9 TIPS FOR RUNNING YOUR SPIRITUAL BUSINESS

Want to mix your magic with your mojo? Lisa Levine, founder of renowned Brooklyn healing mecca Maha Rose, shares her top 9 tips for running your spiritual business …

I’m an artist and a healer who fell deep into the magic, challenges, and medicine of running a spiritual business. My path was anything but straightforward. After graduating from art school in 2002, and setting myself up as a massage therapist in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I decided to dive headfirst into the fashion world making jewelry.

This dive brought me to my knees and I searched for tools to maintain my sanity- yoga, then meditation, then Amma. My path with her and the practice of devotion brought clarity and a different sense of purpose. I closed my jewelry store in Williamsburg, completed acupuncture school, and officially opened Maha Rose in 2013 (though the roots date back to 2007). It’s been a wild ride and a beautiful one, ever shifting, quickly evolving.

I’m always learning and seeking to be of service to others in finding their path and purpose in this life. Read on for my top tips to keep your spiritual biz magically real …

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1// Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind. When we sign up to serve the divine, we are signing up for a lifetime of school. The Universe is always asking us to evolve, and the uncomfortable places are the places of learning and growth.

2// Commit to the Dirty Work. As a healer, the most important healing work we do is our own personal work. Do your spiritual and healing work, and everything else will radiate out from your own heart and fall into place.

3// Lean Into the Fear. Running a spiritual business is a calling- an agreement between you and the Universe. When you offer your life in service to the divine, opportunities will present themselves. If they make you feel excited and a little nervous, you are probably on the right track.

4// Find the Thing That Gets You Hot. My teacher David Elliott says, “The holy spirit is hot.” You can tell when you are in alignment with your path when your temperature rises, the hair on your arms and legs stands up, your senses sharpen, and your heart flutters: you’re on your path.

5// Head In the Stars, Feet On the Ground. Many of us healer/artists have resistance around legal, governmental, and financial structures. But if we signed up to make magic in the earth realm, we have to play by the rules of that realm. Free up the rest of your energy to make more magic by doing the work, calling the lawyer, buying the insurance. When the foundation is solid, then you can play and dance and heal for the rest of the day and night.

6// Trust Your Social Media Intuition. When you’re overwhelmed with how and what others are doing on social media, go inside and listen to find your unique expression. Play with social media and interact with it if it is uplifting and inspiring, but walk away if it is making you feel down or depressed.

7// Receive. Receive. Receive. Many healers are very comfortable in the role of giving but less comfortable in the role of receiving. When we are giving we are in the position of power. To receive we need to be open and vulnerable. This is challenging. But we must have this sacred exchange so we don’t get burnt out. Know that you don’t have to do this work alone. Who are your advisers? Who are your mentors? Who’s done this before you who can help you on the path? Let people support you.

8// Treat Money as Energy.  My first massage teacher said to us, “You’re all going to have to get used to exchanging love for money.” It may feel weird at first, but we must charge for our time and because this is our life’s work. Figure out what works for you- this could be keeping your day job and doing work on the side, or bartering. But know that there must be an exchange. Otherwise, there is an imbalance in the Universe that leaves people owing you. And then things get super funky and weird in the energetic realms …

9// Don’t Push the River. When I first starting giving Reiki treatments, I still had my jewelry company and if I had immediately started pressuring myself to make rent and pay all my life expenses, it would have taken a lot of magic away from my sessions. You can’t push spirit. Let is grow organically and keep the magic as things evolve.

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And remember, we are channels. Just like healing energy comes through you, let your business do the same. Rather than thinking “I have to [fill in the blank],” think “We (the Universe and I) are [fill in the blank] together!” Just show up, and be available for the magic, healing, light, and love to move through you …

From January 2018, Lisa Levine will be writing a monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column for The Numinous, in which she will respond to readers’ spiritual business Qs. Got a question for Lisa? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”

HOW TO TURN YOUR WORKOUT INTO A FORGIVENESS PRACTICE

Feeling bloated from pie and difficult holiday season emotions? Resident fitness witch Russ Marshalek shows you how to burn calories AND bad feelings by making your workout a forgiveness practice …

For most of us living in post-Woke America, the “saveable” facet of the holiday season is the food—and idea of togetherness at any cost, through gritted teeth, regardless of how racist Grandpa is.

And what you “indulged in,” this can also be a time to practice the art of forgiveness.

“Why should I let that asshole off the hook by forgiving and forgetting?” you might ask (especially if you’re a witch with a penchant for revenge).

Well, true forgiveness isn’t the same thing as forgetting or shitty faux-happiness. Instead, it’s the act of acknowledging what’s happened, and actively choosing to allow past grievances to be fuel for your personal power. 


You’ll be surprised at how damn good it feels—so good, you may even be able to deal with good ol’ racist Grandpa without biting your own hand off.

Turning bullshit into power: that’s magic.

But it also takes practice and rock solid awareness. Try these 5 fitness practices to summon the core strength and mental fortitude you need …

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1// Walk it Off
When you can’t stomach any more negativity and are ready let go and let Goddess, take a walk and hug a tree. Seriously.

As witches, the healing power of nature is a truth we hold to be self-evident, but I feel like it bears repeating til the cows come home.

Feel your negative energy leaving you and imagine the tree breathing a deep green or white energy into you in its place. If you want to add more to this—a run, sprint, etc, or incorporate this into an existing outdoor workout—feel free. But the important and non-negotiable part is to hug a tree. Definitely do a quick but sincere offering to the local spirits as a thank you after.

Music: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Store”

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2// Sit with Forgiveness, aka “Let’s take a time out”
Ok, so Grandpa/Uncle/whathaveyou was offensive, admitted to voting for Trump, and basically stands in total opposition to you, your beliefs, and your existence.

The best way to let that shit go? The incredibly challenging practice known as active meditation. This guided meditation from The Mindfulness Movement is an excellent starting point until you’re able to guide yourself.

