, and have been casually “researching” this “species” ever since. My findings? There’s the spiritual guy who meditates, but still wants to call you a slut in bed. (Over it.) The spiritual guy who is spiritual by day and does molly all night. (I think this one is called “Burner”?) Then there’s the spiritual guy who dresses in all linen and calls your cooch a yoni. (I may be okay with this, but pls know I may giggle and will DEF group text all my friends about it.)

But I have faith that the “spiritual dude” who isn’t drowning in hemp and OM bumper stickers is out there – and here are 10 of my fave SMILFS to prove it! By SMILF I mean “Spiritual Masculine Identified Person I’d Like to…Follow!” Because following someone and their work and passions is a great way to “get to know them” right?

So thank you, SMILFS, for giving us hope in a world where finding someone vaguely attractive to date that also inspires your spiritual path can feel harder than doing 10 days of Vipassana followed by the Master Cleanse!

:: Kyle Gray ::
Okay, any man that works with Angels wins my heart. Enough reason to FOLLOW. Loulou just got me his book and I’m excited to read it. Not only does Kyle have the most adorable Scottish accent and is a one of few out queer spiritual teachers, but he is also covered in inspirational tattoos and obsessed with Vivienne Westwood.

:: Jesse Israel ::
I found out about Jesse through my friend Steph Simbari and her podcast with Elizabeth Kott “That’s so retrograde” where she talked to him about his project The Modern Man Experiment which I think is important work. Jesse also organizes HUGE and hip group meditations and things and I’m excited to see what’s next from him.

:: Nick Krieger ::
Nick is a trans/queer activist, writer, and coach with goals of de-colonizing and queer-ifying yoga. (Praise Goddess!) He won my heart with this article. He also wrote a book called “Nina Here nor There” about his journey with gender.

:: Light Watkins ::
I discovered Light when he taught meditation to someone I dated who then kept saying: “Oh Light this and Light that.” I may have unfollowed that person on social media, BUT in turn I followed Light! Besides his obvious physical beauty, Light brings Vedic meditation to the masses and has cute snapchats featuring his pug.

:: Michael Trainer ::
Michael founded the incredible Global Citizen project and has a new project called Peak Mind. I happened to go to his gathering in LA and witness his devotion to the Dalai Lama and how he is helping the planet with an open heart. Very genuine stuff.

:: Spiritual Stoner ::
I may have quit marijuana for now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this guy. My friend Carlen Altman intro-ed me to his insta when I was in a “conspiracy theory/illuminati K-hole” last winter in NY. Radical Instagram activism is the real deal and his posts range from poignant anti-racism memes, veganism support, worshipping women as Goddess incarnate, conspiracy theory reveals…The kinda stuff I could geek out for hours on.

:: Michael Domitrovich ::
Michael claims to help make “The power of the Spiritual plane as accessible as a bag of chips!” That’s kind of light worker I gravitate towards- anyone who isn’t afraid to use junk food in a metaphor! He uses all kinds of modalities and teachings and does a lot of workshops in LA and NYC.

:: Ryan Cropper ::
Ryan does real fun work, deep but with just enough esoteric to keep things fun and not too woo woo: astral projection courses, shadow integration, memory improvement and more, all with a cute British accent and a great YouTube channel.

:: Patrick Beach ::
His Instagram feed speaks for itself. What else can I say about a shirtless hot man in various yoga poses? “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” are the only words I have.

:: Forrest 44 ::
Okay, so we may have no idea what this dude’s REAL name, is BUT his Instagram feed is full of Goddess and Nature imagery AND he makes beautiful crystal pendants and rings. Big blue eyes, crystal grids, and visionary art?! Sign me up.

For all of us single ladies I will leave you with the wise Miss Lou said as we finished our coconut “Cream Party” juices: “How about you just choose to seek out a partner who has a practice of love. They might get high from joy when watching their favorite sports team, connect to mother earth via love for their dog.”

I LOVE that, and she is right. However! I’m not giving up on my fantasies of meditating naked in Bali and getting matching Archangel Michael tattoos with someone yet. A girl can dream, right?

