HOW I DISCOVERED THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Material Girl Mystical World is out May 2 2017. Here’s how I wound up writing the book that changed my life…

Five years ago I moved to New York City, with high hopes that I was basically going to morph into Carrie Bradshaw—with a closet full of designer shoes, fabulous cocktail-fueled social life, and a column in Vogue. 15 years working as a fashion journalist in London had taught me two things: 1) my sense of self-worth was directly linked to the level of kudos attached to my job, and 2) you could never have too many shoes.

My first apartment was on Christopher Street in the heart of the chichi West Village, and even had a walk-in closet. It also had holes in the wall exposing live electrical cables, and was infested with vermin. With hindsight, this is pretty much a metaphor for the holes in my materialistic worldview. Because it turns out no amount of Cosmos was a substitute for the friends I’d left behind, and that as a lowly freelancer, working out of my dingy kitchen using my ironing board for a desk, I barely even got to wear the shoes.

Chasing the SATC dream…

As my SATC dream began to crumble, I found myself questioning everything. Why was my NYC adventure so fraught with anxiety? If none of the editors I tried to get meetings with ever called me back, did I even exist? And how come every Skype with my mum made me feel so angry? As if the physical ocean between us served as a reminder of how emotionally distant we’d become over the years.

Which is right about when I decided to create The Numinous, and in doing so totally flip the script.

Let’s face it, five years ago I was kind of an entitled, over-privileged asshole. And definitely not a happy asshole either. Today, I definitely still love shoes. But I’ve also remembered that, for me, true “success” means being connected to myself and others, and contributing something valuable to the planet. Less conspicuous consumption, more conscious creativity. A journey I’ve written about in my upcoming book Material Girl Mystical World. Yes, MY book is the book that changed my life!

The Book That Changed My Life…

My personal revolution has actually been a result of walking the talk and embracing with an open heart and soul the mystics, the teachers, and the healers I’ve encountered on my Numinous path. Diving head-first into the transformational experiences of the Now Age, many of which are chronicled in all their far-out, emotional, and often hilarious glory in my story.

All with the aim of showing how (contrary to the Eat, Pray, Love school of spiritual awakenings) you don’t have to travel to an ashram in India to find yourself. I found “me” in the heart of NYC! The birthplace of the American Dream—the capitalist ideology that tries to convince us true happiness comes in the shape of a Louis Vuitton handbag. And which, since the Mad Men have made it to the Whitehouse, it is increasingly evident is the root of so many of the evils of the modern world.

So how did I get here? In the book, among other heart-and-mind-expanding topics, I talk about:

  • Astrology As Basic Life Skill. Raised atheist, astrology was the first thing that ever spoke to the deep human need in me to feel connected to something greater than myself. To feel like I have a unique role to play in weaving the fabric of humanity. This chapter explains the basics of birth chart interpretation as the path to Cosmic connection.
  • Doing My Dharma. How I came to understand the concept of my work as an act of service—opposed to pursuing a career for the status, the financial security, and the shiny baubles alone. (*When you pre-order the book you’ll gain access to a special Dharma School webinar with me, to help you discover your dharma too!)
  • Finding My Divine Feminine. A deep dive into modern feminism, and how this is intimately connected to the social, political and environmental issues of the 21st Century. Also, how connecting to my Divine Feminine has been instrumental in healing my sexual identity and my relationship with my mum.
  • The Inner Beauty vs. Botox Debate. Why it’s possible to get Botox and still love yourself / identify as spiritually woke. But also how cleaning up your emotional life and doing your dharma, AS WELL AS the yoga and the green juice, is what will truly give you that “glow.”
  • Healing As The New Nightlife. How I have slowly but surely replaced the cocktail highs with spiritual highs, and become a happier, healthier, more compassionate and more WHOLE human being as a result. Who. Freaking. Knew.

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The book is out May 2 2017 (yes, she’s a Taurus—the original “material girl”) and the above is just a taster. There’s so so SO much more juicy content—and in the lead-up to the pub date I’ll be hosting a series of Facebook Lives to introduce the different chapters, and take your questions. Keep following on Facebook and Instagram for more details.

There’s also a sweet BONUS PACKAGE when you pre-order! Including the Dharma School webinar I mentioned, an exclusive missing chapter on how to work with Angels & Spirit Guides, and a month’s free membership to Moon Club. Get all the details and order your copy here.

So there you have it. THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. I hope my story can help you re-write your own.

HOLY F*CK: RECLAIM YOUR SEXUAL POWER & HELP HEAL THE WORLD

Reclaiming your sexual power and potential is part of the collective awakening happening now. And it’s never too late, says Alexandra RoxoPortraits: Alexandra Herstik

I’ve taken a few months off from really diving into topics of sex, eroticism, and partnership here in my column. Why? I must admit, I’ve been distracted by politics and found myself thinking: “How can I dare talk about sex, as the world is seemingly in dire need of discourse about so many other things?!”

Well, as my passion for sharing about love and sex wandered around my brain like a disenfranchised child with no home, who else but Sigmund Freud swooped in to validate it—and shove it back into the world!

Freud said that sexual repression is the chief psychological problem of humankind, and the root of many crimes, illness, war and woe. As if I need a dead white man to remind me of something I already knew! But I did. Touché Dr Freud, touché.

And his theory reminded me that it’s okay to continue sharing about love, sex and partnerships—even in a time when ICE raids are being done to innocent people, families are being separated and deported, and the whole structure of a country that felt like it was moving towards progress is being threatened.

Because this includes LOVE and SEX.

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THE SEXUAL LANDSCAPE YOU WERE BORN INTO

Let’s take a very brief tour of history. Some say that we once lived in a “partnership” society, where people co-existed in some states of harmony. This shifted into a “dominator” society. Have you seen the movie or read the book “Mists of Avalon?” In the book there is a battle between the “old” religion—a religion honoring nature, The Goddess, the many faces of the Divine—and the “new” religion, a religion honoring ONE man.

Pantheistic to monotheistic. This shift changed everything for humanity. When the Goddess religion/pantheistic religions went out, so did our connection to nature, to ecstatic states, to sex, to the Feminine. By denying sex we denied nature! As Terrence McKenna said in his book Food of the Gods: “The dark night of the soul for planet Earth began.”

The “Wild Woman” (seen as a reflection of nature herself) was then sought to be tamed. We saw the literal possession of women. Burning of witches. Corsets. Chastity belts. Women’s rights being taken away in many many cultures. The polarization of “the virgin” and “the whore.” And this, my dears, is what YOU were born into.

Fair enough, in this country we got it about the LEAST bad—we are able to vote, get an abortion, wear what we want. BUT this also created a dichotomy that can be VERY confusing.

You were told you can speak up and be you. But you must also be sweet and pretty and skinny. You were told it was slutty to enjoy lots of sex. But you were told also “Claim your sexuality!” You were told you could wear what you want. But when you wore it you were treated differently. At least when it was scandalous to show an ankle it was very clear. ANKLE = SLUT. Now the dial is all over the place.

If you were born into any religion that is monotheistic and patriarchal then whether you want to accept it or not, you probs have internalized all kinds of sexual repression with a side of shame, and a dash of guilt on top. (If you somehow escaped all this then…GODDESS BLESS!)

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SO, HOW THE HELL DO WE MOVE BEYOND THIS?

It’s going to take a lot more work. See my piece from last year about “Sexual Healing” for a refresh and jump start.

The biggest thing we can do is keep QUESTIONING. Everything. In sex. Redefining our experiences as our own. Making our own rules. Reclaiming what is our human right.

FOR EXAMPLE. Perhaps by society’s standards it’s not acceptable to sob uncontrollably during sex. HOWEVER, the energy of sex is MAD powerful, and when used to it’s full conscious potential can be a shamanic experience. So, if you are having conscious deep deep sex, and start releasing trauma or shame or guilt from your body you will probably sob. This can cause more shame because we’ve been taught that’s not okay.

My first girlfriend was a shamanic mover of energy and she knew it. The orgasms I had with her moved massive amounts of shame I had internalized growing up in the Christian south, out of my body. She held space for me. Made me feel safe enough to completely release into my body and use the energy of sex for deep healing. Sometimes that meant opening further and further when I thought I couldn’t anymore, but she helped me keep going, much like in a plant medicine ceremony, or even running a marathon. The altered state that one enters during sex can be a place where so much work can take place.

So how do you allow yourself to let go enough to work with the energy of sex, or even love or partnership, for healing and ecstasy?

HOW TO LITERALLY RECLAIM YOUR SEXUAL POWER

Create a conscious container. By container I mean a defined space. Whether you are coming together just for sex or also for a certain amount of time weekly for sexual exploration define the rules, the terms. How long? What do we do if someone wants to scream or cry?

Communication! If you want to have a soul sob with a deep cervical orgasm you have to make sure your partner can “hold” you through it. Instead of saying, “Hey babe. What’s wrong? Don’t cry,” educate them to hold the space for you, and say instead: “I’m here. Let it out. Stay with it. I love you.”

When you release some of the pain in your body that’s hidden deep within your cervix or womb of COURSE there will be tears, shouting, laughing—ALL OF IT! But you will feel so much lighter and freer afterwards if you let those emotions come out and you don’t hold them in. Not worrying about what you may look like or sound like. Instead, being like a raging river, embodying Kali, embodying Venus, the rivers of Oshun, the energy of a storm, the energy of the ocean. She is never ashamed for her moods and needs. She just IS.

If you look at sex as expansion beyond the “get in and get off” vibe we’ve been taught by movies and TV our whole lives, you will see it has massive healing potential to clear through chakras and move blocks—while increasing your radiance and attraction levels in a major way! It’s a super power and that’s why it has been repressed and controlled for so long.

If you think back to how you “learned” sex it was probably mostly through media. Women “sound” like this or that. They make these faces during sex. They lay on the bed in this or that way. What if that was all learned behavior and in order to reclaim your full sexual potential you get to go on the journey of FINDING OUT what your natural sexual state is?

