MOONERS & SHAKERS: WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHY HEALING SESSION?

With her Embrace The Light photography healing sessions, Moon Club member Tanya Alexis is helping others share the beauty of their energy with the world …

A photography healing session is …
The aura adventure begins at a location where feel you are your most authentic self: in your home, at the ocean, in the woods … anywhere you feel joy! We will find a quiet spot and you will spend 15 to 20 minutes receiving Reiki channeled through me.

After your healing session, we will spend the next 40 minutes photographing you at your most peaceful, at your most joyful—meditating, dancing, twirling, moving your body in any freeing manner that makes sense to you in that moment. During this time, I will shoot 36 frames of film.

Following the session, you and I will sit together while I rewind the film, holding an intention of authenticity and love. When the time is right, I will open the bottom of the camera to let the light in, to let your light in.

One to two weeks following our session, you will receive three to seven beautiful color photographs. A completely unique mixture of film, you, me, and light, they are not to be photoshopped. They will be yours to keep as a reminder of who you truly are, your vibrant spirit.

The inspiration for the idea …
My partner passed a few years ago, and on the anniversary of his death I went to the place we spread his ashes to pay my respects, to take photographs, and to grieve. The next day when I went to drop the film off at my lab, I opened the bottom of the camera thinking the film was rolled up. It wasn’t. I quickly closed the bottom, heartbroken that the images were going to be ruined. But they weren’t. Instead, I discovered something new to me, a way to create beautiful effects that expressed how I felt inside.

It would be another year before I used this technique intentionally. I was photographing a dear friend who happens to be a healer in Los Angeles. I felt compelled (as my intuition strongly suggested) to expose some of her film to light, to see if I could mix her energy visually onto the film. It created some incredibly powerful images, and I knew I wanted to create more work like this, perhaps find a way to incorporate photography into a healing session.

About nine months later, I photographed another incredibly powerful Los Angeles healer. This time, I wasn’t worried I was going to ruin the film. I just went for it, and after I saw her images—even thought my belly was filled with butterflies—I knew it was time for me to create a way to share this experience with others. It was time to encourage others to see their inner beauty, strength, and abilities, and to help them share these numinous aspects of themselves with others.

The work as a reflection of a personal healing journey …
When I received a phone call telling me my partner had been in an accident and had not survived, I was heartbroken. But even during the earliest days of grieving, I knew his passing was meant to break me open. The love we shared was palpable, and I chose to honor him, to honor us, by putting in the work to heal from losing him, and perhaps more importantly to heal all the aspects of myself.

I began meditating more. I wrote to him every day. I began having weekly energy work. I began being kinder to myself, making self-care a priority. During this process, I would take photographs to work through the various emotions that arose. I was just getting to a point where I thought everything would be okay, and then … my father passed. And my heart broke again, but it was different this time. I knew from the beginning of grieving his loss that it was in my power to heal myself.

Not long after my father passed, I took a Reiki 1 and 2 course, followed later by more advanced and Master Reiki training. I intended to use it solely as a way for me to continue to work through all that needed to be released and sifted through in me.

But the more I healed, the more I realized healing myself AND healing others was always meant to be a part of my path. And then, one day, I had lunch with an incredibly vivacious 91-year-old, and she asked me what I would want to do with my life, if I could do anything. I smiled, and in that moment, I accepted that this is my path.

The big mission …
Others judge us, we judge ourselves. If I can offer people a space to feel love and support for who they truly —solely from a place of love—and leave them with a reminder of how beautiful they are on the inside as well as the outside, my heart will be happy.

The Moon Club inspiration …
Moon Club is one of the reasons I feel so comfortable sharing my Embrace the Light project with the world. Knowing that like-minded souls are here to cheer me on and support me allows me to step outside my comfort zone with confidence. It’s invaluable to me as a creative, but also as a human. I am so grateful to know that I am not alone in my experience on this Earth!