I want to hear your opinion! Are you looking for a SMILF? Do you have one to add here? Or are you in a spiritual partnership? Please write in the comments your story with any SMILFS! I’m going to go deeper into this next month and interview some of my fave conscious couples so stay tuned…

HOLY F*CK! MAKING AMENDS WITH MY EXES

In the first installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo decides making amends with her exes is the next step on the path of awakening…Photo Credit: Louise Androlia

In the last nine months of being “single” I have done a LOT of work trying to figure out my love life/self/astro chart/addictions/blahblah. Some of that “work” was on Tinder but no need to get into that…yet. Anyway, I decided that in order to move on and clear the slate I would make amends with all my exes. I was having a John Cusack in High Fidelity moment where he’s like, “What’s wrong with me? Why did all my relationships ‘fail’? I should probably seek out and bother everyone I’ve ever dated in order to figure out what it is about me!” Which seems pretty narcissistic, I know.

But the way I saw it, this wasn’t about narcissism or figuring out what was wrong with me. I don’t believe in relationship ‘failure’ anyway. It was about wanting to neutralize our energy, so I wasn’t carrying around a bunch of ‘eugh’ and ‘agchk’ vibes towards a bunch of people that I once loved, had sex with, and maybe even told that I wanted to have their babies…Plus the fact that in order to really move on to new love, I feel it’s important to unpack any potential baggage that is weighing us down. Justin Bieber’s words “Is it too late now to say sorry?” kept echoing through my mind.

No one taught me how to do this and I was just going off intuition, though I had heard it was a part of AA and some program called Landmark that sounded trés culty.  So I consulted my teachers. Marianne. Jesus. Marianne again. She says many things about making amends, but this stuck with me: “Forgiveness is the choice to see people as they are now. When we’re mad at people, we’re angry because of something they said or did before this moment. By letting go of the past we make room for miracles to replace our grievances.”

So at first I thought, should I write everybody a letter? Hmm, it felt kind of like a wimpy way out, like I could just get something off my chest without hearing their (potentially not so charitable) side of the story. So instead I reached out to what had been my biggest primary relationships individually, and suggested we sit down for a drink.

Now yes, it is a little tricky to suggest “just a drink” with an ex – I mean what happens if two vodkas in, the romance spontaneously rekindles itself and you find yourself making out?! #RiskyBusiness. I knew this was a possibility, and yet “coffee” seemed sooooo formal. I mean these are people that have held you at your darkest hour / made you cum many times. Wine, my friends. Wine.

So I sat down with my first ex. This was someone I’d only dated for about six months after having sex on her NFL sheets where she kept saying: “You’re such a dime” while she came. After that she wooed me with a Jaws movie night complete with steamed crab legs and champagne, and we fell in love. She was the kind of person who danced with me to Motown in the kitchen, ate gluten free because I did, and gave me orgasms where I legit saw rainbows of light. (FYI this is called “synethesia.”)

So it was real RUDE of me to ghost on her. When we sat down three years later to reconnect at a mediocre spot in Williamsburg, I apologized first, went into my spiel about being grateful for all of the wonderful things she did for me, all the ways she put up with my neuroses, and how much I’d grown up…while she gulped down some rosé, looked at me and said: “You really fucked me up.”

To which I replied: “I am NOT going to own that, because whatever expectations you put on the relationship are what made you feel that way. I PERSONALLY couldn’t make you feel that way.” But then I remembered this was not about patting myself on the back or being right.

So I said “I am really sorry for my actions. For yelling at you. Being mean. And for checking out when things got tough. I am truly sorry.” We walked through the park quietly after that and haven’t spoken since. She seems happy, I like her Instagram photos on the reg, and I’ll probably text her on her birthday. CHECK.

Next I saw the guy who was my last boyfriend before I somehow gave up men and dated women for six years. With him, I was a little bit nervous. I had dumped him in cold blood for my first girlfriend and…blamed it on the fact he wasn’t spiritual enough. He was an atheist, and I knew I couldn’t date an atheist or raise children with an atheist, so why bother, ya know?

