BEST OF THE NUMINOUS 2018

This year rocked us to our personal and collective cosmic cores. From sex tarot 101 to the future of masculinity, our Best of the Numinous 2018 charts the course …

the best of the numinous 2018 year in review ruby warrington material girl mystical world the now age
Photo: NordWood Themes

///

1// Spread ‘Em: Sex Tarot 101: Alessandra Calderin gave us a crash course in casting cards between the sheets …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age serpentfire tarot lust strength sex tarot 101 ruby warrington alessadra calderin the numinous material girl mystical world boneseed

///

2// Healing From Trauma With Psychedelics: Psychiatrist Will Siu, MD, shared insights into a very human way to heal …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age Will Siu MD healing from trauma with psychedelics The Numinous

///

3// How To Work With Your Lilith Sign: Rebecca Farrar’s astrological guide led us back to our unbreakable inner wildness, during a year when we needed it most …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age Dark Moon Lilith Sign The Numinous Rebecca Farrar

///

4// Is Visiting Mexico City’s Sonora Market Spiritual Appropriation?: During a journey of spiritual self-discovery, Danielle Dorsey shared why she decided not to visit the famously witchy landmark …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age Danielle Dorsey Mexico City Sonora Market The Numinous

///

5// How Body Positivity Can Unlock Your Intuition: After a lifetime of food issues, Jillian Murphy discovered that living fully in her own skin was the key to her magic …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age jillian murphy ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world the food freedom body love collective wild little hearts photography winning back your body

///

6// Work Your Saturn Sign & Feel Solid As A Rock: As Saturn transited its home turf of Capricorn, this astro guide helped us harness our biggest growth opportunities …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age The Numinous guide to your Saturn Sign house placement birth chart Ruby Warrington Bess Matassa Astrology

///

7// Coming Home To My Hoodoo Roots: Growing up British but with her family history in Mauritius, Stephanie Victoire’s journey to reconnect with her Hoodoo roots finally led her home …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age Stephanie Victoire hoodoo roots author The Numinous

///

8// Why Radical Dharma Is Your 2018 ‘Must Read’: This incomparable text tapped eradicating systemic racism as THE healing issue of our times …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age radical dharma book quote angel kyodo williams The Numinous

///

9// Holy F*ck: How To Reach EcstasyAlexandra Roxo revealed that experiencing ecstasy is the key to strengthening our channel …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age alexandra roxo ruby warrington the numinous holy fuck holy f*ck how to reach ecstasy moon club material girl mystical world

///

10// How To Explain Your Spiritual Awakening To Your Religious Family: In a deeply polarizing climate, Fundamentalist turned Now Ager, Kate Forristall, gave us a primer in navigating the spiritual-religious divide …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age kate forristall ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world how to explain your spiritual awakening diana vargas

///

11// What Is The Future of Masculinity?: As we grappled with how to dismantle patriarchal oppression, trans man and diversity and inclusion activist, Aaron Rose, shared his vision for the future of masculinity …

best of the numinous 2018 the now age aaron rose conscious masculinity ruby warrington the numinous the future of masculinity material girl mystical world aziz acharki

SEX DRIVE: A JOURNEY TO THE CLITORIS OF AMERICA

In an excerpt from her new book, Sex Drive: On the Road to a Pleasure Revolution, which chronicles her cross country search for a lost libido, Stephanie Theobald embarks on an “ecosexual” nature walk led by porn star-turned-performance artist Annie Sprinkle

Naked legs flowers forest Sex Drive Stephanie Theobald The Numinous ruby warrington annie sprinkle
Photo: Jan Phoenix

Annie Sprinkle christened San Francisco’s Bernal Park hill “the clitoris of America.” Researching my new book, Sex Drive, I knew I had to visit for myself, and so Sprinkle and I met in a local diner for breakfast. After demonstrating her ability to have an “energy orgasm” on the spot (think Meg Ryan’s infamous turn in When Harry Met Sally, but for real), she promised to take me on a Bernal Park “ecosexual” nature walk, where she would show me how to do it too …

///

An X-rated nature walk 
By this time, I’m quite keen to get up onto the Clitoris of America and try it all out myself. So off we set on a climb up the hill to Bernal Park and an X-rated nature walk begins. It’s not X-rated because Annie’s going to take her clothes off. The plants are going to be doing much filthier things. “Look at that,” she says, stopping in front of a cherry tree in full bloom. “Flowers are tree genitals. Basically, you’re looking at porn.”

We walk on until the siren call of another tree brings Annie to a halt. “Look at this trunk, it’s like a big penis. Isn’t it beautiful?

Hockey pitch nature walks with Miss Corbett at the convent were never like this. Annie says that I need to find my “E-Spot,” her ecosexy take on G-Spot. (She’s great at coming up with new words). I’m drawn to an exuberant hibiscus flower. “Oh yeah!” she says approvingly in her raunchy porn voice. “Hibiscus stamens!”

I wonder if David Attenborough shows ever give her that Deep Throat feeling. We approach the hibiscus and she says, “You can smell it casually. Or you can imagine this plant is a lover and it wants to give you a gift.”

She smells her new lover, pulls off one of its genitals and sticks it on her third eye. She sticks one on me too. None of this strikes me as stupid or odd. Cornwall isn’t a million miles away from California in terms of country weirdness. My eco or “E-Spot” as she calls it, kicks into action as I notice that a tree we’re passing looks a bit droopy.

“Don’t you think this tree looks a bit sad?” I say.

“It is a little heavy, isn’t it?” she nods.

She knows immediately what to do. “You just need a hug,” she tells the tree enfolding it in a bosomy embrace.  “Oh, love you.” I participate in the love-in, realizing only afterwards that I have just hugged a tree in California. This is the sort of thing that people make fun of back at home, but American Stephanie doesn’t care. Annie looks wistfully at the tree then mumbles something about, “I may be projecting…” She slaps the tree’s butt. “You’ll be OK,” she cracks. “Hang on in there.”

It’s fun going on a nature walk with an ex-porn star. She’s not great on the names of flora and fauna, but she does things like saying hi to her favorite Eucalyptus tree. She plucks a leaf, thrusts it under my nose and chuckles, “Sniff that pantie!”

The sap must be rising from the ecosexy nature walk because I soon have a sort of sexual panic attack. I start gabbling about how I want to check out some seedy places in San Francisco and how I really want to get laid and, “you know that feeling when you want to have sex and you’re not having sex and…”

“Stay in the moment,” she puffs as we carry on up the steep road. They’re magic words and I immediately calm down. I think back to my interview with Barbara Carrellas back in New York a month ago. I arrived too early for the interview and the prospect of writing a book about masturbation suddenly overwhelmed me. What the hell was I thinking of?! I wasn’t even sure what I meant! So I just experimented with letting go: dropping into my body, unsticking from the world so that for a few moments I was just snow and boots and crunch. When I came ‘back’ a few seconds later, it felt like a shot of a week of the best sleep ever.

stephanie theobald annie sprinkle sex drive ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world
The author heads into the wild …

And then suddenly Annie announces that we’ve reached “the urethral sponge” i.e. we’re in Bernal Park but not quite on the clit. My main feeling is that the Clitoris of America has had a bit of a bikini wax. Its green pubic hair is a bit patchy. There’s a lot of uncovered soil. Maybe the dog walkers nobbled it. There are a lot of them. Annie says it’s the drought. It’s been a serious problem in San Francisco. Annie has actually married the main culprit along with a group of ecosexy friends.

“If you think about it, right now the sun is penetrating your pores,” she says in her incantatory broad-from-the-1950s voice. “They’re fucking your whole body.”

When I ask her how she knew the sun wanted to get married, she says, “We can only assume that things respond well to love and appreciation. Like, if you cruise a bunch of girls or guys, you’ll get the message who’s available.”

She and Beth have also married the mountains, the snow, coal and the ocean. I try and impress her by saying, “My favourite drugs are sugar and the sun.” She enthuses, “Oh, I love sugar too,” but adds that she has to lose weight for the filming of her and Beth’s upcoming ecosexy tour. “Saying it’s OK to be fat, it’s the one thing about feminism I don’t agree with.”

By now we’re sitting on the very top of the park, a bumpy grassy area that slopes down with massive views over the city on every side. Looking at the view, it suddenly strikes her that, “Maybe the earth is the clitoris of the universe.” She laughs. “Betty would say, ‘Oh that’s bullshit!’” She tells me that we’ll do the energy orgasm right here.

///

Meditation + masturbation
She describes the technique as similar to something she used to call “medabation,” meaning a combination of masturbation and meditation. But mainly, she says, it’s like learning tennis because, “It’s a technique and at first it’s confusing and you’re like, ‘Woah! How do I hit it and how hard?’” She confides that it took her three years to learn how to do it properly.

I realize that this “energy orgasm” is her take on the heart wank that Barbara Carrellas told me about back in New York. Annie explains that the idea came about when she and Carrellas were investigating more spiritual ideas about orgasm during the AIDS years. “All of us had lovers who got HIV, so we had to figure out how to have safe sex.” They adapted the breath technique from a method taught by a Native American called Harley Swiftdeer. He calls it “Firebreath Orgasm,” but Annie doesn’t “because I didn’t take the very expensive training that initiates you.”

And so my tennis lesson begins. She starts by telling me to, “Say, ‘Yes’ to erotic energy. You have to allow it because it’s there just for the asking.” She points to the tree in the near distance and says that the ideal would be to, “Start feeling sexy and then direct your energy to the tree and see what happens.” She tells me to do some kegels (clenching of the vagina as if you want to stop a stream of pee) and undulating movements of the pelvis. “That’ll stoke the furnace.” After that comes the most important thing of all: the breath.

“You’re really sucking the inhale and relaxing the exhale.” She advises to make noises because that helps shift energy in the body. “The idea is to bring in energy through the feet and end up shooting it out of the top of the head. Fake it til you make it,” she quips in what she tells me is jargon from the porn world.

stephanie theobald annie sprinkle sex drive ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world
Annie Sprinkle on the path to “the clitoris of America”

It’s a great lesson. It reminds me of the Transformational Breathing technique I tried out in my hippie journalism phase with the British teacher Alan Dolan. Basically you breathe quickly in and out, taking in more than usual amounts of oxygen until a wave of euphoria hits you.

And then there I am, lying on a hillside in San Francisco as the woman once dubbed “The Golden Girl of Porn” makes sounds ranging from deep Witches’ Sabbath to mid-range horny-bitch-on-heat to high-pitched damsel-in-distress to glass-shattering Kate Bush on the moors. “Wooo! Woo!”

