MY MYSTICAL LIFE: MANIFESTING SUCCESS WITH CANDLE MAGIC

Would last weekend’s Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat have been so successful without a little candle magic?

With co-presenters Siri Rishi and Sah D’Simone

When I started this platform, I had literally zero idea—or desire—to become an event organizer. And yet when it comes to all things numinous, it’s been proven to me time and again that there is no substitute for real-time, human experiences to bring the magic to life. And so a LOT of what I do now (introverted, bookish, solitary, me), is producing and hosting events. And last weekend’s Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat with Kin Social Tonic was one of the best yet!

It was a tall order. Ambitious. A day-long takeover of new NYC members’ club Habitas, with nine workshops, family-style lunch, a panel discussion on the Future of Alcohol, tarot readers, sound and reiki healing sessions, and a Kundalini Disco to round it all off. And the way things worked out, my SÖDA co-founder Biet Simkin and I also only had 10 days to promote it. But we pulled it off AND THEN SOME.

Over 150 people showed up to celebrate with us. Yes, celebrate—since it was also mine and Biet’s birthday weekend, AND the 2-year anniversary of our first Club SÖDA NYC event. But mainly it was a success because of the feedback we got. Happy faces all day long. Revelations had. Friendships made. “Please can you do another day like this again soon!”

Yes, we had a killer line-up. Had called on some of our favorite and most talented guest presenters and co-hosts. Yes the mocktails from Kin got people just the right kind of buzzed. Yes, people are craving ways to connect and experience joy and transcendence without using booze. AND I called in some extra assistance behind the scenes!

A few weeks back, I received a pair of Conjure Fixed Candles from Haus of Hoodoo (a.k.a. modern mystic Jessyka Winston). When I lit the Crown of Success candle the Thursday before our event, my intention was for this project to bring happiness, healing, and new possibilities to all who come into contact with the Sober Curious movement I am spearheading. Leaving it to burn over the course of the weekend, continually checking in and praying over it, I could feel the candle magic working!

I’ll definitely be using Jessyka’s candles again. Not that I don’t trust my own ability to make magic, or the necessity and the power of my message—but when it comes to stepping up, loud and proud, and sharing my work with the world, introverted, bookish me will take all the help I can get.

Below, Jessyka explains the method and the myth behind her candle magic. And scroll down to the bottom of the post for some pics from our event!

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RUBY WARRINGTON: Where does the concept of fixed candles come from and how did they become part of your practice?
JESSYKA WINSTON: The term “fixed” comes from Southern Conjure/Rootwork/Hoodoo. Other traditions called them “dress” or “anointed.” A candle is “fixed” or “dressed” with oils, herbs, and minerals.

RW: How can you explain how they work?
JW: I consider it a form of alchemy used to manifest a certain outcome or change current conditions. The ingredients added into the candle fixing hold their own spirit energy that is activated by breath and fire. These aren’t just candles you light and leave. There’s a connection, reverence and devotion that comes with this work. We communicate with our candle and pray over it daily. It is a ritual of its very own. The more faith you put into the ritual, the more devotion you give your candles the stronger the connection. Therefore, the more successful the outcome will be.

RW: What does the fixing involve? What spirits are you working with?
JW: I have my own spirits who work with me and bless my work. My ancestors, my guides, angels and, of course my Vodou, since I am initiated in both West African Vodoun and Hiatian Vodou. I work in my shrine room in front of my spirits surrounded by their altars. The spirits in the fixing are nature spirits. The spirit of each individual herb, the spirit in the minerals, the spirits in the oils, which are made of herbs and essential oils, as well as the spirit of fire. All these elements come together to make this work happen. In addition, the candles are blessed with prayer and intention. I pray over my candles and speak to them as I’m fixing them. The connection begins with me and then it is carried out and continued by the client receiving and lighting the candle.

Conjur Fixed Candles, $29, Haus of Hoodoo. Jessyka re-stocks her online store every Saturday at 6pm CST.

RW: Can anybody learn / use candle magic, or is this something you need to be initiated into?
JW: Yes, candle magic is for all! No initiation necessary. Candle magic is something you’ll most likely find in all spiritual practices and traditions. Even in Catholicism. Every traditions does it differently. It is a practice that can be used by all and learned by all who wish to learn about it. But I do believe it is something that can take time to master and perfect.

It’s not as simple as throwing some herbs and oils on a candle. A connection needs to be established between you and your craft. Learning which ingredients go well with each other. Also, which herbs and elements respond to you most. Though I work with hundreds of herbs I have my go-to herbs that I know will always do the trick. Each herb is a spirit and just how we connect with some people’s energies and not with others, same happens in this crafts. There will be herbs, ingredients you connect with more than others. Which is why this craft takes time. There is wisdom to be gained before you can master this work.

RW: When are the best times to use these candles – and what are they NOT for?
JW: My Fixed Candles come with instructions advising on which day of the week and time of the day to light your candle and begin your work. It is always best to be in good energy when doing any ritual or any other spiritual workings. If you aren’t in the best of energy, or are feeling ill it is best to skip lighting your candle until you’re in better spirit.

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Below are some images from our Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat. A success indeed! Sign up for our FREE weekly magazine to be the first to know about upcoming events, and join the Club SÖDA NYC Facebook group to connect with our Sober Curious community. 

Pre-Kundalini Disco warm-up

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Gathering for our plant-based family style brunch

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My SÖDA co-founder Biet Simkin with keynote speaker Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter

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Biet leading a meditation before our panel discussion

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And thanks to amazing Kin Social Tonic for the adaptogenic mocktails!

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: HOW TO BE A MODERN WITCH

With her new book Craft: How To Be A Modern Witch, Gabriela Herstik—one of our first ever Numinous contributors!—says it’s witches who really run the world …

Four year ago I got an email from a student at the University of South Carolina. “Let’s just say Columbia isn’t necessarily forgiving of those who chose to dress how they want and stand out,” she wrote. “My all black attire, bright red lipstick and half shaved head make me the recipient of many side eyes, but my own personal style has never faltered or strayed.” Her name was Gabriela Herstik, and she pitched a story for the Numinous on dressing to honor the Death Card in the tarot. And in doing so, became one of my first ever contributors to the site!

