The Star invites us to create a ritualistic space for healing and self-care, as we double down on our intention-setting with this week’s Aries New Moon, says Brandon Alter …
Rolling in the deep end of cosmic emotion? Eunice Lucero helps us navigate the high tides, with adaptogen-infused beauty for Cancer Season …
Nope, it’s not your imagination: things are getting way, way deep. Not only are we smack-dab in the middle of Cancer season, i.e. the feelings HQ of the zodiac belt, this month’s lunations also herald the start of a series of eclipses along the Cancer-Capricorn axis—which means emotional and structural change is afoot, and in a massive way.
To ensure smooth sailing on the potentially torrential seas ahead however, we’ve enlisted the help of some adaptogen-infused beauty heroes. Officially defined as non-toxic plant extracts that help increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress, adaptogens are nature’s very own stress-busters put here to help us navigate these emotional rollercoasters with grace!
**We’ve listed our selections for each Cancer placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Cancer rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free.
1// Sun in Cancer: Moon Juice Beauty ShroomTM Plumping Jelly Serum, $58 for 30ml. Getting all up in your feelings is literally on-brand for you sensitive crabs, and nowhere are you more at home and comfier than in the watery, sometimes tear-stained depths of emotional exchange. But you’d be damned to let all this release wreak havoc on your famously glowing, youthful skin though. This adaptogenic serum infused with reishi mushroom—a.k.a. the “mushroom of immortality,” plumps skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and locks in hydration, enhancing that supple, juicy, lit-from-within countenance that is your birthright.
2//Moon in Cancer: 8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil, $88 for 50ml. Named for the eight phases of the moon and the eight faces of the goddess (and perhaps also the number of your ever-changing moods in, well, an hour), this multipurpose balm melts upon contact—and rescues you from a myriad of skin problems, all in one go. The secret: amla berry, which is at the heart of this uplifting grapefruit-scented oil, is a Vitamin C wunderkind (it’s the second-highest source of Vitamin C on the planet) that not only boosts collagen; it also fights free radicals and gives you that moonlit glow that can only be credited to a chic, intuitive knowledge of both self and self-care.
3// Ascendant in Cancer: Linné Botanicals Refresh Face Mist, $36 for 120ml. In Wiccan practice, yarrow root corresponds to the sign of Cancer and is considered an herb for healing, power, and protection. One of the oldest medicinal herbs, it was used to help soothe you and aid digestion—albeit perfect for the Cancer Rising, who enter the world gut-first, and whose feelings show on their faces clear as day, for better or worse! As one of the top ingredients in this delightfully chill face mist, it helps reduce inflammation, balances circulation, and acts as an antiseptic agent for a calmed-down complexion, while promoting overall elasticity and oxygenation.
4// Mercury in Cancer: Snow Fox Skin Care Day & Night Defense Cream, $55 for 50ml. Discussing the wide, colorful spectrum of human emotion with your fave people might be your version of the perfect day, but all that verbal energy can get exhausting—even for deft wordsmiths like you. A lightweight, day-to-night organic cream keeps up with your nimble, agile lifestyle, while Siberian ginseng, known to combat fatigue, reduce lethargy and increase resilience gives your skin that literal snap-back every time your day gets just a tad too stretched out. Bonus: It’s infused with peppermint oil extract, which not only has natural antiseptic and antimicrobial benefits, but also acts as a zingy pick-me-up.
5// Venus in Cancer: Pangea Organics Facial Mask – Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai Goji Berry, $50 for 4oz. Venus in Cancer placements have the science of cozy down pat; they’re masters of simple yet luxurious rituals, and find no shame in their self-care game. They’ve elevated nurturing to an art form, and know what they need to feel beautiful, inside and out. A facial mask chock-full of antioxidants like organic goji berries, which is touted as the Chinese “longevity fruit,” together with well-known anti-agers and skin detoxifiers and nourishers like matcha tea and seaweed, basically make this a reverse time machine for your face, and absolutely perfect for that Sunday night in.
6// Mars in Cancer: Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist, $26. Passionate, hot-hearted Mars in Cancer folks can benefit from an aloe vera cool down, once in a blue moon. Not just made for that nasty après-sun tingle, aloe vera increases the diffusion of oxygen in the blood, which relieves stress, balances circulation and alleviates symptoms of cardiovascular disease. This aloe-infused mist, trendy amongst the fitness set as well as those undergoing hormonal changes like hot flashes, has ingredients purported to activate the body’s immune system and fight free radicals too. Bonus: it also has lavender to calm you down, because feelings!
7// Jupiter in Cancer: Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel, $79 for 50ml. A refined approach to abundance is your trademark; you get what you give, which is great, since you’re generous to a fault. A product that’s virtually an organic spa-on-the-go (complete with a cotton pad–dispensed formula for TSA-friendly traveling), it has super ingredients like the adaptogenic licorice root, which is a potent anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-oxidant. Most notably, it boasts of a natural hydroquinone alternative, for those jubilant expectant mamas who still want to maintain a bright, even complexion, without the risks associated with facial bleaching while with bun in oven.
8// Saturn in Cancer: Moon Juice Sex Dust, $38, and Luna Nectar Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum, $75. All the emotional intensity in the air might can have you coming to terms with some deep-seated anxieties concerning safety and security. Feeling like you’re on your lonesome ownsome in the midst of a crowded room can also come over you like a crashing wave. Don’t fret: A quality cocktail of adaptogens meant for a passion, energy, libido and antioxidant boost, courtesy of shilajit, shatavari, maca root and schisandra berry, helps awaken that inner sex-positive goddess and gets those juices flowing, creatively and otherwise. And because you’re always low-key #extra, add this to that overnighter: an all-natural lash-lengthening serum, named after the seductive, unpredictable ruler of the season, meant to give you all-out flutter appeal.
9// Uranus in Cancer: Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $80 for 35ml. Although in touch with your emotional center, you’re not one to succumb to unnecessary drama; in fact, you have a knack for alchemizing all you encounter into a philosophical lesson for the better, and are gifted in finding solutions beneficial for all parties. Targeted towards oily skin, this buzzworthy oil contains the super-detoxifier milk thistle, which as an adaptogen, pulls no punches in removing bullshit from our livers. On the face, this has the benefit of nourishing and smoothing skin, and together with a tempered-down salicylic acid (courtesy of cucumber seed oil) and licorice, you’re left with a brighter appearance, minimized scars with no greasy afterfeel—all in all offering a clean break, shall we say, which is just how you like it.
10// Neptune in Cancer: Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser & Masque, $42. Highly empathic and tied to family or to those who you’ve established a heart connection with, you cherish emotional discourse and “heal through feel”—so much so that having the wool pulled over your eyes can indeed manifest like a searing betrayal. A healthy habit of setting boundaries is crucial to your mental well-being. Picking up a cleanser packed with immunity-boosting mushrooms, like chaga, reishi and maitake, helps deflect those negative energies, which can insidiously begin skin deep. These fun fungi also reduce puffiness and detox from harmful and excess fluid, leaving you with nothing but the good stuff: skin health, bouncy moisture and a sexy, profound, newly optimistic radiance.
11// Pluto in Cancer: Cocovit Charcoal Face Mask, $38. Feeling a bit more possessive than usual? ’Tis the season that those triggers get activated, especially when it involves your nearest and dearest … and woe to those that dare poach around your territory. Fiercely protective and caring towards family and loved ones, the challenge lies in developing a healthy sense of balance and learning to love and protect yourself first, so that confidence radiates outward at a steadier pace. A mask bursting with goodies like skin-shielding neem powder, anti-inflammatory (and liver-protective) turmeric and balancing and anti-aging ginseng, helps you see the benefits of evening out the highs and lows.
12// Chiron in Cancer: Bioelements Crucial Moisture Emollient Crème Moisturizer, $36.50, 2.5oz. Cancer season can amplify any abandonment or intimacy issues lurking beneath the surface, as well as making you refuse to let people in and even affect a general defensiveness. Embrace those fears and insecurities without judgment, and be your own mother by giving yourself the nurturing you deserve before anyone else—you can’t draw from an empty well! A rich, emollient, indulgent, pro-grade cream is an everyday treat you so deserve. Best yet? The stress-fighting effects of its powerhouse ingredients, which include panax ginseng (stress reduction, relaxation), gotu kola (connection, wound healing) and dong quai (hormonal balance), even at skin level, are all completely on your side.
Treat yourself to the full Gemini season rainbow with Eunice Lucero‘s non-binary beauty picks …
Thankfully, we’ve begun to embrace that gender is anything but a binary concept—it’s not black and white, or worse, pink versus blue—and Gemini season is prime time to embrace the full spectrum of the rainbow. No shade to feminine frills, but this month we’re feeling sleek, minimalistic buys that are as sassy as they are inclusive.
