5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR OWN CRYSTAL MEANINGS

Think you have to endlessly study your crystal bible to tap into your stones’ powers? Leave the bible behind, take your rocks out on a date, and find your own crystal meanings says Wolf Sister.  Main Image: Beth Hoeckel 

The meanings of crystals aren’t literally set in stone. Despite what the dusty description from your local crystal dealer says, the medicine doesn’t end there …

Crystals are formed from of the deepest parts of Mother Earth, so of course there’s so much more meaning to them than just inviting love into your life, warding off anxiety, protection from some less than desirable energies, or waking up your third eye.

Here’s how to start finding your own crystal meanings …

>>>

1/Discover Your Crystal’s Personality (Yes, Your Crystal Has a Theme Song!)
Just like Tinder dates, crystals are individuals with their own personalities that go WAY beyond the profile pic. Instead of playing out the relationship in your mind before you’ve even met them, go out on a few dates with your crystal.

Keep the crystal’s bio info in mind and the reason you initially choose it, but then take the time to listen …. Even holding a crystal in your hand for a few moments in silence with your eyes closed can reveal its personality. So how does it make you feel? Stay open to any ideas and epiphanies that download in your mind at that moment.

The first time that I initiated myself with Rose Quartz, Florence + The Machine’s version of “You’ve Got the Love” drifted into my consciousness. This had nothing to do with the crystal bible’s traditional meanings of romantic love or fertility. Instead, through the lyrics, Rose Quartz was showing me that I had all the support that I needed to get through a project when I’d lost my confidence.

Now every time I hear that song, it’s as if Rose Quartz is talking to me.

>>>

2/Open Your Full Body to the Magic
When you’re getting to know your crystal, actions speak louder than words. Your crystal won’t do all the work—you need to play your part in this deal and put some muscle in! 

For example, if you buy Citrine because you wanna get on with your dharma, then you need to start taking physical action towards it. Instead of endlessly researching courses and workshops about your chosen field while secretly hoping that the Citrine in your pocket is listening, it’s time to actually book the course and do the homework!

>>>

3/See Life Through a “Crystallized Lens”
Seeing your day through your crystal’s eyes can help guide you towards innovation when you’re feeling stuck.

This kind of experience comes from actively imagining, “If I was this crystal, what would I do?” Rather than just keeping it by your bed or at the bottom of your make-up bag, imagine, for example, that you’ve teamed up with Smokey Quartz and can fully step into your power and take up all the space that you deserve!

If you were the actual embodiment of your crystal, how could your perspective radically change?

Society 6 Crystal Phone Case

>>>

4/ Supercharge your Meditation with Crystals
During your meditation practice (if you’re new to meditation, just find a quiet space and focus on your breath!), you can choose to place your crystal on your third eye, somewhere in the space, or in your left (receiving) hand.

Imagine the energy and colors of your crystal infusing and permeating throughout your body. Invite the crystal to recalibrate any distracting energies so that you’re recharged and nourished. Take as long as you like in this crystalline space that you’ve created to integrate these new frequencies. When you’re ready, ground yourself back into the here and now. Again, ask how the crystal you’re using has made you feel, and what new perspective it’s granted you.

>>>

5/Spark a Conversation With Your Crystals  
The best way to find out what your crystals really mean is to start asking questions!

Why did you ask for this crystal to come into your life? What does it mean to you? How does it make you feel? Why did you choose this one instead of the others? What action can you take to bring it to life? 

Keep your crystal with you and free-write the answers to these questions in a journal. If you have Tarot or oracle cards, ask the crystal to communicate with you through the cards. Think of what you’d like guidance with, or use the questions from above as you pull the cards.

>>>

We’re here to create our own experience. Guides are a wonderful starting point, but the only way to find out what your crystal means is to get to know them personally. Be curious so you can work with them, and you’ll soon realize what it wants to guide you towards!

Starting this Friday, June 9th, join Wolf Sister for Get Your Rocks Out—a free online crystal healing workshop where you’ll learn to listen to what your crystals want to say!  

VOICE OF EARTH: A MESSAGE FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Spoken word artist and Moon Club founding member Lisa Luxx, has a powerful message for International Women’s Day. Voice of Earth is a poem about sisterhood, mother nature and the history of womankind. Written at a Sisters of the Wild gathering.

HOLY F*CK: A CALL TO EMBRACE OUR HUMANITY

It’s time to stop using spirituality as an escape—and embrace our humanity, says Alexandra Roxo

In times likes these—where we have somehow managed to elect a president with terrifying beliefs and judgements, where Native people are still fighting to protect the Earth while most everyone else walks around trying to protect money—I feel like it’s so obvious. As a culture and a people we need to get out of our heads and into our feet. Into our wombs, our pussies, and THE EARTH.

We’ve become so focused on “success,” making money, how we climb and grow. All masculine principles. All in the mind. Goal oriented. We barely notice when animals become endangered. We forget to talk about climate change.

It’s not our fault, it’s what we were born into: a consumerist, capitalist culture. When I ask my clients about how much time they spend focusing on their sexual energy or creative energy or with their feet on the ground, it PALES in comparison to how much time is spent in the realm of the computer. Money. Capital. Thought. Even meditation. It’s all up, up, up, into the Cloud.

But the way I see it, we need to go down, down, down! Get back into our bodies. And it turns out spirituality, just like work or booze, can become an escape from the pains and earthy work of being human.

Speaking as somebody who can be a spirituality abuser myself, I think it’s time we stop using it as such. Let me tell you a story about why.

