CHOOSING COMPASSION IN A CALLOUT CULTURE

A former social media “comment crusader,” diversity and inclusion specialist Aaron Rose is committed to moving beyond the “us vs. them” callout culture. PLUS Aaron shares 7 ways to upgrade your spiritual activism by choosing connection and compassion over fear …

AAron Rose Spiritual Activism trans diversity coach The Numinous
Photo: Alberto Vasari

With 15 years working as a facilitator, educator, and consultant in the field of “Diversity & Inclusion,” my overarching mission is to heal our world’s generational patterns of separation so that we can all thrive as our authentic selves. Though always important, this work has of course taken on even more urgency in the escalating polarization following the 2016 election.

But in the last few years I have had to rethink some of how I was originally trained to approach this work. Namely, that relying on a callout culture of shame and dehumanization—however subtle or justified—as motivating tools of change, will never resolve the isolation and exclusion we ultimately seek to address.

Historically, my work focused on explaining the history of institutionalized oppression and practicing “dos and don’ts” for interacting with different groups. The premise—albeit often unspoken—was that we were there to help the privileged people understand how to treat the marginalized people better. Many people did indeed leave feeling more informed and better prepared to work with people different from themselves. However, when others would express feeling upset, confused, or silenced, I knew something was missing.

Many of my colleagues wrote this off as collateral damage—some people would just never get it, they said. And if a white man left feeling upset, maybe that was a good thing, because lots of people have been upset for a long time. I understood the logic, but this theory of social change felt incomplete to me. It’s a dynamic that has become all too familiar in social media interactions in which people are called out for offensive or exclusionary behavior and summarily “canceled” or rejected without any space for recourse or repair.

Back then, my life mirrored my work. I genuinely saw light and potential in everyone—and wanted to help us all understand each other better. But, truthfully, I usually meant, you (a person with historically more access and power than most) needed to understand me (a trans and queer person with experiences of violence and marginalization).

My approach was that of a pretty typical East Coast liberal. I would passionately launch into Facebook comment monologues, determined to get people to understand how they were hurting others, while distancing myself from people based on their presumably more privileged identities. My tone was condescending at best, and vitriolic at worst. I wanted people to understand the harm they were doing, and I wanted it to stop. Now.

Deep down, I, like so many others, felt scared and misunderstood. In most of the jobs I’d had as a young adult, I’d experienced harassment and discrimination—from prying questions about my transgender identity, to constant misgendering, to sexual harassment and violence—and the pain of my own marginalization kept me in a defensive stance.

I was quick to judge people’s politics, and even quicker to let them know about it—when separated by a screen and a keyboard. In most cases, there was little hope for redemption once someone had acted in a way I deemed oppressive, racist, heterosexist, transphobic, or more. But for all my accusations of division and dehumanization, I too was compartmentalizing people, saying things like “I could never be real friends with a straight guy … he just wouldn’t get me.” It hadn’t occurred to me yet that maybe I didn’t really get him either. I had never thought to ask.

While doing the work of humanizing historically excluded minorities, I had been unwittingly dehumanizing others. It seemed natural to view my work as an us vs. them quest to change some people’s minds on behalf of others. But I’ve come to understand that this approach will only continue to amplify the feeling of uneasy disconnection that characterizes so much of modern life, particularly online: the fear of being judged, the fear of being harmed, the fear that saying the wrong thing will result in excommunication.

The work that many pioneering LGBTQ people, people of color, women, and other historically marginalized people have done to legitimize the acknowledgement of our individual pain and institutionalized discrimination is important and invaluable. That kind of self-expression and community accountability is indispensable. But if simply being able to recite our personal and collective histories of oppression back and forth to one another with flawless terminology was going to create true progress, we would not be in our current accelerating state of political polarization and identity-based isolation. If we truly want a more just and connected world, we all have to go a step further.

Today, I no longer take to social media with fear and contempt to catalogue the ways in which others are letting me down. I’ve shifted my focus from what we’re tearing down to an approach that does not calcify divisions but instead catalyzes connection. This does not mean releasing people from accountability or never speaking up against injustice. It simply means setting the intention to treat no human being as if they are disposable, even if they are failing to honor our humanity. It means creating the conditions in which we can, as adrienne maree brown writes, “default to trust on a community level.”

Below, I share 7 ways we can be stewards of this paradigm shift:

Aaron Rose Spiritual Activism trans diversity coach The Numinous
Photo: Gwendolyn Rodriguez

1// Heal yourself to heal the world. Your work starts with you – owning your story, and releasing the blocks that stand between you and truly recognizing yourself in another. Regardless of your identities, our conditioned social autopilot reinforces the idea that connecting with people from different backgrounds puts us at risk in some way. For those of us (read: all of us!) who have felt minimized or unsafe because of who we are, leaning into even more discomfort can feel scary. But the more we connect with our own sense of humanity, the more we can extend that to others.

**Action Step: Take some time to meditate on welcoming feelings of safety. The more you cultivate a feeling of security within yourself, the more you will be able to welcome others into your world. You are safe, you are resilient, you are here to thrive and make space for others do the same. This meditation is one of my favorites. You can also check out my meditation series here.

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2// Redefine how you love. We are all called to love each other now as if our lives depended on it. Because they do. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke often about agape love as the driving force behind all his work. He said, “And this is what Jesus means … when he says, ‘Love your enemy.’ And it’s significant that he does not say, ‘Like your enemy’ … There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like. I don’t like what they do to me. I don’t like what they say about me and other people … But Jesus says love them. And love is greater than like. Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them.”

**Action Step: Practice silently blessing every person you encounter and wishing them peace and happiness. Your world will begin to transform before your eyes, from the inside out.

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3// Meditate for real. Meditation creates space between external stimuli and our responses, allowing us to act as we choose, versus on autopilot. In the same way that  we cannot change our world unless we face the truth of it, we cannot embody a new energy of love unless we retrain our nervous systems. Meditation is the path to this change.

**Action Step: Practice the Buddhist metta, or loving kindness, meditation. A common mantra is: May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live a life of peace. Extend this blessing first to yourself, then to those you love, then to the world around you, and finally to the people who you find it hardest to love. This practice is a gift you can give yourself anywhere, anytime.

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4// Know our history, know yourself. We make it a lot easier for others to trust us and give us room to grow when we show up fully. In the context of identity and social change, this means understanding our world’s historical patterns of exclusion and violence. Acknowledge your part and make amends, for yourself as well as your ancestors. Understand both your access and power, as well as your history of pain and struggle. Recognize that we all have inherent biases, and be prepared to acknowledge them as they surface. Learn bystander intervention protocol and be ready for action.

**Action Step: What are your identities? Where do you fall toward the margins and where do you have more access? Explore Kimberle Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality to develop a deeper understanding of how our combination of identities shape our experience of the world.

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5// Release perfection, embrace integrity. We will all make mistakes along the way. Doing this work is about integrity: staying in alignment with your values and maintaining your sense of wholeness in the process. No one comes from the same perspective, and many of us do not have an academic foundation in theories of oppression and liberation. Despite our commitment to love, none of us will have the perfect word every time.

**Action Step: How will you respond when you or someone else messes up? What are your go-to phrases for communicating when a boundary has been crossed? How will you apologize and repair? Practicing ahead of time allows our brains to find the right words when our bodies are in fight or flight.

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6// Reframe callouts as opportunities for connection. When someone tells you your words were offensive, it’s easy to get defensive and push back. And to build a culture where everyone can thrive, we need to reframe how we perceive negative feedback. Humans don’t often take the time to let somebody know they feel hurt unless some part of us cares about being understood by the person who hurt us. Framed this way, each callout is a gift in service of our collective healing and evolution. Show the same investment in the connection by showing up to learn and repair together.

**Action Step: Practice responding to call-outs with grace and integrity. Pick your go-to phrases. Some options: “Thank you for letting me know how my words impacted you. I’m committed to building a community where everyone feels welcome.” “I hear what you’re saying and I will shift my words in the future. I’m sorry I used that hurtful language.” P.S. You really have to mean it, so align your energy with your words before pressing “share.”

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7// Redefine the personal vs. political binary. Who actually benefits from the idea that there is a difference between the personal and political? Certainly not you and me. Taking responsibility for caring for all life on Earth is the most profound investment we can make in our own self-care.

Action Step: How can you realign what is best for you as being what is best for all sentient beings? For example, is your meditation or intention-setting practice exclusively about your individual life? Set intentions not only for personal wealth and happiness, but for white people’s capacity to release our dependency on white supremacy, for example. For the renewing of our healthy relationship with planet Earth. For men’s commitment to repairing the wounds of the patriarchy. And for ongoing guidance about your role within the larger process. The support is there. You need only to tap in and ask.

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Aaron Rose is a writer, speaker, and diversity & inclusion coach. In his spare time you can find him waxing poetic about quantum physics, boy bands, and healing intergenerational trauma. Follow Aaron online at @aaronxrose and learn more about his work, including his upcoming healthy masculinity intensive for conscious men, at www.theaaronrose.com

WHY RADICAL DHARMA IS YOUR SUMMER “MUST READ”

Eradicating systemic racism is THE healing issue of our times. For anybody confused about your role in this, make Radical Dharma your must-read this summer …

radical dharma book quote angel kyodo williams The Numinous

 

Around this time of year, book stores and magazines are filled with suggested summer reads, the books the publishing industry has decided will best satisfy our yearning to escape into a good read. But you likely won’t find the book I am going to recommend as your “must-read” for summer 2018 among them. Because this year I am more interested in the notion of escape as it pertains to liberation.

Radical Dharma is a seminal work by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, a queer Black (her capitalization) Buddhist author and activist. The subtitle is “Race, Love and Liberation” and in it, Rev. angel, along with co-authors Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, PhD, (also both Black and queer) explain how genuine liberation means not needing to escape, because there is no longer anything to escape from. Means living free of the chains which seek to bind us, free to be unapologetically ourselves, unbeholden to any systems of oppression.

Published in 2016 in a rush ahead of the last U.S. election, in the intro Rev. angel writes: “We foresee an increasing collective anxiety about transitioning from the first Black U.S. president.” And in the 18 months since, this prediction has played out in every area of life. This time has been a period of awakening in which the notions of liberation and oppression have taken on extra weight for me—as they will have for anybody with so much as a toe in the healing, wellness, and self-help communities.

As a socially conscious person in a post-Trump era, I know I have not been alone in attempting to integrate the implications of my white privilege. A term that was barely on my radar two summers ago, and which, thanks to everything from Black Lives Matter to the voices of women like Layla Saad (among many others) has since become the lens through which I see the world. Meaning, through which I can no longer not see the world. 

Radical dharma book the numinous

To be more specific, in my case this also extends to my educated, mixed-class, hetero, married, cis-gender, thin, white privilege. Sort of like the opposite of rose-tinted-spectacles, through this lens I have been able to see how the circumstances of my birth and my upbringing have placed me within a system of oppression—in which my whiteness makes me the oppressor. Not that the ravages wrought on marginalized and indigenous people by “the system” is exactly news. What’s new is that my eyes are now open to exactly how insidious our acceptance of this has become.

During this time, I have struggled against my own conditioning (“but I’m not racist!”) to accept that alarming terms like “white supremacy” and “systemic racism” absolutely apply to me. As they apply to each and every one of us. I have felt my throat constrict as I have tried to swallow this jagged little pill, while simultaneously being made aware that taking time in silence to absorb and process this information is another function of my privilege.

I have also been slow to speak up on this issue because I am ashamed I didn’t get here sooner. Embarrassed. But I am also not surprised. After all, I was raised to consider the term “racist” to be on a par with “pedophile,” the knee-jerk reaction on hearing it applied to me to deny it, vehemently. And yet, on closer inspection, this does not reflect the world that I grew up in. A world where I can count the number of black and brown people in my school classrooms on two hands. Where I had not one teacher with darker skin than me. Where in 16 years working as a journalist in London, I encountered only one black colleague—who was subjected to subtle racial bullying.

Where every TV show, awards ceremony (besides those attached to sporting events), industry bash, and beach holiday has been predominantly white. A world, after moving to NYC, where nine out of 10 of the service jobs (as far as I can see) are performed by people of color. Where these discrepancies are routinely normalized to the point of invisibility.

