HOW TO MARRY YOURSELF

Want to take self-love to the next level? Find out how to marry yourself with poet and activist Lisa Luxx’s guide to pledging your solo spiritual commitment …

In 2016, I married myself. Legally taking the name of my higher self, I became Lisa Luxx, had the initial of selfhood tattooed on to my ring finger, ‘I’, and vowed to always come home to me.

It’s been two years since then, a period of time that has burgeoned with political chaos, which continually leads us back to ourselves to question our position within the greater whole. So in 2018, I decided it was time to re-meet my commitment in ceremony, an act that I intend to re-visit every couple of years to steer the course of my affections for both myself and the wider world.

Here are my top tips on how you can hold your own marriage to your self, because 2019 just might be the year for that … 

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1// Pick a date that’s meaningful
When I initially planned to renew my vows it was due to be on the 7th of December. But I hadn’t had my eyebrows done in time and I figured if I’m not going to start turning up for myself now, what chance does this marriage stand? It wound up being on the 21st, which has been my favourite number since I was a young child. An auspicious one, at that. Actually 7 is a number I always associate with my ex; now I’m sure my lazy beauty routine was actually divinity intervening.

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2// Choose your witness/es
The idea to renew my vows in a ceremony came up during a therapy session. My therapist/life-facilitator is one of the few people who really speaks my language, so I asked her to be my sole human witness. However, I also had the four elements present to witness. I filled a very small corked jar with soil from my parents garden, placed two green candles on my Tata’s old gold candlestick holders, took a homemade smudge stick to bring forth the air and lashing of local Yorkshire water. I sat the elements on a mirror in front of me as I read my vows.

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3// Get yourself sexy
On the morning of my ceremony, I soaked myself in a rose water, almond oil, lavender, and sandalwood bath. Rubbed coconut oil into my warm skin. Danced with myself naked in front of the mirror before spritzing my fave Diptique perfume and slipping into my Dalmatian suit. Serve the best of yourself to you. Your beauty is for your pleasure first and foremost.

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4// Write your vows in the mirror
My vows were a mix of everyday bona fide daily lifestyle choices, such as always putting my actual body before my mind’s desires; ‘I will not finish catching up with Whatsapp’s or reading to the end of my page when the rumble comes, when the thirst coarsely reminds me of my physical needs.’ And commitments for how I’ll manage to make myself a better person in community; ‘I’ll actively practice unpicking and dissipating insecurities, as my duty to our world. So that I can see the world as it is, not as it could hurt me. So I don’t hurt myself through my fear of being hurt. So I don’t hurt others through fear of pain.’

While rehearsing my vows, I caught my reflection, laughed and said “hey, you’re not supposed to be hearing these yet” – getting so used to spending time with my reflection until I reached a point of comfort where I could have fun with it was a melting point.

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5// Say the vows in the mirror until it sinks in
Loving yourself in front of a witness won’t always come easy. It will feel awkward at times and you’ll be in head mode rather than heart mode. That is to say if you’re like me you’ll be feeling so self-conscious at times, you’ll notice you’re not embodying your words. To counter this I repeated a vow numerous times, looking directly into my own eyes in a mirror, until I felt what I was saying sink in. Take your time, speaking your promises to you until they become a physical sensation. The unexpected outcome of this is that now, whenever I’m feeling low or anxious, if I can find my reflection I can bring myself back to a place of loving comfort.

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6// Find a charitable cause to support
I requested wedding gifts from friends and family in the form of donations to The Syria Campaign, an organisation that means a lot to me. Marrying yourself is not an insular act, it’s about mobilizing yourself to be a better link in the chain of ‘we.’ A very overt way of setting that in motion from the get go is to encourage your friends and family to support your love for you and your simultaneous commitment to them all by making a donation to an NGO, delivering bags of shopping to a food bank, or volunteering at a local grassroots initiative for a day.

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7// Prepare for pain
I’d love to say that since the ceremony I’ve been doing exactly as I promised in my vows and ‘never forgetting how much I love to dance with you [me].’ But no, it has been uncomfortable. I cast my mind back to that day and sometimes feel an urge to delete it all from my therapist’s memory and mine; I feel shame, I feel pain. No good rebirth comes without a death. Let yourself feel that, let it exist within that day as much as the joy will.

In becoming the best of you, you are becoming a human complete; this is about owning your responsibility to the world through commitment to self-observation. See yourself without interfering. Don’t cling on to the parts that are breaking off.

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8// Consummate the ting
I have a practice that I like to call ‘astro-masturbation,’ whereby I make love to apparitions of myself. It can be me as I am, me with a better haircut, me in my trans dreams, but it’s always me. Sometimes there’s two of me, sometimes there’s three, four, five of me, but they’re all visions of me making love to me. I get to switch between giving and receiving endlessly and equally, and they’re the best orgasms I’ve ever had.

Lay down your favorite blankets, light that incense, and make sweet love to yourself while listening to Banks sing ‘I fuck with myself more than anybody else.’ My vows promised, ‘I will make love to you not because I want to use you as a tool of pleasure but because I love you, because you turn me on, because your body, my body, is my favorite body of all the bodies on earth.’

If you feel moved, Lisa asks for wedding gift donations to The White Helmets, unarmed volunteer rescue workers operating in Syria’s most dangerous zones, risking their lives daily to save the lives of others.

BEST OF THE NUMINOUS 2018

This year rocked us to our personal and collective cosmic cores. From sex tarot 101 to the future of masculinity, our Best of the Numinous 2018 charts the course …

Photo: NordWood Themes

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1// Spread ‘Em: Sex Tarot 101: Alessandra Calderin gave us a crash course in casting cards between the sheets …

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2// Healing From Trauma With Psychedelics: Psychiatrist Will Siu, MD, shared insights into a very human way to heal …

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3// How To Work With Your Lilith Sign: Rebecca Farrar’s astrological guide led us back to our unbreakable inner wildness, during a year when we needed it most …

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4// Is Visiting Mexico City’s Sonora Market Spiritual Appropriation?: During a journey of spiritual self-discovery, Danielle Dorsey shared why she decided not to visit the famously witchy landmark …

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5// How Body Positivity Can Unlock Your Intuition: After a lifetime of food issues, Jillian Murphy discovered that living fully in her own skin was the key to her magic …

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6// Work Your Saturn Sign & Feel Solid As A Rock: As Saturn transited its home turf of Capricorn, this astro guide helped us harness our biggest growth opportunities …

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7// Coming Home To My Hoodoo Roots: Growing up British but with her family history in Mauritius, Stephanie Victoire’s journey to reconnect with her Hoodoo roots finally led her home …

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8// Why Radical Dharma Is Your 2018 ‘Must Read’: This incomparable text tapped eradicating systemic racism as THE healing issue of our times …

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9// Holy F*ck: How To Reach EcstasyAlexandra Roxo revealed that experiencing ecstasy is the key to strengthening our channel …

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10// How To Explain Your Spiritual Awakening To Your Religious Family: In a deeply polarizing climate, Fundamentalist turned Now Ager, Kate Forristall, gave us a primer in navigating the spiritual-religious divide …

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11// What Is The Future of Masculinity?: As we grappled with how to dismantle patriarchal oppression, trans man and diversity and inclusion activist, Aaron Rose, shared his vision for the future of masculinity …

THE 2018 LIBRA WANING MOON WANTS YOU TO OWN IT

As we close out the year, the 2018 Libra Waning Moon asks us to face up, stand up, and get real and right with our souls, says Jennifer Racioppi

Photo: Mitch Walker

Waning Quarter Moon // December 29 2018 //  4:34 am ET // 7 degrees Libra 

The last Waning Quarter Moon of 2018 highlights the dichotomy between drive, determination, and the quest for power (Capricorn), and the desire for balance, harmony, and justice (Libra).