We met at a dive bar. I was nervous, and he’s still hot. Even hotter now. I fondly remembered a time we had sex in the pool at my dad’s condo and the security people taped it and bribed my dad with it. Cut to my internal dialogue: “What if I’m not strong enough? Should I wear lace panties just in case? No. Don’t even shave. Ugggh. Okay. Fine.” When I told him, “Hey, I’m sorry for how much of a crazy diva I was,” he just gave me a cute smile and said: “Don’t worry mama” in that way that had always made me melt. Then he scooted off to help another ex gf move house. THIS IS EASY RIGHT? Hmm, not so fast…

Next was the hot, fast, love affair that happened the summer I was living very gypsy-like, i.e. out of a suitcase and on an air mattress. She showed up at 3am at the place I was house sitting with a bottle of tequila, told me she was dying, cried, fucked me, and I was like “SIGN ME UP!” Then things got really bad between us. She was going through some dark stuff, I was going through a rough patch with my family. I was also living in my creative partner’s office, trying to make art, struggling with addictions, chain smoking…

I recognized that I had to get it together which I thought meant cutting her out. When I told her “No mas!” she cried and told me she vomited for days and had to go to the doctor for an IV, and I basically couldn’t deal. So I blocked her. And from then on, anytime people said her name it was like horror film music started to play…

Needless to say I was VERY nervous to meet up with this one. But I did my energy protection ritual, marched in, drank only half a glass of wine for safety and told her I was sorry and that she caught me when I was in such a dark place. She smiled a really cute smile and was like “It’s okay. We both were.” And we proceeded to talk about our mutual friends and though I lustfully admired her long sinewy fingers I emerged from the bar thinking: “Oh. My. God…we’re friends, we’re friends!” But soon she started texting me and asking me out again to which I politely declined, repeatedly. Eventually she caught on.

The upshot of making amends this way, has been that I’ve realized it’s never too late to take responsibility for your actions, and create a different ending to your story with an ex. You might think: “Oh, what’s done is done is done is done.” But what if you could make something else, something better, the last thing that happened between you? It could even be something random like sending them a box of chocolates or a bottle of champagne, with a note like: “Sorry, I was awful.” No two making amends are alike.

I didn’t need to see my most recent ex (Yogi_Vegan_Lez Orian) since we made amends in semi-real time. It felt and still feels like a MIRACLE OF GOD. Painful, but evolved. We Facetime a lot, often while I’m driving in LA and while she’s on a toilet in Brooklyn. And when I came to NY last we karaoked our song “Islands in the Stream” from Youtube like old times.

I hope from here on out I can try as much as possible to make amends in real time. Which means a) not numbing out from feelings when the going gets tough (umm hi marijuana / alcohol / sugar) and b) Stepping up and taking responsibility for my actions quickly and not stuffing anything away.

When I think back on my exes now no more waves of darkness descend upon me, and no more sob stories about how they were assholes etc run through my mind. Now when I think of them I smile and imagine them saving the planet, curing cancer, etc etc.

Next making amends I’m doing is with myself – because it’s my longest and most important relationship, and arguably the one I need to forgive the most. But for now I’ll take Obama’s apology.

UNDER THE ARMOUR: WHY MEN FIND IT HARD TO FEEL

Why men find it hard to feel is a case of nature and nurture. But when the new empowered masculine is invited to express himself, relationships become a catalyst for healing, says Darren Austin Hall. Images: HANs via Behance.net

“The rule of patriarchy demands that men armor themselves, not only to impose force upon the world, but to resist the Feminine externally, and deny or conceal its presence internally, in themselves. On the path of the hero…the genuine hero is a man who develops his power against patriarchy, rather than in support of it. He overcomes armor in the cause of amore.” – John Lamb Lash

I once had an insightful conversation with a female friend about her romantic struggles with men who perpetually shut down emotionally, a common dynamic in many relationships. I’ve also seen this complaint broached in neo-feminist articles online, often reading something along the lines of: “If you haven’t got your emotional shit together you don’t deserve me,” OR “I’m a queen and if you can’t handle intense communication then hit the road.

