THE 2018 LIBRA WANING MOON WANTS YOU TO OWN IT

As we close out the year, the 2018 Libra Waning Moon asks us to face up, stand up, and get real and right with our souls, says Jennifer Racioppi

Photo: Mitch Walker

Waning Quarter Moon // December 29 2018 //  4:34 am ET // 7 degrees Libra 

The last Waning Quarter Moon of 2018 highlights the dichotomy between drive, determination, and the quest for power (Capricorn), and the desire for balance, harmony, and justice (Libra).

As the Moon travels through Libra, the Venus-ruled sign of the scales, forming a 90-degree square with the Sun and Saturn, both in Capricorn, she’ll provoke you to stand up for yourself: your values, your desire for pleasure, and your truth. The 2018 Waning Libra Moon leaves little room for nonsense.

Embrace this lunar opportunity as a chance to get real, and right, with your soul … 

// The Cycle //
As we close out 2018, we end more than just another year; we also wrap up an over 2-year-long lunar gestation cycle. This Libra Waning Moon highlights the consequences of actions taken on the September 30, 2016, Libra New Moon.

On October 7, 2016, the Washington Post published an article about Donald Trump and Billy Bush having “an extremely lewd conversation about women.” Now here we are, in the midst of Trump’s presidency, as the USA undergoes a governmental shutdown, General Mattis’ resignation/expedited termination, and, all of this happens as the country awaits the results of Bob Mueller’s investigation into President Trump’s potential collusion in the 2016 election.

It’s clear that we may be arriving at a critical turning point in the Trump presidency. You are likely at a critical turning point in your life too. Claim your truth and move forward accordingly.

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// The Transits //
2019 begins with a whopping solar eclipse Jan 5 at 15 degrees of Capricorn, happening right between Saturn, the lord of karma, and Pluto, the planet of transformation. This planetary formation commands that truth be revealed, and abuses of power healed. The current, pre-eclipse, Libra Waning Moon squares a Saturn-Sun combination. As hard truths reveal themselves, embrace them.

More provocatively, Venus, the planet of love (and ruler of the Moon in Libra), makes a harmonious angle to Pluto, the planet of power. This angle between Venus in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn amplifies lusty desires and the urge to experience sexual pleasure. Cosmic sexual healing, anyone? Sacred sex can bring deep healing, and the release of oxytocin through orgasm can detoxify the body of what it no longer needs.

At the same time, Mars, the ruler of personal will, conjoining Chiron, aka the “wounded healer,” might stimulate feelings of shame. Thoughts like, “Is it ok to want what I want?” or “Am I too pushy, too needy, or too much?” could potentially stand in the way of you enjoying yourself.

Allow yourself to hear and understand what your voice of shame sounds like. Get to know her. But don’t let the voice of shame win. Bow down to the voice of truth instead.

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// The Square //
The Sun and Saturn sit very close to one another in the sky, amplifying the impact of the great planetary task-master. The Libra Moon, which has a fierce need for justice, squares Saturn, commanding both literal and figurative sobriety.

Get quiet and listen to the voice of truth emerging within. Purify yourself, mind, body, and spirit, so you can hear where your inner voice most concretely wishes to lead you.

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// The Opportunity // 
Remember that you have two options when it comes to reconciling difficult feelings and emotions, especially shame: you can talk out your feelings and thoughts, or you can act them out. Choosing to talk things out now, helps you make better decisions later. It also opens you up to acknowledging what you no longer need, want, or desire, and makes room for you to enjoy Venus’ luscious connection with Pluto, and its potential for healing through pleasure.

Libra, a justice-oriented sign that craves beauty, love, and relationship, isn’t shy when it comes to standing up for what it believes. Consider what’s coming full circle in your life right now. Perhaps it’s year-end related. Maybe it correlates with actions taken years ago, around the time of the 2016 Libra New Moon.

Shed the lies and limiting beliefs that have kept you playing it small. Whether it’s the old pair of socks or the relationship that pulls you into toxic dynamics, again and again, let this Libra Waning Moon act as a cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking up the dirt. With the new year just a few days away, choose to embrace the openness and sobriety of truth. With the world at a critical political moment, staying in a healthy place, mentally and emotionally, supports you on your individual path.

The upcoming Capricorn New Moon Solar Eclipse in Jan 5 invites you to conjure and create a life that reflects the most real sense of who you are. Start preparing for it now.

Discover more about astrologer and success coach Jennifer Racioppi and her work HERE and follow her on Instagram.

HOW TO BE A TIDE: A MESSAGE FOR CANCER SEASON

In the thick of Cancer season’s deepest feels, spoken word artist and Moon Club founding member Lisa Luxx’s exclusive new poem, “How To Be A Tide,” reminds us that our most tempestuous emotions are our beautiful birthright …

How To Be A Tide is a poem about the movement and motion of being woman. It’s a dialogue about finding our most supreme beauty in that familiar expansion and contraction. About how much can be gained from seeing ourselves as individual waves in the ocean of sisterhood.

One great purpose of poetry is to turn familiar aches into unfamiliar blessings; to subvert moaning into marvelling. The instability of a hormonal body could drive a person mad if they’re pressurising themselves to maintain a static constant. So for me, as an incredibly tempestuous person, I traversed this tidal metaphor as a bid for freedom.

I’ve been philosophically exploring the nature of beauty for the past year or so – what it is, what it does and why that might be – writing out my revelations and dreams. This piece is about taking ownership of one’s own beauty. When you no longer have the resources to flow outwards, that means your beauty – enriched now – is coming back home to you. – Lisa Luxx 

How To Be A Tide will be published in Luxx’s upcoming collection Breastmilk Martini, which is out later this year with New River Press.

HOW TO FIND YOUR POWER DURING MARS RETROGRADE

With Mars retrograde for the summer, it’s time to reconnect with our inner drive. Healers from London meditation hot-spot, Re:Mind Studio, share how to go inside to find your power right now …

Photo: Cristian Newman

“Find your power” is a super buzzy rallying cry in the wellness and healing worlds that can leave us feeling more confused than courageous. Where has it been hiding? How do I hunt it down? And what exactly does it look like? 

Cosmically, the concept of power connects us to Mars, planet of drive and creative libido. At its core, Mars energy is about affirming our right to be here, to want what feels good to want, and to go after it in a way that brings us fully alive.

With Mars stationing retro for the Summer, we’re being asked to dive deeply into our internal power centers, and to explore what pushes our buttons—in a good way. For example, Mars rules anger—but rather than projecting onto others any time we feel pissed, this is a moment to examine what this emotion is here to teach us. Where it wants us to take action and make positive change in our lives.

We teamed up with healers and speakers from the Summer of Women’s Power event series at London’s Re:Mind Studio to roundup the top tips for activating your life force right now …

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Treat Your Triggers Like Treasures
“Any time you feel triggered, use this as a way to learn something about yourself and the area in your life you can pull back your personal power.

Rather than react in the moment, take however long you need to sit with the emotions that are coming up and pay attention to the stories that accompany them. Write down some questions that will help you look deeper. Journal about it. It may feel good to talk it out with a friend. If needed, seek professional guidance—with a therapist or healer—to help make more sense of why this feels so raw.

Tending to your wounds in this way will help you feel stronger, more whole, like there are no ‘gaps’ where your power is leaking out. Ultimately, this wholeness will make you invincible.” – Ruby Warrington, Founder, The Numinous 

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Get Body Con
“We can come in to our true power by getting out of our heads and coming into our bodies, since this is the where we often store old emotions and also where we can tap in for our deepest intuitive knowledge. This is something I’ve been working on myself for some time now, and a simple way to begin is to meditate for 5-10 minutes before sleeping with your left hand on your heart and right hand on your womb area. As your mind begins to quiet, be open to just seeing what comes up for you.” –Yulia Kovaleva, Co-founder, Re:Mind

Re:Mind Studio

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Return to Innocence 
“Reconnect with something in the material world that brings you alive in an immediate, visceral, unedited way. It could be as simple as a song, or a favorite color or object. Maybe it’s something from your youth, like an old school playlist from your teen years. Let whatever it is remind you that you have a right to your tastes and your specific flavor of encountering the world. Carve out the edges of yourself through this process of loving exactly what you love without apology.” – Bess Matassa, Assistant Editor, The Numinous 

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Claim Pleasure as Your Birthright 
“Pleasure is a woman’s birthright. It is her source of power, creativity and vibrancy. When a woman learns to cultivate a continuous state of deep pleasure in all areas of her life, she is a force to be reckoned with. A woman who owns her desires and puts pleasure first will not take an averagely led life for an answer.” – Grace Hazel, Empowerment coach

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Retreat Into You
“My tip is to get yourself onto a retreat this summer. Even if that means you can only afford a day somewhere, do it! Give yourself permission to unplug, connect back into your body, and meet like-minded people.” – Millie, Studio Assistant, Re:Mind

Re:Mind Studio

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Get Obsessed 
“Critiques about our ‘too muchness’ are often connected to others’ discomfort with the intensity of our feelings, and how much space we’re taking up. Throw proportion out the window and tap into your primal force that wants to live rawly and fully, no-holds barred. Start by treating whatever you’re loving like a romantic obsession. Whether it’s a new passion project, your healing process, or simply a topic that’s lighting you up right now, stalk it, dive in deep, and let it take up all the space that it needs to bring you alive.” – Ruby Warrington, The Numinous 

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Fall in Love 
“We embody powerful energy that we can tap into through the elements of love. As love blooms we discover our truth and in that truth we reveal our authentic self. There is nothing more powerful.” – Jasmin Harsono, Emerald and Tiger

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Plan a Solo Date 
“To connect with our life force, we have to get down and dirty with our most intimate desires, wants, and needs. Which means some good old fashioned solitude. Notice any stickiness you have around the concept of being ‘alone’ and commit to sitting with the discomfort. And while you’re at it, make it juicy. Treat your time with yourself like a sweet vacation. Take yourself for dinner. Dress up for yourself in clothes that feel like second skin. Let this solo dance lead you back to the power moves that you alone can bring.” – Bess Matassa, The Numinous

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Re-nature Yourself
“Connect to your roots, to the power of our land. Notice how it feels to be out in nature, how it impacts your body, your mood and your emotions. Once you begin to tap into the rhythms of nature, you begin to tap into the natural and honest rhythms of your life. The ups, the downs, the endings, the beginnings. Our lives are part of an ever ebbing, ever flowing cycle. A portal into our wild inner guidance.

