ALTERNATIVE HEALING AS “CURA” FOR ADDICTION & TRAUMA

Can meditation and visionary medicine break cycles of addiction, trauma, and poverty? Elyssa Jakim sits down with the makers of new documentary Cura to talk alternative healing as a tool for empowerment …

Yolanda commemorating her son’s death at a ceremony led by Ananda Ray

“When you find this disciplined practice, you discover that you can support yourself—you can be a sovereign being. That’s the big takeaway from medicine work or any of these other modalities: they help you find a way to stand up for yourself and to know when to ask for help”—Yolanda Frausto 

Cura is a feature length documentary in progress that tells the story of Yolanda and Donny, a Mexican-American mother and son breaking cycles of addiction, trauma, and poverty using community, meditation, and visionary and alternative medicine. When Yolanda loses her younger son while in police custody, she strives to save her other son, Donny, from addiction and the possibility of suicide.

As the film preps for debut (the Kickstarter is live through December 17th), Elyssa Jakim sat down with producer Ismail Ali, who’s also the Policy and Advocacy Counsel at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Yolanda Frausto, the film’s subject, to talk film as medicine, the war on drugs and, ultimately, the healing power of community.

**Watch the trailer HERE. 

>>>

ELYSSA JAKIM: You call Cura an “An evocative soul portrait of a mother and her son healing generations of family trauma with natural and alternative medicine.” What is a soul portrait?

ISMAIL ALI: With this film, we want to show people that there are methods to healing that are beyond the body; that require a relationship between the body and the mind, and even the spirit. As a form of soul portraiture, the film is a snapshot of the lives of Yolanda and Donny. So, it’s about their lives in a mundane way, but it is also about them as spiritual beings—a portrait of their spirits. We’re saying this is a look at who they are at their core, framed by them living in Oakland and coming from poverty.

>>>

EJ: How did the title “Cura” come about? It seems like a word with multiple meanings. What does it mean to you?

YOLANDA FRAUSTO: To me “cura” means “here’s how we heal together. Here’s how you can find healing in yourself through my story.” There’s no one cure. It’s like the grief process—it’s a fact of life that we all go through it, but nobody can tell you exactly how it’s going to happen, you have to figure it out. I come from a background where it’s common for somebody to get stabbed or shot, overdose, or commit suicide and we don’t talk about it. So to be able to talk about grief is where the name “cura” helps. It means “let’s heal from what’s too hard to deal with and let’s do it together.” It plants the seed for healing.

elyssa jakim ruby warrington the numinous cura material girl mystical world yolanda frausto donny frausto ismail ali ethan goldwater hover pictures
Yolanda and her son Donny

>>>

EJ: How did you discover natural medicine, Yolanda?

YF: I got sober from drugs in 2005. I needed to change my life because I was headed in a really bad direction and I just stopped using. Three years later, I was working in a hotel in San Francisco and I learned about yoga from a woman doing a teacher training there. I started practicing, eventually up to six days a week. Then I got really serious about meditation. About a year later, I found plant medicine and I was like “Oh, this is my jam!” I felt that my whole life happened the way that it did so that I could find this as a spiritual practice. All of these things fell into my path, I didn’t seek any of it out, but inside of me I knew I was ready. 

>>>

EJ: How has plant medicine helped you work through a trauma?

YF: It allowed me to have that one-on-one communing time with spirit that people can also find in prayer or in a deep meditation practice. I found the medicine around the time my mom became sick with ALS, and when I lost my son, I was already in the medicine community. Both times that I lost family members, I found that I had this community of people praying for me, showing up for me, bringing me food. I’d never had that kind of support before and they really taught me what it is to be supported. Also when you find this disciplined practice, you discover that you can support yourself—you can be a sovereign being. That’s the big takeaway from medicine work or any of these other modalities: they help you find a way to stand up for yourself and to know when to ask for help.

>>>

EJ: Do you believe that you have this kind of medicine work or curandera work in your ancestry?

YF: I hear the land where my great grandparents come from is peyote lands. So somehow I have a funny feeling that my great grandmother has been guiding me throughout my life and brought me home to the traditions by showing me a pathI believe strongly in the spirit world and how they lead us back to what’s home for us. When I was a kid, my grandma would cure us with folk remedies. And now I’m that person. I know the recipes and natural remedies, I know what to do. I feel like it was something that was instilled in me, but that no one taught me. I’m always saying “There’s a tea for that!” My sons would say “Oh, you’re just a witch.”

elyssa jakim ruby warrington the numinous cura material girl mystical world yolanda frausto donny frausto ismail ali ethan goldwater hover pictures
Yolanda

>>>

EJ: As plant medicine gets more popular, what kind of responsibility do people need to be taking when they take the medicine or administer it? Is it something you believe can find a place in a more Western medical mindset?

IA: Donny and Yolanda have experienced a tremendous amount of trauma as a result of simply being Mexican-American people who grew up in a place with huge amounts of drugs and violence, and which was not set up for them to have access to power or influence. I believe the strong pushes to decriminalize or medicalize or otherwise create access to pant medicines are in many ways responses to that harm.

So how can you leverage this harmful system to bring about some sort of benefit to the people who have suffered this exact kind of trauma? We need to take an honest look at what will be necessary to make this possible, and I think that during the next five or ten years we’re going to really crystallize what those systems look like.

>>>

EJ: Does the film speak to the phenomenon of wellness practices and techniques being inaccessible to people who aren’t of a particular ethnicity, or of a particular socioeconomic background?

IA: That’s actually why I started working on the film. These beautiful practices often require you to have resources—at the very least to be able to afford to take time off to care for your own mind. So many people are limited in this way. So accessibility is real, colonialism is real, and being aware of all these concepts and then shifting our behavior in line with addressing them is really important. The film is really about two people who are deciding to do some really serious work to break the cycles of their lineage, despite the fact that they don’t have the time and resources.

>>>

EJ: Did you find the process of filmmaking itself to be a kind of healing?

