WHY IS MAINSTREAM ASTROLOGY SO WHITE?

When Adama Sesay of Lilith Astrology enquired about writing for The Numinous, she also came with this question: so we asked her to share her views on why mainstream astrology is so white …

Photo: Alice Pollet

I’ve asked myself this question since I’ve started working professionally in this esoteric community. Why are there so few people of color in the mainstream new age movement? And not just in the astrological space—this is a conversation that’s being had across various modalities; most notably in Yoga. And while things are getting better, I believe we still have work to do.

After graduating college, I began working for beauty brands managing digital marketing in New York City. Having loved astrology since a young age, this affinity with all things cosmic intensified during my Saturn Return, and led me to shift gears. Wanted to get out of the city and experience the west coast, I moved to Portland, Oregon and begin working for a well-known Astrology and Tarot website. Looking back, I can see now that what felt like a career curveball was the Universe’s way of introducing me my life path. After all, I didn’t grow up thinking that astrology was something I would do professionally.

Inspired by my time working for this site, I felt a calling to continue my studies, so I enrolled in a series of astrology classes to solidify my knowledge. Fast-forward to today, I founded Lilith Astrology in January 2019.

I see astrology as a way to empower my clients. Understanding your birth chart means unlocking the keys to your life and why you were put on this earth. Based back in New York City, I work specifically with womxn as I feel that all feminine identifying individuals need whatever additional validation we can get in a society still doesn’t see us as equal to men. I also happen to be a 1st house Lilith in Leo—my self-expression ruled by the disruptive and unapologetic divine feminine archetype in the zodiac. But it was when I began to look for opportunities to contribute astrological content to media outlets and I noticed a trend—a consistent lack of diversity and representation.

Which lead me to my question: why is mainstream astrology so white?

I don’t believe the answer lies in pointing blame, or saying it’s racism or discrimination. To me, it points to a lack of awareness. Throughout my career in corporate, I noticed that managers tended to hire people they could relate to, or who they knew through external connections. Most of the time, these networks were comprised of the same ethnicity or race. Entire brand departments would therefore lean more towards one ethnicity, and, as a result, the marketing campaigns and creative they produced would also mainly feature one race.

This is nothing new in America! But, as astrology becomes more mainstream, I see a similar thing happening with what is supposed to be a spiritual and inclusive modality. A practice that helps us see beyond the external and foster an understanding of who we are at soul level. The majority of mainstream outlets (not all) feature mainly white astrologers, while the few “ethnic” verticals include astrologers of color.

As a Scorpio Sun, Mercury and Pluto, I see it as part of my mission to transform this pattern of separation and segregation, and bring visibility to the eclectic mix of astrologers that are flying under the mainstream radar. I believe that the best way to ensure the growth of diversity in astrology (and in the larger world) is through talking about this issue, creating opportunities for astrologers of color, and encouraging mindful inclusion in mainstream media outlets.

YouTube (of course) has helped me discover a plethora of diverse astrologers, practicing both Western to Vedic astrology. Some I have been particularly inspired by include, The Peace Dealer whose Lilith series was one of the inspirations for the name of my own astrology brand. True Brilliance is sheer genius in the way she incorporates mythology into her interpretations. KRSChannel is a widely followed Vedic astrologer who makes the topic easy to digest, dynamic and extremely interesting.

Adama Sesay of Lilith Astrology

My favorite though is the lovely Nadiya Shah. As a seasoned cosmic veteran, she remembers a time when it was only her and black astrologer Samuel Reynolds representing diversity at the NORWAC conference (one of the biggest meetups for professional astrologers). When we spoke, she told me that attending in 2019 as a speaker, she found it extremely refreshing to see a more diverse group than usual, comprised mostly of millennials.

She believes this is partly because younger generations have grown up with a more diverse outlook, so as more millennials and Gen Z’s discover astrology for themselves, we will naturally see an increase in diversity in the space. Nadiya told me, “The world is diverse! I believe that the more individuals who do what is true for them, the more it gives others permission to do that as well. You can’t have Astrology without the Astrologer—and so it’s important to have a diversity of voices and backgrounds represented.”

This has a lot to do with the Pluto in Scorpio generation, born November 1983 – November 1995, coming of age. We have been put on this earth to deconstruct, remove and transform the current systems and structures in our current society. With Pluto in its home sign, we are an extremely powerful group—the first generation with this placement in our charts in over 200 years! Millennials are now just coming into astrological adulthood (post-Saturn return) so now we will begin to see how this energy will manifest.

There are a couple more Pluto in Scorpio Astrologers of color that I love and also want to mention. I recently discovered Corey Randle, a.k.a. The Water Bearer’s Tea. He adds dash of sass and humor to his spiritual enlightenment and guidance that brings me so much joy. The lovely Mecca Woods also brightens up my Instagram feed with her fun-filled and playful take on Astrology.

My goal with speaking out on this issue is to raise awareness and encourage the inclusion of more astrologers of color. To challenge the mainstream media outlets to become more mindful in their discovery and inclusion of more diverse and alternative astrologers. And, not least because the practice of readers of different ethnicities, races, and expressions of gender and sexuality, will have been shaped by their often-marginalized experiences of being human—helping to create a more inclusive, and healing, astrological landscape overall.

Discover more about Adama Sesay and her work at LilithAstrology.com or follow her on Instagram @LilithAstrology

THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF ABORTION

What is the spiritual side of abortion? Why the 2019 Alabama abortion law brings up important questions about what it really means to be “pro-life” in the now age …

“We must give every person the best chance for a quality life and a promising future.”

This is the #WTF closing line from Gov. Kay Ivey, the WOMAN who signed this week’s controversial Alabama abortion law, in her statement about the act. For me, it sums up everything that is so utterly illogical about this move—because on no level whatsoever, does the Alabama Human Life Protection Act actually promise mothers and the families who may be affected by it a “quality” life or a “promising” future.

On an entirely practical level, Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the US, with 17.2% of Alabamians living below the poverty line (the national average is 14%). Given that the people most likely to be affected by this law are also the poorest, many souls entering the world as a result of this bill, will be pre-destined for a life of poverty-induced suffering.

On a broader scale, over-population is one of the main drivers of climate change (see yesterday’s IG post on over-production / over-consumption). The future is already looking pretty grim for future generations, as we begin to experience what is only the tip of the (rapidly melting) iceberg when it comes to the devastating extreme weather events that are set to become our new normal.

And on a more numinous tip, the more unprepared, unsupported, and unwilling mothers, the more children with more generational trauma keeping them locked in cycles of suffering—and the LESS fully autonomous women, bringing our Universal, life-force, mother energy to other areas of life (something I discuss at length in Material Girl, Mystical World).

Fuck! It makes you wonder WHY Republican law-makers are so anti-abortion—the answer to which appears to be the religious roots of the pro-life lobby. Ban contraception, abortion (oh, and homosexuality while you’re at it), and more Catholic or Christian babies means more power (literally, more people taking up more land + resources) to the Church. Which brings us full circle, to a completely outdated and reactive response to an underlying xenophobic fear of our inevitable cross-cultural evolution.

I had my abortion at age 24, and I am so fucking thankful that a) being British meant I got easy access to a free procedure, no questions asked, and that b) I knew from age 5 that I didn’t want to be a mom, meaning it was not a tough decision for me to opt not to have my baby. I have thought about them sometimes, questioning whether it was selfish of me to deny another soul a life—something that came up when I did a family constellations therapy session with Marine Seleneé.

Marine believes that each and every soul, whether carried to term or not, has its own karmic role in our lineage—and that those we “abort,” as well as those who miscarry—are doing their own work. In my case, I truly believe that I am a “pattern breaker” for the woman + mother wounds that have been carried down my family line (why I knew so young that motherhood was not for me), and that my unborn child played their own role in ending this cycle of trauma.

This week’s move of Mars (conflict, courage, progress) into Cancer (motherhood, women’s issues, lineage), sets the stage for a passionate, angry, and deeply HONEST, response to this latest outrageous violation of human rights. Consider: what does it REALLY mean to be “pro-life” in the now age? How can you enact this in your day-to-day? Questions we all need to be asking ourselves on a level that goes beyond the surface, and gets into the womb of the matter.

///

Donate directly to women seeking abortions in Alabama state at yellowfund.org.

SHAMAN DUREK SAYS SPIRITUALITY IS JUST COMMON SENSE

Shaman Durek is a visionary for the Now Age. In this excerpt from a talk he gave at the Obonjan wellness festival in summer 2018, he why spirituality is simply Common Sense—and how, with loving interrogation of our darkest places, it is within all our power to heal ourselves …

Photo: Nick Hopper

The spiritual path is not how many times you go to yoga class. It’s not how many workshops you’re doing, or how many healing sessions you got. It is found in the loving interrogation of the places you are vulnerable to the dark intelligence of “the system,” and how much Love you are willing to let into your being instead. Spirituality is actually a matter of Common Sense. Of tapping into the intelligence, the common knowing, of Spirit, of all that is.