As nature fully blooms this summer, think of the areas in your life where you can to. What areas are calling you to grow, to create, to express? Remember yourself as a sacred woman that has chosen this Earthwalk. You’re powerful. You’re needed to seed and grow new life, a new way for humanity.” – Vickie Williams, Vickie Williams Yoga

Connect to your power in real time with London’s new meditation and spiritual hub, Re:Mind, with their Summer of Women’s Power event series. Designed to activate, inspire, and uplift, workshops cover everything from “Self Pleasure Magic” to “Daily Ayurveda,” leaving you tapped in and connected to your very own superpowers.

QUEER HERO: 7 WAYS TO HEAL FROM SEXUAL TRAUMA

In the wake of Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio, sexual trauma has been brought to light over and over again. In his latest “Queer Hero” column, survivor and healer Danny Brave shares 7 ways to process the deep pain and move from #Metoo to I AM … Photos by Tal Shpantzer 

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

The #MeToo movement exploded onto social media on October 15th 2017, only four days after Scorpio’s transit into Jupiter (the sign of intimacy, sex, secrets, and power). The hashtag was created by Tarana Burke, the black woman whose brilliant activism started the movement all the way back in 2006. Her decade of advocacy reached mainstream awareness when Alyssa Milano tweeted #metoo in response to accusations of sexual assault & misconduct in Hollywood.

Whether or not we wanted to deal with it, molestation, rape, and sexual trauma was being brought to light over and over and over again. Some of us felt ready for this darkness to reveal itself so dramatically and intensely, while others of us felt ill-prepared for all of the undigested emotions and traumas that these women were bringing to the forefront of our consciousness.

With Jupiter still retrograding through Scorpio, and April marking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (S.A.A.M.), I have been reflecting on all that has transpired since the initiation of this powerful planetary movement … 

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Widening the sexual trauma narrative
The stories of who is sexually assaulting who are as varied as the number of people on earth. I know white cis gender men who have been assaulted by cis white women, and I have met men who were molested by their mothers as boys. Sexual violation has been perpetrated by gay men to other gay men, by queer POC to other queer POC, by fathers to girls who come out later in life as non-binary or trans men, by white people to black people and vice versa.

The list of race, gender, sexuality, body type, and age variable narratives continues, as is reflected by the statistics:

– 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime
– Of trans people of color: American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and Black (53%) have experienced sexual assault
– American Indians are twice as likely to experience rape/sexual assault compared to all races
– 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault
– 1 in 10 men experience sexual assault
– 44% of lesbians experience rape
– 61% bisexual women experience rape
– 26% of gay men experience rape
– 37% of bisexual men experience rape

*Statistics are for the United States only, from the U.S. Trans Survey in 2015RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), and the National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey). 

And the effects are staggering. From persistent and debilitating anxiety and/or depression, to the shutdown of one’s sexuality, and a sense of complete worthlessness and suicidal thinking, the wake of this abuse’s devastation goes on and on.

For the sake of everyone’s healing, we must not confine this widespread epidemic to old stereotypes and the rigidity of the gender binary.

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

7 ways to heal your sexual trauma …
To provide some solutions, below is a love letter—a list of tools, rituals and advice that have helped me and my clients reclaim our lives, sexuality, and bodies in the aftermath of sexual trauma …

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1//Make art. Whatever your creative medium, express it! You don’t have to show what you create to anyone at all (unless you want to!), you don’t have to be good at it, and you don’t have to spend much money (writing, for example, costs about $3 for a cheap notebook and pen). The purpose is just to get the energy moving.

Creativity is governed by the sacral chakra, located in the pelvis, genitals, and lower back, and connected to sexual energy. When you are being creative, you are helping to unearth, clear, uplift, and release some of the stagnant or painful energy that got planted there during moments of abuse.

If you are struggling with depression in particular, making art makes you active again. It puts the ball back in your court and helps you remember that life can be beautiful, and that it is okay to feel. Become the transmuter of your own pain through your creativity and I promise you catharsis will be there, and that this will eventually (if not immediately) lead to feeling better.

*Recommended:  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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2//Tell someone who makes you feel safe and who you know will believe you. One of my mentors taught me that the lips of the labia and the lips of the mouth have the same nerve endings—they are connected. What this means is that sexual trauma silences us; it makes us somehow incapable of voicing our truth, standing up for ourselves, and asking for our needs (emotional or otherwise) to be met.

Telling our deep dark truths to someone we can trust can be one of the most healing experiences. Here’s a loose structure to get you started:

1 – Contact the person you are going to meet and ask them, in your own words, if they will meet with you in person so that you can vent and get something really difficult off your chest.

2 – Tell them exactly what you need from them afterwards. Is it a quick hug? To be held for a while? To say “I’m sorry that happened to you,” to say “thank you for telling me your story”? It can feel weird to make such a clear and specific requests, but people aren’t mind-readers, and our abuse stories are so intense that we often require a very specific type of support to feel just that: supported.

3 – Tell them your story and provide as many details as possible. I am talking about the date and time, who did it, the location of the abuse on your body, how you felt—the whole thing. If it makes it easier, you can write this out all out in advance. Notice the resistance to doing this and try to push through and speak your truth anyway.

4 – Set up something really lovely to do for yourself afterwards—something that makes you feel comforted, brings you back to the present moment, or brings you joy. Do you love to go see movies? To plant a garden? To paint? To go for a joy drive and blast music? After unleashing your powerful truth, make sure you engage with this activity for as long as it takes to get you back to the present moment.

*Recommended: Vagina by Naomi Wolf

Portrait of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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3//Realize that what happened to you is NOT your fault. Something that tends to get built into the experience of sexual abuse is that we, on some level, caused or created it.

The mind of a child is more straightforward than the mind of an adult, and it does not understand that bad things that happen are not caused by them. If the abuse is being perpetrated by an adult to a child, the child knows that the parent is the one feeding and clothing them and therefore will do any and all mental gymnastics to repress, imagine, or self-blame the abuse away by taking on and in all of the pain and blame.

If you were an adult when the abuse happened to you, it’s still easy to think: “If I hadn’t been drunk, if I had been wearing something different …” If we are spiritually-inclined, we might even torture ourselves with spirituality and the law of attraction, asking ourselves ridiculous things such as: “Why did I create this experience? Maybe I wasn’t thinking positively enough … I wonder why I attracted this abuse?”

Why do we try to make something as awful as this our fault? The truth is simple: it is easier to blame ourselves and engage in self-hatred then it is to deal with the fact that what happened was not in our control and not our fault whatsoever. Doing this also prevents us from having to deal with the emotional reality of holding someone else accountable for their actions.

Hating ourselves or trying to make ourselves responsible for something we clearly didn’t cause or do is an incredibly effective defense mechanism to either defend the memory of our parents because we want to maintain a relationship with them, and/or to avoid holding the perpetrator fully accountable for the painful emotions associated.

It is because of this that I cannot stress enough: what happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault.

It wasn’t.

And coming to terms with this is an all-too-necessary step that needs to happen before forgiveness and letting go (after all, if we don’t hold someone accountable to begin with, then what is there even to forgive?)

*Recommended: Repressed Memories by Renee FredricksonQueering Sexual Violence by Jennifer Patterson; Stacyann Chin’s powerful speech: Not my fault; Diana Oh’s incredible feminist art/activist installation My Lingerie Play (Especially Installation 3/10: “Even If You Found Me Like This”).

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4//Perform a releasing ritual. Ritual is a powerful way that we can find closure and healing for experiences and situations that seem impossible to ever gain closure from. By doing something physical, ritual provides a concrete moment that serves as a bridge for us to walk over and into the next phase of our lives.

Here are a couple of suggestions for releasing rituals that I have found to be incredibly powerful in healing my own sexual trauma:

1 – Write a letterto the person who did it (and don’t send it). I know, it’s intense. The thing is … if you have not done something like this already, it is likely that the thoughts and feelings you would communicate directly to this person are rolling around in your head and your body, anyway, and without an outlet.

What we are looking for here is catharsis and closure. It is not meant to be sent to the person, and that being said, it does not have to be respectful or kind in any way. Get it aaaaalllll out. And then, safely destroy it! Rip it up, or light it on fire. Afterwards, make sure you set yourself up with some really lovely after-care: a relaxing walk alone or with a friend, a gentle movie that makes you feel comforted, etc.

2 – Go somewhere in nature. Preferably a body of water (and especially the ocean). Take a stroll to find either a seashell or rock, and place it in your hand. With the object in your hand, charge it up with all of the feelings and experiences of the abuse, and all of the things that have happened as a result of it.

Take a moment to really feel all of that energy and pain moving through and out of your body and into the shell or rock. Then, THROW IT IN THE OCEAN! Boom: it’s done, it’s over. Give yourself some time to sit and have a leisurely walk or maybe even journal after you release this- again, with everything involving your recovery, taking the time for gentle after-care is important.

