BE THE CHANGE: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 11/11

The numerology of 11/11 is a time to get focused on what we truly want—and walk through the door to a world of new possibilities, says Felicia Bender

In Numerology, the 11 is a Master Number.

So what does that mean? Master Numbers are repeating numbers (11, 22, 33, and so on). Master Numbers contain a higher spiritual vibration, for lack of a better term. A Master Number is a highly charged frequency made of energy that brings specific opportunities to us when it shows up.

So what’s the 11 all about?

First of all, the number 1 is all about new beginnings, independence, initiative, achievement, individuation, self-confidence, and innovative creativity. So when you see this repeating number—a double number one—remind yourself to focus on what you want in your life rather than what you don’t want.

The energy of the number 1 expands what we’re focused on. With this energy in our court, we’ll begin to manifest our thoughts and desires into reality with turbo-speed. It’s imperative to be disciplined and mindful about how we focus our thoughts and actions. If there’s any time to dive into your positive affirmation file, this is the time.

As Mother Teresa once said: “I’m not against war, I’m for peace.”

So rather than grid-locking our emotions around what we don’t like or what we don’t want, this is a portal to fully shift out of “I’m anti-[fill-in-the-blank]” and into “I’m for [Fill-In-The-Blank]. 11/11 is a doorway to significant expansion in the way we see ourselves and our place within the world—including within the current political landscape.

The 11 is also the higher level 2 energy. The number 2 is all about harmony, balance, cooperation, diplomacy, and love. Part of the challenge of the 11 is learning to align the personal will and sense of being with divine will or the higher realms.

As for the date 11/11, this can be seen as an opening—a doorway. If you look at the numbers, you can see this visual representation —since each 11 actually looks like a door. The two doors can be seen as an intersection between the physical world and the spiritual world.

And so, on this especially important 11/11, make sure to focus your thoughts, think of the bigger picture, and see what opportunities are opening up to you.

EDUCATING SYRIAN YOUTH, RETURNING WITH TRUTH

As the reign of terror wages on, poet-activist Lisa Luxx says she can no longer be silent. Join her journey to Lebanon to educate Syrian youth, and help pave the way towards new worlds …

Lisa Luxx by Suzi Corker

From the cradle of civilisation sprung everything you know. The context of every story you’ve been told. And for the past six years the cradle which birthed the youngest part of us, has been turning into a black hole. I’m talking about Syria. The seed from which society was grown.

Where a peace march for liberation has ended in a reign of terror. Violence so extreme, you wouldn’t think it could be contained in 2017. A darkness so thick, we could all fall into it.

In 2011, a peaceful uprising against an oppressive government began. The government responded with bullets. Since then, a country built on tolerance and cultural differences has become divided into many violent factions, each funded by a different foreign government with their own wicked intentions: Russia, Saudi, the US, and the rest are sat around Syria like it’s a chess board.

Citizens have, for a while, been cut off from basic human resources like food and water. Activists have risen, and been tortured. Those who have escaped, have lost everything they had and everyone they knew. The whole situation split into so many pieces, there is no longer a clear solution. And there are children from Syria, now, who know nothing but this. For it is the only ‘normal’ they have witnessed.

So complicated. So ‘far away.’ It is easy to turn our heads, run a rose water bath, and get lost in our comfort. But I believe the spiritual purpose of the Internet is to usher in global awareness. I believe we were born in these times because it is our generations’ responsibility to honour this. I also believe that safety is our most valuable asset (an asset because it can be taken away at any moment).

So every day, when I think about Syria, I having been asking myself: how can I share the wealth of my safety?

A couple of years ago, I was nominated for a Peace Poetry Award, and at the ceremony a Syrian refugee named Sleman spoke of his escape: “though my body is now here, my soul is still in Syria.” Every cell in my body became an eye, opening. A remembering awoken in my own DNA.

For I too am Syrian, on my birth father’s side. I was born and raised in England in an adopted family; happy, safe, comfortable. But I feel the shelling and screams of Aleppo, Homs, and my patrilineal homeland, Damascus, in my bones. And I hear the silence of the West.

So in December I will travel to Syria’s neighbouring country, Lebanon, to volunteer with refugee children and teenagers in Shatila. I will be teaching English and the arts. It’s not that I believe education can solve a problem like Syria. I don’t. It won’t. But I know that language and creativity can pave roads to new worlds.

Writer and translator Lina Mounzer asks if using writing to make sense of war “is the desire to know or the desire to be known?” It seems to me it is both. To translate your story through language and arts is to know your experience is seen, your truth valid, and that your heart has been heard.

Our governments here won’t lead the way. So why can’t we— the wise witches of the West— put our power into making those roads manifest?

While I am in Lebanon, I’ll be collecting the stories that wish to be told, and translating them into poetry that I can share back home. Behind the headlines are 23 million truths. It’s those voices I hope to give a platform to.

I believe that only when our eyes are open, can we begin to let the light in. That change will only come from direct action. That when faced with a black hole, we must hold hands. That together, our strength will dwarf that which we withstand.

Lisa will be volunteering in Lebanon with the support of a Gofundme campaign. Please support her and donate HERE. You can also follow Lisa’s journey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

EMBODY YOUR POWER: A MESSAGE FOR AMERICA

Welcome to a collective wake-up call for us to embody true power. As the dust begins to settle on the 2016 presidential election, Molly Burkett has a message for America…Portrait: Najva Sol 

 

Election night I’ll admit, I checked the coverage with feigned interest. As the daughter of a Marxist and a Neo-Pagan, I’ve grown up removed from any type of rousing faith in our political system. Beyond what Bernie represented. When he spoke in Washington Square Park in New York, I cried. (And I’ve never been moved to tears by a man in a suit, with the exception of Don Draper).

Nonetheless, of course I assumed Hilary would win, and that would be that. I went to sleep.

I was shocked, along with the rest of you, to wake up and see how things had unfolded. The following essay immediately began coming through. So I started typing, and I share it with you here to offer comfort in this time of grief, confusion, and fear, and to offer my perspective to the question we’re all asking: “Is this a joke?”

