CITY TOUR: A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL CHICAGO

Forget everything you know about the Windy City—there are plenty of high-vibe happenings in Spiritual Chicago, says Andrea Kasprzak

 

The Windy City may be better known for the Cubs than the cosmic, but it’s not all deep dish pizza and boozy baseball fans. When it comes to tapping spiritual Chicago, you just have to know where to look. Here’s our itinerary for a day of crystals, yoga, and high vibrational cuisine.

9AM :: Kundalini Yoga at Sat Nam Yoga
The second you step into this cozy, sanctuary-within-the-city you’ll want to curl up on a white sheepskin rug and never leave. Take a kundalini class in the sun drenched front room, shop for sage and crystals in the store, or book a treatment with some of the area’s most sought after healers. Not to be missed: lunar tune-ups in the outdoor courtyard during monthly new and full moon rituals and cosmic vinyasa (yoga and symphonic gong immersion under the projection of the stars).

Sat Nam Yoga

11 AM :: Soak at Float Sixty
Whether you consider sensory deprivation tanks a spiritual experience or a just a slightly trippy way to spend an hour, you’ll never regret the experience. Head to this River North haven to soak in style. The industrial cool space features tons of tubs, a meditation room to hang out in post-soak, and a grooming area. Try the Samadhi Tank for a super cool intergalactic womb-like vibe.

1PM :: Juice and Crystals at Infiniteus
Kill two birds with one (high energy) stone at this Wicker Park rocks and juice shop. First, hydrate with a cold-pressed juice or purified alkaline water amidst massive amethysts and orange calcite covered tables in the cafe. Then, hit up the back room to shop for gems and crystals. Owner Alex Drummond is super knowledgable and on hand to help. Bonus: they’ll even deliver your gems and juices to your door.

2PM :: Gong Therapy with Mason Pain
Transportive, elevating, and a little bit other-worldly, getting gonged by sound therapist Mason Pain offers deep release on a higher level. Surrender to the healing vibrations of three gongs, as well as singing bowls and chimes. Sessions begin with Yoga Nidra to open you up to maximum receptivity.

Maison Pain

3PM :: Nut Milk at Owen + Alchemy
Think you’re over juice after too many cleanses? This gothic cool Logan Square juice bar from Anne Owen and Jared Van Camp may change your mind. Try the nut milks. We suggest the dessert-y 54 (raw hazelnut, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla bean, raw local honey) or the fresh and creamy 59 (young raw coconut juice and young raw coconut meat).

4PM :: Tarot Reading with Laura Gonzalez
Laura, a self-described Mexican witch, has felt a true connection and psychic insights since childhood. Tarot card reading is her passion and it shows. Sessions are meant to offer guidance and clarity. Go deeper by asking specific questions. Laura’s hyper presence makes it easier to digest tough truths.

5PM :: Reiki with Jerry Mikutis
Clear energy blocks and connect with a like-minded sensi soul during a session with Reiki healer and yoga instructor Jerry Mikutis. Her warm personality and magic touch puts clients at instant ease.

6PM :: Vegetarian Dinner at Green Zebra
Bar and ballpark snacks may get first bill, but there’s still plenty of high vibe, creative and veggie-centric places to grab a bite. Case in point: Green Zebra. Fresh, local, and elevated, the West Town restaurant is a standout not to be missed. Small plate dishes like the Hen of the Woods mushroom pate and fermented beet tartare with borscht yogurt, candied pistachios, and dill pickles are plated to impress.

Green Zebra

8PM :: Crystallsage Massage at Ruby Room
Cap off the night with a Crystallsage Massage at this Wicker Park healing hybrid space. Sessions start with a flower and gem essence spray and reading. Move into a treatment room for an intense 90-minute massage featuring Himalayan salt crystals for serious grounding. After, shop for crystals and spend the night in one of the upstairs rooms.

