A cosmic radio tower for broadcasting your wishes to the Universe, manifestation expert Emily Tepper shares how to design an altar that’s perfect for YOU…
GO WITH WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU We live in a time with unprecedented access to information and advice – including this article! And while it’s amazing to be able to approach altar design by tapping into different covens and styles and belief systems, the point is to put YOU and your desires at the center of the altar. After all, it is there to act as a radio tower for the divine as experienced through YOU.
WORK WITH SYMBOLS When choosing artefacts for your altar, think less less about the object itself and more about what it symbolizes for you. Yes, crystals, candles and other sacred objects all look beautiful and bring their own super-powers, but to truly personalise your altar include a few items that are completely unique to you and your situation. For example, if you want more dates and your ideal date is a day on the beach, you could place some sunscreen on your altar. Or if you want to call in more financial abundance, write yourself a check from your dream client.
FEEL INTO IT Having trouble finding a symbol for what you want? When you’re manifesting something, the trick is to focus on creating the physical feelings of having that thing in your life before it actually materializes – that way, the Universe will pick up on the signal (feeling) you’re putting out, and send the corresponding object / event your way. So choosing your symbols, what image / object comes to mind first when you’re getting into the emotional essence of your hot beach date? Or having unlimited funds in the bank? But remember, the symbol can be anything – there are no rules!
PAY ATTENTION TO PLACEMENT As a rule, you can work with the energy flow of your altar by placing objects and symbols relating to the things you want to call in to the right – and things that symbolise the all the things you want to clear / move away from to the left.
HAVE FUN! Seriously – even the witchiest witch experiences work better when they vibrate with joy. And while often ritual work is about accepting things as they are and then shifting them to a better place, improvement and ascension happen in a gradient from bad, to not as bad, to pretty good, to awesome! Make creating your altar about enjoying this ride.
TAKE A MINERAL BATH AFTER YOU INTERACT WITH YOUR ALTAR Altar and ritual work can be a bit of an out there experience, and minerals calm the spirit and bring us delicate souls “back into the body.” My personal favorite is a mineral rich blend of dead sea salt and kelp powder (also good for growing my mermaid tail back). But seriously, it’s important to honor the process of re-grounding after communing with the spirit world and that’s important. It’s what being a material girl in a mystical world is all about, after all.
What’s on your altar, and why? Share your altar pics with us on Instagram and Facebook, tag #NuminousAltars, and we’ll include them on our altar Pinterest board to inspire the Numinous community!
Welcome to the #summeroflove, Numis! We’re beyond excited to announce The Temple of Venus, a community art project dedicated to the Goddess of beauty, love, and abundance.
Based in Williamsburg, BK, and created in partnership with energy healer and artist Elyssa Jakim, the Temple is an interactive altar celebrating our community, the power of love, and the energies of the divine feminine. And the CRAZY serendipity leading up to the launch makes us feel like Venus herself basically MADE US DO IT.
Housed in a private residence (in what is actually called the “Venus” building!) and open to all, we are inviting healers, seekers and modern mystics to contribute their offerings and wisdom throughout this two-month period, creating an ever-evolving container charged with positive vibes.
Open from 7/7 through August 19, the planet Venus will also retrograde in artistic, playful Leo for the second half of the project – creating a cosmic portal for healing our attitudes to love, money and beauty through creativity.
The altar room itself will be a space for meditation, prayer, contemplation and healing, while a second space will be available for larger group gatherings and workshops. And if you just want to come make an offering to Venus and soak up the healing energies, the space will also be open for drop-in appointments each Wednesday between the hours of 3 and 5pm. International offerings by mail or Skype are also welcome!
Any donations collected will go towards the maintenance of the space, after which all funds will be gifted to The Doula Project.
Be the dark. Walk boldly through the unknown reaches of the soul.
This year, I am embracing my inner “dark worker,” because I’ve come to realize that actually our dark side is the most creative place to be. It is in the fertile void, in the dark, underground, where the seed germinates.
