2014 has been a year of SELF-EXAMINATION, TRANSFORMATION and ADVENTURE! Here are 11 posts that made us laugh, gasp, cry…and take a good long look at our lives from the inside (listed in no particular order of awesomeness).
Ellie Burrows is pretty sure she’s discovered the secret to online dating. And it’s Tantra. Not super-connected, total body orgasm, tantric sex – rather the energetic concept that makes that kind of sex possible: a balance of the masculine and feminine energies.
Dealing with a situation that had left her feeling vulnerable and alone, when Ruby Warrington met her spirit power animal last year…it got emotional. Here’s how to connect with your own beast of the wild unknown.
Yay, you’re going on a yoga retreat! You want to get the most out of your experience, right? Who better than Heather Lilleston and Kumi Sawyers fromYoga For Bad People to lay down some summer retreat etiquette. We’re talking less freaking out, more more F.U.N.
Guru Jagat is the outspoken face behind the Ra Ma Institute, the only all kundalini yoga studio in California’s Venice Beach. She talks to Madeline Giles about her vision for the Age of Aquarius, life on the 33rd parallel and outsmarting the Global Elite. Conspiracy theories or conscious debate?
Right after a powerful New Moon in multi-faceted Gemini, gifting us an opportunity to embrace the quicksilver side of ourselves, Nadia Noirgives an insight into a life spent searching for “the other me.”
What if the way to enlightenment wasn’t through your crown chakra…but your feet? Nadia Noir heads to the nearest dance party to find out.
Prayer and meditation are awesome tools for channeling moments of introspective clarity. But as a spiritual species that spends an unfathomable amount of time psychoanalyzing ourselves through mantra apps, self-help books on Audible.com, and grounding ourselves through following our favorite guru via social media, channeling a primal version of Miley Cyrus while gyrating to Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” can be a bridge into unbridled bliss. We live in our heads enough already. Enter the body-purifying sweat of a good old-fashioned, orgiastic dance sesh.
It wasn’t just the ancient Greeks who encouraged the human iterations of their gods, goddesses and muses to get down and get God through song and dance. The Torah calls for dancing, not only as a celebration of God or as a way to worship, but as a way to create the frenzied, supercharged atoms between two lovers in Song of Solomon. In Hinduism, there are the Apsarases, 23 celestial gods that dance to “express the supreme truths in the magic of movement.” Sufis twirled themselves into ecstasy and the Ancient Egyptians thought of everything they did in life as one eternal dance. They even danced at funerals, ready to dance their way through the darkness of death and into the afterlife.
If you’re still perpetually feeling low-grade anxiety or self-abusing your ten pound weight gain, maybe that’s because the answer isn’t in your crown chakra. Sure you can keep seeking a connection to a higher power, but you might never understand what true liberation is until you strip away your sins at classes like Sheila Kelley’s S Factor, talk up to yourself at Patricia Moreno’s Intensati, bump-and-grind your way into a state of Bhakti at Yoga Booty Ballet, or the spiral-sensationalizing of Buti.
But about just hitting up a dance club and twerking shamelessly to a raunchy Nicki Minaj song, feeling the sensation of strength and pleasure crawling up your root chakra, through your core and into your heart. You could stomp it out to some metal like the world’s sexiest Kali, destroying the earth below you and incinerating any doubts you have in yourself. Or, if that’s too hardcore for you, if you’re one of those supple, gentle souls that drowns in tears and whiskey, go sing some old country songs by Patsy Cline at your local karaoke dive bar. Studies even say that moderate drinking accompanied by karaoke is super good for your health.
And in case you’re like, “When am I going to have the time to do any of this stuff? I’m a super woman trying to be a spiritual being having a human experience and those bills don’t pay themselves,” here are four easy steps to just sing when the spirit says sing and twerk when the spirit is like, “Work it girl.”
GET OVER YOURSELF That’s right. Who cares if you’re flabby or ungraceful or if you’re hailing a cab on a busy street. The minute negativity starts creeping into your psyche, do a little dance on the sidewalk or belt out some Beyonce. The only person who is embarrassed by what you’re doing is you. Maybe other people are jealous or hating, but a majority of people will feel inspired by your little performance. They might just join in. Spontaneous soul-healing flash mob? Sounds awesome.
