THE 2019 CANCER NEW MOON SOLAR ECLIPSE WANTS YOU TO FEEL

The 2019 Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse is a chance to press reset on old emotional patterns, by bringing the light of awareness, says Sandy Sitron

Photo: Caique Silva

New Moon Solar Eclipse // July 2 2019 // 3:16pm ET // 10 degrees Cancer

Deep below the surface of the water, tiny fins catch the light. A school of fish darts through a coral reef. Instinct guides their synchronized moves. Tuesday’s Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse at might amplify your instinctual reactions as well. Emotions zigzag the same way the fish change directions. Do you know how to swim with your emotions?

Cancer is the sign of emotional intelligence and nurturance. A new moon solar eclipse is a chance to reset. A new pattern is forming around how you deal with your feelings, how you know that you are loved, how you relate to your family, and how you feel at home.

This is a moment to clear the residue and begin a new pattern. It is time to rewrite your reactions.

To do this, you need to shine conscious light on deeply subconscious patterns. But the fish are down near the ocean floor. The Sun is dark, blocked by the shadow of the Moon. The Moon is also dark, too close to the Sun to reflect light. So where do you find consciousness? How do you see what is really going on?

Know that the waters are choppy. Emotions are flowing, and ties to the past, instinct and gut reactions may be forming a rip-tide. You may feel as if you are being pulled into an ancient and familiar dance. But if you pay attention, you can interrupt the pattern. Do this by naming your emotions one by one as they flicker by. You can breathe into them. You can explore them with words. 

This Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse can break up the old dance. Your words and your breath and your attention can change the patterns. A square between Mercury and Uranus brings insight and surprises. Open up to unexpected solutions. Things really are changing, even if it feels like you are circling back to the past. This current moment is brand new, and it’s filled with potential. You could be the lone fish that jets off in a brand new direction.

Whatever you do, don’t try to get out of the water. If you avoid your feelings, your little fins will dry out. Just try to be an observer. Try to be the fish that’s swimming instinctively, as well as the person who is watching the fish swim. Think about what you are feeling and what you need. What do the other people around you feel and need?

Narrate your feelings and notice how these feelings loop in a pattern, probably connecting back to childhood. When was the first time you felt this feeling? Where is it located in your body?

Stay with the feelings even when it feels overwhelming. Do it by becoming the mom and dad to your sweet inner-child. Give yourself a hug and a kind word. Slather on the support you always needed. Show up for yourself now and this will become a pattern that repeats throughout the year.

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Sun and Moon conjunct North Node and opposite Saturn
Walking through wet sand.

At this time you are keen to make a path in the sand and move forward. But it feels like you’re getting pulled back toward the past. Can you really move forward when you are sinking? 

An eclipse happens with the Sun and Moon get very close to the Nodal axis, as they are now. An eclipse helps you reset patterns. At any moment the ocean waves will come through and wash away your tracks. 

Throw Saturn in the mix and the desire to succeed becomes serious.  This eclipse is a conflicting combination of trying to make progress, feeling like you are pulled toward the past, while all the while starting over. 

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Sun and Moon trine Neptune
A seashell forms a spiral.

Seashells and spiral shaped plants, weather patterns and spiral shaped galaxies. All of them connected in form. You can change your perspective and realize that you are connected to everything. Nothing is better or worse. Everything is made up of the same stuff.

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Sun and Moon sextile Uranus
Mushroom releases spores into the wind.

The less you try to anticipate or control, the more productive you’ll be. Find a gust of wind and follow it. The surprises that come your way have a lot to offer you. Assume that the current is taking you to new places. 

NUMINOUS WEEKLY HOROSCOPES: JULY 1—7

Our Numinous Weekly Horoscopes from Sandy Sitron have a reading + cosmic symbol for your sign. Read for your Sun and Rising signs to get the full picture …

Photo: Irina Iriser

Cancer or Cancer Rising
Bullseye.
Try to zero in on what really matters. All sorts of thoughts, feelings and emotions may be flying. Give yourself the truth you need to hear. If it’s difficult to access the truth, try a new approach. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself circle aimlessly. Zoom straight into the heart of what is important to you now. The result will be clarity and alignment.

Leo or Leo Rising
Holding onto a balloon and floating away.
You don’t have to work so hard. You don’t have to push yourself. Let yourself be carried. What would it feel like to stop straining and clawing? What if you could trust that your throne is secure? Did you ever learn to go with the flow? Teach yourself now. Trust yourself and find the current that can carry you toward your dreams.

Virgo or Virgo Rising
Expertly playing a piano.
Years of practice have added up. You are finding your groove. Now where will you take your craft? Often we feel was if there is so much more to learn, so much more to refine. Let go of perfection and bring your ideas, talents and skills to a larger audience. Allow yourself to feel inspired by other peoples’ input. It’s time to go public.

Libra or Libra Rising
You’re a jockey riding a racehorse.
After being pelted with wind and mud, you may feel like giving up. Instead, get into the sport of what you are doing in your career. You’re in the homestretch and the rules of the race may change before it’s finished. So keep riding and let yourself be surprised by the outcome. You can’t control everything, but you can choose a lane and stay on track.

Scorpio or Scorpio Rising
Working on a Rubik’s cube.
You know how to dedicate yourself to something. Stay engaged. Keep chipping away at the issue even if you’re not sure how committed you feel. The most important thing is that you feel aligned with your values. If you do, you’ll find the stamina that you need. If you don’t, make minor adjustments.

Sagittarius or Sagittarius Rising
Geese fly in a V-shape.
The thing to remember is that you are never alone. Start trusting that you are included. You don’t have to prove anything. Maybe it’s true that you’ve been denied or let down in the past. But right now you have a chance to start over emotionally and heal. It will take a load off your mind to trust your place in the world.

Capricorn or Capricorn Rising
Sleeping in a cloud.
“A cloud” symbolizes water (emotion) that is held up in air (communication). “Sleeping” symbolically represents relaxation and restoration. This week the energy shows up in your relationship area. In relationship you need to relax so that you can find the right words to express your emotions. This communication will help you start fresh.

Aquarius or Aquarius Rising
Making a collage.
You can fit the pieces together. Take a surprising new approach as you plan your day. It’s time to change things up when it comes to your daily chores, tasks, productivity and health. Add in new and unlikely elements to your schedule so that you create a whole new vision for your life. The magic is in the details.

Pisces or Pisces Rising
Playing in the sand.
It’s time to get messy and make masterful creations. This isn’t about perfection, the water will come and wash it all away. This is about being spontaneous. Being led by fun. Being instinctive. Begin to play and be surprised by your results. Take this approach with any issue you’re having, or in any area of life.

Aries or Aries Rising
A motorboat bounces against the waves.
Speed will help you get over and around any emotional swells. You may feel rather slow and sluggish. Do something quickly to snap yourself out of it. Once you’ve remembered how spontaneous you can be, you can return to your emotions and sit with them. Be very tender and gentle with yourself.

Taurus or Taurus Rising
A hamster in a wheel.
Your mind is racing. Make sure it’s gong somewhere. You can spin in circles or you can engage mentally in a way that feels curious, inspiring and invigorating. Mindfulness is key. Meditate to practice awareness. Follow your curiosity in a way that feels engaging instead of compulsive. And most of all, connect with friends.

Gemini or Gemini Rising
Gazing out over your vast empire.
Do you feel connected with what you are building? Find creative way to assess your resources and remember your successes. They are there. You do have them. Knowing that you have them will support you mentally. Connect to nature and get grounded. When you feel grounded and resourceful your self-worth amplifies.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPES: JUNE 2019

Your Numinous Tarotscopes for June 2019 are here! Get the audio + written monthly reading for your sign from Bess Matassa below …

Artwork: Prince Láuder

COLLECTIVE THEME FOR JUNE 2019: 6 of Wands

Close your eyes and feel the summertime heat building inside your body. Ruled by Jupiter in Leo, the 6 of Wands fuels our desires for fame, fortune, and flair. Coming at us fierce and fiery, the Numinous Tarotscopes theme for June is a collective call to the sustainable success of our personal brands.

This energy urges us to go heart first, no matter the external accolades. Asking us to break open the binary of achievement and failure, June is an invitation to craft our own cosmic corporate ladder. Sometimes we’re ahead, sometimes we’re behind, and it’s all part of trusting in whatever bold moves want to come through us in the moment.

What would feel like a gold star for your soul? What does a life well-lived really look like to you? The 6 of Wands hands us the Oscar envelope and allows us to celebrate whatever is revealed.

Read on for the card, mantra, and cosmic audio reading for your sign …

GEMINI OR GEMINI RISING: 3 of Cups
Real love is whatever feels real to you.

Happy birthday month, Gemstone! June’s invitation is a rainbow colored reminder to challenge stale storylines and hard-edged concepts—especially in the realm of romance and connection. The “3” is a hungry number, inviting us to swap either/or mentality and go for the whole damn buffet. More than any other sign, you have the capacity to understand all facets of this diamond life. In June, use this kaleidoscopic view to see where you may have been limiting yourself in love. Whether it’s platonic partnerships that are offering up soul-deep growth, or a heartbreak containing bitter medicine, it is all absolutely here to remind you of your capacity to reach out from the inside. And with your ruler, Mercury, traveling through Cancer’s emo waters all month, this is prime time to take these experiences out of your head and bring them back into your body and heart. This notion is rooted in that old adage about everybody being a form of God in disguise. Let yourself be guided by the idea that everyone’s heart is here to connect with you.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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CANCER OR CANCER RISING: The Sun
Lean into the sweet sensation of separateness.

