HOW TO HEAR THE VOICE OF YOUR SOUL

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

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

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

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

>>>

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

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

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

>>>

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

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

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

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

Photo: Wilson, Namibia

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

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

Here’s how to start:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

>>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Jason Purple Photography

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

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

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

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

THE YEAR I UN-BRAINWASHED MYSELF

After a lifetime of swallowing the societal pills of so-called security, 2017 was the year Sushma Sagar officially “un-brainwashed” herself and began living straight from her radical core …

Sushma starts to see the light

It was pretty much drilled into my generation that the path to success and happiness was getting a secure job, getting married, and having kids. For a long time, it didn’t even occur to me that there was an alternative way to live. But when I found myself coming out of the spiritual closet in my corporate career, it started a chain reaction that led to me starting a full-time healing business last year.

And beyond my working life, reassessing my professional priorities also found me re-thinking my personal goals. Did I need to be married with a family to be happy? Did the people “in charge” know what was best for me? Do I want to be motivated by fear, as at seems some of our leaders would prefer? What do I actually think, need, dream of, once familial, societal and social conditioning is removed?

Seeking to learn the answers made 2017 the year I officially un-brainwashed myself … 

>>>

I began to think about the karmic consequences of our decisions … 

I attended a private girl’s school in the 80s, whose mission was to prepare their students to be strong independent females who would make it in a man’s world. We were educated to be career motivated, and highly successful, be it in law, finance, medicine etc. As I was a daughter in a high achieving Indian family, it was an ethos that was also echoed at home.

It was a challenge for somebody creative like me, as I didn’t see where I “fit” into this model. And anyone who didn’t fit was very much on their own. 

I found a way to smooth the edges of my artistic leanings, studying textiles instead of dance and fine art, for example. Then working in marketing instead of designing. My need for approval and acceptance was so strong, that I gradually convinced myself to become someone else entirely. Eventually, I forgot who I was underneath.

For years, I remained blissfully ignorant. But in 2016, with the country divide on Brexit, I was galvanised to think about politics and how it affected our everyday lives. I began to think about the karmic consequences of our decisions. I began questioning what I was being told in the media. I became aware of a world order at play, and found myself dismayed by the lies and corruption being unveiled.

This “awakening” spilled into my own life, as I began questioning if I was living my truth. Was I living with integrity for myself? 

>>>

I felt the very fabric of my existence unravelling … 

Our education system drills us to follow those in charge, and not question authority. But when it becomes clear that those who lead us often don’t have the answers themselves, it’s like realizing that your parents are only humans after all. A sign of maturity, that brings with it the freedom and the duty of taking responsibility for your own choices.

At times this transition felt good, my creative juices started flowing after so many years of being frozen. But at other times it was disorientating and extremely uncomfortable. The eggs had been broken, but the omelette wasn’t quite coming together yet—as I felt the very fabric of my existence unravelling.  

The biggest belief to crumble, was do with identity and purpose, and my definition of “success.”

If I’m not a superwoman in a highflying career, married with four adorable children, then who am I? What am I? Why am I here? What will my legacy be? My self-worth was tied up with a traditional viewpoint, but I felt alienated from the values I’d grown up with. It was on me to rewrite a definition of success that felt congruent with my inner knowing. 

>>>

There were two milestones along the way … 

In 2012 I fell head over heels for someone who was everything I ever dreamed of. Handsome, intelligent, devastatingly charming. Finally marriage, children, and the life I hoped for seemed to be rolling out just like in the story books. Then after a close death in the family, the relationship deteriorated, and I fell into a grief spiral. The dream plan went awry. 

A few years later, I found myself working as a resident healer at the Obonjan festival, doing intensive healing sessions in a pine forest. During one session, I had an incredible spiritual experience where, among other things, the trees began communicating with me. It broke me down and I found myself weeping tears of joy. Life suddenly felt very different, and I was aware of my soul evolving. I had tasted something profound that my current existence had not been giving me. I suddenly understood that success to me involved service and connection.

I have continued with this very deep, personal healing work. Shamanism, sound healing, meditations, acupuncture, family constellations, womb work, goddess work, inner child … you name it, I’ve done it! The need to connect with Spirit became all consuming, leading me to live a higher vibrational lifestyle. 

I became very sensitive to the things that affected my connection, such as meat and alcohol, and naturally reduced them. Of course, my own reiki practice has supported me from the beginning, and I’ve used this to navigate life and heal.

I’m lucky in that my family and friends have always been supportive of my healing work, in spite of them never fully understanding what I do. However, the more work I do on myself, the more I am able to understand what makes us all tick, and the more my relationships with others have improved.

>>>

How to undertake your own “un-brainwashing” … 

In order to unlearn deeply ingrained patters, I believe you have to:

1// Examine your beliefs. 
Identify and becomes aware of your beliefs about key areas of life. For example: self, love, sex, family, religion, faith, society, culture, right and wrong, how life and the universe actually work etc.

Then go back and consider how you learned that belief, where it originated from. Was it from a teacher at school, or a family member for example?

Now ask yourself: if that origin were removed, and there was no judgement from anywhere, would you still feel the same way? Consider whether the belief makes you feel happy or obligated. 

Physical sensations will often occur when an idea resonates with you: goosebumps, chills or even a prickly feeling. Your body knows what is true for you and what is not, so look for the signs. How do different concepts, and beliefs about how to live your life, make you feel?

For example, after the breakdown of my relationship, I realized that part of my grief was to do with the loss of a life path I thought I wanted. I had blindly trusted that I needed to be married with children to be happy. However, under deep scrutiny, I realized this idea originated from my culture and society in general, and I hadn’t really thought about my needs as an individual and a healer.

I concluded that being a parent might bring satisfaction, but may not actually make me “happier.” Besides, wallowing in mother-fomo was bringing me down. So I determined that it wasn’t going to be a deal-breaker and have felt a lot better since.

>>>

2// Find new teachers.  
Trying to unlearn everything, pick it all apart and work out who I was under all the conditioning, has been incredibly challenging. Listening to teachers, in particular Shaman Durek, has helped and continues to help me navigate this process.

However, my biggest teachers have actually been my personal spirit guides, accessed through deep Shamanic work. I learn and continue to learn more from them more than anyone else, and they have helped me to discern what “I” think and want.

Finding your teachers is about using your intuition. Ask around for recommendations, Google subjects of interest, and see what authors you’re attracted to. Be guided by synchronicity. Whose face, voice and attitude resonates with you, or charges you up? Find people who challenge your status quo and make you think twice. 

>>>

3// Honor your natural talents.
You were given your talents for a reason, and it’s your duty to nurture them—and, when you have mastered them, to share them with others. In the sentiment of Oprah Winfrey, speaking and living your truth is the most important thing you can do!

I launched my own healing brand, The Calmery, so that I could create something in my own vision, and not be answerable to anyone, but I’m still sometimes plagued with a “be nice, be liked, head down” corporate hangover.

There is certainly more work for me to do, to be living in my full wattage power. But my un-brainwashing is well underway, and I’ll get there soon enough.

 

Sushma Sagar is a former global fashion brand director turned Reiki Master Teacher, and is the founder of London based healing practice The Calmery. She offers private reiki sessions, tuition, and workshops by appointment. Join her for Reiki Level One Training on Sunday, February 18th in London. 

10 WAYS TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA

Heal the instrument of your voice to not only speak but also live in your truth, says Emma Whitehair… Artwork: Dr Steve Hinkey 

The throat is a physical bridge between our body and mind, while its chakra governs our communication and search for truth. It’s the most powerful but also the most vulnerable of all seven chakras, and with so many of us struggling express our true needs, a blocked throat chakra is more common than a cold these days (even if the “symptoms” could feel the same).

If this chakra does not have a healthy flow, not only will your relationships with others be difficult but you will not be receiving clear guidance from your intuition. On the other hand, however, once beautifully balanced, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and ultimately you are open to a higher level of consciousness.

My business is PR and writing, and no one who knows me would think I had any blocks in the area of communication. However, what can’t be seen is that I’ve had a pretty much permanent, choked up feeling for, I don’t know, months, years…lifetimes! It’s hard to tell as I only properly noticed it early this year, when I started to really get tuned in to Self.

At its most intense, it’s an energetic constriction like a noose around my neck, but mostly it’s a lump in my throat, like I’m on the brink of tears—even when there’s no apparent reason for it.

After googling ‘throat cancer’ and ‘thyroid problems’ then giving myself the all-clear (with a deep sense of relief!), I found myself drawn to a chakra workshop with James French advertised at the Yoga Loft in London—I was ready to find out if this throat funk was a spiritual malady.

On this two-day course, I discovered that Vishuddha (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) has a developmental age of 7 to12. Probably no coincidence that this was when my parents divorced and I was packed off to a strange boarding school. I also learnt that the corresponding sense of this fifth chakra is hearing, giving me the excuse I was looking for to connect with sound healing practitioner, Ashera Hart, who I had met a few days before.

Ashera had hosted an incredibly powerful sonic breath + gong bath event, that had been listed by The Numinous, which had helped open my throat and started to stir things up in that area. Wondering if my unbalanced Vishuddha could be realigned further with the power of sound, I made the most of the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Ashera in my home, while she was in London (rather than her usual base of Bali).