Of course, as a white person, my life has been a procession of predominantly white spaces. We are a pack-oriented species, we move in groups, and we gravitate towards our own. Thing is, what makes a space “white” is not just the ethnicity of those occupying it—it is the entitlement, the education, the opportunities, and the affluence that are available. Confronting my own racist conditioning (the unconscious belief that I am somehow entitled to the privileges of my whiteness) has been like discovering I have been host carrier for a highly infectious disease, without displaying any symptoms. Having received my diagnosis, the work now is to eradicate it from my system.

Which has meant reading a lot of articles and watching a lot of TED talks (find a comprehensive list here). It has meant keeping following Instagram accounts which can trigger week-long bouts of internal gaslighting (“I am not racist … and yet my whiteness makes me racist”). Showing up for pot-luck discussions on the topic of “Race and Wellness” with others in my community committed to doing this work. It means that, behind the scenes, I have been engaged in a thorough inventory of my work on this platform, working with a diversity and inclusion coach to identify my blind spots and craft a content mission going forward that takes into account the implications of all of the above. Not to mention help me make sense of all that has been arising in me.

Angel kyodo williams radical dharma book The Numinous
Rev. angel Kyodo williams

You may well be further along this path than me, and I acknowledge all those who have been the torch-bearers in this movement. For this is the literal raising of consciousness in real time. The whole point of all the healing and the personal development and the “self-love” practices. Rather than disavow or shrink from it, it’s thanks to the spiritual resilience I’ve been able to develop over the years building this platform, that I am now able to lean in to the shadow of shame and guilt and fear that has accompanied this part of my awakening. To not take each and every post and op-ed on white privilege personally and to accept responsibility for my part in our collective healing around race.

The reason I am recommending Radical Dharma as your summer must-read is that it’s the egg that has helped everything come together.

Presented as a series of essays and conversations dissecting systemic racism from a Buddhist perspective, the wisdom contained within its pages has helped me to feel fully seen and understood within the problem of my whiteness. Has helped me understand that racism (particularly as it relates to hyper-capitalism) is, literally, the physical manifestation of our modern “disconnection epidemic.” The pain of our separation from each other, from self, and from Source. That I am as deeply implicated in this suffering as any person of any ethnic background. Above all, as a person invested in helping others heal, it has shown me that we will never escape our suffering, as individuals and collectively, will never be truly free, until we heal THIS.

In short, in a year where the conversation about race has had me questioning my sanity at times, this book has helped me feel more whole. And I am suggesting that you read it because I know you want to feel this way too. Below, I have shared a few of my favorite teachings from its pages—and before you go ahead and finish this post, you can order your copy HERE.

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ON THE CONSTRUCT OF RACE
“Race is the ultimate delusion in that it both does and does not exist in reality. Somebody went on around and decided to come up with something so that they could sell folks that they could be ‘better’ than other people, and yet, because of the paradigm, because of the system and the structures, the impact of that creation, that projection, this is felt and experienced as suffering—not only by the people who are on the shit end of the stick but also by the people who are, often unbeknownst to them, continuing to carry that stick.” – Rev. angel Kyodo williams.

ON DECONSTRUCTING WHITE PRIVILEGE
“The lens of awareness must be placed outside of the construct. As a direct result of privilege, white practitioners (and teachers) have mistakenly entitled themselves to place the lens of awareness inside of whiteness, hence they are unable to see it’s machinations.” – Rev. angel Kyodo williams.

ON GETTING MESSY
“The tiptoeing around race and other forms of difference as if in fear of waking a sleeping lion is one of the most subtly toxic attributes of whiteness in our culture right now. Everyone fears making mistakes. For white folks, though, the coexistence of being historically lauded as the creators of what is right, making mistakes must be hard. We are all waking up. It is going to get messy.” – Jasmine Syedullah, PhD

ON ALLOWING FOR IGNORANCE
“We also have to demystify this notion that somehow people of color have all the information and know it all and white folks don’t, and that it’s just like Black and White. Because it just isn’t. We have to really allow ourselves to create some space for people now knowing, not understanding, and just saying stupid things. I mean stupid as in ignorant … we have to figure out how to create room for that, rather than policing each other, so that people can actually get into the conversation.” – Rev. angel Kyodo williams.

ON THE LINK BETWEEN RACISM AND HYPER CAPITALISM
“I have this theory that racism is required in order to keep capitalism in place … I’m not mad at trade and exchange and barter and all of that … but cancerous capitalism, hyper-capitalism, parasitic capitalism … requires a division of people so that we have people that consume, people that are producing what is consumed, and frankly, people that are consumed.” ­– Rev. angel Kyodo williams.

ON DISRUPTING COMFORT
“We have to disrupt spaces that are not seeking truth, that are not upholding our potential for liberation, because they are invested in their comfort. Usually that comfort means they are invested in perpetuating white supremacy … And not disrupt them by trying to figure out how to be on their boards and their diversity communities; we have to disrupt them by saying ‘I am out.’ I am not going to participate in this and letting them know why.” – Rev. angel Kydodo williams.

ON DISCOMFORT AS THE PATH TO LIBERATION
“If you’re going to any place of spiritual enrichment in which you are not meaningfully experiencing discomfort, not all the time, but meaningfully uncomfortable frequently, you are not doing your work, and you are not walking the path of liberation.” – Rev. angel Kydodo williams.

ON HEALING BEGINNING ON THE INSIDE
“I’m working to end racism, but at the same time I want to be liberated. I want to thrive. I want to be happy … I think it’s an immature view that believes ‘I have to do all the external conditions and have them change before I can be happy.’ I’m not willing to have my happiness wait for what might happen out there.” – Lama Rod.

ON BEING THE CHANGE
“If you are a really well-positioned member of a sangha (spiritual community), make sure you’re reaching out. If you’re a person of color in a sangha, make sure you’re reaching out to other new people of color coming through the door. Be the one who extends your hand and welcomes them and just talks openly. Model that kind of inclusivity for people.” – Lama Rod

Get your copy of Radical Dharma HERE and visit Angelkyodowilliams.com for more on Rev. angel and to find her upcoming speaking dates. You can also follow @lamarodowens on Instagram 

WHY THE GODDESS DIANA IS A FEMINIST ICON

As the heat of Leo Season urges us to sparkle and shine, the myth of the Goddess Diana shows how to stoke the flames of our wildness, says Rebecca Farrar …

goddess diana the numinous ruby warrington rebecca farrar wild witch of the west material girl mystical world
Photo: Kyle Loftus

As one of the few virgin goddesses, Diana represents being whole unto oneself, and her myth honors this wild and free part of our nature.

According to legend, she begs her father, Jupiter, to liberate her from marriage and motherhood so that she can roam free with her friends, the Nymphs and hunting dogs.

Diana’s name comes from the Proto-Indo-European meaning “to shine,” and derives from the same Latin root meaning ”daylight.” In Ancient Rome, she was celebrated with August’s festival Nemoralia, or Festival of the Torches. During the weeklong tradition, hunting was forbidden and dogs were instead decorated with flowers. Her followers carried torches to Lake Nemi, outside of Rome, and left offerings of fruit in the forest.

While she is often thought of as a Moon goddess, she is also an active, protective force of the forest, known as the Goddess of the Hunt. Diana’s independence and caring instincts create a beautiful balance between lunar and solar energies—something we can all model as we seek to integrate the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves, creating a more equitable world.

Diana links us to sisterly love, feminism, and action heroines. Her archetype is reflected in our own psyches as WILDNESS in its purest form, and our connection to creatures and nature alike … 

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The asteroid Diana, discovered in 1863 by a German astronomer, currently sits at 20 degrees Aries, near Eris, the sister outsider. Together, these two asteroids in such a strong fire sign uplift and empower feminine energies.

Diana’s placement in our birth chart points to where we crave freedom and yearn to be barefoot running through the forest with our animal companions. It may also reveal where we are constantly on the “hunt” for something.

**To find Diana in your chart, go to  astro.com, enter your birth information, choose “Extended Chart Selection,” scroll down to “Additional Objects,” and type in 78.

Use the suggestions below to come more into contact with the many facets of Diana and her wild nature:

1st house // This placement suggests an identity empowered by the Diana’s protector and warrior. Try archery or another form of outdoor solo sport to awaken this natural protector energy.

2nd house// Diana had a deep love for nature and the Earth. Foraging for food or forest bathing would be fun hobbies to build a relationship with this archetype.

3rd house// Athena was known for her intellect, but Diana was in constant communication with her companions. Study bird communication, bird watching, or read about animal behavior.

4th house// Diana was well-known for being a protector of women and children. In this placement she is deeply intimate with the lunar and menstrual cycles. Pay attention to the Moon’s cycles and spend time at night outside, soaking up its light. (**Side-note: Ruby has her Diana here, so makes total sense she set up Moon Club!)

5th house// During Diana’s weeklong celebration, creating fire and more sources of light was an important element. Talents such as starting a fire or wood splitting are necessary wild skills to explore with a 5th house Diana.

6thhouse// Running around in the forest, it was important for Diana to know which plants did what. This location in the chart implies botany and plant identification as a way to honor the goddess.

7th house// Diana had lovers, both male and female, though wasn’t in a committed partnership, as her energy was instead more focused on appreciating nature. Experiment with art using sticks, pine needles, or tree bark for a woodsy aesthetic.

8th house// Spending most of her time outside, Diana was also deeply attuned to nature’s death and life cycles. With fall on the horizon, learn more about how different trees stay alive in winter and make it a point to notice the change in seasons. You may also want to study more about the many esoteric traditions that honor the Tree of Life.

9th house// The exploratory and adventurous side of Diana meant she was constantly on the move. Stray from the familiar forest trail and discover new ground, whether it be a new hiking area, tree climbing, or a forest on another side of the world.

10th house// With this placement, Diana strives to be sensible and to own her authority. She craves solitude and self-reliance. Take classes on wilderness survival or utilize the forest’s gifts for your quiet contemplation.

11th house// An 11th house Diana exemplifies her need for freedom and liberation from traditional roles. Focus on cultivating community with other wild souls who crave time in nature, such as communal hiking or camping.

12th house// Nature may evoke a mystical or flow state experience in this house. Imagination, such as photography or film, may be a gift, or even taking time to meditate under a tree.

goddess diana the numinous ruby warrington rebecca farrar wild witch of the west material girl mystical world
Photo: Ben Waardenburg

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And no matter where the asteroid is in your chart, harness your own wild and free spirit with the suggestions below … especially potent during her festival from August 13-17th! 

// Food // Easily foraged foods such as mushrooms or berries, or seasonal fruits and vegetables.

// Workout // A run or walk through the forest, perhaps spending some time bird watching. If you are extra adventurous, an archery lesson would certainly make Diana shine.

// Watch // Hunger Games or Wild (Katniss and Cheryl Strayed both connect well with Diana’s spirit). Or try the documentaries American Revolution: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggsor, and Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise.

// Read // Rachel Carson (or other eco-feminist authors), Audre Lorde, Malala Yousafzai, and Gloria Steinem (because Diana loves activism and empowered women). Or try the classic, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

// Home // Diana’s home is nature, so bring more of it indoors by decorating with pine cones and leaves, or wood art. She is also linked to forest creatures such as deer or rabbits. Adding touches, such as deer antlers or a papier-mâché deer head, will also do the trick.

HOW TO FIND YOUR POWER DURING MARS RETROGRADE

With Mars retrograde for the summer, it’s time to reconnect with our inner drive. Healers from London meditation hot-spot, Re:Mind Studio, share how to go inside to find your power right now …

personal power find your power the Numinous Re:Mind Studio London
Photo: Cristian Newman

“Find your power” is a super buzzy rallying cry in the wellness and healing worlds that can leave us feeling more confused than courageous. Where has it been hiding? How do I hunt it down? And what exactly does it look like? 

Cosmically, the concept of power connects us to Mars, planet of drive and creative libido. At its core, Mars energy is about affirming our right to be here, to want what feels good to want, and to go after it in a way that brings us fully alive.

With Mars stationing retro for the Summer, we’re being asked to dive deeply into our internal power centers, and to explore what pushes our buttons—in a good way. For example, Mars rules anger—but rather than projecting onto others any time we feel pissed, this is a moment to examine what this emotion is here to teach us. Where it wants us to take action and make positive change in our lives.

We teamed up with healers and speakers from the Summer of Women’s Power event series at London’s Re:Mind Studio to roundup the top tips for activating your life force right now …

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Treat Your Triggers Like Treasures
“Any time you feel triggered, use this as a way to learn something about yourself and the area in your life you can pull back your personal power.

