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.
:: 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…
Tarot is having a moment. And with more artists than ever bringing forth new versions of the classic Tarot, it’s never been easier to unleash your inner reader and find a deck that sings to you! Whether you’re a witchy mama looking for something a little more macabre, or a Kundalini goddess in search of some high vibes, there is a deck out there with your name on it.
To aid your search, we’ve rounded up five hot off the press tarot obsessions, kicking things off with an interview with the goddess behind The Starchild Tarot, Danielle Noel, about her special edition Akashic Records deck. By Gabriela Herstik.
The Numinous: First off, we love that you’re including the Akashic Records as a card in the major arcana of your new deck. What will the card represent? Starchild Tarot: Thank you! I have always thought of the Akashic records as a source of mystery and divine information. At first, it was a somewhat abstract concept to grasp. When I was younger and just beginning to understand its significance, I imagined ancient manuscripts containing hidden and sacred knowledge, and thought, “how can I access this?” Now I understand the ‘Akashic Records’ as an energetic source which contains various frameworks of spiritual truths, with information pertaining to yourself, your life paths, incarnations, and the Universe at large. When you work with the cards, you have access to this information too, and are essentially connecting with the endless possibilities available to you.
The Akashic Records card of this special edition comes after the traditional 21st card (The World/The Universe), as a bridge beyond this holistic key, which I think connects well with how we are evolving at this time on our planet. I truly believe that a shift is currently taking place – energies are being enhanced and polarized, insights and sacred knowledge are rising to the surface like never before, and we are being forced to really think about our own enlightenment, mortality, and collective consciousness. This card taps into the acknowledgement of yourself as more than a physical being. It encourages you to take note of your own karmic imprints, and to consider the sacred knowledge that is being offered to us all at this time.
TN: Your imagery is super feminine and dreamy. Do you think that sort of energy in a deck makes it easier for the reader to access the Akashic Records? ST: Certain sacred spaces and forms of sacred geometry are very activating, which is why I incorporate particular sites, colours, and symbols throughout this deck. This one also has a lot of pastel hues (pink and corals in particular) which connect with the heart chakra. My intention with each image is to inspire your imagination and intuition, through the layering of various visual triggers and healing modalities.
TN: Do you have a favorite card in this new deck? Why? (We won’t tell the others!) ST: I have to say I really love the “Akashic Records” card. The image seems like one of the strongest visual portals that come up, and I’m curious to see how people will respond to it. Each symbol, colour, and portion of that card plays significant role in its interpretation. I have a deep fascination and love for Thoth and the emerald tablets, as well as the history of Atlantis, so those keys are also embedded in the image.
TN: What else is different about the new deck? ST: There are a lot of new cards, which came from the desire to keep making new “gateways,” and the style for this deck is also slightly different than its predecessor. I added a lot of hand painted layers and watercolour textures, and it is much less “collage” based and more illustrative. Some of the cards from the original Starchild Tarot have remained in the Akashic edition, however, they have each been modified with painted overlays and new details.
Throughout the Major Arcana I have also added “Spiritual Keys” to help each reader along their journey into the Akashic records. These categories (Chakras, Gemstones, Guides, Symbols, Astrological/Planetary) can be used to expand your knowledge when working with a specific card, or to apply meditative and/or magical practices throughout the use of the Starchild Tarot. I have also added two new spreads in the guidebook (The Akashic Spread & Metatron Spread).
TN: Is creating collages on the cards a meditative experience for you? How does it aid your own journey with the Tarot? ST: Meditation and energy work has been a huge part of my life over these past few years, and creating the cards has gone hand in hand with these explorations. I always start with the backgrounds which are ALL familiar to me in some way or another. Many of them come from photographs from my own travels, or of sacred sites from around the globe.
Our planet has so many activation points, with many of the great monuments working as chakras within the energy grid of Gaia. To acknowledge and respect these points honors the interconnectedness of us all, as they illustrate our history and spiritual evolution. The Tarot is a simple yet complex visual representation of ancient stories and concepts, and I think about this when I am creating the images. Somehow, they act as smaller pieces to a much larger cosmic puzzle.
TN: How do you choose the incredible real-life women featured in your decks? ST: I’ve been lucky to have crossed paths with some amazing women and light workers, and when I began creating the decks, I thought that by integrating these guides, the energy of the cards would be enhanced through the powerful intention and co-creation that was put into the imagery. They are mediums, tarot readers, energy healers and others, who all share a common love for the Tarot and Magick overall.
TN: Which deck did you learn on, and what other decks are in your practice today? ST: The first deck I ever purchased was a second-hand copy of ‘The Aquarian Tarot’ – I found it at a local flea market, and strangely, it had two Ace of Swords! After that, I learned on the ‘Tarot of a Moongarden’ and the ‘Thoth’ Tarot, but there are so many decks that I now love and appreciate. I also love that more and more people are tapping into the Tarot as a tool for self-healing and learning, and it doesn’t surprise me that it’s become so popular.
I think this comes from the “waking up” process that’s happening – there is a need for more spiritual outlets, as people are recognizing the importance of introspection, and the existence of more than what we see “on the surface”. Currently, the decks I use the most are my own, The Aquarian Tarot, The Klimt Tarot, Spiritspeak Tarot, The Goddess Tarot, and the Thoth Tarot.
TN: What’s the one thing that you want people reading your cards to know? ST: There are many hidden layers and symbols in this deck. These were added as activation tools, so I am curious to see how they will be received. I have put a lot of love into this project, and hope that each person who reads the cards will be able to build their own relationship with the images and interpretations. That is my intention: I hope you feel supported and cared for when using these cards.
I would also like to point out that this new deck is not a replacement of the first, rather a special edition that opens up new insights. I am going to be re-releasing the “first edition” in the new year, so both decks will be available for sale, along with my future Moonchild Tarot, which is the shadow companion to The Starchild decks. I’m also working with a writer, and together we are creating a very special Oracle deck that I can’t wait to share in the not so distant future!
The Wild Unknown Second Edition The Wild Unknown has quickly become a cult classic and with good reason. The wilderness inspired deck speaks to our innermost existence with its beautiful imagery, so it comes as no surprise that the Universe seems to be vibin’ at a higher frequency (read major excitement) at the release of the Second Edition deck. Although most cards remain the same as in the first edition, the cards illustrator Kim Krans has chosen to revisit are absolutely stunning – and help infuse readings with a colorful new energy.
The Four of Swords is bathed in a radiant blue green aura, Temperance is complimented with a sweet rainbow background and The Lovers scream “relationship goals” now more than ever, with cotton candy colors woven behind the two geese. The icing on the cake? A new, more in depth, fold out guide to each card. Although the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” reads true most of the time, we’re happy The Wild Unknown chose to ignore it on this occasion.
The Fountain Tarot Deeply cosmic, The Fountain Tarot speaks to our unyielding need to find a deeper connection to the Universe we inhabit, and the souls who walk alongside us. The journey to this fountain of bliss starts as soon as you open the silver holographic fantasy of a box the cards reside in. From here, a greeting stating “you are the breath and voice of Universes” on the inside cover, sets the tone.
Designed and written by Jason Gruhl, Jonathan Saiz and Andi Todaro, the surreal imagery of each card allows an exploration of the sacred point where inner purpose meets outer expression. Perhaps most notably in The Fountain card itself, number “infinity,” which invites us to “surrender to that which you are, whole and perfect.” An invitation to remember that at our core, our true self is so much greater than we recognize.