As the Moon travels through Libra, the Venus-ruled sign of the scales, forming a 90-degree square with the Sun and Saturn, both in Capricorn, she’ll provoke you to stand up for yourself: your values, your desire for pleasure, and your truth. The 2018 Waning Libra Moon leaves little room for nonsense.

Embrace this lunar opportunity as a chance to get real, and right, with your soul … 

// The Cycle //
As we close out 2018, we end more than just another year; we also wrap up an over 2-year-long lunar gestation cycle. This Libra Waning Moon highlights the consequences of actions taken on the September 30, 2016, Libra New Moon.

On October 7, 2016, the Washington Post published an article about Donald Trump and Billy Bush having “an extremely lewd conversation about women.” Now here we are, in the midst of Trump’s presidency, as the USA undergoes a governmental shutdown, General Mattis’ resignation/expedited termination, and, all of this happens as the country awaits the results of Bob Mueller’s investigation into President Trump’s potential collusion in the 2016 election.

It’s clear that we may be arriving at a critical turning point in the Trump presidency. You are likely at a critical turning point in your life too. Claim your truth and move forward accordingly.

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// The Transits //
2019 begins with a whopping solar eclipse Jan 5 at 15 degrees of Capricorn, happening right between Saturn, the lord of karma, and Pluto, the planet of transformation. This planetary formation commands that truth be revealed, and abuses of power healed. The current, pre-eclipse, Libra Waning Moon squares a Saturn-Sun combination. As hard truths reveal themselves, embrace them.

More provocatively, Venus, the planet of love (and ruler of the Moon in Libra), makes a harmonious angle to Pluto, the planet of power. This angle between Venus in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn amplifies lusty desires and the urge to experience sexual pleasure. Cosmic sexual healing, anyone? Sacred sex can bring deep healing, and the release of oxytocin through orgasm can detoxify the body of what it no longer needs.

At the same time, Mars, the ruler of personal will, conjoining Chiron, aka the “wounded healer,” might stimulate feelings of shame. Thoughts like, “Is it ok to want what I want?” or “Am I too pushy, too needy, or too much?” could potentially stand in the way of you enjoying yourself.

Allow yourself to hear and understand what your voice of shame sounds like. Get to know her. But don’t let the voice of shame win. Bow down to the voice of truth instead.

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// The Square //
The Sun and Saturn sit very close to one another in the sky, amplifying the impact of the great planetary task-master. The Libra Moon, which has a fierce need for justice, squares Saturn, commanding both literal and figurative sobriety.

Get quiet and listen to the voice of truth emerging within. Purify yourself, mind, body, and spirit, so you can hear where your inner voice most concretely wishes to lead you.

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// The Opportunity // 
Remember that you have two options when it comes to reconciling difficult feelings and emotions, especially shame: you can talk out your feelings and thoughts, or you can act them out. Choosing to talk things out now, helps you make better decisions later. It also opens you up to acknowledging what you no longer need, want, or desire, and makes room for you to enjoy Venus’ luscious connection with Pluto, and its potential for healing through pleasure.

Libra, a justice-oriented sign that craves beauty, love, and relationship, isn’t shy when it comes to standing up for what it believes. Consider what’s coming full circle in your life right now. Perhaps it’s year-end related. Maybe it correlates with actions taken years ago, around the time of the 2016 Libra New Moon.

Shed the lies and limiting beliefs that have kept you playing it small. Whether it’s the old pair of socks or the relationship that pulls you into toxic dynamics, again and again, let this Libra Waning Moon act as a cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking up the dirt. With the new year just a few days away, choose to embrace the openness and sobriety of truth. With the world at a critical political moment, staying in a healthy place, mentally and emotionally, supports you on your individual path.

The upcoming Capricorn New Moon Solar Eclipse in Jan 5 invites you to conjure and create a life that reflects the most real sense of who you are. Start preparing for it now.

Discover more about astrologer and success coach Jennifer Racioppi and her work HERE and follow her on Instagram.

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE DECEMBER 27 2018: JUDGMENT RX

As we cross the threshold into the new year, Judgment Rx asks us to embrace the irrevocable changes inside of us and awaken to a brand new way of being, says Brandon Alter … Cast using the Prisma Visions Tarot 

 

THE 2018 CANCER FULL MOON WANTS YOU TO RE-PARENT YOURSELF

As we close out the year, the 2018 Cancer Full Moon is a rich opportunity to give ourselves the nurturance we deeply deserve so our fortified root systems can support new growth, says Sandy Sitron

Photo: Sasha Freemind

Full Moon :: December 22 2018 :: 12:50 pm EST :: 0 degrees Cancer

Dig a deep hole near the root system of a tree. As you dig, you disturb the old growth. You disrupt the system. You will plant a seed in this hole.

It’s not easy to plant new life among old growth. The established roots create barriers for the little seedling. This old root system may not seem like fertile ground. But life will find a way. Plant your seed and gemination will occur. A new way becomes incubated. New life develops next to old growth.

At the Full Moon, the Capricorn Sun opposes the Cancer Moon. Cancer is the sign of nurturing new life. Capricorn is the sign of old established growth. These are the two parents of the zodiac. Cancer gives tenderness and love, and Capricorn gives discipline. This is your opportunity to balance nurturance and structure.

A Full Moon creates pressure as two opposite signs create a push-pull. A tug of war. In this case the question of opposites is, how will you be kind and firm with yourself at the same time? Kind and firm, just like a good parent. This weekend, you may find opportunities to re-parent yourself.

The image of the seed planted among the roots of the tree describes the new emotional pattern that you can nurture within yourself. You’re not starting fresh. You’ve got old habits, patterns, and conditioning to contend with. But you can re-parent yourself and nurture a new habit reaction.

At this Full Moon, there’s pressure. It’s coming in from all directions. Instead of avoiding it, sit with it. Sit with the emotional aspect of the pressure you’re under.

For example, if you are feeling the pressure of “not enough time,” what’s the emotional story that goes with that? If you’re feeling pressure of “doing a good job,” how does that actually feel? Like shame? Fear? The pressure of “I’m not good enough” has a feeling quality. What is it? Even celebration has its own kind of pressure. Sometimes we have a feeling that the event or party has to be really good, and the stakes are high. What’s the emotion around that?

The first step to re-parenting is to sit with any feelings instead of avoiding them. Befriend those feelings. Notice where they reside in your body. Take a few deep breaths. Relax into the feelings. Don’t run away.