Firstly, I want to affirm that the kind of Kali fury women feel when their male intimate won’t communicate with them and/or shirks emotional connection altogether is totally valid – and can, when appropriately utilized, actually compel a lazy King out of his benumbed emotional doldrums into attractive action.

But what many women don’t understand is WHY men shut down, and how they can support us with compassion when we do.

I’ve been interested in developing the “healthy masculine” ever since a life-changing trip to India, where I met a beautiful soul brother who introduced me to several inspiring texts on the subject. The insights of the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover series by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, and the raw, brutal truths of Iron John: A Book About Men by Robert Bly, shone a light on the struggles facing men in the modern world. Things I had always vaguely felt, but never knew how to express – due in part to my own emotional dullness.

And as I delved into these studies deeper, I began to feel a tremendous sense of compassion for my brothers and myself.

Foremost, men are conditioned to shut down emotionally by society itself. Men are taught that to express emotions is “unsafe,” because it makes our masculinity appear weak and soft. For so long, we’ve been taught that to be masculine is to be “hard.” And if you’ve ever given a modern man a massage, you’ll know this hardness is tangible, our emotional armoring manifesting as layers upon layers of muscular tension.

Here’s a massive truth that I want us all to pause for a moment and reflect upon: that hardness in the body is actually layers of ice-cold frozen tears.

My own inner-work has been about reimagining my masculinity in a patriarchal world which conditions an immature and dysfunctional masculine identity that doesn’t know how to feel. Along the way, I have been shocked at how reading about the pain of male warriors going to war for corrupt political aims provokes massive grief in me.

And also how reflecting on this subject awoke the realization in me that every time I got my heart broken, I did my best to bury the wounds so deep that only through psychic scuba-diving in my meditation practice years later would I be able to excavate and process them.

It soon became clear that I’d been carrying around a hospice of old wounds, waiting to be healed and transmuted into wisdom – since every feeling I liberated held its own insights and revelations. One reason I’ve come to believe women, as I’ll explain, often seem wiser than men.

Women are at advantage in the emotions department for a couple of reasons. One, women are encouraged to be emotional. As a result, while many women still struggle with how to process emotions skilfully and use them as tools for alchemical transformation, they are usually more comfortable than men in this realm.

Secondly, diverse ancient traditions purport that women are at an advantage to men spiritually. I didn’t really understand the rationale behind this until I studied Chinese Medicine, and realized some important facts about our physical differences.

In Chinese Medicine, a person’s shen, or spirit, expresses itself as our sense of conscious awareness. It is said that this spiritual force is housed in the Heart and travels in the blood. And when women have their menstrual cycle and bleed they are actually cleansing this shen; their spirit!

Furthermore, I was taught by Native American elders that the sweat lodge was actually created to help men cleanse in a similar way, to help them keep spiritual pace with women! Totally mind-blowing.

Could this be why men are more vulnerable to being murky of spirit and emotional awareness than women? If women’s blood, or spirit, runs more clear, it comes as no surprise to me that women are able to feel more clearly and thus exhibit more emotional wisdom than men – for as I’ve learned, feelings are the catalyst for spiritual revelation.

Moreover, menstrual cycles mean women are energetically connected to cycles of the Moon, which in turn is energetically linked to our unconscious. This is why the cycles of the moon can inspire utter wildness of feeling in women! The moon is literally prodding their unconscious to come to the surface to be integrated into the light of consciousness.

A final stunning detail on this note: I was told by another wise teacher that women traditionally would intention their menses to cleanse not only themselves but the spiritual nature of the world at large, using their moontime to help bring the unconscious of the collective into the light of consciousness to be integrated. It’s no wonder women can feel so heavily burdened during their moontimes: they are cleansing so much more than themselves!

In saying all this, I’m not trying to excuse men who refuse or don’t know how to acknowledge their emotions. I know first hand from my own relationships how difficult for women this can be. My intention is simply to create a space for compassionate understanding of our differences, helping us pave the way for better relations in the future.

