MAKE A PLAN: READING FOR THE CAPRICORN NEW MOON 2016

The Capricorn New Moon is here to fuel our resolutions for the coming year, and she wants you to succeed in all your goals, says Sandra Sitron

Get a PDF workbook for the coming Moon Phase when you sign up for Moon Club!

New Moon :: December 29th 2016 :: 1:54am EST :: 8 degrees Capricorn

A New Moon is a time for fresh intentions. An old cycle has ended, and a new one begins. Imagine that you are planting seeds at this time. Over the course of the next two weeks the seeds will grow to full bloom. What seeds will you plant?

The Capricorn New Moon is achingly practical. She wants you to grow to your full potential. She wants you to use all of your skills, be responsible, be productive and be your own authority. This Moon reminds of the cold hard truth—if the foundation isn’t strong, there will be problems later on. And yet, the Capricorn New Moon message is empowering—make a good plan, cover all your bases and believe in your own ability to succeed. You can show up for this challenge by deciding what you want and making choices that align with your desires.

The Capricorn New Moon happens annually around the time of the New Year. As you set your 2017 resolutions, you are actually crafting a good old-fashioned Capricorn plan! Capricorn helps us structure and produce. So get out your calendar and start sketching out some goals. What will your focus be for each quarter over the next year? What will your focus be each month? Start with the big projects and break it down from there.

The Capricorn New Moon whispers in our ear with a firm and steady voice. She takes a serious tone, but know that she wants the world for us. She wants us to feel the satisfaction of achievement. She says, “I want the best for you. I want you to build something good. You have to do it on your own, but I am supporting you. So show up. Be consistent. Take responsibility. Shoulder the burden. Choose which mountain you are going to climb and then begin. Be determined and diligent. Integrity, responsibility and authority will help you climb your mountain.”

***

The Moon and it’s message
Exploring underground caves.

You’re a spelunker. You are moving through caves because it is time for you to examine the architecture of your life. This adventure requires bravery and diligence. As you assess the caverns, you must determine if they are stable before you venture in. The symbolic message of the caves is twofold; first, that you must make space for your deepest emotions. Without processing your deepest emotions, you won’t be able to make a conscious plan. Your choices will be too clouded by subconscious fear or anger. Second, that you are revisiting your past. You have to backtrack and rethink past decisions. New information will be revealed during this time. You will make discoveries that inspire you to form a new approach.

Moon Conjunct Mercury (Retrograde)
The rules of the game. The tendency is to be very exact. To know the rules of the game. By all means play by the rules, but leave a little room for adjustment, when necessary. It will soothe your mind to have some kind of “rule book” that you are abiding by. Structure is your friend. Just be careful not to be too rigid.

Moon Conjunct Pluto
The phoenix rises. You are ready to be born anew. An old cycle is ending. You must let go. You must let everything burn away. This requires bravery and trust. Let something die to make room for the new. Acknowledge the emotions that come up and give yourself empathy. Help the old pain heal.

Moon Sextile Mars and Neptune
The boomerang comes back. You are able to move forward and backward through time. What is time? Does it even exist? Return in your memory to your child self at different ages and shower them with unconditional love. This is a way to begin to heal yourself. Find ways to venture through “the veil” between the the physical and non-physical realms. Deepen your meditation practice. Practice shamanic journeying. Create art or music. In your daily life, take action only when you’re inspired. All of these practices will support your ability to be productive and help you meet your goals.

***

Summary: Although this moon is highly practical, there is a strong emotional tone to it as well. The message is to keep looking at any old fears objectively and see what you are ready to let go of now. Notice what you’re ready to set a new intention around. Be an architect. Re-design your life, based on your desires and not your fear, or what you believe is expected of you. You’re in charge now. You’re the grown-up.

***

The following suggestions for self-inquiry by sign are designed to help you get deeper into your Capricorn New Moon ruminations. You can get a more accurate insight by checking where 8 degrees Capricorn falls in your birth chart, and also reading for that house.

Aries or 10th house
What in your career is ready to shift? Spend some time journaling about your vision for your career, and list all the steps it will take to get there.

Taurus or 9th house
How can you actively inspire yourself? What practical things will help expand your sense of wonder about the world?

Gemini or 8th house
In what area of your life are you ready to let go of control? If you did so, how might that feel? What hidden desires rise to the surface?

Cancer or 7th house
What relationship patterns are you aware of? When you’re in this pattern how does it feel? How would you like to feel instead? Can you lean into this feeling?

Leo or 6th house
What healthy habits will you prioritize this month? In what ways might this inspire you to also be of service?

Virgo or 5th house
How would you like to expand your creativity? What idea has been on the back-burner that you are ready to begin work on now?

Libra or 4th house
How can you make your home more graceful and elegant? How would this affect your mood? And your productivity?

Scorpio or 3rd house
If you were going to take a class or attend a workshop, what would it be about? Is it possible to make that happen?

Sagittarius or 2nd house
What is blocking you from realizing your self worth? What limiting beliefs are behind any instances of poverty consciousness (“I am not enough / There is never enough”?)

Capricorn or 1st house
What is blocking you from saying “yes”? What is blocking you from saying “no”? List the thoughts or emotions that comes up, and then ask yourself, “is that actually true?”

Aquarius or 12th house
What is the dominant feeling surfacing for you right now? What’s it like to feel this way? Journal on this feeling and then ask yourself: What can I let go of in order to heal?

Pisces or 11th house
Which part of your life are you ready to share with the world? How have your unique experiences equipped you with the insight to make a real difference?

