TIME FOR CHANGE: 10 SIGNS I WAS LIVING A LIE

As Mercury goes retrograde, the coming three weeks are the perfect time for some life laundry. For Victoria Cox, this meant asking: “am I living a lie?” Artwork: Aneta Ivanova via Behance.net

It’s an unsettling feeling to look back on the last decade of your life, only to discover that you’ve been living a lie. No, I haven’t recently been arrested for identity theft nor do I want to be the next Caitlyn Jenner. What I mean by living a lie is this: upon looking back at the arc of my burgeoning adulthood, I was astounded to discover that the career choices I had made, had never, in fact, been the choices I wanted to make.

There was no gun being held to my head. I made these decisions entirely voluntarily. Succumbing to my own burning desire to please others, I began to emulate a path that would impress my father. Abandoning my creative desires, I launched headfirst into a career in law.

Essentially, I took on what had been one of his ambitions and pursued his goal for myself. All, I can see now, in the hope that he would love me just a little bit more. Of course I didn’t realize what I was up to until much later in life, that’s the power of the subconscious mind. But there were signs along the way, tiny whispers asking if this was truly what I wanted.

Ultimately, it was finally paying attention to these signs that opened my eyes to the fact I’d been faking it all along.

SADNESS: The first sign was the persistent, heavy sadness that was my constant companion. I spent so long convincing myself that I was doing the right thing that I simply chose to ignore it. I knew it wasn’t normal to feel this way, but it took me years to confront my sadness and ask myself that terrible question. The one you don’t want to ask because you already know you don’t want to hear the answer. “Why are you really doing this?”

FEAR: Then there was the fear – fear of making any changes to my life. So, cushioned by my regular paycheck, I chose to play it safe. I convinced myself that it was the fear of losing my job that kept me awake at night, when actually I was afraid of something completely different. I was afraid I was missing out on living MY life.

RESISTANCE: I had always wanted to be a writer, yet I never wrote. Instead of putting pen to paper and creating a story, I created a litany of excuses. I was too busy, too stressed and this was killing off any creative inspiration. What I was really doing was a classic case of self-sabotage; I was refusing to get out of my own way.

DISTRACTION: I would do anything to avoid facing up to the truth of my situation. Cue night after night when, instead of turning on my laptop to write, I poured myself a glass of wine and checked in to see what The Real Housewives were up to. Anything to divert myself from… myself.

EMOTIONAL GUIDANCE: Sensing my malaise, a friend suggested I try a meditation class. Once my monkey mind finally settled I discovered a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in years. Meditation began to show me the true purpose of emotions and how they can actually provide valuable guidance. Quieting my mind had highlighted the fact that anxiety and fear were my sole companions while I was at work. In stark contrast, I discovered that the only time I felt any semblance of joy was in a creative environment.

BOREDOM: Another sign that showed me I was living an inauthentic life was a constant sense of boredom. I was bored by my work and bored with life. I would plan vacation after vacation in the hopes of brushing up against some kind of enjoyment, but nothing excited me anymore. The world seemed to have become one, long, monotonous…nothing.

ILLNESS: Being stressed and unhappy takes its toll on the mind, and on the body. My body decided to give me a sign of its own making, a physical wake-up call. My skin reverted to its teenage years and broke out constantly. I had severe insomnia and my adrenals were burnt out. My body was essentially screaming at me to get my attention the only way it knew how, through sickness.

IDENTITY LOSS: Despite the fact that I was desperate to change my career I hid behind my profession. I used my identity as a lawyer to impress people, because I was too afraid to show them who I really was. Ironically I spent so long holding up this mask as a “successful lawyer” that it was no longer a mask. I had morphed into somebody that I didn’t want to be.

SELF-LOATHING: I was disgusted by the realization that I had let fear hold me back from pursuing my creative dreams. In an attempt to remove these loathsome thoughts circling around my mind, I began journaling every evening. A torrent of hateful words poured forth providing another sign I desperately needed before I could move forward. I now needed to forgive myself.

PERSPECTIVE: The act of writing out my deepest fears in my journal showed me that I was stuck in a victim mentality. Instead of throwing a 24-hour pity party, what I needed was a change in perspective. Why was I choosing to hide this experience in the Life Mistakes folder, when I could file it under Life Lessons instead? Looking at my situation from a fresh perspective showed me that my experience had actually created a swath of writing material. What if I chose to write about my story so that it could help others who were in the same boat?

I’m still a long way off from the writing career of my dreams but that’s the not the point. The point is that each step of my journey has shown me I was living life out of duty rather than desire; acting always to please others rather than pleasing myself.

I hid behind my fears because I didn’t want to face up to the fact that in order to follow my writing dreams, I had to let go of those parts of my life that no longer served me. Yet the very act of finally facing these fears gave me the permission I had been desperately seeking; the permission to pull off the mask of inauthenticity and show my real self to the world.

AQUARIAN ALCHEMY: NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NOW AGE

In the Age of Aquarius, your New Year resolutions are about accepting your role in working towards a new Earth, says Fern Olivia. Artwork: Christine Belanger

“The Age of Aquarius will be the Age of experience, in which people of experience will be liked, respected, worshipped, talked to, and understood.” – Yogi Bhajan, Sensory System of the Aquarian Age, August 1, 2000

The Earth rotates on an axis and the line going through the center of the earth has a slight wobble to it, which happens about once every 24,000 years. “This cycle has been broken into 12 parts associated with the 12 astrological signs, based on which constellation the axis is wobbling towards. From 0 A.D. to the present we have been in the Age of Pisces. For the next 2000 years we will be in the Aquarian Age. We have been in the transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age for the last 50 years. The official beginning of the Aquarian Age is November 11, 2011.” – 3HO

And every person on planet Earth has been and will be affected by this shift.

