WHAT YOUR SIGN NEEDS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING A TATTOO

Thinking about inking up that bare summer skin? Before getting a tattoo, consider the long term implications for your sign, says Ruby WarringtonMain Image: Mohammad Faruque. 

 

Summer in my local ‘hood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is officially tats out season. As the mercury rises and jeans and long sleeves make way for tanks and micro shorts, my streets become a walking, talking gallery of ink.

In fact, if it used to be considered rebellious to get a tattoo, in 2017 the fact that I’ve personally yet to go under the needle (that kind of needle anyway—me and Botox is a whole other story, and one you can read about in my book) feels like the anti-establishment choice!

I considered it for a while there, back when I was 18 or so. White tattoos, that would only show up on my Caucasian skin when I had a tan, were a “thing,” and I liked the idea of a design that would only be visible half the time.

After a few weeks of research, I decided on an ornate crayfish design to wrap around my ankle—and thank Goddess I talked myself out of that one! Having a small mollusk inked on my body for life may have been befitting of my Cancer Moon sign, but it isn’t exactly a look that fits my current MO.

When it comes to making big decisions and implementing change in our lives (yes, getting a tat totally counts), the signs of the zodiac are grouped into three different categories: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Worth considering before you land on the tattoo for you …

*As always, in any matters considering personal appearance read for your rising sign too!

Photo: Matheus Ferrero

:: CARDINAL SIGNS :: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn

Qualities: Trend-setting; bring about change by starting something new; project into the world (feelings, thoughts, ideas); use their will to make things happen.

Tattoo tactics: The urge to get inked may be linked to a big life change, as a way of marking the transition from what was to what could be. If this is the case, then consider what you truly want to bring with you into your new incarnation—and what you’re ready to leave behind. Is there also a way to incorporate an intention for the future into the design?

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:: FIXED SIGNS :: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

Qualities: Make change in order to maintain the status quo (imagine tidying a messy house to bring it back to its original state); security-seeking; needs stability.

Tattoo tactics: For you, a new tattoo could be a way to imprint a cherished memory or state of being onto your body forever. Tats can be a source of comfort for you, a reminder that some things in life are indeed permanent, even when the outside world appears to be in a constant state of flux. Choose a design that triggers this sense of stability and reminds you that your body is your “home.”

Photo: Prabuddha Sharma

:: MUTABLE SIGNS :: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

Qualities: Accept and adapt easily to external changes; move quickly from one thing to the next; willing to change themselves to fit in with their environment.

Tattoo tactics: Two words—“impulse control.” Your signs are the most likely to be talked into getting a tat because all your friends are doing it, or seeing a celebrity style you like … and then finding yourself paying a fortune to have it removed a few years down the line. Give yourself at least two weeks to think things over before you commit, and take extra time to find a design that truly speaks to YOU.

This article originally appeared as part of my Style Goddess column over at Horoscope.com!

MATERIAL GIRL MYSTICAL WORLD: ANA DEE OF THE MOON CULT

Ana Dee is the fierce cult leader at controversial alien outfitters The Moon Cult. She talks girl power, hand tattoos, and stylish self-defense with Ruby Warrington…

Ana Dee, a.k.a. Cult Leader

The Numinous: Why should every girl embrace her inner alien?
Ana Dee: I struggled with searching for a label that fit me in the past, and came to realize I couldn’t pinpoint just one. So to me, being an “alien” means you don’t fit any mold, and our following is a sisterhood that relates to this mentality. At The Moon Cult we take pride in being ourselves and offering clothing to girls who are comfortable in their own alien skin. For some, accepting your differences is a life-long journey—but when you choose to love and accept yourself, it’s much easier to love and accept others.

TN: What’s your definition of girl power?
AD: Girl power to me is the feeling that you can take on this world and everyone in it, while exuding hella confidence. This means no doubts, no fears, and ambitious thinking. The girl power mindset at The Moon Cult means that we won’t take shit from anyone and we won’t take no for an answer. Being young and being a woman is hard enough, but with a ‘lil girl power, you can accomplish anything.