:: A MESSAGE FOR AMERICA ::

The process of spiritual awakening, often referred to as “healing,” is actually a great clearing—as all that is NOT love is released from the body. This is cathartic yet painful, like venom being drawn from a snake bite. All your fear and selfishness is often revealed to you in dramatic ways. Emotional trauma held in cellular memory begins to come up to be dissolved. Painful personal histories flash before your eyes like it happened yesterday. Anxiety, panic, anger, inflammation and PTSD-like symptoms are common as part of this process.

Sensitivity grows both psychically and physically. You are more attuned to the needs, feelings and wants of others, because you are coming to the realization that you are not separate, that serving them serves you. You also become less numb to the effects of toxins in food, drink, conversations, movies and TV, and are forced to update your lifestyle accordingly. The catalyst for awakening as individuals is often a great tragedy or sudden injury that humbles us and forces us to reevaluate our lives and commit to making changes. No wonder we call it a “wake-up call.” I believe Trump is a collective wake-up call for us to change our ways as a nation.

Deepak Chopra says Donald Trump is an example of someone who holds so much trauma within him it has kept him infantilized, forever remaining in the lower chakras: reactive, survival-based, and deeply, deeply afraid. He rests in narcissism, never evolving to the higher consciousness where compassion is awakened and our interdependence is felt, known, and acted upon. It is from this injured place of fear and illusion that all violence stems. All violence towards others is ultimately a form of self-hatred and self-destruction, an attempt to mend a hurt in a way that regrettably, only causes more pain for ourselves.

So where do we go from here? I see a pathway.

Trump is a wounded child with a loaded gun. He will mirror to us in America our own wounds: our fears, our hatreds, our prejudices. His presence will draw out the darkest elements of the American collective being, and force us to bear witness to the ways we too have justified violent behavior, violent speech or violent thoughts in our lives.

Micro-violence in the form of gossip, complaining, judging, assuming, insulting and demeaning each other are among the seeds of large-scale violence in the form of systemic racism, misogyny and sexual assault, and abuse of natural resources. There will be a proliferation of this violence and it will be painful. There will be more terrible, vitriolic hate speech. There will be lives sacrificed. But there will also be redemption. There will be resistance, and activism. For women, for minorities, for immigrants, for the LGBTQ community, for the rights of all people to live a healthy and happy life. For nature, to heal and to be honored and ultimately be recognized as the source of all life and healing.

I believe in the power and potential of the American people, starting with you. I suggest you use this as an opportunity to embody the character traits that you wish you were seeing in the American president. What is your image of power that is also power for the people, and power for Mother Nature? What is your image of a divine protector or a sacred warrior who will protect our food, our water, our children, and lead us all to greater cooperation and peace?

Practice all the qualities of a great leader today in your own life. Envision good triumphing over evil. Do not embrace defeat. Love does not necessarily prevail in the space and time and the form that you expect, want or understand, but it does indeed prevail. Love is the first and the last word. This is the trajectory we are on, our shared destiny, and it cannot be un-written.

Witness the horror and shock of this moment from a place of deep knowing within yourself. Keep yourself attuned to the fundamental truth that beyond the dramas of the past and projections of the future, all is well now. The sun rose today and it will set this evening. The air gives us oxygen, and with every exhale we encourage the flowers to bloom.

TEMPLE OF VENUS: LEARNING TO BE LESS HARD ON MYSELF

In her latest Temple of Venus column, recovering over-achiever Elyssa Jakim asks: “How can I learn to be less hard on myself?”

Impish Elyssa aged five

Flashback: The blizzard of 1996. Greater New York metropolitan area. I am eight years old. I’ve spent several days frolicking in the snow with friends. When school resumes session, a fight breaks out on the school bus because I kept a girl’s rainbow shoelace that I’d borrowed for snow stomping. She tells me she knows I stole it. I yell and scream and insult her in self-defense (even though I’d had no intention of returning the lace—it was so beautiful!)

Later, I will feel terrible about this. Forever.

Skip to fifth grade. Every day of fifth grade. I replay all the things I have done wrong socially. The rainbow laces incident. That time I said the wrong thing to the boy I had a crush on. Or said the right thing to the boy my friend had a crush on. And I berate myself.

Repeating and repeating my wrongs in my mind. Every day.

To make amends, I grow up into a perfectionist. An intellectual, and a serious student. Someone who also takes up self-improvement projects a little too readily. Who always has a to do list that includes things like “have fun” or “breathe.”

But today I am a recovering over-achiever.

In fact, I am currently living in a college town…looking after babies for a living. Yes, I feel insecure about this as well; perhaps I have lost my intellect and let my critical thinking skills go. But here’s the thing: as fate would have it, I have stumbled upon the perfect teachers when it comes to the question I seem to have spent my whole life asking: How can I be less hard on myself?

Because in the room where I work, I am swaddled in literal softness of all kinds; soft rugs and pillows, soft baby hair and cheeks; warm hugs; the honey sweetness of baby laughter; the miracle of a sleeping baby in my arms.

And here’s what the babies have reminded me so far…

1. Trust your own innocence
I have noticed, unsurprisingly, that I am always pre-disposed to give the babies the benefit of the doubt. To see “the light of the child” as Maria Montessori puts it. Even when a fourteen-month old deliberately does something “wrong” or “bad,” I can see her full innocence and sweetness—the “wrong-doing” does not make her unworthy of love to me. And knowing myself as an essentially good person, why should I be unworthy of my own self-love when I make a mistake?

2. Be your own parent.
The biggest shift you can make in the direction of self-kindness, in my opinion, is one of self-talk. What if every time you notice yourself feeling anxious, hurt, or self-doubting, you take a big breath and imagine you are the nurturing parent of your self? What would you say to you? It would probably sound like: “It’s okay my darling. I love you and I see you. You’re doing so well. You’re working so hard. I think you’re wonderful.” In moments of self-criticism, a move toward self-compassion and self-softness is what the anxious heart truly needs. If you can remember to be gentle, sweet, and nurturing to yourself whenever you’re tempted to punish yourself, your whole inner landscape will shift.