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL: A TOTAL GUIDE

Tap into the wisdom of the animal kingdom by learning how to work with your spirit animal, says Wolf SisterArtwork: Erin Petson

 

A spirit animal is a reflection of you, and is there to remind you of your inherent wisdom. They represent archetypal energies, typical traits that are personified by a specific creature. Acting as our allies, teachers, guides and protectors, if a spirit animal is showing up in your life, it has a message for you and wants to work with you.

Think, what are this animal’s strengths and how does it act? This is the message for you.

To work with your spirit animal is to step into the power you need most in any moment. This can help you feel more grounded, give you the confidence for a job interview, make you feel more alluring for a hot date or give you the strength to ask for help when you need it. Above all, it can help you to feel more confident, proactive and supported.

:: WHO IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL? ::

Spirit animals have an energy you will resonate with and feel drawn to, sometimes inexplicably. This doesn’t have to be specific to an animal either, it could also be a deity, super hero or even a celebrity! Yes, you could count Beyonce or Mary Magdalene as your “spirit animal.” There will be something familiar about your animal, and they’re there to teach and guide you in a direction that supports you.

Maybe you already have a strong affinity with a particular spirit animal, but if you don’t feel like have the connection yet here are some tips to help you to activate your connection.

A Vision Quest
In the morning, take some time to meditate and invoke your spirit animal to show itself. Create a presence of awareness throughout the day and look out for signs that could represent your animal. Your spirit animal is likely appear to you in a series of synchronicities, where you may literally see it everywhere—on street art, the internet, magazines, books, posters, gifts you receive from friends, dreams or even a chance encounter with the animal itself.

When your animal wants to be seen, it’ll make sure you notice it so keep your eyes wide open. Journal your encounters as these encounters are all insights into what is being revealed to you. You may come into contact with more than one animal, but the animal you see most often is the most prominent message. Think of the additional animals as the supporting acts.

Meditate
You can connect with your spirit animal through meditation, while a guided shamanic journey will lead you to your animal and hold space for you to communicate more deeply with them. There are guided meditations available online (search: “spirit animal guided meditation”) and workshops that hold space for you to meet your spirit animal. Check event listings for sessions in your area.

Dreamtime
Before you go to sleep, ask your spirit animal to reveal themselves to you in your dream. Your intention could be, ” Spirit animal, who serves my highest and best good, please come to me in my dreams tonight. I am open to your wisdom. Thank you for your protection and guidance. You will be remembered in the morning.”

Repeat this invocation as you fall asleep. Make sure that you have a pen and paper by your bed for when you wake up in the morning, and write down what you remember as soon as you wake up and the memory of the dream is still fresh.

Oracle Cards
One of the quickest ways to connect with your spirit animal is to use an animal oracle deck (we love the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck). Connect with the deck and draw a card (or a few cards) to represent what serves you. You can take guidance from the reference book that accompanies the deck but I would also recommend journalling how this card makes you feel, use your intuition to find the meaning. Meditate on the card and see what messages come through to you from the unseen realm.

If you draw an animal that makes you feel uncomfortable, brings up a phobia or a feeling of dislike, this animal can represent your shadow side. This could symbolize something in the animal’s character that you’re avoiding in your life. Take this as an opportunity to tune in to what may need healing in your life. Remember, if this animal is showing up for you, it is there to be seen, and it’s because you are ready. Even if you don’t think you are…

:: HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL ::

Act Like Your Animal
Use the animal’s instinct as a guide for what action you need to take. How does your animal think and act?

Here are a few examples: Stand strong and committed like the bear. Be sensual and independent like the cat. Do some Vinyasa yoga to connect with your flexibility like the snake. Howl at the moon to embody the wolf. Share your wisdom as a teacher like the owl. Seize an opportunity like the magpie.

Check out youtube or some David Attenborough documentaries to study the characteristics of your animal. Have fun with how you embody your animal, no-one else needs to know, and watch to see how people respond to you after you’ve been channeling the ways of your animal.