This is what makes each and every one of you a powerful pastor, a teacher, a healer, an artist, a creator, an innovator, an edge maker. Someone who’s here to bring forth something that I need to learn, that we all need to learn.

I believe that we all have power. There is no hierarchy here. I don’t believe in gurus. And one of the things I’m here on the planet to do is to educate other spiritual leaders to stop playing their power games. To start delivering the truth and the teachings that have been made available to all by Spirit. To share the knowledge about how to access and use these tools.

I’m about, “Here it is. This is it. Take what you want from it. Go ahead. All the stuff in this box from the ancestors, all those tools over there. Just take it all, and use it because you’re powerful.” Because these are not the times to be playing small. You gotta be a rebel if you’re going to survive what’s happening at this time on the planet Earth.

Durek will lead a special Shamanic Tongues healing session at our NYC event on 11/10. Click for info

 

>>>

We Shamans call the Earth a “type two” planet. Meaning it’s a slave planet. That the species has been conditioned to work against itself in its own process of evolution. Has been enslaved by the idea that it needs to be validated, loved, appreciated, and seen, as its reason for functioning. Instead of knowing that it is already loved, and that the embodiment of this Love is what will drive the species forward. If we truly knew this, we would not create bombs. There would be no war. Because Common Sense tells us that this would only hurt the species.

And yet we accept this paradigm because we have been abused.

When I say this, people often reply, “but I had a perfect life, nothing ever happened to me.” Well bullshit. It did happen to you. It happened to all of us. We have all been treated like dogs and trained in the idea that if we’re not acting a certain way, passing a test, getting good grades, doing something useful, we’ll be punished. That we will not be loved. This creates the belief that there’s always something to prove. That we must become something else and that we must accumulate certain things in order to be valuable as a human being. This in itself is abuse.

And the “dark intelligence” that created this system, is smart. It knows that if it can suppress the feminine, feeling part of you, you will become disconnected, from yourself and from each other. You will become disconnected from your intuition. Disconnect from your ability to recognize yourself as a Creator. Meaning you will keep looking for validation from the outside to acknowledge your power. Keep producing, keep consuming, versus knowing that all you need is in you, always.

We’ve been programmed to believe that our safety is based on how much we collect. How much we have. How much we hold on to. But these things only tie us down you down. Because you start to believe that your personality is tied to all these things, when in fact the only thing that matters is in the way you give someone a hug. The way that you sit and look someone in the eyes and you’re there for them.

We are living in a system that did not provide us the emotional intelligence to feel safe to simply be ourselves. But we must rebel against this conditioning. Meaning we have to rebel against every single thing that we sit in judgment about.

 

>>>

When I asked Spirit: “Why is there so much suffering and pain on our Earth?” she told me that all suffering is the result of a malfunction in thinking. I asked, “What about war?” A malfunction in thinking. “Sickness?” A malfunction in thinking.

And our whole system is built to keep our thinking, our creative energy, and our powers of manifestation, focused on the suffering of the world. So that we will keep getting more of it. And it will never stop.

For example, if you see someone who’s sick and you focus on their pain, you’re accepting this reality and you’re locking it in. It will make it harder for that person to get better. You will recognize your power when someone tells you, “my God, I’m going through such a hard time.” And you don’t go into that story with them. You choose instead to see them where they need to be. Within this simple shift, you’re pulling the negative energy out of their life. You’re doing powerful energy work on them.

You see, you think these negative thoughts are yours. They are not, but you don’t question them. Because that’s what the system wants. That’s why they tell you if you talk to yourself you’re crazy.

But when you hear a voice that tells you, “You are an idiot,” it’s your turn to ask, “Why am I an idiot?” The voice may reply: “Well, because you did this when you were at school.” And again, you can ask: “But that was a long time ago, and why does it mean I’m an idiot?” The voice will continue to try and convince you … “Well, you know, because blah blah.” But if you keep questioning it, after a while you’ll show the voice that you’re not going to accept it. Soon, the same negative voice will appear in your head, and you’ll be like, “nice try, thanks for calling. Click.”

>>>

So start questioning. I call it loving interrogation. You lovingly interrogate yourself when confronted with that nonsense. You lovingly interrogate the voice about the lies you have been told that are limiting you from realizing your ultimate power as a Creator.

Because every time a negative thought comes into your head and you let it ride its course, you’re drinking poison. Every time a doubt enters your being and you accept it and let it affect you, you’re drinking poison. Every time you get into a negative conversation with someone and you sit there and just continue listening, you’re putting poison in. I don’t care how much green juice you drink. I don’t care if you’re meditating twice a day. As long as you’re letting negative thoughts come into your mind, it’s all cancelled out.

It’s not enough to say, “I am spiritual because I do this or that.” The very things that we don’t like, the very things that make us the most uncomfortable about ourselves, the very things we are most afraid of in the world, are the very things we must learn to interrogate with Love.

We each embody four elements—the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. But there is a fifth element, which is Love. When all four elements are working in alignment, all your visions, your dreams, are within reach, and all that’s required to make them manifest is love. And when Love happens, oh my God, then let’s talk about power. This is what we have come here to move into. Then there will be no more playing small in your life. This is it. This is the end of it. It’s done.

Numinous founder Ruby Warrington will be in conversation with Shaman Durek and Maestro Manuel Rufino for Emergence: Building Shamanic Communities in the Now Age on November 10 2018 in NYC. Click HERE for more details + to sign up.

HOW TO MASTER THE ART OF WOMBIFESTATION

Mastering the art of wombifestation is the real secret of the law of attraction, says Latham Thomas—PLUS Ruby Warrington shares 3 ways to start wombifesting today …

The womb is receptive, soft, and a container for cultivation. And the act of creating something from that place, of accessing our womb space and drawing to us that which we most desire, is called wombifestation.

It’s the opposite of the manifesting power that so many modern spiritual leaders and thought-leaders talk about. Manifestation has become correlated with “making it happen,” whereas wombifestation means simply “letting it happen.” It’s an act of fierce allowance, of saying “yes” to what you want and letting it come, whether it’s a job, a romantic partner, a new car, a baby—simply envisioning, and holding space for it.

There is tremendous value in being a go-getter, getting things done, making shit happen. Both men and women can be very skilled in this arena. But there are qualities within us women that can be enhanced by also acknowledging the uniquely feminine force of receptivity. We have this other force working in our favor, and we should play to that. And I’d also like to note that you don’t have to have been born with a uterus or currently have one to embrace this concept.

This feminine force is magic, and employing it is a powerful way to walk through life. It is the magic of owning your glow.

Now, I am not simply advocating that you pray for what you want, kick back and relax, and expect that you will get it. “The Universe will provide” philosophy has also been misapplied by many who believe that you can simply ask for what you want and it will be handed to you, with no work involved. My philosophy is much more dynamic than that.

You can’t be lazy when you want something; being receptive is an active state of being. In nature, the spider makes weaving her web a meditation and focuses on creating a vortex of energy that draws the prey to her. She doesn’t go out to hunt it. She dwells in the certainty that when she does her part, Mother Nature does the rest, and food will be provided.

Observe how flowers use their beauty and fragrant scent to seduce the pollinators. Flowers can’t pull up their roots and go proliferate on their own. They depend on the insects and animals to help spread their pollen, so they use stillness to create an energy vacuum to draw the bees, birds, and butterflies.

Have you ever been so laser-focused on something, yet it seems to elude you? And then, once you forget about it and focus on something else, it seems to find its way back into your orbit? Do you think this is a coincidence?

Like most feminine processes, choosing to simply let things happen is powerful, and yet it can be seen as a form of weakness. In a culture obsessed with conquest and control, we’ve forgotten the very basics when it comes to the law of attraction. When you let it happen, you, my dear, are at the helm.

Instead of spending energy actively hustling and pursuing the desired outcome, you summon it, you invite it forth. You stir the pot, and you make the space for it—so that the vision blooms within you and becomes reality. Like a spider with her web, you create the very vacuum that invites the opportunity to occur.

>>>

3 WAYS TO GET WOMBIFESTING TODAY by Ruby Warrington

1// Clear your cal. Having my Google cal stacked back-to-back sometimes feels like a badge of honor to me. Like, “wow, look at how in demand I am,” or “check out what a boss I’m being taking all these meetings.” But I can also feel the way it makes my belly clench (yep, all the way down in my womb), as the quieter, softer voice of my inner knowing, asks, “but what about some time for me?” In the same way, if I look at the coming week and there are big empty stretches in my calendar, the sense of inner peace is palpable.

Cultivating more of this feeling of peaceful groundedness is what wombifestation is all about, and one way to do this is to simply block off time in your cal to give you some (deep belly) breathing room. Maybe even literally if you use this time to meditate, bringing your attention and focus back to the things that truly matter to you. You could also use it to nap, to play with your cat, to cook, or even to masturbate! Not activities we’re generally taught are part of a “successful” life, but all of which are about stoking the fires of your feminine essence.