Gaby continued to write for me over the years, going on to become an official intern and one of our Moon Club Founding members. It’s been AMAZING to watch her career grow and blossom, as she graduated college, went to intern at Vivienne Westwood, and got her writing published everywhere from i-D to Broadly. She landed a column at Nylon called “Ask A Witch.” And when she told me this time last year that she’s been asked to write a book about modern witchcraft, it was as if the cosmos had fully aligned!

Gaby’s book, Craft: How to Be A Modern Witch, is out today. And her take on what makes a witch—”The witch is anyone who does things differently, by her own rules, attuned to her own self and magick”—reminds me of a line from her first email to me. “I’ve had to grow a tough skin to stay true to myself in parts of the south that don’t understand what it means to be different,” she wrote.

How to have a tough skin (boundaries, people) while keeping your heart wide open is one of the messages in her book. Here’s what else she told me about the witches who really rule the world, and how she’s honoring the lineage of witches who came before us …

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RUBY WARRINGTON: In the intro, you say it’s witches who really run the world. Who are some of your favorite inspirational witches, and why? 
GABRIELA HERSTIK: We do run the world! An empowered woman who knows her own magick has always been a threat to the patriarchy and I stand by that! There are so many amazing witches out there. I think the first time I was truly introduced to powerful witches were in Harry Potter. Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Professor Trelawney, Professor Mcgonagall—they all inspired my magick.

So did Oprah. I’ve been following her and her “super soul Sunday” show for years with my mom, and her insight, wisdom and power have been inspiring me for over a decade. Sybil Leek And Doreen Valiente are both historic witches who have inspired my own practice as well, reminding me that my strength and power and witchiness are forces to be reckoned with and that using my writing is a valid way of spreading my magick. Yoko Ono, one of my favorite fellow Aquarians, has also inspired me to be revolutionary without shame, showing that love and peace should always be fought for with an open heart and compassionate mind.

Starhawk is a JeWitch who has helped me embrace my own inner priestess, and has helped me deepen my craft and practice—she’s amazing! Goddesses and figures like Hecate and Lilith have reminded me of my own darkness as a gift, and that my non-conforming nature is something to be celebrate, curated and cultivated more than it needs to be shamed!

RW: In your book, you identify “the one without children” as one possible marker of a witch. This is me Gaby! Does the fact I never wanted to have kids show I’ve always been a witch? 
GH: YES! A witch has always been someone who doesn’t abide by society’s (or in many cases the church’s) rules! You taking control over your own body and future by not having kids, (even though society tells us that we must follow the path of having a job, a spouse and children to be valid) means that you are claiming sovereignty over your future and self. You’re going against the grain and honoring your own needs, feelings and emotions, which in my opinion is the basis of magick!

A witch is empowered, not by an outside force, but by herself. And in a society that tells us we must conform to be worthy, doing what you want for yourself and your own sake isn’t only the witch’s calling, but it’s also revolutionary.

RW: Why is cultivating a Moon practice—like we do in Moon Club—the first step towards activating your inner witch?
GH: Many of us naturally are enamored with the moon. She been there for as long as the earth (4.53 BILLION YEARS) which means that we are looking at the same moon that generations and generations of ancient (and modern) people have. The moon represents and rules over our emotional bodies, our intuition, our connection to the feminine; the subtle, all knowing, feeling part of ourselves that’s in everyone, regardless of gender. No matter where we live, we can look up and see the moon.

It doesn’t cost anything and it doesn’t matter what religion or spiritual path you follow—the moon is there, and she cycles through her 28 days all the same. Cultivating a moon based practice is an easy way to get in touch with the subtle aspects of our soul, and an even easier way to chart our own growth alongside that of the moon. Starting at the new moon, the beginning of the moon’s cycles, we focus on what we want to grow as the moon’s light grows or waxes, up until the full moon.

The Full Moon is a time of completion and manifestation, and after that when she starts to lose light or wane, we focus on what we want to release. This is such an easy way to start learning about your own cycles and energies, and for those of us who bleed, the moon also imitates our own cycles. The moon is just the most inspiring, beautiful, magical being. I love her and I don’t think I know a witch who doesn’t!

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RW: What was the most important step in you “coming out”and standing proud in your witchiness?
GH: Believing in my witchiness and my power! As far as physical moments, shaving off half my hair seven years ago is what I credit as my initiation as a fashion witch. It’s the first time I used the power of glamour and rebellion to transform my style and it’s what really launched my exploration of personal style.

In a broader sense, writing this book has been the biggest step in coming into my power as a witch. At the end of 2016 I decided I was going to write about witchcraft less, but the universe had other plans for me! I’ve had many incarnations as a witch (the old saying “once a witch, always a witch” rings true) and a lot of them have not ended well. Not only am I breaking this karma by embracing the title of “witch” and helping other people find their magick, but I’m also transforming the karma of my ancestry in this life.

I grew up Jewish and am ethnically Jewish as well. I had over 70 members of my family in concentration camps, including my paternal grandparents. The fact I can openly talk about being a witch, the fact that I have made a career out of sharing this practice and belief system, when my family members were killed and abused for their religious beliefs, is not lost on me. Coming out as a witch in the public eye, has been a lot of things but the most important thing is that that I’ve learned is that this is who I am. This is where my power lies. This is my path and my magick and embracing it, sharing it with others and spreading wisdom is why I’m here!

RW: What’s the last spell you cast and what was the result?
GH: The last spell I cast was at the New Moon for presence, gratitude, sex, abundance, magick and love—it’s still going (I’ve burned the candle every day since the last New Moon) but I’ve definitely been more in tune with all of those things. I did a spell last night using my rose quartz chakrub and sex magick to remove some blocks I have around my heart as “protection” and the result was some really intense, scary dreams that brought to surface some of my fears and a really intense feeling of centered peace this morning.

RW: What’s your favorite way to honor the lineage of the witches that came before us?
GH: I love this question! My favorite way to honor them is to honor my own ancestry through working with fashion magick, since both sides of my family are weavers, seamstresses and in the garment industry. As far as the witches who came before me, being vocal about how lucky we are to live in a place and time where we can openly call ourselves witches and practice witchcraft is a huge part of my practice.