Allow yourself to visualize these emotions as a form of energy that floats just outside of yourself. Now see this energy form as yourself as a child. What age are they? What do they need? Talk to this version of your inner-child with a compassionate and firm voice. Give them the support that they need. Give them the love that they need. Explore how you can begin to take care of the child-like part of yourself better on a daily basis. How can you nurture yourself more?

This is your big work at the Cancer Full Moon. Steady yourself by loving yourself more. Find new pathways to connect with and nurture your inner child. This process will help you find the alignment that you crave in the New Year. It will help you strengthen your root system and develop new growth within yourself.

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Moon square Uranus
Shoulder no burdens.
It’s time to shake it off. Transmute the disturbances to your energetic field. Release and heal. This is a moment to start fresh, like a newborn.

You have been growing and developing. Time continues and we age. But we can continuously go back to the beginning and start fresh. Through deep love and compassion for self we upgrade and innovate the old patterns. This is a time for an electrical re-start.

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Use the below “I feel” statements to get deeper into how the 2018 Cancer Full Moon is speaking to you. For the most accurate reading, look to the House that holds 0 degrees Cancer in your chart. Don’t have you chart? Calculate it for free HERE.

Aries / Aries Rising / Full Moon in the 4th House
“I feel nurtured and safe when I …”

Taurus / Taurus Rising / Full Moon in the 3rd House
“I feel exceptionally curious about …”

Gemini / Gemini Rising / Full Moon in the 2nd House
“I feel completely worthy of …”

Cancer / Cancer Rising / Full Moon in the 1st House
“I feel more confident when I …”

Leo / Leo Rising / Full Moon in the 12th House
“I feel myself moving on from …”

Virgo / Virgo Rising / Full Moon in the 11th House
“I feel inspired by people who …”

Libra / Libra Rising / Full Moon in the 10th House
“I feel ready to take responsibility for …”

Scorpio / Scorpio Rising / Full Moon in the 9th House
“I feel excited about exploring …”

Sagittarius / Sagittarius Rising / Full Moon in the 8th House
“I feel sexiest when I …”

Capricorn / Capricorn Rising / Full Moon in the 7th House
“I feel fully seen and understood when I …”

Aquarius / Aquarius Rising / Full Moon in the 6th House
“I feel healthiest when I …”

Pisces / Pisces Rising / Full Moon in the 5th House
“I feel the most love when I …”

THE 2018 VIRGO WANING MOON WANTS YOU TO CLEAR THE WAY

As we move ever closer to the Solstice and New Year, the 2018 Virgo Waning Moon tempers Sagittarius Season with a precious pause. It’s prime time to purify, refine, and clear the decks for personal freedom, says Jennifer Racioppi

Photo: Graham Hunt

Waning Quarter Moon // November 29 2018 // 7:18pm ET // 7 degrees Virgo 

As the Sun blazes through the mutable fire sign of Sagittarius and 2018 passes through its denouement, the Virgo Waning Moon invites you to embrace a life purification process. 

While this Virgo Moon’s sense of organization, discipline, and attention to detail might feel contradictory to the larger-than-life influence of the current Sag stellium (the Sun, Jupiter, and Mercury are all traveling close to one another in this live-and-let-live sign of fun), leaning into Virgo’s austerity will accelerate your path towards the freedom you most crave.

With just a few weeks remaining before the Sun enters Capricorn, use this time to organize your life. You might consider purging your closet, refraining from making big year-end purchases, limiting your intake of alcohol and sugar, and letting go of toxic relationships.

Take a stand for your truth, and let the rest go. Staying disciplined now sets you up for success at the start of the new year.

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// The Cycle //
In personal development circles, the idea of “becoming our best self” often equates with a journey of acquisition. Gaining the job/relationship/status/fill-in-the-blank becomes the objective. However, this journey towards achievement requires sacrifice too. Sacrifice means to release something of value to create or receive something of equal or more significant benefit.

While the Waning Moon often goes unnoticed, this is a critical time between the last Gemini Full Moon, and the upcoming Sagittarius New Moon. When used intelligently, this Moon is the missing ingredient in manifesting your New Moon wish. It asks you to make a sacrifice in order to achieve the freedom you ultimately desire.

In purity driven Virgo, this Moon commands discipline. As we inch closer and closer to the upcoming Solstice, consider any indulgences that are holding you back from the growth you crave most, and eliminate them. Yes. Choose to change. Now. (Not after the clock strikes midnight on January 1st).

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// The Transits //
This Waning Quarter Moon happens at an exciting astrological moment. In the days leading up to this turning point in the lunar cycle, the Sun and Mercury (who’s retrograde) aligned in a perfect conjunction with Jupiter, the planet of growth, elevating the potential for expansion!

However, Mars the planet of action, squares this trifecta of awesome, and opposes the Virgo Moon, creating a t-square. This is a fancy way of saying that the freedom-seeking Sag Sun needs to slow his roll! Traveling through mutable Pisces, Mars ushers in a deeper understanding of the values driving the desires for gains.

While this might require a sacrifice in the short term, in the long term it will deliver on Jupiter’s promise of freedom during his yearlong transit through Sag. While sacrifice can sometimes feel punitive, here it offers liberation.

Mutable signs indicate change, and require you to engage with your transformation process (not just wish for it from the sidelines of your life). To support this, the Virgo Moon makes a perfect trine to Saturn in Capricorn and, simultaneously, Mars in Pisces sextiles Saturn. These harmonious angles with growth-through-sacrifice Saturn indicate that discipline trumps freedom now.

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// The Square //
Virgo vs. Sagittarius is a classic battle between austerity (Virgo) and abundance (Sag). Both signs are mutable, meaning they prepare us for change, yet beyond that, they share few similarities.

The Virgo Moon aims to purify, reminding us that our emotional needs can be met through release. This is amplified by the fact that it’s the last Waning Quarter Moon before the Solstice, and this idea of surrender syncs perfectly with the metaphor of dwindling light.

Sagittarius, on the other hand, resists discipline in all forms. With a go-big-or-go-home motto, the Sag Sun drives merriment, not surrender. Yet, given Saturn’s essential participation during this Waning Moon, take this time to tune into the Virgo opportunity for purification. 2019 begins with the Sun and Saturn conjoined, meaning Saturn’s influence isn’t going anywhere. So we might as well honor him now and get a head start on the journey ahead.

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// The Opportunity //
Like the Moon, which wanes back to new, surrendering the light of the Sun in the process, we have to learn how to yield to our rebirth, again and again, month after month. And often our resurrection depends upon our ability to let go of something we cling to, to make room for something we want.

With this Waning Quarter Moon in fastidious Virgo, forming a mutable T-Square with the Sun and Mars, our egos might feel a wee-bit under the gun—which makes total sense. However, honoring Virgo’s mission to call out old habits, patterns, people, and behaviors that once served you but now block you is critical to your growth trajectory—even if your ego despises this.

This Virgo Waning Moon presents the perfect cosmic moment to surrender into faith: to let go of something, or make a sacrifice, on behalf of what you most desire.

Your freedom hangs in the balance …

Discover more about astrologer and success coach Jennifer Racioppi and her work HERE and follow her on Instagram.

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE JAN 11 2018: THE HIEROPHANT

The Hierophant is an invitation to recognize the teacher in you, and be open to receiving guidance from others, says Melinda Lee Holm

HELLO ANGEL: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 1/11

1/11 ushers in a Harry Potter-ish portal for magical transformation, says Felicia Bender. Get ready for lift-off!

