THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION

Can you balance unhealthy compulsions without losing your appetite for pleasure? Emma Whitehair wrestles with the demons of alcohol, love, and sugar addiction, and asks herself: “What are you really hungry for?”

“Could I continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion?”- Emma Whitehair

Ughhhh … Krispy Kremes. Never something I’d choose to put in my body. So why, when a colleague turned up with a box full of them, did my inner werewolf rear its head? A demon who was frothing at the mouth to demolish the lot, while my sensible side tried to argue the case to “go-halves” on one.

The demon won, leaving me to contend with a toxic dose of self-loathing. 

My sweet tooth kicked in with a vengeance when I quit booze over a decade ago, and I felt that this new appetite was part of my continued search for escapism and relief. Love, too, came under this dopamine-inducing umbrella. My hunger for gratification also showed up in romantic fantasies of that one magic person who’d be capable of making me happy forever after …

However, unlike sobriety, going cold turkey on sugar (and love for that matter) didn’t feel like the right approach. Isn’t fruit sugar? Not to mention nutrient rich blackstrap molasses and antibacterial raw manuka honey? Where to draw the line? I’ll admit that my justifications sounded a bit like the arguments I used to have against quitting booze. “I just want to be able to enjoy a nice glass of Rioja with tapas, or champers at a wedding.” I know where those odd glasses can lead me though—the tail end of a two-day bender.

With an addictive personality, could I become moderate in this one area? And how not to lose my wildly passionate side and my appetite for pleasure in the process? I set out to discover if I could continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion …

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:: BELLY BACTERIA BALANCING ::
My first step was to go into my gut. An overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract can manifest as fatigue, a foggy head, anxiety and, most noticeably, sugar cravings. Overdoing it with alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods commonly causes this problem. Perhaps this was my werewolf’s lair?

I consulted Nutritional Therapist Claudia le Feuvre, who placed me on a course of Dida supplements and probiotics to tackle any pathogenic bacteria and to re-inoculate my gut with antimicrobials.

A few months later, I noticed my urge to bury my head in a bag of Haribo had disappeared. I now had the confidence that the issues were not tied to gut health. It was time to take my journey even deeper.

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:: IT’S ALL A METAPHOR ::
Claudia prescribed a reading list as a key part of my healing, and I consumed each title with gusto.

After living with the patriarchy for thousands of years, we’ve literally been starved of our divine feminine. The result? We’re now going wild with addictions and disorders as we fill our bellies to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Women Who Run with the Wolves and Eating in the Light of the Moon both have this concept at their core, and show how cravings can be metaphors.

The Gift of Our Compulsions inspired me to meet my compulsions with curiosity rather than resistance in order to get at what lived underneath them. By cultivating detachment from my thoughts, feelings, and sensations, I could witness my cravings.

When I declare ‘I’m hungry,’ I am identified with this experience. Whereas ‘this is hunger’ creates space for me to relate to what’s really happening, and ask if the statement is true. And in most cases, it’s not true at all. It’s more like ‘this is boredom/procrastination/loneliness,’ which I can either try to remedy or simply observe without needing to ‘fix.’

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:: A SESSION WITH THE SPIRITUAL NUTRITIONIST ::
The final part of my work with Claudia involved a 1-2-1 session where she called upon her spirit guide to help us “recode inner conflict” and used kinesiology to identify a potent mantra.

During our session, my arm suddenly gained strength from the words: “I am in tune with my body’s nutritional needs, and have no hunger for food beyond them.” This was then used as a mantra in a kind of Psych-k self-hypnosis meditation, where after about 10 minutes Claudia was shown by her guide, with a shiver through her body, that our work was done.

Although, I didn’t feel a bolt of lightning during the session, it’s like a spell has been broken. I feel relaxed around my usual triggers, and noticeably more tuned in to the intuitive whispering of my body.

Now, when I get the urge to eat when I’m not hungry, I often seem to instinctively know what tactic will help me ride it out. A few deep breaths, a drink of water, or a big stretch is usually all it takes.

Art: Sustici

:: THE FAST OF ENLIGHTENMENT ::
My newfound gut feelings also told me that the next step in this journey was to introduce a fasting practice to help me regain a sense of the true nature of my body’s hunger. Fasting is the most natural way to rest the body, giving it the chance to do the “housework” needed to repair cells and cleanse the itself, while improving immunity.  

When I started losing my appetite for a meal in the evening, I took it as a sign that my body wanted the benefits of some regular light fasting. So from around 5pm to late morning, I often stick to water and herbal tea. And although I sometimes go to bed feeling hungry, intuition tells me my digestive system needs this rest. I’m now sleeping more deeply and I wake feeling light and much less hungry than if I have a meal the night before.

I’m also committed to fasting at least a couple of days per month, usually over the New Moon—my version of the “Lunar Diet.” Near the Full Moon I often crave extra calories because of my cycle, whereas during the New Moon I feel more like hibernating. It’s also the ideal time to go inwards and set intentions for the coming astrological season.

