As Venus goes direct, get active with your money manifestation and create an abundance altar in your wallet, says Ruby Warrington…
Several years ago, I found myself scouring Shopstyle in search of the perfect wallet. I was looking for one that was red, gold, or green, three colors that would make my wallet a money magnet. I had learned about this theory from my friend Gala Darling, and as an entrepreneur living in NYC (huge rent! no regular income!), I was like, “what the hell?”.
It took another year or so for me to find a red wallet that also fit my personal style—one by Philip Lim that was even embossed with a subtle dollar sign. Flawless! Whether it’s played any role in my never missing a rent check as I’ve juggled building this platform, writing a book, and launching Moon Club, I can’t really say. But what I do know is that a recent Skype meeting with a woman known as The Modern Money Witch (a.k.a. Lara-Rose Duong) took the concept of using your wallet to actively attract cash to a whole new level.
And OF COURSE she reached out to me during Venus retrograde! The planet ruling love and abundance has been in a backspin since March 4, 2017 (resuming direct motion today, April 15!), during which time all things concerning love, money, and self-worth have been up for review. And according to Lara-Rose, love is money. It’s the grown-up symbol for the nurturing (food, shelter, hugs) we receive as “love” when we’re babies.
Step one in Lara-Rose’s system for receiving more money in your life is to create an actual abundance altar in your wallet. Fun! And what better activity to get active with your manifestation process?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an abundance altar in your wallet:
1. Take everything out of your wallet and smudge it with smoke from white sage or Palo Santo.
2. Hold your empty wallet with both hands and set an intention. Something like: “I am open to receiving abundance so that I may share it with the world,” would work great. Say it as you hold your wallet.
3. Choose a space for your abundance “altar” in your wallet—it can be an individual pocket or an entire section.
4. Place items in your abundance altar. Some classic things to include: an image of Lakshmi, or other abundance icon (I chose a card of prosperity Goddess Abundantia); a piece of citrine, a silver dollar, or an abundance spell, sealed with a pentagon sign. Feel free to choose items that are meaningful to you.
5. Also include a paper money offering to your abundance icon. This bill is not to be spent, but can be refreshed annually on a date that resonates with you (like the Spring or Fall Equinox, Beltane, or your birthday).
6. Toss our old receipts, business cards, etc., and return only the items you absolutely need to your wallet. Commit to regularly clearing out any unneeded items to keep energetic pathways of abundance clear.
As the founder of Style Rituals, a biz that celebrates our closets as gateways to the cosmos, I was well attuned to the connections between the mystical and material world. And a recent move from Brooklyn to Venice Beach and back, means I am also very familiar with the process of packing and unpacking.
For my latest move back to NYC, I had gotten a personal ping from the Universe that I needed to ‘go light’ this time. Accordingly, I picked up a copy of Marie Kondo’s now infamous The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and got to work. Overnight, this went from a cross-country move to a total life enema! But I figured if anyone could lead me through the jungle of my beloved belongings to minimalistic bliss, it was Kondo.
I had barely made it to page four when I realized that this wasn’t just a guidebook for spatial cleanliness, but was also an under-the-radar handbook in energy healing. Marie’s discussions about holding items close and thanking them for their existence was directly connected to the Shamanistic belief that every object carries an energy or vibration. Perhaps, I thought, Ms. Kondo is a secret Shaman.
Inspired by this discovery, I combined Kondo’s teachings with my energy healing know-how to bring you thisguide to navigating the spiritual wilds of your own material treasures …
NUMBER 1 // There Is a Universal Method to the Madness, aka Memento Meltdown
The Closet Cleanse: According to Ms. Kondo, one must sort possessions in the following order—clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany) and, lastly, mementos.
The Secret Shamanism: Shamans believe that working with fire allows release. When I do closet cleanses with clients, sometimes, we literally build a bonfire of emotionally-charged items and let it burn. While Kondo-ing my own closet, I discovered that Marie’s method was perfectly constructed to inspire a similar emotional release. With a background in fashion, I assumed clothing would be the most challenging step for me and wondered why she’d put it first. But I soon understood why mementos went last. I started reading old love letters from boyfriends, thumbing through my high school yearbook, and doodling with coloring pencils from my college fashion illustration class. I eventually found myself on the floor cry-laughing in ‘someone’s’ sweatshirt that I had un-accidentally kept after a weekend rendezvous. I couldn’t believe how many memories had been holding space in my abode that just weren’t part of my life anymore. Time to go!
NUMBER 2 // Sartorial Reiki, aka Thank Your Lucky Clothes
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests that you hold each item in your hands and thank it for how it has served you in life.
The Secret Shamanism: Is Kondo also a secret Reiki Practitioner and Psychometrist? Psychometry, aka Token-Object Reading, is a form of extrasensory perception that allows us to “read” the energetic blueprint of objects, even if we know nothing about their origins. Similarly, Reiki infuses universal energy into people and items. Kondo’s approach fully acknowledges the spirit present in objects, and the necessity of honoring this energy. As I blended her recommendations with my intuitive skills, it became quite emotional. I remembered sights, sounds, and smells associated with each piece and channeled this energy to facilitate release.
NUMBER 3 // The Art of War with Yourself, aka Plunge into the Pile
The Closet Cleanse: When purging your closet, Kondo commands you to throw everything in a giant heap in the middle of the room.
The Secret Shamanism: Sun Tzu’s teachings in the The Art of War state that “in the midst of chaos, there is also an opportunity.” For this neat and tidy (perhaps OCD spectrum) Virgo, creating a messy clothing monument was a Xanax-worthy endeavor (Céline and Chloe definitely didn’t want to be wrinkled, snagged, dirty, or stepped on). Yet my chaotic heap allowed me to push my personal limits. As I split my clothing commune into two smaller tribes of “keep” and “discard,” I excommunicated parts of my past life that no longer fit my current lifestyle. And, surprisingly, throwing things about and jumping into the pile of clothes made me feel like a kid again.
NUMBER 4 // Everything Changes (Even Joy), aka Swapping Fashion School for Fortune Telling
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests that you ask yourself if an item truly brings you joy BEFORE deciding to keep or discard it. Do not try it on or even think about how often you use it. Just hold it in your hands and ask this simple question.
The Secret Shamanism: Guess what I realized? Joy evolves. And the things I wanted to keep were energetic fortunetellers of the life I wanted to lead right now. My transition from the fashion world to the healing world was anything but seamless and I was still in the throes of figuring it all out (going from styling, designing, and brand consulting to seeing ghosts and hearing voices was never gonna be comfortable). While sorting, I realized I was casting aside old items from the fashion world in favor of mystical mementos that fit my current and future vision of myself even better.
NUMBER 5 // Come Back to the Present Moment, aka Boyfriend Jeans are Real!
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo states that people are unable to let go of certain items because they are either attached to the past, fearful of the future, or unwilling to live in the present.
