THE HIEROPHANT SESSIONS: WHICH TAROT CARD IS YOUR TEACHER?

The Tarot is a powerful tool for intention setting and conscious growth. With The Hierophant Sessions, Melinda Lee Holm shares how to discover which card is your Tarot teacher right now …

We generally consult the Tarot when we have specific questions and seek clear answers.

Yet in the same way that we look to figures like Joan of Arc, Yogananda, Angela Davis, and Harvey Milk as role models, we can also look to the Tarot’s archetypes not just as divination tools to give us information about our lives, but as actual guides for our behavior.

In my own work, I use the cards as practical guides, and encourage my clients to actively work with the deck by meditating on its images, setting altars to archetypes, and consciously cultivating relationships to these symbols through everyday strategies.

I’ve selected my top Tarot “teachers” and techniques for you below. See if you recognize yourself in any of these types and when in doubt, separate the 6 teachers, shuffle, and pull one to discover whose guidance is calling to you right now.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to my Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with me HERE.

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1// Teacher: The Empress. You may need The Empress if you are experiencing: impatience, narrow focus, scarcity mentality, a closed heart. 

Stone: Aventurine
Food: Basil
Scent: Rose
Action: Open

The Empress teaches us that sometimes the best way to get the great love and prosperity we desire in life is to wrench open that bear trap around our little modern hearts, lean back, and let the love flow! There is an element of profound trust inherent in this card, a fundamental knowing that we are loved by the Earth and the Universe and that by simply opening up and loving unconditionally, we can tap into that great well of abundance they promise.

**Activate The Empress by embracing the idea that to give is to receive. Volunteer your time cooking at a shelter, reading to children, caring for animals or the environment, sorting food at the food bank—anything that gets you immersed in that consciousness of the Universal flow. Showing your love for others and backing it up with your time and money is a great way to get into Empress mode! 

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2// Teacher: The Hermit. You may need The Hermit if you are experiencing: stress, feeling overwhelmed, lack of direction.

Stone: Sodalite
Food: Watercress
Scent: Lemon balm
Action: Withdraw

 When it all feels like it’s just too much and you want to run away, it may be time to do just that—with the focused guidance of The Hermit. While in common usage we use the word “hermit” as a synonym for “recluse,” in the Tarot the figure is a wizened sage who seeks solitude in order to gather more wisdom. The seclusion he seeks is not motivated by desire to hide, but rather to cut out the noise to better focus on gathering the knowledge he needs to best serve not only his own personal development, but the needs of the broader community.

**Activate The Hermit by thriving in the cycle of intake and reflection. Try reading a great book on a topic near and dear to your Self and take time to journal for at least 30 minutes after reading each chapter. Solo trips into nature are a great Hermit activity as well—if you can’t make a trek into the mountains, sit alone under a tree in a park for a few hours. It’s a great time to read that book!

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3// Teacher: Strength. You may need Strength if you are experiencing: isolation, fatigue, weariness, feelings of resentment. 

Stone: Ruby
Food: Thyme
Scent: Ginger
Action: Embrace

This card teaches us that true strength comes through co-creation and collaboration with the world around us, and through knowing our strengths and our weaknesses and embracing both. So much in our society pulls us apart and encourages us to see our fellow humans as competitors or even adversaries. Strength counters this messaging and reminds us that we are all children of the Earth and the Cosmos, and that when we embrace each other and our home we can achieve the greatest results. Only through vulnerability can we fortify ourselves to accomplish our greatest goals.

**Activate Strength by seeing the results of co-creation appear before your very eyes. Complete a project with someone close to you—this could be a household project with your partner or a creative project with a friend, anything where you are working in tandem with someone else and there is a clear concrete goal you can see completed. Repeat as needed!

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4// Teacher: The High Priestess. You may need The High Priestess if you are experiencing: disconnection from self, lack of confidence, feelings of being unworthy, imposter syndrome. 