>>>

Tania Alexis is currently booking Embrace the Light sessions in Los Angeles, and building wait lists for sessions in NYC, London and everywhere. You can email here here and follow her on Instagram here and here. Sign up for Moon Club and join our tribe of cosmic change makers at Moonclub.co

THE NU NUDES: INSIDE THE MIND OF SHAE DETAR

Known for her nudes, model-turned-fine-art-photographer Shae DeTar is freeing the nipple in glorious technicolor, producing large scale prints which she then adorns with oils. Here, our favorite cosmic crush shares some insight into her creative process…

Is there a female archetype you channel in your work? If so, what sort of feminine energy do you like to portray?
I am looking to channel a self-confident and open-minded woman in my photographs. I prefer to photograph a woman whose concern with how she looks isn’t the driving force behind the image and who isn’t constantly wondering how she looks during the shoot. If a subject is really concerned with looking a certain way, it sort of kills the innocence, mystery and spontaneity of the shoot. That kind of energy is the opposite of what I look for. When subjects are just open to letting creativity guide us in the moment…that’s when the magic happens for me.

You see the world in technicolor – how does this inform your everyday life?
I’ve got art all over my walls and I have a super colorful interior decor at home and in my closet. I love color so much, it’s my greatest muse.

In which physical state do you feel most inspired and connected to your art?
The real inspiration for me happens after I’ve printed the images and begin to paint them. I start feeling inspired once I pull my paintbrushes out, put my paint on the palette and begin to mix trays of color.

What emotions do you want to evoke in others with your work?
No emotion in particular. I know that everyone views art uniquely and processes it differently and that’s really cool. I love pulling images out of the books I buy at The Strand and framing them. So, if people want my images in their home, or something like that, it’s the greatest compliment, since I know how much I love having art on my walls.

Your images suggest the possibility of an intimate connection between humans and the natural world – living in a city like NYC, how do you find ways to access nature?
I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I spent most of my childhood splitting time between my home and and NYC. So I have always made that hour long drive back and forth quite easily. My grandmother still lives in Pennsylvania, too, and has a lot of land, so I drive out there and enjoy the trees and mountains quite a bit. Currently, my parents live in Greenwich Village and they have a mini van that I use to pile the girls into when I do group shots in nature.

Shaedetar.com

Self-portrait by the artist

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VENUS RISING: A CELEBRATION OF MY GODDESS TRIBE

Who’s in your Goddess Tribe? Get inspired to get creative with the women in your life with this beautiful photo series by designer Victoria Keen. High-vibrational clothing throughout by Victoria Keen

Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen

“I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go” – Anais Nin

Can you sum up your vision of Goddess energy in 5 words?
Divine
Imagination
Archetype
Yin
Community

And what does Tribe mean to you?
Tribe is that invisible thread that connects you to your people, that primal desire to be in community, to be seen, understood and held in all of your strangeness. As someone who has always been so damn DIFFERENT, finding my tribe has been everything.

My yoga teacher of over a decade, Ana Forrest, brought me into her tribe, her fold of globally fierce soul family, and I’ve since connected with this very special tribe all over the world, from NYC to Hong Kong and everywhere in between.

Rebecca Jo Phillips shot by Victoria Keen in Tulum
Rebecca Jo Phillips shot by Victoria Keen in Tulum

What made you want to celebrate these concepts with the Goddess Tribe series?
Over the New Year as I was meditating on all the things that you do at that time, and my intuition made it very clear that this year’s focus was to be on my Tribe, deepening my existing friendships and making space for new ones. I realized I had been squeezing my friendships into the leftover nooks and crannies of life. Without a conscious effort it’s so easy to do this.

I also needed a creative outlet from my creative outlet (!) – anyone who knows me knows that I have a forever artistically restless soul. I started putting together a mood board and got really inspired to bring it to life. In the spirit of Play and Magic, I began gathering my Goddess Tribe together.

The series has taken on a life of its own, and has given me another lens to view my friends, and another reason to seek beautiful places for new adventures. What a cool way to spend some time with friends I love!

Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen in NYC
Bee Bosnak shot by Victoria Keen in NYC

When and how do you feel most connected to your Goddess Tribe?
At my Urban Wellness lectures, which is why I have this dream to make these gatherings into full retreats. My time in Tulum recently was magical and made this vision seem entirely possible – there’s such a big Tulum/NYC connection! I plan to get a house next year and set up a base and have all my friends come visit me.