What faces you make. What sounds. Maybe you sing when you cum! Or make low guttural grunts. Maybe you sob uncontrollably for A YEAR as you release shame from your body. Does that mean something is wrong with you? NO. HELL NO. Maybe you find your fantasy and realize you like to be flogged or spanked. Does that mean something is wrong with you? NOPE.

It’s a choice. You make the choice to embody Bridget Jones. Or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Or Carrie in Sex and the City. Or…Venus emerging from the ocean. Kali emerging from a fire. Persephone diving into the Underworld and coming back renewed. You choose.

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RE-WRITE THE SEX SCRIPT

Here are some practical ways to begin to rewrite some of your sexual programming…

– Be Curious! Read books. Listen to podcasts. Don’t be ashamed if you want to learn about polyamory. Or multiple orgasms. Or whatever the hell you’re into. Nothing is too strange. Nothing is too weird. As you begin to delve, protect your little seed of curiosity before sharing with everyone. You don’t need anyone’s opinions about your desire to learn about 1950’s Occult Sex Parties or prostate massage. It’s your exploration. Keep it sacred.

– Look at your demons. Your shadows. Your shames. Have you engaged in healing around your sexual history? Chances are your first sexual experiences were rather “unconscious,” maybe with alcohol attached and not centered around heart opening and connecting. And if not, well, kudos to you! (Mine were pretty dope with candles and a fountain and fairy lights and soft music and eye gazing even when I was a preteen cause I was #BornThisWay. But then I’ve also had about 100 that were NOT like that at all…) If you feel you have work to do around love and sex then start journaling about your programming, stories, traumas. Engage in conversations. Do the healing work with a coach or in a group.

– Create the space to explore. If you’re in partnership then consciously communicate with your partner about wanting to make the sex more conscious and expansive, and work to bust through some of the cultural norms together. Perhaps this means engaging in some connecting work before sex. Eye gazing. Doing some tantric breath. Giving each other space to hear fantasies without judgement. That means if your lover says “I’m turned on by watching horses fuck” you have to listen and hold space for that and not be like “EW!” immediately. Trust is very important when opening in this way. If you’re solo then start getting in there and doing your own exploration work with your self. Learn your fantasies. What feels good and what doesn’t.

– Be aware of your words. Stories you perpetuate with your words which can cast magical spells. Sometimes I catch myself talking like Samantha from SATC and I stop myself. Some of that languaging and programming is NOT conscious at all. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s creating a reality that I picked up from TV. Not my own heart.

– Question everything. This can be fun! “Do I actually like to wax my puss? Or do I do it cause someone told me to?” Hmm well for me honestly I think it’s the later. “Do I actually like lingerie and Agent Provocateur?” Resounding YES for me on that one! “Where is my sexuality at on the Kinsey scale?”

– Talk to your friends. THIS IS HARD. One time when I brought up the transcendental power of fisting to catapult you into an altered state in a car of women there was RADIO SILENCE. It was awkward. But without discussion things continue to be taboo Unspeakable. Hidden away in dark corners. So moving past that awkward silence with some laughter and humility is enough to open the floodgates. Before you know it someone will be sharing how they once used a cucumber as a dildo and you won’t feel alone.

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If you want to work with a group on this, I’m doing a monthly HOLY F*CK workshop starting on the New Moon of 2.26!  This is a little different than the salon I did last year as this is deeper work, and enough to keep you busy exploring and reprogramming and rewiring your sex energy until the next month’s workshop! Sign up HERE. And as always I do one on one mentorships and coaching sessions which you can book HERE.

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: LIVE AT THE MOTHERSHIP FESTIVAL

Ahead of her appearance at the MOTHERSHIP festival in Joshua Tree, Alexandra Roxo chats to founder Laura Wise about feminism, kundalini, and kink…

High vibe festivals are everywhere. From Wanderlust to Symbiosis to Spirit Weavers—there’s a festival for ever breed of seeker. Or is there? MOTHERSHIP—happening November 4-6th in Desert Hot Springs, CA—is unique in that it’s feminist AND queer AND spiritual. You can do yoga , celebrate sacred adornments, and then go to a Kink workshop. Amazing, right?

I sat down with the founder (who is also an activist and therapist) Laura Wise to get the deets.

ALEXANDRA ROXO: What can we really expect at a festival like MOTHERSHIP?
LAURA WISE: Women are so typically the caretakers. It is engrained in us to be sweet/kind/giving and that is why self-care is so important. Mothership is full of healing elements and ways to explore your spiritual side. Sierra Dowd is running a “Circle of Release” exercise in which participants can work to release negative aspects of their lives. We have reiki healers, chakra aligning yoga, punk rock yoga, meditation, nature hikes, stargazing (there will actually be a meteor shower during this time!) and lot’s more…

AR: How did the idea for Mothership emerge?
LW: MOTHERSHIP is the event I’ve always wanted to attend. After visiting some pretty magical festivals and gatherings and learning that the pool of women’s festivals is teeny-tiny and nearly extinct, I knew that this was a need I wanted to meet. Women thrive when we unite and work together. We learn from each other and we empower one another. I knew that if I created something fun—with a side of empowerment—there would be an audience for that. This is the era of a fresher, more inclusionary feminism, and I really want to have a hand in building that.

AR: How is it different from other female-focussed festivals or retreats?
LW: One thing I knew was crucial in the creation of MOTHERSHIP was that it was trans and gender-queer inclusive. If you take a look back at the history of women’s festivals—the most established being the Michigan Womyn’s Festival which ended several years ago—there was a clash in new and old thinking. They didn’t allow trans women to attend and the younger generation wasn’t okay with that. We wanted to correct that and update the idea of a women’s festival.

AR: What kinda gal is your typical attendee?
LW: She doesn’t exist! The MOTHERSHIP crowd is  diverse and forward-thinking. But our participants all have an appreciation for idea exchange, art and letting loose. We have a lot of interesting, smart women involved and the thing I’m most excited about is seeing all of these great minds culminate & celebrate!

AR: What are your wildest hopes for the weekend?
LW: My personal goal is that everyone leaves with a little less shame and self-doubt, and a little more personal pride. I hope that MOTHERSHIP can serve as a reminder to us all to celebrate & empower the women around us. I hope that the gal who thought the event sounded fun, and didn’t know much about feminism, leaves saying “yeah I’m a feminist and I have every right to be proud of that.”

AR: Any must-see workshops?
LW: Gosh I really want to brag about everyone involved, I am stunned at the level of awesome-ness!  We have a lot of unique workshops happening, including a self-adornment area with tons of free costumes, accessories and body paint/glitter etc. paired with a Self-Love Photographer, to help you get just the right photo to document your experience. There’s also an intro to kink and BDSM sex workshop, which I know a lot of people are curious about. Late-night we will be having a silent disco…and then there’s the musical lineup—which is also pretty epic!

 

PLUS our very own Numi Alexandra Roxo will be speaking on Saturday night at the HER Talk: Women’s Sexuality in the Media panel. Get your tickets at this link—Numinous readers get 10% off with the code “MOON”!

RISE SISTER RISE: Q&A WITH REBECCA CAMPBELL

Whatever Donald Trump—the Divine Feminine is RISING! Ruby Warrington talks to Rebecca Campbell about her new book Rise Sister Rise, and hears why it’s time for the Wild Woman to be heard…

RUBY WARRINGTON: Your background is in advertising—what are the secret cues in advertising messages that have blocked the rise of the Divine Feminine?
REBECCA CAMPBELL: Wow, this is a BIG question. Generally speaking though, patriarchal society (which is exaggerated in advertising and the media) has tried to contain women to fit into a limited number of socially acceptable archetypes: the Maiden and the Mother.

There has been very little representation of the Wise Woman—the woman who is not afraid to share her voice, who cannot be contained, or restrained of the Crone, who becomes wiser and more potent with her years.

Advertising is also based on making the product a hero—which means exaggerating a problem it is designed to “solve” (often perpetuating fears). For example, when talking about periods, it’s about being discreet. When talking about aging, it’s about halting this natural process. So you can see how we’ve been taught that embracing the cyclic nature of being a woman is “a problem.”

RW: Was there an “aha” moment for you in terms of focusing on this work with your new book?
RC: I was very much in my feminine when writing my first book, but I soon realized I had no idea how to run my business from the this place. A career girl who learned to make it in man’s world, I reverted to the old patriarchal ways of being the hard worker, the warrior, the good girl. Of using pressure not pleasure as my driving force. Of putting my service to others above service to myself.

My client sessions were booking out six months in advance, and I kept promising myself that I would tend to filling my well when things quieted down. But days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I became increasingly aware that it was not possible to bloom all year round and that there had to be a different way.

Then I had a dream that was just so real, I woke myself up mid sob. In the dream I had a baby—and everyone was in awe of her because she never ever cried. But because she didn’t cry, a whole week passed without her being fed. Guilt-stricken, I scooped her up and brought her to my breast. As I looked down at her face I saw myself, my mother, and all the women in my family.

I then checked my phone and discovered a text from my dad to call home because mum had breast cancer. Later, I looked up the metaphysical meaning of her illness, and discovered that it can be to do with a refusal to allow ourselves to receive and be nourished.

I saw how even though I had left the corporate world, I was still operating this way too. So I cleared my diary for a week and went to the Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury—to fill up my inner well at the mother of all wells. It was here that I heard the first whispers of Rise Sister Rise.

RW: Who and what have been key figures and teachings for you in terms of awakening the Divine Feminine in you?
RC: There are so many! Maya Angelou, The Magdalenes, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Christiane Northrup, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Marion Woodman, Sally Kempton, Starhawk, Gurumayi Chidvilasnanda, Alexandra Pope, Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor.

