Thinking about inking up that bare summer skin? Before getting a tattoo, consider the long term implications for your sign, says Ruby Warrington. Main Image: Mohammad Faruque.
Summer in my local ‘hood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is officially tats out season. As the mercury rises and jeans and long sleeves make way for tanks and micro shorts, my streets become a walking, talking gallery of ink.
In fact, if it used to be considered rebellious to get a tattoo, in 2017 the fact that I’ve personally yet to go under the needle (that kind of needle anyway—me and Botox is a whole other story, and one you can read about in my book) feels like the anti-establishment choice!
I considered it for a while there, back when I was 18 or so. White tattoos, that would only show up on my Caucasian skin when I had a tan, were a “thing,” and I liked the idea of a design that would only be visible half the time.
After a few weeks of research, I decided on an ornate crayfish design to wrap around my ankle—and thank Goddess I talked myself out of that one! Having a small mollusk inked on my body for life may have been befitting of my Cancer Moon sign, but it isn’t exactly a look that fits my current MO.
When it comes to making big decisions and implementing change in our lives (yes, getting a tat totally counts), the signs of the zodiac are grouped into three different categories: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Worth considering before you land on the tattoo for you …
*As always, in any matters considering personal appearance read for your rising sign too!
Qualities:Trend-setting; bring about change by starting something new; project into the world (feelings, thoughts, ideas); use their will to make things happen.
Tattoo tactics: The urge to get inked may be linked to a big life change, as a way of marking the transition from what was to what could be. If this is the case, then consider what you truly want to bring with you into your new incarnation—and what you’re ready to leave behind. Is there also a way to incorporate an intention for the future into the design?
:: FIXED SIGNS :: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Qualities: Make change in order to maintain the status quo (imagine tidying a messy house to bring it back to its original state); security-seeking; needs stability.
Tattoo tactics: For you, a new tattoo could be a way to imprint a cherished memory or state of being onto your body forever. Tats can be a source of comfort for you, a reminder that some things in life are indeed permanent, even when the outside world appears to be in a constant state of flux. Choose a design that triggers this sense of stability and reminds you that your body is your “home.”
Qualities: Accept and adapt easily to external changes; move quickly from one thing to the next; willing to change themselves to fit in with their environment.
Tattoo tactics: Two words—“impulse control.” Your signs are the most likely to be talked into getting a tat because all your friends are doing it, or seeing a celebrity style you like … and then finding yourself paying a fortune to have it removed a few years down the line. Give yourself at least two weeks to think things over before you commit, and take extra time to find a design that truly speaks to YOU.
This article originally appeared as part of my Style Goddess column over at Horoscope.com!
As the founder of Style Rituals, a biz that celebrates our closets as gateways to the cosmos, I was well attuned to the connections between the mystical and material world. And a recent move from Brooklyn to Venice Beach and back, means I am also very familiar with the process of packing and unpacking.
For my latest move back to NYC, I had gotten a personal ping from the Universe that I needed to ‘go light’ this time. Accordingly, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s now infamous The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and got to work. Overnight, this went from a cross-country move to a total life enema! But I figured if anyone could lead me through the jungle of my beloved belongings to minimalistic bliss, it was Kondo.
I had barely made it to page four when I realized that this wasn’t just a guidebook for spatial cleanliness, but was also an under-the-radar handbook in energy healing. Marie’s discussions about holding items close and thanking them for their existence was directly connected to the Shamanistic belief that every object carries an energy or vibration. Perhaps, I thought, Ms. Kondo is a secret Shaman.
Inspired by this discovery, I combined Kondo’s teachings with my energy healing know-how to bring you thisguide to navigating the spiritual wilds of your own material treasures …
NUMBER 1 // There Is a Universal Method to the Madness, aka Memento Meltdown
The Closet Cleanse: According to Ms. Kondo, one must sort possessions in the following order—clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and, lastly, mementos.