2// Ninja your to-do list. To help you work out what to remove from, write down all a list of all the actions connected to what you are currently manifesting. If it’s a work thing, this might mean meeting with X amount of people, pitching Z, or going to Y networking events. In a romance scenario, it could be your commitment to going on how ever many dates per week. For each one, write down the actual progress you’ve seen as a result of each. Now write out the big “successes” you’ve had, and the actions (or not!) that had the most impact on them occurring.

This could help you get super clear about all the places you’re leaking energy on activities that aren’t actually in service of your desired outcomes. That just make it look like you’re “trying.” Lol—is it any coincidence that the word “trying” can also mean: extremely annoying, difficult, or the like; straining one’s patience andgoodwill to the limit” (from the Miriam Webster Dictionary)?! Wombifestation is about “trying” less and “trusting” more.

3// Embrace boredom. We live in a world that’s basically designed so that we are never bored. I witness myself do it all the time—the minute there’s no immediate action to be taken, conversation to be had, or piece of information to be processed, I reach for my phone and either hit up Instagram, start a text chat with somebody, or open a browser to start researching yet another new idea I had the other day.

Which can all make life feel very full and exciting and productive … not to mention shrink time to where it feels like there’s never enough. When we’re here, there, and everywhere, there is no time to recharge. No opportunity for our energy reserves to become replenished to the point of overflowing (out of us and into our wombifestations). It sounds counter-intuitive, but in the Now Age we have to actively make space for boredom. Time for our minds to wander and just be. This is the vortex. THIS is where the magic happens.

>>>

Intro excerpted from OWN YOUR GLOW: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning The Queen Within by Latham Thomas. 

HOW I DISCOVERED THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Material Girl Mystical World is out May 2 2017. Here’s how I wound up writing the book that changed my life…

Five years ago I moved to New York City, with high hopes that I was basically going to morph into Carrie Bradshaw—with a closet full of designer shoes, fabulous cocktail-fueled social life, and a column in Vogue. 15 years working as a fashion journalist in London had taught me two things: 1) my sense of self-worth was directly linked to the level of kudos attached to my job, and 2) you could never have too many shoes.

My first apartment was on Christopher Street in the heart of the chichi West Village, and even had a walk-in closet. It also had holes in the wall exposing live electrical cables, and was infested with vermin. With hindsight, this is pretty much a metaphor for the holes in my materialistic worldview. Because it turns out no amount of Cosmos was a substitute for the friends I’d left behind, and that as a lowly freelancer, working out of my dingy kitchen using my ironing board for a desk, I barely even got to wear the shoes.

Chasing the SATC dream…

As my SATC dream began to crumble, I found myself questioning everything. Why was my NYC adventure so fraught with anxiety? If none of the editors I tried to get meetings with ever called me back, did I even exist? And how come every Skype with my mum made me feel so angry? As if the physical ocean between us served as a reminder of how emotionally distant we’d become over the years.

Which is right about when I decided to create The Numinous, and in doing so totally flip the script.

Let’s face it, five years ago I was kind of an entitled, over-privileged asshole. And definitely not a happy asshole either. Today, I definitely still love shoes. But I’ve also remembered that, for me, true “success” means being connected to myself and others, and contributing something valuable to the planet. Less conspicuous consumption, more conscious creativity. A journey I’ve written about in my upcoming book Material Girl Mystical World. Yes, MY book is the book that changed my life!

The Book That Changed My Life…

My personal revolution has actually been a result of walking the talk and embracing with an open heart and soul the mystics, the teachers, and the healers I’ve encountered on my Numinous path. Diving head-first into the transformational experiences of the Now Age, many of which are chronicled in all their far-out, emotional, and often hilarious glory in my story.

All with the aim of showing how (contrary to the Eat, Pray, Love school of spiritual awakenings) you don’t have to travel to an ashram in India to find yourself. I found “me” in the heart of NYC! The birthplace of the American Dream—the capitalist ideology that tries to convince us true happiness comes in the shape of a Louis Vuitton handbag. And which, since the Mad Men have made it to the Whitehouse, it is increasingly evident is the root of so many of the evils of the modern world.

So how did I get here? In the book, among other heart-and-mind-expanding topics, I talk about:

  • Astrology As Basic Life Skill. Raised atheist, astrology was the first thing that ever spoke to the deep human need in me to feel connected to something greater than myself. To feel like I have a unique role to play in weaving the fabric of humanity. This chapter explains the basics of birth chart interpretation as the path to Cosmic connection.
  • Doing My Dharma. How I came to understand the concept of my work as an act of service—opposed to pursuing a career for the status, the financial security, and the shiny baubles alone. (*When you pre-order the book you’ll gain access to a special Dharma School webinar with me, to help you discover your dharma too!)
  • Finding My Divine Feminine. A deep dive into modern feminism, and how this is intimately connected to the social, political and environmental issues of the 21st Century. Also, how connecting to my Divine Feminine has been instrumental in healing my sexual identity and my relationship with my mum.
  • The Inner Beauty vs. Botox Debate. Why it’s possible to get Botox and still love yourself / identify as spiritually woke. But also how cleaning up your emotional life and doing your dharma, AS WELL AS the yoga and the green juice, is what will truly give you that “glow.”
  • Healing As The New Nightlife. How I have slowly but surely replaced the cocktail highs with spiritual highs, and become a happier, healthier, more compassionate and more WHOLE human being as a result. Who. Freaking. Knew.

###

The book is out May 2 2017 (yes, she’s a Taurus—the original “material girl”) and the above is just a taster. There’s so so SO much more juicy content—and in the lead-up to the pub date I’ll be hosting a series of Facebook Lives to introduce the different chapters, and take your questions. Keep following on Facebook and Instagram for more details.

There’s also a sweet BONUS PACKAGE when you pre-order! Including the Dharma School webinar I mentioned, an exclusive missing chapter on how to work with Angels & Spirit Guides, and a month’s free membership to Moon Club. Get all the details and order your copy here.

So there you have it. THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. I hope my story can help you re-write your own.

THE NUMEROLOGY OF 12/12

The numerology of 12/12 is a portal to cultivate awareness of how we show up in relationships, says Felicia BenderArtwork: Giulia Bersani

In Numerology, when we experience repeating number patterns it brings meaning and influence. It sets up a certain “vibe” or portal of energy from which to operate on a more evolved and optimal level.

The date 12/12 is no exception.

This combination is an intriguing mix because the energy of the 1 is focused on you—your independence and individuality. While the energy of the 2 brings in the need and desire for partnership, connection, and unity.

The numerology of 12/12 offers the energy to contemplate and make solid changes with how you show up for your relationships. And even if you’re resistant to making changes in this area, this number combination will force your hand. Often a transformation will be driven by forces you consider outside of your immediate control.

The numerology of 12/12 also offers a new start in some sort of relationship—or relationships—in your life. Business, intimate, family, or friends. 12/12 is bringing a frequency of change that focuses on relationships.

The number 1 is all about understanding your sense of yourself as an independent entity and the number 2 focuses on your relationship both with yourself and with others—so the numerology of 12/12 also has walks the path between yin and yang, masculine and feminine. And the harmonizing of the two within yourself and within your world.

So while this day offers a portal of energy encouraging dynamic transformation within one or more of your key relationships, it also reminds us to define healthy boundaries while also asking for and accepting the loving support of others. It’s a delicate balance to be sure, and yet a vital and expansive opportunity for us if we’re open to starting something new and different in the relationship realm.

:: 3 Ways to Optimize the Vibe of 12/12 ::

Get Real. As Dr. Phil might say: “And how’s that workin’ for ya’?” Ask yourself this question about your key relationships and lay yourself bare in your openness to the answer.

Take Action. The number 1 is not about contemplation, it thrives with action. Don’t think about it for too long. Forgo analysis paralysis and do what needs to be done.

Expose Your Heart. The number 2 is all about love, diplomacy, and emotional acuity. The danger is in folding yourself into others’ expectations and losing yourself in the process. So do evaluate your next move with love and compassion. Both toward yourself and toward others.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE THE NOW AGE IS…NOW

A manifesto for change; a new Moon Club cycle; self-care for the soul; Club SÖDA NYC; and what will you donate to Standing Rock?

With Biet Simkin, Fern Olivia and Valerie Oula at our OFF THE RÖCKS event. 

:: MONDAY ::
Finished reading an advance copy of maverick philosopher Daniel Pinchbeck’s new book, How Soon is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation. Part memoir, part manifesto, Pinchbeck basically lays it on the line—either we actively choose to participate in facilitating a radical global consciousness shift, or we’re headed for social, political, and environmental armageddon. Which, as he tells it, is not nearly as scary / daunting as it sounds!

I defy anybody not to feel super inspired by Pinchbeck’s vision for a new Earth, and one which truly is within our reach. IF we all get on board—and fast. Reading this against a backdrop of the 2016 Presidential election / Standing Rock, two inter-related situations which, for me, represent the two sides of the current doomsday we find ourselves facing, there’s only one answer to the question he poses in the title: the time for action is NOW. Which is why I call it the Now Age!

The book is out Feb 21—please pre-order your copy NOW, since I just decided we’ll be reading it together for the very first Numinous book club. Click here to get yours.

