With Venus and Mercury shifting gears, and Halloween adding a heavy dose of magic, the 2018 Leo Waning Moon invites us to surrender to the mystery, and conjure connection with the invisible, says Jennifer Racioppi …
Waning Quarter Moon // October 31 2018 // 12.40pm ET // 8 degrees Leo
With the 2018 Leo Waning Moon happening on the day the veil between worlds is the thinnest, we can expect things to feel fun, with a heavy dose of spooky.
How apropos for the Scorpio Sun squaring playful Leo? Meanwhile, with Venus Retrograde still in full effect and simultaneously in direct opposition with Uranus, unleash your desire to change your identity (dress up anyone?) Enjoy the mysteriousness of the day …
// The Cycle // The 2018 Leo Waning Moon serves as the midpoint between the hunter Taurus Full Moon, and the upcoming Scorpio New Moon on November 7th. This critical turning point of the lunar cycle asks us to let go of what’s no longer working while simultaneously bringing outcomes to seeds planted with the August 2, 2016, Leo New Moon.
Check-in; what’s coming to fruition now that connects to dreams set in motion and actions taken then?
// The Transits // With Venus retrograde moving into Libra, and Mercury moving into Sagittarius, our spiritual world may feel impacted. Especially with Venus opposing Uranus, an astrological configuration that often suggests a change in a relationship (perhaps even an ending).
Today’s transits ask you to go with the flow and roll with any abrupt switches in direction. Additionally, given that it’s Halloween, there’s real opportunity to connect with the other side via ceremony and prayer (and your inner witch).
// The Square // With the Sun in sultry Scorpio squaring the Moon in light Leo, we have a classic case of water (Scorpio) vs. fire (Leo). While we all know that water can extinguish fire, let’s not forget that when the two combine we get steam, too.
My suggestion? Aim for steam. Lean into Leo’s natural optimism and ability to magnetize joy. Even with abrupt changes afoot, allow yourself to feel lighter through the release of what’s no longer relevant.
// The Opportunity // Today offers the strong potential to conjure, create, and align, while paying homage to those who have passed away. Even with Venus opposing Uranus, a transit that connotes the need to release what’s no longer working, you can sincerely connect with your spiritual self.
If something, or someone, exits your life today, let it go! And allow the depth of who you are to shine through. Then enjoy the night of play!
Discover more about astrologer and success coach Jennifer Racioppi and her work HERE and follow her on Instagram.
In the first official installment of his monthly column, Queer Hero, Danny Brave shares his journey to discover the name that reflected his true identity. PLUS how you can cast your own name spell …
Over the course of my journey as not only a transgender man, but also as a shamanic healer, I’ve discovered the power of our own names (both given and chosen).
I lived most of my life being called Katie Greene, moving through several different iterations and identity crises, only to discover, or rather re-member, that I am Danny Brave. Now when I say “re-member,” what I actually mean is the opposite of dis-member: to put myself back together, to become more whole.
Read on to discover my name changing story, and discover how you can cast a name spell on your own life …
Releasing my ancestral line In the Fall of 2015, “Katie,” first started to feel like it was not really me any more. After remembering the sexual assault I experienced as a child (read more about my sexual reclamation after incest HERE), the name was feeling more and more like a fake smile—something that I did often when I was living that identity. If you say “Katie” out loud, you’ll notice your mouth even takes the shape of a smile at the “ie” part.
After remembering what had actually happened to me as a kid, there was, not surprisingly, no more fake smiles left in me, and my full birth name “Kaitlin” began to feel more appropriate. This name felt darker, more serious, and more powerful—a reflection of my energy at the time. This was the name I was called when the abuse happened to me, and it facilitated me in re-membering and reclaiming some of the darkest moments of my life.