Rather than react in the moment, take however long you need to sit with the emotions that are coming up and pay attention to the stories that accompany them. Write down some questions that will help you look deeper. Journal about it. It may feel good to talk it out with a friend. If needed, seek professional guidance—with a therapist or healer—to help make more sense of why this feels so raw.

Tending to your wounds in this way will help you feel stronger, more whole, like there are no ‘gaps’ where your power is leaking out. Ultimately, this wholeness will make you invincible.” – Ruby Warrington, Founder, The Numinous 

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Get Body Con
“We can come in to our true power by getting out of our heads and coming into our bodies, since this is the where we often store old emotions and also where we can tap in for our deepest intuitive knowledge. This is something I’ve been working on myself for some time now, and a simple way to begin is to meditate for 5-10 minutes before sleeping with your left hand on your heart and right hand on your womb area. As your mind begins to quiet, be open to just seeing what comes up for you.” –Yulia Kovaleva, Co-founder, Re:Mind

re:mind studio remind studio summer of women's power ruby warrington the numinous mars retrograde material girl mystical world
Re:Mind Studio

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Return to Innocence 
“Reconnect with something in the material world that brings you alive in an immediate, visceral, unedited way. It could be as simple as a song, or a favorite color or object. Maybe it’s something from your youth, like an old school playlist from your teen years. Let whatever it is remind you that you have a right to your tastes and your specific flavor of encountering the world. Carve out the edges of yourself through this process of loving exactly what you love without apology.” – Bess Matassa, Assistant Editor, The Numinous 

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Claim Pleasure as Your Birthright 
“Pleasure is a woman’s birthright. It is her source of power, creativity and vibrancy. When a woman learns to cultivate a continuous state of deep pleasure in all areas of her life, she is a force to be reckoned with. A woman who owns her desires and puts pleasure first will not take an averagely led life for an answer.” – Grace Hazel, Empowerment coach

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Retreat Into You
“My tip is to get yourself onto a retreat this summer. Even if that means you can only afford a day somewhere, do it! Give yourself permission to unplug, connect back into your body, and meet like-minded people.” – Millie, Studio Assistant, Re:Mind

re:mind studio remind studio summer of women's power ruby warrington the numinous mars retrograde material girl mystical world
Re:Mind Studio

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Get Obsessed 
“Critiques about our ‘too muchness’ are often connected to others’ discomfort with the intensity of our feelings, and how much space we’re taking up. Throw proportion out the window and tap into your primal force that wants to live rawly and fully, no-holds barred. Start by treating whatever you’re loving like a romantic obsession. Whether it’s a new passion project, your healing process, or simply a topic that’s lighting you up right now, stalk it, dive in deep, and let it take up all the space that it needs to bring you alive.” – Ruby Warrington, The Numinous 

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Fall in Love 
“We embody powerful energy that we can tap into through the elements of love. As love blooms we discover our truth and in that truth we reveal our authentic self. There is nothing more powerful.” – Jasmin Harsono, Emerald and Tiger

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Plan a Solo Date 
“To connect with our life force, we have to get down and dirty with our most intimate desires, wants, and needs. Which means some good old fashioned solitude. Notice any stickiness you have around the concept of being ‘alone’ and commit to sitting with the discomfort. And while you’re at it, make it juicy. Treat your time with yourself like a sweet vacation. Take yourself for dinner. Dress up for yourself in clothes that feel like second skin. Let this solo dance lead you back to the power moves that you alone can bring.” – Bess Matassa, The Numinous

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Re-nature Yourself
“Connect to your roots, to the power of our land. Notice how it feels to be out in nature, how it impacts your body, your mood and your emotions. Once you begin to tap into the rhythms of nature, you begin to tap into the natural and honest rhythms of your life. The ups, the downs, the endings, the beginnings. Our lives are part of an ever ebbing, ever flowing cycle. A portal into our wild inner guidance.

As nature fully blooms this summer, think of the areas in your life where you can to. What areas are calling you to grow, to create, to express? Remember yourself as a sacred woman that has chosen this Earthwalk. You’re powerful. You’re needed to seed and grow new life, a new way for humanity.” – Vickie Williams, Vickie Williams Yoga

Connect to your power in real time with London’s new meditation and spiritual hub, Re:Mind, with their Summer of Women’s Power event series. Designed to activate, inspire, and uplift, workshops cover everything from “Self Pleasure Magic” to “Daily Ayurveda,” leaving you tapped in and connected to your very own superpowers.

HOLY F*CK: FINDING MY SPIRITUAL PRIDE

Spiritual and queer? It’s on us to create places to practice that reflect every shade of spiritual pride, says Alexandra RoxoPLUS 3 ways to create more inclusive healing spaces.

Alexandra Roxo The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA

Some of my favorite summer memories were in my first Pride month in New York City in 2009. I was falling in love and my girlfriend was ecstatic to be bringing me into her community. It almost felt cliche to fall in love during Pride! Finally coming out as bisexual/queer, after years of closeted same sex encounters not deemed appropriate in Marietta, GA where I grew up, I finally was able to be the whole me.

During this time though I veered away from some of my spiritual growth. Not because I actively thought I couldn’t be in a lesbian relationship and also be spiritual, but on a subconscious level I had internalized this belief. Why? Because none of the spiritual traditions I’d studied said anything positive about same sex partnerships or sexuality. When I asked some of my yogic teachers about this, they frowned and avoided the question.

There also weren’t any spiritual leaders I looked towards who were openly queer. So in a sense, during those years I shunned my own spiritual devotion in order to express my true sexuality.

It is difficult to stay committed to a spiritual practice when your leaders and teachers don’t reflect your experience. Deepak wasn’t queer. Yogananda wasn’t. Marianne wasn’t. The tantra books I was reading all featured hetero couples so I stopped reading them. In spiritual circles or in yoga communities and retreats I felt out of place. So I nixed them for a while and made plant medicines and gay nightclubs my church.

Alexandra Roxo The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA
Alexandra at her first Pride

As I matured however, I realized that just because Krishna and Radha aren’t gay, or Jesus and Mary Magdalene, that being queer doesn’t make me less devoted. I turned my attention inwards and began to focus again on my practice. Even though the retreats and spiritual communities I was in remained mainly straight and white, I stopped giving a fuck and showed up anyway without looking for a validation of my experience there.

When teachers assumed hetero preference as we discussed sacred spiritual sex practices, I would get hot and nervous and want to speak up. It always took me a moment to raise my hand and say I was bisexual/queer identified, but it was always worth it. And not only for me, but also so the teacher could consider including diverse experiences in the class.

On my path, I’ve also been deeply inspired by every other person who shows up to retreats, yoga classes, and ceremonies despite not seeing their experience reflected in the people there. Who raises their hand and stands up for their experience, too. Not to prove a point. But to feel seen. To begin to shift an outdated paradigm and create change. It takes a brave soul to willingly highlight your difference, but it is worth it—for each of us personally, and also as a collective.

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The below queer leaders and teachers are going one step further by shifting the face of wellness to open the gates for way more inclusion and love in the spiritual scene. Here they are offering some words of wisdom, spiritual teachings and personal experiences for you this Pride month …

BUNNY MICHAEL. @bunnymichael. They / them.
“When I think about it now, coming out queer at age 15 in Texas was probably one of my first spiritual experiences. It was the first time I had to trust what my heart was telling me, not what I was conditioned to believe in. It was the first time I had defined for myself what Love was. It was the first time I was truly afraid. Afraid to lose the people who were most close to me. It was the first time I questioned my worth. Being queer gave me an early insight that the spiritual path isn’t always easy … and it’s not supposed to be. It shows you your limits and how to break free of them. It challenges your foundations and builds a bridge to step into a peace within yourself. It shows you that in every space you walk into it is your responsibility to stand up for Love.”
Bunny is a healer, writer, musician, activist and artist.

SAH D’SIMONE. @sahdsimone. He/ his.
“A little residue of the collective prejudice [on being queer] still creeps up in my mind once in a while, and in the past it would leave me with a knot in my throat, followed by thoughts of guilt and shame around being myself. Now after 6 years of spiritual work I can see that unconscious reaction taking place and I can pause the downward spiral — breathe it out, and wish myself and everyone that could be getting hooked in this collective trauma to heal and be okay with being themselves so fully! Truth I stand by is that when we are truly ourselves without the baggage of shame that was passed on to us, we are actually inviting other people to be themselves fully too. And wow that’s a powerful spiritual gift you’re sharing with everyone around you.”
Sah is a gay identified meditation teacher and transformational coach.

DANNY BRAVE. @hellodannybrave. He/his.
“Spiritual practice allows me to get into alignment with my soul, and sexuality is my favored way of embodying that soul with the fullest pleasure and power. Being queer, as it turns out, means just being me. It means I don’t follow the ‘rules’ with gender, with relationships, with clothing, or with essentially anything. It means I am just me.”
Danny is a trans identified healer, writer and activist.

LISA LUXX. @luxxy_luxx. She/her.
“My sexuality IS my spiritual position: I’m daughter of our elemental earth, all my relationships are seasonal, and I desire women who view all levels of intimacy as a conscious practice where we can exercise our subconscious and unconscious paradigms, ultimately making every connection a space to grow in …”
Lisa is a queer writer and activist and poet living in the UK.

AARON ROSE. @aaronxrose. He/him.
“My gender & sexuality have been evolving my whole life. The more I heal, the more I develop my spirituality, the more me I become. These days I identify as a gay trans man. When I was 7 years old I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio and I always wondered: do I want to be him or date him? Turns out the answer is both!I feel deeply that there is a very specific reason that I am a man who experienced socialization & abuse as a child who the world saw as a girl. Those experiences have allowed me to grow up into a healed and whole man, with a deep capacity for nurturance and emotional presence. I am called to celebrate both the divine feminine and masculine within myself and lead from that place of integration.”
Aaron is a gay trans identified coach and leader who works on diversity and inclusion strategies for businesses and individuals.

Alexandra Roxo Sah D'Simone The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA
Alexandra and Sah D’Simone

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Ultimately, it’s up to us to revolutionize the modern spirituality scene to become more inclusive, diverse, and celebratory of healthy sexual and creative expression, dialogue, and freedom. Regardless of your own sexual, political, or romantic preferences, here are a few things we can all do to make spiritual spaces more inclusive:

– No assumptions! You can’t assume someone is male or female or gay or straight. Ask! If they wanna answer then great, if not all good. Respect the boundaries.

– Take out gender referential language. You can still honor masculine and feminine of course. But saying directly “hi ladies!!” Or “hey guys!” Or “hey goddess!” Can hurt hearts if this does not speak to the experience of someone in the group. Claim what works for you.

– Update for the Now Age. If you’re leading or teaching from ancient texts consider modifying language for 2018 to be more inclusive.

Thank you to everyone out there stepping up, stepping out, shining bright, risking, shouting, asking questions, listening, and shifting the old paradigm of spirituality and wellness into more inclusivity and diversity to reflect the world we live in.

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 6 WAYS TO GET REAL ABOUT GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

Overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 6 ways to get real about growing your business without losing your magic mind …

lisa levine maha rose ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world growing your business
Photo: Kinga Cichewicz

QUESTION: I am super creative and intuitive but have major blocks when it comes to planning, structure, and managing the financial side of my business. That stuff literally makes me fall asleep! How much of this should I try to do myself, and what should I try to outsource? I also want to allow my business to build organically, and worry that too much planning will get in the way of this. What’s a good balance to strike?”

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LISA SAYS: 

#1 Let it grow organically. You can’t rush spirituality. You can dedicate yourself to building your business but there is still a natural evolution that you must flow with.

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#2 To partner or not to partner. When I had my jewelry business, I really wished I could have had a business partner so I could focus more on the creative side of things. But in the end, I never found that person. The same goes for Maha Rose. I have lots of amazing people I work with but at the end of the day, I am the end of the decision making chain.

But it all depends on how you work. I love working with people but I also like having the final say. Actually, God(dess) is making the decisions and I am putting them into action. If I had a business partner, what would happen if the message they were receiving was different from the guidance I was receiving? A business partnership is like a marriage, and I’m in one of those already! So I choose to work on my flexibility and compromise in my personal life instead of at work.

