HOLY F*CK: IS MODERN DATING ALL ABOUT SECOND BEST?

Is second best enough when it comes to modern dating? Alexandra Roxo breaks her six-month self-love and celibacy regime to find out…

Over sushi last Friday with my friend Kristina, she suggested that perhaps it was time for me to dip a toe back in the dating game. I’d taken a six month break from sex and dating in the name of self-love and self growth, and, Jesus, that felt like long enough. But as Kristina recounted her latest dating exploits, I wanted to run for the hills—a.k.a. bury myself back in Doreen Virtue videos in my muumuu, with nothing but some Coconut Bliss in bed with me!

Okay, so maybe dating isn’t all that bad. I have a handful of friends that have found their “life partners” in the past year. Hopelessly in love. Soul mate status. One couple met on Tinder. One at Burning Man. Two other friends who just passed a decade met their loves out with friends, and just felt instantly “at home.” And these couples keep me full of hope.

But the rest of us perhaps fall into two categories:

-Those of us in a string of casual romances, engaging with people that seem exciting but just aren’t available or right.

-Or those of us sitting it out and waiting/minding our own business (a.k.a. dancing and having fun and meditating and sometimes feeling bored and starved of love).

So what’s best while searching for true love? Keeping on dating people who don’t seem “in it to win to it” (i.e. are always busy, “wanna keep it chill” and “low pressure with no commitment” blah blah) Or waiting it out? I feel like the easiest thing when it comes to modern day dating and sex is to accept what’s there: perhaps someone hot and fun who meets some of our needs, but not all. Especially since: “You can’t have it all.” Right?

Last week in our first Holy F*ck salon I heard a lot of this. Women accepting half loves. Or a morsel of connection. Or a lot of drunk sex with regretful mornings but fun nights. I’ve talked to friends too who are torn about this. We ponder “Should I go on casual dates? Spend that time on dating apps? Is it worth it if you know your heart’s not in it and neither is theirs?”

I’d been a serial monogamist for ten whole years, and last year upon being single and freshly in Los Angeles I found myself busy but not really satisfied. There was the hot writer who was in a failing open relationship (a.k.a. still in love with someone) but who would stare into my eyes with such passion when we had sex and orgasmed in tandem, and put cinnamon in my coffee.

Then there was the high school teacher who wanted to be called “Daddy” in bed and didn’t tell me he was engaged until date four. The friend of six years who professed his love and then confessed he had a new girlfriend. The Hollywood director who wined and dined me and wrote a part based on my life in his T.V. show, and then mentioned casually on date three he was in an open relationship of two years after ordering me an Uber town car home.

Not forgetting the famous musician who told me he wanted to meet my mom and refused to wear condoms, and who my friend saw on a dating app the next day. All. Unavailable. (And three out of five of these men meditate daily and do plant medicine or Buddhist retreats btw!)

There were women too. And at least they were more forthcoming and told me on date two they were just in it for fun casual vibes or what not. But overall it was a lot of kiiiiinda fun things that didn’t add up to one great thing.

So when I met someone earlier this year mid dating cleanse, who seemed amazing and into me, but who was also in an open relationship, I was like “Nope! I wanna be someone’s number 1!” I’ve had plentya number 2 status in the last year, and I honestly don’t know how I got demoted. So I also said: “Let’s be friends.”

But yes, I’m currently back to dating. And there I am, naked in a bed in a state of post orgasmic bliss, that cool Los Angeles breeze sweeping through the room, after a day having my feet massaged by the very same previously mentioned person. Because after six months of celibacy, I’ve somehow I’ve managed to I convince myself I can adjust my needs and be more progressive—a.k.a. share my lover with his two to three other lovers.

And then he stepped away to take a call. The primary partner of five years. Oh yeah…right. The magic spell lifted and I was reminded of the bigger picture. I was not Queen Bee.

This Rumi quote has echoed in my ears for over a decade: “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

And I’ve decided this is true, for me. And that it applies to EVERYTHING. Not just love, but work. Friendships. Sometimes something is so close, but just not 100% right. And if you say yes to it anyway, you’re telling your self that you will always settle for less. Worse, in lowering your standards, you could also miss that the thing you really want because now you’re vibrating at a half mast frequency.

As my new friend Andi reminded me on the beach last week: “If it’s not a hell YES it’s a NO!”

When you’re hungry for something, sometimes it’s hard to resist whatever comes along that’s almost what you want. It’s like you know that it’s not quite going to satisfy you, but you eat it anyway—then wish you’d waited for what you really want. And yes, sometimes healthy compromise is key—and only YOU can decipher where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Since my recent experience of making a commitment to loving my SELF, I’ve also found myself inspired and in love with art, nature, friends, my work, all of it. As I was up late the other night, deep in celebration of this, I found this quote by Bjork, whom I’ve loved since I was 18:

“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”

I hope whether single or attached you can commit to finding your own inner orgy—and I believe that from this place it’s impossible to accept half loves, or half jobs, or half friends. You just smile and wink and mosey along if it doesn’t feel right. And by holding space for the most magnificent YOU, all the other stuff will just begin to filter in.