3. Don’t take things personally.
Because most of the time, the mean things people say or “accuse” you of, aren’t really about you—they’re about them. Strive to shrug off criticism, and don’t hold yourself accountable for the feelings of others. When a baby is upset, I know that it’s not about me. It’s about that child expressing a need for something like hunger or nap or connection. It isn’t healthy for me to take up a baby’s emotions or sense of urgency if I’m helping him, it’s best if I remain calm. When facing tough interpersonal interactions, try to remain calm. I like to zoom out in this moment and remember that we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience. Tapped into this Universal truth, who really cares if someone didn’t like my skirt, or the way I handled a particular situation?

4. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Numinous tarot mistress Lindsay Mack often reminds me of this: “You are exactly where you need to be.” And these words are always a deep reminder straight to my heart space, which in turn relaxes my whole body. Nothing has gone wrong. There is no-one (especially not your self) to blame. In fact, here is an opportunity to accept. To find grace. Your situation isn’t your fault, it’s your opportunity. Your perfect situation for growth. It’s to show you what you’re supposed to be learning right now. Babies are always exactly where they are, in the present moment of being. We are born into raw presence, living one moment at a time. Isn’t that miraculous?

5. Laugh a lot more.
Laughter releases stress in the body. Period. If we can take the seriousness out of life, it frees up the part of us that takes things too seriously. It can also be empowering to laugh at life’s trials and tribulations, to see the humor in any situation. Yogananda tells us to find the company of those who make us laugh to release our worries. You can also watch or listen to things that are funny, or find a laughter yoga class (which NYC friends, Maha Rose Healing Center holds from time to time). Needless to say, baby giggles, cuddle puddles, and facial expressions always have me laughing.

***

So, how does all this baby talk connect to the goddess Venus? In the mythology of Venus, we are always asked to consider her birth—that moment she arrives on the shore, born of the sea, resplendent. It’s funny to me that Venus was not born as a baby, but as a total babe. She was born and exists as the fullest expression of her being. She exudes self-confidence, which comes from true self-kindness. She is not a goddess who typically represents nurturing or mothering such as Mother Mary or Quan Yin.

But, in her luminosity, she is a wonderful teacher of self-compassion. She helps us to find the wild and free and sensual within ourselves. Being with babies and with Venus teaches us that we can always begin again. We can always infuse our lives with freshness, sweetness, and softness. We can always rebirth ourselves to be more loving. See the sweet little babe in you, and know that you are always worthy of love and even rainbow shoelaces. Protect her and hold her like you would a treasured gem. Come back to the Venus in you, and know you are glorious. That should make it easier to be less hard on yourself.

Need more Venus inspiration? Check out Elyssa’s last Temple of Venus column on healing our money issues.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: AN INVITATION TO CHOOSE PEACE, EVERY DAY

Our #TuneInPeaceOut initiative is an invitation to choose peace, every day and in every way…

:: MONDAY ::
Got to see Deepak “the don” Chopra speak live for the first time, at the launch of his Radical Beauty book with nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. TOTALLY get why he is who he is. The charisma! The effortless way with a deeply spiritual insight! A fave takeaway were his quotes about our relationship to our bodies: “Your body is an activity, not a thing. It’s not a sculpture it’s a river.” And how, since our cells are in a continual process of rejuvenation: “I’ve had this jacket longer than the body I’m wearing today.”

:: TUESDAY ::
Another day, another book about feeding our body right with Nicole Centeno’s Soup Cleanse Cookbook. Nicole is the founder of Splendid Spoon, one of our sponsors at Club SÖDA NYC, and she’s all about the healing power of soup. As Nicole tells it, souping changed her life (a low-calorie way to stay fuller for longer, the mindfulness of making soup, AND a totally practical way to cook and eat big batches of seasonal veg). All I really need to know is, my body just sort of gives me a big, cozy hug from the inside just looking at some of her recipes—which feels like an intuitive “yes” to a lot more souping this fall to me.

With Juquille, Eddie, Jaytaun, Tyrell and Raheem of the Urban Yogis, and Erica and Prince of Life Camp.

:: WEDNESDAY :: (Lots to say here, you might want to go make a cup of tea first…)
So roughly three weeks ago, I had the idea for #TuneInPeaceOut—an initiative to celebrate the UN’s International Day of Peace. This following some work I did with my coach Cherie Healey, when I was thinking about the big, underlying message of The Numinous. “If I gave you the loudest megaphone in the world, and put you on top of the highest mountain, what would you say to the world?” she asked. The words came immediately: “Can everybody just stop fighting. We’re all human. We all have the same needs, and the same fears. Please can we remember that we’re here to help each other work it out?”

Because essentially (besides me just being a massive pacifist), all the practices, philosophies, and ways of healing that we cover on The Numinous are about forging a deeper connection to our true nature—and therefore a deeper sense of connection to ourselves, and to each other. Two things I believe are fundamental to any conversation about creating more peace in our (inner and outer) world. This since a) connection to self is what fosters the resilience needed to respond to life’s trials in a calm, non-reactive way; and b) it becomes pretty much impossible to want to harm somebody once you recognize that we are all part of one big human family!

And then “Summer 2016” happened. Week after week we were slammed with reminders of the rampant divisiveness, hatred and violence in our world right now, and often stemming from a place of separation, of “us” v. “them.” Which is not exactly anything new. Bombings, shootings, rape, hate crimes, and other acts of terrorism are happening all over the world, every day. But what struck me was the emotional charge in the way we responded to the events of this summer. How personally we all took each heart-wrenching episode of violence and injustice.

I think this is because we’ve reached a tipping point in how we consume our news. It used to be that we first heard of such inhumane acts as mass shootings and racist police brutality from people in suits, reading from scripts, in newsrooms far away. Now, this information first reaches us via our social media feeds—the same place we connect with our family and friends, and share our own lives with those we love. As a result, it has become impossible not to empathize with the people being violated against as we would our own brothers and sisters, parents, friends, and colleagues. The veil of separation dissolves…and we are reminded that we are all part of one big human family.