Ultimately, when it’s understood that women are by nature (and nurture) better feelers than men, this can be integrated into not only romantic but all relations between men and women, as well as utilized as a dynamic tool for healing.

In the past, I used to fear the way women seemed to know my pain even if I didn’t express it. Now I understand that female intuition is a great power that needs to be honored – but that we also need to honor how scary it can be for a man that she can usually tell when something is up no matter how hard he tries to hide it, for fear of appearing weak.

In the ancient romantic culture of the Troubadours, there’s an old adage: amore over armor. Men are constantly armoring themselves to fit an outmoded idea of masculinity, and while some protection is useful to buffer us against the trials of the world, most men are carrying way too much (which actually goes for women too, as we’ve all been conditioned by the patriarchy).

So the next time a man, either your partner or a friend, exhibits this kind of emotional armoring, instead of falling into frustration and even anger, choose compassion. Allow space. Ask tender, loving questions. Use touch and the beautiful arts of seductive love to tease out the truths from his tense body in a safe space that welcomes vulnerability.

Women’s gifts of sensuality and feminine beauty can entice the masculine to drop its defenses and open its overly guarded heart. In the ancient romantic traditions, this was seen as one of the great powers of women: to disarm men and invite their innermost essence to be expressed. Imagine if the women of the world used this power against all the war-mongering tyrants, to draw out the wounds that are at the root of so much violence!

When a man starts to feel openly, sharing his tender truths with women, then intimacy can blossom exponentially. Women will see, perhaps for the first time, the beautiful innocence that men hide in our hearts, and have been too afraid to show to a world they felt would demean them for it.

Further, perhaps we’ll realize that there’s a profound context in all romantic relationships for cultivating the balance between the masculine and feminine; for these two cosmic polarities to dance finally and ultimately in unison, fusing in the beauty of the divine.

Darren Austin Hall is a sacred musician, sound healer and spiritual teacher. His empowering music entails diverse, salving instrumentation, across crystal singing bowls, Indian tanpura, mystical guitar and shamanic singing. His new album, The Tantra of Truth, is a collection of ecstatic songs inspiring the evolution of consciousness and deep transformation, and he is one of the headlining musicians for The Yoga Conference in Toronto. He is also trained in Chinese Medicine and shamanic healing and is a gifted teacher and facilitator of a wide array of workshops on new paradigms of spirituality and healing. His writing appears on the blog The Druid, and is published online on sites such as Elephant Journal. Darren also co-facilitates a men’s group in Toronto devoted to raising the consciousness of the masculine and is a devotee of the wisdom of nature. Darrenaustinhall.com

PROTECT YOURSELF: IS MY LOVER A PSYCHIC VAMPIRE?

Be Here Nowish creators Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo share their experience fending off Vampire Lovers, PLUS 5 ways to protect yourself from a psychic vampire from Cat Cabral. Images: Pa-kwan Promsri via Behance.net

 

“Vampire Lovers” is our term for lovers that come flying into your world, suck out your life force. You have no idea what’s happened, but next thing you know you feel like a fucking zombie and your friends are calling for an intervention. But these vampires are not really blood drinking creatures (although sometimes they might want to do that too). They are more like psychic suckers, energy drawers, seductive manipulators who can milk your energy, mess with your psyche, throw you off balance, and take away your power.

The people are also sometimes called “energy vampires” or “emotional vampires.” It’s an archetype we all can embody unconsciously at times, it’s just that some of us have learned to master it, using it as a form of manipulation and self-preservation.

Okay, so in theory we all know we should stay away from people that make us feel helpless or weak. But can also be SO SO sexy to allow ourselves to be completely overtaken by someone. We romanticize it, imagining Brad Pitt biting our neck and kinda wishing we were Kristen Stewart in Twilight, even if we’re aware of the dangers of completely losing ourselves in that person. We each had our fair share of experience dealing with people like this in our love lives and found ways to cope with it, which we will share in this post.

At the bottom, CAT CABRAL, a New York based alchemist and tarot reader who’s been peddling the tools of the witchcraft trade for over a decade, has shared tips on how to identify and protect yourself from Vampire Lovers.