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:: WHAT AM I TRULY HUNGRY FOR? ::
Using tactics to pause when I’m tempted to grab a substitute for what I really need has been a total (third) eye opener!

It’s given me the sense that my appetite is primal. We’re first comforted as babies through sweet breast milk and so sweetness will always be associated with mother love. An absence of that kind of nurturing can show up in dysfunctional relationships with comforting substances like sugar, alcohol, or the dopamine hit you get with the first flush of ‘love’.

So what to do in the present about a void from the past? Some sweet ass self-loving of course! We all have the chance, right now, to be the parent we needed growing up. Allowing feelings that have been buried in the past to move through us is how we evolve …

My epiphany about my constant low-level hunger? There’s fulfillment to be found by relishing my appetite, rather than chasing gratification. It’s summed up in this quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Take This Waltz: “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it like some lunatic.” I simply need to accept, and even celebrate, the fact that there will always be this hunger within me.

So when Krispy Kreme (a.k.a. my Soul Challenge on this journey) announced their new flavor (Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème, in case you were wondering) by sending a truckload to my office, I met my inner wolf with curiosity. I saw that she wasn’t a “demon” at all, and just a part of me wanting to be comforted. “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance,” says Epicurus. So I enjoyed half a donut. Leaving enough room to still be able to taste the sweetness of life.

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Emma Whitehair is the founder of London based boutique lifestyle PR agency, WHITEHAIR.CO, which specialises in fashion, beauty, and wellbeing communications. 

SHAMANIC BEAUTY SESSIONS FROM CEREMONIE MIX SKINCARE WITH SPIRITUALITY

With her Shamanic Beauty Sessions, Ceremonie founder Mimi Young is taking holistic skincare to a whole new level. Ruby Warrington journeys with her into the spirit realm…

The arrival of the Spring Equinox is a time of rebirth, for making soul promises to be delivered through the subsequent seasons. For Vancouver-based shamanic practitioner and spiritual beauty queen, Mimi Young, it felt like the perfect time to re-introduce her shamanic skincare line, Ceremonie.

As she announces the addition of remote Shamanic consultations, a.k.a. what she calls The Shamanic Beauty Sessions, to her offerings, we sat down to chat skincare as ritual…and quickly got into plant spirit allies, power animals, and how joy is the best beauty ingredient out there. You know, all the good stuff! (Oh, and before we get started, you may want to check out Mimi’s amazing Instagram feed!)

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Ruby Warrington: Mimi! The last time we chatted, we focused more on your product offerings of skin and aura care. Can you remind us of the ethos of Ceremonie?
Mimi Young: Indeed! Last time I was featured on The Numinous, Ceremonie (then called Trimaran Botanicals) was more product-centric in her offerings. (Yes, the company is female). I felt it was important to honor both body and spirit in our daily beauty regimen, and created a line to bridge what is so often compartmentalized. In many ancient healing modalities, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, wellness is linked to the understanding that we are spirit beings residing in physical bodies. Our skin, being the largest organ of the body, reveals much about our emotions, psychology, and beliefs.

RW: So it’s kind of like our skin and external beauty is a hologram of our innermost world…
MY: Exactly. Ceremonie seeks to honor the internal self with products that care for both the inner and outer bodies, resulting in a more supported and holistic way to approach beauty.

RW: How is this reflected in the products you offer?
MY: I formulate with herbs, flowers, barks, and other plant matter known in Earth-based spirituality and shamanic circles as supportive of chakra balancing, clearing and shielding energy, creating sacred space, divination, and other forms of ritual work. The selection of various plant ingredients is rooted in Earth spirituality and modern science. I love how my work is both historically informed and futuristic, and merges the spiritual with that which is conventionally seen as not—physical beauty.

RW: How does your work as a shamanic practitioner inform the process?
MY: All Ceremonie products are hand made (without machines) and in shamanic ritual! I follow several shamanic and Earth-based spiritual practices of clearing energy, inviting spirit allies, noting special cycles/dates, and being open to their messages.

Whatever messages are being imprinted is private (between the spirit allies and the customer), and is special because it is so customized, meaning ALL products are made to order. I merely facilitate this very beautiful, uplifting, and healing process. The power animals / plant spirit allies of my customers sometimes share with me brief messages so I can add that piece of information when I send off the orders with an accompanying handwritten note.

RW: What do you mean when you say these messages are “imprinted” on the products?
MY: It means blessing and creating a vibrational frequency (quantum physics recognizes that everything holds a specific vibration— from matter, to sound, to even emotions) that is then passed onto the products themselves. Careful attention is paid to every aspect: from the mood I’m in when I am fulfilling orders (I don’t work when I frustrated, drained, etc), to the music selected when working (solfeggio music is my favorite), and even how I ship (all parcels are anointed with sage oil and I send protective plant and animal spirits to accompany them).

This is essentially applying the discoveries made by Dr Emoto, who made breakthroughs in understanding how consciousness and intention can shape matter, to both my process and the products themselves.

