MY MYSTICAL LIFE: MAGIC MONDAYS AT THE ASTROLOUNGE

Check out the Selfridges Astrolounge, and join The Numinous for our Magic Mondays workshop series…

So this week in London has ALL been about the opening of the Selfridges Astrolounge, a magical Christmas grotto in the Oxford Street flagship I’ve been working on with the Selfridges team all year. The space is open until December 24 and is basically The Numinous, in a store! All themed around astrology and mysticism, I helped curate the product offer – think alchemical beauty offerings, astro-themed accessories and jewelry, mind-expanding books, and all kinds of cosmic gifts.

And of course, it’s also where you can get one of our custom birth chart t-shirts, which are printed to order in store. If you can’t get down there to check it out IRL, you can browse the full Astrolounge selection online – and even go on a mystical journey and do all your Christmas shopping by star sign! What can I say, DREAM PROJECT. And the final piece of the puzzle is a series of workshops The Numinous is also hosting in the space.

Taking place each Monday evening from Oct 26 – Dec 7, the series is titled – yep – Magic Mondays, and I’ve invited some of my favorite modern mystics down to do their thing. Full listings and links to book are below. Hope to see you there!

MONDAY OCT 26 :: ANGELIC BREATH HEALING WITH MADELINE GILES

Madeline is the founder of Angelic Breath Healing, which is a non-denominational tool for healing and receiving clear divine guidance from the Angels. During the session, Madeline will share teachings about connecting with your guardian angel, who can assist each person to experience greater levels of peace, health and happiness. Then, she will lead participants through an active breathing meditation set to music to help connect with your guardian angel’s guidance, facilitating a healing shift in attitudes and emotions around asking and receiving help.

MONDAY NOV 2 :: HAPPY HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON WITH BETHANY HARPER WALSH

Join The Sup Luv founder Bethany Harper Walsh for an interactive talk about staying healthy and vibrant during the holiday season, as well as tips for how to start your New Year off on the right nutritional foot. Topics covered will include top holiday fails when it comes to wellness and optimal health; hangovers, overeating, cravings, and coping with stress and digestion. We’ll also discuss how to capitalize on nourishing traditional Christmas foods that are often overlooked, with an emphasis on supplementing smartly, lifestyle factors and functional nourishment.To finish, raw vegan chef Chelsea Parsons of Well+Happy will demonstrate a fun and healthy holiday treat alternative, followed by an audience Q&A.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 9 & 23 :: SPIRIT ANIMAL MEDITATION WITH MARIKA MESSAGER

Join modern shamanic practitioner Marika Messager for a guided meditation to meet your Spirit Animal. In shamanic tradition, we are all connected to guides from the animal realm, whose special strengths we can draw on to support and comfort us in times of need. During the session, Marika will offer a brief introduction on how to work with Spirit Animals, while there will be an opportunity to discuss the different animals and their meanings after the meditation itself.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 16 :: MAKE YOUR OWN DREAMCATCHER WITH SHE’S LOST CONTROL

Join Jill Urwin and Cheryl Eltringham, the creative due behind She’s Lost Control, for a workshop to make your own contemporary Dreamcatcher. In Native American tradition, Dreamcatchers are hung above the bed to aid good dreams in making their way into the consciousness of the sleeper – while keeping nightmares at bay. During the session, Jill will give a brief introduction to Dreamcatchers, before leading the group in a practical workshop to create their own piece to take home. Materials will be included in the ticket price.

MONDAY NOV 30 :: YOGIC BEAUTY SECRETS WITH GURU JAGAT

Join LA wellness and lifestyle tastemaker Guru Jagat, founder of the groundbreaking Ra Ma Institute in Venice Beach and Boulder Colorado and a leading light in the contemporary Kundalini Yoga community, for an evening of Yogic Beauty Secrets. During the session, Guru Jagat will lead a short Kundalini Kriya (sequence) to attune the energy of the group, before sharing some ancient and unusual yogic wisdom for looking and feeling your best for the Christmas party season. Guru Jagat’s new book, A No-Nonsense Guide to Having More Energy, Feeling Better, and Being More Inspired with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, will be published by HarperElixir in October 2016.

