What The US Pluto Return is Teaching Us About Self-Worth

The USA Pluto Return will be exact in February 2022. The unrest that this transit is stirring up in the collective is all to teach us how to own and wield our power – and to know our true self-worth, says Dawn Harrison

usa pluto return dawn harrison

Part of the magic of Astrology is that it helps us find meaning in the events that are unfolding within us and around us. Lord knows that the past several years have left us crying out for some explanations. Some answers to the questions of why here, why now, or why me?

There are no easy answers to the questions like these. But we can look to the cosmos for a glimmer of meaning in the mayhem. And when it comes to the larger cycles, my eyes fixate on that farthest of planetoids: Pluto.

Most of the mythological stories associated with the planet Pluto are linked to the Greek god Hades, lord of the underworld. With rather tight and unyielding control, Hades ruled the realm of those who were passing from this world into the next. His name and his myth are associated with power, transformation, resurrection, the Shadow, the riches of the unseen, and with the life / death / rebirth cycle.

The most poignant Plutonian myth is the one that he shares with Persephone. The daughter of the Goddess Demeter, Persephone was – by some accounts at least – abducted by Hades to become his wife and to help rule his realm. Most accounts describe her abduction and initiation into the underworld as an intense process, whereby she was stripped of the life she had known in order to undergo a rebirth that enabled her to rise up and become one of the most powerful deities in Greek mythology.

In Astrology, the symbolism of Pluto in the birth chart is associated with similar processes of transformation. Pluto transits often accompany periods in our life that seem to take us down in order for us to rise us back up. That seem to demand we surrender every ounce of our power, so that we might remember what it means to own and wield our power responsibly.

This goes for us as individuals, and for us as a collective. Given the current climate, it should come as no surprise then, that here in the US we have been under the influence of Pluto—big time.

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Nations have Astrological charts just as individual people do. In the chart of the US, which is cast for the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the planet Pluto sits in what we call the “Second House” – the part of the Astrology chart that we most associate with “ownership”—of our money, possessions, innate gifts, self-worth, and just about anything that we value. In other words, the lord of the underworld, of transformation, of life and death, and our Shadow, sits in the part of our national psychic terrain that is associated with fulfilling our security needs and with coming to terms with our own sense of worth.

It also sits in the sign of Capricorn, which – in my view – doubles down on this theme of “worthiness.” Capricorn is the sign of the “Sea-goat” – that mythological creature that can climb any mountain and cross any sea in its quest to succeed. Often, when we have planets in the Second House in the sign of Capricorn, especially when one of those planets is Pluto, we are dealing with a Shadow self who believes that it must work to prove its worth. Believing that it is “not enough” already, it finds itself in circumstance after circumstance that demands that it pay a price for something that it actually already owns. Until something happens to break the cycle and raise our consciousness.

Which is exactly what is currently happening here in the US.

As we speak, we are in the midst of what Astrologers call our “Pluto Return” – the time in a nation’s history when Pluto returns to the place in the cosmos that it occupied at the nation’s inception: 27 degrees Capricorn.

However, since Pluto moves so slowly and takes roughly 248 years to complete one revolution around the zodiac, its “return” is a process that some believe lasts for a decade or more. Personally, I think we’ve been feeling it’s rumblings since Pluto re-entered Capricorn in 2008. Like the tremors of an earthquake, those of us who call USA our homeland have been dealing with the shaking ground of a Hades-Persephone transformation, which promises to both trigger and bring healing to our collective wounds around WORTH.

If you think about it, the placement of Pluto in the Second House of the USA chart has a deep resonance. The United States was, in fact, “seeded” in circumstances that directly relate to the shadow sides of ownership and worthiness, which led to forcing whole groups of people to work for rights that should have already belonged to them.

Yes, let’s name these “circumstances”…. because those of us who have gotten intimate with Pluto know that Pluto always serves to dig up and to root out those wounds that we have buried so deep that we hardly know how to name them anymore. Those things that we wish that we did not have to talk about, and those things that we attempt to hide from both ourselves and others.

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To name perhaps the most obvious one of these wounds is to utter a word that many of us wish we never had to say:

Slavery.

Yes, slavery in all of its various forms –

From our African ancestors who worked the plantations.

To the Native people who were stripped of their homelands.

To the countless Americans who, to this day, work for less than their due.

To the women who struggle for an equal voice and equal pay.

To all of those who are wrestling with financial debts of any kind.

To anyone who has ever felt that they needed to starve themselves in order to attain a false image of beauty.

To any person who has subscribed to a job, a relationship, or a lifestyle that does not fit who they are in order to earn a level of status that they’ve been duped into believing that they need.

Yes, the self-worth wounds that underpin so much of American life are being triggered, and we have been feeling the rumblings of both the pain and the healing of this process since Pluto re-entered Capricorn in January of 2008.

In the sign of the Sea-goat, the mission of Pluto is to exhaust all avenues necessary in order to tear down any order, system, or structure that has kept us—as individuals and as a collective people—enslaved. And yes… this includes the imbalance of the Patriarchy… because self-worth is not something that you ever have to work to own. Self-worth is your birthright.

Since 2008, we have twice seen the first presidential position ever won by an African American. We’ve seen the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the MeToo movement, and an ever-increasing awareness of issues related to unconscious bias that have been flying beneath the radar. All of these things can be considered not-so-small chinks in the armor of the imbalanced Patriarchy—the old, established order that has pulled the spiritual wool over our eyes and convinced us, at the deepest of levels, that worth is found in a certain skin color, a certain status, a certain achievement, or a certain paycheck.

Since 2008, we’ve also seen the one-term presidency of one of the most divisive administrations this nation has ever seen, the killing of George Floyd, more than 650,000 American deaths due to the COVID pandemic, and the first insurrection on our Capitol Building. These are the rumblings of both our death and our rebirth, and they have been getting louder and louder and more intense, as the US gets closer and closer to the culmination of its Pluto return, which will be exact in February 2022.

And yet, if the USA Pluto Return represents our national Hades-Persephone story, then we are also in the middle of what might be the greatest redemptive piece of our history yet. The USA Pluto Return is teaching us something—and based on recent events, that something appears to have to do with how our collective worthiness wounds relate to several key “Plutonian” themes: power, connection, and freedom.

To what extent do you believe you do not deserve these things? How can you overturn any limiting beliefs in these areas?

To begin to answer these questions, start to examine how these themes have reverberated throughout the caverns of your own life. And with our individual and collective foundations crumbling, addressing any lack of self-worth will likely mean that some relationships in your life will have to go in order to pave the way for your redemption. Some outlived career paths in your life will have to go in order to pave the way for your redemption. And some threadbare security blankets in your life will have to go to pave the way for your redemption.

Now, in true Capricorn fashion, it’s time to roll up our spiritual sleeves, stare our Shadows in the face, and get on with the work that is paving the road to our inevitable rebirthing.

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Learn more about Dawn Harrison and here work HERE and follow her on Instagram @wildwitchastrology

Integrity Starts With You

Integrity starts with you – as in, by being honest with yourself about the truth of who you are. From there, it becomes easier to close the ‘values gap’ in the wider world, says Danielle Russell

Integrity starts with you Danielle Russell numinous books

Integrity is having a moment. You’ve probably read about it as alignment, authenticity, harmony, or wholeness. It is an important topic both personally and socially, because doing the work to become integral—all one—with ourselves first and foremost, is both healing and empowering.

With all the problems humanity faces today—from breathtaking inequality, to climate change, to the dire need to change the broken systems that have brought society to its knees over the past few decades—it’s more important than ever that we are able to remain true to our deepest selves, so we can genuinely connect and work on some of these problems together.

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Integrity and Self

Harmony is when what you think, what you do, and what you say are in alignment.” – attributed to Ghandi

Each of us is born whole, integral, and designed to act on our emotions and needs with no filter in place. As we mature, we learn how to conform to the elaborate social structures around us. Often this results in us overriding, or abandoning, our true selves, as we learn how to act in ways that win us approval, love, and belonging.

Belonging is a biological imperative. When we’re young and vulnerable the love of our elders directly translates into protection: our survival depends on it. But when this translates as an overpowering need to “fit in” as adults, it comes at a cost. One that has implications far beyond our individual selves.

In the drive to conform, we turn against our true selves, forcing our emotional needs and desires deep inside. Over time we become divided, two faced, with our “social selves” being the outward mask we wear to cover our true, authentic selves.

Often the parts of ourselves that we are most likely to cover up are the parts that make us uniquely us, yet that we deem unacceptable because of an “ideal” that’s been fed to us by industry, media, marketing, and popular culture our whole lives.

But the more we cover up our messy, unique shapes, voices, faces and identities, the more this upholds the status quo and perpetuates cycles of oppression.

Once these two identities are established, we tend to become further disconnected from our authentic self while fulfilling the needs of our social selves. We chase the things we think we want (in my case being a “good girl,” fitting the European standard of beauty, achieving success without ever coming across as “too ambitious”), but often overlook the things we truly long for (belly laughs, friends, the sound of wind through leaves, the feeling of deep inner peace).

At some point on this journey, we wake up to find ourselves addicted, exhausted, feeling lost, and wholly not at peace. This may manifest in our lives as broken relationships, failed careers, and feelings of purposelessness and being emotionally unmoored.

And because the oppressive message to act and be a certain way is everywhere we turn, impacting everybody on some level, when we look out on the wider world, we see a reflection of the divisiveness we feel on the inside. And so the cycle continues.

But there is a simple way to begin to right our ships: which is to begin telling the truth of who we are to ourselves.

We can start small: I don’t like how all the mindless scrolling makes me feel, and can work up to bigger, scarier truths: I’m in the wrong career, or, I put my comfort ahead of speaking out against that racist co-worker. By acknowledging what’s true for us, especially the things we think others will find unacceptable, we can begin to take actions that are in line with the person we truly are.

Once we begin the process of looking inside and being real about what we find there, we also begin to fine tune our moral compass. We’re more likely to stand up for what we know is right. We stop second guessing ourselves constantly, and at a soul level we feel free.

It takes time, and starts small, but once we begin this practice, we’ll begin to see bigger and more meaningful changes in our life—and the world we inhabit. Truth is the path back to integrity within ourselves.

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Integrity and Society

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – MLK Jr.

So what do we do when we’re trying to follow our truth, but it seems like we only have bad choices in front of us? Whether it’s what we consume (from goods and services to media), our decision to be (or not to be) active about issues in our community, or the kind of work we do, it often feels like any choice we make will bring us out of alignment with our integrity.

In our capitalist economic system, businesses are able to provide (relatively) cheap goods and services because of “externalities”—the technical term for any cost that has some kind of an impact on a third party that doesn’t have a choice in the matter.

