MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HOW TO USE THE RETROGRADES FOR HEALING

With Pluto, Saturn and Mars all retrograde, there’s rich opportunity now to transcend deep-seated patterns and re-vamp your sense of purpose. This week showed me how to use the retrogrades for healing…

Sub Rosa’s Michael Ventura

:: MONDAY (-WEDNESDAY) ::
A healing session with Michael Ventura, who also happens to be CEO of design and branding agency Sub Rosa, which also happens to be the venue for some of NYC’s most high-vibe happenings (including our Club SÖDA NYC event in April with Biet Simkin). This is what I love about New York—everybody has a side project that’s at least as interesting as their day job. In Michael’s case, 10 years spent studying everything from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Native American shamanic healing (with Yogi Bhajan’s personal healer, no less).

“These retrogrades have stirred up all kinds of funky stuff,” I told him. “You know, like ‘who am I?’ and ‘how can my voice have real impact in the world?'” (um, anybody else feeling the existential crunch right now?) My treatment was a combination of hands-on healing and pressure-point release, with some crystals and some burning herbs, after which I practically levitated off the table, leaving with the instructions to send an update by email after two sleeps. By which time I was actually experiencing a disquieting sense of wanting to completely re-evaluate my message and my mission, in line with my personal needs.

And since I know I’m not alone in this right now, I share with you here Michael’s beautiful response:

“We all too often think of our lives across two spectrums—positive and negative. However, there is a third and powerful force—neutrality—which can serve you well in these times of reflection and integration. You don’t need to have the plan. At the same time, you don’t need to get down on yourself for not having a plan. Simply un-attaching and not identifying with an outcome will let things happen at their own pace. A flower doesn’t bloom by trying to bloom. It simply allows.”

:: WEDNESDAY NIGHT ::
So I allowed the unease (WTF am I doing with my life? How is what I’m doing actually of service in the world?) to just be there. And now enter my third sleep of the week, during which I experienced the most incredible healing dream—facilitated (in my dream) by wonderful Alexandra Derby, who appeared in my mind’s eye and told me it was time to perform a ritual.

This involved an astral visitation with my ex—a man to whom I utterly subjugated my sense of self during my late teens and early twenties. Confronted with his same old, patronizing ways, I felt his words and gross, overbearing sexual energy bounce off me, like I’d developed a cosmic force-field. “You are an insect on the sole of my shoe, and I am more powerful than you will even know,” was basically the over-riding vibe. At which point I came semi-conscious to the sound of a series of “clicks” in my brain—as if a piece of code in my internal operating system had been re-written. By morning, I awoke feeling newly and fully empowered on my path. Existential crisis averted!

So…I’ve gone into way more detail here than I usually would in this column, but my this week has been an amazing opportunity to work with the current retrogrades for healing. Pluto and Saturn, in particular, are opening up deep karmic wounds, and since everywhere I look it seems people are experiencing a similar sense of having outgrown their own skin, or are having conflicting thoughts and feelings about where they’re “at” and what they really want, it felt appropriate to share.

And so, I believe this is a perfect time to:

– Seek assistance bringing any funky energy that’s being stirred up to the surface—ideally a session with a trusted energy worker (think reiki, acupuncture, sound healing—whatever works for you).
– Allow all the weird shit you might be thinking and feeling to just be there. Don’t over-analyse it—just allow it move through you. Trust that it will find its own way out—in a dream like mine, perhaps.
– Feel it to heal it. Which means resisting the temptation to numb out from it with drink, drugs, drama, shopping (*insert your preferred method of numbing here*).
– Journal. I actually wrote a poem the morning after my healing dream, my favorite new way to purge the numinous un-namables that are screeching to be let out. Try it—I bet you like it!

:: THURSDAY ::
Mainly processing the above. While also finally finishing my book manuscript (TF!)

:: FRIDAY ::
A beautiful astanga class with Makeesha Hill of the Urban Yogis—a grass roots initiative bringing the tools of yoga and meditation to NYCs inner city communities, that we’re supporting with sales of our Designer Yogis sweatshirt collection. A fitting end to this week of self-enquiry, as one of the things that’s coming through loud and clear for me right now is that if my work (like, this platform) isn’t actively in service of helping people be happier humans, in a healthier, more harmonious society…then really, what’s the point? As the Yogis themselves would say: #peaceisalifestyle!