*Recommended: She Let Go by Rev. Safire Rose (adjust pronouns accordingly, brave ones!)

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5//Adjust your sexual expression accordingly. While it may not be the case for everyone, it has been my own, and many of my clients’ experiences that sexual abuse tends to create a polarity of subsequent sexual expression: either way too much, or way too little (basically non-existent).

This is not an invitation to judge yourself, rather to become self aware of your sexuality and sexual patterns from a place of unconditional love. Remember, the extremity is not your fault (re-visit bullet point #3 if you’re beating yourself up).

*For my way too much-ers: Take a vow of celibacy for 3 months (it’s ok: you can still masturbate). During this time, when you do masturbate, take a few breaths and ask to connect to God/Spirit/the Universe (whichever term you prefer) through your sexual energy (and prepare to be blown away!!)

Make a list of 10 other ways to feel loved, outside of engaging in sexual activity with another person, and commit to exploring one of them each week during your temporary celibacy.

*For my non-existent/way too little-ers: Make it a non-negotiable commitment to exploring your sexual nature and opening up to sexual experiences on a bi-weekly basis, working up to sharing yourself with a consenting partner, if it feels right.

Also, dance. Yes, DANCE. Take dance classes that bring the energy down into the lower chakras: African dance, hip hop, pole dancing, etc. Get out of your comfort zone!

*Recommended: Why Mother Nature is the Ultimate Goddess of Love by Tirzah Shiya

Photo of Danny by Tal Shpantzer

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6//Invest in healing that is holistic and takes your body into account. We know that the conscious mind governs only 10-20% of the totality of our consciousness. Traditional psychotherapy is typically working with the 10-20% of the conscious mind to try to get to the 80-90% that’s less conscious. Unsurprisingly, I prefer methods that go straight to the 80-90%: reiki, shamanic healing, and meditation. You might also try sound healing, hypnotherapy, tapping, somatic experience, or any other mind-body practice you feel drawn to.

The site that is typically inflicted with a sexual trauma wound for women, trans men, and those assigned-female-at-birth is the vagina, or “yoni.” Mystics and shamans know this place to be the gateway to the universe, and the key to creation of life itself—not only human life as in childbirth, but also the creation of all things, such as personal dreams and manifestations.

In my personal shamanic healing practice, I use a tool called a shamanic extraction, which uses the intelligence of crystals to safely extract pain, fear, and any other energy intrusions that were inflicted on the individual’s yoni during the time of abuse out, followed by the channeling of reiki healing energy into the area. This allows the individual to have agency over their yoni, one of the deepest and most powerful tools for us to create our lives from this place- a place of health, clarity, and integrity.

Another incredibly effective tool I use is shamanic cord cutting, which is a powerful ritual in which we take the cord of energy that is usually still subconsciously or unconsciously connecting the client to their abuser via a vibration of pain, and we release it, and follow up by channeling reiki or healing energy into the area for deep healing.

*Recommended:  My one-on-one healing workMoon Mysteries by Nao Sims & Nikiah Seeds & Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

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7//Connect with community. The patriarchy thrives off of separation. Pain and darkness prevail when we are in isolation. This is not normal or natural, and we need matriarchy now—a matriarchy that is for all genders, races, body types, and ages.

It is imperative that in your healing journey, you find some sort of community to join where you feel safe enough to be seen. It can be a shamanic community, a monthly women’s circle, AA, a hiking club—there are tons of things to do and join in this world, both in-person and online.

Don’t do this alone. You can’t do it alone. Other people need you and you need them, and that’s okay. My hope is that we start to live in a world where our emotional needs are no longer judged as being “needy.” We all need each other, and we all heal each other. So let’s do that.

*Recommended:  If you’re located in NYC, sign up for my upcoming 6-week transformational community group HERE; also check out the Red Tent MovementMoon Club, and Meetup.com

THE BEST RED LIPS FOR ARIES SEASON

Want to ignite your Aries season with sustainable fire? Eunice Lucero reveals the best red lips to power up for a consciously gorgeous month ahead …

Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in “Aries”

We’re in the full flow of Aries season, Numiverse! A.k.a. the only time when red means anything but “stop,” urging us to get in gear to fulfill our goals for the astrological new year ahead.

We’re paying homage to the month of the ram with a roundup of pure, sustainable, and purposeful lipsticks and balms guaranteed to fire you up and get your point across—all in the sign’s signature power color, of course.

**Bonus: We’ve paired each look up with a natal Aries planet! But regardless of your personal planets, read on to get your red on … 

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1// Sun in Aries: RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in Firestarter (fiery red orange), $28. Feeling hot, hot, hot? Naturally, and with good reason: This certified organic feisty red orange has a luxe satiny finish, perfect for getting your word out in style. Its wildcrafted ingredients also speak to the unbridled passion and ambition you have coursing through your veins.

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2//Moon in Aries: Burt’s Bees Satin Lipstick in Ruby Ripple (jewel toned ruby red), $9. Your feelings have an unmatched emotional pull, so why not gift them with the powerful vessel they deserve? Voice it out and gild those lips in a deep, moody, gem-inspired red fit for a goddess, in a formula that’s 100% percent natural and provides 8-hour moisture. #NoCompromises

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3//Aries Rising: Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick in True (classic vermillion red), $30. Your Aries Rising definitely loves making a loud-and-proud statement. A classic true red lippie is the most straightforward accessory for your passionate, goal-oriented personality—and one that’s 100% vegan and natural, and cruelty-, palm oil- and gluten-free is a rare bullet we can get behind.

Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick in “True”

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4//Mercury in Aries: Beautycounter Red Color Intense Lipstick (creamy medium orange red), $34. There’s no risk of misunderstanding what you say, as your message is potent and your communication style direct AF! This already-ethical, safety-first brand takes it one step further with a lipstick that’s a call to arms for Congress: the anniversary edition bullet supports Beautycounter’s cry for better health laws for the personal care industry.

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5//Venus in Aries: Lune+Aster PowerLips Quickstick in Date Night (deep neutral red), $24. A romantic who never shies away from your passions, you also know that the sexiest aesthetic touches always include a bit of spice. A dark neutral red in a vegan, paraben-free infusion, inspired by modern go-getters (“Date Night”’s muse is Cameron Hardesty, head of merchandising at Urbanstems) expresses your business-always-meets-pleasure credo—in a handy stick formula, no less.

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6//Mars in Aries: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Aries, $26. You’re feelin’ yourself this month, and those enthusiastic sparks of creativity are no coincidence. Blessed with intense physical energy and a headstrong drive to go with it, pity the toxic soul that dares to stand in your dreams’ way. No holds barred here: this all-natural, bespoke fiery red orange stick is totally on-brand for winners like you.

Lune+Aster PowerLips QuickStick in “Date Night”

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7//Jupiter in Aries: Aveda Feed My Lips ™ Pure Nourish-Mint ™ Lipstick in Goji (vibrant red), $24. Born leaders like you need no introduction, but a bright, inspiring red can’t hurt the case, right? Whether it’s life-coaching or putting up a new business, give that positive, entrepreneurial spirit a boost with cosmetics that echo your innate optimism and transparency, like a 95% naturally derived lipstick chock-full of organic botanicals.

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8//Uranus in Aries: French Girl Organics Le Lip Tint in Terre Rouge (terracotta red with a copper sheen), $16. That crazy-electric burst of inspo in the middle of the night? Yeah, you’re ready to put that into action very soon, and nothing can stand in your way … most especially a fussy routine. You’re resourceful and energetic, so a sheer, wear-anywhere tint (made of pure organic essential oils, shea butter and natural oxides, natch) is just the low-maintenance glam you need to fit your frenetic, boho-chic vibe.

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9//Saturn in Aries: Ecco Bella Flowercolor Lipstick in Claret Rose (shimmery red-brown), $21.95. No lip service for you! Capable and confident, you demand clear-cut results and not just blind action—which is why a clean, no-nasty formula in a work/play hue of reddish brown is just the thing. We love the smooth, creamy payoff we get from this vegan, naturally-preserved and gluten-, petroleum- and fragrance-free lippie.

French Girl Organics Le Lip Tint in “Terre Rouge”

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10//Neptune in Aries: 100 Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented ® Lip Glaze in Pomegranate (deep pinky red), $26. Not everyone can get away with inspired conviction without getting the dreaded roll-eye, but you do with ease and a trademark shimmery charisma. Not only is this semi-sheer, romantic berry red shade vegan and fruit-pigmented, it’s a unique red that’s as nuanced as your visionary beliefs too.

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11//Pluto in Aries: MAC Viva Glam Sia (warm, matte vivid red), $17.50. You’re all about the power of change and transformation, whether brought on by an unapologetically sexual red lip, devoting yourself to a higher calling, or supporting a cause to kill off a stigma. Either way, this is the iconic pick that checks all those Plutonian boxes.

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12//Chiron in Aries: Ilia Lipstick in Perfect Day (soft, warm coral red), $26. Although going easy on yourself is oftentimes easier said than done, it pays to remember that you are not only enough—you’re downright awesome, perceived flaws be damned! A flattering, gentle coral red helps put you in the best light whenever you need a quick ego lift; its clean, organic ingredients also offer up a guilt-free swipe.

Mac Viva Glam in “Sia”

HOLY F*CK: LIVING FROM THE SEAT OF YOUR SEXUAL POWER

How can embracing your deepest sexy unleash your creative force? In her latest column, Alexandra Roxo shows us that diving into our full sexual power is the key to world domination …

Owning my sexual and creative power, and letting it inform my life and creativity and work, has been revolutionary and radical …  despite how much society had told me I’m too loud or too sexual or too freaky or kinky or messy or whatever.