RW: You talk about the importance of healing our relationships with our mothers—why is this? And what has been your own experience of this?
RC: We receive a blueprint of what it means to be a woman from our mothers, and often the relationship we have with her will be mirrored in how we see the world. How held we believe we are by Life. How to give and receive love, nourishment and support.

When we heal our relationship with our mother, we have the opportunity to heal and connect ourselves to Mother Earth in the process. To let our own inner rhythm sync back into harmony with the rhythm of the planet and of all life. We are also able to give ourselves the mothering that we need, and are able to show up to life full rather than looking at the world and other people to fill us up.

RW: In what other ways do you bring your inner Wild Woman forth in your day-to-day life?
RC: First, by acknowledging my fears and feelings when they surface—no matter how inconvenient, uncomfortable, crazy or embarrassing (I’ve got an amazing whatsapp group of ladies where we hold the space for us to do so without judgment—there are A LOT of emoticons).

I then work on transmuting these feelings through creative expression (rather than pushing them down). This could be through dance (Sia is great for this) or some form of creation such as writing.

And finally, by really honoring the wild woman phase of my monthly cycle (PMS time). I have learned that if I push down what’s rising in me and what is falling away during this time, I will probably find a destructive way of keeping myself contained and restrained such as overeating or having a few too many glasses of wine.

RW: In what ways do you think the rise of the Divine Feminine is already creating a shift in society?
RC: I believe it is becoming safer than ever for her to be seen and heard. We can see her in Michelle Obama, and in shows such as Girls. We can see her at work as women rise together in collaboration rather than in competition. With every new woman who rises, by following her intuition, claiming her power, and sharing her voice, she makes it easier for another woman to follow her lead.

This era of history has been prophesized by the mystics and sages of all the ages, and I believe that social media and the rise of the female entrepreneur has had a lot to do with this coming to pass. It’s becoming easier for women to come together in circle, to collaborate, and to unite.

RW: And what do you think differentiates this movement from, say, the 1970s feminist movement?
RC: To me, the rising feminine is feminism of the soul. And as we recover from the past few thousand years (!) of patriarchy, I believe it is important not to seek its polar opposite—to move from patriarchy to matriarchy. Rather, it is time to bring the sacred masculine and sacred feminine energies back into balance. As the sacred feminine rises, may the sacred masculine rise along with Her.

RW: Looking 20 years into the future, what do you think the bigger impact of a feminine uprising could be?
RC: I believe if we all honor the cyclic nature of our bodies and of life, the planet will go back to a state of harmony. We see ourselves as separate from nature but that is just not true. We are part of nature but so many of us have disconnected ourselves from it—and in doing so, we have disconnected from both The Great Mother (Earth) and from ourselves.

The sooner we surrender to our own cyclic nature (for example: for women, our monthly cycles are connected to the waxing and waning of the moon), the sooner this planet will move back into balance. I do believe it is possible and I do believe that we are all being called to surrender to this calling before it is too late.

Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within is out now on Hay House. Rebecca Campbell will also be joining Numinous Founder Ruby Warrington and Madeline Giles of Angelic Breath Healing for a special event in NYC on 11/11 2016. Full details to be announced!

TEMPLE OF VENUS: LEARNING TO BE LESS HARD ON MYSELF

In her latest Temple of Venus column, recovering over-achiever Elyssa Jakim asks: “How can I learn to be less hard on myself?”

Impish Elyssa aged five

Flashback: The blizzard of 1996. Greater New York metropolitan area. I am eight years old. I’ve spent several days frolicking in the snow with friends. When school resumes session, a fight breaks out on the school bus because I kept a girl’s rainbow shoelace that I’d borrowed for snow stomping. She tells me she knows I stole it. I yell and scream and insult her in self-defense (even though I’d had no intention of returning the lace—it was so beautiful!)

Later, I will feel terrible about this. Forever.

Skip to fifth grade. Every day of fifth grade. I replay all the things I have done wrong socially. The rainbow laces incident. That time I said the wrong thing to the boy I had a crush on. Or said the right thing to the boy my friend had a crush on. And I berate myself.

Repeating and repeating my wrongs in my mind. Every day.

To make amends, I grow up into a perfectionist. An intellectual, and a serious student. Someone who also takes up self-improvement projects a little too readily. Who always has a to do list that includes things like “have fun” or “breathe.”

But today I am a recovering over-achiever.

In fact, I am currently living in a college town…looking after babies for a living. Yes, I feel insecure about this as well; perhaps I have lost my intellect and let my critical thinking skills go. But here’s the thing: as fate would have it, I have stumbled upon the perfect teachers when it comes to the question I seem to have spent my whole life asking: How can I be less hard on myself?

Because in the room where I work, I am swaddled in literal softness of all kinds; soft rugs and pillows, soft baby hair and cheeks; warm hugs; the honey sweetness of baby laughter; the miracle of a sleeping baby in my arms.

And here’s what the babies have reminded me so far…

1. Trust your own innocence
I have noticed, unsurprisingly, that I am always pre-disposed to give the babies the benefit of the doubt. To see “the light of the child” as Maria Montessori puts it. Even when a fourteen-month old deliberately does something “wrong” or “bad,” I can see her full innocence and sweetness—the “wrong-doing” does not make her unworthy of love to me. And knowing myself as an essentially good person, why should I be unworthy of my own self-love when I make a mistake?

2. Be your own parent.
The biggest shift you can make in the direction of self-kindness, in my opinion, is one of self-talk. What if every time you notice yourself feeling anxious, hurt, or self-doubting, you take a big breath and imagine you are the nurturing parent of your self? What would you say to you? It would probably sound like: “It’s okay my darling. I love you and I see you. You’re doing so well. You’re working so hard. I think you’re wonderful.” In moments of self-criticism, a move toward self-compassion and self-softness is what the anxious heart truly needs. If you can remember to be gentle, sweet, and nurturing to yourself whenever you’re tempted to punish yourself, your whole inner landscape will shift.

3. Don’t take things personally.
Because most of the time, the mean things people say or “accuse” you of, aren’t really about you—they’re about them. Strive to shrug off criticism, and don’t hold yourself accountable for the feelings of others. When a baby is upset, I know that it’s not about me. It’s about that child expressing a need for something like hunger or nap or connection. It isn’t healthy for me to take up a baby’s emotions or sense of urgency if I’m helping him, it’s best if I remain calm. When facing tough interpersonal interactions, try to remain calm. I like to zoom out in this moment and remember that we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience. Tapped into this Universal truth, who really cares if someone didn’t like my skirt, or the way I handled a particular situation?

4. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Numinous tarot mistress Lindsay Mack often reminds me of this: “You are exactly where you need to be.” And these words are always a deep reminder straight to my heart space, which in turn relaxes my whole body. Nothing has gone wrong. There is no-one (especially not your self) to blame. In fact, here is an opportunity to accept. To find grace. Your situation isn’t your fault, it’s your opportunity. Your perfect situation for growth. It’s to show you what you’re supposed to be learning right now. Babies are always exactly where they are, in the present moment of being. We are born into raw presence, living one moment at a time. Isn’t that miraculous?

5. Laugh a lot more.
Laughter releases stress in the body. Period. If we can take the seriousness out of life, it frees up the part of us that takes things too seriously. It can also be empowering to laugh at life’s trials and tribulations, to see the humor in any situation. Yogananda tells us to find the company of those who make us laugh to release our worries. You can also watch or listen to things that are funny, or find a laughter yoga class (which NYC friends, Maha Rose Healing Center holds from time to time). Needless to say, baby giggles, cuddle puddles, and facial expressions always have me laughing.

***

So, how does all this baby talk connect to the goddess Venus? In the mythology of Venus, we are always asked to consider her birth—that moment she arrives on the shore, born of the sea, resplendent. It’s funny to me that Venus was not born as a baby, but as a total babe. She was born and exists as the fullest expression of her being. She exudes self-confidence, which comes from true self-kindness. She is not a goddess who typically represents nurturing or mothering such as Mother Mary or Quan Yin.

But, in her luminosity, she is a wonderful teacher of self-compassion. She helps us to find the wild and free and sensual within ourselves. Being with babies and with Venus teaches us that we can always begin again. We can always infuse our lives with freshness, sweetness, and softness. We can always rebirth ourselves to be more loving. See the sweet little babe in you, and know that you are always worthy of love and even rainbow shoelaces. Protect her and hold her like you would a treasured gem. Come back to the Venus in you, and know you are glorious. That should make it easier to be less hard on yourself.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on healing our money issues.

PERIOD PRIDE: IT’S TIME TO LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE

Lisa Lister is the British witch and all around goddess at the forefront of the period pride movement. Ruby Warrington hears all about her new book, Love Your Lady LandscapeArtwork: Merakilabbe

The Numinous: Love Your Lady Landscape is a call to action for Now Age women. Tell us about it…
Lisa Lister: Well there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when the space between a woman’s thighs was considered a power portal with a direct hook up to Source. But for over 2,000 years now, the potent powers of our wombs, our cyclic nature and our menstrual cycles have been disregarded, and we’ve lost our daily connection to mumma earth, to the Moon, to the seasons and their cycles.

As a result, we often ignore our deepest needs as women because we no longer trust ourselves and our own body wisdom. We apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and self-medicate with whatever will numb the pain of not being heard or telling our truth.

Worst of all, we have an epidemic of ‘down there’ pain and dis-ease—PMT, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids. Overwhelm, anxiety and infertility are at an all-time high and we manage our menstrual bleed with synthetic hormones, denying ourselves the experience of living fully in our power.

So, Love Your Lady Landscape is about exploring, navigating and loving your lady parts. It’s about how to care for them, how to trust them and how to reclaim them.

TN: What is the number one thing a woman needs to understand about her period?
LL: That we are cyclic, not linear. Each month we try to maintain the same level of energy and productivity as our male counterparts throughout our whole cycle, so we can ‘compete’ and ‘keep up.’ But our energy, hormone levels and sex drive ebb and flow each month as we cycle through the four phases of the menstrual cycle—pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation.