:: TUESDAY ::
Sagittarius New Moon…which means the first official Moon Club cycle begins! All our members received their Moon Mission PDF for this moon cycle (11/29—Dec 29) today, with an overview of the cosmic climate, what this actually means for us as human beings, weekly coaching exercises for each moon phase, and a reading for each moon sign. But it’s actually totally fine to sign up at any time during the month—as all new members receive a link to the current Moon Mission, and there’s some kind of scheduled activity every week.

For example, for next Tuesday’s first quarter moon in Pisces, Moon Club members will be invited to a LIVE interactive webinar with Thinx founder Miki Agrawal. One of our favorite entrepreneur activists, Miki is all about starting the kind of conversations that are an essential part of Daniel Pinchbeck’s utopian vision for the future. You can learn more about Moon Club and check out a sample Moon Mission PDF here.

:: WEDNESDAY ::
Favorite, favorite new pampering / self-care treat: the Crystal Ritual Cleanse from colorist-stylist duo Lauren & Vanessa. Which is essentially a wash + blow-dry…with added reiki, crystals and essential oils! Designed to balance and activate the upper chakras (heart, throat, third eye, and crown), the treatment begins with me laying back at a hair washing station and Lauren asking me to select the essential oil I want her to work with. She then places crystals in each of my hands, and proceeds with a reiki treatment and head massage—working the oil into my crown chakra…with more crystals!

The treatment ends with a blowout from Vanessa, and I leave feeling deeply revitalized. And something has obviously worked on a “material girl” level too—literally every person I encounter during the rest of the evening tells me how great I’m looking.

Which, if I’m honest, feels kind of frivolous to even mention against the backdrop of the election / Standing Rock. I’m getting a crystal head massage, while people are (literally) freezing on the front lines? But I think meditation artist Biet Simkin made a great point in a FB post today also: “I almost feel like there is a shame now to post anything that isn’t completely depressing. But if you kill our spirit, how will we stand against these dangers!? For what will we stand!? We must remember light! We must remember the spirit inside us!”

As well as time with loved-ones, nurturing our bodies with delicious food, and feeding our minds with inspiring words, it’s self-care and pleasure rituals like the above that help keep us connected to our sense of spirit. To what we are fighting for. Yes, the time for stepping into our roles as global change-makers is now. And can’t we also feel really great while we do it? Click here to read more and book a treatment with Lauren & Vanessa.

:: THURSDAY ::

Club SÖDA NYC. Another amazing turn-out and crowd for mine and Biet’s “sober curious” event—which also made Well+Good’s list of top wellness trends for 2017! Top tip from our panel on sober party pre-gaming? Write a gratitude list. I also had the realization during Biet’s meditation, that what we’re really craving in alcohol is a shift, an “escape,” into the right side of the brain—the intuitive, feeling, feminine side, versus the logical, linear left brain. We live in such a left-brain world (deadline-driven, progress-focussed), we’ve been left with a collective yearning for transcendence  that can often manifest in substance mis-use.

And yes, this shift to a more balanced brain state—where left and right, masculine and feminine, thinking and feeling—work in tandem, is also part of Pinchbeck’s Now Age vision. The challenge: investigate ways to get there that are also physically restorative, mentally enlivening, emotionally supportive, and spiritually fulfilling.

:: FRIDAY ::
Making plans to head to The Deep End Club community gathering tomorrow, and donate a bunch of Numinous sweatshirts to Standing Rock. They’re super cozy, after all. What have you got to give?

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: MELINDA LEE HOLM

With her custom jewelry prescriptions, Melinda Lee Holm combines her twin passions for crystals and the Tarot—with the wider mission of awakening her clients to a life of personal evolution…

The Numinous: What card and stone best represent your current life #goals? 
Melinda Lee Holm: The Empress and Pyrite. The Empress rules over a richly abundant world that she has created for herself by caring for everything around her with love and encouragement. She is the giver and the protector of life and she revels in her gifts by beaming love out all around her. I dressed as The Empress for Halloween this year, and am focused on actively working to embody her to create a world where we are all loved and treasured for our gifts and we are all safe and cared for.

This election threw me into despair and leaning harder into The Empress is helping to guide me as I step up to act to protect the rights and safety of women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Muslims and the poor. And Pyrite is the gas to fuel this action. It supplies confidence, willpower, and motivation and it enhances our innate powers of manifestation. I invite everyone to print out a picture of The Empress and place her in your home as an inspiration and carry a piece of Pyrite!

TN: What came first, jewelry or Tarot, and when did you first combine the two? 
MLH: Tarot came first. I grew up in suburban MN and I was 13 when I got my first deck (the Thoth deck), the accompanying book, and a book on witchcraft. It changed my life. When I started doing readings for myself alone in my bedroom, I remember having this immediate access to a meditative, connected state. I would close my eyes and focus on visualizing white light shooting from my third eye and would be physically rocked by the sensation of being flooded with this magical connection. Looking back, I see baby me doing these vibration-raising rituals and I am so proud of that kid. I had a pretty rough childhood and finding this solace helped me survive with my soul intact.

20 years later I had a friend suffer a sudden and tragic loss. I went to my cards seeking guidance on how to help and as I turned over the cards, a strong aesthetic theme emerged. I felt called to make a necklace with natural stones in colors and numbers corresponding to the cards, and with energies for emotional healing and spiritual connection. As it turned out the colors and numbers were favorites of the loved one who had passed. It was incredibly moving. I knew it was the beginning of something great.

TN: Why does every modern woman need a talisman? 
MLH: Because self-adornment is an ancient sacred act. By wearing a talisman, we connect to our lineage of ancestors who adorned and anointed themselves with oils, scents, clothing, and jewelry imbued with magical power and purpose. In our contemporary culture, we are removed from this process and instead offered mass-produced items we have little to no energetic connection with. Wearing a personal talisman is a silent yet radical act of self-assertion and reconnection with the earth and with our ancestors.

TN: What themes are most common among your clients, and what stones do you use to address them? 
MLH: The culture we live in means there are a lot of blockages around communication and balancing work and play, especially for women. So I often use Aquamarine to open clear communication with oneself and others and to soothe anxiety, Green Tourmaline to re-connect with the heart, and Garnet to ignite a passion for building dreams in a realistic, grounded manner.

I also work a lot on balancing the elements, which isn’t something I set out to do. For example, if someone has a ton of Fire and Water going on, but little Earth or Air, they are likely to feel exhausted from a lack of grounding, and frustrated and possibly even despairing that their message is being misunderstood. In this case, I would pay close attention to the elemental attributes of stones. There are so many levels to a reading. It’s what makes my work incredibly interesting and fulfilling.

TN: What’s your favorite way to cleanse and charge your crystals? 
MLH: I’m a huge fan of Selenite, a purifier and spiritual activator that I find to be extremely effective. I have big slabs of it in my studio and every jewelry piece I make gets a nap on the Selenite before it goes home. I also keep a piece with my personal jewelry. My pieces are also blessed with Palo Santo as I ask them to work with the client’s guides, angels, and ancestors to carry their energy to where it is most needed.

For my personal collection of crystals, I do a water rinse once a month on the Full Moon and then roll the cart (it’s a big collection!) over to the window to soak in the moonlight overnight. I also give them a really good smudge when I do my weekly house cleansing.

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
I’m living for everything Michele Alessandro makes for Gucci. If I could buy it all I would, but instead I admire it from afar and buy vintage. I’m crazy about vintage clothing for stylistic and environmental reasons.

Gucci AW16

My shoes
Oxfords and sneakers. I’m tall, I have foot issues, and I’m a HUGE fan of a butch shoe look.

Saint Laurent sneakers, $595, Net-a-porter.

My fragrance
Tea rose oil – opens the heart and smells amazing.

Tea Rose Oil, from $14, Body Time.

My jewels
I’m constantly making myself things depending on what I’m feeling, but I always wear the gold Sigil necklace from my collection, piles of rings, and a piece of Black Tourmaline somewhere to keep my energetic field clear.

Sigal necklace, from $175, Melinda Lee Holm.

My pampering
A soak, a scrub, and a hot stone bibimbap at the Korean spa.

My home
A purple house filled with crystals, art, music, and animals in beautiful Los Angeles.

My food
All of it. Everything. I love food. That hot stone bibimbap at the spa may be my favorite, but it would be really hard to choose.

 

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening 
It’s ongoing. I think we all need to focus on being in a state of constant spiritual awakening until we’re dead. Not doing so assumes we’ve gotten as close as we can or as we care to the Divine. I’m greedy. I want as much expansion and evolution as I can get in this lifetime.

My sign
Cancer Sun, Virgo Ascendant, Taurus Moon, year of the Fire Snake.

My mantra
“This time will pass”—it works to soothe during the lows, and as a reminder to really be present and soak in the highs. It relates very closely to the Wheel of Fortune card, which offers an additional comfort of being looked after by the Universe.

My healer
As with all of us, ultimately myself—with and assistance from guides here on Earth and in the Spirit realm.