Listening to the tape afterwards, I do sound a bit stuck in Witches’ Sabbath mode. Clearly I need to work on moving my energy up to more damsel-in-distress mode. Meanwhile, I am in the ludicrous position of lying with my feet towards the top of the hill and my head towards the bottom because I want to face the sun. But something is definitely happening. I get to the state where I forget to worry about what the dog walkers must be thinking of us.

I have a flash of some of the boring-looking dog walkers I’ve seen in Presidio Heights. I want to unzip them and show them some love. Tell them it’s OK. Occasionally I get distracted by the fact that I’m not feeling anything remotely like an orgasm although Annie is now sobbing. Wailing almost. We get in breathing synch. I try and keep up with her her “Ah! Ah!”s until finally she makes a prolonged, “Oh yeeeeeeah!” presumably when the energy passes out of the top of her head.

I open my eyes and the sky is indeed bluer. There is also dog shit on the bottom of my right boot. I think I won’t say this to Annie. She’s clearly having a moment.

“When I masturbate like this, I feel the pain of the world, I really do. The Boko Haram, The Charlie Hebdo shootings. The animals, everything.  I become a channel sometimes. I just need to release the pain. It’s like truly connecting. It sounds really strange.”

“No, it doesn’t sound strange …” She’s right that the concept of words becomes shaky after this kind of tennis. I struggle to speak.

“We can’t really experience pleasure on a really grand scale unless we can feel the suffering and the blocks and the disconnect somehow.”

Watching Annie with tears streaming down her face, it strikes me that this is what a modern-day nun looks like. Sending an orgasm to promote peace in Nigeria and Paris isn’t that weird. Christians and Buddhists send off distilled thoughts known as “prayers” to try and alleviate world suffering every day. Yet the kind of energy generated during orgasm is jet fuel compared to the economy petrol that comes from a morning at mass.

ruby warrington stephanie theobald sex drive on the road to a pleasure revolution ecosexual sex ecology the numinous material girl mystical world annie sprinkle

Stephanie Theobald’s Sex Drive: On The Road To A Pleasure Revolution is out now. Join Stephanie in LA for the launch party on December 7th from 6-9pm at The Pikey 7617 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and check out mysexdrive.org  for more details. **And discover more about Annie Sprinkle’s SexEcology HERE!

HOW TO EXPLAIN YOUR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING TO YOUR RELIGIOUS FAMILY

When Fundamentalist threats of Hell left her wanting more, Kate Forristall turned to Now Age practices. But how to explain your spiritual awakening to your religious family? Kate shares her top tips for making the holidays less hellish …

kate forristall ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world how to explain your spiritual awakening diana vargas
Photo: Diana Vargas

Christmas 2017.  Reaching for a beautifully wrapped present (the gene I didn’t get, sigh), I notice my sister Sally give our mother a nervous glance. Given my family’s tradition of one-at-a-time unwrapping, there’s no hiding what’s inside, but I have to smile as I open my package and see an intricately carved wooden box … with a pentagram on top.

I steal a glimpse at Sally’s face and feel her telepathically communicating with me in a desperate Tim Gunn voice, “MAKE IT WORK!” I lift the new repository for my tarot deck (pentagram covered by my palm) and wave it quickly, “A wooden box!”

“Who’s next?!” Sally chirps, as we simultaneously head into the kitchen to get coffee and put my gift away. When it comes to the spirituality we now embrace, we’ve decided pick our battles.

///

Finding a faith to set me free … 
At the age of 15, I began attending a church youth group known more for fun and community than hard line theology. Leaders preached the Gospel, but it was as simple as the original version (appropriate for humans without a pre-frontal cortex). The Jesus People movement had paved the way for a faith that was about loving God and loving each other, and I was happy to go along for the ride.

Unfortunately I got hijacked on the way.

In college I met Christians who could recite whole passages of the Bible and never seemed to struggle to obey all the rules the way that I did. They let me know that I wasn’t doing it right and by the time I graduated, the shame I felt over my failings was enough to send me right into the arms of Fundamentalism.

There were no sermons about the messiness of life, no Young Adult Group talks about how hard it was to be in your 20s. Floundering was considered moral failure and the threat of Hell was always looming. My goal became security, for myself, and eventually, my growing family, and I lost the delight and wildness of the God I’d met as a teenager.

In other words, I can help you explain things to your conservative mother, because I’ve been her. But while I forgot the kindness of the Divine, it did not forget me, and over the past 20 years I’ve managed to unload the toxic institutional religion that held me captive, while finding a faith that set me free.

Such faith means changed opinions about almost everything in life – politics, sexuality, social justice, capitalism, feminism – topics my family has often been less than thrilled that I brought up at the Thanksgiving table. But they were small potatoes compared to announcing I’d fully embraced New Age practices that we once believed were nothing short of demonic.

The new practices of my faith—meditation, spiritual direction, energy healing, multiple sacred texts, astrology, body work, and tarot—came from a period of darkness and spiritual searching, a time when I lost the ability to hear God and believed I’d been abandoned.

Now I can see that I was never alone, that my unknowing was, in fact the gift that pushed me through the Life-Death-Life cycle and into a belief that now sees the Divinity of all things.

///

So as you prepare for Thanksgiving and the inevitable questions about why your life looks different than it used to, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way … 

1// “Preach … at all times. When necessary, use words.” 
This advice from St. Francis is the best wisdom I’ve ever found for sharing experiences that have changed my life. If your example is one of serenity, service, love and hope, you’ll have no better evidence for the truth of the New Age spirituality you’ve embraced.

2// The Bible is your friend. Really. 
I know, right? Whether it’s the Wise Men who used the stars to find Jesus, God noting the wheel of the Zodiac when conversing with Job, or Jesus feeling the energy leave his body when a hemorrhaging woman touched him, the Bible has an awful lot of examples of “New Age” faith. The word meditate is mentioned 20 times and if you do a Google search you’ll even find phrases like “centering prayer” from many corners of traditional Christianity.

3// Because science.
Meditation’s benefits are now proven by so much data that if your loved one can’t handle it, they probably believe in a six-day creation. Measurable energy fields of everything from the flowers in your garden to the heart in your body have uncovered a universe way weirder than science fiction. Neuroscience has revealed that our brains are supercomputers capable of affecting objects miles away (hello, pray much?) If none of that lands, find an empty room, light a candle … and meditate. At least you’ll feel better.

4// Try not to brace for impact.
This phrase has carried my family through many an anticipated rough situation. Neural communication studies show how much we convey before we ever say a word and I can tell you from experience that if you are telepathically shrieking, “I fucking dare you to make fun of my Tarot practice,” someone is going to comply. Moments like these are when the rubber meets the road. The Buddhist practice of accepting suffering while trusting its transitory nature has completely changed my life.

5// Baby steps. 
I’ve always been an evangelist. Whether it was Jesus or toasted pecans in chocolate chip cookies, if I love something, I can’t wait to tell everyone I know. But when asking people to expand beyond a fear-based bias, I’ve learned that you need to move like an acrophobe in a skyscraper – one floor at a time. My mother now knows that I own a tarot deck. We’ve discussed the astrology of the moment on multiple occasions, and for her birthday, I gave her a book about manifestation. But it’s been seven years since I began this journey and my goal isn’t conversion. It’s that she too would find the path of greatest freedom for her life, no matter what it looks like.

///

My resistance to the New Age movement wasn’t because I hated everyone outside my church. It was because I was terrified that it could destroy people I loved. Those who cling to fundamentalism are inordinately motivated by dread – circling the wagons to protect a God they can’t imagine being bigger than their sanctuary. Considering how vast and unknowable the Divine is, that’s a pretty sad perspective and I’ve given my kids unlimited permission to make fun of me forever for all the dumb stuff I did that was driven by fear.

Ironically, the greatest thing my New Age practices have taught me is how to deal with the fear I meet in this life. “If I go to the depths of the sea, You are there,” says the Psalmist to God, an understanding that no circumstance can separate us from Them—including, no matter how scary it is, spending the holidays with your family.

Kate Forristall is a writer, actor, mother, and lover of stories. Connect with her at #IRL Project, and on Twitter and Instagram

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO REACH ECSTASY

Want to have Divine on speed dial? In her latest Holy F*ck column, Alexandra Roxo reveals that experiencing ecstasy is the key to strengthening our channel …

alexandra roxo ruby warrington the numinous holy fuck holy f*ck how to reach ecstasy moon club material girl mystical world

People have been seeking ecstasy for a long time. Whether it’s through herbs and psychoactive and psychedelic substances, or through ritual, prayer, meditation, fasting, sleep deprivation, pain, sex, and extreme temperature baths, most cultures have rituals and celebrations that invoke deeply ecstatic states.

From Greek rituals involving mind-altering substances, to the Sufis’ dance into ecstatic bliss, and the tantrikas’ journey into oceans of “samadhi” (ecstatic union with God/Goddess), religious texts usually speak of this search. In Norse mythology, the berserkers would enter into an altered state to be able to fight. And even animals have sought out herbs and fermentation that brought about some sort of consciousness shift.

These exercises can allll produce states of BLISS that allow the participant to commune with “God” or the Divine. And, well, who wouldn’t want that? 

I’ll tell you who! A culture that DOES NOT want its people to be empowered to know the Divine on our own terms. That would prefer us to have to pay into the Divine via tithing (offerings), and bow to the leaders of a church. This being one of the epic reasons WHY ecstatic states became stigmatized in the U.S., specifically, and in the Western world in general.

Personally, I blame the Puritans for labelling seeking ecstatic states as scary, transgressive, or somehow shameful. If people, and women especially, had the Goddess on speed dial, than what would they need the church for?!! SO, they got the ax. Or rather, in the case of the Witch trials, when women would dance themselves into states of ecstasy, the noose.

///

What exactly is an “ecstatic” experience? 
In my terms, it is an experience that overrides the default mindset, the internal and external conditioning, and allows for a mind/body/spirit connection that transcends the normal, the typical, and the everyday.

This can result in waves of bliss, with senses ablaze and alive, heart open to a massive flow of love. Where the normal perception and experience of reality is transcended and expanded into a massively blissful, joyful, and loving one that shakes you at the core.

I’ve been exploring this for many years. At age 12, I was attempting to speak in tongues and faint on the floor at Baptist Church camp. And I experienced my first waves of sexual ecstasy around the same time. Since then, I’ve experimented with meditation, prayer, fasting, ritual, dance, song, pain, sex, and psychedelics. Each produces a different type of ecstasy.

Now, I take other people on journeys in my work through ecstatic states that can reframe and contextualize trauma, release stored emotions, and promote a deeper connection to self. Within a safe space, this process of finding ecstatic states can be very, very healing. 

///

A dating app for ecstasy? 
I am drawn like a fly on honey to people who know and experience ecstatic states without drugs.