PLAY ON, PLAYA Keep a playlist on your iPhone for those times that you really need to really play. Songs you can dance to in the mirror while dripping wet from the shower or to encourage anyone around you to join you for a slow dance. If that sounds awkward, ABBA usually works.
RECORD YOUR POSTERIOR FOR POSTERITY Have you ever looked back at pictures of yourself when you were in high school or college or some other time you were mired in angst and depression and went, “Damn. I looked hot. What was my problem?” It’s always good to keep visual reminders to yourself that sometimes your pain can be blown out of proportion by your own psyche. There’s no better way to document yourself than at the height of some fun time; dancing, singing, glowing. You might grimace, but guarantee you, when you’re 70-years-old, you’ll be thinking, “I was having the time of my life.” Like me in this video singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” I kind of hate it, but in five years I’ll love it. Don’t shortchange your future with how you feel about yourself today.
GRAB YOUR PARTNER BY THE HAND Mix things up in your relationships with some Sir Mix-a-lot and a mixed beverage of your choice. Or just let the wild nymph out to play and make up some songs in the middle of a hike or something. Start a fake band. Create a fake dance. In fact, keep faking on it ‘til you make it. Let your fake persona, the confident and sassy one, override your warped internal programming to bring out the “real” and really dope damsel and dimepiece that is you.
But you know, some things work for some people and other things work for other people – a really simple and trite statement, but it’s true. If you hate something, you’re not going to keep doing it. If meditating and mantra-repeating doesn’t work for you, you’re not broken. You’re not spiritually unevolved. It’s just up to you to find out what you vibrate with. And maybe, just maybe, what will really reshuffle your chakras and shake up your soul is a sultry striptease in front of one other living being who will never judge you—your cat.
We’ve just experienced a powerful New Moon in multi-faceted Gemini, gifting us an opportunity to embrace the quicksilver side of ourselves. Nadia Noir gives an insight into a life spent searching for “the other me.” Images: Bela Borsodi for Document Journal.
When I was 10-years-old, my mother took me to a bulk retail store full of tiny sausages, discounted toilet paper, seven kinds of hummus before that was a thing, and kitschy forms of entertainment. It was coming up on my birthday so she told me I could buy two things. Anything I wanted. I went for a box set of every Disney song ever recorded and a giant astrology book with hundreds of pages of words, pictures of animals, gemstones, and a diagram for drawing out your natal chart.
I remember turning to the pages that talked about Gemini and seeing birds and monkeys inked across the pages, “yellow” being a prominent theme color, and descriptive words like “superficial,” “mercurial,” “intellectual” and “social butterfly” describing the tiny little Gemini creature that was me. I took the book home and with compass in hand, painstakingly drew out my chart. Eventually, months later, I thought I had solved the puzzle that was me. I was done. Everything about me was illuminated. Or, so I thought.
From that point forward, I told people that I was not a Gemini. There were other parts of my chart that described me and I was not, I was never a Gemini. I was something else entirely. An astrological amalgamation of all the other things in my chart. I was the diplomatic, regal drama of my Leo Rising. I was the lurid, panty-scorching nymphomania of my Scorpio moon. I was the warm campfire-scented sensuality of my Venus in Taurus which was also my Midheaven which was also in my tenth house and one time an astrologer I met at 3am in a coffee shop said I am basically ruled by Venus, which means I was definitely not a Gemini.
Geminis were bubbly. They talked a lot. They didn’t feel. That was the main reason I decided I wasn’t a Gemini. I had feelings. Massive ones that swung me up into the air like a father tossing his child into a sun-drenched sky only to forget to catch the child. I was a broken fairy, wings crushed against the pavement.
And for years I walked in this haze of what I perceived as Scorpionic darkness, sometimes washed over with emotions so cruel and body-crushing that the manic-pixie-dream-girl that was my Gemini side couldn’t survive. She would either choke on saltwater tears, sleeping in bathtubs and reading Victorian erotica, or she would rebel by taking my Moon out dancing in full-on drunken nymphette revelry, a sheen of lascivious Gemini glee captured mischievously through the stoic mask of my Leo features.