Music: Motion Sickness of Time Travel’s “Totality” 

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3// Breathe Into Self-Forgiveness
“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck,” you say to yourself, “I can not fucking believe I did that.” Whatever THAT is, I can assure you that you are dwelling on it way more than anyone else. And even if that’s not the case: so what?

Use this planking exercise to embody the sensation of “letting go,” get over it/yourself, and be grateful for the experiences that have brought you here, even the sucky ones.

While holding a plank, suck your stomach all the way in and tighten your stomach muscles. Breathe normally, ideally through your nose. Hold this position for one minute, and then relax your stomach slowly as your lower down to the ground from plank position. Try raising the length of the exercise by 30 seconds every week to keep pushing yourself.

Music: Black Heart’s “The Day The Whole World Went Away” 

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4// Knock This One Out
Feeling overwhelmed by all of the internalized crap you’ve been bottling up?

Try this drill for starters. Imagine the air in front of you filled with the charged emotions that have made you feel bad, kept you from moving forward, and locked your heart in a dark place. Then punch it out, imagining the air in front of you purifying into a bright white light.

Music: Portishead’s “Machine Gun” 

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5// Reps for Retribution
Ok, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t include a post-Thanksgiving “Bye, Pie” type workout in here, so this is that one. Sure, you can meditate on the meaning of self-love or whatever, but mainly this is here to make you sweat.

Throw that yoga mat down on the ground and do 25 burpees, 25 pushups, 25 plank pushups, 25 shoulder touch planks. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat. Repeat for 3 rounds.

Music: Knifesex’s “Sex and Death” 

A SENSORY GUIDE TO VIRGO SEASON 2017

Virgo season 2017 is a time to lay claim to your most pristine values, and show up with utmost integrity says Bess Matassa. PLUS a solo wedding celebration for each Vesta sign … Homepage art: Lexi Kendall

Lay out your laciest lingerie, private dancers. The zodiac’s mystic mami of self-possessed sexuality invites us to bow down at the altar of our beautiful bodies in all their intricate integrity, and to delight in the divine essence of our own, solitary unfolding.

This unmarried siren of self-containment lives with fierce fealty to her internal code, and simply will not give it away for free. As she sifts, assesses, and refines, the zodiac’s everyday alchemist moves in rhythm with the world that surrounds her, working her mettle to transform her metal into 24-karat gold.

It’s a season for deciding exactly what you will stand for, and what you won’t fall for anymore, vestal vixens. Descend into your very own witchy desert land, and marry yourself to the wind and the night and the shifting sand. Wed yourself to the wildest, untamable places inside yourself. Pledge allegiance for life.

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The keyword: Integrity

The song lyrics: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/I’m asking him to change his ways/If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change”—Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”

Check out BessVirgo Season Playlist, complete with witchy women, singular anthems, and ladies of the canyon.

Erdem AW17

The color palette: 1970s land art and film noir: tumbled stone silvers, cameo creams, copper wheatfields, and herringbone patterns.

The style: Georgia O’Keefe’s open-air Santa Fe atelier meets Elizabethan regality—high ruffled necks, gilded patterning, buttons on sleeves, impeccable tailoring, open-toed sandals, and broad-brimmed hats.

The scents and flavors: careful concoctions, earth goddess essences, and sovereign tastes. Baguettes and subtly spiced soups, herbaceous pestos, harvest grains, dried apricots, frisée, strained labneh, and lavendar pillows.

The healing: everyday alchemy, considered corporeality, and self-governing sexuality. Food and beverage pairings, lingerie shopping, ayurveda, ritual baths, ant farms, and herb gardening.

Image: Lonely Lingerie

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Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Solo Wedding Ceremonies for Your Vesta Sign

The zodiac’s unwed woman is inherently tied to asteroid Vesta, whose streamlined acts of devotion teach us how to activate singular focus and creative containment.

This month, marry yourself to exactly what lives inside of you with a solo wedding ceremony fit for a badass bride …

New to your birthchart? Discover your Vesta sign by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

Vesta in Aries
Virgo season invites you to temper some of your usual no-holds-barred aggression with more calculated maneuvers. Wedding Party: Tossing the bouquet. Strategize your leaps as you catch petals with both ease and assessment. Wedding Anthem:You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC.

Vesta in Taurus
Virgo season invites you to let your work in the world feel both pragmatic and pleasurable. Wedding Party: Cutting the cake. Let determining the contours of your feast fully fuel your self-sufficiency. Wedding Anthem: “Let’s Get it On,” Marvin Gaye.

Vesta in Gemini
Virgo season invites you to release into body knowledge and speak straight from your gut. Wedding Party: Toasting. Carefully planned words meet instinctual, emotive sharing of what lives in your heart. Wedding Anthem:Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” Stevie Wonder.

Vesta in Cancer
Virgo season invites you to let your own past lives lead you home to your core beliefs. Wedding Party: Photo booth. Delight in candid, historical snaps that capture the nostalgia of this very moment. Wedding Anthem:December 1963 (Oh What a Night),” The Four Seasons.

Vesta in Leo
Virgo season invites you to assess your creative contribution so you can fully ignite your eternal flame. Wedding Party: Conga line. Hone some structured dance moves without losing one bit of the party. Wedding Anthem:Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper.

Vesta in Virgo
Virgo season invites you to soften your inner-critic without surrendering your high-quality standards. Wedding Party: Tailoring the gown. Cloak yourself in careful couture that’s both intricately crafted and drop-dead gorgeous. Wedding Anthem:Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé.

Vesta in Libra
Virgo season invites you to romance yourself fully without needing a partner, and fall back in love with your private dreams. Wedding Party: The honeymoon. Re-up your faith in fairytale fantasies and endlessly unfolding beauty. Wedding Anthem:Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton.

Vesta in Scorpio
Virgo season invites you to let your intensity inform your integrity as you unapologetically claim your power in the world. Wedding Party: Bachelorette Weekend. Channel the stripped-down wilding of a “don’t ask don’t tell” weekend in Vegas. Wedding Anthem:Lady in Red,” Chris De Burgh.