YF: I was able to process grief in a way that I did not know was possible. I reenacted the scene when I was driving and got the phone call from the coroner about my son. After we shot it, I cried for about an hour and then felt so much relief. I only got to process my grief in that visceral way because I was part of this film-making process. How else could you act out something in your life? Whenever things become challenging to film, I know it is creating space for me and my family to process. It’s hard to have these conversations but we’ve also found a way to communicate differently while filming.

>>>

EJ: What would you most like to see for the film?

IA: We hope people will be inspired to involve their own communities in it. We want people to watch this and to talk to the people in their lives about what all of these themes mean to them. We really think that yes, all of these healing modalities themselves are great, but part of the reason that Yolanda and Donny are where they are now is because of the community in their lives.

YF: I believe it will speak to specific people, who find something in it to help them. Maybe it just means they’ll find a way to say, “I can talk to my family, this isn’t so hard.” Quite a few friends have told me, “for you to come out and tell your story really gives me hope, trust, and faith in a future for myself and my family.” The goal was for my story to help other people heal.

>>>

Cura is a project of Hover Pictures, directed by Ethan Goldwater. Please support the film by visiting the Kickstarter page, and sharing the link. Be on the lookout for information about future events during the campaign in Los Angeles (December 13), and New York City (December 15), and make sure to follow the film on Facebook and Instagram. 

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…

Elyssa Jakim interview with the Goddess Venus The Numinous
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!

boticelli Goddess Venus Elyssa Jakim Temple of Venus The Numinous

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. 

Interview with the Goddess Venus by Elyssa Jakim The Numinous
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.

NUMINOUS x SLC LONDON: HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS AT TOPSHOP

Join The Numinous and She’s Lost Control for some spooky Halloween Happenings at Topshop in NY and LA…

halloween happenings at topshop the numinous

Let’s get spooked! We’ve teamed up with She’s Lost Control to curate a program of mystical Halloween Happenings at Topshop in NYC and Los Angeles over the weekend of October 29 and 30 2016.

Numinous Founder Ruby Warrington has curated a program featuring some of our favorite modern mystics. So stop by for a Halloween-themed workshop or oracle reading, and to say hi to our Numinous reps on site.

Here’s the line-up…

TOPSHOP NYC, 478 Broadway, New York, NY 10013.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29

  • Spooky Flower Crowns with Stems Brooklyn
    Join the floral goddesses of Stems Brooklyn to create your very own custom floral crown for Halloween. Flower Crowns aren’t just for your summer music festival, let’s make them spooky! Our team will show you the ropes with tutorial on how to DIY your own crown. All supplies, florals and accessories included. Come with an open mind and spooky inspirations! Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Stems Brooklyn on Instagram.

  • Oracle Readings with Rebecca Conran
    Oracle cards are an ancient and reliable way to receive spiritual guidance and to gather detailed insight into your innermost questions. Through psychic intuition Rebecca helps you to understand where you are currently in your life, where you are going, and what you can do to support yourself holistically. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Rebecca Conran on Instagram.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30

  • Potion Making with Elyssa Jakim
    Join the ethereal Elyssa Jakim for an autumnal afternoon of witchery that will teach you not only how to make delicate elixirs of crystal and flower essence but how to tap into your power as an alchemist. Each session will include a group meditation and will center on its own theme and energetic master. You will leave with your very own potion for bathing, imbibing, and body anointing.

Potion Menu
1. St. Germain’s Alchemical Elixir: Prosperity, luck, and good cheer
2. Venus’s Potion for inner beauty: Pearls, mermaids, lilies, pine

Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Elyssa Jakim on Instagram.

  • Soul Tarot Readings with Lindsay Mack
    Lindsay Mack is an intuitive healer, holistic counselor, tarot reader and teacher; she is also the founder of Wild Soul Healing, based in Brooklyn, NY. She offers and facilitates Soul Tarot Readings™, which are gentle and grounded intuitive channeling experiences with the Tarot for transformation and evolution. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Lindsay Mack on Instagram.

***

TOPSHOP LOS ANGELES, The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29

  • Spooky Flower Crowns with Thistle & Seed
    Amp up your Halloween costume by creating your own gorgeous flower crown in this witchy workshop. Adorn yourself in fresh florals for the dark Hallows night. All supplies, florals and accessories included. Come with an open mind and spooky inspirations! Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Thistle & Seed on Instagram.

  • Tarot Readings with Natalia Benson
    Natalia Benson is a modern mystic, esoteric enthusiast and the resident Astrologer for WhoWhatWear.com. Natalia takes an empowering and holistic approach when reading the cards, recognizing Tarot as a mirror of your current state and a means to empower and enrich your life. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Natalia Benson on Instagram.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30

  • The Love Spell Potionarium with Eyewalker Elements
    Activating your sensory experience with the ancient technology of plant based wisdom and essential oils, you will have the opportunity to create your own custom love potion. Taylor Eyewalker will guide you through a process of self inquiry, brief but deep meditative practices and breath to develop your own personal intention behind your custom perfume. In this workshop you will be given the tools to create and leave with something activated, potent and personal to continue creating the life of your dreams. Workshops are subject to availability and first come first served at 12pm 2pm 4pm and 6pm

Discover Taylor Eyewalker on Instagram.

  • Halloween Horoscopes with Danielle Paige
    As the veils thin for Halloween, things can get pretty scary…but it’s definitely NOT scary to understand more about your soul contract and your birth chart. In these mini readings astrologer Danielle Paige will dive deep into one key aspect of your chart to help you navigate Scorpio season as your most powerfully magnetic self. Readings are first come first served and subject to availability. Allow for 15-20 minutes.

Discover Danielle Paige on Instagram.

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?”

Elyssa Jakim be less hard on myself on The Numinous
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.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: EARTH MAGICK WITH MY MOON SISTERS

Earth magic, moon magick, astro magick and the magick of sisterhood…so so so so much magick to report this week!