We’ve listed our selections for each Gemini placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Gemini rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free. Oh and bonus, we also put the spotlight on product pairs and groups—as Geminis know, twinning is twice the fun …
1// Sun in Gemini: Panacea The Aegis Daily Facial Moisturizer, $46 for 50ml, and The Aegis Daily Facial SPF, $38. Named after the Greek word for “all-healing,” you love witty products that talk the talk, but that have integrity too. This line is made of premium ingredients all in a straightforward, easy-to-use formulation—appealing to your smart, ingredient-based approach to skincare. The moisturizer’s potent yet streamlined cocktail (hyaluronic acid, Japanese seaweed, fig extract) delivers lightweight nourishment and syncs up with your penchant for thoughtful content; the SPF is scentless and non-greasy, allowing you some hassle-free fun in the sun, as you can’t let UV rays cramp your networking steez. Best yet? They’re both TSA-friendly, because, of course, you’re all about leaning into that natural wanderlust.
2// Moon in Gemini: Meant The Absolute Balm, $45 and The Wonder Polish, $43. Multitasking is the name of the game for this delightfully chic line, which totally simplifies your shower routine—and gives mood-groomers like you a break from overthinking! Your decisions, particularly with beauty indulgences, are as mercurial as your mile-a-minute convo skills, so dual-purpose winners take the anxiety out of choosing between style and substance. Prep with the polish, which is an organic body scrub and an in-shower moisturizer (it has coffee, sugar and avocado—basically brekkie for your bod), then indulge in the anti-oxidant-filled balm, whose soft formula doubles as a sexy, cozy salve that treats and soothes.
3// Ascendant in Gemini: Schwarzkopf Professionals BlondMe® Instant Blush Blonde Beautifier in Steel Blue and Strawberry, $22 each. Your youthful looks and charming open-mindedness give you the moxie for the latest trends; you’re not afraid to try new things, which is why you were probably first on the candy-hair bandwagon when it hit the scene years ago. Prolong those rainbow-unicorn vibes while giving your look a current spin with a pair of non-committal pastel sprays specifically formulated for lightened or blonde locks. Spray and comb through for a fest-best ’do, or even use the light blue shade to help tone that on-trend dusky platinum when it turns brassy. The colors last up to five washes—enough time to stay breezily on-point for your next soirée.
4// Mercury in Gemini: Cydney Mar Wellness Energetic Body & Mind Adrenal Support, $38, and Jecca Correct & Conceal Palette in Medium, $21.80. A ball of restless energy, you’re undoubtedly at home in an intellectually stimulating environment. Eclectic, versatile and super quick on the uptake, life can definitely burn you out if you’re not careful! A supplement that gives a gentle energy boost via rhodiola, a.k.a. nature’s secret weapon against fatigue and mental burnout, is great for nervous types. Fun fact: Rhodiola also helps improve allergy resistance, which is clutch for you Mercs in Gemini who are so plugged into their social surroundings. Once you’re set on the inside, fine-tune any remaining imperfections with a concealer palette that impeccably neutralizes, because as you’ll learn time and again, life is nothing but a play on balance.
5// Venus in Gemini: Pinrose Pillowtalk Poet Eau de Parfum, $65 for 50ml, and Bite Beauty Limited Edition Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gemini, $26. Words are the way to your heart; lively, sparkling conversation is what you consider the biggest turn-on. Communication is also the main vehicle for your charms, making you an expert in the art of smooth-talking and flirty conversation, not to mention that perfectly placed double entendre. Maintain this seductive signature with a perfume that’s made for morning-after banter—a powdery, fresh-laundry scent evokes a light, gender-neutral vibe—and seal the deal with a two-in-one (!) lippie, in shades that mirror both sides of that quirky Gem personality.
6// Mars in Gemini: Context Nude Balm in Heartbreaker, $20, and dōTERRA Basil Oil, $26.67. Gentle reminder to all you Mars in Gemini firecrackers: The pen is mightier than the sword, particularly where you’re concerned. An impassioned orator and writer, you are SO not one to shy away from a healthy debate to get your point across—so perhaps a muted, non-threatening lip balm can help soften those blows (also try and keep your convo nasty-free, just like the balm’s formula). For that changeable energy though, go for an oil blend that heightens focus and keeps your social ADHD from going haywire. Tip: Rub on your pulse points and inhale with three deep breaths, especially when you start feeling fidgety.
7// Jupiter in Gemini: Non Gender Specific Everything Serum, $65, The Art of Shaving Engraved 3 Blade Razor, $175. You’re genuinely curious and outgoing, leaving you with no shortage of friends, and perhaps even a handful of admirers who enjoy your “the more, the merrier” approach in social situations. Your magnanimous vibe is echoed in your choice of self-care too: You love starting with a positive, clean slate, and a clean shave, with a quality razor, is as tabula rasa as it gets! Follow up with an equally high-minded serum that’s not afraid to go big: As the name suggests, this optimistic formula targets nearly all major skin issues, from lines to pores to hyperpigmentation, with a lovely, all-folks-welcome smile on its face.
8// Saturn in Gemini: KNIGHT CO. Exfoliating Face Scrub, $30, and Complete Moisturizer, $30. Crisp and simple, yet with an exacting attention to detail, it’s no surprise that you resonate with expertly curated products that don’t waste time on frivolities. Not only is this no-nasty exfoliant too chic not to flaunt on your shelf (you’re all about understated, almost curt-like quality), it’s also made with natural and organic ingredients. Same with the moisturizer, which wears so light on skin and imparts a soft matte glow, which people know is a hallmark of your cool confident look.
9// Uranus in Gemini: Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination/Oily Skin Types, $48. A bit dry one day, crazy-oily the next? Sometimes travel can wreak havoc on a complexion, as changes in temps and hormonal levels can be zany AF. Thankfully you’re no stranger to unpredictability (and frequent flyer miles!), and even welcome both with a gregarious, offbeat spirit. Thank your innate good-naturedness, or, you know, having a handy, backpack-friendly, beat-anything set of natural face and body boosters in tow. Just saying.
10// Neptune in Gemini: Fluide Blue Trio (liquid lipstick, glitter and nail polish), on sale for $35. This wonderfully inclusive brand’s lip, nail and glitter set is made for nebulous Neptune Gems, who practically embody sparkle in thought and deed. For this wildly imaginative lot, communication is more intuitive and facts are more like suggestions anyway, right? And besides, anyone who doesn’t get your big-picture mentality can immediately be waved off, stat, with a perfectly pigmented, 7-free vegan mani and matching pout.
11/ Pluto in Gemini: Context White Charcoal Detox Mask, $45, and Absorb Skin Care The Face Oil, $110. Detoxing, whether physically, mentally or energetically, is a requisite in this day and age, and Pluto Geminis embrace this purge like a fish to water. Keeping things fresh and cutting edge highlights your love of renewal and change, and a luxe charcoal mask, followed by a refreshing serum made of all of nature’s best stuff (organic pomegranate and other omegas and antioxidants) is all the doctor ordered to kick-start your skin—and psyche—into gear.
12// Chiron in Gemini: MMXV Infinitude Universal Facial Treatment, $225, and The Better Skin Co. Zit No More Acne Treatment, $18. Maybe you never got over that niggling middle-school bout of insecurity keeping you from speaking your truth; maybe it’s just a paralyzing self-doubt of not being articulate or well-versed enough, or being the subject of other people’s toxic gossip. Squash all these irrational bad news bears and start building your confidence from the outside in, with a skin saver that gives you one less thing to feel anxious about. Follow it up with a game-changing miracle cream that also tackles seven main concerns, literally making your glam as foolproof as can be.
Taurus season is time for getting grounded and knowing your worth. Eunice Lucero reveals the best beauty luxuries for indulging your celestial senses …
1// Sun in Taurus: Empress Perfume, from $7.00. Infused with the trademark voluptuous hallmarks of your ruling planet, this natural, artisanal Venusian blend of Turkish rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and honey all linger around a heart of cardamom, a.k.a. the “Fire of Venus.” And as it is with you, the fragrance has a mellow, comfy cacao baseline that pleasantly lingers and gently grounds.
2// Moon in Taurus: Kindred Skincare La Femme Body Oil, $60. Beauty and the pursuit of sweet and juicy sensuality is the name of your game, and this certified organic, award-winning, illuminating floral-scented body oil is just the cozy, sexy little thing to envelop you in all the things you love: femininity and bodily luxuries. Best yet? Partial proceeds benefit the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally. How’s that for honoring the Goddess?