So what does this mean for us and our New Year resolutions, Numinous beings?

During this time, our life lessons and assignments will test the development of our sensory system, which essentially is the development of our creative self. As my teacher Guru Jagat explains it, to connect to “the sublime sensory self concept” in the Aquarian Age, we need to fully understand both our abilities and our strengths.

Think about the sensory system as an open circuit; open enough to circulate energy through it and experience the world. Being “open” allows us to move through the world in an inspired way, but also as a Warrior Saint – so we’re not just being open and loving, but living with the conscious intention to be brave and stand in our highest truth.

Seen in this way, the Aquarian Age is asking us to lead and inspire and develop ourselves in a way that will blaze a trail for the next evolution of humankind. And having been birthed at this moment in time makes this our divine destiny.

As such, we have all been given assignments of the Aquarian Age, designed to help make our lives more easeful. Accept these assignments, and we will excel in our work and our relationships, and manifest everything meant for our destiny, so we can play our part in healing the suffering on this planet.

In my work with clients on lifestyle design and conscious communication, I have noticed three main assignments that keep showing up. I’ve also accepted these assignments in my own life and have done years of work – deep introspection, kundalini yoga, and meditation – to strengthen my sensory system and radiant body.

The result: Magic. Miracles. Manifestation.

The sooner we all recognize these lessons and stop the patterns of self-sabotage that may have been deeply engrained in our subconscious, perhaps even handed down through our lineage, we can move forward and live a beautifully radiant, Numinous life.

:: THREE KEY ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE AQUARIAN AGE ::

1) Embracing Self Love, Self Worth, and Self Respect
“The fact is, there is nothing more beautiful, more worthy, or more conscious than you. The time has come for self-value. And the question is not: ‘To be or not to be.’ The statement is: ‘To be, to be.’ ‘I am, I AM.’ – Yogi Bhajan

For years, I struggled with an autoimmune hypothyroid condition that resulted in chronic fogginess, weight gain, puffiness and all-over yuckiness – and as a result, felt broken, unsexy, unworthy, and insecure in my relationships and in my career.

Finally, my mentors and dear friends Elena Brower and Donnalynn Civello asked me: “Why are you sabotaging yourself? You are pure light. If only YOU could see you like everyone else sees you.”

BOOM. That hit home for me. I realized I had to stop giving up my power by calling myself “broken” and acting “insecure.”

In any situation, we have the ability to respond in two ways.

A. With fear, judgement, and self-doubt
B. With self-love, self-worth, and fearless creative expression

We absolutely need to choose the latter.

It is our responsibility (ability to respond) to show up and step up, to open ourselves up to receiving abundance and prosperity (pro spirit – living in alignment with our spirit). We can only live in this way when we fully accept ourselves and get out of our own way.

It is our responsibility to this planet.

2) Living with Integrity and Authenticity
“Those who hustle and hassle and move and want will suffer. They will not get what they want. Now the time has come that we will have a meditative mind to wait and see what comes to us. Our minds will direct us to work toward the right channels. And we will meet the right people.” – Yogi Bhajan

Our work will thrive when we are in alignment with our divine truth. When we lead with our purpose, our dharma, inspiring people, positive experiences, and abundant wealth will naturally flow to us.

I learned this lesson when I was working in finance and my health was suffering, as my Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid symptoms were at their peak. I felt like a zombie sleepwalking in a life that wasn’t mine. It was a low vibration situation, and the people I attracted in my life were on a similar path – everyone around me complained about the hamster wheel they were on, yet no one was consciously leaping off.

I knew I had a bigger purpose on this planet than entering data into spreadsheets, and I was ready to change; I was fed up with the constant complaining, the toxic, superficial conversations, and widespread scarcity mindset.

When I left my corporate career and began my spiritual path as a healer, I found the transition to be easeful and seamless. Everyone around me was utterly shocked – but I was not surprised. I have been guided by my intuition, so it feels natural that opportunities just seem to magically show up around me. I have a daily meditation practice where I don’t simply silence my mind. Instead, I listen, I download information that guides me on my path and leads me to prosperity. I am guided.

We all are.

When it feels like we are continuously hitting walls, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves whether we are truly doing what feels authentic. Anytime the answer is “no” (be honest!) we must re-evaluate our situation and project forward with integrity.

When we recognize patterns of jealousy, competition and scarcity, we immediately acknowledge these feelings with the ability to reprogram our thoughts, shifting to compassion and gratitude.

When we lead our lives with truth and dignity, the Universe shows up with offerings of wealth and abundance. We no longer have to be victim to the scarcity mindset that there will never be enough. There is always enough for those who are doing spiritual work, for those living in alignment with their true purpose.

In the Aquarian Age, it can be no other way.

3) Communication and Self-Expression in Relationships
“We will master ourselves through our service, through our character, through our commitment, and through the most powerful thing that we have—our grace. Our individual grace is the most wanted quality today. And our projection, which will give us satisfaction, fulfillment, and exaltation, is our nobility. We will act nobly, graciously, kindly, and compassionately. These are our essential features.” – Yogi Bhajan

Being a Sensory Human in the Aquarian Age will affect all of our personal and professional relationships. In this Age, we are tested to recognize patterns of co-dependency, insecurity, and mistrust.

For six years, I was in a relationship with a man whom I loved very deeply, but our relationship could not work because we weren’t evolving together and I found myself scared to speak up and communicate what I needed in the relationship.

I never told him how I was feeling, or how his words or actions hurt me, until finally they weighed me down so much that my body got very, very sick. Why? I was simply too scared to speak up. Frightened to the point where I would sacrifice my own needs because I didn’t want to risk rejection, judgment, or an argument.

The fear of asking for what I needed in relationships, essentially holding my fear inside, brought stress to my whole glandular system, and when I don’t release that stress by speaking freely, the blockages bring up my autoimmune hypothyroid symptoms.