Welcome to the New Year!

I’m getting feedback across the board that 2017 was a real equalizer for most of us. A friend of mine said it simply and eloquently:

“Goodbye 2017. There’s not one damn thing I’ll miss about you.”

And while I’m more than relieved to wave “Adieu” to the year TOO, I also know that the purpose behind all the intensity in 2017 was to ready us for significant and substantial change.

And the Universe chose to pave the way by pitching many of us hardballs all year long. There’s nothing like being roughed up a bit to get our priorities straight, right?

So now what?

Prepare yourself – and get ready to engage your portal for lift-off in an almost Harry Potter-ish sort of way. It’s as though 1/11 is the “Port Key” that Harry and his buddies use to get from one location to the other—magically and instantaneously.

Numerologically speaking, the numerology of 1/11 is a gateway for us to focus our intentions and put thought into action. This day is a launching pad and a conduit to manifesting whatever we’ve been working on during the entire year of 2017. And no, it won’t manifest in the wave of a wand—and yet we can work with the powerful numerology of 1/11 to our distinct advantage now that we know it exists.

Understand that the energy related to the number 1 is all about new beginnings, independence, initiative, achievement, individuation, self-confidence, and innovative creativity.

So, with the numerology of 1/11 it’s beneficial to remind ourselves to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want, because the energy of the number 1 expands what we repeatedly and routinely think about. It’s indicating that a window of opportunity is being flung open for us—with this energy in our court, we’ll begin to manifest our thoughts and desires into reality with remarkable speed.

So the trick is to be disciplined and mindful about how we focus our thoughts—this is good advice for every day and yet imperative for the numerology of 1/11. If there’s any time to make a highly concerted effort to positively and boldly envision your present and your future, this is the moment. Don’t waste this valuable and high-powered energy lingering in the past, hovering in indecision, or grinding about how your ex is such a jerk!

Use this “Port Key” to unlock your wildest wants, most delicious desires, and purposeful passions. Step through the muck and into 2018 with the clear intention to throw caution to the wind. This goes for our personal lives and reaches out into the stratosphere of our geo-political world stage.

1/11 is the day to examine long-held beliefs that we may not be true for us anymore.

1/11 is the day to forgive ourselves (and others) and get on with it!

1/11 is the day to expansively begin the practical and magical path to creating a deeply enriching new phase of our lives.

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”—Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

And let Ron’s advice keep you buoyant and focused during this transitional and transformational 2018: “Don’t let the Muggles get you down.”

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE JANUARY 4 2018: WHEEL OF FORTUNE

The Wheel of Fortune is showing we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be—the perfect place from which to set our intentions for 2018, says Melinda Lee Holm

NUMINOUS WEEKLY HOROSCOPES: JANUARY 1—7 2018

Happy New Year, Numi crew! Get the first astro symbol for 2018 with Sandra Sitron’s Numinous weekly horoscopes …

Capricorn :: Capricorn Rising
A cardinal dips and dives to the next tree branch. The red cardinal is powerful animal medicine, symbolizing renewal and happy relationships. The word “cardinal” comes from the Latin root word “cardos” which means hinge— the hinge that opens a door. The cardinal bird is thought to open the door to the world of spirit, bringing back messages. Capricorn is a cardinal sign, one of the four signs that initiates new beginnings, opening the door to new experiences. As you initiate a new year, open your mind to intuitive messages that can help you feel fulfilled in your relationships. The cardinal brings you inspiration on how to communicate with a partner. Let the bright bird renew your faith in love.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Aquarius :: Aquarius Rising
A tiny frog. Take good care of your skin, you are more porous than usual and this is a sensitive time. Work on healthy habits that will help you lower inflammation and improve your psychic abilities. Drink very clean water. Paying extra attention to your physical needs will set you up well for the journey ahead. You are learning to leap higher, and so it will be soothing to know that you are starting from the solid ground of healthy habits.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Pisces :: Pisces Rising
A tuning fork. You can clear the air. Clear your frequency. Use your creativity to help yourself start fresh. Every creative thing that you do now helps you align with what is truly important. Prioritize fun and playfulness and you will feel immensely refreshed. Having fun might seem “extra” or like something to do if you “have time.” But the truth is that right now it will give you a crucial energetic boost that has far-reaching beneficial consequences.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Aries :: Aries Rising
Freshly baked bread. Nurture yourself with homespun delights. It’s not the act of eating fresh bread that’s important now, it’s the memory of it. You know on a deep level within yourself that you have been nourished at some point in your life. The cellular knowledge of nurturance is what must be appreciated now. We don’t have much time on this Earthly plane. Memory serves to help us orient ourselves between past, present, and future. Use your memory to your advantage. Sit with a memory that’s meaningful to you so that it can help you truly appreciate the present moment. It’s time for reflection.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Taurus :: Taurus Rising
A canopy of fireworks. With each flare of light in the night sky, a new idea crystallizes. You are alight with new possibilities and fresh mental connections. Don’t lose momentum. Gather these ideas dutifully. Study the knowledge that’s coming through. You have an opportunity to set yourself a different mental trajectory. Watch your mind light up with possibility.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Gemini :: Gemini Rising
A sparrow eats seeds, abundant on frozen ground. There are resources available to you. In this phase, stay grounded. Do activities that keep you centered in your body. With body awareness, you will tap into the abundant truth of your nature. You are safe. Clear blocks to the root chakra and discover that you have what you need. More than that, you have abundance.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Cancer :: Cancer Rising
Tiny flowers open up at dawn, in perfect time to the rhythm of the rising Sun. You can’t help but be on time. Here you are and here is where you are meant to be. Find peace in the knowledge that you are aligned with your internal clock. There are no missteps and every move has brought you to this perfect moment. The message is to let yourself flourish exactly where you are. Appreciation is the key. Dissolve resistance.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Leo :: Leo Rising
Lion heart. Find your lion heart. It’s right where you left it, somewhere around the age of 5. You are still just as brave as you were then. If you learned along the way that it was foolish to feel larger than life, it’s time let go of that limiting belief. You are larger than life and so that sensation is accurate. It’s your birthright to take up space and know that you are worthy. Whisper these truths to yourself before sleep. Find your brave heart in your dreams and put it back in it’s proper place.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Virgo :: Virgo Rising
Cotton balls in a jar morph into cottony clouds in the sky. A deep inhale will help. If you are having anxiety it’s because the details are overwhelming. Shift your focus to the big picture. Drift to the tune of your future visions. Just let go your grip. There’s no way that you can keep all of the thoughts in order and you can’t keep up with them. So you must find a new path through. Don’t look at the trees, look at the forest. What would your most hopeful dreams have you believe? Work backwards from there.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Libra :: Libra Rising
Fireflies in a jar. You are luminescent. Light up your arena. Be vibrant in your work. But then notice, have you put yourself into a jar, a box or a trap of some kind? If so, just open the lid. If there is a trap, it’s of your own making and all you have to do is release yourself. Then you’ll be free to illuminate the world with your gifts.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Scorpio :: Scorpio Rising
A frozen pond. Wait for it. Your new beginning is so close. You just have to wait a little bit longer. The ice will melt and then spring will arrive. In the meantime, explore the new terrain. How has the landscape of your beliefs about the world changed? Search your soul for a new way of thinking about yourself. Find inspiration deep within. Then the ice will melt and your new phase will begin.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius Rising
Playing hopscotch. A rhythmic dance. A game. Hop, hop, hop. The more you play the more you gain. Keep participating. Keep momentum. You may not understand why right now, but if you do it for fun, you will see a huge benefit. Follow the things that delight you. Let go of the things that don’t.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPES: JANUARY 2018