***

When I was 13 I had a bad year. 1: I got held down by a bunch of boys and sprayed with red super soaker guns in 30 degree weather while calling me names. I punched one of them and everyone hated me. 2: My bestie’s parents called us out for being gay after she told them we had innocently experimented sexually together and forbade us to be friends anymore. I was DEVASTATED.

So what did I do? I went to church to get SAVED. This was my first bout of checking out of human life by saying: “God I can’t take it down here! Beam me up!” I spoke in tongues, got saved like 100 times. And even wore Abercormbie. (No offense.) My New-Age-psychic-seeing-Angel-lovin-Enya-listening Mom got worried.

Eventually I went back to feeling like I could manage down here. I did theatre, volunteer work/built homes for homeless, wore 4-inch cork wedges to school, flirted with boys, and learned all the dance moves to “Bye Bye Bye.” But my spirituality abuser didn’t go away. I always found some new practice to dive into. Some psychic to look to for the answers.

By age 19 I found myself sitting on a spiritual pedestal feeling like I was “special” and that others “weren’t awake.” While doing an acting exercise in college my teacher called me out in front of the class: “You are using spirituality a mask. It’s keeping you from feeling things and being here. Go back to your seat and come back when you want to be real.” DAMN. I was crushed. But I took her words wisely and went home, cried for about three days, painted, wrote love letters, laughed with friends and gently got down off my spiritual high horse.

It happened again though. Only two years later, after a trauma abroad, I was ready to sign up to be a monastic in a commune in Italy where I had been meditating in caves, sitting on cold stone floors, and wearing communal Cosby sweaters. I renounced sex, alcohol, or anything “of the flesh!” Mom got worried again.

I found my way back to humanity again. But my spiritual extremist rears her head every so often. I see her spending more time reading horoscopes than DOING things that can help. Talking more to other realms than folks in Trader Joe’s. Diving into days of plant medicine ceremonies and shamanic journeys. And avoiding the harsh pains of reality. Any of this sounding familiar?

As wonderful as it it to wake at 6am and meditate every day, to read all the articles and check the horoscopes and pull a card from all the decks, I am trying to refrain. In the name of balance.

My aim is to cultivate as much of an EARTH practice as I have a SPIRITUAL one. Which means for every meditation or journey to the spirit realms, I better be doing something here here on Earth. CAUSE I WAS BORN A HUMAN. And the Earth needs me. Head out of phone. Feeling my toes in the dirt. Pussy alive with energy and life force. Does ALL LIFE originate in my brain? NAH, IT’S IN THE PUSS.

***

I don’t think it’s enough to just pray and send love and light to Trump, or anyone for that matter. Pray for peace, yes. For love, yes. But I think we also need to get dirt under our nails and be humble and immerse ourselves in what’s happening out on the streets.

And so I urge you, like I urge ME, to embrace your humanity!

Get in the pub and talk to old Latino men and share food and drink with them.

Instead of reading another self-help book (like me!) go to the rally. Sign up to volunteer. Watch documentaries and educate yourself. Go to open mics and comedy clubs in areas that are new to you and mingle with people who aren’t like you.

Let’s look at how much we’re spending on “spiritual” paraphernalia, and re-balance the books! How about a pole dancing class instead? Donations to planned parenthood? Community gardening?

Let’s admit that we don’t know the answers. It’s not fair to all the other folks who have been working tirelessly for years if we pretend we know how to save the world with our ascension ideas. (I mean would you say that to an 85-year-old Native woman? Nah, probs not.)

And remember. If and when we need a strict practice to get us through a hard time, it will ALWAYS be there. You won’t lose it. Because it’s in you! “Spirit” won’t get angry and turn its back on you. I promise.

But for now the world needs YOU and your humanity. Out there. Off the mountain and in the streets.

I love you.

Moon Club co-founder Alexandra Roxo is a filmmaker and intuitive coach living in LA. Read more about her work at www.alexandraroxo.com and follow her love and sex and life woes and victories on Instagram.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: SELF-CARE WITH MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Skip to Wednesday if you want this week’s BIG MESSAGE about self-care with mainstream media. Clue: please practice extreme caution…

Step AWAY from the headlines…and reach out to Mother Nature

:: MONDAY ::
Moon Club launch day! If you didn’t read about it already, this post explains everything you need to know about the new mentoring + coaching program from me and Alexandra Roxo, which we announced tonight on our online ritual for the Taurus Full Moon supermoon. We’d actually put the launch date off several times, and hadn’t really paid too much attention to the fact we would be going live with the project right after the election—but following the events of the last week, our message—which is all about inspiring and activating a new generation of spiritual activists—feels more relevant now than ever.

I was also feeling confident about the potential of this project, thanks to an akashic records reading with amazing Andrea Frade the day right after the election (which will forever be remembered as 11/9, in a bizarre—or not—twist of numerological irony). When I asked my guides, teary-eyed, how the work I am doing with the Numinous could have more impact, and reach the people who need it most, the answer was pretty direct: gather large groups of people, women in particular, and share the tools and wisdom I have learned to help mobilize individuals to act. Which is the mission of Moon Club to a tee. Discover more about Andrea and her work at Andreafrade.com. To learn more about Moon Club and sign up, go to Moonclub.co

:: TUESDAY ::
In times of trauma and overwhelm (anybody?!), while some may turn to Xanax, my first port of call is always Kerri Aab—a.k.a. my flower lady. Which sounds pretty fluffy, ha, I know, but seriously—Kerri’s custom flower remedies have got me through pretty much every major “push” of the past few years. The effect, which builds over a course of weeks, is subtle—kind of like the self-affirming boost you get from a great conversation with a mentor or trusted friend. I wrote in more detail about this here. And after our session today, I also had Kerri write this beautiful piece about how being of service has helped her through the darkest of times. Discover more about Kerri and her work at Seedtoblossom.com

:: WEDNESDAY ::
A long talk with amazing Betsy LeFae—a professional intuitive coach, whose mission is to teach people how to trust our own inner knowing. The main topic of conversation? How it is of utmost importance right now to practice self-care and extreme caution when consuming mainstream media reports on the events that are unfolding post 11/9. YES we need to be informed. But what we really, really, really don’t need is to overdose on sensationalist headlines to the point of paralysis.