Alexandra offers one on one mentorship and coaching and her Holy F*ck group salon, which was just featured in Amuse/i-d Magazine. The next session of the Holy F*ck salon will begin September 6th for 6 weeks of chatting/deconstructing/and tuning in around love, sex and spirituality. Sign up here!

COMFORTABLY NUMB: JUST SAY NO TO PEOPLE-PLEASING

Used to numbing out her own needs by being hyper-helpful, Kate Atkinson has been learning how to just say “NO” to people-pleasing…

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski

People have asked a couple of things of me this month. You know, the usual friend favors. It happens daily right? Do you think you could walk my dog? Can I borrow some cash until the end of the month? Hey, would you mind checking over my resume? I’ve done it myself plenty of times, and given these small acts of good will in return. Natural right? Favors and back-scratching are a part of life…except that recently, I haven’t felt so accommodating.

In fact, there have been a few requests in lately where I’ve felt like saying: “do you know what actually—no.” Except that I won’t. Instead, I will let the emails fester in my inbox until they’ve burned a hole in my psyche, turning them over and over in my head until I think I am going to explode.

That’s right, I’m a “yes” wo(man). As in, I really don’t know how to say “no.” Like a narcotic, I get high on my own hyper-helpfulness—every email a ping of serotonin: “I got this.” Except that running on a treadmill of responsiveness has become exhausting, and these days I don’t know who I’m running the race for.

My “yes” complex has also proven to be a useful numbing strategy, when I’ve got sucked so far down the vortex of helping and fixing I fail to see things as they really are—acting so quickly to keep others happy that my own, likely un-met, needs become irrelevant. There’s an old adage that resentment is like letting someone live rent free in your head. And if that’s the case, I’ve been letting out an entire Brooklyn apartment block to a bunch of freaks.

In my research about how to get better at saying “no,” here’s my number one discovery—the modern way of affirming negative goes something like this: say nothing at all. Repeat.

In this always-connected age, the pretend-I-just-didn’t-get-the-memo is what comes out trumps. Ignore it, and hopefully it will disappear. But what’s it doing to us, this radio silence? And like, why can’t we just be fucking honest with each other? What I want to know is, when was the last time you said “no” to someone, guilt free?

Try it:

“No, I am not coming to that dinner because I think the people are extremely shallow and self absorbed.”

“No, I won’t head over when your boyfriend’s out of town because you didn’t answer my call when I needed you.”

“No, I won’t work for you for free because actually—what the blimmin’ heck have you done for me lately?”

Feels great right?

This is because, as Melodie Beattie writes in The Language of Letting Go: “When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean…(and) we don’t have to offer long explanations for our decisions.”

Rewind to a me watching a talk by the inimitable Marina Abramovic. The outspoken Russian and her pal Laurie Anderson both had a fair bit to say about living vs dying, and both were riffing on codes to live by…how we are to get the most out of our lives in the limited time that we have on earth.

The theme that came through loud and strong was the importance of marching to the beat of one’s own drum. To cut it with the people-pleasing, and find your own voice. Because, to put it simply: YOLO.

Words that have sunk in, this past month, to a backdrop of several people in my circle suddenly dropping like flies. No morbid details, rather to say that sometimes, suddenly, you are served a brutal reminder that our days in this life are limited.

So how can we stop people-pleasing, and spend our precious hours crafting a life we want?
By getting comfortable that you’re going to miss out. By getting down with the fact that it’s okay to not show up when people “need” you sometimes. By realizing that you only get one life, and that while friends and intimacy are important, not for one second are you here to live your life for someone else. By realizing that while some people might bitch you out, your real mates are going to stick around.

N-O. Say it. Say it louder! Time to stop pepping with the yes pills. And settle into the headspace that comes from realizing that less can most definitely be more.

DREAMS BECOME REAL: READING FOR THE TAURUS NEW MOON

The Taurus New Moon is an invitation to claim what’s rightfully yours – one small step at a time, says Hannah Ariel. PLUS a channelled message from the Angelic realms by Jackie O’Shea

“If you stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

It may take a substantial amount of time, but when a Taurus finally sets their mind to manifest a particular ambition; move over. Taurus, like a bull seeing red, does not let anything stand in its way. It knows its worth always, and hardly takes no for an answer. Sure, we can use the word “stubborn” to describe Taurus energy–but truth is, without Taurus, NOTHING would happen in our lives.

That’s right. Taurus is our innate capacity for pure PRODUCTIVITY; a persevering force of nature. It is the second sign of the zodiac after Aries—and Aries, though it has the power to act as a fierce spark of inspiration, cannot sustain itself. Taurus keeps life going, keeps it growing. As the fixed Earth sign, it sets things into place for the whole zodiac wheel to turn, for the whole year to come.