After this session, I met up with my healer, psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo to help me process what my body had shown me. She explained that traumas to the throat chakra are often connected to early childhood issues; when, if we experience emotional pain, we encounter separation. She commented that my adult vocal personality—which “on the surface is ballsy, clear and wise” is in juxtaposition to the inner child—who swallowed down her tears, and never expressed how she felt.

I asked by subconscious to say out loud the stories I may have been holding onto, and one resonated deeply: “no one is taking care of me…I’m alone.” And with that tears of relief fell down my cheeks. It all suddenly made sense—that part of me, the child, who had swallowed her sadness, was physically manifested like a bitter pill, stuck in my throat for over 30 years.

Fiona reminded me “to meet the understanding that we ARE alone in this life.” She also explained that the feeling I encountered during the sound healing, of being held, was the Universal holding, and in that moment, I had flipped my scratched record. Rather than archived pain, I had experienced something way more profound—a spiritual embrace so meaningful it had helped heal that source fracture.

My journey with this continues. Read on for 10 STEPS I’ve investigated to help with starting to CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA.

:: STEP BACK IN TIME ::
What unexpressed emotion or story are you holding on to? Once that’s understood, then it’s important to try and change the record, in order to free yourself. Byron Katie’s The Work might do it for you. Alternatively, perhaps you story is more complex—could it be from a pre-verbal era, or another life?

I spoke to Sue Minns, who’s book ‘Bodies & Souls’ touches on the throat chakra (as well as the others) and she explained the following to me:

“Chakras are like micro-chips of soul information that are links to our past experiences on earth, and connection to where we came from. The throat chakra, if holding negative memories, will become a bottleneck, a block to our true Self expression. Many of us (especially as women) have had gruesome deaths as a result of speaking out, spreading the word, saying the spells.

The throat is the chakra of secrets and lies, whispers and screams—and of speaking your truth without fear. A historical ‘block’ will obstruct cosmic, divine energy coming through the Crown and Third Eye to reach the Heart. It will short circuit at the throat if it cannot pass through. The central column (Sushumna) needs to be an open conduit between heaven and earth so that we can remember both our source and our purpose on this earth.”

:: SOUL MANTRA ::
“The 1st Law of Healing—all disease is inhibited Soul Life. The job of the healer is to lift the downcast eyes upward unto the Soul, and the Soul does the work” – Dr Steve Hinkey

So how do we allow the soul to work its magic? Mantras should allow the soul to take position naturally and Steve gave me these to use to unblock the throat chakra:

Because ‘I am…’ is so powerful, and soul infusion the ultimate achievement: “I am the soul infused throat”.

To use if starting to experience, or resist tension in the throat: “I am wanting to know my soul’s process, as it expresses itself through my throat chakra”

As no-one evolves without loving what they have, including dis-ease, this as a good all-rounder:

“I love myself as I am”

:: SOUND HEALING ::
Ashera Hart hosts The Frequency Shift solfeggio journeys, which encourage a Theta brainwave state, through healing vibrations, helping you access intuition, transform limiting beliefs and most especially—clear energy blockages.

I attended one of her ‘Sonic Immersion’ events (at Kind Yoga in London) which was a blissfully relaxing 90-minute experience. With the Zobet (solfeggio) healing frequencies along with sounds of the ocean, the cosmos and nature, Ashera accompanied this with an ethereal vocal invocation, tuning forks, chimes, shamanic drum and percussion.

We were told we may have dreams that night, that might reveal what is unresolved and one of mine was quite interesting. The throat chakra’s traumas can include alcoholism and yelling—both themes which were visited while in an abstract and gentle dream featuring my much loved childhood pet dog…

:: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION ::
Which means honoring your feelings, understanding your needs and kindly requesting that they are met. With authentic expression however, comes responsibility. There’s also a delicate balance between being honest and tactful, and on some occasions silence is golden.

Voicing irritations and raising one’s voice, for example, can pollute the throat chakra, as can gossiping, blaming, criticizing, or any other type of negative communication. If you start thinking in these terms, try to raise the vibration before saying anything. Also use this checklist:

  1. Is what you are about to say true?
  2. If so, is it necessary to be said, and does it need to be said by you?
  3. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind/compassionate/loving.

Hearing is the fifth chakra’s sense and therefore listening is one of its most important realms of communication. That means listening to both your inner voice, and the voice of others. I think I may have an overactive Vishuddha, as I speak super fast (often with no filter) and sometimes feel impatient while listening.

With this in mind, I have made a conscious effort to start listening more intently, giving the other person my full undivided attention, putting away any devices and waiting (patiently!) to hear the them out completely before jumping in. This helps me to read between the lines and decipher others’ real needs, in order to respond in the right way.

:: THE AH MANTRA ::
To cleanse and purify any impure energy of speech, let the “AH” sound fill your throat for a few minutes.

One of the most powerful mantras on the planet, this sound is found in the name of most deities: Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc., along with many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM).

‘AH’ is also a sound related to the throat chakra, so it’s no coincidence that ‘AH HEM’—is the sound unconsciously made when a person clears his/her throat. While on a more conscious level, the Buddhist mantra ‘OM AH HUM’ is explained by my yoga guru Cat as “translating to body, speech and mind—speech being an integral part of having a harmonious co-existence with all living beings and speaking up for those who may lack a ‘voice’.”

:: USE YOUR VOICE ::
As long as the intention is pure, ANY way that you use your voice will help draw fresh energy through your throat chakra. I touch on the benefits of singing in this story and you can also hum, whistle, groan, sigh—ask your body what sounds need to be released, and just go for it, dialing up the volume if need be.

:: TEAR JERKERS ::
The throat is where I store my tears, and those that came with discovering my stuck story were beautifully cathartic. And as I know there are more to come, as part of my healing I chose my moments to indulge in deliberately triggering a little cry, with film.

When we watch weepies, it releases not only emotion, but also oxytocin, aka the love or cuddle hormone, which also regulates crying. A boost of oxytocin gives feelings of bonding, empathy, trust and maternal behavior, and it can’t differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of them. If, like me, you have stuck emotion to release, this 10-minute supercut of tear jerking movie moments should have you sobbing in no time, letting those loving feelings wash over you. You’re welcome!

:: MUSIC ::
As sound is Vishuddha’s sense, music can also be a powerful activator. Partly down to some of the lyrics, melody, story or my personal associations, these tracks seem to resonate with the emotions stored within my throat chakra, allowing me to feel and heal.

What would be on on your Vishuddha playlist?

:: YOGA ::
Correcting one’s posture is key when re-aligning chakra’s, and these two yoga asanas, should help open up and/or activate the throat:

Fish (Matsyasana): Not only does this stretch the neck, it also strengthens the neck muscles needed to balance and stimulate the throat chakra.

Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): considered the Queen of all yoga poses, because of its amazing healing abilities. Doing shoulder stands regularly is an excellent way to keep your thyroid healthy and helps sufferers of asthma (like me).

Two Pranayama exercises that also bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi and lion’s breath.

:: HEALING ROCKS ::
You can re-balance Vishuddha by stimulating its reflex points in the feet and hands: the connection point of the big toe with the feet, and halfway down the thumb. I’m taking this a step further by wearing a memento mori, which I had made by Zoe & Morgan, that hits this point of my left thumb. A gold ring depicting a skull with diamond eyes on angel wings. A little reminder of both my mortal and immortal self—to help me be more conscious and stop sweating the small stuff!

Zoe & Morgan have also created this beautiful throat chakra ring. Featuring Aquamarine, the stone of the sea, which helps the throat chakra to open, and communication to flow like water.

Other stones that are good for rebalancing the throat chakra include: lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise, chrysocolla, sodalite and my favourite—sapphires, which I wear on a necklace and ring. Try wearing these stones so they sit on your throat chakra for the full healing benefit.

:: TRUE BLUE BABY I LOVE YOU ::
Considered a hue for health, blue’s calming effect helps restore balance to the throat chakra, and for me, my blue healing comes from connecting with the ocean. My happy is getting out under blue skies (ether—the throat’s element) whenever I can, and in the sea at least every few months. However, when that’s not possible a pool also does the trick. So treat yourself to a spa day, and the immersion in water as a kind of soul soothing, spiritual cleansing.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: CRYSTAL LIPGLOSS + A LINK TO OUR VIRTUAL RITUAL

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…

Attempting to pout in my new Ruby crystal lipgloss by Gemmed

:: 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.

We’ll be hosting our virtual rituals monthly. Look out for details!

:: 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

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO FIND YOUR EDGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

>>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:: 5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR EDGE ::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOWHERE TO HIDE: READING FOR THE SCORPIO FULL MOON

Let it all hang out…and allow “it” to spark your transformation, says Danielle Paige. PLUS a channelled angelic message for the Scorpio Full Moon by Jackie O’Shea

The need to feel. The need to destroy. The need to begin again, new, pure, hungry for something the makes your soul feel alive again. The need to hold on tight…and yet, to let go.

Welcome to this week’s Scorpio Full Moon. She will be exact on April 22 at 1:24am EST at 2 degrees of Scorpio.

A Full Moon shines a light on all things hidden. There is nowhere to hide now; it all comes out and usually in a dramatic way. Combine this with Scorpio energy, and we’ve entered a zone where we’re being asked to crack open and reveal the parts that might not be so pretty. Which, of course, is always subjective.