With “Kaitlin” in place, I started to search for a replacement for “Greene,” a name that belonged to my father and his father—a name that to me denoted false Irish family pride, toxic Catholicism, and all of the lies and abuse that had been passed down my ancestral line. This line would decidedly end with me, and it would end via the ritual of literally releasing this last name and claiming a new one for myself. This change-of-name spell happened gradually over a long period of time …
Was I “Brave” enough? “Brave,” first came to me in December 2015 at the Barnes and Noble in the town where I grew up, where one fateful night I noticed a little green book with the gold shiny words titled “Brave Enough” by Cheryl Strayed winking at me from the shelves.
Strayed’s memoir “Wild” had come to me a few months prior, shortly after the volcanic repressed memory eruption and was like a little twinkling ray of hope from God, a love letter to my soul. It was a story that had a lot of trauma, death, and addiction—that was totally true, and often brutally honest. In her memoir, Cheryl literally gives herself the last name “Strayed” and changes it legally to reflect more honestly whom she knew she really was. Someone who had, in more ways than one, strayed.
I opened “Brave Enough” and read: “Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You’re my indication that I’m doing what I need to do.” I wasn’t leaving without the store without it.
Dancing in my own words … “Brave Enough” came with me in my bag to India a month later, where I was attending a women’s dance-healing retreat, and a self-imposed writer’s retreat.
Every morning I would dance for 2-3 hours with a beautiful group of women, and every afternoon I would write alone, mostly poetry, and sometimes for hours and hours. It seemed like the energy of “Brave” had already started working on me, giving me the courage to re-claim my authentic voice, and I wrote and wrote about everything as honestly as I could handle at that time. I transmuted abuse memories that spontaneously arrived in the morning dance class, channeling those feelings and vibrations into words, vomiting the poison out of my system.
During my time in India, without thinking much about it, I switched my email address to reflect the last name “Brave.” My old last name just kind of slipped off—like the wind blowing a piece of fabric off of a rock. It was just so ridiculously obvious that “Brave” was my name, and that it now belonged to me.
As I prepared for the journey back to the States, I realized I could never go back to my parents’ home. No longer sharing a last name with any family member, “Brave” carried me onward, forcing me to individuate myself from my family and preparing me to stand on my own two feet.
Becoming Danny Brave When I started to realize that I was a guy (which is really a whole other story), I was initially so uncomfortable with myself and scared that I wanted to die. At the same time, there was an immediate ease with which my first name arrived—it was Danny. I just kind of knew, it was a lightning bolt that zapped the crown of my head in meditation.
But the name and my body and life at that time felt too at odds, and I was living too far away from where I knew I could feel supported enough to transition. Desperate for some sort of change, but not yet able to feel safe enough to fully step into Danny, I switched my first name again, this time to “Kate.”
I took a part-time gig as an assistant to a jewelry designer. “Ooo, I love your last name … I think that ‘brave’ means a female warrior” the woman I worked for told me. I Googled it and discovered that it in fact meant MALE warrior. “Oh dear god,” I thought with terror. I was being called out, pushed out of the closet, by my own last name! As I started to prepare myself to face the fact that I was not, and never have been, a woman, I knew that “Kate,” a female name and the one my dad would use whenever he yelled at me, would have to go.
When I showed up to my first trans-masculine support group, late and shaking, I simply said “I’m Brave.” As I would to the random barista, just to practice having a different name with no clear gender. Just to have to say it out loud to remember I was courageous, to cling to the one true part of me over which I had ownership.
The affirmation of my last name would eventually lead me to admitting to the real first one, Danny, a month or so later in my support group.
The vibration of Danny has lead me home to my ultimate truth: that of a flamboyant little gay boy who loved to play dress up, loved watching figure skating, loved to paint, draw, and dance. The real me, only now a man. Sometimes the most loveable parts of ourselves are the most hard-won.
I was recently joking with a new friend, saying to her that I gave myself the last name of “Brave” so that I would constantly have to strive to live up to it. “I don’t think that’s true,” she said. “Names are spells. You don’t even have to try, it’s just you now, and it’s how your life will unfold.” Looking back on this story, I can see that she was right.
How to cast your own name spell Your name(s) (past and present) carry a meaning and vibration that is worth exploring! Being curious about what is underneath your name may lead you to a deeper understanding of your family dynamic, about what remains to be healed within you, and about your life path and purpose.