With my retreat co-creators, Elyssa Jakim and Alexandra Roxo Maha Rose North on The Numinous
With my retreat co-creators, Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim

:: MONDAY ::
Still high / nursing a slight vulnerability hang-over following our Re-Write Your Love Story retreat upstate with Maha Rose North. If you saw my IG post Monday morning you’ll have got an idea of just how transformative the experience was for all involved. And I’m not gonna share too many details here (what happens on retreat stays on retreat, y’all!), EXCEPT to tell you about the moment we made actual freaking Earth magick.

Cut to Saturday night, and we’re ready to purge some of our old love stories around a crackling bonfire out in the forest, and we gather beneath the trees to a rumble of thunder and distant flash of lightening in the rapidly darkening sky. One by one, we begin to throw our old stories, our out-dated patterns, and our most deep-seated fears into the fire. Once we’ve all gone, we hold hands and a peaceful silence descends on our circle. The fire gently smolders, and another clap of thunder tells us the storm is getting closer.

Then, a lone voice opens the releasing up again, sparking a new wave of purging into the fire—purging of societal shit, of global shit, of deep, deep, deep ancestral shit. And as our words becomes more raw, more vulnerable, and more elemental, the first drops of rain begin to fall. Soft at first, and steadily building until the trees above can no longer shelter us. “I release not feeling lovable enough to be a powerful woman in the world.” “I release…the Rules.” “I release all hatred towards my body.”

It’s the last one that sets it off, and the heavens open, sending a deluge of water cascading down on us, washing the ashes of our words back into the Earth. I can’t contain a whoop of joyous laughter, and I look up to the sky, shouting: “THANK YOU FOR HEARING US!” Goddess responds with another huge smack of thunder, and we all lose it—laughing and sobbing and whooping, before finally running for shelter, fully electrified by the experience of what felt like communing live and direct with Mama Earth!

Like I said, real deal Earth magick in action. And, I now believe with every cell in my being, available to each and every one of us when we show up and give it up as our purest, most vulnerable, unadulterated animal selves.

ruby warrington alexandra roxo elyssa jakim maha rose north the numinous retreat
The posing before the storm…

:: TUESDAY ::
Speaking of feeling connected to the Cosmos, today’s Capricorn Full Moon (marking a culmination point in finance and career for me—due to my Sagittarius Rising and Aries Sun signs) saw me banking the second and final payment for the advance on my book. This, after last month’s Sagittarius Full Moon (lighting my houses of self-image and publishing) was the day I submitted the edited draft of my manuscript/memoir. Confirming my belief that the more closely you align yourself with your soul path as written in your stars (i.e. your birth chart), the more closely the stars align themselves with YOU.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Did I mention that my retreat sisters (Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim) and I were also all bleeding together over our weekend upstate? “We’re in the Red Tent,” Elyssa nodded wisely Sunday morning—the night after our bonfire. And today when I met with Alexandra Derby, who facilitated the actual Red Tent ceremony I attended last summer, and who’s Cosmic Cycle tincture system I am crediting with finally (like, for the first time in my life) regulating my menstrual flow, we were wearing almost identical red dresses AND she was on her moon time too! Seems like the Numi tribe is synching up. OBVIOUSLY.

:: THURSDAY ::
A trip to Connecticut to experience forest bathing—a.k.a. a guided meditative walk through the woods, a.k.a. the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku. New to the spa menu at the fancy Mayflower Grace hotel, research in Japan has shown that regular walks among deciduous trees shows increased scores for vigor, attentiveness, relaxation, friendliness, self confidence and clearing one’s mind—as well as decreased the scores for hostility, boredom, depression, anger, fatigue and confusion.

Oh, and it fights cancer and stuff too. The major reason for these findings is the presence of phytoncides in deciduous forests—particles produced to help plants & trees protect themselves from harmful insects and germs, which also decrease stress hormone levels and improve immunity. The forest “bath”? A slow, meandering stroll among our friends the trees, taking extra time to stop and smell the…phytoncides. Bliss. Book at www.gracehotels.com/mayflower

:: FRIDAY ::
OMG and there’s yet more Earth magic to come, as today I’m getting excited for OBONJAN! Read all about it here, but Obonjan is a summer-long music and wellbeing festival taking over a private island in Croatia, where I’ll be giving a talk on how to Get High On Your Own Supply next Saturday. They’ve also invite some of my favorite Numi friends + fam to be part of the experience, and so I’m also looking forward to some hang time with Alexandra Roxo (again, yay!), the New Age Hipster, Jayne Goldheart, Morgan Yakus and Shauna Cummins, and the guys from She’s Lost Control. Come join us! I’m only staying a week, but the island is open from July 28—September 6. You can find all the booking details here.

obonjan island trees logo on The Numinous

TEMPLE OF VENUS: DRESSING FOR YOUR BIRTH CHART

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim shares how to magnetize your star quality by dressing for your birth chart…

Elyssa Jakim dressing for your birth chart on The Numinous
Dressing in red for my Aries Sun sign

Personal style—that Venus-ruled, ever-elusive, je ne sais quoi that some people seem to exude and others find totally elusive. Is this something we’re born with? Can it be cultivated?

I have always been a clotheshorse and a believer in the power of dress to transform and heal us. But when I graduated college, I suddenly felt shy with my fashion choices, and didn’t completely trust myself to choose what worked and what didn’t. My embarrassment and confusion around this reflected a general insecurity that I was feeling, a very poignant and painful: “what the f*ck am I doing with my life?” kind of insecurity.

I began to find my stride in life and fashion as I turned toward healing as a path. Fast forward to a one-on-one shamanic healing training, during which my teacher told me: “You need to wear a bra sometimes.” Yes, really!

She also pointed out that I seemed to be hiding myself under too-loose pieces. I realized that her focus on dress was her way of encouraging me to feel my femininity, my sexuality, my radiance, my strength, and my beauty. And this is what Venus teaches us—that our clothing helps us cultivate our grace and sense of higher/inner self.

Meanwhile, I came across Kimberly Peta Dewhirst of Star Sign Style, an astrologer who helps people navigate the fashion and aesthetics of the zodiac, after she wrote a Numinous article about dressing for your Venus sign. And since Venus is my homegirl, I soon became obsessed and had to know more.