The Secret Shamanism: This is for all the girls out there who are still holding onto college sweatshirts, worn-in t-shirts, or anything else that belonged to “the X.” Wonder why a former lover still lingers in your head? Because you’re still sleeping, lounging, and working out while wearing those memories on your sleeve, literally. During my Kondo-ing, I was going through a major breakup and the practice of purging catapulted me from the past to the present. I realized that it wasn’t about “him,” it was about me. I needed to be proactive about doing everything I could to move forward, and holding onto his belongings was definitely not helping.
NUMBER 6 // Say Yes to Your Life Right Now, aka Magic Rocks Are Heavy but Old Memories Are Heavier
The Closet Cleanse: When you look at an object and say “I might use this one day,” remember Kondo’s warning that “someday” means “never.” You don’t have room in the house-of-me for “perhaps one day.”
The Secret Shamanism: I carry around lots of heavy crystals in my bag of tricks, but the energy of old memories that no longer served me was WAY heavier. Why was I keeping mementos of people and things that weren’t aligned with my happy-place? As I bid adieu to objects associated with energy vampires from my former life, I severed the cord so that both parties could move forward.
NUMBER 7 // Repurpose with Your Love Language, aka Mermaids for my Roomie
The Closet Cleanse: While Kondo warns against unloading your purged belongings onto unwilling participants, finding new homes for past treasures can be an act of love.
The Secret Shamanism: In Shamanism, when we receive a physical or emotional gift we refer to it as “receiving medicine.” You are getting the “medicine” that you need at exactly that moment, no matter what form it comes in or where it comes from. Mid-purge, I started leafing through Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, and remembered that my love language was gifting. The result? A friend got all my old-life high-heels. One of my favorite adventure buddies is now enhancing her metaphysical talents using the giant crystal I moved from my alter to hers. And my former roommate discovered her passion for sea spirits through my houseplant decorated with a collection of plastic mermaids. Show love and pay it forward.
NUMBER 8 // Spiritual Smoke, aka Burn, Baby, Burn!
The Closet Cleanse: Kondo suggests removing discarded possessions from your apartment as soon as humanly possible.
The Secret Shamanism: After following Kondo’s practices on how to sort, I decided to insert some of my own Shamanic practices to release any dense energy that can quickly adhere to people, places, and things. Sage what you decide to keep—with the windows open or in an open area outside. As I burn my bundle of herbs, I like to say out loud: “Any energy that is not mine or of my highest and greatest good, get the f*** out … with love, but seriously, it’s time to go.” Even though the purge scared the hell out of me, as I moved the energy I felt like the shackles had been taken off my ankles—I was light and free!
NUMBER 9 // That Elusive Equilibrium, aka Stilettos & Sage
The Closet Cleanse: Après cleanse, I was NYC bound with two suitcases of clothing, and one small suitcase filled with the contents of my Shamanic practice (crystals, feathers, tarot cards, sweet notes from clients, sage, sound bowl, etc.).
The Secret Shamanism: Marie Kondo always asks what brings us joy. I’d recently experienced a full moment of joy when I was hired by a former fashion client to speak about the power of rituals and manifestation. As I waved a sage stick around a room full of execs while wearing fake eyelashes and stilettos, I was so joyful I could have cried. Fittingly, while purging, I realized I had to make a conscious choice to let my worlds collide. I wasn’t willing to give up all my high heels or my signature pink nail polish, but I did need to make space to bring back a bit of California in the form of a stack of yoga pants and a massive collection of crystals. To be in my “joy,” I needed to marry the sparkle, fun, and creativity of the fashion world to my personal promise to recharge in nature often, keep a devout meditation practice, and embrace a newfound love for juice.
NUMBER 1O // The Transformation Cycle, aka Meeting Kali in the Closet
Did I mention that this was also one of the most traumatic weeks of my life? Within five days, I had ended a relationship with someone I truly love, my beloved aunt died and, oh yeah, the cross-country move was in full swing. In Shamanism we speak about embodying the energy of an archetype. Post-purge, I felt like the Goddess Kali had hung me by my ankles and shook all of the change loose from my skinny-jean pockets.
In other words, f***ing great and completely naked at the same time. With three suitcases to my name, I was a full-on gypsy. I was light, free, mobile, and personified. And while I know that I’ll need to shape shift again and again, as of today I’m bouncily nimbly between New York and L.A. with only my most joyful possessions. All I’d needed to do was step through that closet door.
Colleen McCann is a fashion stylist turned Shamanic Practitioner with practices in NYC & LA. She realigns the energetic with the visual through Intuitive Crystal Readings, Shamanic Hands-On-Healing, and Feng Shui Space Balancing. Make sure to follow her on Instagram, and pick up one of her new Energy Healing Kits and Medicine Bags on Goop to jumpstart your cleanse!
From Austin, TX, to the West Coast…it’s been a week of life lessons from the road.
:: MONDAY—WEDNESDAY:: Anybody who follows my Instagram feed will know the Pisces and I have been on a road-trip the past two weeks. Schedule: Austin—Marfa—Santa Fe—Sedona—Grand Canyon—Vegas—Palm Springs—Joshua Tree—LA. And it has been a TRIP—meaning the daily checking off of bucket list items, AND the deep and thorough examination of the contents of my head / current situation.
As I’m back in NY for a few days this week (yep there’s more to come!), I wanted to take the opportunity to record a few spiritual lessons from the road. Here goes:
Even your soul project / true calling / dharma work can become a ball and chain if you let it. In fact, there’s perhaps an even stronger likelihood of it taking over your entire life than a “regular” job where you clock in and out every day, since it’s what you were “born to do.” Like breathing. And so it feels natural to do it ALL THE TIME. Getting away from my desk and onto the open road gave me some invaluable perspective on how, with so many projects bubbling (book, sweatshirt line, live events, Club SÖDA NYC, etc!) I have allowed The Numinous to become my everything this year, to the point that there was no space in my life for…ME. Let alone for it to still feel like fun. This realization hit has I found myself trying to get a WiFi signal hiking somewhere in the Sedona red rocks, and suffering extreme bouts of anxiety at the number of unread emails that were building up while I “wasted time” checking out the Grand Canyon. I mean WT actual F?
A road trip is the perfect crucible from some honest self-reflection. Since your driving buddy essentially acts as a giant mirror for all your shit—kind of like your higher self observes your ego mind running rings around itself in meditation. In my case, the Pisces was the voice of my higher self—my fretting over where to do the conference call I had scheduled in TWO DAYS TIME, my fearful monkey mind trying to stay in “control” as my external environment shifted on an hourly basis. “You don’t have to do any of it if you don’t want to,” he reminded me. “You chose all this.” And what a fucking privilege too! The key insight being, that if I chose this work, then it is absolutely in my power to un-choose any bits that are no longer working for me. Like responding to every email I get within the hour. And same goes for all of us, in ANY situation, actually. YOU get to chose where your energy goes.