The following exercises are for you to explore your true feelings about your name(s) so that you can either reclaim it with your own meaning, intention, or vibration, or maybe even choose a new one for yourself!
1// Call your own name Start with either your first or last name—whichever one you want to explore and play with first. Then, if you wish, you can follow up with your second name:
Close your eyes. Put your hand on your heart. Take a few deep breaths. Say your first name three times. What do you feel? Does this name feel like you? What do you feel in your body when you say it? What comes up for you? Honor whatever it is and trust your feelings. Know that if your name doesn’t feel like a match for the real you, there is one that is.
2// Free associate You can do this with your current name, or play with a different one that you have in mind.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen. At the top, make two columns if you don’t have a middle name, and three if you do. Under each column, without thinking, write stream-of-consciousness based off of each of your names (if you are trans-identified, I recommend you do this with both your birth name and your chosen one). Then, take a moment to read your associations. Our names carry so much energy, don’t they?!
3// Take an inner child name inventory You may want to use a pen and piece of paper for this one as well:
Consider or write down answers to the following: Was there a name that you really loved as a kid? Is there a name that you really love now? What did you name your pets, your dogs, your dolls when you were little? Is there a celebrity or friend whose name you admire? Is there a name you have always loved and wish that you had? What would happen if you tried it on for a minute, like trying on a new dress or shirt?
4// Play with your gender identity Don’t take this one too seriously or freak yourself out—try to have fun and maintain an attitude of light playfulness! Now, let’s do some name-drag:
If you identify as a woman, imagine for a moment that you are a man. What would your name be? If you are a man, imagine for a moment that you are a woman. What would your name be? What does it feel like to call yourself by this pretend name? What spell would this name cast on your life?
5// Know that you are worthy of your real name In the USA (in the larger cities in particular), we are so privileged to live at a time where we can exercise our free will to become more of the person that we really are. Know that if you are unhappy with your current name, or if you don’t feel like it is truly yours, you can, in fact, change it. The same goes for your life! If you don’t like it, you do, in fact, have the power to change it.
Beyond gender identity, I hope that you feel you are worthy of the real you. You deserve to love your name, which is to say, you deserve to love yourself. I know that if you follow your heart and trust your gut, you will find (or re-member) your real name.
**If you are a transgender individual living in the U.S., please visit my list of resources for trans individuals HERE
Danny Brave is a shamanic healer, writer, public speaker, and artist. In his private practice, he specializes in helping women and individuals assigned female at birth overcome the affects of sexual trauma. He conducts monthly LGBTQIA Shamanic Healing Circles at Brooklyn’s Maha Rose (sign up for the next one HERE) with the intention of creating safe, sober spaces for queer people to heal, and to amplify marginalized voices. He loves to paint, dance, and spend time in nature.
As Venus goes direct, get active with your money manifestation and create an abundance altar in your wallet, says Ruby Warrington…
Several years ago, I found myself scouring Shopstyle in search of the perfect wallet. I was looking for one that was red, gold, or green, three colors that would make my wallet a money magnet. I had learned about this theory from my friend Gala Darling, and as an entrepreneur living in NYC (huge rent! no regular income!), I was like, “what the hell?”.
It took another year or so for me to find a red wallet that also fit my personal style—one by Philip Lim that was even embossed with a subtle dollar sign. Flawless! Whether it’s played any role in my never missing a rent check as I’ve juggled building this platform, writing a book, and launching Moon Club, I can’t really say. But what I do know is that a recent Skype meeting with a woman known as The Modern Money Witch (a.k.a. Lara-Rose Duong) took the concept of using your wallet to actively attract cash to a whole new level.
And OF COURSE she reached out to me during Venus retrograde! The planet ruling love and abundance has been in a backspin since March 4, 2017 (resuming direct motion today, April 15!), during which time all things concerning love, money, and self-worth have been up for review. And according to Lara-Rose, love is money. It’s the grown-up symbol for the nurturing (food, shelter, hugs) we receive as “love” when we’re babies.