Think of this month like a clear beach morning in a solo bungalow, fueled by strong black coffee as you look out across your life with a sense of exactly who you are and what you need to do. With the North Node still highly activated in your sign, and powerhouse Mars traveling through it as well, June offers lessons in the concept of individuation, and is a time to focus on your own self-expression. This doesn’t mean you need to rupture relationships or hermit yourself into social oblivion. Instead, start by simply feeling into your “I.” Notice the times when you tend not begin a sentence this way, and investigate the roots of this discomfort. The Sun urges us to become more of the selves that only we can become, which means taking a few risks. What if it was okay that you’re not “for” everyone? In fact, what if this could be a wild liberation? Free yourself from any shame around being different in favor of cultivating even more of your own flavor.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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LEO OR LEO RISING: Page of Wands Rx
I am ready to return to the original heat source.

Since the start of this astrological year you’ve been exploring the origins of your creative process, and, combining the elements of earth and fire, the Page of Wands wants you to use this month to closely examine how you initiate action and stoke your creative fires. Start by cultivating the capacity to sit with your urges and impulses rather than immediately leaping to lock them down by producing a shiny object. This may feel excruciating at first, but trust that there is deep magic in understanding how to befriend your emotions before they “do you.” Maybe it’s deliberately delaying a project. Or waiting a day longer to respond to a message. These simple acts can be a reminder to take pride of place at the center of your own life. With your ruler, the Sun, traveling through Gemini, you’re being reminded of the spaciousness that can be found by embracing the ephemeral. Watch sensations rise and fall, trusting what is for you never needs to be hunted down.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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VIRGO OR VIRGO RISING: Page of Swords Rx
The slightest shifts can create megawatt expansions.

Ruled by Mercury, Virgo is the sign of responsiveness and adaptation. But when you lose a sense of connection to this natural ebb and flow, you can get stuck in endless nervous analysis. June’s magic medicine returns you to your inherent capacity to embrace constant change, without racing around to immediately make it all better. The Page of Swords always arrives after a long journey through the mental realm, slaying old storylines and staring into the face of the hooks and obsessions that can leave us feeling stuck. From there, it enacts the boldest act of all: it tells the brain to bugger off! With fellow Mercury-ruled shapeshifter Gemini ruling the skies right now, allow the hard packed elements of your life to soften by making very subtle adjustments that feel instinctively right. Your mutable earth sign is connected to the element of sand and you can use substance as your guide for June. Absorb the waters of emotion when they arise. Form yourself into little castles out of the wetness. And then let it all wash away, trusting that you can rise to meet any moment.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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LIBRA OR LIBRA RISING: 5 of Swords
Being human means taking the highs with the lows.

The “5” cards are all about frictional development, Libra. But before you let that bring you crashing down from your idealized castle in the sky, take a moment to consider what “owning” your own mind might mean. What is the origin of your thought patterns? How much springs from an inner knowing, and how much is reaction? June offers up the opportunity to slip recenter yourself on your own throne. Start by considering what’s “pulling you” right now. There’s nothing wrong with being tugged along, begin by simply noticing what happens once you surrender to someone else’s emotional spin or demands. This month, you are learning to sift through the external buzz and let your own voice rise to the surface. Rather than riding the highs and the lows of other people’s trips right now, focus on your own capacity to steer your vessel, knowing that the journey towards calmer waters might require a little storm-ready self-sufficiency.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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SCORPIO OR SCORPIO RISING: Knight of Wands
Moving with my desire brings me what I crave.

The Knight of Wands calls you to move through the world as if it were your natural element. Start by exploring the concept of “strut”—what would be the most carefree way of shimmying through your life right now? Maybe you’re holding your shoulders closed in an important conversation about a potential raise. Or keeping your legs crossed on a date when you really would rather open wide to the possibilities. The Gemini Sun forms an “inconjunct” aspect to your sign this month, which presents a profound invitation for integration and understanding. The lesson here is that when you actually prioritize the line of least resistance, you’ll always land on the flower with the sweetest nectar. You are alchemizing sweetness with strength right now. Let it all feel lighter, looser, and fueled by libido, Scorpio.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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SAGITTARIUS OR SAGITTARIUS RISING: Ace of Cups Rx
Cracking open to the honey is my creative mission.

With Jupiter powering its way through your sign this year, the opportunities for expansion in all directions have been profound—and sometimes this can feel like an overstuffed buffet, where the bottomless urge to load up another plate takes over, whether you’re full or not! And now June asks you to consider how and to what you’re saying “yes” to. The Ace of Cups asks you, quite simply, what you will do with your own beating heart? Will you tone down its drumbeat for fear that your passions are too big? Will you use it to make something that could only be built from your own blood? With the Sun in Gemini this month asking you to consider how you’re received in the world, and a fat Full Moon in your sign on June 17, remember you can create by channeling what’s already in front of you, rather than more and more onto your plate.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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CAPRICORN OR CAPRICORN RISING: Queen of Wands
I am ready for all kinds of weather.

Take a moment to honor the big and beautiful energies that have graced your life since the start of the astro New Year in March, Capricorn: The Sun, the Queen of Pentacles, Death, and now the Queen of Wands. This cosmic combo has put you through a process of shaping and buffing, inviting you to bow at the altar of your very essence. Now, the Queen of Wands wants you to ask yourself: what witchery am I capable of? This isn’t about imposing your will on the landscape, but about better understanding exactly what kind of spells you’re here to cast. Maybe you’re a person who can walk into a room and change the climate with a smile. Or maybe your medicine is to urge others to wake up to reality. With Pluto, Saturn, and the South Node of the Moon colliding in your sign, it’s prime time to unleash your magic with clarity and compassion, understanding just how much force is in your corner and exactly how to wield it.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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AQUARIUS OR AQUARIUS RISING: 7 of Wands
My signature scent is a perfume the world needs.

You’ve been traveling close to the ground since the start of this astrological year in March, Aquarius, brushing up against some of the more challenging cobblestones of the Minor Arcana— process that’s been about making things yours through experiential learning. The 7 of Wands comes through this month to beckon you back into your own specialness, with a little “me first” medicine. Feel into where you might be following right now, rather than forging your own path. You usually consider yourself the zodiac’s radical pattern breaker, but what systems are you still operating within? The Sun in fellow air sign Gemini, is asking you to consider the origins of your storylines, and your right to choose your own adventure.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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PISCES OR PISCES RISING: 9 of Cups
Each wish works magic I can’t even imagine.

You’ve arguably got the corner on cloud life, Pisces, but June wants you to swap out a habit of swinging between checking out and crashing back down to earth. What does the process of staying on track with an ideal outcome feel like? Maybe it brings up fears that you have to make it happen. Or that it will never happen. The 9 of any suit invites a Hermit-like dedication to privacy, urging us to process on our own time. Check in with any secret wishes that might currently be for your heart only, noticing when you feel pressured to unveil your 5-year plan. Can you let whatever is being seeded have its own lifestyle and trajectory instead? With your ruler, Neptune, stationing retrograde near the end of the month, you’re moving towards a new way of working with the concept of hope. Learn to truly cherish what you can’t yet fully see.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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ARIES OR ARIES RISING: Two of Cups Rx
Nothing inside of me needs to be removed.

Think of June as a time to take emotional inventory, Aries. The Two of Cups is a card of deep communion with pieces of ourselves we may want to purge, and wants you to investigate what parts of your emotional life you’ve been hiding away. When we attempt to compartmentalize these pieces, their voices actually get stronger, demanding to be seen and integrated. What facets of yourself do you feel are in need of “fixing” or hiding?  Think of this month as an opportunity to take a long, hazy summer weekend with the pieces of your story you’d rather purge, and learn instead to welcome these parts. What you’ll discover is that inviting these members of your “feelings family” home will hep you to feel more whole.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

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TAURUS OR TAURUS RISING: Page of Cups
Releasing my guard relaxes my soul.

This June, the Page of Cups is singing you the Titanic theme song, Taurus, reminding you that your heart truly does go on and on until you reach the end of this incarnation, and perhaps even beyond! Attempting to shut down or shut off simply won’t work—your urge for human connection will find its way into the cracks no matter what. Being relaxed in your body and soul necessitates a certain degree of trust that life is on your side. Not that nothing will hurt you. Not that you won’t be challenged, stripped down, and stood up. But this energy, and this month, is all about being reminded that when you allow yourself to soften and open you can move with, rather than against, all of the seasons of your life with grace and potency.

Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.

NUMINOUS WEEKLY HOROSCOPES: MAY 13—19

Our Numinous Weekly Horoscopes from Sandy Sitron have this week’s astro symbol + reading for your Sun and Rising signs …