Serpentfire Tarot Sixth Edition The colorful, dreamlike landscape of the Serpentfire deck by Devany Wolfe is unparalleled – and so totally Numinous. This deck is a beautiful tribute to the Goddess in us all, with an exploration of Kundalini energy woven throughout. These cards are for the dreamers, the seekers, the weavers, and those who feel an affinity to the Universe around them, even (especially) when it seems almost too big for their grasp.
Collages appear in some capacity in almost every card, from The Lovers personified as two wolves howling at a cosmic pyramid exploding with jewel-toned bliss, to The World being held over a Goddesses head with the Moon phases interlaced on top. This is no mundane magick. From the exquisite sacred geometry collage on the back of each card, to the brightly colorful, vibrantly infused and completely otherworldly art created by Wolf, this deck is truly spectacular.
Spirit Speak Tarot Deck If you’re into the more macabre, DIY, gothic look, the Spirit Speak tarot by Mary Bean Evans is right up your ally. With an alluring, sketchy quality, the illustrations for this deck resonate at their own slightly darker frequency – inviting you with a wink and a dripping dagger to step into that which is unknown. But feminist imagery, a clear love for the occult, and a really beautiful take on the Universe and the Cosmos also appears throughout.
So whether you pulling a bone hanging precariously atop a dagger to form a scale for “Justice” or a long-haired queen cradling a rune and her wand as “The Empress,” the Spirit Speak will quite literally…speak to your spirit. Let’s just say if the friendly monsters under your bed were into divination, they would have this deck on lock.
As Neptune goes direct and the Sun moves into Sagittarius, it’s the perfect time to instigate a conversation with the divine. And your journal is the place to start, says Katie Simpson.
Almost 18 years ago, I bought my first journal. It was a small back hardbound book covered in pictures of Mickey Mouse designs. I’ve since journaled for self-care, self-expression, and so much more.
In the past year, my journal has provided a surprising new benefit: it’s become the space where I have dialogues with the Divine. This began on more intense days, such as in the build up to a New or Full Moon ritual. But now I can have these conversations during lunch breaks, late nights, or days when I am sick.
To be clear, these conversations don’t require any mind-altering substances. The most I have in my system may be a cigarette or a glass or two of wine. And my most profound conversations with the divine occur when I’m completely sober.
Journaling and talking to God both happen in my journal but look very different. When I’m journaling, I write my thoughts down as they come. With the Divine, it’s a written conversation. It sounds and looks like two different people having a discussion. I will write something, and then She responds. The best way to explain it is like the old written notes we used to pass in class. Only I am both one of the writers and the messenger.
These dialogues are a gift, but not one that’s unique to me. I believe that with a little time and effort, you can have these kinds of conversations as well. Here are a few practices that have helped me commune with the Divine through the written word.
:: The faces of God :: As a religious studies major in college, I learned a lot about the different faces of God. For example, in Hinduism, you could see Kali, Goddess of destruction, and Sarasvati, Goddess of wisdom, as two separate entities. Or they could represent two different aspects of the same Divine Feminine.
So often in the Judaea-Christian West, we focus on God as a judge, ruler, or father figure. But for many women, it’s difficult to connect with this. Personally, I connect best with Jewish idea of the Shechina. She is the feminine, the maternal presence, that I see when I reach out to God. And as such, she is the one who communicates with me on the page.
To begin a dialogue with anybody, you need to feel a connection with them. It’s the same with the Divine. Perhaps you need God to be a fierce warrior. Or perhaps you prefer the idea of God as Sophia, or wisdom. There’s no wrong answer. So think back to which icons, saints or experiences really made the divine manifest for you. Is there a pattern? What images and ideas do you gravitate towards now? Exploring this is a great start to feeling a connection with the Divine.
:: The inner God block :: For me, God has never just picked up the pen on her own and started writing: she writes through me. Which means that before the Divine can show up on the page, I have to make space for her – space beyond the doubt, the criticism and the disbelief around God, that so many of us have developed.
To give her space, a free-writing practice is critical. Each morning, I sit down and write three pages, either typed on my computer, or in a hardbound journal. No editing, no second guessing, just writing. Have I perfected this practice? No, but showing up helps me be honest on the page. This way, when the Divine does decide it’s time for a chat, I don’t fight it. I just keep writing.
This practice does take time: I’ve been doing it for over two years now. A couple glasses of wine could be a faster way to muting the inner critic. However, drugs are only a quick fix. Taking the time to show up and write will prepare you to have a dialogue with God, whether it’s 8am or 8pm.
:: Just ask :: My dialogues with the Divine don’t start off in a complicated way. In fact, they usually begin with a vulnerable honesty.
“I’m so scared of telling him, what will happen?”
“I’m feeling so tired today, I just want to rest in your arms.”
I don’t believe there’s one right way to start chatting with God. For me, it’s about being simple and direct. My dialogues began by me being honest about where I was and what I needed – while the maternal Shechinah simply listened, and held me.
It’s very rare that God reaches out to me or begins the dialogue. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have had any dialogues with God if I hadn’t started the conversations. Why? I wouldn’t have even known I was hearing the Divine.
And what YOU need when chatting with God could look and sound completely different. However, it is up to you to show up. It’s up to you to say you want the conversation, and in fact it’s critical that you ASK for it. The Divine is all around us, waiting. It’s up to us to show we’re ready for a deeper connection.
:: Say Thanks :: I’ve seen it time and again in human relationships. Want to mess something up? Take a person for granted. Believe that your employee will simply continue producing great work and never leave – and just watch that relationship ferment into a bitter and moldy fruit.
The Divine doesn’t need gratitude. However, simply assuming that you can continue to have dialogues with God won’t do, since becoming proud and assuming of this connection is a surefire way to destroy the dialogue.
Being in the presence of the Divine should always feel like a gift. As such, showing good manners and saying even a quick thank you after the fact can help. There are other ways to show your appreciation: donate money to your favorite charity; give a loved one a call and tell them you love them; pick up some trash from your park.
Divine dialogue has become a gift that helps me be the best version of myself, for others and for myself. Whether you find God on the blank page or in the woods, know that it is your birth right to have time and space directly with her. But taking time to discover what aspects of the Divine resonate with you, and then actually asking for that relationship, are fundamental to creating and sustaining this connection for the long haul.
“Women ourselves have bought into this idea of ‘feminine’ as meaning ‘weaker’…” Jo Becker‘s Marianne Williamson interview speaks to what it means to be woman and a spiritual activist.
Marianne Williamson is a powerhouse. The fierce voice of modern spirituality shares her love-driven ideas on how to heal America far and wide: she’s written four New York Times #1 bestsellers, chats with Oprah on the regular, and even ran for Congress in 2013. To me, she embodies the future of feminine leadership and spiritual activism.
I’m inspired by her eloquent commitment to heart-centered change. Years before I read her books, I heard her life-changing statement from A Return to Love, the quotation she is now famous for:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I caught up with her at an Institute of Noetic Sciences conference. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell founded IONS back in 1973 after experiencing samadhi during the flight back to earth. Since then, IONS has been devoted to bringing together science and spirituality. I see Marianne Williamson as similarly groundbreaking in her work: she joyfully and relentlessly marries political activism with spiritual awareness.
The Dalai Lama said, “The world does not need more successful people. The world desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.” Personally, I think the world needs successful peacemakers, healers, and lovers; and numinous women like Marianne Williamson are shining examples.