There are aspects of our creativity, our courage, and our power which, like a seed, can only incubate in total darkness. This is why my darkness has become my favorite place to be.
I have spent so much of my life trying to improve my dark moods, to lighten the dark humor that might provoke or offend the polite, and soften the sharp opinions that are often hard to hear and accept – even when getting right with them can be the most crucial step to getting out of denial. It’s meant denying the darkness in me that also translates as a low tolerance for bullshit, a quick temper, sudden rage, and profound grief.
It’s ironic though, that since I decided to accept my darkness, my moods have improved considerably. Like it was the constant pressure to “be the light,” the constant cultural shaming of the dark, that was half the issue. The dark is immensely powerful, and yet we are afraid of it.
But think about where the dark exists in our language: pure creativity “rises up,” from “the underground.” The answers to our most profound existential crises often lie buried in our “sub” conscious.
But the dark is where shame is lifted and new truths are actualized – as seen and witnessed only by those who are also willing to stray far enough from the safety of the will lit path to witness.
Every fairy tale Princess walks a dark night in the forest on her way to healing and reclaiming her majesty. To grow, she is made to face the utter fear of the wild and unknown. In the dark, and usually alone, it is through this journey that we find ourselves.
We’ve all heard stories of the Dark Night of The Soul, and how powerful it is to pass through it to the other side. We go on to heal others in our ascension to the light, but we become who we are in the dark.
So now consider this: maybe “black magic” isn’t evil at all, but actually where the alchemy happens. Perhaps there is a tremendous, almost disgusting, amount of power available to those who are willing to go there. Maybe that’s what makes the practitioners of the “dark arts” so frightening to the rest of us.
And before you villainize the villain, consider that in some countries it is dark for most of the day, most of the year even. What if your natural state of being is more Norway than Florida? My moods are like the weather of Siberia – cold and dark, with occasional bursts of incredible, irrepressible light. And I’ve decided I’m good with this version of myself. She doesn’t need improvement.
Our emotions are like a weather system. They are shifting constantly, and the seasons of the soul they represent are the very essence of change and manifestation.
If the spiritual “industry” is full of Light Workers – this year I am declaring myself a Dark Worker. And I urge you again to Be The Dark.
How will you honor your dark side in 2015? Connect with us and share your story on Twitter or Facebook.
All Hallows Eve is about more than slutty costumes and tequila shots. Here, our favorite modern mystics share their ideas for a super spiritual Halloween… Illustrations: Natalie Shau
Oh, wait…what if Halloween wasn’t just about dressing up as a slutty ghost and getting slammed on tequila shots? What if it were actually an ancient Pagan celebration to recognise the passing of souls, at a time when the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest? Hmmm…
The way I’ve come to see it, there are two ways to get down and party with the concept of death. Laugh in its face (ridiculous costumes, booty shakin’ to Black Widow, copious amounts of alcohol), or look it calmly in the face and accept what you see.
Last year I chose option two. Dressed head-to-toe in non-costume black, I attended a séance on All Hallows Eve. The messages that came through for people were all supportive and loving, and afterwards we enjoyed a silent (pot-luck, mainly vegan) supper with our deceased ancestors.
Here, some of our favorite modern mystics share their ideas for a super spiritual Halloween. May the most fabulous phantoms be with you…
Halloween is the time when the veils between the worlds are the thinnest, making it an ideal time for you to simply sit quietly and connect with your ancestors. Find some time to yourself on Friday to tune in.
To get into the right energy and to make sure you stay safe, I recommend you clear and protect your energy first. Now turn off all electronics and light a candle.
Using your imagination and all five senses, your ancestors will speak to you through symbols, so be sure to have a pen and paper nearby to record any psychic impressions that come through for you to be interpreted later. When it comes to deciphering the messages in these symbols, trust your intuitive voice – and focus on the feeling associated with what you saw, felt, smelt or heard.