Photo: Nathan Anderson

Taurus or Taurus Rising
Petals in the wind.
It’s time to release. Survey your life and take stock of what you’re holding onto. We hold on because we know that it’s safe. We are comforted by the familiar. But right now it’s time to let go, especially when it comes to old relationship dynamics. Look for ways to break the patterns. This can be beautiful. Like a shimmer of petals on the wind.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Gemini or Gemini Rising
Piano keys.
Beauty is the result of practice. You are developing new muscles. Find a system and follow it. Simplify your life. Go step by step. Your attention will wander. Bring it back and continue to improve. If you can manage to do this without self-judgement, you will feel as if you are playing a beautiful song. Keep your attention focused in the moment and you will feel centered.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Cancer or Cancer Rising
Helium balloons.
It’s time to rise up above it all. Helium is lighter than the surrounding molecules, so it floats. To do this you can’t pay attention to other people’s emotional reactions. You need to focus on your own creativity and contribution. Don’t get sucked in. Just keep floating up above it all. This is easier if feel generous about your contribution. Let your feeling of generosity uplift you.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Leo or Leo Rising
Tadpole on the brink of transformation.
What needs to change for you to feel accepted? You may yearn to feel more accepted in your family, community or career. This feeling you crave starts from a deep sense of self-acceptance. It’s time to fully embrace who you are. You are on the brink of a transformation and it begins with your sense of belonging and feeling at home in this world.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Virgo or Virgo Rising
Horizon line.
The horizon line is both defined and undefined. Real and imaginary. You are doing mental gymnastics as you study your thought patterns and explore new mental frontiers. Our thoughts and beliefs broadly determine our life experience. Sometimes we need to change how we think so that we can change our lives. Be brave and proactive as you redefine what you believe.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Libra or Libra Rising
A feast.
One way to increase your sense of security is to honor what you already have. Play the gratitude game. Give thanks for your resources everyday. Whatever they may be. If all you have is the air that you breathe, start there. Giving gratitude is a form of generosity. It is a way of saying, “I am full and I give back energetically.” From this place your resources will replenish.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Scorpio or Scorpio Rising
Light on a riverboat.
This symbol says that you are moving through shadows and you are in emotional territory. You will soon cross the river and arrive at dry land. The best thing that you can do is to sit with the emotions and feel them fully. When you get to dry land you can process the experience with more logic. This emotional journey is helping you become your most authentic self.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Sagittarius or Sagittarius Rising
Grecian columns.
You are seeking inner stability. You are defining your inner pillars of self trust and self worth. You can do this through meditation. When in doubt, look for your resilience within. This is an spiritual and emotional connection with your strength. Meditation is a practice that helps you increase your emotional resilience. It is the columns that support your structure.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Capricorn or Capricorn Rising
High flying hawk.
You need more perspective. You are ready for change and you need to find a new way of doing things. Before you can get into the nitty gritty of what that looks like, you need to fly high above and connect with the big picture. What do you believe? What are your values? What is your vision for your life? Connect with a sense of hope and you’ll know what to do.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Aquarius or Aquarius Rising
A wild boar.
In this image you are rooting around in the vegetable garden, finding and devouring fresh food. You need to get grounded and connect with your wildness and your desire. From there you can put energy into achieving your dreams. You need passion to make success happen. Connect to the wild earth and find your center. When you feel grounded you can build.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Pisces or Pisces Rising
Over the edge of a waterfall.
Let the momentum take you. There are times when you need to go with the flow. Where is the river pushing you? Let yourself rest and receive. This advice makes sense as long as you are tuned into your values. If you can make choices that are aligned with your values and at the same time go with the flow of your intuition, you will feel alignment.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

Aries or Aries Rising
A buzzing bee hive.
You need your community. This is a time of letting go and releasing control. That’s really hard to do. Remember that your actions don’t define you. There is nothing to prove. You are valuable no matter what you achieve. Let go of the struggle and your desire to be number one. This will open you up to more intimacy and a real feeling of connection and trust.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandy here or follow her on Instagram.

THE APRIL 19 LIBRA FULL MOON WANTS YOU TO BLOOM BIG

The second Libra Full Moon of 2019 is sweet and thorny, inviting us to set a boundary and go big, says Sandy Sitron

Photo: D-ng-tr-n-qu-c

Full Moon // April 19, 2019 // 7:12 am EDT // 29 degrees Libra

Rose bushes tantalize with sweet smells and bright colors. Underneath the surface are an army of bloodthirsty thorns.

Visualize this lunation as if it represents the diverse ecosystem of a rose bush in bloom. Many pathways available, many roses to be smelled, many insects, and small animals to encounter. There’s a headiness as the perfume intoxicates, and a pain that lingers when you are pricked. You can have the best time revealing in the beauty or you can get stuck in the thorns.

On Friday April 19th there is the second Libra Full Moon of 2019. This one is asking us to get it right. There’s not much time to waste. It’s time to spark the flame of your desire, go for it, and bloom big! That’s what you’ve been working on this Aries season, even though part of the time the process was foggy, slippery, and subconscious.

And this fiery evolution of the self has been punctuated by the need to be clear, communicative and reach toward another person in diplomatic action. You’ve been asked to set boundaries that help you be more of yourself, alone and in partnership. That’s the thorny truth of what this pair of Libra Full Moons are asking you to do.

The rose is the perfect metaphor because it is peaceful and beautiful, like the Libra archetype. But it is also clear about its boundaries, the way both Libra and Aries must be to create truly balanced partnership. The rose is also the symbol for the open heart, and to be truly open-hearted you must have pointy thorns to defend yourself. That saves you energy and makes openness safe and sustainable.

The overall message of this Full Moon is to work on your self awareness so that you can communicate and enjoy both individuality and balanced partnership.

I’ll be honest, the delivery of this message is not super gentle. This Full Moon might try your patience. It might ask you to find a new path through the thorny brush. You might get some scratches. But it’s all worth it if it helps you practice self-awareness.

During this lunation there is a lot of pressure. At its best, this pressure will ask you to change. The way to handle it is to be consciously open to a mental, spiritual, and even physical upgrade. Ask for a fresh perspective. As the Sun transits close to Uranus, this upgrade might come through sometime next week.

If you are subconsciously afraid and not truly open to change, you will just feel the pressure of the grand cross that’s formed between the Nodal axis, Pluto, Saturn, the Sun, and the Moon. That pressure invites regression to old behaviors that don’t serve you anymore. It might feel majorly limiting and frustrating.

Being open to change is a state of mind.

At this time, any old patterns will catch you up in the briar patch of thorns. You need new perspective and change is supported. Meanwhile, true expansion is likely with a supportive assist by Jupiter. Jupiter is your cheerleader, reminding you that …

-You can find a new way of saying yes to who you are and what you need.

-You are ripe to open up to another person and communicate your truth.

-The old way is ending and the structure for a new way is being created.

Revel in the fact that life in the rose bush is far from boring. You are under pressure, and it might hurt a little, but the chance to blossom and show your truth has never been so vibrant!

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Moon sextile Jupiter
A graceful willow.
The willow goes with the flow. There is no breakage because there is no tension. So the branches flourish and grow lush The flexibility results in strength. You have access to support without trying. There is friction and tension at this Full Moon to be certain. But remember that sometimes you get further by going with the flow instead of hustling. Look around to see where you want to reap rewards with less effort.

Moon opposite Uranus
Lightning bug.
Keep your eyes peeled for surprising flashes of illumination. You don’t need to know where it’s going to come from. And it would be impossible to anticipate. But if you look for it, you won’t miss it. The brilliant light can show you a new path to follow.

Moon square Pluto, Saturn and North Node
Putting an irrigation system in place.
You need to find a new way forward and you will need to work to create it. Without ingenious new solutions, you will dry up. you might find buried root systems that block your path and the task might take months longer than expected. but keep trying to remove the old obstacles and welcome a new way to nurture yourself and others. You can figure this out.

7 SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS OF MY NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

What you really get from a near death experience is a numinous new perspective on life, the Universe, and everything, says Worthy Stokes  …

The last thing I remember before leaving my body was the U2 song playing on my iPod shuffle: It’s A Beautiful Day. I was out for a morning jog wearing headphones and stopped at a crosswalk to wait for the signal to change. When it turned green, I turned up the volume and raced straight into Death.

A van had run a stoplight, and at the very moment it crashed into me, the world disappeared. Instead of memories of my skull breaking against pavement, I remember only that song and an image of wide, open sky. Thus, U2 serenaded my departure from this life; the ensuing brain trauma erasing everything except for Bono’s voice. So, when I tell the story of my Near Death Experience (NDE), I always think of him.

Five years have passed since my harrowing return to my body, during which time the nuts and bolts of universal intelligence have emerged in waves and codes. During this time, seven spiritual teachings have emerged — to inform my life and work here on Earth 

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1. Consciousness is not religious, humans are. When I dropped into the vastness of the primordial, cosmic soup, I came face-to-face with infinity. I was lucid in my perception of an elegant, fluid order, and, at the same time, the experience felt wholly incomprehensible to my human brain. I felt neither shock, or distress. I floated about leisurely, as I noticed, rather abruptly, that religion simply does not exist beyond the human mind.

Having previously “believed” in Buddhism, I came back into my body with a transfigured cosmology for which I have no translation. My faith rests instead in a mysterious beauty that remains unencumbered by mortal bias, dogmas, or doctrines—all of which, I see now, are highly destructive to human beings. Religion perpetuates guilt. Consciousness activates possibility.

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2. Death is a choose-your-own-adventure experience. If you like Jesus, he’ll be there. If you love practicing meditation, maybe you’ll see a monk. If you are tired of patriarchy, perhaps a fierce Goddess or tree spirit will greet you. For atheists or stoics who think this is nonsense, the journey into Death is destined to unfold in a way that is relaxing, uneventful, and not at all weird. Each of us naturally transitions from one state of consciousness to another without the slightest bit of pain—which brings me to the idea of Hell, which isn’t real, so everyone can relax. There is no darkness in that final exit, and if there is, it’s probably because you wanted it that way.

3. We are all as connected as we are separate. There is an individuated blueprint in each of us describing multiple portals to other dimensions, but how this system mechanically functions is beyond us. Invisible points of contact, layers of free will, shifting realities, and elements of destiny all move and meld in ways that are too complex for us to ever name. In the popular TV series about NDEs (OA), there are gestures coupled with movements to be found in the afterlife, which combine in an eerie combination of breath and choreography.

This hints at an interlocking system we all share and must sort out together, because each of us carries a vital piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fully work until connected with others. In other words, the success of our collective matrix depends on its parts functioning as coherent, interactive particles engaging consciously. So yes, your healing journey is valuable to all of us. My NDE showed me that we are linked, and we are separate. We have shared paths, and we engage singularity. We are interdependent, and we are alone.

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4. Some things do not heal. Consciousness is not just for manifesting a Ferrari or a mate or healing a primal wound; it is not a spoon we can learn to bend with our minds. We do not have as much control as we wish we did, and we do not get to know why some things heal and others don’t. Asking why X still hurts (despite having done all the Work), as so many of us like to do, leads nowhere. Let’s ask each other instead, “What happened? What can happen next?”

Our job here is to hold each other’s fragility, alongside qualities of strength, power, purpose, and possibility. Even after having seen in my NDE how vast we all are, and how very little control we have in our lives, I returned with a belief that wanting to heal something was enough. Over time, I learned I was wrong. I learned instead to make peace with hundreds of things I cannot fix. Now, I pay close attention to what IS possible here, in the realm of the living. I find enormous solace in my understanding that on the other side, there is no pain.