Dress Like Your Animal
Wear the colors and patterns of your animal to connect with their spirit. This can be a subtle act, for example wearing leopard print underwear to honor your inner wild cat. Let your hair loose to unleash the lion in you. Think of black as the color of mystery and transformation. If your animal is colorful then it’s a sure sign that you need to been seen.

Eat Like Your Animal
Food nourishes us and gives us energy. Animals use food to do this in the purest way, no fad-diets! They forage or hunt for what their body needs and eat specifically to adapt to their environment. Use the dietary habits of your animal as a guide for what will nourish you at the moment. If your animal is a herbivore, try a plant-based diet and see how your body feels. Birds have a very fast metabolism to enable them to stay light so that they can fly, eating little and often. Maybe the message is simply that you take time to slow down to eat.

Meditate With Your Animal
Using a guided meditation, journey to connect with your spirit animal. Ground yourself and when you’ve connected with your animal, visualize the animal’s energy merging with yours. Feel yourself integrating its strength and wisdom. Set the intention to embody the animal’s empowerment for the day ahead. Working with animals is very grounding, so know that your energy will be protected by the animal as it serves you.

Animals are wise and gentle guides. They haven’t forgotten their connection with earth and with us, and they need our help to protect and heal our planet. As always, the healing journey begins with us. This is an invitation to call on your natural superpowers and work with animal instinct to create the change in your life that you’ve been waiting for.

5 SIGNS I NEEDED A SPIRITUALITY DETOX

When your practice becomes a crutch it could be time for a spirituality detox, says Victoria Cox. Artwork: Elayne Safir

I’ve been fascinated with the esoteric side of life since I was a little girl, but in recent years I’ve been delving a little deeper. Kundalini yoga, tarot, energy healing, astrology, crystals, meditation. You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

And lately I began to notice that whenever life got more intense, I would lean a little harder on these practices.

I’d pull a tarot card every day (okay, sometimes several), check five or more astrology sites religiously, and my morning meditation schedule became a non-negotiable. To the point I began to wonder if, instead of utilizing these practices to gain a deeper meaning of life, I was using them to numb out. After all, I was no longer experiencing the blissful results and striking insights I’d encountered initially. Simply put, the whole thing was starting to make me feel neurotic.

So, what was a girl to do?

In a twist of irony, my question was actually answered during an energy healing session. After listening to me whinge about how I was working so hard on myself yet my anxiety levels were creeping higher, I was informed I was being put on a month-long “spirituality detox.” In short, it was time to cut the woo-woo and get grounded.

Here are the five signs that showed me I was in need of a spirituality detox. If anything sounds familiar, you might decide to join me…

A daily practice becomes a daily obsession
For me this was Kundalini meditation. At first, the results were impressive; I was calmer throughout the day and found myself less likely to get sucked into life’s dramas. Yet, as external challenges mounted, I became more rigid about my practice. I had to do it no matter what.

There were mornings where I woke up tired yet pushed myself through the practice, counting the seconds until I was finished. My morning “meditation” was beginning to feel more like bootcamp, and I was no longer enjoying it. As a result, the benefits I’d experienced when practicing from a place of reverence, began to ebb away.

Pursuing spirituality for personal gain
Over time I’d acquired a toolbox of sorts to deal with life’s rough patches. If was feeling anxious, I journaled about my feelings. If I was feeling uninspired, I meditated. If I wanted to create something new in my life, I would use visualization techniques.

These tools were extremely helpful in getting me through hard times, but I was starting to use them in the good times too, to satisfy my ego desires—opposed to spiritual yearnings. And then when life didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to, I became angry. I realized that in using these practices this way, I was buying into the idea that the the Universe somehow “owed me”—and was mystically designed to reward selfishness, when actually the opposite is true.

Self-helping vs. self-medicating
I noticed a pattern of behavior that went something like this: waking up after a boozy night out I’d feel a familiar sense of self-loathing about having drunk too much. To alleviate these feelings, I would head straight to a yoga class to clear my head.