So Kimberly and I sat down for a reading and an in-depth discussion on the astrological tenets of style. She taught me that we are absolutely born with a style and that yes, it really IS personal. “The symbols of the zodiac are archetypes that translate further through color, accessories, image, patterns and attitude. Fashion is a metaphor for who we are, and astrology—the circle of the birth chart—is who we are,” she says.

As such, your chart, an imprint of the moment you were born, contains valuable clues about how to dress completely as yourself—and rather than blindly follow trends, to use fashion to enhance the traits that make us naturally irresistible, and completely comfortable in our skin.

During a reading Kimberly uses the birth chart as a starting point to identify key style signifiers, going on to create a style prescription based on the aspects at play—providing a mood board with images and inspirational celebrities: “That’s a big part of what I do—helping people to relate to their character through the style of the stars,” she says.

For those of us who don’t follow celebrity culture, this may seem irrelevant, but Kimberly insists that: “We all identify with public figures, their struggles, relationship patterns and mode of expression. Beyond the gossip mags, we need to work with these heroes because they tell us who we are—they’re our mirror, in a way.”

My personal style icons, mapped on my chart
My personal style icons, as mapped on my chart

Kimberly has a full style guide for each zodiac sign on her website—and there follows an overview of the key points to consider when dressing, a la Venus, for your chart.

:: RISING SIGN ::
The key is to dress for your rising sign, not your Sun—since the rising sign speaks to the outer personality that you present to the world. This makes it the sign to lean into when making a first impression. My Scorpio rising means I can come across private and secretive, so I do well in styles that shroud me in mystery. Black and deep reds are the colors of this sign, and because Scorpio is the sign of all things unknowable—the occult, taboo sex, other people’s resources, death, and rebirth—it speaks to a dark glamour, suggesting much hidden under the surface.

Elyssa dressing for her Scorpio rising sign
Rocking my Scorpio Rising, as compiled by Kimberly

:: SUN SIGN ::
The sun is the brightest star in the sky, and as such we often really resonate with our Sun sign which can feel like our “superpower” sign. With my Sun in Aries, a Mars-ruled sign, I can experiment with power dressing and also wearing brighter reds. Attention-seeking Aries rules the head, so can I can also wear statement headgear—which I always have! Kimberly suggested that because of how my Sun sits with the rest of my chart, I can lean into this Aries boldness, and rather than overpowering it will be luminous.

:: MOON SIGN ::
It’s really fun to dress for your Moon, since this represents your emotional core—what makes you feel comfortable, and “at home” (in fact this could hint at your preferred behind-closed-doors style). With my Moon in Scorpio too, no wonder I feel so safe and grounded in black. And when I’m at home, I love to wear a barely-there silk or satin dress, which makes me feel sensual, but is more mysterious than no clothes at all.

:: VENUS SIGN ::
Venus represents how we like to spend money, make friends, flirt, and how we dress to impress. She’s also the sign of beauty, so whenever you align with your Venus, you’re going to feel more beautiful. My Venus in Gemini adds a fun curveball to my fashion sense, since Gemini is a light, mischievous imp—a fairy that’s gone into the dress-up box and come out in a mishmash of sequins and stripes! She likes butterflies and magic dust and is attracted to jewels like a magpie. This has me mixing all types of patterns, wearing pink and babydoll dresses, and generally choosing playful and conversation-provoking pieces (Gemini’s a talker).

:: MARS SIGN ::
If Venus is more about flirting than sex, which is the domaine of passionate Mars. Mars rules our personal power place, and our deep, primal urges. So dressing for a night out on the prowl? Get cozy with your Mars sign. You can also totally dress for the gym in your Mars, which is how we assert our energy. My Mars in hard-working Capricorn means I feel sexy in clothes that are chic, understated, tailored, and just so. Think pantsuits, black lace, button down shirts. Ditto when I want to GET IT DONE, I happen to love white button down shirts at work.

Kimberly also pointed out that I kind of look like a lion, hello Leo Midheaven!
Kimberly also pointed out that I kind of look like a lion, hello Leo Midheaven!

:: THE MIDHEAVEN ::
The Midheaven is the impression we give off before people have met us. It’s our reputation and the spirit that precedes us. Oftentimes, our Midheaven is connected to the tenth house of fame and honors. It flavors our career. It’s how we come across on social media, which is a good starting place for personal branding. I have my midheaven in Leo, which means I am a natural thespian (I pursued acting for the first 25 years of my life). Leo is also proud, and can look regal with gold trimmings (especially about their face), baroque touches, crests, and crowns—hair can be styled to reflect this also, and I would definitely call my hair my crowning glory!

:: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER ::
Through investigating all of these aspects of your chart, you can get a clearer sense of how you can dress as your most alluring, confident and authentic self. Even if you’re intimidated by the idea of dressing for some aspects of your chart, you may find that, through dress, it becomes easier to embody that part of yourself. Then you’re living more fully. And from this place of fullness, your style, like the perfect outfit, can come together seamlessly.

Kimberly is available for personal style consultations via starsignstyle.com or email: [email protected].

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on water magic.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: CONNECTIVITY CONSCIOUSNESS AND A CALL TO SHAKTIVISM

Is it enough to “be the change we want to see”? This week’s call to “shaktivism” got me asking…

Numinous virtual full moon ritual elyssa Jakim alexandra Roxo ruby warrington
Photo by Natalie Reyes, Mexico

:: MONDAY ::
SO MUCH LOVE for the 90 beautiful souls who joined from all over the world for our Virtual Full Moon Ritual, with Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim. We cast a circle of love and light, got the lowdown on the current cosmic energies, did a journalling exercise to get into our deepest desires for the next Moon cycle, and sat in a guided meditation to light the fire in our solar plexus. The vibe was ELECTRIC—but above all, in a week where the divisiveness and separation in our world has been brought yet again to light with the UK’s deeply saddening vote to leave the EU (more under “Friday”), it was a small example / reminder of how, beyond politics, we ARE united, and how connectivity consciousness is alive and thriving. Our virtual Full Moon rituals will be happening monthly—watch our Instagram for links to sign up.