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#3 Get help! Definitely and no matter what. We can’t and don’t need to do it ALL alone. So think about what that help could look like. Try to get as organized as possible and really visualize where you need help so you can ask for exactly this. This is actually still a challenge for me. I know I need help and lots of it all the time, but because I do so many different things I’m not always sure where to ask for help first. Sometimes it seems like it may be more work to train someone else rather than just do it myself—but this is rarely the case. Help can also be someone who assists you in structuring it all. Every type of help exists.

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#4 Get MORE help! I have a few very talented healer and artist friends who operate so much from their right brain (the non-logical side) that it would be hard for them to really succeed on this earthly realm without help. If this is you, it’s good to recognize this without judgement, and to allow people help you in all areas requiring left-brain logic. So may differently-minded people are embracing spirituality now, you don’t have to be a one person show. Operating within a bigger structure means you can focus on the parts you are good at.

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#5 Engage with your community. This is another reason healing centers exist. In this day and age of social media and online connections, real life experiences are still so powerful. Sometimes when we are engaging in just the digital side of things it is hard to find inspiration and connection to the people who can help us grow the most.

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#6 Have fun and eat the frog! No matter what your business is, and even if you are choosing to focus on the creative side, there will still be a certain amount of “nuts and bolts” things that you have to do. Eat the frog, means … do the thing you are avoiding doing! Do it first thing in the morning to give you the feeling of having accomplished something big. Once you’ve done that one difficult thing, you can play in the magic for the rest of your day …

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” 

APPLIED EMPATHY: WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS EMPATH ARE YOU?

A new book, Applied Empathy, says it’s time for feelings to flow into the workplace. What type of business empath are you?

applied empathy business empath The Numinous Michael Ventura

“Empathy” is where we are at in the Now Age. Thanks to social media, we have more contact and communication with people of all different backgrounds, cultures, and POVs, than ever before. And never has it been so important to cultivate an understanding of ALL the different perspectives, experiences, and needs, of the people we are on this Cosmic journey with.

Cultivating empathy—literally the ability to understand how life looks and feels for others—is an essential component of creating future solutions that cater to the true diversity of the human experience. But when it comes to doing business, one arena where these innovations have the power to take root, empathy is often a dirty word. A “weak” word, since it’s associated with “feelings” and “intuition,” versus profits and progress reports.

But feelings and intuition are the hallmark of the kinds of leaders we need now. It’s what we teach in Moon Club, and it is a core tenet to lean into as we set about manifesting the matriarchy. It’s also the subject of a new book, Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership, by Michael Ventura, founder of NYC branding agency Sub Rosa.

You can read more about Michael in Alexandra Roxo’s interview with him, HERE. Below, in an excerpt from his book, he shares the role of seven different empath styles in the workplace. What type of business empath are you?

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1// The Sage
Be present: Inhabit the here and now.

We discovered the Sage when we realized that deep insight can emerge when we are fully present in a space together. During one project, we had a few ground rules that helped us to remain fully present in our SoHo space: no phones, no computers, no cross talk. Those simple behaviors led our team members to be respectful, contemplative, and fully in the moment with one another. We saw how those simple behavioral adjustments created an environment in which deeper understanding could be attained.

The Sage represents wisdom and the ability to be fully in the moment, sensing truths about the mind, body, and surrounding space, examining what is brought into the moment and what is meant to be taken away. Look to the Sage when a situation becomes untethered from the present and disconnected from reality. Relying on this archetype will help you bring people and their ideas back to the here and now.

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2// The Inquirer
Question: Interrogate assumed truths.

The Inquirers on our team are deeply curious question askers who don’t stop at the first response but probe deeper, looking for more complete understanding. We saw this emerge in an assignment when we began asking why hospital examination rooms were so cold. By asking this over and over, going deeper down the rabbit hole, we eventually reached an opportunity for improvement that was a key to our success.

The Inquirer is one part reporter, another part therapist. This archetype challenges preconceived notions and pushes for deeper, more authentic truths. Inquirers neglect small talk in favor of “big” talk: deep questions that demand contemplative responses. Always intrigued by the “why” behind each answer, Inquirers dig and dig until they reach the root.

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3// The Convener
Host: Anticipate the needs of others.

The Conveners on our team knew that establishing a sense of community would bring out the truth from everyone with whom we interacted. Everything from the furnishings to the food and drink was selected to inspire a sense of safety, security, and comfort. That provided all of our colleagues the comfort they needed so they could drop into deep conversation quickly. From that we got loads of information—both verbally and nonverbally—that helped us design a better overall experience.

The consummate host, the Convener understands the importance of space and space holding. Recognizing that every detail is critical, the Convener creates a purposeful, appropriate setting for the work at hand. The space we share is an active member of the experience. The Convener anticipates what you need before you do and brings the space surrounding you to life.

Applied Empathy Michael Venture The Numinous

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4// The Alchemist
Experiment: Test and learn at all costs.

The Alchemist emerged in a project where we built waiting rooms and prototype exam rooms. They were spaces where we were able to experiment and test different ways in which women experience a mammogram. Such behavior is prevalent in many of the projects we analyzed in developing the empathy archetypes and is a powerful tool often used in many innovation and design firms. The willingness to test and learn is an empathic behavior that delivers powerful understanding and impactful solutions.

Never afraid to fail in the pursuit of knowledge, the Alchemist tests everything, confident that the best work comes only from countless hours of experimentation. The Alchemist is curious, persistent, and patient, takes a chance on a new approach, and closely studies the results. Turn to the Alchemist when the only path to a solution lies through the brambles of resistance.

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 5// The Confidant
Listen: Develop the ability to observe and absorb.

Creating a sense of confidence is paramount to the work we do. The space we work in is covered by the Convener, but we still need to show up in the space and listen. Our team brings a sense of patience and a willingness to open up. We listen fully and absorb every ounce of information shared with us. In many ways, this is a strategist’s first and primary skill: to shut off the inner dialogue and purely listen.

Your trusted ally, the Confidant hears to listen—instead of simultaneously planning what to say next. The Confidant embodies stillness; listens, observes, and absorbs. Keeping what you hear safe on behalf of another is what gives them a sense of integrity and strength. Look to the Confidant when asked for advice or when others need to share something of importance. The Confidant provides emotional security and comfort.

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6// The Seeker
Dare: Be confident and fearless.

Seekers are daring. They are confident and fearless. The Seeker gives us the assuredness we need to take on a daunting challenge and be unafraid to do things differently. I have discovered in my own self-work that I often operate from this archetype. Entrepreneurs are inherent risk-takers, and they must dare in order to be successful.

A boundless explorer, the Seeker bravely sets out on new adventures. The Seeker lives outside his or her comfort zone, acts with confidence and self-assurance. Embody the Seeker when embracing new experiences and daunting challenges, knowing that unfettering your pursuits will eventually lead you to the answer.

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 7// The Cultivator
Commit: Nurture with purpose and intentionally grow.

Cultivators have powerful vision. They understand that we commit to things today as a way of getting what we want in the future. Most people get so caught up in the day-to-day that they lose sight of the long game. The Cultivator remembers to maintain a state of empathy for the point he or she is working toward, even if it’s far out on the horizon. In our work with GE, we constantly reminded our team that the work we were doing was bigger than selling more machinery. It was about improving the overall patient experience and potentially having an impact on the lives of those involved.

The Cultivator is committed to developing ideas and is intentional about every action. Through the Cultivator, you can connect everything you do to the development and maintenance of your thoughts and work. When something feels daunting and protracted, look to the Cultivator to provide perspective and leadership. Naturally gifted at seeing the greater purpose, the Cultivator knows what it takes to reap what he or she has sown.

**Excerpted from Applied Empathy by Michael Ventura. Copyright © 2018 by Seed Communications, LLC d/b/a Sub Rosa. Excerpted with permission by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

 

HEAL YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOM THIS MOTHER’S DAY

The “special bond” we have with our moms can also feel like the most challenging relationship of our lives. Here six Moon Club members share what’s been the most healing thing for them and their moms …

Moon Club NYC members Ruby Warrington Alexandra Roxo The Numinous
Alexandra and I with our New York Moon Club members. Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

The last time I went home to England to visit my mom, things were tense. She was upset that work commitments meant I was unable to visit at the same time as my brother and his baby boy. With me in the US and him in Berlin, she loves nothing better than having us all together like a normal happy family.

But our family has never been “normal” (whatever that means). I’m not going to write all the details here, but tragic circumstances, as well as emotional and geographical distance, mean that and my mom, and my brother, and I are kind of it.

Now I have a little nephew, our unit has grown by one, and time together is even more precious. So, I get why she was upset. Upset which spilled over to me, and which found us, barefoot and in our bathrobes, engaged in a 2.5-hour deep-dive in her kitchen the second morning of my visit.

We hadn’t even had our morning tea. But when she asked me, “are you okay?”, I decided not to reply with the grumpy shrug or tight-lipped smile that I have used throughout my life to avoid getting into a fight. I decided to tell her the truth of exactly what I was feeling. Which was pretty pissed that I was getting all the blame for apparently messing up our family time.

This opening led us on a journey of tears and rage and resentment, and into the depths of our family history. I learned things about my mom, and her mom, and the lineage of women in my family that I had never known. Mental illness, lost children, abandonment. I was also able to see how different we are, my mom and me, and how we were playing out old, outworn family patterns without even realizing it.

I said my piece and she said hers. All for it. And it hurt so much. But, finally, it was the TRUTH. We stood facing each other afterwards, two human women, like we were seeing each other fully for the first time. Ragged and scooped-out, but also complete and whole. Healed.

In astrology, our mother is represented by the Moon. Also showing how we mother others, the Moon is a reminder that our feeling self is sort of like the mother of us—sometimes fierce and frightening, but always guiding us towards what’s best for us. Not that it always feels that way.

In honor of Mother’s Day, and the conflicted feelings we often have about this most intimate of relationships, six Moon Club members share what has been the most healing thing for their relationships with their moms. PLUS we’re offering 50% off annual memberships through midnight May 13th 2018. Click HERE for more.

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// Jerico Mandybur, Editorial Director, Girlboss.com and presenter,the Self Service podcast
I think Gloria Steinem said, “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” For my mum and I, the truth first almost broke her. It was only when I was in my early twenties and suffering severe depression that one truth from my childhood emerged; one of sexual abuse, neglect and violence. It hit her hard—the complicity, guilt, my anger, all of it. Everything was instantly cast in a new light. But standing in the light of the truth intrinsically changed us. Our mistakes were laid bare and there was nothing left to do but forgive ourselves and start over. We’ve been walking a healing path ever since. The healing never really ends, but that’s not the point. It’s imperfect, like all of us.

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// Chantelle Brown, councillor and meditation coach, Chantelleerica.com
The most healing thing for me and my mom has been our ability to reconcile past hurts. About a year ago, I was visiting her back home, sitting in the kitchen, and talking about the work we were doing with Moon Club. At the time, I was working to deconstruct all the systems I had put in place to tuck away my inner most feelings. Growing up, I always had the impression that I felt things too deeply. I would weep at Feed the Children commercials and ask my mom what we were going to do to solve the hunger crisis in Africa. She always seemed baffled! Eventually I learned how to suppress these intense emotions, but now I wanted to work on my ability to live comfortably within my own skin as a woman.

As I spoke about how empowering it felt to begin to accept myself fully, my mother told me that she never found anything wrong with the feelings I expressed as a child. She went on to open up about the sorrow in her own life. How, experiencing the loss of her grandmother meant she encountered tremendous grief at a young age, going on to conditioned herself to be emotionally closed off. Bearing witness to the story her early life was the biggest gift. It has transformed our ability to be vulnerable with each other. Now I’m happy knowing I’m not the only person in my family who feels things deeply. In fact, I can proudly say “I get it from my mama!”

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// Ayesha Ophelia, Founder, The Girlfriend Manifesto
Laughter. Just like many mothers and daughters, we could annoy each other with our silence. But when we found something funny the roar of our laughter connected us so deeply. Although my mom passed away three years ago, I can still feel her presence the strongest when I cackle about something inappropriate. We healed through our laughter. We remain in each other’s consciousness through laughter to this day. ***Ayesha’s Symposium of Wild Hearts is launching June 1. Click HERE to learn more!