3// Ascendant in Taurus: LAFCO New York Reed Diffuser in Champagne, $115. Step into my gilded/decadently decorated/sinfully comfy parlor, said the classy Taurus Rising! Pamper both yourself and your beloved guests with a warm yet sparkling room scent made of citruses and rose named after the celebratory drink that, like you, tenderly brings people together.
4// Mercury in Taurus: Joyōme Illuminating Day Serum and Intensive Overnight Repair Serum, $153 for duo. The ultimate witty connoisseur, you gravitate towards quirky yet effective beauty finds that embody sensible chic. A simplified, expertly curated two-step routine that not only lightens up your everyday glam but makes you rethink old imprints about skin (by working with our natural microbiome and not hate-scrubbing against it).
5// Venus in Taurus: NEWA Anti-Aging Skin-Tightening Device. With Taurus in Venus, the goddess is in her castle! You happily elevate your daily glam time into an actual, sacred, physical ritual. A skincare device that mimics the effect of high-end procedures, all while in the comfort of your own home, is a quality investment fit for a queen like you. Bonus: The device uses RF technology to tighten problem areas like the jawline, putting the spotlight on true Taurean beauty points—that sexy neck and throat.
6// Mars in Taurus: Lansinoh® HPA® Lanolin Nipple Cream, $8.79. Your formidable inner strength gives you a patient, determined approach to getting ahead, which sometimes results in a bit of wear and tear along the way to the top. A single-ingredient, preservative-free product that acts as a catch-all for a myriad of concerns (it ingeniously moisturizes cracked, dry skin apart from soothing mama’s breastfeeding nips!) is a perfect companion for busy, goal-oriented people like you who’ll appreciate its straightforward formula, and also delight in a good beauty hack.
7// Jupiter in Taurus: UNI Organics Exfoliating Face Scrub, $44. Jupiter in Taurus goddesses go about life armed with an infectious combo of wide-eyed optimism and a solid, realistic foundation based on total integrity. You’re happiest when you’re a bit extra but always for a good cause; donating part of your hard-earned moolah to charity, or investing in sustainable skincare, gets your mojo rising. This certified organic exfoliant chock full of all plant-based ingredients gives you the conscientious fresh start that exuberant bosses like you crave each morning.
8// Saturn in Taurus: Kama Botanicals Skin Superfood Serum, $99. A few drops of this nutrient-rich, 100 percent natural and organic wonder oil is said to do everything from repair damage to minimize stretch marks and plump up skin. A tall order? Its roster of powerful botanicals were tried and tested by the proprietor herself ,and created to heal her own scars and blemishes. It’s those trustworthy, proof-is-in-the-pudding results that appeal to those with Saturn in Taurus, who put a lot of stock into responsibility and dependability.
9// Uranus in Taurus: Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Everyday Unscented Natural Deodorant, $8.95. Environmentally woke Uranus in Taurus babes come alive with organic/gluten- cruelty/nasty-free/vegan alternatives, and this winner checks all boxes—while also being unisex, because true beauty is universal indeed! This winner uses arrow root, and not baking soda or aluminum, to absorb moisture, transforming your post-shower ritual into a more natural, chemical-free experience.
10// Neptune in Taurus: BioSphère Naturel Lumière Crème Jour, $44. Your emotive, lovestruck, artistic nature finds balance in a healthy obsession with material possessions, most notably with a luxurious French cream that has a clean, elegant sex appeal. Since Taurus tempers that famous Neptunian illusory vibe, something that imparts actual visible results is key. Not only is it no-nasty cruelty-free and vegan, the moisturizer also has organic rice powder to mattify, as well as organic bamboo extract to protect from environmental stressors—super clutch for the pollution-sensitive soul that you are.
11// Pluto in Taurus: Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, $24. Stubborn and hyper-focused Pluto in Taurus people don’t take too well to compromise … and with this power-player mascara, they don’t have to. A revolutionary move of replacing beeswax with cannabis oil gives this hydrating, vegan, 100 percent cruelty- and paraben-free formula an edge among others in the market, while staying on-brand for the adventurous game-changers with this Taurus placement. Heart-shaped fibers also help reinforce that famous Plutonian stare by allowing for more intensely volumized and curled lashes.
12// Chiron in Taurus: Apotheca Zincuta Ointment, $12.5o. It’s no fun avoiding risk all the time, so a cure-all ointment that helps ease physical insecurities or alleviate anxieties about stepping out of your comfort zone can be a crucial addition to your go bag. Be armed against most skin afflictions—from bug bites to eczema—and know that you’re a goddess to be celebrated in your own skin, with and without all the liveries.
My self-care tips are all about balance, and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. PLUS the best self-care books of 2018 reviewed …
When Kelley Hughes of Philly-based apothecary brand Wilde Gatherings offered to show me her signature facial, it was a no-brainer. Right, you say. But being on book deadline while overseeing a total Numinous re-brand (coming v. soon!) and somehow juggling all my other projects means zero space in my diary for heading up to Midtown on a random Thursday afternoon. I don’t even really like facials.
But. Right now, anything to get me BACK INTO MY BODY is a no-brainer. With a chart that’s all Fire and Water and a work life that runs on Air (elementally and literally, since my Macbook and me are inseparable), Earth is what’s lacking. Grounding. Which means it’s on me to make sure I make space in my iCal for it. (And thank you so much Kelley it was divine! I like facials again!)
Meaning, for practices that invite human touch. For IRL conversations with hugs and vibes I can feel. That remind me of my physicality from the inside out. Without this WEIGHT to balance me out I may as well just float off into the Cloud.
Kelley’s line is based in Ayurvedic principals, which is also a science of balance. On a daily basis we can feel we’re too much of this, too little of that. The same imbalances that find us reaching for a quick fix. Coffee, sugar, booze. Mindless TV. Things to liven us up or calm us down. When often all we need is some time away from our phone, a nourishing meal, and a decent night’s sleep. Inviting in what brings us balance is the essence of self-care to me.
Here are four of my surprising self-care tips (which also don’t cost anything):
1 // Journaling in the middle of the night. When I get too Airy, my head gets full of crazy thoughts. They get so loud they often wake me up, and since SLEEP is my ultimate self-care rule, I will do anything to protect it. The best way to stop the thoughts? Get up and write them all down, IN THE DARK (turning a light on only makes the thoughts think they’ve won), on a piece of paper. Works like magic.
2 // Taking Instagram off my phone at night and on weekends. As an entrepreneur, I used to go around bitching / bragging about how I was always ON. How doing what I love means my work is my life, and how this is great, but can also feel relentless and like its own kind of treadmill. Then I realized I could create my own “office hours” by just simply IG off my phone! Game-changer! Of course I still work evenings and weekends, but in the peace and quiet of my own mind.
3 // Not drinking. The morning I began writing this post (including the “not drinking as self-care” tip) my friend Mia from @thesoberglow put a comment on Insta that basically said it all. Which is this: “No workout.
No juice cleanse. No spa visit. No massage. No colonic. No vacation. No meditation. No dry scrub. No salt scrub. No detox. No wheatgrass shot. No hike. No manicure. No smoothie. Nor will any of the million things I could do to take care of myself ever be more potent, more radical or more important than my choice not to drink..” Alcohol is only fuel to my already raging Fire. A flood of Watery feelings where I already have plenty of those floating about. An ejector seat into the Airy ethers. My Sober Curiosity, above all, is what keeps me cool, dry, and with my feet planted firmly on the ground.
4 // Giving myself an extra hour in the morning. For drinking lemon water and meditating, yes, but mainly to give myself time for a proper poop 🙂
Want more pro self-care tips? Below, Lisa Kjellsson reviews 5 of the best self-care books for 2018 …
Recharge: A Year Of Self-Care To Focus On You, by Julie Montagu (Piatkus)
When yoga teacher and nutritionist Julie Montagu’s husband became seriously ill, caring for him and their four children soon left her drained of energy and she realised she had to make some changes. Her book is a one-year commitment to self-care, split into monthly chapters focusing on topics such as mindful eating, stress management, digital detox and self-esteem. The chapters on finding your truth and living with purpose are especially inspiring. This refreshingly jargon-free book is essential reading if your intention for 2018 is to put yourself first, but will the format work for everyone? Most of us want to feel better now.
Self-Care For The Real World, by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips (Hutchinson)
The long list of celebrity endorsements had me wondering whether this hyped title would be all lifestyle shots and hot air, but my initial scepticism was soon replaced by true book love. The Narain sisters touch on everything from body confidence to heartbreak, and share their strategies for navigating life with self-love and kindness. The tips on how to inject more self-care into the workplace, for example, might just make all the difference if you work in a high-pressure environment. This is a beautifully crafted book and, like Kate Moss, I want to give it to everyone I know.