It may be pretty to cry – because it means you’re releasing old pain. It may be pretty to be a hot mess – because you’re feeling raw, untamed, and unapologetic, which in itself can be freeing and sexy!

A Full Moon is a powerful portal that help us tune into the Universal energy as we become moved by her gravitational pull. She dances over our soul. She plays with our heart. She lights us up. She brings our emotions to a head. She can keep us up at night, revealing questions that have been trapped in our subconscious for some time.

She taunts us….and when she’s in Scorpio, she does so in a transformative and healing way by going way, way below what’s happening up on the surface to get to the heart of the matter.

This Scorpio Full Moon may feel intense. But hold on to the awareness that she is here to show us the magic that’s hiding deep within. Scorpio energy doesn’t care what something looks like on the surface because it knows that underneath….inside….deep in the shadows….there is is a spark so bright it has the potential to transform into something more powerful than anything we’ve seen before.

This is where we are reborn, from this spark, from this light. But, first, something must be destroyed. That’s just how Scorpio works. Seductive and mysterious, Scorpio understands, as with everything in life, that we must let go of what has been order to breathe anew, to feel alive, and to move. Because when we move, when we transform and evolve, is when we truly live.

###

Here are a few tips to help you tap into the transformative powers of this Scorpio Full Moon:

1) Allow yourself to access places within yourself that you haven’t felt in a while. It’s okay, you’re safe. The holding onto the past is what’s keeping you stuck.
2) Release anything that no longer serves you. Energetically imagine sending it down into a vortex and clearing it out of your energy field. Cut cords, take a salt bath, anything that will help you let go of the old.
3) Magick! Break out the tarot cards, runes, candles, crystals etc. This is a perfect time to use your tools to help you activate your intuition and turn on your witchy vibe.
4) Observe. See the light in others and it will help you identify the light in yourself.
5) Cleanse your chakras to balance your energy field so that you can feel lighter and more open.
6) And last but not least…sex it up! Scorpio is all about passion and intimacy so bust out the black leather and/or lace lingerie and channel your inner Lilith!

Still want to go deeper and do some healing work? Danielle is hosting a virtual circle for the Scorpio Full Moon Friday April 22. Find more here.

:: CHANNELLED ANGELIC MESSAGE FOR THE SCORPIO FULL MOON ::

There are many opportunities for you to work with the lunar energies. With so many planets currently in retrograde, this means allowing yourself to backtrack, embracing this time of review and reflection, and not get so caught up in the forward progress that you may desire. These are times of reflection, times of change, and times of embodiment.

Allow things to be as they are, for the tides to ebb and flow. Any roadblocks are here to help your highest vibrational destiny come into being. If barriers, false starts, and trials and tribulations appear, allow yourself the time to slow down and reflect on what no longer serves you that can now be transcended and released – even if this simply points to an emotional response pattern that is being triggered. Allow yourself to work with what IS, embracing that everything is happening for your highest destiny and evolution, even if it doesn’t appear so.

Begin to embody compassionate resonance during times of struggle and hardship as well as times of joy and transformation. You can help others more deeply by going into the depths of your own struggle and pain. And there is no need to worry about taking too much time to process the darkness, for time is infinite from the perspective of the soul.

Your lessons and evolution are far more significant that you may currently imagine, since you are embodying a place of learning where you can express into form all of the different facets of your multi-dimensional self, and be a full expression of infinity. The only limit you face now is in prohibiting yourself from embodying your truth, whatever that truth may be – a turbulent emotional state, a joyous state, or somewhere in between.

The current lunar energies are here to help you begin to embody your truth, whatever that looks like for you, and to express it into form without holding back. It is safe to fully feel every emotion, every sorrow, every hardship, and trial, allowing the density of your emotions to pass through your physical and energetic body. Allow the density to transcend and be transformed into higher light vibrations, creating the potential for newness.

You have the opportunity to begin to embody your highest path now and live the life that you desire to live. There is nothing holding you back in the time-space continuum but your own internal perceptions and barriers of consciousness. These have neurological ties to behavioral patterning encoded into your body hologram, but all of this CAN be loosened and transformed. All of this can change. You are being redefined in every moment, constantly creating new cells and patterns of behavior and embodiment.

We are proud of you for allowing all things and creation to be as they are. Now is a time to transcend time and space so that you can be everything that you are, recognizing yourself in all of the physical manifestations of the world. Enjoy the embodiment of this divinity, enjoy even the struggle and the heartbreak, so that you feel safe transcending the cycles of time that your mind has become entrapped by.

Allow yourself to grow with grace and transcend the old energetic limitations and boundaries that have held you back in the past from embodying your full divine higher self. You are an infinite creative immortal being and there is no reason to think of yourself as less than the divine embodiment that you are. We are proud of you every time you chose grace over struggle. We are proud of you every time you transcend an old karmic situation. We are proud of you every time you breath deep and take a moment to pause the breath. In higher consciousness you are infinite, all things are obtainable, and you are the infinity that you seek and desire.

Join Jackie O’Shea for an Embodying the Divine Feminine Full Moon Circle on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm PST available via live stream, recording, or in person in Los Angeles

Details and Tickets: embodydivinefeminine.splashthat.com

WHY ARE ALL THE LIGHTWORKERS MOVING TO LA?

Check out all the lightworkers moving to LA! Fern Olivia breaks down why life on the Left Coast is calling…Photography: Nicolas Jandrain

 

So what’s the real reason behind the mass exodus from cities like NYC to LA? You’ve noticed it, right? How the lightworker tribe are all feeling the call?

Well, it’s no coincidence that people are packing up their overpriced apartments, saying farewell to the brutal winters, and moving to the magical City of Angels. In fact, many of the Numinati made the move years ago, and now more of our tribe are arriving in waves.

When I heard the call of my soul to move to Los Angeles, I had no idea that I would be part of a major movement. I was not consciously aware that there was a deep reason for the work I was being called to do here, nor did I understand the energetic force by which it happened at this particular time in space.

It all makes sense to me now. If you, too, have been feeling a voice inside calling you West, what I’ve learned since my move may explain why – and in a radical way.

In April 2015, I was visiting my girlfriends in Malibu and I remember the precise moment, sitting on the beach, my soul clearly demanded: “Come home.” I had never lived in California, nor had I ever heard a voice inside as strong as this.

But I was not afraid. I listened.

The voice continued: “Move to Venice in the Fall.” So specific and commanding, right? I dared not question it, even though I had only been to Venice a few times for Kundalini classes at Ra Ma Institute with Guru Jagat, and for nourishment at Moon Juice and Cafe Gratitude.

But over the past several years, I have recognized my intuitive gifts and learned that in order to stay in alignment, I MUST TRUST this deep knowing.

And something inside me insisted that this was exactly where I needed to be. So I set about transitioning all my yoga classes and clients in New York, seamlessly found a friend to take over my lease, and effortlessly slipped out of my old life to plant myself in Venice Beach – the epicenter of the Now Age. And now that I’m here, I feel grounded and aligned.

So, back to why are we being called to LA, why should we trust the pull, and what’s next for us fearless souls who have listened to our spirit’s deepest longing.

Here are FOUR reasons that may help it all make it crystal clear.

1. We are being called to return to our Aphrodite – our pure, liberated Feminine.

New York City is literally on a grid – when you see the city from the air, the avenues and streets are angular and the buildings are close together. It’s tough to see the wide open sky unless you’re at the top of a skyscraper or in the middle of Central Park. We pound our feet on concrete and have little connection to the bare, soft, fertile earth. For most of the year, our feminine form is bundled in layers, and the sun has only a small window to kiss our bare skin.

Living in any city, we’re disconnected from the Earth, Air, Moon and tides – which in turn influence our moon cycles, our creativity, and manifestation capabilities.

When our creative expression is stifled, we become tight, rigid, stressed, and stagnation takes over our physical bodies. Living this way demands we’re dominated by our masculine energy – and it’s hard to keep up. Our adrenals burn out. We grow tired of being Wonder Woman – one of Dana James’ female archetypes – in the city that never sleeps. Rather, our hearts are longing to dance under the moonlight. We know we will rise in our true power when we feel grounded with the earth under our bare feet.

2. We got chewed up and spat out, and now our souls are strong enough to handle the work ahead.

Our souls brought us to cities like New York to do some major work on our karmic path. Our soul contracts had very specific lessons and experiences to learn in order to do the light work we were born in this incarnation to deliver.

New Yorkers have grit. New Yorkers are tough. We had to be, to get through the brutal winters, hurricanes, floods, terrorism, city noise, and commutes. And our souls had to practice becoming strong enough to do the major work that we are about to do in LA – influencing some of the brightest, most powerful, creative, receptive people in the world to step up to change the future of our planet.

So what is this work? Our world is suffering from the bankruptcy of love – we are living in a time of immense poverty, suffering, terrorism, abuse, and fear. It is our work to bring light to this planet through our creative leadership. We must be strong and clear in our own bodies otherwise, this difficult work can leave us feeling hopeless and depleted.

But first, we need some time to play. To retreat. To rest, rejuvenate, and restore. Once we have brought ourselves back into balance, we will have the clarity and vitality to do some major work as the next generation of visionaries on this planet.