The state of the world today—with climate disasters unfolding in greater numbers year over year, human rights violations constantly being exposed by the media, and biodiversity (and human fertility) in freefall—is shaped by these externalities.

Let’s use chocolate as an example. I really enjoy hot cocoa. It conjures fond memories and brings comfort when I need a break from reality. But then I discovered that most of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, where child labor and slavery are rampant in the cocoa industry.

Not to mention the degradation of the land and the carbon footprint that are the true cost of this small moment of pleasure I experience in my home in California. My cup of cocoa hasn’t been quite so comforting since I learned these stats.

The same can be said for the majority of the choices we make as consumers today. So where do we go from here? How do we act in a way that is true to ourselves (in this example, self-care) without causing harm to others?

I could just stop eating chocolate. But how would this choice negatively impact workers at the cocoa farms, who have no other way to earn a living? I could encourage friends, family, and co-workers to only eat brands that have been verified as cruelty free? But how does this address the wider issue?

Often all we’re left with when attempting to answer these questions … is even bigger questions: Do we fight every battle? Can I really make a difference? Is it even possible to be a good person in such a broken system?

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Living with integrity in a broken world

It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela

Seeking integrity in our own lives is one thing (whether this means owning up to a bad relationship and having the courage to move on, or calling out racism in the workplace)—but how to pay this forward in a world that’s full of bad choices? There are a few places we can at least start.

Live with less. When it comes to consumption of goods and services, the easiest way to cut down on our footprint (carbon, cruelty, or otherwise) is to simply consume less.

This raises questions about the knock-on effect of the people employed in the production and distribution of these goods—which is a whole other article in and of itself. I would argue we overemphasize GDP as an indicator of progress over happiness, health or welfare. With drastic enough reductions in consumption jobs will be lost, yes.

But degrowthers (an entire group of people dedicated to making this change a reality) believe that this shift will lead to economies becoming more “circular” (re-using and re-purposing what durable goods we have in our system already), local, and more akin to those seen in historic indigenous populations.

Know the score on your big decisions. Whether it’s grocery store staples, clothing, eating out, or travel (and especially travel), learn about the negative externalities where you spend your money, and do a quick cost/benefit analysis so you can adjust your choices accordingly.

If travel to a place is harmful to the people or ecosystem of that place, consider other places to visit or activities you can do. You will never escape all negative externalities; accepting the world we live in as it is does not imply approval of that world. But you can do your best to avoid the biggies, whatever those are for you.

Give back, get active. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re sporting a little privilege. As you learn to live with less, also learn to give back more. Find ways to give time or money to causes that are the most important to you. And don’t forget to call out the bad actors. If you want to see your clothing more sustainably produced, call the manufacturer! Call your members of Congress, email the companies you buy from (and the ones you don’t), write op-eds, and generally have your voice be heard.

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Given the state of the world, trying to close the values gap in our lives can feel demoralizing; how can my small contribution make a difference? But study after study shows that it takes only 3.5% of a population taking action to make a difference. By that rule, if we all started living with more integrity, day-to-day, we’d make an immediate impact.

As the famous Margaret Mead quote goes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

And it all begins with you. Every small decision we make has a ripple effect, and when we’re really honest about who we are, it is all of our nature to value peace and collaboration. Where we see the opposite, we are witnessing a misalignment of these intrinsic human values, brought about by fear—fear of otherness, fear of scarcity, fear of not being allowed to live as our true selves.

By living as your authentic self, you model to others how it’s done. Which is ultimately how we’ll find our way out of the broken systems we live in.

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Danielle Russell is a writer and technologist with a background in Geology. She’s interested in all things environmental, feminism, and the arts. Danielle enjoys volunteering (currently climate advocacy) surfing, biking, live music, and books. She lives in California with her partner.  

Am I Too Sensitive for Social Media?

Are you too sensitive for social media? If you find social triggering, Elyssa Jakim shares how sensitive types can make it work for you.

Too sensitive for social media Elyssa Jakim The Numinous

Last summer, I deleted my Instagram account. Because, I just felt awful on there. Every time I posted, it felt like a secret cry for help. A cry of “Please like me! Please approve of me! Please validate that I’m not too weird or too much for you.”

Rewind.

When I was growing up, I was often called too sensitive. I had a reputation for crying easily. This was doubly excruciating because when I cried, my face would get as bright red as my hair. It was like walking down the halls of my high school wearing a sign that said, “I just cried, and don’t wanna talk about it!”

Over the years, my sensitivity has paid off as intuition. Having a solid meditation practice and making a point to be extra kind to myself helps, and I feel less sensitive now than I did as a kid – but my empathic tendencies can still turn social interactions into triathlons. I know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling it these days. A tendency to feel things deeply, to overthink the effect you have on others, to use the phrase “I feel,” or to easily get sensory overload are all signs that you are a sensitive person. When mixed with social media, the effects can be disastrous.

My breakup with Instagram was simple, really. My husband noticed my habit of scrolling with glazed eyes while holding my breath.

He reflected back to me what he saw, “It’s like you’re in rabid panic mode when you’re on there.” He was right. My energy felt totally off when I interacted with Instagram. I’d hold my breath as I scrolled through the accounts of people I didn’t remember following. I’d obsessively refresh to see if I’d gotten another like. Shame poured in when a post I spent an hour on got two comments. It felt like walking back into my high school cafeteria with my bright red face. I didn’t feel like me.

So I deleted my account and really it felt like a solution! For a little while…

But it didn’t solve my problem, especially as an entrepreneur. For sensitives who use social media as a place to market their businesses and services, the imperative to remain on social media as a promotional tool poses a real challenge.

It wasn’t until I set the old way of doing things free—deleting my Instagram account and determining to reset that relationship—that new ways to engage with social media have opened up for me.

Read on for my tips on feeling strong as a sensitive on social media!

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TIP 1: It’s not shady to be strategic.

Something that didn’t occur to me until I started a job writing social media captions for someone else is that there is a proven strategy at play. In fact, as a creative, intuitive person, it pained me to learn that if you’re not being strategic as a business owner on social, you’re very likely wasting your time and money.

Social media expert Eduardo Morales (the genius behind @potteryforall, @macramemakers, and @pinlord) tells us how important understanding the platform is for your success:

“I sincerely believe that growing a small business on Instagram isn’t about being ‘cool’ or ‘social’, it’s about understanding how the platform works and learning to execute the activities that lead to growth at a high level.”

Once you learn how the system works, you won’t feel like you’re floating around on social media without a life-raft. Having a plan in place will also make you feel less sensitive and raw.

Even if you’re just using social media personally, there are ways for you to strategize. For example, listen to your natural rhythms. If there are days in the week or times in your monthly cycle where you feel more vulnerable or tender…those might be the days to avoid using it. Also understanding the tools and tricks other people are using there helps you take things less personally. Knowing IG’s rules for instance, and that most people are “playing the game” to a degree, keeps me from getting swept up in the comparison trap.

A key way to feel less sensitive on social is to see it less as an extension of you, a place to share your vulnerable authentic self, and reframe it as a tool to share your passions, spread the work about your projects, and (perhaps most importantly) build community.

A key question is to ask yourself what your goals/intentions are. Why do you want to use social? Think about incorporating a strategy that can help you to reach those goals or nurture those intentions.

As you define your rules for using social media, you get to have a kind of internal boundary with the platform. Having a plan in place will also make you feel less sensitive and raw. You can then come from a place of power.

 

TIP 2: You DON’T have to be everywhere

IMPORTANT: You do NOT have to be active on every platform. Pick one or two channels and focus on those.

In this awesome article which unpacks if social media is even worth it, Melyssa Griffin lays it down:

DO you need to be on every platform? Spending hours per week on social media? Heck to the mother-effin’ no. Find your core social media platforms and go hard on those instead. It may even just be one platform that you’re particularly active on.”

How do you know the best channels for you to choose?

There are many ways to go about this! Here are some ideas:

– Identify where your target audience and your community are hanging out. What platform do your ideal clients and customers love to use? That’s where you should be!

– You can also consider what platform you naturally feel most comfortable on. If you don’t jive with IR or Facebook for instance, maybe consider LinkedIn, TikTok, or Pinterest. This is particularly challenging if you don’t agree with the practices of certain social media companies. I don’t have an answer to this gargantuan issue, except to educate yourself about privacy policies and log out of platforms whenever possible. This article about IG’s privacy policies is an informative read.

– Look at where you might have a mini-following already, I realized that over the years I’d built up a big network on LinkedIn. Because I’m a service provider and mainly use social for work, it really makes sense to connect with people on there. Also, the algorithm sorts by “relevant’ rather than “recent”…so that means your epic posts get to stay on people’s feeds and continue building traction. A great thing if you want to put more bang into your written posts.

– Consider your natural communication style. If you’re super visual, maybe you want to play with Pinterest. If you’re a bit of a performer, get on video and milk those IG lives, Facebook lives, or create your own Youtube channel. If you’re a writer, you may consider LinkedIn, Medium, or Twitter.

Ultimately, choose the one or two platforms that feel easiest to commit to. Make it easy on your sensitive self.

 

Tip 3: Fall in love with Email Instead

If you’re an entrepreneur, this little piece of advice is probably the most literally valuable takeaway for your business. Don’t use social media to stay on social media. Use social media to connect with your people on email!

Why? For starters, the Return on Investment (ROI) of an email blasts away the ROI of social media.

“When you look at the effectiveness of email compared to social media and take a peek at the ROI of each, it’s pretty clear that email is the winner. By a lot.” Jacinda Santora tells us in this breakdown of email versus social media.

The ROI of email marketing as of February 2021 is 4200%, meaning for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42. This epic article by legendary copywriter Laura Belgray spells out exactly how valuable email marketing can be.

Emails are close to the investment, so they have a HUGE impact on the success of your business. Emails are the growth engine of your business and the bridge to sales.

The reason why you can rock email as a sensitive person? Email is all about an intimate connection. A great email has the feeling of being written just for you. Emails are also a place to hone your storytelling skills and develop your voice. Another winning feature? Email is way less public than social media!

If you begin to see social media as a way to invite people into more intimate conversations on your email list…you might just strike gold.

Email also answers the question of what to do if you somehow find yourself banned from social media. It is happening to many people…not only those who are being hate speech. Or if your account gets hacked and you lose all your followers overnight.

Quiz Funnel Strategist Chanti Zak, explained why email is an insurance policy…inside this EMAIL:

too sensitive for social media empaths

If you make growing your email list your primary goal as a business owner on social media, you might just be thrilled by the results.