I thought I had a pattern dating “emotionally unavailable” men. It was not them who were unavailable, however. It was my OWN voice, which I was too afraid to speak. I never asked for what I wanted – when it came to intimacy, emotional support, or simply what I needed in order to feel heard and loved.

Energetically we are so aligned with our emotions that our physical bodies can either hurt or heal depending how we are living our life. Just think about how chronic stress can affect our health. The same concept holds true for the inability to express ourselves – creatively in our work, honesty with our business partners or clients, or in our relationships.

When Sensory Human beings meet, the attraction is timeless, limitless, and forever. Relationships that will thrive in the Aquarian Age are productive and free of guilt. These are relationships formed and sustained with sincerity, with conscious communication, with integrity.

Our work in the Aquarian Age is deep.

We must remember our worth, our responsibility to our integrity, and communicate consciously with all we come into contact with.

And as we strengthen our sensory system, our full expression of our creative self, we can ease the suffering on this planet. So we create a new society, a new humanity that is filled with love instead of fear. Ease instead of worry. Abundance instead of scarcity.

Connect with Fern Olivia and receive your Radiance Blueprint, a guided meditation journey at FernOlivia.com

UNDER THE ARMOUR: WHY MEN FIND IT HARD TO FEEL

Why men find it hard to feel is a case of nature and nurture. But when the new empowered masculine is invited to express himself, relationships become a catalyst for healing, says Darren Austin Hall. Images: HANs via Behance.net

“The rule of patriarchy demands that men armor themselves, not only to impose force upon the world, but to resist the Feminine externally, and deny or conceal its presence internally, in themselves. On the path of the hero…the genuine hero is a man who develops his power against patriarchy, rather than in support of it. He overcomes armor in the cause of amore.” – John Lamb Lash

I once had an insightful conversation with a female friend about her romantic struggles with men who perpetually shut down emotionally, a common dynamic in many relationships. I’ve also seen this complaint broached in neo-feminist articles online, often reading something along the lines of: “If you haven’t got your emotional shit together you don’t deserve me,” OR “I’m a queen and if you can’t handle intense communication then hit the road.

Firstly, I want to affirm that the kind of Kali fury women feel when their male intimate won’t communicate with them and/or shirks emotional connection altogether is totally valid – and can, when appropriately utilized, actually compel a lazy King out of his benumbed emotional doldrums into attractive action.

But what many women don’t understand is WHY men shut down, and how they can support us with compassion when we do.

I’ve been interested in developing the “healthy masculine” ever since a life-changing trip to India, where I met a beautiful soul brother who introduced me to several inspiring texts on the subject. The insights of the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover series by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, and the raw, brutal truths of Iron John: A Book About Men by Robert Bly, shone a light on the struggles facing men in the modern world. Things I had always vaguely felt, but never knew how to express – due in part to my own emotional dullness.

And as I delved into these studies deeper, I began to feel a tremendous sense of compassion for my brothers and myself.

Foremost, men are conditioned to shut down emotionally by society itself. Men are taught that to express emotions is “unsafe,” because it makes our masculinity appear weak and soft. For so long, we’ve been taught that to be masculine is to be “hard.” And if you’ve ever given a modern man a massage, you’ll know this hardness is tangible, our emotional armoring manifesting as layers upon layers of muscular tension.

Here’s a massive truth that I want us all to pause for a moment and reflect upon: that hardness in the body is actually layers of ice-cold frozen tears.

My own inner-work has been about reimagining my masculinity in a patriarchal world which conditions an immature and dysfunctional masculine identity that doesn’t know how to feel. Along the way, I have been shocked at how reading about the pain of male warriors going to war for corrupt political aims provokes massive grief in me.

And also how reflecting on this subject awoke the realization in me that every time I got my heart broken, I did my best to bury the wounds so deep that only through psychic scuba-diving in my meditation practice years later would I be able to excavate and process them.

It soon became clear that I’d been carrying around a hospice of old wounds, waiting to be healed and transmuted into wisdom – since every feeling I liberated held its own insights and revelations. One reason I’ve come to believe women, as I’ll explain, often seem wiser than men.

Women are at advantage in the emotions department for a couple of reasons. One, women are encouraged to be emotional. As a result, while many women still struggle with how to process emotions skilfully and use them as tools for alchemical transformation, they are usually more comfortable than men in this realm.

Secondly, diverse ancient traditions purport that women are at an advantage to men spiritually. I didn’t really understand the rationale behind this until I studied Chinese Medicine, and realized some important facts about our physical differences.

In Chinese Medicine, a person’s shen, or spirit, expresses itself as our sense of conscious awareness. It is said that this spiritual force is housed in the Heart and travels in the blood. And when women have their menstrual cycle and bleed they are actually cleansing this shen; their spirit!

Furthermore, I was taught by Native American elders that the sweat lodge was actually created to help men cleanse in a similar way, to help them keep spiritual pace with women! Totally mind-blowing.

Could this be why men are more vulnerable to being murky of spirit and emotional awareness than women? If women’s blood, or spirit, runs more clear, it comes as no surprise to me that women are able to feel more clearly and thus exhibit more emotional wisdom than men – for as I’ve learned, feelings are the catalyst for spiritual revelation.

Moreover, menstrual cycles mean women are energetically connected to cycles of the Moon, which in turn is energetically linked to our unconscious. This is why the cycles of the moon can inspire utter wildness of feeling in women! The moon is literally prodding their unconscious to come to the surface to be integrated into the light of consciousness.

A final stunning detail on this note: I was told by another wise teacher that women traditionally would intention their menses to cleanse not only themselves but the spiritual nature of the world at large, using their moontime to help bring the unconscious of the collective into the light of consciousness to be integrated. It’s no wonder women can feel so heavily burdened during their moontimes: they are cleansing so much more than themselves!