TN: Why do you sell self-defense items? Isn’t that promoting violence?
AD: Our customer wants killer protection to match their killer style, and The Moon Cult offers a huge selection for the tough girls. You can never be too careful and we cherish the opportunity to help prevent any harm on anyone. We make sure that all of our posts and products do not promote violence, and explain in every listing that the weapon’s purpose is to protect, or for decoration. When making a weapons purchase with us are also agreeing to your state laws and our privacy terms.

Ana’s hand tattoo

TN: What’s been the most empowering experience of your life—why?
AD: Getting my hand tattooed was an empowering experience for many reasons. One, I did it for me and no one else. Two, it was to prove to myself that I would never conform to a government job, and would self-manifest my own future.

Knowing well that the tattoo would prevent future employment at many places, it represented that I was successfully running my own business and didn’t have to think about a “plan b” anymore. When you work for yourself, you can wear what you want, dye your hair, have long nails, and most importantly, BE YOURSELF.

TN: What makes you cult leader material?!
AD: I feel that so many girls can relate to my lifestyle, and my experiences, and I try to be as open as possible with the struggle and hardship I’ve faced to show girls that it’s possible to overcome anything and create their own destiny. Particularly due to the vicious and endless cycle of social media judgment I’ve experienced.

I also often feel like the “mom” to most of my friends, even being the youngest of the bunch! I simply want to take care of everyone around me and make others happy. I definitely put others’ happiness before my own, and feel this is part of my purpose on this planet.

We got a look into the mystical world of this badass material girl!

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label: Wildfox

Dress, $161, Wildfox

My shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Loafers, $135, Jeffrey Campbell

My fragrance: YSL Black Opium

YSL Black Opium, $90-$115

My jewels: Swarovski

Cuff, $199, Swarovski

My pampering: A weekly massage

My home: Condo

My food: GMO-free is the way to be!

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening: Yoga, tea, emails

My sign: Scorpio, can’t you tell?

My mantra: “Expect nothing, appreciate everything.”

My healer: Mother Nature

My reading: Art of Seduction: An Indispensible Primer on the Ultimate Form of Power

My transformation: Building a thick skin

My mission: To spread love and inspire others

Shop the collection at TheMoonCult.com

Tie-dye halter onesie, $35, TheMoonCult.com

SKIN DEEP: DO TATTOOS MAKE ME LESS SPIRITUAL?

Calling all spiritual truth seekers: it’s time we cut the judgement and accept all who don’t fit into our preconceived ideas about what spirituality looks like Chris Grosso Artwork: Alessandra De Cristofaro

It’s not only racists, sexists, and homophobes who have closed minds. I find it very interesting to watch just how much some “spiritual” people get bent out of shape over other people who don’t fit their image of what spirituality is supposed to look like.

I have lots of tattoos. I honestly don’t care if you’re tattooed or not; I just happen to like them, and so I get them. As a result of said tattoos, however, I’ve heard comments like: “Anyone who desecrates their bodies couldn’t know the first thing about spirituality, compassion, loving-kindness, or well-being.”

I’m not singling anyone out here, because I’ve caught it from Christians, Buddhists, yogis, nondenominational spiritualists, and more.

But it’s not just those of us with tats who are on the receiving end of this. The stereotypes often carry over to include people whose lifestyle and appearance deviate from what’s traditionally considered “acceptable” as either a spiritual or cultural norm.

This can include dyed hair, piercings, nontraditional attire, and a plethora of other choices that “don’t fit the spiritual mold.” And, sadly, it pretty much goes without saying that to be “different” is to subject yourself to occasional mockery by those who fear the unfamiliar, which is never a good time.