My reading
I always go back to Angela Davis, Joseph Campbell, and many, many metaphysical texts.

My mission
To empower and inspire as many people as I can to commit to a life of constant personal evolution.

Discover more about Melinda Lee Holm and her work, and schedule a Prescription Adornments consultation at Melindaleeholm.com

PERIOD PRIDE: IT’S TIME TO LOVE YOUR LADY LANDSCAPE

Lisa Lister is the British witch and all around goddess at the forefront of the period pride movement. Ruby Warrington hears all about her new book, Love Your Lady LandscapeArtwork: Merakilabbe

The Numinous: Love Your Lady Landscape is a call to action for Now Age women. Tell us about it…
Lisa Lister: Well there was a time, roughly 5000 years ago, when the space between a woman’s thighs was considered a power portal with a direct hook up to Source. But for over 2,000 years now, the potent powers of our wombs, our cyclic nature and our menstrual cycles have been disregarded, and we’ve lost our daily connection to mumma earth, to the Moon, to the seasons and their cycles.

As a result, we often ignore our deepest needs as women because we no longer trust ourselves and our own body wisdom. We apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and self-medicate with whatever will numb the pain of not being heard or telling our truth.

Worst of all, we have an epidemic of ‘down there’ pain and dis-ease—PMT, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids. Overwhelm, anxiety and infertility are at an all-time high and we manage our menstrual bleed with synthetic hormones, denying ourselves the experience of living fully in our power.

So, Love Your Lady Landscape is about exploring, navigating and loving your lady parts. It’s about how to care for them, how to trust them and how to reclaim them.

TN: What is the number one thing a woman needs to understand about her period?
LL: That we are cyclic, not linear. Each month we try to maintain the same level of energy and productivity as our male counterparts throughout our whole cycle, so we can ‘compete’ and ‘keep up.’ But our energy, hormone levels and sex drive ebb and flow each month as we cycle through the four phases of the menstrual cycle—pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and menstruation.

Each of these phases hold super powers and hot spots and when we understand that we show up differently in each phase of our cycle, we are then able to use our menstrual cycle as a map to understanding ourselves better each and every month.

TN: Your previous book, Code Red was all about periods too. Why is this your pet subject?
LL: My entire 20’s were ruled by my menstrual cycle. I bled more days than I didn’t every cycle, I had to cancel social engagements ALL the time because I was too scared to bleed through my clothes, the pain was debilitating at times.

I also got myself a reputation as a total flake, because I was too embarrassed to say: ‘I can’t come out/to work/to the meeting because I’m bleeding through industrial super-size pads and my bed looks like a scene from the movie Carrie.’

So, when at 25 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, there was a moment of relief. I had a name for it. Except in the very next breath the doctor said: ‘Endometriosis means that babies are no longer an option, so it makes sense that we whip out your womb and ovaries so you can function normally again.’

What???

For a moment I considered it, but, and I didn’t know the incredible power that we hold in our womb space at the time, this woke a fierce rage in me that meant I simply wasn’t going to let this happen. Instead, I read about other women who have endometriosis – each case was different – and most importantly, discovered that it didn’t necessarily mean I couldn’t have children. I then got extra mad at modern medicine’s quick fix ‘whip it out’ mentality, and for the last ten years I’ve been on an adventure to explore, navigate and most importantly, love my lady landscape.

And that work starts with the most powerful game-changer of all—knowing ourselves through our cycle.

 

TN: Why are periods a feminine ‘super power’?
LL: Our blood is GOLD. The actual act of bleeding used to be considered sacred and it was honoured by both men and women, from the first day you bleed through to the day you stop bleeding, you are a witch, a sorceress, an all powerful woman. You are a lightening rod for the divine, your womb is an oracle.

And when we work WITH our cycle and not against it, we have access to a series of feminine super powers all month, all of which can be leveraged and used to create a bloody amazing business, relationship and life. A concept I go into in detail in Love Your Lady Landscape!

Book

TN: So many women have irregular cycles. Why do you think this is?
LL: Many reasons, but some of the top ones are:

– As I said previously, when we try to do life in a linear way, we work against our cyclic nature and we suffer for it. Sometimes that will manifest instantly in the form of PMS, irregular cycles, cramps, heavy bleeding (all of which are our body’s way of trying to slow us down and pay attention) or over time in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and ‘lady-parts’ dis-eases like Endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids.
– We’re not listening to the wisdom of our bodies and our monthly cycle because we’re medicating her with synthetic hormones—the pill, implants, coils.
– We’ve not been taught what a ‘regular’ flow looks and feels like because menstruation is still seen as taboo subject. It’s spoken about in hushed tones and advertising teaches us to ‘stuff up’ our bleed with tampons so we can ‘carry on as usual’ partying, riding on boats and rollerskating in white jeans – this is shown as ‘normal’ when it’s anything but for most women.

TN: I love your term ‘called girl’ for a woman who’s in touch with her cycle—can you give an example of how this looks from your life?
LL: The Called Girl experiences life moment-to-moment. She’s in tune with the feminine cycles, rhythms and seasons that allow her to fully own her divine power. She works in, not out. She trusts herself and thoroughly enjoys inhabiting a female body.

A Called Girl doesn’t hold on too tight to a defined and specific outcome. Instead she shows up, roots into mumma earth, listens to her pussy, trusts her gut, raises her heart and boobs to the sun and remains open to the infinite possibilities that occur when you collaborate with what I call SHE.

I trust my body’s wisdom and the way that SHE (divine/source/goddess) uses my cycle to work through me. Each and every month in each and every phase, I unravel and unfold more and more understanding about the woman that I am.

This means I can grow strong and powerful roots in the truth of why I’m here, what I need to learn, who I’m here to serve and how I’m meant to do it—meaning I can fully rise as a woman who trusts herself and is fiercely in her SHE power. Rarrrr!

Crowned ‘the defender of female awesomeness’ by Cooler magazine, Lisa Lister is the author of Love Your Lady Landscape and Code Red. She’s a menstrual, fertility and reproductive health practitioner and founder of the SHE Flow system; a personal invite to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, mysteries and magic. Discover more at www.thesassyshe.com

 

5 SIGNS I NEEDED A SPIRITUALITY DETOX

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

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

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

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

So, what was a girl to do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Her prescription?

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

Instead?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRIMARAN BOTANICALS: SKINCARE BLESSED BY A SHAMAN

Mimi Young, founder of Shamanic skincare line Trimaran Botanicals, shares her journey and her process…

Occasionally, a brand appears on the horizon that just vibrates authenticity – and Trimaran Botanicals, a skincare line out of Vancouver, is one such offering.

Created by modern shamanic practitioner Mimi Young, it’s no surprise to learn that each and every product is interwoven with the energetic imprint of the spirit realm – to create a line that nurtures the beauty of the user, inside and out.

It’s been an honor to collaborate with Mimi on this piece, in which she discusses her connection to the spirits (“No different than a friend texting you – those little communications just happen…”) her products, and her process…

The Numinous: How did you originally connect with your plant spirits?
Mimi Young: It happened by accident, really. For almost two decades I had been psychically smelling plants – smelling fragrances of plants (and other substances) that are not physically in my surroundings, and it took me a long while to realize that this was the spirits calling to me for recognition, to be heard.

I then realized I had the gift of communicating with these spirits when I was in Mexico. There was a tropical house plant where were staying – the leaves resembled a peace lily, although to this day I am not certain what species it was. I was in the bathroom, and I quite clearly heard the voice of the plant, “It would be so nice to experience this Mexican sunshine!”

So right away, I picked her up and put her on the deck, and it was crazy because then I kept hearing, “Thank you, thank you.” When I returned home, one of my house plants – a peace lily that had not flowered for years – was blooming with radiance. I interpret that as a beautiful token of gratitude from the spirit.

I can hear plants, animals, and crystals – and, as mentioned, experience clairscent-based communication from those realms; I perceive scents beyond the limitations of physical space and time. This morning I was talking to fern, dragon, the wolves… I wasn’t asking for this, I just held the space and it happened.

Cellulite Oil, $138

TN: And when did the idea for Trimaran Botanicals come up?
MY: Pun intended, it happened “organically”! I was searching for a product to assist with reducing cellulite after having a child, and so I made myself a body oil. To add to its benefits, I blessed it to ensure not only its physical efficaciousness but its emotional and spiritual effects as well.

The Numinous: How do you create your products now? What’s the process?
MY: I work with the spirits. I am physically the only human being when I am making the products, but I truly see it as a collaborative effort.

As a shamanic practitioner, I live my human life but the door to the spiritual realm, and to the plants, is always open. And the plant spirits (or animal, or crystals) will come to me and tell me things throughout the day. No different than a friend texting you – those little communications just happen. I mean it’s spectacular and beautiful, but it’s so much a part of my everyday that it’s normal for me now. A great example is that the plants just told me the other day to add to our current AURA COLLECTION, explained to me the functions of each new product, and even the ingredients I should be using!