Think about the root of that word: sensationalist. As a journalist with almost 20 years working in the mainstream media, the most “successful” stories (the ones which keep readers coming back for more, and advertisers paying big bucks to reach those readers) are the ones that make us feel something (cause a physical “sensation” in our body). And the feeling that will keep people utterly hooked on the content you’re putting out is FEAR.

Get your readers afraid, and the adrenalin spike will trigger the “fight or flight” response, utterly drowning out our connection to the steady and calm inner voice that ALWAYS knows what is best for us. The result? You keep looking for “answers” (those headlines again) from the place which is actually keeping you trapped in fear. And so the cycle continues.

Worse, like the proverbial deer in the headlights, this cycle is also what prevents us from getting OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY of oncoming disaster—versus choosing the next right actions to steer ourselves and our loved-ones (as in like, the whole of humanity) to safety.

But also, we need to be informed. If you have found a credible, reliable news source that sticks to the facts (tricky, since it also feels pretty much like political quicksand out there right now) and presents them in a calm, helpful way, then please comment below! I’m doing my research on this too and will be sharing on our social media channels.

:: THURSDAY ::
Re. above, a word on “fear,” the big, bad wolf of the “spiritual” community. I actually believe that fear is a healthy and useful human emotion like any other. Without fear, we’d likely take all kinds of risks that could prove very detrimental to our wellbeing! But Betsy had another great point, which I was reminded of today when I had my first meeting post 11/9 out in “corporate America”—and witnessed first hand how fearful the majority of the population is right now!

There’s a difference between fear of an actual, physical, threat, and fear of a perceived danger up ahead.

Yes, there appear to be many, MANY, dangerous potential outcomes to the current political situation. But while we wait for the zombies to emerge from the swamp in all their gory glory, let’s do what we can (breath, keep taking the Rescue Remedy, stay away from adrenalin / fear exacerbating substances like coffee and alcohol, disengage as much as possible from sensationalist mainstream media), and keep focussed on the daily actions that our inner knowing knows is best for us and for our communities.

:: FRIDAY ::
Like…practicing utmost vigilance in making consumer choices that are good for us and for the planet, maybe? At the very heart of the current situation, Mother Earth is potentially the biggest loser of all—while we, as her children, will suffer to the extent that she does. Corrupt polititians included!! I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the struggles at Standing Rock have provided a constant backdrop to this entire presidential season—acting as both a mirror and a metaphor for the REAL issues at stake. Corporate greed, embodied, quite literally, by you-know-who, versus the rights of ALL PEOPLE to share in the abundance of Earth (all our home, y’all!)

This weekend I’ll be staked out at Ethikal—an “all good” holiday pop-up market from 1 Hotels, selling our Numinous sweatshirts—of which 10% of sales go to the Urban Yogis (also our partners for our #TuneInPeaceOut event back in September). Today this all feels like a drop in the ocean, considering the potential of what lies ahead. But the way I see it, step-by-step is the only way forward. And it’s when we ALL feel empowered to take the next right steps, that we will make progress together. 

5 HIGH-VIBE DATING DEAL-BREAKERS

In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul connection? Gabriela Herstik lays down her high-vibe dating deal-breakers…

Material girl, mystical world. It ain’t always easy. Take dating, where finding a partner you click with, who also shares the same values as you, can be a minefield. In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul-connection? And you shouldn’t have to explain what the position of the moon has to do with your pressing and urgent need to sage wash your iPhone. Right?

And then there’s food. Apparently November is World Vegan Month (we were clueless too), which led some company to publish research showing 1 in 3 would NOT date a vegan. Like, even if he happened to be Liam Hemsworth! It goes without saying that having BBQ for every meal is a swipe-out in our Numiverse. Here are 5 more high-vibe dating deal-breakers…

1. Not being a feminist
Honestly ya’ll, it’s 2016. How is it that Hillary Clinton was up for president against someone with literally zero experience in any sort of government, and who is openly a racist bigot, and yet a vote for her still wasn’t a no-brainer. Intersectional feminism is vital for deconstructing patriarchal structures that affect women all over the world—from the wage gap, to war-mongers who use crimes against women as ammo, to the violence experienced by queer and trans women in the United States. So if you’re not down for feminism, I’m not down for you. Awaken or leave me be.

2. Not respecting my spiritual beliefs
You don’t have to understand why I do what I do. You don’t have to read the tarot, come to yoga or even have to believe in a higher power. But you know what you DO have to do? RESPECT MY BELIEFS. Because there’s nothing more low-vibe than judging someone for what they believe. And obviously this goes both ways, and can be an amazing way to grow together! Amelia Quint of The Midheaven sums up her high-vibe relationship perfectly: “When Zach and I met, I still kept some Christian philosophies and he was atheist. Now we’re both cosmic space children. Don’t write someone off because of their beliefs. Follow your heart and soul.” AMEN SISTER.