 

TIP 4: Outsource

If you’re reading this post and the thought of social just gives you heart palpitations but you are a business owner what do you do?

Outsource your social media.

That’s right. If you are in the position to hire someone to do your social, go for it.

If you’re not a position to hire someone, you can put your attention on:

– Growing your authority in your field by guest posting or getting on podcast

– Being that incredible word of mouth referral that everyone can’t wait to work with

– Joining groups and events where your target audience is hanging out

– Building an epic lead magnet like a Quiz to get people off of social and into your list! (See tip 3)

And if you’re looking for more ways to make your business sustainable off of social (particularly if you disagree with Instagram’s new 2021 privacy policies)…check out this podcast episode from Blair Badenhop.

 

TIP 5: Dealing with Criticism

When someone unfollows you, it’s actually a blessing. Your audience is getting more targeted and more specific to people who do want to hear from you. Way to go!

So if you’ve been playing small or vanilla on your social, because you want to be for everyone, one of the best things you can do is be you more fully. Sure, some people might unfollow you. But let me repeat: that is a blessing!

If you’re a business owner, a gift that you can give to your audience is actually saying who your stuff is not for. It will make you feel way more clear and specific.

Laura Belgray wrote the best post about “flouncing” (announcing an “unfollow”) I’ve ever seen.

These days, because everything feels so polarized, it may seem natural to write a post anticipating someone else’s criticism. Here’s the thing. You can decide to use social as a way to cultivate a community of people who are kind and supportive. If someone justifiably criticizes something you have posted, the best thing you can do is lead with kindness and a willingness to learn. If someone is attacking you or is behaving in a way that feels completely immature, unkind, or even abusive… then they are no longer welcome in your community.

Here’s how Laura begins her caption as a way to set a boundary for what she will and won’t tolerate: “The caption begins “It tickles me when people write ‘Unfollowing’ in the comments. Or when they email to tell me they’re unsubscribing…There’s a button for that. Click it and bye bye! ”

Getting clear and communicative about what good behavior looks like on social media helps to define what we will accept from others on the platform. Take the opportunity to set the tone.

 

TIP 6: Post within your comfort level. And be available for the tough conversations.

In full transparency, when conceptualizing this article, Team Numinous and I spoke about how to broach the topic of racism and inclusion in social media.

We were asking: is it okay to be triggered and fatigued by discussions about race on social media? When is it okay to disengage and tend to self-care, and when do you just have to be okay with being uncomfortable?

I admittedly am not an expert in this area. I have deleted the sentence I’m now writing like 20 times while trying to find the right words. I don’t feel that I have the right words here. But I’ve decided to be okay with being uncomfortable.

There is a certain amount of pressure to speak about this issue publicly. But this can become a) insensitive and b) performative. Especially if we think a social post is equal to “doing the work” internally as well as behind the scenes.

The best practice, if you feel uncertain about how to address these issues, is to find communities who “call you in” as opposed to promoting public shaming. Find the people who are broaching these issues in a way that inspires you and feels genuine.

Also be sure to do lots of other research off social media so you’re more versed in and less triggered by challenging conversations. Listen to podcasts and read books that talk about these issues from various viewpoints so you can digest the information in your own timeframe.

TIP 7: Remember that we need your sensitive self!

People may have called you sensitive as if it was an insult. But your sensitivity can be your strength. Especially as a business owner. When harnessed, your sensitivity becomes pure creativity and intuition.

Self-confessed sensitive business owner Asia Suler of One WIllow Apothecary has this to say about why sensitive people are great at business:

“You, in your introversion, in your sensitivity, in your empathic gifts are here to be a channel on this Earth. You are here to lead the way back to a more sane, heartfelt, and natural way of being. Beginning a business can seem scary, but it is also one of the most profound ways to shift the fabric of our reality. If we only stick with it, our businesses will show us the most precious thing of all— how to truly be ourselves.”

Being super sensitive actually makes you hard-wired to run a different kind of “business” than we are used to – one that moves to natural rhythms, one that creates its own rules, one that shapes society through the spirit of nurturance. As well as to grow a social media presence that feels fully authentic and right for you…whether or not you’re a business owner.

If the loudest most confident voices remain the only ones that get heard, then we forget that the world is FULL of sensitive people, who generally have a ton of love, healing, and guidance to give. And need your sensitivity on social media too!

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Elyssa Jakim is a conversion copywriter and email strategist for coaches, course creators, personal brands, and conscious businesses. She focuses on marketing that is uplifting instead of anxiety-inducing. Elyssa just finished her M.F.A in screenwriting at UCLA. She’s also a confounder of NAMAH, biodynamic herb garden and meditation center devoted to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. Follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram. And if you want to join her love-filled email community, click here to subscribe.

WISHCRAFT: CREATING INTENTIONAL CHANGE

Wishcraft by Shauna Cummins introduces a powerful practice for creating intentional change …

Wishcraft Shauna Cummins

In her new book, Wishcraft, hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins explains that wishes should be said like prayers, affirmations, and blessings, all in one. Before you plant your wishes in your subconscious mind, read the below script out loud – either in a group, or to yourself – before entering into a wishing trance. Alternatively, you can record it and listen to it before you go to sleep or before you enter into the wishing trance or journey.

 

<< PAST PRESENT FUTURE NOW: WISHING SCRIPT >>

“Imagining myself in a peaceful place, I breathe in deep relaxation into my mind and into my body. Counting down from ten to one, breathing slowly and deeply. Ten, nine, eight, breathing, seven, six, five, deeper and deeper, four, three, two, one; allowing each and every breath to take me deeper into this intuitive inner space for relaxation and release, receiving even more of what I desire now. Breathing in relaxation and breathing out release. Breathing in deeper and deeper, into the intuitive inner space of the mind and body.Safe, secure and protected, just breathing. Remembering that, in my mind, I can give myself whatever resources I need: the ability to go deeper, to rise above and to give myself what I need, is my natural ability.

Now, in my mind, I find myself somewhere that brings me peace, a place in nature. I am experiencing this place with all of my senses. The colour of the sky, the sounds around me, the temperature of the air on my skin. Breathing in peacefulness and support. Drawing up courage and strength from the earth and into my body, into my mind, light and clarity from the sun and the sky moving into my mind, into my body. I experience those energies circulating throughout my body, empowering me to move forwards positively.

I now imagine myself from the perspective of my future self. I can feel or see my future self doing well, living, their wishes coming true. I step into my future self, moving around in their energy, feeling it now. I believe in myself; I trust in myself; I feel my whole mind and my whole body working with me now.

Through the eyes of my future self, I can see my present self and I notice what I admire about my present self now. I feel my present self, receiving that appreciation. I can feel those energies, from the future and the present, collaborating, working together and rising up and intuitively travelling over my life. I can look down as if I’m looking down from above, and I call out a few things I feel very proud of, things I accomplished or overcame throughout my life.

When I have those in mind, I drop down and travel to the past, to a time when I could have used more support. And I feel my future and present selves there with my past self as if I’m my own loved one or my own best friend. I give my past self whatever resources I needed, and I imagine my past self receiving those resources: protection, healing, safety. I look into the eyes of my past self and I remind them of, or share with them, what I admire about them. I share with them what they will go on to accomplish or overcome. I feel pathways of healing, releasing and receiving, flowing from the future into the present, into the past, and I can feel my past self now rising up out of that past, feeling an updated sense of love and support for who they are and who they are becoming; traveling through time and space with an updated sense of love and support for who they are and who they are becoming.

“I can feel myself in the present moment, moving forwards positively, and I can feel my future self here with me now, supporting me. Moving forwards, in my own way and in my own time, remembering how strong, resourceful and supported I really am, just being me. Enjoying myself and the process, in my own way and in my own time. I know that things take time and energy to accomplish, but I now feel an intuitive balance of focus and forgiveness, trusting in myself and the process. Each step forwards works with me, surrendering to the supportive forces within me and around me. Thank you for my positive present future now. My future dreams are a reality now.”

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Now you’re ready to plant your wishes. Shauna has included wishes for healing, for giving, for receiving, and for different stages and phases in her book, as well as wishes for revolution. Use the below to wish for a better future for ourselves and for others.

 

<< WISHES FOR REVOLUTION >>

To be said like confessions, admitting to the wrongdoings of ourselves and others, in atonement or with the intention of coming into alignment with right action.

 

WISH FOR THE EARTH

May I awaken to recognize the Earth as a living organism. May I treat her like a divine mother and giver of life: the ocean’s waters, the trees’ air, the soil’s growth. May I begin to live my life by right actions to sustain a living future.

 

WISH FOR CHANGE

May I stand with love and respect for all life. May I listen, learn and act with compassion. May I embody the humility to admit when I am wrong and make reparations for deep, lasting, systemic change towards equality on all levels. May I learn to see others and myself as one, with generosity and grace.

 

CLOSING WISH 

In all my wishing, may I have the patience to let go of what no longer serves my highest good, moving like a river flows, surrendering to the supportive slipstreams, moving forwards positively, just being me. Trusting in myself and the process of learning and growing and becoming stronger, and more open and receptive to making my future dreams a reality now.

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Wishcraft by Shauna Cummins is published by Hardy Grant on Jan 26 2021. Pre-order your copy HERE.

A GUIDE TO HEALING WITH ‘SHROOMS

With her book, A Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey, author Bett Williams chronicles her seven-year journey working with psilocybin mushrooms in New Mexico. The below excerpt gives a window into the healing portal this opened in her life …

 

IT BEGAN WITH a solitary trip by the fire three days later, with a cautious, less-than-three-gram dose. When there’s nothing to lose, there’s not a lot to worry about. It was easy to trust a mushroom—to trust anything outside myself and the twisted will that had landed me in this desperate clearing. I placed a small mound of tobacco at the base of a candle, a common offering I’d been practicing since I was a teenager, taught to me by herbalists and indigenous ceremonialists. I burned copal and flat cedar. Lying down on the couch under a wool blanket, I waited.

“You need to stop seeing yourself as a sick person,” the mushrooms said. They spoke to me like this, in fully formed sentences heard internally, like a memory. “In your female form you are the quintessential bedridden Victorian lady on retreat.”

“Yes, it’s true!” I replied. “I do come from a long line of sick women. My mother had polio, tuberculosis, cancer, diphtheria, and Graves’ disease. My grandmother had tuberculosis and a morphine addiction. Sickness is how I locate my ancestry.”

“Oh, I am so very sick!” the mushrooms echoed, mocking me.

“You don’t care that I’m sick?”

“We’re just waiting for you to stop pretending to be sick.”

“But I actually am kind of sick.”

“Take as long as you like.”