MONDAY DECEMBER 7 :: MAKE A POWER FLOWER CROWN WITH LOUISE ANDROLIA

LA-based artist, life coach and intuitive Louise Androlia leads a workshop to create your own sumptuous winter flower crown. Working with seasonal faux blooms to capture the spirit of Christmas, participants will also be guided by Louise to create mantras infused with positive intentions to be incorporated into their creation. All materials are included, and you will take home your own beautiful, high-vibrational accessory, to amplify your look and your life this party season.

Selfridges.com/astrolounge #DestinationChristmas

BYE BYE NEGATIVE ENERGY: SMUDGING 101

Chances are you’ve heard about smudging, the act of burning sacred herbs to transmute negative energy. Here, modern shamanic practitioner Marika Messager explains the process in detail and provides a step-by-step basic smudging ritual.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SMUDGING?
Smudging is the common name given to the Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing, a powerful cleansing technique from the Native American tradition – but essentially it refers to the art of cleansing your self and your environment using simple ritual and ceremony. Our homes, objects and bodies do not consist of purely physical matter; they also vibrate with subtle, invisible energy. Cleansing a space or our bodies with techniques such as smudging clears away all the emotional and psychic “garbage” that may have gathered, perhaps over hundreds of years. It’s like spiritual spring-cleaning.

SO HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?
Smudging calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away negative energies and put you back into a state of balance, peace and harmony. It is the psychic equivalent of washing your hands before eating – and used as an essential preliminary to almost all Native American ceremonies. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science – when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.

OH! HOW SO?
The aroma of sage, for example, increases the oxygen supply to the brain, producing a relaxation of muscle tension. In addition, the smoke from some herbs actually changes the molecular structure of air and energy, producing a cleansing effect. As the sense of smell is connected very powerfully to instinct and memory, the burning of smudge sticks has been found to be a very effective aromatherapy agent, especially when combating feelings of depression, anger, fear, frustration, resentment, and grief.

YOU MENTIONED NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITION – WHERE DID THE TRADITION ORIGINATE?
Smudging is a North American ritual, but is not exclusive to this area and has been practiced all over the world. In some cases, smudging is linked to the use of incense – as incense, like a smudge stick, is a natural object that is burned for a specific purpose. The history of incense itself goes back thousands of years to Egypt.

Most traditional cultures, from the Zulus to the Maoris, from the Chinese to the Balinese, have age-old forms of cleansing and blessing ritual. Even the West retains relics of it – the incense wafting through a church is cleansing the atmosphere just as surely as the medicine man’s bowl of sacred smoke, or smudge. The church bells that ring out on Sunday morning were also originally intended to purify the whole parish through sound and lead the community from everyday space into worship – just as the Shaman’s drum can lead us on sacred journeys into the world of the spirits.

IN WHAT SITUATIONS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER SMUDGING YOURSELF OR YOUR SPACE?
Smudging is both a ceremonial and an every day practice, so some smudging rituals are performed on a daily basis. Others are reserved for special or ceremonial occasions. As well as a way to clear one’s energetic field, smudging is often used to cleanse apartments and houses before they’re sold, before you move in, or whenever you feel the need to clean your environment. It’s also good to clean any objects you interact with regularly, like your computer or phone, while smudging can also be used to cleanse or protect crystals.

SO WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT THINGS YOU CAN USE TO SMUDGE WITH?
A smudge kit usually consists of four of five pieces, each representing one of the four or five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and sometimes Spirit or life energy):
A shell (abalone shell is most often used) to represent Water
Unlit herbs to represent Earth
Lit herbs to represent Fire
Smoke to represent Air

Sage is one of the most popular plants used for smudging, as the smoke carries an amazing fragrance that lifts the spirits. Even though sage grows abundantly in many locations, the most commonly used sage for burning and ceremonies is desert sage, or white sage.

