THE HIEROPHANT SESSIONS: WHICH TAROT CARD IS YOUR TEACHER?

The Tarot is a powerful tool for intention setting and conscious growth. With The Hierophant Sessions, Melinda Lee Holm shares how to discover which card is your Tarot teacher right now …

We generally consult the Tarot when we have specific questions and seek clear answers.

Yet in the same way that we look to figures like Joan of Arc, Yogananda, Angela Davis, and Harvey Milk as role models, we can also look to the Tarot’s archetypes not just as divination tools to give us information about our lives, but as actual guides for our behavior.

In my own work, I use the cards as practical guides, and encourage my clients to actively work with the deck by meditating on its images, setting altars to archetypes, and consciously cultivating relationships to these symbols through everyday strategies.

I’ve selected my top Tarot “teachers” and techniques for you below. See if you recognize yourself in any of these types and when in doubt, separate the 6 teachers, shuffle, and pull one to discover whose guidance is calling to you right now.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to my Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with me HERE.

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1// Teacher: The Empress. You may need The Empress if you are experiencing: impatience, narrow focus, scarcity mentality, a closed heart. 

Stone: Aventurine
Food: Basil
Scent: Rose
Action: Open

The Empress teaches us that sometimes the best way to get the great love and prosperity we desire in life is to wrench open that bear trap around our little modern hearts, lean back, and let the love flow! There is an element of profound trust inherent in this card, a fundamental knowing that we are loved by the Earth and the Universe and that by simply opening up and loving unconditionally, we can tap into that great well of abundance they promise.

**Activate The Empress by embracing the idea that to give is to receive. Volunteer your time cooking at a shelter, reading to children, caring for animals or the environment, sorting food at the food bank—anything that gets you immersed in that consciousness of the Universal flow. Showing your love for others and backing it up with your time and money is a great way to get into Empress mode! 

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2// Teacher: The Hermit. You may need The Hermit if you are experiencing: stress, feeling overwhelmed, lack of direction.

Stone: Sodalite
Food: Watercress
Scent: Lemon balm
Action: Withdraw

 When it all feels like it’s just too much and you want to run away, it may be time to do just that—with the focused guidance of The Hermit. While in common usage we use the word “hermit” as a synonym for “recluse,” in the Tarot the figure is a wizened sage who seeks solitude in order to gather more wisdom. The seclusion he seeks is not motivated by desire to hide, but rather to cut out the noise to better focus on gathering the knowledge he needs to best serve not only his own personal development, but the needs of the broader community.

**Activate The Hermit by thriving in the cycle of intake and reflection. Try reading a great book on a topic near and dear to your Self and take time to journal for at least 30 minutes after reading each chapter. Solo trips into nature are a great Hermit activity as well—if you can’t make a trek into the mountains, sit alone under a tree in a park for a few hours. It’s a great time to read that book!

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3// Teacher: Strength. You may need Strength if you are experiencing: isolation, fatigue, weariness, feelings of resentment. 

Stone: Ruby
Food: Thyme
Scent: Ginger
Action: Embrace

This card teaches us that true strength comes through co-creation and collaboration with the world around us, and through knowing our strengths and our weaknesses and embracing both. So much in our society pulls us apart and encourages us to see our fellow humans as competitors or even adversaries. Strength counters this messaging and reminds us that we are all children of the Earth and the Cosmos, and that when we embrace each other and our home we can achieve the greatest results. Only through vulnerability can we fortify ourselves to accomplish our greatest goals.

**Activate Strength by seeing the results of co-creation appear before your very eyes. Complete a project with someone close to you—this could be a household project with your partner or a creative project with a friend, anything where you are working in tandem with someone else and there is a clear concrete goal you can see completed. Repeat as needed!

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4// Teacher: The High Priestess. You may need The High Priestess if you are experiencing: disconnection from self, lack of confidence, feelings of being unworthy, imposter syndrome. 