A lot of people think that “spiritual activism” is a contradiction. What would you say to them? Spiritual activism is a change in thinking: from a mental filter of fear to a mental filter of love. Given that thought is the causal level of all experience, active thought and change of thought is the most powerful force in the Universe.
Earlier today, a scientist was talking about how information, as in data, is only 10% of what causes people to actually change their behavior. And we have the data. We know what climate change is doing, we know how dangerous nuclear power is. We have the data on what violence on television and video games is doing to young people’s brains, we have the data on the carcinogens that are in the air…So why is it that “knowing the data” isn’t enough to make us change?
What makes us change comes from a deeper place, and that’s what spiritual activism is. It’s when something of the spirit, of the heart, becomes active in our thinking, and our thinking gets lit up. Because the mind itself can be used for purposes of love or purposes of fear, so spiritual activism is when we seek to do whatever it is we do from a place of love and with the intention of love.
And I’m talking about the love with which the mother lion protects her cubs. The love with which the adult female [and some males] of any species that survives and thrives exhibits fierce behavior when she senses that her cubs are threatened. So the marginalization of spirituality, the minimization of love as force, is just part of the ego mind’s propaganda.
Do you resonate with what the Dalai Lama said: “the Western woman will save the world?” Of course I resonate with it, but with all due respect to the Dalai Lama, I don’t think we need any man’s verification. I have a bit of a problem with the fact that we’re quoting a man to affirm our own power. I have the same great respect and reverence for His Holiness as anyone, but come on girls! I think what’s most important is that you say it. And I say it. Because we are affirming what we are doing: that this world is changing because we say so. Because we say so.
You’re doing a lot of work right now with balancing masculine and feminine energies in women. Why is this important to you? It’s such a significant issue. I am a product of the 1970’s wave of feminism—obviously the women’s movement is a wonderful thing, obviously I consider myself a feminist. But there is what I think of as a flawed strain of feminism, through which we actually suppressed the feminine in the name of feminism. And we embodied in many cases the archetype of Athena. She goes out there, she goes into the world, she manifests, she makes things happen.
But we get to embody as many energies, i.e. goddesses, as we choose, and Aphrodite is important as well. She embodies romance and beauty and pleasure, and I think many women, myself included have had a lot of psychic scars from buying into the belief that cultivating the masculine side of ourselves was actually more important than cultivating the feminine side.
I also think a lot of women have come to a very confusing point in their lives, realizing ‘I made this happen’ or ‘I made that happen.’ ‘I had these professional goals—some of which I’ve manifested, some of which I haven’t.’ But when are the other areas of my life, which are just as important to me, going to occur? Old wise women don’t get pregnant.
I’ve seen a lot of young women particularly deeply saddened, even traumatized, by the fact that while they feel they’re on some track professionally, their relationships, and child-bearing and deeper issues of cultivation of the family and romance have become…it’s like women are standing there saying, ‘How did I become clueless in this area?’ And then not only ‘How did I become clueless?’ but ‘What are the clues?’ They’ve become lost.
Inviting in the Aphrodite energy of love, pleasure, beauty – what does that look like in a woman? The integration of the Aphrodite and the Athena in my own life has been so important. I think obviously we’re all masculine, we’re all feminine, but women are here to major in feminine. It’s part of honoring our incarnation not to sideline something so fundamental to our being. And women ourselves have bought into this idea of ‘feminine’ as meaning ‘weaker’ without knowing it. Not women as weaker, but feminine attributes as weaker. I think many of us are seeking to reclaim lost pieces of ourselves, scattered pieces of ourselves.
What advice do you have for young women? I think my biggest advice to young women would be, ‘enjoy it while you got it.’
And not try to be the ‘wise woman’ before your time? The decades of life are like different rooms in the house. I have a daughter, early childhood, junior high, tween, high school college, now she’s a woman on her own. None of those phases is more or less magnificent than any other. And being in your 20s is fantastic, so be in your 20s when you’re in your 20s. Being in your 50s is fantastic; being in your 60s is fantastic. With every phase you lose something and you gain something. Be where you are when you’re there.
Having said that, I think something good is happening among American women. We’re starting to catch up, and we need to. We’ve not been the most mature group compared to women in other societies. And we’ve acted like we’re clueless regarding the suffering of women around the world, particularly at the hands of our own government in too many cases. We decry the policies towards women of a place like Saudi Arabia and for good reason, but when we invade countries that didn’t do anything to hurt us, a lot of the people who are dying in such invasion are women and their children.
So this is not a time for women of any age to be ditzy. This is a time to be deep. But I see many women of all ages seeking greater depth and it’s inspiring.
How do you think we can start to wake up to the suffering of others without dismissing it as ‘other people’s karma’? Oh please! What a brilliant ego device that is. It might be that person’s karma to be starving, but it is my karma to give them food. Their karmic challenge might be that challenge; my karmic challenge is to help those who suffer that way. The ego is brilliant at coming up with excuses for not helping. There is no serious spiritual path, and there never has been, that gives any of us a pass at addressing the suffering of other sentient beings.
Now, get sucked in by it? Absolutely not. But there’s a difference between denial and transcendence. If you don’t even look at it, you’re not in transcendence. You’re in denial. But if you look at it and practice positive denial, which is: I deny the power of this phenomenon to continue. Why? Because I said so. Because I’m gonna do something about it. Because I know other people are gonna do something about it and we’re gonna make sure this ends. That’s positive denial.
Do you have a daily spiritual practice? I am a student of A Course in Miracles. The course is 365 days of lessons; mine today is, ‘I will be still an instant and go home.’ Yesterday was, ‘I trust my brothers who are one with me.’ It’s a specific curriculum for dismantling a thought system based on fear, and accepting instead a thought system based on love. So spiritual exercise becomes like physical exercise. You are rebuilding your body, but with spiritual exercise you are honing your attitudinal musculature, just like in yoga. You want the correct position in your attitude, just like in your body. With physical exercise, you are developing your physical muscles so you can be strong and run. In spiritual exercise you are developing your capacity to be still. Your capacity for impulse control.
What practical applications does this have? It means there is a greatly diminished probability that you will send the frickin’ text that you will regret for six months. It diminishes the possibility you will say or do something or push the send button that will so sabotage a relationship or work situation or whatever. It diminishes the possibility that you will be so distracted by the meaningless chaos of the world that you will not be able to show up fully as a fully actualized human. We wake up in the morning and we take a shower because we want yesterday’s dirt to be cleansed off our bodies, but if you don’t meditate or pray, you might not be cleaning yesterday’s dirt from your mind. So internal purification is as important as external purification.
Marianne Williamson’s The Aphrodite Training began October 23 2015 and will continue to be available via live stream through October 25 2015. Get all the details and sign up here.
The Indian festival of Navaratri begins today, and is a nine-day opportunity to work with the Goddess Energy of the Divine Feminine to amplify your personal power. Anita Kaushal explains how…
Autumn signals colder, darker nights and this can leave many of us feeling physically and emotionally fatigued. At times of weakness we need to summon strength and this can take many forms. So it’s fortunate that Tuesday 13th October signals the start of Navaratri – the nine-day Indian festival devoted to Durga – the Goddess of Shakti, or power and strength.
Nava-ratri translates to ‘nav’ meaning nine, ‘ra’ meaning night and ‘tri’ meaning the three aspects of mind, body and soul. This festival happens twice a year – in spring to celebrate sowing seeds, and autumn, when we reap the harvest. The exact dates are determined by the lunar calendar and the celebrations pay homage to the three aspects of Goddess Durga – as Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Together the three aspects of Durga represent the Divine Feminine energy that creates all that is. Here we share with you how you can tap into the Divine at this sacred time, and in doing so supercharge your inner strength to bring you greater fulfillment and peace.