I wasn’t sick, the mushrooms said, but the Trader Joe’s frozen Greek yogurt I’d been eating daily was causing inflammation in my hips. What was going on in my hips was jacking my neck up and this somatic traffic jam was making me depressed and lethargic. The damage could be remedied with ginger.

“Ginger?”

“Yes, ginger. Will you let us show you?”

An intricate, multi-dimensional golden temple with a Moroccan silhouette arose in front of me. It was vast and bejeweled, with an empty throne at its center. As a lover of minimalist architecture, I find myself resentful of having to describe its attributes. I’ll just say it whacked me with its beauty so thoroughly I was hyperventilating from its splendor. The mushrooms must like me for such a thing to arise. Maybe I’m good at this, I thought.

Personal preferences were tossed in, like my favorite shade of aqua found only in paint made from Smithsonite and contrasting garnet reds and lapis blues set side by side, emanating a lovely resonant sound. And gold, tons and tons of gold, in chunks and flowing strands and the thinnest of threads, gold forming arches and furniture, walls and handrails, cups and hairbrushes.

“This is ginger? This palace?”

“Yes, and it will help you.”

“Ground or fresh?”

“Fresh is best. Keep it simple.”

The mushrooms speak to me, but I don’t hear words like you’d hear from another person talking. It’s as if language arises in my own body, though it’s nothing I’d come up with on my own. Sometimes I am aware of fully formed sentences. Other times, whole systems of knowledge present themselves, devoid of any coherent words at all.

The mushrooms told me addiction starts in the feet, for instance. Your position in the tribe has been injured. An old sheepherder set my leg on the ground. I was a foal, newly born, and my front left leg resisted contact with the earth. He stroked it until I allowed my hoof to lightly touch down. The earth’s subtle electricity flowed into the ley lines of my calf, up into my hips and my neck and shoulders, giving them relief from some long-held, useless question mark.

“You are alive now. There.”

“Thank you, sir. But I am kind of crippled.”

“Get into that loop as long as you like. But really?”

“Okay, I’m not crippled. I’m just a little bit sick.”

“Come as you are. But you’re not sick, just saying.”

“But what am I supposed to do in a healing ceremony if I’m not sick?”

I’m now living in the mushroom’s wordless answer to this question, continually.

///

I learned how to literally suck the sickness out of my body and spit it out. I was given poses—mouth wide open, tongue out, eyes rolled all the way up into the skull. This is how one’s own skull becomes that of an ancestor, ready for purification. Mushrooms showed me the resentments to which I was clinging and helped me to let them go. Sometimes I couldn’t let them go and I stewed in rage and self-loathing, observing its contours with equanimity, knowing these hard emotions are a thing shared by all people. Exploring these realms of discomfort and psychic pain, I built a storehouse of compassion for myself and all of us pitiful human beings.

There were times when I landed in a gray in-between, kin to a world of cheap plastic figurines and urban street grease, where random fractal gargoyles of childhood television shows visited only to transmit the essence of mediocrity itself into my tender consciousness. This never scared me. I figured such dislocation was one of three things: a psychic detox, bad digestion, or perhaps I really was that two-dimensional and mediocre, and I had just succeeded at being in denial. Whatever situations arose, I approached them with a strong work ethic that was often notably absent in my real life.

Unwanted images and language forms—usually pop culture detritus, unwritten tweets, random shapes, and creepy critters—always dissipated after I gave them proper acknowledgment, offered some tobacco, and calmly set my attention elsewhere. I attribute the ability to do this to dosage. I always did roughly three grams. With this dosage, a sense of ego still remains. You can steer your own ship. Over seven or eight grams, you might become the actual ship. A very high-dose mushroom trip comes with its own teachings. I’m not uncurious, but thus far, the mushrooms have not guided me to ingest a dose higher than seven grams.

In his essay, “The Mushrooms of Language,” Henry Munn explains that in the Mazatec worldview, it is important that a practitioner maintain “an ethical relationship with the real.” I have taken this as mantra to live by. It’s one that is likely dose-specific. Munn claims the Mazatec did not experience many hallucinations at all during ceremony, that their experiences were mostly somatic and linguistic. That is how it was for me, back when I kept it simple.

“The little children are to be eaten in pairs,” María Sabina said. “They are holy and a sacrament. Don’t do them in the daytime, they make you crazy. Only do them at night.” Okay, sometimes I did them in the daytime, but I tried to do them only at night. Staying close to this protocol served me well in the early days. It kept me humble.

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Excerpted from A Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey by Bett Williams, out now with Dottir Books.

(NUMINOUS) BOOKS ARE MAGIC

Following a year-long hiatus, we’re back as Numinous Books. Founder Ruby Warrington explains the process behind this evolution, and why she believes books are magic

Nnuminous books self-publishing Ruby Warrington

As regular readers will know, I put The Numinous on hiatus in July 2019. Since attempting a failed “comeback” in November (which I knew was gonna fail, put which I put us all through anyway!), I have been in even deeper reflection about the next evolution of this platform. A very tired and cynical part of me wanted to just walk away. I was exhausted from the constant churn of maintaining the socials, the newsletter, the podcasts, the blog—and I badly needed to focus on work that actually paid my rent.

We’d had seven good years after all, and what began as a project to help me learn more about the mystical arts, had also done its job, in a way: I had learned enough about astrology to develop my own personal practice, and along the way (surprise!) I found I had begun to heal the hurting, over-achieving “good girl” part of me that felt the constant need to prove myself. A journey that is documented in the three book projects I had also put out, beginning with the release of Material Girl, Mystical World in 2017—with Sober Curious (2018) and The Numinous Astro Deck (2019) telling their own parts of my story.

But also … I’d put so much time, and love, and passion into building this thing. Could I really just walk away? NO. At least … no so fast. And so I sat, and I waited, and I meditated on a question that I have come back to periodically since reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks: “What is my zone of genius?”

Hendricks defines the zone of genius as the state in which you get into “flow,” and find ceaseless inspiration as you engage with your natural abilities, rather than those you have leaned and perfected over the years (the latter being your “zone of excellence”). The theory being that the more time you spend in your zone of genius, the more energized, fulfilled, and successful you will be. What I landed on this being for me? Reading. Writing. Words. BOOKS. I’m always surprised when authors talk in interviews about the “torture” of the actual writing process. Not me! Put me in a room with a laptop and a big idea and I’ll be happy for days. I love editing other people’s words just as much, and even enjoy the intricate map-making of finding my way out of writers’ block. In short, making words on a page brings me the kind of satisfaction I imagine farmers reap from harvesting a bumper crop.

As soon as I turned my attention back towards WRITING, it was like the magic magnet effect the manifestation gurus talk about hummed into action. In my burnt-out state, beginning another book project myself was out of the question. But before I knew it, I was inundated with work helping other people craft, write, and edit their book proposals and manuscripts. And able to earn a living from it. By the time COVID came along, I felt like I’d cracked the fucking DaVinci code. I found myself actually getting paid to do what I actually love … with zero pressure whatsoever to look good in selfies or have something funny, deep, or provocative to say on Instagram every day!

Halle-fucking-lujah. I call this “book doula” work, I LOVE IT, and it is currently how I’m spending the majority of my time. Not that I haven’t been working as a writer and editor my whole career—but it’s the words-to-self-promotion ratio that’s shifted. The actual “making words on a page” part of my work (i.e. zone of genius) in journalism, for The Numinous, and as an author, has always been squeezed into the margins until now. The pitching of ideas, hosting of events, and growing of the socials (i.e. constantly trying to prove myself) having taken precedence. Too much time spent on “zone of excellence” shit—now that is what will burn a person out.

As for how this applies to The Numinous? In alignment with this new personal direction, the platform is back as NUMINOUS BOOKS. Ta-da! This is where my year of soul-searching has brought me. And it feels SO RIGHT. A natural extension of my book doula work, this means I am also working with a selection of authors to self-publish their books across this platform—meaning working with them to concept, write, and edit their books, as well as consulting on the design, marketing, and PR process. Each “Numinous Book” will also have its own launch across the Numinous blog, social media, and newsletter. And you’ll be hearing about the first Numinous Books project very soon!

Over the years, The Numinous has been home to so many diverse voices and perspectives on emotional and spiritual wellbeing in the Now Age. As I have also written about here, the fact that much of the deep wisdom that’s being made available to us thanks to the internet also gets boiled down into bite-sized, snackable, and ultimately throw-away chunks of social media “content,” has also never sat right with me. Which brings me back to BOOKS.

There’s a bookstore in Brooklyn called Books Are Magic—a phrase that has spun circles in my head since I first heard it. Because it’s true. Books are also meaningful, impactful, and a slow-cooked antidote to the pace of modern life. You can’t read (let alone write) a book in the time it takes to swipe up. It is the commitment asked of us by reading (or writing) a book that gives it the power to transport and transform us, to shape the way we think, act, and see the world. Reading a book—whether it’s a novel or memoir that allows us to walk in the shoes of the main protagonist, developing empathy for others along the way, or a text that teaches us something profound—is like having a deeply private and intimate conversation with the most essential and always evolving part of yourself. Put another way, books are both our mirrors and our mediums for communicating with our unseen selves.

It’s no wonder dictators and fascists like to burn books—just like they burned the witches back in the day. And it is also an act of resistance that The Numinous will continue to be a home for books and modern mystics alike, to both the “reading” and the “readers” that we turn to for answers when trying to make sense of ourselves and the world. Thank you for being here for it—and sign up for our newsletter and keep following @the_numinous for a bit of both each week.

They say everybody has a book in them. Might yours be a fit for Numinous Books? You can learn more about our publishing services here—and contact us to set up a discovery call to discuss your project.

LEO SEASON FEELS: PLUS A Madonna Anthem For Every Sign

Welcome the disco lights of Leo Season says Bess Matassa, in her sensory exploration of the current cosmic skies …

Oyinda shot by Petra Collins for MAC Cosmetcs

Dip your kitten heels in liquid diamonds and get ready to glow. Here comes a ripe and ready, fruit-flavored season for slipping into your gold lamé unitard and taking to the glitter soaked dance floor.

But the Leonine promise isn’t mere performance. Deep inside its shimmering magenta heart, the zodiac’s fluffy cosmic cat presents us with the challenge of becoming even more of what we already are and innocently leaping into the arms of the technicolored world that surrounds us, propelled only by the engine of an eternal inner flame that never burns out.

Wrapped up inside the most valuable of Leo’s pink-ribboned packages is the treasure of sparkling simplicity. Nowness. The radically innocent notion that it’s alright to trust this life. So strap your red-hot heart to your ruffled sleeve and fall head over diamond-soled heels in love with every last thing that surrounds you, knowing that it answers the sweetly pulsating passion inside you.