3. Being closed-minded
I know that the occult is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I feel the same way about sports. But the sexiest thing you can wear is an open mind! This goes for any sort of relationship: them not being willing to learn or listen is a major red flag. A conscious relationship means being open to the full experience each other brings, after all. You have to be willing to taste some of the salty and sour to truly enjoy the sweet, and being open to all experiences makes life way more delicious.

Vegan = “undateable”?

4. Non-communication
As someone who has been gaslighted and manipulated by past partners for sharing my feelings and emotions, I am NOT down with non-communication. If I can try and communicate with my higher power, you can try and communicate with me! When you’re in a space of deep self-exploration, being able to talk to your partner about what you’re learning, how you’re changing, and what’s no longer working is vital. We are all mirrors for one another, after all, and as you deal with your own shit you’ll more than likely see it reflected in your partner as well. If you can’t talk to them about it—even fight about it—then the relationship has nowhere to expand.

5. Disrespecting Mother Earth
As we witness the water bearers and Native people of Standing Rock struggle against the government for basic human rights, we’re reminded of ALL our responsibilities to Gaia—our Earth. Which makes being disrespectful of our planet—whether it’s littering or having zero regard for your carbon footprint—is a total deal-breaker. Like, IF YOU CAN’T RESPECT YOUR MOTHER HOW CAN YOU RESPECT ME?? We all walk this Earth together, and it’s on us to protect her for the sake of generations to come. You don’t have to be a total hippie to get this, but if you’re not FOR the Earth, you’re against her—and that’s just not okay.

RISE SISTER RISE: Q&A WITH REBECCA CAMPBELL

Whatever Donald Trump—the Divine Feminine is RISING! Ruby Warrington talks to Rebecca Campbell about her new book Rise Sister Rise, and hears why it’s time for the Wild Woman to be heard…

RUBY WARRINGTON: Your background is in advertising—what are the secret cues in advertising messages that have blocked the rise of the Divine Feminine?
REBECCA CAMPBELL: Wow, this is a BIG question. Generally speaking though, patriarchal society (which is exaggerated in advertising and the media) has tried to contain women to fit into a limited number of socially acceptable archetypes: the Maiden and the Mother.

There has been very little representation of the Wise Woman—the woman who is not afraid to share her voice, who cannot be contained, or restrained of the Crone, who becomes wiser and more potent with her years.

Advertising is also based on making the product a hero—which means exaggerating a problem it is designed to “solve” (often perpetuating fears). For example, when talking about periods, it’s about being discreet. When talking about aging, it’s about halting this natural process. So you can see how we’ve been taught that embracing the cyclic nature of being a woman is “a problem.”

RW: Was there an “aha” moment for you in terms of focusing on this work with your new book?
RC: I was very much in my feminine when writing my first book, but I soon realized I had no idea how to run my business from the this place. A career girl who learned to make it in man’s world, I reverted to the old patriarchal ways of being the hard worker, the warrior, the good girl. Of using pressure not pleasure as my driving force. Of putting my service to others above service to myself.

My client sessions were booking out six months in advance, and I kept promising myself that I would tend to filling my well when things quieted down. But days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I became increasingly aware that it was not possible to bloom all year round and that there had to be a different way.

Then I had a dream that was just so real, I woke myself up mid sob. In the dream I had a baby—and everyone was in awe of her because she never ever cried. But because she didn’t cry, a whole week passed without her being fed. Guilt-stricken, I scooped her up and brought her to my breast. As I looked down at her face I saw myself, my mother, and all the women in my family.

I then checked my phone and discovered a text from my dad to call home because mum had breast cancer. Later, I looked up the metaphysical meaning of her illness, and discovered that it can be to do with a refusal to allow ourselves to receive and be nourished.

I saw how even though I had left the corporate world, I was still operating this way too. So I cleared my diary for a week and went to the Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury—to fill up my inner well at the mother of all wells. It was here that I heard the first whispers of Rise Sister Rise.

RW: Who and what have been key figures and teachings for you in terms of awakening the Divine Feminine in you?
RC: There are so many! Maya Angelou, The Magdalenes, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Christiane Northrup, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Marion Woodman, Sally Kempton, Starhawk, Gurumayi Chidvilasnanda, Alexandra Pope, Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor.

RW: You talk about the importance of healing our relationships with our mothers—why is this? And what has been your own experience of this?
RC: We receive a blueprint of what it means to be a woman from our mothers, and often the relationship we have with her will be mirrored in how we see the world. How held we believe we are by Life. How to give and receive love, nourishment and support.

When we heal our relationship with our mother, we have the opportunity to heal and connect ourselves to Mother Earth in the process. To let our own inner rhythm sync back into harmony with the rhythm of the planet and of all life. We are also able to give ourselves the mothering that we need, and are able to show up to life full rather than looking at the world and other people to fill us up.

RW: In what other ways do you bring your inner Wild Woman forth in your day-to-day life?
RC: First, by acknowledging my fears and feelings when they surface—no matter how inconvenient, uncomfortable, crazy or embarrassing (I’ve got an amazing whatsapp group of ladies where we hold the space for us to do so without judgment—there are A LOT of emoticons).

I then work on transmuting these feelings through creative expression (rather than pushing them down). This could be through dance (Sia is great for this) or some form of creation such as writing.

And finally, by really honoring the wild woman phase of my monthly cycle (PMS time). I have learned that if I push down what’s rising in me and what is falling away during this time, I will probably find a destructive way of keeping myself contained and restrained such as overeating or having a few too many glasses of wine.