A few years ago, I met two men who had participated in the Sundance ceremony, which involved piercings on the chest, and days of dancing and fasting. To me, these were the HOTTEST men alive! “Um, you spent multiple days with flesh wounds on your chest while fasting and dancing and singing, in the name of uniting with Divine energy and helping save the Earth?! Sign me up!!!”

There is nothing sexier to me than someone who sees and understands the value of finding ecstatic states on the regular without having to pop a pill. Someone so adept at meditation that turning their body to light is NBD. If there was a dating app for this category of human, it would make my life a lot easier!

It’s not Burner vibes. It’s not adventures with psychedelics. I’m talking about people with a thirst for ecstasy that comes from wanting to know the Divine. Wanting to know love. From a remembrance of a state that your soul knows, and longs for.

Anybody else with me on this one?

alexandra roxo ruby warrington the numinous holy fuck holy f*ck how to reach ecstasy moon club material girl mystical world

///

5 paths towards ecstasy for the Modern Spiritual Human
**A disclaimer: When you enter into ecstasy, you are opening yourself up massively, so you want to allow for this shift in your reality, perception, and internal state to happen in a safe setting. If you enter into an ecstatic state in a train station for instance, you could get taken away to a mental institution. So set and setting are key! You want be in a safe space. Surrounded by people you trust. Or alone. Remember you are opening ALL the channels and you want to do this with care. Especially if you are new to it.

1// Start simply. If you want to start safely, you can explore ecstatic states through something simple like chanting or ecstatic dance. Many cities have “Ecstatic Dance” communities and classes. Places with DJs and it’s sober and you just shake it out.

If you’re a yogi, chanting mantras in Kirtan could produce these states. You can seek a Bhakti yoga practice. Many cultures and religions have their own styles of song, and some may take you into ecstasy. Some not. When I used to go to the Agape Church in LA, their gospel choir had me in tears and I sang and danced til I lost myself.

///

2// Explore your blocks. 
Because it can take years to release your default programming and open to the ecstasy available through song and dance, many people reach for a psychedelic or drug—because it offers a quick way in! But that also means it may have the most emotional, spiritual, and physical hangover, since you are literally stretching into an expanded state very quickly, flooding your body, and then snapping out fast.

You can micro dose different plant medicines if you want to go slowly. But beware; before you are granted ecstasy, you will likely first be shown any blocks you have to ecstasy! If you take MDMA, for instance, you may be opened quickly, but will likely be asked to deal with some spiritual and mystical pain the day after from that flood of chemicals and expansion, and the ensuing lack thereof.

///

3// Ease in with meditation.
It may take years before you get to ecstasy this way, but it will happen. Trust me! I’ve been meditating for 15 years and it happens often now. I feel like I am being made love to by an invisible force (consensual of course!) and it is amazing.

If you want to reach ecstatic states in meditation and not wait 10 years, you can try White Tantra or a Vipassana retreat. Both are in-depth practices and you’re likely to access ecstasy faster. But no guarantees of course!

///

4// Get it on (consciously).
If you establish trust, a deep connection, and emotional and physical safety, you can achieve insane ecstatic states with sex. Again though, if you open too fast, without a safe container and the spiritual and emotional components, you will suffer the repercussions. Chances are, you will feel depressed, anxious and shitty for days after. Perhaps you will feel guilt and shame as well.

Conscious BDSM is an amazing way into ecstasy in a safe space. Set the intention to open to the Divine before you begin. Japanese rope bondage and suspension work in particular has taken me to great heights of ecstasy, and I led two retreats last year that took women into that space for transcendence, ecstasy, and healing.

Pain can be a tried and true portal to ecstasy. Again, within a safe container, an intense consensual pain session with spanking or flogging or whipping or caning can produce deep and ecstatic bliss. Some religious sects also used pain as a portal to divine and ecstatic bliss. Light spankings are a safe place to start!

You can also start a self-pleasure practice that opens you to ecstasy. It will take time. Practice. A safe space so you can let go and scream and cry and release. At dinner the other night with my two besties, I was talking about my magical rose quartz wand and the orgasmic bliss I have with it, and their jaws dropped. It’s profound!

alexandra roxo ruby warrington the numinous holy fuck holy f*ck how to reach ecstasy moon club material girl mystical world
Japanese “Shibari” rope bondage

///

5// Remember that integration is KEY.
Integration means the time you take in between practices to process, rest, release, and allow your system to recalibrate. If you mix drugs and sex and pain and all of it you may go into wild ecstasy, but have a “WTF did I just do?!” the next day, feeling like you got hit by a train.

Unless you have stretched yourself internally to hold some levels of ecstasy over time, you will fuck with yourself psychologically, spiritually, emotionally and physically if you rush things. Seriously. I’ve learned this the hard way.

If you don’t have the skills or tools to integrate ecstatic experience into your life, you can blow a fuse, go back to exactly where you were before, or contract even smaller. But if you integrate your experience fully, you can allow the ecstatic experience to expand you. And you can STAY expanded, therefore experiencing levels of ecstasy OFTEN.

Begin by simply noticing when you feel ECSTATIC and take note. Breathe it in. Don’t zip by. As you notice, your capacity will grow. As you practice, you will stretch into holding more.

Rest. Be gentle on you. You’re re-teaching your system that’s its safe to feel this good. After centuries of being told that IT IS NOT. Write. Journal. Take salt baths.

Start slowly, but be diligent and don’t give up on finding this KEY and GIFT to your human system!!

///

Stay tuned for more Holy F*ck from Alexandra. Over the next few months, she will be interviewing women who learned how to access deep healing and ecstatic states during her yearlong program. Learn more about Alexandra and her work HERE.

COMING HOME TO MY HOODOO ROOTS

Growing up British but with her family history in Mauritius, it was reconnecting to her Hoodoo roots that helped Stephanie Victoire finally feel at home …

Stephanie Victoire hoodoo roots author The Numinous

My grandmother always said that bad luck could never follow you across water, the oceans would purify you anew. That the ocean could take away spirits who wanted to join you for the ride, and you’d land on the other side of water, cleansed and blessed.

Flying every few months back and forth from England to Mauritius as a child, I was always set to start anew. On hot tarmac I’d step with tiny feet in jelly sandals, my hand in my Nana’s, and my English tongue would immediately be lost, Creole nestling itself into my small canon of words. Crossing the Indian Ocean back, somewhere over the Sahara desert I’d leave that language behind again, which at the time had no dictionary—no official place in the world. And, just like that, I’d become English again.

I acquired a nickname with my Mauritian relatives: Ti Anglaise, “Little English One.” With English-born island friends at school, we’d laugh that I was a “coconut”—brown on the outside, white on the inside. But I also remember how confused and disconnected from myself this made me feel. I was two different things, rather than one whole. I was being mocked for my Englishness, while being called out as somebody who looked like she had roots elsewhere, but was actually clueless as to what they were. From a very young age, I had no idea who or what I was—something I would grapple with well into my adult years.

///

My parents are both Mauritian, my mother white with green eyes, my father dark-skinned with brown eyes. It was hard to explain to people that I wasn’t ‘mixed-raced’ as they classed me. The simple fact was, the French somewhere in our lineage had milked our tea-colored skin and heavily creamed my mother’s. I wanted to look like her, to be her child in the eyes of strangers as we walked down the street together.

But there’s no denying I was birthed of my grandmother’s line. Even though her skin is also pale—more European-looking than Mauritian—there’s no question that she is Creole. It’s a glint in her eye as she bites into her chilies, the way she fries up salt-fish, kneads flour for roti. Her Creole is in her accent; thick, warm, and wise. She is full of phrases and double-entendres that only hold meaning in the language they were first created in. There is magick in everything she does and says, in the way she speaks to God under her breath.

Mauritius humbly hosts a multi-religious population. A Hindu temple is built next to an Islamic mosque that’s built next to a church. Be them Hindu, Muslim or Catholic, all will tell you that they are Mauritian. I learned very early on that I was not Indian-Mauritian or Chinese-Mauritian, or of any other Asian heritage. We were Creole people, descendants of African slaves, the first people to inhabit the island when it was colonized. We had grown with the sugar cane fields from the ground up, with the papaya and lychee trees. We were the ones who sang sega songs to feel some small piece of freedom in our voices, beating our cries into the Ravanne drum.

///

I was sent to Catholic school in London, with my very English packed-lunch of ham sandwiches, crisps and yoghurt. But Mauritian Catholics are not exclusively Catholic. Sure, they feel connected to saints and enjoy the ritual of prayer and church service—but they also believe in hexes, ghosts, omens and witchcraft. And I had all this knowledge with me, too.

But I had no translation for what I witnessed growing up, playing in the tropical gardens of my Mauritian kin: the incessant sweeping, the lighting of candles at the mini mausoleums, which to an outsider seemed like a prayer space. I did not know back then that these shrines were for keeping the garden protector spirit, Gardien Lakour, appeased, with offerings and prayers in exchange for keeping ‘evil’ spirits away from the house.

I also learned that if you sweep a bachelorette’s feet with a balyé—a makeshift broom traditionally made of twigs and vegetable matter—the single lady will never be married. If you throw salt under the chair on which an unwanted guest is sat, they will not return to your home; another handful on the doorstep after they leave will ensure they’ll never darken your door or your life again. If I had a rupee for every time I heard such superstitions from my grandmother, I’d have enough to buy myself a villa on the beautiful Northeast coast. Except these were not superstitions but traditions, brought from Africa, the same way they arrived in Haiti or New Orleans or anywhere else the magick found itself.

Stephanie with her grandmother, Giselle, in Mauritius

Rebelling against everything I was taught in my teens, I left my ‘Mauritianess’ alone, confused about whether I’d really had it anyway, and certain I didn’t want to be Catholic. But after a brief spiritual hiatus, witchcraft found me. Just as Mauritius is a patchwork of different nations and different religions, I developed my own blend of spiritual truths, mixing in Pagan, Hermetic, Native American, and Eastern ideas and practices. Along the way, I’ve worked on healing my confusion around my identity. But I’ve still never felt fully in my skin—more one with the cosmos than with life here on Mother Earth.

Mother. The very word can knock me unsteady, see me crying on my knees. I’ve wanted so much to feel I belong here, I’ve dug my hands into cold, loose soil just to see if I could feel a heartbeat. I’ve travelled the world to try to make the whole planet my home. And it was during a trip to New Orleans last summer, I discovered there was something I’d overlooked.

The Creole words, the Creole faces. Similar to those of my family’s island, but not quite, still I was asked to explore it. I felt it in puddles of rum, the worn wooden doors, the whispers of ghosts. Something was being recalled in my blood, and I warmed to the sensation of ancestral spirits drawing close. It was powerful and overwhelming, a feeling that I was being called back to something I’d find depth and beauty in—the depth and beauty of where I truly came from, that was the makeup of me.