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra Sitron here or follow her on Instagram. PLUS get a PDF workbook with coaching exercises for each week of the coming moon phase when you sign up for Moon Club! Discover more at Moonclub.co

HOLY F*CK: 5 WAYS TO JUMPSTART YOUR LOVE AND SEX LIFE IN 2017

In her final Holy F*ck column of 2016, Alexandra Roxo has 5 ways to jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…Portrait: Alexandra Herstik

2016 has been a wild year for the planet and for America. For me it’s been a year of change and growth and reshuffling and purging and mourning and planting seeds and learning. I also hadn’t been single in 10 years, and have spent this one being VERY single. I’ve used this time to have a giant rethink of ALL my ideas, values, and beliefs about love and sex.

I’ve done some dating, sure, but I put the brakes on things in the name of some deep diving and learning and observing of myself and my clients, which is hard for a Piscean princess who loves to dive into romance. My birthday is just days from Anais Nin (if that means anything to you you’re prob my tribe!).

Last week, in search of my culminating thoughts about love and sex and spirit for the end of this year, I called my friend Gala Darling, whose latest love story is one of my faves! After a divorce, Gala met her adorable boyfriend online a little over a year ago and I’d been swooning over them via Insta for a while. I wanted to hear the dirt…Did she believe in soul mates? Manifesting the man of your dreams with spells and rituals? Making a list of important things in love and meditating on them? I had a lot of questions for her.

Gala said many things but what stuck out the most was: “Relationships are not meant to be easy. Marriage is not easy. They are not meant to be comfortable. They are meant to push you to see things about yourself that are not actualized. Having a soul mate is not a party!” This sentiment is way too overlooked in the twin flame/soul mate discourse. Where’s the footer that says “Hey BTW this shit hurts”?

Gala Darling and her boyfriend Garnett shot by Juliane Berry

She also reminded me that there is no certainty. Like ever. In marriage. In relationships. In any of it. People who are single think “Oh when will I meet that special someone?” And then people who are in partnership may be asking “Is this right? Is it supposed to hurt this much? Be this hard? Do I still love them?” There is no certainty but our devotion to ourselves, and our practice of keeping aligned with our heart’s needs.

So in order to do just that I’ve prepared some writing exercises for this column, to help you too rethink/ rewrite / jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…

So get out your journal. Put on a kimono. Or silk PJ’s. Select some quiet tunes. Burn some incense.  Make yourself a cozy nest. I rec bed surrounded by blankets and pillows and some rose tea and a few candles.

  1. RETHINK YOUR “LIST”

We all make these grand lists of what we want in a partnership and we often forget that the human we imagine coming into our life will also be flawed. Just like us! Do you have some list you’ve been working on for years? Fantasies in your mind about how your partner should or shouldn’t be? This can change as you grow so def revisit every six months. So use this time to make a list of HARD YES’s and HARD NO’s, and to really meditate on them.

Ask yourself big questions like: “Could you be with someone who doesn’t believe in God? Or do you absolutely need to be with someone who wants kids?”

 

  1. BROADEN YOUR IDEA OF A SOUL MATE

Do you have people in your life you have let see the whole spectrum of your madness and beauty? Your most ugly side and your most beautiful? I believe all the people who can hold all of us and push us to our edges are our soul mates. If you’ve never let your darkness come out with anyone I say deepen a friendship with someone who you can do that with. Not in an abusive way, but in a way where the connection can go deep under the surface. That will get you ready for partnership, and if you’re partnered it will keep you deep diving into yourself.

My friend Rebecca and I really did NOT like each other when we met. I thought she was a dirty hippie and she thought I was a stuck up goodie two shoes. 15 years later we are best friends. During that time we’ve hated each other. Not spoken for a year. Had the most heinous of fights.  But had the most enlightening and fun and hilarious moments together too. She knows me in a way no one else can. Our love is as deep as the ocean.

Ask yourself: “Who are my soul mates now? Who has pushed me to the edges and helped me grow? What can I learn from these relationships about myself?”

 

  1. COMMIT TO A PRACTICE AND STICK WITH IT

If you haven’t dated in a while, will you commit to a dating practice? Perhaps you and a friend can buddy up, open an online account, make a ritual of creating your profile (which Gala says is “like casting a spell!”) Practice connecting with strangers in a non-attached way. Go on coffee dates with no agenda except chatting with a stranger. Maybe 1 out of 10 will be someone you’re actually attracted to, so keep it chill. No expectations. Treat it like a morning yoga practice!

If you’re in a relationship commit to a growth practice. Is it seeing a relationship coach once a month to make sure you are growing? Does your sex life need a reboot? Can you commit to an afternoon every other week of sexual exploration time to keep expanding there? If your relationship has become too dependent can you commit to developing and nurturing solo space?

Decide what practice you want to commit to in 2017 and break it down over the months and weeks.

 

  1. GET TO KNOW YOUR LOVE STYLES

How do you like to be loved? (If you need some inspo you can do the 5 Languages of Love quiz.) I know I mostly need to be loved with touch and kind words, and if I feel I can communicate that to my next partner they don’t waste their time buying me gifts or giving me rides or cooking for me. I told Loulou (one of my besties) about this, and now we know that we both highly value a solid compliment we pay each other loving compliments regularly! It just takes knowing and asking.

Make a list of ways you like to be loved, either within a partnership or solo. Do you need more touch? Schedule a weekly massage or trade with a friend. 