RW: I find it so special that even the shipping process is honored this way. Can you speak a little to the concept of “intention” and how it relates to spirituality and even magic?
MY: Intention is everything in healing, magic, joy, and love. Consider this: we all know how to make soup. You take some onions, leeks, spices, and add some bones for flavor. Then you add beans, vegetables, and maybe even some olive oil for drizzle. These are standard ingredients. A restaurant can make it. You can buy it pre-made at the market. Or…you could have the soup that is lovingly made by your grandmother.

She makes it with the same ingredients as the restaurant or market, but why does hers taste better? This is what I mean by imprinting and intention. It may be invisible, but it is what makes Ceremonie products so loved by our customers. It’s why many say they experience a heightened sense of self-acceptance, self-love, liberation, and an appreciation for their place in the world. Experiencing yourself this way will naturally bring a glow to your face that no amount of “scientifically proven” skincare ingredients can, because you now have the greatest beauty ingredient of all—joy.

RW: Goosebumps! And it sounds like this goes even deeper with the new Shamanic Beauty Sessions. How is this offered? Why would someone be drawn to this?
MY: I began offering Shamanic journeying to local clients. The word spread, and the demand grew organically to nearby communities and beyond. Shamanic journeying is a sacred ritual using a rattle and drum to enter an altered state of consciousness and travel between the unseen worlds. In a shamanic and hedgewitch hybrid tradition, I travel to those realms on the client’s behalf, embarking on a sacred journey to meet plant spirit allies, power animals, mineral spirits and other benevolent spirits, ancestors, and even the elements.

I also provide a detailed written summary of my findings via email. At the time of booking the reading (before the journey), the client is welcome to present a question or concern, or I can simply intuitively explore and discover. The readings work best when the client is open to receive practical and sacred insights related to their skin or other areas of their life. An individual may feel called to receive a Shamanic reading if simply curious, or when experiencing an imbalance in physical, emotional, or etheric body. It’s designed to help anybody seeking clarity, encouragement, wisdom, and self-compassion.

 

RW: Soul medicine that can also give you amazing skin; so Numinous! You mentioned that you “work in the shamanic and hedgewitch traditions.” Can you elaborate?
MY: Let’s back up a bit. I also use the term “Earth-based spirituality”. When I use this term, it includes (but is not limited to): shamanism, paganism, Wicca, I Ching, Tarot, tea leaf divination, and many other practices from around the world. Practices that were originally designed to forecast weather, invite hunting and gathering, honor the seasons and cycles, and bring discovery, insight, and healing to individuals, tribes, and the Earth.

I work in the shamanic and hedgewitch traditions, which means I incorporate plants and spirit beings (plants, animals, mineral spirits) in my creative and work process. As a modern woman, I also stay current in quantum physics, which lends an updated language to what has been known in metaphysics and spirituality for centuries. I am also aromatherapy trained. Above all, I really enjoy this personalized process. Getting to know my clients and their needs, emotional and physical, better, has brought a new layer of meaning to my work.

Personalized Shamanic Beauty Sessions with Mimi Young and Ceremonie can cover a wide variety of services, including:

– Making contact with Guides and Spirits (power animals and other animal totems, plant spirit allies, and mineral allies (crystals and metals)
– Divination
– Soul development and life purpose work
– Past life healing
– Healing the ancestral line

Discover more online, and book directly via [email protected], including SHAMANIC READING in the subject line. Mimi offers a limited number of readings per month—so book ahead!

HOW TO WORK WITH TEAM SPIRIT THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY

Can the dead help you navigate the land of the living? Your “Team Spirit” is only a call away, says medium Rebecca Rosen.

You are not alone. This is what the dead whisper in my ear every day.

I’ve been practicing as a professional spiritual medium—a channel between the living and the dead—for over two decades now, and what I can tell you with certainty is that a team of spiritual beings surrounds each and every one of us, every day. And “Team Spirit,” composed of departed loved ones and spirit guides, is always available to offer you comfort, clarity, and guidance, as soon as you call on them.

Life can be overwhelming and messy. And what the departed want you to know is that your day-to-day struggles have a rhyme, a reason, and a purpose. I call on Team Spirit not only because it’s my job, but because I, too, have down-to-earth challenges: at work, at home, in relationships, with health, money, and everything in between.

Drawing inspiration from my new book, What the Dead Have Taught Me About Living Well, I invite you to start calling on Team Spirit right now, to help you navigate your everyday challenges—from morning until night!

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Early Morning: Before Getting Dressed, Get Spiritually Dressed
Time to call Team Spirit in for support! My days flow much more easily—and on purpose—when I acknowledge right off the bat that I may need extra help and then unapologetically ask for it. When I don’t take that time, I feel underdressed.

Your CALL: Take five minutes to close your eyes and breathe. Recite a mantra that sets your intention to face your day spiritually dressed, such as: “I am connected, protected, guided, and directed by my team.”

Their RESPONSE: Spirits tend to communicate through our thoughts and feelings, so notice and subtle shifts in your mood and energy. Team Spirit often responds to our calls for help by flashing memories into our minds (say a favorite beach vacation), shifting our focus from frazzled or unclear to centered and calm.