My work and passion is sharing information about connecting with witchcraft and magick and goddess. This work, including my blogs and columns and articles and my book, are all dedicated to the witches who have come before me. The legacy of the witch lives on in many ways, and she absolutely lives on in me. By shedding light on witchcraft, by making it accessible, by holding space in my heart for those whose shoulders I stand on, I honor this lineage of witches.

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Craft: How to Be A Modern Witch by Gabriela Herstik is out March 15 on Penguin Random House. 

HOW TO MAKE AN ABUNDANCE ALTAR IN YOUR WALLET

As Venus goes direct, get active with your money manifestation and create an abundance altar in your wallet, says Ruby Warrington

Wallet altar from Re-Found Objects.

Several years ago, I found myself scouring Shopstyle in search of the perfect wallet. I was looking for one that was red, gold, or green, three colors that would make my wallet a money magnet. I had learned about this theory from my friend Gala Darling, and as an entrepreneur living in NYC (huge rent! no regular income!), I was like, “what the hell?”.

It took another year or so for me to find a red wallet that also fit my personal style—one by Philip Lim that was even embossed with a subtle dollar sign. Flawless! Whether it’s played any role in my never missing a rent check as I’ve juggled building this platform, writing a book, and launching Moon Club, I can’t really say. But what I do know is that a recent Skype meeting with a woman known as The Modern Money Witch (a.k.a. Lara-Rose Duong) took the concept of using your wallet to actively attract cash to a whole new level.

And OF COURSE she reached out to me during Venus retrograde! The planet ruling love and abundance has been in a backspin since March 4, 2017 (resuming direct motion today, April 15!), during which time all things concerning love, money, and self-worth have been up for review. And according to Lara-Rose, love is money. It’s the grown-up symbol for the nurturing (food, shelter, hugs) we receive as “love” when we’re babies.

Lara-Rose Duong, a.k.a. The Modern Money Witch

Step one in Lara-Rose’s system for receiving more money in your life is to create an actual abundance altar in your wallet. Fun! And what better activity to get active with your manifestation process?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an abundance altar in your wallet:

1. Take everything out of your wallet and smudge it with smoke from white sage or Palo Santo.

2. Hold your empty wallet with both hands and set an intention. Something like: “I am open to receiving abundance so that I may share it with the world,” would work great. Say it as you hold your wallet.

3. Choose a space for your abundance “altar” in your wallet—it can be an individual pocket or an entire section.

4. Place items in your abundance altar. Some classic things to include: an image of Lakshmi, or other abundance icon (I chose a card of prosperity Goddess Abundantia); a piece of citrine, a silver dollar, or an abundance spell, sealed with a pentagon sign. Feel free to choose items that are meaningful to you.

5. Also include a paper money offering to your abundance icon. This bill is not to be spent, but can be refreshed annually on a date that resonates with you (like the Spring or Fall Equinox, Beltane, or your birthday).

6. Toss our old receipts, business cards, etc., and return only the items you absolutely need to your wallet. Commit to regularly clearing out any unneeded items to keep energetic pathways of abundance clear.

Discover more about Lara-Rose Duong and her work at Lararoseduong.com

This post first appeared as part of my new weekly column over on Horoscope.com! Check out what else I’ve been writing about here.

PERIOD PRIDE: IT’S TIME TO LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE

Lisa Lister is the British witch and all around goddess at the forefront of the period pride movement. Ruby Warrington hears all about her new book, Love Your Lady LandscapeArtwork: Merakilabbe

The Numinous: Love Your Lady Landscape is a call to action for Now Age women. Tell us about it…
Lisa Lister: Well there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when the space between a woman’s thighs was considered a power portal with a direct hook up to Source. But for over 2,000 years now, the potent powers of our wombs, our cyclic nature and our menstrual cycles have been disregarded, and we’ve lost our daily connection to mumma earth, to the Moon, to the seasons and their cycles.

As a result, we often ignore our deepest needs as women because we no longer trust ourselves and our own body wisdom. We apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and self-medicate with whatever will numb the pain of not being heard or telling our truth.

Worst of all, we have an epidemic of ‘down there’ pain and dis-ease—PMT, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids. Overwhelm, anxiety and infertility are at an all-time high and we manage our menstrual bleed with synthetic hormones, denying ourselves the experience of living fully in our power.

So, Love Your Lady Landscape is about exploring, navigating and loving your lady parts. It’s about how to care for them, how to trust them and how to reclaim them.

TN: What is the number one thing a woman needs to understand about her period?
LL: That we are cyclic, not linear. Each month we try to maintain the same level of energy and productivity as our male counterparts throughout our whole cycle, so we can ‘compete’ and ‘keep up.’ But our energy, hormone levels and sex drive ebb and flow each month as we cycle through the four phases of the menstrual cycle—pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation.

Each of these phases hold super powers and hot spots and when we understand that we show up differently in each phase of our cycle, we are then able to use our menstrual cycle as a map to understanding ourselves better each and every month.

TN: Your previous book, Code Red was all about periods too. Why is this your pet subject?
LL: My entire 20’s were ruled by my menstrual cycle. I bled more days than I didn’t every cycle, I had to cancel social engagements ALL the time because I was too scared to bleed through my clothes, the pain was debilitating at times.

I also got myself a reputation as a total flake, because I was too embarrassed to say: ‘I can’t come out/to work/to the meeting because I’m bleeding through industrial super-size pads and my bed looks like a scene from the movie Carrie.’

So, when at 25 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, there was a moment of relief. I had a name for it. Except in the very next breath the doctor said: ‘Endometriosis means that babies are no longer an option, so it makes sense that we whip out your womb and ovaries so you can function normally again.’

What???

For a moment I considered it, but, and I didn’t know the incredible power that we hold in our womb space at the time, this woke a fierce rage in me that meant I simply wasn’t going to let this happen. Instead, I read about other women who have endometriosis – each case was different – and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t have children. I then got extra mad at modern medicine’s quick fix ‘whip it out’ mentality, and for the last ten years I’ve been on an adventure to explore, navigate and most importantly, love my lady landscape.

And that work starts with the most powerful game-changer of all—knowing ourselves through our cycle.