Each of these phases hold super powers and hot spots and when we understand that we show up differently in each phase of our cycle, we are then able to use our menstrual cycle as a map to understanding ourselves better each and every month.

TN: Your previous book, Code Red was all about periods too. Why is this your pet subject?
LL: My entire 20’s were ruled by my menstrual cycle. I bled more days than I didn’t every cycle, I had to cancel social engagements ALL the time because I was too scared to bleed through my clothes, the pain was debilitating at times.

I also got myself a reputation as a total flake, because I was too embarrassed to say: ‘I can’t come out/to work/to the meeting because I’m bleeding through industrial super-size pads and my bed looks like a scene from the movie Carrie.’

So, when at 25 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, there was a moment of relief. I had a name for it. Except in the very next breath the doctor said: ‘Endometriosis means that babies are no longer an option, so it makes sense that we whip out your womb and ovaries so you can function normally again.’

What???

For a moment I considered it, but, and I didn’t know the incredible power that we hold in our womb space at the time, this woke a fierce rage in me that meant I simply wasn’t going to let this happen. Instead, I read about other women who have endometriosis – each case was different – and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t have children. I then got extra mad at modern medicine’s quick fix ‘whip it out’ mentality, and for the last ten years I’ve been on an adventure to explore, navigate and most importantly, love my lady landscape.

And that work starts with the most powerful game-changer of all—knowing ourselves through our cycle.

 

TN: Why are periods a feminine ‘super power’?
LL: Our blood is GOLD. The actual act of bleeding used to be considered sacred and it was honoured by both men and women, from the first day you bleed through to the day you stop bleeding, you are a witch, a sorceress, an all powerful woman. You are a lightening rod for the divine, your womb is an oracle.

And when we work WITH our cycle and not against it, we have access to a series of feminine super powers all month, all of which can be leveraged and used to create a bloody amazing business, relationship and life. A concept I go into in detail in Love Your Lady Landscape!

Book

TN: So many women have irregular cycles. Why do you think this is?
LL: Many reasons, but some of the top ones are:

– As I said previously, when we try to do life in a linear way, we work against our cyclic nature and we suffer for it. Sometimes that will manifest instantly in the form of PMS, irregular cycles, cramps, heavy bleeding (all of which are our body’s way of trying to slow us down and pay attention) or over time in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and ‘lady-parts’ dis-eases like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids.
– We’re not listening to the wisdom of our bodies and our monthly cycle because we’re medicating her with synthetic hormones—the pill, implants, coils.
– We’ve not been taught what a ‘regular’ flow looks and feels like because menstruation is still seen as taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones and advertising teaches us to ‘stuff up’ our bleed with tampons so we can ‘carry on as usual’ partying, riding on boats and rollerskating in white jeans – this is shown as ‘normal’ when it’s anything but for most women.

TN: I love your term ‘called girl’ for a woman who’s in touch with her cycle—can you give an example of how this looks from your life?
LL: The Called Girl experiences life moment-to-moment. She’s in tune with the feminine cycles, rhythms and seasons that allow her to fully own her divine power. She works in, not out. She trusts herself and thoroughly enjoys inhabiting a female body.

A Called Girl doesn’t hold on too tight to a defined and specific outcome. Instead she shows up, roots into mumma earth, listens to her pussy, trusts her gut, raises her heart and boobs to the sun and remains open to the infinite possibilities that occur when you collaborate with what I call SHE.

I trust my body’s wisdom and the way that SHE (divine/source/goddess) uses my cycle to work through me. Each and every month in each and every phase, I unravel and unfold more and more understanding about the woman that I am.

This means I can grow strong and powerful roots in the truth of why I’m here, what I need to learn, who I’m here to serve and how I’m meant to do it—meaning I can fully rise as a woman who trusts herself and is fiercely in her SHE power. Rarrrr!

Crowned ‘the defender of female awesomeness’ by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is the author of Love Your Lady Landscape and Code Red. She’s a menstrual, fertility and reproductive health practitioner and founder of the SHE Flow system; a personal invite to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, mysteries and magic. Discover more at www.thesassyshe.com

 

TRANSMUTING TRAGEDY: HOW TO WORK WITH SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE

The Saturn square Neptune astrology of the 17th century Salem Witch Trials is currently repeating. But beyond the cultural tension in the air, there is potential for great progress now too, says Amelia QuintArtwork: Silvia Coco

For better or for worse, 2016 has been a year of change. With tragedy after tragedy it can feel impossible to make any sense of the zeitgeist, but this cultural climate has been building since 2015. Thanks to an astrological alignment of Saturn square Neptune, we’re all revising our belief systems.

What does that mean for you as an individual, and for our society as a whole?

:: WHAT IS SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE? ::

Saturn and Neptune are both very powerful in their own rights. Saturn is the ruler of structure, responsibility, and karma. His mythology is complex, and he also had power to subvert social norms.

Meanwhile, Homer referred to Neptune’s Greek counterpart Poseidon as “Shaker of the Earth”—because the god’s volatile temper was known for causing earthquakes. Neptune was also “god of the deep”, and is associated with the unknown and unknowable aspects of life, including magic and spirituality.

Right now, Saturn is in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is associated with all forms of expansion—and so overseas travel, foreign cultures, philosophy, and religious beliefs are all Sagittarian pursuits, given take you outside your comfort zone in one way or another.

Saturn here is challenging the way we as individuals and a community view our own ideologies and those of others. He asks, “What do you believe in, and why?” Sometimes, we may not like the answer.

In addition, Neptune in Pisces is putting pressure on Saturn in the form of a square aspect. It’s a tough aspect, to be sure. And as a backdrop to current political and world events, it can feel like one step forward and two steps back. But history shows us this is not the case…

:: SIGN OF THE TIMES ::

Saturn square Neptune has been causing ideological clashes for nearly a millennia—and the 17th century alignment of Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces saw the Spanish Inquisition and Salem Witch Trials, both brutal regimes carried out in the name of religious belief. (An aside: It’s curious that Robert Eggar’s The Witch, set during that period, has had so much success during the same astrological lineup centuries later!)

Certainly ideology is a vital topic of discussion now. There has been progress and there has been adversity. As a resident of South Carolina, I felt the unspeakable sadness of the AME Church shooting in Charleston and celebrated the great victory for the black community that was removal of the Confederate flag from the SC Capitol grounds.

Only a few months later, the US Supreme Court ruled laws banning same sex marriage to be unconstitutional, effectively legalizing same sex marriage—something I thought might never happen in my highly conservative state. Outside of the US, Ireland legalized same sex marriage as well.

Then there are the acts of violence that we have become all too familiar with—the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the ISIL shootings at Bataclan and throughout Paris, bombings at Brussels airport in Belgium, and most recently, the shooting at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.

To list them all at once is a pain too acute to bear, but is necessary in order to acknowledge the common thread: that these are attacks on and because of belief.

They are intended to instill fear and feelings of otherness. But what we have seen at every turn is that humanity refuses to succumb to fear and doubt, and holds instead to the belief that “love is love is love”.

Truly, this is the axis of Sagittarius and Pisces in its most heart-wrenchingly beautiful form—a invitation to use the Sagittarian freedoms of speech, religion, and love to conquer hate and to heal the world around us with selfless Piscean empathy.

:: CULTURAL METAMORPHOSIS ::

If you look just beneath the conflicts, you’ll see that Saturn square Neptune is also a catalyst for incredible advancement in culture and spirituality. The 14th century Saturn in Sagittarius square to Neptune in Pisces saw the denouement of the High Renaissance in the West, including the building of the Royal Library at the Louvre in Paris.

Petrarch also wrote his collection of sonnets during this time, altering the poetic form for centuries to come. In the East, the powerful Ming dynasty assumed control and began construction on the Great Wall of China, one of the great wonders of the world.

These squares are also known for being portals for mystical revelations and supernatural events. An extremely rare alignment of Venus and Jupiter called an “occult” occurred during the 12th century square, and Halley’s comet was observed during the 16th century square. During last year’s square, NASA announced the existence of liquid water on Mars, which brings the possibility of life beyond of Earth closer than ever.

The Divine Feminine also seems to resurface during Saturn-Neptune squares, despite being suppressed throughout much of Western history.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, perhaps the most famous Marian apparition in the history of the Catholic Church, appeared during the 16th century square. In that same period, famous occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa wrote De nobilitate et praecellentia foeminae sexus (On the Nobility and Excellence of the Feminine Sex), making a huge contribution to the modern magical understanding of femininity.

In the same way, feminine spirituality has experienced a massive renaissance in pop culture and fashion over the last year—and, for the first time, in America we have the opportunity to vote in a female President.

:: HOW TO WORK WITH THE ENERGY OF SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE ::

The best way to collaborate with this vibe is to know where Saturn and Neptune are transiting in your natal chart. If you don’t know where Sagittarius and Pisces are in your chart, you can calculate your chart here.

Once you know what houses are being activated for you personally, focus on transforming your beliefs in those areas for amazing results.

  • Wherever Saturn is transiting is where you need more structure and stability. Are your current methods and belief systems working for you? If not, how can you realign them to feel more free?
  • Wherever Neptune is transiting is where you need to heal and take a spiritual approach. Is there a dream, message, or vision you want to share with the world?

Finally, give yourself the time and space you need to process any feelings that come up. These are challenging times, and an extra focus on self-care is required. Write, rest, or do whatever else helps you feel whole again. While you’re at it, see if someone near and dear to you needs some extra love too.

The exact dates of Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces are: 26 November 2015, 18 June 2016, 10 September 2016.

A NUMINOUS RETREAT: RE-WRITE YOUR LOVE STORY

Love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play…it’s our first Numinous retreat! And an invitation to Re-write Your Love Story.