Stone: Moonstone
Food: Pomegranate
Scent: Lilac
Action: Reflect

The High Priestess calls us to fully explore the depths and dark corners of our souls. Just as the Moon shows itself by reflecting the light of the Sun, the High Priestess teaches us to look for clues about our true natures by looking at our reflections all around us. All of this inner exploration is made possible by her dedication to maintaining strong boundaries around her temple (nuns may be our closest living embodiment of High Priestess energy). From her, we can learn how important it is to enforce and maintain strong boundaries around a space we designate as sacred in our lives.

**Activate The High Priestess by designating and consecrating your temple. Your studio, office, bedroom, even a little corner of your living room that is just yours. Choose a space, clear it (physically and energetically), and then very selectively populate it with items that reflect you as you aspire to be and be seen.

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5// Teacher: Death. You may need Death if you are experiencing: scattered thinking, lack of productivity, obsessive thoughts about the past, inability to form new relationships. 

Stone: Black Tourmaline
Food: Sesame
Scent: Lavender
Action: Release

When we try to hold onto ideas, patterns, and even relationships that have passed their usefulness to our well-being, it can manifest in a confusing series of seemingly unexplainable setbacks and energetic blockages. As the confusion sets it, we tend to clamp down ever harder, afraid to lose the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain, and further exacerbating the problem. The magic and wisdom of the Death card shows us that loosening the grip and allowing release is the surest way to make more room for new growth to emerge.

**Activate Death by leaning into the wisdom of letting go. Start with donating clothes you no longer need. The act of purging material posessions has a profound effect on the emotional and energetic bodies that can lead to greater ease in releasing emotional patterns and psychic loops.

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6// Teacher: The Hierophant. You may need The Hierophant if you are experiencing: lack of meaning, directionlessness, strained connection to the Divine, difficulty finding your path. 

Stone: Herkimer Diamond Quartz
Food: Sage
Scent: Frankincense
Action: Transmit/Receive

While all of the cards offer wisdom and guidance of their own, The Hierophant stands apart as the one figure completely dedicated to downloading Divine teachings and disseminating that information for the benefit of others. If you’re feeling lost, calling on The Hierophant can be a powerful force to help you find the direction you need. Working with this card in manifestation practice can even bring in the teacher or mentor you need to get going on your path and achieve your goals – as long as those goals are aligned with your spiritual purpose!

**Activate The Hierophant by quite literally finding your gurus. Read spiritual texts, go to group meditations, go on a retreat if you can swing it—just get around as many people and ideas as you possibly can that are inspirational and aspirational to YOU. And be ready for the surprise twist where you actually end up being the guru someone else was looking for! We all have wisdom to offer the world.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to Melinda’s Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with her HERE.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOU’VE FOUND YOUR SPIRITUAL TEACHER

How to know when you’ve found your Spiritual Teacher? They will help you step more fully into your own power, says Ruby Warrington. PLUS our New Year, Nu You co-presenters share how they met the Spiritual Teacher that changed their life …

Ruby Warrington shot by Caitlin Mitchell for A Wild Dove

I’ve always got a little envious when people start talking about their “teacher.” Not the one in school, who helped them find their confidence as a fifth grader, or showed them a new way to read Macbeth that finally made sense. I’m talking Spiritual Teachers.

For the majority of people I know who are either working in the mystical or healing space, or who simply identify as being “on the path” (OTP, as my friend Elyssa puts it), there has been a Yoda figure in the background, guiding them on. It could literally be the person who taught them their craft. Or the one who helped them find their way through a Dark Night of the Soul. Maybe it’s the business coach who put a structure around their brand, a speaking or writing guru, or even the yoga teacher who helped heal their body image issues.

These mentor figures often play a vital role in an individual’s personal and professional development in the spiritual world—and being told that I have even been that person for some, has been the most surprising and fulfilling outcome of launching this platform.

And yet I’ve always struggled finding a teacher of my own. I’ve worked with so many amazing practitioners and learned so much, many of whom I introduce in my book. The issue has been with finding a mentor figure to take me under their wing. For starters, I don’t take instruction that easily. But I’ve also felt “let down” by many I’ve opened to, and some mentors I’ve worked with have become “envious” of my success.

Yeah, this has some things to do with the gnarly Saturn-Chiron square in my birth chart. My self-directed Aries Sun. My absent father and Grandparents. There’s also the fact that when I was a kid, the first spiritual teacher I encountered, an Ayurvedic practitioner named Shayam Singha, was as scary as they come.