3. We’re feeling the pull of the 33rd parallel (Allow me to explain…)

In heeding the call to LA, lightworkers are being called to congregate around the 33rd parallel – an energy vortex which happens to run through Venice Beach. You may know that in numerology, 33 is considered a Master Number and symbolizes the Christ Consciousness. The 33rd degree is highest publicly known degree for Freemasonry, and some say it signifies illumination and freedom from religious dogma. In Hinduism, Yoga Sutra 3:33 states: “Through keenly developed intuition, everything can be known.” And the Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of the thirty-three heavens ruled over by Indra, and the thirty-three ruled over by Mara.

Furthermore, the latitude of the 33rd degree is shared with the ancient city of Babylon and by modern day Baghdad. The longest continually inhabited city in the world, Damascus, in Syria, is also on this line. The site of the first atomic bombing during WWII, in Nagasaki, Japan, also resides on the 33 parallel, and coincidently, so does the White Sands Testing Range in New Mexico, where the atom bomb was first tested. This geo-latitudinal line also passes through what is known as the “Bermuda Triangle” in the Atlantic Ocean.

So, clearly, there is something very powerful about the energy vortex around the 33rd parallel! And in essence, the quality of the 33rd parallel is that it shifts our energy more effectively and quickly. But looking at the history, it’s also clear that this has been utilized by some pretty dark forces – and now the lightworkers are moving to readdress the balance.

4. Our soul family is waiting for us.

To do the work we were born to, we need the support of our tribe. I’ve found there’s nothing more influential than a community of brilliant, grounded, strong, connected souls – our “soul clusters” as my dear friend Aimee Follette, chef and founder of Sun in Bloom, so perfectly calls it.

You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time, but something inside you remembers them, as if you’ve known each other before? That feeling is real. Our souls have contracts with other souls – and we have these soul contracts with all the people we walk with, our parents, friends, business partners, lovers, and children.

The soul contracts of my New York life, including a controlling six-year relationship, showed me the work I needed to do: to heal deep-rooted karmic patterns of insecurity, self-doubt, and the inability to speak my truth. Many of us in New York experienced a similar struggle, freeing ourselves from lineages of insecurity, scarcity mindset, and fear of abandonment.

And having learned the lessons of city life, a tribe of stronger, fierce, liberated souls are reuniting together in Los Angeles.

Not feeling the call to move? That’s okay!

As explained by my teacher Harmonjot Kaur at Ra Ma Institute in Venice, it is important to understand that YOUR soul family will be found wherever you open your soul. “We are moving into a time where we stop looking outside for answers. Moving to LA to find one’s soul family simply because one identifies as a “lightworker” is a recipe for heartbreak I feel. Because wherever one is, that is where the soul family will show itself. And when we make expensive moves looking to satisfy from the outside what can only be satisfied from the inside, we really set ourselves up for great disappointment.”

There’s also a critical need for lightworkers to remain in New York City – since NYC is on an energetic grid that’s very powerful, meaning there’s an opportunity to amplify light work in the city.

And the truth is, we’re all designed to be more energized by different locations, explains Light Maker Cassandra Bodzak. “There are people whose energy field is actually more primed for NYC than LA, or vice versa, or for a different location such as Austin, Miami, or Boulder. You can even get a special astrology chart reading to determine which places on the earth will optimize your energy or deplete you.”

Another disclaimer from Harmonjot: The move to LA alone does not equal automatic self-discovery! “I’m reticent about encouraging people to move to Los Angeles because it’s touted as some kind of promised land. But many people have the illusion that their problems will be solved by coming out here. They likely won’t. Deep spiritual practice is what allows one to find the next step and the next place.”

So, my dears, wherever you feel the call, trust it. Trust your soul. Your soul family. Just as your future self is trusting YOU to heed the call. When you are living in alignment with your soul, you’ll feel home wherever you are. You’ll be in harmony with your body, and from this space of feeling healthy and in the flow, you will be your most creative self, and able to fully show up to do the work you were born to do.

REDEMPTION SONG: READING FOR THE PISCES NEW MOON SOLAR ECLIPSE

Use your imagination and go with the flow of the Universe – it is a Pisces New Moon, after all, says Hannah Ariel.

“You must conceive of possibilities beyond your present state if you are to be able to find the capacity to reach toward them” – Idries Shah

The Pisces New Moon of March 8 is not simply opening a door for our intentions – it will be a New Moon Solar Eclipse; a powerful moment of accelerated evolution. This one lands us in the deep deep sea of 19 degrees Pisces, just a few degrees away from the South Node at 21 degrees, also in Pisces. In Astrology, Eclipses always take place near the nodes of the moon – the elliptical plane where past and future storylines collide.

During a South Node Solar Eclipse, the moon meets up with the south node and experiences its lunar energy in reception to solar energy. From planet Earth, we experience this exchange as a powerful portal that transcends linear time, and orbits us right into our future potential – the story we long to step into.

A Solar eclipse is a magnificent and mysterious phenomenon that opens our psyche to a whole new paradigm. A solar eclipse in Pisces? This is an act of redemption.

Pisces is represented by two fish ever moving between worlds in an infinite conception of possibility. Yes, they go with the flow; yes, they fluidly embrace wherever the tide may take them. But the energy of Pisces can bring forth huge waves of creative potential from the depths of our unconscious experience.

Pisces season is always a time to take notice of what wordlessly surfaces from within you. What waves of consciousness are crashing now? What reality have you been subconsciously merged with for so long that you are finally swimming out of it? How are you becoming more aware of your own intuitive understanding of your life story, as if for the first time in ages?

Pisces is a compassionate ocean of deep revelation, and it is only by diving deep into its mysteries that we can know our own instinctual capacity to fully get in touch with the parts of us we long to know better.

During this Pisces New Moon Eclipse, we are karmically being called forth to release and work with what has been building up inside our psyche for goodness knows how long. It’s a portal for stepping boldly into the immensity of our imaginations; to see through the stories of the past that no longer feel right; to reflect, and then recreate our vision for the next six months. There will be a peculiar mysticism to the way this unfolds though, as Pisces ruling planet is Neptune.

It is Neptune’s job to reveal the reality behind the reality; it is dissolution; it is our own subjective processing of our experiences that is veiled even to ourselves. It is the experience we don’t realize we are experiencing until the curtain drops. For the next six months, life will have funny ways of revealing the waves we’ve been subconsciously riding, and how they are actually bringing us to where we need to be.

Jupiter, still in Virgo, will be opposite this moon reminding us that everything is manageable. We expand by taking things one day, one step at a time. The shadow side of Jupiter though can be blowing things out of proportion, so take care to cultivate compassion as you are finding your way. This is not the time to fall victim to circumstance or judge yourself or others for what they believe.

This IS a time to trust that there is a positive and practical way for you to take your experiences, and roll with their teachings in a way that makes sense to you. It may also be a time where we are tempted to self-sabotage – as the South Node can sometimes find us falling into old patterns. In Pisces, this would be old patterns of escaping reality – opposed to working with the deep swells of energy that are being subjectively experienced

Also on the south side of things, is Chiron. Astrologically, Chiron points to where we may feel like we don’t know what we’re doing. It is how we misjudge ourselves, believing we are in some way wounded – that we don’t have what it takes, or we don’t have “enough” in some areas of our lives. We believe – and fall victim to this belief – that we are at a disadvantage somehow.

In Pisces, this may lead us to feel that we are disconnected from the path of our spirit, due to a mistaken belief we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The greatest shadow of this energy is thinking that we have no true purpose, are forever lost in an abyss of puzzling storylines we just can’t make sense of. So if you feel like you are just slipping through a foggy unreality, hold on!

For Chiron also shows us how we can effectively work to heal ourselves and others – by directly engaging with the very thing that we’re afraid will fail us in some way. So the more we work with what’s coming up, the more we take that positive and practical Jupiter energy and apply it, we have an opportunity to heal our lives beyond recognition. The reality of this Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse is that we have so much divine experience, having swum through these waters for lifetimes, that we have all the information we need to imagine a way through.

And this Pisces New Moon Eclipse is just the beginning of learning how to use it. So, allow yourself to step into what is coming up at this time in your life, no matter how foreign it feels, no matter how confused you think you are – and use your imagination. Let go of your fear, and like a fish kept safe in water, feel your way into a future storyline with a deep rolling wave of universal trust. Step into this beginning with the sense that everything is unfolding with perfect timing.

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

HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR SPIRITUAL ROADMAP

Hit a bump in the road? Never fear, says Shaheen Miro. Your soul created a spiritual roadmap for you to follow in this life, here’s how to navigate yours…Images: Benoit Paillé via Behance.net

Life is filled with twists and turns, some that take us deeper into our soul journey, others that lead us off-track for a while. I have found on my own path that we are never truly lost, but that there will be moments of feeling like we’re in the dark. Usually this happens when we’re ignoring our intuition, and not honoring our spirit.

But before you came to this wild and crazy world, you created a map for yourself – a charted path your soul is here to live out. Nope, this doesn’t mean that everything in your life is set in stone. Rather, your spiritual map is a blueprint that guides you towards opportunities for growth, and chances to explore the deeper regions of your soul.

These key co-ordinates on your map are points of power that help to ignite your spiritual fire, so you can paint the world with all your unique colors. To experience your own divinity, and to live out your creative purpose.