Vesta in Sagittarius
Virgo season invites you to wed yourself to pure wildness and channel your intrepid inner voyager who knows no bounds. Wedding Party: Destination wedding. Channel the wide-open spaces of solo tripping. Wedding Anthem:Footlose” Kenny Loggins.

Vesta in Capricorn
Virgo season invites you to unabashedly celebrate your desire for structures that endure. Wedding Party: White wedding. Channel long-standing traditions and regal ritual. Wedding Anthem:At Last,” Etta James.

Vesta in Aquarius
Virgo season invites you to crack open the status quo and re-envision what it means to be committed to your cause. Wedding Party: Civil ceremony. Draw clear boundaries between church and state as you birth your humanitarian visions into being. Wedding Anthem:Respect,” Aretha Franklin

Vesta in Pisces
Virgo season invites you to revel in your need for retreat as you get in touch with your own secret touchy-feelies. Wedding Party: Elopement. Pull a delicious disappearing act and relax into checking out. Wedding Anthem:I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

Bess Matassa is available for private readings and astro-themed events. Connect with her at Mojaverising.com

WHY AYURVEDA IS HAVING A MOMENT: AN INTERVIEW WITH DIVYA ALTER

Ruby Warrington sits down with Divya Alter, chef and author of the brand new What To Eat For How You Feelto discuss why the timeless science behind Ayurveda is the perfect food philosophy for the Now Age…

William & Susan Brinson for Divya’s What to Eat for How You Feel from Rizzoli.

“Eating the right foods in the right way makes the light of our soul shine—you experience a tangible connection with the divine energies.”- Divya Alter 

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RW: First up, what would you like everybody to know about Ayurveda?

Divya Alter: That Ayurveda can work for you today! Although written thousands of years ago by ancient Vedic sages, Ayurveda is a universal manual that helps us integrate and balance ourselves on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. This timeless science helps us determine what to favor or avoid in terms of diet, routine, and environment by considering our individual needs, and what choices we can make to be healthy.

And if we face health challenges, an authentic Ayurvedic treatment goes much deeper than suppressing the symptoms; it addresses the root cause. An Ayurvedic healer’s goal is to assist in restoring the intelligence of one’s body to heal itself.

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RW: So why is Ayurveda having a moment? What makes this the perfect wellness system for the “Now Age”?

Divya: Ayurveda has had many moments through history; it is a divine universal science and its principles are always true. But I think that by experiencing the benefits of practicing yoga, lately many people have begun to explore and embrace its sister science, Ayurveda. It’s also encouraging to see how modern science is doing more research on Ayurvedic herbs, proving the ancient wisdom that was there all along. We know so much about turmeric now!

It is the perfect wellness system because it is highly customized to one’s individual needs. It is the most comprehensive preventative medicine—something we need today especially, as so many of our modern health challenges can be eliminated or minimized through preventative care.

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RW: What has your own journey with Ayurveda taught you about our relationship with plants?

Divya: Ayurveda helped me look at plants—fruits, vegetables, grains, spices, etc.—as my friends. I really want to get to know them! And the more I “hang out” with them, the more I appreciate them and understand when and how to use them in creating delicious, healing meals.

An aspect of every relationship is compatibility. Just like some people really don’t click together, sometimes eating two good foods together may result in them fighting in your stomach. Ayurveda taught me how to enjoy a healthy relationship with food by mixing and matching it properly. This goes beyond matching ingredients to layer friendly flavors and create stunning presentation; my goal is to make delicious food that can always be digested without any problem.

Another fascinating lesson I received from Ayurveda is that herbs and spices, like humans, are composed of the five elements (space, air, fire, water, earth). Dr. David Frawley explains in The Yoga of Herbs that each of the plant’s tissues affects a corresponding tissue in the human body: the watery liquid of the plant works on liquid plasma; the sap works on blood; the soft part of the wood on muscle; the gum of the tree on fat; the bark on bone; the leaves on nerve tissue and bone marrow; and the flowers and fruits on the reproductive fluids. Seeds, which contain all parts of the plant in an un-manifest form, work on the body as a whole.

William & Susan Brinson for Divya’s What to Eat for How You Feel from Rizzoli.

RW: How can eating this way heal the mind and soul, as well as the body?

Divya: Ayurveda recommends that we eat invigorating, “intelligent” foods—the way God or nature designed it in the first place. Fresh, locally grown, seasonal, organic, wholesome (unprocessed), energizing—properly combining such quality ingredients will support your body in doing all the intelligent things it is designed to do.

Eating Ayurvedic clears the body and mind from blockages and helps us feel happiness and bliss. You experience a clear communication between your body, mind, and senses, and you can easily control them. On a soul level, eating the right foods in the right way makes the light of our soul shine—you experience a tangible connection with the divine energies.

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RW: Are any foods “banned” in Ayurveda? Why?

Divya: According to Ayurveda, there is no good or bad food in and of itself. A food or herb can be good for someone or bad for someone—it depends on one’s individual needs at that time.

However nowadays, for the sake of convenience, manufacturers have created a lot of corrupted foods that make our cells act less intelligently (for example foods that are canned, homogenized, or genetically modified). These are bad for everyone. Why let such denatured foods clutter your pantry, and then your body and your mind?

Additionally, the Shaka Vansiya (SV) Ayurveda lineage that I am trained in recommends that we limit or avoid foods that are predominantly clogging, inflammatory, or overly heating to the liver: leftovers, soy, nightshades, onions and garlic, and flax seeds.

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RW: When would be a good time in life to experience Panchakarma?

Divya: Panchakarma is the traditional Ayurvedic practice of purification and nourishment. It is a practice of being open to letting go of physical, mental, energetic sludge, and to receiving nourishment and rejuvenation. It is a time-tested and efficient way to address imbalances resulting from daily wear and tear, as well as seasonal changes and energetic accumulations.