Step one in Lara-Rose’s system for receiving more money in your life is to create an actual abundance altar in your wallet. Fun! And what better activity to get active with your manifestation process?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an abundance altar in your wallet:
1. Take everything out of your wallet and smudge it with smoke from white sage or Palo Santo.
2. Hold your empty wallet with both hands and set an intention. Something like: “I am open to receiving abundance so that I may share it with the world,” would work great. Say it as you hold your wallet.
3. Choose a space for your abundance “altar” in your wallet—it can be an individual pocket or an entire section.
4. Place items in your abundance altar. Some classic things to include: an image of Lakshmi, or other abundance icon (I chose a card of prosperity Goddess Abundantia); a piece of citrine, a silver dollar, or an abundance spell, sealed with a pentagon sign. Feel free to choose items that are meaningful to you.
5. Also include a paper money offering to your abundance icon. This bill is not to be spent, but can be refreshed annually on a date that resonates with you (like the Spring or Fall Equinox, Beltane, or your birthday).
6. Toss our old receipts, business cards, etc., and return only the items you absolutely need to your wallet. Commit to regularly clearing out any unneeded items to keep energetic pathways of abundance clear.
“Vampire Lovers” is our term for lovers that come flying into your world, suck out your life force. You have no idea what’s happened, but next thing you know you feel like a fucking zombie and your friends are calling for an intervention. But these vampires are not really blood drinking creatures (although sometimes they might want to do that too). They are more like psychic suckers, energy drawers, seductive manipulators who can milk your energy, mess with your psyche, throw you off balance, and take away your power.
The people are also sometimes called “energy vampires” or “emotional vampires.” It’s an archetype we all can embody unconsciously at times, it’s just that some of us have learned to master it, using it as a form of manipulation and self-preservation.
Okay, so in theory we all know we should stay away from people that make us feel helpless or weak. But can also be SO SO sexy to allow ourselves to be completely overtaken by someone. We romanticize it, imagining Brad Pitt biting our neck and kinda wishing we were Kristen Stewart in Twilight, even if we’re aware of the dangers of completely losing ourselves in that person. We each had our fair share of experience dealing with people like this in our love lives and found ways to cope with it, which we will share in this post.
At the bottom, CAT CABRAL, a New York based alchemist and tarot reader who’s been peddling the tools of the witchcraft trade for over a decade, has shared tips on how to identify and protect yourself from Vampire Lovers.
Natalia: Why don’t we start by talking about meeting vampires on Tinder. You know, like one night stands, and the implications of that spiritually. Alexandra: You mean the wild post-breakup Tinder phase that I like to call my “Slutty Spring?”
N: Exactly. A: It was super fun, but you also have to really work on protecting your psyche because you’re exchanging energy with people so fast in those situations. And then you’re like “Wait, what? I’m tied up in a stranger’s bed again?!”
N: Right. Because the minute that you open up and surrender sexually to them, your energies are melding and exchanging whether you like it or not. A: If they’re holding a lot of darkness you might get in a bad mood the next day and be super grumpy, wondering “Why do I feel so depressed?” or “Why do I feel so anxious?” – psychic gunk you maybe picked up up from the random person you just had sex with.
N: So how did you personally protect yourself and create that boundary? A: Well, I had a date with this guy and we had really good conversation at dinner and then I went back to his house. I was getting bored and wondering where things were going but I kept thinking “In theory this guy’s great. He’s a lawyer, he’s attractive and also weird in a good way.” When we were kissing he was like; “I could totally see myself with a girl like you, you’re totally the type of girl I would fall in love with,” and that started weirding me out. And then his penis wouldn’t work so he just wanted to go down on me forever and that felt a little too intimate for a first date, so I said no. I did not want some stranger that I had literally known for two hours to just go down on me. Like actual penetrative sex would be less intimate because there’s a barrier of rubber.