Bumps in the road
Your map is filled with lessons and sacred moments. These may manifest as physical obstacles, dealing with health, safety, and security. You will also encounter moments of darkness, and depression. Maybe you will battle addiction, challenging relationships, a questioning of beliefs, upheavals, or fear.

At times you will even question your own soul purpose, and ask why the hell you embarked on this journey in the first place! But rest assured, you are here for a reason…and that reason is to simply dance, flow, and slow grind with the Universe.

Your map is also filled with strategically placed people, places and events. And like all geographic maps, you have created exit points, and alternate routes to help traverse any bumps in the road.

Now you’re probably thinking…damn, why would I make things so hard for myself? But you aren’t meant to struggle, simply to learn. The truth is you probably forgot you’re a total badass filled with enough light to outshine any darkness. Moments of opposition are here to remind you that you are living, learning, and that you are in control!

Navigating the Map
The fastest way to get back on track if you feel you’ve veered off course, is usually to literally stopping what you are doing with your life, and move in a completely different direction. This will invariably activate your spirit and lead you closer to a feeling of wholeness.

I know there is at least one area of your life that could use a good change. So how about you override your current plan, chose to link into your spirit, and experience something else? Ask yourself this:

Does this current path feed or deplete my spirit?

Hmm, now this can be a tough question. You may need to meditate on it for awhile, so talk to Spirit, connect with your guides, and carve out some time for stillness.

What to Do When You are Lost
Navigating back onto your soul path all starts with one small step in the right direction, but you must take action. Don’t just say: “I wish I could…” Begin to do it!

Fear is often the only hurdle. Fear that you will fail. Fear that you won’t be good enough. Fear that you might lose everything. Fear that you might actually succeed. Let me tell you a secret: fear is usually an indicator that you are getting close to something good.

So make love to your fear. Test your fear. Punch your fear in the face if you need to. The most brilliant adventures usually start off down a dark, ominous, strangely intimidating path. So take a few steps forward and see what happens. At which point feel free to say, “Hey Universe, give me a damn sign so I know where to go next!” – and just witness what shows up.

Know that it’s also okay to make a U-Turn. Maybe you went for something that felt right. Now it doesn’t. Say thank you for the experience, and move on.

Look for markers along your journey. Is there anyone, or anything that stands out on your adventure? Reoccurring events all bear significance…good and bad. Chronic situations are indicators that you aren’t paying attention. Anything that sends a tingle up your spine is an invitation to honor your spiritual artist.

How to Refuel on Your Adventure
Being low on fuel feels like depression, opposition and discomfort. You will feel drained, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…and most often physically. So how do we refuel?

Stillness. Prayer. Meditation. Creativity. Spiritual Cleansing. At our core we are all sensitive, fluid beings, and being inundated with the chaotic voices of the outside world will drown out your own navigation system, and lead you further and further from your destination.

Commit to a daily meditation practice of at least 10 minutes. Learn to listen to your breath, as this is the beat of your soul. When you follow the rhythm of your breathing you release toxins, and purge the “ish,” so you can see more clearly.

Prayer is a way to express to the Universe and your own spirit what you want and need in life. Prayer is also a sacred moment to give gratitude for the things you have. Gratitude that will active good energy, and allow you to flow with your highest good.

Creativity isn’t just painting a picture, or singing a song. Creativity is about all kinds of expression. So ask: what does your inner artist want to experience? What form of expression makes you feel alive?

Spiritual cleansing is the literal act of clearing away the debris from your Aura. Using sacred ceremony to release these stuck energies will allow you to glide forward, unencumbered by the weight of any unnecessary baggage. Burn sage. Take a sea salt bath. Use the Gypsy’s Aura Elixir!

Off-Road Adventures
If you take anything from this, let it be the affirmation that this is YOUR life, YOUR map, and YOUR adventure! Be a bitch if you have to. Say “no” to the things that wear you down. Say “no” to the relationships that are limiting you. Say “no” to the job that’s depleting you. Say “no” to the friends who aren’t vibing with you.

And then take this adventure off road. The destination isn’t the point, it’s all about the journey your spiritual map has in store for you.

Shaheen Miro is an Intuitive Consultant, Energy Worker, Artist, and Spiritual Nomad. Find out more about his work at ShaheenMiroInsights.com and @ShaheenMiro

READING FOR THE ARIES FULL MOON ECLIPSE

The Aries Full Moon Eclipse is an invitation to step into the most authentic expression of you. Hannah Ariel Eckhaus explains how this will manifest in your life…

“ Fire is the ultra living element. It is intimate and it is universal. It lives in our heart. It lives in the sky…Fire suggests the desire to change, to speed up the passage of time, to bring all of life to its conclusion. To its here-after. It magnifies human destiny; it links the small to the great; the hearth to the volcano; the life of a log to the life of a world… It is a renewal.” – Gaston Bachelard, The Psychoanalysis of Fire

On September 27th we will be experiencing the utterly transformative power of a super Full Moon, total lunar Eclipse, blood moon and full harvest moon all rolled into one fiery phenomenon happening at 5 degrees Aries. This will be the fourth and final of a tetrad of blood moons that have taken place across the Aries/Libra axis over the past two years, transforming how we take liberated action, both uniquely as individuals and in relation to the world beyond our self.

Anytime there is an eclipse the Nodes are involved (the points where the orbit of the moon cross the ecliptic); the South Node whispers of our past life while the North Node hints at visions meant to be experienced in this lifetime. On September 27th the Nodes will be aligned with the Equinox, and everyone on planet Earth is bound to experience a great sense of destiny being magnified.

This particular change of season also asks us to step directly into the axis of self/other with the courage carried over from past lives, in order to dignify our future relationship with the world we live in. EXCITING!

We are arriving at a divine moment in time, when the Earth, Sun and Moon line up in such a way that the Sun’s light does not illuminate the Moon – instead the Earth casts a red shadow across its surface. It may feel for a moment that you are swimming in waters you cannot name, and yet at this time you are being asked to trust in the next chapter.

This Eclipse will pull on us like an ancient memory that’s ready for our full attention. It will ask for your direct participation in life, and to trust that your deepest instincts on this day will be aligned with divine energy. No matter what shows up, emotionally speaking, there is nothing to fear. You are being given the opportunity to boldly answer the call – to confront and resurrect the root of what stirs within you, no matter how unrecognizable may appear.

As the Earth casts its shadow, be mindful that whatever is unearthed from your subconscious that may require re-rooting or re-routing. You are ready! Like an Aries you will feel as if you are born ready. Trust. And remember, as Aries is the first constellation in the Zodiac it speaks to the original impulse, the initial spark that sets the whole story aflame. React authentically from an empowered position of fearlessness, and trust in your destiny.

There is a certain soul-affirming nature to this Moon, as it will not only be conjunct the South Node but the also asteroid Vesta – Goddess of the hearth, protector of the flame, her energy is one of true devotion. Who or what within us is worth protecting? Where and how in your life can you renew your devotion to your soul’s desires?

What you experience on a personal level depends on your chart, in particular, where the Aries/Libra axis falls, and whether or not you have planets in any of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn).

Because Mercury is currently retrograde in Libra, this is a potent time to reflect on the relationships you are currently invested in. Remember too, that relationships do not just come in one form – observe your relationship to your thoughts, habits, a belief systems, health regimes etc. If you are trying to maintain a connection to something or someone you’ve outgrown, it will become very apparent at this time.

While the scales of Libra seek connections that create a sense of safety, a sense of “I know if I stand here then this (insert person place or thing) will be there,” at the other end of the spectrum, Aries asks what can you do to liberate yourself and transcend your current situation in order to manifest your highest destiny.

A passage of time is opening up for you to assert the Self you actually want to be. Again, in which area of life you are being asked to transform and absolutely re-invent yourself depends where this Eclipse falls in your chart. Aries rules the head, so you can also think of this as a time to quite literally blow your own mind and re-imagine who you can be in this lifetime.

For those who have been following the rhythm of 2014’s Cardinal Grand Cross, which shook many of us out of limiting self-perceptions, you will find this Eclipse to be a culmination and celebration – a moment to cross over once and for all from who you were into who you will be.

A moment to renew the original connection to your Soul and the destiny it is continuing to form a relationship with. Rest assured that wherever you are being encouraged to take action, or assert yourself in a way you never have before, is a call from your Soul’s inexplicable urge to be self-actualized, and ultimately to relate to your life in a way in the most authentic way yet!

Look to see where 5 degrees Aries falls in your natal chart to map out where you can begin to fearlessly take action and where you can begin to celebrate this culmination of energy in a way that will best support your future self:

1st house: show up for yourself in a way that honors how you would like to be seen

2nd house: initiate an empowered sense of your own personal resourcefulness

3rd house: speak your truth, and allow your words to reflect your most authentic thoughts

4th house: find where you feel most at home and know you belong there

5th house: recognize how much you shine, and realize how YOU want to enjoy your time

6th house: actively create a routine that sparkles with your individuality

7th house: your opinion matters; you do not have to be who others need you to be

8th house: transform the ways in which you evaluate your worth – individuate your magnetism

9th house: transform your relationship to the truth; tell yourself the story you know to be true

10th house: aim for authentic recognition out in the world, a personally meaningful reputation

11th house: focus on finding allies who help you shine in your community

12th house: give your longest held dreams a heartbeat of their own

To schedule a personal reading with Hannah, email: [email protected]

TARYN TOOMEY: MOVE YOUR BODY TO HEAL YOUR SOUL

Taryn Toomey has built a cult following for her Shamanic-inspired workout, the class. She explains how it’s all been part of her own healing journey. Video and portrait: Jennifer Medina

You have to have the courage to let it all go.