///

I started to read books on Hoodoo, and as I read through conjures and fixings, I heard these stories in my grandmother’s voice. Because of course there was Hoodoo in Mauritius. We had come from the same place as the Creoles of New Orleans. Brought our magick down generations with the teachings of the tongue, the ways of the elders, and my grandmother was no different. Old tales told under the moon on a balmy island night; the properties of herbs explained in the kitchen; candles lit for prayers; curses broken with salt, heart and will.

She is a witch, a priestess; a spirit woman, just as I am growing to be. As I recovered memories of the magick in my family, something in me shifted. I had found the roots I was looking for. I stepped further into my power, shedding from myself a fragmented identity, and in its place claiming one that feels like the entire Universe itself. Each star, each planet, each galaxy is a piece of me—a complex and powerful harmony I can feel as I walk the land of this great mother we call Earth.

All of it is mine to belong to, and all of it is me. This magick that Mauritius possesses so quietly finds its voice in me. A witch, a priestess and a spirit woman. This has been my birthright to claim all along. I feel blessed to have been born in England, to speak a language that can share with the world the stories I have stored in my Creole blood. I will tell them with pride.

///

Stephanie Victoire is a London-based writer and author. You can discover more of her writing HERE, and follow her on Instagram @petalandmossapothecary for more about her HEALING WORK.

CHOOSING COMPASSION IN A CALLOUT CULTURE

A former social media “comment crusader,” diversity and inclusion specialist Aaron Rose is committed to moving beyond the “us vs. them” callout culture. PLUS Aaron shares 7 ways to upgrade your spiritual activism by choosing connection and compassion over fear …

AAron Rose Spiritual Activism trans diversity coach The Numinous
Photo: Alberto Vasari

With 15 years working as a facilitator, educator, and consultant in the field of “Diversity & Inclusion,” my overarching mission is to heal our world’s generational patterns of separation so that we can all thrive as our authentic selves. Though always important, this work has of course taken on even more urgency in the escalating polarization following the 2016 election.

But in the last few years I have had to rethink some of how I was originally trained to approach this work. Namely, that relying on a callout culture of shame and dehumanization—however subtle or justified—as motivating tools of change, will never resolve the isolation and exclusion we ultimately seek to address.

Historically, my work focused on explaining the history of institutionalized oppression and practicing “dos and don’ts” for interacting with different groups. The premise—albeit often unspoken—was that we were there to help the privileged people understand how to treat the marginalized people better. Many people did indeed leave feeling more informed and better prepared to work with people different from themselves. However, when others would express feeling upset, confused, or silenced, I knew something was missing.

Many of my colleagues wrote this off as collateral damage—some people would just never get it, they said. And if a white man left feeling upset, maybe that was a good thing, because lots of people have been upset for a long time. I understood the logic, but this theory of social change felt incomplete to me. It’s a dynamic that has become all too familiar in social media interactions in which people are called out for offensive or exclusionary behavior and summarily “canceled” or rejected without any space for recourse or repair.

Back then, my life mirrored my work. I genuinely saw light and potential in everyone—and wanted to help us all understand each other better. But, truthfully, I usually meant, you (a person with historically more access and power than most) needed to understand me (a trans and queer person with experiences of violence and marginalization).

My approach was that of a pretty typical East Coast liberal. I would passionately launch into Facebook comment monologues, determined to get people to understand how they were hurting others, while distancing myself from people based on their presumably more privileged identities. My tone was condescending at best, and vitriolic at worst. I wanted people to understand the harm they were doing, and I wanted it to stop. Now.

Deep down, I, like so many others, felt scared and misunderstood. In most of the jobs I’d had as a young adult, I’d experienced harassment and discrimination—from prying questions about my transgender identity, to constant misgendering, to sexual harassment and violence—and the pain of my own marginalization kept me in a defensive stance.

I was quick to judge people’s politics, and even quicker to let them know about it—when separated by a screen and a keyboard. In most cases, there was little hope for redemption once someone had acted in a way I deemed oppressive, racist, heterosexist, transphobic, or more. But for all my accusations of division and dehumanization, I too was compartmentalizing people, saying things like “I could never be real friends with a straight guy … he just wouldn’t get me.” It hadn’t occurred to me yet that maybe I didn’t really get him either. I had never thought to ask.

While doing the work of humanizing historically excluded minorities, I had been unwittingly dehumanizing others. It seemed natural to view my work as an us vs. them quest to change some people’s minds on behalf of others. But I’ve come to understand that this approach will only continue to amplify the feeling of uneasy disconnection that characterizes so much of modern life, particularly online: the fear of being judged, the fear of being harmed, the fear that saying the wrong thing will result in excommunication.

The work that many pioneering LGBTQ people, people of color, women, and other historically marginalized people have done to legitimize the acknowledgement of our individual pain and institutionalized discrimination is important and invaluable. That kind of self-expression and community accountability is indispensable. But if simply being able to recite our personal and collective histories of oppression back and forth to one another with flawless terminology was going to create true progress, we would not be in our current accelerating state of political polarization and identity-based isolation. If we truly want a more just and connected world, we all have to go a step further.

Today, I no longer take to social media with fear and contempt to catalogue the ways in which others are letting me down. I’ve shifted my focus from what we’re tearing down to an approach that does not calcify divisions but instead catalyzes connection. This does not mean releasing people from accountability or never speaking up against injustice. It simply means setting the intention to treat no human being as if they are disposable, even if they are failing to honor our humanity. It means creating the conditions in which we can, as adrienne maree brown writes, “default to trust on a community level.”

Below, I share 7 ways we can be stewards of this paradigm shift:

Aaron Rose Spiritual Activism trans diversity coach The Numinous
Photo: Gwendolyn Rodriguez

1// Heal yourself to heal the world. Your work starts with you – owning your story, and releasing the blocks that stand between you and truly recognizing yourself in another. Regardless of your identities, our conditioned social autopilot reinforces the idea that connecting with people from different backgrounds puts us at risk in some way. For those of us (read: all of us!) who have felt minimized or unsafe because of who we are, leaning into even more discomfort can feel scary. But the more we connect with our own sense of humanity, the more we can extend that to others.

**Action Step: Take some time to meditate on welcoming feelings of safety. The more you cultivate a feeling of security within yourself, the more you will be able to welcome others into your world. You are safe, you are resilient, you are here to thrive and make space for others do the same. This meditation is one of my favorites. You can also check out my meditation series here.

///

2// Redefine how you love. We are all called to love each other now as if our lives depended on it. Because they do. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke often about agape love as the driving force behind all his work. He said, “And this is what Jesus means … when he says, ‘Love your enemy.’ And it’s significant that he does not say, ‘Like your enemy’ … There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like. I don’t like what they do to me. I don’t like what they say about me and other people … But Jesus says love them. And love is greater than like. Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them.”

**Action Step: Practice silently blessing every person you encounter and wishing them peace and happiness. Your world will begin to transform before your eyes, from the inside out.

///

3// Meditate for real. Meditation creates space between external stimuli and our responses, allowing us to act as we choose, versus on autopilot. In the same way that  we cannot change our world unless we face the truth of it, we cannot embody a new energy of love unless we retrain our nervous systems. Meditation is the path to this change.

**Action Step: Practice the Buddhist metta, or loving kindness, meditation. A common mantra is: May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live a life of peace. Extend this blessing first to yourself, then to those you love, then to the world around you, and finally to the people who you find it hardest to love. This practice is a gift you can give yourself anywhere, anytime.

///

4// Know our history, know yourself. We make it a lot easier for others to trust us and give us room to grow when we show up fully. In the context of identity and social change, this means understanding our world’s historical patterns of exclusion and violence. Acknowledge your part and make amends, for yourself as well as your ancestors. Understand both your access and power, as well as your history of pain and struggle. Recognize that we all have inherent biases, and be prepared to acknowledge them as they surface. Learn bystander intervention protocol and be ready for action.

**Action Step: What are your identities? Where do you fall toward the margins and where do you have more access? Explore Kimberle Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality to develop a deeper understanding of how our combination of identities shape our experience of the world.

///

5// Release perfection, embrace integrity. We will all make mistakes along the way. Doing this work is about integrity: staying in alignment with your values and maintaining your sense of wholeness in the process. No one comes from the same perspective, and many of us do not have an academic foundation in theories of oppression and liberation. Despite our commitment to love, none of us will have the perfect word every time.

**Action Step: How will you respond when you or someone else messes up? What are your go-to phrases for communicating when a boundary has been crossed? How will you apologize and repair? Practicing ahead of time allows our brains to find the right words when our bodies are in fight or flight.

///

6// Reframe callouts as opportunities for connection. When someone tells you your words were offensive, it’s easy to get defensive and push back. And to build a culture where everyone can thrive, we need to reframe how we perceive negative feedback. Humans don’t often take the time to let somebody know they feel hurt unless some part of us cares about being understood by the person who hurt us. Framed this way, each callout is a gift in service of our collective healing and evolution. Show the same investment in the connection by showing up to learn and repair together.

**Action Step: Practice responding to call-outs with grace and integrity. Pick your go-to phrases. Some options: “Thank you for letting me know how my words impacted you. I’m committed to building a community where everyone feels welcome.” “I hear what you’re saying and I will shift my words in the future. I’m sorry I used that hurtful language.” P.S. You really have to mean it, so align your energy with your words before pressing “share.”

///

7// Redefine the personal vs. political binary. Who actually benefits from the idea that there is a difference between the personal and political? Certainly not you and me. Taking responsibility for caring for all life on Earth is the most profound investment we can make in our own self-care.

Action Step: How can you realign what is best for you as being what is best for all sentient beings? For example, is your meditation or intention-setting practice exclusively about your individual life? Set intentions not only for personal wealth and happiness, but for white people’s capacity to release our dependency on white supremacy, for example. For the renewing of our healthy relationship with planet Earth. For men’s commitment to repairing the wounds of the patriarchy. And for ongoing guidance about your role within the larger process. The support is there. You need only to tap in and ask.

///

Aaron Rose is a writer, speaker, and diversity & inclusion coach. In his spare time you can find him waxing poetic about quantum physics, boy bands, and healing intergenerational trauma. Follow Aaron online at @aaronxrose and learn more about his work, including his upcoming healthy masculinity intensive for conscious men, at www.theaaronrose.com

HOLY F*CK: FINDING MY SPIRITUAL PRIDE

Spiritual and queer? It’s on us to create places to practice that reflect every shade of spiritual pride, says Alexandra RoxoPLUS 3 ways to create more inclusive healing spaces.