:: October 13-15 :: For the first three nights of Navaratri, meditate on the destructive aspect of Durga as Kali – a symbol of change, power, creation, preservation and back to destruction. Here we see Kali as the destroyer of ego, the mind-made personality that cultivates fear based thinking, leading to anger, greed and hatred. However, this is not a time to deny these aspects of your personality, as to deny is to strengthen. Instead use this time to reach a greater understanding of when and where these mind-made habits took form and how they are triggered in the present.
Cultivate the understanding that you are not these labels, and allow the feelings to come and then go. Thank these feelings for bringing you closer to the aspects you wish to cultivate, which represent your true nature. Let Kali guide you to turn anger into patience, greed into trust and hatred into love. Above all this is a time to simply surrender, knowing that nothing is permanent. Kali is often depicted with her tongue hanging out and you may know this stance from yoga – you exhale the negative and let it go.
:: October 16-18 :: Spend the next three nights meditating upon the Divine Mother as Lakshmi – the Goddess of Abundance. Depicted with four arms, sitting resplendent on a full-bloomed lotus with gold coins cascading from her hands, Lakshmi represents the beauty and bounty of nature. Her four arms represent the four ends of human life: “dharma” or righteousness, “kama” or desire, “artha” or wealth, and “moksha” or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This is the perfect time to connect to your heart space and get clear on what abundance means to you.
Trust that the abundance meant for you cannot be taken away, and is simply waiting until you are ready to receive the download and that can only happen when you get clear and free from free of fear. During these three days, give freely of all you would love to receive. Nurture yourself by creating sacred space for beautifying, balancing rituals, buy yourself something special and then wear it – special occasion or not! Savor good food, give compliments and be open to receiving them too – this is the time to feel abundant with all your being. And if you don’t do it already, now is the time to start a gratitude journal – fill it with all you already feel grateful for and watch it multiply.
:: October 19-21 :: On the final three nights, meditate upon the Divine Feminine as the wisdom-bestowing aspect known as Saraswati. The Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and wisdom, Saraswati brings the joy of learning and of self-realisation. This is an excellent time to sign up for a course, read inspiring articles, read a translated version of the Gayatri Mantra to further deepen your knowledge and create a mediate practice.
Equally, it is a time to create a ‘to don’t list’! Learning should be fun and if you have a long list that is not getting done, ask yourself if you ever really wanted to do it in the first place? Why set yourself up to fail? Who are you proving things to and for? Use this time to truly connect to what you want and give up everything else. Think about all the lessons you have learnt and give thanks for growing wisdom.
Throughout the nine days of Navaratri, focus on breathing as an opportunity to inhale the qualities you wish to nurture and exhale the qualities that no longer serve you. Traditionally, the 10th day concludes by offering nine girls from the local neighbourhood treats of some kind, be it sweets and clothing – to symbolize an offering to the Divine Goddesses. We offer gratitude to the Divine Mother and celebrate in a state of sat-chit-ananda, or truth-consciousness-bliss, and conclude with Vijayadasami (Vijay – victory, and dasami – tenth day), symbolizing the victory of the Goddess over all demonic forces. Think about the small but significiant victories you have made as you have focused on Durga, and give thanks for how far you have come.
Anita Kaushal is the founder of Ayurveda-inspired natural beauty line Mauli Rituals. Find out more about her and her journey at the link, and follow her @mauli_rituals.
And almost ten years sober, her experiences inform her work as a healer to this day, says former psychedelics addict Jesse Heid.
My six siblings and I grew up in what I can only describe as a mellow and small Christian cult, created by my parents. Their worship centered around a Buddha-Christ figure and I took it very literally when they taught me, ‘Jesus lives in your heart.’ To me, Jesus was the most gorgeous, the most beautiful hunky guy. I had that classic ’70’s portrait of him on my bedroom wall, the one where he’s sexy Jesus with the beard.
I had always felt that I was Christ’s favorite kid. I really thrived on the sense I developed early on that I was sacred and Beloved to the Divine. He did everything with me, ballet classes and tea parties. He also was also the compassionate witness to all my childhood traumas. As a result, I had a very intimate, loving, and positively romantic relationship to the Divine.
But when I first altered my consciousness with marijuana around age 21, I started to hear a new voice guiding that Divine dialog, and it was the voice of a woman. This Great Feminine presence was the raddest experience of my life. Beyond words, beyond what I could describe as Love and Wisdom. When I started using various psychedelics and entheogens this Divine female voice took on a great authority – such authority, it made Jesus look like your super casual, chill best friend.
Goddess I call her, and her voice commands deep loving RESPECT. And, while in hallucinogenic and other altered states, I was in constant dialog with her. Mostly her talking to me while I tripped on this miraculous communion with her.
Although I certainly partied, I was intentionally using psychedelics and plant medicine as sacraments. I didn’t necessarily differentiate the “party” from what others call “temple” or “ritual.” Basically, I was in it for the transcendent, mystical experiences. And while I experienced deep healing on my adventures, of course this way of exploring consciousness can have tremendous consequences. Especially in a culture where as a trippy young healer, I had no mentors or sacred container for this unusual path.
For seven years, from 1999 to 2006, I tripped often, and was rarely truly sober – the time I was “landing” from one trip I was getting ready to take off on another. It’s important to note that I believe I was able to carry on like this for so many years because I was generally micro dosing – imbibing very small doses – of the highest quality substances. This enabled me to function well in my daily life, but still get Divinely freaky. I also think my severe allergy to alcohol has been a blessing really. I’ve never been able to drink, so I was never taxed physically that way.
But I was a psychedelics addict. I ate mushrooms almost every day for over a year. I would pop them in my mouth like people pop breath mints. I did psilocybin until they stopped having any effect, a tragedy when it happened. Other years, the pattern went something like: Molly on a Monday, Tuesday, some pot cookies and coffee, Wednesday, maybe a day off, LSD for Thursday, and bit of Foxy on Friday. The weekends would be a surprise mixed bag.
During this period, I was also running a Pilates studio in the East Village of New York City. I had a very robust clientele with a waiting list. I was a very popular teacher, and was frequently teaching while on psychedelics. Beyond surviving as a young women in the City, I was thriving.
And all the time, I felt the Goddess was teaching me the nature of the Universe. What I saw was a matrix of loving energy weaving through everything, and how the negative space between objects is perfect. That everything is whole, and also interconnected. Whenever I laid hands on my client I was able to see the matrix inside of us, the fascia system, and the way this extends outside of us to connect us to everything. That these filaments remain unbroken, and cannot be broken.
If this sort of Divine Matrix can be an abstract concept to even the most dedicated “believer,” I could visually see this in a psychedelic state. And this is really what I was working on with my clients all day.
People would come to the studio to get a Pilates lesson, and then they would tell me their neck hurt. So I would put them on the Pilates Cadillac and work on their fascia, in a psychedelic state, and then tell them it was “Pilates.” And even while they were talking to me about their stressful lives, the Goddess was whispering instructions in my ear the whole time about what they needed for healing. It was all very mysterious and magical, and it really worked for me for a long time.
Goddess also revealed to me everyone’s true voice. That was consistent on every trip, no matter what I was on. No matter what medicine I was dosing with, everyone I encountered spoke to me as an extremely vulnerable, innocent five-year-old. It even seemed like the more serious someone was, the more of a heartbreakingly precocious child they were inside.