 

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// Marine Sélénée, Family Constellations therapist
Writing my book The Movement. I had never found the strength and courage to tell my mom about the sexual abuse that happened in London when I was 13. I guess I wanted to protect her. My mother is a strong woman, but often doesn’t know what to do with her emotions. Her way of dealing with difficult situations was either to lock herself in a room or to go silent. It drove me crazy! As a result, I’ve always held back from telling her the truth about my life.

I think this helped me to become strong, to learn to count on myself. But, that’s another topic! Writing and self-publishing my book allowed me to get closure with this trauma. I knew she was going to read it but having worked on my own healing for ten years, I also knew that no matter how she reacted, I would be able to handle it. Finally, my mother knew what happened and I felt safe to share it with her. I was her daughter again.

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// Gabriela Herstik, author, Craft: How to Be A Modern Witch
“Taking our own time and growing and finding space within ourselves has allowed us to communicate with honesty and compassion, out of a place of stillness and not reaction. Writing my book about witchcraft has also been really healing for us because she’s been able to learn and understand my spiritual practice and how it’s such an important part of my life. Not only have her misconceptions about the craft cleared up, but she’s been more understanding of my journey, and adopted some of my practices into her own life. The internal work we’ve both been doing has let us get closer to one another and allowed our relationship to deepen. We’ve always been close and now it’s at another level and I’m so thankful for it.

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// Sabrina Crockett, Queen of Operations, Moon Club
My momma and I have grown together, held each other up when we both needed it, leaned on each other in light and dark times. Like any relationship though, it has not always been EASY—oh no! I did not grow up in the healthiest of households, and I felt myself becoming resentful and angry as I moved into early adulthood. I could have kept walking down that path, blaming my mother for everything. For my childhood circumstances, for passing on generations of trauma. I could have chosen to see what was lacking, instead of all the love that was also there.

But I didn’t want to! So I picked up a copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and started on my own path of healing, forgiveness and love. It has been a journey! There have been tears, purging, hugs, laughter, happiness and more with my momma. Whenever I feel feelings of anything but pure love bubbling up, I now remind myself “she did the best she could with what she was given.” And WOW what a game changer. Feel free to use this over and over as I do to remind yourself that we are ALL doing our best.

Check out our Moon Club community HERE and get 50% off all annual memberships through midnight May 13th 2018 HERE.

QUEER HERO: 7 WAYS TO HEAL FROM SEXUAL TRAUMA

In the wake of Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio, sexual trauma has been brought to light over and over again. In his latest “Queer Hero” column, survivor and healer Danny Brave shares 7 ways to process the deep pain and move from #Metoo to I AM … Photos by Tal Shpantzer 

danny brave ruby warrington tal shpantzer the numinous material girl mystical world 7 ways to heal from sexual trauma queer hero
Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

The #MeToo movement exploded onto social media on October 15th 2017, only four days after Scorpio’s transit into Jupiter (the sign of intimacy, sex, secrets, and power). The hashtag was created by Tarana Burke, the black woman whose brilliant activism started the movement all the way back in 2006. Her decade of advocacy reached mainstream awareness when Alyssa Milano tweeted #metoo in response to accusations of sexual assault & misconduct in Hollywood.

Whether or not we wanted to deal with it, molestation, rape, and sexual trauma was being brought to light over and over and over again. Some of us felt ready for this darkness to reveal itself so dramatically and intensely, while others of us felt ill-prepared for all of the undigested emotions and traumas that these women were bringing to the forefront of our consciousness.

With Jupiter still retrograding through Scorpio, and April marking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (S.A.A.M.), I have been reflecting on all that has transpired since the initiation of this powerful planetary movement … 

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Widening the sexual trauma narrative
The stories of who is sexually assaulting who are as varied as the number of people on earth. I know white cis gender men who have been assaulted by cis white women, and I have met men who were molested by their mothers as boys. Sexual violation has been perpetrated by gay men to other gay men, by queer POC to other queer POC, by fathers to girls who come out later in life as non-binary or trans men, by white people to black people and vice versa.

The list of race, gender, sexuality, body type, and age variable narratives continues, as is reflected by the statistics:

– 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime
– Of trans people of color: American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) have experienced sexual assault
– American Indians are twice as likely to experience rape/sexual assault compared to all races
– 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault
– 1 in 10 men experience sexual assault
– 44% of lesbians experience rape
– 61% bisexual women experience rape
– 26% of gay men experience rape
– 37% of bisexual men experience rape

*Statistics are for the United States only, from the U.S. Trans Survey in 2015RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), and the National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey). 

And the effects are staggering. From persistent and debilitating anxiety and/or depression, to the shutdown of one’s sexuality, and a sense of complete worthlessness and suicidal thinking, the wake of this abuse’s devastation goes on and on.

For the sake of everyone’s healing, we must not confine this widespread epidemic to old stereotypes and the rigidity of the gender binary.

danny brave ruby warrington tal shpantzer the numinous material girl mystical world 7 ways to heal from sexual trauma queer hero
Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

7 ways to heal your sexual trauma …
To provide some solutions, below is a love letter—a list of tools, rituals and advice that have helped me and my clients reclaim our lives, sexuality, and bodies in the aftermath of sexual trauma …

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1//Make art. Whatever your creative medium, express it! You don’t have to show what you create to anyone at all (unless you want to!), you don’t have to be good at it, and you don’t have to spend much money (writing, for example, costs about $3 for a cheap notebook and pen). The purpose is just to get the energy moving.

Creativity is governed by the sacral chakra, located in the pelvis, genitals, and lower back, and connected to sexual energy. When you are being creative, you are helping to unearth, clear, uplift, and release some of the stagnant or painful energy that got planted there during moments of abuse.

If you are struggling with depression in particular, making art makes you active again. It puts the ball back in your court and helps you remember that life can be beautiful, and that it is okay to feel. Become the transmuter of your own pain through your creativity and I promise you catharsis will be there, and that this will eventually (if not immediately) lead to feeling better.

*Recommended:  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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2//Tell someone who makes you feel safe and who you know will believe you. One of my mentors taught me that the lips of the labia and the lips of the mouth have the same nerve endings—they are connected. What this means is that sexual trauma silences us; it makes us somehow incapable of voicing our truth, standing up for ourselves, and asking for our needs (emotional or otherwise) to be met.

Telling our deep dark truths to someone we can trust can be one of the most healing experiences. Here’s a loose structure to get you started:

1 – Contact the person you are going to meet and ask them, in your own words, if they will meet with you in person so that you can vent and get something really difficult off your chest.

2 – Tell them exactly what you need from them afterwards. Is it a quick hug? To be held for a while? To say “I’m sorry that happened to you,” to say “thank you for telling me your story”? It can feel weird to make such a clear and specific requests, but people aren’t mind-readers, and our abuse stories are so intense that we often require a very specific type of support to feel just that: supported.

3 – Tell them your story and provide as many details as possible. I am talking about the date and time, who did it, the location of the abuse on your body, how you felt—the whole thing. If it makes it easier, you can write this out all out in advance. Notice the resistance to doing this and try to push through and speak your truth anyway.

4 – Set up something really lovely to do for yourself afterwards—something that makes you feel comforted, brings you back to the present moment, or brings you joy. Do you love to go see movies? To plant a garden? To paint? To go for a joy drive and blast music? After unleashing your powerful truth, make sure you engage with this activity for as long as it takes to get you back to the present moment.

*Recommended: Vagina by Naomi Wolf

danny brave ruby warrington tal shpantzer the numinous material girl mystical world 7 ways to heal from sexual trauma queer hero
Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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3//Realize that what happened to you is NOT your fault. Something that tends to get built into the experience of sexual abuse is that we, on some level, caused or created it.

The mind of a child is more straightforward than the mind of an adult, and it does not understand that bad things that happen are not caused by them. If the abuse is being perpetrated by an adult to a child, the child knows that the parent is the one feeding and clothing them and therefore will do any and all mental gymnastics to repress, imagine, or self-blame the abuse away by taking on and in all of the pain and blame.

If you were an adult when the abuse happened to you, it’s still easy to think: “If I hadn’t been drunk, if I had been wearing something different …” If we are spiritually-inclined, we might even torture ourselves with spirituality and the law of attraction, asking ourselves ridiculous things such as: “Why did I create this experience? Maybe I wasn’t thinking positively enough … I wonder why I attracted this abuse?”

Why do we try to make something as awful as this our fault? The truth is simple: it is easier to blame ourselves and engage in self-hatred then it is to deal with the fact that what happened was not in our control and not our fault whatsoever. Doing this also prevents us from having to deal with the emotional reality of holding someone else accountable for their actions.

Hating ourselves or trying to make ourselves responsible for something we clearly didn’t cause or do is an incredibly effective defense mechanism to either defend the memory of our parents because we want to maintain a relationship with them, and/or to avoid holding the perpetrator fully accountable for the painful emotions associated.

It is because of this that I cannot stress enough: what happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault.

It wasn’t.

And coming to terms with this is an all-too-necessary step that needs to happen before forgiveness and letting go (after all, if we don’t hold someone accountable to begin with, then what is there even to forgive?)

*Recommended: Repressed Memories by Renee FredricksonQueering Sexual Violence by Jennifer Patterson; Stacyann Chin’s powerful speech: Not my fault; Diana Oh’s incredible feminist art/activist installation My Lingerie Play (Especially Installation 3/10: “Even If You Found Me Like This”).

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4//Perform a releasing ritual. Ritual is a powerful way that we can find closure and healing for experiences and situations that seem impossible to ever gain closure from. By doing something physical, ritual provides a concrete moment that serves as a bridge for us to walk over and into the next phase of our lives.

Here are a couple of suggestions for releasing rituals that I have found to be incredibly powerful in healing my own sexual trauma:

1 – Write a letterto the person who did it (and don’t send it). I know, it’s intense. The thing is … if you have not done something like this already, it is likely that the thoughts and feelings you would communicate directly to this person are rolling around in your head and your body, anyway, and without an outlet.

What we are looking for here is catharsis and closure. It is not meant to be sent to the person, and that being said, it does not have to be respectful or kind in any way. Get it aaaaalllll out. And then, safely destroy it! Rip it up, or light it on fire. Afterwards, make sure you set yourself up with some really lovely after-care: a relaxing walk alone or with a friend, a gentle movie that makes you feel comforted, etc.

2 – Go somewhere in nature. Preferably a body of water (and especially the ocean). Take a stroll to find either a seashell or rock, and place it in your hand. With the object in your hand, charge it up with all of the feelings and experiences of the abuse, and all of the things that have happened as a result of it.

Take a moment to really feel all of that energy and pain moving through and out of your body and into the shell or rock. Then, THROW IT IN THE OCEAN! Boom: it’s done, it’s over. Give yourself some time to sit and have a leisurely walk or maybe even journal after you release this- again, with everything involving your recovery, taking the time for gentle after-care is important.

*Recommended: She Let Go by Rev. Safire Rose (adjust pronouns accordingly, brave ones!)

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5//Adjust your sexual expression accordingly. While it may not be the case for everyone, it has been my own, and many of my clients’ experiences that sexual abuse tends to create a polarity of subsequent sexual expression: either way too much, or way too little (basically non-existent).

This is not an invitation to judge yourself, rather to become self aware of your sexuality and sexual patterns from a place of unconditional love. Remember, the extremity is not your fault (re-visit bullet point #3 if you’re beating yourself up).

*For my way too much-ers: Take a vow of celibacy for 3 months (it’s ok: you can still masturbate). During this time, when you do masturbate, take a few breaths and ask to connect to God/Spirit/the Universe (whichever term you prefer) through your sexual energy (and prepare to be blown away!!)

Make a list of 10 other ways to feel loved, outside of engaging in sexual activity with another person, and commit to exploring one of them each week during your temporary celibacy.

*For my non-existent/way too little-ers: Make it a non-negotiable commitment to exploring your sexual nature and opening up to sexual experiences on a bi-weekly basis, working up to sharing yourself with a consenting partner, if it feels right.

Also, dance. Yes, DANCE. Take dance classes that bring the energy down into the lower chakras: African dance, hip hop, pole dancing, etc. Get out of your comfort zone!