Here are a few of my tried and true techniques for owning your sexual power, your guts, your voice, and your gifts to the world … 

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FIRST: A little visualization for your viewing pleasure … 

Imagine you are a house. Perhaps 5 stories high. Castlelike. Grand. Tall. Well crafted. And each floor and each room is decorated beautifully. Lamps and lights and candles. Beautiful art. Cultivated space. But the first floor, the foundation, is dark, full of cobwebs. Closets locked. Perhaps a corner here and there with a little light that is only turned on “sometimes”—on a special occasion …

Now imagine this floor is your sexual energy. Your life force. Your creative power that is waiting to be stirred deep inside you.

Does it only get stirred in a bed in the dark? Between sheets? With your partner? Or a vibrator? What if you ran through that first floor, saged it out, turned on all the lights, decorated it—made it come to life?

We live in a world of compartmentalization. We shit in another room with a locked door. We carry our money in locked safes and little wallets held close to our bodies. We have sex in a bed in the dark.

When I was younger, my menstrual cycle was WAY off. After some soul searching, I realized that it was most off during the times that I was suppressing my power. Now, if my cycle is late, I look at how I’ve been holding back and “keeping it together?” How can I EMBODY my power, my vision, and my voice more boldly?

Sexual power IS creative power! And it does not work when controlled or locked away. In fact, this is hurting many of us. Disrupting our menstrual flows. Our skin. Causing diseases. Depression … the list goes on.

How might your life change if your sexual energy was present in every moment, every business deal, every Pilates class? Here’s how to awaken your deep sexy and use it to power your mission … 

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STEP 1// DEFINE YOUR “DEEP SEXY” 
Sexual energy does NOT have to be defined or encapsulated in the “sexy” of black lingerie. Or being coy, Or performing “sexy.” Or having skinny thighs. Or whispering fantasies at dinner. I LOVE all that but that is JUST one layer.

Deep Sexy to ME is sexual energy as POWER. Holding the key to all creation between your legs. The womb being an infinite pool of ideas and visions of growth. Orgasms healing the world.

A portal to the Divine that you are I are both gifted with.

We begin breaking the compartmentalization of sex as penetration, locked doors, and quiet moments in the dark, by practicing turning it on. No need to stroke a clit. No need to stick it in. Just breathe into that flow. give it space, connect to its depths.

This can be literally visualizing sexual energy as a certain color running through your body. Or connecting it to a scent. Or a song. Find a VISCERAL and SENSORIAL “IN,” and go with it.

That is what lights up the house. Increases financial flow. Health. Radiance. Love. Business growth. The whole house is illuminated.

OKAY NOW YOU GO! Write your own list. What is sexy to YOU?

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STEP 2// BELLY BREATH VS. CHEST BREATH
This is how you start to see and FEEL your sexuality. Meditate into your pelvis, your guts. Give your whole lower body as much importance as you do your mind, remembering every day about the portal to source energy that lives in there.

This can be practiced through dancing in your undies. Doing deep belly breathing at home in the mirror or with a book on your stomach while watching TV. Or picking points in your day by putting an alert in your cal that says “Am I breathing into my GUTS? My deep BELLY?”

And notice if you’re sucking it in. Let your belly hang out as much as possible, even though it may feel kinda weird! Breathe it open with deep belly breaths instead of shallow chest ones.

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STEP 3// WHAT IF YOUR BRILLIANT IDEAS CAME ALL THE WAY FROM DOWN BELOW? 
Ask yourself “Did I just make this business decision from my mind? My heart? My womb? My balls?”

Regardless of your genitalia or gender identification, let your ideas brew from your depths, the roots, the intimate parts of you. Not the surface layers of your mind.

One way to check if you are truly dropping into your sexual power and living from THERE instead of the mind is to see how much you can FEEL in the moment you are making that decision. Can you feel your clit? Your cervix? Your kundalini vibes? Your balls? Your anus? (Not by literal touching, just the vibes and energy!)

And if you’re not feeling it, THAT’S OK! Try using a Chakrub, doing some PC muscle clenching, or literally start talking to your body and trying to put into words what that part of you is feeling today.

It may sound LOL, but unless you can really identify what your root is feeling, you definitely can’t find your gut intuition or make decisions from there.

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STEP 4// GET MESSY AND WILD  
Look to the most genius creator for wisdom—MOTHER NATURE! She is wild! Messy! Disgusting! Ravenous! Beautiful! Sensual! Vicious! 

Messy for me can mean taking a day to hike, laying in a field, walking barefoot, wearing no makeup, peeing outside.

But what does it mean to you? This may mean vision boarding on the floor of bedroom and making a mad genius mess of old magazines. It may mean a week you play with letting your hair be wild and free. Or only wearing long flowy dresses.

Write down 5 things that feel “messy,” aka “outside the box,” to you. One day a week take a “IMA B MESSY AND NOT GIVE A FUCK” practice. So. Fun.

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STEP 5// MAKE CONTAINERS FOR YOUR FLOW TO FLOW IN!
As you unlock your flow, don’t be afraid to have structures. A set time to meditate. Time to stare into space. Time to journal. To masturbate. Time to roll around on the floor sobbing.

Because when you start to open that flow of energy stored in your pelvis you will feel A LOT. The power can be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid. Stay close to friends. Nurture yourself. And most of all … HAVE FUN!

We are deep in the collective process of healing through hundreds of years of collective trauma towards women, towards sexuality, towards, well, A LOT. We will not stay quiet, hating ourselves, being ashamed of being sexual, powerful beings. Let’s do this. TOGETHER.

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In Moon Club, our online mentoring program and growth accelerator for your Spirit and Business, you can get help finding your power and voice, and sharing it with the world.  Join our “New Moon Ritual Intentions Setting Journey” on April 15th with something to let go of! Last month people were loving it so much that we heard it was “orgasmic” and “completely life changing.” Attend your first New Moon Ritual for FREE by emailing [email protected]. We would love to have you!

HOW TO HEAR THE VOICE OF YOUR SOUL

Amidst all the external noise, how can you tell what’s coming from the “real” you? Samantha Moyo reveals how to hear the voice of your soul and open a direct channel to the messages that count …

“You are gold, GOLD! Always believe in your Soul. Youve got the power to know…” – Wise words from a 1970s Pop Guru.

Want more soulgasms?
Connecting with our soul means more confidence, clarity, intimacy, sensuality, creativity, sexual empowerment, passion, heartgasms, tribegasms, naturegasms and if you’re lucky, multiple-orgasm orgasms! Want more of that? Of course you do.

I’ve included a ritual below to help you call the voice of your Soul back in, plus all the ways I know when it’s my Soul speaking to me—and my hope is that you reach the end of this article with the realization that you don’t actually need me to tell you jack shit, since your Soul has all the answers you could ever need … 

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But first, I am because we are
My last name, Moyo, means Heart/Soul in a few different African languages. I grew up in Zimbabwe where life was a combination of breath-taking adventures, community celebrations and sunsets … and moments of what felt like hell. Poverty, Mugabe’s dictatorship, inflation, family drama, fuel shortages and AIDS spreading through families like wildfire.

In a climate like this, you learn very quickly about the importance of human spirit; rituals, tradition and ceremony that connect you to spirit are introduced to a child from day one. And with this comes an understanding of the word Soul, as well as the Ubuntu philosophy, which says: “I am because we are.”

Concepts of love, oneness, tribe, and generosity of spirit are infused in the blueprint of my people, to the point these are not even topics of conversation. When things simply are, they go unspoken. Like the sacred love you have for a beloved after 30 years of marriage.

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The unspoken, hidden truth
Some of my favorite childhood experiences were the times I’d spend with Grandpa in the garden. Hanging out with him meant sitting still, in silence, and staring at the plants and flowers. He’d sit there for hours and I’d challenge myself to sit with him for as long as possible. Little did I realize that Grandpa was teaching me to appreciate silence, nature, and the art of listening within. When we weren’t silent, he taught me African Proverbs.

In hindsight, all this time with Grandpa was teaching me to tune into my inner wisdom and read between the lines.

I remember from a young age understanding that we can see more than what others may see and we can see more than we share. That there seem to be unspoken truths to life that we all kept hidden away. Like the way my Soul could tell when an adult was lying about something to appease me, or knew that trying dangerous tricks on my bike and playing in the rain could get me ill (but still couldn’t stop me trying!)

The voice of my Soul in childhood was waaaaay less conservative than now. If my childish Soul could have her way, I’d escape the office daily to climb London’s scaffolding sites just for the fun for it!

Photo: Wilson, Namibia

A ritual to reclaim your soul
Before learning how to know when our Soul is speaking to us, there’s some prep we’ve all gotta do, which is to reclaim our connection with Soul and learn how to tune in easily!

(*And by the way, I still lose touch with my Soul daily—like when I find myself practicing mindlessness in the form of social media scrolling, grabbing a sandwich with ingredients I “shouldn’t” be eating, or daydreaming about having a sacred sexual awakening with Cara Delevingne and Danai Gurira).

Here’s how to start:

1// Place thy ass on the floor / a chair

2// Smile and feel into the heart. If this feels weird, just think of a heart-warming experience you’ve had

3// Use “boyband-reaching-up hand gestures” to bring your soul into your heart (repeat x 8)

4// Close your eyes and sit in silence for ***as long as it takes*** with your attention on your heart space. (“You can’t hurry love, no you just have to wait!” said another pop guru).

5// Only open your eyes when you have felt your essence, your soul, your spirit, your passion, your glow, your fire, any hint of aliveness that feels greater than the incessant chatter of the mind. This feeling might resemble a moment of excitement, intrigue, elation, or joyful curiosity.