 

  1. LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Don’t make me quote Michael but um…he had a point! If you were a potential partner meeting yourself for the first time what would you think? What would you want more of? Less of? This is good to look at whether you’re single or attached. Would you prefer someone who is more available? Someone who is more financially stable? Someone in better shape? Someone who meditates daily? Well, this is a great way to see where you need to make changes on yourself.

For example, I was thinking I would just love a partner who can chop wood—so fuck it, I guess I’ll learn to chop wood in 2017 too! You can also be the partner you want to your friends. I mean, don’t make out with them passionately or anything (unless that’s how you roll!) but love your friends like you wanna be loved. Cook for them. Write cute notes. Romance your friends and yourself!

Set some goals for how you can become the best partner and self and friend.

***

If you want to go deeper with this work sign up for my Holy F*ck course where we will be using creative writing and storytelling to dive deep into our habits, tendencies, hopes and dreams in love and sex in a conscious way.  I also see clients one on one for six month periods of mentorship and on off coaching sessions. More info here.

Alexandra Roxo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, writer, entrepreneur and mentor currently residing in LA. She recently co-founded Moon Club with Ruby Warrington (founder of the Numinous) and has been featured in Well + GoodNylon,  Out Magazine and more.

AIM TRUE: READING FOR THE SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON

The Sagittarius New Moon is here to help us to refine our unique mission—and aim true for humanity, says Sandra Sitron

Get a special MOON MISSION pdf every new moon when you sign up for Moon Club!

New Moon :: 7 degrees Sagittarius :: November 29th 2016 :: 7:18am EST

Think of this moon as your arrow. And hear it whisper, “What are you shooting for?” As long as you are true to yourself, it will help guide your hand. It will assist with you aim. So spend a little time getting clear. Take a moment to form and nurture an sense of direction within yourself.

The New Moon is a time for inward contemplation. It’s time to get quiet and write down your intentions for the month ahead. Let this Sagittarius New Moon help you plant the seed of your own desires. In Sagittarius, this moon is here to help you understand your “Why.” Why are you doing what you are doing? What do you BELIEVE in?

The symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur wielding a bow and arrow. The centaur is half man (intelligence) and half horse (wild). He is a philosopher and also a hunter. The philosopher side helps you understand, the hunter side helps you go after what you want.

***

The Sagittarius New Moon and it’s message
Infant bees eating royal jelly.

This Moon is so quiet and so nurturing. She is helping you grow so that you can become a contributing member of the hive and of the world. The Sagittarius New Moon wants you to understand your own humanity, your place within the world as whole, and the creative spark within you that is for you to share.

This time may also be fraught with many conflicting messages. Many energies and desires are coming to the surface. Use the energy of the Sagittarius New Moon as your quiet respite for reflection and intention. Let this moon help you define and nurture your voice within the larger chorus of humanity. Define your approach. Reach for a higher philosophy. Reach for spiritual teachings that soothe and heal your sprit.

This Moon doesn’t want you to keep going through the motions. She wants you to know WHY and for what. She wants you to mark your destination. She is the archer and she says—hone your target! She is the philosopher and she says—study your motives! She brings you a quiet moment of contemplation. Use it to nurture your future and conceptualize your approach.

***

Sagittarius New Moon Conjunct Saturn
A single blade of grass growing very tall.

You must keep growing even if the path feels lonely at times. Keep feeling all of your feelings. Notice the storm clouds, notice the challenges you are working with, but push through anyway.

Take yourself more seriously. Don’t shy away from your responsibilities. Commit. Think about who the work you do is serving. Think about the philosophies that give you structure. Be determined.

***

Sagittarius New Moon Square Neptune
Swimming into an underwater cave.

With Neptune now Direct and in a motivating aspect with the Moon, look for a new truth. There has been some murky, muddy fogginess. Something may now become clear. Of course, there may still be denial and confusion. Nothing is yet resolved. Peer into the darkness of the underwater cave of emotions and reactions. Stay in the water. Move bravely through the unknowns to reach new levels of understanding. The only danger comes when using this energy as a way to sink deeper into denial and compulsion. Stay clear in your mind and in your heart so that you can use your intuition to perceive deeper mysteries.

***

For some additional guidance in your New Moon self-inquiry, the following journaling suggestions are by sign. To further help refine your insights, see where 7 degrees Sagittarius falls in your birth chart, and read for that house as well.

Aries or 9th house
In what area do you feel constricted in your thinking? Write down five different ways you could be doing things.

Taurus or 8th house
What are you ready to let go of? How will this allow for a transformation to occur?

Gemini or 7th house
How can you make more space for another person in your life? Can you do it while being clear about what you need at the same time?

Cancer or 6th house
What healthy habit is your body crying out for? What unhealthy habit are you ready to shift to make room for this in your life?

Leo or 5th house
How can you expand your opportunities for creative self-expression? What was your favorite way to play as a child? How can you reenact this in your adult life?

Virgo or 4th house
Where in your life could you use more support? Can you make a plan to ask for it? Write down what would make you feel most nurtured right now.

Libra or 3rd house
What kind of extra-curricular reading would be most helpful for you now? Who in your circle can lead you to this?

Scorpio or 2nd house
What assumptions about money are ready to let go of? Where did these ideas originate? Can you see how they are no longer serving you?

Sagittarius or 1st house
How do you want to leave your mark on the world? What is your mission statement?

Capricorn or 12th house
Think about how you feel. How you would like to feel instead? Can you lean into the feeling you would like to have right now?

Aquarius or 11th house
What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations? Write them all down. Visualize them.