RW: In what ways do you think the rise of the Divine Feminine is already creating a shift in society?
RC: I believe it is becoming safer than ever for her to be seen and heard. We can see her in Michelle Obama, and in shows such as Girls. We can see her at work as women rise together in collaboration rather than in competition. With every new woman who rises, by following her intuition, claiming her power, and sharing her voice, she makes it easier for another woman to follow her lead.

This era of history has been prophesized by the mystics and sages of all the ages, and I believe that social media and the rise of the female entrepreneur has had a lot to do with this coming to pass. It’s becoming easier for women to come together in circle, to collaborate, and to unite.

RW: And what do you think differentiates this movement from, say, the 1970s feminist movement?
RC: To me, the rising feminine is feminism of the soul. And as we recover from the past few thousand years (!) of patriarchy, I believe it is important not to seek its polar opposite—to move from patriarchy to matriarchy. Rather, it is time to bring the sacred masculine and sacred feminine energies back into balance. As the sacred feminine rises, may the sacred masculine rise along with Her.

RW: Looking 20 years into the future, what do you think the bigger impact of a feminine uprising could be?
RC: I believe if we all honor the cyclic nature of our bodies and of life, the planet will go back to a state of harmony. We see ourselves as separate from nature but that is just not true. We are part of nature but so many of us have disconnected ourselves from it—and in doing so, we have disconnected from both The Great Mother (Earth) and from ourselves.

The sooner we surrender to our own cyclic nature (for example: for women, our monthly cycles are connected to the waxing and waning of the moon), the sooner this planet will move back into balance. I do believe it is possible and I do believe that we are all being called to surrender to this calling before it is too late.

Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within is out now on Hay House. Rebecca Campbell will also be joining Numinous Founder Ruby Warrington and Madeline Giles of Angelic Breath Healing for a special event in NYC on 11/11 2016. Full details to be announced!

REMEMBERING THE WISDOM OF WILDNESS

Re-connect to the wisdom of wilderness, and perhaps our planet will save US, says Darren Austin HallArtwork: Stéphane Recoupé

“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” — Terry Tempest Williams

The worst kind of loss is one you’re not even aware of. The loss of the wild and our allied wildness is one such loss, haunting us in a multitude of inner-howlings and muffled cries; deep, psychic pains and distant, all-engulfing yearnings.

We may taste it in the devastating awe of a sublime valley of meandering meadows and lakes surrounded by towering mountains. Or else in the skin-crawling terror that some city slickers can experience in the dark woods. We get little nudges of it, too, when we boldly take risks, calling upon unknown resources. In the ecstatic place when limits are transcended and we witness how much more powerful we are than we believed.

And we also find it in the rebellious streak that smirks at authority figures, sometimes playfully, sometimes out of a sheer desire to transgress any kind of ‘taming’ of our primal being, as if it were a grave betrayal. The story of our wildness—what it is, what happened to it and what to do with it now—is old and complicated, but it’s one worth remembering, for it harkens back to the most ancient wounds that usurp us all.

Our natural world, horrendously abused, is now in a state so perilous our very survival as a species is threatened. This is an example of just how deep the wound of separating from our wildness goes. At the heart of perhaps one of the longest and most insane of wars in our story as a species, it is also one we are largely ignorant of: the war against both nature and the wilds of our own human nature.

I realized this returning to Toronto after a recent vision quest in Manitoba, and realizing what we’ve lost in choosing to pave over Her wild, ragged skin; to relegate Her rawness to sanitized city parks; to drown out the peaceful pulse of Her wilderness with the perpetual motion of the traffic and busyness that charge our cities with a certain kind of restless madness.

Moreover, how we have become cut off from something so vital and necessary; something that keeps us in constant alignment with what is true and good, on a path of virtue, and away from the suffering that modern culture wreaks upon us by way of social conditioning.

But all it takes to remember is to acknowledge the inherent wisdom that awakens within us when we’re in the wild, like a silent soul-switch.

In any moment of heartache, when you’ve felt called to take a walk in park or, better yet, hike in a forest, didn’t you experience an almost immediate peace-of-mind? And perhaps a subsequent yet even more powerful cascade of wise insights, resolve, and answers? In my one-on-one healing practice, I often send people besieged by turmoil to the park to sit beneath a tree, to ground into the earth and simply ask questions. I counsel them to enter a state of meditative receptivity and to wait to see what happens. It never fails.

One incredulous friend later admitted she thought it was some ‘hippy bullshit’—but that within minutes of sitting, she found extraordinary insights. On this note, one ancient name for Goddess Earth is Sophia, meaning ‘wisdom’—also at the root of the word philosophy: philo (love) of sophy (wisdom). Or Sophia, the Earth Goddess, whose quality is wisdom.

I believe that when we encounter any kind of wilderness, even in a city park, an extraordinary resonance takes place between it and the wilderness buried deep in us. Suddenly, stagnant emotions, thoughts and experiences find flow because what is wild is always in flow, cannot be tamed nor contained. To take a hit of this means an immediate sense of liberation.

It’s a feeling we experience as teenagers: as our hormones thrust our bodies into adulthood, and we feel the unhinged energies of our being expanding. In traditional cultures, these were times to take the boys and girls into the wild to teach them how to navigate these new energies, so that their wildness could be channeled, and not devour them in arrogant hubris and inflated egos vulnerable to narcissism.

Nowadays, kids do drugs, and partake in other risky activities to test their mettle against these dynamic evolutions. All too often, it leads to disaster—disasters we often survive (we are sturdy folk). But some are are never able to escape this deep yearning for more aliveness, chasing the sensation for the rest of their lives in whirlwinds of drug and alcohol abuse.

