HOLY F*CK: STYLE YOUR CROWN CHAKRA WITH A HAIR SHAMAN

The higher the hair the closer to Goddess! Alexandra Roxo chats with hair shaman Andi Scarbrough about gem combs, crown chakras, and beauty work as ministry.

 

“Your hair becomes an offering to spirit to catalyze the internal change”- Andi Scarbrough 

Hair identity is a HUGE part of our self-expression, especially for women. Our hair reflects our cultural and ethnic background, the subcultures we are a part of, and even our spiritual and political beliefs. Hair has both been part of sacred and ancient rituals, and has been used to repress and humiliate women. Through all of it, our locks have held incredible power.

But like most things sacred , hair rituals have been commodified. We see a Super Cuts on every corner and the mass homogenization of hairstyles that’s been dictated by celebrity and popular culture more than anything.

So what about reclaiming HAIR as another sacred as hell space for ritual, transformation, ceremony, tribe, and lineage? Stylist and hair magic maker Andi Scarborough is doing just that!

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I’ll admit, I was nervous (aka panicked) about letting someone cut my hair. But when I arrived at Andi’s salon, she scooped me into her chair with a quieting presence. As she began to run a rose quartz comb through my frizzed out mop, I felt myself loosen. I realized just how tight the control I had around my hair was.

As she gently asked me a few questions, I found myself revealing my whole “hair story” to her. I shared all the times I was ridiculed and the shame I still carried. All the times I had tried to tame this hair and the point when I started making my hair red.

As she counseled and intuited my hair story and my hair needs, the tears began to flow. As she snipped, she reminded me of all the old Loves, the stories, the pain, everything that was releasing with the hair falling to the ground.

I cried for the rest of the day. I was shedding. I let myself shed the old layers. I let myself release.

Post cut, I sat down with Andi to hear more about her work … 

Rose Quartz Gemcomb- to purchase your own contact [email protected]

Alexandra: How do you describe your work?

Andi: Women’s Health just quoted me saying “I believe this work is a sort of ministry.” Part of me still thinks this is hysterical! I had an experience when I was a little girl where a woman faith healer came to the church and told me that I would go into ministry. Then, I promptly left the church.

It’s funny to me how your purpose finds a way through you, no matter what you try to do instead. Your ministry is the vehicle that you use to deliver your message and in that sense, mine is a beauty ministry.

My work is about clearing out the shrapnel from the crown chakra. That clearing allows you access to the divine wisdom you already have. You don’t need a guru. You don’t need any of that. It’s about remembering the god source within.

Alexandra: That’s beautiful. I love that.

Andi: This is the part where I do feel like it becomes more of a ministry, rather than energy work.

Alexandra: After your work clears the crown chakra, how does it help align people with their soul curriculum?

Andi: I was talking with a client recently about her curly hair. She was telling me how she straightens her hair because she wants it to be more manageable. So, I asked her “What part of you feels like you’re hard to manage?”

It’s interesting because the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. The way you choose your hair color or your hair texture are all echoes of the stories that are already in place. We’re only choosing what we think is available to us.

Alexandra: I can talk about my hair without it being emotional, but the actual physicalizing of the experience brought things up that were very emotional. When you were doing my hair, I felt safe enough to share my hair stories and history- it felt like a ritual and like a therapy session.

Andi: Like ceremony. We do our hair so that we can be seen the way we think we need to be seen, and it’s the piece that we correct externally. It’s like makeup over a blemish. Rather than clearing out whatever the clog is, we wanna just sort of gloss it over and cover it up and make it look sort of nice from far away.

But our hair is actually a time capsule. You’re literally carrying around a diary of every experience, every hormone flux, everything you’ve eaten, everything you’ve not eaten, every time you were sick. It’s all physically there with you.

Alexandra:  Wow, yeah. I never thought about it quite like that.

Andi:  That’s why you get haircuts when you have big life stuff happening, or you want big life stuff to happen.

Cross culturally, the hair symbolizes so much. Whether it’s the Native Americans wearing their hair long and braided to ground them back into Mother Earth, or not cutting your hair in Kundalini so that you have a longer antennae to spirit, or in the way it’s cut in some Tibetan rituals and Hindu rituals. It’s a sacrifice. One of my favorite examples of this ritualistic aspect is when girls go to college. Often, they’ll sacrifice that high school long hair as they step into womanhood.

Your hair becomes an offering to spirit to catalyze the internal change, or to let spirit know how serious you are about the internal change.

Hair Shaman Andi Scarbrough

For appointments with Andi in LA, please call 310-751-4484 or email  [email protected]. Due to the sensitive nature of this service, online booking is not available. More information and service pricing is available at www.andiscarbrough.com. And be sure to follow @crown_works for hair rituals, treatments, and processes!

SPIRITUAL SHROOMING: MY UNLIKELY AWAKENING

Strung out on repressed feelings, a health crisis and mental break became an unexpected awakening for Meg Hartley, care of some spiritual shrooming…

“During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself”—Meg Hartley 

When I was 19, I wasn’t in a good place. I had lost my mother to suicide four years prior, and my once-successful “smashing down” of feelings had relentlessly resurfaced into every part of my consciousness.

I usually avoided the pain by staying busy all day, then intoxicated into the evening via copious amounts of marijuana or whatever else was floating around the dorms: ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and lots and lots of cheap alcohol.

But late at night, when I’d try my hardest to sleep and fail miserably, I couldn’t hide from the pain. I had taken to scratching at my skin until it bled because it hurt less than the storm that wailed inside. It was like there was so much unprocessed pain my mind didn’t know where to start. Agonizing thoughts just whipped around in my head, out of control and going nowhere.

I’d soon learn about meditation and mindfulness, which gave me a life raft to embrace during these times. But before then, I’d go home to Alaska for summer break and have a four-day experience a psychologist called a “mental break” and a philosophy teacher called “a preview to awakening.”

But to me, it simply felt like a very long dream that showed me true happiness was a real possibility … even for me, which seemed impossible at the time. This set the scene for my subsequent spiritual exploration and gave me a reason to commit to my emotional healing.

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The year was 2002. My first year of philosophy classes in college had finally given form and texture to vague spiritual ideas I’d always had intuitive knowings about. The ideas that this life is an illusion, that humanity is currently experiencing a shift in consciousness, and that we’re each here to learn specific things, were presented by different religions and philosophers from all over the world.

This deja vu sense of remembering (that my teacher said was normal, but which sure felt like magic to me!) combined with all the partying left me ungrounded, spacey, and generally disinterested in “mundane” everyday life. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I also had a B12 deficiency that was hitting mental health symptom levels. In addition to this, there was a cyst growing on my pineal gland, which is known to augment spiritual experiences.