And with this, comes the remembrance that it is all of our responsibility to look out for one another. To speak up. Literally. Like, “WTF, that’s not how we do things in THIS family!!” No matter how scary, or how uncomfortable this might feel. And to take whatever (non-violent!) action we can to change up the status quo.

The above is pretty much how I introduced my event in NYC for #TuneInPeaceOut, which ended up being one of 20 or so IRL gatherings held by the Numinous tribe globally. Earlier in the day I also hosted a live webinar with Bri Luna from The Hoodwitch and my dear friend and collaborator Alexandra Roxo (you can listen to the recording here), in which we spelled out what this initiative is really all about—empowering all of us to use our voice and take action to choose peace, and help create more peaceful communities from the ground up.

After all, as a friend in the UK pointed out on one of my posts about #TuneInPeaceOut, since it was inaugurated in 1981, it would not appear that the UN’s International Day of Peace has actually done much to end—or even lessen—violence. Since September 21 was subsequently declared a day of of ceasefire and non-violence in 2001, US military spending has increased dramatically—rising from under $400 billion to almost $800 billion in 2011 (there has been a slight drop during Obama’s presidency, but spending is projected to increase again in 2017). I see this as yet another reminder that it is actually on YOU AND ME to demand a different way of resolving conflict. That the power, truly, must be claimed by the people.

This message is why I partnered with the amazing Urban Yogis for my event tonight, since here are some people who are walking the freaking talk. Based in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood where violent street crime fueled by prejudice and lack of opportunity is a way of life, the courageous and progressive human beings behind this initiative are bringing the tools of yoga and meditation into their local community. The results? Less reactivity. Less violence. More listening. Increased feelings of self-worth, leading to more empowered and empowering lifestyle choices.

And, most importantly, the slow chipping away of stereotypes (about the “kind of people” who do yoga, for example—or who perpetrate violent crimes) that are the sick, Monsanto seed of so much separation, fear, and hate.

“Real change needs all year round effort, not just a day,” my friend noted. And I could not agree more. Which is why it is my sincere hope that the conversations sparked by #TuneInPeaceOut will continue today, tomorrow, and every day going forward. That we will continue to choose peace every step of the way. On our webinar, we asked people to share what this looked like in their lives, and what they do to bring more peace to their communities, so we could all be inspired by each others efforts. I’ve created a post with the transcript from our chat. Check it out here—and add your feedback in the comments, so we can keep the conversation alive.

:: THURSDAY ::
Pulled the above card in a mini meeting oracle deck reading with my girl Lisa Barner. Thanks for listening, angels.

:: FRIDAY ::
And all that said, with the Moon in Cancer today, sign of nurture and self-care, I shall be mainly tuning in…and peace’ing out.

REMEMBERING THE WISDOM OF WILDNESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the great call of the wilderness is forever present.

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMPOWERED ACTION IN THE FACE OF TRAUMA

Recent world events have stirred up many emotions. Louise Androlia shares her wisdom on how to use our feelings as a catalyst for empowered action…. Images: Katya Volpato

Recent world events have left many of us feeling traumatized, whether or not we’ve been directly affected by acts of mass violence. These are turbulent times, and having been working on my own path to trauma recovery recently, I feel called to share some thoughts on how to work on being present in reality—but at the same time not becoming immobilized by fear.

At the root of it all, whether facing our own crisis or confronted with mass crisis, the difficult art to master is that it is safe to feel our feelings and continue to connect, especially when we feel as though it would be wiser to shut down.

The strong emotions being stirred up among switched on communities now are actually a valuable call to action. Here are some ways we can use them—while avoiding losing our connection to our highest selves, or getting swept up in the hype.

THE EMOTION: Overwhelmed
THE GUIDANCE: You can’t save the whole world at once
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Focus your attention

Pick something you currently feel very passionate or perhaps frightened about, and then learn and feel your way through it. Endless browsing through social media feeds may make you feel more frustrated because you also end up reading the comments, which can lead to yet more overwhelm. Instead, choose to focus on your chosen subject and learn all you can. Yes this will be hard if you are used to endless scrolling—because as well as learning, you are re-training your mind to be present.

THE EMOTION: Fear
THE GUIDANCE: Catastrophizing only fuels the fears
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Get involved in local politics and community

Looking on Facebook lately, all I’ve seen is people screaming into the Internet abyss about the apocalypse and giving fuel to their own fear and sadness in the process. This helps no one, including you. So look at how you can actually get involved within your community, and if you don’t see anything obvious, start something. It is so easy to just say ‘Fuck the world’. But this is not the time to give up. It’s time to shout louder, IRL, and to remember your voice and your vote DOES count.

THE EMOTION: Anger
THE GUIDANCE: Do not fight fire with fire
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Feel your anger; then channel it into positive action

The elements can always teach us something—for example, anger is a fire element emotion, while compassion and feelings are water element emotions. And you don’t put out a forest fire by setting another part of the forest on fire! Action, and so activism, is a positive channel for anger, and if what’s needed now is more of the water element, become an activist for love, compassion, equality, empathy, and connection.

THE EMOTION: Grief
THE GUIDANCE: It is safe to feel your feelings
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Explore and nurture your shadow side

Man of us are experiencing a huge collective sense of grief, coming in all forms, and for anybody not used to this emotion, this level of pain can seem very frightening to the mind, body and spirit. This is not a time to numb the pain, but instead an opportunity to dive deeper in your own self-inquiry practice. Checking out of reality serves no one, including you. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel all the fears that have arisen recently and know that it is okay to do so. It can sometimes feel like our own personal crises are not ‘bad’ enough to warrant being the focus of our compassion—but ignoring your own pain will leave you unable to serve. By learning to compassionately address what is currently coming up for you, then you are actually helping to heal the collective and creating connection between yourself, your peers and those strangers you are really feeling for.

THE EMOTION: Helplessness
THE GUIDANCE: Re-connect to yourself
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Take a media break

First of all, avoid watching or reading the mainstream news on a loop. Studies show that when we keep recycling the news over and over we are re-traumatizing constantly. And the more scared we feel, the more helpless we can feel. To be able to start being of service it is essential that we learn to reconnect to our selves, as once back in the present moment we feel more stable to help others. I’ve also lost count of how many people I hear saying they wish they could use social media less, as this can have a similar way of hooking us into judgment and fear, and distancing us from our own truths. The great news is…you can!