Alexandra Roxo The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA

Some of my favorite summer memories were in my first Pride month in New York City in 2009. I was falling in love and my girlfriend was ecstatic to be bringing me into her community. It almost felt cliche to fall in love during Pride! Finally coming out as bisexual/queer, after years of closeted same sex encounters not deemed appropriate in Marietta, GA where I grew up, I finally was able to be the whole me.

During this time though I veered away from some of my spiritual growth. Not because I actively thought I couldn’t be in a lesbian relationship and also be spiritual, but on a subconscious level I had internalized this belief. Why? Because none of the spiritual traditions I’d studied said anything positive about same sex partnerships or sexuality. When I asked some of my yogic teachers about this, they frowned and avoided the question.

There also weren’t any spiritual leaders I looked towards who were openly queer. So in a sense, during those years I shunned my own spiritual devotion in order to express my true sexuality.

It is difficult to stay committed to a spiritual practice when your leaders and teachers don’t reflect your experience. Deepak wasn’t queer. Yogananda wasn’t. Marianne wasn’t. The tantra books I was reading all featured hetero couples so I stopped reading them. In spiritual circles or in yoga communities and retreats I felt out of place. So I nixed them for a while and made plant medicines and gay nightclubs my church.

Alexandra Roxo The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA
Alexandra at her first Pride

As I matured however, I realized that just because Krishna and Radha aren’t gay, or Jesus and Mary Magdalene, that being queer doesn’t make me less devoted. I turned my attention inwards and began to focus again on my practice. Even though the retreats and spiritual communities I was in remained mainly straight and white, I stopped giving a fuck and showed up anyway without looking for a validation of my experience there.

When teachers assumed hetero preference as we discussed sacred spiritual sex practices, I would get hot and nervous and want to speak up. It always took me a moment to raise my hand and say I was bisexual/queer identified, but it was always worth it. And not only for me, but also so the teacher could consider including diverse experiences in the class.

On my path, I’ve also been deeply inspired by every other person who shows up to retreats, yoga classes, and ceremonies despite not seeing their experience reflected in the people there. Who raises their hand and stands up for their experience, too. Not to prove a point. But to feel seen. To begin to shift an outdated paradigm and create change. It takes a brave soul to willingly highlight your difference, but it is worth it—for each of us personally, and also as a collective.

>>>

The below queer leaders and teachers are going one step further by shifting the face of wellness to open the gates for way more inclusion and love in the spiritual scene. Here they are offering some words of wisdom, spiritual teachings and personal experiences for you this Pride month …

BUNNY MICHAEL. @bunnymichael. They / them.
“When I think about it now, coming out queer at age 15 in Texas was probably one of my first spiritual experiences. It was the first time I had to trust what my heart was telling me, not what I was conditioned to believe in. It was the first time I had defined for myself what Love was. It was the first time I was truly afraid. Afraid to lose the people who were most close to me. It was the first time I questioned my worth. Being queer gave me an early insight that the spiritual path isn’t always easy … and it’s not supposed to be. It shows you your limits and how to break free of them. It challenges your foundations and builds a bridge to step into a peace within yourself. It shows you that in every space you walk into it is your responsibility to stand up for Love.”
Bunny is a healer, writer, musician, activist and artist.

SAH D’SIMONE. @sahdsimone. He/ his.
“A little residue of the collective prejudice [on being queer] still creeps up in my mind once in a while, and in the past it would leave me with a knot in my throat, followed by thoughts of guilt and shame around being myself. Now after 6 years of spiritual work I can see that unconscious reaction taking place and I can pause the downward spiral — breathe it out, and wish myself and everyone that could be getting hooked in this collective trauma to heal and be okay with being themselves so fully! Truth I stand by is that when we are truly ourselves without the baggage of shame that was passed on to us, we are actually inviting other people to be themselves fully too. And wow that’s a powerful spiritual gift you’re sharing with everyone around you.”
Sah is a gay identified meditation teacher and transformational coach.

DANNY BRAVE. @hellodannybrave. He/his.
“Spiritual practice allows me to get into alignment with my soul, and sexuality is my favored way of embodying that soul with the fullest pleasure and power. Being queer, as it turns out, means just being me. It means I don’t follow the ‘rules’ with gender, with relationships, with clothing, or with essentially anything. It means I am just me.”
Danny is a trans identified healer, writer and activist.

LISA LUXX. @luxxy_luxx. She/her.
“My sexuality IS my spiritual position: I’m daughter of our elemental earth, all my relationships are seasonal, and I desire women who view all levels of intimacy as a conscious practice where we can exercise our subconscious and unconscious paradigms, ultimately making every connection a space to grow in …”
Lisa is a queer writer and activist and poet living in the UK.

AARON ROSE. @aaronxrose. He/him.
“My gender & sexuality have been evolving my whole life. The more I heal, the more I develop my spirituality, the more me I become. These days I identify as a gay trans man. When I was 7 years old I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio and I always wondered: do I want to be him or date him? Turns out the answer is both!I feel deeply that there is a very specific reason that I am a man who experienced socialization & abuse as a child who the world saw as a girl. Those experiences have allowed me to grow up into a healed and whole man, with a deep capacity for nurturance and emotional presence. I am called to celebrate both the divine feminine and masculine within myself and lead from that place of integration.”
Aaron is a gay trans identified coach and leader who works on diversity and inclusion strategies for businesses and individuals.

Alexandra Roxo Sah D'Simone The Numinous Spiritual Pride LGBTQIA
Alexandra and Sah D’Simone

>>>

Ultimately, it’s up to us to revolutionize the modern spirituality scene to become more inclusive, diverse, and celebratory of healthy sexual and creative expression, dialogue, and freedom. Regardless of your own sexual, political, or romantic preferences, here are a few things we can all do to make spiritual spaces more inclusive:

– No assumptions! You can’t assume someone is male or female or gay or straight. Ask! If they wanna answer then great, if not all good. Respect the boundaries.

– Take out gender referential language. You can still honor masculine and feminine of course. But saying directly “hi ladies!!” Or “hey guys!” Or “hey goddess!” Can hurt hearts if this does not speak to the experience of someone in the group. Claim what works for you.

– Update for the Now Age. If you’re leading or teaching from ancient texts consider modifying language for 2018 to be more inclusive.

Thank you to everyone out there stepping up, stepping out, shining bright, risking, shouting, asking questions, listening, and shifting the old paradigm of spirituality and wellness into more inclusivity and diversity to reflect the world we live in.

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 6 WAYS TO GET REAL ABOUT GROWING YOUR BUSINESS

Overwhelmed by the nuts and bolts? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares 6 ways to get real about growing your business without losing your magic mind …

lisa levine maha rose ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world growing your business
Photo: Kinga Cichewicz

QUESTION: I am super creative and intuitive but have major blocks when it comes to planning, structure, and managing the financial side of my business. That stuff literally makes me fall asleep! How much of this should I try to do myself, and what should I try to outsource? I also want to allow my business to build organically, and worry that too much planning will get in the way of this. What’s a good balance to strike?”

>>>

LISA SAYS: 

#1 Let it grow organically. You can’t rush spirituality. You can dedicate yourself to building your business but there is still a natural evolution that you must flow with.

>>>

#2 To partner or not to partner. When I had my jewelry business, I really wished I could have had a business partner so I could focus more on the creative side of things. But in the end, I never found that person. The same goes for Maha Rose. I have lots of amazing people I work with but at the end of the day, I am the end of the decision making chain.

But it all depends on how you work. I love working with people but I also like having the final say. Actually, God(dess) is making the decisions and I am putting them into action. If I had a business partner, what would happen if the message they were receiving was different from the guidance I was receiving? A business partnership is like a marriage, and I’m in one of those already! So I choose to work on my flexibility and compromise in my personal life instead of at work.

>>>

#3 Get help! Definitely and no matter what. We can’t and don’t need to do it ALL alone. So think about what that help could look like. Try to get as organized as possible and really visualize where you need help so you can ask for exactly this. This is actually still a challenge for me. I know I need help and lots of it all the time, but because I do so many different things I’m not always sure where to ask for help first. Sometimes it seems like it may be more work to train someone else rather than just do it myself—but this is rarely the case. Help can also be someone who assists you in structuring it all. Every type of help exists.

>>>

#4 Get MORE help! I have a few very talented healer and artist friends who operate so much from their right brain (the non-logical side) that it would be hard for them to really succeed on this earthly realm without help. If this is you, it’s good to recognize this without judgement, and to allow people help you in all areas requiring left-brain logic. So may differently-minded people are embracing spirituality now, you don’t have to be a one person show. Operating within a bigger structure means you can focus on the parts you are good at.

>>>

#5 Engage with your community. This is another reason healing centers exist. In this day and age of social media and online connections, real life experiences are still so powerful. Sometimes when we are engaging in just the digital side of things it is hard to find inspiration and connection to the people who can help us grow the most.

>>>

#6 Have fun and eat the frog! No matter what your business is, and even if you are choosing to focus on the creative side, there will still be a certain amount of “nuts and bolts” things that you have to do. Eat the frog, means … do the thing you are avoiding doing! Do it first thing in the morning to give you the feeling of having accomplished something big. Once you’ve done that one difficult thing, you can play in the magic for the rest of your day …

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” 

HOLY F*CK: A DARK MOON PRACTICE TO LIBERATE YOUR SPIRITUAL ESSENCE

Stuck under layers of conditioning and aching to break free? Alexandra Roxo shares 5 ways to liberate your spiritual essence …

alexandra roxo ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world moon club holy fuck holy f*ck spiritual striptease
Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

I’ve been doing stripteases since I was 12. In 1996, in Marietta, Georgia, my friends and I dressed in Victoria’s Secret matching leopard-print bra and panties sets, and knew all the moves to Elizabeth Berkley’s routines from Showgirls.

But the striptease I wanna share with you here is FAR sexier. FAR juicier. FAR edgier. It’s one that will have your heart racing. Your panties wet. Your knees trembling.

Because it’s time for us to bring it back to basics and get spiritually NAKED. We live in “apart”ments. We stare at screens most of the day. The way we eat, shit, talk, walk, dress are all programmed for us by the dominant schema that we are born into. A return to our spiritual essence is a deep call for each of us. One that could possibly change the course of history. Of Mother Nature’s well-being. Our grandchildren’s lives. The health of the ocean. The future of fashion magazines. Of culture. Of REALITY as we perceive it.

This means peeling away, layer by layer, of all the baggage we have inherited. The stories. The conditioning. The things that weigh on us everyday. Stripping this away and getting down to our spiritual essence is part of our individual and collective awakening.

You began taking on your family’s shit in utero. Your mom’s anxiety. Depression. Her busyness. The way her heart sank when your dad didn’t come home til late or just flipped the TV on after work. The pain at seeing her old body slip away. The abuse she endured perhaps. Or her mom’s or her grandma’s. From the moment you were the size of a pea in the womb you began to be clothed in layers. Your spiritual essence began to be shrouded.