I do not need any more crystals, animal totems, oracle decks, or bunches of sage. A.k.a. all the trappings of “spiritual materialism”—a term that’s come up a few times lately, and so obviously was asking to be pondered. Not to mention my go-to on every stop of our trip being to seek out the best esoteric book store in town—which began to feel a bit like bypassing the art and going straight to the museum shop. As you can imagine, my house is FULL of spiritual paraphernalia—a Ganesh here, a clutch of crystals there. And it’s all very pretty. But I can’t honestly say I feel a true connection to most of it. And what become so clear on my trip was that all that “stuff,” for me, is simply a collection of talismans for the real spiritual work (the “art,” if you like) that’s happening on the inside. What I would define as the honest self-inquiry into WHO I AM and WHAT I NEED be the most fully me—as in, the truest expression of my spiritual self. Example: a healer I worked with recently told me a could use some Malachite in my life. But as I found myself returning lump after lump of the pretty green rock to its shelf in various esoteric stores along our route, I was also coming to the realization that what I truly need to develop spiritually is less time responding to emails, and more discernment on where I’m placing my energy (see points no. 1 & 2).
My email / work addiction is way worse than my alcohol addiction. As I explained when I wrote out my sober curious story a couple of weeks ago, my path to a more sober life over the past few years has meant a lot of sober firsts. And besides a few beers at the Austin City Limits festival on the first night of our trip, this has been my first ever (well, since the age of 15 or so I guess) sober vacation. “Holiday drinking” had always been my sobriety hall-pass (“I’ll only drink on holiday”), and so stepping outside of this has allowed for plenty of opportunity to witness my alcohol cravings and where they come from. And—ta-da!—the majority of the time I find myself fantasizing about a cocktail, it’s to flick the switch from work to play mode. Or rather, numb out the constant desire to…numb out with work and email! Being off my laptop has meant being fully present with my (not always exactly carefree, vacay-ready) self—showing me the extent to which I use work / being productive and busy, as a way to NOT just be with me. Which is what vacations are all about…which is why I now see I always held booze (believing it to be the most effective off-switch from work) as a vacay staple.
Hugging trees is the best. The hippies knew it, and every time I remember to do it I’m reminded how good and grounding, how calm, regenerative, and holy it feels to put your arms around a tree and really squeeze. Cut to Joshua Tree, where I found myself doing some filming with my boo Alexandra Roxo for a VERY EXCITING PROJECT (yes, another one!!) we’re launching on your asses next month. At one point, Roxo whips off her shirt and grabs the nearest trunk—the naked part not so natural for me, but my own tree-hug just as heartfelt. Our mutual friend Madeline has got into it lately too, “and she says it’s like doing a drug deal,” Alexandra joked. “In the city, you have to look in all directions and then go for it while you’re sure no-body’s watching.” Well, I say screw that! Who cares if they see? Tree-hugger and proud. A part of me I’ve been happy to re-connect with on the road.
:: THURSDAY :: I have to make some space here for beautiful Luke Simon’s nightlife experiment The Softer Image, a substance-free “high-vibe lounge” that debuted in NYC tonight. So happy I was back in town for this!! Said vibey “highs” were supplied by the equally divine Sah D’Simone‘s alchemical elixirs and tonics, a group trance to kick the evening off by talented hypnotherapist Shauna Cummins, and THE BEST old school housey soundtrack from DJ Bryce Hackford. There were hugs, wild dancing, impromptu reiki sessions, and my clock read 11.11pm before I knew it. Held in a Chinatown loft, maybe it was the kava shots, but the feel I kept getting was 4am-loved-up-after-party—only it all ended by midnight and everybody was completely sober. Thank you, Universe (and Luke), for hearing my pleas—and delivering a new way to switch off from work and have FUN. No alcohol required!
:: FRIDAY :: I hate the rain. But today I love the rain. Since I’m my own boss, I shall be choosing to mainly work from underneath my duvet. Which will mostly mean reading the early proofs of Guru Jagat’s new book Invincible Living, ahead of my live Q&A with her at tomorrow’s Numinous Presents event in Brooklyn. I bet she has a thing or two to say about email addiction…since Kundalini yoga was developed by Yogi Bhajan as an antidote to what he saw (way back in the sixties) as the onset of “technology sickness.” Intrigued? There a still a few spots left—click here to discover more and sign up.
Crystal lipgloss is a thing. Plus a link to our virtual Full Moon ritual, a facial for the soul, and a shout out to Shaktibarre…
:: MONDAY :: A box of goodies from Goddess Provisions, INCLUDING a lipgloss by Gemmed named “Ruby” containing actual crystal dust (Labradorite, Moonstone, Opal, Pyrite and Sunstone). I mean. Goddess Provisions is a subscription service where you receive a box of 4-6 high vibe items—snacks, tinctures, crystals etc—by mail each month, all 100% vegan and cruelty free, and all in aid of inspiring your spiritual practice. And there’s lipgloss. #magicmonday. Find out more at Goddessprovisions.com
:: TUESDAY :: Not really a lot going on in the Mystical stakes. Except for quite a few phone calls and emails back-to-back about moving stuff forward that’s felt stalled for MONTHS. Thank you, Saturn direct.
:: WEDNESDAY :: Hosted my virtual Full Moon ritual with Alexandra Roxo! For starters we had almost 300 people sign up, which blew us both away and was a reminder of how excited people are to come together to share their Moon manifestations. FULL Moons are a time to celebrate what’s coming to fruition in our lives, and for me, the Aquarian vibes of this Moon have been very much reflected in all kinds of collaborative efforts beginning to take shape. So y’know, watch this space!
Another fave take-away from our ritual? A new daily practice of smudging down my technology. For real. If you think about it, our computers and phones are interacting with energy from hundreds, if not thousands of people every day. I first tried it out when I found myself going down a really low-vibe comparison hole on Instagram. Giving my iPhone a quick sage wash spiraled me right back UP the Unicorn horn—you might wanna give it a try! You can listen to the recording here.
:: THURSDAY :: A beautiful, nurturing facial with Melanie Herring. Describing her practice as “skin therapy, soul deep,” Melanie sees the skin as a doorway to the inner realms of healing, and incorporates intuitive energetic work while simultaneously nourishing the body’s largest organ of detoxification…the skin. “It’s sacred work that honors the vulnerable nature of being seen,” she told me.