The Self-Care Revolution: Smart Habits And Simple Practices To Allow You To Flourish, by Suzy Reading (Aster)
As a psychologist specialising in stress management and healthy lifestyle change, Suzy Reading certainly has the credentials to write about self-care and her book draws on lots of interesting research as well as her own life experience. The ‘vitality wheel’ she has devised to help readers diagnose which areas of their life need more attention is particularly useful as it illustrates just how multifaceted a full life should be and how easy it is to neglect any one aspect. This practical guide to wellbeing also has excellent tips on goal setting and developing strong coping skills and will perhaps especially resonate with busy parents.
The Self Care Project: How To Let Go Of Frazzle And Make Time For You, by Jayne Hardy (Orion Spring)
Having struggled with her mental health for most of her twenties, Jayne Hardy often wondered which came first, her lack of self-care or her depression. Her account of feeling too low to leave her bed or brush her teeth highlights the need for support for those in the same situation, and Hardy now runs a social enterprise in aid of those affected by depression. Her advice is to form a ‘self-care squad’, a group of friends to rely on for different types of encouragement. Sadly the good points she makes – about people pleasing and overcommitting, for example – are somewhat lost in a writing style best described as a stream of consciousness. Overall this is more of an insight into the author’s mind than a source of self-care inspiration.
The Little Book of Self Care: The Tiny Everyday Habits That Will Transform Your Life, by Mel Noakes (Ebury Press)
Despite enjoying professional recognition and a social life filled with travel and parties, Mel Noakes had always battled with low self-esteem and for years used food, exercise and work to numb herself. After reassessing her life during a year of travel, she changed direction and became a life coach. Her book may be small in size but it packs a punch – covering everything from decluttering your home and nurturing your relationships to getting more sleep and managing your money. Financial self-care, as Noakes calls it, is not just to do with budgeting but also tackling the beliefs and values that may be holding us back from prosperity. The bite-sized chapters with actionable advice make this a great little book to refer to for a dose of mindful transformation.
For more book recommendations, check out @thelkedit on Instagram, where Lisa shares inspiring non-fiction reads.
When energy psychologist Alexia Traverse-Healy started her cycle one night, a flood of emotions came with it. She soon discovered what her period blood was actually trying to tell her …
Feeling a movement, a shift of tides, I tense a little and then spring up from the bed. My partner looks bewildered. Mid gallop to the bathroom I shout over my shoulder: “I’m bleeding.” He relaxes. Her period.
I run to the bathroom but we are out of loo paper upstairs. I turn back on my self to head to the downstairs bathroom, covering the light switch in menstrual blood as I flick it on, having tried to hold the blood in with my hand. I won’t make it down and back.
“I’ll get it,”says my boyfriend, coming from the bedroom. Gratefully, I sit on the loo upstairs, door open. And just as I am pulling my Mooncup out of my vagina, full of not just free-flowing red blood, but also strings of mucous and matter, he bounds back up and freezes for a moment. Hand outstretched but face away, he mutters something about “mystery” and walks off.
I recognise the wounded feeling straight away. Mystery? I know what he means. He means how I ask him not to poop with the door open or fart in our bed. “I know it’s not the same,”he has already muttered as he heads off back down the corridor, in preparation no doubt for what happens next. He knows me well.
Because it IS my mystery …
Then comes my Leonine anger. The years of hearing “Are you having your period?” when I am fired up and passionate. I want him to understand what rages through me when my blood is denied or demands to be hidden, to be cleaner, to be prettier.
Because, to me, it IS my mystery. It is my essence and my strength, my sexiness, my womanhood, my core. The smell. The blood. The mess. It is me. And to be turned off by it, turned away from it, is painful and personal.
I didn’t always feel this way. After growing up learning to conceal and apologize for it, it has taken me until 38 years old to be proud of it. The Mooncup has been a big part of the transition. Now I handle my blood. There’s no hiding with a Mooncup.
I cut back to this moment and tune into the love I feel for this man.
His reaction is to the sight of the blood all over my hands, down the inside of my thighs, dripping from my vagina into the loo, pouring from the full Mooncup into the sink. It is slightly shocking, if it’s not yours. If it’s not beloved to you.
When your daughter wants to paint with it …
But I want him to be fascinated by it. I want him to come over with wonder and be interested and slightly awed. Like my five-year-old daughter is: “Mummy can you not take your Mooncup out until I get back from school? I want to see.”
At first, her deep, deep interest freaked me out. What? Really? Is that even appropriate parenting? But she was insistent and so purely intrigued. It was her right, as a woman in the making. I’ve been raising her to question, to take interest, to be fearless – so why not here too? With minimal fuss or pomp, I showed her this everyday occurrence infused with a little wonderment. And she was joyful. Fascinated.
I wanted to give her the choice of always being easy with her body. A wild, artistic child, she’d ask if she could paint with it. Even I have my limits, but god I love her for wanting to.
I will continue to worship my blood …
My boyfriend is in the kitchen making us Sunday breakfast. And as I come down off my adrenaline high, I see what he means when he compares seeing me in full flow to farting in bed. Though to me, it’s not the same. With the blood of my monthly moon comes the possibilities of life and death, the magic of future and past, and I doubt anyone can say that about a fart.
But what he means is that, to him, it is a bodily function, and he sees them all the same. In a way, it may be his version of equality.
As I drop down from my orbit of emotions, I remember him falling asleep last night, with his cool hand on my too-hot belly, holding the pain for me and with me, asking me if I wanted an ice pack from the kitchen. And I feel grateful. I breathe. I’m here
If he holds me through the pain of my bleeding, then maybe for now I am happy to leave the blood paintings, the roars of grace and gut, the dancing and the revelry, to my sisters, my daughters, and to the mothers.
Every time we are triggered, it is an invitation to learn and to go deeper. To peel off an onion layer. I love that this morning’s little wounding helped me to deepen my trust for my partner, helped me to articulate silent shadow feelings that I’d never even thought to express.
I will continue to worship my blood, to feel proud and stand strong in my SHEness – but I won’t blame my man for running from it. It is powerful after all.
He asks me, before I send this in, to change “he bolts” to “he heads off down the corridor.” “I know it doesn’t sound as good,” he says, “but it’s more like what happened.”
I concede, erase, replace, and eat my delicious breakfast, bleeding quietly.
Alexia Traverse-Healy is a London-based energy psychologist who works with clients on anxiety, stress, phobias, sexual issues, relationship crisis, family, fertility, finances, patterns of stuck behavior, and existential questions. To book a free 20 minute phone consultation go to www.sheworkswellness.com, where you can also find a free SHEness Audio visualisation.
While our solo work is oh so vital, Alexandra Roxo tells us that colliding with another can take us even further. Date night can even become your soul’s mirror …
Whether you’re in partnership or single, when you’re able to clean the dirt of old stories and receive your truth, you can let your relationships be a clear mirror for your soul.
And a date is a perfect way to see where you are on your journey on any given day, in any given moment …
It can be with your husband. A stranger. A boyfriend or girlfriend. If you walk in with intention and clarity, you can see how much you are accepting all of yourself: where you are tight and holding, where you are closed, where you have grown. Treat it like a ritual. A ceremony.
Whatever stories cloud your mirror, here’s how to start to scrubbing and seeing yourself without the scar tissue, warning labels, and caution signs …
3 DATES + A HOMECOMING
After some soul searching and radical up-leveling at Burning Man, I returned to L.A. and decided to hop back into the dating scene to see what I attracted …
Date 1: Sacred Sluts & Shadow Work
My first mirror was a director, Reiki healer, and angel speaker, who told me stories of BDSM clubs in Europe, had erotic poetry on the walls, was kinda Goth, had been to Burning Man, and fed me banana pudding.
I was staring at a mirror of an old version of self, the hipster meets healer meets artist who likes to party but talks to Angels. But the difference was that this man was accepting ALL these parts of himself, especially his kinky side. Though I am happy the “hipster me” was put to rest, colliding with him made me realize that I was still struggling to mix my BDSM side with my Mother Mary side, my Goth side with my sacred side.
I left the date, cried for two days, and never heard from him again.
But what I’d learned was that it was time to accept and love my Sacred Slut, Radical Queer, Kinky Freak … who is also creative, deeply spiritual, pious, artistic, and a Spiritual Teacher.
I felt like a part of me had come home out of the shadows …
Date 2: Wood Chopping & Clear Channel Intensity
I arrived at a beautiful house, and a man began to chop wood and made a fire for us in a ceramic fire pit.
As he then lead us through breathwork and we journeyed through the elements, I wondered if he’d Googled me. Did he know I loved to practice ritual?! It didn’t matter. It felt good nonetheless.