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5. Transformation is your birthright. We have the right to change what we do not like, need, or love, in this wakeful, transient life. Further, we are spiritually and neurologically wired for transformation. I’m not saying transformation is easy, and I am also not saying it’s going to be an affordable, realistic, or linear process. Nor is it a test or an experiment. There are no grades, or getting it “right” or “wrong.” Showing up and exploring is what counts. Dreaming, breathing, building, evaluating, noticing, and repeating what works. Getting into your carpe diem flow while motivated by visions of awesomeness is a very good place to start. Find mentors, make revisions, and don’t be afraid to color outside the lines.

Photo: Ameen Fahmy

6. We need our people guides more than our spirit guides. We are each like turtles bringing houses of consciousness from oceans of possibility to this shared, changeable world. Like turtles, we carry pieces of our primordial homes on our backs, which means we are all, always, “at home.” From this space, we can choose to be fiercely, tenderly present for each other, right here and right now. Yet I see countless seekers hitching rides on decorated spaceships to visit fancy vortices in search of “answers” and healing. The irony is we already boarded the most cosmic spaceships of all, our bodies, and we traveled a very long way to reach this life. Meeting each other in the flesh is a fantastic, holy, and healing event, in and of itself.

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7. Being human is the ultimate spiritual path. As spiritual beings, we are elements of unified consciousness, and as physical beings, we are connected by way of our neurobiology. Being human and being here in this life IS the ultimate path; regular meditation or devotional practices that nourish our relationships with each other are simply ways to maintain our connection with the Divine.

The task at hand, truly, is to care for each other in the physical domain, as creatures who age, break, triumph, and fail, through moments of tragedy and ecstatic, heart shattering joy. There is no need to look beyond this reality. Presence is what we are, and life inside of these beautiful days IS the messy, sacred experience we came here for. When we look outside of ourselves for truthful meaning, we shut down access to the very miracles we seek.

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Worthy Stokes is a healer, seer, and sage. Learn more about her work at thisworthylife.com, get her free meditations on Insight Timer, and follow her on Instagram @thisworthylife. Get on her mystical frequency with code NUMINOUS and a 20% discount: HeartMind: A 10 Day Meditation Journey for Sensitives and Survivors on the Path of Spiritual Awakening

WHY SKINCARE IS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Fed up with the beauty industry’s impossible standards, Giselle La Pompe-Moore set out to heal her relationship with her skin at soul level. She explains why skincare is a spiritual practice …

Giselle La Pompe-Moore

Have you ever thought about your skin beyond aesthetics?

We can spend hours in front of the mirror analyzing every pore and perceived flaw, but we rarely see beyond this. But on a deeper level, our skin is a barrier between our internal and external worlds. Something both public and deeply personal at once.

This skin allows us to experience the universe around us, to touch and be touched in return. This is why skincare is a spiritual practice.

The color of my skin was different from most of the people I grew up with, and from the women I saw in the media. I loved my skin, but as a black woman I always felt like an “other.” Was always comparing my skin to that of somebody else. The black women I DID see on TV and in magazines seemed hyper-real, with flawless, perfect skin. In an attempt to replicate this for myself, I pursued a career as a beauty editor, drowning myself in products.

Over the years, I began to notice that while creams and treatments can heal the skin externally, they do nothing to address feelings of not being good enough, of shame, and of endless comparison.

And so I took a step back to shift my focus from how skin looks on the outside to what it reflects about our inner life. To investigate the impact of spiritual tools, such as reiki, meditation and tarot, on our relationships with the skin we are in.

Now working as a healer specializing in skincare, I’ve seen how acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema have impacted the way my clients move through the world. I’ve listened to stories about what they’ll do once their skin is “healed, better, or different,” while denying themselves of the life they could be living right now. I’ve also learned that our skin is the physical embodiment of our innate self-worth.

Whether you’re working through a skin condition, are struggling to accept your physical appearance, or want to add some spirit to your skincare, here are the tools that I’ve used on myself and my clients to help shift our skincare mindset …

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1// Give yourself a crystal facial massage
Crystals can work wonders helping to set intentions around your skin—and one way is with a crystal facial massage. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose a crystal that symbolizes your skin intention. Pink Transparent Calcite (for non-judgment and comparison), Apatite (willpower for shifting your skin mindset) and Malachite (forgiveness, committing to this journey) are some of the crystals I’ve prescribed to clients.
  • Get comfortable, cleanse your space, and connect to the crystal. Hold it in your hand and feel its energy. As you hold it, visualize your intention. If it’s to help you to forgive yourself for the unkind words you’ve said about your skin in the past, imagine this forgiving energy passing through your body. Then ask the crystal to offer you support and guidance in achieving this.
  • With the crystal in front of you, start to massage all around your face in upward and outward strokes using a face oil. With each movement, feel your intention sinking into your skin at the same time.

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2// Journal to go beneath the surface
A lot of our limiting beliefs about our appearance reside deep below the surface. Use journaling to investigate your relationship with your skin and unearth subconscious beliefs.

Here are a few questions to start with:

-How would you describe your skin? Think about the language you use, is it positive or negative?
-What does the word ‘comparison’ bring up for you, in relation to your skin?
-What memories do you have where someone made a comment about your skin or appearance and how has this had an impact on you?
-What has your inner critic said to you today? Do you believe what it told you? How do you usually talk to yourself when you’re in front of the mirror?

Through journaling, I realized that I used only negative words to describe my skin and would skip past the features I liked. So I decided to start accentuating the parts of my face that I did love, like my lips. See what comes up for you and what tools you can use to release and heal these limiting beliefs. I’ve used tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique), binaural beats and visualization in response to what I uncovered in my journal, and written letters to my skin.

Giselle guides a client

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3// Synch your skincare with the Moon
The phases of the Moon phases can provide a mirror to examine our self-image triggers, and a framework for charting our inner work and emotional landscape over a period of time. Here’s how to incorporate each phase into your skincare routine …

New Moon. Use this time of new beginnings to set an intention for your skin. It could be to reconnect with your skin. Start with self-massage, simply feeling the skin beneath your fingertips. This is also the time to add any new products in to your beauty routine.

Waxing Moon. Check in with the intentions you set at the New Moon, examining how you’re feeling about your appearance now, and thinking about how you can move closer to growing your intentions and reconnecting with your skin. Your skin is also the most absorbent and receptive to nutrients now, so add in a serum with hydrating properties or a nourishing face mask.

Full Moon. Take a moment to celebrate yourself, thanking yourself for all of the work you’ve been doing to shift your skin mindset. There can be heightened emotions and energy at this time, so make sure you’re filling your cup back up with restorative baths or an Ayurvedic abhyanga massage.

Waning Moon. Use this phase for journaling and exploring the limiting beliefs that might have come up for you over this cycle, reflecting on what you need to release in order to grow. To support this internal cleansing and shedding, use an exfoliating body scrub, try body brushing, or add in a detoxifying charcoal soap to draw out impurities and toxins.

Dark Moon. Give yourself a break! It’s easy to end up with spiritual overload, I’ve been there many times – digging into shadow work, past life astrology, and the deepest crevices of my psyche all before lunch ain’t easy! Allow yourself this time to restore, heal, imagine, and to press pause.

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4// Use the tarot to talk to your skin 
The tarot is a powerful tool for working on your mindset and self-worth, and I use it daily for both myself and in my rediscovery: skin sessions. You can start with a single card pull, asking the deck to show you how you can work on your self-image. Use the cards to start a conversation with your skin and listen to what it needs.

Example:
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Two of Swords depicts a blindfolded woman with two swords crossed over her. The moon is above her and a body of water lies behind her. This card is all about taking the time and space to be still and look inwards. To embody this card, think about how you can create a boundary that allows you to dive into your own self-care. Allow this stillness to offer you intuitive guidance as to where you’re in need of healing and any areas of low self-worth. Use this as an invitation to see through your third eye rather than your physical eyes.

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5// Meditate for both mind and skin
Meditation is a powerful tool for shifting our skin mindset, and for relieving the stress that can trigger or aggravate neuro-inflammatory conditions such as acne.

In sessions, I guide my clients through a skin-focused meditation, which fosters gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, and kindness, and includes a simultaneous facial self-message that creates physical connection with the skin.

*You can download a version of this meditation HERE. You’ll need cleansed skin, a comfortable space, and a facial oil in easy reach, then plug in and tune out.

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Giselle La Pompe-Moore offers one-to-one rediscovery: skin sessions that guide you to shift your skin mindset to a path of acceptance and gratitude. Her rediscovery: soul sessions incorporate reiki, tarot, and meditation. Both are held either virtually or in-person in London. She also hosts monthly Mirrorscope skin healing circles

WHAT I LEARNED AT PRIESTESS SCHOOL

Seeking to reawaken her innate magic, Ani Ferlise enrolled in Priestess School. She shares how you can embody this ancient vocation …

Graell Corsini and The Goddess Temple of Ashland

Four years ago, I was feeling alone and unfulfilled. I was dissatisfied with the way I’d spent my college years, and I was frustrated with what was expected of me. And so, seeking more of the magic I had always felt in my heart, I left New York and moved to small, magical, Ashland, in Oregon—and it was here I first heard the word “Priestess.”

I had found my way to Graell Corsini, a loving, fiery, pixie Priestess, and founder of the Goddess Temple of Ashland. The Temple itself, a beautiful dome, is surrounded by gardens, flowing mineral springs, beehives, and tall oak trees. Inside, you are greeted by a wood stove and an altar, decked with Samhain decorations and offerings. Immediately on arriving here, I felt something nostalgic and familiar awaken inside of me.