Facials are not something I regularly indulge in (see my use of the word “indulge”!), but as I relaxed into a semi trance state on Melanie’s table I was reminded—yet again—that regular self-care is actually one of the cornerstones of a truly balanced life. Also, how did the simple act of being held and cared for by another human being become a “luxury”? Today reminded me it’s a necessity. Discover more about Melanie and her work at Melanieherring.com
:: FRIDAY :: Excited for the opening of Shaktibarre tonight, a new yoga+barre+activism+sustainable wellness space in Williamsburg. I met founder Corinne Wainer at a Lululemon event back in May, and was blown away by her vision and her sheer balls! The woman is committed to finding ways to make yoga and other wellness practices available to all, and so the studio will offer sliding scale pricing as well as host regular free community events. Hell to the yes. (And future Shakti-Numi collaborations to follow, no doubt!) Find out more and book a class at Shaktibarre.com
Plus a moment of swap-shop glory and a meeting with the mind behind Shaktibarre…Numinous founder Ruby Warrington shares her Mystical Week
:: MONDAY :: Still buzzing from yesterday’s beautiful Blessing Way ceremony for my dear Victoria Keen. We gathered, we ritualled (yes I’m making this a word), we created an altar, we shared memories and we set intentions. My favorite part of ALL? When we took an actual bone-fide cauldron (purchased by our host at a Brooklyn junk yard) filled with fears and sage, out into the street to be burned away. As Victoria lit her fire, we stood around her in a circle of sisterhood, playing drums, shaking rattles, and singing. At the height of the Williamsburg brunching-hour. YES we got a lot of stares, and YES it felt so right to be bringing this kind of s*it out from behind closed coven doors!
:: TUESDAY :: A l’il psychic moment in my favorite clothing swap-shop the Buffalo Exchange (first introduced to me by Goddess Gala Darling). I’ve been taking my cast-offs there for the past two years or so and have racked up a serious amount of store credit, so I stop by whenever I’m in the area for some guilt-free retail therapy. Today, as I’m browsing the racks, this little voice goes; “some Isabel Marant shoes would be nice, right?” I’m like, “yeah, higher self, sure would!” And YEP, found these beauties (below)—boots not sandals, BUT, my size, UN-WORN, and FREE (cos of my store credit).
What a beautiful lesson in the all-abundant nature of our Universe! Namely: when we just listen to our intuition, everything we desire is right in front of us; when we give freely of ourselves (or our old clothes), not necessarily expecting financial pay-back, we will get it back 10-fold; and when we don’t attach to the details, is when we grant the cosmos permission to surprise us in all kinds of magical ways.
:: WEDNESDAY :: A lesson in boundaries. My first reaction when a friend in need texts to say: “I may need somewhere to stay the next few nights, can I have your sofa?” is to reply with a straight up “no.” Some things are a non-negotiable, and my sacred morning alone time is one—as such, I usually only have family stay over in my home. Sorry-not-sorry, but I’m also a believer in strong boundaries as a marker of self-respect.
But THEN I’m like: woah, here I am preaching (check out my IG account etc.) about how we need to create a world that looks after our most vulnerable first, and how the current political climate change is giving me a new depth of compassion for the displaced people in the world…like my friend who’s being kicked out of her apartment! And the first time I’m asked to walk the talk, I stumble.
Humbled, I text her back—”shit, of course, mi sofa es tu sofa, ANY TIME.” By which time she’s found somewhere, and actually goes on to tell me how MY strong boundaries are a lesson for her in cultivating the same in her life. HOWEVER, it was a moment of pause for me in terms of what it means to be a good Now Age hippie global citizen. #bethechangeyouwanttosee
:: THURSDAY :: A meeting with incredible, inspiring Corinne Wainer, founder of the new Shaktibarre studio that’s coming to Williamsburg in August. Reasons I love this woman No.1: She’s all about the shaktivism (spirituality + activism), and so her studio has sliding scale pricing to make classes + workshops accessible to ALL, with the underlying mission of uniting women in the fight against body fascism in the yoga community. No.2: She’s a total no-smalltalk zone. No time + no interest = no holding back. No.3: She guessed that my spirit animal is a black stallion (which he is, I write about how I met him here). So suffice to say, watch this space for some Shakti-Numi collabs coming your way later this year.
:: FRIDAY :: Regular readers will know all about my path to raise my overall vibe with sobriety—which has meant totally re-framing my relationship with alcohol. Which basically means treating like it’s as powerful a mind-and-heart expander as, say Ayahuasca, and thus only imbibing with extreme reverence and caution. And then along comes a big fat trigger like JULY 4 WEEKEND.
And you know, I likely will have a couple of cocktails Sunday, since I booked tickets to this super high vibe event (flyer below)—high vibe as in, it’s outside, it starts at 2pm, it’s on the West side so there will be a sunset situation, and it’s alllll my favorite DJs so I can be guaranteed an afternoon of truly emotionally resonant tunes.
And here’s another reason to maybe raise a glass (but really, how about just one?) this weekend. It’s America’s birthday—and America could really use some truly intentional toasting rn, and some reminding that far from broken, she’s just going through a rough patch. As a Cancer country, I think this weekend’s reading from Strong Eye Astrology resonates for the good old US of A pretty darned hard:
Cancer :: Cancer Rising Taking a horse over jumps. You are sitting in the driver’s seat. But where do you want to go? We can so easily get caught in an image of ourselves. But who do you want to be? This is a fresh start. Now is the time to visualize about who you are becoming. Get very, very specific in your intentions.
*NB: read the weekend forecast for your sign here!
As we enter the season of the winds, the veil between the spiritual worlds becomes thin. A time of strong psychic awareness, we open to valuable teachings from Great Spirit and our personal intuition. Energetically charged people and places, as well as lingering spirits, also become very apparent to the spiritually sensitive. For this reason, now is a time to work with extra psychic protection.
Dear One, understand this; the highest form of protection is awareness. And that love is the vehicle to awareness; become more loving, become more aware. Fear is the opposite of love, fear distracts us. But if in the midst of fear we can use our breath to go back to love and awareness, we are already so protected.
The below Halloween ritual bath and practices are tools to strengthen our connection to love, to awareness, and therefore protect us as we journey into winter.
:: THIN VEIL ESSENTIALS ::
Black Tourmaline, a crystal of high psychic protection, is invaluable during this time. Carry a small piece in your pocket or as a piece of jewelry. Sleep with Black Tourmaline under your pillow to protect your dream body.
Rosemary carries the protection of the divine feminine. Wear a drop of Rosemary essential oil on the crown of your head, and she will protect with the awareness of a mother wolf.
Connect to nature. Offer tobacco or white sage to a tree, stand barefoot on the roots and hold your back body to the tree. As your feet connect to tree’s spirit release any charged psychic energy you are holding through your feet, asking the earth to transform that energy into love.
:: RITUAL BATH FOR PSYCHIC PROTECTION ::
Ingredients 1 cup of Epsom Salt 4 cups of Nettles Tea infusion 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar A few drops of Rosemary essential oil A few drops of Rose Water or Rose Absolute Essential Oil
Crystals Fluorite, Quartz, Citrine and Black Tourmaline
Add all ingredients to a bath of water as hot as you can stand.