In terms of filling orders, my process is both orderly and intuitive:

– I examine each order as if it’s a medical chart, as I allow myself to tune in to that customer’s order.

– I ask my plants what this person might need, be it an item from the line or a custom order.

– I always hold the product in my hand and bless it with that person’s name so it becomes “for” that person, but also adding that it’s also “for anyone else that might receive this product,” in case it ends up being passed forward – as a gift, in sharing, etc.

– I will also add to my blessing a mantra, an invitation for something like security, groundedness, self-compassion, etc. Sometimes I even write it down on my founder’s card to be placed in the shipment.

– Before it’s shipped, the order is placed in a nook in my studio – a space set up for my assembled inventory, surrounded with crystals and plants – to be charged with more intention, solfeggio music, sacred plants diffused in the air.

– Once it’s been charged, I pack it and anoint the package with sacred sage, asking that the order be delivered swiftly and without damage. So even the shipping process is energetically blessed. And I kid you not, all my orders end up being delivered far faster than expected!

Good Vibes Elixirs, $44

TN: Do you take the same care sourcing your suppliers?
MY: I have multiple suppliers. My requirements are their integrity as artisanal suppliers of the finest pure, wildcrafted, organic, botanical ingredients such as cold-pressed plant oils and first-distillation, solvent-free essential oils, but I the energy with the people themselves also has to feel right. All of my suppliers believe what I believe – I can quickly pass on any messages from my plant spirit to them, and it’s like everyday coffee break conversation!

I didn’t set out looking for shamanic suppliers, it just turned out that I attracted a network of suppliers who work the way I do: they speak with the plants, they too fulfill my orders with loving intention and anoint my shipments with sage for protection. They understand my process and share the same values. As such, my raw ingredients are always handled with love, and have not been sitting in a stale, cold, business as usual factory/storage space.

TN: How long have you been practicing shamanism – and what was your initiation into the tradition?
MY: Becoming a shaman isn’t like choosing to become one and taking a course (although I understand that there are courses out there), it is a spiritual inheritance, and it is through my work with a seasoned shamanic practitioner that I have honed my abilities to connect in an ongoing way with the spirit realm. What I have learned cannot be learned in the Western definition of learning, it’s been through spiritual experience and touch.

My shamanic practitioner did give me the formal tools and language for me to remove my “self” from my “ego,” however. In doing so, my ability to honor my “unknowing” and to ask for guidance from the spirit world has given me the ability to go deeper into my journeys and collaborations with spirits, and to bring back into the physical world a deepened intuition, and heightened senses.

Ultimately, my “knowledge” come from the messages I receive in my journeying, and with the plants – being a shaman means listening first.

Sacred Smudge Mist, $46

TN: What will women gain by approaching beauty from a shamanic perspective?
MY: My hope is that the experience of using Trimaran Botanicals will bring a person’s inner beauty to the surface, as that is the purpose of the brand: alignment of deep inner beauty with the outer.

I also hope that Trimaran Botanicals is something that people can use to continue their own practice of connecting with themselves, of coming home to themselves, and of acknowledging that the plant world is interconnected with ours, so that they can truly connect with the outside world from a “whole” and holistic place.

TN: What’s your definition of beauty for the now age?
MY:
I often question why we need to define beauty. For example, the lightness we experience when we are one with nature cannot be experienced through a facial or fitting into a pair of skinny jeans.

That said, beauty to me speaks of internal balance. It’s being happy with yourself, where you fit in the world, and where you fit in your own skin. When we can nurture this and cradle ourselves, is when I think we can begin to understand that we are really, truly beautiful.

Discover more about Trimaran Botanicals on Instagram or shop the brand at Trimaranbotanicals.com

WHY ARE ALL THE LIGHTWORKERS MOVING TO LA?

Check out all the lightworkers moving to LA! Fern Olivia breaks down why life on the Left Coast is calling…Photography: Nicolas Jandrain

 

So what’s the real reason behind the mass exodus from cities like NYC to LA? You’ve noticed it, right? How the lightworker tribe are all feeling the call?

Well, it’s no coincidence that people are packing up their overpriced apartments, saying farewell to the brutal winters, and moving to the magical City of Angels. In fact, many of the Numinati made the move years ago, and now more of our tribe are arriving in waves.

When I heard the call of my soul to move to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would be part of a major movement. I was not consciously aware that there was a deep reason for the work I was being called to do here, nor did I understand the energetic force by which it happened at this particular time in space.

It all makes sense to me now. If you, too, have been feeling a voice inside calling you West, what I’ve learned since my move may explain why – and in a radical way.

In April 2015, I was visiting my girlfriends in Malibu and I remember the precise moment, sitting on the beach, my soul clearly demanded: “Come home.” I had never lived in California, nor had I ever heard a voice inside as strong as this.

But I was not afraid. I listened.

The voice continued: “Move to Venice in the Fall.” So specific and commanding, right? I dared not question it, even though I had only been to Venice a few times for Kundalini classes at Ra Ma Institute with Guru Jagat, and for nourishment at Moon Juice and Cafe Gratitude.

But over the past several years, I have recognized my intuitive gifts and learned that in order to stay in alignment, I MUST TRUST this deep knowing.

And something inside me insisted that this was exactly where I needed to be. So I set about transitioning all my yoga classes and clients in New York, seamlessly found a friend to take over my lease, and effortlessly slipped out of my old life to plant myself in Venice Beach – the epicenter of the Now Age. And now that I’m here, I feel grounded and aligned.

So, back to why are we being called to LA, why should we trust the pull, and what’s next for us fearless souls who have listened to our spirit’s deepest longing.

Here are FOUR reasons that may help it all make it crystal clear.

1. We are being called to return to our Aphrodite – our pure, liberated Feminine.

New York City is literally on a grid – when you see the city from the air, the avenues and streets are angular and the buildings are close together. It’s tough to see the wide open sky unless you’re at the top of a skyscraper or in the middle of Central Park. We pound our feet on concrete and have little connection to the bare, soft, fertile earth. For most of the year, our feminine form is bundled in layers, and the sun has only a small window to kiss our bare skin.

Living in any city, we’re disconnected from the Earth, Air, Moon and tides – which in turn influence our moon cycles, our creativity, and manifestation capabilities.

When our creative expression is stifled, we become tight, rigid, stressed, and stagnation takes over our physical bodies. Living this way demands we’re dominated by our masculine energy – and it’s hard to keep up. Our adrenals burn out. We grow tired of being Wonder Woman – one of Dana James’ female archetypes – in the city that never sleeps. Rather, our hearts are longing to dance under the moonlight. We know we will rise in our true power when we feel grounded with the earth under our bare feet.

2. We got chewed up and spat out, and now our souls are strong enough to handle the work ahead.

Our souls brought us to cities like New York to do some major work on our karmic path. Our soul contracts had very specific lessons and experiences to learn in order to do the light work we were born in this incarnation to deliver.

New Yorkers have grit. New Yorkers are tough. We had to be, to get through the brutal winters, hurricanes, floods, terrorism, city noise, and commutes. And our souls had to practice becoming strong enough to do the major work that we are about to do in LA – influencing some of the brightest, most powerful, creative, receptive people in the world to step up to change the future of our planet.

So what is this work? Our world is suffering from the bankruptcy of love – we are living in a time of immense poverty, suffering, terrorism, abuse, and fear. It is our work to bring light to this planet through our creative leadership. We must be strong and clear in our own bodies otherwise, this difficult work can leave us feeling hopeless and depleted.

But first, we need some time to play. To retreat. To rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Once we have brought ourselves back into balance, we will have the clarity and vitality to do some major work as the next generation of visionaries on this planet.

3. We’re feeling the pull of the 33rd parallel (Allow me to explain…)

In heeding the call to LA, lightworkers are being called to congregate around the 33rd parallel – an energy vortex which happens to run through Venice Beach. You may know that in numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry, and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” And the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra, and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.

Furthermore, the latitude of the 33rd degree is shared with the ancient city of Babylon and by modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, in Syria, is also on this line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” in the Atlantic Ocean.

So, clearly, there is something very powerful about the energy vortex around the 33rd parallel! And in essence, the quality of the 33rd parallel is that it shifts our energy more effectively and quickly. But looking at the history, it’s also clear that this has been utilized by some pretty dark forces – and now the lightworkers are moving to readdress the balance.

4. Our soul family is waiting for us.

To do the work we were born to, we need the support of our tribe. I’ve found there’s nothing more influential than a community of brilliant, grounded, strong, connected souls – our “soul clusters” as my dear friend Aimee Follette, chef and founder of Sun in Bloom, so perfectly calls it.

You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but something inside you remembers them, as if you’ve known each other before? That feeling is real. Our souls have contracts with other souls – and we have these soul contracts with all the people we walk with, our parents, friends, business partners, lovers, and children.

The soul contracts of my New York life, including a controlling six-year relationship, showed me the work I needed to do: to heal deep-rooted karmic patterns of insecurity, self-doubt, and the inability to speak my truth. Many of us in New York experienced a similar struggle, freeing ourselves from lineages of insecurity, scarcity mindset, and fear of abandonment.