N: That’s really sad! A: Depends how you look at it. Anyway, so then I lost my phone, slipped on the rug, and hit my neck on a shelf, and at that point I was like, energetically, “THIS IS WRONG.” My intuition was like “Get out! Leave!” Not because I thought he was going to be a psycho killer,it was just an energetic thing. He texted me the next day, but the energy, all the way from the initial hook up to me hurting myself was just saying “no.” It took me a minute to shrug off that icky energy. And he ended up texting me like 100 times over a period of three months and I had to block him. So I guess he was a crazy.
N: I guess it’s not so relevant to Tinder hook-ups, but I learned a few things to do after a bad relationship to release that person’s grip. I had one ex who was a total vampire – her energy was so intense. After we broke up, I would just like go to the bathroom and every time I took a shit I would think about her leaving my body, like in my poop. And it really worked! I also associated her with “shit” and so that became suddenly funny and meaningless. It quickly released the emotional grip she had on me. A: That’s amazing!
N: When I was like having a lot of one night stands, I would sort of protect myself by being the one who was in control of the situation. But there were several times I would just like leave feeling a little icky because of that person’s energy. A: What we’re talking about now is people that seem like amazing beings, but underneath they just want to suck out the good vibes. We both dated people who did that.
N: So what do you think it the first sign of a vampire? A: They divulge too much too soon! They tell you their sob story straight off the bat.
N: Yes! On our first date my ex is already telling me how she doesn’t get along with her family and whatever health condition she’s got. A: Health conditions, financial burdens…
N: They think that playing a victim will make you feel sorry for them. A: But actually, it’s trying to force intimacy too quickly. The next thing that they do is tell you “YOU’RE THE ONE.” Really quickly. I dated someone like that. We were walking down the street and she looked at me and said: “What if you’re the one?” But I actually have proof she says that to many, many girls.
N: Yeah. At what stage? A: We had maybe been on three dates. And I fell for it. My heart was beating fast.
N: This girl I dated was immediately doing things to me that I had found out that she had done in multiple relationships in the past. And telling me that she had never felt like this before and how she was going to marry me. I was really freaked out at first and didn’t buy it. To which she’d be like: “Why are you not trusting love?” She would make it seem like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t open to receiving this “deep everlasting love.” She eventually convinced me to give in and surrender to her. Then finally when I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to give you my heart. Here’s my heart.” That’s when she bit me. A: That’s the dark manipulation side of the vampire lover. It’s the hook and bait. They like pull you in by telling you that you’re the one, and then they start fucking with you. It’s so crazy. It’s a formula. The worst part is…I don’t think they even know they are doing it!
N: They just want your heart, and they’re unaware that they’re manipulating you to get it. A: I think that those are the people you have to try to watch out for the most because energetically you may fall apart after them. It took me a while to get my “vampire lover ex” out of my life. She would call me in the middle of the night. Then she would text and say “Let’s be friends.” And then when we tried that, out of nowhere she would text “I want to have a family with you.” It got creepy. I just had to block her completely. But two years later I saw her, and she was kind. People change and time does heal.
N: Yeah, after mine ended but it really took me a second to find myself and feel strong again. Taking some time out to be alone, or changing your scenery can be helpful. For a while I was scared of bumping into her, thinking she could tip me over just by looking at me, and not because I loved her or wanted to be with her, just because she had that power and I knew it worked on me for a period of time. A: So alright, now we’ve shared, let’s hear how we can avoid falling into unhealthy patterns with lovers…
5 Tips On How to Protect Yourself from Vampire Lovers (and vampire energy in general) by Cat Cabral
1) Have a Daily Spiritual Practice: Be it daily meditation, chants, or prayer, some form of daily spiritual practice will not only ground and focus your own energy, but it will open your levels of awareness, sharpening your own intuitive skills. With deeper awareness, it’s harder for vampires to enter your space and it’s easier to spot their unbalanced and often charming yet ultimately harmful nature.