To really experience the benefits of Panchakarma, you have to give yourself the full 30 days for the practice and to do it at an Ayurvedic clinic located in a natural setting. I’ve seen quite a few victims of modern day Panchakarma that is practiced without a personalized protocol. That’s why I have to caution you: don’t do it unless your body is ready and unless an experienced Ayurvedic doctor is on hand to constantly supervise you.

A good time in life would be when you are in relatively strong health, you’re able to afford taking a month (or more) off, when the channels of your body are open to release toxins, and you are at a good clinic under close supervision. The weather should be not too hot or cold (spring temperatures). Such a Panchakarma experience can be truly life changing!

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RW: What is the overall philosophy of Divya’s Kitchen? What’s your message for the world?

Divya: At Divya’s Kitchen we believe that food can heal. That’s why we are devoted to serving you delicious food that your body and mind say YES to!

Our fresh, balanced meals are prepared with love, and deeply rooted in the authentic tradition of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda that meets us where we are today. Ayurveda teaches us how food can restore the natural healing intelligence of the body.

Divya’s brand new book, What To Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen- 100 Seasonal Recipes, is now available from Rizzoli! 

Divya Alter is a certified nutritional consultant and educator in the Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda tradition. She is the co-founder of Bhagavat Life, the only Ayurvedic culinary school in New York. She and her husband launched North America’s first Ayurvedic chef certification program and Divya’s Kitchen, an authentic Ayurvedic restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village.

EARTHLY DELIGHTS: NO MORE GUILTY PLEASURES

Be kind to yourself and indulge says Kate Horodyski, as questions why they must always be guilty pleasures… Artwork: Marcus Allen

A few years ago, I was flipping through a celebrity magazine, and on one of the pages, they’d asked different celebs what their guilty pleasures were. Most gave the typical answers like wine, chocolate, or online shopping, but one person, I wish I remembered who, wrote: “I don’t have any because I never feel guilty about my pleasures.

The perfection of this caught me off guard, and it had such an impact on me.  I’ve actually seen it quoted by a few different people since then, but the origin isn’t important. What’s important is how profound and amazing a concept this is.

Living things are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Obviously, right? It’s a survival mechanism, but also, what would be the point of living if it weren’t for pleasure? Somewhere along the way (many would blame organized religion, but that’s a whole other topic), the idea arose that pleasure was to be avoided and that to “indulge” in pleasure must require a healthy dose of guilt.

The message this sends is that we can’t be trusted around pleasure as if it will derail us, or something.  In this scenario, guilt acts to protect us from ourselves and keep us “safe and in line.”

I’d like to propose though, that instead of only occasionally indulging in pleasure, while also feeling guilty about it, we just fully own it and make our lives as full of pleasure as possible. I think if we made pleasure (which translates to happiness) a priority, the world would be a much better place.

Because we’re so stingy with it, we’ve come to associate pleasure with selfishness or greed. But if we were more open with it, we’d see that it’s the exact opposite! Pleasure is like rocket fuel for our lives and the more we embrace pleasure, the happier and more loving and generous we can be.

How do you feel after a day of hard work, having also denied yourself delicious food, rest, or play?  Are you full of energy and ready to help others? Or do you want to simultaneously cry, sleep, and eat a tub of ice cream? Now compare that to how you feel after a day of chatting with friends, eating delicious food, being outside, and having some great sex (or whatever it is that you find pleasurable). You probably feel happy, at peace, and more open to helping others.

Pleasure doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy process (i.e. it doesn’t need to involve a trip to the spa or a five-star resort). It can truly be as simple as taking a few deep breaths, making yourself some tea, or hugging someone you love. The beauty of pleasure is its simplicity. Pleasure means caring about yourself and offering yourself the love that you deserve.

While I write this, I keep pausing to check in on my breath and any tension in my body.  The more I breathe and relax, the more pleasurable anything and everything feels. Practicing presence is practicing pleasure.

I also believe that we should be able to eat chocolate, drink champagne, take mid-day naps in the sun, go for 2-hour massage appointments, and buy ourselves beautiful things. We are spiritual beings living in a physical world, and the best way to celebrate this is by diving head first into the pleasures that this physical world can offer. We are here to have fun!

Most importantly, I think it’s important that we don’t see these as guilty pleasures that we only earn by putting in a hard day’s work. I want us to see pleasure as our prerogative, our birthright, and a celebration of what it means to be alive. I want us to know that pleasure doesn’t have to be earned.

I used to take life so seriously and having fun just didn’t seem overly important. But life changed for me, not all at once, but gradually, when I changed my perspective on pleasure. It got a whole lot more fun and a whole lot more amazing. I’ve made fun and pleasure my spiritual practice, and I am never looking back.

THE MAGIC INGREDIENT: 10 HIGH VIBE PANTRY UPGRADEs

Up the ante of your high vibe pantry and feel the magic in every bite, says Raquel GriffinPortrait: Margarita Corporan

From nutrient dense sweeteners great for raw foodies to high-energy crystal charged water – it’s all about the magical, the medicinal AND the delicious here. So read on for a shopping list of the foods you need right now to create your very own high vibe pantry hit list.

1. High-vibe: Natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, stevia
Way higher-vibe: Organic un-sulphured Black Strap Molasses

Black strap molasses is a double duty sweetening super food that approaches coconut oil territory when it comes to nutrition and sheer versatility. You can bake with it, use it for greater regularity, and to stimulate hair growth and banish grays – it can even double as a hair de-frizzer when mixed with warm water and applied as a mask. It’s low-glycemic, high in calcium and iron, and it’s great for vegans! Five tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, 95 percent of iron, and 38 percent of magnesium.

Yes, it has a strong flavor so it can’t totally replace all other sweeteners, BUT its high vibe qualities definitely merit adding it into heavy rotation. Ease into using BSM by adding 1-2 tablespoons to your morning Chai and top it off with a splash of almond milk. This old school come new school super food can be found almost any local supermarket.