Some easy ways to start:

  • Leave your phone at home and go for a walk in your neighborhood.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode at night.
  • Create a ‘no social media after ***pm’ rule.
  • Log out of all your social media channels on your computer and phone. This means that when you go to use them you become aware that you have to login. This allows using them to become intentional.
  • Move your social icons on your phone to a folder and put it on the last page of scrolling. Again this means you CHOOSE when to look rather than it just being there.
  • Do not read the comments. I repeat DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.

These small actions may feel massively uncomfortable, and if so, good. If you feel anxious without your phone, good. The present moment will continue to feel painful until you learn to be IN it. And look how much time you now have! What would you like to do with it? I suggest reconnecting to PLAY. Connecting with your inner child is another way to ease anxiety and help you reconnect to your natural energy of love and connection. When you refresh your true north, you are more likely to be able to shift your helplessness into self-love.

THE EMOTION: Frustration
THE GUIDANCE: Express yourself in the way that works for you
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Show don’t tell

It can be really hard to express yourself in a way that you feel helps, especially when you’re angry and upset. It’s good to remember that we rarely get our point across when we try and force it upon someone and so preaching doesn’t usually feel good. You will always feel better when you can express yourself articulately and if you find it difficult to feel confidence with expressing yourself with words, remember also that you can always just BE the change. We always positively affect those around us with our behavior. So think: what small steps can you take in your day-to-day life that will provide example of the kind of world you’d like to live in?

*** 

A Final Word on Black Lives Matter. Vs All Lives Matter.

This is an argument that’s been raging, and below are a few of my favorite simple ways to explain the situation to someone who is having trouble understanding. It is part of human nature to make everything about ourselves (regardless of the topic) since in times of trauma our survival instinct kicks in. But it’s important to learn to recognize that not EVERYTHING is about us. The more that we can see ourselves connected to everyone else, the more empathy we can ignite.

  • “When we say ‘Save the Rainforests’, it doesn’t mean that all other forests suck.”
  • “Choosing to go to a rally for Breast Cancer does not mean that Liver Cancer is less important.”
  • “Saving an animal that’s about to go extinct does not mean that other animals aren’t important, it just means that right now, this one needs our help.”
  • “Yes, of course all lives are important, but currently it doesn’t feel like black lives are as important as other lives—and until the world is equal, meaning ALL people receive the same level of kindness and judicial treatment, then we need to speak up.”
  • “Choosing to support black lives does not mean your life is any less significant.”

You get the idea.

TRANSMUTING TRAGEDY: HOW TO WORK WITH SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE

The Saturn square Neptune astrology of the 17th century Salem Witch Trials is currently repeating. But beyond the cultural tension in the air, there is potential for great progress now too, says Amelia QuintArtwork: Silvia Coco

For better or for worse, 2016 has been a year of change. With tragedy after tragedy it can feel impossible to make any sense of the zeitgeist, but this cultural climate has been building since 2015. Thanks to an astrological alignment of Saturn square Neptune, we’re all revising our belief systems.

What does that mean for you as an individual, and for our society as a whole?

:: WHAT IS SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE? ::

Saturn and Neptune are both very powerful in their own rights. Saturn is the ruler of structure, responsibility, and karma. His mythology is complex, and he also had power to subvert social norms.

Meanwhile, Homer referred to Neptune’s Greek counterpart Poseidon as “Shaker of the Earth”—because the god’s volatile temper was known for causing earthquakes. Neptune was also “god of the deep”, and is associated with the unknown and unknowable aspects of life, including magic and spirituality.

Right now, Saturn is in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is associated with all forms of expansion—and so overseas travel, foreign cultures, philosophy, and religious beliefs are all Sagittarian pursuits, given take you outside your comfort zone in one way or another.

Saturn here is challenging the way we as individuals and a community view our own ideologies and those of others. He asks, “What do you believe in, and why?” Sometimes, we may not like the answer.

In addition, Neptune in Pisces is putting pressure on Saturn in the form of a square aspect. It’s a tough aspect, to be sure. And as a backdrop to current political and world events, it can feel like one step forward and two steps back. But history shows us this is not the case…

:: SIGN OF THE TIMES ::

Saturn square Neptune has been causing ideological clashes for nearly a millennia—and the 17th century alignment of Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces saw the Spanish Inquisition and Salem Witch Trials, both brutal regimes carried out in the name of religious belief. (An aside: It’s curious that Robert Eggar’s The Witch, set during that period, has had so much success during the same astrological lineup centuries later!)

Certainly ideology is a vital topic of discussion now. There has been progress and there has been adversity. As a resident of South Carolina, I felt the unspeakable sadness of the AME Church shooting in Charleston and celebrated the great victory for the black community that was removal of the Confederate flag from the SC Capitol grounds.

Only a few months later, the US Supreme Court ruled laws banning same sex marriage to be unconstitutional, effectively legalizing same sex marriage—something I thought might never happen in my highly conservative state. Outside of the US, Ireland legalized same sex marriage as well.

Then there are the acts of violence that we have become all too familiar with—the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the ISIL shootings at Bataclan and throughout Paris, bombings at Brussels airport in Belgium, and most recently, the shooting at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.

To list them all at once is a pain too acute to bear, but is necessary in order to acknowledge the common thread: that these are attacks on and because of belief.

They are intended to instill fear and feelings of otherness. But what we have seen at every turn is that humanity refuses to succumb to fear and doubt, and holds instead to the belief that “love is love is love”.

Truly, this is the axis of Sagittarius and Pisces in its most heart-wrenchingly beautiful form—a invitation to use the Sagittarian freedoms of speech, religion, and love to conquer hate and to heal the world around us with selfless Piscean empathy.