The bejeweled blood that runs through your veins courses through the runways of the whole wide world. Because baby, you were born this way.

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The keyword: Heat.

The song lyrics: “Some are like water, some are like the heat/Some are the melody and some are the beat/Sooner or later they all will be gone/Why don’t they stay young?” Alphaville’s “Forever Young”

Check out Bess’ Leo Season Playlist, complete with babeliscous pop, sweetheart songstresses, and glamorous prom jams.

The color palette: playground primaries and rainbow sherbets—peachy pinks, red-hot cherries, and creamy lemons sorbets.

The style: 50s pinup meets 80s hair metal. Body-con glamorama with gaudily gorgeous turquoise ice shadow, voluminous pink locks, plump glossy lips, candy necklaces, gold lamé unitards, and oversized ruby baubles.

glitter makeup the numinous

The scents and flavors: tropical treats and sun-baked snackables. Think mangos on sticks, sprinkles on everything, perfectly ripe avocados, Juicy Juice boxes, Cheetos, bubblegum Lip Smackers, and the simply succulent scent of suntan lotion.

The healing: being exuberantly present and sensationally sweet. Bedroom dance parties to your personal soundtrack, trips to the mall, overflowing pink bubble baths, stuffed animal pile ups, and all-night dress-up parties.

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Sensuous Invitation of the Month: A MADONNA ANTHEM FOR YOUR SIGN!

Ruled by the Sun, vintage pop vixen Madonna is the quintessential Leo—a performer who’s hunger for the spotlight has lit up disco dance floors for decades, inviting us to heat up the whole party with our endless golden glow.

Below, your sign-by-sign guide to opening your heart, striking a pose, and returning to the virginal sensations of making it through the wilderness … all the way back to the innocent belief that life is always worth living.

Madonna like a virgin leo season 2017

Sun in Aries
Leo season invites you to fluff and buff your hard edges, and delight in softer expressions of selfhood. Madonna Anthem: Lay down your weapons and return to fresh sensations with “Like a Virgin.”

Sun in Taurus
Leo season invites you to trust in the security of your jewel box and utilize what’s already on hand. Madonna Anthem: Delight in the emotional costume party of existing resources with “Dress You Up.”

Sun in Gemini
Leo season invites you to plunge heart-first into the more difficult parts of your story and let your feeling nature lead the way. Madonna Anthem: Release the tangled tales buried inside your softly-lit soul with “Live to Tell.”

Sun in Cancer
Leo season invites you to honor all shades of creative birth and to validate your own feelings, no matter how strange. Madonna Mojo: Get wild and free on your own private tropical isle with “La Isla Bonita.”

Sun in Leo
Leo season invites you to generously share your heat with the trust that your flame is eternal. Madonna Anthem: Step into the center of the dancefloor and strike a pose like there’s nobody watching with “Vogue.”

Sun in Virgo
Leo season invites you to fully celebrate your self-contained integrity and the subtle sensations of beauty in your environment. Madonna Mojo: Find your footing and honor what’s unfolding with the sensitized sounds of “Rain.”

Sun in Libra
Leo season invites you to balance your urge to relate with a celebration of your one-of-a-kind perspective. Madonna Mojo: Know when to compromise and when to assert your boundaries with “Borderline.”

Sun in Scorpio
Leo season invites you to snack on your own intensity and know when laughing at yourself can be a radical form of power. Madonna Mojo: Apologize for nothing and wear your primitive feelings like a badge of honor with “Human Nature.”

Sun in Sagittarius
Leo season invites you to lose yourself in adventure once again with no endgame in sight. Madonna Mojo: Set off on an epically romantic voyage with “Holiday.”

Sun in Capricorn
Leo season invites you to inject your traditional approach with some healthy rebellion and seize the power of creative play. Madonna Mojo: Challenge existing structures and your own internal status quo with “Papa Don’t Preach.”

Sun in Aquarius
Leo season invites you to shift from the universal to the personal as you allow what’s inside your pumping heart to propel you forward. Madonna Mojo: Mix panned-out perspectives with close range emotions, and let your feelings skyrocket you all the way back to a brand new home with “Ray of Light.”

Sun in Pisces
Leo season invites you to revel in the sweet sensations of standing alone. Madonna Mojo: Risk surrendering to the mystery, and finding faith and fortitude in solitude with “Like a Prayer.”

Bess Matassa is available for private readings and astro-themed events. Connect with her at Mojaverising.com

Practicing Being Present

self isolation cornoavirus ruby warrington the numinous

As long-time followers of The Numinous will know, this platform has been in a period of profound transition since summer 2019. If you’re new, you can find a series of posts HERE that explain the reasons for this. Now, as our global community moves through its own period of retreat in response to the coronavirus pandemic, I will be taking this time to focus even more deeply on laying the foundations for what comes next. Much continues to shift, and service will resume in due course. The following writing is an invitation to use this period of enforced exile from everyday life to become equally present to what is unfolding for you at the deepest level. It is also a reminder that self-isolation isn’t selfish—and that learning to be fully with yourself is perhaps the greatest gift that you can bring to the collective in these times.

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“Present.”

Whenever somebody has asked me how I’m feeling lately (like they really mean it, as is our new normal) this has been the word that most sums up my current state of mind.

I am present with my anxiety. I am present with my not knowing. I am present with my wellbeing in this moment. I am present with my gratitude for all the little things, and I am present with my privileged, survivor’s guilt for all the big things I am able to take for granted. I am present with the reality that should either of my elderly parents in the UK contract Covid-19, I may never see them again. I am present with it all. Because there is nowhere else to be.

There’s a saying in yoga circles: “hold the pose.” And this has been the mantra flashing in neon in my mind as our world has contracted, feeling simultaneously more connected and more isolating with each passing day. A directive levied at students struggling with the discomfort of maintaining a posture, the challenge is to remain still, balanced, and focused, even as muscles burn, everything shakes, and the mind screams for release.

What we are cultivating when we hold the pose, is patience, resilience, and steadfastness. A core of inner durability that becomes impervious to the shocks and triggers of the external world. Not that we don’t feel them, and not that our material safety is not compromised. But through it all, we are able to depend on ourselves to remain resourceful and intact. In turn, our energetic frequency becomes an unspoken signal to others that they can depend on us. In the words of my friend Worthy, this is how we let others know: I safe you.

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In the days of coronavirus, holding the pose for me has meant resisting the urge to play out worst case scenarios on a loop. It has meant steering clear of the noise and clamor and opinions of social media and instead committing to one carefully timed dose of “real news” per day. It has meant noticing my addiction to busyness creep in as a trauma response and disrupting this with pockets of time to just be still and to feel.

It has also meant being okay with thinking I’m not doing enough to “help.”

Because the instinct, in times of crisis, is to ask: what can I do? Especially as a healthy, relatively wealthy, low-risk individual currently residing in the city (NYC) with the highest infection “attack rate” in the United States. This question has tormented me for the past two weeks, listening to the subway trains rumble past on the Williamsburg bridge, carrying already overworked and underpaid service workers and medical staff to their jobs on the front lines of the outbreak.

It has stalked me as I have intuitively closed off from my social media “community,” even as I have watched friends and colleagues issue forth endless online offerings and missives of support. It has weighed heavy on me, as I have succumbed to my instinct to retreat even deeper into my already introverted shell, to a space inside where I now realize I have found comfort in self-isolation my whole life.

The irony being that to stop the spread the virus, the first and most “helpful” course of action—in order to prevent more deaths, and to help the economy recover as quickly as possible (although it is likely that the ways we work, live, and support one another will be forever changed)—is doing nothing, being nowhere, and retreating within.

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Yes, we need to pressure our governments to step in with unprecedented aid. Yes, we can also donate whatever financial resources we have to spare. No, it is not our individual responsibility to fret over the wellbeing of each and every person being affected. And, yes, while we need each other more than ever, we also need time and space and peace and quiet, to process and assimilate our individual feelings about what my mother (a psychotherapist) reminded me is: “a sudden and extreme demolition of life as we have known it.”

One which we have had no psychological preparation for, leaving us “stunned,” she went on in an email to me last night. “Withdrawal in an attempt to assimilate an understanding of circumstances beyond our control and which up until now have been unthinkable,” being another necessary next “action.” The same way that animals, in times of distress, retreat from the world as a form of self-protection, “we must conserve our own energy to make sense of and process what has come about.”

Processing our emotions is a silent, felt, bodily, and highly individual thing. No listicle with “tips for successful self-isolation” can tell you how to do it. No online seminar with this or that thought leader will give you the playbook on what you, and you alone, need right now. If anything, over-consumption of external “advice” (no matter how well meaning) can become a distraction from this process and course of anxiety. What’s needed is the space to conduct an internal process of self-soothing, of grieving, and, ultimately, of acceptance.

The message? Please give yourself permission to be feeling whatever you are feeling, and to need whatever you need. Please do not feel pressured to “join in” with online activities and gatherings if you feel it may be a drain on your inner resources. Please do reach out to the people in your life who feel safe, and stay in regular contact with them, ideally with voice calls. Please let others know you are here for them if needed. And please wait to be asked for help, before rushing in to offer assistance before you have steadied yourself.

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Which brings me back to the practice of presence.

Learning to be present, with ourselves and with all that makes up our inner and outer worlds, is a foundational principal of the spiritual human experience. It’s why “holding the pose.” It’s why meditation. It’s why ritual and sacrifice. It’s why vipassana. It’s why the Buddhist “dark retreat,” a 30-day period of total self-isolation in a space completely absent of light, is considered the ultimate preparation for navigating the “bardo”—the liminal space between life, death, and rebirth, and a space we are moving through as a collective right now.

It’s also why Sober Curious. So much of my own ability to be present has come from the process of removing alcohol from my life. From opting out of a substance and a drinking culture that offers a seductive and highly-glamorized escape from reality, to learning to stay with each and every one of the uncomfortable feelings I used booze to numb out from. What I have learned, more than anything, is that time will always take its own time. And that all we can do when we are in it is breathe and hold the pose.

I’ve also learned that, in times of discomfort, asking questions and listening deeply to our own inner knowing, is often more helpful than looking for answers on the outside. Some questions to ask of ourselves in these days, and to discuss among those we hold dear, might be:

-What is this enforced putting down of “stuff” making space for in our lives?

-Who and what is truly important to us?

-What gifts do we now have the opportunity to give oxygen to and allow to flourish?

-What does it mean to mourn and how can we support each other in our grief?

-What kind of a world do we want to be part of when we emerge from this into the What Now Age?