With a Taurus New Moon, we are put in touch with what we feel MUST happen next to sustain and improve on what has begun. Manifestation becomes a mission. This Taurus New Moon wants us to secure something we’ve recently found is VITAL to our unique existence. May it be our home, a relationship, a job, our source of income, or our health, everyone has something they value right now that needs special attention.

And it’s something tangible. Something specific. Taurus deals in real life. Not in your mind, not in your imagination, not in reverie—and on May 6th, this Taurus New Moon wants you to be here, now, with two feet on the ground, physically activating your energy and your emotions to empower true fulfillment on the earthly plane.

Fertile as ever, the Taurus New Moon also plays into a GRAND EARTH TRINE—which happens when three planets in the same element (in this case, Earth) form a triangle, feed into one another with ease. And you can imagine a grand Earth trine like a raw crystal quartz; you receive what you put into it—as if your intentions have an opportunity to focus, structure, transmute and transmit into a bigger picture.

Your subconscious craving for the stability (Pluto in Capricorn) you know (Sun in Taurus) you need (Moon in Taurus) is at work, in order to keep expanding your life’s story down to the last detail (Jupiter in Virgo goes direct May 9th everybody!!) Beyond Mercury in retrograde, beyond the mind’s doubts, things ARE moving, life IS happening.

Want to move what feels like a mountain? Here’s the trick; keep it simple this cycle. Ruled by Venus, part of Taurus’s relentless drive comes from the need to feel complete satisfaction. So take a moment, take stock. What is the one thing that you feel needs major “improvement” since 2012 (the last time we’ve seen major focus on Taurus energy)? The one thing you feel you’ve been disappointed with over and over again, the one thing you can’t seem to ever “get right,” that always appears to be needing your attention and, well, perhaps a shift in perspective (Mercury is retrograde after all, also in Taurus) Got it? This is the key to where to start moving, doing, putting in the work.

While of course we have the power to magnetically attract what we know we need in our heart of hearts, it is through our own efforts that we can really claim something that is “ours.” So no matter how basic the steps; carry them out, one by one, until you get a result in real life. A Taurus New Moon reminds us it’s okay to uphold a materialistic outlook at times—and this is one of those times. There are material gains to be made this cycle. You are on a mission to manifest something to your own satisfaction.

And speaking of “retrograde”—don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t act right now, either. Yes, we have five planets appearing in retrograde motion. In fact, having both inner planets (Mercury and Mars) and outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) in retrograde is like TIME TRAVEL! As such, we are finding ways to gain back a part of our lives we may have lost our grip on.

We are finding answers to what may have de-stabilized us over the years. We are creating tactics, new plans of action based on what has yet to work for our future growth. ALSO because so much of this energy is rooted in the past, we are at an advantage. It appears we are getting a chance to secure something, fix something we may have thought we lost only to find it here again, staring us in the face, ready to be reclaimed and put back into place.

We all have Taurus somewhere in our chart—we all have a part of us that takes time to cultivate, through careful intention, year after year. Taurus trusts, quietly and patiently, that all things of beauty take their time to unfold—that every beautiful garden begins with a tiny seed. This is the part of us that puts its faith in the natural world, into all that can be grasped by the five senses, and understands that even just one strong step in the right direction is more valuable than one hundred in wayward motion.

As such, this Taurus New Moon deals with our ability to take charge of opportunities that have presented themselves to you over the years, perhaps time and time again, that you have yet to bring into fruition.

Look to the days leading up to the Taurus New Moon for clues to your manifestation game; how you actually feel about your capacity to manifest and get what you need. Neptune in Pisces made an aspect to the Sun in Taurus on May 1st, reminding that you have to believe in your own success story to see it come true. On the 3rd, the Sun in Taurus made a trine to Jupiter in Virgo reminding us that a dose of positivity goes a long way.

Above all, remember that Taurus is a self-sufficient energy—it is up to YOU to work up the determination and confidence to continue to work to get what belongs to you. It can be the smallest thing that has gone unnoticed all these years, and which this retrograde has brought right back into focus for you to get it right once and for all. Remind yourself that you know how to move mountains, one simple measure of action at a time.

Book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel: [email protected]

:: CHANNELLED MESSAGE FOR THE TAURUS NEW MOON by Jackie O’Shea ::  

There is an infinite supply of abundance for you to partake in, there is never a need to fear lack. Only when you perceive obstacles and barriers as blessings in disguise will you begin to acknowledge the full bounty of your life here on Earth. Each struggle is only arising for you to grow in appreciation and desire for that which you don’t currently have, making it sweeter when you do find yourself in moments of gratitude for that which is bestowed upon you in this lifetime. 
 