And having learned the lessons of city life, a tribe of stronger, fierce, liberated souls are reuniting together in Los Angeles.

Not feeling the call to move? That’s okay!

As explained by my teacher Harmonjot Kaur at Ra Ma Institute in Venice, it is important to understand that YOUR soul family will be found wherever you open your soul. “We are moving into a time where we stop looking outside for answers. Moving to LA to find one’s soul family simply because one identifies as a “lightworker” is a recipe for heartbreak I feel. Because wherever one is, that is where the soul family will show itself. And when we make expensive moves looking to satisfy from the outside what can only be satisfied from the inside, we really set ourselves up for great disappointment.”

There’s also a critical need for lightworkers to remain in New York City – since NYC is on an energetic grid that’s very powerful, meaning there’s an opportunity to amplify light work in the city.

And the truth is, we’re all designed to be more energized by different locations, explains Light Maker Cassandra Bodzak. “There are people whose energy field is actually more primed for NYC than LA, or vice versa, or for a different location such as Austin, Miami, or Boulder. You can even get a special astrology chart reading to determine which places on the earth will optimize your energy or deplete you.”

Another disclaimer from Harmonjot: The move to LA alone does not equal automatic self-discovery! “I’m reticent about encouraging people to move to Los Angeles because it’s touted as some kind of promised land. But many people have the illusion that their problems will be solved by coming out here. They likely won’t. Deep spiritual practice is what allows one to find the next step and the next place.”

So, my dears, wherever you feel the call, trust it. Trust your soul. Your soul family. Just as your future self is trusting YOU to heed the call. When you are living in alignment with your soul, you’ll feel home wherever you are. You’ll be in harmony with your body, and from this space of feeling healthy and in the flow, you will be your most creative self, and able to fully show up to do the work you were born to do.

MEDITATION ARTIST: AN INTERVIEW WITH BIET SIMKIN

The girl making meditation the new nightlife, Biet Simkin shares her spiritual practices and how her higher self embraces the shocks of life with Kiran Gill

Artist: Viki Forshee

The Numinous: You’ve experienced a lot of loss in your life, including the death of your parents and daughter, and you describe these events as shocks that have connected you to your higher self. How have these shocks aided you in your spiritual journey? What advice would you offer someone going through a similar experience?
Biet Simkin:
Life is beautiful, but it wasn’t created to be a whole experience. It was broken into millions of shattered parts for our exploration. This is why we sometimes see the beauty in the shattered glass, and at other times the grief and rage. My advice for anyone at any time is to listen, listen to that inner voice and stay close to it. “This too shall pass,” is what they say. And eventually it does, and you will realize it was all worth it. In my life I actually remember experiencing ecstasy around these shocks. My higher self does not want a boring life. Only my mechanics or what some people call “ego” wants it all to be easy. My soul is interested in challenge and loss. My soul is interested in heartache and fear. Get interested in what is breaking you, look closely, it is in the center of these things that your grace can be found.

TN: Your father was a shaman/psychotherapist from Russia. How did his work and beliefs influence you as a child? In your present work, how do your father’s beliefs influence you?
BS: As a child, his influence aided me in being lazy, poetic and curious. He always insisted that I do whatever I want. Being the sad and confused child that I was, having just lost my mother, I didn’t want to do much but sit around, make art, eat snacks and cry sometimes. Eventually, this lack of structure led to rock and roll, drug use, world travel and many lovers. And finally, his passing eight years ago led to a complete shift in being, rendering me a most disciplined and focused entrepreneur in a healthy relationship, with a healthy diet, sober life and perpetual tangos with joy. I am his daughter; I continue his legacy of mixing fun with art and spirituality. The real icing on the cake of his legacy was laughter, and I carry that on.

TN: You have previously described yourself as having a “strong sensual energy.” How have you cultivated this part of your identity in a society that frequently represses and condemns female sexuality?
BS: I do not pay attention to that stuff and consider myself rather masculine, actually. I never really bought into the whole gender thing, it seems kind of silly to me. There are so many feminine men and masculine women….what is gender anyway? I am sexual because sex energy is the highest energy we have on Earth. It is love energy and it is the force with which we create. I consider myself a creator, and to me that is about the sexiest thing a person can remind themselves to be. I think all people want to create, so when they see someone doing it they get excited!

Artist: Frej Hedenberg

TN: You advocate for a more emotional meditative experience that encompasses beauty and gratitude. Why is that? How does this differ from more traditional meditative practices?
BS: My work is more than that of just a meditation teacher. I am an artist who realized that utilizing meditation and space (artistic space or otherwise) could transmute the state of a human being, so the next obvious action was getting human beings into beautiful spaces where I could assist them in transmuting their state! Everything about my work differs from anything else out there because it is an experience created from my inner world. Just like a Kubrick film is different from a Spielberg film. In my film, my work is about exploring the emotional center in a super intellectual way. I like to marry these two, and I do it well. People often comment in their testimonials that there is wit in my work. I believe that part of what makes my meditation experiences so emotional is that I laugh a lot and don’t take life too seriously.

TN: Likewise, you speak of cultivating “divided attention” throughout your day. What is “divided attention” and how does one master it?
BS: Divided attention simply means placing your attention on many things at the same time. So, one would experience the music in the room, their hand on the tea, the tea itself, and perhaps the people around them, and do that all at the same time. This helps slow down time. As it is a difficult practice, it is the ultimate practice. It’s easiest learned in a group or from a teacher, but it must be done out in the world.

TN: What are some of your greatest tools in your spiritual tool kit? Do you have a daily spiritual practice/ritual? What is it?
BS: Listen to your inner voice. It is telling you what to do and you do not listen. When you listen, you will hear it give you clear direction. My daily practice is obedience to this voice. Come hell or high water I will pursue what serves this voice within me. This means I do all the things you would imagine someone does who guards their higher state: I meditate daily, I work out, I pray, I journal, I see friends, I help people, I laugh a lot, I make love, I eat sustainable healthy food, I sleep well…It sounds kind of boring I guess, but it actually sheer ecstasy! Also, I practice gratitude as a way of “being” not “doing.” It is in being in a state of gratitude all day that everything I experience gets transmuted into food for my higher self.

To learn more about Biet and her work visit BietSimkin.com, and follower her on Instagram @guidedbybiet. Biet will be one of the featured instructors at SoulLOVEFest in September.

AQUARIAN ALCHEMY: NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NOW AGE

In the Age of Aquarius, your New Year resolutions are about accepting your role in working towards a new Earth, says Fern Olivia. Artwork: Christine Belanger

“The Age of Aquarius will be the Age of experience, in which people of experience will be liked, respected, worshipped, talked to, and understood.” – Yogi Bhajan, Sensory System of the Aquarian Age, August 1, 2000

The Earth rotates on an axis and the line going through the center of the earth has a slight wobble to it, which happens about once every 24,000 years. “This cycle has been broken into 12 parts associated with the 12 astrological signs, based on which constellation the axis is wobbling towards. From 0 A.D. to the present we have been in the Age of Pisces. For the next 2000 years we will be in the Aquarian Age. We have been in the transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age for the last 50 years. The official beginning of the Aquarian Age is November 11, 2011.” – 3HO

And every person on planet Earth has been and will be affected by this shift.

So what does this mean for us and our New Year resolutions, Numinous beings?

During this time, our life lessons and assignments will test the development of our sensory system, which essentially is the development of our creative self. As my teacher Guru Jagat explains it, to connect to “the sublime sensory self concept” in the Aquarian Age, we need to fully understand both our abilities and our strengths.

Think about the sensory system as an open circuit; open enough to circulate energy through it and experience the world. Being “open” allows us to move through the world in an inspired way, but also as a Warrior Saint – so we’re not just being open and loving, but living with the conscious intention to be brave and stand in our highest truth.

Seen in this way, the Aquarian Age is asking us to lead and inspire and develop ourselves in a way that will blaze a trail for the next evolution of humankind. And having been birthed at this moment in time makes this our divine destiny.

As such, we have all been given assignments of the Aquarian Age, designed to help make our lives more easeful. Accept these assignments, and we will excel in our work and our relationships, and manifest everything meant for our destiny, so we can play our part in healing the suffering on this planet.

In my work with clients on lifestyle design and conscious communication, I have noticed three main assignments that keep showing up. I’ve also accepted these assignments in my own life and have done years of work – deep introspection, kundalini yoga, and meditation – to strengthen my sensory system and radiant body.

The result: Magic. Miracles. Manifestation.

The sooner we all recognize these lessons and stop the patterns of self-sabotage that may have been deeply engrained in our subconscious, perhaps even handed down through our lineage, we can move forward and live a beautifully radiant, Numinous life.

:: THREE KEY ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE AQUARIAN AGE ::

1) Embracing Self Love, Self Worth, and Self Respect
“The fact is, there is nothing more beautiful, more worthy, or more conscious than you. The time has come for self-value. And the question is not: ‘To be or not to be.’ The statement is: ‘To be, to be.’ ‘I am, I AM.’ – Yogi Bhajan

For years, I struggled with an autoimmune hypothyroid condition that resulted in chronic fogginess, weight gain, puffiness and all-over yuckiness – and as a result, felt broken, unsexy, unworthy, and insecure in my relationships and in my career.