I was working with CEO’s, neurosurgeons, film producers and their stars, and all I could hear was the innocent child, just trying to navigate and negotiate the suffering of this world.
Now remember, I am completely, 100 percent, not a rebel. I am a good girl, a product of my environment. I was doing what I was taught; “you talk to God. You do loving kindness and make art. You take responsibility for your Divine nature, as Jesus lives in your heart.” And I was never criticized by my family for doing drugs of any sort.
But I don’t think they knew how much I was doing. I don’t think anyone could conceive of how much I was doing because I was so highly functional. But in the end, I started mixing in cocaine. Not because I ever liked cocaine, it was never my drug of choice. But I rarely slept from doing psychedelics, and I had to go to work in the day, so it became like coffee to me. Plus, people were giving me coke for free. The East Village of NYC was different beast back then, and it’s how my clients would tip me sometimes.
With this harder substance in the mix, my lifestyle was finally taking its toll physically, and very quickly. I went down to 95 lbs. I also started to lose any and all respect for society’s rules. Everywhere I went, I was smoking a huge, fat joint.
I started to see a Jungian psychoanalyst, and it was clear to him, I think, that here was a talented young healer, going too far on her mystical trip. He was like, “Are you smart? I think it might just be the drugs that make you feel smart.” Soon I wanted to know if I WAS talented, if I WAS creative, if I had any value, if my friends even liked me (which it turns out they didn’t really), without drugs.
At the same time, the Goddess was telling me; “I’m bringing the hurt if you ever do cocaine again. And by the way, you have to take THIS much acid because it won’t work anymore…” I couldn’t do Molly anymore. Everything was just giving me a headache. When it finally ended, I had taken drugs for 92 days straight, just a few days over 3 months.
That last trip, I mixed a lot of cocaine with acid. Do not EVER do cocaine and acid. I felt as if every single fiber of connective tissue in my body was having a migraine. For days, I could feel my nail beds. I lay on my back for about seven hours to protect my spine. I was in full head to toe spasms. Every single part of me was throbbing with the message; “It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.” And I needed that brutality. Pain is my greatest teacher.
When I quit drugs, I went through the terrible loneliness of feeling disconnected from the Divine. I went from a Universe that was beyond Technicolor and blissful joy, to a world that was grainy, fuzzy black and white. Food didn’t taste good. Music sounded like shit. People lost the innocence in their voice. And my friends were very, very angry at me. Very angry at me for quitting drugs, because, I realized, they had lost their best curator for trips. I had curated fantastic trips.
I felt like I had been kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and kicked out because I couldn’t handle it anymore, and had abused the sacraments. But I also had faith that things were unfolding as they should. I quickly figured out that not only did I have a drug addiction, but almost an addiction to spiritual epiphanies. Now I needed time to digest, to integrate the massive insights I acquired. The Jungian analysis was really fundamental to this. I saw my therapist three times a week for six years.
Physically, I went from one hundred to zero by myself. I swore off absolutely everything that could alter my consciousness, including several years without caffeine. I was being penitent. And there was no 12-step group for psychedelics. I would piggyback on Cocaine Anonymous and AA, but that didn’t work out for me very well. I was dropped by every sponsor, predominantly because they weren’t a psychedelics addict. They were alcoholics, and it’s just a very different vibe to recover from.
I feel very blessed that my body had an easier time dealing with withdrawal than most, and that I was able to fully quit on my own without medical assistance. But my mind and spirit was in hell. I also had to get over the shame of being a psychedelics addict. It was hard work to do that, and it was hard work to participate in life and to show up for people.
On another level, I also had to participate more spiritually. I couldn’t just take the medicine and have Goddess come to me. I actually had to do the work to get into a mystic state. I found myself studying meditation, ritual, and ceremony to try to integrate the wisdom I sourced on my trips into my daily life, but also simply because I missed my communion with Goddess. This period of recovery was a cocooning stage really, where I withdrew from the world to work on myself.
I consider it a miracle that my ability to understand spatial relationships on a very deep somatic level, my understanding of inner space, remained with me through sobriety. Psychedelics taught me everything that I use in my career as a healer now, and these days I just tell my clients the truth when they ask about my methods. That this is something I developed when I did psychedelics regularly, and explored inner space. I often say that once you peak behind the curtain, you can’t “un-see” what you found there. However, integrating that wisdom into daily life is a whole other trip!
I also know that for my spiritual evolution, I needed to know the real darkness of addiction. I relate so deeply to the path of the Wounded Healer, and so many of us are battling addictions of every sort. I’m much more of service as a healer having had to heal myself from my addiction to hallucinogenic drugs. I look back, and rather than deny that part of myself, I feel blessed I got experience it. But I’m far more grateful I got to recover from it.
I do not recommend MY path to anyone else however, and I consider myself very lucky to be here. But witnessing the renaissance for psychedelics unfolding around me now, and the healing aspects of non-ordinary states of consciousness in general being celebrated, actually makes my heart sing. I’m also thrilled to see real support for the appropriate research into the healing properties of these substances, as well as social support for people exploring consciousness through hallucinogens.
For anybody who is choosing to experiment, I’m also beyond stoked to see all the resources out there for people to educate themselves and stay safe and healthy. Check out the awesome organizations below that are helping us evolve towards cognitive liberty and safer inner explorations.
As a healer, teacher, and artist, some of Jesse Heid’s most passionate work is introducing people to their fascia connective tissue and exploring the tensegrity of the fascia matrix throughout our entire form. Jesse holds a BFA in modern dance and composition from CalArts and has been a popular NYC Pilates teacher since 2000. Find out more about her and her work at Alignedspiritpilates.com, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
For more information about the safe use of psychedelics for healing:
Things speed up. Choices come rapid fire. Life alters, and we either keep up or get left behind. Eclipses tend to bring themes of major openings and closings. Portals of opportunity beckon us towards them. Things get cut short. Endings draw near without warning. Experiences are stark. Stakes are high.
The Virgo New Moon eclipse on Saturday, September 12th at 11:54 PM PST at 20 degrees of Virgo is a solar one. During a solar eclipse, the light of the Sun is diminished, obscured and confiscated (though not for those of us that will be experiencing it during night time). Life depends upon the light of the Sun. We depend on the light of the Sun. When that light appears to be threatened, so too are we.
We realize there are things we have no control over. Like the planets. Like our lives.
This eclipse is in Virgo. Virgo wants to know the specifics, the design and the down-and-dirty details of the situation. Virgo over thinks, over stresses, and over analyzes. There is no one that I would trust more with any kind of job that required a sincere and honest effort than a Virgo. This sign is unparalleled for its ability to work diligently at a task.
The Virgo New Moon eclipse also occurs near the North Node of the Moon – the point in the zodiac representing what we strive towards and want to accumulate. As such, we could say that this eclipse is propelling us forward, opening us up to our appetites, asking or taunting us to push our boundaries and find our edge, while possibly calling us to fulfill some aspect of our destiny.
Minutes before the eclipse, there will be a New Moon in Virgo. Every New Moon marks a new beginning, energetically opening up the sign it occurs in, as well as any major planet that has recently entered that sign.
And Jupiter has just landed in Virgo. Jupiter’s influence expands what it touches, creates opportunity, makes magnanimity its monogram, flaunts blind faith as a virtue and enlarges whatever it touches. Jupiter’s year long stay in Virgo is asking us to spend some time considering how we deal with the organizational aspects of our lives, how to work in efficient ways, and what details to expand upon. But more importantly Jupiter is hard at work developing the house in our chart that it is transiting in a critical, thoughtful, discerned fashion. Jupiter was last in Virgo 12 years ago – what area of your life was expanding, and opening up, back then?