You are infinite consciousness embodied in human form. Never doubt the significance of your own human incarnation. You are abundant beyond worlds of possibilities. There is nothing that could hold you back from learning your lessons with grace through the cycles of time and embodying all that you are in every moment of this waking human incarnation.
Never doubt or lose faith in the presence of your angels, your team of supporters, who are with you always. They will always respond when called to assist with your every need. All they need to interfere with the path you have chosen to live at any given moment is your permission.
 
There is no need to worry dear one, all is complete and holy and good. There is no need to fear the next part of the story. All is divinely laid out out and written by one hand, the hand of God, of higher consciousness, of infinite potential. 

SOBER CURIOUS: GET HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY

Join The Numinous & Guided By Biet for SOBER CURIOUS, a social experiment to discover what it means to get high on your own supply…

 

“Numbing vulnerability also dulls our experience of love, joy, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotion. Numb the dark and you numb the light” – Brene Brown

There’s a reason sobriety is in, and it’s because it feels amazing. Blissful, even. Within days of alcohol leaving your system, you become aware of how much more at peace you feel in your body. A little longer, and you’ll notice how even a friendly text sends a tingle of physical pleasure along your limbs. Give it a few weeks, and you may find yourself breaking into spontaneous laughter at the sheer ecstasy of being alive.

This is what it feels like to get high on your own supply. But modern drinking culture makes it easier, often way too easy, to choose booze as our go-to method for feeling good (by simply numbing the “bad”). The price? We’ve all been there.

And so SOBER CURIOUS is a social experiment from The Numinous and Guided By Biet – a new space for the sober curious to investigate just how good life can get when we re-frame our relationship with alcohol. Far from “boring” (an accusation they love to levy against non-drinkers), what if choosing sobriety meant being “high” all the time?

This might not mean total abstinence from alcohol, either. The power of positive drinking can be a beautiful thing. A sacrament, even. But an occasional cocktail to celebrate life can also be a slippery slope into the kind of habitual drinking that becomes a substitute for sustained, self-generated joy; that dulls our awareness; that only exacerbates feelings of anxiety and emptiness; and that ultimately separates us from a true sense of self.

A proposed series of meet-ups, talks, workshops, and other events, SOBER CURIOUS could be for you if:

– You drink to feel good, but it often leaves you feeling worse (and it helps to talk about it)

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of your social life

– You want to drink less, but think this will mean the end of DATING

– You want to cultivate a healthier relationship with booze

– You want to attend high-end, high-vibe events where alcohol is off the menu

– You love how good life feels when you don’t drink, and want to connect with other people who’ve discovered this too

– You want to experience getting crazy high on your own supply

Sign up for the Numinous newsletter to see how the conversation unfolds.

And a caveat: SOBER CURIOUS is NOT an addiction recovery program – although it may be a stepping stone to AA for some people. If you think you might need a higher level of support to address a drinking problem that’s negatively impacting your life, or in dealing with any underlying emotional issues that may be part of this, we also have the resources to connect you with people who can help.

DREAMS BECOME REAL: A READING FOR THE VIRGO FULL MOON

The February 22 Virgo Full Moon is our annual opportunity to ground our wildest dreams into our everyday reality, says Hannah Ariel.

“When you are far away from reality, your fantasy won’t work.” – Yogi Bhajan

February 22 there will be a Virgo Full Moon, a sign that is exacting in its every endeavor. Virgo energy works out of necessity. This mercurial sign is the very fabric of our reality; Virgo does exactly what makes the most sense based on the current circumstance – and yet, acknowledging that circumstances are always changing, can change its mind accordingly to fit each twist in the tale with masterful perfectionism.

A Virgo Full Moon is precious in its ability to clue us right into the heart of the matter. It reveals what works to make our lives a better experience while clearly showing us also, what is obviously not working. Keeping an ever so discerning eye on the lookout for where an adjustment is needed, with the ability to point out any singular detail that may be otherwise overlooked, Virgo can be our BEST FRIEND when it comes to manifesting.

Opposite to the moon, the Sun will have just entered Pisces where we can also easily experience the fluidity of our imagination and tune into higher realms of consciousness. This in turn can inspire us to follow our intuition as we take action to adapt to all that is changing in our lives. When it comes to actually manifesting anything of lasting value, once a year we tap into the most formidable tool in our cosmic toolbox – the VIRGO/PISCES axis – an inspired balancing act between the mystical and the material.

While Pisces can foresee and imagine all possible outcomes, Virgo takes direct action, focusing on what can be clearly understood in plain daylight, here and now. Together they are masterful co-creators of an ideal reality. One cannot exist without the other. This week, find how they can come together in synergy. Create your own divine intervention in one form or another. Fine-tune the details of your reality, your relationships, to work with our most outrageous visions.

Coming off a brilliant New Moon in Aquarius, this Virgo Full Moon will bring us down to earth, deepen our integrity, help us take practical step-by-step measures to keep us committed to making changes we may have been inspired to embark on during the past two weeks, strengthening a realistic resolve inside of us.