And so, not yet privy to the drawbacks of being ungrounded, and unaware of this explosive combination brewing in my brain, I celebrated my return home by eating yet more ‘shrooms with a dear friend.

The experience of taking psilocybin is different for everyone, but in my experimental days it was something that I regarded with reverence––like a really fun church. During every trip, the idea of “God” or a benevolent bigger something, seemed obvious and present to me. There was silliness and hilarity, but also times where I would leave my friends to go sit with my favorite tree for hours, my head filled with streaming thoughts that were ontological in nature- the answers to all of life’s big questions, more ideas I’d later study in ancient texts.

And this time, for four days after the mushroom trip ought to have ended, my thoughts remained consistently in the ontological realm––a far cry from my daily headscape at the time, which was mostly centered around losing my v-card and being “too fat.” 

In stark contrast, everything I encountered had meaning on top of meaning, and life felt so beautiful that I cried happy tears. From the inside, the experience felt like a blissful and meditative state where therapeutic dreams met real life. Colors became more vibrant as I released dark twisted pains from deep within like a long and satisfying belch.

Meg with a handmade lithograph about her experience

Of course, it’s not “normal” to weep from joy at the sight of a mountain that’s there every damn day, or to stare at everyday items babbling about “the language of the Universe” and “signs.”

Everyone in my world thought I had lost my marbles. When I finally noticed this reaction in others, I very suddenly snapped out of it, shocked at their concern and upset about making an ass of myself. That clouded my vision of the experience, as social acceptance was the form of surrender I was most familiar with at the time. But I now look back on it as being as helpful as it was hugely bizarre: the juice was totally worth the squeeze (it can be freeing sometimes to have people think you’re a little nuts, anyhoo!) 

I was immediately changed, and the depression didn’t return for many years (not until my B12 levels hit a fantastic new low and a whole new set of challenges revealed themselves). It was like I had been dusted from the inside out, I felt clear and centered in a way that I had never experienced. I carried on with the drug experimentation for a couple more years and nothing like that happened again- something that brought both great relief and a fleeting sense of disappointment.

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During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself.

And that connection––and many times just the memory of that connection—brought a cherished light into the darkest nights of my soul. It also provided the motivation for my subsequent spiritual and emotional journeys: remembering that mental landscape, and knowing that if I stayed on the spiritual path then that sense of peace and connectedness would eventually feel like home.

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Meg Hartley is an Alaskan artist and writer happily replanted in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon. She loves really great trees, cashew ice “cream”, mysticism, and is totally obsessed with mindfulness. Her new book is called How I Lost All My Fucksa one-month experience that will have you losing all yours! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

A COSMIC PORTAL: THE NUMEROLOGY OF 999

The numerology of 999 is a powerful invitation to let go and move forward in our journey, says Felicia Bender. Artwork: Victor Moatti 

999

Ah, sweet surrender.

September 9, 2016 breaks down to 9-9-9 (since “2016” = 2+0+1+6 = 9, making this a Universal 9 Year). The code is a message and also an energetic reality.

This day opens us to surrender on the highest realm. It is the end of a concerted struggle and a transition into wisdom or even a sense of rebirth.

Think about what has constituted your biggest or most consistent struggle—either in the past year, or even throughout your life. This is the time to put this issue (or issues) to center stage and into the spotlight. Now is the time to make some deep changes.

In Numerology, the number 9 is sacred and offers all of the lessons related to all the numbers 1-8. It challenges us to take the lead and embrace independence (1), to love and serve the needs of everyone (2), to express emotions in a healthy way and to be creative (3), to work hard and create stability (4), to use freedom constructively and have fun (5), to nurture and create a home (6), to live with a spiritual base and also ask questions (7), and to empower ourselves and to manifest in the material world (8).

The numerology of 999, day where there is a TRIPLE serving of 9 energy, it opens us—whether we “like” it or not—to our truth, in ways that we have been both searching for and avoiding. While we can say we want enlightenment, we often romanticize it, when the actuality is that enlightenment a painful process. It is a constant stripping away and revealing of Truth and also shines a light on how we must participate in creating what we want in the world.

There is true beauty in the transition opening on this special day. And given we also have two eclipses in September—which themselves are known to accelerate change in a big way—the numerology of 999 in this particular year presents an opportune time to unveil your deepest desires and visualize what it would look and feel like to step into your new reality.

So how to maximize the numerology of 999?

TAKE THE LEAP. Have you been hovering around a decision for so long you can’t remember a time when it hasn’t been eating at you? For example, I know people who have been thinking about getting a divorce for years and just continue to hover in the relationship. A friend of mine said it so well: If you’re constantly thinking about whether or not you should be in your marriage, you shouldn’t be in your marriage! If you’re meant to be there, thinking about whether or not you should stay or go is simply not on the radar.

BE REAL about your actions and participation—while forgiving yourself fully and completely. Do you keep beating yourself up about something you did or didn’t do in the past? Do you replay it over and over again? I think it’s Byron Katie who observes that often we have one traumatic experience and yet our mind relives it so often, it is if we experience the trauma every time we replay it. This is the time to find a way to truly forgive yourself and move on. It’s up to you to find your way to do it—Therapy? Energy work? Hypnosis? A “Release” ritual? Whatever speaks to you, try it it.

EXPAND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS. Oh, sure. Sounds so cliché. Yet the energy of the 9 is optimized when we can truly live the Buddhist tenant of being Present—when we can live in the moment, let go of the past without resentment, and be open and curious about the future. If there’s ever a time to clear our slate of negativity, this is it. And this is made more challenging by the current conditions we’re experiencing in the world. There is so much tumultuous change, it can be disconcerting. Yet if we can be the eye in the center of the hurricane—even in the most intense times—the rest of it will become so simple.

SIT WITH IT: A NEW WAY TO WORK WITH DEPRESSION

Depression can be a signal of deep discontent from your soul. As tough as it is, try diving into those feelings through meditation and self-reflection to clear your psyche, says Erin Telford

 

“Winter is a great time for depression,” I joked at a Breathwork group last month. I was met with some very nervous giggles. As with most things, it’s only funny because it’s uncomfortably true.

All humor aside, I got really depressed last winter.

It wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling. The first time I remember feeling depressed was when I was about 14 years old. It felt like being trapped in a glass, banging on the walls with no one listening, fatigue and a vague sense of loss and hazy unmet needs.

When I started to sink down and enter that deep gray landscape, I just felt tired and defeated. You again? After all this work?

I was involved in a group-coaching program at the time. I was honest with everyone about the despair I was feeling. They came full force with the positivity. You got this! You just need a spa day! Self-care! Find your gratitude!

“Seriously?” I thought. I was surprised by how fiercely irritated I was with their advice. And it hit me. I did not want to be cheerled out of this. I wanted to go down into the dungeon of my psyche and find some f*cking answers.