THE FEAR.

I have had a very long, sticky road these past few years. Hell, let’s call it like it is – the past 36 years. From the outside it could look all rosy but, like our lives on social media, there’s always something deeper, truer.

I grew up in a very complicated family (didn’t we all in some way?) but as a child, I absorbed a lot of those unsupportive patterns and continued to think: “it always has to be this way.” I called myself names, believed them, hated myself, was embarrassed to live in my body. I didn’t trust those around me; I questioned everything; it seemed like everyone was “out to get me.”

I didn’t want it to feel that way, but I was so fearful of letting it go, because it was what I knew.

These past few years have been about breaking that cycle. For my children, for the forward of my family, and, once and for all, for me. I decided that the history I lived doesn’t need to be part of the future I continue to create. It happened. Let’s move on. Right? I wish! It wasn’t that EASY.

Over the years I worked with psychologists, analysts, plant medicines, shamans, Eastern doctors, invested in good old fashioned friendships and more. But, in the end, I realized I didn’t need to talk about it anymore; I had TO MOVE IT. But I also had to keep it simple and do it BEAT BY BEAT.

And so came ‘the class.’ I knew I would need fire, heart and soul to get this story up and out of my DNA. I needed shaking, contraction, sound, release,intention, forgiveness and stillness. And music, to help me take it beat by beat, breath by breath.

In the world of fitness I have heard way too many things pushed into people’s psyches that are FEAR based, stemming from the “guru’s” own fears, ego, and the need to make others live in fear with them.

“Don’t do THIS it will bulk you, don’t do THAT you’ll ruin your body!”

But we aren’t all made the same, and these “theories” don’t apply to us as a whole.

How about…

Move how you NEED TO.
Move so you can FEEL GOOD.
Move to CREATE NEW SPACE for YOU TO LIVE IN.
Move to wake up, be alive, present, engaged, and to come UNSTUCK from the past.
Move to get out of the EGO – the one that makes you stare at yourself and size up every last centimeter of your body, gripping the mirror with your eyes, criticizing, loving and over dramatizing the things that don’t matter.

At the end of the day, if you don’t work on the parts of you that no one can see, you can change the shape of your body all you want, but living inside of it wont be pretty. It’s time to close your eyes and go INSIDE. The body you’re looking for is not out there. IT’S IN YOU.

Set’s move, people. Not in the “right” way, not in the “pretty” way, but in the way that you need to release the fear. Let’s gather the courage to let it all go. Moving this way is what’s saved my life, the future lives of my children, their children, and hopefully a whole lot of others.

When you move, summon the courage to let it all go. And take it beat, by beat, by beat…

ONWARD.

Follow the link to book and experience the class with Taryn Toomey for yourself.

Have you experienced healing working out? Connect with us and share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

PIECES OF ME: WHAT IS A SOUL RETRIEVAL CEREMONY?

Maggie Harrsen of Puakai Healing explains how our soul can become fragmented when we experience trauma, an what exactly happens in a Soul Retrieval ceremony. Images: Prince Lauder

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SOUL NEEDS RETRIEVING?
To first understand if a Soul Retrieval Ceremony may be beneficial for you, it is important to know the signs of Soul Loss (see below). During Soul Loss a piece of our soul, our light essence, flees the body in order to survive a traumatic or shocking experience. Examples of situations that may cause Soul Loss are: all forms of abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), death of a loved one, divorce, separation, natural disasters, accidents, surgery and any distress during rites of passage.

THAT SOUNDS PAINFUL…SO WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SOUL LOSS?

Soul Loss could manifest in any of the below:
A feeling of being lost or incomplete
Chronic depression, anxiety or grief
Feeling disconnected from all of life
Feeling “out of body”
The sense that you haven’t been “the same” after a certain event
Chronic illness and ongoing misfortune
Blocked memory
Lack of joy
An inability to make decisions
Addictive behavior patterns
Being disconnected from your intuition
A loss of energy

IF OUR SOUL FRAGMENTS WHEN WE EXPERIENCE TRAUMA, WHERE DOES IT GO TO RETREAT?
According to the Qero paq’os (healers) of the Andean mystical tradition, when a soul part flees our body it goes to the Ukhu Pacha, the place of the underworld where Pachamama, our Cosmic Mother lives. Being our Earth Mother, she is able to keep these parts of our soul safe until we’re ready to receive them back. It is my belief that in order to fulfil our soul’s particular mission on Earth, we need all of our soul parts restored and within us!

It is also interesting to note that in indigenous cultures, if a little one falls and breaks a limb or witnesses the death of an elder, the healer will perform a ceremony on their behalf right away. In Western culture, the understanding of our energetic body and the spiritual causes of illness are not so recognised or well understood, so restoring all the parts of our soul can often mean going back decades.

HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE FOR A SOUL RETRIEVAL CEREMONY?
In the Soul Retrieval Ceremony we are working within the luminous energy field (the energy bubble that surrounds and informs the physical body) so the only preparation is in our intention, as this is what drives energy. And in a Soul Retrieval Ceremony our intention is simple – we are calling back any lost soul parts that are ready and willing to return to the individual right now.

When we create sacred space and have an openness and willingness for healing to occur, it simply happens. My role in ceremony is holding this space for individuals to heal themselves. The most important element for me is trust – to build trust with my client and create a space in which they feel safe to completely open, like a blossoming flower. It is through our own courage and will that we are able to heal ourselves and, in turn, heal the Earth.

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IN THE CEREMONY?
The ceremony takes place either inside a space or outside in nature. The client will lay comfortably on the ground with blankets and pillows and I will sit at their side. I will begin by preparing sacred space, using the smoke of the Palo Santo wood and other various rituals, and then I will gently guide the client into a relaxed place of stillness. They will remain laying down – resting and focusing on their breath for the duration of the ceremony.

Together we will set our intention and go into an altered state of consciousness through the sound of various instruments, including a rattle, drum and bells. As the healer, I journey outside of time and space to my guiding spirits who assist me in locating and understanding why these light essences, or soul parts, originally left.

They are then brought back and restored to the individual through my breath, as I blow them into their heart center and crown of the head. We then move into the transmutation sequence of the ceremony, where the client absorbs the light of their soul into every cell of their being. During this time, I play various high vibrational instruments and music. To complete the ceremony, the client gently sits up, sipping a glass of water and I share my healing story, focusing on the gifts that were restored. The client may also share any visions, sensations or experiences they had during their ceremony.

AND HOW DO PEOPLE FEEL AFTERWARDS?
Since we are all unique as human beings, everyone feels differently after a Soul Retrieval Ceremony. Some individuals may feel sleepy and some are buzzing with energy. Some feel emotional. Some feel a shift in physical sensation and perception. Some feel nothing. Many feel deep peace and relaxation, and most individuals report a sense of being grounded and “in their body”. Individuals often express they feel at home again. In the days and months after a Soul Retrieval Ceremony most individuals report significant life changes.

SUCH AS…
I have heard people report all of the following:
A sense of spiritual harmony
Greater wellbeing and vitality
Healing of physical dis-ease
Clarity/remembering of the soul path
Unconditional love for the self
Restoration of individual gifts
Depression replaced with joy
Renewed relationships
An ability to be their authentic self
Courage to follow their dreams
A deeper connection to the natural world

Find out more about Maggie Harrsen and Puakai Healing here, and check out the details of her upcoming Hamptons retreat, which takes place July 27 and 28 2015

TURNED ON: SCENT AND SENSUALITY

Our sense of smell is a basic bitch. This month, resident sex and spirituality columnist Ellie Burrows investigates a case of scent and sensuality. Image: The author shot by Mikal Marie Evans

I am a human animal. I know this because I spend most of my time relatively upright asking important existential questions like ‘why am I here?’ or ‘what is the meaning of life?’

But lately, I feel like a complete and total beast. I’m talking about the kind that walks on four legs, doesn’t speak, and just sniffs its way around its habitat. Like those kind of animals, I’ve been at the mercy of my nose.

Recently, I smelled the best-smelling human I have ever smelled in my life. It came from the neck, right behind the ear. No, it wasn’t cologne. Yes, it was just skin. The smell was so compelling, so intoxicating, so layered in deliciousness that I was completely and totally hooked from the first whiff. It was a case of scent and sensuality.

Even for a writer, describing the mute sense is challenging, but I think it smelled something like clean laundry, drenched in fresh water, wrapped in sandalwood, sprinkled with bergamot, dipped in Yerba Mate, and peppered with masculine musk. I realize these could be the notes in a ubiquitous fragrance called “Eau de New York City Man,” but this scent was specific. It was his scent.

Smell. It’s like the basic bitch of the senses. It’s the sense associated with Muladhara chakra: the first and lowest, the base chakra. This energetic center has to do with basic needs and survival. No one wants to have first chakra problems: trouble making money, and feeding oneself. If we can’t work these things out, it’s pretty hard to function in the world. But the smell I smelled, I would happily get low for, like first chakra low. I would literally get on all fours for it.