Pisces or 10th house
What are your highest intentions for your career? Write down all the things that qualify you for the job.

To book a personal reading with Sandra visit Strongeyeastrology.com

If you’re interested in working with the cosmic energies of each moon phase with a group of likeminded seekers, and with weekly LIVE mentoring, check out Moon Club—our new monthly membership program!

A NUMINOUS RETREAT: RE-WRITE YOUR LOVE STORY

Love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play…it’s our first Numinous retreat! And an invitation to Re-write Your Love Story.

Friday, July 15th- Sunday, July 17th

The Numinous Presents :: Re-Write Your Love Story

A Holy F*ck + The Temple of Venus Women’s Retreat

Location: Maha Rose North – Catskills, Upstate NY

Love, dating, sex, partnership: where do you stand on these Venus-rules issues? What are the stories you have inherited and internalized about love, and how would you like to re-write them?

Join Numinous founder Ruby Warrington, with contributors Alexandra Roxo and Elyssa Jakim, for a weekend of discovery and creativity tailored toward telling your True Love Story. During this magical weekend, we will delve into our femininity and sensuality. We will release old wounds that may be blocking us from getting the love we want, to manifest the love we do want. We will balance our career driven warrior women with the open-hearted goddesses we are.

Think: love-centered astrology, meditation into the heart space, water ceremony, creative writing, crafting, sharing, and play.

Read on for the actual schedule…

Healing space at Maha Rose North

:: FRIDAY ::
3:30pm – 5:30pm: Arrivals.

6:00pm – 7:00pm: A Welcoming Feast and meet & greet.

7:30pm – 9:45pm: Workshop 1 HELLO HEART. Let’s get real about where we’re at with sex and love, setting our intentions as individuals and as a group. An open discussion and sharing circle with live coaching, led by your guides for the weekend.

:: SATURDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30am – 9:30am: Breakfast.

10:00am – 12:00pm: Workshop 2 RE-WRITING OUR LOVE STORY led by Ruby. What are the fairy stories we tell ourselves about love? What are the myths about romance and dating that we’ve absorbed, both individually and as a collective? And what fantasies have we bought into about what it means to be a sexual woman? In this workshop we will delve into our birth charts, using storytelling and journaling exercises to excavate these often limiting beliefs, examine how they may have shaped our love story to date, and re-write the script of a more authentic, fulfilling, and heart-centered future love story.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch & personal Time. Journal. Lay in the grass. Sing in the woods. Cry. Be.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Workshop 3 DO IT LIKE A DOLPHIN led by Elyssa. Lemurian water ceremony with mermaids and water fairies in the nearby lake. BYOB. (Bring Your Own Bikini)

BYOB (bring your own bikini) for the water ceremony

6:30 pm – 8:30pm: RITUAL DINNER aka PRIESTESS FEAST There was something to the way the Greeks and Romans did it. Though we won’t be communally purging this time, we will be lighting candles, wearing beautiful dresses, and ceremonially celebrating together.

8:30pm – 10:30pm: Workshop 4 HEART 2 HEART RITUAL led by Alexandra. Let’s get deep into what’s holding us back, clear some shit out and hold space for release and clearing in the heart and womb space. We will work with the Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene energies and archetypes, balancing our own polarities of Divine Feminine energy. Ending with a burning ceremony.

:: SUNDAY ::
7:30am – 8:00am: Morning Angel Meditation led by Alexandra.

8:30 am – 10:00am: Workshop 5 GET WHAT YOU WANT We’ve talked to our hearts and our wombs, we’ve the cleared old stories out. Now what? Let’s manifest our true heart’s desires, and and cultivate our sensual sides. This workshop introduces concrete tools for manifesting true love and partnership to incorporate into your daily practice. Followed by live coaching.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Workshop 6 FAIRY BRUNCH A date with your inner Wood Nymph
led by Elyssa. We will call in our fairy spirits to bring sexiness, play and fun to our love lives
over brunch!

2:30pm – 3:30pm: CLOSING RITUAL We will pull our energies together to seal the deal, sending our prayers into the earth and heavens with a candle that we can all take home.

Accommodation at Maha Rose North on The Numinous

:: PRICING ::

Retreat with all meals and two nights lodging | $640

Retreat with all meals and camping | $600

Retreat with all meals | $520 (guests to arrange own accommodation)

Sign-up online here. EARLY BIRDS! Book with a friend before June 17 and both receive a $50 discount. Installment payment plans are also possible—please contact Maha Rose to inquire on: [email protected].

:: BIOS ::

Ruby Warrington is a writer, curator, creative consultant, and founder of The Numinous, an online magazine where “material girl meets mystical world.” With 18 years’ experience in lifestyle journalism, she was formerly Features Editor for the UK Sunday Times Style magazine, and her writing has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. Ruby has also been an astrology enthusiast since she discovered, aged three, she’d been born in the year of the Dragon. Her first book, a volume of “mystical self-help,” will be published by Harper Collins in Spring 2017.

Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker, writer, and creative intuitive coach. She has been making films and shows about her spiritual journey with the Divine Feminine for the last 15 years, including the hit show Be Here Nowish and as a writer for the Numinous. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New Yorker, i-D, Dazed, The Wall St Journal, London Times and more. She has been leading group rituals and women’s circles, high priestessing weddings, and facilitating creativity healing workshops off and on for 10 years.