For the great call of the wilderness is forever present.

If we choose, we can learn to ride the stallion of our desires using the tools of our spiritual practice, while fostering a quiet reverence for the wild, knowing that there will always be a part of us that lies beyond our control. For if we don’t figure out how to live in harmony with our wildness, we’re doomed. Something we’re reckoning with as a species right now.

And so I invite you to rediscover the wild in you and to find ways to connect more deeply and even sacredly to the wilds of the world.

  • Perhaps this means a month-long discipline of mini-vision questing a la urban shamanism, going to the nearby park every morning to sit in gratitude and receptivity for potential flumes of wisdom.
  • Perhaps this means shaking for twenty minutes a day and letting the voice vent into roars, yells and spontaneous songs.
  • Perhaps it means following our instincts more, our gut-truths, and heart-wombing wisdom; giving head to our heart.

Whatever your way of connecting to the wisdom of wildness, know that you are healing the great wound between ourselves and the Earth, a wound that has pushed us to the harrowing brink. Know that these small acts are in service of a greater movement that is sweeping through our species as we begin to remember a deeply eternal love for Earth, and for the wild.

In which we might just find the way to live one of the most splendorous truths imaginable; we might find the way to let the world save us.

Discover more about Darren Austin Hall and his work at Darrenaustinhall.com

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

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: THE MAGIC OF PLANTS PARTS 1 & 2

The week that showed me there’s no denying the magic of plants…

Medicine woman: Deborah Hanekamp

Magic of plants part 1. I’m completely fascinated by the whole plant medicine revolution that’s happening right now. The concept that thousands of people, often the opinion-formers and change-makers of the world, are being sought out by the consciousness of Mother Earth via these medicines, and experiencing vast awakenings.

In fact, I was joking with my friend the other day that the current financial system won’t collapse because of dodgy bonds and unchecked “quantitative easing” – but because all the bankers will end up doing Ayahuasca, and quitting their jobs to make a positive difference in the world instead!

To date, I have not been called to sit in a ceremony myself. The stories of emotional and often physical intensity frighten me, and I know from past practice that I am capable of having similarly (third) eye-opening experiences using alternative, gentler methods.

But still, the fascination remains, and so when I learned about Deborah Hanekamp’s Medicine Readings, which she described as being as close as you could get to a ceremony without actually drinking Ayahuasca, I was obviously super intrigued.

Cut to Tuesday afternoon, when I met Deborah for a reading at my fave spot, Maha Rose. She began by asking what I was working on (as in emotionally), and from her questions about this I could tell immediately that she is a gifted intuitive, with an open and true connection the subtle realms.

I was then asked to lie on her treatment table, and begin a steady tri par viloma (three-part) breath. For the following hour Deborah would invoke the spirit of the plants using scent, in the form of sweet floral tinctures, healing stones and different sound instruments, including her own voice as she sang the haunting “Icaros,” traditional Peruvian medicine songs.

All the time I felt very much in my body – while I was shown, with incredible clarity and in the form of deeply held memories rising effortlessly to the surface of my consciousness, the very root of the issues I’d been grappling with during the recent eclipse period. Tears flowed freely as I was able to make sense of situations that my psyche had chosen to keep hidden from me until now, but in understanding and putting these pieces of my past together, I also felt a sense of forgiveness.

Coming out of the session, I was aware that I’d actually been in a trance-state – my body felt slow, my blood thick, as if I’d be dosed with a heavy anesthetic. One designed to null any pain, allowing me to face the truths that arose without flinching, or looking away. Writing this now, I realize this is probably very similar to what happens in a plant medicine ceremony.

Deborah then told me what spirit, the Grandmother consciousness of the plant, had shared with her during my reading, all of it deeply relevant. We finished the session with her giving me a prescription for a special bath I was to prepare for myself in the coming week, along with a crystal, a meditation, and a mantra to work with.

They say that when you are ready, the spirit of Ayahuasca will find you. And in a week of much confusion, actually, following the two eclipses, last weekend’s Blood Moon, and in the final throws of this Mercury Retro period, she offered herself to me in exactly the form I needed.

Check out more about Deborah and her work at Unityessences.com

Magic of plants part 2. I also watched the brilliant documentary Cowspiracy this week – which has totally cemented my commitment to being vegan. This is something that goes beyond health, beyond all the completely unnecessary bloodshed, and even beyond environmental issues for me now (although, if you need any more convincing, check out this ridiculous fact sheet). For me, this taps into the evolution of consciousness.

Because okay, how’s this for theory. Animal agriculture is by FAR the biggest contributor to the destruction of the rainforests – responsible for 91% OF AMAZON DESTRUCTION. How freaking cool, then, that the Amazonian plants themselves are fighting back – the Ayahuasca revolution opening so many influential minds to the wider implications of this issue.

The broader message of this film + my interaction with plant consciousness with Deborah this week have made me more aware than ever of the connection we as humans share with every other living being (animal + vegetable) on Earth, and the responsibility of love and care to our extended “family” that comes with this.

Also, you can think about it from a karmic perspective – with so much environmental destruction in the name of using flesh for food…doesn’t it make a sick kind of sense that our addiction to animal protein (because that’s what it is, since all tastes besides breast milk are acquired) could be what brings about the extinction of our species?

Wow – big stuff. But it’s not too late! As one commentator in the documentary puts it: “No other lifestyle choice has a father reaching and more profoundly positive impact on the planet than choosing a plant-based lifestyle.” Amen to that.

From the streets of LA…where they’re all about the magic of plants!