As we laid on an oriental rug by the fire, turned on our sides and gazed into each other’s eyes, my body shivered and shook. And then we danced. We prayed. We sang. We painted.
WOW. This is how I LIVE. Ceremony, ritual, intensity, intention. And because my mirror had been foggy and not reflecting out my whole self, I had rarely been met by the people I dated in that fullness.
Seeing the beauty of my life reflected in this person was moment was a gift and a miracle for myself. My fave books on his shelf, my anthem “Higher Love” playing, an arrow tattoo on both of our left ribs.
I understood that I wasn’t seeing my wounds anymore because I was accepting myself. With all my flaws and stories. And so he was able to be a clear mirror for me.
Date 3: A Man Named “God”
I didn’t think my new picture of myself could get any sharper. But as we change, our mirror changes too. After doing a 3-day intimacy intensive, something shifted in me, and my capacity and definition of intimacy and love expanded even further.
During the following week I met three men whose names meant “Who is Like God,” and decided to go on a date with one of them.
This person was consciously devoted to spiritual practice, and our date became a moving meditation of connection, not even a date at all. Few words were needed. Clothes stayed on. But we went into ecstatic states.
He saw where I was holding back and invited me to share my Fullness. I saw where he wasn’t trusting himself and I helped him to trust.
We spent our time in a fluid dance together, a type of date I never thought was possible! Putting it into words seems silly. Like describing the shape of raindrops. Or trying to gift someone a jar of laughter.
And this is where my soul is now.
4 STEPS TO TURN YOUR OWN DATE NIGHT INTO SOUL WORK
STEP 1. Work on radical self-acceptance. This means stop trying to change and fix yourself. Be willing to see yourself fully so you can be met in your Wholeness. With all the mess. All the trauma. Cellulite. Credit card debt.
Write the Mess a Letter: What do you HATE about yourself? What is hiding in the shadows that you think isn’t socially acceptable? Bring it all up to the surface and then LOVE it so so so hard. Write it love letters. Affirmations. Make it an altar. Buy it an outfit. Treat that part of you like a Queen.
STEP 2. Resource yourself. If you’re single, get clear about what is of value to you and bring it to yourself until you are completely “resourced.”
Fill Your Own Cup: You want safety? Make a list of what makes you feel safe and do those things. You want someone who texts back? Start being more consistent with your own communication skills. You want more sexy fun? Bring it to your SELF. Fill your own cup.
STEP 3. Be clear about what you want. Own it. Claim it. And be ready to attract a few “Mirror Cleaners” —a.k.a. free teachers! Just be safe and take care.
Say it Out loud: Clear shame about what you want by telling yourself aloud. You want your hubby to role play doctor with you? Or your date to meditate with you? GREAT. Get comfortable with it by writing it down, saying it aloud to yourself, and lastly, sharing with friends—but only when it feels solid for you.
STEP 4. Be ready to step into practice. When you are on “the path” EVERYTHING is practice. This doesn’t just happen in yoga or kundalini class or meditation time. LIFE becomes your daily yoga.
Gauge Your Presence Level: Start giving yourself a 1 to 10 in terms of Presence Level on every coffee date, work meeting etc. Then at the end of the day ask yourself “How could I have gotten more present?” Did I need to scream, nap, dance, cry? Bring more rage? More warrior vibes? Start practicing.
And most of all, remember that “the work” of being fully met doesn’t have to be laborious (and it doesn’t have to conform in the least bit to society’s ideas about partnerships or an outcome driven process—years of birthdays and cuddling and make outs and camping trips are all extra).
The GIFT is being met in a moment. And then being able to see the reflection of how far you have come.
Alexandra is a writer and spiritual teacher who works with clients one-on-one in person and remotely. Join her in LA next week on 10/11 at Free People Santa Monica for a Practical Love Magic Workshop, and on 10/14 at Saje Wellness for Love, Sex, and Other Things (use CODE Alexandra for $10 off!)
Channeling the fiercely feminine ancient goddess Freyja in her brand new collection, YCL Jewels founder Fabienne talks ritualistic adornment, powerful women as modern muses, and the non-negotiable practice of self-love …
“Everything that we put into our body is literally the makeup of ourselves and our being. It’s equally important to think about what we put on our physical body (clothing, jewels), and to choose these items with just as much intention as what we eat”—YCL Jewels Creative Director, Fabienne
The Numinous: How did Freyja become the muse for the collection—who is this ancienct goddess and what initially attracted you to her?
Fabienne: Each collection is inspired in such different ways. Sometimes it will be a place, a feeling, or a person. In this instance, it was the name itself—Freyja. The name reflects great strength in women who are also able to trust in and embrace the feminine essence.
Freyja represents a woman who is passionate, beautiful, and enjoys the finer things in life. This applies to our YCL women—they’re fierce, diverse, and passionate about life and the causes they support. They have an inner-strength, know who they are, what they stand for. This is real empowerment to me.
I feel like Freyja lives within all of us, just waiting to be activated. This collection caters to a woman whose days may be full and active, but who has a deep spiritual life that is meant to heard, trusted, and unleashed.
TN: When did you first feel a personal connection to her?
F: While I was taking a holiday in Japan and able to step away from the daily running of the business, I started thinking about the powerful and passionate women in my own life, and in particular my mother and her influence on me. The “Mother hoops” in the collection are an ode to similar hoops my Mum always wore when I was growing up.
But I guess you could say the connection to Freyja in concept and name was an amalgamation of all the wonderful, wise, and powerful women I know in my life.
TN: So how do you think can women channel the Goddess Freyja in their day-to-day?
F: Channeling the Goddess Freyja means prioritisizing time for ourselves, every single day. When we’re able to cultivate a peaceful and loving relationship with ourselves, so much abundance flows from this space.
It doesn’t matter what form this takes—it’s about sitting in a space of awareness, so that all areas of our lives have the room to flourish and bloom. This allows us to adapt, and to pivot quickly and with ease through all of life’s wonderful opportunities for transformation.
I practice this through non-negotiable morning meditation, and rituals that include drinking rose quartz-infused water for unconditional self love. I also spend time doing what the Japanese call “forest bathing”—which means taking long meditative walks that actively engage all five senses in the forest near where I live.
TN: What other powerful feminine idols are most inspiring to you?
F: Being a business woman is not something that comes naturally to me—I’m completely self-taught, and even four years in I’m learning to take charge in new ways and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.
In this effort, I’m inspired by all women who are following their vision with strength and conviction. Whodon’t just follow what they may have been taught, or a path society has led them to follow.
This could be the women I spend my day with, who I get to work with, the woman who serves me coffee with a smile, or a local woman creating art that’s completely unique to her own vision. I am also my own inspiration.
TN: Why is jewelry such an important conduit to the mystical realm?
F: I’ve been making jewelry since I was 13 years old but it wasn’t until I got older that I began to realise the jewelry I wore held a deeper meaning for me. At that time, however, I found it hard to find jewelry that was both intentional, but also modern in design. From this space of searching, YCL was born.
Everything we put into our body is literally the makeup of ourselves and our being. I believe it’s equally important to think about what we put on our physical body (clothing, jewels), and to choose these items with just as much intention as the food we eat.
Is there anything more magical than choosing to wear an intentionally designed and crafted treasure that sits right over your heart?
The Numinous collaborated with YCL Jewels to create this post. Discover more about their pantheon of mystically modern pieces HERE.
In our Numinous Guide to Fertility, we explore the colorful history of witchy manifestation practices, and team up with DAO Labs to find out why Traditional Chinese Medicine is the ancient fertility frontrunner fit for the Now Age …
Whether you’re birthing an actual human or your latest creative project, the word “manifestation” makes the Numiverse go round. And with over half of millennial women considering freezing their eggs according to a 2017 Healthline report, and more and more cosmic babes aligning their cycles with ancient Moon magic, it’s a back-to-the-future moment for mining mystical fertility traditions …
Want to up your juicy fruits according to the Kabbalah? Snack on actual Ruby gemstones for that inner sparkle and glow. While you’re at it, invite your vagina to brunch; inserting egg whites was once believed to help errant sperm find their way back home.
Looking for a sexy new spot for baby-making magic? Follow Pagan farming tradition and go for an actual roll in the hay by bedding down in a freshly ploughed field. And don’t forget to toss your panties onto the roof during the Waning Moon (to be retrieved during the next New Moon). According to The Congo’s Yansi people, your temporarily discarded thongs can lead to hormonally aligned magic.