The truth, in a sea of experts, is that only nature has the answers to how this crisis will unfold. That only history will show us the deeper meaning of this pandemic, and its role in our collective evolution. In the meantime, it is our job to practice being present with what is. And to trust that without “doing” anything at all, we are already playing our part.

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Meditation: Get an accountability buddy (game-changer) and text each other each time you complete your daily sit.

Book: Tribe by Sebastian Junger. A reminder that not only are humans built to thrive in times of adversity, but that throughout history global catastrophes have brought us closer together.

People: Find your “pod.” Think of the 3-5 people you feel you can trust the most, and maintain regular, offline, contact with them through text and voice calls. Prioritize these connections over wider social media communities.

Therapy: Open Path Collective is a non-profit offering affordable ($30-$80 per session) online therapy for people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, genders and gender expressions, countries of origin, ethnicities, and abilities.

Food: Soup. Meditative to make, easy to digest, and a great way to use up random refrigerator leftovers.

Watch: The sky, the birds, the trees. Nature documentaries. Anything that makes you laugh.

Listen: My Sober Curious podcast with Toko-pa Turner on Practicing Belonging—a timely conversation for how to be with and come home to our whole selves.

When in shock or panic: Put your hands on your body and sit quietly until you feel yourself come back. Practice deep, even breaths, by imagining you are blowing bubbles.

If you want to support those who are being immediately affected by the coronavirus pandemic you can donate to the Global Giving Coronavirus Relief Fund HERE. As well as sending doctors, nurses, and other frontline responders to communities in need, your donation will help the most vulnerable members of society, including those with pre-existing medical conditions, older adults, individuals experiencing homelessness, refugees and migrants, wage workers, and those with inflexible jobs.

WISDOM FROM A 350-YEAR-OLD TREE (AKA THE FUTURE OF THE NUMINOUS PART #3)

Ruby warrington

Last week I had the honor of an audience with a 350-year-old tree. Anchoring the island of Vieques to the ragged, rustic Puerto Rican coastline, the landmark Ceiba tree (or Tree of Life) stands solid as a rock, its elephantine grey trunk rooted as firmly into the earth as Everest. Since reading Richard Powers’ The Overstory, I’ve developed a newfound understanding of trees as living beings, possessing perhaps unsurpassed wisdom on what it means to sustain oneself over decades, if not centuries, of evolutionary change. And this majestic, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandmother Ceiba (below), is no exception.

It wasn’t like I came to her with a bunch of questions. Rather, sat in the circle of her presence, the gentle Caribbean trade-winds lapping at our skin, a few drops of rain curling my hair into salty tendrils in the cool, quiet shade of her branches, she took the lead and spoke to me. And this is what she said: “Slow down, my love, and look at me. This is how you do it. You focus on doing ONE THING and doing it really well.”

Wow. First of all, could she get any more Capricorn season?! It was as if the tree had looked the all-knowing part of my own being in the eye and delivered the one piece of advice I needed to wrap up what has been a year of intense anxiety, instability, procrastination, and self-doubt.

As I wrote here, 2019 was the year I crashed and burned, right where my type-A personality collided with an increasingly frantic media landscape, leading to me taking a four-month Numinous “sabbatical” over the summer. I followed up with this post, detailing what had been going on behind the scenes: writing, publishing, and promoting three books in as many years, launching two podcasts, coming to terms with my discomfort with being a “public figure,” while simultaneously trying, and failing, multiple times, to turn The Numinous into a sustainable (meaning rent-paying) business.

And what follows here—thanks to the wisdom of a 350-year-old tree, some Capricorn New Moon Eclipse clarity, and a dose of end-of-decade reflection—can be read as the culmination of what, it turns out, has been a year-long process of reconnecting with why I’m here.

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The last time I experienced this level of burnout—the kind that grabs you mid-stride, pins you to the wall, and forces you to drop everything you’re doing “or else”—was in 2007. Which, incidentally, was also the last time Jupiter was in Sagittarius and transiting my ascendant. I was working for a free daily newspaper at the time (these were the days before all media was free, more on which in a bit), and had four pages per day to fill with “copy” to balance out the ads. Since the paper relied solely on advertising for revenue, our journalistic integrity was also severely compromised—and soon I’d coined a new term for this constant churn of throwaway content: churnalism.

This was also the last time I threw my hands in the air, dramatically stated something along the lines of “I CAN’T FUCKING DO THIS ANY MORE!”, quit my job, and took a summer off (which this time also included taking a break from my marriage). I had no backup plan, no family money or savings to fall back on, and my decision defied all logic. But as it turned out, that was the point. My leap into the unknown led to the luckiest and least foreseeable opportunities of my career to date. Within months, I was being paid fat wads of cash to edit the coolest magazine in Ibiza—a gig which also led, in a roundabout way, to me landing a job as Features Editor at the UK Sunday Times Style magazine.

My disillusionment with writing for fashion magazines is well-documented in my first book, Material Girl, Mystical World. But what had not registered fully with me until this year, is that the vast majority of what we used to call journalism has, in fact, morphed into churnalism. Since all media outlets now operate primarily on the advertising-as-revenue model, including and in fact precipitated by the advent of social media, a constant stream of throwaway content is now required to balance out the ads. Enter the era of click-bait, listicles, and bait-and-switch newsletter subject lines, all of which are designed to grab your attention for long enough for somebody to sell you something.

Which has got what, exactly, to do with what the 350-year-old tree told me about reconnecting with my life purpose?

Here’s the thing. I went into journalism because I love to write. Meaning, writing gives me more satisfaction per minute of effort expended than anything else. But there’s a big difference between the kind of writing I love—the kind where I get to make meaning out of the world I see and, hopefully, provide insight and inspiration for others with my words—and … the constant churn of throwaway content that’s become a requirement of running an online platform. Which, if I am going to take the Ceiba tree’s advice, means focusing on writing going forward, and taking a step back from making content for content’s sake.

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When I launched The Numinous in 2012, it was because I wanted my own “magazine” where I could write about the things I really cared about.

My readership grew organically, and somewhere along the way (possibly during my brief friendship with Gabby Bernstein) I absorbed the idea that I should start sending out a regular newsletter as this would become my “most valuable audience” (meaning, the readers most likely to buy stuff from me). Instagram also took off, and I learned that posting “the kind of content your readers love” (note: this is not the same as “the content I love making”) a minimum of three times per day was how I’d grow my following there. The implication this time being that these “followers” would make my platform more appealing to advertisers, who would then pay for whatever scraps of your attention I could use my words to wangle their way.

Not that I ever capitalized on these audiences (meaning: your attention) in a meaningful way, as it turns out that I have absolutely zero interest in or aptitude for what is essentially network marketing (as detailed, again, here). Granted, the content-for-content’s sake has been part of the “platform building” that helped me land my first and subsequent book deals (oh, I also have many thoughts on the fact that you have to have a platform to get a book deal these days, too. I’ll expand on them another time). But in terms of actual “capital” (i.e. rent money) we were wayyyy off the fabled and much lauded “six-figure salary” promised by the digital marketing gurus.

And in the meantime, it turns out I only have so many words in me per day. Which meant all the words I now found myself churning out for the newsletter and the socials, were eating into the supply I needed to write about the things I really cared about. To the point, right before my sabbatical, where every time I sat down to write a post or a caption or an event description or even an email, it felt like I was scraping the dregs of my soul. Like I was literally spent, done, ALL THE FUCK OUT, when it came to words.

For somebody who has always written for a living, this was devastating. Maybe I wasn’t really a writer after all; or was just a dried-up old ink-well who couldn’t keep the pace with changes in digital media. Maybe I’d simply reached the bottom of my “good ideas” barrel, and it was time to reconsider the second career as an author I’d thought was only just taking off.

Or … perhaps it was time to LISTEN TO THE TREE and apply the age-old (for a good fucking reason) adage of quality over quantity, take a long hard look at all the places I was leaking my writerly energy, and make some adjustments accordingly. I’m going to go with the latter.

350-year-old tree ceiba vieques

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Sadly, in the first instance, this means cancelling the Numinous subscription I launched JUST LAST MONTH. Oh man, I’m so embarrassed about this! The idea was that I’d get enough subscribers to cover paying a social media manager, freeing me up to focus on … writing. But just 45 (beautiful, generous) humans signed up (and if you were one of these 45, know that I praised the Goddess and sent multiple blessings of thanks to each and every subscriber)—roughly one fifth of the number I needed to make it work.

Which is where I could beat myself up, again, for my lack of marketing savvy, and let my self-esteem get eaten away by doubts about my “likeability,” and the quality of my content. But what this experiment has actually shown / confirmed for me, is that … running an online business is … just not for me! Is NOT the “one thing” the Ceiba tree was telling me to focus on, and to focus on doing really well, if I want to create lasting security for myself going forward.

Because that one thing is writing. And not just any writing, but the kind of writing that requires lengthy periods of contemplation. That is is the result of weeks, if not months, of reading and research, and the assimilation of multiple ideas, instinctual hits, and incidental discoveries. The kind that keeps me semi-awake at night, searching my subconscious for just the right sentences to make sense of whatever Big Idea is currently romancing me. None of which is possible when I am churning out words to keep algorithms, and advertisers, and subscribers, happy.

For example, this post took me a good six hours to write. Plus editing time. Six hours which have also been preceded by several weeks, if not months, of reading, thinking, noticing, and mental-note-taking on the subject of “why the fuck am I so burned out.”

Which means this post is also the result of applying the insights of Jaron Lanier’s 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now to my own life; of finding, and reading, Gail Sheehey’s 1992 book on menopause, the emphasis being on pause, on the beach in Vieques; of listening to Lisa Taddeo describe the 8-year process of writing her book Three Women on Elizabeth Day’s How To Fail podcast; of an hour-long phone-call discussing the kind of careers we want by the time we’re in our seventies with Alexandra Roxo; of the lasting imprint of a passing comment from a coaching client on how “not everybody who wants to be an entrepreneur also wants to run a business”; of noticing the panic / disgust I felt on discovering Gary Vee’s post on How to Create 64 Pieces of Content in A Day; and of paying actual attention to the teeny nips of tension that grip my shoulders each time I sit down to compile another newsletter or Instagram post.

The kind of focus it takes to put all of that into a post like this, is the kind of focus I think the Ceiba tree was talking about. It’s the kind of focus it takes to write books (and to help other people write theirs with my “book doula” work). The kind of focus that digital media is the thief of, and which it takes practice and patience and quiet and resistance to cultivate.

Alllll of which is to say, I will still be creating “content” on The Numinous … just maybe 3 or 4 times a year. And that this content will look more like books, and promo for books, mine and other peoples, as THIS is the one thing I’ll be focussing on going forward. Turns out my 2020 intention is to be more like the tree (and Lisa Taddeo), in the name of my own majesty, and ultimate sustainability.