When popped out you inherited a specific culture. The pressure to look a certain way, talk a certain way,  dress a certain way. Coats and veils of other people’s ideas and customs and ways of being.

As a teen, this led you to feel confused about your body. Why did it not look the way it was supposed to? People were mean at school. Boys touched you. You weren’t allowed to be gay or queer. So you put on some more layers. You hid yourself. You were too weird. Too much. Too sexy. Too fat. If people didn’t notice you they couldn’t hurt you.

Perhaps there were traumas. Date rape. An eating disorder. Abandonment. Neglect. Health issues. Things that forced you deeper into hiding. Further masked your wild, loving, utterly unique spiritual essence.

And now here you are today—wearing enough layers to survive an antarctic freeze of the soul! True healing? The ultimate liberation? Learning how to peel them back, one by one, until you are bare. Naked. Vulnerable and WHOLE.

Below are my tried and true tips for freeing yourself from those layers and living in alignment with your spiritual essence …

1// Learn to feel your feelings. You may think “Well of course I know how to do that!” But we all have days where we think we’re feeling but are actually THINKING, which prevents us knowing our soul’s truth. To learn to FEEL more, breathe into your belly all day. Stay soft. Pull your car over to cry when you need to. Start sentences with “I feel …” instead of “I think …”  and before you make a decision FEEL into it with all your being. Soon you will start to feel more of YOU.

>>>

2// Begin to hunt for your true essence. Look for it in books, works of art, libraries, operas, films, museums, national parks, oceans, fields, and albums. As you do these things, BREATHE into your heart and FEEL. Did that book make me wanna jump for joy? Scream? Did it feel like a wildfire broke out in your veins? Then THIS my dear that is a KEY to your TRUTH and your ESSENCE! Keep it close.

>>>

3// Speak up when something hurts or doesn’t feel right. This may seem obvious, but it’s the microhurts that betray our soul’s essence. If someone cuts you off in line for the bathroom than say “Excuse me. I’m in line.” If you’re in a class and the teacher says something inappropriate, stand up and say, “Excuse me. That didn’t feel appropriate to me.” This demand for integrity will tell your soul you are SERIOUS about your devotion to yourself. You’ll notice how often these little things happen. You think “Oh whatever. No biggie.” This puts you into complacency and is literally like an ice pack for your JUICY fire. Once you stop you doing it, you’ll begin to feel a POWER beyond words emerge from you.

>>>

4// Dare to pave a new way. Notice how many times a day you do and say things because that’s what others do. Now try something new. If all the other wellness people on Instagram are taking photos with white backgrounds and green plants but it feels more “you” to do it in a vintage car on a deserted highway, then why not? Notice where you follow the status quo out of habit. When you feel afraid to shake it up, look to people who have not followed; Frida. Anais. Albert Einstein. There is a huge payoff for taking a risk that’s aligned with your truth.

>>>

5// Surround yourself with Souls who are unafraid to bare their love and truth to the world. You are who surrounds you. Your community should feel like Butter Love, Fire Love, Honey Love, warm tea, firecrackers in your Soul. When you leave hangouts notice: Do you feel more YOU? More alive? More loved? If not, find the community that does make you feel this way.

**Bonus: Take this a step further with an actual striptease class or simply strip in the mirror with your sexy self. As you remove layers of clothes, imagine that you are removing “Mom’s catholic shame,” “my fear of being too big” or “society’s gender impositions” so that you’re stripping on all levels at once—multitasking your way into your Soul’s Grand Reveal to humanity.  

 

Alexandra offers one-on-one transformational coaching programs globally online, and in NYC and LA. She also is the co-founder of Moon Club where she guides group coaching, leadership training, and mystical moon school.  Find her @alexandraroxo and alexandraroxo.com

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: MANIFESTING SUCCESS WITH CANDLE MAGIC

Would last weekend’s Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat have been so successful without a little candle magic?

With co-presenters Siri Rishi and Sah D’Simone

When I started this platform, I had literally zero idea—or desire—to become an event organizer. And yet when it comes to all things numinous, it’s been proven to me time and again that there is no substitute for real-time, human experiences to bring the magic to life. And so a LOT of what I do now (introverted, bookish, solitary, me), is producing and hosting events. And last weekend’s Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat with Kin Social Tonic was one of the best yet!

It was a tall order. Ambitious. A day-long takeover of new NYC members’ club Habitas, with nine workshops, family-style lunch, a panel discussion on the Future of Alcohol, tarot readers, sound and reiki healing sessions, and a Kundalini Disco to round it all off. And the way things worked out, my SÖDA co-founder Biet Simkin and I also only had 10 days to promote it. But we pulled it off AND THEN SOME.

Over 150 people showed up to celebrate with us. Yes, celebrate—since it was also mine and Biet’s birthday weekend, AND the 2-year anniversary of our first Club SÖDA NYC event. But mainly it was a success because of the feedback we got. Happy faces all day long. Revelations had. Friendships made. “Please can you do another day like this again soon!”

Yes, we had a killer line-up. Had called on some of our favorite and most talented guest presenters and co-hosts. Yes the mocktails from Kin got people just the right kind of buzzed. Yes, people are craving ways to connect and experience joy and transcendence without using booze. AND I called in some extra assistance behind the scenes!

A few weeks back, I received a pair of Conjure Fixed Candles from Haus of Hoodoo (a.k.a. modern mystic Jessyka Winston). When I lit the Crown of Success candle the Thursday before our event, my intention was for this project to bring happiness, healing, and new possibilities to all who come into contact with the Sober Curious movement I am spearheading. Leaving it to burn over the course of the weekend, continually checking in and praying over it, I could feel the candle magic working!

I’ll definitely be using Jessyka’s candles again. Not that I don’t trust my own ability to make magic, or the necessity and the power of my message—but when it comes to stepping up, loud and proud, and sharing my work with the world, introverted, bookish me will take all the help I can get.

Below, Jessyka explains the method and the myth behind her candle magic. And scroll down to the bottom of the post for some pics from our event!

>>>

RUBY WARRINGTON: Where does the concept of fixed candles come from and how did they become part of your practice?
JESSYKA WINSTON: The term “fixed” comes from Southern Conjure/Rootwork/Hoodoo. Other traditions called them “dress” or “anointed.” A candle is “fixed” or “dressed” with oils, herbs, and minerals.

RW: How can you explain how they work?
JW: I consider it a form of alchemy used to manifest a certain outcome or change current conditions. The ingredients added into the candle fixing hold their own spirit energy that is activated by breath and fire. These aren’t just candles you light and leave. There’s a connection, reverence and devotion that comes with this work. We communicate with our candle and pray over it daily. It is a ritual of its very own. The more faith you put into the ritual, the more devotion you give your candles the stronger the connection. Therefore, the more successful the outcome will be.

RW: What does the fixing involve? What spirits are you working with?
JW: I have my own spirits who work with me and bless my work. My ancestors, my guides, angels and, of course my Vodou, since I am initiated in both West African Vodoun and Hiatian Vodou. I work in my shrine room in front of my spirits surrounded by their altars. The spirits in the fixing are nature spirits. The spirit of each individual herb, the spirit in the minerals, the spirits in the oils, which are made of herbs and essential oils, as well as the spirit of fire. All these elements come together to make this work happen. In addition, the candles are blessed with prayer and intention. I pray over my candles and speak to them as I’m fixing them. The connection begins with me and then it is carried out and continued by the client receiving and lighting the candle.

Conjur Fixed Candles, $29, Haus of Hoodoo. Jessyka re-stocks her online store every Saturday at 6pm CST.

RW: Can anybody learn / use candle magic, or is this something you need to be initiated into?
JW: Yes, candle magic is for all! No initiation necessary. Candle magic is something you’ll most likely find in all spiritual practices and traditions. Even in Catholicism. Every traditions does it differently. It is a practice that can be used by all and learned by all who wish to learn about it. But I do believe it is something that can take time to master and perfect.

It’s not as simple as throwing some herbs and oils on a candle. A connection needs to be established between you and your craft. Learning which ingredients go well with each other. Also, which herbs and elements respond to you most. Though I work with hundreds of herbs I have my go-to herbs that I know will always do the trick. Each herb is a spirit and just how we connect with some people’s energies and not with others, same happens in this crafts. There will be herbs, ingredients you connect with more than others. Which is why this craft takes time. There is wisdom to be gained before you can master this work.

RW: When are the best times to use these candles – and what are they NOT for?
JW: My Fixed Candles come with instructions advising on which day of the week and time of the day to light your candle and begin your work. It is always best to be in good energy when doing any ritual or any other spiritual workings. If you aren’t in the best of energy, or are feeling ill it is best to skip lighting your candle until you’re in better spirit.

>>>

Below are some images from our Club SÖDA NYC urban retreat. A success indeed! Sign up for our FREE weekly magazine to be the first to know about upcoming events, and join the Club SÖDA NYC Facebook group to connect with our Sober Curious community. 

Pre-Kundalini Disco warm-up

>>>

Gathering for our plant-based family style brunch

>>>

My SÖDA co-founder Biet Simkin with keynote speaker Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter

>>>

Biet leading a meditation before our panel discussion

>>>

And thanks to amazing Kin Social Tonic for the adaptogenic mocktails!

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 9 STEPS FOR TURNING YOUR SPIRITUAL HOBBY INTO YOUR HUSTLE

Longing to work your mystical magic on more than just nights and weekends? Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shows us how to turn a spiritual hobby into a main hustle, and start sharing our super powers every day …

Lisa Levine at Maha Rose South in Mexico

QUESTION:  “I recently started opening up about my empath side on social media and have been warming up to the idea of pursuing my reiki healing as more than just a hobby. Ultimately, it would be ideal to get paid for my services. But how do I even get started?” 

>>>

LISA LEVINE: You’re in the process of waking up. You’re discovering your spiritual powers. Others are discovering your spiritual powers and gifts. You feel called to share them. Other people are asking for them! taking the leap and working out the best way to go about monetizing this process and transitioning into a full time mystical business can be daunting and confusing.

Read on for my tried-and-trusted 9 steps in turning your spiritual hobby into your main hustle .. 

#1 Make your own path. Your route is unique. Follow your intuition. The answers and the guidance live within you. Don’t worry or model your route after others’—your path is unique and yours only.

>>>

#2 Give a lot! And be open to receiving. The best way to gain confidence in your work is by doing a lot of sessions. I’m talking hundreds. Exchange is important but don’t get stuck on it: give, give, give. When we are starting out, the experience gained is a big part of the exchange. That said, let there be an exchange. Be open to receive! Your clients/friends can make you dinner, take you out for tea, give you feedback—not just “that was amazing,” but ideas about how could it be even better. Allow constructive criticism to be your friend so you can constantly improve the services you are providing.