Finally, my mentors and dear friends Elena Brower and Donnalynn Civello asked me: “Why are you sabotaging yourself? You are pure light. If only YOU could see you like everyone else sees you.”

BOOM. That hit home for me. I realized I had to stop giving up my power by calling myself “broken” and acting “insecure.”

In any situation, we have the ability to respond in two ways.

A. With fear, judgement, and self-doubt
B. With self-love, self-worth, and fearless creative expression

We absolutely need to choose the latter.

It is our responsibility (ability to respond) to show up and step up, to open ourselves up to receiving abundance and prosperity (pro spirit – living in alignment with our spirit). We can only live in this way when we fully accept ourselves and get out of our own way.

It is our responsibility to this planet.

2) Living with Integrity and Authenticity
“Those who hustle and hassle and move and want will suffer. They will not get what they want. Now the time has come that we will have a meditative mind to wait and see what comes to us. Our minds will direct us to work toward the right channels. And we will meet the right people.” – Yogi Bhajan

Our work will thrive when we are in alignment with our divine truth. When we lead with our purpose, our dharma, inspiring people, positive experiences, and abundant wealth will naturally flow to us.

I learned this lesson when I was working in finance and my health was suffering, as my Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid symptoms were at their peak. I felt like a zombie sleepwalking in a life that wasn’t mine. It was a low vibration situation, and the people I attracted in my life were on a similar path – everyone around me complained about the hamster wheel they were on, yet no one was consciously leaping off.

I knew I had a bigger purpose on this planet than entering data into spreadsheets, and I was ready to change; I was fed up with the constant complaining, the toxic, superficial conversations, and widespread scarcity mindset.

When I left my corporate career and began my spiritual path as a healer, I found the transition to be easeful and seamless. Everyone around me was utterly shocked – but I was not surprised. I have been guided by my intuition, so it feels natural that opportunities just seem to magically show up around me. I have a daily meditation practice where I don’t simply silence my mind. Instead, I listen, I download information that guides me on my path and leads me to prosperity. I am guided.

We all are.

When it feels like we are continuously hitting walls, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves whether we are truly doing what feels authentic. Anytime the answer is “no” (be honest!) we must re-evaluate our situation and project forward with integrity.

When we recognize patterns of jealousy, competition and scarcity, we immediately acknowledge these feelings with the ability to reprogram our thoughts, shifting to compassion and gratitude.

When we lead our lives with truth and dignity, the Universe shows up with offerings of wealth and abundance. We no longer have to be victim to the scarcity mindset that there will never be enough. There is always enough for those who are doing spiritual work, for those living in alignment with their true purpose.

In the Aquarian Age, it can be no other way.

3) Communication and Self-Expression in Relationships
“We will master ourselves through our service, through our character, through our commitment, and through the most powerful thing that we have—our grace. Our individual grace is the most wanted quality today. And our projection, which will give us satisfaction, fulfillment, and exaltation, is our nobility. We will act nobly, graciously, kindly, and compassionately. These are our essential features.” – Yogi Bhajan

Being a Sensory Human in the Aquarian Age will affect all of our personal and professional relationships. In this Age, we are tested to recognize patterns of co-dependency, insecurity, and mistrust.

For six years, I was in a relationship with a man whom I loved very deeply, but our relationship could not work because we weren’t evolving together and I found myself scared to speak up and communicate what I needed in the relationship.

I never told him how I was feeling, or how his words or actions hurt me, until finally they weighed me down so much that my body got very, very sick. Why? I was simply too scared to speak up. Frightened to the point where I would sacrifice my own needs because I didn’t want to risk rejection, judgment, or an argument.

The fear of asking for what I needed in relationships, essentially holding my fear inside, brought stress to my whole glandular system, and when I don’t release that stress by speaking freely, the blockages bring up my autoimmune hypothyroid symptoms.

I thought I had a pattern dating “emotionally unavailable” men. It was not them who were unavailable, however. It was my OWN voice, which I was too afraid to speak. I never asked for what I wanted – when it came to intimacy, emotional support, or simply what I needed in order to feel heard and loved.

Energetically we are so aligned with our emotions that our physical bodies can either hurt or heal depending how we are living our life. Just think about how chronic stress can affect our health. The same concept holds true for the inability to express ourselves – creatively in our work, honesty with our business partners or clients, or in our relationships.

When Sensory Human beings meet, the attraction is timeless, limitless, and forever. Relationships that will thrive in the Aquarian Age are productive and free of guilt. These are relationships formed and sustained with sincerity, with conscious communication, with integrity.

Our work in the Aquarian Age is deep.

We must remember our worth, our responsibility to our integrity, and communicate consciously with all we come into contact with.

And as we strengthen our sensory system, our full expression of our creative self, we can ease the suffering on this planet. So we create a new society, a new humanity that is filled with love instead of fear. Ease instead of worry. Abundance instead of scarcity.

Connect with Fern Olivia and receive your Radiance Blueprint, a guided meditation journey at FernOlivia.com

COMING OUT OF THE SPIRITUAL CLOSET

Sushma Sagar pursued a high powered career in fashion, but always practiced reiki on the side. She shares how she finally found herself coming out of the spiritual closet at work.

 

“I’m a closet hippie” I used to jest to my close friends. “She’s doing her witchy stuff again” they would say, all tongue in cheek, making a silly joke. It was no joke.

I’ve been practicing reiki healing on the sly for around 16 years, and only now do I feel like I can admit it freely. It’s not the middle ages, I’m not going to get burned at the stake, so why has it taken so long to come out?

Of course you must always look back to look forward. As a kid, I played with the other children and got along just okay, but was always a bit on the outside. A little misfit who would hang around with other misfits to fit in. Fitting in, being what you thought others wanted, was what you did. A child of Indian doctor immigrants, with success and achievement drilled into us from an early age, assimilation was the most important thing.

Childhood passions were quashed one by one – dance, theatre, art, textiles- and I grew up to find myself working in marketing for well-known fashion brands like Diesel, Ted Baker and Ben Sherman. It was fiercely competitive, and as for fitting in…well that goes without saying. I was so desperate to prove myself and to get along, shape shifting became natural.

But quietly, outside of work, I was developing other interests. The catalyst of heartbreak saw me visit a healer who used acupuncture and reiki to calm my heart and make me smile, when I believed I could not. Astonished and intrigued, before I knew it I had done a course and had been initiated into this, then secret, world.

And as anyone who’s experienced their reiki initiation will know, once on the path, it slowly changes you; your trajectory shifts and, whether you want to or not, you move towards your personal truth. As did I…but on the weekends only!

So my double life continued. By day, corporate world, shallow dreams, and fickle desires. On evenings and weekends, I was back to my private world, filled with magic, loving energy, and heart opening activities. As far as I was concerned these worlds were mutually exclusive, and I felt more comfortable keeping them that way too.

But then holistic therapies began to gain interest; LA’s healthy living and New Age thinking was becoming popular in London. Celebrities and their holistic entourage were being reported in the press, spa and yoga retreats were all the rage. I ploughed on, reading and practicing until I finally completed my master reiki training. Simultaneously, my corporate life was also going from strength to strength.

And all around me, I could feel attitudes changing, judgments becoming less harsh, and ideas about “alternative” healing finally entering the mainstream. By now I had also joined a wonderful fashion brand, that celebrated interesting women. And yet still I didn’t let on to anyone about my “interesting” side.

But then, heartbreak yet again, and some serious healing was needed. I called in the big guns and found a shamanic practitioner in London. Together we journeyed back in time, healed some karmic contracts and made my soul whole again. Delighted, I trained with him to learn these skills for myself. As a result, I now felt so fully and completely me, that hiding “myself” seemed impossible.

Life was improving fast now on every level. My heart was healing after all I’d come through romantically, and I felt whole, settled and happy in my skin. I got promoted at work, felt inspired again, and began working on all the creative side projects I’d been afraid of starting.

The last piece of the puzzle was to find a way to bring my two separate worlds together. To cause a synthesis of my spiritual self and my life in the fashion world – something I’d never felt a need to do until now.

Then, when I was invited to give reiki taster sessions to professional women on a retreat hosted by a friend, the fact I understood their life turned out to be an empathetic advantage. I realized you can have one foot in the material and one in the spiritual!

Monday morning at the office following the retreat, the conversation began as usual: “so what did you do last night?” asked my boss. Me: “OH, I did a healing exchange, I gave a friend some reiki and he did some energy work on my knee.” “You do reiki?” she cried, “That’s amazing, you never said.” Me: “Didn’t I? I’ve been doing it for years, I must have mentioned it. Anyway about that budget…”

And just like that, I came out the spiritual closet. I haven’t looked back.

To book a shamanic reiki session with Sushma contact [email protected]

How did you come out of the spiritual closet? Share in the comments below!