Friday, July 15th- Sunday, July 17th

The Numinous Presents :: Re-Write Your Love Story

A Holy F*ck + The Temple of Venus Women’s Retreat

Location: Maha Rose North – Catskills, Upstate NY

Love, dating, sex, partnership: where do you stand on these Venus-rules issues? What are the stories you have inherited and internalized about love, and how would you like to re-write them?

Join Numinous founder Ruby Warrington, with contributors Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim, for a weekend of discovery and creativity tailored toward telling your True Love Story. During this magical weekend, we will delve into our femininity and sensuality. We will release old wounds that may be blocking us from getting the love we want, to manifest the love we do want. We will balance our career driven warrior women with the open-hearted goddesses we are.

Think: love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play.

Read on for the actual schedule…

Healing space at Maha Rose North

:: FRIDAY ::
3:30pm – 5:30pm: Arrivals.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: A Welcoming Feast and meet & greet.

7:30pm – 9:45pm: Workshop 1 HELLO HEART. Let’s get real about where we’re at with sex and love, setting our intentions as individuals and as a group. An open discussion and sharing circle with live coaching, led by your guides for the weekend.

:: SATURDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30am – 9:30am: Breakfast.

10:00am – 12:00pm: Workshop 2 RE-WRITING OUR LOVE STORY led by Ruby. What are the fairy stories we tell ourselves about love? What are the myths about romance and dating that we’ve absorbed, both individually and as a collective? And what fantasies have we bought into about what it means to be a sexual woman? In this workshop we will delve into our birth charts, using storytelling and journaling exercises to excavate these often limiting beliefs, examine how they may have shaped our love story to date, and re-write the script of a more authentic, fulfilling, and heart-centered future love story.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch & personal Time. Journal. Lay in the grass. Sing in the woods. Cry. Be.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Workshop 3 DO IT LIKE A DOLPHIN led by Elyssa. Lemurian water ceremony with mermaids and water fairies in the nearby lake. BYOB. (Bring Your Own Bikini)

BYOB (bring your own bikini) for the water ceremony

6:30 pm – 8:30pm: RITUAL DINNER aka PRIESTESS FEAST There was something to the way the Greeks and Romans did it. Though we won’t be communally purging this time, we will be lighting candles, wearing beautiful dresses, and ceremonially celebrating together.

8:30pm – 10:30pm: Workshop 4 HEART 2 HEART RITUAL led by Alexandra. Let’s get deep into what’s holding us back, clear some shit out and hold space for release and clearing in the heart and womb space. We will work with the Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene energies and archetypes, balancing our own polarities of Divine Feminine energy. Ending with a burning ceremony.

:: SUNDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30 am – 10:00am: Workshop 5 GET WHAT YOU WANT We’ve talked to our hearts and our wombs, we’ve the cleared old stories out. Now what? Let’s manifest our true heart’s desires, and and cultivate our sensual sides. This workshop introduces concrete tools for manifesting true love and partnership to incorporate into your daily practice. Followed by live coaching.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Workshop 6 FAIRY BRUNCH A date with your inner Wood Nymph
led by Elyssa. We will call in our fairy spirits to bring sexiness, play and fun to our love lives
over brunch!

2:30pm – 3:30pm: CLOSING RITUAL We will pull our energies together to seal the deal, sending our prayers into the earth and heavens with a candle that we can all take home.

Accommodation at Maha Rose North on The Numinous

:: PRICING ::

Retreat with all meals and two nights lodging | $640

Retreat with all meals and camping | $600

Retreat with all meals | $520 (guests to arrange own accommodation)

Sign-up online here. EARLY BIRDS! Book with a friend before June 17 and both receive a $50 discount. Installment payment plans are also possible—please contact Maha Rose to inquire on: [email protected].

:: BIOS ::

Ruby Warrington is a writer, curator, creative consultant, and founder of The Numinous, an online magazine where “material girl meets mystical world.” With 18 years’ experience in lifestyle journalism, she was formerly Features Editor for the UK Sunday Times Style magazine, and her writing has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. Ruby has also been an astrology enthusiast since she discovered, aged three, she’d been born in the year of the Dragon. Her first book, a volume of “mystical self-help,” will be published by Harper Collins in Spring 2017.

Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker, writer, and creative intuitive coach. She has been making films and shows about her spiritual journey with the Divine Feminine for the last 15 years, including the hit show Be Here Nowish and as a writer for the Numinous. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New Yorker, i-D, Dazed, The Wall St Journal, London Times and more. She has been leading group rituals and women’s circles, high priestessing weddings, and facilitating creativity healing workshops off and on for 10 years.

Elyssa Jakim is a Reiki master, ceremonialist, and intuitive. She is a co-founder of Fairy School, held at Maha Rose, an after school program connecting children to their magic. She likes to connect adults to magic too, and has been known to incorporate fairies, unicorns, and mermaids into all aspects of her life and work. Elyssa co-created The Temple of Venus with The Numinous, a community art space and later monthly column focused on healing issues around love, sex, femininity, and everything in between. She received her Reiki Mastership with Lisa Levine, founder of Maha Rose.

HOLY F*CK: UNLOCKING THAT P-CHI

Yes, P as in pussy! In her latest Holy F*ck column, Alexandra Roxo explores ways to get things moving and grooving down there…

“Why you wear such tight clothes? Chi no flow down there!” The words of my five feet tall Chinese acupuncturist, Alice Yan, from Mott Street still haunt me every time I suck myself into a skinny jean or put on a pencil skirt.

I’ve been trying to keep that lower chi flowing for years and it’s recently come to my attention that I’m not the only one with some blocked P-Chi. By P, I mean Pussy, yes. Call it Shakti, sekhem, prana… Whatever it is. It’s the vibes seated deep in your pelvis waiting to be tapped into and, culturally, even globally, we all know p-chi is repressed/suppressed/depressed…All of it.

Instead of going to the bigger stuff – patriarchy, women being squashed out of all religions, femicide etc…- I say let’s start the healing  on a micro-level, in our own lives, and mostly in our own panties.

A few years ago I found myself in a relationship, deeply in love, but with zero sex drive. Basically, my lower chakras were asleep. I looked for help. And it came via Paz de la Huerta, a goddess with free flowing P-Chi. So, I felt good about turning to Grace Kim, an amazing coach, for help.

It was a case of: “Hi. I can’t feel my lower chakras and – worse – I”VE BECOME OKAY WITH IT.” Her response? “Well this is blocking the flow for work, money, sex, and creativity for you. Manifestation occurs when the lower and higher chakras meet. At the heart.”

She showed me a chakra map for manifestation, sent me to a 5Rhythms class, recommended I wear more red, shake a rattle, and put my feet on the earth. DONE. But, slowly my energy crept back into my head, my mind, my iPhone…That, plus no connection to nature living in Brooklyn, and my lower chakras went on vacay, again.

So, when my acupuncturist straight up yelled at me and told me it was my fault I had bad cramps and irregular periods I got it. And since then I’ve been working on it, determined to stop living from the waist or neck up.

I recently did a snake dancing ceremony with a woman named Londin Angel Winters who has the chi FLOWIN. (You can just see when a woman has that Pussy Shine Light on. It’s a beacon of light in a dark world!) She uses the snakes to help you connect to your Kundalini and subtle energy body, using the metaphor of your pelvis as a cauldron – and, when you drop into that cauldron, you activate, the heat rises, and the heart melts. BOOM.

I danced with this snake named Bojack. And although he was around my neck, I felt it deep in my WOMB. Well, basically all my lady parts…It was like my Kundalini’s inner heater got cranked up to high. I cried and drove home feeling high as a kite! It was a powerful way to get that energy flowing. The next dance led to a deeper activation deep in my pelvis. A sense of ease. Grace. Calm.

In fact, as soon as I set my intention to unlock my P-Chi in a LIFE way – opposed to just a SEX way – is when it started to unfold. A filmmaker I barely know called me the other night and we chatted for two hours, with her asking: “Do you practice masturbation manifestation?”

I was like “Hot damn! I been practicing “sex with lotsa people” for so many years, but now since I’m on month four of celibacy I’m even re-defining my orgasm!” #Latetotheparty? But yes, I AM practicing masturbation for manifestation no, and it’s working. It’s another way to say hi to your P-Chi and get to know it/work with it/party down with it, and most of all HEAL it.

The other night while engaging in this “practice” I had some amazing business ideas. I called my friend Elyssa the next day to share, and as I told her I looked around and saw three white cars drive past. All with 11 on the license plates. I started screaming. P-CHI ON.

If this all sounds intense, don’t worry. You don’t have to wrap yourself in a reptile or do sex magic to switch on your P-Chi. My new friend Jayne Goldheart, another super activated woman, took me to a Qoya class, which is another way there. It’s a type of dance that def heals some deep feminine energy. I loved it.

And while I found myself twirling my pelvis in the dark it dawned on me: there are WAVES of women up on this cultural pussy healing and reactivation, and as I’ve been sucking my gut in so I can zip my leather pencil skirt, they have been fighting the good fight to keep women in their pleasure power pelvic center! Thank. Goddess.

The journey of healing and harnessing your P-Chi can be lifelong. It can be scary at times.  Unlocking Shakti and Kundalini can also bring major waves of change in your life, but it’s so worth it. An awakened woman also scares some people off, but the ones who are meant to stick around and dance with you will.

The path of the open pelvis is a long and winding road, and as you consider whether to embark on the journey yourself, remember this: it’s also the direct route to unlocking your Goddess Energy, abundance, and intuition. And to the thousands of women helping remind us to get back to this power: I salute you all.