>>>

#3 Take cues from the Universe. When people start wanting to pay you for your services this is a tip from the Universe that you’re ready to start charging for your work. Accept the money graciously and begin to price out your services. Many practitioners I know have a hard time receiving money in exchange for spiritual work, so find a price that may make you slightly uncomfortable but that you know is right. This is how we up-level. Get comfortable with this discomfort.

>>>

#4 Become your own marketing department. First off, let people know what you are doing. I recommend emailing your friends and family for starters: “I just finished this course in Reiki, crystals, etc. and am ready to begin offering sessions. The first X number of sessions will be offered at a special rate of X.” Get people in the door and onto your table.

Secondly, gather feedback and testimonials. When someone tells you something amazing about their experience with you, ask them if you can share what they’ve said as a testimonial. This is better than gathering testimonials way after the session happened. Even if the client was to say the exact same thing it won’t have the same vibration as when they share with you fresh after the experience.

>>>

#5 Be organized: you are your own manager. Call out your inner Virgo! Gather emails, keep client lists, get on top of session dates and times, and other important information. If you are looking to turn this hobby into a full time hustle, then act like it’s a business even before it IS your business by being organized. Then you won’t have to add the foundation after you’ve already been in business for some time.

lisa levine ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world maha rose spiritual ceo spiritpreneur spiritual hobby
Lisa balances her hustle with flow

#6 Stay in touch, a.k.a. don’t be a stranger to social media. Totally necessary. But keep it fun and keep your unique expression. We are all artists—see social media as a way to create a 4-D picture of your business. Have fun and share from the heart. Don’t let it own you, and don’t obsess over numbers. If it isn’t feeling like a healthy relationship, take a break!

>>>

#7 Get out there LIVE. This is still the best way to meet people and perspective clients. You live is better than you on social media. Call me old fashioned, but I still believe real, live interactions are the best way to form lasting and meaningful relationships—including client relationships.

>>>

#8 Be patient and let it grow organically. Quitting your day job can put too much pressure on your new found hobby/hustle. Like a garden, allow it to grow organically and be patient. It takes time to build our strength and ability to hold space for many people. Feel into how many sessions a week that might look like for you now, and imagine how many people that would be in a year and in five years.

>>>

#9 Have FUN! We have spiritual businesses because we are connected to the Universe and we want to be of service and do good in the world. Let’s imagine a new paradigm of doing business: without stress, powered by the Divine as the motor , and with the Universe as CEO. What if we were just along for the magical ride?Business can be beautiful!

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions.” And make sure to check our her Intro to the Art of Running a Spiritual Business on March 22nd at Maha Rose for some in-person wisdom!

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 8 REASONS TO CHARGE YOUR WORTH

Caught up in feelings of guilt about “for-profit” spirituality? Spiritual CEO, Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine, tells you how to lose your money-making shame and charge your worth …

lisa levine maha rose ask a spiritual ceo the numinous material girl mystical world ruby warrington 8 reasons to charge your worth
Lisa Levine, embracing her worthiness

Q: “I would love advice on making money in a spiritual marketplace. How do you make money when a majority of spiritual people that you know and talk with (aka your audience) are against spirituality-for-profit? Like, what if my audience expects me to do things like tarot readings for free because … well … they’re spiritual in nature.”

Lisa Levine: Why should we charge for our spiritual work? This is a tough one, but totally necessary to confront if we want to fully embrace our calling.

Here are my top reasons for trusting in the value of exchange and getting comfortable with charging your worth  … 

>>>

#1  This is the work that God/Universe/Goddess has called us to do. If it’s a part time, just for fun, thing then yes, let it be a hobby and keep your day job. But, if the Universe is calling, really calling you to do this as your full time, overtime, everyday gig then it’s necessary to be paid for it. Simply for practical reasons. The Universe doesn’t want us to suffer in exchange for doing what we are called here to do.

>>>

#2  It’s all about exchange. If we don’t receive something for our work then there is an imbalance in the Universe. The person who received a reading or session from us will be indebted to us in some way. This is not a good situation to be in. We want freedom and we don’t want anybody to owe us anything! It doesn’t have to be money. It could be an amazing meal, painting your house, watching your dog … get creative. But receive.

>>>

#3  Charging money teaches us how to receive. My first massage teacher, Elaine Marie, told our class, “You’re all going to have to get used to charging money for love.” As healers, we love to give. And it’s much more comfortable, as when we are giving we are also in the position of power. To receive, we actually have to be vulnerable to allow the money, love, meal, house painting in. This can be more challenging. But this is part of our work as spiritual healers, and mastering it we can teach others how to do the same.

>>>

#4  If we don’t receive, we will burn out. Then we can’t do our work in the world. How do we know when we are burnt out? The two biggest signs are that we feel tired and / or angry. If we want to do this work we must learn to receive: financially and energetically. If we don’t allow others to support us, we will get depleted.

lisa levine maha rose ask a spiritual ceo the numinous material girl mystical world ruby warrington 8 reasons to charge your worth
Lisa’s money musings

>>>

#5  People value things they pay for. Especially in the western world. We receive more when we pay more. Sometimes, if we receive something for free we don’t value it. I was seeing an acupuncturist for some time who cost $300 a session. You can be sure I did every piece of homework he gave me and took responsibility for my part in the healing process.

>>>

#6  Money asks us to balance our feminine and masculine. I have found that most men find it a lot easier to charge for their services than most women. The feminine aspect loves to give and love and nurture, so it can feel awkward to charge for something that just flows through us naturally. But the masculine understands the business side of life and work. If you are using your time and skills, you charge for them. Period. Access your masculine business side for the business side of your business. Then, in session, access your feminine flow. We all have both. Let them marry to make a strong spiritual business.

>>>

#7  We want to do this work for a long time. There’s a lot of work to do, and the Universe needs us to be in this for the long haul and for us to be supported in building our career. Look at what stories you may have about needing to struggle or work inordinately hard to achieve success or stability. Rewrite those stories!

>>>

#8 Growing your business is part of your spiritual work. The more you practice your skill (Tarot, Reiki, etc.) the better a practitioner you will be. And through this practice, you will also learn about all the other energetics surrounding spiritual work. There are times when you can give your gifts freely and there are times it is important to charge. Pay attention to your intuition. Most spiritual work requires us to be in business for ourselves, which opens up a whole other Universe of opportunity to grow and evolve. Keep up with your own spiritual work. This will feed you the most, allowing for clarity and and awareness to grow.

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 3 THINGS YOUR SPIRITUAL PASSION PROJECT NEEDS

Go slow, find your community, keep doing the work. Why these are my three top tips for pursuing your spiritual passion project …

Wearing my custom mala by Namaste Neetz. Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

I met Neetz at a book reading event I did at CAP Beauty in NYC’s West Village. She’d read my book, bought it for all her friends (thank you Neetz!), and was excited that I was doing a reading just a couple of streets away from her apartment. When we chatted, we worked out that I’d actually lived opposite her building when I first moved to the city back in 2012. Yo, serendipity!

We met up again as she wanted to tell me about a sideline she’d begun working on creating custom one-of-a-kind malas, in part inspired by Material Girl, Mystical World. The chapter on dharma, in particular, had struck a chord. Pondering her own life purpose, she’d decided to listen to her intuition for once, which had been steering her towards a store selling crystal beads that she passed on her way to work.

Before long, she was creating malas for herself, her husband, her family and friends. Then people at her local yoga studio. There had been beautiful stories of hope and healing. And now she was offering to make one for me.

I’ve never had a mala before. As I’m not a Hindu or a particularly dedicated yogi, I hadn’t thought they were necessarily “for me.” But Neetz described her creations as more like personal talismans, since each and every stone was selected with intention based on a personal, 1-2-1 consultation.

For my mala, she wound up using garnets (for creativity), phrenite (spiritual growth), and smoky quartz (grounding), with a large smoky quartz to anchor it. She even added a beautiful natural ruby! My namesake stone, said to bring passion and prosperity. I’ve worn it ever since, finding it brings me confidence and a feeling of home—especially comforting any time I’m out of my comfort zone.

And while my mala and its story are lovely, and I would definitely suggest you check out Neetz and her work, it’s part of a bigger narrative that’s been unfolding for me.

>>>

When I wrote my book, I had a couple of goals. I saw it as a way to continue my mission of breaking the stigma around all things “woowoo,” and at the same time introduce a wider audience to the tools and practices that had been transforming my life—inside and out—since I launched The Numinous back in 2013.

Writing from the perspective of my personal experiences was the only way I knew how to do this. I also figured this would be a way to demonstrate how tools like astrology and tarot, for example, could not only merge seamlessly with “modern” life—but were perhaps also the VITAL MISSING PART OF THE PUZZLE for so many people who felt disillusioned with a patriarchal, capitalist system, that valued progress over people, and the accumulation of things over the pursuit of true fulfilment.

What I didn’t expect, but which I guess was my subconscious / real reason for writing it, was that so many people would read it and be inspired to embark on similar transformational journeys of their own. But already this year, I have been inundated with people sharing exactly this. Since the book came out in May 2017, I guess it’s taken 9 months or so (funny, that) for my early readers to heed the call, feel the fear, and get on with doing their dharma anyway!

The woman who’s started a spiritual platform for teenage girls. Another who quit her job as a lawyer and is going back to design school in her mid-fifties. The NYC PR maven moving out of fashion and into building the careers of mystics and healers. The readers who’ve been inspired to make similar changes, and who’ve joined Moon Club to feel supported in their missions.

Neetz with her malas

Neetz is one of a long list of Mystical Girls beginning to make moves on the Material World as we know it. Up the matriarchy! Somebody even called it the “Ruby ripple” effect—and if it means my book is in any way helping create a shift to a more emotional, intuitive, and healing-centered economy, then I’ll take it!

By the way, this post is NOT all like, “now you gotta go buy my book.” I’m just saying that if you, too, are feeling the call to pursue your (spiritually aligned) passion project, you’re so not alone. In fact, you are part of what is beginning to feel like a movement. Take comfort in this. We’re all in it together.

>>>

There are also a few key pieces of advice I’ve been dishing out to wannabe matri-preneurs (?!), those busy transitioning passion-led side-hustles into game-changing main-hustles. Based again on my own findings and experience, here are my top 3:

1 // Treat your business like your baby. Meaning, DO NOT make it have to pay your rent right off the bat. Think about it: would you expect your child to start paying their way before you’d nurtured them, educated them, and were confident they were gonna be able to fend for themselves?! A project that’s born of your passion and intuition is a part of you. Allow it to grow and develop in its own time—and think about ways the skills and experience from your old life can support you as you build your new one.