 

#NOFILTER: HOW TO HARVEST YOUR OWN SPRING WATER

Want to feel truly ALIVE? Then it’s time to harvest your own spring water, says Alexandra Derby.

We are literally made up of water, around 60% of our entire body, just like that of Planet Earth. After breathing, oxygen, the second most fundamental element to our existence is water. And so the water we drink is one of the biggest contributors to our state of overall health, happiness and wellbeing.

The juiciness of our cells, our bodies ability to flush out unwanted toxins, the vibrancy and elasticity of our skin: all reasons why it is so important to drink the best water possible. But living in big cities we are given very little access to natural, unadulterated water. So if you are serious about pursuring the most vibrant life possible, then it’s up to you to take matters into your own hands!

I’ve been on a quest to drink the best water possible since the birth of my daughter three years ago. As a geeky Virgo, my search led me to the study of structured water – what Gerald Pollack describes as the ‘fourth state of water’ – as found in natural spring water.

We know from our science lessons at school that water can be solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (steam). In its forth state, the molecules of Pollack’s structured water form a crystalline lattice aligned in a Flower of Life pattern.

 

And spring water is naturally structured into a coherent crystal lattice by Mother Earth, who, left to her own devices, structures EVERYTHING into a coherent crystal lattice (including us humans!) so that all living things can vibrate together in harmony.

But what does this mean for our bodies? Well, in a word, coherence. The blood and cells in your body resonate perfectly with this state of crystalline unity. In effect, this means you can program your body with unity consciousness by simply drinking water!

Some things I have tried in my quest to quench my thirst for structured water:

Drinking spring water from bottles. Glass is best as plastic leaches into the water and adds to the plastic waste pile that will only end up polluting our oceans.
Filtering tap water. I’ve tried Brita filters (downside is the jug is plastic and you have to replace disposable plastic filters); an elegant glass water filter with Japanese charcoal (sadly discontinued from Design Within Reach); and Berkey filters (excellent, but made of metal – glass is always best container for water).
Charging my water. Combined with a filtration system, this really makes a difference to how the water feels in your body. I have tried tesla plates (a tuned anodized aluminum plate that works to bring bioenergetic fields back into balance and harmony); placing crystals in my water to structure it in resonance to their crystalline field; and giving Reiki to my water by cupping my hands around it before I drink it.
Blessing my water by saying: “Thank you. I love you.” As Masaru Emoto demonstrated with his hauntingly beautiful images showing how water crystals resopond to intentions, music and specific words, the most powerful coherence and greatest beauty was shown when the water was acknowledged with Love and Gratitude – “Thank you. I love you.”

BUT the day I convinced by husband and kid to drive upstate and harvest our own spring water, naturally structured water, was the day I fully understood what the saying ‘you can taste the difference’ really meant!

I knew I really had to do something more about the water I was drinking when I kept dreaming of how I needed to drink spring water. So, following my intuitive voice I found a website with just the information I was looking for.

Findaspring.com is an amazing resource mapping all of the natural springs accessible in your area, along with detailed directions. The huge and passionate natural spring water community keeps the comments updated for each spring with information about the quality of the water, accessibility, and whether the spring is dry or not.

Typing the address of our local spring into google maps, we headed off one Saturday morning with a couple of three-gallon glass bottles and a sense of adventure. As we drove further from the City, I began fretting we would never find the spot – but we kept going, and right on cue saw a car pulled over to the side of the road with a man lifting water bottles out.

There was a small gathering at the spring. An extended Polish family were filling up about 15 five-gallon bottles that would last them for months, they said. There are no legal limits on the amount of spring water you are allowed to harvest but it is recommended to harvest five gallons at a time.

Getting my first taste of the beautiful crisp water that was gushing out of the pipe from the ground can only be described as pure magic. I knew for sure then that water is Sacred. This water was so sparkling that mini rainbows were reflecting off the droplets on my cupped hand. My body tingled with delight, I literally feel ALIVE. This water had come straight from Mother Earth, unfiltered, untouched by any processes, straight from the Source.

The first week of drinking the water we harvested, some surprising things happened. We decided to focus on using the water for drinking, as we had not harvested enough to bathe in. And so we used it in all our smoothies, nut milks and any recipe that needed unheated water.

The first thing I noticed was that heaviness that I used to feel from water sitting in my stomach was gone, as if the spring water was being taken straight into my cells. I felt light! I felt vibrant! And then… all sorts of old emotional patterns starting rising to the surface.

I realised that in drinking such pure water, all the toxins I was carrying, not just physically but DEEP emotional toxins, were being pulled to the surface to be purged. It felt like I was being guided through a process of letting go of anything that no longer served me. I felt I was being ‘cleared out’, so as to be a vessel for greater light, and greater balance. Wow. What a reminder that water is Life.

How do you make sure you’re drinking the purest water possible? Connect with us and share your tips on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

SPELLBOUND: INTERVIEW WITH A WHITE WITCH

The ancient holiday of Beltane (May 1st in the Northern Hemisphere), is celebrated as the first day of summer and carries a unique opportunity to authentically connect with faeries, romance, and magic! On its eve, white witch Lucy Cavendish shares with Madeline Giles what being a professional witch entails – and how true witchcraft is about inspiring others to remember their own innate magical powers.

“There’s an artistic aspect to being a witch,” muses a bright and bubbly Lucy Cavendish, calling from her native Sydney, Australia. “Even though a lot of spell work seems to be about attracting, it’s also about creating and contributing – there’s an eclectic, free-spirited vibe to it.” Cavendish, who is a self-declared bohemian witch, has been teaching, writing, speaking and practicing witchcraft for over 20 years. Through her bestselling oracle card decks and books (including Witchy Magic, Spellbound, and several others), Cavendish disparages the hoary viewpoint that real-life witches are fantasy.