But as happens with every generation, younger people immersed in counterculture are speaking out. Like those who came before us, the 1960s hippies for example, we know our hearts are dedicated to the revolution, to changing humanity for the better – no matter how we choose to present our physical form to the world.

And sure, some of us may look funny to others – but isn’t life’s diversity something to be celebrated rather than scoffed at, especially when the “funny”-looking people are also working hard at making this world a better place?

I’m grateful to no longer feel the need to judge others whose outsides don’t match mine – though it certainly wasn’t always like that for me. Relinquishing superficial judgments is something I’ve worked on diligently. Through years of practice, today I can honestly say that I’ve made sincere progress.

I don’t give a shit about your style of dress or haircut or whatever other external things seemingly make us different. I’m much more interested in what’s happening on the inside—what does your heart have to say?

When my first book, Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spiritualitywas published, I received criticism from some “spiritual” people, based solely on my outer appearance. What surprised me was that some of it occurred when two spiritual teachers I deeply respect, Ram Dass and Tara Brach were kind enough to share the endorsements they’d written for it on their Facebook pages, in support of the book’s release.

Chris Grosso: a.k.a. The Indie Spiritualist

Both Ram Dass’s and Tara’s work have been extremely important in my life, so I was touched that they took the time to spread the word about mine. Their Facebook posts included a picture of me, clearly showing my heavily tattooed arms. In all fairness, the majority of the comments from people were very nice and supportive, but there were still those who felt the need to leave shitty remarks based on nothing more than my appearance.

An example from Tara’s page is: “I’m at a loss on how true wisdom can exist simultaneously with the obsession to tattoo your body. It would seem that seeing through the maya of social conditioning would include seeing the silliness of tattoos, especially many, many, many tattoos.”

If you truly consider yourself to be invested in spirituality for the betterment of all humanity, please take a moment to contemplate whether those who live differently from you or practice differently from you are affecting your life’s well-being – spiritual or otherwise. If they’re not, then why not continue to explore why you care?

I’m offering you these questions from a sincere place, a place where we can attempt to find some reconciliation rather than create more separation.

Accepting one another for exactly who we are as we step foot onto the spiritual path is of paramount importance because—regardless of the differences in our personal tastes, styles, or beliefs—bettering ourselves through conscious, intentional living is always for the greater collective good, which includes all of us.  

Each moment any of us (and I mean any of us) sits in meditation, says a prayer, practices yoga, counts a mala or rosary bead, or takes a mindful breath while skateboarding, hiking, making love, or rocking out at a concert, we truly benefit all beings.

And if your spiritual practice doesn’t help you practice kindness, compassion, and acceptance, and include everyone, then what’s the point?

***

About the Author: Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist (Beyond Words, 2014) andEverything Mind (Sounds True, October 2015). He writes for ORIGIN, Mantra Yoga & Health Magazine, and The Huffington Post, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, and more. A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid-90s. Visit The Indie Spiritualist

THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL: A SKEPTIC MEETS KYLE GRAY

Hipster angel whisperer Kyle Gray is on a mission to shift the perception around our celestial messengers. Will skeptic Lisa Luxx be convinced?

Angels. The first time I heard them spoken about in a serious yet non-religious context was two years ago. A friend carried a white feather around on the handlebars of her bike. She said if you found a white feather on your path it meant an angel was present. And I thought, what good is that?

Then I went to meet Kyle Gray, angel whisperer, and while my heart was open a strong gust of skepticism kept trying to slam it shut. We were at the Hay House conference where it seemed like everyone else definitely knew what angels were. But see the problem is, as much as I dig the vibrations of all these now-age ideologies, angels were always just a bit too wishy-washy and indefinable for my liking. So I was quite surprised by Kyle, once the youngest clairvoyant in the UK and now the hippest angel reader ever.

It’s easy to imagine an angel reader turning up barefoot, beaded from head to toe and floating in an effluvium of loose material and harem pants. But Kyle is mostly made up of tattoos, Vivienne Westwood and a good-natured pout. His soft Scottish accent carries an air of naivety, which acts as a sweet welcome mat into the temple of his experience.