In saying all this, I’m not trying to excuse men who refuse or don’t know how to acknowledge their emotions. I know first hand from my own relationships how difficult for women this can be. My intention is simply to create a space for compassionate understanding of our differences, helping us pave the way for better relations in the future.

Ultimately, when it’s understood that women are by nature (and nurture) better feelers than men, this can be integrated into not only romantic but all relations between men and women, as well as utilized as a dynamic tool for healing.

In the past, I used to fear the way women seemed to know my pain even if I didn’t express it. Now I understand that female intuition is a great power that needs to be honored – but that we also need to honor how scary it can be for a man that she can usually tell when something is up no matter how hard he tries to hide it, for fear of appearing weak.

In the ancient romantic culture of the Troubadours, there’s an old adage: amore over armor. Men are constantly armoring themselves to fit an outmoded idea of masculinity, and while some protection is useful to buffer us against the trials of the world, most men are carrying way too much (which actually goes for women too, as we’ve all been conditioned by the patriarchy).

So the next time a man, either your partner or a friend, exhibits this kind of emotional armoring, instead of falling into frustration and even anger, choose compassion. Allow space. Ask tender, loving questions. Use touch and the beautiful arts of seductive love to tease out the truths from his tense body in a safe space that welcomes vulnerability.

Women’s gifts of sensuality and feminine beauty can entice the masculine to drop its defenses and open its overly guarded heart. In the ancient romantic traditions, this was seen as one of the great powers of women: to disarm men and invite their innermost essence to be expressed. Imagine if the women of the world used this power against all the war-mongering tyrants, to draw out the wounds that are at the root of so much violence!

When a man starts to feel openly, sharing his tender truths with women, then intimacy can blossom exponentially. Women will see, perhaps for the first time, the beautiful innocence that men hide in our hearts, and have been too afraid to show to a world they felt would demean them for it.

Further, perhaps we’ll realize that there’s a profound context in all romantic relationships for cultivating the balance between the masculine and feminine; for these two cosmic polarities to dance finally and ultimately in unison, fusing in the beauty of the divine.

Darren Austin Hall is a sacred musician, sound healer and spiritual teacher. His empowering music entails diverse, salving instrumentation, across crystal singing bowls, Indian tanpura, mystical guitar and shamanic singing. His new album, The Tantra of Truth, is a collection of ecstatic songs inspiring the evolution of consciousness and deep transformation, and he is one of the headlining musicians for The Yoga Conference in Toronto. He is also trained in Chinese Medicine and shamanic healing and is a gifted teacher and facilitator of a wide array of workshops on new paradigms of spirituality and healing. His writing appears on the blog The Druid, and is published online on sites such as Elephant Journal. Darren also co-facilitates a men’s group in Toronto devoted to raising the consciousness of the masculine and is a devotee of the wisdom of nature. Darrenaustinhall.com

INTENSELY FELT: GET TO KNOW YOUR SCORPIO MOON SIGN

Those born with a Scorpio Moon sign feel life more intensely than most, says Ash BakerArtwork: Prince Lauder via Behance.net

Calling all with a Scorpio Moon sign. Let’s dive into the deep waters where your heart centered luminary resides. The Moon reflects our deepest emotions, our reactions and instincts, and where we need and seek comfort in life – and the lunar Scorpio is intense. Not only in your needs, but how you get those needs met.

The Scorpion Moon sign comes with a super power to see past any illusion and go for a direct hit if it means getting to the truth of any situation, and people lacking the bravery to be honest won’t get far with you. The Scorpio Moon sign is drawn to intense people, situations and environments. You seek drama on some level, whether you like it or not, and all because of an innate drive to transform . A Scorpio Moon sign understands better than any that you must shake the foundation until it crumbles so you can build it better than before.

This need will play out in totally different areas of your life depending upon which house your Moon is located in your birth chart. But any which way, embracing this strong need for emotional intensity will be key to accepting yourself. Finding healthy ways to release this intense energy can help relieve it while still honoring this side of yourself.

This is also a very psychic Moon. With the laser like ability to hone in on the truth, you just know things you really should not. This level of knowingness gives you an emotional upper hand. You possess a level of confidence that will entice others to deeply confide in you, or else you’ll scares the hell out of them. And the Scorpio Moon sign is happy knowing everything about you, while you know very little about them. These are private creatures.

The shadow side of knowing everybody’s secrets is that you also know you can get hurt, badly. Human nature can sting. This can lead to the Scorpio Moon sign creating a tough veneer, seemingly making those around them, especially lovers, jump through hoops to earn your trust and affection. You like to control for fear of losing it – at least if you’re in control you always know what’s coming. Yet even when disaster hits, this Moon will thrive on opportunity for yet another rebirthing experience.

This Moon may reside on the darker side, yet when in love, you will display a level of loyalty like no other. You will fight till the death for your own, and are ultimately a great ally. While it might seem the Scorpio Moon sign can play on negatives as a catalyst to help others, when galvanized into action you are unstoppable. Let’s look at some ways to bring out the best in the Scorpio Moon sign…

See projects through to completion. The Scorpio Moon sign feels emotional unrest if you don’t finish what you start. This goes for your career, home projects, and even your relationships. You do things with your whole heart, or not at all. There may also be the tendency to expect others to hold the same standards. But other people won’t always be so black and white about life. Work on practicing loving acceptance of yourself and others.

Honor your need for privacy. Having healthy boundaries around your need to be alone to connect with your higher self is key. This is something others need to respect about you too, as you may become quite defensive without a quiet space to retreat to. Scorpio’s mascot is literally the scorpion, who likes to hide in dark places until they feel safe to come out. Your emotional Moon is quite the same. Knowing that this is normal for you is another positive step in healthy self-acceptance.