I called her the “Party Slut.” She would die the next day in a wave of pity or guilt or hungover misunderstanding. Her glitter, scattered across the floor in impossible rainbows, would be swept up into a tiny bottle with a stopper that was to be cracked open for “emergencies only.”
The emergency came half-way through my Saturn Return. I was red wine drunk at my friend’s clothing store. We were listening to Mariah Carey and in our perpetual, drunken Thelma and Louise-ish state, I was finally understanding what love might mean and I knew one day I wanted to find real love and instead of just flailing and weeping naked in a series of hot and cold baths that lasted for hours like I would usually do, my supposedly Scorpionic shell cracked. What I uncovered was a changeling, a creature so fierce and fluid that only the power of the wind (which I’ve always adored) could whip the edges into place after a few nights of unashamed shape-shifting. What I uncovered (or stopped negating, rather) was my Gemini.
That pendulum swing of moods? That was pure Gemini. Dancing around the Maypole. Dry humping the Maypole. Turning the Maypole into a stripper pole. And then, when the Maypole stopped being amusing, smashing and burning the Maypole into a sacred effigy of youth lost. The lack of the supposedly quintessential Gemini charm? That was my Gemini side analyzing, surveying, prospecting, dissecting, and poking at people. Pinching their souls until they were bruised and raw. I was writing an eternal, internal book on everyone’s every movement until I could find the two sides to them. I wanted everyone to have two sides. I wanted to see in them what I could not find in myself. It was then they became whole.
All that time that I was denying my Gemininess, I was being a classic Gemini. Trying to find another piece to make me feel complete, to solve the riddle, to cease the shifting, from light to dark and back again. Every time I switched my style from ’60s girl group to ’50s beatnik to sequin-crazy glam rock goddess to paisley goth to raw vegan yoga girl, that was me trying to find my other half. Every time I took a shot of Patron or a shot of wheatgrass or burned sage or burned bridges, that was me trying to understand the other me.
My Gemini search engine was constantly spiritually downloading all the information ever over the yin-yang network of life. And, I am not alone in this. Gemini Stevie Nicks may be the White Witch, but she twirls around in black fringe and scowls at the world through her mystical lyrics. Everyone adores her. Gemini Prince is the Purple One; he also scowls at the world through his sex-laden, dualistic androgyny. At one point, he even denied his own existence and renamed himself (something I also always do.) And yet, everyone adores him. Morrissey is a Gemini and he’s like the King of Scowling. For some reason, everyone loves Moz. Angelina Jolie, the world’s favorite altruistic sexpot who once wore her ex-husband’s blood in a vial around her neck? Much beloved Gemini.
Danny Elfman, who is known for his childlike yet dark and twisted music? Everyone’s favorite creepy Gemini. All these Gemini celebrities and musicians walk on the shadow side of life, communicating their dazzling talents through the erotic or the wanton or the esoteric and they do it in a way that perpetuates that primal, intoxicating buzz of teen lust. And that’s why a Gemini is so adored.
Just like me, they dance deliriously to the sound of the pan pipes leading them into a forest full of flower-strewn orgies and sequin-studded shoes, consummate teenagers in a state of angst or ecstasy. Dark fairies or genies ready to grant your every wish or impishly antagonize you until they get bored and give up.
But that’s the thing I learned about Geminis, that I should have learned that day when I was ten years old, drawing out my birth chart and plotting to succeed at it no matter how much it confused me. A Gemini never gives up. They pick up the broken skeletal remains of their wings, glue them back together with blood and stardust, and wink at the next person who passes by to hitch a ride, get a job, make-out, or maybe if they’re lucky, all three.
Nadia Noir is a writer that likes black tea, blackberry scones, black cats, the smell of black leather, and the sartorial combo of black and gold. She likes to twerk naked until she’s drenched in sweat and make love to the sounds of psychedelic sitar. She still cries a lot and goes into fits of possessive Scorpionic rage, but her Forever 16 Gemini just pushed her off the bed and told her to shut up and get over herself. She just now got over herself and totally forgot what we were talking about.