My response to feeling depressed in the past was to wait until it was over. Back pedal out of the icky feelings. Utilize the usual anesthetics. Self-medication. Self-isolation. Online shopping. Staying busy. Hitting the crack pipe rabbit hole of social media.

This time needed to be different. I’m not a confused teenage girl anymore. I’ve been waking up for a long time and I have an arsenal of tools in my bag, perfect for this emotional renovation. So I made a commitment to going down and in – and not coming back out until I found what I was looking for.

So what did that look like in real life? I turned my phone off. I sat in my favorite spot in my apartment, this little nook with a bunch of plants, great light, and a big window, and I checked in. I sat with myself. I did some writing. I asked many times and in as many ways as I could, “what is underneath all of this pain?”

I was really gentle with myself. This line of inquiry did not involve self-criticism, curse words, belittling myself or my process or any feeling of needing to hurry up and get back to “normal” life. I did not take time off but I did give myself all of the time that I had and needed.

What I found was a deep well of sweetness for myself.

The supposed truth that had taken me down to these depths was uncovered as just another clever way that I had fooled myself into believing that I was separate, that I was unloved, that I was unsupported. I discovered that I had the power inside to be able to break a life long pattern by looking at my wounds with tender curiosity rather than frustration or disdain.

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Depression is often framed as something that just happens to us like getting a cold or a bummer draw of a genetic card. While environment, brain chemistry, and family lineage can be part of long-standing major depression; many of us experience it simply as a response to what’s going on in our lives.

We sell ourselves short by saying, “I’m just depressed.” As if it has nothing to do with the emotional pain that we’ve endured, the unattended wounds, the countless hours spent confused and alone or in groups of people who fail to see or help our hurt. The real life existential crisis that is: “I was told this would make me happy and I’m not. That must mean something is wrong with me. “

Very few of us have been taught any kind of practical way to channel and work with emotional pain. Most likely the instruction we covertly receive is to tuck away the unlovable, messy parts of ourselves. Shove them way, way, way into the back of the closet so we never have to look at the shame or hurt or confusion we feel. Or, let anyone else see it!

There is a single seed of discontent within you that is begging to be acknowledged.

It could be linked to:

Wrong job
Wrong friends
Wrong city
Wrong relationship
Wrong environment
Wrong…paradigm

Only you know, and facing it down is what I call Constructive Depression. It will require your participation. It will require fierce internal responsibility. And it is your job and your job alone, since no-one else can connect to your deepest parts but you.

The longer you’ve been feeling this way, the more wildly uncomfortable you may be with the truth that is banging on the door of your heart, begging for bread and water. How honest are you willing to be with yourself when your wellbeing is on the line?

So how to you do this?

You can think of Constructive Depression as a soul expedition. So what do you need for an internal journey? Nutritious snacks, great music, paints, journals, talismans, crystals, instruments, quiet, something to burn away the energy. Gather all of your supportive resources.

This is not an intellectual exercise. This is a reckoning. You with you.

This is a slow immersive dip into your soul. A psychic cleansing. Mental decongestion. Moving toward rather than away. Your resistance to this idea is equal to your commitment that all of this is due to the outside rather than inside forces. You ARE up to the task.

We experience the full range of human emotions for a reason. We feel sad because something is breaking our heart. We feel angry because something isn’t right and it needs to change. We feel fear because we are threatened or being asked to expand.

Depression is an opportunity for internal exploration. You are not depressed because you are a bad person or you skipped too many days of yoga or gratitude journaling.

You are depressed because something is not working for you. There is a yearning. An emotional chasm. Something that is crying out to be witnessed and seen like it’s never been seen before. Our wounds are rarely greeted with the exact kind of care and response that we are craving. When we accumulate a lifetime of hurts that have gone unnoticed or unattended to by others, the responsibility falls back to us to determine what we need.

So meet yourself with all of the tenderness, all of the sweetness, the hugs, the love, and the acceptance that you hold within you. Go inside, find your golden nugget of truth, and only come back out when you are ready – holding your treasure high.

*Mental health can be very tenuous. If you feel like this is something you can safely undertake, please do. If it feels like too much, please seek professional support for this internal exploration.

GODDESS TRIP: DIARY OF A PSYCHEDELICS ADDICT

And almost ten years sober, her experiences inform her work as a healer to this day, says former psychedelics addict Jesse Heid.

Jesse Heid celebrating her 39th birthday earlier this year

My six siblings and I grew up in what I can only describe as a mellow and small Christian cult, created by my parents. Their worship centered around a Buddha-Christ figure and I took it very literally when they taught me, ‘Jesus lives in your heart.’ To me, Jesus was the most gorgeous, the most beautiful hunky guy. I had that classic ’70’s portrait of him on my bedroom wall, the one where he’s sexy Jesus with the beard.

I had always felt that I was Christ’s favorite kid. I really thrived on the sense I developed early on that I was sacred and Beloved to the Divine. He did everything with me, ballet classes and tea parties. He also was also the compassionate witness to all my childhood traumas. As a result, I had a very intimate, loving, and positively romantic relationship to the Divine.

But when I first altered my consciousness with marijuana around age 21, I started to hear a new voice guiding that Divine dialog, and it was the voice of a woman. This Great Feminine presence was the raddest experience of my life. Beyond words, beyond what I could describe as Love and Wisdom. When I started using various psychedelics and entheogens this Divine female voice took on a great authority – such authority, it made Jesus look like your super casual, chill best friend.

Goddess I call her, and her voice commands deep loving RESPECT. And, while in hallucinogenic and other altered states, I was in constant dialog with her. Mostly her talking to me while I tripped on this miraculous communion with her.

Although I certainly partied, I was intentionally using psychedelics and plant medicine as sacraments. I didn’t necessarily differentiate the “party” from what others call “temple” or “ritual.” Basically, I was in it for the transcendent, mystical experiences. And while I experienced deep healing on my adventures, of course this way of exploring consciousness can have tremendous consequences. Especially in a culture where as a trippy young healer, I had no mentors or sacred container for this unusual path.

For seven years, from 1999 to 2006, I tripped often, and was rarely truly sober – the time I was “landing” from one trip I was getting ready to take off on another. It’s important to note that I believe I was able to carry on like this for so many years because I was generally micro dosing – imbibing very small doses – of the highest quality substances. This enabled me to function well in my daily life, but still get Divinely freaky. I also think my severe allergy to alcohol has been a blessing really. I’ve never been able to drink, so I was never taxed physically that way.

But I was a psychedelics addict. I ate mushrooms almost every day for over a year. I would pop them in my mouth like people pop breath mints. I did psilocybin until they stopped having any effect, a tragedy when it happened. Other years, the pattern went something like: Molly on a Monday, Tuesday, some pot cookies and coffee, Wednesday, maybe a day off, LSD for Thursday, and bit of Foxy on Friday. The weekends would be a surprise mixed bag.