Cast by Melinda Lee Holm using the Starchild Tarot

 

Hello friends! I am so excited and honored to be handed the baton from Lindsay to bring you this monthly Tarot guidance. I have benefitted greatly from her wisdom and it fills my heart to be able to now step up to pay it forward. In addition to my work in Tarot, I have an extensive background in crystal energies, so I am adding a stone for each sign that can help you unlock the power of your card for each month. I hope that my take on the cards will continue to be source of inspiration and comfort for you! Happy New Year! xoM

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CAPRICORN // CAPRICORN RISING
The Moon
Happy solar return, Carpicorn! With the Sun shinging bright in your sign, you are called to step into the darkness to get reacquainted with your inner voice. What parts of yourself have you been avoiding eye contact with? What distant voice beckons from deep within your psyche? How can you ready yourself to step forward into the role you have always known deep down you were born to play? The Moon not only calls on us to explore deeply our inner realms, she guides us in our quest, ever present in the darkest hours. There is an aspect of the Hero’s Journey in this card, a feeling that a uniquely personal task must be fulfilled, fear of the unknown overcome, the Hero returned changed, matured, better suited to serve as a member of the community.

If you have had a creative project taking form inside you, now is the time to confront it, to dive in and swim around in it, exploring options and angles. The Moon beckons. It does not demand immediate action, but it does demand the acknowledgement of the inevitable. This first month of 2018 is your time to lay low, dig deep, and accept the mission the Universe is presenting to you. You are important and the world needs what you have to offer. Pay especially close attention to messages you receive on the Full Moons (1st and 31st) and the New Moon (16th). Be prepared for major shifts to be clarified or solidified at the Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse on the 31st!

Your stone for January: Lapis Lazuli

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AQUARIUS // AQUARIUS RISING
Akashic Records
January will be a time of tapping in to the great cosmic library for you, Aquarius, and with your famously dreamy nature, this should feel like absolute heaven. Keep in mind that being a part of the Cosmic whole – the past, present, and future – comes with a healthy dose of responsibility. If we’re all here as one massive living, breathing organism, then how we care for ourselves ripples out to effect every other part of the great Universal beast. Keep track of how your treatment of yourself forms your interations with others. The wisdom you download may propel you to make some changes in your self-care routine to put you in better alignment with the Divine Whole.

This is a great time to expand your meditation practice, spend more time in nature, gaze at the stars, and engage in any other activities that make you feel more connected to the eternal Collective. Let your mind wander and explore places – within and apart from yourself – and see what gems of knowledge you find along the way. Eternal wisdom lives in everything, so you may find yourself receiving profound enlightnement in seemingly unlikely places. The Akashic Records are not accessed through a single Great Teacher, they are aborbed through our energetic field and discovered through connection with the world around us. Stay open to learning from all beings great and small and consider keeping a journal of your experiences so you can go back and expand on any revelations at a later date. Something that seemed small may turn out to be life-changing.

Your stone for January: Amethyst

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PISCES // PISCES RISING
Serenity
Following the busy social scene of the holiday season, you are called to take a pause to care for your own physical, mental, and spiritual health, dear Pisces. With your mystical sensibilites and tendency to take on the emotions of those around you, the holiday season can sometimes be especially taxing. Now you have the great gift of Serenity at your doorstep, urging you to cozy up and settle down. Don’t be arfraid to say no to social obligations or to have strong boundaries around deadlines. This is your time to care for you. Take full advantage and wrap yourself up in the warm embrace of purposeful solitude!

I repeat – this is a PURPOSEFUL solitude. The energy of the Serenity card is not about just vegging out or slacking on responsibilities. The invitation here is to get quiet and nourished in order to gather wisdom to bring back out to your fellow humans when you are ready to emerge from your cocoon. So, when you are thinking of ways to get cozy, think more “books, spa days, yoga retreats” than “Netflix and junk food binge”. Though by all means, if a certain show or movie is sparking your creative interest, watch away! We all need some couch time now and again. Just keep an eye on whether your downtime activites are truly nurturing or leaning toward escapism lest you come out of January feeling even more depleted than when you started.

Your stone for January: Iolite

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ARIES // ARIES RISING
The Emperor
Rejoice, Aries! You’ll be right in your element this month with The Emperor at your side, stoking your firey nature. If you do not have a crystal clear vision of all you want to accomplish this year (complete with blueprints, color charts, a mood board, and detailed financial projections), now is the time to get focused and get all your ducks in a row. I do not see this being difficult for you. With your ruling planet of Mars in Scorpio for most of the month, you will have rare access to the deepest depths of your emotional self. Getting in touch with what truly makes you feel fulfilled will allow you to not only think but to feel out which long-term goals will best serve your master plan.

You know you have one. Aries always has a master plan and with The Emperor by your side, you can safely expand your scope, knowing you have the strategic prowess to execute your grand vision. What you put into play in January will set the tone and the foundation of all you can accomplish in 2018. This is a big month. But be mindful of stepping on toes. This is a LOT of bold energy, and both your cardinal Fire nature and The Emperor can have a tendency to overlook emotional concerns to get goals accomplished more quickly. Remember, it’s only January! Keep an eye on your long game and make sure to maintain relationships as well as you maintain strategic vision.

Your stone for January: Rhodonite

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TAURUS // TAURUS RISING
Three of Crystals
Collaboration is the key word for you this month, Taurus, and perfectly rooted in your native element of Earth. This month brings opportunities to make great gains toward goals of the material world. These can be financially motivated or simply personal passion projects, but they will revolve around changin the physical workd around you in some way with the help of others. Be on the lookout for people, places, or situations that offer you unique perspectives and provide resources or skill sets that are complimentary to your own. You may need to soften your stubborn side a bit to get the most out of your partnerships. Remember that collaboration works best with people who have skills, experience, and perspectives different from your own, so their viewpoints may be challenging at times.

If you have active ongoing projects, reach out to people outside your discipline to get their insights. If you have an empty plate right now, it’s a great time to get together with a wide variety of friends and collegues to talk about what you’re intested in making or accomplishing and wait for sparks to fly. The Three of Crystals will ensure that the right people and situations cross your path. With your dedication and work ethic, and passion for quality, you are naturally someone others desire to work with. You can afford to be a bit choosy. Get grounded in want you want and what you have to offer and get ready to step into some unexpected magic.