Amidst all these wondrously witchy practices, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been the fertility frontrunner for over 2500 years. Centered around Daoist practices and the notion of “internal imbalance,” Chinese medicine’s approach offers us the opportunity to control our flow through diet, behavior, and traditional herbal therapies, rather than merely treating symptoms that leave us at the mercy of our cycles.
“When you think of many of the western medicines that we use, often times, they only have one life cycle of testing before launch,” comments Dr. Eric Karchmer, co-founder of TCM innovator DAO Labs, who offer a full line of sustainable herbal formulas that update this ancient wisdom for on-the-go Now Age babes. Health issues arise when our bodies are out of balance, and “Chinese medicine restores the balance, so you can feel everything working together in harmony,” says Karchmer.
Whether you’re regulating your menstruation, trying to get pregnant, or dealing with postpartum depression, the mind/body/soul connection is integral to feeling the fullness of feminine health.
Want to supercharge your approach to fertility? Here are 6 more Numinous paths towards fierce feminine alignment …
1// Feng Shui Your Living Space To clear the entryway for fertility, make sure nothing blocks your front door on the inside or out, and never clean under your bed (except for the giant dust bunnies). Add open pomegranates and statues of trunk-down elephants as accents.
2// Keep Your Spice Cabinet Stocked: With high levels of vitamins A and D, Fenugreek boosts metabolism and sex drive.
3// Practice Crystal Conception: Pack Moonstone, Smoky Quartz, and Rose Quartz during a Full Moon to power up your womb, or get down and dirty with a Jade Egg Sex.
4// Throw a Pina Colada Party: Eat an entire pineapple—the enzymes are reputed to help with implantation.
5// Take Your Vagina to the Sauna: Bring heat to your womb with a DIY vaginal steam bath. All you need is a crock pot, some herbs, and the willingness to sweat it out.
6// Superfood Your Smoothie: Mix in Maca, Spirulina, and Royal Jelly for some tastily potent new life production.
The proprietary Emotional Balance formula from DAO Labs features Chinese Angelica Root (aka The Female Ginseng) for nourishing and invigorating the blood, and their Women’s Formula contains White Peony Root, for tonifying and moving Qi. Perfect for cultivating emotional balance, stress management, strength, and regularity, you can get them both in DAO’s Women’s Monthly Kit —PLUS get 20% off using code: MOON20.
Lost both your mystical practice and your fitness routine in a sea of BBQs and long-weekends away? In the inaugural installment of his Fitness Witch column, Russ Marshalek shares 4 on-the-go magic workouts for fall, that will fast track you back towards body alchemy.
:: A Life on the Road: Taco Bell & Alchemy ::
After having steeped myself in my practice to cope with a remarkably terrible 2016, full of betrayals and trauma, magic had become literally just one more thing to cross off on a daily list of to-dos. Not coincidentally, I’d also had a falling off in my personal fitness practice.
As I embarked on a two-week tour this summer with my band, a place both wonderful and strange, I realized I’d come to an impasse in my personal practice as a self-trained fitness witch.
As we set out, I had fully resigned myself to embracing a traditional “dude on the road with his band” approach to physical and spiritual wellness: Taco Bell, drinking heavily, occasional substance consumption, Applebees, gas station fountain drinks, sleeping in every morning until the last possible second.
At the last minute, I threw a kettlebell and a shitty yoga mat in the trunk as an attempt to appease my own ever-dwindling sense of self-care. This worked out fairly well for me for a few days, and I blocked out the existence of my body while subsisting solely on bottles of Chardonnay and vegan-friendly trash food (and some pretty trashy non-vegan, food too).
Then, one morning I woke up sobbing and in that hilarious and terrifying way people discuss Ayahuasca trips, I had a 6-hour chat with myself in the back seat of the car and came to a few fundamental truths:
That I simply wasn’t drinking enough water. That performing every night both deserved and required a spiritual and physical groundedness and presence that I had been outright ignoring. And that I was a fucking lucky duck; I had the opportunity to travel for work and get paid for creating art, every night, with two of my best friends.
In short, I owed it to everyone involved, myself included, to actually show up for it.
From that day forward, I was never without a bottle of water, I started performing simple offerings to local spirits in each town we visited, and I developed a simple on-the-road exercise routine coupled with daily rituals.
Within two days of kicking my own ass into realizing that my body was unwell because my spirit was unwell, and vice versa, I was happier, more energized, and the shows that ended the tour were the best we’d ever done.
It took me being hundreds of miles away from home for me to be reminded that the true meaning of “self-care” isn’t “tuck inside a brownie and a blanket” but rather “make sure you’re as well as you can be in body and spirit.” And the true meaning of “giving a good performance” is basically the same.
Whether you’re literally on-the-go, or just feeling far from home, here are 4 magic workouts for fall to up your mystical body mojo …
1/ Get Out
Regardless of where you are and what the situation is, there’s comfort and solace to be found in exploring local nature. It’s where we came from, and it’s where we are going.
Fitness: Get up as early as makes sense, lace up your sneakers, find a park or path, and go for a 20 minute jog or brisk walk. Recognize and acknowledge the foliage, the rocks, the ways in which nature finds a way.
Magic: On your journey into nature, find a patch of green that’s particularly appealing to you, and make an offering to local spirits. Alternate between drinking water from your water bottle, ideally filled with water from a local source, and pouring it on the ground as you recite the following:
Spirits of this place in which I dwell/Please accept this offering/May it multiply to the 10 directions and take the form that is most pleasing to you/Take your fill and maintain peace between me and thee/So shall it be
*Drafted by Vanessa Irena and inspired by the writings of Jason Miller
Feel at peace in your surroundings.
Music: a place both wonderful and strange, “W*tch”
2// Peace In Discomfort
The assimilation/accommodation process is an incredibly valuable and powerful one when in any type of new environment, and particularly so when you’re away from your literal home or just out of your comfort zone. Learn how to be at peace with the discomfort of the unfamiliar.
Fitness: This is a modified version of a routine I developed myself for use on the road, and requires nothing more than a yoga mat and a kettle bell.
Experiment with using just a little more weight than you’re comfortable with (safely of course). If you don’t have a kettle bell, find a heavy thing–other free weights/hand weights, phone books, flanks of meat, a cat. If you don’t have a yoga mat, just make sure the surface you’re on is soft enough to not destroy your knees and tailbone. Grass is a wonderful substitute.
20 kettle bell squats/20 kettle bell swings/20 Russian twists/Plank for 30 seconds/Repeat 3x. **If this is too easy and you want to really shake yourself up, feel free to add more reps or sets. I do 5 sets of 30, with a 90 second plank in each.
Magic: A simple mind-clearing ritual to help achieve calmness and clarity. It’s best to perform this at an open window or outside. Light a yellow candle, face towards the open window, close your eyes, and recite:
I call upon the power of Air/To clear the mind of confusion/To focus my thinking/And blow away the clutter/That keeps me from making good choices/Blow in the winds of clarity/And help me to think rationally and clearly/So Mote It Be *Adapted from Witches of the Craft
Imagine any internal strife quieting. Take three slow, deep breaths. Open your eyes. Leave the yellow candle burning as long as possible.
Music: Zola Jesus, “Avalanche (slow)”
3// Mother Night
We owe a debt of gratitude to the Moon and as such, it’s only fitting that we get outside and both observe and pay tribute to her.
Fitness: Under the cover of night, find a space that’s safe, that’s just yours, and take your clothes off. The freeing feeling of being naked, at night, and sweating, is an unbelievable, freeing high like no other. Do any routine that feels good and challenging to you. If you’re stumped, repeat the routine from #1, noticing how different your body feels.
Magic: Ideally, you’d be performing this simple blessing honoring the Moon after having just completed the workout above, and would still be nude. Sit crosslegged, with your palms resting on your knees facing up, in view of the Moon. Take a moment to ponder it in whatever form it’s presenting on this night. Unlike most rituals, don’t close your eyes–continue staring at the Moon, and allow its magic to dance in your mind. Repeat the following:
Mother Moon/I am restored by you/I am divinely protected by you/Help me feel your strength/Help me feel your power
Music: knifesex, “Mother”
4// Sleep Well, Beast
When in unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory, our inner life can turn to a raging beast that causes us to sacrifice our own sense of well-being. For many, myself included, the first thing that that gets thrown out the window is a good night’s sleep. When I don’t sleep well, I have maybe about a day’s reserve of top-level adult functionality before I begin to get angry, withdrawn, and paranoid. In those situations, sleep is quite literally the only cure.
Fitness: There’s literally nothing like bedtime yoga to help with sleep. This Popsugar routine helped me find a good night’s sleep on the road.
Magic: Sit crosslegged in a quiet, dark, cool spot. Close your eyes. Feel your breathing as you breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Become aware of your breath and your body.