Elyssa Jakim is a Reiki master, ceremonialist, and intuitive. She is a co-founder of Fairy School, held at Maha Rose, an after school program connecting children to their magic. She likes to connect adults to magic too, and has been known to incorporate fairies, unicorns, and mermaids into all aspects of her life and work. Elyssa co-created The Temple of Venus with The Numinous, a community art space and later monthly column focused on healing issues around love, sex, femininity, and everything in between. She received her Reiki Mastership with Lisa Levine, founder of Maha Rose.

INSTAPOETS: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARKUS ALMOND

In a new series celebrating our favorite poets of IG, Kiran Gill talks to Markus Almond, author of Motivational Quotes To Get The Blood Moving, about the intersection of creativity and spirituality…

 

The Numinous: You’re both a poet and a musician, how do these two worlds intersect? Is the creative process similar or different?
Markus Almond: They are pretty similar I think. Writing feels more natural to me. With music, I would have to fit a certain number of syllables into a melody and then sometimes make it rhyme. But with writing prose, I’m able to say exactly what I wanted to say without making it fit into an existing format.

TN: Where do you get the inspiration for your writing?
MA: The inspiration comes from different things depending on what I’m writing. Sometimes I’m just writing thinly veiled notes to myself or people I love. Other times, I’m telling a story or trying to pass on some sort of advice.

TN: What is your definition of spirituality?
MA: It’s that unexplainable power that you feel when you close your eyes and let go.

TN: Do you have any daily rituals or practices to aid you in your writing?
MA: I meditate every day. And I listen to music in my headphones when I write. I prefer to write with the lights off and my office locked. It helps keep me focused on the task at hand. And I can usually only write at night after everyone else has gone to sleep.

TN: What was the impetus for putting your work out onto the Internet and becoming a published author?
MA: I was going through some personal stuff a few years ago. And I was so over-worked and tired of looking at a computer. So I bought this little manual typewriter and made a limited edition zine with some scissors, a glue stick, and a copy machine. It was the first thing I ever published. And people seemed to like it so I published some more, built a website and started writing books.

TN: What life experiences have had the biggest impact on your work?
MA: Being a musician has probably had the biggest impact on me. That journey took me to so many different places (both spiritually and geographically) that there is just so much material to write from. I’ve got enough stories floating around in my head that it will take me the rest of my life to get them all down on paper.

TN: We love your existential take on self-help – are you a fan of any traditional self-help authors? Who and how has their work impacted you?
MA: Yeah, I read self-help books all the time. Right now I’m reading two books by Thich Nhat Hanh and also The 12 Week Year. I think books are like software for our brains so it’s important what we read. It can have a great impact on our lives if we read helpful things.

TN: What do you hope your writing will inspire in people?
MA: Honestly, I hope that they’ll just email me once in a while and tell me I’m doing a good job. I don’t really write books for mass appeal or with the intention of selling a million copies. I write them because I enjoy writing. But still, it’s nice to know that people like them from time to time.

TN: What are the biggest challenges of being human? The greatest joys?
MA: Fear can be one of the biggest challenges. It can manifest itself in all kinds of weird ways. I think if you can learn to spot fear and get through it without stopping, you’ll go far in the world. The greatest joy of being human is probably different for everyone. For me, it’s those happy things that happen by accident. Sometimes lucky magic just crosses our path for no reason and that can bring a sense of joy.

Read more at Brooklyntomars.com and follow Markus on Instagram @markusalmond

DEAR DIARY: A CONVERSATION WITH THE DIVINE

As Neptune goes direct and the Sun moves into Sagittarius, it’s the perfect time to instigate a conversation with the divine. And your journal is the place to start, says Katie Simpson.

Almost 18 years ago, I bought my first journal. It was a small back hardbound book covered in pictures of Mickey Mouse designs. I’ve since journaled for self-care, self-expression, and so much more.

In the past year, my journal has provided a surprising new benefit: it’s become the space where I have dialogues with the Divine. This began on more intense days, such as in the build up to a New or Full Moon ritual. But now I can have these conversations during lunch breaks, late nights, or days when I am sick.

To be clear, these conversations don’t require any mind-altering substances. The most I have in my system may be a cigarette or a glass or two of wine. And my most profound conversations with the divine occur when I’m completely sober.

Journaling and talking to God both happen in my journal but look very different. When I’m journaling, I write my thoughts down as they come. With the Divine, it’s a written conversation. It sounds and looks like two different people having a discussion. I will write something, and then She responds. The best way to explain it is like the old written notes we used to pass in class. Only I am both one of the writers and the messenger.

These dialogues are a gift, but not one that’s unique to me. I believe that with a little time and effort, you can have these kinds of conversations as well. Here are a few practices that have helped me commune with the Divine through the written word.

:: The faces of God ::
As a religious studies major in college, I learned a lot about the different faces of God. For example, in Hinduism, you could see Kali, Goddess of destruction, and Sarasvati, Goddess of wisdom, as two separate entities. Or they could represent two different aspects of the same Divine Feminine.

So often in the Judaea-Christian West, we focus on God as a judge, ruler, or father figure. But for many women, it’s difficult to connect with this. Personally, I connect best with Jewish idea of the Shechina. She is the feminine, the maternal presence, that I see when I reach out to God. And as such, she is the one who communicates with me on the page.

To begin a dialogue with anybody, you need to feel a connection with them. It’s the same with the Divine. Perhaps you need God to be a fierce warrior. Or perhaps you prefer the idea of God as Sophia, or wisdom.
There’s no wrong answer. So think back to which icons, saints or experiences really made the divine manifest for you. Is there a pattern? What images and ideas do you gravitate towards now? Exploring this is a great start to feeling a connection with the Divine.