Stone: Moonstone
Food: Pomegranate
Scent: Lilac
Action: Reflect

The High Priestess calls us to fully explore the depths and dark corners of our souls. Just as the Moon shows itself by reflecting the light of the Sun, the High Priestess teaches us to look for clues about our true natures by looking at our reflections all around us. All of this inner exploration is made possible by her dedication to maintaining strong boundaries around her temple (nuns may be our closest living embodiment of High Priestess energy). From her, we can learn how important it is to enforce and maintain strong boundaries around a space we designate as sacred in our lives.

**Activate The High Priestess by designating and consecrating your temple. Your studio, office, bedroom, even a little corner of your living room that is just yours. Choose a space, clear it (physically and energetically), and then very selectively populate it with items that reflect you as you aspire to be and be seen.

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5// Teacher: Death. You may need Death if you are experiencing: scattered thinking, lack of productivity, obsessive thoughts about the past, inability to form new relationships. 

Stone: Black Tourmaline
Food: Sesame
Scent: Lavender
Action: Release

When we try to hold onto ideas, patterns, and even relationships that have passed their usefulness to our well-being, it can manifest in a confusing series of seemingly unexplainable setbacks and energetic blockages. As the confusion sets it, we tend to clamp down ever harder, afraid to lose the ground we’ve worked so hard to gain, and further exacerbating the problem. The magic and wisdom of the Death card shows us that loosening the grip and allowing release is the surest way to make more room for new growth to emerge.

**Activate Death by leaning into the wisdom of letting go. Start with donating clothes you no longer need. The act of purging material posessions has a profound effect on the emotional and energetic bodies that can lead to greater ease in releasing emotional patterns and psychic loops.

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6// Teacher: The Hierophant. You may need The Hierophant if you are experiencing: lack of meaning, directionlessness, strained connection to the Divine, difficulty finding your path. 

Stone: Herkimer Diamond Quartz
Food: Sage
Scent: Frankincense
Action: Transmit/Receive

While all of the cards offer wisdom and guidance of their own, The Hierophant stands apart as the one figure completely dedicated to downloading Divine teachings and disseminating that information for the benefit of others. If you’re feeling lost, calling on The Hierophant can be a powerful force to help you find the direction you need. Working with this card in manifestation practice can even bring in the teacher or mentor you need to get going on your path and achieve your goals – as long as those goals are aligned with your spiritual purpose!

**Activate The Hierophant by quite literally finding your gurus. Read spiritual texts, go to group meditations, go on a retreat if you can swing it—just get around as many people and ideas as you possibly can that are inspirational and aspirational to YOU. And be ready for the surprise twist where you actually end up being the guru someone else was looking for! We all have wisdom to offer the world.

*Want to learn more about the Tarot as a practical guidance tool? Listen to Melinda’s Hierophant Sessions podcast every Wednesday (preview episode up now!) and book a session with her HERE.

THE NUMEROLGY OF 8/8

Felicia Bender explains how to use the powerful numerology of 8/8 to bring about your greatest manifestations…

A day to channel your inner Daenerys

Question: What could possibly be more exciting than Leo season?

Answer: Leo season and the magical manifestation energy of the number 8!

In Numerology, the number 8 brings energy related to manifestation in the material world. It’s all about money, power, and achievement. And don’t misread the 8 as relating to “money only.” This energy is all about personal empowerment, since we really can’t fully manifest in the material world without a strong sense of self—and a consistent ability to be resilient, ethical, and hard-working.

Still, the numerology of 8/8 offers a strong vortex of manifestation energy that’s there for the taking. This is a powerful day to take a long-term view of your goals. Are you happy with your financial situation? If so, keep doing that. If not-so-much, then using this day to sit down and take a deep look at where you are, how you got there, and perhaps where you want to be instead, is mandatory.

And as a passing thought en route to the grocery store won’t cut it. This requires some concerted soul-searching and a bit’o long-term planning. Because the energy of the 8 isn’t “light.” It’s not particularly easy-breezy or “lucky.” Rather, the 8 brings ideas and desires into the material world ONLY when there is a solid focus, a plan, organization, and some elbow grease.