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Before Work, School, or Errands: Line It Up
“Lining it up” is my expression for setting a clear intention  for my day ahead, and then surrendering to how it plays out. To validate that my day is unfolding according to the bigger plan, I ask Team Spirit to send me signs throughout the day to support my choices, decisions, and forward movement.

Your CALL: Say to your spirits, “Show me a sign that I’ve been heard!” Then, go about your day, while remaining open and trusting that you will receive a sign that you recognize when you need it most.

Their RESPONSE: Breadcrumbs from beyond show up in many different ways—through dreams, music, found objects, threads of conversation, and even inspired thoughts. Just recently, my husband, Chris, asked his guides whether he should continue with a big work project to build a ranch. Just moments later, a car pulled up beside him with the license plate “RANCH!” These “winks” from the other side come in all shapes and sizes—be receptive to whatever “signs” cross your path, and trust that you’ll know it when you see it.

Lunch or Midday Break: Reset and Rewrap
When I’ve done my part to get spiritually dressed and I still feel pushed and pressed upon by strange energy that I can’t seem to shake, I reset by wrapping myself in protective white light. This gives me extra insulation from the outside world, which can sometimes feel frenetic, overwhelming, and heavy to bear.

Your CALL: Close your eyes and call on Team Spirit to surround you in a bubble of white light. Imagine rolling yourself up in a sheet of iridescent bubble wrap as you say, “Spirit, help to bounce any negative energy I will encounter today off and away.”

Their RESPONSE: You may literally feel squeezed or experience the chills, which is a sign that Spirit is surrounding and protecting you.

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After Work & Before Heading Home: Carve out Connection Time
Yoga practice and deep breathing connects me back to the present moment, which is the seat of our intuitive guidance and personal power (holding my breath is a good indicator that I’m in resistance and holding in feelings). When I don’t have time for a yoga class, I’ll use my to connect to Team Spirit through music.

Your CALL: Play music that uplifts and inspires you and sing along! I often chant along with my favorite spiritual artist, Deva Premal, on my drive home to get in a connected space. The chant Gayatri Mantra works like magic to both calm and inspire me with clear guidance.

Their RESPONSE: As you turn up the tunes, Team Spirit will often reach across the divide, and speak directly to you through song lyrics, relaying exactly what you need to hear.

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Homework & Dinner Time: Shift It Into Neutral
When I walk into my house of six kids at the end of the day, there is no doubt in my mind that “me time” is over, and that if I’m not careful, my kids’ erratic energy can knock me off balance. When I feel on the edge of coming undone, I ask Team Spirit to help me shift my energy from a charged reaction to a more neutral response where I can calmly address the situation at hand. My kids’ energy will eventually match mine and a sense of calm (and sanity!) will be restored.

Your CALL: I take a few deep breaths and say a silent prayer: “Spirits and guides, help me stay grounded and balanced, peaceful and calm.”

Their RESPONSE: I sometimes see, but most often feel Team Spirit extend their peaceful, loving arms around me and rock me like a child. It’s kind of like when you’re feeling really upset—crying your eyes out, even—and then all of a sudden, you just stop. This is how it feels when Spirit steps in to soothe you.

Day’s End: Count Your Blessings
Take five minutes at the end of your day and count your blessings. Write them down, speak them aloud, or meditate on how they make you feel. The departed tell me that everything in our lives and in our relationships serves a higher purpose in getting us where we need to be right now. Our sincere gratitude for this brings about more to appreciate and feel grateful for.

Your CALL: Thank Team Spirit directly as you count your blessings. Only focus on that which you want, need, and desire; whatever you give energy to in your thoughts, words, and actions is created and multiplied with time.

Their RESPONSE: The proof will come only by putting it to the test! For example, I needed help spreading the word about my new book, and so every night I thanked Team Spirit in advance for all of my abundance, success, and ease in achieving it. Within a week, I was offered great media opportunities and new marketing contacts.

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Dream Time: Invite in Spirit
When our waking minds are quiet and our physical bodies are still, the door to our unconscious mind opens. In this wide, empty space, the departed reach out across the divide where they hope to meet us halfway between their world and ours. Spirits may use this time to simply say “hello” and let us know they are present in our lives. Other times, the departed have more important information that they want to imprint into our minds before the sun comes up. The mornings you wake up with sudden clarity or an inspired idea, you probably have someone on the Other Side to thank for the guidance.

Your CALL: Say gently to spirit: “You are welcome to visit me in my dreams.”

Their RESPONSE: Feeling deeply empty and alone on the anniversary of her husband’s death, a client invited her departed love to visit her in dreams. That night, she dreamt of a magnificent eagle (reminiscent of her husband’s tattoo). Yet she was unclear about whether this was her sign. Then, on the way to my office that day, she noticed a bald eagle perched up high on a light, followed by the sounds of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” playing (a favorite song of theirs). Any lingering doubts were completely diminished when she sat down on my couch and the first thing out of my mouth was: “Why am I clairaudiently hearing the song Hotel California? It keeps playing over and over in my head.” This was the icing on the cake! Three solid signs…that began in her dreams.