My mom had got reeeeeealy involved with Shayam and his community, and we’d spend weekends as his retreat center, Suryodaya, out in the UK countryside. A proper old-school “guru,” I was petrified of his fierce, commanding presence, and also mistrusting of the cultish atmosphere. A fear that got triggered last week, when I found myself interviewing Maestro Manuel Rufino, a recognized elder in the Taino tradition, and founder of the Golden Drum intentional community in Greenpoint.

Preparing to enter the live-in spiritual community, I was transported right back to those days at Suryodaya, a trembling eight-year-old, scared to say the wrong thing, and unsure of my role in the group. But instead, Maestro Manuel was gentle and wise, and his students as welcoming as could be. A piece of my personal history was healed that night, and it has felt like a pivotal moment in my journey to find my teacher.

Because looking back, this year they HAVE been showing up. My book editor, Libby Edelson, who became more like a therapist as we worked on the more personal chapters in Material Girl, Mystical World. My astrology mentor Rebecca Gordon, who infuses our lessons with a deep interest in my personal journey. My incredible Moon Club co-founder Alexandra Roxo, who has taught me enough about communication and collaboration to last a lifetime.

And when I look at the line-up I’ve created for our New Year, Nu You retreat at Kripalu, I realize I’ve selected the co-presenters who have personally taught ME the most, and truly been there as mentors, guides, and constant cheerleaders on my own path. How do I know them as my Spiritual Teachers? My relationship with each and every one of them has helped my grow more fully into my own power. 

Below, they share how they found their own spiritual teachers. If you’re interested in spending a week in the presence of these incredible humans, you can learn more about our Jan 1—5 2018 retreat and sign up HERE.

//ALEXANDRA ROXO//
“Over the course of my spiritual path I have had multiple life-changing teachers. My first I discovered at age 12 with my mom. His name was Bobby Drinnon, and he had long white hair and lived on a farm in Tennessee called “Rainbow Crest.” He taught me about my aura and chakras and called me an ‘open-minded extremist.’ He had a wait list two years long, but would always squeeze in a call for me, and I would see him yearly. Those meetings changed my life, and formed me in such deep ways. When he passed when I was 30 I felt like I lost a father.

I met my first female teacher, Deborah Kampmeier, when I was 18 and studying at NYU. She called me out on spiritual bypassing, introduced me to Snake medicine, Moon rituals, the work of David Deida, sacred sex practices, and taught me things that come up often. She is an artist and professor, and not a spiritual teacher by trade. But she initiated me into many of the practices I still use in my life.”

//LINDSAY MACK//
“I was struggling when I met my teacher, Michelle, working so hard to pull myself out of some really dark places, largely alone. She appeared at a literal life or death moment, recommended to me by a coach who knew I was having a hard time with my PTSD. I wasn’t looking for a teacher, and Michelle wasn’t necessarily presenting herself as one, something that I actually think is a key ingredient in meeting our soul teachers. She just showed up, open, present, and happy to support me, and everything flowed from there.

I humbly believe that we have to do our own work to the point where we can energetically call our teachers in; the deeper we work, the clearer the call. I have found that to be true on the other side now, as a teacher myself. Any truly aligned teacher is only a mirror for where the student is willing to go. I think you know when you’ve found your teacher. There is a resounding ‘yes’ in your heart, a profound knowing in your soul. It’s when you feel seen, supported, and held unconditionally, not to mention blown open by their wisdom and deeper knowing. I am still feeling that with my teacher, and it is an amazing thing.”

//BETSY LEFAE//
“Sometimes meeting a teacher can trigger you, and sometimes it can make you feel at home. The teachers I gravitate towards are warm, compassionate, humble, and nonjudgmental. I knew I had found my teacher when I felt like he was part of my long lost family. When I read his material before going to a weekend class, he was explicit that his goal was to teach others to fish, to cultivate their own skills, and that it was a good thing if his students didn’t need him anymore. This has always been my goal when working with people. Working with him, I felt comfortable to be me. And even better, I felt comfortable with him pushing me to be MORE ME.”