 

TN: Why are periods a feminine ‘super power’?
LL: Our blood is GOLD. The actual act of bleeding used to be considered sacred and it was honoured by both men and women, from the first day you bleed through to the day you stop bleeding, you are a witch, a sorceress, an all powerful woman. You are a lightening rod for the divine, your womb is an oracle.

And when we work WITH our cycle and not against it, we have access to a series of feminine super powers all month, all of which can be leveraged and used to create a bloody amazing business, relationship and life. A concept I go into in detail in Love Your Lady Landscape!

Book

TN: So many women have irregular cycles. Why do you think this is?
LL: Many reasons, but some of the top ones are:

– As I said previously, when we try to do life in a linear way, we work against our cyclic nature and we suffer for it. Sometimes that will manifest instantly in the form of PMS, irregular cycles, cramps, heavy bleeding (all of which are our body’s way of trying to slow us down and pay attention) or over time in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and ‘lady-parts’ dis-eases like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids.
– We’re not listening to the wisdom of our bodies and our monthly cycle because we’re medicating her with synthetic hormones—the pill, implants, coils.
– We’ve not been taught what a ‘regular’ flow looks and feels like because menstruation is still seen as taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones and advertising teaches us to ‘stuff up’ our bleed with tampons so we can ‘carry on as usual’ partying, riding on boats and rollerskating in white jeans – this is shown as ‘normal’ when it’s anything but for most women.

TN: I love your term ‘called girl’ for a woman who’s in touch with her cycle—can you give an example of how this looks from your life?
LL: The Called Girl experiences life moment-to-moment. She’s in tune with the feminine cycles, rhythms and seasons that allow her to fully own her divine power. She works in, not out. She trusts herself and thoroughly enjoys inhabiting a female body.

A Called Girl doesn’t hold on too tight to a defined and specific outcome. Instead she shows up, roots into mumma earth, listens to her pussy, trusts her gut, raises her heart and boobs to the sun and remains open to the infinite possibilities that occur when you collaborate with what I call SHE.

I trust my body’s wisdom and the way that SHE (divine/source/goddess) uses my cycle to work through me. Each and every month in each and every phase, I unravel and unfold more and more understanding about the woman that I am.

This means I can grow strong and powerful roots in the truth of why I’m here, what I need to learn, who I’m here to serve and how I’m meant to do it—meaning I can fully rise as a woman who trusts herself and is fiercely in her SHE power. Rarrrr!

Crowned ‘the defender of female awesomeness’ by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is the author of Love Your Lady Landscape and Code Red. She’s a menstrual, fertility and reproductive health practitioner and founder of the SHE Flow system; a personal invite to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, mysteries and magic. Discover more at www.thesassyshe.com

 

WILD UNKNOWN: HOW TO WORK WITH THE ANIMAL SPIRIT ORACLE

It’s the deck everybody’s talking about. Gabriela Herstik has the low-down on how to work with the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle…

Wild Unknown creator Kim Krans

It’s “Animal Spirit” and not “Spirit Animal” for a reason! For Kim Krans, head honcho/Goddess of The Wild Unknown, her latest oracle deck is an exploration of all the divine animal energies that encompass aspects of human existence and spirit.

Instead of focusing on your “spirit animal,” Krans invites us to focus on the elemental energies of each creature in a way that speaks to our relationships and to deeper parts of ourselves—once again, inviting exploration of the wild unknown of the soul.

This new deck allows for introspection in a radical and untamed way. This deck says it’s okay to be feral and wild, or tame and controlled, because it’s important to wander through it all. And by including Spirit as an element, Krans takes it one step further, inviting creativity and intuition to be a part of the journey. Whether you’re a unicorn or bumblebee, all is welcome in The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle.

Below, we explore each element, as well as an animal card from each, gaining a little more insight into the fantastic world of the Animal Spirit Oracle. And in learning about the animals in the deck, Krans hopes to inspire a more connected relationship to this world and all her creatures.

:: Earth ::

Animals of the Earth represent our basic needs, like home, money and work. These animals are grounded in the present and approach their routines with ease, but can get stuck without freedom from what they know. Animals of the Earth ask us to listen and shift perspectives—are we looking too much to the ground, or too much at the sky? These creatures are asking us to soften and surrender to the changes we may be facing, and they remind us to water our own soil, since self-compassion is necessary for growth.

The Deer – The Deer suggests a feminine softness and a graceful, maternal take on what can be a very stoic energy. How can steady and grounded Earth energy help you to bask in everything new? Don’t be afraid to reap the rewards of your harvest. By finding tenderness in yourself, you’re able to walk this life with more grace and intention—no matter how bumpy the ground is. Tap into your intuition and listen from your heart. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself in your situation, your inner deer will thank you.

:: The Air ::

With freedom comes wisdom. Creatures of the Air are able to see what others may miss, observing quietly, powerfully and deeply. When a creature of this suite comes up in a reading it can be a reminder to find some grounding, to slow down and to reconnect to the physical realms. Life is complex and we seek to move as effortlessly as possible, like the wind. By tapping into Air energy at its most expansive, we are invited to see and feel the subtler realm of existence.

The Crow – Through the eyes of The Crow, the world becomes something magical—something mysterious and precious and exciting. The Crow is a drawn to the unseen, to the supernatural and the occult. She has a fascination with the deeper, all-encompassing experience of the past, present and future. Use this energy when your mind is ready. To be present. Be open. Be patient. Sometimes the wind tells us secrets that we must be ready to hear.

:: Fire ::

By working with animals that speak of our passion and what lights our spark, we’re able to tap into the fiery aspect of ourselves for the ultimate transformation. These most powerful, and sometimes destructive, aspects of ourselves, pave the way for transmutation and rebirth—as the creatures of the Fire elment attest to. These cards represent growth, they represent the death of ego, and they ask us to sit in the fire until it’s too hot. Invite these beings in to help burn the way to a new you.

The Lion – BE the Lion. You have it in you to be the king of the jungle, after all. Don’t stop feeding your flame simply because others are not ready for it. The Lion’s energy may intimidate those who aren’t ready, but his energy is available to all who are willing. By tapping into this card, transformation is completely possible—with a keen sense of your personal strengths, you’re able to accomplish anything. The Lion simply asks you to open up to this sort of revolution. Once you do you’ll see how easy it is to roar.