With this eclipse of the new Moon, Virgos the world over are getting extra bouts of growth-inducing game thrown their way. And all of us are being asked to pay special attention to the part of our chart that contains Virgo (you can do your birth chart for free here). These are the areas of our life to focus on at the eclipse, to be tended to, worked on, explored, opened up, expanded, brought into form and made into something.
Because Juno, Guardian of Women and Goddess of Marriage, is sitting next to the Virgo New Moon eclipse, we can also ask ourselves if we are willing to commit, to marry ourselves, to the most pressing issues this area of our charts holds for us. Because this eclipse is sitting with Jupiter the benefic, we can be certain that whatever the effects, they will be BIG. Because this eclipse is making a friendly sextile to Saturn, we can know that our efforts to stabilize and make real are being aided. Because this eclipse is making a trine to Pluto we are invited to go deep and be real, to get ready to embrace our power and use it for good.
But. And. Finally.
Mercury, the planet that governs both the Virgo New Moon eclipse and Jupiter’s stay in Virgo, is slowing down to station retrograde on September 17. This might muck things up a bit, or at the very least make for an extra strange eclipse season. One that urges us to take well-assessed risks, but one that can’t guarantee the outcome. One that wants us to have faith in what we know, but might not show us all the information. One that asks us to serve the design of our lives, while it conceals an important part of the blue print.
This eclipse calls for critical faith.
Read the full, unedited version of Chani’s message for the Virgo New Moon eclipse at the link. You can also purchase her Eclipse Season Survival Guide here.
What area of your life do you want to open up with the cosmic energy of this New Moon eclipse? Share in the comments below, and connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
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).”
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.
Want to align yourself with every phase of mother Moon? Gabriela Herstik has a lesson in New Moon magick just for you…
If you’ve ever wondered how you can use the energy of mother Moon to manifest or discard that which may or may not serve you, you’ve entered the realm of what’s known as ”Sympathetic Magick”.
Don’t let this menacing term fool you, it’s really not as scary as it sounds! To put it simply, it means working with the waxing and waning of the Moon, as it gains and loses light, to reflect what you would like more or less of in your life.
Here’s the lowdown on New Moon magick, to help you channel your inner witchy mamma…
What is it “Sympathetic Magick” works on the assumption that there’s a secret sympathy that connects all energies. We may not be able to see this, but we feel and understand it. This concept can be broken down into two parts; The Law of Similarity and The Law of Contact.
The Law of Similarity The Law of Similarity is the most relevant when it comes to working with the Moon. This Law states that magick works because like attracts like (as both the Buddha, and The Secret have taught us), and so in imitating the result you desire, you will cause it to happen by attracting it to you. This is also called The Law of Attraction.
The Law of Contact The Law of Contact works with the idea that the energy of two objects continues to act on one another even after they’re separated. Voodoo dolls are a good representation of this Law! By hurting a certain part of the doll you’re following the Law of Similarity – by using some actual hair, or a piece of clothing belonging to the person the doll represents, you’re following The Law of Contact. (Don’t worry – we’re not suggesting you use Sympathetic Magick to hurt anyone, but this is the easiest way to explain the difference between the two Laws.)
How This Relates to the Moon Okay, so some basic astronomy- when the Moon is dark it’s called the New Moon. As it then becomes more light it’s called a Waxing Moon. After the time of the Full Moon, it starts to lose light, known as the Waning Moon. The easiest way to remember this? Wax on, Wane off. In relation to Sympathetic Magick – as the Moon’s light grows, or waxes, you tap the Law of Similarity and perform some New Moon magick for what you want more of. When the Moon’s light shrinks, or wanes, you use the same law to perform magick for what you want to let go of.
When the Moon is Waxing As the Moon grows in size and gains both strength and light, focus on what it is you want to grow and manifest! In the two weeks from when the Moon is black, up until it’s full, there’s a really strong window of opportunity to attract more of anything you want an abundance of. The waxing Moon is a perfect time to think about (and perform magick for) communication, financial and legal matters, healing and health. For example, you could do this money spell. Think about what you want to increase and go for it.
When the Moon is Waning In the time between the Full Moon to the Black Moon, or New Moon, there’s a strong window of opportunity to let go. This is a time to analyze what no longer serves you and to rid yourself of it, a great time to break old habits, relationships and addictions. The waning Moon is a time of release. Take some time to tune in to what speaks to your soul – if it isn’t letting you rise to your highest possible potential, is it necessary? If not then let it go, let it go.
When the Moon is New Of all the Moon phases, the New Moon and Full Moon are the most potent. When the moon is completely dark, it’s a really strong time to work your New Moon magick and get rid of what you don’t want. It’s a good idea to retreat from the world, focus and think of what really does and doesn’t serve you. The energy of the New Moon occurs the day it’s marked on the calendar, as well as the day before and after. PS – If you need some ideas of ways to celebrate with more New Moon magick, we got you.
When the Moon is Full Meanwhile, the Full Moon is a time of celebration! The divine feminine is amped, and it’s a good time to gather up your tribe and give gratitude. The Full Moon speaks of commitment, psychic ability and magickal acts of all kinds. Spells are especially strong on this day (as well as three days before or three days after) and you can tailor your spell to fit the coming New Moon, too. If you want to manifest, think of the Full Moon as the apex of this energy. If you want to perform a spell to let go, tailor it to the fact that every day after the Full Moon will assist in shrinking whatever it is.
Other Tools If you really want to use Sympathetic Magick to its full advantage during each Moon phase, don’t forget about the other tools at your disposal. Affirmations, crystals, flowers, herbs, incense, trees… go crazy! The more ways you can state your intended desire to the Universe, the stronger the magick will be. Beyond anything else – believe in what you do whole heartedly, Magick flows the best when you completely surrender to it!
We are all pretty down with the memo on self care and coming into a place of self-love. This is what all spiritual traditions come down to at their core, the fact that only once we can fully love ourselves can we fully LOVE – one-another, the planet, and all life. But as women, we have some murky territories to traverse on the journey of self-love and ultimate self-acceptance.
A pretty big one is our complicated relationship to our body, and especially the fact it bleeds once a month. Yup, our period is something associated with negativity in our current culture. Something to ‘hide’, ‘clean up’ and generally try and pretend we are not ashamed of.
We have been trained to ignore it, and at best be grateful for the modern pharmaceutical options to ‘deal with’ our individual and unique cycles. Just think of the language that has been used to describe it; ‘the curse’. It’s also been decided it’s a time women become ‘irrational’, and that we should disregard what they (we!) are trying to articulate as ‘just them being emotional’.
But what if there was a different story that got lost over time? What if our period was actually a powerful and potentially life changing event – one that we get to experience every single month of our menstruating years?
We bleed and yet we do not die – just think about the symbolism of that. We are capable of allowing our life blood to flow out of ourselves without any harm to us. And we do this month after month after month. It is literally a physical embodiment of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
In the past, men were likely intimidated and threatened by this female creatrix energy, and declared it ‘unclean’. But there was a time when women would all bleed together, at the time of the New Moon, and meet to honor their menstrual cycles in what is called a Red Tent.