For more wisdom on activating Team Spirit in your day, check out Rebecca’s new book, What the Dead Have Taught Me About Living Well.

Rebecca Rosen is an international best-selling author, inspirational speaker, and star of Lifetime’s The Last Goodbye. Known for her accessible and stunningly accurate ability to connect with the departed, her broad appeal and healing message have led to repeated national media appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, Fox and Friends, and more. Rebecca regularly tours around the country performing in front of sold-out live audiences. She lives in Denver with her family.

WILD UNKNOWN: HOW TO WORK WITH THE ANIMAL SPIRIT ORACLE

It’s the deck everybody’s talking about. Gabriela Herstik has the low-down on how to work with the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle…

Wild Unknown creator Kim Krans

It’s “Animal Spirit” and not “Spirit Animal” for a reason! For Kim Krans, head honcho/Goddess of The Wild Unknown, her latest oracle deck is an exploration of all the divine animal energies that encompass aspects of human existence and spirit.

Instead of focusing on your “spirit animal,” Krans invites us to focus on the elemental energies of each creature in a way that speaks to our relationships and to deeper parts of ourselves—once again, inviting exploration of the wild unknown of the soul.

This new deck allows for introspection in a radical and untamed way. This deck says it’s okay to be feral and wild, or tame and controlled, because it’s important to wander through it all. And by including Spirit as an element, Krans takes it one step further, inviting creativity and intuition to be a part of the journey. Whether you’re a unicorn or bumblebee, all is welcome in The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle.

Below, we explore each element, as well as an animal card from each, gaining a little more insight into the fantastic world of the Animal Spirit Oracle. And in learning about the animals in the deck, Krans hopes to inspire a more connected relationship to this world and all her creatures.

:: Earth ::

Animals of the Earth represent our basic needs, like home, money and work. These animals are grounded in the present and approach their routines with ease, but can get stuck without freedom from what they know. Animals of the Earth ask us to listen and shift perspectives—are we looking too much to the ground, or too much at the sky? These creatures are asking us to soften and surrender to the changes we may be facing, and they remind us to water our own soil, since self-compassion is necessary for growth.

The Deer – The Deer suggests a feminine softness and a graceful, maternal take on what can be a very stoic energy. How can steady and grounded Earth energy help you to bask in everything new? Don’t be afraid to reap the rewards of your harvest. By finding tenderness in yourself, you’re able to walk this life with more grace and intention—no matter how bumpy the ground is. Tap into your intuition and listen from your heart. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself in your situation, your inner deer will thank you.

:: The Air ::

With freedom comes wisdom. Creatures of the Air are able to see what others may miss, observing quietly, powerfully and deeply. When a creature of this suite comes up in a reading it can be a reminder to find some grounding, to slow down and to reconnect to the physical realms. Life is complex and we seek to move as effortlessly as possible, like the wind. By tapping into Air energy at its most expansive, we are invited to see and feel the subtler realm of existence.

The Crow – Through the eyes of The Crow, the world becomes something magical—something mysterious and precious and exciting. The Crow is a drawn to the unseen, to the supernatural and the occult. She has a fascination with the deeper, all-encompassing experience of the past, present and future. Use this energy when your mind is ready. To be present. Be open. Be patient. Sometimes the wind tells us secrets that we must be ready to hear.

:: Fire ::

By working with animals that speak of our passion and what lights our spark, we’re able to tap into the fiery aspect of ourselves for the ultimate transformation. These most powerful, and sometimes destructive, aspects of ourselves, pave the way for transmutation and rebirth—as the creatures of the Fire elment attest to. These cards represent growth, they represent the death of ego, and they ask us to sit in the fire until it’s too hot. Invite these beings in to help burn the way to a new you.

The Lion – BE the Lion. You have it in you to be the king of the jungle, after all. Don’t stop feeding your flame simply because others are not ready for it. The Lion’s energy may intimidate those who aren’t ready, but his energy is available to all who are willing. By tapping into this card, transformation is completely possible—with a keen sense of your personal strengths, you’re able to accomplish anything. The Lion simply asks you to open up to this sort of revolution. Once you do you’ll see how easy it is to roar.

:: Water ::

In the name of balance, creatures of the Water are asking us to jump into the messy, wonderful, beautiful world of our emotions, loves and passions. These are creatures that speak of our ability to express ourselves and to love and create. These animals ask us to open ourselves up and to surrender—to be a conduit for the flow of the Universe. Allow the current to take you where it may—what can you learn from floating down a different stream?

The Oyster – We all have special gifts – and the Oyster reminds us to share these gifts with the world. When we see the sensitive, watery side of ourselves as a treasure instead of a burden, we’re able to use our intuition and deep-rooted wisdom in a more authentic way. The Oyster works hard to create her pearl—a beautiful gift that no one else can give. By revealing this part of yourself, by showing your more vulnerable side, you’re allowing space for growth and reflection, all while giving others permission to do the same.