The Urban Yogis: a.k.a. (l-r) Raheem Lewis, Tyrell Carter, Jaytaun McMillan, Makeesha Hill, and Juquille Johnston

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: SOME EARLY VALENTINES SELF-LOVE, AND CHELSEA DOES DRUGS

Haute Chocolate and some new lingerie on the path to self-love, and thank you Chelsea Does Drugs for a grown-up conversation about humans and the quest for altered states of consciousness…

Pandora’s Box, $30, Haute Chocolate Brooklyn

:: MONDAY ::
Early Valentine’s #1. So when the founder of a local fine chocolate company reaches out to ask if you’d like to sample her wares, you do not say no, despite the fact that a couple of weeks back you vowed to get off the sweet stuff “again” having got back on it in a pretty major way over the holidays. But wait! The mouthwatering treats at Haute Chocolate that arrived today are all organic,organic, vegan, and bittersweet, and billed as “virtuous hedonism.” Yay party in my mouth.

:: TUESDAY ::
Early Valentine’s #2. When my friend Sophie alerted me to new lingerie site True&Co I had to check it out, since treating myself to good underwear has become an ongoing self-love practice of mine. Not least since writing my book means I barely wear “outside” clothes these days, and a nice piece of lace is like literally the only thing standing between me and all out pyjama-geddon. The most fun thing? As a new customer you get to do a quiz that helps work out what items on the site will fit you best – kind of like…brastrology! And yay, when my pieces arrived in the mail today they fit like a dream.

Lovestories Nightrider bralette, $64, True&Co

:: WEDNESDAY ::
MUST MUST MUST watch TV alert!!! Chelsea Does Drugs. A.k.a. Chelsea Handler going to Peru to do ayahuasca as part of her new “Chelsea Does…” series for Netflix. Chelsea has always been a guilty pleasure of mine – I know she rubs some people the wrong way, but I just love her realness. Which comes across in every frame of this segment – in which she also gets high with friends at a pot-themed dinner party, smokes a joint with Willie Nelson, gets monitored by a doctor while on Adderal and then Ambien (+ vodka), and visits a shaman to try and access a non-drug induced trance state. She also interviews recovering drug addicts and experts, and if the aya scenes, which show every step of her ceremony, steal the show, honestly it was just so refreshing to see an honest and non-sensationalist discussion IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA about humans and drug use. How grown up! As for why Chelsea likes to access altered states? Of course I had to Google her birth chart right after – and with a Pisces Sun and Leo Moon…well, say no more.

:: THURSDAY ::
Major kudos to my friend Robyn, who launched her book Go with Your Gut with a party in NYC tonight – and 9 months pregnant too! I didn’t make the event since I’ve been feeling totally wiped out this week (like the majority of people I’ve spoken to actually, what-up cosmos?!), but I’ve got my copy on order – mainly since Robyn’s theory that not only good physical health but our mental and spiritual wellbeing is directly related to our gut health is a pet subject of mine. In fact, here’s a great story we posted on this subject a while back.


:: FRIDAY ::
Had a “material girl” moment interviewing J Crew president Jenna Lyons today – what a woman! I’ll post a link when my interview comes out – it was for a Red magazine in the UK – but for today, I’m still mainly obsessing over her office, which is about the size of most NYC apartments and stacked to the rafters with 25 years worth of books, pictures, trinkets and momentos (including a MAJOR Citrine crystal cluster she picked up in Marfa, TX). To me, she’s living, divinely feminine proof that you can be a real person and totally rock it in the corporate world, having risen to the top by simply doing 100% Jenna. An inspiration fo sho.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A NEW WORKING WARDROBE, AND THE REALITY OF TRUTH

Elevated living in my PJs, The Reality of Truth, and getting some supplies in for my Moon time…

PJs + Wild Child lipstick by Ila = my new working wardrobe

:: MONDAY ::
Still vibing off our Numinous Presents: Lead Your Own Moon Ceremony workshop, which was led by Deborah Hanekamp in NYC last Saturday. Having my moon in Cancer (the moon’s home sign) I’ve always felt especially attuned to her movements, which is one reason I’m always posting about what sign she’s moving through in our Instagram #moonscopes. But Deborah’s teachings brought a whole other level of awareness to how to use each Moon phase, PLUS all the proper protocols for hosting my own moon ceremony (for myself or others). Essential info – which is why we’re planning to bring the course to LA next month. Watch this space!