Virgo in its full capacity knows well that no matter how cosmic your vision, no matter how revolutionary your realization, or how noble your intention; it amounts to nothing without both feet on the ground, managing the details, managing the outcome. This week we will be shown how things can really come together for us in our everyday lives.

So much of this is about simply adjusting what we do and with whom we do it. Every circumstance that has outstayed its welcome will complete itself now. Every circumstance that needs to be salvaged will begin to be fixed. You will know which is which because at this time, our intuition will express itself as simple common sense. We find what FEELS out of alignment and we have a golden opportunity to get CONSTRUCTIVE about it. Also be mindful that this Virgo Full Moon means we will feel every nook and cranny of our current reality.

We will be pulled into our bodies. Our nervous systems will speak to us clearly. We will receive acute signals that have the power to change everything. Pay attention to ALL your interactions and all your experiences this week, and listen to how they make you feel. This will be as simple as noticing what is really happening and what really needs changing – for good, for the future’s sake.

Though the moon has moved on, Mercury and Venus will be lingering just a few degrees from one another in Aquarius, still coordinating the futuristic intentions of the last New Moon. This adds to a cosmic scene that’s allowing us to experience unmistakable lucidity. It will suddenly be obvious how things can and will come together at this Virgo Full Moon, if we stay rooted in reality.

So keep your feet on ground, but remain flexible. Breathe deep. Tune in. It’s the little things that will make a MASSIVE quantum difference at this time. Expect your every fantasy to be served well and moved into the future.

To book a personal reading with Hannah contact: [email protected]

COMFORTABLY NUMB: WHY ARE WE ALL AFRAID TO FEEL?

Dry January opened my eyes to how I’ve been comfortably numb, so this year I’m committing to feeling it and healing it, says Kate Atkinson.

‘Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me.” Ringing an opiate bell in your psyche? If you’re a borderline millennial like me, you’re shamefully more likely to recall the Scissor Sisters version before the much more pleasant, sedate and, well, numbing, Pink Floyd original of the track “Comfortably Numb.”

But this song bears a special significance in my world right now. Having completed my first ever dry January I, like I suspect many Instagramming, Malbec-drinking, Bumble-ing, Happn-ing global citizens, have realized to what extent I’ve been moving through my life in a similarly cozy but numbed-out state.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “numb” as depriving us of the power of sensation. So to do so in any capacity means more or less living and feeling at a fraction of our capabilities. Or in Numi speak: “vibing at a lower frequency.” By CHOICE. How depressing is that?

And it’s not just the booze. NYC might be a cultural smorgasbord, but it also offers ready access to all the compulsions that can take you down a rabbit hole of distraction and, eventually, longing.

Rather than dealing with our shit, we drink. Opposed to being alone, we over engage on social media (no wonder “Digital Addiction” has become an actual “thing”). Others get high on the rush of success and pepped on promotion. There’s addiction to substances, of course – legal medications, essential oils, cocaine. Addiction to online dating.  Addiction to people. Addiction to pizza. Addiction to tattoos. Addiction to solitude. Addiction to sex.

The list is endless, and the more you get to thinking about it, the more it feels like anything can become an obsession when you’d rather numb-out than feel…and deal. Then there’s the replacement of one addiction with another. Partying for yoga. Work for a relationship…and so it goes.

Without booze to cloud this revelation, I’ve only become more aware of back-to-back evenings of time wasting on Facebook; the getting obliterated after a bad day at work; the 18 nights a month I eat pizza. And many more obsessions I don’t care to list in a public forum.

And I’ve decided this is no way to live. Along with this newfound awareness, I’ve realized how sick I am of the “terrifying Tuesdays,” the hours spent staring at my phone, of saying I’ll do things I never do, and spending my precious hours on mind numbing, opposed to mind-expanding activities.

So what’s the alternative? Bottom line is it’s tough to to feel the full spectrum of your emotions. It is hard to stay at home and sit with your loneliness, when grappling with an overwhelming desire to put it all behind you, just for one night.

Personally, that social itch and need to be surrounded by others is a compulsive distraction, and when I obey it and ignore my calmer (and undoubtedly more vulnerable) intuition, generally the more disasters head my way. The thing with numbing is it becomes a cycle. Drink too much. Make bad dating decisions. Attack your liver again with Advil. Waste $40 on breakfast. And so it goes.

With this in mind, I’m accepting you have to “feel it to heal it” – which means, for now at least, I am committing to a time of being UN-NUMB. And what this will entail exactly I don’t know, since I’ve been living comfortably numb for well over a decade.

Nonetheless, I want to commit to it this year. I have no idea what I’m doing – and already I’m finding myself interested in activities I would have laughed at this time last year. So welcome to my blank canvas of withdrawal…which right now seems to be manifesting into this column.

Signing off until next time, with one of my favorite quotes from Anais Ninn:

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.

The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death.

Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

FEEL YOURSELF: READING FOR THE FULL MOON IN CANCER

The Full Moon in Cancer is inviting us to feel our way home…as we simultaneously step into brave new world, says Hannah Ariel.

“Like great works, deep feelings always mean more than they are conscious of saying. Great feelings take with them their own Universe, splendid or abject, they light up with their passion an exclusive world.” – Albert Camus

If you feel like you’re having an existential crisis – hang on a minute. If you feel like you’re feeling too much to put into words, that’s okay, be still inside and keep quiet for a while. If you feel like you are bursting at the seams to say something – maybe it’s time to say it!

And if you feel like you are opening up to feelings you’ve never felt before – say hello to a Full Moon in Cancer that began as a New Moon in Sagittarius. (And if you feel nothing, make sure you aren’t somewhere hiding in a corner, in total denial of what’s happening in your life right now!)

Astrologically, December has been a month of shifting our long-standing perceptions as a result of more expansive experiences in our lives; experiences that have re-defined our purpose here on Earth; experiences that shook us right off the branch we were clinging to for dear life; experiences that have left us here, now, with an opportunity to become more emotionally rooted in what is TRUE for us personally.

Just think for a moment – the constellation of Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which rules over how we experience our greatest, biggest FEELINGS, our deepest subconscious habituations. It is where we find our sense of belonging, our ability to be receptive, and our ability to establish a connection with our sensitivity.

Essentially the Moon is HOME, and in its full creative potential in Cancer – so even if it feels like you can’t recognize the territory this Sagittarius New Moon carved out for you, call on this energy now. It is time to let go of whatever is keeping you from feeling at home within your own life.

For a Full Moon in Cancer is pure maternal energy. This Full Moon is here to nurture our future development, by feeding us just what we need. Like the tide, she guides us with a subtle body of heavenly energy, helping us know how to act, when to re-act, and when to go with the flow with life.

Allow this to be a sweet and deep and personal experience, that may begin with a welling up of sentiments. Sentiments, perhaps, that you need to let go of. This may involve tears. It may involve laughter. It may involve silence. Whatever this Full Moon in Cancer brings forth in you as she rises to her full expression, feel the protective flow of energy the Universe is offering, and just a few days after Winter Solstice.

The Solstice is the exact moment where the Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest from the Sun. It is the longest night of the year, and without awareness, it can potentially be a time where we feel as if we’ve lost our “truth north,” or guiding light. As the Earth turns now, we’re being pulled to a place where only karmic memory can remind us of our next move.

The Full Moon in Cancer IS karma. Its light is a reflection of the Sun in Capricorn, on its way to its annual death/rebirth date with Pluto in the same sign. We are being asked to let go of the old and birth something new. It is within this alchemy that destiny will do its best work. Feel this. Find whatever it is that brings a strong sense of being peacefully in the right place, at the right time, within yourself, ready to nurture your future.

No matter what kind of Sagittarian adventure you’ve been on the past two weeks, it’s time to come home to yourself and your inner journey, and experience true emotional re-calibration. Sure, we’ve had our eyes opened to fresh new visions. But how can we move into these realities without connecting to the reality of our… FEELINGS?

How can you be upfront with yourself when asked the question: “How does what I am currently experiencing make me feel?” Does the answer to this question serve your future? And how can you answer without grasping for the same old familial patterns you’re accustomed to leaning on for emotional stability?

It could be all too easy for this Full Moon in Cancer to trigger old habits, old instincts, and old patterns that used to make us feel safe and “at home,” especially at a time of year steeped in family traditions.

Perhaps Christmas always sees you revisit certain family members, and the accompanying emotional patterns – but whatever tradition you find yourself carrying on, know that astrologically it’s a brilliant time to experience yourself ANEW.

Tap into the energy of the Winter Solstice for this, and know that you are supported as you go further into exploring a new spiritual identity, shining like a beacon in the dark. Know that this is about feeling your way into a new reality. The Sun has just passed through the “galactic center” of the Universe – literally – a time in space that offers the opportunity to go way further into your cosmic self. So allow yourself to be re-wired. What if the Universe promised you that on this day, this year, you have the power to create a new tradition? A new space to experience yourself. Then what would you feel?

On December 25th, 2015, how about cozying up to a new enlightened idea of what makes you feel alive. The light you have longed to kindle all year is ready to be ignited now, ESPECIALLY as Uranus, retrograde since July 26, goes direct in Aries. When Uranus is retrograde we may doubt sudden new potentials as they present themselves. When Uranus goes direct, we are booted out of the status quo in order to re-boot something important about ourselves.

So acknowledge where you’re experiencing twists and turns in your destiny, FEEL how it makes you feel, upgrade to the new reality, and acclimate. Although you may feel like you’ve been supercharged with something otherworldly, unrecognizable, unacceptable, and out of bounds, this Full Moon in Cancer is not meant to shock so much as it is here to bring you to where you belong.