*Recommended: Why Mother Nature is the Ultimate Goddess of Love by Tirzah Shiya

danny brave ruby warrington tal shpantzer the numinous material girl mystical world 7 ways to heal from sexual trauma queer hero
Photo of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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6//Invest in healing that is holistic and takes your body into account. We know that the conscious mind governs only 10-20% of the totality of our consciousness. Traditional psychotherapy is typically working with the 10-20% of the conscious mind to try to get to the 80-90% that’s less conscious. Unsurprisingly, I prefer methods that go straight to the 80-90%: reiki, shamanic healing, and meditation. You might also try sound healing, hypnotherapy, tapping, somatic experience, or any other mind-body practice you feel drawn to.

The site that is typically inflicted with a sexual trauma wound for women, trans men, and those assigned-female-at-birth is the vagina, or “yoni.” Mystics and shamans know this place to be the gateway to the universe, and the key to creation of life itself—not only human life as in childbirth, but also the creation of all things, such as personal dreams and manifestations.

In my personal shamanic healing practice, I use a tool called a shamanic extraction, which uses the intelligence of crystals to safely extract pain, fear, and any other energy intrusions that were inflicted on the individual’s yoni during the time of abuse out, followed by the channeling of reiki healing energy into the area. This allows the individual to have agency over their yoni, one of the deepest and most powerful tools for us to create our lives from this place- a place of health, clarity, and integrity.

Another incredibly effective tool I use is shamanic cord cutting, which is a powerful ritual in which we take the cord of energy that is usually still subconsciously or unconsciously connecting the client to their abuser via a vibration of pain, and we release it, and follow up by channeling reiki or healing energy into the area for deep healing.

*Recommended:  My one-on-one healing workMoon Mysteries by Nao Sims & Nikiah Seeds & Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

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7//Connect with community. The patriarchy thrives off of separation. Pain and darkness prevail when we are in isolation. This is not normal or natural, and we need matriarchy now—a matriarchy that is for all genders, races, body types, and ages.

It is imperative that in your healing journey, you find some sort of community to join where you feel safe enough to be seen. It can be a shamanic community, a monthly women’s circle, AA, a hiking club—there are tons of things to do and join in this world, both in-person and online.

Don’t do this alone. You can’t do it alone. Other people need you and you need them, and that’s okay. My hope is that we start to live in a world where our emotional needs are no longer judged as being “needy.” We all need each other, and we all heal each other. So let’s do that.

*Recommended:  If you’re located in NYC, sign up for my upcoming 6-week transformational community group HERE; also check out the Red Tent MovementMoon Club, and Meetup.com

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 8 WAYS TO RECAPTURE THE MAGIC

Are you a full-time healer whose mojo feels more 9-5 mundane? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 8 ways to recapture the magic …

lisa levine maha rose spiritual ceo ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world recapture the magic
Photo: Sorin Sirbu

QUESTION: I’m full-time in the healing arts, and found this path through a lifelong obsession with all things mystical and witchy. Now that it’s become my main gig, I struggle to keep connecting to the mystical practices that have always supported me, which have now started to feel like just more work. How can I keep parts of this world sacred and separate, so all the healing magic I’ve always loved can still serve me off-duty?”  

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LISA’s ADVICE:

#1 Stay present to your needs. There are certain tools for certain times in our lives. Tools that served us for many moons in one capacity, may need to shift over time. Magic comes from staying in the present moment and listening to our intuition and our connection to Spirit. “What do I need right now?” is a good question to ask ourselves. It may not be the same every day. A practice that’s become your full time gig may need balancing with other activities in your off time.

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#2 Know that our relationship with ANYTHING will have ups and downs. Think about a romantic relationship. There are the weeks where you’re totally in love and in the magic and the flow, and then there are the weeks when you aren’t, when it’s off, challenging, feels out of alignment or just bad. Do we leave the relationship when it is in a dull or difficult period? That depends on our level of commitment. If we are committed to somebody or something we ride through the waves of challenge or disinterest. We don’t abandon the puppy when it turns into a dog.

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#3 The Universe loves commitment. I felt this when I got married. There are different things that we can work through when we commit to something. Our relationship to our work is not unlike our relationship to our partner. Sometimes magic, sometimes not. Stay in it and move through the __________________. Commit to seeing what’s on the other side…

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#4 Find ways to keep the spark alive. Speaking of love relationships, how about romancing your practice? Get a new tarot deck, give your crystals a bath. Take them outside and talk to them under the stars. Be creative. Show how much you care.

lisa levine ruby warrington maha rose spiritual ceo recapture the magic material girl mystical world the numinous
Photo: Carlos Dominguez

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#5 Seek fun. If you spend all day with your tarot decks, after work you need a different way to connect your magic. If a practice you used to heal part of yourself is being fully explored at work, try something different after hours: painting, dancing, singing, running, cooking. Follow your heart, make FUN your guiding principal as you explore the other healing arts.

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#6 Receive. Get a reading, get a massage, get a reiki treatment. Chances are, if you are giving lots of energy through your work and not receiving back, you may just be tired, making it harder to connect to the magic. RECEIVE. Healers, I can’t say this enough, RECEIVE! The more we receive the more fun it is to give. The more we then have to give. Also you will most likely be inspired and learn from other peoples’ ways of doing things. It keeps the journey feeling like an adventure.

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#7 Vacation. I’m an all-in mama CEO to my baby Maha Rose, but it is important for me to step away from her. And I mean far away from her. She can grow without me and I can grow in other ways outside of work. With distance comes clearer perspective. When we are so in something all the time, our nose in it deeply like a book, it can be hard to see the bigger picture.

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#8 Gratitude and perspective. Back up and see how beautiful and magical and amazing it is that you get to be doing this work for your living. Thank you Goddess, thank you Angels, thank you Guides. Think of the jobs you were doing before and wishing that you could be doing what you do now for a living. Think of all the jobs you could be doing for a living that you don’t have to do. We are so blessed and so fortunate. Remember this to keep perspective.

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” 

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. She shares how body positivity can unlock your intuition …

jillian murphy ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world the food freedom body love collective wild little hearts photography winning back your body
Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

“Before you can hear, much less follow, the voice of your soul, you have to win back your body.” – Meggan Watterson

I remember the day I first abandoned my body. 

I was 8 years old and visiting the mysterious temple my mother escaped to every evening when my dad got home from work—she called this evasive place of worship “the gym.” It was a Saturday open house and I was an immediate convert. The place was magical – dusty rose carpet, slick chrome and mirrors, George Michael pumping through the speakers, and LYCRA. So much lycra! (It was the 80s, k?)

I could tell right away that this was the place for me—a space of transformation, potential, and movie-worthy —this was a place where life happened. I grabbed a pop and a hotdog and then I naively hopped up on the scale where they were weighing everyone. And that’s where “It” got me.

As I scarfed my lunch, the two staff members in charge of weighing me began sniggering. Whispering about something clearly “adding 5 pounds” while looking at my body.

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but I knew the joke was on me. And I knew it was bad. Bad enough to remember but never ever talk about, until 25 years later, when I finally started to heal my relationship with food and with my own shape and size.

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Coming face to face with “it” … 
“It” is not that creepy clown from the Stephen King movie you’re picturing. No, no, the “It” I speak of is much worse—its name is diet culture and it spews a thin-is-best, fatphobic, classist, able-ist, racist, gender-biased rhetoric where the gold standard of beauty, body, and more recently “wellness,” is blatantly clear, objectively unhealthy, and unavailable to most.

Beyond the gym, there were many other moments when “It” got me, some that obvious, highlighted in Technicolor and frozen in time—a mental photo album created to prove my lack—while others were so subtle I internalized them without realizing, recognizing the damage only in hindsight.

From health messaging at school and dieting advice from teen magazines, to negative looks from boys and the admiration of “beautiful” girls in front of me, the signs were everywhere.  

Once, I remember hearing an older male cousin condescendingly laugh about the shape of a specific woman – stating that “to be attractive to men your shoulders needed to be at least “X”cm wider than your waist. Though I thought it harsh, I internalized the comment as though it were about me. In a diet culture with rigid beauty ideals, no woman is left unscathed.

Everywhere, the message I absorbed was: you are not good enough. More specifically: your body is not good enough.  

Even more specifically: your body is not good enough and, as a female, it’s your personal responsibility to take charge of your weight and beauty and behavior and do what it takes until you fit the ideal lest you remain unworthy forever. Also, hot sticks of processed meat are un-ladylike.

jillian murphy ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world the food freedom body love collective wild little hearts photography winning back your body
Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Your intuition lives in your flesh …
It might look like a criticism, a comment, a side-eye (sometimes much worse), and it makes you gasp, the foul gas of “you’re not good enough” filling your lungs and seeping into your tissues. From that day on, the myth of diet culture is no longer just a story around you, it is a story about you.

You disconnect. You abandon your physical self. You override your female knowing that your curvy, lumpy, bumpy body is beautiful and normal and you do your best to crush the voice that says “I’m hungry” or “carbs would be nice” because that voice is clearly an idiot that doesn’t know bikini season is coming up.

The result? Food issues, yes. But diet culture doesn’t just destroy our relationship with food and distort our body image—it separates us from the most powerful ally we have—our inner knowing.  

Your intuition lives in your flesh and speaks to you through your body. She is nourished by pleasure, abundance, approval, and desire.

When she has been dampened and starved into submission, you are left living a storyline that keeps you doubtful, unsteady, competitive, and unsure. An ideal that keeps you distracted from your most important work in the world and suggests your worth is up for debate.

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Amplify the whisper …
When we discourage (read: flat out ignore) the whisper of biological feedback that tells us we need more calories or carbs or a day of rest—we simultaneously diminish the whisper that helps us discern and decide in all areas of our lives.

These whispers are one in the same. Learning to hear and trust the signals from our very intelligent, self-regulating, female appetites is a super-powered short cut, reconnecting us to our broader inner knowing. It amplifies the whisper.

I lost so much time sacrificing my wellbeing and connection to self in the pursuit of worthiness via weight loss and superficial beauty. I made bad decisions. I was distracted. I lost time. I learned slowly that, in order to write a new storyline for myself, I would need the power of my intuition and that the first step in rebuilding a connection with my soul voice was winning back my body.

jillian murphy ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world the food freedom body love collective wild little hearts photography winning back your body
Photo of Jillian & family by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Here’s how to start amplifying the whisper and winning back your own body …

1// Give up the pursuit of weight-loss. The pursuit of weight loss is THE thing that disconnects us and keep us looking outside of ourselves for shoddy solutions. Weight-loss attempts fail over 90% of the time, long-term, and the collateral damage is your relationship with food and your connection to your inner knowing. Start by pretending that you aren’t in control of your weight (because you really aren’t) and that your only goal is to feel vibrant and energetic and joyful in your body.

2// Counter the deprivation narrative. Tuning into our hunger and reliably feeding our bodies is the first step in repairing the collateral damage of deprivation and moving towards a more intuitive relationship with food.

Start the process of consistent nourishment by connecting with your hunger signals. See if you can rate your hunger on a scale of 0-10 (0 = not hungry at all, 10 = “hungry,” low blood sugar, shaky). Can you notice the subtle differences between a 4 and a 7, or do you regularly swing from overstuffed to starving?

3//Discover your delicious. The basics when it comes to nutrition and movement have been well understood and unchanging for generations – move your body regularly, get fresh air, drink water, eat lots of plants and unprocessed foods – not too little, not too much, and honor your mental/emotional need for pleasurable, celebratory foods.

Now, from this magical place—without all the rigid rules, “shoulds”, and fears—what do you feel like eating? How do you feel like eating it? How do you want to move your body and for how long?

*Note: There is a good chance you have NO IDEA. Start by asking the questions and experimenting. Follow your curiosity and see how it goes—maybe you hate plain raw carrots but you love them roasted or with dip (Hot tip: DIP IS DELICIOUS). Allow yourself to try new things and neutrally observe how your body feels.

4// Fully live with the beautiful bod you’ve got. When your physical appearance stops representing your entire worth and is, instead, just a fun outward expression of your personality, the game changes. Start living the life you aspire to have when you are in the perfect body and watch the shift!

Make a list of all the activities you are waiting to do when you lose the weight, get more toned, have your nose fixed, are more perfect, etc. Make the list as exhaustive as possible. Next step? Start doing all of those things IMMEDIATELY. Wear the red lipstick, rock the shorts, eat the gelato, show your navel, go on the date, try the tap class, climb a mountain, go back to school. Do it all!