The smudge sticks you find in witchy stores are most commonly made of sage and sweet grass, both of which play an important role in the smudging process. Sage is used to evacuate the negative energies, spirits and influences, while the sweet grass will gather new and positive energies. Other herbs used for smudging are cedar, juniper and lavender, and plain tobacco is also sometimes used by Plain Indian tribes.

Palo Santo wood from the rainforests in Ecuador was also considered by many to be a Holy Wood, and burning Palo Santo has been used by the Incas since ancient times as a spiritual remedy, for purifying, and cleansing.

AND WHAT ARE THEIR DIFFERENT PROPERTIES?
Sagebrush (confusingly, the “sage” used in most smudge sticks, is not culinary sage but sagebrush): transforms energy and brings change.
Sage (the culinary herb): brings wisdom and is calming and healing.
Sweetgrass: attracts positive energy.
Lavender: restores balance and creates a peaceful atmosphere. Lavender also attracts loving energy and spirits.
Cedar: deeply purifying, especially for clearing negative emotions and for healing and as a way to attract positive energy. Also used to bless a home before taking residence there, a tradition dating back to the Northwest and Western Canadian Native Americans, and believed to aid clairvoyance, revive the tired mind, body, and spirit, and stimulate contact with other worlds.
Mugwort: stimulates psychic awareness and prophetic dreams. It also banishes evil spirits.
Juniper: used to purify and create a safe and sacred space.
Yerba Santa: used to purify and to set and protect boundaries.
Rosemary: a powerful healer that brings clarity to problems.

WHAT CAN YOU USE IN EMERGENCIES (WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE ABOVE FOR EXAMPLE)?
Visualisation is a very efficient technique that can be used anytime. For example, simply visualise that you are filling the room with clear white light that is removing all negative energies as the light is flushed out of the room. You can also use essential oil of sage or Paolo Santo on yourself or to spray in the room.

AND WHAT ABOUT SMUDGING A SPACE WHERE YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO BURN THINGS?
You can steep appropriate herbs or essential oils in water, creating a tincture to sprinkle or spray the area with. Placing Himalayan salt near a windows and then throwing the salt away will also disperse negative energies (ideally put the salt into the earth). Sound cleansing, using a gong or crystal sound bowl, is also very effective.

:: SMUDGING RITUAL: THE BASICS ::

  • Before you begin your smudging ritual, center yourself, holding the intention to drive away all negativity from your energy and purify your soul.
  • Put the herbs in a receptacle (ideally an abalone shell), light them and gently blow out the flame so that the herbs continue to smoulder.
  • You can also hold the herbs in one hand. Bear in mind that you will only need a few leaves to create enough smoke.
  • If you are smudging with Paolo Santo, all you need to do is light one side of the wood and hold the other side.
  • Now, take some smoke in your hand and bring it over your heart, keeping the intention to clear your energy. Then bring some smoke over your eyes, your third eye and your head.
  • You may wish to repeat the same process with your throat, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras, and finally your legs and feet (including the soles of your feet).
  • As you smudge, visualise yourself being surrounded by gentle, loving energy. Breathe in positivity, courage and love. Connecting with each smudged area and the feelings you wish to release or attract will empower your ritual (i.e: letting go of self abuse and bringing empowerment while smudging your solar plexus, or releasing grief and calling for unconditional love while smudging your heart).
  • If smudging a space, use a fan (ideally made of bird’s feathers) to drive the smoke into all corners of the room, again, holding the intention to purge the place of negative energy and invite in purity and light.