During this period, I was also running a Pilates studio in the East Village of New York City. I had a very robust clientele with a waiting list. I was a very popular teacher, and was frequently teaching while on psychedelics. Beyond surviving as a young women in the City, I was thriving.

And all the time, I felt the Goddess was teaching me the nature of the Universe. What I saw was a matrix of loving energy weaving through everything, and how the negative space between objects is perfect. That everything is whole, and also interconnected. Whenever I laid hands on my client I was able to see the matrix inside of us, the fascia system, and the way this extends outside of us to connect us to everything. That these filaments remain unbroken, and cannot be broken.

Jesse Heid today

If this sort of Divine Matrix can be an abstract concept to even the most dedicated “believer,” I could visually see this in a psychedelic state. And this is really what I was working on with my clients all day.

People would come to the studio to get a Pilates lesson, and then they would tell me their neck hurt. So I would put them on the Pilates Cadillac and work on their fascia, in a psychedelic state, and then tell them it was “Pilates.” And even while they were talking to me about their stressful lives, the Goddess was whispering instructions in my ear the whole time about what they needed for healing. It was all very mysterious and magical, and it really worked for me for a long time.

Goddess also revealed to me everyone’s true voice. That was consistent on every trip, no matter what I was on.  No matter what medicine I was dosing with, everyone I encountered spoke to me as an extremely vulnerable, innocent five-year-old. It even seemed like the more serious someone was, the more of a heartbreakingly precocious child they were inside.

I was working with CEO’s, neurosurgeons, film producers and their stars, and all I could hear was the innocent child, just trying to navigate and negotiate the suffering of this world.

Now remember, I am completely, 100 percent, not a rebel. I am a good girl, a product of my environment. I was doing what I was taught; “you talk to God. You do loving kindness and make art. You take responsibility for your Divine nature, as Jesus lives in your heart.” And I was never criticized by my family for doing drugs of any sort.

But I don’t think they knew how much I was doing. I don’t think anyone could conceive of how much I was doing because I was so highly functional. But in the end, I started mixing in cocaine. Not because I ever liked cocaine, it was never my drug of choice. But I rarely slept from doing psychedelics, and I had to go to work in the day, so it became like coffee to me. Plus, people were giving me coke for free. The East Village of NYC was different beast back then, and it’s how my clients would tip me sometimes.

With this harder substance in the mix, my lifestyle was finally taking its toll physically, and very quickly. I went down to 95 lbs. I also started to lose any and all respect for society’s rules. Everywhere I went, I was smoking a huge, fat joint.

I started to see a Jungian psychoanalyst, and it was clear to him, I think, that here was a talented young healer, going too far on her mystical trip. He was like, “Are you smart? I think it might just be the drugs that make you feel smart.” Soon I wanted to know if I WAS talented, if I WAS creative, if I had any value, if my friends even liked me (which it turns out they didn’t really), without drugs.

At the same time, the Goddess was telling me; “I’m bringing the hurt if you ever do cocaine again. And by the way, you have to take THIS much acid because it won’t work anymore…” I couldn’t do Molly anymore. Everything was just giving me a headache. When it finally ended, I had taken drugs for 92 days straight, just a few days over 3 months.

That last trip, I mixed a lot of cocaine with acid. Do not EVER do cocaine and acid. I felt as if every single fiber of connective tissue in my body was having a migraine. For days, I could feel my nail beds. I lay on my back for about seven hours to protect my spine. I was in full head to toe spasms. Every single part of me was throbbing with the message; “It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.” And I needed that brutality. Pain is my greatest teacher.

When I quit drugs, I went through the terrible loneliness of feeling disconnected from the Divine. I went from a Universe that was beyond Technicolor and blissful joy, to a world that was grainy, fuzzy black and white. Food didn’t taste good. Music sounded like shit. People lost the innocence in their voice. And my friends were very, very angry at me. Very angry at me for quitting drugs, because, I realized, they had lost their best curator for trips. I had curated fantastic trips.

Jesse in her psychedelics heyday

I felt like I had been kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and kicked out because I couldn’t handle it anymore, and had abused the sacraments. But I also had faith that things were unfolding as they should. I quickly figured out that not only did I have a drug addiction, but almost an addiction to spiritual epiphanies. Now I needed time to digest, to integrate the massive insights I acquired. The Jungian analysis was really fundamental to this. I saw my therapist three times a week for six years.

Physically, I went from one hundred to zero by myself. I swore off absolutely everything that could alter my consciousness, including several years without caffeine. I was being penitent. And there was no 12-step group for psychedelics. I would piggyback on Cocaine Anonymous and AA, but that didn’t work out for me very well. I was dropped by every sponsor, predominantly because they weren’t a psychedelics addict. They were alcoholics, and it’s just a very different vibe to recover from.

I feel very blessed that my body had an easier time dealing with withdrawal than most, and that I was able to fully quit on my own without medical assistance. But my mind and spirit was in hell. I also had to get over the shame of being a psychedelics addict. It was hard work to do that, and it was hard work to participate in life and to show up for people.

On another level, I also had to participate more spiritually. I couldn’t just take the medicine and have Goddess come to me. I actually had to do the work to get into a mystic state. I found myself studying meditation, ritual, and ceremony to try to integrate the wisdom I sourced on my trips into my daily life, but also simply because I missed my communion with Goddess. This period of recovery was a cocooning stage really, where I withdrew from the world to work on myself.

I consider it a miracle that my ability to understand spatial relationships on a very deep somatic level, my understanding of inner space, remained with me through sobriety. Psychedelics taught me everything that I use in my career as a healer now, and these days I just tell my clients the truth when they ask about my methods. That this is something I developed when I did psychedelics regularly, and explored inner space. I often say that once you peak behind the curtain, you can’t “un-see” what you found there. However, integrating that wisdom into daily life is a whole other trip!

I also know that for my spiritual evolution, I needed to know the real darkness of addiction. I relate so deeply to the path of the Wounded Healer, and so many of us are battling addictions of every sort. I’m much more of service as a healer having had to heal myself from my addiction to hallucinogenic drugs. I look back, and rather than deny that part of myself, I feel blessed I got experience it. But I’m far more grateful I got to recover from it.

I do not recommend MY path to anyone else however, and I consider myself very lucky to be here. But witnessing the renaissance for psychedelics unfolding around me now, and the healing aspects of non-ordinary states of consciousness in general being celebrated, actually makes my heart sing. I’m also thrilled to see real support for the appropriate research into the healing properties of these substances, as well as social support for people exploring consciousness through hallucinogens.

For anybody who is choosing to experiment, I’m also beyond stoked to see all the resources out there for people to educate themselves and stay safe and healthy. Check out the awesome organizations below that are helping us evolve towards cognitive liberty and safer inner explorations.