 

Natalia: Why don’t we start by talking about meeting vampires on Tinder. You know, like one night stands, and the implications of that spiritually.
Alexandra: You mean the wild post-breakup Tinder phase that I like to call my “Slutty Spring?”

N: Exactly.
A: It was super fun, but you also have to really work on protecting your psyche because you’re exchanging energy with people so fast in those situations. And then you’re like “Wait, what? I’m tied up in a stranger’s bed again?!”

N: Right. Because the minute that you open up and surrender sexually to them, your energies are melding and exchanging whether you like it or not.
A: If they’re holding a lot of darkness you might get in a bad mood the next day and be super grumpy, wondering “Why do I feel so depressed?” or “Why do I feel so anxious?” – psychic gunk you maybe picked up up from the random person you just had sex with.

N: So how did you personally protect yourself and create that boundary?
A: Well, I had a date with this guy and we had really good conversation at dinner and then I went back to his house. I was getting bored and wondering where things were going but I kept thinking “In theory this guy’s great. He’s a lawyer, he’s attractive and also weird in a good way.” When we were kissing he was like; “I could totally see myself with a girl like you, you’re totally the type of girl I would fall in love with,” and that started weirding me out. And then his penis wouldn’t work so he just wanted to go down on me forever and that felt a little too intimate for a first date, so I said no. I did not want some stranger that I had literally known for two hours to just go down on me. Like actual penetrative sex would be less intimate because there’s a barrier of rubber.

N: That’s really sad!
A: Depends how you look at it. Anyway, so then I lost my phone, slipped on the rug, and hit my neck on a shelf, and at that point I was like, energetically, “THIS IS WRONG.” My intuition was like “Get out! Leave!” Not because I thought he was going to be a psycho killer,it was just an energetic thing. He texted me the next day, but the energy, all the way from the initial hook up to me hurting myself was just saying “no.” It took me a minute to shrug off that icky energy. And he ended up texting me like 100 times over a period of three months and I had to block him. So I guess he was a crazy.

N: I guess it’s not so relevant to Tinder hook-ups, but I learned a few things to do after a bad relationship to release that person’s grip. I had one ex who was a total vampire – her energy was so intense. After we broke up, I would just like go to the bathroom and every time I took a shit I would think about her leaving my body, like in my poop. And it really worked! I also associated her with “shit” and so that became suddenly funny and meaningless. It quickly released the emotional grip she had on me.
A: That’s amazing!

N: When I was like having a lot of one night stands, I would sort of protect myself by being the one who was in control of the situation. But there were several times I would just like leave feeling a little icky because of that person’s energy.
A: What we’re talking about now is people that seem like amazing beings, but underneath they just want to suck out the good vibes. We both dated people who did that.

N: So what do you think it the first sign of a vampire?
A: They divulge too much too soon! They tell you their sob story straight off the bat.

N: Yes! On our first date my ex is already telling me how she doesn’t get along with her family and whatever health condition she’s got.
A: Health conditions, financial burdens…

N: They think that playing a victim will make you feel sorry for them.
A: But actually, it’s trying to force intimacy too quickly. The next thing that they do is tell you “YOU’RE THE ONE.” Really quickly. I dated someone like that. We were walking down the street and she looked at me and said: “What if you’re the one?” But I actually have proof she says that to many, many girls.

N: Yeah. At what stage?
A: We had maybe been on three dates. And I fell for it. My heart was beating fast.

N: This girl I dated was immediately doing things to me that I had found out that she had done in multiple relationships in the past. And telling me that she had never felt like this before and how she was going to marry me. I was really freaked out at first and didn’t buy it. To which she’d be like: “Why are you not trusting love?” She would make it seem like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t open to receiving this “deep everlasting love.” She eventually convinced me to give in and surrender to her. Then finally when I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to give you my heart. Here’s my heart.” That’s when she bit me.
A: That’s the dark manipulation side of the vampire lover. It’s the hook and bait. They like pull you in by telling you that you’re the one, and then they start fucking with you. It’s so crazy. It’s a formula. The worst part is…I don’t think they even know they are doing it!