2) Sea Salt Baths On the Full Moon: An old and soothing tradition that will help cleanse your ethereal body. Once the Moon is full, she begins to wane, an excellent time for cleansing and removing negative energies, known and unknown. Fill your bathtub with sea salt and lunar herbs such as lavender and wormwood. Imagine all negative energies, people or situations being absorbed by the water and then going down the drain. If you only have a shower, you can pour the salt and herbs into a bowl, wash as usual, and then pour the mixture over your body following the same ritual/visualization.
3) Glinda’s Crystal Ball of Protection: Remember in The Wizard of Oz, how Glinda sails away in her pink protective ball of light? Before you leave your house, imagine at the top of your head a small globe of white light illuminating at first your third eye, then your throat chakra, moving down towards the heart center, solar plexus, lighting up your reproductive zone and continuing down to your feet, so that you are completely engulfed in healthy protective white light. Imagine this light expanding into an invisible sphere that nothing negative can penetrate.
4) Symbols of Protection: Every culture has unique and powerful symbols to ward off negativity such as the pentagram, crosses, hexagram, ankh, Hand of Fatima, Runes, the list goes on! Find one that has a special meaning to you and either wear it or carry it daily.
5) Banishing Rituals: Letting go is often hard when you’ve been under the spell of a particularly seductive vampire. Create a circle with salt around you and set up an altar for your ritual. Take a white figure or plain candle to represent the person and carve their name into the candle. Dress the candle with oil for banishing (olive oil can also be used). As you light the candle, watch as the wax drips down and imagine the person disappearing from your sphere of influence. Write a letter saying everything you’ve been thinking, saying goodbye, never wishing them ill will, but clearly stating that they hold no emotional/spiritual/physical power over you, that your paths are clear and will never cross again. When the candle is almost finished, burn the letter and then discard of the ashes and wax somewhere far from your house or bury it in the ground. Burn sage, cedarwood or frankincense to cleanse the space and move on with confidence.
As we enter the season of the winds, the veil between the spiritual worlds becomes thin. A time of strong psychic awareness, we open to valuable teachings from Great Spirit and our personal intuition. Energetically charged people and places, as well as lingering spirits, also become very apparent to the spiritually sensitive. For this reason, now is a time to work with extra psychic protection.
Dear One, understand this; the highest form of protection is awareness. And that love is the vehicle to awareness; become more loving, become more aware. Fear is the opposite of love, fear distracts us. But if in the midst of fear we can use our breath to go back to love and awareness, we are already so protected.
The below Halloween ritual bath and practices are tools to strengthen our connection to love, to awareness, and therefore protect us as we journey into winter.
:: THIN VEIL ESSENTIALS ::
Black Tourmaline, a crystal of high psychic protection, is invaluable during this time. Carry a small piece in your pocket or as a piece of jewelry. Sleep with Black Tourmaline under your pillow to protect your dream body.
Rosemary carries the protection of the divine feminine. Wear a drop of Rosemary essential oil on the crown of your head, and she will protect with the awareness of a mother wolf.
Connect to nature. Offer tobacco or white sage to a tree, stand barefoot on the roots and hold your back body to the tree. As your feet connect to tree’s spirit release any charged psychic energy you are holding through your feet, asking the earth to transform that energy into love.
:: RITUAL BATH FOR PSYCHIC PROTECTION ::
Ingredients 1 cup of Epsom Salt 4 cups of Nettles Tea infusion 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar A few drops of Rosemary essential oil A few drops of Rose Water or Rose Absolute Essential Oil
Crystals Fluorite, Quartz, Citrine and Black Tourmaline
Add all ingredients to a bath of water as hot as you can stand.
Ritual Light candles around the bath Smudge your self by burning white sage and cedar around your body, wafting the smoke towards you with a feather Step into the bath Take three deep cleansing breaths Place a candle directly in front of you and stare into the flame without blinking for five minutes. Let the flame clear your mind and bring you into psychic awareness Dunk your head under the water Place the Quartz crystal under you at the back of your heart, place the citrine on your solar plexus, hold the Fluorite in your left hand and the Black Tourmaline in your right Chant the sound “Aum” (Om) at least three times Soak in and enjoy the protective energy you’ve created