5 Easy to Get Your P-Chi Flowing

  1. Start wearing more dresses and stop wearing underwear. I’m not saying wear a short tight dress panty free on the 6 train in NY in rush hour. Yuck. I’m thinking Saturday to brunch, a long Mara Hoffman look, a gentle breeze…Also, cross your legs less. That stops the flow!
  2. Call in sick the first day of your cycle and start to make your own ritual around your period. And if your period is in a state of dysfunction (which mine was for years) spend some time on it, cause that’s a P-Chi block you’re dealin’ with. Read Alissa Vitti. Christiane Northrup. Ween yourself off Advil and listen to your cycle.
  3. Move! NOT Soul Cycle – that crunches your P-Chi. I’m talking something that loosens and opens things up. Jamaican dancehall class has been my medicine! What’s yours? I also love Qoya, 5Rhythms, and will be getting into ecstatic as soon as I get some bell bottom yoga pants.
  4. Let your belly hang out. I know this sounds wiiiiiiild right? Lol. It is pretty radical – what if we all took photos on Instagram with our bellies free? #Revolution. But honestly the breath is the biggest tool to warming up your nether regions and once you start releasing your breath into your pelvis you will feel a difference.
  5. Write out your P-Chi story.  Do a ritual around your relationship to your lower chakras, the energy there, when it’s been blocked, when it’s been wounded, what you want from it.  Go as far or close as you want with it.

Alexandra Roxo is an LA based filmmaker and actress who has recently began doing coaching, healing and teaching work. Read more on alexandraroxo.com. Follow her on Insta here and read her past Numinous articles on Now Age love and sex here.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: HOW TO RECEIVE

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some wise words on the practice of receiving… Artwork: Megan Thorp-Levitt

The paragon of the divine feminine, Venus is born of water. She, like water, receives, or takes in. Receiving then is the nature of the feminine, right? But paradoxically, we often talk about women as “givers.” The woman is the mother, the gatherer, the caretaker, the nurturer. And of course, we all give and receive, regardless of gender. But I want to posit that many of us, women in particular, are not receiving enough.

Especially if you’re an empath or a healer and a highly sensitive person, you may feel as if your tank is constantly empty. As if you’re “giving” all the time, in small and subtle ways – like giving up your ability to make decisions, giving up your lunch hour to a friend, giving up your freedom because of “should’s” or “supposed to’s.” Are you an over-giver? Venus is here to help!

The first thing to remember is that receiving is not about doing. It is about simply being and allowing. But society is set up for us to do, and do, and do some more. We’re taught to do our homework, to get good grades. We’re expected to be brilliant self-starters and become CEOs of our own empires. Our society loves masculine, Yang phrases that get us fired up like: “hit the ground running,” “just do it,” “get it done,” and “killing it.” And well, ehem, can I please get a “fuck that”?

Receiving is your birthright as a divinely feminine creature. Here are some ways to receive…

:: RECEIVE GIFTS ::

A receiving practice is really about cultivating deeper awareness about what you’re already receiving. By truly acknowledging what you receive, you can take this energy in consciously and use it to refill your tank.

A simple way to do this is to receive your gifts! Whenever someone offers to pay for you, cover the tab, or gives you some kind of gift receive it willingly. Say “thank you” with graciousness, and do not offer to pay instead. Feel into the sensation of receiving by taking a second to breathe in the kindness and the loving feelings it brings up. Visualize this feeling filling you up.

Now try it with praise. When someone compliments you, do not leap in to downplay your worthiness! Breathe it in. Receive this gift. It may feel awkward at first, but once accepted, it can feel so good. I’m going to give you one right now to practice: with “You are an incredible being, always doing the best you can. I love you and I see you.” No joke, that is the truth!

Another great way to receive more “gifts” is to ask for help and favors. Can’t reach a top shelf and a tall person is nearby? Ask them for help! This is a really simple way to receive and I’ve noticed in doing this that people really like being given a simple, discrete way to help out. Try it with kids. They LOVE it.

In fact, one of my favorite phrases about receiving is: “receiving empowers the giver.” So be a gracious receiver and empower the people who give to you. It makes everyone feel good.

:: RECEIVE THE PRESENT ::

The present moment is always ripe with abundance and possibilities, and so when we stop to just be, we get in touch with our receiving nature. We are “being” rather than “doing.” (NB: I have learned so much about this from my dear friend Lindsay Mack, who now writes the Numinous Tarotscopes).

A great way to be more present is to practice deep listening. Next time you’re in conversation, notice the cadence of your interlocutor’s speech. Notice each word. Take them in. This is deep receiving.

Is there someone in your life you can do a better job listening to? Make a commitment right now to listen more deeply in conversation with this person (I’m doing it too, believe me). Really receive his or her words, and see what you notice. Were you keeping yourself from receiving this person’s love in certain ways? How can you take in more of the love that’s all around you? Which brings me too…

:: RECEIVE NATURE ::

Nature is always waiting to shower you with her myriad gifts. So whenever your tank is really low, take any opportunity you can to find nature. Even an office plant or the sidewalk tree will help you to reset.

In many belief systems, nature is the feminine polarity of the divine — that’s why we call her “mother nature” and “mama earth.” By stepping out into nature, we are refreshed. We are filled to the brim with nature’s essence, which is a mirror of our own. We are reminded of our inner nature, which is peace, strength, love, beauty, wonder, and so much more.

An energy healing secret is this: when you’re tired, touch a tree. And on a long hike through rugged terrain, touch tons of trees! They will energize you. Once when I went out in nature with a teacher of mine, we were connecting with trees, and she was teaching me how to feel the spirit of a plant. I turned to a Ponderosa Pine and exclaimed, “This tree needs love.”

I put my hand on the tree and breathed into it. I let it take me on a little visual journey and it showed me how it was a mama bear. It grounded me. It made me feel safe. I laughed, telling her, “Obviously this tree didn’t need love. She just wanted to give me some of hers.” My teacher nodded: “That’s usually how it goes.”

It turns out, of course, Ponderosa Pine was exactly the medicine I needed for what was going on in my life at the time. So receive your dose of nature. Give your heart to the earth and she will give you so much it will bring you to your knees (in the rapturous way).

:: RECEIVE YOUR LIFE ::

This bears repeating: receiving is following your intuition. This section has fewer tangible steps, for it is intangible and highly personal – yet so many of us are striving to learn how to follow our intuition as one by one we “wake up.”

Difficult, since following your intuition may go against the Yang ways we have been taught (do your homework, go to college, no days off, time spent doing nothing is SLACKING). But this is needed in order to balance the energy on this planet right now. So, can we embrace the slack? In the Western world, we have been living in such a masculine paradigm, that it’s time to strengthen our other muscles – the intuitive receptive muscles. Yes, the pelvic floor muscles just to complete the metaphor!

So how can you be more intuitive, and open to receiving messages from spirit? Where can you put space in your life just to be and listen to your inner guidance? Here is the biggest secret of all: the Divine is standing right next to you, ready to guide you, ready to give to you every day if you let it.

So let go and let God. Do less to receive more (wisdom, love, creativity). It’s funny, it’s miraculous, but it works! And it feels damn good. Bowing to you, may you receive all the gifts and may you feel radiantly receptive, revivified, and rejuvenated.

Please note: this article is intended to be useful to all, regardless of gender. We can all use help with receiving.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on connecting to your inner child through crafting.

WHY ARE ALL THE LIGHTWORKERS MOVING TO LA?

Check out all the lightworkers moving to LA! Fern Olivia breaks down why life on the Left Coast is calling…Photography: Nicolas Jandrain

 

So what’s the real reason behind the mass exodus from cities like NYC to LA? You’ve noticed it, right? How the lightworker tribe are all feeling the call?

Well, it’s no coincidence that people are packing up their overpriced apartments, saying farewell to the brutal winters, and moving to the magical City of Angels. In fact, many of the Numinati made the move years ago, and now more of our tribe are arriving in waves.

When I heard the call of my soul to move to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would be part of a major movement. I was not consciously aware that there was a deep reason for the work I was being called to do here, nor did I understand the energetic force by which it happened at this particular time in space.

It all makes sense to me now. If you, too, have been feeling a voice inside calling you West, what I’ve learned since my move may explain why – and in a radical way.

In April 2015, I was visiting my girlfriends in Malibu and I remember the precise moment, sitting on the beach, my soul clearly demanded: “Come home.” I had never lived in California, nor had I ever heard a voice inside as strong as this.

But I was not afraid. I listened.

The voice continued: “Move to Venice in the Fall.” So specific and commanding, right? I dared not question it, even though I had only been to Venice a few times for Kundalini classes at Ra Ma Institute with Guru Jagat, and for nourishment at Moon Juice and Cafe Gratitude.

But over the past several years, I have recognized my intuitive gifts and learned that in order to stay in alignment, I MUST TRUST this deep knowing.

And something inside me insisted that this was exactly where I needed to be. So I set about transitioning all my yoga classes and clients in New York, seamlessly found a friend to take over my lease, and effortlessly slipped out of my old life to plant myself in Venice Beach – the epicenter of the Now Age. And now that I’m here, I feel grounded and aligned.

So, back to why are we being called to LA, why should we trust the pull, and what’s next for us fearless souls who have listened to our spirit’s deepest longing.

Here are FOUR reasons that may help it all make it crystal clear.

1. We are being called to return to our Aphrodite – our pure, liberated Feminine.

New York City is literally on a grid – when you see the city from the air, the avenues and streets are angular and the buildings are close together. It’s tough to see the wide open sky unless you’re at the top of a skyscraper or in the middle of Central Park. We pound our feet on concrete and have little connection to the bare, soft, fertile earth. For most of the year, our feminine form is bundled in layers, and the sun has only a small window to kiss our bare skin.

Living in any city, we’re disconnected from the Earth, Air, Moon and tides – which in turn influence our moon cycles, our creativity, and manifestation capabilities.

When our creative expression is stifled, we become tight, rigid, stressed, and stagnation takes over our physical bodies. Living this way demands we’re dominated by our masculine energy – and it’s hard to keep up. Our adrenals burn out. We grow tired of being Wonder Woman – one of Dana James’ female archetypes – in the city that never sleeps. Rather, our hearts are longing to dance under the moonlight. We know we will rise in our true power when we feel grounded with the earth under our bare feet.