2. High-vibe: Kale
Way higher-vibe: Purslane

Although nothing can technically replace kale (Goddess forbid) this juicy, slightly lemony edible weed gains super star status in your kitchen due to its incredible nutritive and medicinal properties. For example, it’s the richest known plant source for Omega-3 fatty acids (usually found in fish oils). A one cup serving gives you all the Vitamin E you need in a day, and it’s also one of the best sources of magnesium as well as being high in calcium, potassium and vitamin C.

Used externally, it has similar properties to aloe and calendula in that its sticky broken leaves can soothe burns, stings and swellings while the juice can be used to treat ulcers, wounds, sores and gastrointestinal problems. And last but certainly not least, it’s also one of the five herbs richest in anti-depressant substances. Purslane is usually available in the summer and fall but you can always order Purslane online. Eat this green in salads, soups and smoothies, or fried in oil with chopped onion as a side dish. (And FYI – Purslane can get slimy so make sure to add it at the last minute to your recipes!)

3. High-vibe: Standard water filter
Way higher-vibe: Alkaline Water filter

Berkey, a Zen Filter or a Zero water carafe – if you can’t harvest actual fresh spring water it’s all about these gravity filters. So what’s all the hoopla with the alkaline water you say? The Alkalinity is referring to the pH level of the water, and the higher the pH, the more water helps hydrate the body on a cellular level. Water in its most natural state — untouched by pollution — is water that is highly alkaline (a high pH-balance between 9-11). However, most of the water we drink today (i.e. tap or bottled) is anything but, with most clocking a pH of somewhere between 4-8.

And when our bodies get out of balance (i.e. too acidic), we can experience low energy, fatigue, excess weight, poor digestion, aches and pains, and all sorts more serious disorders. Not to mention that high acidity in the body is one of the major factors effecting overall cell aging. So long story short, we want to get more alkaline any way we can – and these filters are a great way to do it. Now there are some Rolls Royce’s out there like Kangen Water Filters but if you’re not looking to shell out upwards of $5K the above mentioned filters are a super option.

4. High-vibe: Water with lemon
Way higher-vibe: Laminar Crystal Charged Water

Part Muscovite Mica, part food-safe clay, Laminar Crystals have the capacity to not only make water more physically absorbable by the body (which equals far superior hydration) but they are also able to pick up and transmit many life-supporting cosmic frequencies, including those that support energetic balance and continually cleanse the surrounding environment. Cool additional factoid: Laminar crystals were used in the capstone of the Great Pyramid in Egypt! So you can only imagine what happens when you add these babies to your water! Users, including myself, have been known to experience less pain, better moods, clearer thinking, better toxin elimination, gorgeous skin and unbelievably increased energy levels…my assistants have affectionately dubbed it “crazy crack water.”

So what’s the skinny? When laminar crystals are added to water they energetically lower the surface tension of water – making it more easily absorbable and more “life giving” for the body. Most of us drink some form of tap or bottled water, which has considerably higher surface tension and is therefore much harder to absorb. And water that’s not absorbable is no bueño – kind of like trying to eat food without a fork. So where to get your hands on these little pearls of goodness? Numerous places on the Internet offer various Laminar crystal products but I highly recommend the Precious Prills brand available through Life Enthusiast.

5. High-vibe. Organic grass-fed milk / butter
Way higher-vibe: RAW organic grass-fed milk / butter

On the rare (or maybe not) occasion that you consume dairy, upgrade by going RAW. Why? Because while all grass-fed dairy (vs grain-fed dairy) contains a little known vitamin called K2, an essential component in building healthy teeth, bones and the magic ingredient in healing cavities naturally, it’s in its most potent energetic state when “live” (ie. non-pasteurized). Though still technically “illegal” in many U.S. states, for hotly contested reasons which you can learn more about here – raw grass-fed dairy can still be had through many raw dairy farmer affiliated food buying co-ops. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live in a pro-raw milk state like California, right off your supermarket shelf. And for all the Vegans, never fear – Natto is here! A popular Japanese fermented soy bean product, Natto is the highest source of plant based K2 currently available.

6. High vibe: Any Random Green Superfood powder
Way Higher Vibe: Dried Moringa Leaf Powder

Moringa leaf is pretty much the cat’s meow when it comes to all around nutrition. Native to Asia and Africa moringa has been used there for centuries but is just now making its way to our shores. Available for consumption as both a tea and a powder, dried Moringa leaf has the following staggering stats…1 gram of Moringa leaf powder = 7x the vitamin C in oranges, 4x the calcium in milk, 2x the protein in milk, 4x the vitamin A in carrots, 3x times the iron in spinach and 3x times the potassium in bananas.

So to call this baby a super food is an understatement — think of it as the holy grail of plant based nutrition. That’s right vegans, raw foodies, and vegetarians…Morninga is about to be your J-A-M. Sprinkle the powder in your tomato sauce, add it to your smoothies or drink it as a tea…Whatever way you get it, it’s all good. Moringa seed oil has also been shown to regenerate skin cells – I’ve actually used it on my scalp to increase hair growth, and it can also be used for inflammation, psoriasis, eczema and shingles. Holy grail indeed.

7. High Vibe: St. John’s Wort
Way Higher Vibe: Ormus gold

Discovered by farmer turned researcher, David Hudson in the mid 1970’s while mining for gold on his farm in Arizona, a substance dubbed ORMUS was found to contain mineral elements (such as gold, palladium, iridium etc.) that were able to exist in a special energetic state described as “reserved for things like the ‘dark matter’ that astronomers look for in space, the Earth’s magnetic field, healthy soil, weather phenomena like lightning…even consciousness itself”.  WOAH.

There’s still much that is unknown about the full capabilities of ORMUS, but simply put ORMUS is considered to be “life force energy” in material form. Pretty radical, huh? ORMUS has been known to increase feelings of awareness, connectedness, psychic phenomenon, dream lucidity, anti-aging, increased metabolism, miraculous healing and when added to water makes it more easily absorbable by the body. Most commonly available for consumption in tincture form ORMUS goes way beyond the classification of mere “supplement” – and could even be considered the ultimate magic ingredient.