:: TUESDAY ::
A delivery from lovely Bri Luna (a.k.a. The Hoodwitch), who collaborated with artist Robin Eisenberg on this rad collection of pins. Um, could they get any more Numinous?! My fave is the palm tree crystal ball, the perfect talisman for, say, manifesting a move to LA?

Crystal Baller enamel pin, $10, The Hoodwitch
Crystal Baller enamel pin, $10, The Hoodwitch

:: WEDNESDAY ::
When I got invited to a Full Moon comedy show, I really had no idea what to expect. But what I GOT was a night of whip-smart laughs from an all female line-up of comics, united by the theme of la luna. Hosted by Sara Armour and Jessica Brodkin, an actual life coach and energy healer, there was also an appearance from brilliant/hilarious astrologer Kristina Belich (who also managed to include some actual real life astro insights!) FUN. And gonna be a regular happening in NYC, so sign up for our newsletter where we’ll post details of the next event.

:: THURSDAY ::
Launch party at comprehensive health clinic The Ash Center for Rebecca Gordon and Stephanie Marango MD’s new book on astrology for wellness, Your Body And The Stars. Surprise / fascinating insight of the night—until only a couple of months ago, Stephanie had been living the wrong chart—i.e. not knowing her real Moon and Rising signs. She claims discovering “the truth” of her chart has given her a whole new perspective on her life path, and obviously we’re planning a tea date to discuss this in more depth. But I was also kinda distracted by the results of the Brexit referendum rolling in, which leads me to…

:: FRIDAY ::
“Shaktivism” is the name of one of my favorite new Instagram accounts, and it’s a term curator Jessica Fish describes as “spiritual practice + activism…the power of the divine feminine to heal, empower + transform individuals + society.” A huge theme for this year, since world events occurring in real time can make it hard not to feel like what’s the freaking point of yet another heart-opening guided meditation, when what’s really needed is campaigning and direct action.

But what does this really look like, in our everyday lives, in the now? What are the actions we as individuals can take TODAY to keep building towards the “consciousness shift” we hear so much about—the shift to a more open, loving and accepting global society? I’m asking because these are questions I am constantly asking of myself lately.

So what do the answers look like in my life? Constantly returning to the idea that a true “shift” has to happen one mind at a time (even if this means many minds awakening to the damage animal agriculture is doing to the planet / humanity after watching Cowspiracy, for example); consistently promoting the concept of self-healing as the way past limiting beliefs that foster feelings of fear, otherness, and even hate; and starting initiatives like Club SÖDA NYC to encourage people to stop using alcohol and other ways of numbing out to hide from the truth—that it is our human responsibility to be the change we want to see.

But I want to do more. Don’t we all? And so I want to hear from you too—what would you have a platform like The Numinous do?

If you didn’t already, check out the below poem by spoken word artist Lisa Luxx, which I commissioned to inspire the light-worker massive after it became evident Trump would win the Republican nomination. In it she states: “If politics show us the apex of hatred, there is equal measure in the depths of love.” In other words, if current events are shining a light on the fact this is, and by the laws of nature always will be, a planet of polarities—then in the name of the cosmic balancing act we all walk in this life, the time to embrace the path of the shaktivist is now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNLoF4e3Kw

TEMPLE OF VENUS: A GUIDE TO WATER MAGIC

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim embraces her inner mermaid with a guide to water magic…

IMAGE 1
Water is perhaps my number one healer and teacher, since I have experienced so much magic with this element. Many moons ago, in deep meditation, I heard clearly: “You are a water witch.” That was my title.

Do you feel at home in water? Do you ever think you must have been a mermaid? Are you thirsty to step into your water witchiness? Are you a water witch too?

Last fall, I journeyed to the Pacific Northwest and found myself in the company of some serious water stewards—more water witches! At the Pacific Women’s Herbal Conference, Lorraine Bayes held a water ceremony and I felt as though I were home. Then in Oregon, I found the magical Camilla Blossom Bishop through word of mouth. When we met, she told me she was teaching a course about how to be a water healer. I was being led back to water again.

With Camilla, I learned how to conduct a water ceremony, and how to fully honor this element. The capstone of this experience was a ritual in which I floated in a chemical free salt pool that held water from around the world. Once again, I felt that I was home. I emerged radiant and resplendent. And now it’s your turn.

Here’s my guide to water magic, whatever element you call your own.

IMAGE 2

:: DRINK LOVE WATER ::

Here’s a message for you, channeled from Venus herself (remember she was born of the water):

Charge your water with love! In 1999, Dr. Masaru Emoto famously taught the world that water molecules hold the vibration of the thought one applies them. If you hold water with the intention of love, water crystals make a beautiful shape. If you hold it with fear or anger, they make jaggedy, almost viscerally painful shapes.

The sum of this is: we drink what we think! So, how can you love up your water?

Here’s what Camilla taught me: put the water in a beautiful vessel. Breathe into your heart and feel its loving sweetness. Imagine the love from your heart moving into the pitcher or cup. Imagine that this water is being fully purified into its highest, most optimal, healthy state. Now, get creative! Sing to your water, listen to beautiful music, add flower essences and crystals. Then drink up the nectar of life. Take joyful sips. This is very subtle, but your water will taste better and it will fill your body, soul, and mind with love. Water is thought to be the first medicine, so let yours heal you.

:: BATHE IT IN ::

When I was a little girl, I used to dunk my head in the bath water, sing, and swish my hair to and fro, believing I was a mermaid. Past life recall perhaps?

Bathing is an ancient practice for health, rejuvenation and beauty. The tranquility and solitude of the bath make it a perfect way to practice self-love and self-care. The bath lets us reset and get to know ourselves very deeply. I like to think of water as feeling—and as such, bathing allows us to pay homage to our emotional state. The water holds us like the womb. It also helps us to know our sensual and sensitive sides.

As far as practical magic goes, bathing is one of the most effective aura cleansers there is. The water we bathe in holds our emotions, thoughts, and physical tension, which are able to release down the drain. If you think you’ve been picking up a lot of other people’s stuff, or just want to clear and reset, put sea salt, Epsom salt, and/or baking soda into your bath and let yourself be cleansed.