:: Water ::

In the name of balance, creatures of the Water are asking us to jump into the messy, wonderful, beautiful world of our emotions, loves and passions. These are creatures that speak of our ability to express ourselves and to love and create. These animals ask us to open ourselves up and to surrender—to be a conduit for the flow of the Universe. Allow the current to take you where it may—what can you learn from floating down a different stream?

The Oyster – We all have special gifts – and the Oyster reminds us to share these gifts with the world. When we see the sensitive, watery side of ourselves as a treasure instead of a burden, we’re able to use our intuition and deep-rooted wisdom in a more authentic way. The Oyster works hard to create her pearl—a beautiful gift that no one else can give. By revealing this part of yourself, by showing your more vulnerable side, you’re allowing space for growth and reflection, all while giving others permission to do the same.

:: Spirit ::

The nature of the Spirit cards is steeped in mystery. These creatures exist on realms parallel to our own— asking us to shift our gaze so we can embody the messages they’re trying to teach us. By working with our subtle body and energies, like the chakras, these cards help us view situations in a new, more inviting and profound light. Even for Krans, these cards are mysterious, inviting one to delve into the deeper, unknown waters to see what lies beneath the surface. Krans explains that it’s okay to not completely understand the Spirit cards. Invite the energies in, work with them and let them take you on their journey.

Sea Serpent – Ruling over the second chakra, the Sea Serpent gives us permission to bask in creativity and sensuality without shame. This card is like Kundalini energy personified, allowing us to live with our desires in a way that feeds our soul. Like a mother giving her child a loving embrace, this Spirit card asks us to step into pleasure in its purest form. What do you have to let go of to let the energy of this card flow through you? Where is there drought, and what is flooded? Allow the energy of the Sea Serpent, allow the energy of Spirit, to cradle you. Do less. Open yourself up, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Shop The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: THE HOODWITCH

Gabriela Herstik talks magick, ritual and the numinous nature of the Cosmos with The Hoodwitch

Bri Luna, a.k.a. The Hoodwitch, is mesmerizing. A double Taurus babe, her energy is infectious – strong, aware and unapologetic. With The Hoodwitch, a platform preaching “everyday magic for the modern mystic,” Bri has founded a channel to help us all tap into our own sacred goddess energy – and shop for some bad-ass crystals. Oh, and we’re obsessed with her latest project – a collection of pins created with one of our favorite artists, Robin Eisenberg.

In celebration of her birthday month, we sat down with Bri for the inside scoop on her magick and her mission. Read on below…

Enamel pins, $9-18

The Numinous: Okay so – can you tell us a bit about how honoring your heritage has played into your personal brand of magick?
The Hoodwitch: I believe my being multiracial is strongly reflected by my approach to ritual and spell working. My approach draws on elements of both of my Mexican and African-American ancestry, and I’ve really enjoyed utilizing aspects of traditional folk healing from both, as well as working with other practices taught by others I’ve met and learned from on my path that I feel resonate with me.

TN: What’s your personal definition of a “witch”?
TH: You know whenever I’m asked this question I laugh a bit, because there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. Every woman is a Witch. She may not know it, or maybe she does.  But to me, being a Witch means more than spells and candles. To me, it means freedom. The power to boldly and unapologetically embrace nature, heal yourself, and heal your community. To respect the seen and unseen realms. It means the freedom to be your most authentic self. To embrace ALL aspects of whoever that may be, and fiercely. That is the Witch.

TN: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your journey with spirituality?
TH: That we never really KNOW anything for certain. That there are galaxies upon galaxies in the Cosmos, and here we are floating on Earth thinking we have all the answers. I’m in a place spiritually where I choose to embrace the unknown by saying it’s okay to not know.

TN: What advice would you give baby bruja Bri?
TH: That not everyone is going to understand you, and that’s okay. Stay true to yourself, because in another 10-20 years everyone else is just going to catch on to what you’ve been doing all along haha. Also, don’t cry over boys because it’ll give you wrinkles!

TN: What’s one thing you do every day to channel your inner goddess?
TH: I like to take very long beautiful baths – my daily ritual to connects me to the Goddess within. I enjoy being surrounded by candles, while listening to soft music. Depending on the purpose of the bath, be it for attracting or self-love, aura cleansing, or just simply relaxation I’ll add in ingredients that are reflective of those purposes. Essential oils, milk, salts, or flower petals. I just enjoy the beauty of it.

Ugh – in love! Read on for more insight into the mystical world of this material girl…

 

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
“Whatever was in your grandmother’s closet. I love vintage clothing.”

Vintage Dress, $258, Nasty Gal

My shoes
“When I wear shoes, I love my metallic Nike Cortez or Vintage Peggy Bundy fluffy heels.”

Nike Cortez Sneakers, $69.99

My fragrance
“Byredo Casablanca Lily Oil.”

Byredo Casablanca Lily Oil, $550

My jewels
“I love adornments. Real gold jewelry and, of course, very large vintage Navajo turquoise rings and squash blossom necklaces.”

 

My pampering
“Every two weeks I receive manicures to sharpen my signature stiletto point nails. I also enjoy massages.”

My home
“My apartment in Seattle overlooks the city and I enjoy opening all of the windows to allow plenty of fresh air. I enjoy adding many earth elements, such as plants, large crystal clusters and, of course, candles.”

The Hoodwitch Large Celestite Cluster Egg, $180

My food
“I live for authentic Italian food! I enjoy comforting meals. I’m a Taurus, so food is a very sensual experience. It’s about indulging in all of the senses! Needless to say, I take my dining experiences very seriously. I also love fresh raw oysters!”

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening
“I light a candle and say a prayer or affirmation of gratitude, setting intentions for the day.”

My sign
“Taurus sun and moon.”

Brooke Gregson Taurus Necklace, $2,340

My mantra 
“I am grounded, content, and calm, in the arms of the Earth.”

My healer
“Mother Earth. The ocean’s waves are purifying and cleansing. I enjoy doing meditations in the desert sun with a large Quartz crystal and planting my feet firmly into the soil of a forest.  All of the Earth’s elements are my healers.”