The Secret Shamanism: Shamans believe that working with fire allows release. When I do closet cleanses with clients, sometimes, we literally build a bonfire of emotionally-charged items and let it burn. While Kondo-ing my own closet, I discovered that Marie’s method was perfectly constructed to inspire a similar emotional release. With a background in fashion, I assumed clothing would be the most challenging step for me and wondered why she’d put it first. But I soon understood why mementos went last. I started reading old love letters from boyfriends, thumbing through my high school yearbook, and doodling with coloring pencils from my college fashion illustration class. I eventually found myself on the floor cry-laughing in ‘someone’s’ sweatshirt that I had un-accidentally kept after a weekend rendezvous. I couldn’t believe how many memories had been holding space in my abode that just weren’t part of my life anymore. Time to go!
NUMBER 2 // Sartorial Reiki, aka Thank Your Lucky Clothes
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests that you hold each item in your hands and thank it for how it has served you in life.
The Secret Shamanism: Is Kondo also a secret Reiki Practitioner and Psychometrist? Psychometry, aka Token-Object Reading, is a form of extrasensory perception that allows us to “read” the energetic blueprint of objects, even if we know nothing about their origins. Similarly, Reiki infuses universal energy into people and items. Kondo’s approach fully acknowledges the spirit present in objects, and the necessity of honoring this energy. As I blended her recommendations with my intuitive skills, it became quite emotional. I remembered sights, sounds, and smells associated with each piece and channeled this energy to facilitate release.
NUMBER 3 // The Art of War with Yourself, aka Plunge into the Pile
The Closet Cleanse: When purging your closet, Kondo commands you to throw everything in a giant heap in the middle of the room.
The Secret Shamanism: Sun Tzu’s teachings in the The Art of War state that “in the midst of chaos, there is also an opportunity.” For this neat and tidy (perhaps OCD spectrum) Virgo, creating a messy clothing monument was a Xanax-worthy endeavor (Céline and Chloe definitely didn’t want to be wrinkled, snagged, dirty, or stepped on). Yet my chaotic heap allowed me to push my personal limits. As I split my clothing commune into two smaller tribes of “keep” and “discard,” I excommunicated parts of my past life that no longer fit my current lifestyle. And, surprisingly, throwing things about and jumping into the pile of clothes made me feel like a kid again.
NUMBER 4 // Everything Changes (Even Joy), aka Swapping Fashion School for Fortune Telling
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests that you ask yourself if an item truly brings you joy BEFORE deciding to keep or discard it. Do not try it on or even think about how often you use it. Just hold it in your hands and ask this simple question.
The Secret Shamanism: Guess what I realized? Joy evolves. And the things I wanted to keep were energetic fortunetellers of the life I wanted to lead right now. My transition from the fashion world to the healing world was anything but seamless and I was still in the throes of figuring it all out (going from styling, designing, and brand consulting to seeing ghosts and hearing voices was never gonna be comfortable). While sorting, I realized I was casting aside old items from the fashion world in favor of mystical mementos that fit my current and future vision of myself even better.
NUMBER 5 // Come Back to the Present Moment, aka Boyfriend Jeans are Real!
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo states that people are unable to let go of certain items because they are either attached to the past, fearful of the future, or unwilling to live in the present.
The Secret Shamanism: This is for all the girls out there who are still holding onto college sweatshirts, worn-in t-shirts, or anything else that belonged to “the X.” Wonder why a former lover still lingers in your head? Because you’re still sleeping, lounging, and working out while wearing those memories on your sleeve, literally. During my Kondo-ing, I was going through a major breakup and the practice of purging catapulted me from the past to the present. I realized that it wasn’t about “him,” it was about me. I needed to be proactive about doing everything I could to move forward, and holding onto his belongings was definitely not helping.
NUMBER 6 // Say Yes to Your Life Right Now, aka Magic Rocks Are Heavy but Old Memories Are Heavier
The Closet Cleanse: When you look at an object and say “I might use this one day,” remember Kondo’s warning that “someday” means “never.” You don’t have room in the house-of-me for “perhaps one day.”