Seek the truth but leave room for the light. You don’t shy away from the darker side of life, and while admirable, this can lead a person to expect to find negativity more often than not. Spend time around people, places and get involved in experiences that show you how good life can be. It can be a cruel world out there, but it can be an amazing love-filled one too. Volunteer for a charity that speaks to you, working with others to make positive changes. Spend time with kids or animals, and witness unconditional love through the innocence of these beings. This will help your heart out next time you’re feeling cynical about the world.

Keep a journal. Write out your anger. Write out your sadness. Make a list of things you are grateful for. Use this space to get EMOTIONAL. Multiple studies have shown writing out your feelings brings a sense of control back into your life, so genuinely use this as a way to purge your intense inner stirrings. You could also see that some situations, if actively pursued, could lead to unnecessary strife. You seek intensity in life, and are strong enough to walk through the fire, but you have to pick your battles. Let it all out on the page instead, and keep your journal locked, tucked away or even under your bed. Prying eyes are death to the Scorpio Moon sign!

Your Moon is hugely valuable, as it can help others transform into better versions of themselves. Use your natural lunar abilities to light the way for others seeking their own much needed healing.

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA: INSIDE THE MIND OF THAT SPIRITUAL DUDE

Because we never feature enough Numi dudes! Gabriela Herstik gets Unknown Mortal Orchestra front man Ruban Neilson’s take on love, the Universe, and everything. Image: Dusdin Condren

Best known for being the third eye of psychedelic pop rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ruban Nielson has more to offer the world than just some groovy tunes. Ruban’s experience grounding his soulful nature in day-to-day life has shaped many things, including his relationships – UMO’s latest full length, “Multi-Love,” is a synthy trip about his experiments with polyamory. We talked to the man himself about his constant commitment to channelling something beyond himself – and how it helps make some good dancin’ music.

On Spirituality
“I don’t really worry about whether I’m spiritual or not because it’s a mysterious part of life and categories mess it up for me. Music is my concrete connection to forces outside myself, whether this means community, history, spirit, the subconscious, or some concept of God – that isn’t my place to define. But through music I know there’s more than my ‘self’ because I get gifts from that place in the form of songs, or the ability to perform beyond what I thought I could.”

On Astrology
“I’m a Pisces, but the first day so I’m a cusper with Aquarius. I’m also a Cancer Moon. I feel like a pretty typical Pisces. Astrology is fun. I like talking about it with people and trying to find patterns. But I take it with a grain of salt like most things.”

On Love
“Being in love is so important to me. I spend most of my time thinking about love, although I’ll never know anything about it. I’m always just drowning and I prefer it that way.”

On Culture
“I have my own personal ideas about being Hawaiian. Most people don’t know what a Polynesian is and that’s both frustrating and useful. I think my genetics shape my music quite a bit. I think my music puts my heart on display, and Hawaiians are known to be very hot-headed and deeply emotional.”

On Yurts
“The shape of a yurt is beautiful and living in a yurt was cool. It was a certain time in my life. I miss it sometimes but my life doesn’t fit in a yurt any more, haha.”

On The Unknown
“Aliens of all kinds definitely exist. You can ask any mathematician. Magick is real too. It’s all around us in the form of branding; symbols and suggestions used to manipulate reality. It’s a pity it’s come to that. As for spirit guides and ghosts, I’m not going to try to categorize things that no-one really understands. There are a lot of levels to reality though, I’m certain of that.”

On Wearing Mala Beads
“I guess I do.”

Rockin’ some Mala beads 12 weeks ago on Instagram

On Mantras
“I do work with mantras. They change a lot.”

On Inner Peace and Zen
“I play music. I’m always looking to be possessed by this very happy and invincible version of myself.”

On Living Your Truth

“I’m really lucky. These days I’m really able to pursue my music and live the way I want to live. I don’t sleep much but I get to be the person I dreamed I could be and I get to be moving and creating all the time. That’s the way I want to be.”

Get tour dates and more for Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Unknownmortalorchestra.com

READING FOR THE FULL MOON IN TAURUS: OCTOBER 26 2015

The October 27 Full Moon in Taurus is here to shine a light on what you truly value and love about yourself, says Hannah Ariel…

“You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith and focus and courage. Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Hold on and dig deep into the heart; Tuesday October 27th we have ourselves a full moon at three degrees Taurus, shining its lovelight. What do you love most deeply about yourself? How can you build on what you find? Where do you want to go from there? Do you have the courage to let go of exhausted endeavors and expired relationships in order to bring forth more of your own creativity? The light of this Moon is at work to uncover the subtle nature of the way you experience fulfillment.

A Venus-ruled jewel in the sky, this Full Moon in Taurus is indeed a treasure with positive aspects every which way. The Moon is on the receiving end of a triple conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and Mars in Virgo and the power of Pluto in Capricorn – loosely forming a grand trine, a trinity of earthly energy. Venus, Jupiter and Mars are a triple conjunction of attraction, expansion and action all at once. Natural fulfillment of our most sincere efforts is a promise. With the Sun in Scorpio only you will know the secret to what your heart truly desires. Scorpio energy is dynamic, personal, intrinsically motivated, and will give you the strength to honor what you learn about your deepest needs this week.

Since the Full Moon in Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, while Venus happens to be quite busy making multiple connections to multiple planets on this day, taking a closer look to see what Venus is doing will show us we have more than enough energy at hand to strengthen our understanding of how things are evolving…

Venus conjunct (combined and infused) with Jupiter and Mars in Virgo: We are seeing what we value in the light of a whole new reality. With an expanded sense of what is possible, our actions are more aligned than ever with all that we want to attract more of into our lives. The ground rules have shifted. There is room for so much more health and happiness.