2 // Find your community. This may be a women’s circle, conscious entrepreneurs club, an official coach or mentor, or even just a few close friends who “get it.” But when you’re in the business of breaking old paradigms (personal and societal) you WILL find yourself suffering regular bouts of imposter syndrome / self-doubt, and you WILL need loving cheerleaders and shoulders to cry on. This is one of the reasons Alexandra Roxo and I created Moon Club—which is also a community that give US the support we need.

3 // Keep working on you. The more you align with your purpose, the more conditioning and “other people’s stories” about you and what you “should” be doing with your life, you will likely be confronted with daily. The tools in my book are essentially ALL in service of a) becoming aware this conditioning even exists (its influence can be so subtle!), and b) discovering your personal truths. Truths that are ROCKET FUEL for your passion projects. It might feel like a “luxury” to invest in readings, energy work, and other healing modalities (like getting a custom mala!), especially while you’re in a career transition. But you can always ask friends to do an exchange (see tip #2), and the clearer your channel, the faster you’ll manifest your mission!

>>>

Discover more about Neetz and her malas HERE, get your copy of Material Girl, Mystical World HERE, and learn more about our Moon Club community HERE. Because I love you!

ASK A SPIRITUAL CEO: 5 RULES FOR CONSCIOUS SOCIAL MEDIA USE

Addicted to likes … while practicing non-attachment? In her first “Ask a Spiritual CEO” advice column, Maha Rose founder Lisa Levine shares her top 5 rules for conscious social media use …

lisa levine maha rose ask a spiritual ceo 5 rules for social media ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world
Lisa gets social at Maha Rose. Photo: Annie Forest.

Q: “I know that to grow my business I need to be active on social media, but the more time I spend on Instagram the less connected I am to my deeper spiritual experience of life – which is also vital for my work. How can I reconcile both worlds? Instagram in particular is so addictive! It’s easy to get sucking into living from a place of what to “share” next. I also find myself distracted from my spiritual process by wondering which parts of my own journey will also make a good post, rather than being fully present with it. Help!”

Lisa Levine: Social media is such an amazing tool for small business, incuding independent healers, teachers, and artists. What people are able to grow through connecting in this way is inspiring!

But it can be a double-edged sword. Here are my top 5 rules for navigating the social media wilds while having fun, staying grounded with ourselves and each other, and preserving some of the mystery …

>>>

Rule #1 Use it, Don’t be Used by It. Remember that social media is a tool. As spiritual seekers, our goal is freedom. Attachment to anything is the opposite of freedom.

When you know (or just suspect) you’ve had your fill, get off the screen and meditate, draw, dance, spend time with real live humans. When I find myself overstimulated and overstretched, I slow down, make extra eye contact, and focus on listening. During staff meetings at Maha Rose, we ask that people don’t have their phones open so we can be as present as possible with one another.

lisa levine maha rose ask a spiritual ceo 5 rules for social media ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world
Photo: Annie Forest

>>>

Rule #2: Know Your Triggers. Social media allows us see every aspect of people’s lives, and this information can trigger feelings of jealousy, competition, and feeling less than or left out.

I’m not exempt. If I feel myself getting triggered by things I see in social media, I stop engaging and spend some time with that emotion. I ask myself: where is this coming from, and what do I need to address in myself?

>>>

Rule #3: Let the World Move On. The challenge of having your own business is deciding when and if you clock out. And social media is a 24 hour, 7 day a week medium. If you’re not on it, it keeps moving without you, and this can trigger a feeling of needing to be on it all the time.

Practice letting the social media world move on without you for some hours of the day, or even a day or two out of the week. I take regular hiatuses from social media, whether it’s just to disconnect for the second half of the day, or when I’m hosting a retreat, so I can create a bubble of magic space and healing and preserve that energy.

Notice the difference that break makes in your life. Also, notice if it is hard as hell. Social media addiction is REAL. Soon, there will be support groups helping people to get off social media. It’s designed to be addictive. More breaks!

>>>

Rule #4 Recapture the Magic. Nowadays, we share EVERYTHING! And it feels good to share our revelations, and our “a-ha” moments with others.

But let yourself preserve a little bit of magic and mystery. There are revelations that might just be for you, or to be shared in an intimate setting with people who have signed up fully to receive this information, rather than anyone and everyone who happens to be scrolling by.

I love to share, but I do keep some things out of the spotlight. We generally don’t photograph in our workshops because we want them to feel really super sacred. And there are things in my personal life I don’t share. It’s good to keep a bit of mystery.

lisa levine maha rose ask a spiritual ceo 5 rules for social media ruby warrington the numinous material girl mystical world
Photo: Annie Forest

>>>

Rule #5 Pay Attention to Your Intentions. As healers and teachers, our business is US. What are you using to sell yourself? Your beauty, your sexiness, your children? Is that connected to the work you do? If it is, great. If it’s not, maybe question why you are posting it.

Really ask yourself, with every post, what your intention is. To uplift and inspire? Or something else? Everything has a vibration—even social media. Pay attention to the subtle underlying nuances.

Got a question for Lisa’s monthly “Ask a Spiritual CEO” column? Email [email protected] with the subject line: “Spiritpreneur Questions”

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO REALIGN SEXUALITY AND SPIRITUALITY

Tired of disembodied meditation and higher chakra holiness? Alexandra Roxo tells us it’s time to get down and dirty with our healing, and realign sexuality and spirituality …

sexuality back in spirituality holy fuck holy f*ck alexandra roxo ruby warrington caitlin mitchell the numinous moon club material girl mystical world
Photo by Caitlin Mitchell

How many times have you walked into a yoga class and had the teacher speak to your womb or your balls or your anus?

While you can find cute articles about sacred sexuality, breathing with your partner, and yoni eggs, the nitty gritty WHOLE body is largely left out of the modern spirituality and wellness conversation. And of our healing journeys as a result …

>>>

:: Sacral Shutdown ::
Right now, many of us are caught in a cycle of closing our “lower” chakras (a.k.a. our connection to Mama Earth and the body), as we focus on higher ones. This cycle often looks like:

PHASE 1: Make unconscious choices around sex, the body, and pleasure for a certain period of our lives (i.e. eating unconsciously, using sex for self worth). This phase is often impacted by everything from sexual trauma to eating disorders, which affect our ability to receive joy and pleasure.

PHASE 2: We find comfort as we begin our spiritual paths, manifesting in attempts to “transcend” the body with meditation, mantras, and other external spiritual tools (astrology, tarot etc.)

PHASE 3: Once “woke,” we wonder, why do I still not feel whole? Why am still not able to experience pleasure, and feel JOY on a regular basis?

>>>

:: Returning to the Raw ::
With millions of women coming forward as sexual abuse survivors through #metoo, many of us are more painfully aware than ever that trauma and shame live in the BODY, not just the mind. This means that more than ever, we have to figure out how to include sexual healing and a return to bodily pleasure in our modern spiritual journeys.

But this integration can’t come in a neat and fragrant package; we need to welcome the body and sexuality to the door in all its messiness—raw and bloodied, awkward, weird, and slightly unsettling. Because the conversation around sexual healing IS unsettling. IS raw. IS painful.  

How do we start bridging this gap? I’m not suggesting you start masturbating on the meditation cushion (through you can if you want … I have!) But we do need to get more fearless and more courageous in our conversations about the body, sex, pleasure, and pain, and in the way we heal.

Here are 4 ways to start integrating your sexual story with your spiritual one, right now …

sexuality back in spirituality holy fuck holy f*ck alexandra roxo ruby warrington caitlin mitchell the numinous moon club material girl mystical world
Photo by Caitlin Mitchell

>>>

1// Woo your body back from numbness. If you spend 90% of your time on the computer and the rest in a seated meditation practice, most of your life is disembodied. I prescribe the Sofia Loren/ Italian housewife style of medicine, where you eat and dance and dress and fuck with such joy, that your pleasure begins to heal the Earth—because she’s so happy you’re enjoying her gifts!!  

Practice: Make a Pinterest Board with your fave women who embody RAW pleasure. I love Penelope Cruz in Almodovar’s films, Brigitte Bardot, and Sofia Loren. Eat food as if it’s your LAST meal! Feel how amazing it can taste when you slow down and savor every bite.

>>>

2// Explore. Last month I lead a retreat in Los Angeles that combined Japanese rope bondage and sexual healing (more on that here). And if you follow my work you know I dance with snakes too which awakened my sexy like WHOA.

While ropes and snakes may not be your thing (my Mars is in Scorpio, what can I say), find ways ways that feel safe and good for YOU to reclaim and LOVE your sexy side. Does taking a floor dance class sound fun and healing? Or learning how to make your body an offering to a lover with a sexy lap dance? Get curious! 

Practice: There are conscious kink classes in major cities (Babeland in NYC has rad classes!) I also highly rec reading erotic books, and exploring practices and women integral to this movement like Vanessa Cuccia of Chakrubs, Cycles and Sex, and Kimberly Johnson, aka The Vaginapratcor. 

>>>

3// Talk. Hold an intentional sharing circle for sexual stories, embarrassing stories, and erotic tales. Implement a timed sharing policy with no cross talking so people can share their stories without needing validation, approval, or advice. Or hold a dinner party themed around fun and sexy talk, and draw anonymous questions from a hat.

Practice: Here’s a sexy Moon ritual and an erotic recharge activation that can be used anytime AND done in a group!

>>>

4// Bring your shame and pain to the table. One barrier to embodied healing is compartmentalization. Often, we don’t think it’s possible to feel JOY while also experiencing PAIN. Or you may start an excited conversation about your new crystal dildo but also feel ashamed. Remember, your body knows that it’s possible for multiple feelings to exist at the same time—hold space for all of them, express them, and don’t shoo them away. 

Practice: When navigating shame, I choose my 3 go-to shamanic tools—BREATHE, SOUND, MOVEMENT. Lay on the floor, breathe into your belly like you’re pregnant with air, and make sounds while moving your spine. Breathe the shame, sound it out with a HA, a growl, a moan. Cry in your car. In the tub. And then put on a song and dance!

>>>

Bottom line is, the sexual and body healing that is necessary on this planet in our times is not going to happen from the MIND. 

It will only happen when we begin to integrate and come home to the body. Seek pleasure. Make space for joy. Sensation. Rage. Crying. Screaming. Cumming. As we come back to the body, and release old programming about it being shameful and dirty, we will come home to Mama Earth and her environment, which has been abused for far too long.  

*I am taking on 5 clients from February 2018 to July 2018 for a 6 Month Transformational Healing Experience around sexual healing, expression, and embodiment. It’s going to be a radical return to the body, pleasure, love, sexuality, and healing. For more info, please email [email protected]