8. High Vibe: Mugwort tea
Way Higher Vibe: Wild Asparagus root tea

For those looking for something that goes a step beyond mugwort, make Wild Asparagus root tea, aka the other “dream time tea” your go-to. Similar to mugwort, Wild Asparagus (or Tian Men Dong as it’s known in China) is great for lucid dreaming and was known by monks there as the “flying herb” due to the “flying dreams” it stimulates. However, what really sets Wild Asparagus root apart are it’s heart opening effects and ability to help you move into alignment with spirit. Also used widely in Ayurvedic preparations as a women’s health tonic it can also be found under the name “Shatavari.” So before you go cozy up under the covers with some regular ol’ tea, if you’re up for a heart opening dreamtime adventure consider making a “trip” of it.

9. High Vibe: Chlorella
Way Higher Vibe: Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay is composed of aged volcanic ash and is taste and odorless. Largely produced out of Fort Benton, Wyoming, Bentonite Clay is unique in its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when hydrated. SCIENCE STUFF COMIG UP. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. As Bulk Herb Store explains: “think of the Montmorillonite (aka Bentonite) crystal flake resembling two pieces of bread, with a strong vacuum pulling the filling in between them. Whatever lands there (Sodium or Calcium) determines what kind of sandwich it will be. Now when you activate this clay sandwich, it will magnetically grab the junk in your body (heavy metals, toxins, acid, etc.) and trade it for the “filling”, taking the toxins out in your waste.”  Got it?

This amazing “dirt” also has an alkalizing effect on the body and can help balance gut bacteria, along with quelling nausea, vomiting & diarrhea. P.S. For most internal uses (oral & intestinal) a little goes a long way (ie. a 1/2t in a 1/4-1c of water) so make sure not to overdo it, and be sure to avoid storing or mixing in metal containers since metal reduces it’s efficacy.

10. High Vibe: Green Tea
Way Higher Vibe: Chaga & Reishi Mushroom Tea

Looking to crack open your pineal gland in between visits with the Grandmother? If Chaga & Reishi are not already in heavy rotation in your regimen – they should be. Both Chaga and Reishi mushrooms are grown in the northern hemisphere, and once foraged and consumed (as a water-soluble tea or alcohol soaked tincture), they both actively work to decalcify and activate the pineal gland (your third eye) in addition to helping you relax, handle stress and sleep better.

They’re also digestive aids, immune boosters and contain some of the highest antioxidant effects on the planet. And when adding these magic mushrooms to your regular routine don’t be surprised if you find yourself more easily moving into “flow” states or rising to howl at the moon.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: XMAS GIFT IDEAS, AND BINGEING ON TRANSPARENT

Read on for at least three high-vibe Xmas gift ideas, an astro walking tour of NYC, and all the reasons I love Transparent…

:: MONDAY ::
Whipped up a batch of my favorite new thing – hemp milk. I’ve been making my own nut milks for most of this year, mainly as, oh let’s see, it’s way cheaper and tastier and healthier than buying the store-bought stuff. I’ve been through almond (too much pulp) and cashew (digestive no-no for me), and had settled on Brazil nut as my fave. But then I got my hands on a copy of Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s plant-based lifestyle bible The Plantpower Way (an excellent Xmas gift btw), and was convinced to give hemp a try. OMG, it’s lighter than air, mixes like regular dairy milk into hot drinks, AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO STRAIN IT. Here’s my recipe:

1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
4 cups of water
Pinch sea salt
1/2 tspn raw honey

Blitz.

:: TUESDAY ::
When Bess Matassa, a.k.a. Street Sign Astrology, invited me on an “astrological walking tour of NYC” obviously I wasn’t going to say no. Even better, Bess’s tours are based on your actual birth chart – taking in sights, stores, and hidden secrets of the City that act as experiential representations of different aspects in your chart. Wow! Mine began beneath the giant whale at the Museum of Natural History, since so many of my planets are in the watery (read: totally emo) 4th and 8th houses of my chart. We then moved on to check out some fierce mammals, since the “learning edge” that Bess saw in my chart can be summed up as: “getting cozy with savagery.” Grrr…(p.s. a tour with Bess would also be a great Xmas gift)

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Hello, exchange economy. Since I was in need of some energetic clearing, and my friend Aly wanted some advice on her website…we agreed to do a swap. A healing session for me, a coaching session for her. We met for the exchange over a 2-hour session today, with amazingly high-vibe results! It got me thinking: what skills could you exchange with one of your friends for an alternative kind of hang-date? It’s a win-win – you both get something out if it that you might otherwise pay a couple of hundred dollars for, and it’s so so much more bonding than getting your gossip on over a bottle of wine. Promise.

:: THURSDAY ::
Totally binge-watched the entire second series of Amazon Video’s Transparent, which is definitely one of my favorite shows to have emerged in the past year. If you haven’t seen it a) it’s the story of a (fictional) boho Jewish family in LA coming to terms with the shift in tribal dynamics after the father comes out as trans (“trans-parent,” geddit?), and b) basically clear your diary and get stuck in. Reading this back, it strikes me that it’s essentially a clever, hilarious, emotionally resonant version of the Kardashians – with some really great music, plenty of sex, and copious amounts of medicinal marijuana thrown into the mix.

:: FRIDAY ::
Not quite sure how this happened already, but this is the last weekend you (London crew) can visit the mystical Astrolounge Xmas boutique we curated with the team at Selfridges Oxford St. It’s really been such a special project, and what an amazing opportunity to bring all things Numinous to life…in one of Britain’s most iconic department stores, no less. You can also get your custom birth chart tee printed to order while you wait – oh hello, excellent Xmas gift idea no. 3.

Me at the Selfridges Astrolounge opening in October

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: STORY MEDICINE AND THE GOOP MRKT

Getting my emo on at Story Medicine, and Gwyneth being Gwyneth at the Goop MRKT….