6// Take MORE time if it’s required. Kindness, compassion, and gentleness, are the way to this connection

**Bonus step: Book an appointment with your “Soul Doctor”
Another way of reclaiming your soul connection is to prescribe yourself some Soul Medicine—meaning anything you can keep in your metaphorical tool kit for getting into your Soul space. Examples might be music, smelling essential oils, crystal bathing, nature walks, yoga, meditation, dancing, stroking your face. Anything that triggers the soft, raw, authentic You within you. Yes, you’ve got this! No health insurance required.

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

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But how do you know if it’s your Soul speaking to you?
We are all receiving internal messages and ideas all of the time, and it’s super important to distinguish what is Soul, what is ego, what is influence from the external world, and what is just plain old crap.

For example, feeling horny one night I texted my ex because I thought my Soul was telling me we needed to have break-up sex! Errr, yeah, this was not the Soul, it was pure horniness / ego.

The reason I could tell is because my ex laughed at me and had not had the same message from her Soul! What I was experiencing was loneliness and some vulnerability, and framing this as my Soul speaking to me gave me a romantic way out. #soulnotsoul

Here’s how to know it really IS the voice of your Soul …

1// There are no maybes. Ask yourself three times if it is your Soul. Close your eyes, place your hand on your heart and ask, “is this my Soul?” Then pause for an answer and repeat three times. The “yes” has to be clear and be a full body “yes.” A hint of doubt is “no.” “Maybe” is also “no.”

2// Messages from the Soul are loud and clear. When they are ignored they keep coming back to you. So that thing that won’t go away—yep, it’s your Soul calling.

In August I was meant to go to Burning Man to host a gig with Carl Cox and then spend a weekend at a gathering at Harvard Divinity School. Two very important things for my work life. Then a message came through to cancel both trips. I tried to ignore the message but it kept coming back to me. My body was experiencing the message in every cell and it was clear I had to cancel the US trip. Cancelling was the best thing I did in 2017, as I ended up going on an unforgettable trip through Africa. My Soul fucking knew!

3// Your Soul is in it for the long-haul. Your Soul is non-biased and gives messages for your long-term wellbeing, not necessarily short-term. The messages can be obscured and may not seem urgent, but listening will help you make choices in the present that will benefit you further along in your Soul journey. Your Soul is a Compass that is Connected with the frequency of everything else in existence. It therefore has the coordination/timing of when you are meant to do certain things—exactly in alignment with the rest of world, for everyone’s greatest good.

4// It’s not all “me, me, me!” Your Soul is pure love so sometimes a message has other people or the planet’s requirements to share with you. Hence soul-synched people are always sharing, spreading and uplifting others. You’ll know you’re listening when you find yourself acting this way too! When we’re working from a Soul space we tend to be driven by purpose, and pleasure comes from the joy of contributing positively to our world. Yes, you become a bit of an urban-hippy and no matter how much you hide it, you may find yourself being super compassionate, giving, loving, in flow, while coming up with ways to help the homeless.

5// You’re in an “unfuckwithable” space. When your Soul is speaking you are in an empowered, clear, confident, “unfuckwithable” space. This means your Soul may be telling you to say “no” more often, cut out the haters, and protect yourself. Your Soul is wild and strong and has no filter. Your Soul is loyal, direct, and loving, but doesn’t take your shit.

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

The relationship with your Soul will be the one that brings all your dreams to life. Listen even when it’s hard. Listen even when it’s not what your want to hear. Listen even when it’s takes you out of your comfort zone. Then pass the learned wisdom onto the next person.

Nothing I have said is rocket science, and you will develop your own ways of knowing when your Soul is speaking to you. This is the only true knowing or knowledge there is to attain in life. And you can’t google that shit!

**Want to jumpstart your Soul connection? Dive into Samantha’s digital course for Community Building and Entrepreneurship HERE

Samantha Moyo is a wellness inventor, speaker, and mentor best known for founding Morning Gloryville, the sober dance experience that changed the face of clubbing in the UK. With the ability to help anyone connect with their purpose, Sam works as a wellness consultant for those looking for playfulness, wisdom, strategy, or new networks. Follow her on Instagram and connect with her at [email protected]  

THE AQUARIUS WAXING QUARTER MOON WANTS YOU TO UNLEASH YOUR VISION

As we head towards the end of the year, the Aquarius Waxing Quarter Moon asks us to embrace our authenticity, be willing to take the radical lead, and get ready to unleash our vision, says Jennifer Racioppi

Art: Seana Gavin
 Waxing Quarter Moon :: October 27 2017 :: 6:22pm EST :: 4 degrees Aquarius 

As October quickly comes to a close, it’s time to plume the depths of your psyche and unleash your authenticity. The Waxing Quarter Moon in Aquarius challenges you to embrace this individuality and take the lead in your life!

Use this Waxing Quarter Moon to do the work to develop yourself as a leader. As leadership expert Warren Bennis points out, “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” Thankfully this lunar experience supports you to do just that!

This progressive Moon sign doesn’t get caught up in the convention. Preferring to go against the grain instead, Aquarius encourages rebellious action that has authentic resonance … 

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:: The Sun ::
As the Sun moves through Scorpio—a water sign fiercely devoted to the truth—psychological insights abound! Since the Sun and good luck Jupiter are traveling close together (conjoining on 10/26), it’s time to bet high on yourself.

Connect with your intuition, and allow yourself to express your truth. Go for what you want. In doing so, you permit others to do the same.

:: The Moon ::
The Aquarius Moon makes a positive trine to Mars in Libra. This activation of air, an element connected to thoughts, ideas, and communication, inspires creativity and intellect.

So tap into evolutionary and progressive thinking. Let yourself lead. Don’t be afraid to express your views and opinions.

:: The Square ::
This Waxing Quarter Moon also refers us back to the New Moon that happened at 8 degrees of Aquarius on January 27, 2017.

Think back to late January, and see if you can remember what you desired then. Can you see how you’ve grown since then? What are some challenges you are encountering now in bringing that dream and desire to fruition?

If you were to take radical action now on behalf of the goal you set in motion then, what would this look like? Based on how far you’ve already come this year, what does leadership look like for you now?

:: The Message ::  
This Waxing Quarter Moon encourages you to own your voice and power, and recommit to the vision you set out to accomplish in January of 2017.

With the year quickly coming to a close, evaluate your progress and then own your leadership role in your own life. You can get a lot done right now with the progressive Aquarius vibes pushing you forward.

Unleash your vision, activate your authenticity, and take the lead. Place a bet on you, and then win!

For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com. And to learn more about how to work with each Moon phase, check out Moon Club, our community of lunar-loving cosmic change makers! 

GO FIRST! 7 WAYS TO LEAP INTO FEARLESS VULNERABILITY

As Leo Season builds towards its fiery Eclipse finale, don’t wait another second to make an unapologetic leap into your power.  How?  Simply “Go first” says Mercedes Kiss … 

The author’s Leo season collage

You see those mid-summer waves rising high in the distance and crashing to the shore, tenaciously, without apology? That’s Leo energy standing tall, asking you to meet her height, to match her show-stopping power.

If we channel Leo energy into a real-life lady goddess running through the surf, she’d look strikingly similar to the muse for this article: 90s pro vollyball phenom Gabrielle Reece. Despite practicing this ethos for a long while, the actual term “Go First” was brought to my attention most recently by Reece in her interview on The Tim Ferriss podcast.

“Go First” is a mantra to offer kindness (courageously) by harnessing our power of vulnerability (fearlessly). 

Here are 7 ways to become lionesses of light, as we leap into fearless vulnerability and “Go First” …

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1// Smile because they’re there.
You see them coming from a block away … a person … walking their dog … towards you … on the same side of the street. The debate starts in your mind: Do I look away? Search my bag for a nonexistent chapstick?  Fake frantically typing a text?

If it were 3,000 years ago and you were in that exact same spot, chances are strong you’d be scavenging for berries or bugs, and the sight of another human would be HALLELUJAH-RAISE-YOUR-HANDS-TO-THE-SKY glorious!

Go first instead! While you certainly shouldn’t risk your safety and maniacally pounce on said dog walker, you should certainly honor your shared humanity with eye-contact and a genuine smile, simply because they’re there.

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2// Reach out and touch (somebody’s hand).
According to research led by Apple, Americans access their smartphones 80+ times per day. But our ability to PHYSICALLY connect is fundamental to our sanity. So listen to the wise words of Diana Ross and “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, and make this world a better place, if you can.”

Go first! At your next rooftop pool party, play a little game called “How Hard Can I Channel Miss Ross?” Stack on those sparkly bangles, slide into conversation like you’re on the Studio 54 dancefloor, and make your rounds. Reach your hand and yourself out there. Your moxie is what good parties are made of, and what people will remember.

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3// Be attracted.
Every morning we make a choice: put on the glasses with dark grey lenses that turn the world into a sad fog OR the glasses with rose-colored lenses that make the world look dayyyum fine (bonus points if they’re heart-shaped).

The latter turns us into love-machines: attracted to the spiraling Fibonacci pattern of a sunflower, the bursting-ripe tomatoes on a roadside stand, the sweat dripping down a frosty La Croix in the scorching sun, and certainly to the shy smirk of your cute waiter/waitress.

Go first! Whether you’re single (or not), extraverted (or not), share a heartfelt compliment by telling someone they have breathtaking eyes, wicked cool style, or a delightful aura. They will feel fantastic. You will feel fantastic. It’s a win-win-rocket to the karmic stratosphere!

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4// Boo boos and tattoos. 
Remember when you were born? Guess what you weren’t wearing?  Any makeup (much less clothing).  And everyone thought you were perfect. Then, somewhere along the journey, we discovered creams and colors to shield other people from seeing us. Honestly seeing us. Joys and triumphs and hellish heartbreaks- such are the things that a full life is made of. And they are often written on our skin.