And when the going gets tough, the 8 gets going!

This month, the double 8 of 8/8 is a platform from which to launch our practical dreams, whether it’s a desire for a healthy and passionate relationship, a new job or career more suited to our talents, and that offers more money. This isn’t about fly-by-night endeavors. So make a plan. Tap a more business-like attitude. And most importantly, take yourself seriously!

This may cause some real “OMG I’m just not good enough” feelings to bubble to the surface. Don’t avoid them—we actually benefit when we take a look at our perceived weaknesses. We get to investigate where they originated and get serious about how we can get past self-sabotage and into our empowerment. You are the embodiment of the Divine, hear you roar!

So get ready to rumble and take advantage of this powerful opportunity to launch your “what’s next” plan of action. Take the high road and don’t succumb to defeatism, victimization, or any other negative “ism.” The 8 amplifies all that we think about and act upon, so step up and make it count.

IS MEDITATION DANGEROUS FOR MANIC DEPRESSIVES?

Following an experience that took her to the edge, Lisa Luxx asks is meditation dangerous for the more sensitive minds among us?

Some of us are so highly connected to the rhythms of the Moon, that much like the tide we are dragged by some greater force into depth and darkness. One would have thought the way back toward the surface would be through meditation; the New Age answer to everything. I certainly thought so—surely it will balance me back out and return me to my moorings. Until one prolonged Samantha mediation class led me to the lip of suicide.

Silence is best taken in tiny sips when the mind has a tendency for self-destruction. I know this after I glugged on a big cup of the stuff and wound up choking. What happened was, the class leader was taking us through a guided meditation; only at a certain point, I was instructed to stop following their guidance and continue with my own practice for the remainder of the class.

So now there’s me, free-falling. Surrounded by all these people in woven clothes, with clear eyes and a softness about their jaw. And me, whimpering in pain, crying abundantly, unable to make eye contact or speak, playing out my own death forwards and backwards in my head until I now how to execute it perfectly.

I survived thanks to a very sensitive friend who was in the class too and saw it all happen. Once I’d come ’round I spoke to another friend, also bestowed the gift of ‘manic depression’—and she told me that her teacher at the East London Buddhist Centre advised she only take half hour classes because of the uncertainty that lay in opening up. My quasi-spiritual therapist wasn’t surprised either; “you have to be so careful with meditation,” she told me, explaining how dangerous it can be to create space for unwelcome thoughts to take hold.

My experience was overwhelming. Depression has been sucking on me ever since I remember, but I’ve never felt such a sudden rush of pain as I did that day. It was a tidal wave. A brute force. The most certain and determined I’ve ever felt about wanting to pass through to the other side of living. During the time it took for the episode to play out, I existed within the visions of death, rather than the visions of death existing within me.

Ever since the experience I’ve been wary about meditating again. I’ve got myself in a really good, balanced place now but I daren’t allow space for that darkness to re-enter and consume me again. My pal won’t always be on hand to pull me back in from the ledge. I see now that this resistance is my psyche trying to protect me. But when I speak to Sumaya Fenton, my friend who is a practitioner of Rinzai Zen, she tells me: “The psyche trying to protect you is based on fear and ego. Any emotion you had was only temporary.”

She goes on to explain that sometimes these knock backs happen before a great break through. But I haven’t felt safe blindly continuing with the same practices I felt had almost killed me. However, each person walks their own path to enlightenment (in as many life times as it takes), and perhaps my pathway is going to start to look a little different.

A walking meditation. Photo by Olivia Sykes

“Wherever you’re at you’re still on a path. In Zen they talk about the ten stages of insight—the road map to enlightenment—and around stage four people have this experience of a big fear, or something that really knocks them back, but you carry on and focus less on the significance and meaning of that experience and more on the physicality of meditation,” says Sumaya.