You can make your bath time even more powerful by creating a theme for your bath. One example is Mermaid Paradise: Put hibiscus and lily flowers in your bath with sea stones, shells, blue and green candles, and your favorite essential oil. Or how about a Yummy Goddess Heart Bath? Rose petals, rose water, rose quartz, Himalayan sea salts, soft tea-light candles and music.

When you’re ready to drain your bath, see anything and everything that’s not serving you wash away.

:: GET BLESSED ::

One way to practice being a water witch, a water alchemist, and a true mermaid, is by helping to heal the waters of the Earth. The gorgeous thing here is that when you bless water you are being blessed in return. It’s a beautifully symbiotic relationship.

How can you experience this? Visit a body of water, and put your intention of love and healing into the water source. This means you can sing to the water. You can tell it your hopes and dreams. You can put loving words into it like “peace, beauty, love, tranquility, and gratitude.” You can make a wish into the water. You can tell your water source how beautiful she looks. You can bring her flowers or another such gift. It sounds like what we do with the drinking water, right? It’s all one, my darling.

Another way to bless water is to find a water deity you connect to—I love Yemaya, Venus (duh!), and mermaids. Call upon this divine being and ask to connect with her. Breathe all your love into the water with the help of your divine team.

Whatever your method, after you send your love into the water, stand back as something miraculous happens. The water will send love back to you. This might feel like a wave of love or positive energy. Or it might feel like nothing at all. But it will happen. Your subtlest of energies will sense it. And because “water is feeling,” don’t be surprised if you come over quite emotional.

***

In embracing water magic, I salute you on your journey back to your mermaid self. May these suggestions open the door to your own discovery of who you really are. Report back with your tales!

Elyssa will be holding a water ceremony at our Numinous “Re-write Your Love Story” retreat at Maha Rose North. Book with a friend before June 17 and you’ll each qualify for $50 of— email [email protected] to enquire about this early bird discount.

For more information on Elyssa’s offerings (including custom baths!), visit elyssajakim.com.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on body image.

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.

numinous retreat 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 on The Numinous
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)

River in the Catskills at Maha Rose North on The Numinous
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
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.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: BEAUTY IMAGE BEAUTIFUL

In her latest Temple of Venus column, Elyssa Jakim discovers that even among spiritual circles, body image issues persist…Images: Karis Wakeling-Farren 

body issues on The Numinous

Beauty. Isn’t that a gorgeous word? Look at how it sits on the page: regal with all those vowels. I’ve always adored words with lots of vowels: elegant, exquisite, gorgeous, pleasing. Beauty is such an angel word.

Recently in a meditation, I heard the message: “You are more beautiful than you think you are.” This message struck me—it brought a sad little pang to my heart. When I thought more about it, I realized I’ve been experiencing one of those periods where I look in the mirror and think I look weird. Where I’m breaking out more than usual, where I don’t feel particularly connected to my sensual side, where, I don’t know, I just don’t “feel beautiful,” you know?

And I know what it’s about, really, this denial of beauty. I’ve been dancing with body image issues since I was thirteen. There was something wrong with my belly! Why did it stick out from my body like that? Why was I the only one with a strange belly like this? At 17, when other stresses kicked in, I acted on these thoughts and began dieting. I struggled from compulsive dieting for the next eight years.

I had grown up wanting to be an actress, famously a profession of body image perfectionism. When I was 19, I spent my summer as an apprentice at a theatre festival. I recall hanging out in a circle of about 10 women, and the conversation turned to food and dieting. It became clear to me that all these young women who wanted to be actresses had struggled with or were struggling with eating disorder.

Body issues on The Numinous

All these gorgeous women who I knew as gorgeous because of their insides, their passionate outlook and fearlessness on stage, were folding themselves in one way or another in order to feel included in an exclusive industry: in order to feel included in their own dreams. It was the first time I realized how much I wasn’t alone in this “bad body image” compulsion. And, of course, it’s not just actresses who go through this. It’s all of us.

As years have passed, I feel better about me. A lot. I’m no longer dieting, and I feel I can accept whatever it is I have chosen to eat. However, I now find myself in many other women’s circles that mirror the above one. Healing circle. Meditation Circle. Brunch table. And to tell you the truth, even though these are circles of loving, empowered people, I’m often still worrying about the size of my belly.

The tendency toward self-blame is always there lingering in the background—and I’d like to posit that it is for many of us. It’s an elephant in our yoga studios and sound baths. We’ve had so much programming about how we’re supposed to look for our whole lives, that body anxiety just feels like a channel many of us have been set to. Especially if you live in a trendy city, and the street suggests fashion putting your body on show.

In groups and even just among friends, I’ve started paying attention to when my body image insecurity comes up. I get in touch with my inner knowing and I ask, “Is this mine?” Often, I hear “no.” It belongs to a peer. It belongs to a friend. Doing this has helped me understand, once again, that I am truly not alone in my insecurity. That it is SO MANY OF US who feel not right in ourselves.

body issues on The Numinous

Everyone, everyone has that something: “I’ve got a great body, but my skin sucks.” “I love my hips but my eyes kind of cross sometimes and I think I look messed up.” “My face is weird.” “I should look more masculine.” “I should look more feminine.” We compartmentalize ourselves and obsess over our “wrong” thing. So of course, even if the thought is usually not mine, it IS mine too. It’s all of ours. And we “empath” it back and forth to one another.

At this point, I’d like to bring up that this is the ego’s favorite myth, that: “There is something wrong with me.” Psychologist Tara Brach brilliantly describes this concept in her book Radical Acceptance:

[T]he universal sense that “something is wrong” easily solidifies into “something is wrong with me.” When I look into my own feelings of unworthiness, sometimes I can’t point to any significant way I’m actually falling short. Yet just this feeling of being a self, separate from others, brings up a fundamental assumption that I am not okay…Believing that we are separate, incomplete, and therefore at risk, is not some malfunction of nature. Rather, this perception is an intrinsic part of our human experience—indeed of all life.