Your stone for January: Garnet

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GEMINI // GEMINI RISING
Justice
Striking a balance is imperative this month, Gemini, which may prove easy or incredibly difficult for you depending on the current status of your relationship with your inner twin. Make peace early in the month by forgiving yourself for any perceived missteps and move forward with a clean slate. Now is not a time to dwell on the merits of past behavior, but to take action to correct course. What this looks like will depend entirely on how your December played out. Over-imbibe over the holidays? Plan a month of clean eating and excercise. Been avoiding social engagements? Get out and mix it up to strengthen your social circle. You get the picture. Justice is by definition impartial. It seeks only the truth. Find the truth of your current patterns and balance the scales.

In your quest for the truth, make sure to refrain from judgment. The goal here is not to determine fault or guilt, but simply to see clearly and act accordingly. Sometimes what we find when we see the truth can make us uncomfortable. That is natural. What you’ll want to avoid is getting so bogged down in discomfort that you can no longer take impartial action. Fortunately, your Airey nature should help you to keep your reasoning clear and focused. Try to frame this as an intellectual more than an emotional process. If you do encounter discomfort, allow yourself to feel it and then allow it move on. Be extra kind with yourself and and be wary of taking too much advice from others. This is an inside job.

Your stone for January: Fluorite

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CANCER // CANCER RISING
Page of Wands
You begin the year with a fresh take on how to make magic. Throw out any old rulebooks you have on how to play with the element of Fire. It’s a new day! Time to experiment with new ways of opening and trusting your intuition, acessing your animal instincts and taking action. This is the seed of personal magic. With the first Full Moon of the year coming us on the 1st in your sign, you’ll be able to start things off with a bang. You are ruled by the Moon, Cancer, and you feel her pull more than most. Take this opportunity to really dive into that connection. She has ancient tools for expanding intuition – a key element of Wands energy. You are a part of the Universe. Explore what it feels like to access this power.

Afte the hustle and bustle of the holidays, this personal exploration should be a welcome invitation for some solo play time. Working with Page energy requires solitude to allow time and space to strip away the old ways of operating and discover what new possibilities await. This doesn’t mean being alone on a mountaintop – that’s more in the realm of the Solitude card – but more engaging in life solo. Go to the movies by yourself, treat yourself to a nice solo dinner, go ice skating, take a walk, hear the voice that is uniquely yours guiding you to new possibilities. Give yourself permission to retreat into your shell to conjure a happy and prosperous 2018.

Your stone for January: Orange Calcite

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LEO // LEO RISING
Transformation
Get ready for a lighter New Year, Leo. This month you will find all sorts of things that used to seem incredibly important are just not holding their value anymore. I am talking true emotional, spiritual, energetic value. The Big kind. Everything in the Universe has a life cycle. The old move on to make room for the new to grow. This month you have an opportunity to look through your own system of habits of action and thought to discover anything you are ready to let go of, any area of your life that you would like to see transformed. Are there ways in which you are holding yourself back that you’ve been wanting to release? If so, now is the time!

The Full Moon in Cancer on the 1st is a wonderful time to kickstart this process. The gentless of your sister sign can help to set the tone of this transformation as a nurturing one. Consider lighting a black that day and feeling the detrius loosen and drift away with the waning Moon or simply meditate and set your intentions. This is your transformation. You set the tone and the pace. The beauty of this energy is that it works with you to find what you are truly ready to shed in order to step forward into your new self. Pay attention to any insights that came up around the Winter Solstice. With the Sun as your ruling planet, that longest night of the year can hold particular significance.

Your stone for January: Black Obsidian

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VIRGO // VIRGO RISING
Four of Wands
You reach a level of comfort and stability in the realm of Fire this month, Virgo, and with your Earthy nature, this is a great win! You worked so hard to stay on track in the roller coaster of 2017 and it paid off. With things moving so quickly, you had to get in touch with the fire of your intuition to guide you and your embrace of that flexibility has paid off. You should feel the urgency of action wane this month as you you settle in to a new, elevated pattern of manifestations that keeps you connected to your gut level instincts and able to pivot without straying off course. You can loosen your grip on the details, trusting that your instincts will keep you on the right path.

Your zodiacal ancestry as the caretaker of ancient temples plays into this energy this month as well, dear Virgo. Long before the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome, women dedicated their lives to serving their Goddesses and Priestesses in temples. This required a great deal of attention to detail to execute all of the duties of the station properly, but this was always in the servie of a higher principle of honoring the Deity. This 4 of Wands is here to help you reconnect to that larger sense of purpose as a guiding force, leaveing you free to trust in yourself, not your set process or program. It’s a new year. What temple will you dedicate yourself to serving?

Your stone for January: Pyrite

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LIBRA // LIBRA RISING
Two of Swords
What a gift, Libra! The wisdom of Air for the cardinal Air sign. Get ready to reach a higher level of mastery in your native element. This month will present a chance for you to unveil information about how you communicate – with yourself and with others – that will allow you to make some decisions about how you want to work with Air energy moving forward. Two energy is profound, but quiet and personal. It works to open us up at our deepest levels. After all, it’s only the very first step away from the primal energy of the Ace! You may encounter a decision that effects your entire mode of thought and communication or it may be a small shift that relates to your relationship with one particular person. The energy will go where you most need it.

Turn your attention to listening to your own internal and external voice as an impartial observer. What patterns do you notice? Are there things you say or words you use that are limiting you or blocking your communication in any way? Practice reframing the same idea in various ways to see what feels best. Maybe “I don’t like parties” becomes “I prefer one on one time with friends”. How do different framings of your words and thoughts change your emotional response or that of others? Discover and experiment early and often so you can be ready to make some decisions around your findings by the end of the month.

Your stone for January: Aquamarine

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SCORPIO // SCORPIO RISING
Strength
Put that deep, instinctual nature to work for good this month connecting to your true inner Strength, Scorpio. You have an enviable natural ability to keep your eye on the prize and speak up for what you want. The Strength card is here to teach you that sometimes the greatest power comes from co-creation and collaboration rather than strategy and confrontation. Your comfort in this paradigm is directly related to how easily you can trust and see the best in others and yourself. Put down your stinger, rest your claws, and put on some rose colored glasses. It’s time for a new approach.

Your key concept for this month is “with” rather than “at”. When you feel the need to communicate something urgently, follow that impulse but be ready to listen to the other side. Your statement is the opener, not the conclusion. This is not to say that January wil be a month of compromising your goals or ideals, quite the opposite! You will find that when you fold the goals and views of others into your own, your vision actually expands. You are not giving up your power, you are growing it. Pay attention to situations that make your tail start to tingle. These challenge points are going to be your best opportunities to dig deep into the wisdom of the Strength card and greatly expand your toolbox for accomplishing long- and short-term goals. If you play your cards right, you could rejuvenate your entire plan for world domination.

Your stone for January: Ruby

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SAGITTARIUS // SAGITTARIUS RISING
Ace of Cups
My loves. This is your heart’s month to shine! The Ace of Cups represents the primal energy of Water, the Divine source of our beautiful ability to FEEL. Melt away any ice that’s built up around your heart, Sagittarius, and let the love flow! You are being given a great gift to start your year, a fresh start to your whole emotional life, a chance to let these healing waters wash away any stagnant patterns so you can be truly prepared to welcome new relationships into your life. These may be romantic, platonic, or even familial. The message here is to carry an open heart. There is great strength in vulnerability. You have no need to be fearful when you open your eyes with your heart.