:: The inner God block ::
For me, God has never just picked up the pen on her own and started writing: she writes through me. Which means that before the Divine can show up on the page, I have to make space for her – space beyond the doubt, the criticism and the disbelief around God, that so many of us have developed.

To give her space, a free-writing practice is critical. Each morning, I sit down and write three pages, either typed on my computer, or in a hardbound journal. No editing, no second guessing, just writing. Have I perfected this practice? No, but showing up helps me be honest on the page. This way, when the Divine does decide it’s time for a chat, I don’t fight it. I just keep writing.

This practice does take time: I’ve been doing it for over two years now. A couple glasses of wine could be a faster way to muting the inner critic. However, drugs are only a quick fix. Taking the time to show up and write will prepare you to have a dialogue with God, whether it’s 8am or 8pm.

:: Just ask ::
My dialogues with the Divine don’t start off in a complicated way. In fact, they usually begin with a vulnerable honesty.

“I’m so scared of telling him, what will happen?”

“I’m feeling so tired today, I just want to rest in your arms.”

I don’t believe there’s one right way to start chatting with God. For me, it’s about being simple and direct. My dialogues began by me being honest about where I was and what I needed – while the maternal Shechinah simply listened, and held me.

It’s very rare that God reaches out to me or begins the dialogue. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have had any dialogues with God if I hadn’t started the conversations. Why? I wouldn’t have even known I was hearing the Divine.

And what YOU need when chatting with God could look and sound completely different. However, it is up to you to show up. It’s up to you to say you want the conversation, and in fact it’s critical that you ASK for it. The Divine is all around us, waiting. It’s up to us to show we’re ready for a deeper connection.

:: Say Thanks ::
I’ve seen it time and again in human relationships. Want to mess something up? Take a person for granted. Believe that your employee will simply continue producing great work and never leave – and just watch that relationship ferment into a bitter and moldy fruit.

The Divine doesn’t need gratitude. However, simply assuming that you can continue to have dialogues with God won’t do, since becoming proud and assuming of this connection is a surefire way to destroy the dialogue.

Being in the presence of the Divine should always feel like a gift. As such, showing good manners and saying even a quick thank you after the fact can help. There are other ways to show your appreciation: donate money to your favorite charity; give a loved one a call and tell them you love them; pick up some trash from your park.

Divine dialogue has become a gift that helps me be the best version of myself, for others and for myself. Whether you find God on the blank page or in the woods, know that it is your birth right to have time and space directly with her. But taking time to discover what aspects of the Divine resonate with you, and then actually asking for that relationship, are fundamental to creating and sustaining this connection for the long haul.

WITCHY MAMA: 6 WAYS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR UNBORN CHILD

You’d like to get to know the little spirit you’re bringing into the world before you meet them, right? Cate Emond shares some simple ways to communicate with your unborn child. Images: Aurélie Raidron via Behance.net

There have always been the obvious ways of connecting with our unborn children; see women talking, singing, or reading stories out loud to our baby bumps. And whatever stage of pregnancy you Numi mamas are in, there are so many things you can do to feel bonded and connected to the little soul you’ve created a home for.

When I found out I was pregnant I was excited, but despite this I also felt very disconnected from my body, and from the little life steadily growing inside me. I realized I was going to have to go deeper into myself and my spiritual practise if I wanted to start creating a bond. Below are a few of my favorite ways to create that connection, and communicate with your unborn child:

:: Prenatal Meditation ::
Prenatal meditation is really no different from regular meditation, the only difference being that a) you, or your partner, are pregnant and b) you are specifically using this time to connect with a little spirit. It can be just as simple as taking 15-20 minutes of your day to sit quietly on your own in a relaxed setting with no distractions, to tune into the energy inside. But I prefer guided meditations because they help me to visualize the baby – especially this one, which that also incorporates some kundalini yoga, as well as this prenatal belly dance and meditation, whiCh has helped me feel more connected with my body.

:: Creative Journaling ::
I’ve kept a journal since I was a child, and more recently I’ve realized it’s not just a place to record the events of your day or how you feel. You could use yours to write letters to your little girl or boy, write songs or poetry, or create collages and vision boards about your future life together – the possibilities are endless.

:: Intentional Dreaming ::
Dreams are a great way to send and receive messages from spirit. Before going to sleep, either think of the message you want to send or receive from your baby or write it down and place the piece of paper under your pillow. Keep paper and a pen by your bedside and record whatever dreams or messages came back to you as soon as you wake up. If the messages or images seem unclear, meditate on them for a few days, focusing on the feelings they arouse in you. You can also try this handy dream interpretation method I learned years ago:

  1. Write down the events of the dream in short simple sentences.
  2. Next, go back and underline one word in each sentence that jumps out at you immediately.
  3. On a new sheet of paper, using the underlined words retell the dream as a brand new story in the way that best makes sense to you (but don’t think too hard about it).

People are so unique, and though many symbols have common universal meanings, they can still represent different things to different people. The point of this exercise is to get an interpretation that’s specific to you.

Early in my pregnancy I had a few minor complications and I was worried about losing the baby, so one night I asked for a message before going to sleep. The dream I had was about killer bees taking over my city, and I saw images of myself hovering over a little baby boy, protecting him. The next image I had was of a mailbox securely posted to a tree. I like to think that was a clever way of my baby letting me know he was safely waiting to be delivered, and that I was capable of providing a safe and protective environment. Much of my anxiety faded away after that dream.