I began my working for Graell at temple “melissae,” cleaning the temple, organizing, sprucing up the altars, and clearing the space. One year later, I asked Graell if she would be willing to do a one-on-one apprenticeship with me and teach me how to Priestess for myself. Over the course of a few short weeks, I immersed myself completely in this ancient vocation.

What I learned totally blew me open, while new insights continue to unfold every day. This is what I have learned so far about the Priestess way …

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A Priestess brings magic to the mundane
Graell told me how part of her practice was to make places more beautiful than when she arrived. If she goes into a bathroom that’s dirty, she cleans it. Graell sees this act alone as a living prayer, bringing the sacred to something so everyday. That’s just one example. Taking a shower can become an energetic cleanse, with lavender or rosemary soap, as you visualize the heaviness of the day going down the drain. Cooking can become kitchen witchery when you say, “Thank you for nourishing me,” as you stir intention into your split pea soup with a wooden spoon. The way you Priestess will be as unique as your fingerprints.

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A Priestess honors the darkness along with the light
Focusing only on the light is a major imbalance in the spiritual world—for we are made of love, light, AND a deep, deep darkness. We are all born from the darkness. The womb-space, the unknown, the place of rebirth. We confront our darkness every day, and to deny this is to deny yourself of your humanity. The deep, dark unknown must not only be looked at but loved. To honor the darkness, the unknown, the places that scare us in ourselves and in life, is sacred.

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A Priestess does not have to be perfect to be in service
We are all capable of manipulation, of stretching the truth a little too much, of judgements, of ignorance, and more. We are always going to be exploring our motivations. Being of service doesn’t require ridding yourself of these human parts. The Priestess approach is to muster up your strength, vulnerability, and courage, and instead of trying to rid yourself of imperfections, to nourish and be gentle with yourself, so that you are overflowing with love. Everything that is not in alignment will then flow out of you naturally.

The Temple

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A Priestess creates sacred space
Holding sacred space is a beautiful opportunity with a lot of responsibility. This space can be energetic or physical. You can push your cart into the cereal aisle at the supermarket while a toddler is throwing a tantrum, and you can ask the mother how she’s doing. Or you can be in ceremony, looking each person in the eye, letting them know that you hear them. You never know when the opportunity to hold space will show up!

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A Priestess nurtures self always
Being a Priestess means creating a (literal) sacred space for you, too. This space is used to pray and to nurture yourself—a place, when something is too big for you, to give it over to the Higher. Natural disasters, terrorism, and societal injustice, are impossible to take on by yourself, nor are you supposed to. You are here to do your part, and whatever is beyond you needs to have a place to go. So create that space. Organize, clean, and beautify it, so you can show up AND feel held.

Whether it is a home altar, a spare room, dresser drawer, or even your car dashboard, use whatever is accessible. My altar has each of the elements represented, and I use the Wheel of the Year for my inspiration. I keep it beautiful and divinely scented with flowers and plants based on the season, with candles and oils to match, and with crystals and incense to set the tone.

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A Priestess celebrates life with ceremony
Every life event can have a ceremony or ritual. Going through a breakup? Moving into a new home? Feeling grateful? Needing to cut ties from a person? Yearning to honor a loss? Ceremony is key to bringing the mythic to the seemingly mundane. Ritual is an invitation for the sacred to come in. While there’s nothing like having a trained guide for major life gateways, there are many opportunities to support yourself during times of transition. For example, if you just experienced a break up, take a cleansing bath with rose quartz, and drink a heart-opening and nourishing tea like Damiana.

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A Priestess is a part of nature
When you begin to pay attention to the transitions of the seasons, the shifting of the Sun from sign to sign, and the phases of the Moon, it’s hard to understand how we are supposed to operate separately from nature. Like the Moon and the tides she turns, our lives ebb and flow. From socializing to solitude, from sadness to joy, from confusion to certainty, and from giving to receiving—a Priestess understands that we too are constantly cycling. Be gentle with your tides.

My life has changed significantly since becoming initiated as a Priestess. I came to Graell searching for meaning, and what she taught me is that we find this in making the world better than when we find it, in ways big and small.

Ani at Priestess School

Embracing the magic in the mundane lights a fire in my heart like nothing else has. Turn toward those who have walked this path before you, for more guidance on living a sacred life. If you have any questions, you can find me at kozmicryder.com or @kozmicryder on Instagram, and Graell Corsini at the Ashland Goddess Temple and at priestessgraell.com.

MANIFESTO FOR AN INCLUSIVE WELLNESS INDUSTRY

After discovering that there was nothing “wrong” with her body except conventional health messaging, Jillian Murphy shares her manifesto for a more inclusive wellness industry …

Photo: Samantha Santy

I had put on 40lbs in my second pregnancy and they seemed to have nestled in for good. I was eating well and moving my body religiously but I just couldn’t lose the weight.

Every well-intentioned health care professional I worked and interacted with as a naturopath was happy to offer up advice about what must be wrong with my adrenals, thyroid, hormonal health, sleep patterns, food combining, mindfulness, sugar intake, etc. etc. etc. and I had worked on it ALL. But to no avail, and I was exhausted from the effort.

Frustrated, I hired a body image and emotional eating coach and, after explaining my long and convoluted health and weight story to this new mentor, she told me something I was wholly unprepared to hear:

“There is nothing wrong with you except for your belief that your body is wrong. You are exceptionally healthy: you don’t have a food problem and your body is exactly, happily, where it needs to be.”

It was one of the strangest, most revolutionary things I’d ever heard. It simultaneously crushed and liberated my soul. Crushed, because, OMG! All the lost time I’d spent trying to “fix” my body. Liberated, because I’d finally been given permission to shed the physical expectations of our culture and just live my life.

The mere suggestion that my body weight and shape may not dictate my health nearly blew up my brain. It set into motion a 7-year journey of critical thinking, self-discovery, and research that would ultimately serve to heal my relationship with food and my body and revolutionize my understanding of health.

What I realized was:

Conventional health messaging flattens beautiful, complex, and biodiverse individuals into 2D facsimiles. Squishes us into mathematical equations, diets, and wellness checklists that promise abundant health and complete control over our bodies.

This messaging makes us believe that if our bodies don’t fit, we are at fault – too lazy, not enough willpower, intelligence, or effort. And in our attempts to conform, we offer up our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, our peace of mind, and sometimes our sanity.

Now, we in the wellness industries are being called to dismantle and challenge outdated, oppressive, and limiting beliefs about food, movement, weight, and health. To present a model for inclusive wellness that is respectful of ALL bodies; critical of information that leaves us feeling confused and in lack; and that offers alternatives to restrictive and prescriptive health ideologies that ignore the lived experience and values of the individual.

This is my manifesto for a more inclusive wellness industry ….

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1// Pursue physical health without compromising your mental, emotional, and/or spiritual self.

When we exercise though our body is asking for rest; when we cut carbs or calories despite our body begging for sustenance; when we skip dinner out for fear of not having the “right” food options; when thinking about food and health consumes our every thought – we sacrifice our sense of peace, connection, and joy in the pursuit of physical “health.” The outcome is a feeling of depletion despite doing “everything right.”

The shift: Put physical health back in its place, as one piece of the health puzzle and not the whole picture.

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2// Respect and appreciate the diversity of human bodies. 

All bodies deserve access to quality healthcare and health resources without judgment or shame. Current body type and weight ideals are problematic and unscientific (including the Body Mass Index or BMI). They negatively impact our relationship with food and movement, and encourage the stigmatization of all but a small percentage of bodies deemed “appropriate.”  Those in bigger bodies are judged harshly and mistreated in every sphere of society, from the workplace to medicine.

The shift: We must shed the belief that losing weight is the #1 path to health and wellness and work instead to pursue behaviors that have been proven to have a positive impact on health – whether we lose weight or not – while developing a much broader and inclusive definition of bodies we deem healthy, attractive, and worthy.

Photo: Samantha Santy

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3// Define “health” and “wellness” for yourself. 

These terms are social constructs that differ across communities and cultures. It’s also important to recognize that many people don’t have the privilege of prioritizing wellness, even if they want to. We can own our own investment and interest in health and wellness without projecting it onto others. Imagine how many hours a day/week could you free up if you let go of food, body control, and worry.

The shift: Consider what aspects of health and wellness actually light you up. Can you think of moments when you’ve judged the health and wellness choices of others? Begin to think about how our narrowly drawn ideas about these concepts impact the overall health of our society.

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4// Become the leading expert on YOU.

We have been taught that we must rely on externally devised, highly moralized food plans telling us how much to eat, what to eat, and when to eat. The Now Age way is to turn to models for nourishing ourselves that put us back in touch with our innate ability to regulate food variety and quantity. These models consider the needs of our physical bodies, while also taking the mental, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of food, movement, and health into account.

The shift: Promote eating based on our bodies’ internal cues instead of following fad diets or parroting somebody else’s food rules. (ED: read Jillian’s tips on using body positivity to unlock your intuition).

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5// Cultivate a sense of purpose and worth beyond your physical form.

The exhaustion, digestive issues, inflammatory processes, and body concerns I see in so many of my patients are one part physical, two parts spiritual/emotional. We feel disconnected and the stress of floating through the world unsure of where we belong, what makes us worthy, and what our purpose is shows up as dysfunction in our thought processes and bodies. We then cling to the rituals, routines, and ideologies of wellness and weight that serve as the ultimate distraction.

The shift: Replace diets and health “regimens” with rituals that connect you to the moon, meditation, talk therapy, dance parties, ditching toxic relationships, eating mindfully, speaking up, saying no, walking in nature, swimming in the ocean, lighting a candle, giving back. Anything that reminds us that our worth is inherent, we are more than our bodies, and we are connected to everyone and everything.

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6// Work to change the systems in place that deeply affect the health and wellness of our culture and community.

Socioeconomic status is the leading determinant of health. Accordingly, we must work to shift these issues on a systemic level if we truly care about our health and the health of those around us. There are systems in place that can’t be “love + light”ed away, and we all have a responsibility to pull apart our own oppressive beliefs and work toward amplifying the perspectives of those who experience this system differently.