Victoria’s top tips for a High Vibe shoot with your Goddess Tribe:

Get inspired. Put together a thoughtful mood board, a collection of inspiring images so everyone working on the shoot is on the same page. Plus it’s a ton of fun

Create an atmosphere. Blast really good music. Burn Palo Santo, copal or sage, anything aromatic and sumptuous, and feast on delicious organic food

The more the merrier. Photo shoots require lots of work, so the more hands on hand to help bring a vision to life the better

Play! It’s about the experience of coming together to create something, less about the result. Magic happens when we women bring our intention and attention together, a vortex is created and a portal to pure imagination is opened

Be open. Really look to see the beauty inherent in your Tribe and in your surroundings. Make things just to make them, take photos just to take them. Be ridiculous. Be Marvelous

Check out the full series and shop Victoria Keen’s collection at V-Keen.com. You can also follow the Goddess Tribe on Victoria’s Instagram account

Kaylee Boyer shot by Sam Li in NYC
Keylee Boyer shot by Sam Li in NYC

//mineD//: A NEW COLLECTION FROM GINA MELOSI

With her new collection, //minD//, award-winning jewelry designer Gina Melosi has found a way to connect with her family history on both the physical and the metaphysical plane. Photographer: Maya Art. Art direction/model: Gina Melosi. Styling: Tony Hortal. Makeup/hair: Myo Mint. Color: Jason King at Lily Maila. Photographer’s assistant: Alessia Palombo.

After a recent trip to explore the Montana mines, visiting small mining town Butte ­‐ home to her recently deceased Grandmother ­‐ //mineD// embraces raw metal materials, intensified by the setting of uncut Sapphires, Herkimer diamonds and other locally sourced minerals such as Pyrite and Covellite. Returning to a recurrant theme in her work, the beauty which arises out of destruction ­‐ the broken, abandoned and overlooked ‐ this time she was inspired by her family history and a wish to feel a closeness to lost loved ones…

Director / videographer: Joseph Eardly

Why did you specifically want to create a collection inspired by your Grandmother?
A few things came together at once. I was thinking about doing something more related to my personal heritage, when my dad asked me to work on a project with him for a new book (he’s an environmental historian). Around this period I had a chance to visit my Grandmother in Montana (she lived in the mining town of Butte her whole life) for her 97th birthday. I hadn’t seen her for eight years, and I knew it’d be the last time. I was reminded that some of my fondest memories had been of dressing up in the costume jewelry that she handed down to me when I was a kid.

Is that why you went back to Butte to research materials for this collection?
And having grown up visiting mining ghosts towns and taking photographs, panning for gold, collecting rough garnets and sapphires, admiring the copper-hued treats on offer in souvenir shops…I was also fascinating to revisit it now that I had my own jewelry business and know so much about minerals and precious metals.

So what did you discover there?
The town of Butte is sprinkled with discarded mine shafts from before the world wars. There’s a huge open pit mine called Berkeley Pit, which, although it’s been decommissioned for ages, is open to the public for viewing. It’s a massive toxic lake and one of the largest Superfund sites. Interestingly, some species have evolved to ingest the heavy metal waters, and compounds have been isolated which have cancer-fighting properties. The themes of destruction, abandon, and neglect began to surface for me here. So I began filming and discussing further with my father, and the narrative for //mineD// started to flow…

How do you feel like you connected with your Grandmother creating this collection?
There has been a physical and emotional reworking of materials which were entrusted to me that’s felt like a powerful means of communication with her spirit. I was also able to look into the heritage of my whole family through connecting with their surroundings, and make a link to what I’m doing now with some of these very same objects. In this way, the project also helped me feel like I could connect more to myself.

And in what ways do you think your ancestors are alive in you?
I think my Grandparents are of the reasons I became a jewelry artist. When my Grandfather on my dad’s side retired from banking, he became an obsessive crafter. I learned the art of cross-stitch and developed a penchant for sequins from him. My mom’s mom collected all the glamorous costume jewelry that was popular in her day, much of which has been passed down to me. These stories and memories from my youth helped shape my interests and creative endeavors today, and in this way I believe they live on through me, bypassing words and filtering through the elements.

How do you define “family”, and why is this such an important theme in your work?
Our families’ influence defines who we are and shapes our personal approach to the world. It’s through our blood ties that we first learn about love. I don’t think we can figure out where we’re going if we don’t understand where we’ve come from, both physically and metaphysically.

Ginamelosi.com / @ginamelosi