:: Connecting with a Birth Intuitive ::
Because I was feeling so disconnected from myself, and my pregnancy, I decided to book a session with a woman who specifically helps expectant mamas and couples communicate directly with what she calls their ‘spirit babies.’ This might be a great place to start with if you need a little bit of an outside boost to help get you in the spirit of connecting with your little spirit.

While preparing for my session with Colette, I had fun dreaming up questions such as “are you okay in there” (is my anxiety that obvious?), “how can I love you best?” and “what aspirations do you have for this life?” No question is off limits, though she was quick to point out that it wasn’t about prediction, simply connecting. It was an interesting experience, and I would recommend it for the reasons mentioned above, as well as just for the fun of it.

:: Angel Cards ::
You can use any type of oracle card, but personally I love the Messages From Your Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. The messages are comforting, clear and simple to understand. I tend to do single card draws because I like the focus of a single message, but there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If I have one I ask a specific question, but if not I just ask for a general message and then I shuffle and wait for the right card to pop out.

:: Self Care ::
Okay, maybe not technically a way to bond with your baby, but it is one of the most important things to remember during pregnancy. We spend so much time worrying about how we’re going to care for this brand new life, that it can be easy to forget to care for ourselves, and if you’re neglecting your own needs you’re most likely going to feel miserable. Not the most conducive environment for feeling bonded to the little human inside of you.

One of my favorite takeaways from my session with Colette was the idea of “grand-mothering” ourselves. She asked me to: “remember how grandma loved you…how grandma paid attention to you and gave you advice and support [when you were young]. This is the kind of self-love that is recommended for pregnant women.”

So bake yourself some chocolate chip cookies, snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and journal, or meditate, or do whatever feels right to you in the moment. There’s no right or wrong ways to communicate with your baby, but he or she is most definitely listening.

How do you communicate with your unborn child? Pregnant or not! Share your stories with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

You can read more from Cate Edmond on her blog, and connect with her on Twitter.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR CHANGE

How to navigate internal and external shifts in your Universe? Laurie DiBiagio shares her ten commandments for change.

At 29, I would like to graciously grant myself the title “Change Connoisseur.” I also don’t think claiming myself an aficionado of change at such a young age is in any way audacious. I have been blessed with three dominant, mutable signs: Sagittarius Sun, Pisces Ascendant, and a Gemini Moon. I was designed by the stars to mutate.

With this astrological recipe, life is ever-changing for me: exciting, exhausting, emotional, and inspiring. I love it, but I often feel like there is never a moment to fully catch my breath. Somehow I never fall short. With all my experience in the fields of eternal transmutation, I believe I’ve earned myself an Olympic gold medal in reading the signs of transition and metamorphosis.

At the end of each year in my 20’s, I always ended up in a drastically different place from where I started. Ending one relationship to enter a new. Living in NYC to relocate to Hawaii (and back again). Quitting one job and starting the next. Thinking I was going to end up with him to finding the only person I needed to fall in love with was myself. Navigating my way through my parents’ chaotic and melodramatic divorce. Giving up the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur. Living alone in a cottage studio 20 steps from the ocean on the North Shore, to sleeping on my mom’s couch. Going from adventurer and lover, to homemaker to vagabond, daughter, sister, student, teacher, and back again: multiple times. And this barely scratches the surface.

Within all this, one well-learned and highly prevalent lesson is that change doesn’t always appear victorious, or come in a neatly wrapped box with a shiny little bow. It is often very well disguised. It most likely won’t appear as anything spectacular and grandiose, BUT it will be perfectly placed, and it will be the exact tool that you need to continue on this great journey: good, bad, and ugly.

 

Ahh, the delightful path of the unknown. While at times it may appear devastating, it is always miraculous: never a punishment, always a gift. Everything manifests in our lives exactly at the point it is meant to. When we have learned all our lessons, of course, to allow that particular event to be released. Without change, how would we let go? To defy the force of change is to defy the Universe. Yet people do this every day, and some for their entire lives.

In defying the Universe, life becomes stagnant and difficult because you are no longer conscious or open to the abundance you are meant to receive.
With that being said, and with no further adieu, here is my guide to conjuring and summoning forth the signs for dynamic change to occur in your life in a really intentional and “prepared” way. You must remember though, there really is no treading lightly into change. Change is meant to facilitate growth and enlightenment. Without trips, slips, falls, and some bruises we wouldn’t reach the next level. Change comes with light and dark energy, both with great purpose. You must accept this notion.

:: MY TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR CHANGE ::

1. Ban words like “restriction”, “limitation”, and “realistic” from your vocabulary. Do not allow the projections of fear and jealousy within yourself and others to poison your mind.

2. Don’t let the facts fool you. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Believe. Pray. Give gratitude. Find the blessings in your current situation. Be open and you shall receive.

3. Never hesitate to ask for help. Call upon Green Tara or your most present Ascended Masters and Goddess to show you the way, to reveal in time your next move. Our teachers, angels, and spirits are always here to guide us with their divine intuition and wisdom.

4. Always stay in your heart. No matter what, you can always come back to this space. I often find myself holding my pointer and middle finger down on my heart chakra or placing a rose quartz there in my savasana to remind myself to tap in. All change exists in the heart, not in the head. Stay here. Be still. Listen.

5. Embrace alone time. You time. Spirit time. Listen to music. Get out in nature. Meditate. Read your cards. Hold your crystals. Clear and shield your energy. This will keep you vibrating on a frequency that allows these magnificent little thought bubbles to enter your stream of consciousness. Make life a ritual.