N: They just want your heart, and they’re unaware that they’re manipulating you to get it.
A: I think that those are the people you have to try to watch out for the most because energetically you may fall apart after them. It took me a while to get my “vampire lover ex” out of my life. She would call me in the middle of the night. Then she would text and say “Let’s be friends.” And then when we tried that, out of nowhere she would text “I want to have a family with you.” It got creepy. I just had to block her completely. But two years later I saw her, and she was kind. People change and time does heal.

N: Yeah, after mine ended but it really took me a second to find myself and feel strong again. Taking some time out to be alone, or changing your scenery can be helpful. For a while I was scared of bumping into her, thinking she could tip me over just by looking at me, and not because I loved her or wanted to be with her, just because she had that power and I knew it worked on me for a period of time.
A: So alright, now we’ve shared, let’s hear how we can avoid falling into unhealthy patterns with lovers…

5 Tips On How to Protect Yourself from Vampire Lovers (and vampire energy in general) by Cat Cabral

1) Have a Daily Spiritual Practice: Be it daily meditation, chants, or prayer, some form of daily spiritual practice will not only ground and focus your own energy, but it will open your levels of awareness, sharpening your own intuitive skills. With deeper awareness, it’s harder for vampires to enter your space and it’s easier to spot their unbalanced and often charming yet ultimately harmful nature.

2) Sea Salt Baths On the Full Moon: An old and soothing tradition that will help cleanse your ethereal body. Once the Moon is full, she begins to wane, an excellent time for cleansing and removing negative energies, known and unknown. Fill your bathtub with sea salt and lunar herbs such as lavender and wormwood. Imagine all negative energies, people or situations being absorbed by the water and then going down the drain. If you only have a shower, you can pour the salt and herbs into a bowl, wash as usual, and then pour the mixture over your body following the same ritual/visualization.

3) Glinda’s Crystal Ball of Protection: Remember in The Wizard of Oz, how Glinda sails away in her pink protective ball of light? Before you leave your house, imagine at the top of your head a small globe of white light illuminating at first your third eye, then your throat chakra, moving down towards the heart center, solar plexus, lighting up your reproductive zone and continuing down to your feet, so that you are completely engulfed in healthy protective white light. Imagine this light expanding into an invisible sphere that nothing negative can penetrate.

4) Symbols of Protection: Every culture has unique and powerful symbols to ward off negativity such as the pentagram, crosses, hexagram, ankh, Hand of Fatima, Runes, the list goes on! Find one that has a special meaning to you and either wear it or carry it daily.

5) Banishing Rituals: Letting go is often hard when you’ve been under the spell of a particularly seductive vampire. Create a circle with salt around you and set up an altar for your ritual. Take a white figure or plain candle to represent the person and carve their name into the candle. Dress the candle with oil for banishing (olive oil can also be used). As you light the candle, watch as the wax drips down and imagine the person disappearing from your sphere of influence. Write a letter saying everything you’ve been thinking, saying goodbye, never wishing them ill will, but clearly stating that they hold no emotional/spiritual/physical power over you, that your paths are clear and will never cross again. When the candle is almost finished, burn the letter and then discard of the ashes and wax somewhere far from your house or bury it in the ground. Burn sage, cedarwood or frankincense to cleanse the space and move on with confidence.

Read more from Cat Cabral here and check out Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo’s hit web series Be Here Nowish.

How have you learned to protect yourself from a psychic vampire? Share your tips in the comments below!

TURNED ON: “TAKE A LOVER WHO LOOKS AT YOU LIKE MAYBE YOU ARE MAGIC”

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic” – Ellie Burrows is inspired by the classic line behind our most popular Instagram post to date…. Portrait: Mikal Marie Photography

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic…”

This quote is often incorrectly attributed to Frida Khalo, but it’s actually a line from a poem called Frida Khalo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell. I guess I can sort of see how that would be confusing. You can watch McConnell perform it beautifully here, and if you’re really listening it becomes clear this poem is a reflection on a break up, rather than an ode to mystical love.