Go first! Revel in the stories your body tells. Wear the bathing-suit glimpsing at that scar; sport the sandals showing off those nine toes.  Celebrate your patina in your own magical way.

Pick a day this week where you say into your mirror: “This is my face.  This is my gorgeous face.” Then honor your face with some SPF, leave the rest bare, and depart. If anyone at work has the gall to ask, “Where’s the mascara?,” you’re equipped with the most powerful, two-sentence response.

Kiss’ “face, her gorgeous face.”

5// Do I want to live in the arena?
In the words of Brené Brown, channeling Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech, “Dare greatly!”

This is no easy feat. We all feel the presence of critics in our lives- the loudest, of course, being our own internal judge. And we allow them the power to block us from our loftiest ambitions.  

Go first! See the critic as nothing more than a beefed-up bouncer standing outside of the disco dance arena of your dreams. He might seem big and scary, but he’s simply a veil of smoke between you and your hottest hustle.

Throw him a polite smile as you strut on past, because the arena awaits you! Who cares if you get messy while you’re in there; you’re living loud and proud and having too much fun to hear his nonsense.

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6// A lion-hearted love letter.
Often, our deepest and truest feelings are the hardest to utter face-to-face. If we let them slip through the safe grasp of our inner world and out into the air, they have to face being accepted or rejected by someone else.

But acceptance and rejection are bi-products beyond our control!  They shield us from granting our emotions full formation and clarity.  Our lion heart yearns for expression above all else, and it grows stronger not through validation, but by purely being set free.  

Go first!  Let the cat out of the bag and put your purrs to paper.  Write your truth in a lion-hearted love letter … let the pen roar without filter, suppression, or critique. It’s up to you, and not a measure of success, whether you sign, seal, and deliver this note to the object of your affection.

A Kiss collage

7// Pride #1 vs. Pride #2.
The lioness is queen of her kingdom- capable of tackling any Saharan obstacle with her singular strength. Yet she travels, hunts, and lives in prides. She knows that her greatest victories will be won with help from her fellow felines.

Go first! Ask for help. What are you struggling with at the moment (extra gold star if it’s something you thought you’d already mastered)?  Seek the guidance of friends and gurus (your Pride #1), stripped free of your armor (your Pride #2).

Vulnerability is often mistaken for weakness, but turn the tables and make it a catalyst for unleashing fiercer and fiercer layers of your self!

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Mercedes Kiss is a Boston-based designer, writer, and holistic health coach. After rocking her 20s as an architect of fancy buildings, she jumped tracks and became an architect of the soul. Follow her on Instagram and discover more about A STAND OUT, her sparkly biz devoted to serving a growing tribe of babes through high-vibe articles, personalized wellness coaching, and a line of hand-crafted organic skincare.  

7 WAYS TO HAVE AN (ACTUAL) MAGIC WORKOUT

Fitness becomes truly powerful when we also get our spiritual sweat on. Former NFL cheerleader turned conscious trainer Kayla Vernaglia shares her top tricks for how to have a magic workout …

Let’s get real. It seems like everywhere we look these days there’s an ad to get “beach body” ready or “slim down for summer.” It’s no wonder we’re all running for our tarot decks and tubs of vegan matcha ice cream … 

There certainly isn’t anything wrong with honoring your bod, taking a sexy ass photo, and flaunting what your momma gave ya! But beyond the physical vessel fitness is a FEELING, and that’s where the magic lies and the change happens. When meeting our physical wellness goals is challenging, it’s often because there’s a mental, spiritual, or emotional weight behind it.

Which might sound like some heavy sh*t if it’s hard enough to find time to go for a run or get your down dog on.

Below are some of my pro tips for getting your spiritually conscious sweat on, and bringing an extra layer to your magic workout … 

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:: 1/CREATE A WORKOUT ALTAR :: 
Clear the space and really set the intention! This is especially great for in-home workouts. If you’re using a mat, find sacred items that hold meaning to you and place them at the head or foot. Perhaps you line the mat with spell-infused candles or a freshly pulled tarot spread. Maybe you incorporate the four elements in some way.

Don’t have a mat to create the traditional vibe? Alternatives could include anything from practicing on a patch of grass or dirt in your backyard that calls to you, using your own body as a moving altar (with your outfit choices, for example), or mapping a route on your walk/run, starting North, and then hitting the other three magical directions.

You can make it as non-traditional or traditional as you’d like—it’s your space to connect to. Work with what you’ve got and if the intention is pure, you”ll always be able to harness the magic.

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:: 2/PRACTICE MIND CONTROL :: 
The mind is powerful AF. Truly, every choice we make, from the foods we eat to the words we say, start in the mind. If you are mid sweat and can’t stop thinking about how much you hate your thighs, well they’re probably not gonna respond with loving you back, sister. Flip the script and write a little love note to those puppies: “I love and appreciate my thighs for holding me up and keeping me strong.” Ah, doesn’t that just feel better?

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:: 3/LOVE UP ON YOURSELF :: 
Stay in your own lane and let go of comparisons. Whether you’re an avid fitness goer or a complete novice, you are right where you should be in your journey. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself some love for showing up and granting your soul the beautiful opportunity to move energy and connect to the core.

Words count for sure, but there are so many other magical ways to tell yourself yor’re worthy. Perhaps you put on your sauciest pair of skivvies and walk around all day like you’re carrying a sexy little secret, or wear sensual fabrics and colors that make you feel desirable. When was the last time you sent yourself flowers? Do it up and love yourself up cause you deserve it baby!

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:: 4/CHECK IN WITH YOUR “EARTH SUIT”:: 
We are different day to day, moment to moment—what might feel okay for you now might be different later. Have you ever had those days where you just feel sluggish or sad? Or maybe you feel really jazzed and inspired? Listen to those feelings and follow suit, literally. If something does not feel accessible for you, then modify or take that sacred pause. Modifying does not mean you’re doing less than, it means you’re honoring your body.

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:: 5/GET DIRTY :: 
Get outside and do your workout barefoot! There is something incredibly magical about placing your feet into the earth and really grounding into her energy. Whether it’s by the ocean, in a garden, or beyond, taking our sweat sesh outside is a wonderful way to remind us that we are connected to something greater. With that sense of security, it may just allow you to reach new sweat levels you never dreamed possible.

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:: 6/SWEAT WITH THE MOON :: 
Allow your workouts to follow the moon cycle. If the moon is waning, perhaps you go for a long run to help sweat out the toxins and release. If it’s waxing, you might work on strength building exercises such as lifting free weights to help connect to the idea of adding power to your life. If it’s summer and your workout lands around a Strawberry Full Moon, you may focus more on pelvic floor exercises for sexual liberation. Perhaps, it’s closer to the colder months, such as a Snow Moon, and you shift your focus to gentle stretching to enhance relaxation and yoke mind with body.

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:: 7/BREAK OUT THE TUTU :: 
Like for real … HAVE FUN! Working out doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. It might even be *GASP* enjoyable! If someone farts in yoga class, we’re all still gonna make it people. As adults, sometimes it’s like we need permission to play. Add the element of fun whenever you can—maybe mid gym sesh you pretend the floor is lava, or wear a tutu to yoga class. Get creative and release that little kid who just wants to experience the world through light and laughter.

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And always remember: you are a strong ass warrior queen. A Wonder Woman. Next time you lace up your sneakers or slip into your leotard (do people still wear those—please say yes!), harness the power of thought, try a few magic tricks, and allow self-love to transform you from the inside out. Now go get ’em (cue Rocky theme music)!

Kayla Vernaglia has always allowed her love of music, fashion, performance, and fun to infiltrate her active lifestyle. She is a former team captain and NFL cheerleader for The New England Patriots. In 2010, she teamed up with her sister to create The Mind Body Barre Method® – a multi-level workout emphasizing body awareness, functional fitness, and spiritual connection. ​Her mentorship program lovingly displays her passion for helping people embrace their inner wild, connect to their core, and push past societal bullshit to uncover their own deep sacred truths. She currently resides in Boston with her 10lb fur baby, Lucy. 

HOLY F*CK: WHY WOMEN TRIGGER EACH OTHER & HOW TO DEAL

From public shaming to private comparison—enough is enough, says Alexandra Roxo. It’s time to figure out why women trigger each other, stop throwing shade, and turn those triggers to gold …

Photo: Alexandra Herstik

As women, we have been taught to compare ourselves to others women from the day we were born …

We’ve been presented with images of people we’re supposed to look like, dress like, love like, and work like. We’ve talked shit about other women and not only has it been acceptable, it has gained us allies.

And then we reach a certain age where we hold the shit talk in, because it doesn’t make us look good … but the shit is still shit. And it stinks.

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WHEN JUST BEING IS BEING “TOO MUCH” 

I’ve been triggering people since I was young. I was 12 when people started calling me “Slut” and “Whore.” Though I hadn’t so much as seen a penis at that time, I was expressing as a feminine being, and people were pissed. I eventually saw that the way I expressed myself made people uncomfortable, and so I stopped eating, changed my hair, and did just about everything I could to attempt to deflect the hatred and jealousy of other women.

But as hard as I tried to squash down my power, it always leaked out. I’d piss someone off and they would tell me I was “too much” or call me “Slut” again. Thankfully, at age 33, I have had enough therapy, sat in enough plant medicine ceremonies, and done enough inner work in general to know that it’s safe to reclaim and express the power I attempted to shove down for so many years. But it’s always a work in progress.

As an adult, I’ve split with business partners and besties because of triggering behavior—and received death and gang rape threats because of the creative work I do.