Being emotionally open means being willing to give and receive love and this month will provide ample opportunities for both. A side effect of the intensity and drama of the past year (and, for many, the holiday season) is that it has helped us to laser-focus on what truly feeds us emotionally, what makes us feel calm and loved and cared for. Tune in to what you can do to nurture yourself and those around you. Lend an ear to a friend who needs to talk. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you need a hug. Consider volunteering at a local food bank, soup kitchen, shelter, or LGBT center. You will find that the more love you give, the more you’ll feel returned to you.

Your stone for January: Rose Quartz

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE DECEMBER 28 2017: THE STAR CARD

The Star card is here to soften us and heal our nervous systems, so we can step into 2018 in our full power, says Lindsay Mack

NUMINOUS TAROTSCOPE DECEMBER 21 2017: NINE OF CUPS

Nine of Cups is the “wishing card”, and it’s asking us to lean in to our intentions, says Lindsay Mack

SPRING EQUINOX 2017: A TOTAL GUIDE

On March 20th, it’s time to rev our engines for the Astrological New Year! Spring Equinox 2017 is a super potent moment for taking courageous action, say Numi Astro babes Sandra Sitron, Danielle Paige, Jennifer Racioppi, and Bess Matassa. 

 

**Celebrate the astrological New Year, Numi style, with our Equinox Astro Séance on March 21st at Shaktibarre!  Tickets available HERE.

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Sandra Sitron, a.k.a. Strong Eye Astrology
I am alive. I am here. I am ready.

What do you think the first cry you made as a baby sounded like? Imagine the howl you made. That cry stated simply, “I am alive. I am here. I am ready.” You were a fine elocutionist. Can you make that same sound now?

At 0 degrees of Aries, Spring Equinox 2017 is like that baby’s first cry. This is your time to reaffirm your spark of life and take action. Look back at your New Year’s Resolutions from just after the Winter Solstice—now is the time to implement these resolutions in a new way. Do it!

:: Equinox Aspects :: 
*Chiron, Venus, and Mercury stellium: 2017-2020 will be massive collective healing years as Chiron loops past the zero degree Aries point. Notice how you protect your ego and where old wounds are triggered. You came here to be free, so don’t keep yourself trapped in an outdated pattern of self-protection.

*Moon conjunct Saturn and square the Sun: The creative challenge with this aspect is to confront self-doubt and criticism. Make friends with your Inner Critic this year and create a new relationship. Talk back to that voice in your head. Love up on it. Show it a new way.

*Jupiter opposite Uranus and Square Pluto: While Uranus and Pluto are revisiting their angry conversation from 2012-2015 about breaking down the patriarchy, Jupiter enters the mix to work some diplomatic magic. How can you work this magic in your life? Reach creative compromises by first understanding and empathizing with your own needs, and then seeking to understand and empathize with someone else’s needs.

Want more wisdom? Book a reading with Sandra here or follow her on Instagram.

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Danielle Paige
Thrive on the new!

It’s been a long winter of soul searching, deep transformation, and healing, especially with February’s Eclipses AND the current Venus Retrograde. However, as with all seasons and cycles, we ebb and we flow. Nothing stays the same, and you are now entering a new wave of energy and a time of rebirth.

Spring Equinox 2017 marks a time of equal day and night, and with this energy you are brought back into alignment and balance. Take some time to honor where you’ve been, where you currently are, and where you’re going. You’re emerging from the darkness of your shadows into the lightness of your being.

Aries is the leader, the first one out of the gate. This sign’s direct, raw, warrior energy is concerned with the needs of the “self” and thrives on anything new. Aries is here to show the rest of us how to be courageous and go after what we want. This theme of the NEW will be especially potent after Venus goes direct on April 15th. 

**Danielle’s Equinox Energy Tip: Create a ritual for yourself to honor your light. Acknowledge how far you’ve come and how your consciousness is expanding at a rapid rate. Remember, you may not be exactly where you want to be but you’re a lot closer than you think. Life is a journey and you are well on your way, babe. Happy Equinox blessings to you!

Find out more about Danielle’s soul healing services and sign up for her free Moon newsletters here.

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Jennifer Racioppi 
Witness the crazy without becoming the crazy

Occurring at the time of the waning quarter moon (when the moon in Capricorn squares the sun in Aries), Spring Equinox 2017 asks us to access our feminine warrior, own our shadow, and surrender what’s not working.

As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries incites action, and encourages new beginnings and fresh starts. Yet this Equinox’s Sun makes aspects to Venus, and to electrifying revolutionaries Uranus and Eris, signaling that this seasonal transition also asks us to integrate endings. 

If things feel heated, take a step back and become the observer. We are learning how to witness the crazy without becoming the crazy. Remember that this too shall pass. Yet, it’s essential to dig deep to understand (and integrate) the lessons coming through at this cosmic moment of change. Commit to your long term vision and plan!

For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with from Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com

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Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising 
Sink your teeth into sweetness  

Ready to start your engines & strike a match? By all means, stoke those flames, speed racers. But instead of the usual Aries MMA battles and boxing matches, let this Equinox be a chance to refine your relationship to heat, and to rediscover the innocence inside of action-oriented instincts.

Think of Spring Equinox 2017 as a dark chocolate fondue pot, complete with succulent strawberries. Can your ego aggression become a clean, tender willingness to sink your teeth into life? Heat up your pot, say yes, start now … but let your efforts in the world be oh so sweet, as you taste it all as if for the very first time.

Equinox mantra: I fiercely sink my teeth into sweetness.
Theme song: Return to Innocence
Style: Victorian botanist meets 90s minimalism. Bare skin, plant-based prints, clean lines, combat boots, and a little bit of lace.
Flavors: The simple, farm-fed nourishment of spreadable goat’s milk cheese and vanilla ice cream, herbaceous salads, and warming ratatouille. Single-note flower essences that are equal parts freshly vigorous and delicately blooming like violet and lilac.

Want more juicy cosmic insights and sensory explorations? Arrange an astrology reading or private event with Mojave Rising here or follow them on Instagram

**Make sure to join Mojave Rising & The Numinous for a super special Spring Equinox Astro Séance on March 21st at Shaktibarre in Brooklyn, NY. Reserve your spot here!

MEET BROOKLYN’S FITNESS WITCHES

Wanna get jacked up on magic? Bess Matassa explores workout as ritual with fitness witches Shanda Woods and Russ Marshalek of New Jack Witch

Shanda Woods

“The working of the human body is in and of itself a magical process”—New Jack Witch 

Inside of a dimly-lit warehouse on the Greenpoint waterfront, New Jack Witch is making sweaty magic. Musicians. Witches. Fitness Instructors. This is where Russ Marshalek, an excitable, feline moon prince, and rooted revolutionary Shanda Woods, craft seamless, full-body enchantment—that also gets you ripped.

What exactly is their signature “Fitcraft” session? As I strip down and start to move to a soundtrack of goth rock, witch house, and Twin Peaks instrumentals, it seems deceptively simple. Combining yoga and cardio, it’s a minimalistic workout that thrives on repetition.