//SAH D’SIMONE//
“The first teacher that totally transformed my world was Venerable Joan Nicel, a Tibetan Buddhist nun from Canada. I her met in the Himalayas in India at a silent retreat. She introduced me to concepts of being inherently good, of the potential to totally transform our minds to become of benefit to all beings, and most of all she taught me the art of COMPASSION! From the moment I met her I knew she knew something that I must also know. There was a calm and radiance about her. When I had the rare opportunities for a private audience with her, I saw in way she would look at me that I too had the potential to change, that I too could become someone that added to the lives of others. I glimpsed unconditional love!”

HOLY F*CK: RELATIONSHIPS AS A PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT

In her latest Holy F*ck column, Alexandra Roxo finds herself on the path to enlightenment with relationships coach Perri Gorman

Lettin’ my hair go full Leo in the Croatian sun…

I met Perri Gorman when someone who I had met once messaged me on Facebook and was like: “I think you would like this teacher.” Perri was leading something called a “Relationship Detox,” and it DID seem appropriate, since I had decided to take a six month break from sex, dating, alcohol and drugs to focus on my healing. But then again, randoms send me FB messages all the time so I couldn’t be sure.

When I got Perri on the phone she was INTENSE. I’m an intense woman too, so when I come head to head with another of my kind I can adopt a “been there done that” attitude. Like, “Oh yeah, I’m not afraid to look at my shadows. I do it all the time.” And “Um duh. I’ve done the work.” But somehow she convinced me to sign up for her class. And it was the best gift ever. She called me out on places I had been hiding from my truth and still living from deep rooted childhood fears. (Ugh when does it end????!) At the end of the class I felt palpable changes. Like major shifts. Like, I had looked at all of my uglies in the face and hugged them and given them space to, well…turn into butterflies. Cheesy, yes, but true!

I sat down with Perri to try and understand this alchemical process a little deeper.

Alexandra Roxo: Your website says “TRANSFORMATION IS NOT OPTIONAL” in huge letters which kinda freaks me out but in a good way. Why did you choose that?
Perri Gorman: It’s a bit of a story. When I was living in Hong Kong back in 2007 my life felt like Ground Hog’s day. I had actually hit a certain level of success, but I was like “Is this IT? Like, Is THIS my life?” I had a magnet on my refrigerator that was my savior, which said: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Oh, I must be in a cocoon I used to think. This part sucks. But just hang in there! After my life began to transform (longer story), my online moniker became and still is Bethebutterfly, and the butterfly is my inspirational creature.

Later, I went to a lecture by someone who was also fascinated by the life of the butterfly. She told a story of going to a butterfly farm and asking the keeper; “Does the caterpillar have a choice?” The answer was no. They either transform or they die. It’s not optional. And in this life, I think it is similar for us. Sounds grim but the stakes are really that high.

AR: I agree, and I also feel like the world needs transformation more than ever. Which is what I experienced on your relationship detox course. It’s hard for me to describe how you work though. It’s alchemy! Can you explain?
PG: Well, I am a guide and I create experiences. I walk people down a path that I have been down to and experienced transformation myself. If I haven’t been able to personally alchemize it (whatever “it” might be) I don’t create the experience. Rather than teaching, I help my students facilitate this in themselves. This part is really important. Often if you just “tell” people something, then either the Ego rejects it and can’t hear it—or the Ego hears it, rejects it and turns on you in the process! So in order to stun the ego, you have to guide the spirit and let the “aha” moments come naturally.

Each person has a different speed at which they transform, too. Mine was REALLY slow—partly because I had so much pain inside, it wasn’t safe for it to come out all at once. It was a process. Think of it like detoxing from chemicals. Since your body stores toxins in your fat cells, it won’t actually LET you lose weight too fast if you are toxic because it would poison the body. Awakening is similar. There is a massive pain body that you need to work through in order to open fully.

With the Relationship Detox specifically, it is designed to reframe your entire experience with relationships and have you see the divine messages that meant for you in each experience. By going through the process you are able to let go of behavior that is no longer serving you and choose something new.