:: Spirit ::

The nature of the Spirit cards is steeped in mystery. These creatures exist on realms parallel to our own— asking us to shift our gaze so we can embody the messages they’re trying to teach us. By working with our subtle body and energies, like the chakras, these cards help us view situations in a new, more inviting and profound light. Even for Krans, these cards are mysterious, inviting one to delve into the deeper, unknown waters to see what lies beneath the surface. Krans explains that it’s okay to not completely understand the Spirit cards. Invite the energies in, work with them and let them take you on their journey.

Sea Serpent – Ruling over the second chakra, the Sea Serpent gives us permission to bask in creativity and sensuality without shame. This card is like Kundalini energy personified, allowing us to live with our desires in a way that feeds our soul. Like a mother giving her child a loving embrace, this Spirit card asks us to step into pleasure in its purest form. What do you have to let go of to let the energy of this card flow through you? Where is there drought, and what is flooded? Allow the energy of the Sea Serpent, allow the energy of Spirit, to cradle you. Do less. Open yourself up, there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Shop The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle

PSYCHIC AWAKENING: FROM FASHIONISTA TO SHAMANISTA

Fashion stylist Colleen McCann knew something had to give when people started shouting “witch!” at her in the street. Here’s how she went from fashionista to shamanista, and found a way to merge both her worlds…

Shit got real when I heard my first “voice” in the Bodega on South 4th Street and Bedford Avenue over a fight about bananas – and I haven’t looked back. Okay, let me rewind a bit first.

My name is Colleen McCann and up until six years ago I was a typical Brooklyn girl. I lived in Williamsburg, I rode the J-train to the city every day. I brunched at Five Leaves, I threw elbows at sample sales and I had a successful 15-year career in the fashion industry as a designer, stylist, brand consultant and serial entrepreneur.

So what happens when you add “hearing voices” to your repertoire? Well, you start hearing more voices and rubbing elbows with the spiritual renegades that roam the streets of the city.

During the next fashion week, a gypsy woman approached me and wanted to further examine my vibrant green aura at her psychic salon. I darted away and she kept calling “Wait, this is really important come back!”

Quickly followed by my encounter with Joe of the Marcy Street subway platform, who came up to me and said: “Don’t worry about him” and proceeded to read every single thought I had on my mind about my then recent breakup with my boyfriend. I said to Joe “Wait, what did you say you did for a living?” He was a mattress salesman. We enter a long pause together, and he then says: “But I’m really into Astrology.” He winked at me and got off at the next stop.

The real icing on the cake came when this crazy lady on 33rd Street started screaming violently: “witch, witch, witch!” I turned around to see who crazy pants was aiming her opinions at, and unfortunately it was me. Run! I thought…but was I running from the eccentric pupu platter of NYC street weirdos, or was I running from my newly found freakish self?

Colleen’s old life involved a lot of shoes

Okay Universe, I hear you loud and clear. Time to get a second opinion – and maybe not at the psych ward.

So where do you turn in a situation like this? I was scared, embarrassed, uneducated on all subjects of mystical matters. Also, just plain fucking freaked out. But as luck would have it a random girl, now one of my best friends, came up to me in the hallway at my client’s office in midtown and randomly (or not so randomly) asked if I believe in psychics.

“Ummmm, I guess so?” I said, thinking: “Oh god she knows! She sees something is happening to me!” She proceeded to direct me to a psychic who had his mystical lair in the back of a 2nd floor botanical emporium in the flower district.

Following my nose, I soon found myself walking up a set of rickety, shabby chic stairs and swatting cherry blossoms and orchids out of my face to get to the unmarked door of my future destiny. I felt like I was headed for the latest speakeasy – one that was not yet reviewed on Yelp.

Walking in, I was greeted by a man I don’t even think remembered my name. But his black eyes locked with mine and he ran over and grabbed my hands and said: “Oh, honey you’re not crazy, you’re psychic! Sit down and let’s discuss.”

I stood, frozen, and as if watching a movie montage I flashed back through all the “WTF” moments I actually experienced since childhood. Do you remember those grade school contests where you had to guess the number of jelly beans in the jar? Well, I would guess the exact amount every time.

There was the time my little sister was playing tea party with her two imaginary friends, Dan and Carl, and I sat in silence thinking: but I see them, what’s she talking about?

Well – I may have been a weirdo, but at least I now knew what kind of weirdo I was, and I embarked on a mission to figure it all out. Which meant I did what any brazen New York girl would have done…I traded my high-heels for hiking boots and decided to get educated on all things mystical.

Shamanista boot camp…

I attended Shaman school in the wilds of the Chilean outback and against the desert back drop of Joshua Tree. As part of my training, I traveling the unpaved paths of Mount Shasta, Hudson Valley, Big Sur, Kauai, and any other energetically charged hot spot I could get to between days on set.

I have studied Peruvian Shamanism with the Four Winds Society where I learned how to do hands on healing with the chakra system and how to connect with my spirit guides. I also learned the art of channeling in the Nordic and Celtic traditions and regularly attend sessions with a group of Curanderas where I learn about plant medicine and tinctures.