Dr. Jillian Murphy is a registered, licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She has dedicated the past 8 years to studying intuitive eating and body image, and works with diverse, smart, health-conscious, women who are DONE WITH DIETING, and looking to get out of their heads and re-connect with their bodies. Follow her on Instagram, listen for more wisdom on her Podcast, and join The Food Freedom/Body Love Collective, her monthly membership space that provides you with the tools, strategies, support, and community you need to live healthfully in the body you are IN! 

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: USING ARIES SEASON TO EXPRESS ANGER

The placement of Aries ruling planet Mars in our birth chart, can show how to express our anger in a healthy and progressive way …

My Mystical life Aries season express anger spiritual activism Ruby Warrington
Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

So here we are in Aries season, my birthday month. But I’ve never felt like a bone fide Aries. Bossy, sometimes. Sure I like to get my own way. But I’m not super confident. Far from confrontational. And definitely not aggressive.

When a life coach once asked about my big message for the world (the one I would shout from the top of a mountain if I had a megaphone that could be heard from Australia to the Arctic circle), I replied: Please, will everybody just stop fighting!

This was late 2016, my plea inspired by a summer of terrorist attacks and an backdrop of political warmongering. I guess I’m just a massive pacifist, I told her. Whereas Aries, ruled by passion planet Mars, is the warrior of the Zodiac. A hot-headed temper tantrum waiting to happen. The one leading the protest, shouting the slogans, and fighting for justice.

Rather, as I wrote in this piece, I see myself as a spiritual activist. On a mission to shift consciousness one open-hearted sharing circle at a time. Partly because, as Martin Luther King famously put it, I believe that “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

But also, because I am terrified of conflict. To the point that for a long time I thought I didn’t feel any anger at all. FOR REAL. From my parents’ “amicable” divorce, to my grandmother’s silent acceptance of her husband’s affairs, somewhere along the line I internalized that anger is bad. Causes more trouble than it’s worth.

This is not uncommon, among women in particular. But it’s something I’ve been beating myself up about lately. Aren’t activist activists what the world needs? People getting right up in the face of injustice. Shouting and screaming and demanding change. It’s fine for me, comfortable in my straight, white, British privilege, to sit back and preach about healing the world with hugs.

But the truth is, we each have our own flavor of fight in us—as denoted by the position of Mars in our birth chart. And my Mars (ruler of my Aries Sun, and therefore flavoring my soul essence) is in Cancer, the softest, most sensitive sign. Meaning my anger often leaks out of me as tears. Since tears are a sign of weakness, crying is “ugly,” and makes other people extremely uncomfortable, it’s not surprising I learned to suppress this part of myself.

Understanding my Mars placement has helped me to accept that part of my activism is to enable an emotional and vulnerable expression of anger—particularly teaching that it’s okay to cry. As I often do now, freely and openly, whenever I speak publicly about anything that angers or otherwise moves me. After all, the purpose of anger is to inspire action for change.

A recent example of the power of our tears? The tear-streaked speech by 17-year-old Emma Gonzalez following the Parkland shooting in Florida. Her angry tears, anything but a sign of weakness, have helped motivate thousands to join the March For Our Lives in Washington this weekend (under a Waxing Quarter Moon in Cancer, no less).

Mars shows how we can express our anger—also how we can channel our passion, our actions, and our drive—in ways that feel healthy to us. All the time I wasn’t comfortable feeling my anger, I channeled my pent-up tears into my addictions. To alcohol, shopping, work, social media. The energy of anger has to go somewhere.

Don’t know your Mars sign? You can do your chart for free HERE.

We can also see how Mars expresses itself in our most powerful activists. Martin Luther King had his Mars in Gemini—the sign that rules communication and words. Nelson Mandela, Mars in Libra—sign of the diplomat. As for Rosa Parks? Mars in Capricorn. The patient, stoic, unflinching anger that can move mountains—also the sign Mars is currently visiting through May 16.

Regardless of your date of birth, your Mars sign shows where your inner Aries lives. Because no matter how our anger is expressed, that there is a warrior in each and every one of us.

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March For Our Lives takes place in Washington DC on March 24, with over 800 local events happening worldwide. On April 4, Black Lives Matter, The Peace Accelerators and a host of others, will march through Harlem, NY in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jnr. Join them HERE.

On behalf of all those who support The Numinous and allow us to do our work, we will also be donating 10% of sales all from our Total Guide To Your Mars Sign course to gun safety movement Everytown.

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 9 STEPS FOR TURNING YOUR SPIRITUAL HOBBY INTO YOUR HUSTLE

Longing to work your mystical magic on more than just nights and weekends? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shows us how to turn a spiritual hobby into a main hustle, and start sharing our super powers every day …

Lisa Levine at Maha Rose South in Mexico

QUESTION:  “I recently started opening up about my empath side on social media and have been warming up to the idea of pursuing my reiki healing as more than just a hobby. Ultimately, it would be ideal to get paid for my services. But how do I even get started?” 

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LISA LEVINE: You’re in the process of waking up. You’re discovering your spiritual powers. Others are discovering your spiritual powers and gifts. You feel called to share them. Other people are asking for them! taking the leap and working out the best way to go about monetizing this process and transitioning into a full time mystical business can be daunting and confusing.

Read on for my tried-and-trusted 9 steps in turning your spiritual hobby into your main hustle .. 

#1 Make your own path. Your route is unique. Follow your intuition. The answers and the guidance live within you. Don’t worry or model your route after others’—your path is unique and yours only.

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#2 Give a lot! And be open to receiving. The best way to gain confidence in your work is by doing a lot of sessions. I’m talking hundreds. Exchange is important but don’t get stuck on it: give, give, give. When we are starting out, the experience gained is a big part of the exchange. That said, let there be an exchange. Be open to receive! Your clients/friends can make you dinner, take you out for tea, give you feedback—not just “that was amazing,” but ideas about how could it be even better. Allow constructive criticism to be your friend so you can constantly improve the services you are providing.

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#3 Take cues from the Universe. When people start wanting to pay you for your services this is a tip from the Universe that you’re ready to start charging for your work. Accept the money graciously and begin to price out your services. Many practitioners I know have a hard time receiving money in exchange for spiritual work, so find a price that may make you slightly uncomfortable but that you know is right. This is how we up-level. Get comfortable with this discomfort.

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#4 Become your own marketing department. First off, let people know what you are doing. I recommend emailing your friends and family for starters: “I just finished this course in Reiki, crystals, etc. and am ready to begin offering sessions. The first X number of sessions will be offered at a special rate of X.” Get people in the door and onto your table.

Secondly, gather feedback and testimonials. When someone tells you something amazing about their experience with you, ask them if you can share what they’ve said as a testimonial. This is better than gathering testimonials way after the session happened. Even if the client was to say the exact same thing it won’t have the same vibration as when they share with you fresh after the experience.

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#5 Be organized: you are your own manager. Call out your inner Virgo! Gather emails, keep client lists, get on top of session dates and times, and other important information. If you are looking to turn this hobby into a full time hustle, then act like it’s a business even before it IS your business by being organized. Then you won’t have to add the foundation after you’ve already been in business for some time.

lisa levine ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world maha rose spiritual ceo spiritpreneur spiritual hobby
Lisa balances her hustle with flow

#6 Stay in touch, a.k.a. don’t be a stranger to social media. Totally necessary. But keep it fun and keep your unique expression. We are all artists—see social media as a way to create a 4-D picture of your business. Have fun and share from the heart. Don’t let it own you, and don’t obsess over numbers. If it isn’t feeling like a healthy relationship, take a break!

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#7 Get out there LIVE. This is still the best way to meet people and perspective clients. You live is better than you on social media. Call me old fashioned, but I still believe real, live interactions are the best way to form lasting and meaningful relationships—including client relationships.

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#8 Be patient and let it grow organically. Quitting your day job can put too much pressure on your new found hobby/hustle. Like a garden, allow it to grow organically and be patient. It takes time to build our strength and ability to hold space for many people. Feel into how many sessions a week that might look like for you now, and imagine how many people that would be in a year and in five years.

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#9 Have FUN! We have spiritual businesses because we are connected to the Universe and we want to be of service and do good in the world. Let’s imagine a new paradigm of doing business: without stress, powered by the Divine as the motor , and with the Universe as CEO. What if we were just along for the magical ride?Business can be beautiful!

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” And make sure to check our her Intro to the Art of Running a Spiritual Business on March 22nd at Maha Rose for some in-person wisdom!

QUEER HERO: HOW TO CAST A NAME SPELL

In the first official installment of his monthly column, Queer Hero, Danny Brave shares his journey to discover the name that reflected his true identity. PLUS how you can cast your own name spell …

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Photo: Tommy Venus. Jewelry: Gilded Lily.

Over the course of my journey as not only a transgender man, but also as a shamanic healer, I’ve discovered the power of our own names (both given and chosen).

I lived most of my life being called Katie Greene, moving through several different iterations and identity crises, only to discover, or rather re-member, that I am Danny Brave. Now when I say “re-member,” what I actually mean is the opposite of dis-member: to put myself back together, to become more whole.

Read on to discover my name changing story, and discover how you can cast a name spell on your own life …

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Releasing my ancestral line
In the Fall of 2015, “Katie,” first started to feel like it was not really me any more. After remembering the sexual assault I experienced as a child (read more about my sexual reclamation after incest HERE), the name was feeling more and more like a fake smile—something that I did often when I was living that identity. If you say “Katie” out loud, you’ll notice your mouth even takes the shape of a smile at the “ie” part.

After remembering what had actually happened to me as a kid, there was, not surprisingly, no more fake smiles left in me, and my full birth name “Kaitlin” began to feel more appropriate. This name felt darker, more serious, and more powerful—a reflection of my energy at the time. This was the name I was called when the abuse happened to me, and it facilitated me in re-membering and reclaiming some of the darkest moments of my life.

With “Kaitlin” in place, I started to search for a replacement for “Greene,” a name that belonged to my father and his father—a name that to me denoted false Irish family pride, toxic Catholicism, and all of the lies and abuse that had been passed down my ancestral line. This line would decidedly end with me, and it would end via the ritual of literally releasing this last name and claiming a new one for myself. This change-of-name spell happened gradually over a long period of time …

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Photo: Tommy Venus. Jewelry: Gilded Lily.

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Was I “Brave” enough?
“Brave,” first came to me in December 2015 at the Barnes and Noble in the town where I grew up, where one fateful night I noticed a little green book with the gold shiny words titled “Brave Enough” by Cheryl Strayed winking at me from the shelves.

Strayed’s memoir “Wild” had come to me a few months prior, shortly after the volcanic repressed memory eruption and was like a little twinkling ray of hope from God, a love letter to my soul. It was a story that had a lot of trauma, death, and addiction—that was totally true, and often brutally honest. In her memoir, Cheryl literally gives herself the last name “Strayed” and changes it legally to reflect more honestly whom she knew she really was. Someone who had, in more ways than one, strayed.

I opened “Brave Enough” and read: “Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing what I need to do.” I wasn’t leaving without the store without it.

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Dancing in my own words …
“Brave Enough” came with me in my bag to India a month later, where I was attending a women’s dance-healing retreat, and a self-imposed writer’s retreat.

Every morning I would dance for 2-3 hours with a beautiful group of women, and every afternoon I would write alone, mostly poetry, and sometimes for hours and hours. It seemed like the energy of “Brave” had already started working on me, giving me the courage to re-claim my authentic voice, and I wrote and wrote about everything as honestly as I could handle at that time. I transmuted abuse memories that spontaneously arrived in the morning dance class, channeling those feelings and vibrations into words, vomiting the poison out of my system.

During my time in India, without thinking much about it, I switched my email address to reflect the last name “Brave.” My old last name just kind of slipped off—like the wind blowing a piece of fabric off of a rock. It was just so ridiculously obvious that “Brave” was my name, and that it now belonged to me.

As I prepared for the journey back to the States, I realized I could never go back to my parents’ home. No longer sharing a last name with any family member, “Brave” carried me onward, forcing me to individuate myself from my family and preparing me to stand on my own two feet.

danny brave ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world queer hero name spell tommy venus gilded lily jewelry
Photo: Tommy Venus. Jewelry: Gilded Lily.

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Becoming Danny Brave
When I started to realize that I was a guy (which is really a whole other story), I was initially so uncomfortable with myself and scared that I wanted to die. At the same time, there was an immediate ease with which my first name arrived—it was Danny. I just kind of knew, it was a lightning bolt that zapped the crown of my head in meditation.