Brach makes it clear: it’s our sense of alone-ness that makes us feel wrong. The great irony of course is that we’re all together in feeling separate. And there is nothing wrong with you or me or us. There may, however, be something wrong with the society we live in (“The universal sense that something is wrong…”). There may be something wrong with the messages that we ingest and unknowingly propagate.

elyssa Jakim body issues The Numinous
The author today

But what is the gift of these insane societal standards? What is the gift of the insecurity?

Disagreeing with the ego’s unloving ideas strengthens the mind and soul. When you choose to say “no” to this habit of self-attack, when you choose love in favor of compulsion, you are growing. You are claiming your worth. You are getting stronger each time. Whenever we actively proclaim the Truth to the unloving self, we are paving the way for freedom.

Choose an affirmation today for your unloving habit and resolve to challenge it in order to gain freedom. Mine is: “I know that these fears about my body are untrue. I know I am so much more than this body. I surrender these fears to love.” This can, of course, be applied to any flavor of compulsion, not just body perfectionism. And of course, whenever we free ourselves, we free our sisters and brothers, too. The grip of group insecurity relaxes, we’re all getting spiritually lighter together. Which, in my humble opinion, is way more important than physical lightness. This is a spiritual workout!

These hurts also build empathy and compassion. How could I, Elyssa, help others love their bodies if I hadn’t run the whole gamut of fear and love in my own thinking? Thus our misfortunes become our miracles.

I told a friend about my meditation, the one in which I heard, “You are more beautiful than you think you are.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked. “Physically?”

“Yes, physically.”

“Go to your heart,” he said. “Go to your heart. That’s where beauty lives. Focus on the feelings inside your heart and you will know you’re beautiful. Then your whole self responds.”

I love this. And, it is true. And when I talked to Venus, Venus told me: “You are all beautiful. You are all divine. You are all so much more radiant than you know.” Go to your heart. Find the beauty and resilience there. “Heart.” That’s got a nice vowel assortment too.

PS: This post marks my one-year anniversary of writing for the Numinous! From Spring to Spring, I am grateful for all of the gifts.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on the practice of receiving.

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…

IMAGE 1

“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.

IMAGE 2

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

IMAGE 1

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…

IMAGE 2

:: 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).

IMAGE 3

:: 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.

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!

Connect to your inner child with Elyssa Jakim temple of venus on The Numinous

 

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.

Magic Wands to connect to your inner child on The Numinous

:: 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
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!

mermaid jar2

:: 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.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: A MEDITATION FOR MANIFESTING TRUE LOVE

Elyssa Jakim’s monthly Temple of Venus column returns…this time, ahead of Valentine’s day, with a meditation to feel and call in the love of your twin flame.

Elyssa on the Numinous

Hi, Venusian Friends! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about LOVE.

A couple of years ago, someone mentioned a book to me called Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. At the same time, I took a spontaneous three-day trip to Tulum, Mexico, with my roommate in order to escape office banality in favor of much needed tropical revivification. As I sat on the veranda, with my fruit plate and copy of Calling in the One, I met a woman who had an inexplicably magical air. She showed me a book she’d written and asked me to open it up any page, akin to pulling an oracle card. I opened the page to a section called “soul mate” and we laughed for some time (since I was reading a book about soul mates!) And when I read the chapter in Sandra’s book, I found tears in my eyes.

Learning about the idea of soul mates in Tulum allowed for something to change in me. I had spent most of my twenties dating people who were distinctly not my soul mate or soul partner, people whom I thought were cool or aloof or better than I was. People who were unavailable, and who triggered deep insecurity in me, which made me hunt for affection and praise. I hid my intelligence from partners, thinking, strangely, that it made me less attractive. But I found myself opening up to the idea that the way to attract a partner, was to be simply be myself, and found myself considering that men too might be looking for this type of connection. This was revolutionary to me.

But the journey to letting this in took time. Essentially, it was a journey of claiming my worthiness and challenging my insecurities, as well as the programming of the jaded NYC dating scene. As well as a journey to claim something that I had always secretly believed in: true love. In the Now Age, phrases like “soul partner,” “twin flame,” “manifesting a partner” seem to be ubiquitous,  and the story always seems to be the same: love yourself first. Vibrate love and your person will come. In fact, we hear it so often it can sound hackneyed, unsatisfyingly vague, or too granola.

But we can choose to see it differently, with eyes of innocence, just like I chose to allow myself fall in love and be loved in Tulum. We can choose to believe that all of this talk of soul mates is, in fact, speaking to a growing phenomenon, a societal shift, a rallying against the bullshit of modern dating. The more people allow themselves to claim a desire for soul partnership and connection, the more the dating dirt is swept up and, well, the more love there is to go around.

While on my search for my inner confidence and true love, I developed an exercise that ultimately manifested my soul mate in real life. For Valentines Day, I would like to share this exercise with you. Of course use it as you like, and feel free to make any alterations you see fit.

:: A Meditation to Manifest Your Soul Partner ::