Feeling better about myself, I would then come home and have a glass of wine—undoing all the good work I’d done in class! I was essentially using my practice as a quick-fix means to feel better in the moment while ignoring the real issue (why I’d drunk too much again)—instead of a way to learn about myself on a deeper level.

Searching for the next spiritual fix
Living in New York, there are a classes and workshops offering every spiritual answer under the cosmos. Energy healing; Chakra cleansing; Past-life regression. You name it, it’s here. While this is wonderful in many ways, I noticed how the sheer abundance of choice made it feel like there was always one more thing to try.

I began to convince myself that I needed to do every treatment, attend every event. I was treating these revered spiritual arts like a mass consumer, always looking for more instead of stopping and simply asking myself what I was trying to heal.

Spiritual neurosis
I discovered that my motives were becoming completely anti-spiritual, as I indulged in a sort of metaphysical materialism. Over time my beloved practices had morphed from a source of comfort into a supposedly mystical way to manifest my worldly desires.

Instead of wanting to go to a sound-bath at the end of the week to relax, I felt I had to go—or I would be missing out on some great revelation about myself. I wasn’t. I was living my life wrapped up within my ego’s neuroses instead of living from my heart.

***

Once I saw clearly how I was misappropriating my spiritual practice, I asked my energy healer what I needed to do.

Her prescription?

No mind-altering substances (i.e. alcohol) for 30 days. Stop reading or engaging with all esoteric information. Cease all meditation. Stop all energy practices or group healing

Instead?

Spend time on grounding activities such as house-cleaning. Practice intense cardio exercise. Sleep and rest. Spend time in nature. Take plenty of salt baths to detox the body and drink lots of water.

Initially it seemed like too big of a pill to swallow. But as I deleted my astrology and tarot apps from my phone I already began to feel lighter. When my alarm went off at 7am for my morning meditation I almost squealed with pleasure at the thought of sleeping for an thirty extra minutes. I relished the empty weeknights where I didn’t have some class to attend.

I knew it was the right thing to be doing simply because it felt so damn good. I felt like a child taking a month off from a very strict boarding school. Admittedly the hardest part for me was not drinking alcohol; I didn’t partake during the week, but I’ll be honest and admit that I still dabbled, albeit lightly, some weekends.

And once the thirty days were up? There were some practices, such as Kundalini yoga, that I was dying to get back into—simply because they made me feel better. But there were others, like my incessant tarot card pulling, that no longer held any appeal.

Most importantly, my experience taught me far more about myself then I’d learned in my obsessive pursuit of all things Now Age. I learned that the spiritual path is a long and meandering one; that there are no quick fixes or shortcuts.

Most importantly it taught me to listen to my heart instead of my head, and to always ask myself if what I’m seeking is in service of enlightenment or egotism.

Have you had a similar experience to Victoria? Share your thoughts with the Numinous tribe Instagram and Facebook, or in the comments below…

ABUNDANCE MINDSET: HOW TO CAST A MONEY SPELL

One of the first things people want to know about magic is whether they can use it to cast a money spell. The answer is YES, but this requires a deeper understanding of what money is, says Nabeel Afasr

In our culture, we treat money as an object to possess, opposed to an energy that is shared. From the mystic’s perspective, money—like everything else—represents a process, and not a finite substance. We’re encouraged to indulge in anxiety about having enough money, and we connect our bank statement to our value as human beings. Unfortunately, this can make money an endless source of anxiety.

When we realize that money is simply energy, then we can really start working our magic – and the best and simplest money magic spell is generosity. The act of sharing what you have—especially when you have little—will generate financial energy that must karmically return to you. The sages teach that there is no separation between yourself and others, that we are all one, different fingers on the same hand. Seen this way, giving to another is the same as giving to yourself, not because of a future karmic reward, but because giver and receiver are one.