Ritual Light candles around the bath Smudge your self by burning white sage and cedar around your body, wafting the smoke towards you with a feather Step into the bath Take three deep cleansing breaths Place a candle directly in front of you and stare into the flame without blinking for five minutes. Let the flame clear your mind and bring you into psychic awareness Dunk your head under the water Place the Quartz crystal under you at the back of your heart, place the citrine on your solar plexus, hold the Fluorite in your left hand and the Black Tourmaline in your right Chant the sound “Aum” (Om) at least three times Soak in and enjoy the protective energy you’ve created
Will I ever be hardcore enough to be one of the kundalini crew, asks Ruby Warrington?
I HUNG WITH THE KUNDALINI HEAVYWEIGHTS. So kundalini yoga is generally one of those things I do because I don’t want to. I figure anything that makes my ego flip-out the way this practice does has gotta be good for furthering my personal ascension goals – plus I’ve experienced some of my most profound life realizations on my sheepskin. Like full-on psychic visions about the best next steps to take in life. So when I learned that Guru Jagat (a.k.a. the woman spearheading the current kundalini global takeover bid) was hosting a retreat with her Rama Institute in Glastonbury last weekend, OF COURSE I extended my recent stay in the UK so I could go.
Here’s a sampling of the kind of stuff that went down:
Daily 4am sadhana. Literal translation: “spiritual exertion towards an intended goal”. My translation: “a battle of ego over sleep-deprived mind, and absolute evidence that kundalini yogis – who practise sadhana every morning – are the most hardcore of yogis.” My first 2.5 hour meditation. About 4.30am on Saturday morning, Guru Jagat announced she’d had a download that we were going to do the “Master’s Touch” meditation that morning. Here’s a video. We did this for 2.5 hours (but faster, without music, and with our hands held in the ‘crossed fingers’ position). TF for her caveat that anybody “new” to kundalini was welcome to nap if needed. Shopping for Jupiter rings. One think I love about the kundalini community is that they’re generally dripping with jewels – and the first opportunity we got we headed to Stone Age, a high-vibe crystal jewelry store in Glastonbury town. Wearing a ring on your Jupiter finger (the pointer finger) is said to symbolize power, leadership and authority…which is interesting since most women were saying they don’t like wearing rings on that finger because it feels “ugly” and “clunky.” Hmmm! A trip to the top of the Tor. As in, the hill that presides over Glastonbury – and which is also the axis of the mythical Earth Zodiac (which, never fear, I will write about at length in another post!) Cut to bemused stares from the ‘regular’ tourists, as our 40-strong group moved from seated meditation in the grass (substituting sheepskins for black trash bags to protect our kundalini whites)…to insane selfie excitement in the natural wind machine created by the ruins of St Michael’s castle (see below).
I BOWED TO THE POWER OF SAGE. I actually had to leave the retreat early (which means I missed seeing Merlin’s Cave, the crop circle excursion, and the final 4am sadhana AT THE TOP OF THE TOR), because of an electrical issue that needed sorting in my London home. My shower had been giving off a *tingle* of electrical charge (eek), and the electrician had already been in twice to figure out what was causing it – to no avail. He needed to do a deep dive he said, and un/rewire my entire house to get the bottom of this one (see dollar signs stretching to infinity in my mind’s / third eye).
I figured I might as well do my bit, so I picked up a GIANT bunch of sage at Star Child Original Medicinal Botanicals in Glasto and smudged my place the night before – paying extra attention to the bathroom. I mean it could easily be an energetic problem, right? Ghost of tenants past making a watery plea for freedom? And what do you know, 15 minutes into the job, my man Shane had found and fixed the problem! He was scratching is head over how he’d missed it before…while I smiled inside cos I figured I’d essentially smoked that mo-fo out.
I RECEIVED A BOX OF TREATS. One thing I miss about my “old life” in the mainstream media is the constant stream of free beauty products I used to get sent. In fact, there was a whole other lesson in ego eradication when the supply dried up once I left my old staff job. But when I returned back to NY, I was amazed to find a box of beauty goodies from Blue Mercury awaiting me – and even better, the majority of them were all natural!
Perhaps they were a gift from Jupiter, planet of abundance, who just moved signs into my house of health and wellbeing. Or from Venus, Goddess / planet of beauty, as a thank you for honoring her with our Temple of Venus art project this past month. I mean, these are the kind of questions a girl has to ask when goodies appear from out of no-where. And my fave product in the box? A chemical-free nail lacquer from Smith & Cult in a shade of poppy red called Kundalini Hussle – of course.
Destination relaxation – but getting away from it all can bring its own stresses. Gabriela Herstik has 6 ways to stay zen on vacay…
Yay, here comes vacay season! But as much as unplugging from the daily grind to recharge on life minus to-do lists, technology and Tinder is a necessary part of being human (word up, work-a-holic serial daters), getting out of your routine can also trip you out of your trusted spiritual practises.
Here are six ways you can stay zen, keep your chakras in check and your aura vibrating high vibes while you’re out of office…
1. Apps at the ready Okay, so YES committing to some dedicated phone-free time is a vacay essential. But there are so many great apps to help you step back and realign, once you’ve decompressed a little how about using your downtime to recommit to a daily meditation practise? “Headspace” or “Breathe” are a great place to start, and just 5 or 10 minutes a day on the beach to check in and find some zen could be all it takes to get you back on track. But NO sneak peak at your email account, gottit?! (Check out Vogue’s list of meditation apps HERE too)
2. Stash Your Crystals Fast access to international travel is undoubtedly one of the great privileges of the modern world…but it’s also the easiest way to get exposed to all kinds of gnarly energy. So bring your crystals along for the ride! Whether it’s a trusty chunk of clear quartz or some obsidian, grab a couple of your favorite stones (cleanse them before you head out) to help clear and protect your energy field while you’re on the road. The easiest way to make sure your stones stay with you? Wear them. If you’re heading somewhere sunny, you’ll even keep them charged on the go. (Find a list of stones for each chakra HERE)
3. Sage Yo’self Clear out the bullshit, inhale the good shit, you know the drill – and when you think about the number of souls passing through hotel rooms and holiday rentals, regularly smudging your vacay space is a no-brainer. Same goes for campgrounds and hire cars; just please, don’t light up your bundle of sage in the aisle seat of Delta flight 111 to Nirvana. In fact, where smoke and sparks are inappropriate, there’s Florida Water for that. (Click HERE for a full guide to smudging your space)
4. Make A Vacay Mantra So maybe you’re travelling with about ten of your dearest friends and / or family, who you really love…up until day three. We get it. Sometimes decamping to an alien environment with a bunch of people you usually spend two hours with MAX can be a little, shall we say overwhelming. So make a mantra to set a positive intention for your group before you go. Perhaps it’s as simple as “I am always calm, cool and collected”, or as specific as “There is a divine lesson in every crazy twisted thing my sister says”. If you’re travelling alone, it might be more along the lines of “I have all the information I need, and I got this.”