2. We got chewed up and spat out, and now our souls are strong enough to handle the work ahead.

Our souls brought us to cities like New York to do some major work on our karmic path. Our soul contracts had very specific lessons and experiences to learn in order to do the light work we were born in this incarnation to deliver.

New Yorkers have grit. New Yorkers are tough. We had to be, to get through the brutal winters, hurricanes, floods, terrorism, city noise, and commutes. And our souls had to practice becoming strong enough to do the major work that we are about to do in LA – influencing some of the brightest, most powerful, creative, receptive people in the world to step up to change the future of our planet.

So what is this work? Our world is suffering from the bankruptcy of love – we are living in a time of immense poverty, suffering, terrorism, abuse, and fear. It is our work to bring light to this planet through our creative leadership. We must be strong and clear in our own bodies otherwise, this difficult work can leave us feeling hopeless and depleted.

But first, we need some time to play. To retreat. To rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Once we have brought ourselves back into balance, we will have the clarity and vitality to do some major work as the next generation of visionaries on this planet.

3. We’re feeling the pull of the 33rd parallel (Allow me to explain…)

In heeding the call to LA, lightworkers are being called to congregate around the 33rd parallel – an energy vortex which happens to run through Venice Beach. You may know that in numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry, and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” And the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra, and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.

Furthermore, the latitude of the 33rd degree is shared with the ancient city of Babylon and by modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, in Syria, is also on this line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” in the Atlantic Ocean.

So, clearly, there is something very powerful about the energy vortex around the 33rd parallel! And in essence, the quality of the 33rd parallel is that it shifts our energy more effectively and quickly. But looking at the history, it’s also clear that this has been utilized by some pretty dark forces – and now the lightworkers are moving to readdress the balance.

4. Our soul family is waiting for us.

To do the work we were born to, we need the support of our tribe. I’ve found there’s nothing more influential than a community of brilliant, grounded, strong, connected souls – our “soul clusters” as my dear friend Aimee Follette, chef and founder of Sun in Bloom, so perfectly calls it.

You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but something inside you remembers them, as if you’ve known each other before? That feeling is real. Our souls have contracts with other souls – and we have these soul contracts with all the people we walk with, our parents, friends, business partners, lovers, and children.

The soul contracts of my New York life, including a controlling six-year relationship, showed me the work I needed to do: to heal deep-rooted karmic patterns of insecurity, self-doubt, and the inability to speak my truth. Many of us in New York experienced a similar struggle, freeing ourselves from lineages of insecurity, scarcity mindset, and fear of abandonment.

And having learned the lessons of city life, a tribe of stronger, fierce, liberated souls are reuniting together in Los Angeles.

Not feeling the call to move? That’s okay!

As explained by my teacher Harmonjot Kaur at Ra Ma Institute in Venice, it is important to understand that YOUR soul family will be found wherever you open your soul. “We are moving into a time where we stop looking outside for answers. Moving to LA to find one’s soul family simply because one identifies as a “lightworker” is a recipe for heartbreak I feel. Because wherever one is, that is where the soul family will show itself. And when we make expensive moves looking to satisfy from the outside what can only be satisfied from the inside, we really set ourselves up for great disappointment.”

There’s also a critical need for lightworkers to remain in New York City – since NYC is on an energetic grid that’s very powerful, meaning there’s an opportunity to amplify light work in the city.

And the truth is, we’re all designed to be more energized by different locations, explains Light Maker Cassandra Bodzak. “There are people whose energy field is actually more primed for NYC than LA, or vice versa, or for a different location such as Austin, Miami, or Boulder. You can even get a special astrology chart reading to determine which places on the earth will optimize your energy or deplete you.”

Another disclaimer from Harmonjot: The move to LA alone does not equal automatic self-discovery! “I’m reticent about encouraging people to move to Los Angeles because it’s touted as some kind of promised land. But many people have the illusion that their problems will be solved by coming out here. They likely won’t. Deep spiritual practice is what allows one to find the next step and the next place.”

So, my dears, wherever you feel the call, trust it. Trust your soul. Your soul family. Just as your future self is trusting YOU to heed the call. When you are living in alignment with your soul, you’ll feel home wherever you are. You’ll be in harmony with your body, and from this space of feeling healthy and in the flow, you will be your most creative self, and able to fully show up to do the work you were born to do.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: CRAFTS TO CONNECT TO YOUR INNER CHILD

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns with some crafting inspiration to connect to your inner child this Pisces season. PLUS: a bonus video featuring a love potion!

 

It’s Spring! Well, almost. And I don’t know about you, but with the current swell of deep Pisces feelings I’m ready for creative play – and all I want to do is craft.

Over the last year, I have crafted more than since I was a scrap-booking sixteen-year-old. Teaching at Fairy School (an after school program for connecting children to their magic), I found myself making magic wands, fairy houses, bird-feeders, magic necklaces, and it was wondrous. Even cuter was how many of the parents exhibited a desire to craft too. “I want to go to Fairy School!” they’d say.

This is a perfect illustration of how crafting helps you connect to your inner child; to a sense of play and wonder. Crafting slows us down, asking us to consider just how sparkly that bead is, just how cuddlesome this fabric feels. It’s a meditative mindful practice that’s also easy and fun. Crafting invites us to re-enter our childhood mindset and to view each moment through innocent eyes.

This summer, Numinous founder Ruby Warrington and I created the Temple of Venus, a space that created room to explore the feminine. An essential component of this space was craft. We held flower crown and silk dying workshops that were full of giggles, music, sharing, and sisterhood. These events filled up, and I saw the women who attended leave with a sense of vigor and playfulness.

Healer Camilla Blossom Bishop pointed out to me that when we do craft projects, we nurture a deep feminine part of ourselves – our womb space, which is the seat of creativity in the body. Venus loves this approach to connecting to the unadulterated feminine essence, but it’s wonderful for men too, because we all hold feminine and masculine polarities inside of us. Even better, crafting is also a great way to get to know others, because you bond on a deep and innate level.

With that said, here are some easy-peasy, aesthetically pleasing, joyful and invigorating craft projects for you to try at home!

:: MAGIC WANDS ::

You will need:

  • Sticks (small pieces of driftwood are nice)
  • Glitter
  • Wood glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Thick paper such as cardstock

The magic wand is a Fairy School staple. This technique was invented by Maha Rose founder and Fairy School Teacher Lisa Levine and these wands will have you connected to your inner elemental in no time (the photo below is of the beautiful wands she makes).

Put the wood glue in an easy-access container like a glass jar (this way you can save and reuse it easily). Brush glue onto your stick in a stripe around the wood, starting at one end of the stick. Fold your cardstock in half and hold it underneath the stick you as a glitter catcher. Pick a color of glitter and sprinkle the glitter on the glued portion. Pick up your folded paper, gathering up the glitter that has fallen onto it, and siphon it back into the container. This saves a lot of glitter and keeps the colors from mixing. Repeat with another stripe. Repeat. Repeat. If you’d rather go off the grid and not do stripes, you certainly may. You can get extra creative and add strands of beads, feathers, flower petals, or anything else you fancy to your wand.

Note: stray glitter often abounds, so it’s a nice idea to do this craft on a tablecloth or newspaper and to follow up with a vacuum.

:: VISION BOARD ::

You will need:

  • Stack of magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Poster board

Vision boarding is the ultimate girl time activity and a powerful manifestation exercise that gets you in touch with your desires – especially following a New Moon! But whenever I do it, I’m surprised by what my board reveals to me, and I exclaim (inwardly or outwardly): “Oh wow, that’s what I’m desiring right now.” For the vision board is a visual representation of your dreams — the things you want to achieve, obtain, and experience. It’s great to do this with a group of pals and let the love flow.

Start by flipping through the magazines and pulling images you feel drawn to. Then cut these into pleasing shapes and glue them down to your poster board. As I learned from Sara Goff who runs a group called Vision Board Soiree, there are two ways to do this:

1. Pull intuitively whatever images make you feel really good.
2. Know what you want on your board and look for those images.

Most people will find themselves tending toward 1 or 2 (1 Is more Ying, 2 Is more Yang). Make a conscious effort to mix up these two techniques and see what happens. You can also announce to your friends what you’re looking for – “I want a yacht!” – and have them help find it (this asks you to speak your desires aloud). You can also suggest an image to someone if you feel like it’s for them. This way, everyone interacts with each other’s boards.

If you get an image that’s almost right but you’re not sure, dump it. You gotta LOVE it like those perfect jeans. When your boards are completed, share them with one another, discussing your experiences and discoveries. I once did this with a bunch of art students and it was like a mini art history critique, but the most positive, supportive crit in history!

A Vision Board Elyssa made last year

:: MERMAID RATTLE ::

You will need:

  • Small glass container with lid
  • Little bells
  • Yarn
  • Beads, shells, crystals, glitter, and any other things that you find pretty

Nature spirits (mermaids, unicorns, angels, fairies, dragons, gnomes) love when we sing to them, and this rattle will give your song an extra dose of magic. I just made one of these babies last week in a water healing gathering held by Camilla Blossom Bishop. Ours were mermaid themed, but you can use them for any element or elemental.

You can get creative with your container. Light blue and clear are nice, but even a salt shaker will do. Open the container you chose. Put beautiful tiny objects like beads, shells, crystals, glitter, feathers, and any other pretty things inside, but leave some space for them to move around. Shake as you go to assess the sound it creates, and adjust to your liking. Now close the lid tight. Tie a piece of yarn around the shaker at lid level and tie bells onto the ends. Send a loving intention to connect with nature spirits into your shaker. Behold, you are ready to rattle and roll!