But the name and my body and life at that time felt too at odds, and I was living too far away from where I knew I could  feel supported enough to transition. Desperate for some sort of change, but not yet able to feel safe enough to fully step into Danny, I switched my first name again, this time to “Kate.”

I took a part-time gig as an assistant to a jewelry designer. “Ooo, I love your last name … I think that ‘brave’ means a female warrior” the woman I worked for told me. I Googled it and discovered that it in fact meant MALE warrior. “Oh dear god,” I thought with terror. I was being called out, pushed out of the closet, by my own last name! As I started to prepare myself to face the fact that I was not, and never have been, a woman, I knew that “Kate,” a female name and the one my dad would use whenever he yelled at me, would have to go.

When I showed up to my first trans-masculine support group, late and shaking, I simply said “I’m Brave.” As I would to the random barista, just to practice having a different name with no clear gender. Just to have to say it out loud to remember I was courageous, to cling to the one true part of me over which I had ownership.

The affirmation of my last name would eventually lead me to admitting to the real first one, Danny, a month or so later in my support group.

The vibration of Danny has lead me home to my ultimate truth: that of a flamboyant little gay boy who loved to play dress up, loved watching figure skating, loved to paint, draw, and dance. The real me, only now a man. Sometimes the most loveable parts of ourselves are the most hard-won.

I was recently joking with a new friend, saying to her that I gave myself the last name of “Brave” so that I would constantly have to strive to live up to it. “I don’t think that’s true,” she said. “Names are spells. You don’t even have to try, it’s just you now, and it’s how your life will unfold.” Looking back on this story, I can see that she was right.

danny brave ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world queer hero name spell tommy venus gilded lily jewelry
Photo: Tommy Venus. Jewelry: Gilded Lily.

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How to cast your own name spell
Your name(s) (past and present) carry a meaning and vibration that is worth exploring! Being curious about what is underneath your name may lead you to a deeper understanding of your family dynamic, about what remains to be healed within you, and about your life path and purpose.

The following exercises are for you to explore your true feelings about your name(s) so that you can either reclaim it with your own meaning, intention, or vibration, or maybe even choose a new one for yourself!

1// Call your own name
Start with either your first or last name—whichever one you want to explore and play with first. Then, if you wish, you can follow up with your second name:

Close your eyes. Put your hand on your heart. Take a few deep breaths. Say your first name three times. What do you feel? Does this name feel like you? What do you feel in your body when you say it? What comes up for you? Honor whatever it is and trust your feelings. Know that if your name doesn’t feel like a match for the real you, there is one that is.

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2// Free associate  
You can do this with your current name, or play with a different one that you have in mind.

Take out a piece of paper and a pen. At the top, make two columns if you don’t have a middle name, and three if you do. Under each column, without thinking, write stream-of-consciousness based off of each of your names (if you are trans-identified, I recommend you do this with both your birth name and your chosen one).  Then, take a moment to read your associations. Our names carry so much energy, don’t they?!

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3// Take an inner child name inventory
You may want to use a pen and piece of paper for this one as well:

Consider or write down answers to the following: Was there a name that you really loved as a kid? Is there a name that you really love now? What did you name your pets, your dogs, your dolls when you were little? Is there a celebrity or friend whose name you admire? Is there a name you have always loved and wish that you had? What would happen if you tried it on for a minute, like trying on a new dress or shirt?

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4// Play with your gender identity
Don’t take this one too seriously or freak yourself out—try to have fun and maintain an attitude of light playfulness! Now, let’s do some name-drag:

If you identify as a woman, imagine for a moment that you are a man. What would your name be? If you are a man, imagine for a moment that you are a woman. What would your name be? What does it feel like to call yourself by this pretend name? What spell would this name cast on your life?

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5// Know that you are worthy of your real name 
In the USA (in the larger cities in particular), we are so privileged to live at a time where we can exercise our free will to become more of the person that we really are. Know that if you are unhappy with your current name, or if you don’t feel like it is truly yours, you can, in fact, change it. The same goes for your life!  If you don’t like it, you do, in fact, have the power to change it.

Beyond gender identity, I hope that you feel you are worthy of the real you. You deserve to love your name, which is to say, you deserve to love yourself. I know that if you follow your heart and trust your gut, you will find (or re-member) your real name.

**If you are a transgender individual living in the U.S., please visit my list of resources for trans individuals HERE

Danny Brave is a shamanic healer, writer, public speaker, and artist. In his private practice, he specializes in helping women and individuals assigned female at birth overcome the affects of sexual trauma. He conducts monthly LGBTQIA Shamanic Healing Circles at Brooklyn’s Maha Rose (sign up for the next one HERE) with the intention of creating safe, sober spaces for queer people to heal, and to amplify marginalized voices. He loves to paint, dance, and spend time in nature.

SPREAD ‘EM: SEX TAROT 101

Looking to add some spice to your divination practice? Alessandra Calderin gives us a crash course in Sex Tarot 101, and uncovers how you can start casting cards between the sheets …

serpentfire tarot lust strength sex tarot 101 ruby warrington alessadra calderin the numinous material girl mystical world boneseed
Art: Serpentfire Tarot

The Tarot is a mirror and a tool that reflects archetypal imagery that spans the spirals of the human experience. It allows us to connect to ourselves (and our Selves) because we intuitively understand these images. Sexuality is as primal and instinctual in us as the need to eat, sleep and breathe, and so the cards can reflect the ways in which our power, intuition, and connection manifest through our sexuality.

So WTF is a “sex tarot” reading?? There are so many ways to draw cards and create spreads to explore sex and desire! Here are 4 ways to get started …

she wolfe tarot the devil sex tarot 101 ruby warrington alessadra calderin the numinous material girl mystical world boneseed
Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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1// Pull a “desire” spread. Pull cards asking what your subconscious desires are, what might be blocking them, and how to work through that block. The possibilities are endless!

Start with a simple 6 card spread:

Card 1: What is my heart’s desire?
Card 2: What is blocking me from fulfilling it?
Card 3: What is my deeper unconscious desire?
Card 4: What is preventing me from seeing this?
Card 5: How can I balance and integrate these desires?
Card 6: What can I shed to make space for their fulfillment?

she wolfe tarot divine feminine the empress sex tarot 101 ruby warrington alessadra calderin the numinous material girl mystical world boneseed
Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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2// Do a sacral chakra reading. Explore the seat of your sexuality by diving into the 4 “sides” of this chakra. The more you look at the pelvis and your desire as linked to your creativity, the more you start feeling how they ebb and flow together, and the more tools you have to work through both.

Card 1: Front of the sacral chakra. How does your sexuality appear to others? What is your exhibition style?
Card 2: Right side. How do you manifest sexuality and creativity in the world?
Card 3: Back. What experience of your sexuality do you hold onto?
Card 4: Left side. How do you receive creative inspiration, the desire of others, and pleasure?

serpentfire tarot sex tarot 101 ruby warrington alessadra calderin the numinous material girl mystical world boneseed
Art: Serpentfire Tarot

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3// Masturbate with the Majors. You can also use Tarot for masturbation and sex magic practices by meditating on the archetypes of the Major Arcana or court cards.

Choose whatever cards are ruled by planets or signs that show up strongly in your birth chart, where the Moon is hanging out, what astro season we’re in, or just pull a Major and start working with it at random. You might even choose one you have trouble with (like when I pulled Justice- I was bummed by how unsexy that card might be on the surface, but there was powerful medicine in that feeling and the resulting meditation!)

Most recently, for the Super Blue Blood Moon in Leo on 1/31 during Aquarius season, I meditated on Strength (because Leo rules it) and The Star (because Aquarius rules). I let those two figures guide me as I touched, explored, played with my hands and my favorite toy (Njoy Pure Wand). As I was getting ready to orgasm, these two images reassured me that my sexuality and desire were a gift, and sacred sources of feminine power.

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Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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4// And channel the deck’s sexiest cards to unlock pure magic! I could probably make an argument for the sexual energy of every card, but this is a good place to start. Explore how you feel about these cards and the kind of pleasure they channel, or isolate the pack and draw one as your teacher of the moment.

*She/He pronouns refer to the archetypal genders of masculine and feminine energy. These figures are figuratively gendered, but anatomically genderless.

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:: Strength :: In the Thoth, Strength is actually called Lust. Some interpretations say it’s the taming of desire, but I would say it’s more like mastery over desire. Taming connotes that there is too much desire and you need to control it. In this context, I see her as the master of her desire in a world that denies her that power. Your desire becomes sacred fuel the moment you master it.

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:: The Empress :: The Empress is receptive. She is how I learned to receive pleasure without having to think about reciprocating in that moment. She allows herself to be fully nourished, filled to the brim with love, pleasure, and affection, but she also rides and caresses like a goddess. She bestows the gift of her mouth upon you and it’s like drinking an unearthly elixir with her kisses and nibbles and expertly executed oral.

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:: The Emperor :: The Emperor might be a surprise for this, but as the Empress’s counterpart, he allows her to unleash. He’s like a very good Dom, providing the container for every expression of kink you might wish to explore safely. You want to be tied up, spanked, penetrated in out of the ordinary ways? He reads your body language, pushes the edges, and knows your limits before you even need to utter a safe word. The master of boundaries, he’s here to teach you how to consent so enthusiastically you forget what ambiguity feels like.

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:: The Moon :: The Moon represents the wild woman running naked in the woods and howling at the Moon- the deep waters of sexuality and mystery. She is a shapeshifter. A wolf. A mountain lion. She visits you in the dead of night and brings your to orgasm in the dream realm, and when you wake up the memory is hazy but you know something powerful has been touched inside you. She breathes underwater and is as mysterious as the bottom of the sea. You know her without words.

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:: The Devil :: The Devil can sometimes deal with a repression of desire, and to me has always had a BDSM vibe to it. I think this one depends on your relationship to that kind of imagery and sexual practice, but as a Capricorn (The Devil is ruled by Capricorn), and a big fan of power play, The Devil can sometimes be a freeing card. Reclaiming the divinity and balance of the shadow, of words like slut, whore, bitch, freak, breaks the chains that bind us to our own fear and repression. It’s a balancing act. The Devil reminds us that there are more layers and sides to it.

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:: The Lovers :: The Lovers feels like an obvious one because you have to love all the sides of yourself like a lover before you can love anyone else. Getting there is anything but obvious or easy, though. Use a mirror. Look at yourself. This is the real shit. The deep work. It takes a lot of unraveling and excavation to be able to love your body and yourself just as you are. Your best Lover will look back at you eventually.

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Art: She Wolfe Tarot

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:: Queen of Pentacles :: Queen of Pentacles is the master of the home and body. An independent woman, she knows what she likes and moves through the material world with the grace of an angelic ballerina. Queen of Wands is known to be the most sexual queen in the deck, but Queen of Pentacles knows pleasure like no one else. Part earth angel, part water nymph, she creates the primordial mud that those Dead Sea masks get their magic from.

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:: Knight of Cups :: Knight of Cups will go down on you first without being asked. Inviting this kind of energy into your bedroom, the person who will massage and caress you slowly, who dreams of drinking you like you’re water in the desert, is clutch in truly sinking into pleasure. Find you a man (or woman or non-binary) who can give it to you good.

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:: Page of Wands :: Page of Wands is bursting with potential energy, often creative and sexual. She’s ready and willing to try new toys and discover what she likes. She’s the teen who just discovered her clitoris and hasn’t been told there is something wrong with the amazing feeling that swims through her body when she touches it. She just got her period and is ready to finger paint with her blood. She will make out behind the bleachers and let herself love completely. She writes love songs and sings them without the slightest bit of embarrassment.

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:: Ace of Cups :: Ace of Cups is a pure gift of water, love, communication, and intuition. I often see it as an invitation to masturbate with more loving intention. To swim in your waters and to practice accepting the water gifts from elsewhere.

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:: 10 of Cups :: 10 of Cups is a literal orgasm. It could be something that feels as good as an orgasm, a self pleasure practice that’s out of this world, or a partner that takes you to the places of rainforest waterfalls and fireworks.

Alessandra is an intuitive healing facilitator, tarot practitioner, yoga teacher, writer, poet, comedienne and performer based in New York. She will be teaching her Tarot Immersive later this month and currently teaches yoga at Three Jewels, focusing her attention on energetic sensitivity and the pelvic floor. Explore her offerings at Boneseed, and follow her on Instagram.