For me, meditation right now cannot be about sitting in silence—but it can be about movement, like walking meditation, or other physical manifestations. Paying attention to each part of my foot in turn as it makes contact with the earth. Focusing on my breath and other practices that put the awareness in my body: “[in these practices] your mind is still opening up and expanding but you’re not watching your mind so consciously and fearfully.”

I also sit across from the Yorkshire moors, where my house is nestled, and interpret the patterns of the Sun/Moon-light across the hills mirroring my emotions. Finding synchronicity between my internal process and the greater external process. Which also works to remind me that my ups and downs are simply localized versions of the master rhythms of this universe.

Yoga helps. And I’ve also taken up life-drawing. You learn something about yourself from the way you depict another body. These have become my ways of getting mindful and finding peace within the almighty Oneness. Though I still often feel like I’m free-falling.

Sumaya says that the pressure in the West to do everything ourselves is what’s making for unsafe meditation practices. “Having a teacher is paramount. Pretty much as important as daily practice. The problem is systemic, Western capitalism only provides this culture of sticking plasters rather than giving the proper context of how and why to tread this path—which often comes from a long-term relationship with a teacher.”

It feels to me like in our society, this ‘one size fits all’ take on meditation is proving to sit a little baggy or tight on many of us. For the more sensitive minds among us, giving time to developing a relationship with a trusted teacher would also mean rooting ourselves in connectivity, by allowing our journey to be directed by the wisdom of another.

East London Buddhist Centre run Breathing Space, a course developed for people with depression, anxiety or other imbalances (‘gifts,’ as I like to call them). The course involves more personal attention from the teacher, more support. But even within their standard classes they aim to relate to people on a personal basis.

“Faith in humankind is what we need the most” says Sumaya. And if our practice begins with trusting another human being then we starting off in the arms of safety, which is ultimately what saved me. And why I’m ready to continue on my path.

If you’re concerned about whether meditation is right for you, then please consult with a medical professional.

THE NUMEROLOGY OF 7/7

The number seven is the seer, the thinker, and the seeker of truth. Felicia Bender explains how to use the numerology of 7/7 to renew your trust in the Universe…Collage: Bethany Harper Walsh

Lucky number 7?

The numerology of 7/7 means the energy open for us today is indeed lucky. And yet more than this, it represents an open door to spiritual insight—and also a moment to contemplate the ways in which you place faith and trust in ourselves and in a “higher power.”

Ask yourself: do I anxiously push for things to? And if they don’t work out the way I think they should, do I find myself plummeting down a rabbit hole of despair, frustration, or cynicism?

Or am I willing slow down enough to listen to my intuitive voice, even when the direction it’s steering me might make no sense whatsoever? Or when it doesn’t give me the answer I think I want?

Well, the numerology of 7/7/ says today is the day to open up, to slow down, and to trust. To trust yourself and to trust that the Universe actually is on your side, even if it doesn’t quite feel like it. And if you feel like you’re already in this flow, then keep speeding down that open road!

It’s also the day to declare some gratitude. To be a little bit vulnerable. To analyze data and situations, and yet balance this with your heart and intuition. The energy of the number 7 supports analysis, research, questioning…and intuition.

In order to optimize the numerology of 7/7, allow yourself some time to get unplugged. To get outdoors. To meditate. To write. To read. To study. And to slow down enough to notice the magic of the Universe as it is revealed in even the smallest of synchronicities.

Yep, you get a free pass to go about contemplating your own navel today. And as you’ll discover, you can get some profound insights about yourself when you simply invite the voice of your higher self in—and are open to receiving the information.

SENSITIVE SOUL: WORK WITH A CANCER MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Cancer Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents the inner subconscious world that we usually only share with those we love and trust. It can show us our needs and how we care for others—and as such, our Moon sign (where the Moon falls in our birth chart) shows the style in which we express this softer side.

Work out your Moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

The inner world of the Cancer Moon sign is a gentle, vulnerable and emotional landscape. The Moon rules the sign of Cancer so she feels quite at home in this sign making it easy to fully express her archetypal nature. When we think of the crab itself (the symbol for Cancer), we see the hard protective shell on the outside but know there is nothing but softness on the inside. A small being that carries its sanctuary on its back so it can feel at home wherever it goes.