:: CULTURAL METAMORPHOSIS ::

If you look just beneath the conflicts, you’ll see that Saturn square Neptune is also a catalyst for incredible advancement in culture and spirituality. The 14th century Saturn in Sagittarius square to Neptune in Pisces saw the denouement of the High Renaissance in the West, including the building of the Royal Library at the Louvre in Paris.

Petrarch also wrote his collection of sonnets during this time, altering the poetic form for centuries to come. In the East, the powerful Ming dynasty assumed control and began construction on the Great Wall of China, one of the great wonders of the world.

These squares are also known for being portals for mystical revelations and supernatural events. An extremely rare alignment of Venus and Jupiter called an “occult” occurred during the 12th century square, and Halley’s comet was observed during the 16th century square. During last year’s square, NASA announced the existence of liquid water on Mars, which brings the possibility of life beyond of Earth closer than ever.

The Divine Feminine also seems to resurface during Saturn-Neptune squares, despite being suppressed throughout much of Western history.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, perhaps the most famous Marian apparition in the history of the Catholic Church, appeared during the 16th century square. In that same period, famous occultist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa wrote De nobilitate et praecellentia foeminae sexus (On the Nobility and Excellence of the Feminine Sex), making a huge contribution to the modern magical understanding of femininity.

In the same way, feminine spirituality has experienced a massive renaissance in pop culture and fashion over the last year—and, for the first time, in America we have the opportunity to vote in a female President.

:: HOW TO WORK WITH THE ENERGY OF SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE ::

The best way to collaborate with this vibe is to know where Saturn and Neptune are transiting in your natal chart. If you don’t know where Sagittarius and Pisces are in your chart, you can calculate your chart here.

Once you know what houses are being activated for you personally, focus on transforming your beliefs in those areas for amazing results.

  • Wherever Saturn is transiting is where you need more structure and stability. Are your current methods and belief systems working for you? If not, how can you realign them to feel more free?
  • Wherever Neptune is transiting is where you need to heal and take a spiritual approach. Is there a dream, message, or vision you want to share with the world?

Finally, give yourself the time and space you need to process any feelings that come up. These are challenging times, and an extra focus on self-care is required. Write, rest, or do whatever else helps you feel whole again. While you’re at it, see if someone near and dear to you needs some extra love too.

The exact dates of Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces are: 26 November 2015, 18 June 2016, 10 September 2016.

LOVE YOURSELF: A BODY WORSHIP RITUAL

Learn how worship your body with the same reverence you show when entering a sacred space of prayer, says Kitty Cavalier.  Artwork: Pedro Sacadura

As a little girl, I loved volunteering to clean my church after mass on Sundays. My family and a few other parish members would polish the pews, switch out the flowers on the altar, sweep the long processional aisle of dust bunnies and organize the hymnals. As a very devoted little Catholic girl, I felt like I was being given a backstage pass to my favorite concert. Tending and caring for what I considered God’s house was a huge honor and made me feel quite elite.

As time (read: puberty) went by, my beliefs about religion began to shift tremendously. As Mae West once said: “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.” The church no longer felt even remotely like home – and as for many of us, my spiritual path since has followed more of a curve than a straight line. But there’s been one constant throughout: my body.

“My body is my temple” – it sounds so cliché. But let’s really think about it for a second. A temple is defined as “a space devoted to religious reverence,” and I can think of no greater house of worship than the cathedral of my very own heart. There is no holier a song than the sweet hum of my inhale and exhale. The light in my eyes mirrors the warmth of a candle’s flame. My skin houses and protects me like the smooth, lavish marble of the Taj Mahal, and the flush of my cheeks after an orgasm can put the ceiling of Sistine chapel to shame.

Yes, my body IS my temple. So today I’d like to share with you one of my personal favorite rituals to start 2016 off right: body worship. There is no way to do this ritual wrong. Just like learning a prayer or a hymn, a little heart, a sprinkling of soul, and practice is all it takes.

Suggested supplies for this body worship ritual:

  • Body Oil (such as coconut oil)
  • A mirror propped against a wall
  • A body scrub (like some sea salt mixed with body oil), or a loofah
  • A towel
  • Candlelight, incense, flowers, or anything else that helps you set sacred space
  • Music: click here for a free, hand-curated Body Worship Ritual playlist

1. Set Sacred Space
Imagine you are setting space for the high holy days of your inner temple. You can light candles, burn incense, place rose petals on your bath mat, fold your towel as you would for a guest, play music, or anything else that evokes the spirit of the sacred for you.

2. Tending The Temple Grounds
Step into the shower or bath. As you wash and scrub your skin, do so with the same care, attention and tenderness that you would show to the house of the Divine. Scrub and loofah your elbows and knees with the same softness and reverence you would show when walking into a sacred temple. Imagine that as you caress your body with soap suds, every bubble of soap is like a flower laid down in offering at the altar of YOU. When you rinse your body, feel the water wash away that which no longer serves you, and it’s healing power to make space for something new to enter.

3. The Sacrament of Body Worship
Now you have prepared the temple, you are ready for ceremony and worship! Place a soft blanket or towel on the floor in front of your mirror. Position yourself naked by candlelight seated on the floor and bow to the beauty of your reflection. Take the body oil and warm it between your holy hands, using your breath to blow a prayer of gratitude into the oil. Then, allow your hands to be both pilgrim and priestess, as they slowly, reverently massage prayers into your skin. Approach each curve and corner of your body as a different room in the temple waiting to be explored.

4. Encountering Eternity
When you feel complete with your body worship, get very close to the mirror. Stare deep into your own eyes and see if you can glimpse the part of you that is eternal, that never ages, and transcends time. Just like that sense of divinity we feel when we walk on sacred ground, that spirit is right there, woven into the fibers of your DNA. All that’s required to encounter it, is the courage to really look.

PEACE ON EARTH: A PRAYER FOR THE PLANET

Recorded for The Numinous in August 2015, during Guru Jagat’s RaMa Glastonbury Retreat, Rebecca Campbell‘s Prayer For The Planet is a chanting meditation designed to raise our collective vibration and send peace to the world. Visuals: Christel Chaudet

Mother Earth doesn’t need us in order to survive but we need Her.