:: MORE CRAFTY RESOURCES ::

If you’re looking to make a professional Flower Crown, check out my girl Rawan Rihani, founder of Aurora Botanica. She led a workshop at the Temple of Venus, teaching us that nothing feels more luxurious than a bed of fresh flowers in your hair—and it smells so good too! Okay I’m gushing.

Cara Marie Piazza is a genius of silk and dye-ing materials, and her workshop at the Temple of Venus knocked our socks off too. Silk and flowers together spell sensual feminine paradise and Cara’s joy for the art is infectious. Plus, the things she creates and teaches us to make are unspeakably beautiful.

And for something even more delicious, Alexandra Roxo and I give you two very simple recipes for love with this Valentines Video: featuring a love potion and raw chocolates.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on a Meditation for Manifesting True Love.

AN EMPATH’S FASHION WEEK SURVIVAL GUIDE

Attending the international catwalk shows left former Garage Magazine fashion editor Chloe Kerman feeling utterly depleted. Here’s how she learned why – after leaving the industry behind… PLUS: Chloe shares her Fashion Week survival guide.

Chloe in her fashion editor days

I was a Fashion Editor for 10 years. I had a great job at Garage Magazine, produced beautiful shoots, working with incredible photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Ellen Von Unwerth, and many others. On paper, it was my dream job, but honestly during that time I was so unhappy. I felt like a hamster caught in a spinning wheel, running over the same old ground over and over again. I was very low, I had no passion, no drive, and felt like I was wasting my life.

Of course, my job also meant I attended the international catwalk events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and I saw almost all the shows. A dream come true for anybody who claims to love fashion. However, before the shows I would go into meltdown. I felt immense pressure to buy new clothes while the insecurities I felt about my body would be heightened at this time. My mood would be all over the place and I would dread the weeks ahead. By the end of the month, I was so emotional I would cry most days, which I put down to being over tired, suffering from stress and anxiety, and burning the candle at both ends!

Searching for some relief and some answers, I was still working for Garage Magazine at when I began studying Shamanism in October 2013. But on the last day of my course, Alberto Villoldo, my teacher and founder of The Four Winds Society, told me: “Don’t be surprised if your life changes when you go home.”

His prediction came true. Just hours after arriving home, my boyfriend at the time ended our three-year relationship – and the following day I was fired from my Fashion Editor job! In the space of two days, I’d been completely stripped of my identity. But all of a sudden, I was given the opportunity and freedom to change my life.

It was definitely a very challenging and emotional time, however now I see these events as huge gifts, as I took the opportunity to leave London and begin a magical journey of deep transformation, growth, healing, and study.

I have spent the past two years traveling and studying in the East and West Coast of America, Peru, Chile, Thailand, and India. I have studied Shamanism and Crystalline Consciousness, I’m initiated in herbalism, I studied at the Oneness University, and I’m currently working with the Divine Feminine empowerment movement, creating workshops and offering private sessions.

Chloe’s new life

I live a very different life from my fashion industry days, which has enabled me to see how every experience is an opportunity to grow, leading me to approach life as a constant adventure. I have learned to understand exactly how I co-create my reality, which means whatever happens for me I take responsibility for manifesting it. And how exciting and empowering it feels to choose to take full ownership of my feelings and my daily experience.

When I started my shamanic training I also discovered that I am an “empath” – meaning someone who easily picks up on other people’s emotions, and who taps into the collective consciousness around them. That’s when the penny dropped as to why I had such a hard time during the shows – not only had I been dealing with my own feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and stress, but I was experiencing the strain of taking on a lot of other emotions that were swirling around me.

Being an empath is a beautiful gift – when you’re able to identify as one. However, until then life can seem very overwhelming, simply because we’re so sensitive. And when I worked in the industry, I knew nothing about how to prepare myself energetically for the shows. One very simple tool I’ve since learned, and which you can use anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, is to ask yourself: are these feelings mine? If you get a no, they will automatically defuse.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of my top tips for staying centered, aligned, and starting my day in the most loving way possible for myself and those around me.

1. As soon as you wake up, invite all the things you are grateful for to come into your mind. Let this be spontaneous: I’m grateful for this comfortable bed, that I had a deep sleep, etc. When you start the day like this your frequency automatically bumps up in vibration.

2. Follow this with some kind of practice to connect to yourself. This can be meditation, yoga, a walk in nature, conscious breathing, focusing on your heart, etc. Even 10 minutes of this can really change the flow and mood of your day as it will connect you to your own center.

3. Choose to make every decision in love, with honor and respect for yourself and the people around you.

4. Dab a couple of drops of organic Bulgarian rose oil on each of your seven chakras – starting at the root, and moving up through the sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown. Bulgarian rose oil holds a very high vibration that maintains the integrity of the energy centers.

5. Wear a clear quartz crystal at your heart or solar plexus.

6. Do a chakra clearing daily, either morning or evening or both if you have time. I love Chakra Dyana.

7. Eat the most nourishing food you have access too – proteins and good fats are great for energy levels, and root veg for grounding. Avoid the foods and drinks that you know yo-yo your emotions i.e. caffeine and sugar (a hard one when you’re racing between shows!)

8. Movement. Anytime you feel stuck or low in energy its time to move, either physically or choosing a different thought pattern. This circulates energy and keeps us in flow and open to new opportunities.

9. Create an act of kindness for someone else daily, plugging into the energy of unconditional giving.

10. Book in with an energy healer after the shows to rebalance, nurture and refuel your system.

And, remember that anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can use this as an opportunity to practice coming back to your center – which means simply taking a moment to focus on your heart and on your breath, practicing compassion for yourself and the experience that you are having, and inviting gratitude into your awareness again.

I say practice because staying present is a choice we have to make consciously throughout the day, with all the adventures that come our way. With this said, I invite you also to consciously decide to ENGAGE and ENJOY the fashion week craziness!

To find out more about Chloe’s work and book a session contact: [email protected]

UNCONDITIONAL SELF-LOVE: A SACRED ROSE QUARTZ RITUAL

Learn how to use a Rose Quartz ritual as a tool for self-love and beautification. By Laurey Simmons of The Colourful Dot.

What is it about children and their innate attraction to sparkly and beautiful things? I remember so clearly walking along the beach as a child, looking for the prettiest pebbles, just feeling so full of LOVE, even at this young age, for the beauty of Mother Earth and her magical powers.

This kind of instinctual love can become more difficult to access as we get older and our hearts carry more scars. And with Valentine’s Day approaching, this is a sacred moment for us to remember our innate sense of LOVE ENERGY – which Mother Earth can effortlessly remind us of, if we are open to receive.

Crystals are my direct path back to that instinctive childlike enchantment, and as a make-up artist and spiritual adventurer I have found magical ways of using them to help my clients embody inner and outer beauty. After all, nurturing our innate beauty is not an exercise in vanity, but actually a practice in bringing us closer to the divine.

For me, unconditional self-love is an essential ingredient of inner beauty. And one of my favourite tools to activate this aspect of our self is a Rose Quartz ritual. This gemstone works with the energies of the heart, gently nurturing compassion for self and other.

So how can you use a Rose Quartz ritual to awaken your inner goddess? A simple but very nurturing ritual I love weaves Rose Quartz into a bathing experience. Here’s how:

  • I always begin with spiritual cleansing of myself, my space and my crystals. I love to use the smoke of burning Palo Santo, a ‘holy wood’ from South America that was used in ancient ritual and ceremony to ward off bad energy.  It’s really important to make sure you open a window while cleansing, so that any energy you are wanting to be rid of can leave. Trailing the burning wood around myself and the Rose Quartz, I watch as the smoke travels and fades mystically, as if in a sacred dance. I instantly feel lighter. As I breathe in this rich, heavenly scent, I visualize the smoke spirits soaking up any negative energies, and kindly transporting these energies away.
  • Placing some flowers or a plant at the end of the bath will also allow you to drop deeply into the present moment. I often just gaze at the flowers, absorbed intimately with Mother Earth and all her natural beauty. I have this beautiful quote about flowers as a reminder:

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.” – Georgia O’Keeffe.

  • To elevate your sense of smell, have a relaxing oil burning. I like to use Rose and Geranium oil with this specific ritual. As the aroma fills the air, I enter deeper into a meditative state, visualizing the molecules of scent travelling up through my nose, down my chest and into my heart centre. Here the scent is absorbed by a delicate pink rose, slowly opening its petals to reveal a white healing light.
  • With this image firmly rooted in my heart, I mindfully place the Rose Quartz pieces around the bath. I will usually have a blessing which I will speak when placing each stone. A great blessing for this ritual is: ‘“May I be bathed in the light of unconditional love.” I will also add some Rose Quartz tumble stones (small polished stones) to the water, so that when bathing, I’m fully immersed in the absolute and unconditional love of Mother Earth. Once in the bath, I then imagine the crystals surrounding me linking with each other in a loving, active embrace.
  • When your bathing ritual is over, it is important to ground yourself. I like to visualize tree-like roots anchoring me down to the core of Mother Earth as I dry myself.

Beyond bathing, I also recommend adding some magic to your morning beauty routine. Did you know you can use a Rose Quartz massage stone to apply moisturizer? In ancient times, Egyptian women added powdered Rose Quartz to their beauty potions to prevent wrinkles and to restore a glowing complexion. So, with gratitude and respect for the ancient beauty wisdom of our sister goddesses, I will apply the cream with my stone and visualize my face glowing with a white nourishing light, restoring my inner and outer beauty. An extra little tip to give you Rose Quartz energy on-the-go is to add one or two small Rose Quartz tumble stones into the cream itself, making sure you have cleansed and blessed the stones beforehand.

I hope this Rose Quartz ritual brings you the space to relight the flame of self-love and inner beauty. Here is one of my favorite passages on inner beauty to send you on your way:

“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

– Kahlil Gibran, excerpted from The Prophet (A Borzoi Book)