Perri Gorman: relationships guru

AR: In the moments you’re coaching me I always start “strong” and then you get in there and crack me open. How do you always manage to do that?!
PG: I think a big part of my work is feeling “you” underneath the “strong,” which is usually a defense mechanism. It’s there to say “yeah I’m cool, nothing to see here, keep moving!” But if you listen closely there is another voice in there saying, “Hey! Don’t listen to her! I’m in here!”

My work is not for the faint of heart as you know, and I think it’s unique because I live it deeply myself. I am not perfect or enlightened but I have a deep deep practice of looking at my own stuff in every situation. I have unwound some really complex and tricky (and not so attractive) patterns in myself, so I can see the patterns more easily than others in many cases. So if you are like me and you have patterns that fog or trick other people, you come to me and I slice the head off that puppy and you feel so much better!

AR: So how is a relationship a crucible? That sounds scary as hell.
PG: Relationship as a crucible means that you don’t do this fairy tale thing of “acquiring” a relationship and then passing out back to sleep. It means staying conscious within the relationship, and being willing for it to “burn” the patterns in you that no longer serve you. It means looking deeply at the other person as a mirror and using that mirror to look at where you can be a better version of yourself.

AR: Yes! I find the deepest work I do is often in partnership. It’s like boot camp. No hiding! Wanna give us an example of what this can look like?
PG: Sure. Right now in my own relationship (I am getting married in October) I am working on a pattern where I try to fix him when he is down because his pain makes me really uncomfortable. So instead of letting him have his experience, I do things that would make him feel better. That sounds like the “nice” thing to do but it is not the “kind” thing to do. The thing to do is focus on myself, support him how he wants to be supported and not need him to be any way other than how he is.

As I started to look more deeply at it, I was like “Why do I do that? Where does that pattern originate?” It comes from childhood and being afraid that things going wrong were my fault and not wanting to get in trouble. But if I fixed it then that meant I did something good! It’s a rescuer pattern where I get personal validation that I am a good person by making him feel better.

But if we are practicing being conscious, then I have robbed him of his down which it is NECESSARY for him to get through himself to get to the freedom on the other side. By trying to help him feel better, (i.e. distract him from his feelings or helping him cover them with yummy things like a chocolate milkshake) I have helped him numb out and I have kept him from feeling what he needs to feel. So I notice it and then I actively practice doing something different so I can shift that piece of myself internally. It’s a practice.

AR: I love this, and I’ve been on both sides of this same coin. Allowing the uncomfortable is tough. People are always looking to “be ok.” But I wonder if some of us are avoiding the shadow. The truth. The messy side. Hiding under a mask of “zen.”
PG: We all have masks and patterns, which is why relationships as reflection from others is so important. I surround myself with people who can penetrate my defenses so the truth can get through. Of course we avoid it. I don’t think that I ever said “Oh hey, I want to be awake and spiritual.” I was a fucking walking ball of chaos and destruction, and I had no choice. It was transform or die. I had to learn how to use all the energy. For others, they feel dead inside or their relationships don’t work or they are bored. In this sense, it’s like we all have different locks that require a different key.

***

So there you have it. Perri always pisses me off with our work, but then she breaks me down and then I cry and feel so happy and see the light!  It’s an amazing process if you surrender to it.

And next up from Perri: self-love. Something I think gets misunderstood A LOT. Self-love doesn’t just mean treating yourself to a mani pedi. It means cutting off toxic relationships. Releasing self-judgment. Body shame. Sexual shame. Owning your voice. Standing up for your needs. Creating healthy boundaries. Self-love is deep. I’m still learning it more and more everyday.

Perri’s new experience, PRESENCE, is all about coming home to yourself through the path authentic self-love. Not in the “everything needs to be good and nice” kind of way, more like “I will sit here with you through it all—good or bad”—something she admits has been one of the most challenging practices for her, and so a major focus of her own healing journey.