5. Yoga Every Damn Day Yoga? Away from your regular studio? Okay, so we know it’s not the most original idea, but hear us out. Rather than working your asana off to continue your regular practise on the road or find a local studio, or indulging in a self-imposed guilt trip about NOT doing either of the above, remember you can still get the benefits when you practise a conscious shavasana on your sun bed, or take five to find a tree while you’re waiting in line for your lobster roll. If circumstances allow it, commit to get your flow on however and wherever you feel moved. Your body and your soul will thank you, we promise.
6. Breathe Okay, so we know you’re breathing. But how many times in an average day do you slow down and listen to your breath? In yogic terms, breathing is called “pranayama” and there are lots of different ways to breathe, with lots of different purposes. A good one when you just need some quick grounding is called Ujjayi – when you breathe in and out of your nose, tensing the muscles at the back of your throat so it feels like you’re fogging up a mirror.
It should sound like an ocean, and it should feel smooth and soothing. After any time on the road, your senses will be overwhelmed (whether it feels like it or not after that first tequila cocktail). A few moments of conscious breath will bring you back into the present, all the better to enjoy your brand new view. (For more on different Pranayama techniques, click HERE)
Crystal consciousness is on the rise! Isn’t it about time you expanded your knowledge of these mystical rocks at crystal school? By Ruby Warrington. Images: Karina Eibatova (available as prints at Karina’s online store)
You know crystal consciousness is MAJORLY on the rise when even mainstream media like the London Evening Standard is covering the phenomenon. And it makes sense that more and more people are being drawn to working with crystals – not only are they said to possess mystical healing powers, they give us a much-needed connection back to nature. And seeing as they also look totally beautiful, it’s kind of like why wouldn’t you want more crystals in your life?
I’ve connected with crystals on and off over the years, whether I’ve been been gifted them by friends or actively sought out specific stones I felt would help at times I could use a little extra cosmic support. As a result, I’ve ended up with crystals stashed in different bags and nooks and crannies of my apartment – from the Lemurian quartz pendant from Vega Jewelry that travels in my yoga bag for general high-vibery, to the selenite tower I picked up at Spellbound Sky that watches over my dreams from my bedside.
And considering all these stones have just somehow shown up in my life (which crystals have a habit of doing), I figured it was time to learn a little more about how to work with their numinous properties. Enter lovely Luke Simon and his in-depth crystal workshops at Maha Rose Center for Healing in Greenpoint, BK.
“I started working with crystals when I first moved to NYC and realized I needed some serious juju to wear ON my body,” he explained, kicking off the session I attended last month. As for the first step on the path to expanding your crystal consciousness? “Crystals first job is to give us permission to work with our intuition,” explained Luke, “I like to call it their ‘Tinkerbell effect’.” In other words, you just have to believe…
Here are 20 more things I learned that day at crystal school:
1. Never have more crystals than you have time to love
2. Crystals form very slowly as liquid cools and evaporates and atoms of whatever pure substance remains move closer and closer together, imbuing them with a concentrated energy that’s much more highly evolved than glass
3. The particles in crystals form repeating tight-knit structures – as in music, and in our thoughts and physical structure. In humans, these patterns becoming disturbed is what leads to dis-ease, and crystal healing occurs when our own cellular structures seek to mimic the crystal structures we hold in close proximity to us
4. If you’re repeatedly drawn to certain crystals, it’s likely you will have worked with them in past lives
5. Lots of small crystals formed to make a “bed” is called a “cluster”
6. You can directly imbibe crystal energy by putting them in your tea kettle. Also keep in mind however, that some crystals dissolve in water (like Selenite and Halite) and some can be toxic to ingest, like Malachite. So consult a book or an expert first!
7. Placing crystals in a “grid” is like following a recipe that allows them to merge their properties and heal on a more potent level
8. Use four crystals in a grid to create stability; three or five to work with themes of transformation; and eight to symbolize infinity, and in multiples of these numbers. When placing crystals in a grid, consider the properties of the different stones you’re using and be very clear with your intention
9. Your energy will also stir your crystals up, and this is what makes them programmable. Clear quartz crystals are the most receptive to this process, making them like a blank canvas for channelling your consciousness
10. When working with a specific stone over a period of time, you can keep a crystal journal to chart your progress
11. When selecting a new crystal to work with, see which stone you feel naturally drawn to. Your cells will be attracted to the vibrations of the crystal that can offer the most healing to you in that moment
12. Hold the crystal in your non-dominant hand, as you’ll be more sensitive to the subtle vibe it creates for you. Ask yourself, does the stone make you feel more energized, or more grounded? Practise this with different stones to develop your sensitivity
13. If you’re repelled by a certain stone, consider whether it relates to something you’re avoiding in your life
14. Since crystals absorb the energy around them, they need to be reset with regular cleansing
15. Ways to cleanse your crystals include: using the smoke from burning sage or other cleansing herbs (i.e. Palo Santo, Cedar leaves, sweetgrass, lavender) – and imagining the smoke as water; submerging them in natural spring water; burying them in salt (if intense cleansing is needed); burying them in earth in your garden or a plant pot (remembering to put a marker in the ground if you do this outdoors!)
16. Some crystals don’t need cleansing – Citrine for example doesn’t hold negativity, while Selenite is self-cleansing
17. To charge your crystals, place them in direct sun or moon light for anything from a couple of hours to overnight. Do this when your stones begin to look or feel “dull” to you
18. You can also charge crystals with the energy of a place or icon that holds special meaning for you by placing them on an altar next to symbolic imagery
19. When placing crystals on the body for more intimate and specific healing, it’s more comfortable to work with polished stones
Chances are you’ve heard about smudging, the act of burning sacred herbs to transmute negative energy. Here, modern shamanic practitioner Marika Messager explains the process in detail and provides a step-by-step basic smudging ritual.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SMUDGING? Smudging is the common name given to the Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing, a powerful cleansing technique from the Native American tradition – but essentially it refers to the art of cleansing your self and your environment using simple ritual and ceremony. Our homes, objects and bodies do not consist of purely physical matter; they also vibrate with subtle, invisible energy. Cleansing a space or our bodies with techniques such as smudging clears away all the emotional and psychic “garbage” that may have gathered, perhaps over hundreds of years. It’s like spiritual spring-cleaning.
SO HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK? Smudging calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away negative energies and put you back into a state of balance, peace and harmony. It is the psychic equivalent of washing your hands before eating – and used as an essential preliminary to almost all Native American ceremonies. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science – when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.
OH! HOW SO? The aroma of sage, for example, increases the oxygen supply to the brain, producing a relaxation of muscle tension. In addition, the smoke from some herbs actually changes the molecular structure of air and energy, producing a cleansing effect. As the sense of smell is connected very powerfully to instinct and memory, the burning of smudge sticks has been found to be a very effective aromatherapy agent, especially when combating feelings of depression, anger, fear, frustration, resentment, and grief.