Witches hold a rather notorious reputation in society. What’s your personal opinion on that?
I understand why people have a negative perception, because that’s been in our popular culture for some time – and I would say that just like there are bad postmen and bad teachers, of course there are people who work witchcraft in ways I would consider irresponsible and unethical. But the point people overlook is that there’s corruption and selfishness in all paths – whether you’re a policeman, a politician, or a witch – it all comes down to the individual and his or her intent.

How does one go about becoming a professional witch, out of interest?
It depends on what particular path you choose to travel, as there are various forms of witchcraft. Personally, I’ve chosen to follow a more eclectic, non-hierarchical path. I’ve done my Year And A Day, which is where you sit in a circle for 366 days with mentors discussing and practicing spells and conducting rituals. It’s a collective approach so you’ve always got people to support you and to question you if they think what you’re doing is unethical.

And how do you pass the teachings on?
It feels like; “I’ve developed this connection, if you would like to, you can develop this too. Maybe we could work together.” My aim is to inspire people to have a beautiful experience of the divine whether it occurs sitting in a grove of trees or through a celestial vision.

What was your life like before you became a witch?
Even though I was always really drawn to this work and I did readings for people all the time, I spent a lot of time trying to fit in. I wanted to live a life that didn’t look quite so weird from the outside. So I went to university and worked in really ordinary jobs, but I never lasted long. I’d be the production editor at a magazine, but have my cards out on my desk – which is probably why I didn’t last! At the time I assumed that other people wouldn’t accept me, but really I wasn’t accepting of myself. I honestly thought if I did what I loved – which is what I’m doing now – I’d starve and my cat would die. I thought I’d be a little street witch, a magical homeless person doing readings on street corners (laughs). That’s what I was afraid of.

So how did you make the transition?
I ended up leaving Australia to travel for a few years, and that really opened me up by helping me get through the fear of making ends meet while doing what I love. I never thought I could be doing what I do now – I assumed I would have to be unhappy in a “real” job, and that this would be a passion to be kept secret from some people. Thank goodness I took the risk! I chucked myself out of the nest and learned that it is possible to live a precarious, artistic and magical life – that somehow, if you commit to it, it will work out.

Now let’s get into the detail. Can you cast spells on other people?
There are very strong ethics and laws around what we do, one of which is never cast a spell against the free will of another person. So if someone comes to me and says; “I’d like you to cast a spell for me,” I can do that – but it needs to be for them. Not for that man or woman they’re interested in, for their mother’s inheritance, their ex-husband or wife, etc. That’s not what we do, and I don’t consider people who do do this kind of thing witches as they’re ignorant of the law, and it’s not healthy. Witches uphold the Law of Threefold Return, which means whatever you send out will return to you to the power of three. It’s important to be aware of that. It’s not the same as karma, but it’s similar to it – and if you’re going to sit in that consciousness and stir up that energy, there’s no way you can avoid it impacting you.

What types of spells do you cast most often?
A lot of spell work is about empowering people by raising their confidence and self-esteem – because that’s really the root of manifesting the things we want in our lives. Sometimes people are afraid to go after what they want because they feel they’re not good enough to deserve it, and spellcrafting is designed to shift a person’s energy and help them get to a place where they feel strong, confident and grounded – and then their contribution can begin.

What’s the first thing you’d recommend to someone interested in strengthening their divine connection?
The first thing I’d ask is how often they’re outside. How much time do they spend in nature? Are they aware of their local environment and what grows near where they live? What phase the moon is in? How often does it rain? It may sound like I’m asking everyone to become climate specialists, but it’s more that I’m asking people to get back in touch with how things work at a natural level in their environment. When you begin observing where you live and how energy works there, you begin to restore the natural power source that flows not only around us, but within us. That way, we begin to feel more powerful – and thus increase our opportunities to be a fully contributing, creative soul, which is empowering for anyone whether you want to be a witch or not.

In the below extract from her book Witchy Magic, Lucy elaborates on how to celebrate Beltane. Back in the day, our ancestors used to welcome the sweetness of summer on this enchanted holiday by dancing around ceremonious Beltane fires and making love underneath the stars. Today, witches continue to celebrate this festive day with large celebrations and generously sweet offerings to mother earth.

“Beltane is representative of vitality, fertility and the energy of the sun, so its foods include luscious fruits like cherries and strawberries, green leaf, herb and flower petal salads, oat or barley cakes, and honey. Beltane is a festival of love and romance, and roses and other flowers can be added to your food, used as a garnish or table decoration, woven into a garland for your hair or used in spells for love, which can be as simple as lighting a pink candle and making a wish or soaking in a bath filled with pink rose petals. You can also leave a little plate of nuts, berries and flowers out for the faeries, as this is a cross-quarter day when the veils are thin, and their energy can be drawn upon. Dress in long, swirling clothes with flowers in your hair and dance barefoot on the grass, soaking up the vibration of the earth and of this powerful, potent time.”

LUCY’S BELTANE ROSE PETAL TEA
Rose tea has a light flavor, a sweet scent and a calming effect.
*Using one cup of fresh rose petals, cut off the biter white bases from the petals and rinse well. Place in a teapot and pour two cups of boiling water over them. Allow to steep for five minutes – the petals will darken and become discolored, which is normal. Strain the rose petal liquid into teacups and add a little honey of you like.

Read more from Madeline Giles at Mermadeline.com, and follow her on Twitter.