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WHEN WE DO OUR WORK, NOTHING REMAINS UNSEEN 

But now, because I’m more aware of EVERY fiber of my energetic alignment, when something even just feels slightly off, I can tell.

When we develop our witchy and magical powers and do our own work, nothing remains unseen. And negative thoughts or jealousy towards another person creates a hook or cord. An energetic connection. Now, more than ever, I can tell when I am triggering other women, and they are triggering me.

I can see the look in their eyes when I’ve said something too bold or too big or too sexy or too powerful. I know when I don’t hear from them for a while and they aren’t speaking up, that I’ve triggered the part of them that wishes they could. I used to avoid those looks in people’s eyes. They hurt too much. But now I won’t sacrifice myself at the altar of someone else’s shit.

And I know when I’m triggered too. When the tall skinny blonde women in my life bring up my own body issues from the past. Ones I thought I was over (ish). It’s like being an alcoholic and walking into a bar. Why do it? But I can’t just get rid of the beautiful blondes in my life because they unknowingly trigger me! So I keep working through it … 

Photo: Alexandra Herstik, Dress: Forgotten Feather Vintage, Styling: Haley Francise

FROM PUBLIC SHAME TO PRIVATE COMPARISON  

As adult women most of us no longer publicly shame each other. Instead, we compare quietly behind closed doors. Remember when we had private eating disorders and hated our bodies? Anybody? Now many of us are all talking about that, thank Goddess! But we still aren’t talking about the fact that we’re quietly judging each other all the time …  

It’s a wild world out there ladies and I know that the endless sea of triggers is never gonna end. But we CAN own up to our triggers, speak honestly with one another, and start CLEANING UP OUR SHIT!  

Digging in to why women trigger each other and what we can do about it, here’s what I propose …

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DO honestly challenge yourself to come clean. Pretending will get you nowhere! Recently, I felt very triggered after hanging with a friend. At first I thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t hang with her!” But I challenged myself to come clean. The next time I saw her, I spoke directly: “I felt very challenged the last time I hung out with you. It triggered the part of me that thinks I must hustle to be successful. I know this is all mine and it was a beautiful and painful process for me.” She received my words and it was so loving, and there was nothing ANYONE did wrong. FUCK YEAH.

DON’T lash out and say “You trigger me! Every time you complain about your weight and you wear a size 2, I feel awful that I’m a size 6 and I want to kill you. Fuck you!”

DO take space. When you need to, step aside, take a moment, breathe. Journal. And come back to the situation when you are grounded and in a productive place rather than a REACTIVE one.

DON’T use excuses about taking space to avoid necessary confrontations. Ask yourself, “Am I just running?” While I’m definitely not suggesting that you contact everyone in your life who’s triggering you, notice when you can’t ignore that heavy feeling inside. Instead of ignoring that text, DM, or email, craft an honest reply.

DO start taking responsibility for throwing internet shade. If you’re sending jealous, envious, or angry vibes, sometimes to complete strangers, it’s time to come clean. If it’s a trigger you can confront, then DO that. But if it’s not, unfollow, block, and stop engaging. If Kim K triggers you and you keep thinking hateful things about her bod, then stop looking at photos of it. When we start to learn energy work and ritual, we must take responsibility for EVERY little bit of our energy that gets thrown around. Whatever you send—even unconsciously—is going to come back to you three-fold.

DON’T try and “fix.” As women we LOVE to sit and “fix” each other. When you share a trigger with someone, or someone shares one with you, let it hang loose and messy and bloody for a moment instead of trying to solve it and make it neat and pretty and clean. For example, after hearing the statement “I am triggered by the fact you have more followers than me,” just sit and hold that energy instead of suggesting your fave social media strategist and marketing plan and sending 10 helpful emails. Feel the feelings together about what was said. Holding the words and trying to fix are two different things.

DON’T throw out a good friendship just because the person triggered you a few times. In the past year, I’ve been in multiple situations with women where our friendships have ended because we haven’t chosen to just sit and talk and face the triggers together. Instead of giving it time and space and facing the dark depths together, we have both run for the hills!

DO look at the why. “Were they intentionally hurtful? Or is them being them just triggering for me?” If you find the fact your new friend can walk into any bar or yoga class and turn all the heads in the room incredibly triggering, look at the part of you that desperately wants to be seen. Instead of thinking about her—spend some time on YOU. Work on how you can begin to turn heads.

DON’T let it eat you alive. If we walk away from friendships, and block people on socials again and again because we are triggered, we are walking away from incredibly valuable lessons about ourselves. But if we stick it out without acknowledging the facts, it will become an elephant in the room that becomes cannibalistic and eats the friendships. Usually in an epic and mythical way that warrants trips to psychics and energy clearings to clean up the mess! We don’t want that either.

What we need, if we want to revolutionize this reality, is a new era where vulnerability and truth have real value. It starts with us.

Want to make sure you move towards your fullest expression and don’t get lost in a sea of triggers? Join me in Moon Club for powerful communion and mentorship. 

HOLY F*CK: WHY SHIBARI BONDAGE IS THE ULTIMATE SURRENDER

In search of the deepest act of spiritual surrender, Alexandra Roxo gets bound and discovers boundlessness with the ancient art of Shibari bondage …

Shibari (Japanese Rope Bondage) can be erotic, intimate, loving, sexy, quiet or raucous, meditative, artistic, insightful, transformative—all depending on the people engaged and how they both feel at the moment” – Victoria Blue

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I am always on the hunt to find ways to get free, to go wild, to let loose, and to go deeper into myself. Over the last 15 years, my search to explore the depths of my sexuality and spirituality has taken me everywhere from witch camp in the woods of Oregon, to working as a dancer in a truck stop strip club in New Mexico, to banging a drum at a Rainbow Gathering in West Virginia, to an orgasmic meditation circle where I had my clit stroked by an old Indian man … and SO many other places and practices.  

Drugs. Sex. Spirit. Art. It’s been a lifetime of exploration that started the first time my mom pulled Louise Hay off the bookshelf when I was 7, and the first time I kissed a boy, and girl, at 8 … 

So for an explorer of depths who hasn’t left many stones unturned, I am always seeking something new to try and am always ready with a big fat YES! 

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WOMEN TYING WOMEN 
My next yes fell straight into my lap after my dear friend Kyp Malone (who played the “urban shaman” in my web series “Be Here Nowish,” and whom I consider a Yoda of sorts), took me to a dinner party, introduced me to a woman in the corner named Victoria Blue, and said “You two should talk.”  

It all remained a mystery until months later. I was on the bus back home from 3 days of steeping and soaking in the magical Orr Hot Springs of Northern California and I suddenly thought to myself: I want to be tied up. This was especially random after spending 3 days in a tub reading a book about Jesus’ mystical life. But the words were clear and from my heart.

I’d been tied up by lovers before and engaged in a fair amount of BDSM in sex, but I knew there was something more here that I wanted and I began to investigate the ancient form of Japanese bondage called Shibari. Whereas other types of BDSM include performed dominance or submission, or the giving and receiving of pain as practice, Shibari is a fine art. Comparing a “50 Shades” rope scene with Shibari would be like comparing an IKEA rug with one from a Moroccan souk. 

Interestingly, when I googled “Shibari LA” and the first thing to pop up was a workshop called “Women Tying Women” with none other than Kyp’s friend Victoria as teacher! The next day, the magic continued when I walked into my 5Rhythms class and a cute woman ran up to me, handed me a card, and said  “Come to ‘Women Tying Women!’ My friend Victoria Blue is teaching!“ “She has one private session left. Do you want it?’ 

FULL. BODY. YES! 

Victoria in a state of calm, suspended surrender

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GOING OFF LEASH 
So why did these words spring from my soul and why did I even want to be tied? Perhaps there is some past life witch healing there. But really, I think it’s because I crave deep surrender. And I crave deep catharsis.  And I long to become art as often as possible … 

How many places in your life can you TRULY surrender in? By surrender, I mean LOSE YOUR MIND. Let go of the reins. My friend Andi calls it “going off leash.” When you go “off leash” you slip into an altered state of ecstasy and sometimes agony and the mind goes quiet. Void.

Mind-blowing, expansive sex is a place one can find surrender. Meditation can be. Some good old fashioned tequila and a night of all night dancing with some MDMA licked from a tiny plastic bag in a Brooklyn bathroom worked in my late 20s. Plant medicine ceremonies too. Dance can be ecstatic and deep. But being tied up seemed like a depth of surrender and catharsis that my soul needed now.

Even though I’d been “off leash” many times, I was still nervous before going to see Victoria. Because not only was I going to be tied, I would also be suspended. Not like suspended from school—like suspended from the ceiling off a rope. Yes, this may conjure some morbid images of hanging corpses, but I thought of it like making myself into an ornate chandelier hanging as a centerpiece.

I told Victoria I wanted to be tied in a pose of expansion—heart opening, if possible. She quietly blindfolded me … 

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BOUND & BOUNDLESS 
I closed my eyes and Victoria began to play a German instrumental album that was integral to my sexual awakening in my early 20s. Out of all the music in the world she chose the goth band that the first person who ever tied me up used to play, and whom I had learned some of the most beautiful and fun things about sex at the age of 23. This moment of kismet softened my heart like butter, and as she tied me I felt myself starting to relax after being reminded of the divinity present.  

She bound me tight, hands up and open, back arched up, heart to the sky, one leg extended, and one folded. I let the ropes hold me. They were tight. Not soft and sweet. I began to turn into pliable flesh with no other option but letting go. I was like an infant. Helpless. Paralyzed almost. But the more and more I was tied, the more and more relaxed I felt. Like someone was caring for my soul.  