  1. Set aside some time for yourself to do this and set your space up. Light candles, put roses or lilies on your bed, anoint your body with essential oil, play soothing music, smudge your room with palo santo or sweetgrass. It’s particularly luxurious to do this before bed.
  2. Whether you’re sitting or lying down, feel the space that’s surrounding you. Feel the surface that’s underneath you and surrender your weight to it. Sigh out of your mouth a few times to release anything that you don’t need. Now feel the energy of the earth in any way that speaks to you. You can imagine fire from the warm core of the earth, tree roots going deep into the ground, your favorite tree, or hold a crystal and breathe in the earth element. The earth symbolizes the mother, the feminine principle. Once grounded, open up to the stars, the sun, the sky, the divine, the cosmic, the heavens. This starry energy (the more outward expression of God) symbolizes the father. Feel the play between these forces in your body: heaven and earth, mother and father, foot and crown.
  3. If you feel comfortable doing so, invite in your divine team in. (If not, skip this step.) Your divine team might include: ascended masters, angels, guides, spirit animals, fairies, mermaids, unicorns, and any other symbols that make you feel loved. Invite them by saying “I’m calling in Archangel Michael” (for example). Tell your team your hopes and fears. Say what you’re looking for in your mate, how doing this makes you feel, and what you desire. You can also speak this to a stuffed animal or crystal if you like!
  4. Ask to see your higher self. Does this bring forth a vision in your mind? A feeling? A sense of knowing? Stick with it. Now declare: “I would like to see the higher self of my soul partner.” See what comes up. Imagine your deep love, your spiritual lover. Feel his or her energy and see what it reveals to you. Have a conversation with him or her. Get to know them. Feel the unconditional love he or she has for you. Imagine this person in front of you is holding you tightly, is kissing you, is making love to you, is laughing with you, is smiling at you—whatever comes up is perfect. Feel held in this energy for as long as you like. Feel held in the arms of your beloved.
  5. When you’re ready, thank your divine team for coming in and tell them they are released. Send up a prayer for yourself, for love, for the planet, for anything and everything that feels good. Rest in the energy of your beloved. Imagine your soul partner holding you as you fall asleep.
  6. You can return to this place of soul-partner love whenever you like. Daydream about him/her, feel him, cultivate a fantasy relationship with them (yes, really! This is a sublimely fun game and it feels divine if you treat it as such). Let the dream world be playful and loving, let it fill your heart with hope and glee. Let him hold you every night as you go to sleep.

Connecting in this way made me so satisfied that by the time my bonafide flesh and blood person came in, I had already let go of the desire for a partner. That is because I already felt him right there next to me.

The most marvelous thing I discovered in pursuing this soul partnership is that the love is all the same. The love for a partner is the love for a child is the love for a beautiful flower or poem is the love for God is the love for creation is the love for a stranger who smiles at you on the street is the love for the sunset over Tulum’s luscious ocean. So try it out, beloved! I can tell you it has transformed my life and I hope it does the same for you. Here’s to true love.

I also recorded this meditation for you to listen to below.

In real life Venus hang time! : If you’re in Los Angeles this V-Day, Holy F*ck genius Alexandra Roxo and I are teaming up to create a special ritual for self-love and partnership, culminating with a sharing of aphrodisiac chocolate and tea, custom card pulls and one-on-one love advice. Find out more here.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s post from last month’s Temple of Venus column.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: HOW TO WORK WITH GODDESS VENUS

Sexual healing, and access to your abundance mindset. Elyssa Jakim introduces a new monthly column devoted to the Goddess Venus…

Elyssa Jakim goddess venus column on The Numious
Portrait: Keith Barraclough

In the summer of 2015, the Numinous and I teamed up to create an interactive art installation and event space called the Temple of Venus. As an altar to the goddess Venus the installation served as a healing space: the events at the Temple were a way to address our questions and questings regarding love, sexuality, beauty, money and everything else Venus touches. So why did we choose Venus? Who is she? How might the goddess inspire and impact your life? How are you already an embodiment of Venus? All questions I want to answer with this column!

Six months after creating the temple, Venus has not stopped working with and guiding me. And so this is a space for me to share some Venetian wisdom each month, to help get our juicy, abundant, sexual, prosperous selves truly flowing.

Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty, sexuality, abundance, desire, fertility, and finances. She is known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Astrologically, the planet Venus (don’t you love when your goddess is also a planet?) rules relationships. So, for example, if you’re born with Venus in Scorpio, your way of being with and relating to people is imbued with the energy of a fiercely loyal and passionate Scorpio.

Katerina Alivizatou Goddess Venus on The Numinous
Artist: Katerina Alivizatou

Goddess Venus teaches us to be accepting of all facets of our womanhood and sexuality. In fact, one of the qualities that separate Venus from the Aphrodite myth, is that Venus was also the goddess of prostitutes. She allows for sexuality to be fluid, to exist in a space without judgment. In her brilliant book, Ecstasy is Necessary: A Practical Guide, celebrated tantra teacher Barbara Carrellas offers the reader a “sexual permission slip” or a series of permissive statements about how one can choose to regard sex.

A particularly strong one is: “I give myself permission to talk about sex as a safe, sane, and consensual act that brings health and pleasure to the world.” Venus celebrates this perspective. I find Venus to be a powerful goddess for sexual healing because she shows us that sex is beautiful. She shows us that sex is a gift of pleasure from the Divine, and she helps us tap into that pleasure.

When preparing for a ceremony in the temple with Lyndsey Harrington and Kat Hunt of Moon Church, we decided to invoke the goddess Venus and tune into her energy in order to decide how to best serve her with our ritual. We were flooded with her essence: it felt orgasmic and ecstatic, yummy and beautiful. She told us that she loved milk, honey, pearls, gold, kisses, and roses. And Kat said that she felt it showed that as well as the goddess Venus, the other Greek and Roman gods and goddesses are waiting for us connect with them.

This message was eye-opening to me. I realized that in much of my goddess worship and ceremony, I had never thought of the Greek and Roman goddesses as vital, present, divine forces waiting to help us. I’d worked with the Divine Mother Mary and Kwan Yin before but never with a Greco-Roman goddess directly. What I’ve since learned is that Venus is so ready to bestow her love and magic and beauty upon those who are willing to invoke her with an open heart. And that she can help you tap into your sexual and goddess essence and your sense of worthiness in such deep ways.

In fact, Venus is a symbol of the divine feminine (and remember we use the Venus symbol “♀” to mean “female”). Venus was born of the water, and water is a sublimely gorgeous metaphor for the female principal. Water receives, it takes in. It is abundance, it is creation, it is sensitive, it is psychic, it is adaptable. As women, as birthers, we are able to tap into the deep waters of creation and imagination.

Water is our element, and the goddess Venus reminds us to claim all of its gifts. In working with her directly, we learn how to be better receivers, better lovers, and better mothers to ourselves and others. And the planet Venus has a twin flame: it is the planet Earth. May this column honor the waters of Earth and the fires of our twin planet to create cosmic balance and upliftment for all.

Up next month: A Venus-inspired meditation for calling in your soulmate.