As a healer, teacher, and artist, some of Jesse Heid’s most passionate work is introducing people to their fascia connective tissue and exploring the tensegrity of the fascia matrix throughout our entire form. Jesse holds a BFA in modern dance and composition from CalArts and has been a popular NYC Pilates teacher since 2000. Find out more about her and her work at Alignedspiritpilates.com, and follow her on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest.

For more information about the safe use of psychedelics for healing:

MAPS: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

Women’s Visionary Congress

The Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Congress

FIND THE RIGHT THERAPY FOR YOUR SIGN

Thinking about which form of therapy will suit your unique needs? Wolf Sister has some suggestions for every sign of the Zodiac…Image: Karolina Daria Flora

When checking out the right therapy for your sign below, remember your Sun sign only represents one aspect of your total being. Read for your rising sign (the outer you) and moon sign (the inner you) too to see what resonates. If you haven’t done so already, you can click here to enter the date, place and time you were born and generate your chart for free.

:: A R I E S ::
Mars is the ruling planet of this sign and is associated with the head. Aries tend to be over thinkers, thoughtful by nature but with wandering minds that can lead them to anxiety and overwhelm. Meditation would be ideal to calm those overactive thoughts but to sit still for any amount of time may not resonate with many rams!

Yoga literally translates as union of the mind, body and spirit, and this active meditation is the ideal remedy to balance and recalibrate you when overwhelm takes over. With this holistic practice, free spirited Aries gets to stretch, focus and bring you into the NOW.
Find it: Book a trip to one of the Wanderlust festivals and get your yoga fix with a side of Aries-style adventure! Wanderlust.com

:: T A U R U S ::
This earthy sign loves life’s comforts. Ruled by Venus, a planet of sensuality and luxury, the body parts ruled by Taurus are the neck, throat, thyroid gland, larynx, chin, lower jaw, ears, tongue, vocal chords and tonsils. When Taurus is experiencing a mind/body/spirit disconnect, it may physically manifest in one of these areas.

Aromatherapy Taurus loves to be pampered, and making some ‘me’ time with an aromatherapy massage while channeling the earth’s essence through the power of natural fragrance will soothe your spirit and bring you back down to earth (where your energy feels most at ease).
Find it: Get all the information you need at the National Institute for Holistic Aromatherapy.

:: G E M I N I ::
The sign of Gemini is articulate, busy, charming, adaptable, lively, indecisive, intelligent, sociable and spontaneous – in fact ‘change’ is a constant theme for Gemini. Ruled by Mercury, this planet governs the hands, fingers, arms, shoulders, upper ribs, lungs, nerves and nervous system. It may be hard for some of you Geminis to relax!

Qoya is a movement practice for expressing oneself through dance. This practice encourages creative expression through the body, by connecting to your essence and embodying your divine feminine and sensual nature. This practice is a great way for Gemini to channel your exuberant energy.
Find it: Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck runs retreats all year long. Visit Loveqoya.com for more info.

:: C A N C E R ::
This sign is highly intuitive and emotionally charged. Naturally empathic, those born under Cancer may have a tendency to over-eat (subconsciously) to protect themselves from harsh energy and stresses around them. When feelings aren’t channeled correctly and buried away, this disconnect may manifest as a digestive imbalance – indigestion, food intolerances and other issues with the Cancer-ruled gut.

Nutritional Healing will help you learn more about how food affects your body. It’s also important for Cancers to understand how our emotions affect our food choices and how the body processes food when we’re in different emotive states. With mindful eating, emotional and physical stress can be reduced. It isn’t about prescribing a ‘diet’ but developing a relationship with food that nurtures and nourishes holistically.
Find it: The Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida is dedicated to healing through diet and runs programs all year round. Hippocratesinst.org

:: L E O ::
Leo is ruled by the Sun and is associated with the most powerful organ in the body – the heart. Very independent, it’s important to feel like you are in charge. Leo’s love to rule, your mantra is ‘I WILL’. A big theme for Leo is pride. Your ego may demand respect and adoration, and when you’re feeling ignored or less than, this may manifest physically as back problems, heart ailments and lethargy.

Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta bhavana) is a meditation practice for developing compassion. This practice comes from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practiced by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation; it is essentially about cultivating love. This meditation will help tame your determined and sometimes domineering nature, using the practice of compassion to go with the flow and call more love into your life.
Find it: Just log on to YouTube! There are many metta meditations for you to explore and experiment with here.

:: V I R G O ::
The Virgo mind is extremely organized and analytical, as Virgos have a strong need to understand themselves and the world around them. You prefer to channel your energy practically than through your emotions. The earth in this sign can make you relentless when it comes to solving a problem and getting a job done, which means sometimes you can forget to make time for self-care.

Counselling/psychotherapy will appeal to Virgo’s analytical side, and a good therapist will encourage you to tune into the psyche to understand yourself (and your emotions) better. This practical approach to removing personal blocks by gaining insights into the subconscious is a way for Virgo to be guided to a place of deeper self-realization and empowerment.
Find it: Talk Space is a new service that allows you to connect with a therapist instantly via text. Check it out at Talkspace.com

:: L I B R A ::
Libra is the sign of peace and harmony, diplomacy, beauty and aesthetics. Ruled by the planet Venus, Libra tends to play the nice guy and can refrain from speaking their truth in order to keep the peace. The body parts ruled by Libra are the lower back, kidneys and adrenal glands.

Art therapy is a creative method for self-expression, where the therapist interprets the symbolism that is communicated through the art created. The idea is that allowing yourself to get lost in the moment creating your beautiful masterpiece, your subconscious is freed to communicating your inner most feelings and thoughts. Art therapy is a great way for Libra to channel energy into creating something beautiful, while receiving insights from your subconscious for personal development.
Find it: You can find out more and locate an art therapist near you at Arttherapy.org

:: S C O R P I O ::
Scorpios are known for being mysterious, deep, magnetic and determined. A theme for Scorpio is self-mastery. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, and this planet can influence the energy flow of the reproductive organs, as well as with the kidneys and bladders.

Kundalini yoga The word Kundalini translates as ‘coiled’, referencing a ‘serpent’ of energy at the base of your spine. The intention of Kundalini yoga practice is to uncoil the serpent and release the energy within – starting at the base of the spine (the root chakra) and moving it up through the top of the head (the crown chakra). Focusing on breath and movement, it is a mental and physical challenge Scorpio will find strength in committing to.
Find it: The RaMa Institute in Venice, CA, is a hub for the thriving Kundalini community and you can take classes remotely at Rama-tv.com

:: S A G I T T A R I U S ::
Sagittarius is known for being adventurous and optimistic, always in pursuit of higher knowledge and experiences! As an active fire sign, you would rather be doing something interesting than wallowing in your emotions for too long. Ruled by the planet Jupiter, the body parts associated with this sign are the liver, hips, thighs, pelvis and femur.