The Secret Shamanism: I carry around lots of heavy crystals in my bag of tricks, but the energy of old memories that no longer served me was WAY heavier. Why was I keeping mementos of people and things that weren’t aligned with my happy-place? As I bid adieu to objects associated with energy vampires from my former life, I severed the cord so that both parties could move forward.
NUMBER 7 // Repurpose with Your Love Language, aka Mermaids for my Roomie
The Closet Cleanse: While Kondo warns against unloading your purged belongings onto unwilling participants, finding new homes for past treasures can be an act of love.
The Secret Shamanism: In Shamanism, when we receive a physical or emotional gift we refer to it as “receiving medicine.” You are getting the “medicine” that you need at exactly that moment, no matter what form it comes in or where it comes from. Mid-purge, I started leafing through Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, and remembered that my love language was gifting. The result? A friend got all my old-life high-heels. One of my favorite adventure buddies is now enhancing her metaphysical talents using the giant crystal I moved from my alter to hers. And my former roommate discovered her passion for sea spirits through my houseplant decorated with a collection of plastic mermaids. Show love and pay it forward.
NUMBER 8 // Spiritual Smoke, aka Burn, Baby, Burn!
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests removing discarded possessions from your apartment as soon as humanly possible.
The Secret Shamanism: After following Kondo’s practices on how to sort, I decided to insert some of my own Shamanic practices to release any dense energy that can quickly adhere to people, places, and things. Sage what you decide to keep—with the windows open or in an open area outside. As I burn my bundle of herbs, I like to say out loud: “Any energy that is not mine or of my highest and greatest good, get the f*** out … with love, but seriously, it’s time to go.” Even though the purge scared the hell out of me, as I moved the energy I felt like the shackles had been taken off my ankles—I was light and free!
NUMBER 9 // That Elusive Equilibrium, aka Stilettos & Sage
The Closet Cleanse: Après cleanse, I was NYC bound with two suitcases of clothing, and one small suitcase filled with the contents of my Shamanic practice (crystals, feathers, tarot cards, sweet notes from clients, sage, sound bowl, etc.).
The Secret Shamanism: Marie Kondo always asks what brings us joy. I’d recently experienced a full moment of joy when I was hired by a former fashion client to speak about the power of rituals and manifestation. As I waved a sage stick around a room full of execs while wearing fake eyelashes and stilettos, I was so joyful I could have cried. Fittingly, while purging, I realized I had to make a conscious choice to let my worlds collide. I wasn’t willing to give up all my high heels or my signature pink nail polish, but I did need to make space to bring back a bit of California in the form of a stack of yoga pants and a massive collection of crystals. To be in my “joy,” I needed to marry the sparkle, fun, and creativity of the fashion world to my personal promise to recharge in nature often, keep a devout meditation practice, and embrace a newfound love for juice.
NUMBER 1O // The Transformation Cycle, aka Meeting Kali in the Closet
Did I mention that this was also one of the most traumatic weeks of my life? Within five days, I had ended a relationship with someone I truly love, my beloved aunt died and, oh yeah, the cross-country move was in full swing. In Shamanism we speak about embodying the energy of an archetype. Post-purge, I felt like the Goddess Kali had hung me by my ankles and shook all of the change loose from my skinny-jean pockets.
In other words, f***ing great and completely naked at the same time. With three suitcases to my name, I was a full-on gypsy. I was light, free, mobile, and personified. And while I know that I’ll need to shape shift again and again, as of today I’m bouncily nimbly between New York and L.A. with only my most joyful possessions. All I’d needed to do was step through that closet door.
Colleen McCann is a fashion stylist turned Shamanic Practitioner with practices in NYC & LA. She realigns the energetic with the visual through Intuitive Crystal Readings, Shamanic Hands-On-Healing, and Feng Shui Space Balancing. Make sure to follow her on Instagram, and pick up one of her new Energy Healing Kits and Medicine Bags on Goop to jumpstart your cleanse!