Registration for PRESENCE opens August 1 for a limited time. To sign-up, and to learn more about Perri Gorman and her work visit: Theschoolofalchemy.com

INDIA TRIPPIN: DRESSING THE INTERNATIONAL GYPSET

Naz Onderoglu of Williamsburg’s new global style hub Soot & Tusk gets the spiritual scoop on Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection. Because it’s always about the journey…

If an open door beckons to you, please stumble in. On a recent stroll through Williamsburg, BK, we did exactly that, and soon found ourselves in fashion heaven – aka Soot & Tusk, a new boutique bursting with cool creations from independent designers across the globe. Founders Naz, Noyan and Veranika are as international a line-up as the clothes that lines the racks, and leads come from everywhere; “we travel, ask our friends or search all over the internet to find like-minded labels. So spread word, we’re looking for new designers all the time!” says Naz.

Designers like Ilgin Utin, whose incredible India Trippin’ collection is featured in this post. Erm, obsessed much? We asked Naz to reach out to Ilgin (modelling her own designs here) to get the inside scoop…

When were you last ‘India Trippin’?
“I spent four months in India this winter, searching for what money can’t buy and finding my lost spirit, which it’s easy to forget about in my Western life. I had come to a point where I’d lost all interest in material life and my career goals had become meaningless. I realised I had been living in future, not in the moment, and my India trip helped me reconnect with the ‘now’, as well as my creativity.”

How does the country inspire you as an artist?
“Initially it helped me remember the artsy mood of my childhood, but I also found a spiritual connection there which made everything meaningful again and I came to a conclusion that I had to integrate my spirit with my material work. In India, the colourful, fancy and extravagant material expressions are reflections of inner beauty, infused with this ancient, immortal culture of imagination. Seeing real people applying this creativity in their lives, I also figured out that you don’t need to do any research on the internet to be able to understand everything.”

What’s the most mystical experience you had there?
“I had this foresight that I’d find a guru who will lead me on a mystical tour to unknown places and states of minds. But it wasn’t about this. There was no big mystery, I simply felt more grounded and connected to nature, as well as the consciousness that we are all a part of.

Really, no stories?
“Well okay. I was traveling alone in Coorg following my passion for spices and herbs, and I ended up staying on a mountain homestay with a local family. When I met the guy he told me I was the only Muslim traveller that had ever come there, so he was so excited to introduce me his family. I went their 100-year-old house on the mountains, where there were no neighbours, only nature. On meeting his amazing family, I ended up stayed there for a whole week as they insisted.

“I quickly fell into remote village life, speaking Hindu with the mother, being a sister to his son. At nights we had deep conversations about life, and he would tell stories which were basic and pure, but also so illuminating. Of course, he didn’t know I was in a search of guru, but he told me ‘you can stay here as long as you want, we don’t expect anything in return you, but take me as your guru!’ This made me understand that everybody is a guru, from whom I could learn self-realization.”

Describe the woman you are designing for – who is your muse?
“A woman with lots of confidence, with no hesitations and who doesn’t want to hide in the crowd. She likes to be noticed, but she shows up as her inner self, her child spirit. She is very much optimistic, colorful and enjoying life. I don’t have muses, but imaginary characters that I design for. She’s the woman that I want to be.”

What’s your astrological sign, and how does it help define your aesthetic?
“I’m an Aquarius, and I think defines my personality, my lifestyle and my mentality. I believe I am really creative, free spirited, independent, reliable, outgoing, sophisticated and individual because of my sign. I know I born this way. My aesthetic is something I’ve developed by visiting and experiencing so many different cultures, and I’m always in progress and expanding my vision.”

Getting dressed in the morning, what’s your ‘fashion mantra’?
“I never prepare my clothes the day before. So my mantra is; ‘put on your mood!’”

For more information about when Ilgin Utin’s India Trippin’ collection will be available contact [email protected]

@ilginutin

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: LATHAM THOMAS

Doula, yogi and author, Latham Thomas is the go-to birthing guru for New York’s most magical mamas (and definitely one of the city’s sexiest vegans). Having discovered her calling after a shamanic astro reading on an ashram in the Bahamas (as you do), here she goes deep into the details of a mystical life…giving life.

WHAT’S YOUR MORNING AWAKENING RITUAL?
I wake up, give thanks, rising up to meditate briefly before waking my son and starting our day. Sometimes he joins me in my lap for a meditation.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FEEL GOOD BREAKFAST?
My favorite breakfast is quinoa porridge in the winter and acai and granola in the summer months.