These themes symbolize the Cancer Moon sign. You can put on a brave face, but deep down you feel EVERYTHING. You usually cry easily and really experience the emotions of any particular situation or environment you happen to be in. This Moon is very in tune with its intuition, thoughts and feelings—so much so you sometimes forget that not everything is always about you. Being sensitive is great, until it isn’t and you become resentful and hide away in your shell. There is a fine balance to be found with the Cancer Moon sign.

Taking care of others usually makes you quite happy, but when it goes unappreciated or the care isn’t returned you can get quite hurt. And so Cancer Moons are often working on expressing their needs. Working on being vocal about this is really important, as you can get so lost in taking care of others that you end up with the short end of the stick.

Fear of getting hurt is very real for you for you, mainly since being hurt in love, for example, you may feel it more deeply than others. Honestly, unless you live under a rock, you will be familiar with this pain and what it can do to you. So this is a genuine fear, but not one that should stop you from receiving love.

Often times the Cancer Moon sign is associated with the mother, and rightfully so—since both Cancer and the Moon represent this energy. But not every Cancer Moon sign wants to be a parent. The mother archetype is actually about nurturing and caring for others, offering tender love and support, and this can be applied to anything in life. Your career, your pets, your friends, your home or your hobbies. You can channel this inner need to love into anything and it will be fulfilling, just as long as you let others love you back so there is a sense of balance in your life.

Below are some suggestion to connect more to your sweet Cancer Moon sign, and make the most of its intuitive expression…

:: ACTIVE LISTENING ::
The Cancer Moon sign has a tendency to feel first when engaging with others. This can go badly if you what you intuitively pick up about someone is incorrect, which can shape the relationship in the wrong direction. You can get your feelings hurt because you feel you know what they “really meant.” But assumption is really dangerous, since it can lead to un-founded resentment which can turn into distance.

This can be easily avoided if you work on listening to what they are actually saying, rather than simply feeling into their energy. If assumption-based feelings occur take the time to ask questions to gain further insight. Use your nurturing nature to engage in a more open conversation. This way you aren’t incorrectly just reading (or rather feeling) between the lines.

:: SANCTUARY ::
All Cancer Moon signs need a place to retreat. They need a space to feel safe and secure where they can let all of their emotions out without judgement. This doesn’t need to be an entire home or apartment either. It could be one room, or even a space within a room. Maybe a meditation pillow with a small altar if this practice speaks to you.

It could also be a certain location, such as your favorite park or beach. For some it could be a place from your childhood. The Cancer Moon sign can be very nostalgic so places that awaken happy memories really warm your heart.

:: NURTURE ::
Find something to nurture in your life that isn’t another person. The need to express care is innate, but you can get burned out if this means attracting energy vampires. Needy people love the sweet lunar crab, for you will always try to help solve the problems they should be dealing with on their own. And so learn to be selective.

Finding a hobby that will reward your nurturing with feelings of worth and accomplishment is such a good idea. Think gardening, or cooking, working with animals, or becoming a beekeeper. What do you want to be good at that requires time, nurturance and patience? Find something that makes your heart feel good and you will bring some emotional balance back into your life.

:: INTUITIVE PROTECTION ::
Being that you are such an intuitive, maybe even psychically gifted person, you need to work on protecting your energy. Otherwise it’s likely people will energetically take from you until you are totally drained. This can make you feel vulnerable in an unhealthy way.

Begin by taking time each morning to visualize yourself being cleansed by white healing light. Just a simple shower before (or even during!) your regular shower. Then imagine a bubble of light surrounding you, which people can only enter into when invited by you. It can be any color that you love.

These are your mental and energetic guards for the day ahead. You could also burn some sage in your space before your start your day or make a healing spray with essential oils to mist yourself with. Anything that  creates an energetic boundary between you and the world will help.