Don’t know what to wear? Make your own fashion energy oracle deck for some divine style guidance, says says collage artist Monica Ruiz…Images featured are a selection of cards from Monica’s handmade deck
We were sitting on our friends lanai one evening last summer, listening to a single gal pal say what she was looking for in a partner, including good “fashion-energy…”. To which I replied, “omg yes! I am such a believer in fashion energy!”…to which she replied; “Oh, I said passion-and-energy…”
But what is “fashion energy?” I believe fashion goes beyond how an outfit or accessory can make you look, and taps into how we want to feel. Why do we gravitate towards a certain color (black), material (modal, denim) or print (snow leopard, moon-phase)? I believe it’s because we emit different energetic vibrations with what we choose to dress up in.
Our choice of outfit can cause us to feel nostalgic, sexy, modern, rebellious…We might wake up in the same body every day, but we become a different being through the way we spend our time, the moods we encounter – and the clothing choices we make.
On my “lazy” days I’ll put on a cropped tank, some high-waisted denim cut-off shorts and my converse, with my hair in a top bun and my Numinous Chakra sweatshirt tied around my waist.
Other times, I’ll wear my Urban Outfitters Kurt Cobain t-shirt as a dress, with black shorts underneath and my old Costume National moto boots. Last week I wore an old flannel from the ‘90s with my Isabel Marant sneakers. I had to be at work at 5am and was too tired to think – but I knew my Marant’s would make me feel like less of a slob.
The key is to get familiar with how different aspects of fashion make you and your spirit tick. Stay inspired by trying new things of course, but staying true to your personal fashion energy means always looking and feeling your best.
There are definitely certain brands out there that I legit salivate over. Rodarte, Balmain, Liberated Heart. The sleeveless tops by the Wild Unknown, and the quartz crystal jewelry from aletheia & phos. But in the last year I have become entranced with Free People, to the point that I even started re-purposing my older FP catalogs to fashion my own “fashion-oracle” deck!
Inspired by a friend’s yoga workshop, these soul-cards help me tap back into my unique fashion energy whenever I’m having a nothing-to-wear moment – when this happens, I simply pick a card to help guide me through my closet or dresser drawers.
Feeling blah? When I look at my NATURAL or FREE card, this may simply translate as a no makeup or jewelry day, and instead I’ll my two favorite crystals in my pocket and wear cherry-flavored Chapstick along with my high-top leopard print wedge Vans sneakers.
My WILD AT HEART card reminds me to keep having fun in the concrete jungle, while my WILD ONES card reminds me of my sacred sisterhood, and the magic of long summer days feeling some tie-dyed bandeau vibes!
Over a Skype session, I recently pulled the I AM A TRAVELER card for a friend traveling through Europe for the summer. She’s also a believer in fashion energy, and this card reminded her that she is able to re-create herself through different fashion cultures and tap into another side of herself.
Now it’s time to make your own fashion energy deck – here’s what you’ll need:
A selection of fashion and travel magazines, and catalogs Exacto knife (key item) Glue stick or rubber cement Cardstock Scissors
1) Search the magazine and catalogues for images (clothes, background images and words / phrases) that resonate with your personal “fashion energy.” 2) Use your exacto knife to cut out your image as perfectly as possible. Breathe and stay zen for best results, cutting along the edges of the image as closely as possible. When you put your figure against your backdrop, it will/should look surreal! 3) Measure out the cardstock to the size and shape you desire for your deck, and cut into equal-sized pieces. 4) After cutting your cards, choose a background image for each and glue them onto one side of each card. 5) Now glue your main model / fashion image onto the background. 5) Finally, find a space on each card to glue an inspiring phrase or word. The only rule when combining background / image / words is to not over-think this process. This is about YOUR energy and celebrating all the elements of fashion YOU love.
You are now ready to start using and sharing your cards as your very own fashion oracle – have fun with it!