WHAT MATRA DO YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH IN THE MORNING?
God is good all the time and always ordering my steps. Every encounter is blessed and I am learning every step of the way.

WHAT’S YOUR LUCKY CHARM?
My John of God crystal teardrop ring.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU MOST EMBODY THE TRAITS OF YOUR SIGN?
I’m a true Taurus – I am romantic, thoughtful, nurturing, and grounded. I am also stubborn – I don’t quit things.

WHAT OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR CHART DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST?
My moon is in Sagitarius and I am very much aligned with the energy of the traveling horse. It balances the grounding energy of my sun sign.

WHO’S YOUR GO-TO GURU, AND WHY DOES THEIR WORK RESONATE WITH YOU?
God is my go-to! I don’t have a person who I go to most. I love Gabrielle Bernstein and Terri Cole, who are dear friends, and if I am in need of sister support I dial them up ASAP.

AND THE HEALER YOU HAVE ON SPEED-DIAL?
Maureen Dodd at the Ash Center, who is a true mystic and able to intuit what my body needs. I love her energetic facials.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOUR MYSTICAL BELIEFS MOST INFORM YOUR WORK?
Spirit breathes into every aspect of my work, which is all about birth – and what’s more holy, precious, and divine than the miracle of birth?

AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?
You know, that’s such a good question. I let them come up, then I call a friend to talk it out if I can’t seem to shake whatever arises.

RETAIL THERAPY IS…?
I’m not such a shopper – I get what I need and I am done. But I do love to shop for…teas!

WHAT’S YOUR POWER OUTFIT?
A stylish boot, leggings, a well-tailored blouse and a fierce hat. I love a good lid.

AND WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL, WHY?
I think my energy, my essence, the touch I put into my work, and my passion are what make me beautiful. I’ve endured challenges and that has moulded my character along with my smile lines 🙂

YOUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH THE UNIVERSE WENT SOMETHING LIKE…?
Dear God, please give me the strength, the inspiration and the focus to write something that will help others on their self-healing journey. Please make me a vessel for your will.

AND WITH YOUR PSYCHIC GUIDE?
I have a Goddess I identify with who is called Oshun or Oxum, from the Yoruba tradition. I am not affiliated with the religion, but I really identify with the energy of this particular goddess. She is beautiful, lives in the sweet waters. She is vain, and courted by many Gods. She is benevolent, and a creatrix.

WHEN DID YOU LAST WITNESS MAGIC IN ACTION?
This morning – I woke up!

WHAT’S ON YOUR VISION BOARD RIGHT NOW?
Sooo much! I always put everything on, so that when I focus on a particular area I draw those experiences to myself. I’ve been in a mode right now of attracting people and experiences that so much so that I can’t discern whether it’s de ja vu, or whether I conjured the whole thing myself.

YOUR MISSION IN YOUR CURRENT EARTHLING INCARNATION IS…?
My mission is to help women reclaim their queendom and heir bodies and be empowered in the birth process. We need to nurture ourselves so we can be powerful forces in the world.

Find out more about Latham and her work at Mamaglow.com

@GlowMaven

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: THE BAREFOOT DOCTOR

Stephen Russell, a.k.a. the Barefoot Doctor has been teaching the way of the Tao for decades. Based in Ibiza, the author and global happiness guru also runs ‘conscious’ electronic dance music events around the world. Here he shares the details of a life that is deeply mystical but rooted in the material.

DO YOU HAVE ANY RECURRING DREAMS AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY MEAN?
“I dream lucidly so I use the time to create adventures with happy endings – which probably indicates that I like adventures with happy endings.”