To honour this step forward into the darker part of the year, perform this simple and insightful Four Card Tarot/Oracle reading to honour your own shadow side.
Card 1: What aspect of my shadow self needs some light shining upon it right now? Card 2: What is holding me back from moving forwards? Card 3: What actions will help me nurture and explore this aspect of myself? Card 4: What secret message does my inner soul system have for me?
In my opinion, animals are the bridge between heaven and earth, and thus act as messengers on behalf of Spirit. The below ritual is one of my favorite ways to intentionally ask for answers and see physical evidence of receiving guidance. Do not underestimate the simplicity of this exercise, it can produce many miracles as long as you are willing to trust and allow your intuition to take charge.
1. Prepare for a walk. Before you head out (or you can do this outside), center yourself by taking long, deep breaths. Call upon Divine source/angels/your guides/whatever resonates and the animal kingdom. Set an intention to receive a message, answer and/or sign from an animal who can help you with a particular situation for the highest good of all concerned.
2. Be Fully Present in your walk. That means no headphones, iPod, or cell phone. Really BE with each moment. Pay attention to the animals and insects you pass en route and assess your feelings about them. When you sense a true resonance with a particular animal or insect, accept that animal as your messenger.
(Note: you do not need to see the animal in flesh. If you spot an animal on a t-shirt, billboard, photograph, etc. – honor that. The animal is equally valid no matter the form it shows up in. This is why it’s extra important to pay attention!)
3. Once you’ve met your animal, ask what message it has for you and notice the initial feelings, impressions, and/or words you hear. Really feel into what this animal wishes to communicate to you before looking it up in a book or online. What feels true to you takes precedence over what anyone else says, including experts.
4. Express gratitude and continue to pay attention over the next three days. You can further synthesize this process by tracking your experience in a journal.
Many people forget that Samhain, All Hallows eve and Halloween (and all variations of) can be used to express your other archetypal natures. Yes, many people express that as being a ‘sexy kitty’ or a ‘slutty nurse’. But why not try meditating for a moment on what your soul truly wants to express instead? This will reveal aspects of your self that want to reveal their power as the doorway of Halloween opens.
For example: perhaps you feel as if this year has been all about endings and new beginnings. You’ve left a job or a relationship, and come to some realisations about yourself in the process. You can call on the power of rebirth and transformation to honour and solidify this, by dressing as something that symbolises, signifies or represents transformation – like a phoenix. After all, the true Magickian owns their every action as an opportunity to shape the forces of the universe.
I suggest running a hot bath, adding some delicious lavender Epsom salts, essential oils and some of my TLC Healing Remedy. Add a rose crystal and some rose petals. Light some candles and put them all around the bath and bathroom.
Lying in this special bath, meditate on your own death, the celebration of passing to the next life and the beauty of life and death. What would people say at your funeral? What you could be doing with your life now to create an epitaph that reflects the impression you’d like to leave in this world?
Meditate on your ancestors and on all lost souls and send them light and love. Send this all over the world. To end your meditation, spend a few moments in simple gratitude for all you have in this life now, for breath and for love.
From a regular yoga or meditation practise to the way you like your morning latte, we all have our daily rituals. But what happens when design one that’s just for you? You become a vacuum to receive, that’s what. Ruby Warrington shares her experience of creating the custom ritual that helped call in The Numinous. Video: Shine Creative.
Last month, the Numinous hosted a guided meditation to meet your Spirit Animal, with the Modern Shamanic Practitioner Marika Messager. The event took place on a balmy early summer evening in London, at spiritual concept store Celestine Eleven, and attracted an elegant crowd – including jeweller Gina Melosi, illustrator Erin Petson, a talent booker, some girls from Elle magazine, and the fashion designer Henry Holland. The atmosphere was one hundred percent high vibe, and after the meditation, when people shared about their experience meeting their animals, they were like five-year-olds on a sugar high. In short, they were amped to have participated in this ancient Shamanic ritual.