But no matter who said it, taken out of context this line never ceases to inspire those who read it. It pushes our internal heart button and causes us to double-tap the external one too – there are thousands of likes associated with it across Instagramland, the Tumblrverse and the Twittersphere.

Magic…

One meaning of the word is “inexplicable things” and that’s the definition I want to focus on. But first, I need to clear a bit of smoke from the air, and throw out some mirrors.

Let’s pause for a throwback: When I was growing up and would get into trouble for hanging out with the fast crowd, my mother would say to me “you’re judged by the company you keep.” And although 15-year-old Ellie would call me a sellout for saying this, my mother was totally right.

So hey Magic, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you have to stop hanging out with the word “trick.”

I can’t tell you how many people I know who are seeking meaningful relationships via suspect means. All around me I see people trying to conjure love, undoubtedly what feels like a rather tricky business of late. In the contemporary dating world, some of the newest tricks in the book are actually very old tricks called “illusions.”

She gives him the impression that she’s fine with an open relationship in order to make him stay.

He creates a mirage of interest and strings her along because it makes him feel less lonely while he gets all those oats out of his system.

And my favorite – she doesn’t respond to a text message right away because then it appears like she’s busy and indifferent. (The latter we call playing hard to get. Since playing is the operative word, it would indicate that she is just pretending and is in fact, easy to get. Just saying.)

The Magician card from the Star Child Tarot

While these tricks can deliver results, they actually involve zero magic. And they don’t usually add up to anything meaningful.

Friends, your act isn’t working. It is time to drop the top hat and the rabbit. If you are an adult and seriously looking for love, then why are you choosing to forget that tricks are for kids?

I’d like you to consider that the illusions listed above have nothing to do with magic. Instead, they involve another M word: manipulation. Definition: “control or falsification.” And when you think about it, a stage magician is really more of a master manipulator. He is highly skilled at fooling you, but no – that woman didn’t actually get sawed in half.

But a true magician? Well, that’s something else entirely…

According to the Tarot, the Magician, #1 in the Major Arcana, is considered the bridge between the spiritual and the material. With his right hand pointing a staff toward the sky and his left bringing our attention the ground, he can channel the power of the Universe and bring it into the physical plane.

You can see it on the table next to him, which holds all four suits of the Tarot (Pentacles, Wands, Cups, Swords), each of which corresponds to one of the four elements of the ancient alchemists (Earth, Fire, Water and Air). These symbolize the proper use of mind, heart, body and soul in the process of manifestation.

A real magician is not an illusionist, but a creator. This card is all about the best use of our highest self, turning ideas into actions with the power to make a difference in our own lives. This card begs questions like “Am I using my powers for good or evil?” and “Am I tapping into my fullest potential?”

The Magician from the Spirit Speak Tarot

We are the magicians responsible for taking our abstract, sometimes inexplicable, feelings and bringing them through to the material plane. This is unbelievably challenging, since it requires the full engagement of physical form to lay our souls’ desires on the proverbial table.

When I’m building a relationship, I can feel my entire system using its “powers” to do so. My mind must ground the fears of judgment, rejection, and loneliness. My heart must glow with unconditional self-love, trust, and honesty. My body must swim against the current of its biological predisposition to fight or fly in the face of vulnerability in order to genuinely communicate my wants and needs.

We are all magicians who must work daily to create clear unobstructed pathways within ourselves in order to travel more freely in the confusing world around us. We are the magicians who must understand that our internal worlds are so complicated that we must endeavor to create external simplicity wherever we can.

But if instead we focus on crafting trap doors and smoke screens that are just there for effect, then authentic relationships and clear outcomes will be center stage when it comes time for the disappearing act.

So if what you’re looking for is, in fact, a real relationship, leave your bags of tricks at home. Instead, put something like the following on the table next to your drinks:

“I am going to be super natural with you.”
“I am looking for something serious.”
“I am looking for love.”

Because then you would be the fucking unicorn of the dating world, and then I guarantee your lover will look at you like maybe you are magic.