The shift: Realize that representation matters – if we want to feel normal and acceptable in our various forms, we need to SEE those forms and diverse paths to health. Start with your social media feed by including a wide range of body shapes, sizes, races, abilities, and gender expressions, and enter into those spaces with the intention of listening. As you learn, commit to engaging those who share your social identity in conversations that question your current health and wellness beliefs. Be an active catalyst for change.

HOW TO MARRY YOURSELF

Want to take self-love to the next level? Find out how to marry yourself with poet and activist Lisa Luxx’s guide to pledging your solo spiritual commitment …

In 2016, I married myself. Legally taking the name of my higher self, I became Lisa Luxx, had the initial of selfhood tattooed on to my ring finger, ‘I’, and vowed to always come home to me.

It’s been two years since then, a period of time that has burgeoned with political chaos, which continually leads us back to ourselves to question our position within the greater whole. So in 2018, I decided it was time to re-meet my commitment in ceremony, an act that I intend to re-visit every couple of years to steer the course of my affections for both myself and the wider world.

Here are my top tips on how you can hold your own marriage to your self, because 2019 just might be the year for that … 

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1// Pick a date that’s meaningful
When I initially planned to renew my vows it was due to be on the 7th of December. But I hadn’t had my eyebrows done in time and I figured if I’m not going to start turning up for myself now, what chance does this marriage stand? It wound up being on the 21st, which has been my favourite number since I was a young child. An auspicious one, at that. Actually 7 is a number I always associate with my ex; now I’m sure my lazy beauty routine was actually divinity intervening.

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2// Choose your witness/es
The idea to renew my vows in a ceremony came up during a therapy session. My therapist/life-facilitator is one of the few people who really speaks my language, so I asked her to be my sole human witness. However, I also had the four elements present to witness. I filled a very small corked jar with soil from my parents garden, placed two green candles on my Tata’s old gold candlestick holders, took a homemade smudge stick to bring forth the air and lashing of local Yorkshire water. I sat the elements on a mirror in front of me as I read my vows.

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3// Get yourself sexy
On the morning of my ceremony, I soaked myself in a rose water, almond oil, lavender, and sandalwood bath. Rubbed coconut oil into my warm skin. Danced with myself naked in front of the mirror before spritzing my fave Diptique perfume and slipping into my Dalmatian suit. Serve the best of yourself to you. Your beauty is for your pleasure first and foremost.

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4// Write your vows in the mirror
My vows were a mix of everyday bona fide daily lifestyle choices, such as always putting my actual body before my mind’s desires; ‘I will not finish catching up with Whatsapp’s or reading to the end of my page when the rumble comes, when the thirst coarsely reminds me of my physical needs.’ And commitments for how I’ll manage to make myself a better person in community; ‘I’ll actively practice unpicking and dissipating insecurities, as my duty to our world. So that I can see the world as it is, not as it could hurt me. So I don’t hurt myself through my fear of being hurt. So I don’t hurt others through fear of pain.’

While rehearsing my vows, I caught my reflection, laughed and said “hey, you’re not supposed to be hearing these yet” – getting so used to spending time with my reflection until I reached a point of comfort where I could have fun with it was a melting point.

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5// Say the vows in the mirror until it sinks in
Loving yourself in front of a witness won’t always come easy. It will feel awkward at times and you’ll be in head mode rather than heart mode. That is to say if you’re like me you’ll be feeling so self-conscious at times, you’ll notice you’re not embodying your words. To counter this I repeated a vow numerous times, looking directly into my own eyes in a mirror, until I felt what I was saying sink in. Take your time, speaking your promises to you until they become a physical sensation. The unexpected outcome of this is that now, whenever I’m feeling low or anxious, if I can find my reflection I can bring myself back to a place of loving comfort.

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6// Find a charitable cause to support
I requested wedding gifts from friends and family in the form of donations to The Syria Campaign, an organisation that means a lot to me. Marrying yourself is not an insular act, it’s about mobilizing yourself to be a better link in the chain of ‘we.’ A very overt way of setting that in motion from the get go is to encourage your friends and family to support your love for you and your simultaneous commitment to them all by making a donation to an NGO, delivering bags of shopping to a food bank, or volunteering at a local grassroots initiative for a day.

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7// Prepare for pain
I’d love to say that since the ceremony I’ve been doing exactly as I promised in my vows and ‘never forgetting how much I love to dance with you [me].’ But no, it has been uncomfortable. I cast my mind back to that day and sometimes feel an urge to delete it all from my therapist’s memory and mine; I feel shame, I feel pain. No good rebirth comes without a death. Let yourself feel that, let it exist within that day as much as the joy will.

In becoming the best of you, you are becoming a human complete; this is about owning your responsibility to the world through commitment to self-observation. See yourself without interfering. Don’t cling on to the parts that are breaking off.

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8// Consummate the ting
I have a practice that I like to call ‘astro-masturbation,’ whereby I make love to apparitions of myself. It can be me as I am, me with a better haircut, me in my trans dreams, but it’s always me. Sometimes there’s two of me, sometimes there’s three, four, five of me, but they’re all visions of me making love to me. I get to switch between giving and receiving endlessly and equally, and they’re the best orgasms I’ve ever had.

Lay down your favorite blankets, light that incense, and make sweet love to yourself while listening to Banks sing ‘I fuck with myself more than anybody else.’ My vows promised, ‘I will make love to you not because I want to use you as a tool of pleasure but because I love you, because you turn me on, because your body, my body, is my favorite body of all the bodies on earth.’

If you feel moved, Lisa asks for wedding gift donations to The White Helmets, unarmed volunteer rescue workers operating in Syria’s most dangerous zones, risking their lives daily to save the lives of others.

ARE YOU A MOON PLUTO PERSON?

Some of the cosmos’ most emotionally intense astro babes, Moon Pluto people dive deep and love hard, says Aliza Einhorn. Find out if you’re one of them and how to navigate the depths  …

Photo: ActionVance

WHAT IS A MOON PLUTO PERSON?
In my early 30s, I got an astrology reading. It was my second one ever, I think. The astrologer took one look at my birth chart and said to me these words: emotionally intense! He was eyeballing that Moon Pluto conjunction in Virgo in my First House.

Please don’t fret if my astro-jargon is confusing. Here’s the gist:

If the Moon and Pluto intermingle in your chart, you’re a Moon Pluto person. This means your emotions are powerful, forceful, intense. And those emotions, at times, may get you into trouble.

Moon = feelings and Pluto = powerful. Pluto always intensifies what it touches.

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YOUR CHART IS A MAP OF YOU
Your birth chart is a map of your soul’s adventure in this lifetime, but also your day to day personality. Throughout their lives, Moon Pluto people are told: you’re too sensitive, too emotional, too obsessive, too serious!

The feelings can be so intense, all consuming, that we often feel we must DO SOMETHING with them, and we should, although there are good and less good options.

What I describe below may seem intense, but being a Moon Pluto person really is a gift, and I’ll tell you why: we are deep, sensitive, creative, intuitive. This is good! The depth comes from the feelings, especially the ones we don’t want to feel, the ones that may scare us and others too. This world is rarely equipped to handle such intensity and passion pouring out of a single individual.

It’s up to you to save yourself, my darlings, but I can help …

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ARE YOU A MOON PLUTO PERSON?
The following is a general and not exhaustive list for how to identify a Moon Pluto person in the wild.

*Note: if you respond to what I’m saying here, but can’t claim any of these chart placements, your Moon-Pluto-ness is likely showing up in some other way in your birth chart. Also, additional chart factors can tame or exacerbate one’s Moon Pluto intensity.

Does your birth chart have any of the following? 

1// The Moon in aspect to Pluto somehow, someway 
In astrology, the most talked about aspects (aspects = how the planets in your chart relate to each other) are the conjunction, square, opposition, sextile, and trine.

The first three are noteworthy for the challenges they bring, and the last two for their helpful or lucky qualities. Although the conjunction may be the most disruptive and the sextile or trine the easiest to integrate, ALL Moon Pluto mash-ups make you a Moon Pluto person.

The conjunction 
Truth: You feel everything intensely and need constructive outlets for your passions. Or else!

Risk: You blow up at people. You blow up at yourself. “Alone forever!” you cry.

The square
Truth: Emotions are as strong as with the conjunction, but held in. They get buried like bones in the yard until they rise from their graves like the figures on the Judgment Tarot card!

Risk: Trouble identifying exactly how you feel, but feeling the churning and burning within. It’s not heartburn and yet it is.

The opposition
Truth: Most Moon Pluto people get bullied at some point in their lives, but the opposition aspect brings particularly formidable (i.e. scary) foes.

Risk: Staying too long in bad, bad relationships. Many Moon Pluto people are at risk for getting stalked, in guess you were wondering why this has happened to you over and over.

The sextile + trine 
Truth: Congratulations! You’ve won the Moon Pluto lottery. The sextile and trine are less angsty overall. You have the positive traits of the other placements and fewer of the extremes.

Risk: No known risks except that depth and sensitivity are rarely in style for long 😉

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2// Moon in the Eighth House 
Because we associate the Eighth House with Pluto, Moon in the Eighth is a Moon Pluto combo. You feel. You feel deeply. You obsess. You keep secrets about those obsessions. You’re a natural medium. You know stuff. Spooky stuff. Lots of it.

Life Advice: Use your magical powers for good.

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3// Pluto in the Fourth House 
Because we associate the Fourth House with the Moon, Pluto in the Fourth is a Moon Pluto combo. This is the tumultuous-home placement. If you were born with Pluto in the Fourth, there was trauma in childhood. You experienced it or witnessed it or both.

Life Advice: Find that safe and secure home to call your own.

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4// Moon in Scorpio 
Another Moon Pluto mash-up because Scorpio is associated with Pluto. Does anyone really know how you feel? Enigmatic on the outside. Fiery cauldron on the inside!