My reading
“Well, I collect and sell rare/vintage occult, and metaphysical books. My favorite authors include Doreen Valiente, Carl Sagan, and C. W. Leadbeater.”

Shop for vintage books on Bri’s Bruja Workshop

My transformation
“Honoring my intuition.”

My mission
“To provide everyday magic for the modern mystics of the world!”

www.thehoodwitch.com

STARCHILD TAROT INTERVIEW: PLUS 5 DECKS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tarot is having a moment. And with more artists than ever bringing forth new versions of the classic Tarot, it’s never been easier to unleash your inner reader and find a deck that sings to you! Whether you’re a witchy mama looking for something a little more macabre, or a Kundalini goddess in search of some high vibes, there is a deck out there with your name on it.

To aid your search, we’ve rounded up five hot off the press tarot obsessions, kicking things off with an interview with the goddess behind The Starchild Tarot, Danielle Noel, about her special edition Akashic Records deck. By Gabriela Herstik.

Starchild Tarot creator Danielle Noel

The Numinous: First off, we love that you’re including the Akashic Records as a card in the major arcana of your new deck. What will the card represent?
Starchild Tarot: Thank you! I have always thought of the Akashic records as a source of mystery and divine information. At first, it was a somewhat abstract concept to grasp. When I was younger and just beginning to understand its significance, I imagined ancient manuscripts containing hidden and sacred knowledge, and thought, “how can I access this?” Now I understand the ‘Akashic Records’ as an energetic source which contains various frameworks of spiritual truths, with information pertaining to yourself, your life paths, incarnations, and the Universe at large. When you work with the cards, you have access to this information too, and are essentially connecting with the endless possibilities available to you.

The Akashic Records card of this special edition comes after the traditional 21st card (The World/The Universe), as a bridge beyond this holistic key, which I think connects well with how we are evolving at this time on our planet. I truly believe that a shift is currently taking place – energies are being enhanced and polarized, insights and sacred knowledge are rising to the surface like never before, and we are being forced to really think about our own enlightenment, mortality, and collective consciousness. This card taps into the acknowledgement of yourself as more than a physical being. It encourages you to take note of your own karmic imprints, and to consider the sacred knowledge that is being offered to us all at this time.

TN: Your imagery is super feminine and dreamy. Do you think that sort of energy in a deck makes it easier for the reader to access the Akashic Records?
ST: Certain sacred spaces and forms of sacred geometry are very activating, which is why I incorporate particular sites, colours, and symbols throughout this deck. This one also has a lot of pastel hues (pink and corals in particular) which connect with the heart chakra. My intention with each image is to inspire your imagination and intuition, through the layering of various visual triggers and healing modalities.

TN: Do you have a favorite card in this new deck? Why? (We won’t tell the others!)
ST: I have to say I really love the “Akashic Records” card. The image seems like one of the strongest visual portals that come up, and I’m curious to see how people will respond to it. Each symbol, colour, and portion of that card plays significant role in its interpretation. I have a deep fascination and love for Thoth and the emerald tablets, as well as the history of Atlantis, so those keys are also embedded in the image.

TN: What else is different about the new deck?
ST: There are a lot of new cards, which came from the desire to keep making new “gateways,” and the style for this deck is also slightly different than its predecessor. I added a lot of hand painted layers and watercolour textures, and it is much less “collage” based and more illustrative. Some of the cards from the original Starchild Tarot have remained in the Akashic edition, however, they have each been modified with painted overlays and new details.

Throughout the Major Arcana I have also added “Spiritual Keys” to help each reader along their journey into the Akashic records. These categories (Chakras, Gemstones, Guides, Symbols, Astrological/Planetary) can be used to expand your knowledge when working with a specific card, or to apply meditative and/or magical practices throughout the use of the Starchild Tarot. I have also added two new spreads in the guidebook (The Akashic Spread & Metatron Spread).

TN: Is creating collages on the cards a meditative experience for you? How does it aid your own journey with the Tarot?
ST: Meditation and energy work has been a huge part of my life over these past few years, and creating the cards has gone hand in hand with these explorations. I always start with the backgrounds which are ALL familiar to me in some way or another. Many of them come from photographs from my own travels, or of sacred sites from around the globe.

Our planet has so many activation points, with many of the great monuments working as chakras within the energy grid of Gaia. To acknowledge and respect these points honors the interconnectedness of us all, as they illustrate our history and spiritual evolution. The Tarot is a simple yet complex visual representation of ancient stories and concepts, and I think about this when I am creating the images. Somehow, they act as smaller pieces to a much larger cosmic puzzle.

The Hoodwitch, a.k.a. Bri Luna, as The High Priestess

TN: How do you choose the incredible real-life women featured in your decks?
ST: I’ve been lucky to have crossed paths with some amazing women and light workers, and when I began creating the decks, I thought that by integrating these guides, the energy of the cards would be enhanced through the powerful intention and co-creation that was put into the imagery. They are mediums, tarot readers, energy healers and others, who all share a common love for the Tarot and Magick overall.

TN: Which deck did you learn on, and what other decks are in your practice today?
ST: The first deck I ever purchased was a second-hand copy of ‘The Aquarian Tarot’ – I found it at a local flea market, and strangely, it had two Ace of Swords! After that, I learned on the ‘Tarot of a Moongarden’ and the ‘Thoth’ Tarot, but there are so many decks that I now love and appreciate. I also love that more and more people are tapping into the Tarot as a tool for self-healing and learning, and it doesn’t surprise me that it’s become so popular.

I think this comes from the “waking up” process that’s happening – there is a need for more spiritual outlets, as people are recognizing the importance of introspection, and the existence of more than what we see “on the surface”. Currently, the decks I use the most are my own, The Aquarian Tarot, The Klimt Tarot, Spiritspeak Tarot, The Goddess Tarot, and the Thoth Tarot.

TN: What’s the one thing that you want people reading your cards to know?
ST: There are many hidden layers and symbols in this deck. These were added as activation tools, so I am curious to see how they will be received. I have put a lot of love into this project, and hope that each person who reads the cards will be able to build their own relationship with the images and interpretations. That is my intention: I hope you feel supported and cared for when using these cards.