Also, be present to when you feel depleted. What was going on? Who were you around? Sometimes the best defense is creating literal space between you and the people or situations that take advantage of you.

Above all, may you find comfort in your innate ability to be vulnerable—and use it to show others the strength in letting down our guard in a world that needs it more than ever before.

CURIOUS COMMUNICATOR: WORK WITH A GEMINI MOON SIGN

Tips and practices to help understand and work with your Gemini Moon sign from Ash Bonelli. Artwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

The Moon represents what we need in life to feel safe, secure, and how we need to be nurtured, and understanding your Moon’s requirements can help you connect deeper to your more private self. When you have a bad day or are just feeling “off” you want to tap into your Moon. She is the cosmic mother and learning more about the sign where she sits in your birth chart, can reveal so much about your internal landscape.

Work out your Moon sign, when you do you chart for free here.

The Gemini Moon sign is forever curious. She wants to learn about anything and everything. This Moon loves to engage and communicate, since Gemini is a mutable air sign that needs mental stimulation and variety. When things become stagnant the restless demons set in—and so keeping things moving in life is key.

Depending on the rest of your chart, these behaviors/tendencies may express in a need to always have light and breezy conversations. You enjoy gathering data, processing it and then moving on to the next interesting person, subject or experience. This flitting about keeps things upbeat and interesting yet can have a downside.

The Gemini Moon sign is learning to also go deep. It’s about finding some balance between superficial experiences and really getting to know yourself and others on a more intimate level. Because of this Moon’s voracious appetite for new information, you can come across fickle or insincere if this expression is out of balance.

This analytical moon usually symbolizes a gifted speaker, writer or teacher. Since you are always gathering information you put it to good use by sharing it with others, and this exchange of thoughts, ideas and insights can be quite soothing for you. The give and take is the thrill that propels you forward to find more.

This is a delightful quality that makes you fun to chat with, as well as being able to turn a negative emotional situation into a happier one. The Gemini Moon sign is clever and witty, so having an innate emotional tie to these abilities can bring true fulfillment through expression.

Just make sure to keep the input and output in check or you will never be able to get to your deeper self. There can be an avoidance of darker undercurrents if you don’t allow yourself time to really feel your feelings, which may mean missing out on the beauty of vulnerability.

Below are some suggestions to bring some balance back to your energetic moon as well as ways to emphasize it. These are meant to empower and bolster your emotional wellbeing to be at your best!

:: FOCUS ::
Zero in on a project that you have to stay committed to—anything that will require you to stick to it long enough to actually become proficient at it. Since Gemini is placed in the linguistic camp you could learn a new language. Mercury being Gemini’s ruler is associated with dexterity so you could learn to play an instrument. The other benefit of this for you emotionally, is that once you’ve mastered this new interest you then get to share it, creates a beautiful cyclical effect for your heart, and your Gemini Moon sign.

:: BREATHWORK ::
Learning to control your responses in more hectic situations could be very healing—and one way is with the simple art of breathing. Try practicing the 2:1 ratio breath, in which increasing the length of your exhalation helps to relax your parasympathetic nervous system. Start by breathing through the nose in your natural way without counting. Then after a few rounds begin to breath in for a count of two, and exhaling for four. Work your way up to deeper breaths from there, and try doing 10 rounds the next time you begin feeling the frazzled.

:: MINDFULNESS ::
In the simplest terms, this simply means being aware and in the present moment without judgement—actually quite hard, since the Gemini Moon sign is often stuck between wondering what the future holds and dwelling on the past. Finding a meditation practice that works for you is key, and if sitting still is just too much for you try doing a walking meditation, which will burn up any restlessness through mindful movement. You could also try Qi Gong—which covers practices from the gentle Tai Chi to the more fierce option, Kung Fu. Potentially a healing double whammy, helping you to focus and be more in the moment while still satisfying the need to learn and grow.

HOLY F*CK: HOW TO FIND YOUR EDGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:: 5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR EDGE ::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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