WHAT IS YOUR MORNING AWAKENING RITUAL?
“I’d call it post-awakening, as I’m always too excited to be alive when I wake up to ritualize it. But a short while after opening my eyes, I do an hour or so training session in my martial arts practice, with a whole raft of bizarre moves to wake everything up, lubricate the engine, strengthen the flow of juice (chi), and meditation to reinforce the connection to Big Barefoot. I finish by telepathically broadcasting my good wishes to humanity and then cement it by flinging out a message or two far and wide on the Internet.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FEELGOOD BREAKFAST AND WHY?
“I’ve learned to stop bothering with favorites of anything as it’s all relative to lighting, camera angle and priorities at the time, and don’t actually eat breakfast anyway as I can’t eat before I train. After that and a shower the day’s begun, I wait till I’ve done whatever the morning requires and eat lunch instead. But if pressed on favourite breakfasts, porridge with full cream milk and white sugar – another reason it’s probably good I don’t eat breakfast.”

WHAT MANTRA DO YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH IN THE MORNING?
“I have so many positive notions running through my mind at any moment it’s hard to alight on just one, but if I had to it’d probably be that everything I’m experiencing, no matter how irksome or magnificent, is an expression of life’s absolute love for me and that everything I do, no matter how bumbling or adroit, is an expression of my absolute love for life.”

WHAT’S YOUR LUCKY CHARM?
“The planet Earth.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU MOST EMBODY THE TRAITS OF YOUR SIGN?
“I’m Virgo and aside from a caring nature and my work looking after multitudes of people’s states of mind on a daily basis, the writing aspect of the work involved, tying together an array of apparently disparate strands of knowledge and human experience into a single piece of fabric – that’s a Virgo trait more usually expressed as being fastidiously tidy at home (I’m not).”

WHAT OTHER ELEMENTS OF YOUR CHART DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST?
“Leo ascendant, the performer on stage. Pisces moon, the psychic, trippy aspect. And it’s Venus in Scorpio that makes me sexy.”

WHO IS YOUR GO-TO GURU, AND WHY DOES THEIR WORK RESONATE WITH YOU?
“Me – I go to myself everyday as I don’t know anyone I relate to more or who has anything more pertinent to say to me than me. It’s a perk of the job when you’re a guru.”

AND THE HEALER YOU HAVE ON SPEED-DIAL?
“Me – for the same reasons as above.”

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOUR MYSTICAL BELIEFS INFORM YOUR WORK?
“In every way – that’s what my work is – sharing the Taoist cosmology, existential map, philosophy and methods that I practice myself.”

AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS?
“I don’t deal with them, I just think them and watch myself think them then choose the positive option instead. On the rare but occasionally inevitable times I’ve gone into a momentary spiral and fancy a bit of external bolstering, I call various friends and have a moan till I feel better. But I rarely think negatively these days or rather rarely let fearful or angry thoughts get the better of me – I’m having too much fun just being alive to waste a moment of it not enjoying the show.”

RETAIL THERAPY IS…?
“A momentary distraction from the existential process, and / or a gesture of appreciation for myself.”

WHAT’S YOUR POWER OUTFIT?
“Whatever I’m wearing – my power comes from within, not from my clothes.”

AND WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL, WHY?
“My training each day because it settles my spirit, makes me fit, increases circulation, beautifies the complexion, brightens the eyes and makes every action feel beautiful.”

YOUR LAST CONVERSATION WITH THE UNIVERSE WENT SOMETHING LIKE…?
“I never stop having a conversation with the universe – my whole life is this conversation – but the issue we were just talking about was that I’m free to believe whatever I choose and that I have it all and have nothing to loose. And I told it I’d revel in the ambiguity of that.”

WHEN DID YOU LAST WITNESS MAGIC IN ACTION?
“I’m witnessing it all the time. This entire existence is magic in action.”

WHAT’S ON YOUR VISION BOARD RIGHT NOW?
“I don’t have vision boards – I just expect the best and surrender to destiny, knowing that given half a chance things tend to work out swimmingly.”

YOUR MISSION IN YOUR CURRENT EARTHLING INCARNATION IS…?
“To radiate the perpetual joy and delight I experience for being alive to as many people in the world as possible and to share as many of the methods that facilitated this state with as many people as possible, with a view to inducing the whole world to ease off a few degrees more. With just a bit more global relaxation, we all stand a far better chance of coming out of all this smiling.”

Barefoot hosts global ‘Magic Satsang’ meditation sessions online every Sunday at 7pm GMT time at www.barefootsatsang.com. Register at least one hour before, as numbers are limited to 200 globally.