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For more information about my book doula work and publishing with The Numinous contact [email protected]

HOUSES OF THE ZODIAC: WHAT THEY MEAN

Houses of the Zodiac The Numinous

Learning to read your own Birth Chart is a practice of self-discovery. It unlocks a whole language with which to describe the numinous parts of the human experience—and understanding the meanings of the different Houses of the Zodiac is an important piece of the puzzle.

The Houses represent the different areas of life that we move through in our lives, and show where the planets in our individual charts are doing their most powerful work with us. The Numinous Astro Deck is a tool to help you fully understand this interplay of energies, but you can find a brief overview of each House and its area of influence here. ***The journal prompts are from the Astro Deck.

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FIRST HOUSE: Personality, Ego, Physical Appearance.

Journal prompt: Write down 10 words to describe yourself and 10 words for the way you think people see you. What steps can you take to align the two lists?

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SECOND HOUSE: Assets, Material Values, the 5 Senses.

Journal prompt: “My idea of luxury is …”

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THIRD HOUSE: Thoughts, Ideas, Communication.

Journal prompt: List your favorite ways to distract yourself and post it somewhere to remind you not to engage with them.

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FOURTH HOUSE: Home, Family, Roots.

Journal prompt: Create a written vision board of your dream sanctuary space. Think ideal fabrics, scents, music, lighting, locale.

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FIFTH HOUSE: Passion, Creativity, Play.

Journal prompt: List things you loved to do when you were five years old and what the adult version would be.

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SIXTH HOUSE: Craft, Contribution, Wellbeing.

Journal prompt: A shopping list of “ingredients” (movement, media, food) that can support your body today.

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SEVENTH HOUSE: Relating, Partnerships, Others.

Journal prompt: The qualities of the people you connect best with are …

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EIGHTH HOUSE: Intimacy, Investments, The Occult.

Journal prompt: Write down everything (facts and feelings) about a situation you are currently obsessed with and then burn the paper.

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NINTH HOUSE: Seeking, Travel, Higher Learning.

Journal prompt: Write about the teacher you have learned the most from and how you are embodying their wisdom.

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TENTH HOUSE: Reputation, Career, Legacy.

Journal prompt: Write a list of guidelines and best practices for Brand Me.

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ELEVENTH HOUSE: Community, Revolution, the Future.

Journal prompt: List 5 things you could do completely differently today. Think reading, route to work, dinner plans, and exercise regime.

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TWELFTH HOUSE: Surrender, Healing, Spirituality.

Journal prompt: A list of all the things in your life you can and cannot control …

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For a full description of each House of the Zodiac check out The Numinous Astro Deck, which is an illustrated tool for learning the art of birth chart interpretation. You can also learn all about your individual house placements in a 1-2-1 Astro Coaching session with Numinous Founder Ruby Warrington. Book your session HERE.

WEEKLY ASTRO ORACLE: NOVEMBER 26 2019

In her new weekly ASTRO ORACLE videos, Ruby Warrington pulls a card from the Numinous Astro Deck to deliver a group reading for the Numinous community. The series kicks off the week of the November 26 Sagittarius New Moon—which the North Node card tells us is a time to course correct and get back on track with fulfilling our karmic destiny.

Where have you been playing small this year? Afraid to take a risk on living your biggest, most fully expressed life? As we close out the year, let’s give ourselves permission to get messy and get real in the name of exponential growth!

Love this video? Subscribe to The Numinous at patreon.com/thenuminous and get a weekly ASTRO ORACLE + ASTRO MANTRA for your sun and rising signs direct to your inbox. PLUS discounts, exclusive content, and more!

TAURUS FULL MOON RITUAL TO QUIT FAKING

The Scorpio / Taurus axis invites us to embody our wholeness—which is only ever possible when we quit faking it …

Taurus Full Moon ritual quit faking Ruby Warrington The Numinous
Photo: Pawel Szvmanski

Nobody wants to be a faker—but we do it all the time. The fake smiles, the fake “I’m fine’s,” the faking we’re holding it all together, when inside it feels like part of us is dying. This Taurus Full Moon, can we please make a pact to quit with the faking already, and embody those parts back to life? (If you’re just here for the ritual, it’s at the end of the post. Clue: you’ll need one of these).

Scorpio season is a time for getting REAL. For confronting the raw truths of existence, and the shadow parts we usually work so hard to conceal. When the moon becomes full in the opposite sign of Taurus, it’s shining a torch under the dusty sofa of our psyche. A chance to clean out some of the cobwebs and to prove there are no monsters hiding out there after all, what we find are just the damaged, and therefore “unlovable” parts, we have shamefully been clamoring not to reveal.

Ugh, it’s exhausting, isn’t it? The faking?

I dusted out some of my cobweb/monsters last week, when I wrote about the truth of running a (spiritual) online business (a.k.a. all the ways I’ve tried to monetize The Numinous and failed). It felt risky and whiney and ugly to put it out there, but it had gotten so very heavy I had to get it out of my body. The response, OF COURSE, was a massive out-breath from my readers who are done pretending too (which I’m also guessing is you).

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I’m writing this from Women’s Week at Kriplau. My first time attending a retreat here, having been a presenter many times, I opted into a workshop titled The Alchemy of Writing. Sat on my backjack in this morning’s session, knees hugged tight to my chest, I had been longing for this this moment. A much-needed refilling of an inner cup that, in the past 12 months especially, has given so, so much.

Why was it then, that the expectant camaraderie encircling the other women in the room did not feel like it extended to me? How could it be that I felt this insecure as part of the group, opposed to the times I was leading it. Why, having spent the past two years confronting my fear of public speaking head-on, did my heart begin to pummel the interior of my ribcage at the mere idea of raising my hand to speak?

How fitting that our first writing prompt in today’s session was: “A time when I felt one way and acted another.” Holy mama. Also fitting for Scorpio season, here are the first few lines that stumbled out of me in response:

“I knew I was supposed to say ‘yes,’ and so that’s what I told him. ‘Did you come?’ He needed to know for his pride. We were in his parents’ house, chintzy covers on the bed, the reek of skunk weed clinging to the curtains and the shag-pile carpet. There was no doubt in my mind that he’d been picturing this moment—my deflowering—from the moment that we met.”

And so began a six-year stint (the first six years of my sexually active life) when lying on behalf of my body became my basic MO. Looking back, how could this NOT have led to issues with me “using my voice” in other areas of my life (given the fact that our vocal chords and our vaginas are also intimately connected)? Or me feeling like faking it (including the smiles, the ‘I’m fines’, the pretending I’m not hurting inside) was the proper thing to do?

As with my struggles to ask for what my work is worth, I suspect I am not alone in this one. When I recently interviewed sober sexpert Tawny Lara for my Sober Curious podcast about why she quit faking orgasms in sobriety, she explained that quitting drinking had led her down a path of radical, Scorpionic, honesty. Feeling your emotions in the raw, day-in-day-out, will do that to a girl. In a post on the same subject on The Temper, she wrote: “This honesty eventually crept into the bedroom. I was done adding a performative element to sex. The thought of tightening my pelvic floor while gyrating my hips and moaning in pseudo-pleasure just seemed like too much work.”

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Because the truth is, faking it is the fastest way to drain us of our precious life force energy. In fact, the effort it takes to maintain even the smallest “white lie” could be used to power whole movements; write books; launch and fuel game-changing enterprises; and radically transform lives. Which means, whatever you’ve got squished under your soul-sofa, know that it is sapping you of your very aliveness. But will you have the courage to shine a torch under there and chase it out for good?

You can practice with the small stuff. No more fake smiles. No more ‘I’m fines.’ Notice, as you shun the fake comfort of “fitting in” in favor of a vulnerable just being, how much more deeply you belong to your body temple, like it was waiting for you to inhabit it fully all along.

More, much more, on the energetic invitations of the Scorpio-Taurus axis, with advice and insights from myself, Betsy LeFae, and Bess Matassa, in this month’s subscribers’ only edition of the Now Age podcast.

And as for your Taurus Full Moon ritual? Simple. Put on some smooth tunes, pull out your crystal dildo, and invite your whole, perfectly imperfect self, to COME HARD back into your body. As you commit to never, ever, faking it again.

THE TRUTH ABOUT RUNNING A (SPIRITUAL) ONLINE BUSINESS

What’s next for The Numinous, and the long-winded, behind-the-scenes, real-deal process of how I arrived at this decision (plus some thoughts on running a spiritual online business in the Now Age and the future, or not, of capitalism)

Ruby Warrington The Numinous founder author
Photo: Ruvan Wijesooriya

Warning: this post is long, messy, and rambling. A bit like my decision-making process for what’s next with The Numinous. I hesitated about posting it, but in the end I needed to write it for me—and, if you’re running an online business, are a spiritual solopreneur, or are overall just sick of selling and being sold to, I suspect there will also be plenty in here for YOU …

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In the weeks leading up to my Numinous sabbatical I’d been gearing up for exactly the opposite: I was preparing to launch The Numinous Astrology School (a.k.a. NAS—kinda like NASA, but without the Astronauts part. Lol). But as I went about putting all the pieces together, the anxiety knitting my shoulders to the back of my skull was a signal that something was off.

On the one hand, I was nervous about the financial investment. Between the artwork, tech build, marketing funnels, and promo materials, it would cost me at least $10K to get it off the ground. That’s not factoring in the countless hours of my own time spent on content creation. And while I’d seen some of my peers make a mint with their digital products, I knew others who’d been burned when the supposedly magical “launch formula” peddled by the likes of Marie Forleo, didn’t work out so magic for them.

It was after I spent $1600 on a 3-minute promo video that looked like something a 5-year-old could have made on an iPhone, that the house of cards came tumbling down, scenes of past launch “failures” flashing before my third eye.

The time I spent thousands on the Numinous sweatshirt line my readers had been so excited for … which only a handful of people actually bought (it took two years to just about break even, and I wound up donating the leftover sweats to the Bowery Mission two Thanksgivings ago). The digital Numiversity courses I created with my then-resident astrologers Bess Matassa and Sandy Sitron, of which we sold about 30 for a total of less than $1K. Divided three ways, my split didn’t even cover one month’s medical insurance.

Why should this time would be any different? I was banking on at least 1000 sign-ups to cover my costs and (finally) generate a sustainable income to offset the hours (years) I have put into building this platform. To foot the bill of maintaining this platform going forward. This represented just 1% of my Instagram following. But based on past experience and given my miserably low IG engagement at the time (due partly, no doubt, to my growing resentment at IG for stealing our attention and creativity to profit an increasingly ethically challenged Zuckerberg empire), even this moderate goal suddenly seemed totally pie in the sky.