Something as small as offering a homeless person change, or handsomely tipping the cab driver. These small acts inform the Universe that you are a giver, an active participant in the circle of sharing, so the Universe will continue to share with you. Remember that the Universe is a mirror, so if you are fearful there’s not enough in spite of all the abundance in the world, if you indulge in worrying about money, then your world will reflect anxiety back to you, impoverishing you endlessly.

So start by being more generous – but to do this wholeheartedly, you’ll have to also cultivate gratitude. Give what you give to whomever you want as an offering of gratitude to the forces that have birthed and sustained you thus far. If you’re feeling poor, broke and abandoned by the money gods, remember all the free air you’ve breathed your whole life, the free sunshine that fills the sky every morning, the free water that falls from the sky. Remember and feel some gratitude. The more gratitude you cultivate, the more your world will give you blessings to be grateful for.

But sometimes you need to bring out the big guns! Whether foreclosure is looming, job prospects are dim, or credit card debt is piling up, sometimes you need some divine intervention. There are two ways magic can help.

First, you perform a simple spell, ceremony or ritual intended to make you more charming, articulate and commanding, in order to land a new job or client. To do this, simply write a description of your ideal self, ie: “I am charming, articulate and commanding, and my talents are highly valued”. Now light a green candle, feel into the physical sensations of landing you dream job, and then burn your note.

Second, you can consider casting a spell meant to affect the outer world and bring you more wealth – but you should only try this approach if working on yourself hasn’t solved the problem!

– Go for a walk in a busy area—ideally a place of commerce—and collect 13 lucky pennies. A lucky penny is any penny you find that’s facing up. Any pennies you find facing down, you should turn over and leave for someone else. In a pinch, you can use dimes, nickels or quarters, but whatever you choose, you should not mix and match. You might need to take several walks!

– Put the lucky coins in a suitable container like a glass mason jar, and fill it with water. You can dress it by adding a combination of these common household herbs: cinnamon, thyme, basil, cloves and ginger. You can pick a few or just one, whatever you have to hand.

– Seal the jar by screwing the lid on tight and burning a green candle atop it. Meditate as you do so, visualizing yourself enjoying the wealth you’re about to receive.

– On the night of the Full Moon, bury the container in the earth in a place it won’t be disturbed. On the dirt above it, draw a pentagram with the top pointing West.

If you can’t get out into nature to bury your spell properly, here’s an alternative method:

Instead of filling the jar of pennies with water, fill it with dirt. You can collect the dirt from outside or use a small packet of soil. You could also use sand from the beach or fill it up with rocks. Dress the dirt with the same herbs mentioned above. Seal the jar with a green candle, do your meditation, and then you can leave the spell on your altar.

When the spell is no longer relevant, you should still take it out somewhere in nature and bury it, drawing a westward facing pentagram on the soil above. This act seals your spell, planting a seed of wealth that will grow over time. Generally, you don’t really want to dispose of the spell by emptying the contents of the jar, as that might adversely affect your future finances.

Try this money spell to boost your finances, level up your career, or to bail you out in tough times – but remember to start by first casting the twin spells of gratitude and generosity. Then attempt spells directed at improving yourself and enhancing your innate talents. Only reach to the Money Jar spell when nothing else does seems to be doing the trick.

This article originally appeared on the blog for The House of Intuition, a metaphysical shop dedicated to helping people achieve healing, transformation, empowerment and personal growth in Silverlake, LA.

Did you know, the color of your wallet can also affect your finances? Find out more about how to make your wallet a money magnet here!

HOLLYWOOD HIGHS (AND HOTELS): IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LEY LINES

YOU’VE got Ibiza, Glastonbury, and…Hollywood? Certain global locations just seem to rob people of their inhibitions and inspire the kind of semi-naked, joyous hands-in-the-air dancing photographer Brad Elterman captured at this 1977 pool party at a mansion behind the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maybe it was just the 1970s (“back then it wasn’t too much of a big deal going to a Mega Mansion party in Beverly Hills with nude girls, because I attended three or four a week!” he says) – or maybe you could put it down to the ley lines.

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