SURPRISE; this is how you now feel “at home.” SURPRISE; this is where you’re supposed to be in your life. Whatever you uncover, maybe you’re most surprised to find you’ve had it in you all along – what you need to move forward, and this ability to feel your way into the future. So be receptive to what has suddenly become true for you, and feel its existence with your whole heart.

For a personal reading with Hannah Ariel contact [email protected]

MODERN FAMILY: A HIGH-VIBE HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I forgive myself.

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

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

I did all I could do.

I gave it everything I had.

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

My intent was always love.

I forgive myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A NEW VISION: READING FOR THE SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON

See beyond limitations, and tomorrow’s Sagittarius New Moon has the potential to manifest a breathtaking outcome, says Hannah Ariel.

“When you step further into the story you came to live, not only does the mythic territory open but the self moves and the world of imagination and meaning comes toward you.” – Michael Meade.

Think broader, see bigger, explore, envision, have more faith, hold more space. The Sun entered Sagittarius November 22, and as you may have begun to experience already, this energy encourages expansiveness beyond belief – quite literally. When it comes to Sagittarius season, it makes no difference what beliefs you have preoccupied yourself with, or what you always perceived to be the case. There is a fundamental desire now to move beyond what has been experienced into what could be experienced.

Think of this Sagittarius New Moon as the moment you enter your spaceship and get to dial in the direction of your destination. Now expand your vision as far as it can go. Sagittarius is the spirit that perceives the future – pure visionary consciousness! So where is life taking you to these days? Intuitively, where is the horizon? Which story line are you following? Are you aware of the signposts? Do you see what is possible?

Luckily, this is also a Jupiter ruled Moon. Being the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter opens our eyes to see the bright side and the bigger picture, offering the optimism and inspiration to look beyond our current circumstances. Jupiter has everything to do with opportunity, intuition, spiritual journeying, good fortune, and benevolence.

Because Sagittarius is mutable fire, experiences may take on any of these themes and manifest in a number of forms. Be prepared to spread yourself out a bit more than you’re accustomed to. Set yourself free. The archetype of the constellation itself is depicted as the archer after all, with its arrow pulled back ready to fly. Intend to seek out opportunities that will restore your faith in the boundless potential of your life.

Look to what inspires you and get inspired to go in that direction! Hold the vision in your mind like that arrow shooting toward the sky because with a Jupiter moon, nothing is quite out of reach – hit or miss, with Sagittarius it’s the experience of a meaningful journey that will expand your consciousness and, in fact, show you something even better than what you originally intended.

But let’s look at what exactly Jupiter is up to, to really get the message of this Sagittarius New Moon clear. As Jupiter continues on its journey through Virgo (since August) it is now nearly conjunct the North Node – an evolutionary portal that is currently asking us to be more discriminating on the daily. Jupiter in Virgo wants to heal our relationship to our physical reality by first fixing our attention on the details that aren’t adding up; our routines, our habits, the little things we say and do.

It’s our destiny to understand how we can take practical measures to change what no longer works, and instead organize ourselves around specific, tangible goals. With the South Node (the wisdom of our past life experiences) in Pisces, we can trust the subtle nature of the divine to show up in this process – it’s just a matter of defining which vision, which belief structure, you are looking to serve.

Without honoring the energy of the Jupiter/North Node conjunction in Virgo, New Moon intentions can easily slip through our fingers. It could be easy to accidently let go of control all together at this time, and instead of experiencing a divinely guided reality, be left to clean up a mess you don’t remember making!

Jupiter is also making a square aspect to the Sagittarius New Moon, suggesting there may be a blind spot; it’s in our best interests to pay extra attention to anything we may be prone to overlook. In contrary to the expansive nature of this New Moon, it can be a time where foresight will pay off in a big, unexpected way. A square in astrology is a transit that can amplify the potential of the energy available – when used in the right way – so there is capacity now for an outstanding outcome.

As Mercury will have just entered Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, it is indeed a favorable period to carry out solid plans. Make good use of the thoughts and visions that are coming to you now. As you have an idea, apply it. Get grounded in it. Understand the potential of its real-life application and see how successful it can be.

One other aspect we will feel very strongly, exact around this Sagittarius New Moon, is the Mars in Libra opposition to Uranus in Aries. If you recall, at the October 11 New Moon in Libra, it was the Sun that was in opposition Uranus – reminding us how uncomfortable we are in certain positions, and ultimately liberating us from roles we’ve played one too many times.

Now, here comes Mars to take action on what’s been uncovered. What breakthroughs in identity have you had? How has your self-perception shifted, especially within your relationships and the people you are attracting? These realizations will act as your best friends during this Sagittarius New Moon, as this opposition will be sextiling it from both sides.

Act out the internal changes and realize every breakthrough and breakdown has opened us up for the journey to come. Fire needs space to breath new life into. Taking action to clear what’s in the way only creates more room for more expansive, meaningful opportunities to come to life for you. Now that’s a whole lot of beneficial astrology, so remember; Make inspired intentions, serve them well, and they will serve you. Bring your imagination to life.