LA date in Feb 2016…TBD!

:: TUESDAY ::
Since I’ve mainly spent this month working towards my March 1 BOOK DEADLINE (out spring 2017 #savethedate), I’ve also been mainly spending all day every day in my PJs. And doing a bit of research for the chapter on beauty, I remembered this post on The Art of Sacred Adornment by Kitty Cavelier. She writes how: “When you rouge your lips, be aware that you are bringing red, the color of passion and power, to every word you speak. As you paint your fingernails, remember that every stroke of the polish is a prayer of adornment for all the magic your hands create every day.” So the PJs can stay, but I’ll be adding some lipstick and polish from here on in (see main pic!)

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Dinner with my friends Ian and Drita, who recently moved down to Costa Rica to help open a high-end shamanic healing retreat called Rythmia. Needless to say I’ll be heading down to check it out later this year, and in the meantime I’ll be watching The Reality of Truth – a documentary exploring how people, groups and entire cultures tap into an alternative, “true reality” through spirituality, meditation, and psychedelics. Featuring ALL the great Now Age speakers, you can win a $10,000 retreat at Rythmia when you buy a copy.

:: THURSDAY ::
Ah, the magic of manifestation. While we were trying to engineer a move from London to NYC, I’d been making my husband (a.k.a. The Pisces) a morning cup of tea in an “I <3 NY” mug every day for like 18 months. Once the Universe heard and gifted him with a transfer to the Manhattan office of his firm, we told our friends Catherine and James about this, who were like: “oh we’d quite like to live in New York too.” So we gave them the mug for them to try their luck…and they’re only only moving to NY next month!! They’re here looking at apartments this week. As for the Pisces and I? We’ve moved on to an “I <3 LA” mug…

:: FRIDAY ::
Placed an order with Kerrilynn at CAP Beauty for some Moon Juice snacks, which they began stocking this month. The thing about getting to know my personal moon cycles better (i.e. properly tracking and working to regulate my period) is that I know when I’ll be PMS’ing. And with the book deadline not exactly going anywhere, I figured a supply of my fave Chocolate Chaga Donuts and Rose Geranium bars might come in handy in the days to come. Except they’d only sold out!! I’ll have to make do with the Mulberry Cacao Crunchers instead #sigh #fristworldmaterialgirlproblems…

Moon Juice Chocolate Chaga Donuts, $8

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: S&M ACUPUNCTURE AND THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA

Yes…the perfect cup of tea! And plenty of other high-vibness, like Shopping for Syria and the period pants that went viral

:: MONDAY ::
As part of my ongoing research into “our periods as secret Goddess code” (both for myself personally, and for you as a chapter in MY BOOK – which will be out spring ’17 y’all!) I met Thinx founder Miki Agrawal – the kick-ass entrepreneur taking the taboo out of periods with her leak-proof period panties. Most lately with her kick-ass ad campaign that’s currently plastered all over the Bedford St L stop in Brooklyn. For part of the campaign (which went viral btw, after the MTA refused to run ads with the word “period” in them, WTF), Miki asked her customers to complete the phrase: “Thinx is…” One of my faves is in the picture below. Right on, sisters!

:: TUESDAY ::
I think I had the perfect cup of tea with my friends at CAP Beauty, the West Village high-vibe beauty boutique. As in, not only are the products they stock all natural and chemical free, they contain ingredients that actually contribute to your overall radiance – to which Cindy and Kerriynn, who I met while they were in the planning phases for the store, are the living, glowing testament. Anyway, this is the recipe for the tea they gave me: 1 x Lamill chai tea bag, 1/2 x tspn Sun Potion’s He Shou Wu, 1 x tspn coconut oil. Mix, or even better, blend. Life-changing.

Sun Potion He Shou Wu, $66, CAP Beauty

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Shout to my friend Kate for launching her Shop For Syria online auction – a frankly mind-blowing selection of donated gifts, profits from the sale of which will go to. Seriously, how many times when thinking about the holidays does the notion of actual “goodwill to all (wo)men” cross your mind. Yeah, thought so. So whatever Christmas shopping you had in mind, seriously check this out first: Shopforsyria.tumblr.com You can even bid for a personalized VM message from SIA!