Venus in Virgo trine (harmonious flow of support) with Pluto in Capricorn: We are being attracted to people and opportunities that connect with parts of our soul that need to be harnessed. The power of our attractions is real right now. Roles are transforming. Meaningful and destined relationships are growing organically, while others continue to naturally fall away. Leave concerns about your love life to the Universe.

Venus in Virgo in an opposition (face to face) with Chiron in Pisces: We are learning to heal our imperfections by allowing ourselves to be imperfect. It is a time to let go of shame and self-blame and allow things to surface and just be – especially in regard to relationships. Trust the natural flow of things no matter how messy or chaotic it may appear at the moment; free yourself from needing to control every detail, save the day or save face. Find peace. Create more art. Hold off on passing judgment on yourself or others. Find a quiet space. Loose yourself to the flow of time; know that everything we wish to attract takes time.

Two weeks ago, the New Moon asked us to re-think what is possible, see through who we have been in relation to others and re-define who we want to be with brilliant clarity. This Full Moon in Taurus wants to make sure we deepen our connection to our love, our creativity, and tighten our own inner laws of attraction to manifest true happiness. It takes a Supermoon like this one to reveal our innermost resources and appreciate the richness we feel when we tap into them. So say “yes” to what you have to offer to yourself and others from the heart; the rest of the magic will manifest…Big Magic.

For additional support, chanting during this Full Moon is highly favored as Taurus rules the throat chakra; where we need to say “yes” more. It is within this energy center that we experience our capacity for creativity, and allow the life force to lovingly speak through us. As the tide is high, we have a lot of power to activate and heal the throat chakra, especially through chanting mantra – mantra is a sound wave that upon repetition enables us to wipe out fears and align with a lively, more gratifying, energy flow.

Try chanting Ong Sohung – a heart centered mantra – at this time, to activate your creative consciousness and remind your heart that it has a say in what comes next. “Ong” means the creative consciousness of the universe. “Sohung” means I am that! Listen and sing along to this enchanting version by Snatam Kaur for a totally healing and expansive Full Moon in Taurus experience – not forgetting that Taurus also rules music and the metaphysical experience of song! Let the power of this mantra remind you that you are endlessly gifted inside.

For a personal reading with Hannah Ariel contact her at [email protected]

How will you use the Full Moon in Taurus energy this week? Share in the comments below, and connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

A NEW IDEAL: AQUARIAN INSIGHTS FOR THE NEW MOON IN LIBRA

This New Moon in Libra is gifting us the tools to fashion a beautiful and empowering reality, says Hannah Ariel Eckhaus. PLUS a Kundalini meditation to aid the process. Image: Mellisa Ristine

Image: Mellisa Ristine

Monday October 12th we are being delivered an opportunity to get real clear, real fast! We are being gifted a liberating new moon at 19 degrees of Libra. What makes this New Moon particularly ripe with potential for intentions to fly is that it’s taking place in direct opposition to innovative Uranus in Aries! Uranus is THE liberator. Uranian energy is radically electric, vertical like lightening, offering us “ah-hah” moments like we’ve never had before.

Libra is an intellectual air sign so our conscious thoughts count big time right now. The New Moon in Libra appears to be asking not just for our intentions but our attention. Especially when it comes to seeing how our inner thoughts correlate and compose our external reality. After all, what is suggested to us in our thoughts defines all the actions we take in our waking life.

Post-eclipse season, this New Moon in Libra will ideally help us to fashion new, focused thought forms, that will in turn lead us into a new, focused reality! A reality that reflects a recently realized new ideal regards your identity – a part of yourself that perhaps you’ve compromised or forgotten over time in order to follow preconceived social graces. After all, Libra rules relationships, balance, posture – this sign is master in the art of appearances. The New Moon in Libra couldn’t be more happy to help liberate you, with the reminder that the way things appear absolutely depends on your direct participation.

There is always so much more going on beneath the surface. The key is to remain clear and calm enough in your reality so that your intentions can propel you forward into situations and relationships that will support what you have in mind for the future. What is being presented to you? And where do you really stand on this? If you don’t know, then how then how can you move forward in a way that will support you?

Now, through the astrological energy surrounding the New Moon itself, it’s as if the Universe is handing us the tools to answer these questions ever so quickly. Uranus, Pluto, Venus and Mercury are all here at work, to aid in the manifestation of a reality based on the genius, beautiful ideal within you! The opposition to Uranus is all about cracking open the code of what needs to happen next; the brilliant “oh my goodness!” moment, where the truth becomes strikingly clear.

At the same time, Pluto will be squaring this Moon. Pluto energy deals with subconscious patterns so ingrained, we can no longer remember when they became habitual. Pluto in aspect to this New Moon in Libra will be to our advantage, empowering us to break down deep rooted, re-occurring thought patterns that are, in all actuality, no longer serving our highest aspirations. Especially in regard to relationships. Especially in regard to what feels harmonious.

This may not feel as “nice” as Libra would like at first, but Pluto and Uranus absolutely will make sure that your New Moon intentions begin a process helps reorder our reality to illustrates a new ideal, one that you will be proud to look at from an objective point of view.

Along with these power players, Venus and Mercury are currently involved in what is called a “mutual reception” – when two planets are in one another’s signs of rulership. While Libra energy is ruled by Venus; Virgo energy is ruled by Mercury. Currently, Mercury is in Libra while Venus is in Virgo, ultimately activating the circuitry of our consciousness in a way that will assist our thoughts to better reflect our true values.

Also, Mercury will be conjunct the North Node at this time. Meaning, our destiny is in motion and it is utterly up to us to be clear in our thinking now, as it is the clarity and co-operation of our thoughts that will lead us forward. Prioritize and remain focused on what creates harmony – what sings to your inner self? What did you learn about yourself during that Aries Full moon eclipse? This is prime opportunity to put all your recent epiphanies to good use! Venus in Virgo is an earthbound energy that takes great satisfaction in arranging the details to serve a greater purpose. What details do you want to pay attention to?