But as we continue through our reps, the energy begins to shift. “You’ve got your own back,” Russ repeats. “You’re fucking alive,” commands Shanda. I begin to experience an invigorating collision between light and dark, and a deep sense that feeling good and strong in my body can coexist with the widest, rawest range of emotion.

Post session, I sat down with the fitness witches to talk rockstars, ritual, and a workout that’s both wonderful and strange.

**Set the mood for your workout (or read) with New Jack Witch’s signature playlist for The Numinous. 

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TN: How did you each come to your fitness practice? And when did it merge with witchcraft? 

Russ: The torture and torment of being the “fat kid” really fucked with me, and was the beginning of a lifelong flirtation with an eating disorder. To quiet my anxiety, and strike the balance between my deep-fried youth and my anorexic high school years, I started exercising. Combine that with a deep disdain for the patriarchy, a seed first sown through Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, and you have the foundation.

When I moved to New York 7 years ago, I had a really intense period of unemployment that found me focusing on both witchcraft and fitness for self stability. And the more I worked on both, the more the two became vital facets of my everyday that I can’t really separate.

Shanda: My witchcraft and fitness practice have been intertwined for as long as I can remember. I’m a member of the Chickasaw Native American Tribe, and other parts of my lineage are from Ireland, so my blood is steeped in the craft. And I have always been physical—playing competitive sports since elementary school and practicing yoga since high school.

I also loved playing nontraditional “yoga” music in my classes, and got hooked on the energy of a room full of people working to change themselves. So I’ve forged my own style that blends my personal history with lessons from all of my great mentors.

Russ

TN: Both of you mention a dissatisfaction with existing fitness culture that led you to your current practice. What was lacking for you? 

Russ: The “new year, new you” concept sold by gyms everywhere actually removes the agency and ability of the individual, and places “fitness” as some unattainable goal. Self-care and working out should simply be present in everyday life. You don’t need a “new you,” you just need to actualize your intentions. You’re perfect and you’re strong and you’re powerful. That’s what magic is about for me, too. 

Shanda: Turning the art of helping and healing people into a commodity or ego-boosting strategy is what I really cringe at in the industry. Not to say you shouldn’t make money as a fitness professional, or that you can’t become well known, but those should be additional outcomes of helping people, not the goals.

I also believe that a lack of authenticity inspires the perpetuation of stereotypes, which leads to less variety for people who may not subscribe to the mainstream ideals of what “fitness” is. This is where we come in—we provide an honest version of ourselves, so others that are not seeking mainstream content or delivery can find a place to belong. 

TN: Tell me about some of your early icons and inspirations in both worlds. Who are the “patron saints” of New Jack Witch? Who do you see as your audience?

Russ: For me, this traverses boundaries. It’s Janet Jackson in Rhythm Nation—force, grace, power, intention. Gordon White of Rune Soup fame is another, for his combo of magic and political theory with pop culture observation. Grant Morrison. Tori Amos is our Ultimate Mother Witch. Michael Macneal of MonsterCycle is the fitness person who has inspired me the most. And my wife, Vanessa Irena (the third facet of New Jack Witch), inspires me daily to be a better person and a better witch.

But our patron saints are all those witches getting their fingers dirty, planting and growing and renewing and sweating and fucking, every day. I think our audience is everyone who wants to exist outside the currently established systems. Those for whom magic and fitness are both methods of creation and self-improvement, or those who want to align to that frame of mind and learn how.

Shanda: My mom and her best friend of 40+ years (who recently passed away, but is still here to guide me from the other side) are huge influences on my connection to the craft. As far as athletes, I’ve always loved the Williams sisters and any athletes or yogis that are rebellious and caring, sharp but kind. And patrons who speak to me through NJW are the Goddesses Isis and Diana.

TN: People often discuss the “mind/body” connection, but what’s the relationship between making magic and working out?

Russ: Magic uses the body and mind, as does exercise, and both require centering, intention, and the synching of the two. Think of breathing. Really. Your mind has your body do it subconsciously. It’s a brilliant trick when you think about it! When you’re in tune, both magic and exercise are like that—the two moving as one.

Shanda: Magic is learning how to control and manipulate frequencies, elements, and energy. Fitness is learning how to control your personal frequencies, energy, and breath. To me, they both address the strength and ability of the individual to transcend the artificial disconnect we’ve been conditioned to believe in—melting and coalescing mind, heart, spirit, body, and the physical external world, in order to manifest a desired outcome or reality. 

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TN: You’re both musicians also. How does your music-making feed into your witchcraft and your fitness practice?

Russ: Music is ritual, fitness is ritual. It’s about creating a spell, setting an intention, and eventually enacting a change, be it large or small. In our music and our workouts, ultimately it’s about creating a spell to get from point a to point b, to reach the desired intention and response.

Shanda: Just like magic and fitness, music is the art of controlling or manipulating frequencies, energy, and emotions in order to produce a visceral emotional connection or shift in consciousness. They are all the same thing, just in different forms!

TN: You mention wanting to “rebrand” the notion of the “rockstar.” What do you mean by that?

Russ: The concept of the rockstar has meant egotistical, out of touch, slobby, etc. Yes, we drink, and we have fun, and there’s a certain glamor to the showmanship of the music industry, but we’re also engaging with our bodies daily to keep them strong and healthy. It makes us better performers, humans, and witches when the main tool we have (our body) is sharp.

Shanda: We are trying to show people that caring for yourself and finding your power is one of the biggest things you can do for yourself and the world. There is an archetype of the rockstar that doesn’t cherish this internal divinity. It’s an outmoded archetype of self-abuse, unnecessary decadence, and an egocentric notion that’s not based on service, which is really what all musicians and teachers offer through art and knowledge.

While indulgence or the use of substances isn’t always a bad thing (witchcract is often connected to entering a trancelike state either through meditation or substances, after all), indulgence to an excessive degree is counterproductive to lifting the spirit.

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TN: Some people think of goth culture and music as dark or cynical. What myths would you like to dispel about both witchcraft and about the music you use during your sessions?

Russ: Well, first off, there isn’t any separation between “darkness and light.” And once you start saying things like “I don’t fuck with that dark shit,” well, you’re already off to a highly misguided start. Both goth and witchcraft celebrate the lightness in the dark and the darkness in the light. Playing Godflesh’s “Streetcleaner” in a fitness class puts a huge smile on students’ faces.

Shanda: I believe that there’s a clarity that comes from practicing ritual or fitness, or creating music, when you approach them through a lens of innocent excitement. I believe everything should be viewed with an open heart. Vulnerability allows for the truth to filter through easier than upholding a wall of judgment. When you break down the walls, nothing but truth is left, and that’s where real growth and change can occur.

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TN: What are your personal definitions of a witch? A fitness instructor? A musician?

Russ: A conjurer. A creator. A fighter. The definitions for all have been too rigid for far too long.

Shanda: Wavelength manipulators.

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TN: How do you want people to walk away from a Fitcraft session feeling? 

Russ: To steal a phrase from President Bartlet: Ready for “what’s next.”

Shanda: Empowerment, which is the knowledge of and faith in their own beauty and strength, backed by an infinite sense of self-love.

Learn more about New Jack Witch here, and check out their upcoming Goth Cycle + Yoga Class on Saturday, February 25 2017 at The Monster Cycle Limelight: 47 West 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011