:: THURSDAY ::
When your acupuncturist begins your session by asking if you’re familiar with the spiritual roots of S&M…you’re supposed to jump off the table, right? Or not. If you’re me, you pay close attention as she describes how allowing your body to just surrender to whatever sensations it’s experiencing, is actually the path to the most profound relaxation known to human tissue. And since my human tissue seriously needs to relax, I gave her the green flag to go deep. Yes it “hurt” (what’s in a label!) – but floated home in the kind of daze I get after a deep tissue massage. With an added acupuncture buzz. Surrender forever.

:: FRIDAY ::
So I spent a large part of last night texting with my friend about what practitioners and alternative therapies I thought she should try to tackle an issue she’s being faced with right now – and it really got me thinking about how much experience I’ve had in this area. At one point I even texted: “Lol – I’m like Google for healers!” I honestly love nothing better than coming up with this kind of high-vibe “prescription” – I once had a friend who put herself on what she called “Ruby’s Regime” when she wanted to sort her life out…and it totally worked! So what I wanna know it, could I help you in this way too? Answers below, as it’s a string I’m considering adding to my bow…

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: THE SCENT OF A GODDESS, AND 5 EMPOWERING TAROT LESSONS

This week, 5 empowering tarot lessons that helped me past my fear of the cards…

I got over my fear of the Tarot. Confession. As much as I’ve always been attracted to the tarot, it’s also a tool I’ve shied away from as a lot of the time the cards I pull for myself tend towards the negative – if not downright scary! Anybody else with me on this?? It’s one reason I love Louise Androlia’s Tarotscopes, as no matter how “heavy” the message, she finds a way to put an empowering spin on it.

When my friend Elyssa told me she’d got over HER fear of the cards with a tarot lessons from her favorite reader Lindsay Mack (a.k.a. Wild Soul Healing), I decided it was time to move beyond my own pussy-ass position on the tarot, too. So I booked a session with Lindsay – and it was so, so awesome!! Here are 5 key fear-busting take-aways from our 90-minute tarot lesson:

  • Tarot is not a predictor of anything. Tarot is just a mirror, a bridge to an awareness of the answer that is for your absolute highest good – the Truth with a capital “T”.
  • The only thing all living beings have in common is that we all experience evolution. Which means there’s nothing that can come up for you, or happen to you, that isn’t for you. See the tarot this way, and you’ll see that every message in every card is an invitation home.
  • The Major Arcana in particular (The Fool through The World), contain an invitational energy from divine intelligence to ask us to evolve and to wake up. But since our nervous system and brain chemistry prefers the comfort of staying still, evolution and growth will always be accompanied by resistance and fear.
  • Evolution is a process of expansion (excitement about change) and contraction (resistance to / fear of change). “Negative” cards (like the Devil, the Tower) simply represent BIG contractions, to show us where we’re slipping back into old patters, and ask us to examine why this is.
  • Finally, when reading into a card, interpret the message as if you were reading for your five-year old self – with loving kindness, and a protective attitude.

Which is already making me feel way better about my future tarot lessons. If this is where you’re at too, Lindsay suggests a daily card pull to begin to get to know your deck better, with the enquiry: “Highest power, please can I have some more information on the truth with a capital “T” about (insert pressing concern of the day here).”

Oh, and read this book! Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom

Book a reading or tarot lessons with Lindsay at the link, and follow her on Instagram to find out about her Sacred Tarot School.

I reconnected to Lakshmi. My fave – the Hindu Goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. And no, not through meditation, prayer, a badass new Goddess deck, or any other sort of spiritual practice – I simply restocked my supply of Lakshmi fragrance oil from The Goddess Line! Which happens to smell a whole lot like an old favorite of mine, the now discontinued Rumeur by Lanvin…only it’s totally vegan (as in the “musky” element of the scent comes from a blend of oils, opposed to the glandular secretions of actual animals) and chemical free.

V important to me these days, since I had a facial with celebrity aesthetician Christine Chin. Known as “Mean Christine” for her take-no-prisoners approach to pimples, she told me: “perfume is poison to the neck!” As in, the alcohol in most mass market fragrance is what dries out the skin on your neck, causing a crepe-paper effect, enlarged pore and wrinkles. And Christine is Gisele’s go-to. I rest my case.

The Goddess Line Lakshmi Roll-on Fragrance Oil, $30