In my free time? You can generally find me in a crystal shop in the back woods of Chinatown, where I learn about gems, mediation, astrology, auras, Feng Shui and medicinal teas from a group of women I affectionately call “The Chinese Crystal Mafia”.

I really put myself through the mystical wringer in an effort to work with my inner freak, but in the process I found I had manifested a whole new calling out of this adventure to reclaim my sanity. So now what?

As I continued my trip down the crystal-laden rabbit hole I started feeling a lot of internal moral conflict, not to mention external physical exhaustion, with the double life I was living. Arriving on set, it would be impossible to ignore the toxic side of the fashion industry: greed, vanity, ego, drug addiction, workaholism, alongside a whopping dose of eating disorders. Did I really want to subject myself to this any longer?

Being a fashion stylist is back breaking work. The hours are long and the work very physical. There are always a plethora of personalities to juggle in the room, and not to mention the constant jet-lag. So what’s a girl to do? I had been maneuvering this double life for six years straight, and I needed to make a shift. So instead of turning my back on the industry that had embraced me for so long, I decided to take my lemonade…and make a lemonade stand!

It was simple: my fashion clients have become my healing clients. These days, I address the underlying issues in my well-dressed community, as who better than me to truly understand the unique brand of pressure and stress they experience day-to-day.

Truth be told I was a little nervous to start telling my crew what I had been up to in my free time. Would I be socially ostracized? Would I lose my clients? As I started confessing my weekend whereabouts, people would stare in silence for a minute and then say something: “Ohhhhh, that explains a few things. When can I get a session?!”

Eureka! There was room in my life for my passions to coexist. I did however have to make a few changes to accommodate my morals, schedule, energy level and a budding new business.

Since coming out of the Shamanic closet, I started a business called Style Rituals. I use my fashionista roots AND my spiritual know-how to realign the energetic body with the physical body. I may still clean out someone’s closet, but we are removing low vibrational clothing, along with a hands on healing, manifestation techniques, altar building and a discussion with their spirit guides.

And while the majority of my work now is healing-based, I also made a conscious decision to do fashion projects with people I enjoy being around, or who’s projects are doing good in our society.

Next up? I’ll be taking my place as resident Shaman with LA-based Daily Bliss Yoga Retreats when we head to Thailand in March. And I’m creating an online webinar to help women who are spiritually blasting wide open and have no idea what’s happening to them work out the, ummm, “kinks” shall we say.

Having been there and done that, I’m honored to be able to help others that are going through exactly what I did. To help them remember who they really are, and re-gain their sovereignty – while navigating modern life in the modern world.

Find out more about Colleen and her work at Stylerituals.com

DIAL 111: HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SPIRIT GUIDES

Do you know how to work with your spirit guides? Ruby Warrington gets a lesson in life’s celestial helpers from spirit-guide-whisperer Rebecca Campbell

Inviting them into your dreams is one way to work with your spirit guides…

It happens fairly often among my Numinous circles that somebody will casually drop into the conversation that they’ve been working with their “spirit guides.” At which point I’ll nod and be like, “that’s rad, dude” – because, conceptually, I’m totally down with the idea that there are benevolent Universal forces working on our behalf all the time, and that we get to choose how and when we interact with them. That’s called “creating your own reality,” right?

But then I meet Rebecca Campbell, an Aussie author, mystic, coach, and co-founder of The Spirited Project, who insists that our guides are actually more like real entities – angels, I guess – who are just kind of hanging out, polishing their wings, until we call them into action. Learn to work with them, and they can offer assistance in every area of life – in fact; “no request is too big or too small, too specific or too broad,” she says.

It’s a pretty out there idea, even for me. And I (obviously) embrace a LOT of out there ideas. But I LOVE the concept (I’m already picturing my guides like a kind of spiritual Spice Girls, with the dance routines and everything), and so I asked Rebecca for the full low down. Here’s what she had to say…

Your guides – kind of like a spiritual Spice Girls?

So does every individual on the planet have their own spirit guides?
Yep, everyone has their very own team of spirit guides who are completely devoted to their growth. I like to think of them as a group of amazing cosmic beings who have our back no matter what. But because of free will, in order to receive their support, first we need to ask. Asking is super simple (like, you can do it right now).

For general guidance:
“Hey spirit guides…I am open to receiving your loving guidance in all areas of my life. Thank you, and so it is.”

For more specific guidance:
“Hey spirit guides…I am open to receiving your guidance surrounding (insert specific request here). Thank you for guiding and supporting me.”

The thing about spirit guides is that they’re always there – we just don’t notice them. When you’re devastated by a terrible break up, they’re there. When you’re looking for a spot to park your car, they’re there. If you’re trying to make a difficult decision, they’re there. They’re by your side right now. What do you want their help with right now? Go on, ask them right now!

Okay, but first I need to know how they actually do their work?
Our spirit guides work with us through signs, people, nature, synchronistic events and our intuitive senses (inner seeing, inner knowing, inner hearing and inner feeling).