Light Grids is an energetic therapy that encourages you to release blocks in your life helping you connect to your authentic self. Working on a subconscious level to bring deep change and empowerment, Light Grids therapy tunes into your energetic blueprint and targets your core belief systems. Facilitating healing, alignment to your highest self and giving you a deeper understanding of your life.
Find it: Jody Shield is a UK practitioner bringing Light Grids therapy to the masses! You can also book a Skype session with her at Jodyshield.co.uk

:: C A P R I C O R N ::
Capricorn is one of the most driven and dedicated signs of the zodiac. An earth sign with a strong work ethic, Capricorn is led by Saturn, the planet associated with the skeleton, joints and teeth. When you are overworking yourself, self-care may fall by the wayside and tension may build up in these areas.

CranioSacral therapy is a hands-on technique that restores the flow of energy in the body. It facilitates the release of blocked energy and tensions stored in the body, relieving pain and associated dysfunction. Often used in conjunction with osteopathy, the light touch in this therapy encourages the body to relax and rebalance, enhancing flexibility and well-being.
Find it: The Breath of Life clinic in London runs regular retreats internationally, which incorporate CranioSacral therapy with yoga and other body work. Breathoflife.co.uk

:: A Q U A R I U S ::
The free spirit of the zodiac, Aquarius’s purpose as a humanitarian is to break the outdated paradigm and call in the ‘nu’! You are independent and may come across as detached, but it’s just because you like to do things in your own Aquarian way. Your ultimate dream is to always being true to yourself, never to anyone else’s standards. Aquarius rules the circulatory system, ankles, Achilles heal, calves and shins.

Sound healing facilitates healing on a physical, emotional and spiritual level with the intentional use of various different interments – crystal singing bowls, drums, chimes, bells and gongs. The frequencies emitted work on a cellular level, and with this form of healing you are lulled into a relaxed state while the sound frequencies wash over and through you with their healing effects.
Find it: Eileen McKusick is one of the leading practitioners in sound healing. Find out more about her work at Eileenmckusick.com

:: P I S C E S ::
The dreamer of the zodiac, Pisces straddles both the material and the mystical worlds – and sometimes this can mean interpret what they want to see. Pisces may be vulnerable to disappointment because they are so idealistic. Even with the talent and resources that they possess, their limiting self beliefs and low self-esteem may hold them back.

Tarot therapy may appeal to your ethereal nature. When life is mirrored back to you by the magic of the Tarot, it can be easy for your imaginative and artist sign to recognize the bad habits and destructive cycles you keep finding yourself in. Insights from a talented Tarot therapist can encourage and inspire in all the right places.
Find it: Our very own Louise Androlia is available for Skype readings internationally! Connect with her at Louiseandrolia.com

What therapy have you found works best for you, and why does it chime with your chart? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your story

MAGIC MUSHROOMS AS COUPLES THERAPY. SERIOUSLY.

In the latest instalment of Now Age relationship column Yogi Vegan Lez, Alexandra Roxo and her GF experiment with magic mushrooms as a form of couples therapy…

Alexandra and Orion get intimate with the contents of each other’s head…

What do people usually do when they leave yoga class. Drink some water? Go for an egg white omelette? Take a shower? Well, on that Sunday morning my iCal sent me a post-Vinyasa reminder: “Spiritual Awakening. a.k.a. Magic Mushroom Journey!” complete with a mushroom emoji and a smiley face. And so walking home through Williamsburg’s leafy McCarren Park, my girlfriend Orian and I whipped out our ‘shrooms and ate them right there and then. At 10am.

We had both wanted to do something special for our anniversary, and after a friend mentioned a beautiful afternoon she and her hubby had with some mushies, I was inspired! JUST WHAT I NEEDED. If women are scheduling their births these days, why can’t I schedule my DIY spiritual awakening? Plus, magic mushrooms are cheaper than a yoga retreat upstate and can be delivered directly to your house, so there’s really no excuse to not take them, right?

After sharing a vegan club sandwich on GF Rye, we sat and watched the dogs in the park for a moment. Then I was like “Umm, we should walk towards our house. Like Now.” Orian had never been on this kind of ‘journey’ so I also wanted to make sure she didn’t start tripping out while staring in the face of a Frenchie or…um, just crossing the street. Cos that could be dangerous.

I felt sort of like the person guiding the ship, the unofficial road woman or gatekeeper. When she kept saying things like: “When I do drugs I usually need a lot of water…” and “drugs make me feel…” I kept trying to tell her, “THIS IS NOT DRUGS. YOU ARE ON A PLANT MEDICINE ODYSSEY.” She finally succumbed to my benevolent dictatorship, and seemed to accept that a mushroom journey isn’t like a molly trip or a cocaine high.

As for me, this was the first time I’d done mushrooms completely sober of any alcohol and cigarettes. Not the first time I’d attempted an afternoon of mushroom-induced couples therapy though. The last time I tried bonding with my lover this way, we were holed-up in a dreamy Silver Lake cottage where got into a fight, I had a vision of an energetic cut between us where I saw our stars zooming off in opposite directions, realized quite viscerally we were poison for each other, starting having a panic attack, and didn’t sleep for two days.

So gee whiz, why wouldn’t I want to open this door with my new girlfriend of one year, on our anniversary, after an emotional month of me cleansing, quitting smoking, and doing all sorts of energy work?

But we had actually both been sober and clean and totally vegan for over two weeks, and I knew this quiet energetic state was essential to our ‘shrooming success. We continued wandering back towards our house as was the original plan: take a little bit, take a walk, just be together. I soon had to pee though, and we stopped in a cafe to use the loo. The bathroom walls were covered in a magazine collage. Who does that? And then the bathroom started to cave in on me.

I shut my eyes, ran out past the innocent bystanders (i.e. brunch crowd of people not on mushrooms) and what ensued was the most glorious and intense bonding session known to woman.

Magical Mushroom by Kaitlyn Fister via Behance.net

We held crystals (and FYI, holding crystals while on mushrooms is like holding an elephant or the sun or rain). We opened a book and could only look at one painting and then close the book. Then we had this realization that if we each balanced our Yin and Yang energies, we wouldn’t be searching for balance outside of ourselves. For someone who is bisexual and constantly trying to balance out masculine and feminine vibes I realized that seeking Yang outside of myself wasn’t necessary. I can align with someone else who has balanced energies and then we are each neutral!

This was our tripped out realization. Maybe we would all become androgynous beings again one day! Beyond gender! (I think I actually read that in some article about the next evolution of humans from a channeled entity…) Over the course of six hours, we laughed, we cried, we had profound healing conversations about life and death, and took quiet time alone.