And how funny, it took place almost six months to the day after I enacted a custom ritual, designed, in part, to ensure that when people experienced the Numinous they’d feel; “a sense of discovery, more joy and happiness and a way to connect to their true life purpose.” These were my exact words to “receptivity expert” Emily Tepper, the woman who helped me design my ritual, which eventually took place as a day-long series of events. The manifestation of which I could expect to see, yes, six months down the line.
Let me back track a little. I met Emily at one of Gabrielle Bernstein’s lectures in New York City, towards the tail end of last summer. The Numinous had only recently launched, and when she told me she designed custom rituals for people, to assist in calling in their deepest desires, I was obviously intrigued. The Numinous was a new born at the time, with so much potential ahead of it, and like a proud mamma I wondered if a ritualistic or ceremonial baptism would help set my project on the right path from the get-go. But actually, working with Emily turned out to be so much more than that.
We met on a grey day a month or so later at the Ruben Museum in Chelsea, where sombre gong music in the deserted cafeteria created a fitting backdrop for the initial ritual design session. With a background in dance, Emily, an empathetic and mystical yet earthy Piscean, described “a yearning for other people to experience their body as an agent for change, like I had from a very early age” as one of things that led her to this line of work. Studying for a degree in Experiential Design then helped her create a modality in which “everything we touch becomes the props we use to facilitate relationships, exchanges, transitions and personal growth.” And so her company, Receive Everything, was born.
Because we’re pretty well versed in the concept of manifesting these days (like attracts like, act “as if,” yada yada) – but what happens if the conditions in our body, and our life, aren’t set up to receive? What if there are “energetic cysts”, as Emily put it, stored in our tissues that need to be removed before it’s safe for our manifestations to land? This is where ritual, physical acts designed to empower our intentions, weed out doubt and link us directly to our creative, or feminine, energy comes in. It could be described as literally “going through the motions” to hardwire your body to receive. If, “your nervous system is like a riverbed, and the water is used to flowing one way,” Emily’s ritual – “a piece of performance art for your life” – would be about “taking the flow slightly outside the well-worn groove. It’s a quantum physics service!” she joked. Kind of.
Emily’s ritual process is divided into three parts – Design, Do and Download – with the design part acting like an opportunity to really get clear on what you’re calling in, as well as any impediments (negative beliefs and crazy talk) in its way. In this sense, it also rapidly becomes a bit of a therapy session. “Why is it so important to you that people feel a sense of self-ownership and freedom to choose their own life when they connect with the Numinous?” asked Emily when these emerged as key words and phrases around crystalizing the essence of my project.
Of course, it came back to a time in my life, between ages 16 and 22, when I’d been a very controlling relationship with an older guy, who imposed his tyrannical worldview to the extent that I lost all my self-confidence and developed an eating disorder. It was like I’d been brainwashed by a cult made for two. If I’d had access to the kind of tools I’ve discovered through the Numinous then – tools designed to empower us to trust our intuition and truly know ourselves and our life purpose – who knows how differently things might have gone.
From there, it was a question of coming up with visual symbols to represent the different elements of my manifestation – which would then be transformed into the elements of my actual ritual. “When you think of the Numinous, what do you see, feel and taste?” asked Emily. If the Numinous was about “enlightenment and beauty, a playful experimentation with ideas – fashionable, stylish, the zeitgeist,” what were the visual metaphors for this? In my mind’s eye, these words immediately conjured an image of white sails billowing in the breeze against a clear blue sky at high noon. Emily jotted that down.
Thinking about my former relationship, my nostrils filled with the cloying scent of skunkweed. My ex was a dedicated smoker, and I believe being stoned myself for the majority of our relationship was one of the key reasons I felt so powerless to leave him. And when Emily asked; “what would it look like if the Numinous could really change the world?” I saw a tribe of Numis taking to the streets for a party/ protest to celebrate our connection to the Universe and the freedom to chose our own belief systems. And on and on her questions went, until we had the bones of what would become my custom ritual.
