MAKE YOUR OWN FASHION ENERGY ORACLE DECK!

Don’t know what to wear? Make your own fashion energy oracle deck for some divine style guidance, says says collage artist Monica Ruiz…Images featured are a selection of cards from Monica’s handmade deck

We were sitting on our friends lanai one evening last summer, listening to a single gal pal say what she was looking for in a partner, including good “fashion-energy…”. To which I replied, “omg yes! I am such a believer in fashion energy!”…to which she replied; “Oh, I said passion-and-energy…”

But what is “fashion energy?” I believe fashion goes beyond how an outfit or accessory can make you look, and taps into how we want to feel. Why do we gravitate towards a certain color (black), material (modal, denim) or print (snow leopard, moon-phase)? I believe it’s because we emit different energetic vibrations with what we choose to dress up in.

Our choice of outfit can cause us to feel nostalgic, sexy, modern, rebellious…We might wake up in the same body every day, but we become a different being through the way we spend our time, the moods we encounter – and the clothing choices we make.

On my “lazy” days I’ll put on a cropped tank, some high-waisted denim cut-off shorts and my converse, with my hair in a top bun and my Numinous Chakra sweatshirt tied around my waist.

Other times, I’ll wear my Urban Outfitters Kurt Cobain t-shirt as a dress, with black shorts underneath and my old Costume National moto boots. Last week I wore an old
flannel from the ‘90s with my Isabel Marant sneakers. I had to be at work at 5am and was too tired to think – but I knew my Marant’s would make me feel like less of a slob.

The key is to get familiar with how different aspects of fashion make you and your spirit tick. Stay inspired by trying new things of course, but staying true to your personal fashion energy means always looking and feeling your best.

There are definitely certain brands out there that I legit salivate over. Rodarte, Balmain, Liberated Heart. The sleeveless tops by the Wild Unknown, and the quartz crystal jewelry from aletheia & phos. But in the last year I have become entranced with Free People, to the point that I even started re-purposing my older FP catalogs to fashion my own “fashion-oracle” deck!

Inspired by a friend’s yoga workshop, these soul-cards help me tap back into my unique fashion energy whenever I’m having a nothing-to-wear moment – when this happens, I simply pick a card to help guide me through my closet or dresser drawers.

Feeling blah? When I look at my NATURAL or FREE card, this may simply translate as a no makeup or jewelry day, and instead I’ll my two favorite crystals in my pocket and wear cherry-flavored Chapstick along with my high-top leopard print wedge Vans sneakers.

My WILD AT HEART card reminds me to keep having fun in the concrete jungle, while my WILD ONES card reminds me of my sacred sisterhood, and the magic of long summer days feeling some tie-dyed bandeau vibes!

Over a Skype session, I recently pulled the I AM A TRAVELER card for a friend traveling through Europe for the summer. She’s also a believer in fashion energy, and this
card reminded her that she is able to re-create herself through different fashion cultures and tap into another side of herself.

Now it’s time to make your own fashion energy deck – here’s what you’ll need:

A selection of fashion and travel magazines, and catalogs
Exacto knife (key item)
Glue stick or rubber cement
Cardstock
Scissors

1) Search the magazine and catalogues for images (clothes, background images and words / phrases) that resonate with your personal “fashion energy.”
2) Use your exacto knife to cut out your image as perfectly as possible. Breathe and stay zen for best results, cutting along the edges of the image as closely as possible. When you put your figure against your backdrop, it will/should look surreal!
3) Measure out the cardstock to the size and shape you desire for your deck, and cut into equal-sized pieces.
4) After cutting your cards, choose a background image for each and glue them onto one side of each card.
5) Now glue your main model / fashion image onto the background.
5) Finally, find a space on each card to glue an inspiring phrase or word. The only rule when combining background / image / words is to not over-think this process. This is about YOUR energy and celebrating all the elements of fashion YOU love.

You are now ready to start using and sharing your cards as your very own fashion oracle – have fun with it!

What defines your fashion energy? Connect with us and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

WISHES FULFILLED: HOW TO MAKE A PRAYER FLAG

Looking for an alternative New Moon manifestation ritual? Artist Monica Ruiz makes prayer flags for herself and her friends as a way of reppin’ her love for the life she gets to live. Main image: Larry Louie

Home made prayer flags – Numi style

When I think of prayer flags, fabric panels ranging in sizes and colors with spiritual images, hanging and swaying in a breeze in a secret garden or a cute storefront, I always see and feel peace, wishes fulfilled, Universal love and freedom.

I had given to friends and also received the mini-squares from Tibet that represent light and all the elements, thus bringing health and harmony to all. After the panels naturally fade away due to the elements, it is believed that the mindful loving intentions within the flag fade into the Universe, contributing to an ongoing cycle of the flag’s blessings.