The different phases of the trip were not too unlike my journeys with ayuhasca and peyote. There was a time of feeling physically unstable or unwell. Then there was some euphoria, the feeling of oneness. Then some darker challenges that came our way. That’s the ‘work’ part. The medicine comes in and gets shit done.

The result was what felt like a month of traditional couples therapy in one afternoon. There were no distractions. Except I kept wanting to eat dates and nuts because I felt I needed to ground myself, but was also afraid I might choke. But besides that it was cell phones off and in a drawer. Computers closed. It was magical.

Like everything in life, relationships take maintenance. As we change as individuals, we are altered as a couple. And sometimes these changes can cause a rift, a damn, a chasm, an avalanche, tidal wave. So if you’re tired of the traditional approach to processing your differences, here are our tips for a successful, and magical, couples bonding day on mushrooms:

PLAN AHEAD. The last thing you want is for your landlord to show up to fix your toilet or to have to take your dog out. If you’re opting to do the work at home, make sure your roomie isn’t planning to bake cookies to house music. If you can get away, get away. But why not try and tune into your own world instead of fleeing it?

UNPLUG. Turn off TV, computers, and cell phones. It’s unlikely you’ll even remember what Instagram is during your therapy session, but if you do find yourself tempted to check it – don’t. Just don’t. In your vulnerable state, do you really want to see a photo of Angelina Jolie’s chicken pox? You do not.

BE PRESENT. When you feel overwhelmed, listen to yourself. And if something comes up, share it with your partner. This is the whole deal with the ‘couples therapy’ thing. I asked Orian a few times: “What’s wrong?” She replied: “Oh, I don’t want to get sad or cry.” And I was like, “You can’t fight it! The whole point is to feel what you feel!” And so we were honest when things came up like, “Oh I was just thinking about when you die.” Instead of running from these things, remember you’re here to learn from them.

THE AFTERMATH. Plan to do something gentle afterwards. Light some candles. Have some soup. A bath perhaps. And WRITE IT DOWN. These lessons are invaluable, and it’s likely you will have been flooded with knowledge and wisdom so make sure you keep track.

And most of all, have fun and enjoy being together! And make your next Couple’s Bonding Day one that includes pizza in bed and SNL re-runs, cuz it’s all about the balance.

xx @Yogi_Vegan_Lez

Have you had a healing experience on ‘shrooms? Connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and share your story…

DO “THE WORK,” HAVE YOUR BEST YEAR EVER

Real spiritual “work” = practise + action – and 2014 was the year I finally signed up, says Ruby Warrington.

Portrait: Thomas Giddings

“Doing the work”. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in holistic / alternative wellness circles – but what does it actually mean? Is it like the time I went for acupuncture and was given “homework” to do – little sticky packs of Mugwort, called “Moxa”, to affix to my liver meridian and set light to like incense each night? Fair enough, I had been drinking quite a lot to avoid dealing with a stressful work situation, but wasn’t the state of my liver my practitioner’s to deal with?

Apparently not. If I’ve come to understand anything about how real healing, both physical and metaphysical, works in the past year, it’s this: ultimate wellbeing – just like ultimate abundance, ultimate freedom, and, ultimately I guess, ultimate bliss – is a collaborative effort between myself, whichever practise I happen to be working with at the time, and the all-loving, all-knowing Universe itself.

Looking back over the past twelve months, I can honestly say I’ve had one of the best years of my life. And not because everything just “worked out”, or opportunities fell from the sky like globules of golden bird poop. But in terms of my personal evolution, I feel like I’ve busted through blocks (to borrow just a little self-help speak) I wasn’t even aware were holding me back. Well maybe I was aware…but there’s NO WAY I was going to admit it and deal – not in this lifetime at least.

But deciding to face my demons, be my own knight in shining armour and slay the freakin’ dragon once and for all, looking ahead to 2015 I feel simultaneously like I’ve aged a decade and like I’m ten years younger. And it has not been easy. There have been tears, and there has been anguish. There has been much meditating, much journaling, and much reading of books with “Conversations” and “God” in the title.

But above all, there has been a very conscious decision on my part to actually “do the work”.

When I used to hear that phrase, I’d think it was referring to some kind of mystical alchemy that went on inside the body if you did enough yoga, took enough gong baths, or had enough therapy. As if the divine oneness was watching on, and would do some divine laying on of hands to absolve all your issues once you’d reached a certain quota of zen / worthiness.

2014, which shall forever more be referred to as “the year that changed EVERYTHING”, showed me that it’s actually way more prosaic than that. You want to change something? Move forward in your personal development? Bring about the internal “shift” that’s gonna raise your vibration to attract all the abundance you just know is out there waiting for you into you life? Then babe, the buzzword here is action.

For example, it’s one thing to accept that perhaps your cash flow issues are more to do with your attitude to money than the fact accounts clerks get off on withholding checks owed to you – and a whole other deal to weep buckets in a Family Constellations Therapy session as you see how it’s actually intrinsically linked to your Grandmother dying young, and your own mother not really knowing how to give you love as a result.

But the real work? That happens when you then do the Landmark Forum, and realize you actually have to call your mom and tell her it’s never really been okay that she loved your brother more than you, because she’d basically learned how by the time he came along. And then you actually do call her, and there are buckets more tears, but you end the conversation by telling each other how you feel like mother and daughter for the first time you can remember.

Phew! That’s what I call work. And it’s also where the “mystical alchemy” part comes in, because you know what? I’m facing down 2015 in a better financial position than ever. “Money” equates to “mother” in Jungian therapy after all.

And if dealing with my lack mentality was what I decided I wanted to work on in 2014, once the floodgates had opened it turns out it was time to tackle all the other niggling issues I began to realize were all a part of the jigsaw puzzle. Those feelings of lack…well weren’t they also contributing to my inability to share (the load, my visions, my real feelings)? This was another Landmark revelation – the full story / trauma of which I’ll share (now I’m getting better at it) in a later post.

One of my favorite things of all has been learning to work with my intuition this year – you know, actually act on my gut feelings about things, even if this often means taking the scarier, hairier route. If I started to meditate because I thought it would help me get more clarity and focus, little did I know the work my practise was prepping me for was the ability to first notice my truth, and then go stand in it, no matter how many people it might piss off.

And by meditation, I don’t just mean the ten minutes I manage on a good morning. By bringing the practise of being able to step back from my thoughts to everything I do – a hard core workout, a complicated writing assignment, my super intense / difficult / transformational experience at Burning Man, and, yes, my relationship with my mother, has been some of the most important work of all.