Then she hoisted me up and I lay back, being held only by this rope around my waist, floating in the air. The whole of my weight resting on one piece of rope. Completely bound. Angelic even. And that’s when the full surrender and deep catharsis began … 

Tears streamed down. Then they broke into deep, deep sobs from some place inside me that I had never met before. And moans of pain mixed with joy. Of release. Of heartache and heartbreak. I hung there. The pain escalated until the discomfort quieted the mind in the most nurturing way. The only thing possible to do was breathe.

I sobbed and breathed until I reached that edge that I have loved to flirt with for so many years. I whispered to her: “I’m at my limit” with tears streaming down my face and my chest. And then, ever so gently, Victoria pulled me down. She stroked my head and told me that I stayed up there a very long time and that I was very strong. As she pulled the ropes off me, my body felt lighter and freer than it had in ages. I felt my consciousness move into every cell. I could breathe into corners where breath hadn’t touched. I felt alive.

Victoria and @sophiashibari

Discover more about Victoria’s private sessions and group classes HERE, and join she and I this October for a two day overnight retreat in Topanga that will bring together Shibari, Shadow Work, Storytelling, and Sexual Healing. If you’re interested in this deep work, add your name HERE and we’ll send out applications and full retreat info in a few weeks. 

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.

KARMIC PORTAL: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 10/10

The numerology of 10/10 brings a double dose of good karma—if we are brave enough to use it, says Felicia BenderArtwork: Eandaru Kusumaatmaja

In Numerology, the number 10 is a Karmic number.

Yet while the other Karmic numbers (13, 14, 16, and 19) indicate that there is a debt to be paid, the Karmic number 10 offers something different.

This number actually offers a burst of “good” karma.

And with a double dose of this energy available to us on 10/10, comes a fabulous opportunity to do some work around completing certain things in your life that need closure. To be kaput. Done. Finito.

As such, the numerology of 10/10 offers us a portal for rebirth. For here is an opportunity to identify and act upon our sense of individuality and assert our independence in a healthy and dynamic way. It is challenging us to step into our authentic and unique gifts.

For with the numerology of 10/10, we’re also offered an energetic opening that links with the valuable energies of the number 1—which are leadership, independence, individuality, creativity, and a pioneering spirit.

And so, if we are willing and ready, here is an invitation to take action to finish what is DONE in our lives, and then turn our focus and our talents to new beginnings.

This said, the numerology of 10/10 will take considerable courage and initiation for optimal results.

And as if it weren’t powerful enough on its own, this year 10/10 is happening in the number 9 Universal Year (2016 is a 9 Universal Year). So this day offers some added punch—IF you’re ready to surrender, and to let go of what is no longer serving you and opening yourself to making room to change to enter your life.

The Universal energy of the 9 has been plying all of us all year long with intense energies related to change, transformation, and letting go.

And, now that we’re readying for 2017—a 1 Universal Year—this collision of the 9 and the date 10/10 becomes super-powered.

Don’t miss out on setting the stage for stepping into the next big thing in your life.

:: TACTICS TO MAXIMIZE THE NUMEROLOGY OF 10/10 ::

Rethink your own thinking. Can you step back and see the ways in which you have perhaps been living with an outdated operating system? Working within limited beliefs and worn out memories that continue to hold you hostage in an unfulfilling or off-track life?

No more excuses. This one is self-explanatory. It’s time to take responsibility for where you find yourself right now—the good, bad, and the ugly. Step into where you are and make a plan for the change you want to see, whether it’s one small step or a monumental shift.

Lighten up. All of this change, transitional and momentum can feel unsettling and can tip into overwhelm, and a feeling of being heavy and “too much.” If this is the case, try to shift perspective and pace yourself. Find humor when you least expect it.

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO FIND YOUR EDGE

Only in the places of discomfort can we experience true healing, says Alexandra Roxo. PLUS 5 ways to find your edge…

Goddess power earrings by Marcia Vidal. Non toxic lipstick by Ilia Beauty.

“There must be something deeply disturbed about a person who wants to be flogged or spit on.” As my friend said this I nearly spit out my kombucha. It was a sunny day and we were sitting on a blanket in the Bay area, having some girl talk, munching on goji berries, having just completed two nights of plant medicine ceremony together.

I started to feel sweaty and hot which means my deep soul was having a freakout. I put my cup down, took a deep breath summoning massive courage and said: “I disagree. It can also be about a person wanting to push their edges. It can be a game, power play, fun, and a vehicle for catharsis. Something beyond the human polarities of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Just as enlightening as any other medicine that pushes you to your edge and into a place of expansion.”

Let’s be real, in a lot of spiritual circles we tend towards the light and white, the higher chakras, high vibes…And well, usually as far away as possible from the dark, scary underbelly of things. Be it talking about BDSM or deep wounds, many of us shy away. After all, IG posts that are dark/revealing and heavy, usually get a lot less likes than the ones that are bright and all “I’m floating up here with my Spirit team!”

Well I say…Fuck. That. In the past few years I’ve found the scary bits—the “nevers,” the edges, the parts that make my heart beat fast—to be possibly my biggest teachers. Lately I’ve been wanting to talk about them more and more among circles of women whose faces might go white as an angel’s wing if I said something about squirting being transcendental. But ladies, the time has come! (And yes squirting, and even fisting, can be transcendental. But more on that another time. Or just DM me, lol.)

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You know those friends who push you to your edge? Usher you out of your cozy wozy comfort zone full of sheepskin rugs and Palo Santo, into a scary dark place you cannot control and force you to pull down your “Everything’s okay!” mask? I LOVE those friends. In the moment, I hate them for “making” me hitchhike with a creepy Mexican man on a beach in Oaxaca into the jungle.

Or for saying: “I saved you a spot on the three-day plant medicine retreat where we’ll be fasting and sleeping under the stars. Bring a poop bucket!” Or for calling me out on my shit. HATE THAT. But I really LOVE it. Thank Goddess for the friends that help you to your edge.

I recently signed up for an online course called a “Relationship Detox” with Perri Gorman. On Perri’s intake form you get to say to what level you want to be pushed. I checked off “HOT ORANGE” or something. Basically as hot as possible. (#overachiever!) So in class the other day, when I had to say what conclusions I had come to after making a relationship chronology, and I started rambling, “Well, we were dating and he said some really mean things but you see I’ve been meditating and doing a lot of WORK on this for months. Many healers. I really feel great about it now!” She stopped me mid-sentence.

“No you don’t. Pull off your mask, get in your pussy and tell me the story again!” I was taken aback but I knew immediately what she meant. I breathed through my mask, told the story again, deeply rooted into my truth, shared all the embarrassing parts, tears running down my cheeks, feeling such a huge catharsis: the feeling of being grounded deeply into my body. And then Perri told me: “Ultimate kindness is to risk saying something the ego may detest but that the soul is craving.” Which a wonderful teacher like that can make happen.

So forget smiling pleasantly with a namaste! Let’s get messy together. Hold space for each other to WAIL. Ask real questions to women who have birthed many babies. Talk about fucking. Sob until snot is running into our mouths. Have multiple orgasms that make us scream uncontrollably and then weep in a puddle of our own fluid. Not be afraid to pull down our masks.

“Thank Goddess for friends who call you out on your shit!”

Be it a paddling to the ass, or a projectile purge into a bucket in a room full of people or simply allowing yourself to feel anger, it’s only at the edge that we’ll find the collective catharsis we are looking for—a massive reconnection into the present of our bodies. And especially into our pussies. Into the force which creates life. Pushing us past our edges into a new land, the land of growth.

I try to push an edge every day. Last week I drove for an hour while still on mushrooms. A few days ago I admitted to a room full of people choking through sobs my deepest darkest shadows in love and relationships. I kissed a snake on the lips a few weeks ago. Just finished 40 days of chanting to Kali. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

:: 5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR EDGE ::

1. Make a list of all the things that make you uncomfortable, or that you said you would never do or say or be or admit. This could be getting naked in front of someone. Crying in front of someone. Admitting to yourself your heart is closed off and you need help. Going on a vision quest. Camping alone. Now get to know that list. Put it on your altar. Start to allow it into your consciousness.

2. Break it into steps. Maybe it’s opening a Tinder account and asking someone out. Or spending time alone. Maybe it’s working out in a sports bra instead of a t-shirt. Signing up for a primal screaming course. A tantric sexual healer. Not exercising for a few days. Everyone’s edge is different! Start small and BREATHE through it. If it’s not making your heart beat fast, then it’s not an edge.

3. Ask for help. I could not have done this alone. Find a friend who helps you find your edge. Or a coach. A teacher. A witness. Someone to keep you accountable and help you and hold you when you cry.

4. When it starts getting tough do not abandon ship! There is a point in the work where we wanna say “Okay cool! I think I’ve got this and I’m gonna take a break.” Don’t do it! Push yourself just a little more. When you make it over that hump it is going to be glorious I tell you!!!

5. When in doubt go back to your pussy and breathe into your roots. Dance alone naked. Shake it off. Keep going. Cry through it. Do not give up. Umm, yeah, Earth hasn’t given up on us though we’ve pillaged her. Our bodies keep going after disease and childbirth and self-hatred and eating disorders. We owe it to ourselves and to the grandma’s that came before us to not give up and get too comfortable.

And P.S. Remember your edge is your own. Do not compare to the friend who did ayahuasca 366 times in Peru. Do not worry about your friend who saw Jesus when she was cumming. Your journey is about YOU. And in your dark personal corners, you could find something so magnificent…you really have NO idea!

If you wanna go deep and investigate your patterns with love, sex and relationships, join us for The Numinous: Re-write your Love Story Retreat July 15-17th in upstate New York! We’re offering an early bird special while Venus is in Gemini of $50 off EACH if you bring a friend (#healinghangdate time!)