Post eclipse season; post Mercury and Venus retrograde; it’s time to break on through to the other side of self-doubt and self-evasive compromise. Remain alert to your most beautiful ideal. Now, offer yourself a chance to see it through in reality.

:: MEDITATION FOR THE NEW MOON IN LIBRA::
A kundalini meditation designed to particularly detox the mind each morning is Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. In the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is: “one of the greatest meditations you can practice. It has considerable transformative powers…giving the individual a new perspective on the Self. It retrains the mind…it can purify your past karma and subconscious impulses that may block you from fulfilling you…it balances mental projection…establishes inner happiness and a state of flow and ecstasy in life.”

What tools help keep your thoughts and intentions clear? Join the conversation in the comments below, and connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

WEEKLY TAROTSCOPE: JULY 19-25

In her weekly Tarotscope video for July 19-25, Louise Androlia shares a message about stepping into your personal power and owning your truth.

You can also check out last week’s video here – did Louise’s reading resonate for you? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

I CAN SEE CLEARLY: NEPTUNE RETROGRADE FOR YOUR SIGN

King Neptune, planet of intuition, imagination and illusions, has begun its annual backward spin of the Zodiac. Ruby Warrington gets to grips with this elusive but powerful entity, and asks what this retro period will ask each sign to confront.

Neptune is the planet I find it hardest to get my head around – but then, that’s to be expected. Ruler of Pisces, Neptune is the dreamer and the empath of the cosmos, the planet ruling our imagination, our intuition and our ideals. One of the slower-moving celestial bodies (or “collective,” as their influence extends over generations), in the natal chart of anybody born between November 1970 to January 1984, and again briefly between June and November 1984, Neptune will be in Sagittarius, a sign where this deep-sea diver feels quite at home.

Sagittarius appreciates high ethics, prophetic thinking and spiritual seeking too, and has been working hand-in-hand with King Neptune to wire today’s thirty-something generation to idealize a broadening of our collective worldview. Welcome to the global village, baby, where the lure of escape into foreign cultures and spiritual codes is felt like the pull of the poles, altruism is aspirational and even the yoga or meditation practice we idolize is often seen as a gateway to a higher state of consciousness.

For Neptune the escapist and the mystic, mind-altering substances are another portal to the other dimensions that are always there in our peripheral vision. And with expansive, optimistic Sag on hand to pour or roll us another one, “go on, why not, it’ll be fun!”, it’s not surprising we found a stairway to heaven through ecstasy culture and invented binge drinking in the 1990’s. Or that addiction is the symptom of so many Neptune-in-Sagittarius casualties. Lucky we’ve learned to embrace the Neptunian notions of self-help and self-love too.

With Sagittarius rising, I have also have Neptune in my first house. Enter the body dysmorphia that led to an eating disorder in my teenage years, compounded by my controlling Scorpio North Node return – but also, Sag, for granting me the compassion to love myself out of it, allowing me to learn from it and refusing to let me take it too seriously. Neptune in the first house can also mean an effortless slide into the deeper reaches of the imagination, an alluring shape-shifter and a storefront displaying the mysteries of the Universe. So go figure, Numis…

Why all the Neptune research this week? On June 9, he began his annual retrograde cycle. Of all the outer planets, Neptune spends the most time treading water in retrograde motion – 158 days every 12.07 months – a fitting pattern for the planet that also governs subconscious memories of distant childhood and even past lives. In a Neptune retrograde cycle, the mysteries he usually conceals are brought to the surface for us to examine in real time. Our intuition is given more currency. Dreams demand to be interpreted. Illusions, and delusions, are exposed, and creative ideas that have been gestating come forth and begin to take shape in the material world.

Currently in Pisces, Neptune’s cosmic castle, I was curious to explore what this might mean for me in the coming months (he resumes direct motion November 16) and what subtly sensed waves his backward strokes will send across the Zodiac at large.

* For a truly accurate reading, get your birth chart for free here. As an Aries with Sag rising, I will feel ripples of Neptune retro in Pisces in both the twelfth and fourth houses. But as Pisces actually rules the third house in my natal chart, I’ll look here for the most meaningful and relevant insights.

Aries / Aries rising (twelfth house)
Here is your chance to dive deep and rise to the surface of your subconscious with that most highly valued prize: the truth. Pay close attention to the neuroses that occupy your thinking now, and be bold in seizing the opportunity for healing that comes with smoking them out. Avoid indulging in mind-altering substances. Be honest with yourself and embrace clarity as a tool for lasting personal development.

Taurus / Taurus rising (eleventh house)
Choose not to ignore your paranoia about issues affecting any area of your life where group dynamics rule. Demand to know the details of the political dealings you rightly sense are going on behind the scenes. Then, think not what your friends can do for you, but what you can do for your friends. Fall into compassion and fire up your humanitarian efforts. Meditate on the germ of a revolutionary idea, and watch it flourish.

Gemini / Gemini rising (tenth house)
Duties or responsibilities you’ve been avoiding can no longer be ignored. It’s time to take the reins and begin to steer your ship into deeper waters, however intimidating this might feel. Don’t be afraid to tap into your inner ball-breaker. Act “as if” you’re the boss. When the limelight beckons, don’t hide away in the shadows. Get real about the sacrifices you need to make if you want your career to take off the way you envision.

Cancer / Cancer rising (ninth house)
Come out of your cave and give in to your wanderlust. A spiritual awakening could be in store for you when you open your mind and put paid to fears you can now see are completely unfounded. Dive into your studies in the University of Life, and embark on a vision quest or spiritual pilgrimage. To achieve enlightenment, deal only in what you know in your soul to be the truth, and demand the same of others.