I would also like to point out that this new deck is not a replacement of the first, rather a special edition that opens up new insights. I am going to be re-releasing the “first edition” in the new year, so both decks will be available for sale, along with my future Moonchild Tarot, which is the shadow companion to The Starchild decks. I’m also working with a writer, and together we are creating a very special Oracle deck that I can’t wait to share in the not so distant future!

Starseedtravels.com

:: 5 MORE DECKS YOU NEED TO KNOW ::

The Wild Unknown Second Edition 
The Wild Unknown has quickly become a cult classic and with good reason. The wilderness inspired deck speaks to our innermost existence with its beautiful imagery, so it comes as no surprise that the Universe seems to be vibin’ at a higher frequency (read major excitement) at the release of the Second Edition deck. Although most cards remain the same as in the first edition, the cards illustrator Kim Krans has chosen to revisit are absolutely stunning – and help infuse readings with a colorful new energy.

The Four of Swords is bathed in a radiant blue green aura, Temperance is complimented with a sweet rainbow background and The Lovers scream “relationship goals” now more than ever, with cotton candy colors woven behind the two geese. The icing on the cake? A new, more in depth, fold out guide to each card. Although the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” reads true most of the time, we’re happy The Wild Unknown chose to ignore it on this occasion.

Thewildunknown.com

The Fountain Tarot

The Fountain Tarot
Deeply cosmic, The Fountain Tarot speaks to our unyielding need to find a deeper connection to the Universe we inhabit, and the souls who walk alongside us. The journey to this fountain of bliss starts as soon as you open the silver holographic fantasy of a box the cards reside in. From here, a greeting stating “you are the breath and voice of Universes” on the inside cover, sets the tone.

Designed and written by Jason Gruhl, Jonathan Saiz and Andi Todaro, the surreal imagery of each card allows an exploration of the sacred point where inner purpose meets outer expression. Perhaps most notably in The Fountain card itself, number “infinity,” which invites us to “surrender to that which you are, whole and perfect.” An invitation to remember that at our core, our true self is so much greater than we recognize.

Fountaintarot.com

The Serpentfire Tarot sixth edition

Serpentfire Tarot Sixth Edition
The colorful, dreamlike landscape of the Serpentfire deck by Devany Wolfe is unparalleled – and so totally Numinous. This deck is a beautiful tribute to the Goddess in us all, with an exploration of Kundalini energy woven throughout. These cards are for the dreamers, the seekers, the weavers, and those who feel an affinity to the Universe around them, even (especially) when it seems almost too big for their grasp.

Collages appear in some capacity in almost every card, from The Lovers personified as two wolves howling at a cosmic pyramid exploding with jewel-toned bliss, to The World being held over a Goddesses head with the Moon phases interlaced on top. This is no mundane magick. From the exquisite sacred geometry collage on the back of each card, to the brightly colorful, vibrantly infused and completely otherworldly art created by Wolf, this deck is truly spectacular.

Serpentfire.ca

The Spirit Speak Tarot

Spirit Speak Tarot Deck
If you’re into the more macabre, DIY, gothic look, the Spirit Speak tarot by Mary Bean Evans is right up your ally. With an alluring, sketchy quality, the illustrations for this deck resonate at their own slightly darker frequency – inviting you with a wink and a dripping dagger to step into that which is unknown. But feminist imagery, a clear love for the occult, and a really beautiful take on the Universe and the Cosmos also appears throughout.

So whether you pulling a bone hanging precariously atop a dagger to form a scale for “Justice” or a long-haired queen cradling a rune and her wand as “The Empress,” the Spirit Speak will quite literally…speak to your spirit. Let’s just say if the friendly monsters under your bed were into divination, they would have this deck on lock.

Spiritspeaktarot.com

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA: INSIDE THE MIND OF THAT SPIRITUAL DUDE

Because we never feature enough Numi dudes! Gabriela Herstik gets Unknown Mortal Orchestra front man Ruban Neilson’s take on love, the Universe, and everything. Image: Dusdin Condren

Best known for being the third eye of psychedelic pop rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ruban Nielson has more to offer the world than just some groovy tunes. Ruban’s experience grounding his soulful nature in day-to-day life has shaped many things, including his relationships – UMO’s latest full length, “Multi-Love,” is a synthy trip about his experiments with polyamory. We talked to the man himself about his constant commitment to channelling something beyond himself – and how it helps make some good dancin’ music.

On Spirituality
“I don’t really worry about whether I’m spiritual or not because it’s a mysterious part of life and categories mess it up for me. Music is my concrete connection to forces outside myself, whether this means community, history, spirit, the subconscious, or some concept of God – that isn’t my place to define. But through music I know there’s more than my ‘self’ because I get gifts from that place in the form of songs, or the ability to perform beyond what I thought I could.”

On Astrology
“I’m a Pisces, but the first day so I’m a cusper with Aquarius. I’m also a Cancer Moon. I feel like a pretty typical Pisces. Astrology is fun. I like talking about it with people and trying to find patterns. But I take it with a grain of salt like most things.”

On Love
“Being in love is so important to me. I spend most of my time thinking about love, although I’ll never know anything about it. I’m always just drowning and I prefer it that way.”

On Culture
“I have my own personal ideas about being Hawaiian. Most people don’t know what a Polynesian is and that’s both frustrating and useful. I think my genetics shape my music quite a bit. I think my music puts my heart on display, and Hawaiians are known to be very hot-headed and deeply emotional.”

On Yurts
“The shape of a yurt is beautiful and living in a yurt was cool. It was a certain time in my life. I miss it sometimes but my life doesn’t fit in a yurt any more, haha.”

On The Unknown
“Aliens of all kinds definitely exist. You can ask any mathematician. Magick is real too. It’s all around us in the form of branding; symbols and suggestions used to manipulate reality. It’s a pity it’s come to that. As for spirit guides and ghosts, I’m not going to try to categorize things that no-one really understands. There are a lot of levels to reality though, I’m certain of that.”

On Wearing Mala Beads
“I guess I do.”

Rockin’ some Mala beads 12 weeks ago on Instagram

On Mantras
“I do work with mantras. They change a lot.”

On Inner Peace and Zen
“I play music. I’m always looking to be possessed by this very happy and invincible version of myself.”