YOU MENTIONED NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITION – WHERE DID THE TRADITION ORIGINATE? Smudging is a North American ritual, but is not exclusive to this area and has been practiced all over the world. In some cases, smudging is linked to the use of incense – as incense, like a smudge stick, is a natural object that is burned for a specific purpose. The history of incense itself goes back thousands of years to Egypt.
Most traditional cultures, from the Zulus to the Maoris, from the Chinese to the Balinese, have age-old forms of cleansing and blessing ritual. Even the West retains relics of it – the incense wafting through a church is cleansing the atmosphere just as surely as the medicine man’s bowl of sacred smoke, or smudge. The church bells that ring out on Sunday morning were also originally intended to purify the whole parish through sound and lead the community from everyday space into worship – just as the Shaman’s drum can lead us on sacred journeys into the world of the spirits.
IN WHAT SITUATIONS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER SMUDGING YOURSELF OR YOUR SPACE? Smudging is both a ceremonial and an every day practice, so some smudging rituals are performed on a daily basis. Others are reserved for special or ceremonial occasions. As well as a way to clear one’s energetic field, smudging is often used to cleanse apartments and houses before they’re sold, before you move in, or whenever you feel the need to clean your environment. It’s also good to clean any objects you interact with regularly, like your computer or phone, while smudging can also be used to cleanse or protect crystals.
SO WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT THINGS YOU CAN USE TO SMUDGE WITH? A smudge kit usually consists of four of five pieces, each representing one of the four or five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and sometimes Spirit or life energy): A shell (abalone shell is most often used) to represent Water Unlit herbs to represent Earth Lit herbs to represent Fire Smoke to represent Air
Sage is one of the most popular plants used for smudging, as the smoke carries an amazing fragrance that lifts the spirits. Even though sage grows abundantly in many locations, the most commonly used sage for burning and ceremonies is desert sage, or white sage.
The smudge sticks you find in witchy stores are most commonly made of sage and sweet grass, both of which play an important role in the smudging process. Sage is used to evacuate the negative energies, spirits and influences, while the sweet grass will gather new and positive energies. Other herbs used for smudging are cedar, juniper and lavender, and plain tobacco is also sometimes used by Plain Indian tribes.
Palo Santo wood from the rainforests in Ecuador was also considered by many to be a Holy Wood, and burning Palo Santo has been used by the Incas since ancient times as a spiritual remedy, for purifying, and cleansing.
AND WHAT ARE THEIR DIFFERENT PROPERTIES? Sagebrush (confusingly, the “sage” used in most smudge sticks, is not culinary sage but sagebrush): transforms energy and brings change. Sage (the culinary herb): brings wisdom and is calming and healing. Sweetgrass: attracts positive energy. Lavender: restores balance and creates a peaceful atmosphere. Lavender also attracts loving energy and spirits. Cedar: deeply purifying, especially for clearing negative emotions and for healing and as a way to attract positive energy. Also used to bless a home before taking residence there, a tradition dating back to the Northwest and Western Canadian Native Americans, and believed to aid clairvoyance, revive the tired mind, body, and spirit, and stimulate contact with other worlds. Mugwort: stimulates psychic awareness and prophetic dreams. It also banishes evil spirits. Juniper: used to purify and create a safe and sacred space. Yerba Santa: used to purify and to set and protect boundaries. Rosemary: a powerful healer that brings clarity to problems.
WHAT CAN YOU USE IN EMERGENCIES (WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE ABOVE FOR EXAMPLE)? Visualisation is a very efficient technique that can be used anytime. For example, simply visualise that you are filling the room with clear white light that is removing all negative energies as the light is flushed out of the room. You can also use essential oil of sage or Paolo Santo on yourself or to spray in the room.
AND WHAT ABOUT SMUDGING A SPACE WHERE YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO BURN THINGS? You can steep appropriate herbs or essential oils in water, creating a tincture to sprinkle or spray the area with. Placing Himalayan salt near a windows and then throwing the salt away will also disperse negative energies (ideally put the salt into the earth). Sound cleansing, using a gong or crystal sound bowl, is also very effective.
:: SMUDGING RITUAL: THE BASICS ::
Before you begin your smudging ritual, center yourself, holding the intention to drive away all negativity from your energy and purify your soul.
Put the herbs in a receptacle (ideally an abalone shell), light them and gently blow out the flame so that the herbs continue to smoulder.
You can also hold the herbs in one hand. Bear in mind that you will only need a few leaves to create enough smoke.
If you are smudging with Paolo Santo, all you need to do is light one side of the wood and hold the other side.
Now, take some smoke in your hand and bring it over your heart, keeping the intention to clear your energy. Then bring some smoke over your eyes, your third eye and your head.
You may wish to repeat the same process with your throat, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras, and finally your legs and feet (including the soles of your feet).
As you smudge, visualise yourself being surrounded by gentle, loving energy. Breathe in positivity, courage and love. Connecting with each smudged area and the feelings you wish to release or attract will empower your ritual (i.e: letting go of self abuse and bringing empowerment while smudging your solar plexus, or releasing grief and calling for unconditional love while smudging your heart).
If smudging a space, use a fan (ideally made of bird’s feathers) to drive the smoke into all corners of the room, again, holding the intention to purge the place of negative energy and invite in purity and light.
Spiritual scene queen Victoria Keen on the ancient healing modality that suddenly feels so modern.
Being a seeker and practitioner of Sound myself, I’m excited to check out Petroglyph this November 8th at Sage Center for the Healing Arts in groovy Woodstock, NY. Petroglyph brings together indigenous instruments like Gongs, Didgeridoos, Native and Shamanic sound tools and unfolds them to create frequency domains that are excellent for journeying and transformative dreamtime experience.
The Sage Center for Healing Arts is dedicated to increasing awareness around Sound therapy, and the founder Phillipe Pascal Garnier, former magazine art director turned Sound Healer, was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions. Garnier found Sound after seeking alternative therapy from a recommended surgery for the vertigo he was experiencing brought on by Meniere’s disease. He travelled to the Upper Amazon in Peru to work with indigenous spiritual healers, profoundly altering the course of his health and his life.
So what is Sound with a capital S? Everything around us vibrates, thus makes sound to which we are all interconnected. Heard and unheard sound are actually the make up of our reality. Once we accept this truth, we can see reality as a myriad of tunes we have to harmonize with. Some will resonate with us more than others. Resonance is “the magic word” when it comes to opening up and connecting with the awareness of the vibrational world we live in, and it can teach us how to live it better.