I actually predict that “work” and “money” are going to be big themes for us all in the coming months. In numerology, 2015 is a universal “8” year (you add 2+1+5), which is the number of challenges, personal power, and hard-earned reward for your efforts. In other words, do the work this year and the compensation could be bigger than ever. So here’s how…

First up, you need to define what you want to work on. And I say, go big. No shying away from that “thing”, it’s time to drag the monkey off your back, look it right in the eye and declare: GAME ON. (Oh but clue – the real monkey might not be what you think. Like my money issues turned out to be mother issues, the fact you have a hard time holding onto a relationship is, undoubtedly, all about your DAD).

Now just start looking around for the “way in”. Besides the Family Constellations work and the Landmark (which is pretty hard core, FYI), last year I also tried acupuncture, breathwork meditation, had regular visits with a shaman, hit the mat at The Class with Taryn Toomey, and worshiped at the church of IntenSati. Not to mention that transformational trip to Burning Man. Each and every one of which provided an insight, a tool, or a doorway for me to see into.

WALK. THROUGH. THE. DOOR. Don’t just stand there looking at the portal of opportunity any one of your practises has opened for you. Where the rubber meets the road, is where you choose to take action. It’s one thing to get an intense download about your relationship with your father after a particularly crazy Kundalini kriya, and a whole other ball game when you then send him an email laying out all the deets (yes, this also happened to me last year).

Don’t be shy. As in, don’t shy away from taking the necessary action. And if you’re having trouble working out what that is, it’s probably the thing you least want to do. But you know you have to. In fact, if it makes you cry just thinking about it, that’s probably it. Tears – of emotion, of compassion, of release – are often how you know the work is working.

Finally, you’d better embrace feeling a little bit weird, while all this is going on. Our brilliant Tarotscopestress Louise Androlia (aka Louniverse) is also a holistic life coach, and one of her favorite things is to remind her clients it’s actually normal to feel abnormal when your life is transforming, inside and out. So expect to doubt yourself, expect to feel vulnerable, expect to question your sanity sometimes – just don’t expect it to be a breeze, is what I think she means. After all, if it was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t get called The Work in the first place. But it’s worth it.

NEED-TO-KNOW: FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS THERAPY

Can a unique form of group therapy that seeks to define your role within your family heal generations-old inherited issues? Ruby Warrington goes swimming into the energy field with Family Constellations therapy…Image: Shane Small

A few months ago, with the help of French facilitator Marine Selenee, I experienced my first Family Constellations therapy session. Held at Marine’s chic studio apartment in downtown Manhattan, there were three other women present, each of whom played a different role in my Constellation, as did I for them. Many emotions were felt, and many tears shed, and afterwards I felt a sense of release, like something generations old had been worked out of my body at a cellular level.

I was instructed not to speak about my experience for two weeks, to give my mind and body time to integrate with the deep energetic work that had been done. And so I sat with my experience and simply watched on, as every area of my existence began to assume a subtly different and more dynamic form, all thanks to a shift in perception about my family situation – and by definition, myself. If our role in our own “family constellation” is at the root of our human experience, it’s what shapes our entire reality. Right?

How does Family Constellations therapy work? Consider this. Depending on your personal belief system, we all choose our parents, choose to be born in a certain place at a certain moment in time. In doing so, we also choose the unique set of circumstances (and issues) that this configuration gifts us to work with as our karmic lesson in this lifetime.

If that’s too much of a deep dive, then think instead about the question of “nature vs. nurture.” Are we born a certain way, or do the circumstances of our upbringing shape us as we grow? Would I be a completely different person if I was born into a different family in a different time and place? Or am I simply “me,” navigating life with the tools I’ve picked up along the way?

Using Family Constellations therapy, Marine works with the latter theory, the idea being that we repeat the negative patterns we see in our parents out of “loyalty” – they’re the people who gave us life after all, our tribe. We want to be accepted, so we want to be like them. But where these patterns go against our true nature is where we get stuck, where we feel pain – and also where we’ll find the biggest assignments for our personal growth.

I defy any soul currently enjoying this human experience not to have a single issue they can’t trace back to their family (see that ancient Chinese proverb; “they f*** you up, your mom and dad”). As Marine puts it; “90 percent of your issues don’t belong to you – and you pick most of these up before the age of six.” A century of psychoanalysis and talking therapy is entrenched in this understanding, and yet Family Constellations therapy seeks to journey beyond words in search of resolutions to these fundamental glitches in our operating systems.

The key lies in performing the surgery required, the severing of our attachment to our family members’ issues, on our emotional body, before the stories our intellect tells us about who, what and why we [*insert whatever your personal debilitating hang-up is here] have a chance to get a look-in; “Once you recognise that your behaviors and beliefs are not your own, it’s possible to see your true self, your own beliefs and purpose, more clearly,” says Marine.

But how, precisely? Before you embark on a mission to meet your own Family Constellation, here’s what you Need To Know…

• Psychotherapist and former Roman Catholic priest Bert Hellinger discovered Family Constellations therapy when living with the Zulu in South Africa, where the modality was used to resolve issues within the tribe.

• A Constellation can be performed by a group or one-to-one, with a facilitator to moderate. It is the facilitator’s job to do most of the talking; participants are simply asked to notice and express how they feel as events unfold.

• The facilitator begins by asking a few questions pertaining to the issue the participant wants to address. He or she then asks the people needed to bring about a resolution to find their place (whatever position feels right in relation to each other) within “the field.”

• The field, usually the space contained within the circle of the group or the room where the Constellation is taking place, represents the energy field where all souls and all generations exist together as pure spirit.

• In a session, actual family members do not need to be present – other members of the group are called on to “perform” these roles (not nearly as awkward or potentially embarrassing as it sounds).

• This may include family members who have passed, or any unborn children who are also part of the participant’s Constellation.

• Once situated within the field, the facilitator may also ask the different “family members” to recite key phrases relating to the issue in question (without ever going into the “story” – what, why, how) – again asking people to identify the emotions connected to these statements.

• Forgiveness may be asked, and apologies offered (again via the facilitator).

• Many tears may flow.

• A resolution occurs when it becomes evident which family member owns which emotion, behaviour or belief, allowing the participant to realize their own power to simply let whatever doesn’t “belong” to them go.

To find out more about Family Constellations or book a session contact [email protected] or visit Marineselenee.com

Marine will also be hosting group sessions ($60 per person) in Brooklyn, NY, on:

July 31st (6:30pm)
August 3rd (1pm)
August 7th (6:30pm)
August 10th (11am)

BECOMING MY OWN ASTROLOGER: ASTRO TWINS RETREAT


I’ve always thought astrology was the coolest thing. The idea that my soul chose to be born at a particular time, so that in this life I would embody certain personality traits to help me on my karmic journey. And as a believer in what’s meant-to-be, isn’t the circumstance of your birth the ultimate?
Continue reading “BECOMING MY OWN ASTROLOGER: ASTRO TWINS RETREAT”