A Red Tent (or Moon Lodge in the Native American tradition) is a place where women come together to honor their bodies as sacred, and celebrate the Blood Mysteries – what DeAnna L’am (recognized world expert on menstrual empowerment, and author of Becoming Peers: Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood) says is the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ when it comes to women connecting to their sacred wholeness.
My life has been transformed by training with DeAnna.
My period used to be a time of pain and frustration that felt like an internal war with my body, coupled with a fear of ‘leaking’ as people would then know – shock! – that I was having my period. I did not want to get this messy (both physically and emotionally). Today my Moon time is actually my most powerful time – a time to retreat and listen to my body, literally, and do what it wants, not what my to-do list wants.
The reward? I get beautiful, spine tingling downloads from my intuition. Ideas come through, and my days are peppered with “aha” moments. I get clarity on exactly what is in alignment for me. And every single woman has this capacity too. We each carry our own Oracle, and each month we are asked to take the time to sit down and listen to what she has to say.
Because the voice that comes through while you are bleeding is the voice of the GODDESS, and if something is out of whack she is gonna let you know! Hence not being prepared to ‘put up and shut up’, like we often usually do. Your job is to listen to that wise voice and take heed, because the part of you that creates IS the Goddess. And she knows what’s best for you, your family and your tribe.
Now I hold Red Tent Activations myself – daylong events, where you get to completely and radically alter your perception of your own menstrual cycle, your creative potential and your body, and re-establish your divine birthright as being connected to all women on the planet in sacred sisterhood. Connected by blood to all women who have gone before you, and all women who will come after you.
A Red Tent Activation is a powerful and life-changing ceremony around telling the story of your first blood, and of letting go the judgments and prejudices you took into your precious early teenage self that have kept you from fully accessing your power and creative potential as a goddess Creatrix today! And, finally, of enacting the ceremony we never receive in modern society – that of a girl being welcomed into womanhood.
It is a deeply moving to take your place in your lineage of ancestors and as a woman on the planet with the capacity to birth LIFE – be that children, ideas, creative masterpieces, businesses, or a even a new Earth. Yes, it is that big! And we have been hiding from this part of ourselves month, by month, by month.
But just imagine each and every woman in NYC connected to their own inner guidance system. Tapped directly to the Source through their own body, listening to the Goddess within. What choices would women make in their relationships? Their work? Their family life?
Now imagine a whole WORLD of women operating from the true Source within, not longer carrying the baggage of negative self image, not swayed or influenced or manipulated by the external world, but living in complete alignment with their true values, their true desires. That is the world we can create. This is my vision for our new Earth.
Join Alexandra Derby for the next Red Tent Activation in Brooklyn, NY, on September 13 2015. Further information and tickets available at the link.
Have you re-claimed your monthly bleed as a sacred time for intuitive connection? Connect with the Numinous community and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
If you’re looking for a super potent time to work with the Tarot, the Full Moon could be the cosmic invitation you’re after. Gabriela Herstik has five ways to work some Full Moon Tarot magick…Image: The Starchild Tarot
Read For The Month Ahead Perhaps the most obvious and direct way to incorporate the Tarot into your Full Moon ritual is to do a reading. The cosmic energy now is ripe for making decisions on whatever’s been brewing since the previous New Moon, so spending some time reflecting on what you now want to manifest can only serve you. Set up a sacred space, get centered, find a layout that sings to you and draw a card, any card. Reflect on the cycles of your life, and be open to what comes up in the card you’ve chosen.
Make A Tarot Temple The Tarot is all about imagery and symbolism after all, so why not play with this? You can create a Tarot altar or temple by picking a card that resonates with you (or simply picking one randomly with your intention for the Full Moon in mind) and choosing objects and offerings that help you personify the card. Flowers, photos, statues of deities or animals, and anything else that taps the energy of your card can bring its message to life. You can even create a piece of art that relates to your card, and display it in your chosen sacred space. Focus on the feeling the card brings up for you – especially relating to what you want to manifest in the coming weeks – and channel it into your space.
Meditate on It The day of the Full Moon is the perfect time to manifest the results of any intentions you’ve set in recent weeks. Once the moon starts to wane, aka lose light, it’s the perfect time to let go and surrender all outcomes to the Universe. Meditating with your card can intensify whatever intention is set. So whether you’re meditating on Death and choosing transformation as the result of any process you’ve been going through, or if you’re simply sitting with The Moon card and focusing on the divine feminine, you’re golden. Taking time to breathe, absorb the energy of the Full Moon and really channel it into your intention is simple, doesn’t take a lot of time, and is a sweet reminder to just be.
Spell It Out The Full Moon is a strong time for spell or magick work and um, hello, why not incorporate your cards into your work! Whether you’re doing some sigil magick, candle magick or something in between, using the imagery from a card can help set the tone. There’s a whole realm of tarot magick out there, so do your research and get creative.
Dress Like Your Favorite Card If you really wanna channel your favorite card, take some sartorial cues. Dressing for your Full Moon ritual in something that chimes with the imagery of card you’re working with is a super direct way of aligning yourself with its energy. Feeling the High Priestess this month? Why not wear some jewels or a dress that reminds you of your own connection to Goddess energy? Feeling kinda Two of Cups? How about you dress in something your lover gave you, or something red and sexy. Get creative and manifest, it really is that easy!
What card are you working with this Full Moon? Connect with us and share your Full Moon rituals on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
We’re totally for that cosmic connection you feel between other members of the Numinati. You know, that sweet vibration you get in your heart chakra when you meet someone else who just gets it. Yet the way in which we meet our soul sisters (or brothers) can be pretty funny. Read on and let us know – do any of these soulmate chat up lines sound familiar to you?
“Oh my god, your dogs a Scorpio? Mines a Cancer. Let’s plan a play date.” It all takes a turn for the better when you astrologically analyze your pets.
“You have a really strong heart chakra. I can feel it.” That moment two girls in the Trader Joe’s checkout become besties.
“That’s selenite, right? Aww, and you’re wearing it near your heart to raise your consciousness to a higher level.” How did she know?
“I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’m getting a vibe like I knew you in a past life.” And you thought it was just another lunchtime wait in line at Sweetgreen.
“Has anyone ever told you what a beautiful energy you have about you?” No, but I’ve heard that about my aura.
“Did I just hear you say your spirit animal is a raven? Mine’s a crow!” Welcome to the tribe.
“Girl, is your lucky number 13? Because you’ve killed me and shown me a new way to live…” Death card pick-up lines are too cute.
“My third eye feels especially open when I look at you.” I know, I’ve been working on clearing my psychic energy field
“Let me guess – you take your coffee black, iced, and bitter. Like your soul before your last past life regression.” When your barista just gets you.
“Is the energy of this coffee shop just off to you too?” Well, now that you mention it…
“You totally look like the kind of chick I need in my coven.” It’s a summer goth thing, isn’t it.
How did the convo go when you met your last Numi soulmate? Give us some lolz when you share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag it #shitnuminousgirlssay…
Vedic astrologer Eve James explains how the July 31 Full Moon in Aquarius speaks to the unification of global consciousness…Image: Shae Detar
There’s been lots of talk about this being a Blue Moon, as the second Full Moon this month. But I won’t spend any more time on that here as it’s simply a calendar defect, and if we followed a lunar calendar, this discrepancy wouldn’t exist. However, in the Vedic calendar the second Full Moon in July is aligned with the star sign of Sravana, and takes place on July 31st at 6:34AM EST (3:34AM PST).