His first successful angel reading was at a family party when he was fifteen years old. He has since become the fourth generation of psychic in his family, not exactly unexpected since his mother was summoned to a psychic night one evening when Kyle was six. “The psychic refused to see anyone until my mum arrived. When she went in, this lady sat her down and told her, ‘By the time your son is seventeen years old he’ll be known nationally for being the same as me.’”

But back to that first reading; “I closed my eyes and heard Destiny’s Child’s Survivor in my head.” Enter another almighty gust of skepticism. But I sit tight…and he continues; “I said, ‘if there is an angel present, thank you for revealing a message to Joe’ and suddenly I heard a voice saying ‘tell this man he is a survivor’. When I opened my eyes there was this great gold light, with black eyes, standing behind Joe…I almost shit myself!”

Kyle recalls how cool it was to discover that following their meeting, Joe went on to overcome a depression that had hitherto led him to five suicide attempts, each of which had failed drastically with an uncanny, almost divine, intervention. It turned Kyle on to the power of angel work; surrendering himself to becoming a messenger between the divine and the human. Although it meant he spent most of his teenage years listening to middle-aged women talking about their affairs, which he reflects was “way too heavy.”

But “Angels are always present,” Kyle explains to me. “Every space you look, there is an angel waiting.” And…jackpot! Without warning, I’m ten-years-old again, the moment I realize talk of angels and the like stopped making sense for me. I’d forgotten it had actually been a choice to stop believing in the “make believe.”

At age ten I was exploring things I wasn’t supposed to, like masturbating and smoking my friend Kayan Chan’s mum’s cigarettes. My grandma, who had raised me, had just passed away and I didn’t understand the distinction between angels and spirits. So ten-year-old me was so nervous that I was being watched by Grandma, I was busy talking myself out of that frequency despite having had what I now recognize as vivid experiences with the spirit world up until then. But now here’s Kyle Gray telling me that when it comes to angels; “its your job to turn up, not theirs.”

Ironically, Kyle explains, “when you work with angels they help you understand who you are, help you return to love and help you get away from the fearful stuff in your life. Angels are like guardians, these beings that forever love you, no matter who you are or what you do.” If I’d know that when I was ten, maybe angels could have helped me explore my grandma’s death in a healthy way, rather than running from it and pretending it didn’t exist (much like the angels themselves).

Kyle has been distracted a few times since we began talking by things happenings around me that I can’t see, but he insists that spirits are more distracting than angels – although angels do like to remind you of their presence. And for the record, if a spirit is a loved one in heaven who’s passed away, an angel, he says, is like a divine entity. “If God was to exist and God was to think, that thought would become an angel.”

So perhaps our angels are more like the thoughts we have. Thoughts that grows wings; our intentions. When Kyle first discovered angel power, he says had a lot of fun writing prayers to them. And though he speaks to angels and often hears a response, his practice still is the sacred act of writing prayers. At first this meant prayers to manifest new cars and free holidays, before he realized he could use angel power for internal growth. “Instead of asking for money to pay my bills, I started to ask how I could share more, how I could be more present. The rest of the stuff started to take care of itself.”

Kyle spent much of his adolescence wondering why he was special enough to see angels; “but when I look back now, it was just about the willingness to see.” We agree that it’s a frequency the majority of us are conditioned out of. I’m starting to get that the important thing about angels is having “the open heartedness to experience without judgment,” as Kyle Gray puts it with a nod.

With that, it’s clear that it was only me doing the judging when I was a kid, not the angels after all.

Angel Prayers Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray with be published by Hay House on October 6. His book,  Angel Prayers: Harnessing the Help of Heaven to Create Miraclesalso on Hay House, is out now.

Lisa Luxx is the editor-in-chief of Prowl Magazine.

@MGCK

@ProwlHouse