Inhale through the nose for a count of six/Hold for 3 seconds/Exhale through the nose for a count of six/Hold again for 3 seconds/Repeat this series four more times.
Imagine your body as a slowly glowing, calming blue light, originating at your heart and slowly spreading to the rest of your body. Feel gratitude for yourself, your body, and your accomplishments of the day.
Music: Sky Ferreira, “Night Time is My Time (a place both wonderful and strange remix)”
As Leo Season builds towards its fiery Eclipse finale, don’t wait another second to make an unapologetic leap into your power. How? Simply “Go first” says Mercedes Kiss …
You see those mid-summer waves rising high in the distance and crashing to the shore, tenaciously, without apology? That’s Leo energy standing tall, asking you to meet her height, to match her show-stopping power.
If we channel Leo energy into a real-life lady goddess running through the surf, she’d look strikingly similar to the muse for this article: 90s pro vollyball phenom Gabrielle Reece. Despite practicing this ethos for a long while, the actual term “Go First” was brought to my attention most recently by Reece in her interview on The Tim Ferriss podcast.
“Go First” is a mantra to offer kindness (courageously) by harnessing our power of vulnerability (fearlessly).
Here are 7 ways to become lionesses of light, as we leap into fearless vulnerability and “Go First” …
1// Smile because they’re there.
You see them coming from a block away … a person … walking their dog … towards you … on the same side of the street. The debate starts in your mind: Do I look away? Search my bag for a nonexistent chapstick? Fake frantically typing a text?
If it were 3,000 years ago and you were in that exact same spot, chances are strong you’d be scavenging for berries or bugs, and the sight of another human would be HALLELUJAH-RAISE-YOUR-HANDS-TO-THE-SKY glorious!
Go first instead! While you certainly shouldn’t risk your safety and maniacally pounce on said dog walker, you should certainly honor your shared humanity with eye-contact and a genuine smile, simply because they’re there.
2// Reach out and touch (somebody’s hand).
According to research led by Apple, Americans access their smartphones 80+ times per day. But our ability to PHYSICALLY connect is fundamental to our sanity. So listen to the wise words of Diana Ross and “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, and make this world a better place, if you can.”
Go first! At your next rooftop pool party, play a little game called “How Hard Can I Channel Miss Ross?” Stack on those sparkly bangles, slide into conversation like you’re on the Studio 54 dancefloor, and make your rounds. Reach your hand and yourself out there. Your moxie is what good parties are made of, and what people will remember.
3// Be attracted.
Every morning we make a choice: put on the glasses with dark grey lenses that turn the world into a sad fog OR the glasses with rose-colored lenses that make the world look dayyyum fine (bonus points if they’re heart-shaped).
The latter turns us into love-machines: attracted to the spiraling Fibonacci pattern of a sunflower, the bursting-ripe tomatoes on a roadside stand, the sweat dripping down a frosty La Croix in the scorching sun, and certainly to the shy smirk of your cute waiter/waitress.
Go first! Whether you’re single (or not), extraverted (or not), share a heartfelt compliment by telling someone they have breathtaking eyes, wicked cool style, or a delightful aura. They will feel fantastic. You will feel fantastic. It’s a win-win-rocket to the karmic stratosphere!
4// Boo boos and tattoos.
Remember when you were born? Guess what you weren’t wearing? Any makeup (much less clothing). And everyone thought you were perfect. Then, somewhere along the journey, we discovered creams and colors to shield other people from seeing us. Honestly seeing us. Joys and triumphs and hellish heartbreaks- such are the things that a full life is made of. And they are often written on our skin.
Go first! Revel in the stories your body tells. Wear the bathing-suit glimpsing at that scar; sport the sandals showing off those nine toes. Celebrate your patina in your own magical way.
Pick a day this week where you say into your mirror: “This is my face. This is my gorgeous face.” Then honor your face with some SPF, leave the rest bare, and depart. If anyone at work has the gall to ask, “Where’s the mascara?,” you’re equipped with the most powerful, two-sentence response.
5// Do I want to live in the arena?
In the words of Brené Brown, channeling Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech, “Dare greatly!”
This is no easy feat. We all feel the presence of critics in our lives- the loudest, of course, being our own internal judge. And we allow them the power to block us from our loftiest ambitions.
Go first! See the critic as nothing more than a beefed-up bouncer standing outside of the disco dance arena of your dreams. He might seem big and scary, but he’s simply a veil of smoke between you and your hottest hustle.
Throw him a polite smile as you strut on past, because the arena awaits you! Who cares if you get messy while you’re in there; you’re living loud and proud and having too much fun to hear his nonsense.
6// A lion-hearted love letter.
Often, our deepest and truest feelings are the hardest to utter face-to-face. If we let them slip through the safe grasp of our inner world and out into the air, they have to face being accepted or rejected by someone else.
But acceptance and rejection are bi-products beyond our control! They shield us from granting our emotions full formation and clarity. Our lion heart yearns for expression above all else, and it grows stronger not through validation, but by purely being set free.
Go first! Let the cat out of the bag and put your purrs to paper. Write your truth in a lion-hearted love letter … let the pen roar without filter, suppression, or critique. It’s up to you, and not a measure of success, whether you sign, seal, and deliver this note to the object of your affection.
7// Pride #1 vs. Pride #2.
The lioness is queen of her kingdom- capable of tackling any Saharan obstacle with her singular strength. Yet she travels, hunts, and lives in prides. She knows that her greatest victories will be won with help from her fellow felines.
Go first! Ask for help. What are you struggling with at the moment (extra gold star if it’s something you thought you’d already mastered)? Seek the guidance of friends and gurus (your Pride #1), stripped free of your armor (your Pride #2).
Vulnerability is often mistaken for weakness, but turn the tables and make it a catalyst for unleashing fiercer and fiercer layers of your self!
Mercedes Kiss is a Boston-based designer, writer, and holistic health coach. After rocking her 20s as an architect of fancy buildings, she jumped tracks and became an architect of the soul. Follow her on Instagram and discover more about A STAND OUT, her sparkly biz devoted to serving a growing tribe of babes through high-vibe articles, personalized wellness coaching, and a line of hand-crafted organic skincare.
The longest day of the cosmic year, Summer Solstice 2017 is your time to strip it down and skinny dip straight back to your roots, say our resident Numi astro babes Danielle Paige, Jennifer Racioppi, and Bess Matassa …
5 Ways to Activate the Summer Solstice 2017 Energy Right Now!
*And make sure to read on for our resident astro babes’ full breakdown of this cosmic event …
1/Go Skinny Dipping: This Solstice asks us to get deliciously stripped down and dip into our private lives. Whether you choose to risk taking the plunge at midday with friends or go solo at midnight, celebrate slipping back into your own skin and connecting with your internal world.
2/Throw a Slumber Party: Celebrate the longest day of the year by pulling an old-school all nighter. Break out the hot rollers and face masks, and channel those nostalgic Cancer Season vibes with Old Hollywood classics, high school yearbooks, and prom pop.
3/Spend a Spa Day with Your Patron Saints: Ruled by the Moon, the Solstice asks us to connect to our feminine progenitors, whomever this means to you. Who has held you close? Who has tenderized your heart? Who have you bowed down at the altar of as a f-ing serious force of nature? Honor those people, whether it’s with an elaborate spa day or a simple, home-cooked brunch.
4/Become Your Own Summer Lover: Light the candles, let the R&B jams play, and deck yourself out in a luscious romper and sky-high wedges. Get nocturnal with yourself- figure out exactly what turns you on in your most private moments and romance yourself with that.
5/Refuel Your Fantasy Life with a Blockbuster: The Solstice marks the Sun’s entry into the sign of Cancer and this little mermaid’s energy is all about the creative force of our fantasies. Whether it’s Wonder Woman or a juicy, romantic beach read, celebrate the unbridled potential of your inner visions by getting whisked away by fantastically real tales of heroism.
More light means more consciousness
The Solstice helps us to define time and get in touch with the sacred rhythm of the Universe. It marks a point of transition from one energetic phase to another and as this is the longest day of the year, more light means more consciousness.
You’ve spent the last 6 months (since the Winter Solstice) in a yin state … lots of rejuvenation, inward processing, and clearing. Now, it’s time to open up and shine your light!
Visualize a seed being planted at the Winter Solstice. After the fertilization process, it grows into a beautiful flower and opens its petals …. THIS is the energy in the air …. Ahhh yes, well hello there!
Moving forward, honor the fullness and richness of life that is tangible to you right now. The more you can honor this, the more you move into your heart space, which is how you attract your desires to you.
To find out more about attracting your desires and working with your karmic energy to find your purpose, you can connect with Danielle here.