I wanted to re-create my own using images I had already saved from magazines, old books and stamps, and even just cool paper that felt special to my heart. After I made a quick one just to see if my vision was as easy as it seemed (it is!) I kinda went prayer-flag crazy. I made them for everyone around me, including many for myself.

The two that hang in my studio today represent the surfing elements for my Pisces ocean-loving soul-surfer boyfriend, along with some “Marie Antoinette/ French masquerade” vibes pour moi!

And then I have one hanging up in my vanity room / lounge reppin’ my love of books, writing, and my job at the library that supports my life and allows me to live out my daydreams. While I’m putting on my mascara in the a.m. I can glance up and give thanks with a smile.

My flags are small pieces of art that I feel serve as sacred reminders of the simple things that make us smile and lift our spirit. While I like to hang ours on our year-round blue fairy lights in our bedroom, doorways and windows are fun too. I have also hung them up on bulletin boards on my desk at work and on a huge collage at home. There was even one point they were nicknamed “Purr Flags,” by a friend who felt all warm and fuzzy on receiving hers.

“It felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved”

Having got such a great reaction gifting them to people I know, I decided to make a special one as a birthday gift for my spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein a couple of years ago. I’ve written about my gratitude for her before, as she’s kinda been the vessel for many hardcore lessons I’ve needed to start receiving, and for learning more about forgiveness, love and how to listen to my heart and angels.

I felt compelled to make a prayer flag a la Gabby, with images that included her love of street art, the cosmos, her recent engagement in Paris, sacred Buddha statues, mystical silhouettes, powerful words, vibrant energy and of course just lots of LOVE.

Only Love is Real is Gabby’s motto, and I felt like I wanted this flag to have my love and appreciation for Gabby literally bursting through because of the gifts she has shared with me. It took all day, but it was so enjoyable and groovy to create. I was also happy and excited to put many of the images I’d save for future flags of my own on my guru’s flag, because I actually felt the transfer of love: it felt good to give away something beautiful that I loved. It was a true gift of appreciation from the heart.

Because of Hurricane Sandy that year, Gabby didn’t actually receive my flag until May 2013, while her birthday was November 1st! Regardless, my birthday/gratitude gift cosmically made it to her six months later. The morning I woke up and saw it unexpectedly on her Instagram feed, I felt like I was lucid-dreaming. She had it hanging up already and was allowing the magic and love from my home into hers. She loved my gift and I loved making it for her, and the prayer flag looks so cool in Gabby’s “zen den”.

The flags Monica made for Gabby hanging in her guru’s zen-den

Are you inspired to make one now? Let’s do this…

Here’s how to make a prayer flag for a sweet soul in five simple steps.

Supplies needed:

  • Paper images (magazines cut-outs, computer graphics, old books, saved stamps, cards, clip-art, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Double-stick tape
  • Glue stick
  • Twine (pre-cut to the length you want your flag)
  • Card stock or construction paper
  • Paper clips (optional)
  1. Think about how many panels you’d like to work with. I’d start small at first with either three or five (odd numbers work best and the traditional flags come in sets of five, but remember there are no rules!) However many you choose you will need enough images to cover both sides.
  2. You can either pre-cut your card-stock and then alter your images after or cut your card-stock around the image leaving about an inch as a border. Remember, this is not about being “perfect” or having exact straight lines – you’r e creating something from the heart to bring joy into your heart and home!
  3. Glue one image to each panel’s center, one side of the panel only.
  4. Grab your double-stick tape and twine. Lay the panels down in a row, with the image just glued on face down with a little space in between each panel. Now along the top, lay the twine across about one inch below the top edge and place a piece of double-stick tape in the center of the twine on each panel.
  5. Glue the remaining images in the center of each panel, on top of double-stick tape/twine combo.

Voila! Your flags are ready to be shared and invoke feelings of peace, spirit, strength and magic.

Sacred and simple, have fun bringing the tradition of prayer flags into your home. Tie some little loops at the end and use a couple of twisted paperclips if needed and they can be draped wherever you like. Enjoy the process of making each panel personal but keep the process simple.

Whether you make a prayer flag for yourself or for someone special, just remember to use images that make you feel good, because whatever is made with your heart is your art. And don’t forget they are reversible! Switch ’em up depending on your mood or needed inspiration. Sometimes I will do an opposite theme on each side, like maybe sweet dreams contrasted with powerful sun energy. Use your intuition and just pick art and pictures you like! Be whimsical.

When I commented on the prayer flag I made for Gabby the last time I saw it on IG, she sweetly replied; “I look at them every day and I love them!” Wishes-fulfilled and blessings received, Amen.

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

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808

BEACH TAROT: AN ELEMENTAL SHIFT

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808