After launching my book Light Is the New Black last summer, I found myself feeling exhausted and depleted. No amount of meditation or Netflix marathons could fill up my well. And when I listened, what I heard was my soul was calling me to return to the mystical land of Avalon (in the UK’s Glastonbury) to be nurtured by Mother Earth. It didn’t make sense at the time, but knowing my intuition when I hear it I cleared my over-spilling diary, packed a bag and set off – for what would become a magical mystery tour of the region’s ancient sacred sites.

24 hours later I found myself laying star shaped in the long grass and roses of the Chalice Well Gardens. My body felt replenished, as my own well filled to the soundtrack of the red springs bubbling eternal from the depths of Mother Earth. And just ten minutes later, while back in my B & B playing kundalini mantras, there was a knock at my door.

I opened it to find a white-clad yogi standing there, asking me if I was here for the RaMa retreat starting the next day. “I must be,” I thought, and soon found myself joining a group of 30 yogis (including the Numinous’ Ruby Warrington, Guru Jagat and Madeline Giles) chanting our way around the sacred sites of England (more on this here).

The magical thing about returning to sacred lands our soul once trod is that something is unlocked, not just in ourselves but in the land too. It’s as if the Earth has called us back to remind us of things once forgotten.

I realized this visiting a Vesica Pisces crop circle near Avebury. The moment I stepped inside, it I was overwhelmed by an sense of being held. It was subtle yet extremely significant and powerful. As the group formed a circle in the center of the sacred symbol, it was as if Mother Earth was welcoming us into her arms, rocking us back to a place of deep receiving, healing and surrendering. As we began to chant I hit record on my iPhone, knowing that this moment was not only for those of us who had physically journeyed there.

And so I offer this sacred chant up to you. May it soften your heart to receive all of the love, healing and wisdom needed as you navigate the next portal of your journey. For as we each soften, awaken and heal, our magnificent planet does too.

MODERN FAMILY: A HIGH-VIBE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

In her holiday survival guide, Erin Telford has some tips for staying zen when you’re home with the fam… Images: Ofir Abe via Behance.net

 

“If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family.” – Ram Dass

Nothing is truer than this statement, since THIS is the real spiritual work. Take it off the mat, take it out of the personal development book, take it off the cushion – family time means time to walk the talk.

If you are mentally steeling yourself for holiday family time this year, know that you are not alone. We always revert to children when we go home, no matter our actual age. And this inner child will always re-experience the same unmet needs for attention, affection, allowing, acceptance or appreciation.

This inner child may even be coming into a family gathering with an expectation of feeling old hurt. This child may unconsciously be watching and waiting for familiar signs that he or she is inadequate, unwanted, or less than.

And if these wounds haven’t been addressed and healed, even if there isn’t an overtly toxic situation to navigate there will always be people present that push these buttons.

The trigger might be a casual remark about your job or relationship status, your parenting style or appearance. The deeper the wound, the more power these off hand comments can have to throw you off your game, creating a spiral of anger and insecurity. Happy holidays!

And we’re talking deep, subconscious stuff, the kind of stuff it’s hard to see coming. One minute you’re “fine,” the next, an insecure little girl who wants to lash out teenage rebel style – or else go hide in her room.

With this in mine, here are a few tips to keep in your back pocket while you navigate…

:: EVERYONE IS FEELING IT ::
And truly doing his or her best (even if it doesn’t look anything like it from where you’re standing).

What if everybody was overtired, over sugared, feeling small, feeling ugly, feeling overweight, feeling anxious, feeling insecure, nursing old wounds, hurt by something that was just said to THEM, grieving, feeling lonely, feeling sick, trying to stay sober.

There are any number of reasons that people don’t act the way we wish they would, especially when our usual routines and coping mechanisms are taken away. They are trying with everything they have just as you are.

:: FORGIVE YOURSELF FIRST ::
If you lose it, if you feel petty, if your buttons get pushed, if you respond exactly the way you didn’t want to, if you fall into old unhealthy patterns of relating, if you get sucked in…you are ALSO doing your best. Here is my prayer for you: A Prayer to Release Your Burdens

I forgive myself.

I will no longer be held hostage in my own mind.

I will no longer replay events and wonder if I could have/should have/would have done more/been more.

I did all I could do.

I gave it everything I had.

I acted with all of the tools that I have and to the best of my abilities.

My intent was always love.

I forgive myself.

Say this in the bathroom when you sneak off to get away. Say it into your pillow at night.

:: WE CAN’T CONTROL HOW WE FEEL BUT WE CAN CHOOSE HOW WE DEAL ::
You are not a victim. You are an adult who has created a cozy little corner of self-love, proud achievements, acceptance for your authentic self, and emotional stability back home. HOLD ONTO THIS VISION.

If we walk into a situation feeling insecure and anxious, we are already poised to get knocked off our center. No wonder, then, that first obnoxious or critical comment already feels like the famous Last Straw.

It’s important to remember that what’s been said is magnified by the open wound we’re already re-experiencing. It’s like the salt jar accidentally fell in. So we can pick up the gauntlet and do battle, we can withdraw, or we can decide to eat/drink our feelings, depending on our personalities.

Or we can pause, we can breathe, we can excuse ourselves, and we can physically shake it off with a jog around the block or a brisk walk. Our call.

:: FOCUS ON GOOD SLEEP, EXERCISE, WHOLE FOODS, MEDITATION, PRAYER :: 
…but since it may not feel that easy to maintain your usual high-vibe routine, you can also ground and own the holiday space with this simple visualization. It will help shift the energy wherever you are to support you and help you feel comfortable:

Imagine a column of golden light in the center of the space you will be in. This column extends from the center of the Earth to the heavens.

Place a golden rose at the top of the column with three words that signal your intention for your experience. These can be words like Stable, Peaceful, Relaxed, Strong, Joyful, Happy.

Imagine writing your name on all of the walls in the space or hanging pictures of you smiling and having fun.

This exercise helps you to set the energy of the space to a vibration that supports your highest good. And I wish you the absolute loveliest holiday season and strength for any challenges that come your way!