Sadly, many people are grossly misinformed and rank smell as the sense they would be most likely to forfeit. But smell is associated with the first chakra because it is the origin sense, both in science (did you know our entire brain grew from what was once a primitive olfactory cortex?) and other schools of thought, too.

I’m not a particularly avid bible reader as that’s not necessarily how I contextualize my spirituality, but so many of the spiritual parameters of the western world, are rooted in The Book. So it’s worth noting that according to the Judeo-Christian piece of the spiritual pie, our nose is how we got our souls: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7). And so it goes; no nose, no breath, no soul, no life. The inability to smell is considered a spiritual impairment, as then the body would not be connected to the soul.

Beyond the bible, in all sorts of spiritual circles, smell is wildly important when it comes to creating scared space. Walk through any house of the divine and you might smell Frankincense or Himalayan herbs. When it comes to my own sacred space, I would never sit down to write without burning something like Spider Woman, a handmade incense to enhance creativity from The Sword and Rose in San Francisco.

But sadly in urban society, smell doesn’t get a lot of attention unless we are avoiding bad aromas, or being lured into a restaurant by the part of our sense of smell that’s connected to our taste buds. And FYI The estimated size of the global antiperspirant and deodorant market in 2015 is $18 billion. That’s a lot of hush money when it comes to B.O.

If our sense of smell is the basic bitch, then in modern society sight is like top dog. Although perhaps touch should be alpha when it comes to love, just consider the fundamental M.O. of generation Tinder: we decide whether or not we’re willing to even meet someone via Google image.

Now more than ever the Internet has forced us to determine attraction in the context of sight, and this is highly problematic. Your eyes can’t tell you important things like if he smells like truffles* – or if he will like the taste between your legs.

I remember a period of time when looks mattered most to me, but that theory went out the window when I met a bald, portly guy who excelled in touch. And in college there was this guys who was totally HST (Hot, Smart & Talented), but something about him smelled like that acronym too – if you add an “I” and rearrange the letters. He smelled of mothballs, stale laundry, last night’s beer, and whatever is growing underneath your nails. You could argue that most college guys smelled like that, but there was something in his skin that was repulsive to me. Easy on the eyes, but extremely hard on the nose.

For all the sight hype, looks can grow on you provided you enjoy someone’s personality or feel they love you in the way you need to be loved. But I would be willing to bet big money that the same doesn’t go for smell. It’s too polarizing. It’s too ancient and primitive, too deeply tied to good and bad and fight or flight. I couldn’t hang around a person who smelled vile no matter how many boxes he or she ticked.

I knew I couldn’t write this piece without reading Rachel Herz’s The Scent of Desire and in it she writes this: “body chemistry plays a startlingly large role in who we are attracted to, and our nose speaks loudly to our souls even if it seems like only a barely audible whisper.”

The smell I smelled on him, spoke unequivocally to my soul – but rather than a whisper, it was an ecstatic scream. It turns out it was actually the mating call of an immune system complimentary to mine, a seed’s serenade to its ideal fertile soil. This scent, which scientifically can belong to one person and one person only, was designed for me. And so, my humanity must surrender and be humbled.

I’m an animal. I know this because lately I feel comfortable on all fours and my nose knows the answers to the questions like ‘who should I have sex with’ and ‘how can I ensure my children will survive.’

Fun Facts:

*Some truffles contain a steroid, androstenol, which gives them the musky nutty taste. That same steroid is also synthesized by human males in the testes and secreted by their sweat glands. I love truffles. I love men. Makes so much sense! Makes me want to listen to this.

Also:
No, it’s not pheromones.
Why using your nose isn’t foolproof.
When Kate met Steven.

Further Reading:
The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell
by Rachel Herz
A Natural History of the Senses
by Diane Ackerman

WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR MOON SIGN ASTROLOGY

Want to understand your deepest emotional needs on a totally cosmic level? You need to know your Moon sign, says Ruby Warrington

“The Moon sign is a gateway to the ‘subtle realms’ of being”

2014 was the year I learned to love my Moon sign. With a headstrong Aries Sun and outgoing Sagittarius rising, there’s been a tendency in my life for my sensitive, comfort-loving Cancer Moon to get torched by all that fire and bravado. NOT COOL. Your Moon sign holds the key to your deepest emotional needs – so ignore what it’s telling you at your peril.

The Sun, Rising and Moon signs are usually the first place any astrologer goes when they’re interpreting a birth chart – and I like to think of them as representing the mind / ego (the Sun), the body (Rising) and the soul (Moon). Viewed this way, the Moon sign is a gateway to the “subtle realms” of being, and is also linked to the subconscious and our instinctual patterns and habits. It’s where things get DEEP, man.

As a being invested in the concept of personal development for TOTAL SELF ACTUALIZATION (as in, getting to a place where you are fully primed to bring your unique gifts to the Universe), you can see how Moon signs have become my latest astro obsession. Know your Moon, know your potential on a truly souful/cosmic level.

To find out your Moon sign, you first need to do your birth chart – which you can get for free by entering your date, time and place of birth at Astro.com. And don’t worry if you don’t know your precise time of birth, your Moon sign can be calculated with just the date and place. Ready already? Here’s a brief overview of how your Moon sign could show up for you.

“Know your Moon, know your potential on a truly souful/cosmic level”

:: MOON IN ARIES ::
You want it all and you want it now. Instant gratification rules, and there’s a sense of always needing to keep moving forwards. When emotional stuff comes up for you, it rises quickly to the surface to be torched. In fact, you’re so ready to face uncomfortable situations head on, to some people it might look like you actually enjoy conflict. Rather, it just doesn’t phase you – and seeing as you experience your emotions in the moment, kind of like a two-year-old, these flare-ups are just a way of processing emotional energy out of your body. Your gift is to not hold onto a grudge. Your friends and family get what they see. Satisfy this Moon sign by constantly seeking out new experiences. But beware – not every new thing you “want” (new Marc Jacobs bag, new toy-boy) is also a soul-serving “need.”

:: MOON IN TAURUS ::
It’s all about the creature comforts. Lunar Taureans need to feel connected to their “stuff” to feel secure, and will be driven to create a solid “home base” in every area of life. Relationships, career, money – you’re in it for the long-haul. This steadfast energy can come across as being a bit “stuck in your ways,” and for sure, change is something this Moon sign will avoid like visit to the dentist for a root canal. Emotional outbursts are a rarity – when things stir you up you prefer to take a practical approach. Oh, and you’re probably familiar with the whole “emotional overeating” thing, as you find comfort in being grounded in the world through your physical senses. Evolve this Moon sign by working on creating a solid core within. Who knows – then it might feel okay to let go sometimes.

:: MOON IN GEMINI ::
Information overload? Yes please. The Gemini Moon needs constant stimulation to keep up with its restless, analytical nature. When emotional situations come up, talking therapy was made for you. Your mind refuses to butt out, and your instinct is to talk it out, and out, and out. As soon as a situation is broke, you’ll want to fix it – in some cases before it’s broke, too. Making constant tweaks to your life (and living situation) is a way of feeling into your soul needs – but this scattered approach can sometimes see you taking two steps forward, one giant leap back in your emotional evolution. Super sociable, you find comfort in crowds and love anything that connects you emotionally to other people. To soothe this Moon sign, amp up your meditation practise and commit sometimes to simply: “Let it be.”

:: MOON IN CANCER ::
Nurturing or mothering, of the self and others, is a natural impulse for the Cancer Moon, as both the planet and the sign represent “mother” energy in the birth chart. Situations involving any kind of upset (an argument with your mother, the wrong take-out order showing up) can leave a deep imprint on your emotional body – meaning you really need to embrace “feeling feelings” as bottling things up is particularly dangerous for you. Also supremely sensitive to the moods and emotions of others, you seek security, familiarity and comfort (to the point of OCD) to cushion yourself from these energetic knocks and bumps. Life without emotional boundaries can be scary – hence the urge seek safety at all costs. Having women in your life that you feel deeply bonded with is a non-negotiable. Ditto a regular self-care regimen on both a physical and and spiritual level.

“Your Moon sign holds the key to your deepest emotional needs”

:: MOON IN LEO ::
Opposed to Sun in Leos, where a life out of the spotlight is a life half lived, Lunar Leos prefer to take center stage behind closed doors. An audience of close family and friends is going to be wayyy more forgiving after all – and likely to shower you with the adoration you crave. It’s not like you won’t love bomb ‘em right back. Playing fair and cleaning up your side of the street is a matter of pride. And as much as you like to be demonstrative with your affections, you can be prone to emotional outbursts if you feel your generous heart has been taken advantage of. When you’re not playing the superstar, you also get an emotional charge from stepping into a more directorial role. Mentoring others is nourishment for your magnanimous soul (you’ll even forgive the ones who try to tell you you’re just being bossy). Practice radical self-love with this Moon, and watch your heart swell and your soul sing in return.

:: MOON IN VIRGO ::
Can you be of service, please? Virgo Moons have a deep-seated need to be useful, coupled with an ability to find security in the small practicalities of daily life. Even better, show you sufficient appreciation (we love you, we do!) and the emotional satisfaction you find in getting everything neatly lined-up extends to helping us sort out the lives of the ones you love, too. It’s actually how you express your tender feelings for others. And if you can be reserved when it comes to showing your own emotions, your calculated approach to problem solving means you get a kick analyzing what you see swimming in other people’s sentimental soup. When you’re feeling insecure, there’s a tendency for nit-picking and perfectionism – even if it’s mainly aimed at yourself. The trick is to pick a routine where you get to excel, and stick to it. Keeping things simple and living a spartan life, and the sense of efficiency this brings, is a balm for your soul.