Life Advice: Learn to let go. As much as I LOVE telling Geminis to meditate (usually the last thing they want to do), I love teaching Scorpio Moons about letting go, whether of unrequited love or vengeance.

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MOON PLUTO MAGIC
So now what? What to do with all the tzuris? Here are five ways to soothe your aching Moon Pluto soul:

Art. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether you paint or write or fire dance, make crystal grids. Even housework can be artful. You must EXPRESS YOURSELF. I call it “getting the poison out.” When you create something, you get the Moon Pluto whirlwind out of your body.

Talk. It doesn’t have to be a therapist. It doesn’t have to be an astrologer, tarot reader, healer or anyone you pay. You can talk to a friend, to a stranger at a cafe, as long as your person listens, doesn’t judge. Moon Pluto people feel shame for feeling so much and not always able to master it. They need good people around them.

Heal. I know this may sound like a stretch if you’ve never considered it, but Moon Pluto people are healers. Maybe it’s crossed your mind and you’ve never explored it. Explore it. The healing you give the world could be with your words, your voice, your touch, but I guarantee that you heal yourself by healing others.

Study. Most Moon Pluto people I know are interested in mysticism or magic. You have natural psychic ability and psychic development will not only interest you, but soothe you too. When you study the occult, it’s like a mirror. You see yourself. Find a class on-line or in person or a few good books.

Sweat. Move your body. This is one more way to express those powerful emotions and one of the best ways to release what’s inside of you. It’s an exorcism that you do for yourself. Best if the movement leads to sweat and even tears (blood not required).

Dear Moon Pluto people, I promise you’re not doomed! You can create your life — not in spite of your intense emotions but because of them. With them! Include them in your world and you’ll be the happy happy Moon Pluto person you were always meant to be. 

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Aliza Einhorn is the author of The Little Book of Saturn, published by Weiser Books, and is a practical mystical astrologer and tarot reader with clients all over the world. She assists spiritual travelers with their dark nights of the soul, help witches refine their spells, and answer questions about love, loss, and life purpose. Find her at Moon Pluto Astrology, and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

BEST OF THE NUMINOUS 2018

This year rocked us to our personal and collective cosmic cores. From sex tarot 101 to the future of masculinity, our Best of the Numinous 2018 charts the course …

Photo: NordWood Themes

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1// Spread ‘Em: Sex Tarot 101: Alessandra Calderin gave us a crash course in casting cards between the sheets …

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2// Healing From Trauma With Psychedelics: Psychiatrist Will Siu, MD, shared insights into a very human way to heal …

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3// How To Work With Your Lilith Sign: Rebecca Farrar’s astrological guide led us back to our unbreakable inner wildness, during a year when we needed it most …

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4// Is Visiting Mexico City’s Sonora Market Spiritual Appropriation?: During a journey of spiritual self-discovery, Danielle Dorsey shared why she decided not to visit the famously witchy landmark …

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5// How Body Positivity Can Unlock Your Intuition: After a lifetime of food issues, Jillian Murphy discovered that living fully in her own skin was the key to her magic …

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6// Work Your Saturn Sign & Feel Solid As A Rock: As Saturn transited its home turf of Capricorn, this astro guide helped us harness our biggest growth opportunities …

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7// Coming Home To My Hoodoo Roots: Growing up British but with her family history in Mauritius, Stephanie Victoire’s journey to reconnect with her Hoodoo roots finally led her home …

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8// Why Radical Dharma Is Your 2018 ‘Must Read’: This incomparable text tapped eradicating systemic racism as THE healing issue of our times …

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9// Holy F*ck: How To Reach EcstasyAlexandra Roxo revealed that experiencing ecstasy is the key to strengthening our channel …

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10// How To Explain Your Spiritual Awakening To Your Religious Family: In a deeply polarizing climate, Fundamentalist turned Now Ager, Kate Forristall, gave us a primer in navigating the spiritual-religious divide …

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11// What Is The Future of Masculinity?: As we grappled with how to dismantle patriarchal oppression, trans man and diversity and inclusion activist, Aaron Rose, shared his vision for the future of masculinity …

USE THESE 5 MAGIC WORDS TO CREATE BIG CHANGE

With Mercury poised to station direct tomorrow, author of Little Languaging Hacks for Big Change, Dani Katz, reveals 5 magic words you can use to shift your consciousness right now …

The subconscious mind is getting a lot of buzz these days, as the folks leading the personal development/human potential/manifest-your-best-life-ever movements have honed in on it as the method behind our proverbial madness (i.e. how and why humans operate the way we do).

You see, the subconscious mind is responsible for 95% of our decisions and behavior. It is the lens through which we organize our realities, as well as the command center that determines how our realties organize themselves; and it is programmed – first, foremost, and only – through words and repetition.

Words and repetition.
Words and repetition.
Words and repetition.

This factoid would be one thing if words were objectively neutral symbols, solely defined by intellectual connotation, singularly serving as symbolic reference points for the things and ideas they represent. Alas, words are infinitely more complex, multidimensional entities, each encrypted with a unique vibrational frequency that is itself coded with oodles of metadata that palpably affects our emotional, energetic and psychological bodies in subtle – and not so subtle – ways.

The words we use to communicate with others, as well as the ones running on the incessant loops in our heads as thoughts and self-talk, double as hyper-nuanced programming codes that serve to either empower or disempower us in every given moment. Every word matters, as the subconscious mind tracks and responds to each one we utter, think, type or scribble, without exception.

Quantum Languaging is a fun, simple method of deconstructing and perfecting the myriad ways, whys, and hows that words shape our every experience. I dive into lots of juicy and rollicking detail about it all in my new book, The New P. Handbook Vol. 1: Little Languaging Hacks for Big Change.

In service to up-leveling our lives and our world for the infinitely more wonderful, I offer up these five words we’d all be wise to wield on the regular … 

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1// Choose
We live in a world weighty with have-tos. We “have to” work, and make money, and floss, and kegel, and ground, and tap-in, to say nothing of the bills, and the paperwork, and the insurance premiums, and all the other matrix-y tasks that can really get a gal down, if she’s not mindful of how she’s framing her life.

The whole have-to paradigm is super disempowering, because it alleges that we are victims to external demands, and that we are enslaved to the tasks we are engaging.

This is where choice comes in. The reality is, we don’t actually have to do anything, ever. I can choose to skip flossing and kegeling, in exchange for gum disease, leaky pee sneezes, and mediocre sex. I can choose to skip my morning meditation, and let my mind run wild, and approach my day as a scattered, ungrounded, airy mess of discordant thoughts and vibrations.

It’s all a choice. I have free will. I can do whatever I want, as long as I understand that my actions have consequences. With that in mind, it is infinitely more empowering to frame these supposed have-tos as choices that we are willingly engaging as deliberate creators who are authoring our lives as we are authentically inspired.

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2// Thank you
“Sorry,” blurts the woman I jostled while squeezing my way through a crowded party, even though I’m the one who bumped into her, and she’s the one with kombucha dripping down her hand.

For what, exactly, are you apologizing? I want to ask. For inhabiting a body? For placing it in my path? For existing?

Sorry vibrates at the frequency of sorrow, which means that every time we utter a senseless sorry, we are sprinkling sorrow vibes on our reality, and basically, bumming out the planet. To this end, a hearty Thank you is an infinitely wiser, more uplifting way to quell the sting of the oopsie, while acknowledging the awkwardness of the engagement.

When I observe the urge to apologize (which is so often a cleverly disguised excuse to self-flagellate), I will instead offer a simple Thank you, which serves to honor the person for showing up as a valuable reflection in service to my/our growth, while adding some levity to the situation. As in, Thank you for giving me an opportunity to witness my clumsiness, or Thank you for letting me accidentally touch your boob, and refresh your obviously parched wrist.

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3// As
Languaging our intentions in the future is a great way not to manifest them. The subconscious mind is fully steeped in the present moment. So when we say we are “going to” do something, it takes our words to heart, and goes about putting off third dimensional realization for an imaginary future day that never actually comes.

Present moment languaging hacks the subconscious mind, and tricks it into collapsing the perceived distance between our future, and our now, thus bringing our desires into our material realities quickly and easily.

While there are lots of words that shift us from future-based craving to present moment experiencing, as is my current fave. As is affirmative; and it has the agency, the authority, and the mojo to move our manifestations from concept to reality, quickly and efficiently, because that’s how we do. It’s why I’m not going to fall in love when I open my heart; I am falling in love as I open my heart; and, I am not going to relish in all the opportunity and abundance that will come my way when I finish writing my book; I am enjoying all the spoils and wonderfulness flowing in as I write my #1 bestselling literary sensation.

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4// Historically
Just as new p. (paradigm) superheroes choose to language our intentions in the present moment, we frame our shadows in the past, because we are not tethered to the trials, tribulations, hardships, or identity constructs that lead us to this present moment, and we certainly aren’t going to seed our futures with them.

We are sovereign beings, deliberately creating our realities in each and every moment, which we know to be fresh, and new, and rife with possibility. And so, while I have historically tended towards the clumsy, I am now embodying ever-expanding levels of bodily awareness and mastery that have me moving easily and gracefully through the world. And crowded house parties.

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5// Omniscopic
om•ni•sco•pic adj. every moment access to every possibility that is, was or will be.

The word omniscopic is pretty much your new BFF. It’s a handy-dandy alternative to the words limitless and unlimited, which – despite their best intentions – only ever tether us to the frequencies of the “limitation” they profess not to espouse. Remember, the subconscious mind is super, very literal. This means that, well-meaning though our suffixes and prefixes may be, when they are employed, the subconscious mind latches onto the actual word these little guys are attempting to modify, and goes about organizing reality according to the very frequencies they claim to cancel out.