To book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel contact: [email protected]

A NEW ADVENTURE: READING FOR THE FULL MOON IN GEMINI

The Full Moon in Gemini is an invitation to re-shape our reality and reorientate on our journey, says Hannah Ariel. PLUS Three essential questions to help each sign navigate the vibes

“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.” – The Matrix

If there were ever a week to take the red pill, it’s this one. It’s high time to engage these days like a Gemini, restless in a your infinite search for more knowledge, more truth. Wanting to hear and see everything, life through Gemini eyes is like experiencing an endless discovery channel.

Gemini is MUTABLE energy. It can’t help but change course with every turn of a thought. Nothing thrills this sign more than to follow a new lead, comprehend yet another fact, connect another dot. At the Full Moon in Gemini on Wednesday November 25th we’re beginning to realize we may have to take a few twists and turns to get to where we need to be going next.

In aspect to Neptune, this may not be at all where we thought to dream before. This Full Moon in Gemini illuminates how our lives are meant to change and mutate, to the point where they are unrecognizable at times, in order for us to explore a fresh vision. Cosmically, it’s a time where life can be stranger than fiction.

The Sun has just entered Sagittarius. We have survived the depths of Scorpio, and there is an unmistakable optimism in the air. And while Gemini is busy turning corners, Sagittarius always trusts there’s going to be a good time around the bend. Although these signs oppose one another in the sky, they actually make for lively partners in crime; Gemini points the way, and Sag has the good faith to follow the signs.

It’s a divine recipe for unlimited exploration, plain and simple. However, Mercury and Saturn have also joined the Sun in Sagittarius, creating a not so simple trifecta of nature. This Gemini moon is we don’t really have a reliable map. We can’t know which way we’re pointing without also investigating what we’re looking for, in good faith of course.

Thoughts and beliefs born of our experiences are our only reality right now. We can’t simply believe what we would prefer to anymore. Saturn in Sagittarius sees to this, as our beliefs will materialize opportunities in time and space faster than you can say Abracadabra. If you aren’t excited by the opportunities being presented to you in your life currently, check in with your third eye and ask: what do I envision for myself?

Reality is fundamentally mutable as this Full Moon in Gemini directly activates the first of three Saturn in Sagittarius/Neptune in Pisces squares – the first one on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th. When two slow moving outer planets square off it triggers shifts in consciousness that don’t come around very often. These heavy-hitters want to improve our circumstances, dissolving one boundary to re-create the next. We’re breaking through illusions we were unwittingly supporting while totally re-identifying with a new ride. Expect whatever vision you channel now to form and expand your reality.

When we look around we may be mistaken into thinking nothing makes sense right now; relationships are dissolving, re-locations are taking place, responsibilities are shape shifting, our identities and professions are being re-invented. With Neptune in the mix: surrender. Surrender to this Full Moon in Gemini. If what you thought was going to happen doesn’t, don’t flip out! Reweave the story. See to it that something else unfolds in its place.

As long as we keep the energy moving, the right situation will manifest at the right time, bringing treasures we did not know we were looking for. There’s so much we can’t possibly understand completely right now – the least we can do is open up to the journey. Surrender and feel free to experience a radiant sense of adventure in searching for where you’re headed. And above all, know you are not alone.

This Full Moon in Gemini will also reflect a particular paradigm-shift, based on your individual chart. Here are three essential questions to ask yourself, based on your Sun or Rising sign, to guide you through this Saturn/Neptune square – especially if at this Full Moon in Gemini you are struggling to make sense of what’s happening:

Aries :: Aries rising
Where is your community? How do you connect? Is there a spiritual purpose at work?

Taurus :: Taurus rising
Who are you really? What do you want more of? How can you expand your influence?

Gemini :: Gemini
How are you feeling? How are you healing? Who are you exploring with?

Cancer :: Cancer rising
Where do you fear? How do you experience peace of mind? When does it feel good to be in your body?

Leo :: Leo rising
Who do you inspire? How do you show love? What can you let go of?

Virgo :: Virgo rising
How many roles are you playing? Where are your roots? How can you see yourself more clearly?

Libra :: Libra rising
Do you see a big picture coming together? Which ideas fire you up? How can you put them into practice?

Scorpio :: Scorpio rising
Are you open to what is possible? How good does it feel to be you? Where do you experience love in your heart?

Sagittarius :: Sagittarius rising
What relationships are you attracting? Do you believe in yourself? How can you feel more at home wherever you go?

Capricorn :: Capricorn rising
What projects are you working on? Do you feel spirit supporting you? Which conversations inspire you?

Aquarius :: Aquarius rising
Are you having fun? Do you have an audience? What are you holding on to?

Pisces :: Pisces rising
What is privately coming to life for you? Where do you experience recognition? Do you feel your affect on others?

For a private reading with Hannah Ariel contact: [email protected]