No column last week since it was Thanksgiving and, frankly, I was drunk. And it was so good to let my hair down and switch off for a day! It’s been a HARDCORE YEAR (any other life path 8s out there feeling it??) and I’ve been pretty much tee-total in the name of getting some serious inner and outer work done. But turns out a dose of “spirits” medicine was actually just what the doctor ordered 🙂

Anyhow, I’m back, and I’m also trying a new format for this column, mapping my week Mon-Friday. Lemme know what you think!

:: MONDAY ::
I got to see an advance screening of the new J-Law movie Joy, and entrepreneurial ladies, this is a holiday season MUST. It tells the story of legendary inventor Joy Mangano, and busts the myth of the “overnight success.” So many times building the Numinous I’ve been like, “oh man, this isn’t not working, it’s never going to work.” And then something DOES work, and I just keep going. Joy’s story is a reminder that making your dreams real and running a business is hard. You will feel completely vulnerable. You will encounter setback, after asshole, after humiliation, after enormous IT bill from somebody who didn’t even do what you asked, but it’s what it takes and it’s worth. Every. Minute. (watch the trailer below)

:: TUESDAY ::
I was reunited with my sweet soul sister and Temple of Venus co-creator Elyssa Jakim, who spent the past few months over in Portland (only meeting the love of her life…on Tinder!) She introduced me to two exciting things: a documentary series called The Quest For The Cures, all about one man’s search for the best natural cancer treatments (weekend watch-list sorted), and the fact she’s doing Akashic records readings from 12-5pm tomorrow at Species by The Thousands in Williamsburg. GO. She’s amazing.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
I went to meet Gwyneth Paltrow at the opening of her Goop MRKT – which is essentially the NYC version of our Astrolounge @ Selfridges, a high-vibe holiday pop-up decked with all things mysti-cool. A lot of people don’t like GP, but we say back-off bitches. As beautiful Alexandra Derby (who invited me) put it: “She comes from privilege, so her putting $1K sweaters on Goop is just her being her authentic self.” And isn’t that what it’s all about?? Enough hating on the sisterhood. Less envy of those who “apparently” had better breaks than us. How about just be inspired and go get yours.

Me + GP @ the Goop MRKT

:: THURSDAY ::
Story Medicine! So Alexandra and I cooked up this idea for a crazy-ass event, where YOU, our guests would create the content by coming to share your stories. And in the process get heard and get healed. The amazing team at lululemon’s HUB seventeen said “yes,” and we hosted the first Story Medicine event last night. There were tears, there was laughter, there were many, many hugs, and there was a vegan feast from Daphne Cheng (see pudding below). There were even three dudes! But best of all was hearing all the stories. Raw, honest, human storytelling is the BEST entertainment you guys. We’re planning the next one for Feb 2016.

Out of this world chia pudding by Daphne Cheng

:: FRIDAY ::
In the spirt of no such things as TMI (see Story Medicine), I got my period today. Now, I’ve been researching how to work with your cycle, and the wisdom all says “on day one, retreat from society and go within” – since this is when your intuitive powers reach their peak. Thing is, that would have meant no column again today. Also canceling four really important meetings this afternoon. Truly committing to working with my flow is totally on my to-do list for 2016, but since my cycle is really irregular it’s hard for me to plan for down days when my bleed begins. So period experts reading this, any insight on this one much appreciated!

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: LULU BRUD

A.k.a. Lady Lu of The Wolves, Pretty Little Liars actress, storyteller, and interior designer Lulu Brud is the most mystical of material girls. Here’s a peek into her world…Portraits: Taren Maroun

WE’RE STARTING A NEW EVENT SERIES CALLED “STORY MEDICINE.” AS A TELLER OF STORIES YOURSELF, WHAT DO YOU FIND HEALING ABOUT STORYTELLING?
Stories are mirrors, reflectors of humanity that can reveal the great archetypes throughout history. They can awaken a connection to seemingly far away lands, spirits, and forgotten or imagined times. Stories are teachers and invokers. They lend us the words when we have gone silent or inspire empathy where perhaps before there was none.

WHERE DID THE NAME OF YOUR BRAND – “OF THE WOLVES” – COME FROM?
I dated a man a long time ago who gave me this book, Women Who Run With the Wolves. It was as if he had been sent just to give me this important thing, because I never really heard from him again after that! Later that year, for my 25th birthday, my best friend gave me a Wolf Ring that has become a talisman in my life. I joined Instagram the same week I got the ring, and as I was searching for my moniker, the name just sort of came to me. I didn’t go out looking for the wolves, the wolves came looking for me.

AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER, WHAT MAKES A HOME A SANCTUARY?
We spend a lot of our lives out in the world, sharing space and entangling ourselves with the energy of strangers. It’s important to have a home to return to that feels like a calm and grounded sanctuary of our own making. My personal approach to interior spaces is inspired by natural and warm elements like plants, crystals and wood, different patterns and colors in textiles and tiles, and up-cycled/repurposed pieces. I love bringing inside living, outside, and outside living, inside…in other words, I don’t like such hard defined lines between the inside of one’s home and the wild outdoors.

WE LOVE THE SOUND OF YOUR “PICNICS OF THE WOLVES” GATHERINGS! WHAT INSPIRED THIS IDEA AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
I love gathering with women (and sometimes men too!) over food, drinks and chats doing crafts and/or at lectures. Working with our hands, healing through laughter and shared stories, that’s what it’s about. I’ve done a few of my own gatherings now, and they are organically growing into something really special. There will be several coming up in 2016 – Lindsay Mack of Wild Soul Healing will be in LA in May for a Tarot focused Picnic, and I’m hoping to get a Cob Oven building workshop on the books too, things like that. The sign-ups will be listed on my website as they become available!