:: MOON IN LIBRA ::
It’s all about your plus ones. Libra Moon needs partnerships to feel complete – in love, life and work, the world opens up and becomes an altogether friendlier, safer place with your wingman (or woman) by your side. Which means you’re often the one doing a lot of the compromising in relationships. Your deepest soul yearning insists that maintaining the cosy status quo is way more important than any psychological point scoring. In fact, a harmonious home life is essential to your emotional wellbeing – bet you’ve got a GREAT relationship with your parents, right? (On the surface at least). Weirdly, the flipside of this can be perfectionist tendencies when it comes to your closest relationships. Life must be a “beautiful” experience, and you expect the same high ideals from other people. Anything less than a total commitment to doing the “right thing” can feel painfully unjust. Accepting that life just isn’t fair sometimes is your emotional chill pill.

:: MOON IN SCORPIO ::
Total emotional intensity or bust. Scorpio Moons have zero time for frivolity and need to experience a sense of complete soul bonding in their relationships to feel secure. Evidently very psychic to those who know you well, your intuition is rooted in an innate understanding of human nature – what makes us tick, our motivation and desires. And pushing these buttons in the name of forcing emotional honesty can be a favorite pastime. Ouch – there’s that famous “sting.” Emotional upheavals are welcomed, as they often lead to or accompany periods of intense transformation –Viagra for the soul of a Scorpio Moon. There can also be a tendency to want to control the emotions of others – for their own good, of course – using a killer combo of seduction and manipulative tactics. This power play can be awesome to watch too, which is what makes Scorpio Moons so damn seductive. Make using your considerable powers for good the goal.

“Your Moon sign is where things get DEEP, man…”

:: MOON IN SAGITTARIUS ::
Sagittarius Moon will feel threatened wherever there is a lack – even a perceived lack – of personal freedom. Security comes in knowing where the Cosmic escape route is, and so long as the exit is clearly marked this easy-going Moon sign is set to happy-go-lucky by default. It’s all about having the wiggle room to go wherever the mood takes you. “Home” is almost an abstract concept – the consummate rolling stone, you actually feel most comfortable camped out on the side of a mountain or under the desert sky. In fact, Burning Man? MADE for your Moon. As for commitment issues? It might look like that to some people. When the emotional going gets tough, lets just say you’re not the most likely to stick around to “work through stuff.” Your MO when dealing with any dramas is to just look on the bright side. Yes, optimism can be a strong suit, but not when it comes with a set of blinkers attached. Evolution lies in overcoming your fear of the dark.

:: MOON IN CAPRICORN ::
Everything is under control. No matter how flamboyant the external self, behind the scenes the Capricorn Moon has got your emotional life on lock down. Self-discipline in the face of unruly feelings is a way to stay safe, and putting your own emotional needs second to those of others is a natural instinct. But opposed to simply bottling things up, this speaks more to a need to earn respect from the people you love and an ability to compartmentalize emotions to be dealt with swiftly and efficiently on your own time. Due diligence in every area of life is essential for Capricorn Moon. Putting strategies in place and working with tradition creates a sense of security, especially in situations where there’s a perceived risk of appearing vulnerable or lacking in control. The need to create a secure base will likely be reflected in the way you handle your finances – retail therapy for you looks more like investing in a piece of prime real estate or a private pension.

:: MOON IN AQUARIUS ::
My emotions feel very different from your emotions. Aquarius Moon is overtly aware that each individual experiences the world according to their own unique perspective. There is comfort to be found in expressing your own uniqueness, like; “this is how I feel.” There’s an instinct to stand out, even to shock others in the name of shaking up the status quo. Sentimental situations that threaten to keep you stuck in the past are shunned in favor of grand emotional designs on future events. A deeply rooted humanitarian urge stems from this broadminded, liberal worldview, which also sees you determined to “rise above” petty emotional situations that cloud your vision of the bigger picture. Floating above all that earthy, human stuff is a way too feel safe too – even if it means you can appear to be quite detached from the realities of everyday life. Actually your friendships here on Earth are your soul support system. Nurture them.

:: MOON IN PISCES ::
Your inner knowing is all you need. An unwavering faith in your own intuition is what Pisces Moon calls home. If it feels right, it’s right. If it feels wrong, you just won’t go there. What could be safer than that? Your ability to feel feelings extends to the emotions of others too, and coupled with your natural instinct to heal every wounded soul you encounter it can be easy for you to get lost in who needs what. As a result, learning to clear and protect your own energy is essential for this Moon. Time alone with your own thoughts and visions (a.k.a. daydreaming) is also a self-care must. It’s how you restock your vast emotional reserves. Ditto your spiritual practice. Regularly communing with the divine creates a sense of security about your place in the grand scheme of the Cosmos, and confirms what you already know – that we are all connected. In fact, it’s completely instinctual for you to swim in and out of other people’s experience of the world, and then report back through your own artistic endeavors.

BEACH TAROT: AN ELEMENTAL SHIFT

Artist and island dweller Monica Ruiz shares why she finds a deeper connection to her Tarot practise at the beach, where the elements conspire to create soul connection, serenity and focus. Will you follow her lead this summer?

“…treat them kindly. Build a relationship with them that is respectful. Spend time with them, especially at first. Look through the imagery and handle the cards daily…Be sensitive to how you feel when you handle the cards…Allow the ritual of using them to be positive, exploratory, & even fun…” ~ Kim Krans

I’m in love with my practise of Beach Tarot: besides breathing and meditating with my cats (of course), it’s one of my favorite ways to center my energy and bring much needed clarity to my dream endeavors, my emotions and the daily happenings in my life.

At first I was hesitant about bringing my deck to the beach with me, thinking the sand, spray or a random raindrop may “ruin” them. But when I thought about it, I remembered how much I love the elements of the beach with all of my heart: the sand (earth, grounding); the ocean (water, flow); the clouds and mists (air, breath); and of course the SUN (fire, heart).

Breathing, reading, thinking and writing, as well as watching the love of my life surf in the swirl of these elements, as represented in the Tarot, brings me pure joy – so why wouldn’t my beloved cards benefit from the same energies and vibrations that I treasure so much?

 

When I use my cards it’s about listening to my heart, inspired by intuitive visual imagery that vibes with me and my mind’s eye, which is why I gifted myself with The Wild Unknown Tarot deck by Kim Krans at the beginning of this year. From the first time I came across Kim’s magical illustrations, I felt like my spirit became entwined with the secrets of the Universe and the soul of Mother Nature when I gazed at them. That’s the thing with art: when it makes your heart tick, you FEEL it.

I pull a card at least every other day at home, when I’m setting intentions, looking for some guidance or just in need of a friendly reminder to listen to my gut. I LOVE to cover my art projects in my Tarot cards as well, to infuse them with the same beautiful and natural gifts I get from the sun at the beach. Gifts of light and energy.

But I breathe deeper and slower at the beach, and because of the love and respect I have for this environment I believe it creates a stronger more authentic connection with my deck, and so the guidance the cards provide feels more loving and natural. The beach allows me to tap into a “Be Here Now” experience, where pretty much all nonsense dissipates. When I gaze at the horizon, I immediately start to feel calmer and am able to rationalize my thoughts and keep my intentions solid without the innocent distractions I may find at home. The voice in my head sounds loving and knowing, while the elements contribute to an overall feeling of serenity, and I can focus.

 

 

Mother Nature provides the best environment to heal, meditate, ponder and celebrate your existence – wherever that may be. Forests, the mountains, a meadow, park, your backyard or even a favorite garden, are all amazing places for sole/soul attunement. Even just sitting with your houseplants helps. I take advantage of this as a form of self-love, so it makes sense that my Beach Tarot practice brings me a sense of true connection to my core being.

 

Once settled on the sand, I shuffle my cards for a few minutes and just focus on the ocean and my breath, to help center my mind on what is truest in my heart at that moment. When I draw my card, (or, as actually happens quite often at the beach, the wind chooses a card for me during my shuffle) I sit with it for a couple of minutes. During this pause I absorb and contemplate the image, along with my thoughts, paying attention to my heartbeat, before looking up its meaning.

 

After reading about the card and meditating for a moment, I set my card in the sand and allow it to “re-charge” while I stretch and usually do some writing. I will journal about my connection to my card, about its meaning and usually write out a set of affirmations that pour out of me, inspired by the card. If it feels like an extra potent card, like the message couldn’t be more perfect, I’ll usually carry it with me for a few days afterwards, in my journal or whatever book I’m reading.

In this way, bringing my cards to the beach with me has become a fun, sacred practice, combining heartfelt intuition and magical imagery with energetic pulse of the majestic sea. This is my Beach Tarot.

Island dweller Monica Ruiz is a collage artist, hardcore daydreamer, HayHouse book reviewer, bloggess, burrito lover, cat enthusiast, librarian assistant and wanderluster who is obsessed with good hip-hop beats, Lana Del Rey and Paris, France. She owns way too many black clothes, swoons over Sofia Coppola films and loves the concept of protecting your magic with an open heart.

www.lechat808.com

@LeChat808