And so I quit. Not only did I not proceed with launching the course, I decided to press pause on everything Numinous while I took a big old breath. Created some space for myself to feel into what exactly did want to come next.

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I’m sharing these details because I know I’m not alone in my attempts and my failures to “successfully” launch. Meaning, to create an income from my work that at least covers my rent and basic living costs (in NYC, this totals roughly an eye-watering $7K a month). In the age of side hustles and spiritual solopreneurship, “how to monetize my passion project / healing gifts” has got to be one of the crunchiest conundrums of the Now Age; we want to create a business and a life that serves others as it serves us … and the capitalist systems we are expected to fall into line with in order to do this are often totally at odds with who we are as creators, and what we believe as spiritual beings. Not to mention the basic root of all inequality and exploitation on the planet.

The “create a digital course” model is typically pitched as a way to generate a “passive income,” leaving you free to pursue what you really came here to do—but not only does it often entail subtle manipulation of your intended customer base, it seems more to me like it becomes your full-time job. And what if posting the recommended 25-30 IG stories per day, managing assistants and affiliates, and writing copy for marketing funnels, feels about as far removed as it gets from what your soul incarnated to contribute to the collective in this one wild and precious life?

Which is not to say there aren’t some beautiful, soulful, and generous digital courses out there. If you’ve created a course and / or a library of digital products that deeply serves you and others, fantastic! Some of us have an innate gift for community building that translates perfectly to authentic and heartfelt network marketing.

If anything, my “failure” to turn The Numinous into a one-stop online astrology shop (what well-meaning advisors have been telling me to do with this platform since before it even launched) has forced me to look more deeply at why this hasn’t worked FOR ME. To consider the value of what I actually DO feel called to create—and of MY unique gifts. And, in doing so, to trust fall back into walking my own messy, intuitive, utterly un-formulaic patchwork of a path.

-This has meant looking at what has worked, what space I was creating from when it did, and working out how I can do more of that.

-It’s meant reminding myself, as a writer in a world where “content” often only exists to sell a product, that my words have value in and of themselves. That my words are my product.

-It’s meant a deeper dive into my own lack of worthiness, the ancestral roots of this, and a look at what we value as a society (where we literally put our $$$) and why.

This is a process that remains ongoing, which is pretty much forming the basis of my next book (how to earn a living, or not, as an author: whole other subject!), and which has resulted in me creating a suite of personal services—from book doula’ing, to personal brand consulting, to astrology coaching 1-2-1s—that I’ll be offering going forward. You can learn more about them HERE.

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But what of The Numinous? If you’re reading this, I hope it’s because you’ve found value in this platform over the years. Maybe you’ve missed our mystical missives, and you’re wondering when we’ll be back. And well the truth is, The Numinous cannot continue to exist until it can earn its own keep.

When I launched the site, it was because I’d always wanted my own magazine. My own space to create and commission content that meant something to me, and that I felt contributed something of value in the wider world. And off I went. I didn’t charge a subscription fee (who paid for online media?), and as well as my own writing, I relied on unpaid contributions from writers keen to promote their own offerings to fill in the gaps.

Within two years, in late 2014, I’d been approached by HarperCollins about doing a book, for which I received a $50K advance. Result! This felt like payment for the work I’d put into the platform to date. Five years down the line, I have yet to earn any royalties from Material Girl, Mystical World (and given that only 30% of authors “earn out” their book advances, it’s unlikely that I will)—and I’ve had to find revenue from other streams to support the site and its growth.

Freelance journalism, hosting events and retreats, the occasional paid partnership. More books, some affiliate sales of other people’s digital courses. There were also my Moon Club earnings, the biz I co-founded with Alexandra Roxo, which I exited in Jan this year. I scraped a decent living keeping these plates spinning, until I hit a wall. Here I was, age 43, super “accomplished” by any external measure, and working all the hours—yet eaten up with constant anxiety about where my next rent check was coming from.

The other reason I “quit” The Numinous this summer? Having finally hired a book-keeper, there was no more ignoring the fact that the majority of my earnings were going straight back into this platform—despite it not actually generating any revenue. Sure, it was what had led to my book deals, and what supported the income streams listed above, etc. But when I weighed the time and energy that was going into maintaining it against what I was getting out of it, the scales were waaaaaaay off.

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Shit … is this coming off as some privileged white girl sob story?! I am mega aware that having a publishing deal land in my lap, for example, is a HUGE opportunity, for which I am extremely grateful. I also acknowledge that my previous career in journalism has opened many doors for me. That being straight and white and thin, it has been easier to risk “using my voice” without underlying fears for my safety. And that having husband who (until this summer) brought home a corporate salary also provided a financial buffer over the years.

And I also I know that my story mirrors many of our stories, regardless of our identities and external circumstances. Whether you’re creating a personal brand or are in any way pursuing a more creative career, the sheer volume of work that has to happen behind the scenes to generate even a moderate income, can be overwhelming. And if you don’t have a natural aptitude for IG stories, it can be even more draining. If this is you, I FEEL YOU. (And, going forward, I also want this to be a space for us to talk about the reality of running a digital business in the Now Age.)

Of course, the “smart” thing to do, as may others have advised me over the years, would be to seek VC investment. Use it to hire a team. Build an app. MAKE A FUCKING COURSE ALREADY. Put a bunch of money into Facebook ads, and get with the 21ST century!

But … that just doesn’t feel (as if you couldn’t guess by now) very “me.” It’s also playing by those same old capitalist rules again, and honestly, isn’t it time for something better? Elizabeth Warren might be promising to “remake capitalism” as part of her 2020 election manifesto, but I am leery of Big Politics ability to affect real change (given its affiliation with Big Business).

For now, here we are, lots of little, individual, human-run businesses, just making it up as we go along. And so long as the rules for how to make it work are still being written, here are some ideas that get a vote from me (*lifted pretty much verbatim from my proposal for book #3):

-We measure the “success” of a business by the positive impact it has on others.

-We buy less “stuff” and we invest more in each other.

-We revalue feelings, ideas, and relationships as our most valuable “assets.”

-We enact a more “matriarchal” business model, by pooling and sharing our resources equally.

-We embrace rest, resourcefulness, and wanting less, as vital elements of our planetary healing process.

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… which is a very, very, long-winded of way of informing you that, going forward, The Numinous will be switching to a subscription model. I’ll still be posting select astro content and lengthy rants on Instagram. You’ll find the odd missive from a guest writer on this site. There will still be one free newsletter per month with info about upcoming events and retreats, details of any other stuff I’m promoting, and the astro mantras you love so much.

But the JUICE. The really GOOD STUFF. The writings and the teachings that reflect the contents of my heart, the ponderings of my mind, and the yearnings of my soul. These will be delivered as a monthly content drop to subscribers via my new Patreon page—which is still in the process of being set up, and which I’ll be sharing links to in the coming weeks.

So, there you have it. The full story and the real, behind-the-scenes deal. If you have any thoughts, feedback, or feelings about this post to share, I’d love to hear from you at [email protected] <3

THE 2019 CANCER NEW MOON SOLAR ECLIPSE WANTS YOU TO FEEL

The 2019 Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse is a chance to press reset on old emotional patterns, by bringing the light of awareness, says Sandy Sitron

Purple sky cancer new moon solar eclipse the numinous sandy sitron
Photo: Caique Silva

New Moon Solar Eclipse // July 2 2019 // 3:16pm ET // 10 degrees Cancer

Deep below the surface of the water, tiny fins catch the light. A school of fish darts through a coral reef. Instinct guides their synchronized moves. Tuesday’s Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse at might amplify your instinctual reactions as well. Emotions zigzag the same way the fish change directions. Do you know how to swim with your emotions?

Cancer is the sign of emotional intelligence and nurturance. A new moon solar eclipse is a chance to reset. A new pattern is forming around how you deal with your feelings, how you know that you are loved, how you relate to your family, and how you feel at home.

This is a moment to clear the residue and begin a new pattern. It is time to rewrite your reactions.

To do this, you need to shine conscious light on deeply subconscious patterns. But the fish are down near the ocean floor. The Sun is dark, blocked by the shadow of the Moon. The Moon is also dark, too close to the Sun to reflect light. So where do you find consciousness? How do you see what is really going on?

Know that the waters are choppy. Emotions are flowing, and ties to the past, instinct and gut reactions may be forming a rip-tide. You may feel as if you are being pulled into an ancient and familiar dance. But if you pay attention, you can interrupt the pattern. Do this by naming your emotions one by one as they flicker by. You can breathe into them. You can explore them with words. 

This Cancer New Moon Solar Eclipse can break up the old dance. Your words and your breath and your attention can change the patterns. A square between Mercury and Uranus brings insight and surprises. Open up to unexpected solutions. Things really are changing, even if it feels like you are circling back to the past. This current moment is brand new, and it’s filled with potential. You could be the lone fish that jets off in a brand new direction.

Whatever you do, don’t try to get out of the water. If you avoid your feelings, your little fins will dry out. Just try to be an observer. Try to be the fish that’s swimming instinctively, as well as the person who is watching the fish swim. Think about what you are feeling and what you need. What do the other people around you feel and need?

Narrate your feelings and notice how these feelings loop in a pattern, probably connecting back to childhood. When was the first time you felt this feeling? Where is it located in your body?

Stay with the feelings even when it feels overwhelming. Do it by becoming the mom and dad to your sweet inner-child. Give yourself a hug and a kind word. Slather on the support you always needed. Show up for yourself now and this will become a pattern that repeats throughout the year.

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Sun and Moon conjunct North Node and opposite Saturn
Walking through wet sand.

At this time you are keen to make a path in the sand and move forward. But it feels like you’re getting pulled back toward the past. Can you really move forward when you are sinking? 

An eclipse happens with the Sun and Moon get very close to the Nodal axis, as they are now. An eclipse helps you reset patterns. At any moment the ocean waves will come through and wash away your tracks. 

Throw Saturn in the mix and the desire to succeed becomes serious.  This eclipse is a conflicting combination of trying to make progress, feeling like you are pulled toward the past, while all the while starting over. 

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Sun and Moon trine Neptune
A seashell forms a spiral.

Seashells and spiral shaped plants, weather patterns and spiral shaped galaxies. All of them connected in form. You can change your perspective and realize that you are connected to everything. Nothing is better or worse. Everything is made up of the same stuff.

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Sun and Moon sextile Uranus
Mushroom releases spores into the wind.

The less you try to anticipate or control, the more productive you’ll be. Find a gust of wind and follow it. The surprises that come your way have a lot to offer you. Assume that the current is taking you to new places.