ACTORS ARE EMPATHETIC SOULS BY NATURE – HOW DOES ONE KEEP YOUR ENERGY FIELD CLEAN OPERATING IN A CUT-THROAT ENVIRONMENT LIKE HOLLYWOOD?
To be honest, I struggle with it a lot, but Of the Wolves has saved me in many ways. My days are filled with storytelling in many forms, and I go to bed feeling creatively fulfilled at night. I have had the opportunity to work more this year than I ever have before, with a small arc on Pretty Little Liars and an appearance on Ray Donovan, but for now, it’s all quiet again on the acting front.

The ups can be really exciting and thrilling, the downs can be pretty heavy and dark, and rejection is an everyday occurrence. The trick, for me at least, is staying balanced and grounded through it all, keeping my hands busy, telling good stories, and not pausing for too long to dwell on things that are so out of my control. At the end of the day, it’s just a job. It’s hard not to compare my path with that of those around me, but I just can’t do it…their story isn’t my story and my story isn’t theirs.

:: MATERIAL GIRL :: 

My label // Reformation or vintage finds from old closets.

Bordeaux dress, $278, Reformation

My shoes // Black vintage lace up Justin boots (that I’ve had resoled 5 times), PFKaufman Mules, Minnetonka Moccassins.

Mules, $350, PFKaufman

My fragrance // Jiva Apoha 1967 Body Oil or if I’m feeling fancy D. S. & Durga Freetrapper.

Body oil, from $53, Jiva Apoha

My jewels // Alkiemie Wolf Ring, Communion by Joy Eye of the Warrior Ring, my wedding ring with a family crest that my husband and I designed together, and Native American vintage turquoise pieces

Eye of the Warrior Ring, $1985, Communion by Joy

My pampering // A quiet solo night at home with a good playlist, candles, bath time, and a glass of wine.

My home // Rustic + Bohemian + Cabin feels nestled into a hillside on the east-side of LA.

My food // I love cooking any foods with good people and high-vibing ingredients

The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening // Waking up slowly and cuddling my husband and our eight-year-old tea cup poodle. Then lighting candles in our meditation room, burning Juniper Ridge incense, and sipping coffee until I need to face the music and get the day started.

White Sage Incense, $12, Juniper Ridge

My sign // Sun: Scorpio | Rising: Taurus | Moon: Cancer.

My mantra // “I am enough.”

My healer // The colors and the quiet of Momma Earth – deserts, oceans, mountains.

My reading // “Women Who Run with the Wolves” – “The Anthropology of Turquoise” – “Just Kids” – “A Handbook of Native American Herbs”

Just Kids by Patti Smith

My transformation // When I stopped limiting myself to just being a storyteller through acting, and opened myself up to all of the other ways I tell stories – home designing, sharing stories on my blog, making goods, and curating my online shop.

My mission // To awaken and connect people back to one another and their wild sides, and to instill a new paradigm of protectors for the sustainability of this planet.

www.ofthewolves.com

SISTERS OF THE BLACK MOON: HOW TO BE A SUMMER GOTH

Gabriela Herstik meets Goth queens Sisters Of The Black Moon, and delivers some style tips for dressing the part in the summer heat…

Sisters of the Black Moon first opened their “matte black gates” in February of 2010, when a road trip turned into an epiphany. Founders Sara Larocca-Ramm, Alecia Marcum, and Rachel Hunt found the path they were on was no longer serving them, they decided to shift course – and so the numinous universe of SOTBM was born.

With a careful edit of designers, all with an occult and metaphysical aesthetic, SOTBM has cultivated a community of like-minded people while creating an ethical shopping experience. Think everything from exaggerated black capes to quartz and moonstone jewelry and constellation candles.

But perhaps most notable is SOTBM’s own unisex label – the current theme of which is EMBERS, with the emphasis on more structural pieces than previous collections.

We love the Moon-white crop tops and floor length skirts with harness details, and the stark black cloak dresses and in sheer, airy tunics. For all the dramatic undertones, there’s a sense of ease and versatility to the collection, which is designed to take the wearer from day-to-day tasks to gatherings and rituals held under the full moon.

More than anything else, the goal of Larocca-Ramm, Marcum and Hunt is for the souls who cloak themselves in SOTBM to feel confident, comfortable and empowered – a nurturing energy that’s amplified when you learn all three women are mothers. Check out our edit of their online store below, as well as 5 styling tips for summer Goths!

:: Play with proportions ::
When it’s sweltering out, the last thing you want is layers of fabric clinging to your skin. Play with proportion instead. Shorts or a skirt with chunky black boots are a sure fire way to look dark and not overheat. A good pair of leather ankle boots or combat boots will look extra edgy, especially when you’re showing a little leg.

:: Go sheer ::
Goth doesn’t mean layering on the heaviest black fabrics you can find. Instead, try layering sheer fabrics over one another – a great look, especially when they’re both in airy black. If you’re feeling extra spunky, a sheer top with a sheer bra is an empowered look.

:: Light leather ::
Whoever said leather isn’t for summer was completely misinformed and needs a talking to! Leather looks sexy when the sun’s out; plus, it’s the ultimate form of fashion rebellion. A leather choker feels especially appropriate with 90’s inspiration in full swing, while a good pair of leather shorts is equally sexy-tough.

:: Makeup mania ::
If you really don’t want to cake on layers of foundation, commit to your summer Goth look with a bit of smudged black eyeliner, a slinky cat eye and some dark oxblood lipstick. If you’re more adventurous try a full-on black lip and some striking brows. Oh, and never tan. Meowww.

:: Always accessorize ::
Keeping your outfits simple and adding dark accessories is the ultimate way to stay Summer Goth. Tie some long black sleeves around your waist, grab a vintage black wide brimmed hat and load up on occult inspired jewelry. Think onyx and quartz, paint your nails black, grab your favorite pair of pointy black boots or heels and you’re off!

SistersOfTheBlackMoon.com

Maude Nieblungen Shroud Dress, $264
Paula Hagerskans Branch necklace, $466
Paula Hagerskans Cone Ring Moonstone, $340
Moonshine essential oil blend by Naked Eye Beauty for SOTBM, $34
Peg & Awl Constellation Candle Block, £23