Find out more about Marika Messager and her work at Marikamessager.com

@MarikaMessager

NEED-TO-KNOW: YOUR SPIRIT POWER ANIMAL

Dealing with a situation that had left her feeling vulnerable and alone, when Ruby Warrington met her spirit power animal last year…it got emotional. Here’s how to connect with your own beast of the wild unknown.

Somewhere in the garden of my subconscious, a powerful black stallion is biding his time, waiting for me to call on him. The horse exudes the kind of strength that needs no armor. He’s as high as a house, and his sheer presence makes my body quake. But he’s also calm and loving, and will always, forever and a day, be loyal to me. How do I know? Because the stallion is my spirit power animal, and when I met him it was one of the most moving encounters of my life.

The story begins at a dinner in New York City, thrown by the publicist Kelly Cutrone for her client, fashion designer Raif Adelberg. Kelly’s been a long time supporter of The Numinous, so I knew something mystical was up when she told me I had to meet him. And sure enough, before long we were discussing the fact that Raif’s power animal is the orca, or killer whale.

Of course I was instantly intrigued. How did he know? Did we all have a power animal? How did the whale show up in his life? In response; he was given his animal reading by a friend, a Native American chief, after discussing with his wife (also Native) her butterfly power animal. Yes, we all have access to backup from the animal world. And in his case, Raif feels connected to his animal in many ways.

In a literal sense, “I live on an island (off the coast of Vancouver), where orca actually play in my backyard,” he told me. But the killer whale is also known in the animal kingdom for its steadfast family values. They mate for life and travel in packs, and in Raif’s case; “I feel most secure with the comfort of my family around me.” How cool that he even got a tattoo of a butterfly years before he met his wife.

My subsequent mission to meet my own power animal led me to modern shamanic practitioner Marika Messager, and a deep guided meditation – over Skype – that transported me from a still, Tuesday afternoon in my apartment in NYC to the dank depths of the forest that exists somewhere in the middle of my being where my stallion lives.

I met other animals – a hedgehog, butterflies, even a Unicorn – en route, but only when I found my horse did my skin prickle all over with goose bumps and the tears wet my face. They were tears of relief. I had recently experienced something that had left me feeling quite vulnerable and alone in the world, and the transference of strength, sheer power, from the horse to me, felt like being rebuilt from the inside out.

Before you embark on a journey to meet your own power animal, here’s what you Need To Know:

• To meet your power animal you need be relaxed enough to access your subconscious. This means shifting your brainwaves into a theta state (similar to a meditative state). Shamans use drumming to do this, but hypnosis can invoke this same sense of deep of relaxation.

• In shamanic tradition, it is thought that we have three power animals, from the air, land and sea. Although you may meet many more, depending what’s going on in your life at the time and the kind of healing they can offer you.

• Our animals are there to lend us their wisdom. To fully appreciate the message your power animal has for you, research how the animal lives, mates, socializes, hunts. What lesson is there for you in the animal’s habits? For example, an eagle might appear to remind you to view a difficult situation “from above.”

• Mythical animals – dragons, unicorns – may appear to you too. But all animals are equal; no animal is “better” than any other.

• The first time you meet your animal, first thank him for his presence. After that, you can ask him questions, to which he may reply with a vision, a sensation or a voice in your head. Be aware that his support may appear in any of the ways you usually connect with your intuition.

• Once you have met your animal, or animals, call on them in times of need. For example, the horse symbolizes freedom, so call on him whenever you are feeling restricted by beliefs about your supposed limitations.

• Finally, your animal may continue to appear to you in “waking” life – in iconography, conversations or popular culture – to remind you of his continued presence in your life. Acknowledge him with a wink when he does.

Marika Messager assists, advises and counsels people in all areas of their lives, through a blend of executive, life, career and transition coaching, mentoring and healing. She has developed an interest in indigenous healing practices and particularly the influence of consciousness and the mind on the healing process. In her work, she bridges and blends these techniques to encourage and empower her clients to find the answers they seek within.

www.marikamessager.com