This star sign is traditionally accepted as the birth star of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, arts (creative action) and music (the divine sound or vibration penetrating the entire universe). As the last Full Moon was in Purva Ashadha, a sign of great selfless love, and the haunting beauty of sacrifice, it makes sense that there follows a sense of unity, knowledge or wisdom.
True creative action begins when all minds in the sea of humanity are unified in the vibration of love and understanding, as opposed to divided and fragmented in our singularities. Goddess Saraswati represents the creative consciousness behind diversity, bringing a multitude of flavors, colors, sounds and experiences to the Universe. And it is within that ocean of diversity, that the song of unity is orchestrated.
The goddess is shown holding the Veena (a musical instrument) and the song of her Veena expresses each note using the one voice of a united Universe. She is also associated with the Divine Voice within, the voice of intuition, the architect or creative principle of destiny. The star sign Sravana is associated with the ears, with listening and receptivity; the ideal student.
Falling at the tail end of July, this Moon will affect much of August, guiding us into an introspective space in the coming month, and highlighting a need for truly listening to the voice of our intuition.
Even though the principle energy of both July Full Moons is potent, it is still only enough force to cause a ripple in the water. This summer will continue to be the catalyst for inspiring possibilities, yet concrete realization of these goals will still be a work in progress.
This Full Moon should be seen as a mirror reflecting all the possibilities of the future. For those of you who choose ride the waves and utilize your full potential, you will achieve your goals – especially if those goals are ultimately in service of unity, or with any cause bigger than the needs of the singular self.
How will you work with the energy of unity and collective consciousness this Full Moon period? Connect with us and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
Romance, fashion, friendship, affection, intimacy, sweet moments and all the girlie things (think: sugar, spice, all things nice), are ruled by the goddess / planet Venus. The same goes for money and your bank balance, and all things sensual (beautiful scents, pleasing art scenes and landscapes, valuables, material wealth, riches etc.)
And she’s all set to do an about turn – a.k.a. begin a retrograde cycle – from July 25 – September 6.
Before you freak out at the sight of the “R” word (man has Mercury retrograde got some explaining to do), Venus retrograde could actually be a good thing for your relationships, your indulgences and your bank balance.
While Mercury rules all things communication related (technology, social media, commerce), it makes sense that the confusion that accompanies this planet’s retrograde phase can throw us some seriously frustrating curveballs.
But with Venus retrograde, we can expect our sensual nature to be activated and investigated, as we are asked to contemplate, reflect on and review what and who we love, how we show affection, flirt and attract a mate. Also, our relationship to money, our sense of self-worth, and attitudes to abundance.
One word of warning, however. If you hear people complaining during a Mercury retrograde phase that they messaged the wrong person and lost their mobile phone, during Venus retro listen out for and beware making outlandish declarations of love, and avoid extravagant purchases made on a whim.
Here are ten ways to make this Venus retrograde phase work in your favor…
1. Reassess What Beauty Means To You Venus rules how we dress up and beautify ourselves and our surroundings – in fact, you can look to your Venus sign for clues on your personal style. When Venus retrogrades you can remodel your choices, and this is a great time to create a mood or inspiration board to redefine your personal tastes.
Do NOT however book in for a drastic haircut or get the decorators in just yet – this is the contemplation stage. Wait till Venus goes direct to make any major changes (dates below).
2. Review Your Finances As Venus rules over money, the retrograde period is prime time for rebalancing your books. But hold off implementing any financial overhauls – this period is for reevaluating your commitments, tying up loose ends, and revisiting old debts. It could be a great time to go and get a refund and have people pay up, or likewise to reimburse or repay any debts that have been hanging over you.
3. Resist The Lure Of Luxe Just as buying electronic equipment isn’t advisable during Mercury retrograde, you’re better off waiting to buy any luxury goods and beauty related purchases now. Avoid large expenditures where fashion and frivolities are concerned – this is not the time to pull together a capsule wardrobe of ‘investment’ pieces, and definitely not on credit. Your instincts about what’s worth the splurge could be off during this period, so stick to window-shopping.
It could however be a great time to manifest and attract some beautiful vintage or second-hand pieces into your life – think flea markets, and antique fairs. One mans trash is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and people could be reviewing their valuables during this time.
4. Research Your Purchases One way to use the Venus retrograde to you advantage when it comes to shopping, is to know the true value of what you’re buying and make an informed choice. It can be a great time to barter and bargain, as long as you’re the one in the drivers seat (and you’ve researched the returns policy).
5. Retreat From The Dating Scene Projects, relationships, people and businesses all carry an astrological imprint, and a relationship commenced during Venus retrograde could get off to a repetitive or exasperating start. At best you could have a long, drawn out honeymoon period, while a suitor could seem far more magnificent, charming and fabulous than they really are. Then, when Venus resumes normal function the rose tinted glasses come off.
If you do meet somebody, don’t trust the heat of the moment during the Venus retrograde. Instead, enjoy the flirtation stage and plan to commit when the planet goes direct.
6. Re-evaluate your relationships If you’re in a relationship however, Venus retrograde offers you an opportunity to resolve any issues with your partner and recommit – if you’re wed you may even decide to renew tour vows!.Reaffirm your love, rekindle and reignite the romance, rejoice…and reproduce! Now is the time to reassemble the jigsaw of your relationship to create a more beautiful picture.
7. Remember The Good Times Venus retrograde speaks of past relationships coming out of the woodwork (that goes for both romances and friendships), and reminiscing together actually be therapeutic, especially if you’re ready to go back and dig up treasures from the past. Ensure a reexamination is positive by appreciating the good times, even if you acknowledge that you aren’t right for each other now. Seek gratitude for the happiness you experienced in that moment. But if you DO decide an old flame could be reignited, the Universe could well support you now.
8. Revisit Your Passions Venus favors feminine hobbies, and you may rediscover a love of jewellery making, beauty and fashion, make-up and hair, baking, flower arranging and interior decoration now.
With Venus retrograde in the creative sign of Leo (the majority of the time) the energies throughout the retrograde period are particularly supportive for recreation and play. The Numinous Temple of Venus is a perfect place to explore this energy, and you can check out all the upcoming events and workshops here.
9. Rethink The Sweet Stuff Sounds silly but if you suffer from sugar cravings, Venus retrograde could be just the time to tackle your habit! Venus rules over cakes, biscuits, sweets (candy) and chocolate. There are so many documentaries on the hazards of this highly addictive substance (I’m talking about the refined white stuff – not sugars found in fruit), and once you research and reeducate yourself on this subject, this could be a supportive phase to regain control over a sweet tooth.
10. Reinstate Femininity Invite the divine feminine into your world and cement its presence with this Venus retrograde. Dedicated some quality time to friendships with the women you love, taking time to really appreciate their soft yet strong attributes – embrace womanhood and what it means to be an empowered female today. Regroup or plan a reunion with your girls, recollect and celebrate them and why you value their friendship. Repair and patch up relationships that are lacking.
Your star dates as follows…
• Venus enters the shadow period Sunday 21st June • Venus goes retrograde – Saturday 25th July • Venus goes direct Sunday 6th September • Venus is out of the ‘retrograde zone’ by 9th October 2015 – phew!
Author Kimberly Peta Dewhirst would love to hear your stories to support her growing understanding of the Venus retrograde period. Email: [email protected] with your birth data (time, date and place of birth) and details of your Venus retrograde experiences. (All information will be kept confidential)
Numinous community art project and interactive altar The Temple of Venus is a space dedicated to celebrating and healing anything that falls under the remit of the Goddess planet, and is open until August 19.