On Living Your Truth

“I’m really lucky. These days I’m really able to pursue my music and live the way I want to live. I don’t sleep much but I get to be the person I dreamed I could be and I get to be moving and creating all the time. That’s the way I want to be.”

Get tour dates and more for Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Unknownmortalorchestra.com

DRESSING FOR THE DECK: A TAROT FASHION SERIES

How to fully embody the lessons of the Tarot? Play tarot fashion dress up of course, says Gabriela Herstik…Photography: Mary Decrescenzio 

:: THE MAGICIAN ::

There’s a certain power that arises when you tap your own intuition, your spirit, and declare to the Universe that YOU are the one in charge of your own manifestations and actions. The Magician sings of this. She is inner strength, manifestation and power. And she uses all the elements at her disposal to create.

I wanted to feel alive, regal, and (my version of) colorful in this outfit. I wanted to feel cloaked, and protected and magickal. I wore the dress I wore for my 20th birthday layered under a big, knit sweater, and I added layered necklaces and a scarf I cinched around my waist. I wore two different mala beads around my wrist, wrapped my pentacle necklace into a bracelet.

I grabbed my skeleton hand chalice and figured I would find a wand in the forest and use my eyes as daggers to round up all the suites of the Tarot. I wanted to feel strong and powerful. I wanted to feel like I was magick manifested.

:: TEMPERANCE ::

Temperance speaks of working with opposing elements and using them to find balance. Battle water with fire, earth with air. Temperance is a card of healing, of renewal, a flowing stream promising something better, something easier.

I wanted to interpret this card surrounded by water, with pieces in sweet blue and just a touch of red (lipstick always counts). I picked up this wonderful vintage teddy from the place I work, Hip Wa Zee, and paired it with this sweet little robe I got from my friend Ivory who runs an incredibly curated vintage shop called Forgotten Feather Vintage.

I was feeling very “Secret Garden,” and I believe Temperance reminds us to find our own secret garden, our own place of peace. A safe haven to remind us that once we find balance, everything else will fall into place.

:: THE HERMIT ::

The Hermit speaks of vulnerability, of shedding your layers and moving inward. In the Wild Unknown Deck, the Hermit is represented by the turtle, and the symbolism is both obvious and profound – that underneath your shell, you are your own home.

My spiked leather jacket is like this shell, a barrier between me and the world. It gives me the confidence and strength to own my s***. Pieces like this are  my protection as I move through this life, especially as someone who can be passed over as vulnerable or weak because of my small frame.

I wore a vintage nightgown from Forgotten Feather, something really delicate, to represent the journey inward. Embracing The Hermit means dealing with your own issues face on – finding them, learning from them and hopefully growing from them. It also means picking up your shell, and continuing along your own path as you explore what it means to tune into yourself.

:: THE HANGED MAN ::

The Hanged Man. This card reminds us to change our perspective, let go of ego, and embrace the sense of rebirth that’s available when we choose to see things in a new light. The Hanged Man is represented by a bat in the Wild Unknown deck, and just like the bat uses echolocation to see, we are reminded to use our intuition when our own sense of perspective is off.

I chose a floral shirt to represent growth and rebirth and a slick leather style skirt to represent how we must let judgments pass over us without resistance. The darker color pallet and oversize knit shawl were inspired by the aesthetic of the card, and the image of the bat itself. I was inspired by pieces that make me feel powerful, intuitive and strong.

You can check out Gariela’s full fashion tarot series at the link.

What card do you channel most often in your fashion choices? Comment below or tag us in your tarot fashion images on Instagram or Facebook!

5 WAYS TO WORK WITH FULL MOON TAROT

If you’re looking for a super potent time to work with the Tarot, the Full Moon could be the cosmic invitation you’re after. Gabriela Herstik has five ways to work some Full Moon Tarot magick…Image: The Starchild Tarot

Read For The Month Ahead
Perhaps the most obvious and direct way to incorporate the Tarot into your Full Moon ritual is to do a reading. The cosmic energy now is ripe for making decisions on whatever’s been brewing since the previous New Moon, so spending some time reflecting on what you now want to manifest can only serve you. Set up a sacred space, get centered, find a layout that sings to you and draw a card, any card. Reflect on the cycles of your life, and be open to what comes up in the card you’ve chosen.

Make A Tarot Temple
The Tarot is all about imagery and symbolism after all, so why not play with this? You can create a Tarot altar or temple by picking a card that resonates with you (or simply picking one randomly with your intention for the Full Moon in mind) and choosing objects and offerings that help you personify the card. Flowers, photos, statues of deities or animals, and anything else that taps the energy of your card can bring its message to life. You can even create a piece of art that relates to your card, and display it in your chosen sacred space. Focus on the feeling the card brings up for you – especially relating to what you want to manifest in the coming weeks – and channel it into your space.

Meditate on It
The day of the Full Moon is the perfect time to manifest the results of any intentions you’ve set in recent weeks. Once the moon starts to wane, aka lose light, it’s the perfect time to let go and surrender all outcomes to the Universe. Meditating with your card can intensify whatever intention is set. So whether you’re meditating on Death and choosing transformation as the result of any process you’ve been going through, or if you’re simply sitting with The Moon card and focusing on the divine feminine, you’re golden. Taking time to breathe, absorb the energy of the Full Moon and really channel it into your intention is simple, doesn’t take a lot of time, and is a sweet reminder to just be.

Spell It Out
The Full Moon is a strong time for spell or magick work and um, hello, why not incorporate your cards into your work! Whether you’re doing some sigil magick, candle magick or something in between, using the imagery from a card can help set the tone. There’s a whole realm of tarot magick out there, so do your research and get creative.

Dress Like Your Favorite Card
If you really wanna channel your favorite card, take some sartorial cues. Dressing for your Full Moon ritual in something that chimes with the imagery of card you’re working with is a super direct way of aligning yourself with its energy. Feeling the High Priestess this month? Why not wear some jewels or a dress that reminds you of your own connection to Goddess energy? Feeling kinda Two of Cups? How about you dress in something your lover gave you, or something red and sexy. Get creative and manifest, it really is that easy!

What card are you working with this Full Moon? Connect with us and share your Full Moon rituals on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!