Get grounded, connected, and clear
With Eclipse Season just around the corner in August, use the Solstice and Cancer season to get grounded, connected, and clear. The New Moon in Cancer will follow this the Solstice by just two days, and it’s time to initiate new intentions, have fun, and enjoy those summertime vibes!
At the exact moment when the Sun enters Cancer, the Waning Crescent Balsamic Moon in Taurus connects with Venus in Taurus. This fortuitous and auspicious alignment in the Solstice chart indicates that the seasonal shift bestows gifts of bounty. The Moon rules Cancer, is exalted in Taurus, and Venus, Taurus’ ruler, is dignified in this position! To compliment this even more, the Moon forms an exact trine, a supportive angle of manifestation, to powerhouse Pluto.
We can expect this piercing and luxurious alignment to ground us as the Sun reaches his zenith, and we prepare to enter the season of Cancer. Cancer, a sign that loves to connect deeply with those it loves, opens the doorway to nourishing our connection to close friends and family as we reach into our roots for more safety, security, and abundance.
For more Moon wisdom or to book a coaching session with Jennifer visit Jenniferracioppi.com
Skinny dip straight into your own heart
What does midnight feel like in your soul? This Summer Solstice, it’s time to dim all the lights, strip it down to bare, beautifully bio-luminescent skin, and take a naked plunge into your heart’s most private spaces …
With Neptune Rx and the Sun and Mercury entering little mermy Cancer on the same day, this Solstice is a water queen’s dream. But this isn’t the treacherous undertow of Scorpionic and Plutonian storm surges. This salt-kissed Solstice is a homecoming invitation to wash gently, yet fiercely, back onto our own shores, to remember where we’ve been, and to let everything that’s lived in our heart-shaped lockets and treasure chests give us the strength to jet-ski into the future.
So burn out the bulbs and turn on the sea sparkles. Click your heels three times and bring it all the way back home. And trust that you carry your home on your back, nomadic hermit-crab style, because you belong absolutely everywhere and always, to yourself …
Summer Solstice Mantra: I bow at the altar of my most tender night moves.
Theme Song: The Commodores’ Nightshift
Style: Bond Girl Ursula Andress meets Dorothy on her way back to Kansas. Sweetheart necklined one-pieces, gingham print hot shorts, tan halters, stacked raffia wedges, coral and emeralds.
Flavors: Nocturnal snacks and homecoming helpings. Think nightshade fruits and veggies, cardamom-infused milks, and hearty, family-style pasta dishes.
The Nine of Wands brings a moment of pause—to take a breath before the next sprint, says Lindsay Mack …
Can you balance unhealthy compulsions without losing your appetite for pleasure? Emma Whitehair wrestles with the demons of alcohol, love, and sugar addiction, and asks herself: “What are you really hungry for?”
“Could I continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion?”- Emma Whitehair
Ughhhh … Krispy Kremes. Never something I’d choose to put in my body. So why, when a colleague turned up with a box full of them, did my inner werewolf rear its head? A demon who was frothing at the mouth to demolish the lot, while my sensible side tried to argue the case to “go-halves” on one.
The demon won, leaving me to contend with a toxic dose of self-loathing.
My sweet tooth kicked in with a vengeance when I quit booze over a decade ago, and I felt that this new appetite was part of my continued search for escapism and relief. Love, too, came under this dopamine-inducing umbrella. My hunger for gratification also showed up in romantic fantasies of that one magic person who’d be capable of making me happy forever after …
However, unlike sobriety, going cold turkey on sugar (and love for that matter) didn’t feel like the right approach. Isn’t fruit sugar? Not to mention nutrient rich blackstrap molasses and antibacterial raw manuka honey? Where to draw the line? I’ll admit that my justifications sounded a bit like the arguments I used to have against quitting booze. “I just want to be able to enjoy a nice glass of Rioja with tapas, or champers at a wedding.” I know where those odd glasses can lead me though—the tail end of a two-day bender.
With an addictive personality, could I become moderate in this one area? And how not to lose my wildly passionate side and my appetite for pleasure in the process? I set out to discover if I could continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion …
:: BELLY BACTERIA BALANCING ::
My first step was to go into my gut. An overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract can manifest as fatigue, a foggy head, anxiety and, most noticeably, sugar cravings. Overdoing it with alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods commonly causes this problem. Perhaps this was my werewolf’s lair?
A few months later, I noticed my urge to bury my head in a bag of Haribo had disappeared. I now had the confidence that the issues were not tied to gut health. It was time to take my journey even deeper.
:: IT’S ALL A METAPHOR ::
Claudia prescribed a reading list as a key part of my healing, and I consumed each title with gusto.
After living with the patriarchy for thousands of years, we’ve literally been starved of our divine feminine. The result? We’re now going wild with addictions and disorders as we fill our bellies to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Women Who Run with the Wolves and Eating in the Light of the Moon both have this concept at their core, and show how cravings can be metaphors.
The Gift of Our Compulsions inspired me to meet my compulsions with curiosity rather than resistance in order to get at what lived underneath them. By cultivating detachment from my thoughts, feelings, and sensations, I could witness my cravings.
When I declare ‘I’m hungry,’ I am identified with this experience. Whereas ‘this is hunger’ creates space for me to relate to what’s really happening, and ask if the statement is true. And in most cases, it’s not true at all. It’s more like ‘this is boredom/procrastination/loneliness,’ which I can either try to remedy or simply observe without needing to ‘fix.’
:: A SESSION WITH THE SPIRITUAL NUTRITIONIST ::
The final part of my work with Claudia involved a 1-2-1 session where she called upon her spirit guide to help us “recode inner conflict” and used kinesiology to identify a potent mantra.
During our session, my arm suddenly gained strength from the words: “I am in tune with my body’s nutritional needs, and have no hunger for food beyond them.” This was then used as a mantra in a kind of Psych-k self-hypnosis meditation, where after about 10 minutes Claudia was shown by her guide, with a shiver through her body, that our work was done.
Although, I didn’t feel a bolt of lightning during the session, it’s like a spell has been broken. I feel relaxed around my usual triggers, and noticeably more tuned in to the intuitive whispering of my body.
Now, when I get the urge to eat when I’m not hungry, I often seem to instinctively know what tactic will help me ride it out. A few deep breaths, a drink of water, or a big stretch is usually all it takes.
:: THE FAST OF ENLIGHTENMENT ::
My newfound gut feelings also told me that the next step in this journey was to introduce a fasting practice to help me regain a sense of the true nature of my body’s hunger. Fasting is the most natural way to rest the body, giving it the chance to do the “housework” needed to repair cells and cleanse the itself, while improving immunity.
When I started losing my appetite for a meal in the evening, I took it as a sign that my body wanted the benefits of some regular light fasting. So from around 5pm to late morning, I often stick to water and herbal tea. And although I sometimes go to bed feeling hungry, intuition tells me my digestive system needs this rest. I’m now sleeping more deeply and I wake feeling light and much less hungry than if I have a meal the night before.
I’m also committed to fasting at least a couple of days per month, usually over the New Moon—my version of the “Lunar Diet.” Near the Full Moon I often crave extra calories because of my cycle, whereas during the New Moon I feel more like hibernating. It’s also the ideal time to go inwards and set intentions for the coming astrological season.
:: WHAT AM I TRULY HUNGRY FOR? ::
Using tactics to pause when I’m tempted to grab a substitute for what I really need has been a total (third) eye opener!
It’s given me the sense that my appetite is primal. We’re first comforted as babies through sweet breast milk and so sweetness will always be associated with mother love. An absence of that kind of nurturing can show up in dysfunctional relationships with comforting substances like sugar, alcohol, or the dopamine hit you get with the first flush of ‘love’.
So what to do in the present about a void from the past? Some sweet ass self-loving of course! We all have the chance, right now, to be the parent we needed growing up. Allowing feelings that have been buried in the past to move through us is how we evolve …
My epiphany about my constant low-level hunger? There’s fulfillment to be found by relishing my appetite, rather than chasing gratification. It’s summed up in this quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Take This Waltz: “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it like some lunatic.” I simply need to accept, and even celebrate, the fact that there will always be this hunger within me.
So when Krispy Kreme (a.k.a. my Soul Challenge on this journey) announced their new flavor (Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème, in case you were wondering) by sending a truckload to my office, I met my inner wolf with curiosity. I saw that she wasn’t a “demon” at all, and just a part of me wanting to be comforted. “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance,” says Epicurus. So I enjoyed half a donut. Leaving enough room to still be able to taste the sweetness of life.
The Nine of Crystals is an invitation to celebrate hard work with some joyful alone time, says Lindsay Mack …