So the best way to start working with your spirit guides is to ask them for a sign. When I first started working with my guides I asked them to send me a light peach feather to prove to me that they were really there. Within half an hour I had received two peach feathers, which was pretty amazing – and what I needed to open my mind and heart up to noticing the support they could offer me. (nb: I tried this last night by asking for a blue crystal – nothing yet. I’ll keep you posted. Update: two hours later I was working out and found a mini crustal on the studio floor – but it was mauve. Close!)

The more you work with your spirit guides, the stronger the connection gets. It’s just like working out – you can’t expect to have a six-pack like J-Lo if you only do one sit up.

Okay, so is there one team of spirit guides working for us all, or are they individual for each person?
Everyone has their own team of spirit guides, which are assigned just to them. We are born with spirit guides and also recruit them as we go about our life.

I find that most people have around six spirit guides in their “inner circle.” These are the guides who are completely unique to us. Some spirit guides have had lifetimes here on earth (often appearing as “people” e.g. an American Indian teacher, a Tibetan monk, an inspirational business leader etc.) – while others may just appear as beings of light.

I believe that our purpose on Earth is twofold:
1. Evolve as a soul (learning, growing and raising our vibration)
2. Be the light (light up the world by following what lights us up)

Our spirit guides are assigned to us to help us do both these things. The more we allow and receive their guidance and support, the easier our path becomes.

Accept their support, and move forward more smoothly on your journey

I like the idea of us being “assigned” out guides at birth – how does this happen?
Your soul recruits your spirit guides based on your unique soul calling and the path you are here to walk. Your guides are perfectly suited to your highest calling, and waiting to guide you as much or as little as you wish. No matter what you’re facing, their presence means you always have the support around you to make it through.

I believe that we are born with one main guide (also known as a Guardian Angel) who stays with us throughout our lives – and by the age of 18-25 most people have recruited their spirit guide “posse.”

We can recruit more guides as needed though. For example, while writing my book Light Is The New Black I recruited two light beings and a new teacher guide to help me – in exactly the same way as I used to call on famous ad men to help me present my creative ideas in a way that would most resonate with the client when I worked in advertising.

What if I’m still having a hard time getting my head around the concept…
What holds most people back from developing a relationship with their spirit guides is their need for hard core visual “proof” that they exist. For a long time, I was waiting for my spirit guides to ring my doorbell and chat to me over a bottle of vino (clearly that never happened).

I wanted to know their hair color, their favorite movies and where they grew up. But the moment I Iet go of any need for them to appear in a certain way and just opened myself up to the possibility and trusted, the more my relationship with my guides grew and the more evidence of their presence I received in other ways.

Everyone’s experience with their spirit guides is personal, and because they work in the subtle realms, it takes practice to sense them. We are all six sensory beings, but we need to work our intuitive muscles each day to strengthen our intuitive connection with them.

Most people experience their guides through their predominate intuitive sense: Clairvoyant (clear seeing), Clairaudient (clear hearing), Clairsentient (clear feeling) and Claircognizant (clear knowing).

Can you give us some tips to start working with them on a regular basis then?

1. Start asking them for guidance…right now
2. Thank them for guiding you – they love a bit of positive reinforcement!
3. Ask them to send you a sign (e.g. a feather, a butterfly, elephants…whatever you fancy)
4. Keep a little notebook by your bed, and jot down any experience you might have had with them and any signs you spotted throughout the day. The more your book fills up, the more you will notice their support
5. Before you go to sleep ask your spirit guides to come to you in your dreams. The moment you wake up, note down any experiences you may have had with them

“She’s behind you…” Your spirit guides have always got your back

I’m almost convinced – can you share any amazing experiences you’ve had working with your guides?
These days I speak to my spirit guides every day – but my favorite story of working with my guides happened earlier this year, when I’d handed in my book proposal to Hay House (twice) but hadn’t heard anything.

One of my spirit guides is a woman (spirit) named Charlotte. Charlotte appears as a terribly English high society lady from the 1920’s who wears big dresses, hats and gloves. A gifted gossip, with her fingers in all the most influential pies, Charlotte is here to help me get my message out there and name spoken about in the right circles. Knowing that getting some publicity might increase my chances of being published, I called on Charlotte her for help and then surrendered it.

That same day I was connected with a journalist – and one week later she was commissioned to write a story, “Like a Prayer”, for the UK’s Sunday Times Style Mag (which also happened to feature the who’s who of Hay House authors, as well as The Numinous).Two weeks later, I got the phone call from Hay House offering me a deal!

When I went into Hay House to meet the team for the first time, the Publicity Officer mentioned that she’d seen the Sunday Times article and asked who my publicist was. Without thinking I responded “my spirit guide Charlotte!” Now, I’ve sat around a lot of boardroom tables in my life, but that was the first one that I was able to casually drop the name of one of my spirit guides and credit them for their work. I love it!

For one-on-one guidance on connecting with your guide, Rebecca Campbell offers spiritual mentorships and readings. Alternatively, you can attend one of her regular group workshops in London.

@rebeccathoughts