How is Sound Healing so ancient and so modern at the same time? In modern times we have come to understand that Sound Encoded Intention was the first medicine used by our indigenous ancestors and, in fact, continues to be used to this day. All cultural traditions of the world used sound as vibrational medicine or as gateways to travel energetically in what is called a shamanic trance, to gain a better awareness of who we are in relation to the universe and to bring healing to individual members of their communities.
So, to some people that could mean loosing your s*** to a sound system at Burning Man? Let’s make an important distinction between sound healing and modern music. Music is organized sound that the brain can make sense of. It can easily follow where the notes are going, and expect the next one to be, where as working with unorganized sound brings the mind to the present moment, to the now. The cascading effect of an untamed scale brings the mind of a patient to “still point,” open to receive the energy flowing with the frequencies to manifest a sound massage.
But you still use instruments, right? Sticks, stones and whistling hallow bones were the first tools used by our ancestors, then the sacred conch shell and didgeridoo came to be used as more elaborate healing instruments. Most of the instruments used today by Sound Practitioners come from the past, ie. Himalayan Singing Bowls, Gongs, Chimes and Bells, etc.
I’ve heard Sound Therapy described as the medicine of the future, and it certainly seems like all the cool cats are into it… Sound has always been used to expand our consciousness, and it’s an important key to the awakening taking place around our planet. It just brings you to the present moment. That’s why it is also sometimes called Sound Meditation. It can be seen as a type of meditation, and enough research has been done on the benefits of meditation for creating wellbeing in modern life.
What would the world look like if we all took a regular Sound bath? The more people who come to the realization that we live in a world of frequencies, the more awareness there will be about the connectivity of all things. The root of the word “healing” is “wholeness,” and Sacred Sound shows us the road to the Unified Field Of Consciousness, a future of Oneness and Equanimity.
A last word on Sound Healing? My advice to all: BE THE SOUND YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR.
Petroglyph perform live at the Sage Academy of Sound Energy on Friday Nov 8 2013. For information and tickets click here.
It’s 6.45pm at Betsy and Bryan’s place, and Bryan is “taking care of the space” ahead of tonight’s Weekly Williamsburg Spirit Séance. The altar is set with a few crystals and a candle, and thick coils of smoke from some heady Copal incense mingle with the savoury scent of the sage “smudge stick” he is using to clear and prepare the space.
The event, which Betsy, a.k.a. Psychic Betsy, has been hosting on regular Thursdays since Fall 2011, begins at seven sharp. “On the email it says not to ring the bell before 6.50pm,” says Betsy, “and we pretty much keep to schedule.”
When you read the word “séance” the first image that springs to mind probably isn’t a cute hipster couple dressed head-to-toe in white. In fact, most people I told I’d be attending tonight replied that they’d be “petrified” to be in my shoes. “Well most people have seen The Exorcist,” jokes Betsy, “but think about it. If you believe that Spirit is actually a benevolent force that connects us all as human beings, what is there to be afraid of?”
Even better, what might I discover about my own “magnetic and psychic powers” (as it says on the flyer) tonight? Describing the weekly séance as “like my pro bono work” (a $10 “suggested donation” sure beats her regular $270 hourly rate) Betsy says she established the event because she wants to encourage this kind of exploration in people. “I always wanted to teach psychic development, and the idea is for everybody in the circle to see what messages come through for them too.”
It’s safe to say that despite the butterflies gathering for a flutter flash-mob in my stomach, I’m now “psyched” for the event to begin.
We all have the power The séance is open to nine bodies each week, and once this evening’s group has arrived we are swiftly seated, ready to begin. Betsy kicks things off with a talk about the nature of Spirit and the different ways we as humans can all receive messages from the “other side.”
How we receive messages Betsy tells us she is mainly “clairaudient” – “meaning I hear things, literally like a voice in my head” – and “clairvoyant”, meaning she also receives messages as images. But they can also come through as smells (clairscent), a taste in the mouth (clairgustance) or even just a feeling or sensation (clairsentience). “So how do you think you connect?” is her question to the group.
And how to interpret what they mean So once you receive a psychic impression, the trick is to get into the feeling you associate with it. The image, sound, smell or whatever is just a symbol for the actual message that wants to come through, explains Betsy; “and then you have to share it, to see if it resonates.” In other words, don’t be shy, “or get embarrassed that you might be wrong. Because there is no wrong answer, you might just need to do some more interpretation.”
You can’t judge “success” on how a person reacts #1 Audience prepped Betsy begins with a short prayer calling in the spirits, followed by a guided meditation to welcome a more receptive energy. She then goes from person to person to deliver a short reading from whoever has come through for them. First up is David – likely, I’ve got “a feeling,” the least receptive person in the group. “I didn’t want to start with you, but Sprit had other plans,” laughs Betsy. As she explained before the session, “how the first person reacts tends to be how the group then reacts.” As she goes on to describe a distant dead relative, David, predictably, plays dumb.
I’m getting…the color purple? As she goes around the circle, Betsy encourages us to share any messages we might also be getting – “learning to trust what you’re seeing is the hard part, but it’s all about practise,” she reminds us. And so, when a vivid curtain of purple unfurls in front of my mind’s eye as Sarah (who seems way more into it than David) is getting her reading, I dig into the associations that come up.
Firstly, it’s undoubtedly “Silk Cut purple” – a very specific shade of magenta used to advertise the brand of cigarettes I smoked when I was trying to be cool in middle school. And as for my feelings about Silk Cut…well I always thought cigarettes looked chic, but were kind of gross at the same time. The sensation in my body is a conflict between wanting to smoke, and feeling disgusted by it. “Are you…trying to stop smoking Sarah?” I pipe up timidly. Is this how it works?
You can’t judge “success” on how a person reacts #2 Sarah shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head. Oh well, I tried! But it’s only after the event that another person in the group comes over to tell me that just this week they decided to give up smoking weed…interesting as Silk Cut was the brand of tobacco I first learned to roll a joint with. OMeffingG…I’m psychic!!
Manifesting fireworks! Finally it’s my turn, and Betsy wants to tell me; “I’m seeing flowers turning into fireworks…” And as she says the word, what d’you know – a kick-ass firework display starts up outside the window. And it doesn’t stop. For my entire reading (in which my Grandfather, a renowned workaholic, comes through to tell me not to neglect the fun-and-family loving part of me – thanks Gramps).
We’re all kind of bowled over by the…coincidence? “You know it’s you doing that…” Betsy laughs at one point, as the swhooshes and whoops outside get almost too loud for us to hear her speak.
Who knows, but I’m sold. If there is something out there, the fireworks incident is enough for me to believe that I’ve connected with the Universal oneness in some way tonight. On the way home, I check my Instagram feed – and sure enough, people are all like “what the hell, random fireworks over the East River…” I want to comment to them all; “you’re welcome. Just another reminder that life’s a celebration, right?”
The Weekly Williamsburg Spirit Séance is every Thursday from 7-9pm. For more information and to reserve your space click here.