6. Write. Write. Write. Write what is in your heart, your soul. Write your goals, hopes, dreams, and wishes. Write anything you desire. Nothing is too ambitious, for it would not exist within you if you weren’t meant to have it. Keep your words with you, or burn the pages and release the ashes to the universe.

7. Follow the Moon. Set intentions on the new moon, and release when it’s full. Bring your writing, oils, crystals, incense, deities, or anything else that serves you. Make it an art form.

8. When in doubt, pray it out. Just pray. TRUST. One small action every day toward your desires paired with good old fashioned genuine belief will leave you with a tried and true recipe for success.

9. Believe in miracles, they happen everyday. The Universe always provides. Do not forget this. Make it your Mantra.

10. Know that you are exactly where you need to be at this very moment. Now, let it go. Watch magic happen. You will know it when it hits you. Be aware. In the advice you speak to others, in the advice given to you, in moments that feel full of impending doom but are really full of grace, you will feel it hit you. Take the ride. Do not resist. There will be no denying it because you will feel it in every fiber of your being.

Laurie DiBiagio is a designer, maker, artist, entrepreneur and adventurer. You can follow her adventures through the wild unknown at Sirenaandthesea.com and follow her @sirena_and_the_sea

BEACH TAROT: AN ELEMENTAL SHIFT

Artist and island dweller Monica Ruiz shares why she finds a deeper connection to her Tarot practise at the beach, where the elements conspire to create soul connection, serenity and focus. Will you follow her lead this summer?

“…treat them kindly. Build a relationship with them that is respectful. Spend time with them, especially at first. Look through the imagery and handle the cards daily…Be sensitive to how you feel when you handle the cards…Allow the ritual of using them to be positive, exploratory, & even fun…” ~ Kim Krans

I’m in love with my practise of Beach Tarot: besides breathing and meditating with my cats (of course), it’s one of my favorite ways to center my energy and bring much needed clarity to my dream endeavors, my emotions and the daily happenings in my life.

At first I was hesitant about bringing my deck to the beach with me, thinking the sand, spray or a random raindrop may “ruin” them. But when I thought about it, I remembered how much I love the elements of the beach with all of my heart: the sand (earth, grounding); the ocean (water, flow); the clouds and mists (air, breath); and of course the SUN (fire, heart).

Breathing, reading, thinking and writing, as well as watching the love of my life surf in the swirl of these elements, as represented in the Tarot, brings me pure joy – so why wouldn’t my beloved cards benefit from the same energies and vibrations that I treasure so much?

 

When I use my cards it’s about listening to my heart, inspired by intuitive visual imagery that vibes with me and my mind’s eye, which is why I gifted myself with The Wild Unknown Tarot deck by Kim Krans at the beginning of this year. From the first time I came across Kim’s magical illustrations, I felt like my spirit became entwined with the secrets of the Universe and the soul of Mother Nature when I gazed at them. That’s the thing with art: when it makes your heart tick, you FEEL it.

I pull a card at least every other day at home, when I’m setting intentions, looking for some guidance or just in need of a friendly reminder to listen to my gut. I LOVE to cover my art projects in my Tarot cards as well, to infuse them with the same beautiful and natural gifts I get from the sun at the beach. Gifts of light and energy.

But I breathe deeper and slower at the beach, and because of the love and respect I have for this environment I believe it creates a stronger more authentic connection with my deck, and so the guidance the cards provide feels more loving and natural. The beach allows me to tap into a “Be Here Now” experience, where pretty much all nonsense dissipates. When I gaze at the horizon, I immediately start to feel calmer and am able to rationalize my thoughts and keep my intentions solid without the innocent distractions I may find at home. The voice in my head sounds loving and knowing, while the elements contribute to an overall feeling of serenity, and I can focus.

 

 

Mother Nature provides the best environment to heal, meditate, ponder and celebrate your existence – wherever that may be. Forests, the mountains, a meadow, park, your backyard or even a favorite garden, are all amazing places for sole/soul attunement. Even just sitting with your houseplants helps. I take advantage of this as a form of self-love, so it makes sense that my Beach Tarot practice brings me a sense of true connection to my core being.

 

Once settled on the sand, I shuffle my cards for a few minutes and just focus on the ocean and my breath, to help center my mind on what is truest in my heart at that moment. When I draw my card, (or, as actually happens quite often at the beach, the wind chooses a card for me during my shuffle) I sit with it for a couple of minutes. During this pause I absorb and contemplate the image, along with my thoughts, paying attention to my heartbeat, before looking up its meaning.

 

After reading about the card and meditating for a moment, I set my card in the sand and allow it to “re-charge” while I stretch and usually do some writing. I will journal about my connection to my card, about its meaning and usually write out a set of affirmations that pour out of me, inspired by the card. If it feels like an extra potent card, like the message couldn’t be more perfect, I’ll usually carry it with me for a few days afterwards, in my journal or whatever book I’m reading.

In this way, bringing my cards to the beach with me has become a fun, sacred practice, combining heartfelt intuition and magical imagery with energetic pulse of the majestic sea. This is my Beach Tarot.

Island dweller Monica Ruiz is a collage artist, hardcore daydreamer, HayHouse book reviewer, bloggess, burrito lover, cat enthusiast, librarian assistant and wanderluster who is obsessed with good hip-hop beats, Lana Del Rey and Paris, France. She owns way too many black clothes, swoons over Sofia Coppola films and loves the concept of protecting your magic with an open heart.

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808