Leo / Leo rising (eighth house)
Like a butterfly, you are on a journey of transformation and rebirth. But now you’re being asked to come clean about wherever wallowing in your comfort zone is stunting your personal growth. Escape into obsession and control will only compound your sense of being stuck. Ignore your intuition at your peril, and pick up creative projects with Leonine gusto. A mystery about an inheritance or money owed could also be resolved.

Virgo / Virgo rising (seventh house)
Expect a breakthrough in your couple’s therapy sessions, as deep-seated fractures in your closest relationships come up for air and healing. Embrace situations that show your creative and business collaborators’ true colors, and resolve to accept what you see. Give in to the notion of compromise. See past your ego for ways for justice to be served. Accept that the skeletons in your closet could actually be good PR.

Libra / Libra rising (sixth house)
Any flaws in your logic will be exposed now, so arm yourself with a backup plan. Details you’d prefer to gloss over will demand your attention. Tackling mundane-seeming tasks could actually lead to the breakthroughs you’ve been looking for. Knuckle down. And no more excuses about your emotional over or under-eating. Your health and wellbeing is at risk if you continue to delude yourself about your diet. Be ready to redraft a creative project to perfection.

Scorpio / Scorpio rising (fifth house)
A clandestine affair or flirtation could come to light, or maybe you’ll be asked to play your hand in matters of the heart. Your secret vice won’t stay a secret for long. A creative project you’re personally invested in could come to fruition now, and this fertile creative phase could also see your parental urges kick in. Be wary of situations that allow you to escape into over-indulgence. A hidden talent for the performing arts could also be revealed.

Sagittarius / Sagittarius rising (fourth house)
Expect the unexpected from a family situation, as whatever’s been going on behind the scenes is unveiled. Family constellations therapy could prove especially insightful. In all other areas, embark on a Dream Quest to get to the heart of the matter, and let your subconscious be your guide. Now examine your daily habits. What nourishes you and what is holding you back will be clearer to you now.

Capricorn / Capricorn rising (third house)
Be ruthless in speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Allow yourself to hear the same in what others are saying. A hidden affinity with writing or speaking may come to light, embrace opportunities to explore this. Allow your logical mind to be infiltrated by your intuition. Journal about your dream life. False advertising won’t be tolerated. A sibling’s or neighbor’s secret may be revealed.

Aquarius / Aquarius rising (second house)
Get real about your finances and banish your credit cards to the back drawer. No more hiding your head in the sand and spending beyond your means, especially if shopping is a means of escape for you. Ask yourself; who am I without my luxuries and creature comforts? A creative way to add to your income may be unlocked. Look out for it, leave no stone unturned. Then act.

Pisces / Pisces rising (first house)
You’ll see past what’s in the mirror and view body image issues for what they really are: nothing but a figment of your insecurities. Now is the time for honest self-observation. Get real as you analyze your actions. In what ways do you allow your emotions to sabotage your personal vitality? Clean up your act. Insist on clarity of self-expression, no lying to yourself or your inner child.

M.I.A. MATANGI: “BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU THINK”

“We all tweet incessantly the way parrots in the jungle do; we never consider how far the smallest idea can travel and how it can affect the people it reaches.” M.I.A. (a.k.a. Matangi)

Music with a message has always been M.I.A.’s MO. As global consciousness expands, her latest release, Matangi, is like a missive from another realm on the the power of our thoughts. If there has been a theme to 2013, our first year on post-Mayan planet Earth, then isn’t that exactly it? We are what we think.

With this understanding comes an awesome responsibility – because, oh s***, now the ball is in our court. For M.I.A. Matangi is here to remind us all that we better beware of our thoughts, and that we better back that up by speaking (not to mention tweeting) our truth.

Everybody’s favorite rap-tivist explains the story behind it all.

WHO IS MATANGI?
Matangi is a 5000-year-old concept of a Goddess who fought to keep thought and information pure. She sits on a gem-studded throne with a sitar. In Hinduism, the Goddesses have different life roles, and when Matangi is in a tranquil, meditative state, she plays the sitar.  Her instrument symbolises each part of the human experience…the consciousness, the breath, the heart, the body…and she plays to keep the universe and the people in harmony.

WHAT’S THE MESSAGE IN HER MUSIC?
She’s here to remind us that information needs to be spoken from the heart. If it’s not it’s false, and she defends that and fights for that. She fights the pollution of frequencies – which is all to do with words and how they come out, the articulation of inner thought to outward expression – which can happen through music, or any of the 64 ways to express your inner thoughts.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HER?
She’s the ninth of the ten Goddesses that Shiva’s wife splits into when he’s at work – because when she’s not being Shiva’s wife, she’s got s*** to do! His wife is called Parvati – and Wikipedia says she’s also the Goddess of power, because if Shiva is the god of destruction, you can’t destroy without power. In Hinduism it’s all about couples – and while the men are alright they’re not the main thing, which is really cool.

WHY DOES MATANGI’S STORY RESONATE WITH YOU?
I found about about her because my birth name is Mathangi, and how funny that her mantra is “aim” – which is M.I.A. backwards. But right now you can apply her myth to what’s happening in the world. Matangi also carries a parrot – she’s got her sitar and she has a sword in one hand and a parrot in the other, which represents the nature of humans.

WHAT PART OF HUMAN NATURE?
It’s an intelligent bird because it can repeat words, but it doesn’t have the consciousness to understand what it’s saying – and how funny, today we have a thing called “Twitter” – where we tweet, and then we re-tweet! And we’re judged on how many re-tweets we get. Not by the one intelligent thing we said that no-body re-tweeted, but because we said something stupid like; “I’m having a cheeseburger” and 1000 people re-tweeted it. Hinduism works in symbols, and the parrot means nothing in itself. It’s there to remind us to be conscious of what we say.

Matangi by M.I.A. is out now.
@MIAuniverse