Luckily for us, language is an ever-unfolding work in progress. And so, having happened upon this gaping hole in our lexicon, I have taken it upon myself to toss some linguistic novelty into our collective mix by crafting this handy-dandy new word.

I recommend using it widely and often, while enjoying the spoils, sparkles, and giggles that come from living life as an empowered creator in a world of omniscopic abundance, and awesomeness. We’re welcome.

Dani Katz’s The New P. Handbook Vol. 1: Little Languaging Hacks for Big Change is out now, and you can connect with her on Instagram, Youtube, and danikatz.com for more wisdom. 

SEX DRIVE: A JOURNEY TO THE CLITORIS OF AMERICA

In an excerpt from her new book, Sex Drive: On the Road to a Pleasure Revolution, which chronicles her cross country search for a lost libido, Stephanie Theobald embarks on an “ecosexual” nature walk led by porn star-turned-performance artist Annie Sprinkle

Photo: Jan Phoenix

Annie Sprinkle christened San Francisco’s Bernal Park hill “the clitoris of America.” Researching my new book, Sex Drive, I knew I had to visit for myself, and so Sprinkle and I met in a local diner for breakfast. After demonstrating her ability to have an “energy orgasm” on the spot (think Meg Ryan’s infamous turn in When Harry Met Sally, but for real), she promised to take me on a Bernal Park “ecosexual” nature walk, where she would show me how to do it too …

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An X-rated nature walk 
By this time, I’m quite keen to get up onto the Clitoris of America and try it all out myself. So off we set on a climb up the hill to Bernal Park and an X-rated nature walk begins. It’s not X-rated because Annie’s going to take her clothes off. The plants are going to be doing much filthier things. “Look at that,” she says, stopping in front of a cherry tree in full bloom. “Flowers are tree genitals. Basically, you’re looking at porn.”

We walk on until the siren call of another tree brings Annie to a halt. “Look at this trunk, it’s like a big penis. Isn’t it beautiful?

Hockey pitch nature walks with Miss Corbett at the convent were never like this. Annie says that I need to find my “E-Spot,” her ecosexy take on G-Spot. (She’s great at coming up with new words). I’m drawn to an exuberant hibiscus flower. “Oh yeah!” she says approvingly in her raunchy porn voice. “Hibiscus stamens!”

I wonder if David Attenborough shows ever give her that Deep Throat feeling. We approach the hibiscus and she says, “You can smell it casually. Or you can imagine this plant is a lover and it wants to give you a gift.”

She smells her new lover, pulls off one of its genitals and sticks it on her third eye. She sticks one on me too. None of this strikes me as stupid or odd. Cornwall isn’t a million miles away from California in terms of country weirdness. My eco or “E-Spot” as she calls it, kicks into action as I notice that a tree we’re passing looks a bit droopy.

“Don’t you think this tree looks a bit sad?” I say.

“It is a little heavy, isn’t it?” she nods.

She knows immediately what to do. “You just need a hug,” she tells the tree enfolding it in a bosomy embrace.  “Oh, love you.” I participate in the love-in, realizing only afterwards that I have just hugged a tree in California. This is the sort of thing that people make fun of back at home, but American Stephanie doesn’t care. Annie looks wistfully at the tree then mumbles something about, “I may be projecting…” She slaps the tree’s butt. “You’ll be OK,” she cracks. “Hang on in there.”

It’s fun going on a nature walk with an ex-porn star. She’s not great on the names of flora and fauna, but she does things like saying hi to her favorite Eucalyptus tree. She plucks a leaf, thrusts it under my nose and chuckles, “Sniff that pantie!”

The sap must be rising from the ecosexy nature walk because I soon have a sort of sexual panic attack. I start gabbling about how I want to check out some seedy places in San Francisco and how I really want to get laid and, “you know that feeling when you want to have sex and you’re not having sex and…”

“Stay in the moment,” she puffs as we carry on up the steep road. They’re magic words and I immediately calm down. I think back to my interview with Barbara Carrellas back in New York a month ago. I arrived too early for the interview and the prospect of writing a book about masturbation suddenly overwhelmed me. What the hell was I thinking of?! I wasn’t even sure what I meant! So I just experimented with letting go: dropping into my body, unsticking from the world so that for a few moments I was just snow and boots and crunch. When I came ‘back’ a few seconds later, it felt like a shot of a week of the best sleep ever.

The author heads into the wild …

And then suddenly Annie announces that we’ve reached “the urethral sponge” i.e. we’re in Bernal Park but not quite on the clit. My main feeling is that the Clitoris of America has had a bit of a bikini wax. Its green pubic hair is a bit patchy. There’s a lot of uncovered soil. Maybe the dog walkers nobbled it. There are a lot of them. Annie says it’s the drought. It’s been a serious problem in San Francisco. Annie has actually married the main culprit along with a group of ecosexy friends.

“If you think about it, right now the sun is penetrating your pores,” she says in her incantatory broad-from-the-1950s voice. “They’re fucking your whole body.”

When I ask her how she knew the sun wanted to get married, she says, “We can only assume that things respond well to love and appreciation. Like, if you cruise a bunch of girls or guys, you’ll get the message who’s available.”

She and Beth have also married the mountains, the snow, coal and the ocean. I try and impress her by saying, “My favourite drugs are sugar and the sun.” She enthuses, “Oh, I love sugar too,” but adds that she has to lose weight for the filming of her and Beth’s upcoming ecosexy tour. “Saying it’s OK to be fat, it’s the one thing about feminism I don’t agree with.”

By now we’re sitting on the very top of the park, a bumpy grassy area that slopes down with massive views over the city on every side. Looking at the view, it suddenly strikes her that, “Maybe the earth is the clitoris of the universe.” She laughs. “Betty would say, ‘Oh that’s bullshit!’” She tells me that we’ll do the energy orgasm right here.

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Meditation + masturbation
She describes the technique as similar to something she used to call “medabation,” meaning a combination of masturbation and meditation. But mainly, she says, it’s like learning tennis because, “It’s a technique and at first it’s confusing and you’re like, ‘Woah! How do I hit it and how hard?’” She confides that it took her three years to learn how to do it properly.

I realize that this “energy orgasm” is her take on the heart wank that Barbara Carrellas told me about back in New York. Annie explains that the idea came about when she and Carrellas were investigating more spiritual ideas about orgasm during the AIDS years. “All of us had lovers who got HIV, so we had to figure out how to have safe sex.” They adapted the breath technique from a method taught by a Native American called Harley Swiftdeer. He calls it “Firebreath Orgasm,” but Annie doesn’t “because I didn’t take the very expensive training that initiates you.”

And so my tennis lesson begins. She starts by telling me to, “Say, ‘Yes’ to erotic energy. You have to allow it because it’s there just for the asking.” She points to the tree in the near distance and says that the ideal would be to, “Start feeling sexy and then direct your energy to the tree and see what happens.” She tells me to do some kegels (clenching of the vagina as if you want to stop a stream of pee) and undulating movements of the pelvis. “That’ll stoke the furnace.” After that comes the most important thing of all: the breath.

“You’re really sucking the inhale and relaxing the exhale.” She advises to make noises because that helps shift energy in the body. “The idea is to bring in energy through the feet and end up shooting it out of the top of the head. Fake it til you make it,” she quips in what she tells me is jargon from the porn world.

Annie Sprinkle on the path to “the clitoris of America”

It’s a great lesson. It reminds me of the Transformational Breathing technique I tried out in my hippie journalism phase with the British teacher Alan Dolan. Basically you breathe quickly in and out, taking in more than usual amounts of oxygen until a wave of euphoria hits you.

And then there I am, lying on a hillside in San Francisco as the woman once dubbed “The Golden Girl of Porn” makes sounds ranging from deep Witches’ Sabbath to mid-range horny-bitch-on-heat to high-pitched damsel-in-distress to glass-shattering Kate Bush on the moors. “Wooo! Woo!”

Listening to the tape afterwards, I do sound a bit stuck in Witches’ Sabbath mode. Clearly I need to work on moving my energy up to more damsel-in-distress mode. Meanwhile, I am in the ludicrous position of lying with my feet towards the top of the hill and my head towards the bottom because I want to face the sun. But something is definitely happening. I get to the state where I forget to worry about what the dog walkers must be thinking of us.

I have a flash of some of the boring-looking dog walkers I’ve seen in Presidio Heights. I want to unzip them and show them some love. Tell them it’s OK. Occasionally I get distracted by the fact that I’m not feeling anything remotely like an orgasm although Annie is now sobbing. Wailing almost. We get in breathing synch. I try and keep up with her her “Ah! Ah!”s until finally she makes a prolonged, “Oh yeeeeeeah!” presumably when the energy passes out of the top of her head.

I open my eyes and the sky is indeed bluer. There is also dog shit on the bottom of my right boot. I think I won’t say this to Annie. She’s clearly having a moment.

“When I masturbate like this, I feel the pain of the world, I really do. The Boko Haram, The Charlie Hebdo shootings. The animals, everything.  I become a channel sometimes. I just need to release the pain. It’s like truly connecting. It sounds really strange.”

“No, it doesn’t sound strange …” She’s right that the concept of words becomes shaky after this kind of tennis. I struggle to speak.

“We can’t really experience pleasure on a really grand scale unless we can feel the suffering and the blocks and the disconnect somehow.”

Watching Annie with tears streaming down her face, it strikes me that this is what a modern-day nun looks like. Sending an orgasm to promote peace in Nigeria and Paris isn’t that weird. Christians and Buddhists send off distilled thoughts known as “prayers” to try and alleviate world suffering every day. Yet the kind of energy generated during orgasm is jet fuel compared to the economy petrol that comes from a morning at mass.

Stephanie Theobald’s Sex Drive: On The Road To A Pleasure Revolution is out now. Join Stephanie in LA for the launch party on December 7th from 6-9pm at The Pikey 7617 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out mysexdrive.org  for more details. **And discover more about Annie Sprinkle’s SexEcology HERE!