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: A DOSE OF STORY MEDICINE

The story behind our new event series – Story Medicine…

A couple of months back, Aly Derby and I hosted a Meditation for Peace at Maha Rose in Greenpoint, as part of a global synchronized meditation for the International Day of Peace. It began with Aly leading a guided meditation to tap us into the oneness energy of the event, and afterwards we both shared some stories around what had come up for us. And then so did everybody else in the group, and the conversation flowed, and the stories became more personal. We all left feeling connected and uplifted, and with the glow of having been heard.

This event was the inspiration for Story Medicine, the monthly gathering Aly and I will be hosting at Hub 17, a beautiful and expansive community space below the new lululemon flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. As Aly wrote beautifully in the blurb for the event:

“When we come together we create community; and when communities share our stories with each other we weave unity. In every experience we share, there is a valuable lesson for someone. And listening in itself is a gift – it’s when our stories are heard that we become healed. In this simple yet profound exchange we find ourselves uplifted, connected and more inspired by our own lives than ever before.”

As a “reserved” Brit, when I first started attending Moon rituals, and healing workshops and events I used to silently dread the “sharing” segment – when we’d go around the circle, and participants would be asked to talk a little about where they were at, and their intentions. Not least because I would often get so emotional! But if I’ve learned anything on my numinous journey, it’s that often when I cry is when I know it’s working. The healing that is.

So with Story Medicine we’re making the sharing the main event. Each month will have a different theme, and as with the Meditation for Peace we’ll kick off with a guided meditation from Aly. Then, each person in the circle will be invited to share a story related to our theme – which could be a story from your own life, a story you heard which has inspired you, or even just the story of what happened to you today.

Our first Story Medicine event will take place December 3, and you can get more details and sign up here. Since it’s right after Thanksgiving, we’ve chosen GRATITUDE as our theme. So, what does being thankful really mean for you?

VENUS IS HER NAME: A YOGA SEQUENCE FOR LIBRA

With a Mercury retro period and two eclipses to navigate in the coming weeks, is the Cosmic joke on us? Ash Baker shares a grounding and balancing yoga sequence for Libra, to foster harmony and equanimity in the chaos. Main image: Brittany Alcorn.

LIBRA
September 23rd to October 22nd

Ruler: Venus
Element: Air
Modality: Cardinal
Anatomy: Kidneys and lower back

7th sign of the Zodiac

Venus, cosmic queen of love and the ruler of Libra will be energetically present throughout the heavens this month. This is a time to focus on cultivating harmony, balance and peace within your life. So much change is coming upon us. Mercury will retrograde from October 4th – 25th, during which time we’ll also experience a lunar eclipse on October 8th and a solar eclipse on October 23rd.

Now people tend to run for the hills when Mercury retrogrades, but personally I prefer to use this time to pause and deeply reflect on all the changes that may be occurring within you and around you. Those changes may come apparent as the eclipses also stop by to say hello.

Eclipses are known for removing something in your life, may it be a fear producing attitude, a toxic relationship, or whatever is blocking you from getting your dream job. Thankfully, all this cosmic drama is going down in the month of love and harmony. Use the Libran energy to find balance in the crazy, cultivating gratitude for what is, and peace with what isn’t.

The poses below have been chosen to help you find your inner calm and be your very own Venus.

Goddess Pose :: Utkata Konasana
Come into Tadasana, standing Mountain Pose, at the front of your mat. Step the right foot back as if you were about to do a lunge. Instead, turn your whole body to the right, making sure your torso is in the center, right above the pelvis.

Step both feet to a 45-degree angle, with the toes out and the heels in. Take a deep inhale and as you exhale bend your knees directly over your heels. Make sure your hips are in line with your knees. Bring your hands in front of your heart in prayer.

Allow yourself to feel the heat being created from the strength in your legs, and with each inhale imagine scooping up that fierceness from below and exhaling it into your full, gorgeous heart. Hold for up to one minute.

Warrior Two :: Virabhadrasana Two
Come back to Tadasana. Step the right foot back three-four feet. Turn your right foot to a slight angle with the toes out and the heel in. The left foot should be pointed forward.

Inhale and reach the arms up and out in line with your shoulders like wings. Your torso should be facing the right side, arms extended above your legs. Simultaneously exhale, and begin to bend the front knee so it lines up with the ankle. If you’re a beginner, lessen the bend in the knee but never take it further than your ankle.

Look directly along the length of your left arm, chin aligned with your left shoulder. If you gaze down, you should see your 1st/2nd toes. Make sure your torso is directly above your pelvis.

Reach your arms out wider and feel them lengthening. Press your feet down into the ground, gathering energy back into the body. Hold for 30 seconds, up to 1 minute. Come back to Tadasana and switch sides.

Cat / Cow Pose :: Marjaryasana & Bitilasana
Come to hands and knees. Make sure your hips are right over your knees and your elbows are directly above your wrists. Keep a slight bend at the elbows.

As you inhale, arch your spine and pull your chest through your shoulders creating an opening in your collarbones. The chest and the sitting bones reach upward.

Exhaling begin to tuck your tailbone, press the hands downward into the floor and round your spine. Feel your shoulder blades spread wide across the back. Repeat for five rounds.

Scales of Peace Meditation
Find a comfortable seat. Prop yourself up on a blanket so the hips are higher than the knees, creating a slight pelvic tilt. Take a moment to notice your natural breath, but don’t change it. Just soften into your energy.

After a couple of minutes start to deepen your breath by following a count of five seconds for the inhale and five seconds for the exhale. Really focus on expanding your belly on the inhale, and then drawing the belly button inward towards the spine on the exhale. Try five rounds of this deeper breath.

Now bring your hands to your heart and think of something in your life where you want to create balance. Hold that in your heart space for a moment. Then picture what it would look like if it were in balance. How would that feel? Keep breathing with that feeling.

Stay here for as long as you need and allow yourself to arrive at answers that may assist you in creating actual balance in your chosen issue. Try doing some journaling afterwards to create action-worthy ideas to help bring equanimity into your life.

Monthly Mantra: “I am the ruler of my own harmony.”