In the end, we devised a day of interconnected events, beginning with me using some of my Numinous tools (smudging my space with sage, meditating with my chakra totem), before taking in a trip to the center of the Brooklyn bridge to fly a white flag at noon (see above). Then we’d travel to Emily’s studio in Bushwick, where I would bestow Numinous gifts on my friends, and stage the ceremonial burning of a time capsule representing my ex (would anybody notice the burning joint inside, I wondered?) Finally, we’d all take to the streets in celebration of our collective freedom and empowerment. My friends at Shine Creative would capture the whole thing on film, as Emily highly recommends creating a visual record of the ritual. And I now had two weeks to produce it.
The day itself, November 22, was cold and bright and went by in a happy, emotional blur. I felt like the star of my own reality show, or a bride on her big day. I was happy I’d involved my friends, as so much of creating the Numinous was about wanting to collaborate creatively with my soul tribe, and being followed by a film crew made the whole thing feel somehow more real.
And if that was “Do,” then the final part of the ritual process was to “Download,” which meant a bodywork session with Emily, who is also a certified Pilates instructor and craniosacral therapist, to ground the teachings and intention of the ritual into my tissues two weeks later. When I arrived at her studio, she asked me to write down some key phrases that summed up how I’d been feeling since. I came up with; “No more apologies,” “Trusting myself,” “Stepping up to the next level,” “Who cares what people think?” A process she described as “crystalizing my new energetic signature.”
And a little over six months later, I can feel myself stepping into all of this as I prepare to host two Numinous Live talks for Lululemon at this weekend’s Wanderlust yoga festival. The first? I’ve invited Emily to join me in introducing The Art of Ritual, what she calls a “lost social technology.” And something that, for me, has been a powerful tool in showing the Universe that I’m ready to receive the gifts I know it’s sending my way.
Numinous Live will present two talks at the Wanderlust yoga festival in Vermont. Both talks are fully booked, but clink the links below to be added to the wait lists.
Lululemon launched their London flagship store yesterday, their first outside America and Canada. And just to ensure it’s a huge success? The team created a New Moon ritual, of course.
“Is a ritual the right thing for launching a new market and making sure it’s a HUGE success?” was the question from Amanda Casgar, the main lady overseeing the lululemon London launch. This is a person who doesn’t do things by halves. The answer from custom ritual designer Emily Tepper, who Amanda employed to help her create the ritual, a resounding “YES”.
In her words; “Whenever you bring a bold new vision to the market or have a new vision for your life, ritual grounds the essence of your project and sings your desires to the world like a song.”
Add tomorrow’s auspicious Aries New Moon to the equation, a powerful harbinger of new beginnings and pioneer spirit, and the stage was all set.
Amanda describes the ritual itself below, and we invite you to borrow this process to usher in your own successes this New Moon season;
“We planted seeds for the new moon by creating an altar. Each person went down one by one, with a white flower around their neck so they felt supported by the group, and placed their “gift” on the altar. The gift was a symbol of the personal sparkle and energy they are bringing to the project.”
So who brought what to the altar?
Amanda; “A sassy pink lipstick and a crystal from one of my teachers and lululemon’s “director of possibility” Susanne Conrad. The lipstick because whenever I put on bold lips it brings out the sass and I want every one of our educators to feel that confidence in themselves. The crystal because of all I’ve learned in my five years at lululemon, which I want to create for this new team in London.”
Natalie (lululemon educator): “Florida state university yoga pants; Florida State university brought me to London through study abroad and that’s when I met my now husband. These are also really crappy yoga pants that I’m trading out for lululemon pants, and the culture and lifestyle in general that we spread throughout the world.”
Sasha (Director of brand and community for Europe): “Champagne; I think we should always take time to celebrate, and for me it’s also about remembering all the celebrations to come. If we’re not having fun, the guest isn’t having fun.”